Surviving Coachella

For those of you that attend music festivals, Coachella will be returning this and next weekend. After experiencing it a few times and with different groups of people, I wanted to re-share a previous post of how I prepared for this event. Hopefully this will be useful to both previous and new attendees.

Coachella Essentials: AKA How to Survive Weekend 1 or 2

2018 Rewind

It’s been a while since I’ve posted to this blog. I’m hoping to somehow restart it since it’s a new year. But before I do that, here’s a look back on how 2018 was for me (yes it’s about to be mid-February Whoops?).

A few highlights from the year:

  • Weddings – A friend of mine that I worked in retail with and also attended nursing school with got married. I was one of the bridesmaids and our friends from SD came up to celebrate, so it was a ton of fun. Near the end of the year, another friend from college got married in Hawaii, which I attended as a guest.

 

  • Travel – Made a few trips to Vegas for my friend’s bachelorette party and for Christmas. Also attended my 10th year at SDCC, which was an awesome experience (as usual). Since one of my friend’s wedding was in Hawaii, my friends and I also took advantage of the days before and after the event to take in sites and get our grub on.

 

 

 

 

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  • Music – I attended quite a few of these events, all of which were firsts. I decided to skip out on Coachella and instead checked out Bottle Rock for one of the days. The drive was long, but seeing celebrities on the culinary stage and also performing on one of the main stages was awesome. As an on and off fan of Korean music, I finally got to check out some artists that came to California. Loved Eric Nam‘s intimate set, and his opener Loote made their way onto my Spotify playlist. I also got to meet him after the show. He’s adorable! TLC was performing at the San Mateo County fair, so a few friends and I jumped in at the chance to see them. No regrets here! They sound just as good as they did back in the 90s. Since last year, I slowly but surely became a fan of BTS, who’s by far the most popular Korean group known in the US to date. After listening to their albums beginning from their debut in 2013, I couldn’t help but be hooked. You could imagine my excitement when I found out they were touring the US. I was able to get tickets to their LA and Oakland shows, (yes, I saw them twice and it was totally worth it) and it was an amazing experience. The Oakland show was a special one since it was the group leader’s birthday the day of. The audience and the guys sang to him and he looked so happy. I also did a last minute upgrade and got incredible seats. It was the closest I could have imagined being near them without having to stand in the GA sections right next to the stage.

 

 

 

 

 

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  • For the ‘Gram – There were a few exhibits that came to SF last year. I visited 29 Rooms and Candytopia. Both were entirely different experiences, but I liked the latter the most because my friends and I left with a good amount of free candy (score).

 

 

 

 

 

Already have a few things in store for this year. And as with every year, I hope to try new things and make more great memories to look back on.

Good Times and Grub in Vegas

Last month I took my first trip of the year to Vegas with my best friend and met up with more people while we were there. I actually haven’t traveled with her in several years. We have our occasional outings in the Bay Area, but work schedules often make it difficult to plan an actual vacation or quick getaway, so we were both pretty excited about it. We took an evening flight and got picked up by one of her friends, then had dinner at Shake Shack. The bestie had never been there, so it was a good time to take advantage since it wasn’t busy on a Thursday night. We walked off our meal by heading through Monte Carlo (soon to be named Park MGM) and taking the City Center Tram to Bellagio. We took a look at the Chinese New Year display at their conservatory. I loved the huge Husky with the moving tail!

 

 

 

The next morning we had brunch at Truffles N Bacon. I came across them on Instagram and it was a must that we try their Ube French Toast. We lucked out and ordered the last 2. There’s a really good reason why it constantly sells out. Layers of ube bread with ube cream cheese and young coconut in between, topped with condensed milk and a dollop of ube jam make this a pheNOMenal treat for anyone who loves this “purple stuff”. Considering all the ingredients, it wasn’t overwhelmingly sweet. I opted for the chicken and waffles instead and it was amazing. I usually don’t have the best tolerance with spicy stuff, but if you visit and order this, try it with their honey sriracha. You won’t regret it!

 

 

 

Our now group of 4 got touristy in the afternoon and rode the Gondola at The Venetian (unnecessary Vegas bucket list activity, check). We also visited their CNY displays. They had another adorably huge dog (a sharpei) located near the waterfall that sits between The Venetian and Palazzo hotels.

Dinner later that evening was at Sushi Neko. Neko is Japanese for “cat”, so there is feline themed decor strewn throughout the restaurant. I found it a bit funny that they were playing K-Pop at a Japanese restaurant, but I was totally feeling it (It even reignited my interested in listening to it. I blame you, BTS). The last time I had all you can eat sushi was ironically in Vegas last year. I didn’t bother keeping track of how many pieces I ate, but I assure you that everything we ordered was good.

 

 

 

Our last whole day together was nothing short of fun filled. We checked out the China Lights display at Craig Ranch Regional Park. If it weren’t for the blustery evening, we would have gone through the whole thing. We decided to head back after watching the Chinese cultural performances.

 

 

We capped off the night at Omnia with a DJ set by Zedd. I haven’t seen him since Coachella in 2014. It was nice to actually see his face from the second level of the club compared to being several hundred people deep in a muggy and dusty tented area.

 

 

 

 

I’ll be back in Vegas within a few months for a bachelorette party, so the experience will be much different compared to this. This was the first time in a while that I’ve visited without having a rental car, so I probably would have gone to more places If I had one. Then again, no matter how many times I’ve been here, I always manage to discover something new. Have any recs for my return trip? Feel free to let me know in the comments.

 

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**I also found out last week that I’ve been on WP for 5 years. The first few were inactive, but I’m glad that I still held onto this account. Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have crossed paths with some awesome readers. :)**

Getting SDCC Ready!

I felt like June passed by way too quickly. That said, we’re only weeks away from SDCC. One of my sources has some great info for first time attendees.

Today we are 2 1/2 weeks away from Comic-Con! If you’ve never been to SDCC- this convention is unlike anything you’ve experienced before. The planning and preparation is next level- especially if you want to maximize every moment. Walking into Comic-Con without a battle plan will only lead to catastrophic results. The next few weeks […]

via Happy Comic-Con Month! 6 Tips to Consider — Crazy 4 Comic Con

Hot Topic SDCC Contest

Hot Topic is hosting a contest to bring 1 winner and a guest to San Diego Comic Con in July. Tell them who your Wonder Woman is, and the winner will receive the following:

  • Airfare for 2
  • 3 night hotel stay
  • 2 SDCC badges for all four days of the convention
  • Winner will have a chance to walk the runway at the Her Universe Fashion Show. The fashion company and lifestyle brand currently has a Wonder Woman collection at Hot Topic. Check it out here.

 

The contest runs from now until June 13, 2017 at 11:59pm PT. Residents of the US, Puerto Rico, and Canada (excluding Quebec) 16 years of age and up are welcome to enter. Head to the entry page here.

My Coachella Weekend 2 Experience

My post-Coachella high has finally come down 2 weeks later. Although it was only my second time there, it was more fun and less stressful compared to my first. I was able to see more of the performers and stay for the whole weekend. I did spoil myself a bit by watching the Weekend 1 live streams, but it actually made me more excited for what I’d be seeing the following week. Plus it gave me an idea of who would and wouldn’t be worth watching. Heading down from the Bay Area on Thursday gave me a chance to decompress a bit and check out the local area before the next few days of madness. Thank goodness I booked a hotel that had a shuttle stop.

Most attendees love dressing up at Coachella, but knowing how hot the temperature would get in the coming days, I wanted to look nice, yet feel comfortable in what I wore. I brought 2 pairs of shoes and planned to alternate them between outfits, but ended up wearing my black Chuck Taylor lows for all 3 days since they would eventually get dirtied up. I couldn’t think about possibly messing up my lightly used Vans! But I also brought some cute strappy sandals to wear during the time before heading to the venue (e.g. while running errands or grabbing breakfast/brunch earlier in the the day). Unfortunately, I barely have any photos of myself in these outfits, so instead here’s layout of what I wore each day.

 

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Day 1 – Top and shorts from Old Navy

I loved the detailing on the bottom of this off the shoulder top, so that was a no-brainer to bring on my trip. I’ve had the shorts for a few years. Luckily they still fit me (heheh).

 

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Day 2 – Floral top from Forever 21, lace tube top from Nordstrom Rack, skirt from Charlotte Russe, necklace from Express

I actually wore the F21 top last year to a friend’s “Coachella” themed bridal shower, so I was glad to see it put to use for the real thing. Since it had a low neckline, the tube top peeked out nicely underneath it. Hard to tell with the skirt, but it has a slit on the side. I didn’t accessorize with my Day 1 outfit, so I added the necklace to this one. This was the most “dressed up” outfit I packed, and of course I decided to wear it on the hottest day of the festival. But no worries, it didn’t make me overheat!

 

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Day 3 – Shirt from Kohl’s, bralette from Express, shorts from Old Navy

As the weekend wound down, I kept things a bit more casual for the last day. I didn’t button the shirt all the way up so the straps from the bralette could be seen. I’m not one to include much color with what I wear, so this was a fun outfit for me.

 

I’m glad I had made a post of Coachella essentials ahead of time. I followed most of my advice and brought a few things from the list everyday to the venue.

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Hang Ten Classic Spray SPF 30 – This retails at over $10, but I lucked out and only got this for about $3 when it was on sale at Urban Outfitters. Aerosol sunscreens weren’t allowed inside the venue, but I applied this liberally before leaving the hotel. Never got sunburned. *pats self on back*

Inside my purse:

Eye drops – Came in handy when I was feeling tired and my eyes got a bit irritated from the flying dust.

Bandana – Covered my face with this, which saved my nose and throat from getting irritated from the occasional windy conditions. I actually brought a black one.

Purell wipes – Loved using these after eating, especially if a restroom wasn’t nearby to wash my hands.

Mini Chloe perfume spray – A little of this went a long way when applied to my pulse points.

Lipgloss – Luckily I wore long-wearing lip color. I just used this gloss to top it off and reapplied a few times after eating and drinking.

Mints – After crab fries, cold brew coffee, beer, and slices of Spicy Pie (not all at once, of course), these were a must to freshen my mouth up!

Downbeats – These ear plugs are more like acoustic filters. When I put them in, the sound wasn’t at all muffled. Instead, it lowered it by a few decibels, which made it more enjoyable to listen to. Plus I didn’t have that annoying ringing in the ears that people sometimes experience after being exposed to consistently loud music. I bought them from Amazon and plan on using them for future concerts/music festivals.

Everything fit nicely inside the mini cross body bag I got from Target, along with a small wallet. There was still enough room to put in my external battery and mini USB cord when I had to charge my phone.

I got to see some of the artists I watched on Coachella’s YouTube live stream the week before, plus some I didn’t expect to see. That’s pretty much the point. I even made a withdrawal playlist on Spotify with both the popular and new artists I discovered at Weekend 2.

Friday – Kungs, Big Gigantic, Bonobo, Crystal Castles, Glass Animals, Phantogram (YES, loved them.), Little Dragon (I think I have a woman crush on their singer. Her voice is so unique), and Empire of the Sun (the crowd was way larger than when they performed at the festival 2 years ago, but it was still a good set.).

Saturday – Two Door Cinema Club, Future, Lady Gaga (she performed her latest single, which was still a bit new then).

Sunday – Kaytranada, Hans Zimmer, Lorde, Justice, New Order, Kendrick Lamar.

Coachella was also Foodchella for me, as I reunited with an old favorite (Spicy Pie, FTW) and picked up on some new ones too (Cold brew coffee and crab fries).

 

Not sure yet if I’ll be back again next year. That would depend on if my friends want to go and if a possible Beyonce appearance will occur (please say yes). But I’d probably still go anyway if the lineup is a good one.

General Assembly SDCC Contest

With Open Registration out of the way as of this past weekend, hopes of attending one of the largest geek conventions in the US are pretty slim. BUT that doesn’t mean it should be completely lost. In past years, I’ve come across a few contests that send their lucky winners to the convention, with the addition of a few perks. I will post about them as they come up. This one is courtesy of General Assembly, which specializes in tech classes (e.g. coding, marketing, design, data, etc.). Here’s what the prize includes:

  • A $1,000 airline credit 
  • Three nights accommodation 
  • Two badges to SDCC
  • A $200 transportation credit 
  • A $500 cosplay credit 
  • A $200 credit toward any General Assembly class or workshop
  • A GA Swag Pack

You can enter the contest here before Sunday, April 23rd. Good luck!