Fruit Adventures: Pasadena Gems

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Have you ever been to Pasadena? Most folks, both local and tourists alike, visit the Old Town Pasadena area to catch up on some retail therapy or to enjoy a succulent meal in one of the trendy and upscale restaurants that the Old Town has to offer. But what most people don't know about (or are just nonchalant about) is the rich architecture that lies in the city's vast residential area. I am in no way an art fanatic but having an architect for a boyfriend has definitely given me a new perspective on these sort of things. In short--- I kinda give a rat's butt about it now.

The Gamble House

Being one of the most iconic houses of the arts and crafts movement in architecture, the Gamble House is a sight to behold. The house was built as a winter home for David and Mary Gamble (of Procter & Gamble), designed by Architects Charles and Henry Greene. Guess when this house was built? 1908!

Uh...this was JUST a winter home? Damn.


The boyfriend has been itching to go to this place so when we found some time to squeeze in a one-hour docent-guided tour, I jumped right in to reserve some tickets. The only way to get into the house is through the guided tours so it's best to check out for their schedule and purchase the tickets online at gamblehouse.org. There is no photography allowed inside the house so sadly, I can't share with you how truly remarkable the craftsmanship of this house is but you can easily find a book or google about it. Every detail was so well thought of that the architects even designed the furnishings themselves. That, or they were just a bunch of control-freaks!

The house is heavily Japanese-inspired as the Gambles were very much into the Japanese art and culture.


Personally, I think the best thing about the house is the impeccable wood craftsmanship...like if you think you're anal then you haven't seen what they did for the interiors of this house--- everything was designed and collaborated to a T! Oh and speaking of wood, they won't let you in if you aren't wearing flat shoes (stiletto heels are the devil, or at least that's what the docents would think) as pointy heels may damage the wooden floors of the house.

Just a couple of feet from the house is the car garage that's now been converted into a bookstore filled with art/architecture books (you may also try to drop in and purchase some tour tickets if they're still available).


Dude, you know you're rich when you have your own gas pump in your garage...in---that's right, 1908!


Obviously I cease to exist when the boyfriend is surrounded by architecture books. Note to self: Send boyfriend to buy appropriate size of jeans. Mmmk, Mr. Saggy Butt?


I spy some cute tiles!



Taking pictures under the sun (in every freakin' angle) can really drain one's energy and sanity and since I knew that we were going to be around Pasadena, I called in advance and booked a table for afternoon tea at The Langham . This afternoon tea thing has become a tradition of ours since about 7 years ago, where we had our first afternoon tea together at The Drake in Chicago. It was a sweet discovery to find that both the boyfriend and I actually really enjoy this kinda stuff, so we agreed to try to have afternoon tea wherever we landed on the map. So far we've had tea at The Peninsula in Hong Kong, The Fullerton Hotel in Singapore and The Rose Garden Tea Room at the Huntington Botanical Gardens, and now we can add The Langham to the list!

Who would have known that this was in Pasadena? It's so hidden that you have to go through residential roads to get here. This looks like a perfect setting for a great wedding reception, non?


Upon entering, we were greeted by a modest lobby area, with a beautiful chandelier in the center.


The hallway towards the Lobby Lounge (where they have the afternoon tea), decked in huge beautiful paintings.



The hotel's beautiful courtyard.


It's not that hard to navigate around the hotel but if you spot this sign, you've arrived at the Lobby Lounge.


The set-up is pretty chill, you can hang out with your friends or just have a relaxing date.


Further inside, you can see floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the hotel's garden.


You'd think my date's looking at floor plans---he's just checking out the tea selection. Ha!


The Tiffin Afternoon Tea has two options, you can get the Traditional Tiffin Tea ($39 per person), or the Royal Tiffin Tea (includes champagne, $56 per person). Getting drunk off of champagne in the middle of the afternoon and possibly scaring all the other guests sounded so enticing but we still had somewhere else to go, so...Traditional it is!

The tea comes with a selection of scones, pastries and finger sandwiches. I was so hungry that I devoured all the sandwiches first, screw the pastries! Ha!


This passion apricot cone had a gold flake in it, should I eat it or save it 'til I end up having a whole gold bar? Hmmm. Decisions, decisions.


We're having afternoon tea with our little pinky's up so, I have to act all prim and proper, right?


But then I couldn't help myself and got sugar high with God knows how many sugar cubes and milk I dumped in my tea. My cup is too full, I lick the tea spoon and I don't wait until the sugar dissolves, I MASH it---I am every tea aficionado's faux pas nightmare! Ha!

Thank you, boyfriend, for recording my VERY FIRST short video (?) on my blog! And also for holding in your giggles until the last part.

Is that food in my hair?


When we were done with our sugar-high tea, I had the hostess validate our valet parking stub. Please take note that this place has valet parking only. I think they charge $12 for it but with a validated stub, we only paid $5.

We ventured a little bit more around the property and found cute little bungalows where guests could stay at instead of the usual hotel rooms in the main building.


As we went back inside, I noticed there was a nice, dimly-lit place called The Tap Room.



I wanted to grab a drink or two since it looked so cozy in there but alas, we had to leave or we might miss the main event of the night---which you will find out on my next post! :)

Stay tuned for more fun stuff coming up on the blog but for now, have a great weekend!

Toodles!

Alexander Wang x H&M

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For years, H&M has been collaborating with high-end designers to create a limited edition Fall collection sans the usual high-end price points. This year, they got Alexander Wang. I'm probably going to miss out on this as I'm currently preoccupied with too many things... but I hope you, my dear minions, would be lucky enough to snag some of these goodies for yourself!

Here are my picks from the sporty collection!

Women's 

Wool Blend Biker Jacket $199


Cut-out Halter Dress $99


Patterned Jeans $99


 Lace-up Boots $249


Suede Boots $299


Men's

Down Jacket $349


Hooded Scuba-look Jacket $99


Knee Socks $14.95


Leather Backpack $249

All photos via hm.com
The collection is going to be available in select stores and hm.com on November 6, so make sure to check for availability in your city/country. Oh, and I should remind you that these special collabs usually sell out in the first hour. So...GOOD LUCK *insert Liam Neeson's voice*!


Toodles! :)


Date Night: Hall and Oates

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I went on a date last night...so I took him to The Greek and his name is not Russell Brand. I'm an 80's baby so I pretty much grew up with one of the greatest music eras evvaahhhh. Male artists used to be very comfortable with their feminine side (eyeliners, long locks), music lyrics used to woo women and not consist of words like butt, bootycall, twerk or up in da club. Damn, I miss the good ol' days.

To kick off a pre-celebration of the beloved boyfriend's birthday, I took him to see one of the iconic groups that greatly influenced my childhood, even until now--- HALL AND OATES!

I was supposed to cancel out on this, but thanks to my family, we made it!


Getting there...
The Greek Theatre is an amphitheater with mostly stacked parking lots, so I opted to purchase an off-site parking pass that includes free shuttle to and from the concert without the hassle of dealing with heavily congested roads and the crazy parking situation. The parking area is actually just located at Griffith Park so it's pretty close to The Greek. The best part? They only charge $7 per vehicle, not per person!


The Greek is perched up on the mountains...so the roads are sloped and walking around, even from the closest parking lot, in sky high heels is just not worth it---PLUS it's an amphitheater, which means you're gonna be climbin' up and down those steps.

We got there about an hour and a half before the show started so we decided to check out their concession stands. They served alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, and different kinds of food like pulled pork, beef brisket, hotdogs, burgers, kettle popcorn, etc.



There were some benches and even a grass area where people can just hang around, enjoy a quick bite or a full meal and of course, people-watch.


Mercedes Benz was one of the sponsors for the concert so they had some new models on display.


We just grabbed some food from the Greek Village so we could get that out of the way before the show started. The boyfriend got a double cheeseburger (why am I not surprised) and I had a Pink's regular hotdog. Very no-fuss.


 I tried the fresh lemonade from that "Fresh Lemonade Stand" but uh...it was totally NOT worth it. It was $5 dollars worth of watered down grocery lemonade.

Nothing better than thick-cut fries to save the day!


The boyfriend found our own little spot where we could enjoy our food and eat in peace. Romantic, ey?


We started heading up to the amphitheater to figure out our seats, but I did so with a heavy heart. You see, this is the first time that I grabbed really crappy seats---at least in my standards. I don't have to be in V.I.P. but at least be at the center, or the seats after the V.I.P would be awesome. My theory is, if you're going to a live concert and shell out some cash for it, you might as well get your money's worth. What's the point of going to a concert if you can't SEE the band or artist from the nosebleed seats, right? I got the tickets a little too late and it was either I swallow my pride and take the side terrace seating or not be able to see them at all. At this point, I was desperate. I just can't pass off Hall and Oates.

Our seats were not categorically nosebleed seats though, so you know I'm just whining. Still, I wanted better seats. And still, I'm whining.

I love the fact that the amphitheater is surrounded by big, leafy trees. It was a bit chilly when we got there but the temperature dropped further later at night so if you're planning to see a show here, make sure to pack a light jacket or sweater, even if it's not winter yet.


The opening act was Mutlu, I haven't heard of him but he was pretty good with his acoustic guitar. A few moments after, the dynamic duo came out to start the show with "Man Eater". The crowd was definitely a little bit more mellow, as the demographics consisted more of senior citizens. I felt like a teenager who needed to behave in front of my grandparents. Of course, there were still people around my age group, whom I totally sympathized with because they were always SCOLDED by granma and grampa, for standing and dancing and enjoying the music....at a concert. Luckily, the peeps behind me were in their late 30's so they didn't mind standing up too and they were tinier than me so I can just drop kick their asses if they told me to sit back down.

Overall, the concert was pretty good. I always enjoy real music---with real instruments and very few synthesizers. I think they did their best but of course, both Hall and Oates are already in their mid-late 60's so I understand sometimes they can't hit the high notes anymore. Oh, and I hope they get a better sound engineer 'coz there was bad feedback about three times in the middle of a song! Nevertheless, it was fun, nostalgic and I got to sing along with the songs AND I was holding hands with this hot, tall dude.

That long-haired dude on the keyboard? He's really awesome with a saxophone.


Maneater


She's Gone



Rich Girl



You Make My Dreams


And just like any other good date night, we went back home with his jacket around my shoulders. Alas, I indeed got myself a keeper.

Toodles! :)


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