Acclimatizing: LA to Monterey and back, plus a mini movie review

6:50 AM

My posts for the next month or so will be mostly personal. (Sorry for those of you here for the beauty and crafts!) For this trip abroad I'm trying out truly mobile blogging, no laptops involved. Because the last time I tried to post travelogues after the fact, I never finished writing all the posts!

This is the first leg of our trip, when we visited my aunt and her family in Carmel/Monterey. I hadn't seen her since high school! But she's been my adviser on USMLE stuff ever since I decided I would try for residency here. These photos are all taken with either an iPhone or an iPad and edited (or not) on the same, so don't mind the non-uniform dimensions and mid-range resolution.

The flight to LA was faster than it was 7 years ago, when I was here last. It used to take about 20 hours to fly from Manila to LA; this time it was only 15. We had a 9-hour stopover in LA before our connecting flight to Monterey, so we wandered about the Santa Monica Pier with our carryons. :p

We had burgers at Pier Burger. Not that good, but it was one of the few restaurants (and I se that term loosely) open at 10 in the morning. So different from at home!

We still had hoooouuuurs to kill so we stopped by the Howard Hughes Center for dessert and a movie. This is a mere HALF of a Ben & Jerry's waffle sundae. (Mia and I have been sharing dishes since we got here, since American portions are so big.) omg so much fudge I could DIE.

We watched G. I. Joe: Retaliation at Rave Cinemas. It's a lot better than the first flick! I mean the first was brainless in that it was funny without meaning to be. Retaliation looks like it actually knows it's supposed to be a brainless action movie, and fully embraces it. It's literally action sequence after action sequence, with some hilarious one-liners and references thrown in. Channing Tatum is great in interviews but he is too pretty and soft-spoken for me to take him seriously as an action hero. Dwayne Johnson did a much better job; not to mention Bruce Willis as the original Joe, Gen. Colton. Jonathan Pryce is excellently devious as well. And of course a brunette Adrianne Palicki wheeeee girlcrush oh Friday Night Lights I miss you so. Retaliation has been almost universally panned by critics, but it's a great movie to watch when you're in the mood for some mindless fun and nitpicking.

Afterwards Mia had a hankering so she got one of these "pretzel dogs." Have never seen anything more anatomically-correctly phallic. Salty! But she liked it.

That night we finally arrived at my aunt's in Carmel. Their house is almost in the mountains (?) I guess; they see mountain lions and bobcats from time to time. It's beautiful!

We spent most of our time at Carmel-By-The-Sea. They took us to this cute little deli where Mia clicked the shutter before I was ready

with a quaint little signs indicating they serve smiles :)

and yummy-looking delectables.

Mia and I shared this Indo Wrap, which is filled with brown rice, snow peas, peanut butter, garlic, raisins, green onions, soy, lime juice, ginger, cilantro, and sesame oil. It was quite good! We ate at the beach

while my young cousin played by himself in the sand. (He wanted his "privacy.") This kid is super adorable and crazy smart. He read aloud his first book at age 3 and just recently taught himself origami! He's gonna be a heartbreaker someday I know it.

One of his books at home. :D I couldn't resist reading it.

(how cute is that)

Now we're back in LA for my exam, which is a few days (!!!). So I'll still be more or less on hiatus. You will find more frequent updates on my Instagram.

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Majority of the products you see here are purchased by me. Products that are provided by companies for consideration will contain a footnote indicating that fact, as will affiliate links. Rest assured that all reviews are written with my honest opinion.

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