Why are we in Orlando? My sister and her boyfriend, Baldwin, signed up for the Disney half marathon. So this year instead of going to Vegas during CES for my birthday, I’m going to Disney – total 180 right? MG and I decided to come support their marathon, and we made a birthday trip out of it.
First two days, we went to Universal Studios. The second day we went to Islands of Adventures, where Harry Potter World is located. By far the best theme park ride I’ve ever been on was Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey (the Hogwarts castle ride). I told myself I wouldn’t have high expectations of this park, but in my heart, I did. And this theme park met my expectations and beyond! Every detail is magnificent!
We walked down Hogsmead:
Olivander’s Wand Shop is a must. I was totally confused why it was a 30 minute wait to get into the gift shop, but it’s not just a shop. There’s a show! This was the most epic part of the theme park because Olivander chose Katie and I to test out wands!!! As Olivander was talking to us and looking into our eyes, I really felt like a wizard. Best experience yet!
This image was taken in the dark so it’s blurry, but you can see me testing out a wand! “Wingardium Leviosa”
We didn’t chose the wands… the wands chose us!
Boxes and boxes of wands
The Monster Book of Monsters was also in the wand shop!
Next stop – Honeydukes for candy!
Got a sweet tooth?
Chocolate frog, Fizzing Whizzbees (magic in my mouth), and Every Flavour Beans ^^^
And for my birthday dinner, we went to the Three Broomsticks!!!
Amazing theme park food, a serious feast!
My birthday chocolate trifle – eating this at Hog’s Head
Are you jealous now? This truly was an epic birthday, even for a 26 year old. I’m officially in my late twenties – another year older and another year wiser.
Oh and if you’re wondering, “Why are you so bundled up in Florida?” It was 37° F, all day. I wore leggings under my jeans, my skiing baselayer, two jackets including an Omni-Heat jacket, hat, scarf, and gloves. Gloves was the best idea because as you’re gripping the roller coaster, your fingers are warm.
Starting off the year right by hanging out in Austin for the weekend. That means LOTS of eating, naps, and margaritas! Fortunately my New Year’s Resolution wasn’t to be healthy or lose weight… Ha!
While driving to Austin, it’s blasphemy to not stop at Buc-ee’s for a restroom break, ICEE slushie, jerky, and Beaver Nuggets (word from the wise, eat this like cereal and you’ll have a fantastic start to the day). And it’s possible to spend $40 here…
It was hard to pick out the top restaurants to go to for our 2 day trip to Austin. It was time to prioritize – decisions, decisions.
We first went to Hopdoddy for burgers. Don’t let the line trick you, it’s worth the visit. Amazing burgers, sugar cane sodas, and Cervezaritas!
Fried egg in a burger is always a must!
And this sweet girl came out to play! Thanks for coming out Christine!
Then we hit up Dragon’s Lair to look at comics and board games. Everyone nerded out. MG walked in and his eyes bulged… the employee asked “Did he just geek out?” I can totally understand why people are obsessed with comics. Every book is drawn in such detail. In the back of the store, people have tables set up to play games, more specifically Magic. If you know what this is, then you’d enjoy this store!
Look at this cute little guy we found at the store – it’s the zombie from the well in Walking Dead!
We planned on eating Whataburger, In-N-Out Burger, Golden Chick, and VIA 313 after dinner, but all those planned were disengaged after an epic food coma. So onto the next day!
Mandola’s is flipping amazing! I never heard about this place before, but it’s damn good Italian food. If you go, get the garlic fries, parma pizza, Fedelini Pachino with fresh mozzarella (this is my favorite pasta dish of all time), and load up on free bread! But do save room for dessert because the lemon cheesecake is melt in your mouth amazing, and the Italian cream cake is yummy in my mouth and tummy. I cannot rave about this restaurant enough. The ingredients are so fresh that it truly makes every dish amazing.
Obviously Tex-Mex is also a must in Austin. Chuy’s is my favorite, favorite, favorite for Tex-Mex. The Chuychanga is melty cheesy fried goodness (need I say more?) and the chicka chika boom boom sauce on the side is a total necessity. While waiting for your food, you can pass the time by playing games on sites such as judi dadu online.
Frozen sangria with a Chuychanga but be prepared to go into what we call “worm mode” (a boneless stance where all you want to do is nap).
And everyone knows that you have a second stomach for dessert. We hit up Gourdough’s for donuts afterwards. The Miss Shortcake donut has cream cheese icing and fresh strawberries, but we also got a side of ice cream.
It was my first time playing mini golf using a gc2 launch monitor – highest score, me, but that means I lost. Boo… This place is BYOB so you get some interesting characters too. Good times!
I’m always joyful whenever I get immersed playing games on W88. It’s probably because their games are just enticing and a sheer lot of fun.
Watching Katie trying to get on Peter Pan’s lap was a comedy!
Sister, sister ^^^
How’s my stance?
The gang ^^^
Now I’m at the airport and getting ready to go to Orlando, Florida! But can’t leave without my Salt Lick BBQ, so finger-licking while I’m typing this right now.
The TSA guy who checked my ID, asked me what I was doing for my birthday. I said “Disney World! That’s okay for someone who’s turning 26 right?” He laughed, said yes, and wished me a Happy Birthday. Oh, that Southern Hospitality.
On my way to Disney & Universal Studios. More importantly, Harry Potter World and butter beer, here I come on my day of birth!
I’m super proud to unveil one of my most recent projects on the blog today!
Since I’ve been home in Sugar Land, I decided to update the bathroom in my parent’s house. I set out thinking this DIY would be a week long task. After doing research about interior painters in Cincinnati, it seemed removing wallpaper and hiring a professional painter would be a breeze – Score the wallpaper and make holes throughout the paper, penetrate the paper with anti-adhesive solution, peel, and then primer and paint. Seems easy right? One thing you can do is, you can contact this house painter to get help.
WRONG. That’s only true for plastered walls.
Apparently, houses built in the 90s glued wallpaper directly onto drywall. Builders did not expect homeowners to switch out wallpaper (ill thought out). For those of you who are reading and don’t know about drywall, drywall is plaster between thick sheets of paper. Trying to “unglue” wallpaper from paper is an extremely difficult task. I set out to do a nearly impossible assignment. All the trash residue from such a makeover can be disposed with the help of services like rubbish collection dublin.
Because the wallpaper is glued on drywall, our project became this: peel wallpaper and be careful to not damage the drywall to badly, spackle the drywall damage then dry, sand down the walls to make it even, primer and another day to dry, texturize the walls then dry, sand to even out the texture, primer again and dry, and finally paint and allow for it to dry. 8 total steps but with 5 days of drying in between jobs. This project became a 2 week task with multiple trips to Home Depot.
Here’s Katie (my sister) and Baldwin peeling off wallpaper
See the dark spots on the wall? That’s damaged drywall
See the difference between drywall and plaster?
The drywall is so badly damaged… ouch
But Ming-Gih saves the day with spackle. It’s smoothed onto your walls and evens it out if there are dents or damage.This stuff goes on pink and drys white so you know where you’ve spackled – it’s called DryDex.
Lots of damage ^^^
After the spackle drys, the dust storm hits. Wear a mask and I promise you’ll still get white boogers.
Looking back at the past year, it’s been quite a ride. There have been some unfortunate events but also some proud accomplishments.
1. My grandpa passed away in February This was a difficult start to the year. My grandpa passed away early February in Vancouver. He would have been so proud to see so many grandkids and family members gathered together to celebrate his life. I miss him dearly.
^^^ His first tapioca drink
^^^ At my tea ceremony on my wedding day
2. I quit my job in March The view to work was amazing, the Ferry Building and then Fisherman’s Wharf. Jealous? I get it. But it was a 3 hour commute, roundtrip, for me to get to work. By the end of day, I was so tired I could barely eat dinner. Media will always be pulsing through my blood – I love the details, I love the calculations, I love the projects. It’s just time for me to take a break right now.
3. Built a house in Tijuana, Mexico! I didn’t think much of going on missions trips, but an opportunity came up. MG and I decided to go to Mexico, kind of on a whim, and it’s been one of the best experiences of my life. I’ve come to realize that God has blessed me in more ways than I ever knew, and He’s taught me how important it is to live humbly and joyous.
^^^ Drilling into the drywall
4. Conquered Norovirus… twice All I got to say is, don’t get it. Diarrhea (lots of it), stomach cramps where you’re prescribed Vicodin, bottles of Pepto becomes your best friend, and fevers and shivers all night long. I had to get a Saline IV because I was dehydrated and my fever wasn’t coming down. Don’t get it. More importantly, don’t get it twice.
5. A homey abode When I quite my job, I told myself I would not bum around all day. I embarked on a bunch of DIY home projects, and I’ve made the Lam home a place of comfort. I painted all our walls, revamped furniture pieces, framed up wedding pics, and even organized our garage this past year!
^^^ Stenciled an entire wall
6. I adopted a Chubaloo! Chubs has been one of my best decisions yet! Adopting this guy has brought so much happiness into my life. He cuddles. He fetches. He greets me at the door. I encourage you to adopt shelter animals. Getting Chubs has changed my views on adoption. If I could love an animal so much, how much more could I love a child. Perhaps I’ll have an opportunity to provide a loving home for an adopted child one day.
^^^ My butterball turkey
7. One year of marriage We celebrated our one year glamping (glamorous camping) in Santa Cruz. People say the first year is difficult, but we’ve had a great time. The best part is going to bed and having pillow talk and waking up to the person you love every day. The second best thing is not having to drive an hour to see each other every other day! There have been fights, like old habits that need to be kicked, or divvying chores, but that’s part of the package. I’m okay with that!
8. Learning guitar I finally asked a sweet friend to teach me how to play the guitar. Lydia comes over once a week to teach me a few chords. It’s helpful to have a routine and someone to teach you (I’m very much a visual learner). I can play things in the key of G now! I know 5 chords and can play a few songs. Not too shabby for someone who just learned in a span of 2 weeks! Maybe I’ll be the next Taylor Swift… right.
9. Aperture & shutter speed MG bought me the Sony NEX-5R, but I never got around to using it. I knew nothing about photography. Then I asked a friend to teach me a few tricks, and I learned about aperture and shutter speed. I’m still practicing how to take good shots, but at least I have some sort of foundation now.
10. This blog And finally this blog launched, Jay’s Cup. It’s my little place to keep my memories, recipes, and projects. It’ll be a keepsake, and a place where I can come back read about past experiences. Thank you to all of you who have been reading along and being so supportive of this blog. Have a cup of tea with me, and continue to read on about happenings in the upcoming year.