Got an email from my boss that the big boss wanted her to sign me up for a training class. A training class that I had actually already heard about and was thinking about asking them if I could go. This training class just happens to be in Seattle! Woo hoo! Boss asked me to come to her office to sign me up. As she's looking at it she says, "It's in Seattle? Nice!". I replied, "I know! That's why I was so excited when you asked me to go." haha.
So, I'm signed up for my first ever business conference and kind of excited about it. I wish it were in Boston since I have not really explored that city but I did love Seattle so I'm excited anyway.
The only thing is that the conference is not until May. That is a long time from now. Gives me something to look forward to.
It does not rain in Southern California very often. So the fact that it's been raining since yesterday morning and is supposed to rain until Wednesday is crazy! I am loving it. Although it is making me quite lazy.
I did drag myself out of my house for some Christmas shopping and errands. Other than that, I have had hot cocoa, read some of my book, watched a movie, had a fire in the fireplace, had my Christmas tree lights on, made a yummy hazelnut latte, napped and played on the computer. All while listening to the pitter patter of the rain outside my windows. Loving it!
Now my latte and the fact that I napped have kicked in and now I'm wide awake at 11pm! Ooops. Tomorrow, I bake with one of my best friends and possibly visit my parents and their new Boxer, Rocky. Love this weekend!
I'm savering my days off since I know my January is going to be quite busy with work. I'm taking full advantage!
The Campus is currently decked out with a tiny ice skating rink, lots of wintery Christmas lights, a lit up metal tree and tons of (sponsered) decorations. :-)
I believe it's $10 to ice skate if you are interested.
The pictures are not very good. I was in a hurry and using my cell phone. Maybe I'll try to get a better one soon.
Stop by and visit some time...
Did you hear that they are thinking about tearing down part of the convention center (which is connected to LA LIVE) and building a football stadium? I can not even imagine. If the traffic is bad now...oh gosh. You already have UCI near by and LA LIVE, Nokia Theatre & Staples Center all right there. We'll see what happens. The good thing is that slowly LA is being cleaned up. 1 block at a time. Hopefully it gets better and better.
Whatever you wanna call it. It is a beautiful city. I so loved it there. Well except for the wind!
I didn't really know a whole lot about the city prior to going. I knew some of the main points that I wanted to see/do. The Willis Tower (formerly Sears Tower), Millenium Park, The Bean, Pizza, Wrigley Field, Michigan Ave, etc. What I really wanted to do was to just walk the city. I love exploring new cities. Especially by foot and subway. I guess I'm just a wanderer.
I have a friend that lives there that emailed me a lovely list of specific places to go. Restaurants, pubs and sites. We ended up at a bunch of the places she suggested.
My friend Jenn and I met up at Chicago O'Hare (which is a huge place to meet up with someone. just saying.). We both flew from California but we flew from separate airports. We each wanted to earn points on different airlines. We're nerds like that. So I flew out of LAX and her from Orange County. We got to Chicago within 10 minutes of each other. Perfect!
Taxi'd it to the hotel and then it was off to explore.
Ok. So let's talk about the deep dish pizza. The first night, we went to Pizzeria Due. We ordered our deep dish pizzas (which take about 40min to bake. Just fyi). I had no idea that the crust would actually be kind of like pie crust. And I hate pie crust! So ew. I didn't love it. However, the middle was good. Our concierge gave us her suggestion for pizza which was Pizano's. Pizano's was actually on my list from my friend. It also showed up in some of the magazines in the hotel. Apparently it's Oprah's favorite thin crust pizza. Pizano's was sooooo good. I loved it. I did have the thin crust though. I wasn't ready to try deep dish again. :-)
Overall, the city was great. I found it to be clean. Or maybe it was the rain. I noticed that trash is not piled up in front of stores along the street like in NYC. Chicago must use their alleys. :-) I loved the contrast between the city architechture and the river running between. Our weather kept changing so we got to experience all of that. It even hailed at one point which threw me off. I thought the wind was throwing dirt in my face. I was really grossed out. Then I looked at my jacket and noticed it was actually baby hail! You know I'm from Orange County when I'm thinking hail is dirt! Sorry, never have experienced hail before. haha.
I LOVED the pubs and restaurants there. Very old fashioned. Laid back but very nice. Not dive bar like. I think I would definitely drink more if I lived there. I really enjoyed the atmosphere.
Well, enough of my babble. Here are the pics from the trip. This was the first time I've used my new SLR camera on a trip. The pictures came out nice. I'm happy!
Self explanatory but this is the Chicago Riverwalk.
See what I mean about the city and water contrast? I love it!
I thought this looked like one of those Christmas villages. :-)
This was a church with an open courtyard. It was kind of creepy but cool! A nice find.
Millenium Park. Look at the colors!
The Bean in Millenium Park. Way too much fun.
Accidental extreme close up self portrait in the Bean.
Us in the Bean
I love the fall colors!
The EL. (Elevated Subway)
Me. My face was freezing. haha.
103rd Floor of the Willis Tower on 'The Ledge' which is basically like a plexiglass box that jets out so it looks down on the city. Scary. But so cool. Willis Tower is the 2nd tallest building in the world!
The ChristkindleMarket. A German Christmas market we found. They served hot cocoa, spiced wine and hot cider. They sold traditional German products/ornaments and food. We were also there for the official lighting of the Christmas Tree by the Mayor that night.
I loved these subway entrances along the street.
The tree lighting ceremony at the ChristkindleMarket. Fireworks included! Nice, free Christmassy event.
It was seriously like a Fa la la la Lifetime movie. I loved it!
TRAVEL TIP: When I check in at the hotel, I usually grab some of the magazines and maps that the concierge have. They are city specific and usually have subway and street maps that you can tear out and take with you. Some of them also have calendars of what is going on during your stay. They're free. Grab them and use them!!
Travel Girl's Chicago read:
Deception Point by Dan Brown (It was really good by the way. Read it.)
Travel Girl's Chicago playlist:
Maroon 5 (a few of their new songs.)
Taylor Swift's new album (did you hear the song about John Mayer? omg. Awesome. Google it!)
My friend just went to Europe and when I went to her house to pick her up she was just finishing packing. Her suitcase looked amazing! So organized and it looked like she barely had anything in there. Plenty of room for souvenirs!
Now, granted I have learned to pack lighter. I used to use the big suitcase for every trip. However, now that you pay for checking bags at the airport (and the fact that lugging a huge suitcase around big cities is NOT fun), I have learned to use the small rolling suitcase you don't have to check. Needless to say, I am excited to try out these products.
They are a bit pricy. Ranging from $24-$35 each. I bought one for now and may add to my collection.
Here is the Packing Folder:
You use the folding template shown in the picture above to fold your shirts/pants/etc. This makes sure they are folded neatly and in the same size. Once you have the clothes stacked in the middle, you put the template on top and close the folder tight. So, all of your clothes are inside the folder. They have 4 different sizes. Each size holds different amounts of clothes. My friend had 2 sizes. So all that was in her suitcase clothes wise were these 2 folders. Nice and compact.
They also have other products such as packing cubes. Packing cubes are good for such things as socks, underwear, undershirts, etc. They have tons of different sizes. I got one like the picture below. You can get these products at specialty luggage stores or The Container Store.
There are tons of other fun luggage goodies out there too. Sleeves for your shoes so you keep your luggage clean. Small containers so you can put your favorite products in them instead of bringing your full size products. Toiletry bags for organizing. And many, many more! I wish I could buy them all! I love luggage stuff!!!
I will let you know how my new packing folder/cube works the next time I pack for a trip.
I've had my Zune for about 5 years now. I've loved having it. It's basically the Microsoft version of an iPod. So, why not just get the iPod like everyone else? I know. I must be a rebel. :-) Anyway, I love it and I use it all the time. I use it in my car pretty much everyday. I take it on trips with me. I have music and TV shows loaded on it. It also has a few games. I definitely got my money's worth.
Well.....the other day I dropped it. On tile. Needless to say, it did not survive. No more Zune for me.
The good news is. I've been wanting to get a new one. The one I had was big and bulky and just out of date. I just wasn't ready to make the big purchase. I'm a girl who lives on a budget okay??!
More good news. I've been working a lot of overtime. A lot!!! Which means my paychecks are also more than normal which helped pay for the new one.
I LOVE my new Zune HD!! It's very small so I'm still getting used to that. It's touch screen and high def. When a song is playing, it has pictures of the artist crawling across the screen. It's just really cool and I'm so excited to have a Zune in my life again. I knew I had to get a new one by the time I took my next trip. Plus I've been listening to CDs in my car. CDs!! haha. I love to watch TV episodes on flights as well. Time goes by very quickly. Love it.
Well, I know most people will just go with the crowds and buy an iPod (which is great too). But i'm just saying. If you are interested in the Zune HD at all. I definitely recommend it.
Well, I'm not going to the moon. I AM however, going to Chicago! The week of Thanksgiving. Finally purchased the plane tickets for my highly anticipated 4 night/5 day vacation away from work. YES! So. Excited.
I decided to go to Chicago. I've been trying to go for about a year now and it just hasn't worked out. I've been so busy at work that I haven't really been able to think about even purchasing the tickets until now. Now that I have purchased the tickets, I know it's official. :-) Now I just need to figure out what I can't miss while in Chicago.
Last week, LA LIVE was buzzing. They completely transformed Nokia Plaza at LA LIVE into a Red Carpet Media Zone. It was quite the transformation. Complete with the filming of the 2010 Emmy's opening sketch outside on our campus. I saw our employee entrance and our building in the actual opening sketch so that was kind of cool. Not to mention, I saw our lamp posts which are from the movie Chronicles of Narnia. There's a little bit of movie trivia for you. See if you can spot them in the video of the opening sketch or if you are in the LA LIVE area. :-)
I didn't get to work on Emmy Sunday, but I did get a few pictures of the Emmy set up through out the week. It was interesting to see everything take it's place.
Enjoy the pictures!
Setting up for the filming of the opening act.
Red Carpet entrance is starting to take form.
Setting up the press stations along the red carpet.
More press areas. Check out the AC vents! Gotta stay cool.
Filming the opening act. See Jimmy Fallon in the white shirt with the dry cleaning. Didn't actually notice it was him until someone told me later. I looked at my picture and saw that it WAS him. haha. I'm so observant....
Eat Pray Love. I read and loved the book. I have been waiting for the movie to come out for a while now. The first time I saw the trailer for it I got sooooo excited. Well the time is finally here and the movie came out yesterday. Of course, the anticipation was killing me and I had to see it this weekend so I went earlier today. I absolutely loved it. I definitely recommend it to all of my fellow travelers (and dreamers) out there.
Once you read the book or see the movie, you will realize the importance to the word Attraversiamo!
Another life lesson learned from the book... If you are going to pray and pray to win the lottery, let me remind you that you need to actually buy a ticket. :-)
So, I would not really consider myself a career girl. I am not aiming to become some top Executive. I don't have awesome girl power career goals. HOWEVER.....I do take my job very seriously. When I'm there, I'm 100%. I try very hard to do a really great job. I take pride in my work. I try to be organized. I want to learn new things. I research if I don't know how to do something. I want to fully understand what my job is. I want my bosses and colleagues to think of me as a key player. I stay late and work weekends if need be to make sure my work is taken care of. All of those good things. But like I said. No grand career aspirations.
I do enjoy my hectic job. This new job is an extension of what I was doing at my previous job. Adding to that, a whole new accounting side. Plus a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Throw in many meetings and there you have it. I also have the whole commute thing which adds about 3 hours to my day.
My main boss (who we call 'Mom') just reassigned all of our upcoming groups. Long story short, we got assigned to specific managers and we will now take on their specific groups. Well, my 2 assigned managers just happen to be VERY busy in the next few months and the beginning of next year. So, their groups will now be my groups. Plus I have my own groups. Also will still have a few groups I have kept from other managers that I was already involved in. Starting in the next few days, I will be slammed until November 19!! I will have one week of freedom and then more groups until December 14. I have not had a day off (minus the weekends) since my New York trip in January! Not even one day. Boo hoo!
So, what is my point??!! My point is....I need to ask Mom Boss for a few days off during that week so I can for sure take a little trip! I need to ask her NOW before she assigns another group to me during that week. So that's the plan. Mom Boss is crazy busy right now, but I think the sooner I ask her, the better. I may sneak my request on her desk tomorrow. Wish me luck!!!!
By the way. I'm thinking this may be a good time for that Chicago trip I've been wanting to do. Thoughts?
Stayed in LA after work today and went to see Grease (the sing-a-long version) in the theatre!! Soooo much fun! They have added the lyrics at the bottom of the screen so everyone can sing-a-long with the movie. And boy did they ever! Everyone was singing and dancing in their seats.
It was a walk down memory lane. Seeing as I was obsessed with that movie back in the day. As was most of my generation. Everyone was really into it which made it a fun experience. And I'm not gonna lie...I heard lots of guys singing too. Seriously!
I hope it is playing in your city. If it is, go see it!! Totally worth it. Check out the website below.
So this post is a little late. Thought you might enjoy it anyway! Remember a few weeks ago, during the whole Laker win rioting/parade week fiasco that was going on in Los Angeles? Yes, that was right where I work. Luckily I have a paid parking pass so I didn't have to pay the $40 fee they were charging for what they normally charge $4! I also left right on time after work to avoid as much of the traffic and chaos that I could. The place I work actually locked their doors during the game so that the festivities would not move in there.
Anyhoo.... on Laker parade Monday on my walk from the parking structure to my work, I had to dodge purple and gold decked out excited people from every direction. I'm happy they were able to celebrate this time in a happy in a non rioty and (some what) safe way. :-) Then I saw tents. People camped out for this?? I'm confused. Nope. It was actually people camping out for the Twilight red carpet/premiere. Which is what I found out later from some colleagues. But wait. The premiere is not until Thursday. And it's Monday. What??? They will be here camping all week! And so the nickname TwiHards truly fits.
It was an interesting few days to say the least. Of course the media was there all week. Last week was quite boring after the few weeks of Lakers and Twilight premieres. Oh wait. We just had the Anime Expo. Think costumes. And lots of them. I sooo wish I had pictures of that one. Always an exciting time at LA LIVE!! Allas....I did sneak a few pictures of the TwiHards and their campsite. Right in the Nokia Plaza in LA LIVE. Enjoy. :-)
Just got a sweet new camera! A Canon Rebel XOS. Sooo excited! I've used it twice now and it's pretty fun. First time was a "photoshoot" with my Goddaughter. This time I headed down to Laguna Beach. Got a few nice pics. Next time I need to find a spot where I can see the sun set on the water. I had a cliff/house in my way! haha.
Laguna Beach main beach was very crowded being that it is 4th of July weekend. I did not want tons of people in my pictures so I chose to keep driving south. There are many spots where you can just park on the street and walk down lots of stairs and get Beach access.
The area I found was a tide pool area. it was pretty rough water. I can imagine how big the waves can get there.
I only got a little wet while taking these pics. :-) FYI sand and wet jeans are not a good feeling.
Happy 4th of July Weekend Travel kids!!
Music on my Zune for a good car ride along the coast- Courtyard Hounds