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Tuesday, February 28, 2023

make it a blockbuster night

a blockbuster-themed pop-up bar opened in los angeles a few months ago, which i found amusing and slightly alarming (i know it's been gone for a long time, but man...blockbuster is vintage! sheesh).  i really didn't think much of it until i got an email that offered tables for weekend brunch - which prompted me to immediately text my friends to see if anyone was interested.  

and because they love a good novelty as much as i do, we picked a date and bought a table.  whee!

we were originally scheduled to go in december, but on the morning of our reservation i got an email telling me that brunch that day was being postponed "due to inclement weather."  and since the seating for brunch was set up outside, it would have been totally understandable had it not been perfectly clear and sunny when i looked out the window.  wtfever.  so i shot out a quick text and we picked a new date that worked for everyone.

i met up with lilcee and weezermonkey in pasadena so that we could carpool, and about ten minutes before our reservation we pulled up here:

we were a little early and they weren't officially open yet, so we waited outside until everyone arrived.  and of course, a group photo was required because duh.  and also because we'd all agreed to wear our most favorite clothing item of the moment - matching kirkland sweatshirts which dailygluttony had brought into our lives:

when we got inside, we checked in and then were directed to choose our cocktail.  they were all named after classic 90s movies, and you picked up a "video" and took it to the cashier to order your brunch entree and "check out."

i was really amused by this option - do you think they just found a stash of crystal pepsi sitting in a warehouse somewhere?

wouldn't it have been great fun if the actual blockbuster stores had bars inside?

here's the menu for brunch:

and if you'd come for the pop-up bar instead of brunch, you could order from this menu.

the whole place was a really fun blast from the past.

we headed out back to find a table, and i don't know why i didn't take a picture out there but it was pretty basic.  there was ample seating, and because it was early it wasn't hard to find a great spot for our group.

although i was immediately drawn to the "titanic" because i love that stupid movie, i'd chosen the "clueless" cocktail because it was just too ridiculous not to.  pop rocks and fruit gushers in my drink?  sign me up!

everyone else had chosen more grown-up beverages because they're not as immature as me.  heh.

weezermonkey and i had chosen two different entrees so that we could cut them in half and share.  pretty basic - the blockbuster brioche sandwich with bacon, eggs and cheese that was supposed to be served with tots, but came with fries instead:

and the "be kind, rewind" burrito that came with scrambled eggs, onion, tomato and cheese.

both were perfectly fine.  nothing exciting, but good enough, and we had a great time hanging out sipping our cocktails and chatting away like any other saturday breakfast club gathering.  when we were done, we grabbed seats on the couch inside for another group photo:

outside, we (along with a group of others who were waiting to be seated) found ourselves captivated by this robot that rolled past with a delivery of - well, something, for someone.  fascinating and a little scary because robots are going to take over the world.

obligatory group selfie:

i don't remember who had come up with the brilliant idea of posing a la the "bridesmaids" movie poster, but i love it (as did the hostess, who was kind enough to leave her post and take the pictures for us):

of course, we all posted pictures on social media - and thanks to dailygluttony we were reposted on instagram by an account we all love called costcodoesitagain, but also by costco itself:

we'll be signing autographs later.  have your cameras ready.

Friday, February 24, 2023

making the most of our magic keys

one day while the bean was at school, i snuck in a quick solo morning at disneyland.  the old lady was on duty at the main gate, and we made plans to meet up when her shift was over to go inside and grab some snacks before heading home.

the holiday decor was scheduled to come down a few days later, so i figured this was my last selfie in front of the giant christmas tree for this season.

as i browsed through the shops, i found lots of holiday-themed merchandise still available for sale.  and no, i didn't buy anything.  very unlike me, i know.

i headed over to galaxy's edge to grab some of my favorite cold brew and a ronto wrap - my current favorite things to eat at disneyland.

there's always some kind of construction happening in the parks, especially right now during what used to be known as "off season."  although there really isn't any such time anymore - there's never a quiet day at disneyland anymore.

i can't remember if i've shared this before, but did you know that there's a mini coca-cola museum on main street?  at the entrance to refreshment corner, you'll find these windows where old bottles of my favorite soda are displayed.

here you'll also find something kind of fun - when they were putting the finishing touches on this building, they realized that there was an odd number of spaces above the front door for the red and white light bulbs.  and rather than have two bulbs of the same color sit next to each other - ruining the aesthetic - walt himself made the decision to create one bulb that was half red and half white.

i also made sure to grab one last photo of the castle dressed up for the holidays:

i had just enough time to hop onto the disneyland railroad for a trip around the park before the old lady's shift was over.  and i know you can't really see, but she's hard at work in the background of this photo.

we didn't stay long once she was done with work, just long enough to grab some snacks to take home.  this is the new lemon tea cake that's part of the disney 100 celebration - it's really good, and i highly recommend it.

i'd also grabbed some popcorn to snack on while i battled the traffic on the way home.  i think i managed to eat at least half of it before i pulled into the garage and promptly spilled the rest on the floor in my haste to get out of the car.  so. bitter.

the following week, the bean and i headed back to california adventure to check out their lunar new year celebration.  

there were long lines of folks waiting to buy themed merchandise.

we passed over all of it in favor of the sip & savor pass, which got us six tabs to redeem for small plates at the festival kiosks sprinkled throughout the park.  

our first stop was prosperity bao & bun, where there was already a long line of people waiting to order the pepperoni pizza bao, served with marinara sauce.  and because i'm a sucker for trying whatever the cool new thing is, well...

it was pretty disappointing, i'm sorry to say.  the bun itself was just meh, and the sauce was ice cold.  bummer.

the bean loves the iced mocha from the cappuccino cart, and when we went over to grab one we decided to try the dalgona coffee bundt cake, with a sweet milk filling and dalgona foam on top.  the foam was a little bitter, but overall it was pretty good.

from the "wrapped with love" kiosk we ordered the pork & shrimp dumplings, served with a black garlic sauce.  these were pretty delicious.

the bean really wanted this mickey-shaped hot dog bun from bamboo blessings.  i wasn't feeling it, but they said it was really good.

we managed to catch the lunar new year procession, featuring oswald the lucky rabbit.

we headed to the paradise gardens gazebo, tucked back in the corner of the park, to find oswald's meet & greet.  of course, since he's rarely out for photo ops the line was really long and so i settled for a picture from a distance instead.

we had one tab left on our sip & savor pass, so the bean decided to use it for a cup of black milk tea with honey boba.

the food & wine festival starts in a week...and i can't wait.  there's nothing like eating our way through disneyland.  heh.

squeezing in all the sightseeing

this was our NYC home for a whole week: it was one of only a few hotels that i could find that offered two beds in a room rather than, say, ...