Travel Lai Way

Next Stop: Sacramento, CA

It’s only been 6 months since I was last in Sacramento, CA, yet so much as changed! There’s a new hotel near my old apartment complex, our favorite spot for Happy Hour is closed/moving and being remodeled, and the campus has changed so much!

After spending a relaxing week with my grandparents, I stayed with my best friend, Nikki, in our old apartment for another week and a half. Being back in Sacramento felt like I never left in the first place. Spending almost 5 years here for school, this place has become very comfortable for me, and being back I could feel my battery being recharged after doing nothing but studying for the past 6 months. This trip was especially special as my other best friend, Irene, from South Korea was coming to visit us before her trip to Chicago.

It has been around 4-5 years since I last saw Irene when she came to my school as an International Student learning English. Even though we grew up in different countries, we were still able to bond and become best friends. Though it was a little hard to communicate at first with the slight language barrier (growing up having lots of Korean speaking friends helped), with time we learned that we are actually very similar. And even after not seeing each other for so long, talking again together made it feel like she never left. Our entire trip together with all our friends was so nice! To be able to see everyone again and spend time eating and shopping together was so much fun!

For that week and a half, it was GO-GO-GO! Waking up kind of early to get ready and then sleeping late after staying up talking in bed. Most days we had brunch with friends, went out shopping in the afternoon, and then had dinner with other friends. Though the trip was not as long as we would have liked, we tried to cram in as much as we could! Here is what I was up to during my trip in Sacramento:

Got my hair cut with Nikki! It’s been quite a while since my last haircut, but after seeing Nikki get her hair cut, I decided that now that it is Summer, it’s time for a shorter hairstyle! If you haven’t seen my post on my hair cutting experience you can click here to read it! It’s been a week now since my cut and I’m finally getting used to styling my shorter hair.

I cut off around 6-7 inches to get this longer lob hairstyle! And I love it!

Cafeteria 15L, Nikki has been here a few times and recommended it as a place for brunch and it was so pretty! They have a huge outdoor seating area that is just so nice! Perfect for this time of the year! If you like mimosas, they have bottomless mimosas here! I had eggs benedict on brioche bread, though I didn’t eat too much of the bread, it was still delicious!


Me, Irene, and Shuwei

Mimosas House! I had brunch here after my graduation and it was so good, Nikki and I decided to have brunch here again with Irene and our friends. Nikki, Irene, and I shared a huge strawberry pancake and a bacon egg skillet. The portions here are huge! And even after sharing, we had some leftover.


Boiling Crab! Even though there is a Boiling Crab down in LA, Irene has never had it before, so we decided to take her to dinner here. We thought that it would be a long wait since it is usually really crowded, but luckily we got sat pretty fast!


1 lb. shrimp with “the whole she-bang” mild

Rose Garden at the Capitol. After having brunch at Cafeteria 15L, we walked across the street to the Rose Garden to explore and take pictures. It was such a nice day! Not a cloud in the sky, and it wasn’t too hot either! Even though I lived here for a long time, sometimes it’s fun to play tourist and take lots of pictures.


BTS of our picture taking! Really felt like tourists, but was so much fun!
Nikki, Irene, and Me

In-and-Out! A request from Irene when we asked where she wanted to eat lunch. And this one is super close to the mall in Sacramento, so we stopped by here for lunch and then went over to shop afterward. As I’m trying to be as gluten-free as possible, I got my cheeseburger as a protein style (which means no bun, but wrapped in lettuce) with a whole grilled onion and extra tomatoes!


Cheesecake Factory! After a long day at the mall, we were supposed to go home and cook dinner, but since we were so hungry, we decided to just eat at Cheesecake factory right outside the mall. I got a mushroom burger on a gluten-free bun with sweet potato fries, and a celebration cheesecake to go!


Irene’s orange chicken and brown rice


Starbucks! This particular Starbucks by my old loft is one where I spent a lot of time inside. This was the place for group projects, studying when we couldn’t stand studying in our loft anymore, or when the power would go out in our loft. This was also the place where I met up with a lot of International Students, to help them with homework or practice speaking English. Here, Irene and I spend a couple hours just catching up and talking about life.


Bento Box! This sushi place is probably my most eaten place while I was in school. It was super convenient since it was in the same complex as our loft, a place where I lived for almost 3 and 1/2 years during school. The sushi rolls here are pretty good for the price and they have a huge variety of rolls, rice plates, bowls, and bento boxes. Irene and I walked here from Nikki’s apartment since we wanted to see if it was still the same! Entering, we instantly felt at home. Memories of meeting new friends over meals, getting take out after a long day in the lab, and drinking with friends at night time all came back. This place will always be special to me.


Nikki’s Cooking!! Sinigang! Though Nikki doesn’t cook much in their apartment, she took time to cook this for us! After a couple of days of only eating out, eating home cooked food is still the best!


BBQ party at the apartment! Irene and I cooked the side dishes (mostly Korean food), while David and Shuwei cooked the meat on the cute cow grill. At first we were worried that there would be too much smoke from the grill and it would set off the smoke alarm inside the apartment, but actually, it was okay. While watching the Tony Awards, we cooked, ate, and just caught up with everything that everyone was doing. Many of us are graduated now, so catching up with what everyone was planning to do after school was great and sharing with Irene what we have been doing in the past 4 years was a lot of talking!


Nail art! Irene brought these super cute nail art stickers from Korea! A little tricky to put on at first, but after the while, it was pretty easy to apply. Though the time to put them on as long, they didn’t last that long on our nails…after a few days they start slowly peeling off. But it was fun to chat and do our nails together!


Even though Irene and I weren’t able to see everyone while in Sacramento, we still had a great time with those that were free! Sacramento will always be my second home as I spent a lot of time growing up here during college. And we picked a good time to g since the last day there was just the beginning of the heat wave starting to come.

David, Joy, Nikki, Irene, Me, and Seng

Summer has just begun and this was a great start to my birthday month! I was happy to see everyone again! Can’t wait until our next get together! Maybe next time we will all go to South Korea to see Irene or all meet up in New York to explore!

Every day, Lai day! How is the weather where you are??

2 thoughts on “Next Stop: Sacramento, CA”

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