No Dull Kittens Allowed: Reflecting on a Very HairyKat Summer
Summer has officially come to a close, at least in my world. I am back in the full swing of things with work and my son being back in school. This summer was one of the best I've had. Let's do a recap of some of the places and events that took place this summer.
The official first day of summer just so happen to be my birthday, June 21st. It was my 30th birthday. I wanted to do something that where I could include all the people in my life from high-school, college, work, and beyond. I decided to have an 80's themed Karaoke party at Max's Karaoke Studio (http://www.maxkaraokestudio.com/home) in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles.
To rent a room for 30 people was virtually inexpensive it costs about $20 per person to get in. You'd also be surprised how easy it was to find 80's clothing in 2014. My entire outfit minus my shoes cost me about $30 bucks total. Our only complaint about the establishment was how hot it was in the room. There was one fan, but that did not aid in cooling off all the bodies in the room. Nonetheless, it was a great time especially since there was an extensive song list.
The best moment of the night for me was someone putting on Real Love by Mary J Blige and women of all races harmonized in a circle looking and sounding like the most beautiful international gospel choir lol. It was an amazing feeling.
Here's a goofball moment from the night( pre-drinks) when the shopping cart I randomly found in front of my car didn't quite want to be pushed anymore.
I finished my birthday weekend by having brunch with one of my good friends Millie (check out her awesome fashion blog (http://ezlydistraqted.blogspot.com/). We went to The Coffee Company (http://www.laxcoffeeco.com/) in Westchester, CA. I was so shocked that I had never been there and that it was so close to my house. Apparently, everyone else knew but me because the wait on a Sunday Morning at 10:00 am was at least an hour. We killed some time by walking around the neighborhood. I wanted Champagne Brunch but they didn't have the type I was looking for, you know, bottomless Mimosas. But we ended up purchasing a bottle which would've been the same price. Millie ordered the Sole special. That fish was fried perfectly. Even though it was on her plate I couldn't resist it. I ordered the smothered Pork Chop breakfast which was equally delicious. The food is definitely worth the wait time. Its a really nice establishment with great service.
The next stop was 4th of July at Knott's Berry Farm's Soak City. I had never been to a water park because I can't swim and kind of have a fear of drowning like most adults that can't swim lol. Nonetheless, since the passing of my Aunt, my cousin and I decided we wanted to start a new family tradition where we load up the kids and have a fun filled time. Our brightest idea was to get a Cabana. It was $165 which didn't t include the price of food or your entry ticket but it was well worth the price. We didn't have to get there super early to grab a space in the overly crowded waterpark. We had beach chairs in the shade and somewhere to store our belongings. The food was really delicious. For $99 bucks we got 8 cheeseburgers, buckets of fries, and a drink for each kid. We also had a waitress that came and took care of us. It was definitely worth every penny. I couldn't imagine going to something like that on a holiday and having a good time because its so crowded and btw knowing how to swim wasn't an issue either. All the water was about 3ft or less, so waist deep essentially. My favorite part was the lazy river where I could just be lazy and float in water all day. Yup, my kind of party! lol
This is my son and I after being dumped by a huge bucket of water. It was so much fun! (He can't swim either but found a new love for water slides...Swim lessons next summer anyone?)
After my awesome time at Soak City I made a trip to Las Vegas. I stayed at the Flamingo. Its fairly inexpensive and in the middle of the strip. I wasn't very impressed by one of their concierge staff and I'm convinced that you're treated differently if you use a third party to book your reservation. I always use Vegas.com but the concierge was just rude and nasty and I couldn't resist telling him about himself. The rooms were ok. The only thing that was remodeled was the flooring. You could still smell the cigarette smoke in the walls, even though we had a non-smoking room. And our view was of the roof of the building below us. We got what we paid for. It wasn't amazing, but it did its job.
To unwind from the disaster of the Flamingo I visited Hash House A Go-Go(http://www.hashhouseagogo.com/). The waiters were extremely kind and accommodating. It was quite the opposite of the staff at the Flamingo. I ordered the chicken and waffles. I was thrilled to discover bacon inside my waffles but was overwhelmed by the portion of the food and their rosemary garnish. It was quite the experience. I would go back and try something different.
The next day we hung out at Flamingo's pool which was AMAZING. The cabanas were sold out but there were sitting areas inside the pool so I wasn't too worried. There were a few bars around the pool and the drinks were potent. A little pricey, but its Vegas. Their pool seriously made up for their almost crappy room, and service. We spent the entire day there just lounging. After a few hours there was a DJ that played great 90's rap. It was just a good chill time.
Later that evening, after being amazed by a street performer for at least 20 minutes, clearly sitting down, on absolutely nothing (mind explosion), we made our way to Guy Fieri's restaurant at the Quad ( http://www.thequadlv.com/restaurants/guy-fieri.html) because I really wanted some Chicken Wings. The wings weren't what I expected. They were like those lollipop wings, not sure what they're called, but its the thigh section of the wing. They weren't tender at all, but the flavor on them were ok. Nothing to write home about. BUT the nachos were by far the best thing I ever tasted EVER! Each chip was covered with every single ingredient. EVERY SINGLE CHIP. Lol I have had dreams about these nachos. There is no comparison to them anywhere ( that was dramatic, but very serious!).
This was the first time I ever went to Vegas and just chilled, I usually go out and party but I didn't have it in me. This trip was perfect, until the AC in the car died on the way home. As the legend goes, I continuously passed out until we made it home LOL. Good times.
This is me thanking God for the awesomeness of the Flamingo Pool
August proved to be just as fun-filled as July. I attended Rhetoric 2014 (http://www.p4cm.com/#sthash.EoDpjKUN.dpbs) presented by the Passion 4 Christ Movement. This event is produced by people 30 and under with a love and passion for God and Christianity. It was amazing to witness so many young people confident in their faith. There was about 10-12 performers that performed spoken word with a spiritual twist. The delivery of their message was something that couldn't help but penetrate your soul. This was my second time attending and I will be going every single year. Its held at the Cottonwood Church in Los Alamitos, but I have a very strong feeling that this event is going to outgrow that space. Check out the Perry Family snapping in this poem, that took place in the Garden of Eden .
Next stop was the Family Dinner. This event forever changed my life. The Family Dinner was introduced to me by my good friend Victoria (check out her site www.msqueenv.com). Its not a networking event per se. No business cards allowed. You go to meet new people that live in your city, you have dinner, you mingle, you talk about yourself and your life outside of work, your business, and your hustle. This dinner was hosted at Killer Shrimp in Marina Del Rey. The scenery was beautiful, the food was ok. I enjoyed the people and the atmosphere more than anything. It is seriously a family affair. You weren't supposed to shake people's hands to greet them either, but to hug them, and host them, as if you were family. . It just felt really good to be embraced by complete strangers, which could be intimidating at first, but its really a good time and I can't wait for the next event. Check the site below and look out for a Family Dinner near you. Its hosted twice a year all over the country (http://www.ourfamilydinner.org/).
Each hosted dinner takes a family photo. Check our LA 2014 Family picture
I also got to attend the Sundance NextFest 2014 where I saw Malik Vitthal's Imperial Dreams. This movie was so captivating I left with a headache from gasping so much. At every blink something was happening. The film was about a young man trapped in the system because of the lacking rehabilitation support and efforts for freed prisoners. I call them freed prisoners because you get to witness first hand the seemingly never ending traps of adversity that comes from being released from jail and having nothing or anyone to fall back on. You see the main character, played by John Boyega stuck in a battle between his old life and his new dreams. The film provided insight, where there isn't any. The story portrayed in the film rarely is told. Its based on the true stories of young men and women that fall victim to the streets and can't move past it. It was beautifully put together. I absolutely loved it.
The film was followed by a performance by Tinashe. It was lackluster. I was disappointed because while, she has a hit record on the radio, longevity doesn't come from just 1 hit. She clearly had no clue as to who her audience was. Most of the people in the crowd were between 30-45 and it was very evident that some of them didn't know who she was. Every other word out of her mouth was "nigga" it was strange and uncomfortable to watch. Nonetheless, the evening was enlightening and I had a great time lol.
Here's a picture with Rotimi Akinosho, one of the stars in Imperial Dreams
These were just some of my highlights, here's some other places and things we did below.
- LEGOLAND- (rent a stroller, and go to the water park early, if you have tickets)
- Polliwog Park-(park is huge and we got to feed the ducks. We were also robbed of our pre-packed sandwiches by Seagulls. One took the entire Ziplock, called for his friend, they demolished the sandwiches and left the bag for me to throw away. They also posed as ducks in the pond to catch some of the bread I was throwing, but I wasn't falling for it!!!)
- Jay-Z and Beyoncé On The Run Tour- (best concert ever. But if you attend an event at the Rose Bowl leave 30 minutes early to make sure you can get out of the parking lot and catch the rest of the show on Youtube (JK, please don't do that!)....we walked a mile and waited 2 hours to be shuttled to our car...it was worth it though...sigh...my feet still hurt LOL)
- Wokano's Santa Monica (live dj is amazing)
- Water Aerobics at Jesse Owens Park (I prefer the classes in the evening on Tuesday and Thursday with Instructor Cruz!)
- Jesse Owens (free nights in the park every Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, there was plenty of Sherriffs for safety, free food, and free activities for the kids like a video game truck, bounce house, face painting, and live jazz for the adults)
- I also got my nose pierced....something about turning 30 makes you want to be a little foolish....lol