Las Vegas | Level Up

Las Vegas | Level Up

After arriving in Las Vegas for the Best Man’s Bachelor Party, we dropped off our luggage at our room in the MGM hotel. Our first stop of the day was a next-level arcade within the MGM aptly named, Level Up.

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Before I proceed to describe the libation-filled events of the weekend, and for those readers under the age of 21 (in the United States), I would like to state clearly that I do not endorse underage drinking. In fact, I myself did not begin drinking until around 23 — needless to say, in moderation. Frankly, it took me a while to acquire the taste for it. That said, I do not think alcohol is inherently bad. If it was, I don’t think Jesus would have turned water into wine. The abusive consumption of alcohol on the other hand, well that can be problematic. In conclusion, drink responsibly. Now back to our story.

Level Up, a sports-themed arcade, could not have been a more appropriate way of inaugurating the Best Man’s bachelor party. He has always been among the most athletic of us, and to this day, remains the most fit. I like to think it’s genetics, and to an extent I’m sure it is, but credit where credit’s due. The man loves sports! For that reason, Level Up was perfect!

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Appropriately, the first priority was to acquire beverages and ensure that the man of the hour was never empty-handed. Upon securing some Blue Moon tallboys (that would be 24oz cans for those international readers), we began with a classic sport, beer pong.

═════ 1. Beer Pong ═════

Our first competition was all about hand-eye coordination — reminiscent of our high school tennis days. A game designed to intoxicate you, and a classic at just about every fraternity in America, Beer Pong is generally guaranteed to yield a fun competitive time. In this case, there was an emphasis on competitive. Cup after cup, we competed fiercely, and after 2 rounds, we were tied leaving the 3rd game for another time.

═════ 2. Basketball ═════

The second sport of the afternoon was actually the Best Man’s favorite sport, Basketball. This is where we deviate. While he is a talented player, and actually made the team back in the day, I could not play to save my life. I love it, I’m just not that good at it.

═════ 3. Billiards ═════

Moving on to sport No. 3, billiards! Fortunately, I am mildly skilled at billiards (or pool). However, after a few drinks, it is less about skill and more about luck. Either way, a fun time — that is, until your teammate makes the 8 Ball ahead of time. That’s ok though, the night was young and we would have plenty of opportunities to redeem ourselves.

═════ 4. Hockey ═════

Lastly, Level Up has a version of foosball that I had never seen before, a Hockey foosball. This sport had somewhat of a steep learning curve, but once I got the hang of it, it became my personal favorite. At this point, competition had turned into camaraderie, and we now played for the fun of it.

═════ 5. Pizza ═════

Pizza is not a sport — I think. But it is a fantastic way to restore some sobriety after an afternoon of endless libations. As such, we headed to a pizzeria for a slice of ‘za. The soon-to-be groom approved with a 2 Thumbs Up rating.

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MGM’s Level Up was a success! We were able to relive our competitive days without the stress of making it to finals. We competed, we consumed libations, and we had a fun time — and this was just the first stop. The day would resume with, you guessed it, more sports. Coming up next, Topgolf.

Tell me, are you a competitive person? Have you ever played beer pong? What do you think of drinking alcohol and what role does it play in your country’s culture?

Thank you so much for visiting our corner of the internet! If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram for more caffeinated content! Have an awesome day! ☕️️

(Featured Image by: Mr. Ramdolfi)

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Las Vegas | The Best Man’s Bachelor Party

Las Vegas | The Best Man’s Bachelor Party

After waking up at the crack of dawn and navigating the road less traveled for no less than 5 hours, I finally arrived in Las Vegas, Nevada for my best man’s bachelor party — a celebration I would not miss for the world.

This weekend was all about my best man — one of my best and oldest friends. Story time: We met back in high school, freshman year I believe. We were both in Track & Field, Cross Country, and Tennis (we were athletic back then). Throughout the years we stayed in touch, always picking up right where we last left off. As an only child, I imagine this is how having a brother is like.

In the blink of an eye, our youth had vanished, we moved out of our parents’ houses, got jobs, and met the women we would marry. He would go on to be my best man, and now I would find myself in the middle of the desert to bid his bachelor days farewell.

Our headquarters would be based out of the MGM hotel (next to the New York, New York), right on the strip. The gents would then trickle in throughout the rest of Friday. Meanwhile, the Bachelorette and her party gathered just a few hotels down the block for a concurrent (but separate) celebration — we would only meet for Saturday night’s outing.

This would be one for the books and essentially a sequel to the first time we went to Vegas together about 7 years ago, back when we could partake in the excessive intake of libations without suffering from unpleasant symptoms the morning after — but that’s a story for another post. Of course, there is only one way to start any adventure in my book, specially after waking up at 4:00 AM, an ungodly hour of the night.

That would be coffee. Upon finding the man of the hour, his brother, and his best man, we made a stop to get some strong, pour-over, black coffee to fuel the start of the day. He thought it would be funny to photobomb my coffee shot, he missed.

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Tell me, have you ever been to Vegas? If so, have you stayed at the MGM? Do you still keep in touch with your high school friends?

Thank you so much for visiting our corner of the internet! If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram for more caffeinated content! Have an awesome day! ☕️️

(Featured Image by: Mr. Ramdolfi)

Los Angeles Underground

Los Angeles Underground

One of my best friends, the best man at my wedding in fact, is himself getting married! As such, the same friend who organized my bachelor party (see exhibits A, B, C, D, and E) is about to have his own — in Vegas (insert .gif from The Hangover).

The only setback, it starts on a Friday morning. After making some calls and pulling some strings, I struck a deal to have Friday off and make up the time next week. One of the perks of working at a start up, flexibility.

Escalator descending to Universal City Metro station

While I could drive to Las Vegas, I am not sure I want to drive 4 hours at the crack of dawn, by myself, to catch up with the guys. That’s when it occured to me, I don’t necessarily have to drive. I looked at last minute flights, too expensive. I looked at trains, too long of a journey (twice as long actually). Finally, I looked at buses, bingo!

The coach bus would leave at 7:00 AM from Union Station, which means that I would still have to make my way to Downtown LA before sunrise. Sure, I could take an Uber or Lyft, but today is about public transportation, namely, the LA Metro.

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Friday: Day 1 of the Bachelor Party

My alarm goes off at 4:30 AM for me to get ready and make my way to the underground train station I used to take every day to go to work, and make my way to Union Station — Universal City station.

Universal City Metro station

Entering the station felt like muscle memory, I remember those public transportation days vividly. I still even had my old “tap card” to enter the station. Unfortunately, it had insufficient funds on it, which forced me to take a minute to reload my card, which in turn made me miss my train.

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The next train would not arrive for another 15 minutes. I would be cutting it really close — down to the last minute, if I made my bus at all. Still, I waited patiently for the next train knowing that there was nothing I could do to make the next train arrive faster. Before I knew it, a train full of half-asleep passenger was opening its doors before me.

Los Angeles Metro Red Line Passengers

Every stop along the way felt like a roll of the dice, like a game of craps, where at any given point we could roll a 7, say encounter a train delay, and lose it all — perhaps this could be foreshadowing for what is to come. Fortunately, the train arrived at Union Station with 5 minutes to spare, I hopped onto the bus, and was on my way to Vegas through the road less traveled.

It is always interesting taking the Metro in Los Angeles, mainly because very few people utilize it as their preferred method of transportation, but also because a number of people do not even know it exists. I certainly did not know we had a subway system until I returned from New York — where I would take the subway almost exclusively to go just about anywhere. On a related note, how weird is it to navigate cities several feet below the surface?

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Tell me, have you ever taken the subway? If so, what was your experience like? Do you prefer to drive your own vehicle or take public transportation?

Thank you so much for visiting our corner of the internet! If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram for more caffeinated content! Have an awesome day! ☕️️

(Featured Image by: Mr. Ramdolfi)

Instagram Update

Instagram Update

We have an exciting update! We created an Instagram account! I absolutely love to write, and the wife absolutely loves to be the muse! But sometimes we have more pictures than posts to share, or sometimes a fun shot does not necessarily complement our writing. For those reasons, we have joined the Insta-community. Please check us out and don’t forget to subscribe, I mean, follow us!

Tell me, do you have an Instagram account? What is your handle? We look forward to following you!

Thank you so much for visiting our corner of the internet! If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram for more caffeinated content! Have an awesome day! ☕️️

(Featured Image by: Oleg Magni)

On the Road Less Traveled

On the Road Less Traveled

A stream of earth dashes right next to me, much too fast to even distinguish the dirt and plants that compose it. I raise my gaze and the ground begins to slow down, incrementally decelerating until I reach the mountains in the far distance that gently inch their way past me. I imagine them as old majestic creatures calmly walking on the road less traveled.

The sun caresses the right side of my face, while the rocking of the wind and the sound of speed entice me to close my eyes and go back to sleep. I even seem to notice a sign that reads “Zzyzx Rd.” If I did not know any better, I would think that I was being welcomed to sleepy town.

I blaze through the desert as fast as this behemoth and it’s conductor allow us to, but I remain stagnant, peaceful, only moving my fingers but to type these words. I find the comfort in the quiet, most of us aboard do. Silence. Then I hear someone yawn, perhaps they will join the half of the passengers who have elected to nap – I certainly considered it.

Mr. Ramdolfi typing these thoughts while on the road.

I look around me. I look through the windows at the vast nothingness around me, and I feel, inspired by nature. It’s incredible. To think that there was a time when this was it. I attempt to fathom life in the great outdoors before the invention of, well, doors. It sounds grand; daunting, harsh, and likely uncomfortable, but grand.

It is moments like this that allow me to step back and acknowledge that we are all one people with a single ancestry, divided only by our own constructs. We are just one of many species that has cohabited with the rest since we first set foot on this land. Most impressive of all, we have gone from nothingness to today. If only the hunter-gatherers of yesterday that roamed the same grounds where a McDonald’s is now open for business could see what securing food in today’s society looks like.

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I find it interesting how it takes stepping out of the known to see the bigger picture. The monotony of daily life combined with the city grind generally encapsulate me in a specific mindset, one that I openly enjoy, but one that occasionally restricts my ability to think beyond the parameters of my routine. This, this is different.

This is traveling, specifically, this is the journey within traveling. While I always look forward to the destination, there is something special about the journey. I believe it is the same reason why so many of us enjoy going for a drive without a set path. It’s delightful, almost therapeutic. For these reasons, I am happy to be on the road.

Tell me, do you enjoy road trips? Do you prefer the city or nature? For you, is traveling about the journey, or the destination?

Thank you so much for visiting our corner of the internet! If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram for more caffeinated content! Have an awesome day! ☕️️

(Featured Image by: Sebastian Palomino)

From Los Angeles to New York, and Back

From Los Angeles to New York, and Back

Story time! A few years ago I left my native Los Angeles to move to New York. Most people would probably love that opportunity; in fact, most people would likely jump on that boat in a heartbeat. I however, reluctantly accepted a job in Manhattan, took a one-way flight, and started a new life in the East Coast.

Upon arriving in the city that never sleeps, I quickly realized that I hated it. Not to sound ungrateful for the opportunity, but it is known that Angelinos tend to hate New York, and New Yorkers tend to hate Los Angeles. Having had lived long enough in both cities, I can absolutely understand why, the lifestyles are vastly different. But that’s a story for another time.

So there I was, a young urban professional in the city that people would kill to be in — and all I wanted to do was leave. Sure, I wanted to make things work, but I was also ready to move back to LA in an instant. With that in mind, I sat down to think, why do people want to move to New York?

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It was a serious question. I had never had any desire to even visit New York, let alone move there. So why then, are so many people obsessed with that city? I thought that if I could answer that question, I could take advantage of my stay for as long as it lasted. Google search after google search, I began to learn just how much New York had to offer. That’s when I realized how ignorant I really was. Museums, parks, landmarks, cuisine, and of course, Broadway. New York had it all — except for Walmart.

Equipped with a new mindset, I set out to make the most of my time in New York. It was challenging at first, specially given my socioeconomic status at the time — I did not know anyone and I could barely afford to eat. But with perseverance and some resourcefulness, I quickly turned things around. I could write a book about my years in New York, but for now I’ll just say that: I set myself the goal of going to Broadway once a month for as long as I lived in New York (after all, I thought I may only be there for a month or two); I saw over 40 Broadway musicals and plays.

I loved New York. I still do! I just don’t live there anymore. But that mentality of taking advantage of my stay because it may not last forever, truly enabled me to make the most of my time in New York.

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By contrast, at some point along the way I realized that prior to New York, I had missed out on all of the fun things to do in LA — because I took it for granted. At the time, I thought that since I was not a tourist, I would always have access to everything LA has to offer. But then suddenly, I didn’t.

Thankfully, the love of my life brought me back to the best coast, I mean, West Coast. Now, I intend to utilize the lesson I learned in New York here in Los Angeles, which effectively boils down to one thing — to live my best life. As such, I look forward to all of the touristy LA things that people come to the city of angels for and more.

Tell me, would you be interested in learning what are the best things to do in LA? Perhaps the best things to do in LA for couples? Or maybe even the best things to do in LA for locals?

Thank you so much for visiting our corner of the internet! If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram for more caffeinated content! Have an awesome day! ☕️️

(Featured Image by: Igorelick)

Sanuki No Sato Japanese Restaurant

Sanuki No Sato Japanese Restaurant

This week my entire team at the office was treated to lunch at a Japanese restaurant near Torrance, CA. The reason? Our boss was in town! The details are complicated, but the bottom line is that he is a multinational manager who spends most of his time abroad. In fact, I have been working at my startup for almost 5 months, and just now am I meeting our boss — well, my boss’ boss’ boss to be precise.

We went to Sanuki No Sato, an authentic Japanese restaurant where we had the privilege to dine in a private room for which we were required to take off our shoes. We entered the room by stepping over the raised platform that would become our seats. I had never had a dining experience like this. It was comfortable, relaxing, and intimate. It was different, and I enjoyed every minute of it. I especially enjoyed the food — I ordered the Sashimi, which I only even recognized from an episode of Master Chef I had recently watched. It was delicious!

It has been a fantastic few days at work lately! First I received my first present at work, and now I get treated out for lunch! Like most people in the workforce, I am faced with negatives every day, perhaps more so given the nature of my job, and yet my outlook addresses most of these. However, it is nice to have true positives every once in a while.

Tell me, what is the latest positive in your life? Do you eat out for lunch often, or do you pack your own meals? Have you ever tried sashimi?

Thank you so much for visiting our corner of the internet! If you enjoyed this post, please make sure to subscribe and follow us on Instagram for more caffeinated content! Have an awesome day! ☕️️

(Featured Image by: Mr. Ramdolfi)