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First of all, I want to say that I’m so excited to be going on another vacation at the end of this month. Although I have proclaimed many times in the past that I’m a lover of traveling, I am getting a little burnt out from all of this back-&-forth flying & packing/unpacking. I am extremely appreciative & grateful that I am able to travel (regardless if it’s near or far), I’d just like to say that here & now. I love what I do, & I want to express my sincerest & humblest of gratitude & appreciation.

During this past long weekend, when most Americans were celebrating Fourth of July/Independence Day (also jokingly referred to as #Amexit on the Internet), Jian surprised me with an impromptu road trip to Los Angeles. He was somehow itching to go on a long drive, & he was throwing out random ideas like driving to Portland, Oregon or perhaps Las Vegas, Nevada. While I was all for driving to Portland, I didn’t want to spend too much time driving & not enough time exploring the city. So, I threw out the random idea of driving to Los Angeles. It’s far without being too far. Jian absolutely loved the idea, & we pretty much pulled this hair-brained idea out of our derrièrs at the absolute last minute.

Once we had our weekend mapped out, we pretty much had one goal in mind, well, actually two goals: 1. to revisit all of our favorite hang-out spots from our college days, & 2. to visit the California location of Lady M Café. Yes, our minds were pretty much blown away when we found out Lady M Café opened a location in Los Angeles. Our minds were blown even more (if that’s even possible) when we found out that this shop was only 5 blocks down the street from our hotel. Needless to say, being a huge cake lover, I made several trips to this shop, & I do not feel one bit guilty for eating so much cake.

What makes Lady M so special? Well, they specialize in various delicate cakes, but their absolute specialty & signature cake is the infamous Mille Crêpe Cake…a cake so delicate & delicious that I would do just about anything for a slice of this creamy crêpe heaven.

What is Mille Crêpe cake? Well, it’s a French invention, but has been popularized around the world by the Japanese. It’s basically a stack of thin crêpe sheets with thin layers of soft cream in between the sheets of crêpes. These cakes, in more recent years, have expanded from the traditional vanilla flavor to other flavors (i.e. matcha, coconut, chocolate, etc.). My favorite flavor will always be the classic vanilla flavor.

lady m los angeles

This is a sample of the various cakes we bought for our friends. From Top Left: coconut crêpe flavor, Courrone du Chocolat, matcha crêpe flavor, strawberry Mille Feuille. Bottom Right: signature flavor.

Over the years, Jian & I have tried various forms of this cake, but we could never find anything as comparable to the first place we ever experienced this golden unicorn of cakes.

la voie crepe cake

Café la Voie in the Shinjuku district of Tokyo is where we first encountered this cake. It is so beautiful & delicious, I nearly burst into tears every time I eat Mille Crêpe cake at this café.

harbs choco crepe cake

HARBS is also another famous high-end cake shop in Tokyo that has their own crêpe cake recipe. I tried this chocolate explosion just to compare the flavor to the original. This one is very, very sweet, so proceed with caution if you’re not a sweets fan. This cake was also particularly dense, which I was not used to.

We’ve had various crêpe cakes from here to there & everywhere in between. Some of the the chain coffee shops in Tokyo have Mille Crêpe cakes that are also as delicious as the high-end cake shops. Chain shops like DoutorExcelsior (which are like the Starbucks & Peet’s equivalent in Japan) have some of the best inexpensive crêpe cakes.

Back in the States, I’ve had my fair share of ups & downs with this elusive cake. Many years ago, there was a Japanese restaurant that had opened in Japantown. The pastry chef that worked at that place specialized in Mille Crêpe cake. Jian & I were so ecstatic that there was finally a place near us where we could eat this cake again. Sadly, after 2 years this restaurant closed & the pastry chef moved on.

There have been other American restaurants all over the city that have attempted to serve their version of the Mille Crêpe cake (eg. Café des Amis, Cockscomb, & Hog&Rocks), but somehow they weren’t able to quite grasp the light, airy, soft texture of the cake. Some of the cakes were just too dense, too hard, too sweet, too dry, &/or too over-the-top in avant grade flavor for such a delicate cake recipe. I just cannot wait until I go back to Japan at the end of this month & will be able to try the original cake recipe once again. Yessssss!
In other news, like I’ve said in my previous blog, I’ve decided to decorate my new backpack, & I’ve already begun the process. So far, I’ve only added two things to my backpack, a keychain & a pin, but I’m in love with the progress.

hellolulu chain

I chose this Rilakkuma bird keychain because it fit with the yellow color scheme of my backpack. Also, I liked how it was a small discreet size without being too tiny to notice.

hellolulu pink

I chose this Victory V hand emoji pin because I using this emoji often on all of my social media accounts. It’s my favorite emoji icon to use.

Well that’s just about all I have to say for now. I’m sorting through all of my things to pack for my next trip. Three weeks will really sneak up on you fast. Cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

My sister (a newly single mother) recently visited our house with her two incredibly amazing children. I’m not saying they’re amazing just to be a doting aunt. These kids truly are incredible. Perhaps it’s because as the years go by, we grow closer and closer in relationship. I absolutely adore my sister’s kids, & they adore me as well.

One time my nephew pulled me aside & told me point blank to my face that he thinks of me as his second mom. True story, bro. However, I’d like to believe that I’m the cooler “mom” because I discipline the kids without yelling at them or scolding them the way my sister does. Granted, she is their actual mother…but the kids & I are tight too.

This past week rushed by in such a blur. My sister brought her kids to our house on their one-week school break. It felt like they were only here for a few short days. We, as a family, took the two kids to explore the downtown of the big City by the Bay. The kids made their first trip to Chinatown to buy traditional-ish costumes for their school performance. Then we took them to eat organic ice cream after a quick lunch. The next few days after that became such a blur I can hardly remember all the events that happened. We took the kids up to the mountains (which were eerily lacking snow). Actually we were in the mountains for two reasons: 1. The kids have never been up in the mountains before & have never truly experienced snow, & 2. My sister had to take care of a real estate project involving our former family vacation home. My sister’s kids were so excited to be up in the mountains & touching snow for the first time…although it was only a small barren patch of icy snow. We stayed at a very comfortable hotel overnight & the kids got to run around in the beautiful lake town full of lush nature.

We celebrated my mom’s (a.k.a. Grandma) birthday up in the mountains, took the kids to play around the creek, & had a fun overnight road trip. The kids were so captivated by the snow & the nature all around us. We had such a great, memorable time renting a mini-van & having lots of good laughs along the way. Alas, the kids were sad to go home. They made their Grandma a cute birthday card, but also drew a sad face on the back of it. When asked why, my nephew replied, “…because we are sad to go home. We want to stay here longer.” My niece, who usually has an I-don’t-really-care attitude even asked, “Why do we have to go home?” as we dropped them off at the airport.

I am so drained, physically, from this past week…I had to force myself to write this week’s blog post. There’s more stuff that happened that I want to write about, but my mind is stuttering right now, so I better sign off before I get more incoherent. Cheers.

Today’s song of the day:

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