I took quick trip down to San Jose to meet up with a few girlfriends for last minute holiday shopping. Nerrissa, Kimberly, Abbie and I met up at Eastridge Center. We shopped until we couldn’t anymore, and picked up a few foodie faves and we went for a spin at Aloha Roller Rink.
It was my first time back to Eastridge Center since their remodel last year, and l LOVE the refreshed community-oriented vibe. On top of daily community events, they’ve added modern artistic decor that make the place feel brand new. There’s now over 20,000 square feet of instaworthy murals hugging the exterior walls. Like this cloudy-looking abstract one, by Brendan the Blob.
Here’s your fair warning-- my inner Leslie Knope is here to say a few words: It’s inspiring to see this transformation. You can tell Bay Area families and friends enjoy spending their time here. Restaurants. Games. Entertainment. It’s about gathering as much as it is shopping. It’s got a little of everything and most importantly, it feels like a very positive uplifting space. Especially in today’s day and age, the amount of community IRL opportunities dwindles. People are shopping online. People also have their head down and subconsciously feel more comfortable interacting through social media. Especially the next generation. I get it. At least, until places like Eastridge Center bring new energy to the space. You want to be here. Then, it’s hard to resist and breaks the cycle in the best way possible. 🎉
Aloha Roller Rink
Many bags in hand, we took a break from shopping. Nerrissa encouraged us to lace up in roller skates and go for a quick spin at Aloha Roller Rink! It was equal parts falling and laughing. I’m definitely rusty since it’s been many years. 😅
San Jose has been without there roller rink for a few years now, so it’s exciting that it’s back in action. Between the 70’s and 90’s Eastridge Center even had Aloha Ice Skating Rink, so it’s quite nostalgic for many locals. This new winter wonderland themed pop-up is an ode to both of them. I’m so thankful I got to roll by while it’s there. It’s open until January 13th!
In between running around, I needed a sweet refresher. We picked out some really pretty (and equally delicious drinks) from Tea Villa. I got the Scoop’d O’Mango ice cream drink (left: milk icy, mango ice-cream, mango concentrate and egg pudding) and Abbie had the Rose and Guava (right). I mean look at the heart shaped jellies! I Can’t deal with the cuteness. Both were so good.
Next time I’m trying their adorable potted plant milk tea drinks with oreo crumbles. Too many options. One major sweet tooth.
You know me, I’m one to indulge in my pleasures… especially when it comes to food. No joke, once I remembered Eastridge Center had a Great Khan’s Mongolian BBQ spot, there was no negotiation. I knew I wasn’t leaving until I got my fix. Great Khan’s is a build-your-own-bowl noodle eatery, and there used to be many locations throughout the Bay Area. Over the years, many locations closed and are harder to come by. Even though there isn’t one near me in San Francisco, the craving hits constantly. I smiled so big when I finally had it again.
H&M Style Challenge
Before calling it a day, Abbie challenged Nerrissa and I to… drumroll please… an H&M Style Challenge! It was a 20% everything sale, so we had an extra incentive to pick a few more things out.
The goal: style each other in outfits that embody our own unique personal style! I had so much fun and really learned a lot from my girl that day. I had an ah-ha moment that I can let the “all black everything” rest sometimes knowing I can actually pull off pastels now. 😉
Tune in to our IGTV video on Nerrissa’s channel to find out how we did, and if we walked away with new outfits. There’s a couple more fun tips + tricks in there as well. You DON’T want to miss it!
Traveling across the Bay Area to shop with my friends is some of the most vivid, candid memories I hold near and dear after all these years. Whether that was in high school, or something I still do today, shopping centers continue to be a gathering place for me and my closest friends. I’m really happy to see Bay Area centers like Eastridge grow and thrive. I’ll be making another trip soon. I’m sure my Great Kahn’s cravings will kick in the next few days. 😘