The Mira Mesa D6 Night Market

 

I recently attended the D6 Night Market in Mira Mesa California. D6 is still in its infancy with this being its second year. This year the event took place in the Mira Mesa Community Park and was packed with Asian food vendors with everything from Boba to Okonomiyaki. There were break dance battles going on in some sections of the park, some merchants selling hand made crafts and even a small beer garden.

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My fiancee and I circled the market once before making our first stop to the Okonomiyaki vendor that was next to one of the entrances. I was actually really surprised there was an Okonomiyaki vendor here as most people don’t seem to know what it is and combined with the fact I’ve only found one Japanese restaurant in San Diego that makes it this was a pleasant surprise.

With our hunger satisfied our next stop was to the beer garden. This was a bit disappointing. There seemed to be only 3 vendors who were selling Callahans, San Miguel and Ballast point. Each merchant seemed to only be selling between 2 and 3 different beers and despite signs outside of the beer garden stating that Green Flash and Asahi were being offered I couldn’t figure out who was selling what as only one of the three merchants had a sign indicating what they had. I ended up going with Callahans Blueberry Wheat and then watching a local band play on stage.

I think my favorite moment of this may well have been toward the end of the night. Once it got dark enough was a mini light show to some techno/house music and my friend’s daughter went nuts and danced (she runs in circles, its cute) to the beat.

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Cost wise D6 night market set my fiancee and I back about $40. We purchased 2 Okinomiyakis, 2 beers, 1 boba and 1 beef stick. Not very expensive for a night out.

Overall it was a fun experience and I look forward to seeing this event grow in the future but it definitely had more of a festival vibe than a night market.

 

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Why I signed up for a Capital One Venture card

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As some of my friends, family and returning readers know I am searching for a way to leave my job and start traveling a bit. This site is really about what I am doing to get out of my current job and start traveling. I do alot of reading about the digital nomad life style. Upon reading other travel blogs I learned about travel credit cards. I guess I knew of their existence but never really paid them much attention until I started day dreaming about traveling. While alot of people I read about seem to sign up for multiple travel cards for the big sign on bonuses I just can’t see myself doing that.

After doing a lot of looking around I finally decided on signing up a for a Capital One Venture card. I do want to note that I honestly thought that the Chase Sapphire Preferred card was the better card but only opted against getting it because I thought trying to get the sign on bonus would be a bit too difficult for me.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card requires you spend $4,000 in 3 months in order to qualify for the sign on bonus which would equal out to around $625 in travel credit. The Capital One Venture card requires that you spend $3000 on their card in 3 months in order to qualify for a sign on bonus of 40,000 miles. Now don’t get excited by the numbers. That does not mean you can hop on a plane and travel 40,000 miles to anywhere you want. The reality is that every 10,000 miles is equal to 100 dollars in travel. So the bonus Capital One is offering is really $400 in travel credit. In my case while I won’t be able to pay for 1 round trip plane ticket to Thailand with this sign on bonus it will get me a nice little discount on the tickets for my Fiancee and I.

Initially I was worried that I would not be able to spend the $3000 minimum in 3 months to get the sign on bonus but to date I have accrued 4,900 reward miles. That’s pretty close to $2500 and I only been using the card since April 13. I don’t like to carry cash so I usually use my debit card anyway. Once I got my Venture card I just used it for all my daily purchases instead of my debit card. Also I pay 90% of my balance every week.

If you are thinking about getting a Capital One card here are some things you may want to know:

  • You earn 2 “miles” for every dollar spent. (every mile is essentially worth a penny)
  • Your first year is free after that there is a $59 dollar annual fee
  • It takes a few days for the miles you have “earned” to show up in your online account

 

How many miles do you need to accumulate to pay for a trip?

Capital One makes this pretty easy to figure out.  Multiply the cost of your travel by 100. If your travel costs $500 than use this an example 500 x 100 = 50,000 “miles”. So you would need 50,000 points. Which is pretty doable if you get the 40,000 point sign on bonus. If you don’t get the sign on bonus you’re not going to be happy. It would look more like this:

Every $1000 spent = 2000 miles. You would then need to spend $25, 000 for a $500 credit.

When shown in this perspective the capital one card does not seem like a worthwhile card  after getting the sign on bonus. If you just use this card in place of your debit card, make ALL your purchases on it and are good about paying your monthly balance on time then I guess you could keep using it every year. Personally I don’t think I will continue with this card after my first year.

How do I redeem my miles for travel.

There are 2 ways.

1 – You can book through any website or travel agent you want using your Capital One card.  Then goto capitalone.com or call them directly and use their Purchase Eraser tool to redeem your miles, after this you will receive a credit for your travel costs.

2 – You Can book directly through Capital Ones website. Log into your account via their website click “Accounts >> Reward Summary >> Book a Trip”

 

With all the above said I would recommend really looking into all your options when applying for a travel card. As I said I found the Chase Sapphire Preferred card more attractive but stuck with the Capital One Venture card because I thought spending $3000 on this card in 3 months was more easily done. If you find you can spend more then maybe the Chase card is for you.

Journeying in the Magic Kingdom

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If you know me you know I am a Disney fan boy. I love going to the Magic Kingdom on the regular, being an annual passholder helps cost wise with that. I’d say I got about 15 trips out of my first annual pass.

  During my time as a passholder I have learned a few things that I will pass on to you and hopefully you will find these tips helpful.

  1. Fastpasses

A friend of mine recently went to Disney and I was quite surprised because he called me from Disney to ask about fast passes. Fast passes are ways for you to get through a ride quicker.

Essentially goto a ride with a fastpass designated area. Insert your ticket/pass into the machine and it will give you a ticket that will let you come back at a later time and skip 90 percent of the line. These tickets are especially useful for the big rides like Indian Jones or Space mountain which can have lines up to 90 minutes long!

If you have a multipark ticket that lets you visit California adventure and Disneyland on the same day I recommend getting a fastpass from both parks and then waiting in line for a different ride.

The Cars ride at California Adventure is incredibly popular and wait times can average 70+ minutes. The fast pass for this is located between the “A Bugs Life” land and the Grizzly River Run ride. I’ve seen them run out of fast passes for this ride as early as Noon so get them as soon as you can!

It should be noted that not every ride has a fast pass.

2. Grab a locker

I know going to Disney can be expensive and you probably don’t want to spend another $15 on a locker. I’ve felt the same way. But after walking around for 5 hours with a heavy backpack full of water bottles and snacks that you brought in to save money your back will be sore and this is going to impact your mood. Plus it sucks trying to tuck a heavy backpack between your legs every time you get on a ride.

Grabbing a locker may cost you a little bit more but hey its less stuff you have to lug around. Plus you can shove your purchases from throughout the day in there or even bring a change of clothes for after those wet rides like splash mountain.

3.My Favorite Places to Eat

I don’t like making meals for the park, and carrying them around or leaving them in a hot locker all day. I also do not like expensive yet terrible food. That being said my top places to eat in Disney are:

Carnation Cafe

This is right on Main Street across from the Starbucks. You dont usually need a reservation to eat here and their breakfasts and lunches are actually pretty affordable if your a small party.

I usually come here and have burger and a vanilla malt. Which will run in the $12-15 dollar range.

The French Market

I’ve eaten here a few times and its quickly becoming a favorite. Its inexpensive, has outdoor seating and periodically throughout the day will have live music.

I usually get the jambalaya here along with a coke. As with Carnation Cafe the price is usually around $12-$15 per plate.

Blue Bayou

For those who are not on a budget Blue Bayou is a GREAT place to eat. This restaurant is inside of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. It makes you feel like you are eating on the deck of a house in the bayou.  The ambiance is really fantastic. Sometimes you get lucky and can walk in but usually you will need a reservation to eat at this delicious place.

The meals here run between $30 and $50 per plate but the ambiance and service are top notch. I usually have  the Surf and Turf with a Louisiana Lemonade and I do not ever regret a meal here.