Monday, June 24, 2013

Kia at the Vans Warped Tour

I'll preface this post with the following statement: Although the following events seem surreal, they did in fact happen and were amazing.

This past weekend, I was invited by the good folks at Kia Motors America to enjoy a weekend of great food, music, and general merriment. On Friday morning, Kia dropped off a brand-new 2014 Kia Sorento for me and my guest to use for the weekend. As a frequent user of public transportation, I'm always excited to travel in the comfort of a car. I don't have to fight for a seat, shiver, or avoid eye contact. This car is special. It has so many features I didn't even know should exist. (Fortunately they do and they're fantastic.) My favorites are the heated seats; the huge multipurpose screen used for GPS, a camera for when you're in reverse, and SiriusXM radio; and the side view mirrors that notify you when someone's in your blind spot and automatically fold in when you park.


Breakfast cookies

Market Fruit Salad with vanilla and honey Straus yogurt

Biscuit with Trace rooftop honey

Even the condiments are presented adorably

Trace Breakfast with two organic fried eggs, bacon, Yukon Gold potatoes, and toast

Poached Eggs & La Quercia Prosciutto with arugula, Leadbetter's English muffin, and hollandaise 

The moment of truth

French Toast made with bourbon, roasted banana, toasted pecans, and caramelized white chocolate

Roasted Kale Pizza with tomato, roasted onions, house-made pancetta, and ricotta salata 

The view from our room on the 25th floor

After work, we bid Berkeley adieu and made our way over the Bay Bridge to the W San Francisco in SOMA. It's safe to say that this is the best hotel experience I've ever had. The interior has the sleek yet inviting modernity in which the W is known. As you enter the lobby, you see a huge topographical map of the city with lights running along its major streets. Our room on the 25th floor has a view of the city I could never even have dreamed of living across the bay. What really made our experience in the hotel special was brunch at the in-house restaurant, Trace. We tried everything from poached and fried eggs to French toast and kale pizza. Each dish was as delicious than the last.

After breakfast on Saturday, we met up with the other bloggers. I was happy to see such friendly faces as Jennie Lodge from Going West and Chandamheer Stacker from Pancake Stacker. I also met the lovely Fabio Periera from the men's lifestyle guide, Rundown. In true TV commercial fashion, we headed down to the Shoreline Amphitheater in Mountain View in our caravan of Kia Sorentos to attend the Vans Warped Tour. (I can only imagine what nearby drivers thought being surrounded by so many identical cars.) I admit that the last time I heard about this music festival was on KROQ when I was in middle school. It's a primarily punk music festival geared towards teens. While many of the bands were fairly new, there were a few must-see shows by bands from the generation before. I really enjoyed seeing the Aquabats whose upbeat energy matched the brightness of their famous superhero costumes.

I feel special. Yes, I do. #princess

With Kia as our gracious hosts, we spent some time at their tent seeing all they had to offer. First, we got airbrushed tattoos. They had a hot air balloon, nautical anchor, skull with a mohawk, and more. Being the princess I think I am, I opted for the diamond one. They also had two clear booths where concertgoers danced their little hearts out and were made into GIF's in the process. With our exclusive press wristbands affixed, we went backstage to meet the members of We Came As Romans, a six-piece melodic metalcore band from Troy, Michigan. Being the ~fashion~ blogger that I am, I appreciated their attention to maintaining their distinct looks and, most importantly, hairdos

Panda Bear (left) and Kozlov Stout

Patatas Bravas with garlic, spicy brava sauce and aioli for dipping

Shrimp platter

Chocolate, blackberry, and vanilla cream puffs

After the festival, we headed back to the city for dinner at the ThirstyBear Restaurant & Brewing right across the street from our hotel. We started off our evening with a tasting of several of their organic beers. I enjoyed the Panda Bear's sweetness that was derived from the vanilla. We then took a tour of the brewery, seeing everything from the core ingredients in their purest forms to the huge vats of beer. We then sat down for a delicious tapas-style meal with garlic potatoes, grilled veggies, chicken, carne asada, shrimp, and finally cream puffs.

All in all, this was a wonderful experience and I couldn't be more grateful for being included.

Special thanks to Kia Motors America, W San Francisco, and Vans Warped Tour for the great weekend. Thanks to Emily Grannis and Matias Cavallin of the Zeno Group for inviting me. You're the best!

Check out more posts from San Francisco and music festivals.

Pssst! Have you heard the June Playlist?

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