Lounging at the Marriott, Dinner at CUCINA & My First VR Experience.

Never ever, underestimate the importance of having fun.

Randy Pausch
  • Marriott
  • CUCINA Restaurant

This year our company held a 3-day Christmas Retreat locally in Orange County. We had a full schedule for the next few days to attend various all expense paid activities in Orange County. Who’s excited? ME! ME! ME!

On our first day, we started our team meeting at the Marriott hotel. A place that, I, am not a stranger to. Low key, convenient, simple with panoramic views of Irvine are among my favorite things about this hotel. It really is one of those places that has an “it” factor.

Keeping it upscale, this hotel is valet only for $10 per hour (not including tip). However, if you ask for a validation at the restaurant or bar, you can get the first hour free and $5 after that for the next 2 hours.

In the lobby, you will find a spacious lounge area, a Starbucks in the corner right when you walk in and for those wanting a little more food, Heirloom Farmhouse Kitchen restaurant is highly recommended. 

Outside the restaurant near the pool, we gathered everyone for a quick hello & sat near a fire fit before we headed out for dinner at CUCINA Restaurant.

CUCINA Restaurant is an upscale Italian cuisine with a bohemian vibe located at Irvine Spectrum. They offer food selections from pasta, pizza to seafood and/or meat options for mid-priced range ($12-$35). I ordered the spaghetti with meatballs, pomodoro & grana padaro paired with Pinot Noir. It was very good. This place caters to everyone from families to intimate one-on-one meetings. They have room for just about every type of groups. Although, reservations ahead of time is highly recommended as they do fill up rather quickly.

There is no love sincerer than the love of food.


After dinner, we made our way to the SPACES a ‘Terminator’ themed virtual reality attraction. This was my first time ever participating in a VR Experience and I had a great time. For $30 per person, they start you off by logging in your information on an iPad, followed by taking a 3D scan of your face, then gearing up for the game with a 5-10 minute instruction verbally and on television (about the mission). 

Men in VR Gear
Here are some of the guys from work wearing the VR gear. Don’t they look excited?

Once you have your headsets on you become the terminator and you are in this game world where you can shoot at things that you see. Without giving away too much information (it defeats the purpose of the game if you decide to try it) it was really fun. I would try it again if, someone invited me. To be continued…

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