cream pan bakery & cafe / tustin, ca (and river tubing!)

I decided to do an easy post today because I am tired from Mother Nature beating me up this past Saturday. Story at the end of this post, if you are interested in the non-food side of things.

A couple weekends ago, Jake, T, my dad and I went up to Anaheim to catch an Angels vs. Red Sox game. It was my present to my dad for his birthday, since he’s a Red Sox fan and hardly ever gets to see them play. It was a bonus for Jake since he’d only ever been to Petco Park and Jack Murphy before.

Before the game, we visited 101 Noodle Express for dinner and got some more hand torn noodles, beef rolls and dumplings. Then since we still had a little time to kill, I made us go here:


It’s a Japanese bakery in Tustin. It sits in a strip mall.

When we walked in, there was hardly anything in the counter top cases. Like just a few cream pans, but none of the elusive “strawberry croissants” I had read about on Yelp were in sight. I heard someone else ask about them and a worker said they still had a few in the back. I got in line and ordered four of those little suckers while there was still some left.


They’re about $1.40 a piece. They’re not very big and just you know… look like an ordinary pastry.


But DEAR GOD. You take the first bite… it’s buttery, crunchy, and full of flavor from the croissant. The luscious pastry cream tangles together with the buttery croissant to add sweet creaminess to the texture. Hell, I didn’t even need the strawberry. The rest of it was so glorious that I actually sighed in contentment.

After we finished eating them, Jake said, “I want another one. You want another one?” I vaguely nodded my head and he got up to “get us another round”. And it was just as good as the first one.

It’s probably a good thing that this place is all the way up in Tustin, because I’d want to come here all the time for these damn things. Oh, bliss!

They also have cream pans, and I bought one to give to my mom, and then I forgot to ask her about it, take a photo or try it. The strawberry croissant filled my head with buttery, crunchy dreams.

Cream Pan Bakery & Cafe
602 El Camino Real
Tustin, CA 92780
(714) 665-8239

Cream Pan on Urbanspoon

River Tubing in La Jolla Indian Campground

On Saturday, Jake, T and I went river tubing. This, in theory, seemed like a grand idea. Nature… water… pretty trees, floating on tubes.



I should also state that I have an extreme fear of water. I don’t know how to swim and I almost drowned as a child. But hey… rivers are neat! Who cares if rivers are full of water! And rocks!


[before we started doing the tubing thing]

We walked all the way to the end of the camp. On the way, I adjusted a velcro strap and then my right sandal completely broke off (?!) and I couldn’t wear them anymore. Jake gave up his sandals to me so I could walk, which rubbed the top of my left foot and gave me a blister later (fun).

While walking, someone in a truck stopped and happily gave us a ride up and over a steep hill and we walked the rest of the way to the end. I had read that the waters were rougher here and more rapid-like, which made me nervous. Jake assured me he’d be there for me the whole time and that I had nothing to worry about.

At first… it was fun. The waters weren’t too bad though there were spots where I’d get stuck and have to be pushed along or I’d have to wiggle to get unstuck. Then… I went over a few mini waterfalls. And that’s when it started getting unfun.

I flipped out of the tube a couple of times, hitting my legs on rocks and things. The real kicker was when I went down a rougher one, completely fell out and tumbled over, went under the water and lost my glasses. This is when I started having a panic attack and wanted OUT OF THE WATER. This was not the leisurely cruise I was expecting, damn it. Who put all these damn rocks and little waterfalls in?!

Jake, as a person who can swim and doesn’t have an irrational fear of the water, could not sympathize with me that much. But, he got out of the river with me as I slowly made my way to the river bank, I stepped in a foot of smelly, stinky mud. Mother nature apparently did not want me to get out. But screw her since I walked the rest of the way.

I let Jake and T continue on with the tubing while I walked. I eventually met up with Jake, who told me how he went over a 5 foot waterfall, was pulled under and dragged along by the current and had to use his tube to get him back up right and hit his tailbone on the rocks. I was insanely glad I decided to walk.


Jake walked with me the rest of the way down and we decided to sit in the river for awhile and wait for T to float by.


Here I am, looking happy because I was no longer floating over waterfalls and crap. Screw waterfalls, man! They’re pretty to look at but I don’t want to go over them in inner tubes. No way. No thanks.

Shortly after this photo we started to gather our clothes to find a place to change… and then the skies opened up and we got a good downpour of rain. I just had to laugh, man! The rain ended up feeling soothing to me and felt good on my skin after a day of stumbling over river rocks and getting beaten up by mother nature. I think next time I’ll just watch, or opt to only go tubing in a man made lazy river in a hotel where there are no freakin’ rocks everywhere. Nature is still pretty though, even though it totally beat me up.

10 thoughts on “cream pan bakery & cafe / tustin, ca (and river tubing!)

  1. River tubing and I do not get along at all. We went down one in Chico that was supposed to be a “lazy river” and I ended up losing a water shoe, falling out of my tube twice, bruising my tailbone, and getting stranded on one side of a strong current, clinging to some wispy tree branches so I didn’t wash away. Travis said I looked like a hurricane victim or something, trying not to get swept away in the river.

    Then, we went tubing in an underground cave in New Zealand and the guide had to grab my foot so I didn’t get swept away into a tunnel that eventually narrows down too small for people to pass through.

    I’m not a fan of tubing, unless it’s in a lazy river by a pool. My tubing experiences also make me wary of trying things like whitewater river rafting. I’m pretty sure I would die.

    (glad you came out of it okay, though! and those pastries sound delish – I would have wanted one as a reward for surviving the tubing)

    1. Oh man, “lazy river”. It sounds so peaceful and relaxing… no one tells you about the currents and crap. And how you can’t really control anything at all and how you’re at the mercy of the river. I’m definitely only going to do it again if its in a pool. Like in Vegas. Otherwise… nooooo thank you. Our reward after the crazy river tubing was that my dad made roast pork with homemade stuffing that had apples in it. 😀

  2. i’m glad that you didn’t drown or get dashed by sharp rocks with that river tubing adventure. I have an extreme fear of water as well. I wouldn’t even have gotten into the water myself, but that’s just scaredy-cat me. Good for you for being brave and giving it a shot!!!! I admire that!

    Yay, you went to Cream Pan! I ‘ve only been there twice (most recently with Cathy from mmm-yoso in early June). They are well known for their strawberry croissants. Glad you guys tried it out! : )

    1. I’m pretty sure I only felt brave because Jake was there and he absolutely promised to save me if it looked like I was drowning. Hah! Going all the way under made me want to get out though and I started babbling about how I didn’t want to be in the water anymore. Oy!

      Cream Pan was SO GOOD. Someday maybe I’ll get up there at a decent enough hour to try other things. With a cooler in tow, of course!

    1. It is the stuff that dreams are made of! River tubing, on the other hand, is something I don’t feel the need to do again. 🙂

  3. I’ve got all these bakery-centric posts lined up and Cream Pan is the Japanese one and my favorite. It opens at 6 a.m. and we get there at 6:15 if we leave Santee at 5 a.m.-it’s not crowded at all then and trays are full; easy on-off the 5.

    In other news, I’m not afraid of water, only heights. However, knowingly and voluntarily surrounding myself with only a rubber tube (I’ve repaired too many in my time) while being pulled by gravity and currents over a shallow non-smooth/rocky bottomed creek (those photos are *not* a river) just isn’t going to happen.

    1. You’re so hardcore, Cathy. I’m jealous 🙂 Can’t wait to see your post about it – I’d like to see what else I should try if I ever manage to make it up there early enough to see the trays full!

      No, it really is more of a .. wide creek.. but you take what you can get with “rivers” in California haha. I’m pretty sure I would not try a “real river”. Certainly not without a life jacket! I’d be much happier sitting in the shade with a book waiting for the tubers to get back.

  4. OMG – you lost your glasses?!! I would have freaked the eff out too!! The pics of the river were beautiful though. You’ll have to share your drowning story to a fellow ‘i almost drowned too’ person 🙂 Regardless, I’m glad you had a great time – you looked happy in the last pic!

    1. Yeah! I mean, I found them again right away but flipping over and being under water was the least fun thing that happened that day. My “almost drowned” story is only mildly interesting – I was about 8 years old and was at a family member’s house in their pool by myself. My mom was on one side of the pool and I decided to cut across the middle to get to her, not knowing the middle was deeper. Somehow I partially drowned, flailed around enough to get to the other side and immediately got out of the pool, shivering and shaking. I look happy in that last picture because I was so happy to be alive and not be underwater, hahah!

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