I left my heart in San Francisco

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Short hike at Limekiln State Park off the coast!

DSCF7092DSCF7097The drive to Julia Pfeiffer State Beach was interesting to say the least. It’s a small narrow road, allowing only 1-way so you constantly need to pull over to let the oncoming cars through.
DSCF7168DSCF7176DSCF7195DSCF7197Kitchen Story has now become one of my favorite restaurants in SF; I cannot wait to go back to eat it again!

DSCF7221My not-so-favorite traveling companion.. always ruining my photos.

SF is one of my favorite cities to visit, probably because it was one of the places I ever traveled to first with friends; it holds a very special place in my heart. This trip, we got to catch up with friends and just relaxed a ton; we even went swimming at the pool in our hotel!

Looking forward to my next trip to the bay area ❤

 

TTFN!

A Weekend in Joshua Tree

It’s been a minute since I last visited Joshua Tree for more than a few hours. Early March, a couple of friends and I headed out to Joshua Tree to celebrate our friend’s birthday. Since there were going to be more than 10 of us, we opted for an Airbnb–it was just to manage.

We headed out Friday night around 8:30 pm and arrived around 11:00 pm, it’s about a 2 hour drive east from the greater LA area and during that time, there may be some minor traffic, fyi!

We didn’t plan too much and just decided to go with the flow this weekend. There is quite a lot to do if you’re planning for only a weekend; 2-3 hikes is definitely do-able!

On Saturday, we woke up and did a big group breakfast and set out for a hike around 1:00 pm. We did 1 easy hike, Arch Rock, and ended with sunset at Keys View around 5:30 pm, which is highly recommended!

Later that evening, we stayed in and watched a movie on Netflix and had a big delicious group dinner, consisting of steak, galbi ribs, a cheeseboard, and fruits!

On Sunday morning, everybody left at their own pace and while everyone left for home, Brandon and I went back to Joshua Tree to do the Barker Dam hike. It’s a 1 mile loop, flat ground and super easy. I’ve done this hike previously but did not see any water at the dam so this time, I wanted to see it. While on the hike, we saw some climbers and watched them for a bit (kind of made us both miss climbing!)

Joshua Tree is a fairly small national park and even though there are quite a few hikes available, you can definitely accomplish a lot in a weekend trip so if you’re thinking about visiting, just do it!

Check out my photos from the trip, hope ya’ll enjoyed! 🙂

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Inside Look: Packing The Essentials

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Packing for any trip is sometimes tedious because you have to take into account the weather and what you’re planning to do so I wanted to share some of what you’ll find in my bag typically when I’m on the to!

Carry on

Any trip I go on, I always make sure to bring a pair of slippers or sandals because it just makes my life easier–after showers, not having to step around barefoot (it’s just in my Asian blood to wear slippers indoors) or just going out for a late night bite or drive and you don’t want to put on socks. Either way, I always make sure to pack something easy to wear.

Comfortable shoes are another staple I always pack when I go anywhere. Always pack  good walking shoes because chances are, when you’re traveling, you’ll be walking a lot and exploring the city like a local. I recently invested in Nike Flex running shoes (mainly because my old free runs are dying and I need new ones) but I heard they were extremely comfortable so I’m super excited to start wearing them! I’ve gone on a few trips where I just brought regular sneakers (Chucks or Janoskis skate shoes) and my feet tend to hurt fairly early in the day so I started bringing comfortable shoes. I’m not too much of a girly girl so I don’t bring a ton of shoes to match my outfits–I’m more of a comfort over style kind of girl if you will :-).

Long sleeves and t-shirts. I am always grateful that I pack these aside from ‘going out’ clothes because there are bound to be days where you don’t want to dress up too much and you want to be lazy, or if you decide to take an easy day to just laze around your Airbnb and it makes your chill time that much more comfy. Plus, sleeping in big, comfy t-shirts is one of my favorite things.

Bathroom Essentials! I don’t use make up of any sort and have like a very minimal daily routine when it comes to skin care so I can pack all my bathroom essentials in a small bag. I usually bring with me a travel size shampoo and conditioner (thank you, Target!), a tooth brush and toothpaste, some q-tips, a razor, face moisturizer and face wipes. That’s all you really need, in my opinion! Keep it minimal, so that your bag isn’t too heavy.

Last but not least, obviously, your intimates. I always bring 1 more than the planned amount of nights I’m traveling just in case and I pack them in a small bag so that I’ll have a bag to throw the dirty ones in.

Personal Bag

Ever since I bought my first down jacket from Patagonia, I never go anywhere without it and I bought a second one because I just couldn’t pass it up! I have a regular down (hood recommended) and a thinner down (perfect for not-even-that-cold-LA weather). It’s such an easy staple to carry and it is so useful, especially if you’re traveling somewhere with cold weather. What I like best about Patagonia downs is that you can turn it into a small little bag so that it fits easily in your carry on.

Another staple item is a torrentshell/rain jacket. I have one from Columbia and Patagonia (I love both equally) and they are super light and easy to carry and trust me, you will thank me in the future! I always use this the top layer over my down to provide as an extra shield from the wind and it works wonders. I’ve visited New York in the dead of winter and I was able to survive with a total of 3 layers: my normal top, my down, and then my torrentshell. My Patagonia shell is also able to be turned into a little bag so that I can easily carry it in my backpack without it taking up too much room.

The other miscellaneous stuff that I carry in my personal bag includes wallet and/or passport, my chargers, basic skin stuff like chapstick and lotion and that’s about it!

I hope this helps you when packing for your next adventure! Pack light and smart and you’ll be able to enjoy your trip 🙂

Leave your comments, suggestions or concerns!

TTFN!

Calgary, Alberta

So I haven’t quite finished editing my photos from Canada but I wanted to share a bit of what I already have and also tell you guys what I did. I spent a total of 5 days in Calgary, and about 4 of those days in Canmore, which is about an hour drive west of Calgary.

Day 1: We landed in Calgary around 12 noon but we didn’t set out for Canmore until about 4pm because of our rental car situation. Tip: consider renting OUTSIDE of the airport especially during the summer because it is extremely busy and a lot of the cars weren’t ready for pick up yet. After we picked up our rental, we got dinner in Calgary and also stopped by a grocery store to pick up some supplies such as water.

Day 2: We set out for Banff National Park and for our first destination: Lake Louise. We had planned to do the Lake Agnes Tea House hike. We had alotted maybe about 3 hours for the hike but it took much longer than that; an additional 2 hours or so because we wanted to eat at the tea house and there was a wait. The hike is very much recommended though, the views are breathtaking.

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After Lake Louise and Lake Agnes, we set out for our last destination: Moraine Lake. This is a very popular spot so be ready to wait in lines and fight for parking as this lake is SO WORTH SEEING. Make sure you do the short hike up to the top (it’s really just a bunch of steep stairs).

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After Moraine Lake, we headed into downtown Banff for dinner. Drive into downtown and you’ll be able to find parking lots for free but keep in mind there are a lot of people around so drive carefully!

Day 3: We planned to do Johnston Canyon upper and lower falls hike and if you’ve seen the many many photos on social media of the lower falls hike, then you’ll definitely want to go. The hikes at Johnston Canyon were much easier than Lake Agnes Tea house. It’s not as steep but it is across a steel bridge which sits on top of the stream so if you’re scared of heights, don’t look down. The hike was pretty fun and was covered for the most part and since you’re by the stream, there was a nice, cool breeze to help you stay cool.

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**Note: unfinished/unedited draft.

I will continue editing photos and will continue sharing when I can! Hope you guys enjoy these photos 🙂 Feel free to drop some suggestions on more places to see in Canada for my next trip!

 

 

TTFN!