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!

The PNW: Seattle & Vancouver

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Currently planning a trip up to Seattle & Vancouver! I’m super excited for this trip as I never really got to explore much of Seattle, and it’ll also be my first time visiting Vancouver.

I have a rough itinerary going already, but I’m open to food suggestions in both cities, and especially nightlife. What I’ve noticed is that there isn’t much (on Pinterest at least) about nightlife for non-drinkers so I’m going to try my best to see what there is to do for those like me and document and share.

Until then, if you have any food or points of interest suggestions, please feel free to share in the comments!

Portland for the Weekend

Before I embark on my next PNW adventure, I wanted to share a little about my recent trip to Portland back in January. I wanted to see and explore a little more of Mt. Hood and do some more hiking so we hit up Trillium Lake. It’s a very easy hike, although, the incline in snow may prove to be a difficult. Overall, fun and easy hike with magnificent views of Mt. Hood itself.

TIP: it may be tempting to hike/walk across Trillium Lake when it looks frozen over, but be careful! The sun was shining pretty hard when we went and Brandon had taken one step and his whole foot almost sunk in. Luckily for him, I was there to save him 😉 Ha!

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We stayed in a cute Airbnb a little east of the city and it was everything we needed, minus a full kitchen. It was cozy enough! Peep the cute little patio outside.

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Everytime I visit Portland, I want to visit Pip’s because it is absolutely delicious. I have yet to try Voodoo but honestly, I don’t think I’m missing out on much. Pip’s specializes in Chai and these cute, bite sized, cake donuts that are very affordable!

TIP: try their bacon donut, you won’t regret it.

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So I recently got a new camera (thanks Brandon!), a Fujifilm XT-3 and I’ve been teaching myself and transitioning over from Canon. It’s very different and requires a lot more learning but I’ve been getting such beautiful results (all the photos on this post are shot on it). The below shots of mountains are taken from my seat in the airplane – just mindblowing how beautiful they came out!

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For a closer look at my itinerary for the weekend, here is it!

Friday night (arrival day): Dinner at a quick pizza place to-go to eat at our Airbnb!
Saturday morning: breakfast + Mt. Hood
Saturday evening: Boba in Beaverton – MILK+T, a self-serve boba bar, and dinner at Pok PokIMG_7293DSCF3282DSCF3283DSCF3285

Sunday morning/afternoon: Pip’s Doughnuts, lunch at Pine State Biscuits, and exploring the town! We hit up Chinatown (very small, and not much to do tbh) and downtown Portland! Afterwards, we headed to the airport to go home!

Everytime I visit Portland, I always find something I love even more about this quirky city and cannot wait to go back again. Mt. Hood is just beautiful and I need to see more of it!

If you have any other suggestions for what to see in Portland, feel free to leave it in the comment, or if you have any questions for me, ask away!

TTFN!

Greater LA Eats: Simmer Huang

If you’re an LA native and you’ve been suffering from that extreme cold we’ve been dealt with, then for sure you’ve been visiting your local hot pot restaurants to keep warm. I stopped by Simmer Huang in Temple City, CA and got to try out a different style of hot pot: dry pot!

Simmer Huang puts a new twist to traditional hot pots we are usually used to – instead of soup, they steam and let all the water and sauce mix together to create our broth and it’s delicious! Keep in mind though, the process does take a while but I promise it is worth it.

My friends and I visited on a Thursday night and we shared the mild spicy, continental combination pot and added on a few other sides: beef wrapped enoki mushrooms, pork intestines, quail eggs, and New Zealand lamb legs. We also got their hot and sour black noodle as a appetizer and got their plum juice to try out.

DSCF3552DSCF3537Each pot comes with a base of vegetables, and they’ll start off with that by letting it steam and cook. Next, they’ll add on a layer of whatever you order, cover it up and let it cook again. After a few more minutes, they come back and add on the next layer and as they approach the last layer of food, they spread on the sauce and let’s it cook one last time before it is all ready to eat. By then, if you’re like me and you love soggy veggies, then you’re in luck. I love soggy carrots, especially if they’re going to be cooked.

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The sauce they mix in is so delicious, I cannot get over it. It’s  like a black bean sauce (they’ll mix it in front of you, I didn’t ask what though)!

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After you eat, they’ll add hot water so it becomes soup and if you check in on Yelp, you’ll get a free hand pulled noodle to eat with the soup!

Everything was delicious, 10/10. I cannot wait to come back! The service was awesome, there were only 2 people working but we felt like we were getting the right amount of attention and did not have to wait or hail someone down with frustration.

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If you get a chance to try it out let me know! I’d love to hear your thoughts about it. Enjoy!

TTFN!

Fresh Year, Fresh Start

It’s time for another revamp because new year, new blog right? Again, this year, I am going to try and be more consistent and really put this blog to use and capture and share my travels.

2018 was all in all a great year filled with a lot of travels, great food, great company, The beginning of the year started off a bit rough but eventually, we got through it and grew from it. 2019 is another new year for new experiences, new travels and continuing my growth, personally and professionally.

Towards the end of last year, I decided to take a stab at photography professionally. I have always loved photography and shot as a hobby, but because I never thought my work was good enough per my standards, I never thought to pursue it and monetize it.

However, at the end of 2018, I felt stuck and stagnant professionally and I thought to myself, ‘What is stopping me? What do I have to lose?‘ and I found courage within myself to decide to just start my freelance photography business. I’m not going to lie, it was extremely scary, and during the whole journey of planning and executing, there were multiple occasions that I had just wanted to quit because of the self-doubt I had. However, once I started, the momentum didn’t stop and I felt alive. I felt like I had found a new sense of purpose and I found something that I loved to do and was pursuing it.

That in itself made 2018 a great year for me overall. I ended the year by stepping out of my comfort zone and it allowed me to grow and for that, I am grateful.

Looking forward to 2019 and another year of growth and new experiences.

 

Cheers!