Posted in Food adventures, Thoughts, Traveling Adventures

My Seattle Sightings

Oh crap. It’s been over 3 weeks since my last blog post. Whoops! Sorry about that! I’m sure you’re probably dying from not knowing what’s been going on in my life. LOL. JK. 🙂 So this past weekend, I flew to Seattle to have another racecation and this time, I DID IT RIGHT you guys. I actually took a few additional days off to explore the city. (I get a lot of crap from my non-runner friends when I tell them I just fly in to race and then leave LOL).

I flew in on Wednesday with le boyfriend and highlights from the day included the following:

Seattle Bouldering Project – My boyfriend is a huge fan of the Austin Bouldering Project, so when I found out there was one in Seattle, I surprised him by taking him here. Having been to a few other bouldering gyms, I’d say that the ABP and SBP are the best out there if you’re a bouldering fan. It’s a really large gym and even for someone who is scared of heights, I had a fun time finding paths to climb. Highly recommend. 


The Alibi Room – Has such great pizza. We got the Truffle Tre Funghi, which has a bunch of mushrooms on it, and regrets were not had. It is SUCH good pizza and you will finish half of one on your own. LOL. Highly recommend.


Hiram M. Chittenden Locks – We unfortunately arrived maybe 15 minutes before they closed so I can’t say much about this, but if you get here a little after the sunsets, you’ll get some amazing views of the water. Plus, it’s free.



Unfortunately on Thursday, my boyfriend had to fly back home so I dropped him off and went sight seeing solo style. 🙂 Thursday highlights included:

Cafe Banh Mi  – If you’re a fan of Vietnamese sandwiches, this is the place to go. It’s a bit pricey, but that’s because their sandwiches are pretty sizable. Very filling and delicious.

Gas Works Park – Worth a visit if you need to kill time and have little kiddies with you. This area used to be site to a coal gasification plant, but has since been reconditioned into a play area for kids. It’s a rather large area if you also want to stroll around and have a nice view of the downtown Seattle. A lot of yoga also appears to take place here.


Fremont Troll – I’m a sucker for tourist traps. I’ve been here before and honestly, it’s a bit creepy. It’s a huge troll underneath a bridge. You snap a photo and head out. Recommended for millenials who want that nice IG photo.

Alki Beach – Everyone comes here during the summer so prepare to drive awhile to find parking. It’s a popular spot for people to come out to even on a week day to just hang out. During the summer, the sun doesn’t set until maybe 8:30 pm so definitely recommend if you like walking around beaches.

On Friday, having not run since Tuesday, I was on a mission to go out for a shake out run. Luckily, packet pick up was next to Green Lake and boy, did I hit the jackpot on running routes.

Green Lake – The inner route of the lake is 2.89 miles and has such beautiful and calming views of the lake. Most of the route is shaded too, which is a huge bonus. Highly recommend if you’re a runner and need a place to run in Seattle.


Kerry Park – Another tourist trap, but highly recommend anyway. It has the most beautiful view of the downtown Seattle skyline and when I went, there were tons of people crowding around just waiting for the sun to set to take photos.


Shiro’s Sushi – Be ready to drop some money here. Sushi is never cheap and Shiro’s is not an exception. I had some really tasty sweet shrimp and salmon here and would recommend dropping by if you have time. I would come with the mindset to either spend a lot here to get full or try a few pieces and then go elsewhere to get full. Hah.

So there you have it, a recap of almost my entire vacation. Race day shenanigans will be recapped in my next post so stay tuned. 🙂

Question for you: Have you been to Seattle? What is one thing you would suggest that everyone do there? 


Posted in Thoughts, Traveling Adventures

Travel Tuesdays – Busan, Korea

Ack, I am just the worst at posting these Travel Tuesdays. It’s been 2 months and I’ve only written one post on my 10 day trip to Korea and Japan. Sigh. Sorry! Hopefully, my memories of these experiences are still fresh in my mind. 🙂

So this time, I’ll be describing my time in Busan! Woohoo! I was only there for two full days so apologies if it’s not terribly exciting. Disclaimer: It is very food oriented. LOL

After my one night stay in Seoul (I blame not having enough PTO days), I made our way to Busan from Seoul via the KTX bullet train. Fortunately, the AirBnB I stayed at was situated very closely to Seoul Station, where the bullet train was. Unfortunately for us, it was pouring that morning and we spent a lot of time hiding in restaurants and cafes.

Seoul to Busan is about 202 miles and with the KTX bullet train, I was able to get there in less than 3 hours! THREE HOURS! Isn’t that insane? I can’t even get to LA from San Diego in less than 2.5 hours and that’s only a 100 miles away. The United States needs a bullet train ASAP.

The bullet train tickets were very simple to book. There are a lot of trains that head out from Seoul and you can book it online with no issues. You will have to pick up the physical tickets at Seoul Station though, but the booth is super easy to find.


Once we got to Busan, we made our way to our AirBnb near Seomyeon Station. After setting our stuff down and cooling down a bit, we decided to explore a bit and I’m super glad we did. Here are the things I learned about this area:

The area is busy, but not overwhelming – I was able to navigate fairly easily with google maps. There is a bit of dodging here and there, but nothing too bad (unlike Japan).


There are underground shopping centers – Something I didn’t realize about Korea and Japan is that there are underground shopping centers. When it gets too hot and humid, people go under and cool off. 🙂

Mul Naengmyun is BOMB – I didn’t have any high expectations of the food coming in, but after eating in 3 days, I found myself extremely impressed. After a few days of being back in the states, I was craving Korean food. LOL.


Mul Naengmyun is a cold noodle dish packed with flavor. The noodles are placed in a chilled icy broth made from beef and/or radish kimchi water. It is often served with an egg.

Gachapon shops are a thing – Remember when you were younger and at the supermarket, there would be these vending machines that dispensed random toys in capsules after you put in a quarter or two? Do you remember? Okay, now imagine a room filled with these vending machines. That’s what a Gachapon shop is. My boyfriend and I found this place accidentally and spent a good 20 minutes debating how to spend all of our money on little toys. LOL.


Korean Night life – It could have been just the area I was in, but Busan knows how to have fun. We were walking around at 11 pm and stores were still open and it was a Sunday night.

Dwaeji Gukbap (Pork Soup) – If you’ve ever seen my IG stories, you’ll know that I live for food. It’s a huge part of why I run so much. So I can eat all of the things. 🙂 So it shouldn’t be a surprise that a lot of my travels revolve around food. Sorry not sorry. 🙂 Dwaeji Gukbap is a specialty in Busan. It’s pork soup that is really rich in flavor. The soup itself is fairly bland, but you can taste the fattiness of it and you can season it with salt. I swear I’m doing it justice by describing it. If you’re ever in Busan, please go try this dish. Especially if you have a hangover. I heard it’s really good hangover food.


The second day, we moved to another AirBnB near Haeundae Beach. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to do too much exploring because a storm was coming in. I did get to try one memorable thing and of course, it’s another food item.

BBQ – I figured it’d be fun to try Korean BBQ or as they’d call it in Korea, BBQ. My boyfriend and I stayed near Haeundae Beach our second night and was able to find a famous BBQ place called Haeundae Somunnan Amso Galbijip. The place was set up like a traditional Korean house and you get to sit on the ground and grill your own meat. 🙂 This was a bit pricier than the other meals I had in Korea, but I really love Korean BBQ and this was worth the experience.


I had a really fun time exploring Busan and I’d probably come back to visit the other neighborhoods. Just have to get more PTO days. 🙂 In the mean time, I’ll write about my travels to Japan soon.

Question for you: Have you been had Korean BBQ? What’s your favorite dish? I love brisket and beef tongue. Yummmmm.

Posted in Thoughts, Traveling Adventures

Travel Tuesdays – Seoul, Korea

So it’s been quite a while since I last did a Travel Tuesday post. Oops. Sorry to all my readers who follow me for travel posts. 😦 I’ve actually been to several other cities since my last Travel Tuesday post, but I always forget to write about them and then too much time has passed and I wonder if it’s even worth it to write about. Well, I recently spoke to a friend about her travels and that has reignited my motivation to write about my travels. That and I also recently traveled. 🙂

If you follow me on social media, you’ll know that I recently went to Korea and Japan. I left about 2.5 weeks ago and only last week did I return from the land of the rising sun. 🙂 My apologies for the lack of posts. I’ve been experiencing extreme jet lag and have been struggling to rectify my sleeping schedule. 😦

Anyway, after a week of resting, I’m ready to start telling you about all of my adventures, good and bad. 🙂 Not every moment was sunshine and rainbows, but I had a great overall experience and would recommend anyone to visit these fine countries.

Let’s start off with Korea. 🙂

Korea was once on my bucket list of countries to visit because it was the land of pretty Korean boy bands (according to high school me), but after I grew out of the KPOP phase, I didn’t really have an interest to visit. But when the opportunity arose to visit both Korea and Japan, I jumped at the opportunity.

I arrived in Seoul, Korea on a Saturday night and oh my goodness, it was extremely warm. My main traveling partner had arrived in Seoul a few days before me and had taken pictures of signs that I needed to look out for so I wouldn’t get lost.


We decided to share a pocket wifi and he had picked it up before me so I was traveling without wifi and with no way to contact him if I had gotten lost. LOL. So while at the airport, I used the free wifi to let him know I landed and took a million screenshots of the pictures he had sent over and slowly made my way over to the train station where I’d meet him.

It was surprisingly not too difficult to get from the Seoul Airport to Seoul Station by train. There is an express train that you can take and in 40 minutes, you’re there. Seoul Station is huge and has lots of things to see. It is a main hub and there are a ton of transfers that you can take from this station. I got out of the station pretty easily and made my way to the AirBnB where I dropped my things and headed out.


I had arrived late in the day and didn’t have too much time to explore Seoul, but the one of the few things that I did do was visit Blind Alley, which is a raccoon cafe. I went to a few animal cafes on my trip and I would definitely recommend this one over the others. As the name implies, you go here to play with raccoons and since it is a cafe, there is a requirement that you pay for a drink on top of the ticket to play with them. You can’t just pay to meet the raccoons. It costs 6000 won ($6 USD) to play with the raccoons and whatever your drink costs.

A Few Tips for Blind Alley

Go in the evening when there are less people. You’ll have more one on one time with the raccoons and they won’t be as stressed.

Wear gloves when feeding the piglets. Pigs can eat through bone so if they chomp on a finger, you’ll be happy you wore that glove. I got bit on my hand when I tried feeding the larger piglet and it hurt even with the glove.

The raccoons are quite cute, but just be careful as their claws can be sharp. Feeding them is fine, but some of them are particular about where you can touch them. One of the ones I petted would swat my hand away when I tried to reach for its head.


Food in Seoul 

I was also able to hit up two restaurants – one for fried chicken because why not and the second one for a more traditional meal of pork bone stew with instant ramen and glass noodles. I wish I could tell you the names of the restaurants, but they were in Korean and I didn’t think to take pictures of them at the time so all I have are photos of the food. 🙂

I wish I could say more about Seoul, but having only been there for one day, there’s not much to mention. The food was great and it was an interesting city to walk around in. I don’t know a lick of Korean and was able to get by decently. The city had a very busy feel to it and I noticed that I was getting bumped into a lot more frequently. I was told that this was the nature of the city so c’est la vie.

Stay tuned as I’ll be posting about my trip to Busan, Korea in the next few weeks. 🙂

Question for you: Have you ever been to Korea? How about Japan? Where did you go and what things did you do? 


Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running, Thoughts, Traveling Adventures

Travel Tuesdays – Backpack edition

Disclaimer: I received an Eagle Creek 60 L duffel bag as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro(ambassador), and check out to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own. 

As someone who’s been traveling a bit more for races lately, I figured I’d need a travel backpack or in this case, a duffel bag. Enter the Eagle Creek 60 L duffel bag.

The packed version of the bag

This bag is crazy big when it’s expanded. It’s considered their medium size so I can’t even imagine what their large 90 L bag looks like. Despite being a bag that can hold 60 L, the bag is surprisingly lightweight. It only weighs a lb and 12 oz. A few of its features include:

  • A water-repellent coated Bi-Tech™ Armor Lite fabric: a fusion of technology that merges max abrasion-resistance with ultra-light carry
  • Carry by its removable backpack straps, padded top haul handles, or side grab handle
  • Two sizeable easy-access zippered end pockets for gear organization
  • Six heavy-duty lash points for attaching this bag to a roof rack
  • #10 lockable zippers with storm flap shield zipper from rain
  • Bottom is foam padded to help protect contents against impact

I used the duffel bag on three separate occasions – on my trip to Chicago, Los Angeles, and most recently Las Vegas.

I flew with it to Chicago while flying Spirit Airlines and was extremely nervous the attendants would make me check the bag. Being the anxious person that I am, I only ended up packing half of the duffel bag and lucky me, I was able to squeeze the bag into my front seat. I was still able to bring all of my running gear and even had extra room to bring back other items from the marathon. 🙂

FullSizeRender (2)
The unpacked version – the bag is packed into one of the side pockets in the packed version

Note that with Spirit, you can only bring on a personal item for free. Anything else (even a carry on) costs moolah. Their personal item size limit was 18 x 14 8 8 inches and my bag somehow made that cut off. That’s the bonus of not carrying a suitcase. I’ve always hated suitcases. They are so difficult to maneuver around airports and they’re just too rigid for me. I’m a carry-on kind of girl and if I can’t take it with me straight onto the plane, I leave it at home.

The duffel bag has backpack straps so as long as you don’t have a bad back, you’d be able to carry this bad boy on and off the plane no problem. The straps are pretty comfy and don’t chafe while you walk around. I also really liked the two side compartments because I was able to compartmentalize all of my things. One pocket held all my small little misc items and the other held my running shoes/OOFOS sandals.

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On my way to Chicago

For my road trips to Los Angeles and Las Vegas, I didn’t really need that big of a duffel bag, but again, I really liked using the side pockets for my shoes so I brought the bag along with me. It’s also just really nice to have everything in one bag as opposed to three separate ones.

In addition to using this bag for racecations, this bag would probably be ideal for backpacking and camping. I personally am not a big nature person so maybe using this for the SoCal Ragnar Relay will be the closest I get to being out in nature. 😛

For those of you who travel, what do you travel with? A suitcase? A duffel bag? Do you carry-on or check a bag? 

For more information, check out what other BibRave Pros had to say about this product or you could ask me! 🙂

Lindsay – Ryan – Chris – LauraVanessa – Mark – EmilyMeridith – Brenda – Matt – Haley – Jenna – Heather – Gina – Amanda – Joshua – Jennifer – Fallon

Posted in Thoughts, Traveling Adventures

Traveling Tuesdays – Enchanted: Forest of Light

While I was in LA over the past weekend, I came across something I must share with all of you.

Introducing Descanso Garden’s Enchanted: Forest of Light!

Enchanted: Forest of Light

If you’re a fan of the Broad or LACMA and are a fan of nature and/or color, this is probably right up your alley. Enchanted: Forest of Light is a timed light display at Descanso Garden in Pasadena, CA happening from November 25th through January 8th. There are supposedly 10 distinct lighting displays, but when I went, we only encountered 8. Boo. Below were a few of my favorite exhibits.

The tulips changed colors over time
Symphony of Oaks

It’s about a mile long walk so it’ll take you an average of 45 minutes to 1 hour to walk around and enjoy the beauty of the exhibit. Trust me. Pictures do not do it justice. Some of the displays are interactive and you can take your little ones out to play. Hell, I’m in my late 20s and I had a blast playing with the displays. See my instagram for proof.

Tickets are $28 and it is a timed event so buy your tickets early (it is a rain or shine event). There are tickets on Goldstar and Groupon for $21 and $10 respectively for select dates if you don’t want to pay full price. We paid full price, but I don’t regret it one bit.

If you do go, I suggest the following: 

WEAR WARM CLOTHES – I can not stress this enough. Wear warm clothes! It gets really cold since it is an outdoor exhibit. Gloves ARE A MUST. They also sell light up gloves/fairy wings/tiaras/etc for the adults and kids. If you’re a tiara wearing kind of person, go for it. I won’t judge. 🙂

Bring a hot beverage in a thermos – I suggest hot chocolate. It will help you stay warm and you won’t be tempted to buy over priced drinks/food. $5 for a churro? Really?

Go when it’s really dark – The exhibit opens at 5 pm, but I think the contrast of the lights against the garden is better when it’s really dark. We went during the last time slot (8:30 – 8:45 pm) and the exhibit was just beautiful.

Dress pretty – If you’re a selfie taking kind of person, this is the place for you. There are a lot of opportunities to take selfies here.

Smile! 🙂

So there you have it, my traveling find of the day. If you live in Southern California or are just in the area this holiday season, I’d recommend this exhibit. It’s fantastic.

Have you been to this exhibit or another one like it? Tell me all about it. 

Posted in Thoughts, Traveling Adventures

Traveling Tuesdays – NYC Edition Part 2

I was bitten by the travel bug a few years ago. The first trip I took? To New York City. Last Tuesday, I posted about my amazing experience at Sleep No More. Today, I’ll highlight the other things I enjoyed while I was there and hopefully, you’ll be able to use some of the information for your future trips to NYC. 🙂

Central Parkcropped-cropped-2014-09-14-09-53-24.jpg

If you don’t go here on your first visit to NYC, shame on you. This park is beautiful and has a lot to see. On my first visit here, my friends and I aimlessly walked through parts of the park. While we were there, we met a native New Yorker who spent his free time chit chatting with tourists. He liked getting to meet people from all different walks of life. I forget his name, but he was wonderful. He offered to show us where certain things were like the Belvedere Castle, the Alice in Wonderland Statue, among many other things. There are also a bunch of different tours that are available if you want a more structured day at the park.

Our “tour guide”

City Pass

For $116, City Pass offers tourists the opportunity to visit 6 of NYC’s iconic landmarks. It’s cheaper than buying each of the tickets individually and I believe there are other passes that are available so do your research and choose wisely. This pass includes access to the Empire State Buildling, the American museum of Natural History, MOMA, and 6 other options. It also allows you to bypass the regular lines and so you’ll get to your destination a bit quicker. The pass is good for 9 days so you’ll have ample time to use up the pass, unless you’re only in NYC for a few days. In that case, go go go. My friends and I had a blast doing all the touristy things.

On our way up to the Empire State Building
Starry Night by Van Gogh at MOMA

Michelin Star Restaurant – Le Bernardin

If you’re going to NYC, you should make an effort to go to a Michelin Star restaurant. If you’re on a budget, I found that lunches are much cheaper than their dinner counterparts. I went to Le Bernardin (3 star) for lunch and it cost me $87 for a prix fixed menu (3 courses). If you go for dinner, it’s $150 for 4 courses. It was definitely a #treatyoself kind of experience.

Tuna Carpaccio

Go see a musical

My friends and I went to see two while we were in NYC – The Lion King and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. The latter was fan freaking tastic. If you have a chance to see it anywhere (I believe it’s touring right now), I’d highly recommend it. If you couldn’t guess, the musical is about love and murder.

“GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE tells the uproarious story of Monty Navarro, an heir to a family fortune who sets out to jump the line of succession by—you guessed it—eliminating the eight pesky relatives who stand in his way.”

One of the main characters goes on to play several characters and watching him exit stage right and re-enter within a minute was pretty entertaining. If that musical isn’t your cup of tea, go find one that is. There are so many opportunities to see a musical while in NYC. If budget is an issue, go here to read about how to get cheap Broadway tickets. If there’s a will, there’s a way.

Eat everything!

As a foodie, I cannot end this post without recommending a few places to eat in NYC.  If you can’t afford a Michelin star restaurant, that’s perfectly fine. There are so many other restaurants that are worthy for a visit. Below are a few of my suggestions.

Totto Ramen is a must for ramen lovers. The broth is not your traditional pork, but rather chicken so it’s a little lighter in taste, but it still has a really well seasoned taste. I would recommend this place to anyone visiting NYC.

 The Mermaid Oyster Bar  has amazing oysters during their Happy Hour. For $1 per oyster, who can’t get behind that? Make a reservation for their happy hour to avoid being sent away.

Levain Bakery is a must. This one is a bit of a splurge as their cookies are $4 a piece, but if anything, just try one (and ask for one that just came out of the oven – they can often accomodate this request). Their cookies are delicious, not to mention HUGE. It’s worth it. Trust me.

My next suggestion Lady M Cake Boutique is also a bit of a splurge, but if you have a sweet tooth, don’t miss out on this. Lady M sells crepe cakes. These cakes have layers upon layers of crepes and they give the cake a really unique texture.

The Halal Guys – If you like gyros, this is the place for you. The Halal guys is considered street food. You order from a cart and you eat on the side of the street. It’s kind of freeing in a way.

If you find too many things to eat (there’s no such thing), do what we did. Order one or two things and split it amongst your friends.

So there you have it – some of the things I did in NYC.

If you’ve been to NYC, what did you do? What were some of your favorite things? I want to hear!

Posted in Traveling Adventures

Traveling Tuesdays – NYC edition Part 1

Okay, this is a bit of a cheat since this post will focus exclusively on my 1st trip to NYC two years ago. I realized that I never really went into full detail as to what I did during my weeklong visit there and I thought it’d be selfish not to share.

Let’s start off with my favorite part of the trip

Sleep No More

I recommend EVERYONE visiting NYC to try this. EVERYONE! Please go. It’s such an amazing experience. I even have a friend that has gone multiple times because each experience is different. For those of you unfamiliar to it, I’d describe Sleep No More as interactive/immersive theater. Ever do one of those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books? This is kind of like that.

Sleep No More takes place on 5 floors within the McKittrick Hotel. That’s right. I said 5 floors. (After a little digging, this actually isn’t true. There’s a secret 6th floor. It’s very tricky to get to so read only if you want spoilers). This isn’t your usual play where you just sit back and watch the actors. You actually get to follow them around the hotel as the scenes unfold.

You’ll check into the hotel on floor 2 where you’ll receive a card from a deck of cards. If you’re in a group, chances are you’ll be split up. It’s more fun that way. Trust me.

Sleep No More
All audience members receive a white mask to wear for the show.

When your suit is called, you enter the elevator and the bellboy will start letting a few people off on each floor. As soon as you’re on the floor, start exploring. It is a bit creepy because everything is dimmed, but the set is MEANT for you to explore. All the props are meant for you to look at or even play with. There’s even candy in one of the rooms, which you can actually eat.

Each floor has something going on and it’s always changing depending on where the play is currently at. The characters don’t speak and are always moving around the hotel and so you’ll have to be quick to follow them. On the hour, the main characters will reconvene on the 1st floor to do their final scene. After the final scene, the characters will reset and walk to their starting position within the hotel and the whole play with start again.

There are opportunities for one on one encounters with the characters. This is pretty uncommon, but it does happen. (For the most part, you’ll be watching the play unfold with your fellow audience members). Characters will single out an audience member and pull them into a secret room. In the room, you’ll share a scene with the character. This is the only instance in which the characters will actually talk to you. Play along. It’s more fun that way. During my trip, I was lucky enough to have two one on one encounters. I won’t spoil it for any of you, but I will say that each encounter was unique and gave me a little souvenir to keep. Note that some characters have one on one interactions. Others do not. Do your research if you want to know which characters have one on ones. If you’re chosen, savor the moment. It’s a really sought after experience.

My final note is that this play is not for everyone. It’s based on Shakespeare’s MacBeth and like any Shakespeare, there’s a lot of tragedy. There is also some full-on nudity and bright lights involved.

Here are a few of my suggestions for Sleep No More:

  • Wear COMFORTABLE shoes. You will be walking up and down a bunch of stairs and the characters move quickly.
  • If you’re in a group, split up. There are so many things happening all at once that you can’t experience it all within the 3 hours alloted. Everyone can meet up at the end and talk about all the different experiences and you guys can piece the plot together.
  • If you lose a character, don’t fret. All the main characters reconvene on the 1st floor near the hour to act out their final scene. You can then follow the characters back to their starting point.
  • Maintain eye contact with characters. It’ll increase your chances of getting a one on one encounter. I tended to isolate myself from groups and that made it easier for the characters to pull me away.
  • Don’t get too up close and personal (like up in their faces personal). I saw this a few times and I think it just irritates the actors/actresses.
  • Explore as many rooms as you can. They put so much detail in it. It’s crazy.
  • There are a few side plots that occur simultanousely with the main plot. Choose your adventure wisely. Some plots are more exciting than others.

Stay tuned. I’ll re-cap my other adventures in NYC next week.

Have you ever been to NYC and gone to Sleep No More? Did you enjoy it? Did any of you have a one on one encounter? I’d love to hear all about it. 

Posted in Traveling Adventures

Traveling Tuesdays – Seattle edition

When things get rough and too stressful at work, I go and take a vacation. This time (a month and a half ago), it was to Seattle. (I also went to Europe, but that will be for another post.)

Seattle is an up and coming city and I had a blast walking around the city and playing tourist.

Top touristy spots that I thought were worth hitting up?

  • Pike Place Market – This will probably be my favorite spot in Seattle. My hometown, San Diego has a public market, but in no way is it comparable to Pike’s place. Within the market, you’ll find so many interesting things. Here were my favorites:
    • At Pike Place Fish Co, when a customer orders a fish, a fishmonger will hurl that’s customer’s order across to another fishmonger for wrapping. They will often throw it back and forth and trust me, those fish were slippery little suckers. I was just entranced with their performance and I can see why tourists from all over come here to watch this. If you can’t catch the show, apparently they have a live feed that you can watch online.
    • Pike Place Chowder – I mean honestly, who doesn’t love chowder? My favorite is their clam chowder, which apparently won a bunch of awards. The melt in your mouth buttery-ness of the chowder. It’s totally worth visiting and getting your fill.
    • LionHeart Bookstore – This is found on the lower level of the public market and although it may not be super fancy, I found it to be really warm and welcoming. David, the caretaker there, is sooooo beyond friendly. If you’re not comfortable talking to strangers, this might not be the place for you to be. If you’re down to meet new people who are quirky and really pleasant, I’d suggest dropping by here. He also has a notebook full of postcards from all over the world that tourists send the bookstore. 🙂img_6007
    • Pike Place Pigs – I have a soft spot for piglets and so when I came across this place, I was thrilled. The owner makes piggy banks of varying sizes. In smaller sizes, she makes salt and pepper shakers in addition to little ornaments for Christmas trees. This place can be found further down Pike’s Place, but it’s not always there. I’d check her facebook to see when she’ll be out with her piggies.

      My new little salt and pepper shakers
  • Seattle Gum Wall – Even wanted to make your mark in gum? Well, this is the place to be for that. A tradition started in the 1990s, tourists and locals alike come here to leave their mark via chewed gum. There have been efforts to clean up the wall and last year, they were able to successfully clean off all the gum. The clean walls didn’t last very long as people were adamant about leaving their gum on this landmark. I didn’t leave any gum there, but you can bet your butt I took a photo in front of the wall.

    Hello gross factor!
  • Chihuly Garden and Glass – I’m not a huge fan of museums, but when in Seattle, right? The Chihuly Garden and Glass is a museum for glass blown objects by you guessed it, Dale Chihuly himself. His artwork is amazing and it kind of makes you wonder about what you’ve been doing with your life…


Other notable mentions

  • Seattle Glass Blowing Studio – This is on the way to the Space Needle and for a hefty sum of $395 per 1-2 people, you can make your own glass blown art piece. You can make a bowl, a paperweight, a cup, or an ornament. Even if your wallet can’t afford it, I’d recommend stopping by here to see the artists at work. It’s kind of crazy watching them work with glass at melt your face temperatures.
  • The Fremont Troll – It’s a creepy looking troll sculpture found underneath the Fremont bridge. You seriously can’t miss it. It’s HUUUUUUGEEEEEEE!14184385_10104196384867914_1943298903523402699_n
  • Nue – This restaurant had an interesting gimmick. There is no real cohesiveness to their meals except they are inspired by dishes all around the world. You have Balut, which is a developed duck egg usually sold on the streets of the Philippines. Then, there’s Tijuana Tostilocos, which as the name implies, originated in TJ, Mexico. I grew up with these and they’re delicious! Then, there’s also Sri Lankan Beet Curry, South African Bunny Chow (not real bunnies folks), and Trinidadian Goat Curry just to name a few. If you’re in the mood for international, this is the place to hit up.
    Our Chengdu Spicy Jumpbo Chicken Wings

    There you have it. My vacation to Seattle in three short days. I had so much fun that I will definitely be back.

    So what are your favorite things to do in Seattle? What did I miss? 

Posted in Traveling Adventures

Traveling Tuesdays – Thailand edition Part II

I went to Bangkok and Chiang Mai in Thailand last November. Here are my favorite four things from the trip and some things I learned along the way.

  1. Bangkok street food – On any given weekday, the streets on which our hotel was on was filled with food vendors selling food for ~20 baht, which is give or take 60 cents in the U.S.  As huge foodies, we were thrilled. Here were some of my meals.

    If you have a sensitive stomach and aren’t willing to try street food, Siam Paragon is a mall that has a lot of delicious meals and is cleaner. We ate a lot of street food and didn’t get sick, but to each their own. We had some of the food there and most of the things we tried were delicious.

  2. Silom Thai Cooking School – My boyfriend really wanted to take a Thai cooking class and after a lot of research, I settled for this cooking school in Bangkok. This was such an entertaining class and I would strongly recommend to anyone to take one while in Thailand. Our instructor, Oliver, was fluent in English, and educated us on the ingredients at the market that are often used in Thailand. He was funny, charming, and just a wonderful instructor. Here are some of the dishes we made.
  3. Taking the overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai – I had never taken the train before this so this was something I really wanted to do. I chose to take an overnight train from Bangkok to Chiang Mai because why not? I save on a night’s stay AND wake up in a new city all for roughly $25. It was also fun to wake up to a view of the countryside with stray dogs roaming around. When the train was stopped, the kitchen would often throw out food scraps for the dogs and so we’d get to see them eat and play around with one another. If you do end up taking the overnight train and you choose a sleeper with airconditioning, I’d recommend taking a blanket, some earplugs, and a sleeping mask. They do give you a blanket to use, but they blast the airconditioning and it can get quite cold in the evenings. If you are a light sleeper, ear plugs are necessary. They also keep the lights on and even though there’s a curtain that blocks out some of the light, a sleeping mask is recommended.
  4. Elephant Nature Park  – This was my absolute favorite part of my trip to Thailand. Here’s a mini lesson on elephant riding. Elephants don’t normally allow humans to ride on their backs. The extra weight puts a huge strain on their back and it hurts them. Trainers will beat and abuse the elephants to train them to allow humans to ride them. The Elephant Nature Park and other elephant sanctuaries in Chiang Mai don’t do any of that. While you won’t be able to ride an elephant (it’s not the end of the world), you will be able to feed, bathe, and take care of an elephant for part of the day. [The sanctuaries will send out vans to pick you up at your hotel (as long as you’re within a designated region) at 8 am and take you to the park and back.] These sanctuaries take in elephants that have been abused by their owners. We saw elephants that were stabbed in the eye for disobeying their owners. Others had stepped on landmines while working. It was really a heartwarming experience to see them so well taken care of after all that torture and I am so lucky to have been so close to one.

    So there you have it. My favorite four events from the trip.

    If you’ve been to Thailand, what did you do? What were your favorites? If you have any questions, please feel free to ask me. Thanks!

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Posted in Daily happenings, Food adventures, Traveling Adventures

Traveling Tuesdays – Chicago edition

About a year ago, my traveling partner and I decided to head to Chicago after seeing a great deal on The Flight Deal. This is a great place to go if you’re not set on any particular destination and just want to travel.

A round trip ticket from LA to Chicago cost me $112 So off we went to the Windy City. We took a red-eye to Chicago, which in hind sight, wasn’t the best idea. Since Chicago is two hours ahead of us and it was only a four hour flight, we arrived in the wee hours of the morning (~4:30 am). What do we do at 4:30 am when no one is around and we can’t check into our housing accomodations until 2:30 pm?


What perfect way to make use of the situation than to visit the really touristy spots without any of the tourists. First stop? Millennium park to see Cloud Gate aka The Bean.

At the Bean

This was one of the best decisions we made during the trip. We enjoyed the beauty of the Bean in silence and to top it all off, we got to wake up with the city. We watched the dark and desolate streets slowly become populated with people as the sun rose and with more light, the city got louder and louder. It really was a wonderful experience and although we spent part of the morning passed out at a Panera, I’d recommend doing this at least once in your life. We were able to visit the Bean, walk around the Navy Pier, grab a hot dog from Portillo’s, and get a massage to relieve our tired bodies all within a short time.

Highlights of our trip

Chicago Greeter program – I am such a huge fan of this program. Chicago, along with most major cities (even international cities), will have a greeter program and most of them are free. People who live in the city volunteer their time to give you a tour of their city favorites. You can set an appointment online a week before your trip and this tour can range from 2-4 hours (Their instagreeter program is 1 hour long if you’re short on time). You’re able to pick your language preference and a few interests that you might want to explore (i.e. food, architecture, nature). Our greeter, Bobbie, was fantastic. She is a huge fan of Chicago history and spent a good 3 hours showing us around downtown and giving us the 411 on the everything from the beginnings of the brownie to the uniquely colored cow statues we kept seeing. I had a blast and I suggest everyone use this greeter program at least once. It’s amazing.

Our wonderful greeter Bobbie

The Purple Pig:

  • Roasted Bone Marrow with Herb Salad & Sicilian Sea Salt – Enough said. When on vacation, do like vacationers do and indulge. You won’t regret it.
    On a cold day, this hot dish hit the spot

Lou Malnati’s:

  • Also, when in Chicago, get a deep dish Chicago pizza. Even if you’re not a fan, please go. Maybe you’ll be pleasantly surprised like my date was. He liked it over Giordano’s.

The Second City Comedy Club

  • If you like laughing – and who doesn’t – I’d suggest dropping by here. Several SNL cast members have graduated from here and it’s guaranteed to make you laugh.

And there you have it – the highlights from my trip. Chicago is a wonderful city and you can bet that I’ll be back a few more times.

Who knows? Maybe if I survive my NYC marathon, I’ll try my hand at the Chicago marathon. 🙂

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