Category Archives: TRAVEL

#TravelThursday : Crusin’ Thru

September 7, 2017

During my lengthy July 4th weekend, my siblings and I busted a last minute, mini road trip to Santa Barbara, Solvang and Ojai.  None of us has ever cruised through the central coast before, so we thought why not go where all the oldies go?

Our first stop was Santa Barbara, which is where we had spent the night on this trip.  It is my favorite place out of the towns we’ve visited, and that’s because it was bigger than the rest.  Thus, making me realize that I cannot live in small towns because I feel ridiculously claustrophobic in it.  Acting as tourists, we had explored a Catholic church, museum and the town’s county courthouse.  On the night of our last stay, my siblings and I dined at Santo Mezcal, which the food and drinks was absolutely delicious, by the way!  As we dined out in the patio with the main street in our view, we noticed a young couple (probably in their twenties) walking together.  The male companion was holding a pizza box while the female companion was on her phone, appearing very disconnected from her surrounding.  Within seconds, the boyfriend loses control of the box, and the pizza escapes from within, landing flat onto the ground.  With everyone having witnessed the scene, the crowd in unison goes, “Awww…”  The funniest part, however, was the girlfriend, who stared shockingly at the sad-looking pizza on the ground.  She then looks up at her boyfriend, gives him a glare, and stomps away without him.  I guess, she was hangry…

Just two-hours away was Solvang, a replica of a dutch town.  A bit overwhelmed, the town was a tourist spot, cramped with travelers.  Other than the smell of danish pastries from like every three buildings we came across in, we were drawn towards a sausage joint.  As we we’re chowing down our hot dogs, I noticed a familiar face right across my direction.  Oh no!  It’s the annoying-family-friend-mechanic, who arrogantly speaks so highly of himself and his family, while directly down-shaming you at the same time.  With our heads down and shades on, my siblings and I pretended as if we didn’t see him and his family.  Yeah, we do that…

Last stop, we made our way to Ojai, where I had planned to take my siblings and I on a nature walk at the Meditation Mount.  But, unfortunately, it was closed.  Very disheartening since that was the only thing I had planned for that stop!  Ojai is more of a retreat for the spa and wine lovers, which I was all down for, but we had someone with us that was underaged.

While looking back at this trip, these destinations all seem fitted for the retirees.  Even though this trip was not what I had originally planned for, I had fun, particularly, because I was with my best friends – my siblings.  Literally, at one point, as we walked down one of Santa Barbara’s streets, my siblings and I were linked arm-to-arm (my sister’s doing), and we got a LOT of stares!  Yup, no shame…Even though we fight like little monsters (quite often, I might add), we love each other like we’re huggin’ a teddy bear.

On another note, I have a couple of mini trips to share with you before my BIG trip 😉  So, stay tune!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+

#TravelThursday : Desert Life

June 29, 2017

Not many people would believe that I actually went camping, and the reason for that is because I am the type to overpack my suitcase.  I swear, I’ve been better about that!  Some would have believed me if I said “glamping,” but I like to do things the old-school way.  So, over Memorial Day weekend, I straight-up lived in the grand outdoors, without running water – something that I’ve always wanted to do!

We had stayed in Indian Cove Campground, located at Joshua Tree National Park, a place I’ve made a day-trip out to a few years ago.  It was the last weekend before the heat kicked in, but I was already uncomfortable with what we had that day.  Because of the sun’s gnarly rays, we had squeezed our activities early in the morning.  We had hiked at Indian Cove Trail, which is around the corner in the campsite, but we ended up taking a detour because we’re just badass chicks.  Along the way, I saw a bunch of lizards, birds and jack rabbits, who are the most adorable creatures that I wish I can just take home!  The highlight, however, is having been just a few feet away from rattlesnake sightings.  I know the rattlesnakes are common in the desert, but I never expected to actually spot them!

But, regardless, I still had fun and discovered that I like climbing shit.  Because all there is at Joshua Tree National Park are the giant, huge rocks – it’s like a big jungle gym.  Even though I was a child for brief moment, that doesn’t mean reality didn’t catch-up with us.  My cousin and I did end up going through various topics of female inequality.  One of the topics discussed was about how women are far in debt financially than men.  According to a report from NPR, the reason behind all this is because women are paid less than men.  Moments like these, sharing these common issues, reminds me of how I am completely surrounded by AH-MAZING women in my life.  Ever since I was little, my family has always preached how women can be just as strong as men (or maybe even stronger).

This was a much needed weekend retreat away from tending to peoples’ requests, to disconnect digitally and to refocus my energy.  With the 4th of July weekend coming up, I am entirely enthusiastic to spend another long weekend to recharge my batteries!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+

#FridayFunday : What’s Poppin’ California?

April 7, 2017

Poppies that is!

Spring has definitely arrived in Southern California with flowers all in full bloom.  There’s no denying that the rain we had from this past winter had something to do with it.  Unlike most years that I remember, spring was like summer – dry and hot.  All we had for the spring season were allergies and withering plants.

To welcome the season, I had visited Antelope Valley California State Poppy Reserve, which is located in Lancaster.  From afar, you can see the hills are alive with such vibrant colors.  One of the colors that kept popping up out of the greenery are these neon-orange poppies, which is the official state flower of California.  It was such a beautiful sight to behold, and, unfortunately, none of the pictures that I had taken captured the essence of it.

If you are wondering where you’d be able to visit these poppies, click here to find a list of places that you can seek out.  Be prepared to get stuck in traffic when making a trip out to these locations on weekends.  Also, apparently, the poppies are only available until the end of the month.

One of the things that I want to note is that I tried VERY, VERY, VERY hard not to crush any of the flowers.  Killing the flowers is not worth the photograph, so I encourage all of you to stay within the dirt path.

Other than that, hope you all are enjoying this wonderful spring we’re having 🙂

If you got the chance to see these poppies, be sure to post a picture of your experience in the comments below!

 

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+

#TravelThursday : Just 4 Miles

January 19, 2017

As my sister and I made our way up to Mt. Baldy, we had encountered some back-to-back traffic – the same kind of traffic you get at 7am in the morning when you’re heading to DTLA.  Having accumulated almost two hours on the road, my sister and I were working our bladder muscles and our stomachs were beginning to eat itself.

While my sister and I were debating whether or not we should “pop-a-squat” or not, we were hitting our breaking points.  Okay, more me than my sister.  As I’ve mentioned before in a previous post, I have the worst patience.  As the road begins to narrow due to the cars parked alongside the road, my sister and I found ourselves at a standstill.  There was absolutely no way for us to move forward or even turnaround so, in other words, we were stuck.

People started getting out of their cars to see what the fuss was all about, and others tried to squeeze their way up the road.  There were some folks who had just given up, and settled with what snow they had.  Even though the sign says we have only 4 miles till we reach the top of the mountain, I had begun to question the worthiness of all of this — “Should we just stay here?  There’s some snow.”

Passionately, my sister exclaims, “No!  We didn’t make it this far not to reach the top!”  My sister has always been the more optimistic one, and it’s moments like these, where she pushes me to do more than what I believe I am capable of.  So, with two “hangry” women whose bladder was about to burst, we had inched our way through the mountain, and, finally, a sign appeared in bold letterings, “Welcome to Mt. Baldy Ski Lifts.”

This is just one of the many incidents that day, where I had almost deprived my sister and I from witnessing a beautiful sight.  This experience had reminded me to never give up so quickly, and to have a little faith.  As quoted by Nicholas Sparks (not a huge enough fan to even quote his work, but what he shared has some truth in it), “nothing that’s worthwhile is ever easy.” 

If you have the time this weekend and is in the SoCal area, make a stop to the mountains.  It’ll especially be great this weekend as fresh snow is expected to fall!  So, even though you’re just 4 miles away, and stuck in back-to-back traffic, the destination will be worth the trouble.

 


Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+

#TravelThursday : It’s A Day-Cation For Me

August 25, 2016

The past few months have been non-stop hectic both work-wise and socially.  Since I wasn’t planning on taking a vacation this summer, I had found myself very tensed, weary and overwhelmed.  In other words, I was in dire need of a break.

If you’ve checked out my Instagram, you’ll notice that I had taken a little ferry ride-out to Avalon at Catalina Island.  My best friend and I had basically planned a “day-cation” for ourselves.

We had relaxed at the beach by Decanso Beach Club, which I was surprised to see other people my age.  I mean, I grew up thinking that Catalina Island was a place for seniors to retire — it probably is but as I was just informed by a random dude at a bar over the weekend, Catalina Island is actually a place for people to party now.

After we had roasted ourselves on the beach, my best friend and I went parasailing.  We were both 800 feet in the air, and the only sounds that we can make out was our laughter.  All the noise from the ground floor disappeared. If I was to ever go parasailing again, I would probably ask to do it on my own because it’s kind of a spiritual feeling when you’re up in the air like that.

Kayaking was the next activity on our list, where we were basically looking for fishes underwater.  I didn’t care much for it, but my best friend was seriously all into it.  Beware of the sharks!  So many of the passerby’s kept warning us about it, including the cute security patrol.  Turns out, there are baby sharks in the water, but they mostly come out at night.

Before returning to the dock, we had ice cream from Scoops Homemade Ice Cream, which you can find my review here and a taco joint that was tucked away from main street.  By the end of the day, my best friend and I was absolutely exhausted.

Take a look at some of the highlights of my “day-cation” below:

FYI, you can get a free roundtrip ferry ride to Avalon in Catalina Island on the day of your birthday, and you can get a discount on some of the activities as well.  Save yourself $72 plus dollars!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+

#TravelThursday : Howdy Ya’ll !

January 28, 2016

If you follow my Instagram page, you already know that I was down south this past weekend.

My friends and I spontaneously booked a trip to Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas — a place I thought was pretty random, especially for a girl like me.  But, to my friend, it’s a place she had once called home.  In Fort Worth, we checked out the Stockyards — a rodeo show that features bull riding, tie down roping, team roping, barrel racing, bronc racing and break away roping.  Here, I definitely saw plenty of men and women dressed in their cowboy hats and boots.  It felt as if it was Halloween again!  In Dallas, we took a tour of the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, where John F. Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in 1963.  It felt disheartening to stand in the same place where our former president was cruelly assassinated, but also inspiring to know that this human being accomplished so many great things before his death, such as establishing the Peace Corps.  For the rest of our stay, we spent most of the time grubbing — we had a bbq, crab boil and Mexican cuisine.  I’m kind of drooling here…   

There are three prominent characteristics that I want to point out during my stay in Texas:

  1. Endless amount of land.  You know that saying, “you can run, but you can’t hide?”  Well, it applies here in Texas.  There are so much space, it makes sense that everything is 30 minutes away from each other.  The homes are definitely bigger — they have a huge front yard, drive way and back yard (you can literally build another house with all that land).  I even saw a full playground set in the yard, where kids were running around.  It was like watching a Hallmark film!  So, if you’re looking to settle down with a family and all, Texas would be the place!
  2. An unfamiliar sense of politeness.  The people aren’t in a hurry like that in LA or NYC, so the Texans actually take the time to say, “Excuse me Ma’am,” while tipping their hats.  On top of that, it’s not weird to be smiling at someone while making eye contact without it meaning “Come hither.”  Although we did get some looks here and there, it was not enough to make me feel uncomfortable like some places I’ve been to.
  3. Conservative and patriotic.  It wasn’t until I was at the rodeo that I realized I was surrounded by devoted Christians,  who had a great deal of pride for their country.  Compared to Los Angeles, the people are pretty much liberal when it comes to religion and politics so talking about atheism at a dinner table would just bring conflict.

My friends thought I wouldn’t like Texas, but I’d have to say, I didn’t think the whole southern, country lifestyle was bad at all!  I’m actually hoping to plan another trip down there, but in a different city this time.  Honestly, I wouldn’t mind spending a week down south.

Check below to see some of my highlights of the trip!

Hope you liked my brief glimpse into what Texas is like, and if you ever get the chance, you should definitely try to head south for a week or two.  There are definitely a lot of things I wanted to see, but had no time to do such as line dancing and horseback riding.  I guess, that’s another reason to head back then!

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+

#FridayFunday : Mountaintops + Ocean Views

January 22, 2016

At an impulse, my best friends and I have decided to do a little weekend getaway so if you’d like to see where I’m headed, visit my Instagram for all the deets!

If you aren’t getting away this weekend, there are plenty of things you can do in your own backyard!  One of the great activities that Los Angeles has to offer is a vast array of mountaintops for you and your friends to reach.

If you checked out my Instagram feed, it’s apparent that I am an avid hiker.  My friend, however, is not.  Since she is undergoing a new phase in her life, I thought I’d introduce a new experience to her.  We headed up to Corral Canyon Park, a 2.5 mile loop in Malibu that took approximately 2 hours to finish.  The hiking trail is just right off of the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH/1 Hwy), next door to The Malibu Seafood Fresh Fish Market.  There is also a $5.00 parking fee for the visit.  Once you reach the top of the mountain, you’ll get a view of the beach and the highway — something you’d get out of a picture, but way better.  If you ever plan to visit this trail, plan to wear long sleeves and pants because you’ll have plants brushing against you.  The difficulty of the hike from 1 to 5 — a 5 rating being “difficult” — I’d give it a 1 so it’s not rigorous at all.  My favorite hiking trails are the ones with an ocean view, where I’m surrounded by greenery, not just dirt and dead trees.  In Los Angeles, the winter season is the perfect time to go on a hike.

The best part of the hike is the reward that you would give yourself right after  — for me, that’s food!  My friend and I went to the Malibu Farm, where it has a restaurant in the front and a cafe at the end of the pier.  The Malibu Farm is all about the local, organic and healthy lifestyle, which you can check out my review here.

If you are ever in the area, here are some of the most popular hiking trails in SoCal: Eaton Canyon, Hermit Falls and Crystal Cove State Park (my favorite place to hike by far).

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+

#FridayFunday : It’s All Grand At The Grand Ave Arts

October 30, 2015

Days like these are always the best!

I spent the past weekend being a tourist, exploring parts and bits of Downtown LA that I call my home.  There was actually an event on Grand Ave called the Grand Ave Arts: All Access — an event where the arts opened their doors to the public with free tours, admissions, performances, screenings, and more!

The most popular of them all was The Broad, which recently opened this past year.  The Broad was offering architectural tours of the building, lobby, and an exhibit on the third floor.  Unfortunately, I was unable to go that day, but I did reserve tickets for next month so I’ll just wait then.  There is a separate line for walk-ins, but I suggest getting there early since the line builds up!

My friend and I ended up checking out The Museum of Contemporary Art, where they offered free general admission.  This wasn’t my first visit to the MOCA, and I have to say, I like the exhibit this time around.  One of the pieces I admired was a light bulb that extended to the outlet on the other side of the wall.  I’ve interpreted the work as a symbol of people’s willingness to do anything for an outlet…

We also took a look at the Disney Concert Hall, where we saw a screening of John Williamson being honored.  John Williamson is known for creating the theme songs to Jaws and Star Wars, including the “Imperial March.”  I’m hoping to catch a performance there one day!

But, before all this exploration, my friend and I grabbed lunch at the Grand Central Market.  The Grand Central Market is like the Chelsea Market in New York and the Anaheim Packing District in Orange County.  We waited forty-five minutes for Eggslut, which was the biggest fad this past summer.  You can read all about my review here!

Across the market is the Bradbury Building — it’s been used in movies like 500 Days of Summer.  My friend and I actually caught ourselves in the middle of a performance by The Industry.  There were musicians, dancers, and singers walking through the staircase, making an eerie yet alluring sound.  I just love stumbling into things like this!

Days like these help you become aware of the present moment.  It allows you to fully observe with what’s going on around you, leading to newfound discoveries.  Exploring new places, including my own backyard, is exciting to me, and I’m sure it is to you too so share some of your memories where you’ve explored your own backyard!

Before I close for the weekend, I just want to wish you all a spectacular, spooky time!

 

Happy Halloweve!

 

XOXO,

– Lori

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+

09.04.15 // Day 9 : The First Time I Visited NYC

September 20, 2015

It’s true what they say about New York — you can be sure to find something new every day.  What I learned during my time here is that the people are direct and straight to the point, it’s always in motion, and the subway is the most brilliant means of transportation ever — I wasn’t happy about coming home to the 5 FWY!

It’s difficult to choose just one day out of the whole week as my favorite.  I had enjoyed every minute of my stay there, and felt very at home.  Seriously, I got that city down!  For those of you who have been in both cities, we can all agree that Los Angeles is a bit more relaxed than New York.  If you were to ask me which city I liked better, I wouldn’t be able to give you an answer — I love the beach, but I also love the city.  However, I would say this, New York would be the best place for any twenty-something-year-old, whose trying to pursue his or her career.

Well, this concludes my travel updates on NYC, and I hope you were able to take something valuable from them.  If you have a favorite spot or memory from your own visit to New York, feel free to leave a message below! I would love to hear it!

 

Have a wonderful Sunday!

– Lori

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+

09.03.15 // Day 8 : The First Time I Visited NYC

September 19, 2015

Central Park is the most visited park in the U.S.

Without having any time constraints, my sister and I spent the entire day there.  We walked around with no sense of direction, drank beer by the ponds, ate ice cream for the whole day, and people watched because human beings do the most funniest things.  I, specifically, wanted to go through the day aimlessly, so that I can experience the wonder of the place naturally. It made our experience better because we stumbled into corners with a sense of surprise.  Some of these corners include the Belvedere Castle, Model Sailboat Pond, Bethesda Fountain and Terrance, The Mall and Literary Walk, and a skyline view of New York that I remember spotting in Maid In Manhattan.

Like so many places in New York, there are talents everywhere.  One of the many talents that my sister and I was fortunate enough to witness was City of the Sun, an instrumental band that consists of John Pita, Avi Snow, and Zach Para.  Their music has been referred to as “a re-invention of acoustic music,” using only a box, guitars and bells to create their sound.  They were so good that my sister and I are now attending their show at The Viper Room in Los Angeles next month!  To get a taste of who they are, check out their most recent video called “Time.”

Turtle Pond

Belvedere Castle

Alice in Wonderland Statue

Model Boat Pond

City of the Sun

Bethesda Fountain and Terrance

Literary Walk

Skyline View From Central Park

 

Thank you so much for tuning in!

 

XOXO,

– Lori

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on TumblrPin on PinterestShare on Google+