Category Archives: TRAVEL

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

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09.02.15 // Day 7 : The First Time I Visited NYC

September 18, 2015

From the Financial District, my sister and I hopped on a ferry to Liberty and Ellis Island.  Every time I hear about the Statue of Liberty, I am reminded of how my mother and her brother missed their chance to see it.  When they were in New York back in the day, my mother had caught food poisoning so the whole family canceled their plans to visit the site.  Till this day, my uncle has been holding a grudge over it!

The Statue of Liberty isn’t as big as you think — it’s only 300 feet tall.  The French gave it to the U.S. as a gift, and at that time, women weren’t allowed onto the grounds to see it — could you see the irony in that?  The history behind immigration began to unravel as we visited a museum on Ellis Island.  Being there made me realize why this place was so important to my mother and uncle — it’s about them!  The Statue of Liberty is a symbol of hope and change for them, and, now, I understand why they were so anxious to see it.

Like my previous posts, I want to make another suggestion when traveling in New York.  For any broadway show, excluding The Lion King and Wicked, you can actually get discounted tickets at TKTS, located in Times Square.  So instead of paying the original $200 for a bad seat, you can get a front row seat for the same price!

My sister and I saw Finding Neverland featuring Matthew Morrison from Glee.  It was absolutely entertaining, and I would highly suggest this production to anyone.  It was so good that I caught my sister sniffling in the seat next to me!

Stay tune tomorrow for more of my travel updates!

 

XOXO,

– Lori

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09.01.15 // Day 6 : The First Time I Visited NYC

September 17, 2015

My sister and I welcomed the new month with a visit to some of our nation’s most prominent historical sites.  We had visited the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, The Stonewall Inn, and the 9/11th Memorial and Museum.

The 9/11th Memorial and Museum is definitely something you have to experience.  Once you step onto the grounds, you’ll feel a sense of pride and patriotism — you’ll definitely feel very American.  I was in the 4th grade when this happened, but didn’t realize the importance of it until much later.

There are chilling recollections of that day from voice memos, pictures, and more.  The museum provided snippets from passengers on these planes, such as a a woman leaving a voicemail to her husband, reminding him how much she loves him and apologizing for what’s about to happen.  What really messed with my heart was when a man explained his thoughts while escaping the collapsing tower — as he was running down the stairs to live, firefighters were going up to their deaths and they did it knowingly.

For those of you who ever plan on visiting the museum, please make sure to check every Monday at 9am for free admission tickets.  These admission tickets will grant you access to the museum from 4pm to 7pm every Tuesday.

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory

The Stonewall Inn

Battery Park & the Hudson River

One World Trade Center/Freedom Tower

“No day shall erase you from the memory of time.” – Virgil

9/11th Memorial and Museum

 

Stay tune tomorrow for more of my travel updates.

 

XOXO,

– Lori

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08.31.15 // Day 5 : The First Time I Visited NYC

September 16, 2015

Did you know that if you make a “contribution” to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, you can get an admission ticket to the museum?  Donate any dollar amount from $20, $10, $5, or even $1, and you can get a ticket to browse through the whole museum!  There are no limitations so treat it as a regular adult price of $25.  The representative had informed me that the reason why they give people this option is to attract more visitors.  Honestly, they’re able to do something like this because they have a long list of companies and organizations that funds the place.

The Met is like Disneyland — you can’t get through it in one day.  My sister and I like to take our time in museums, learning about the history and culture that surrounded these artifacts.  Because of that, we were only able to get through China : Through The Looking Glass.  The connection between art and fashion was absolutely breathtaking — the exhibit, itself, created a story that allowed everyone to be a character in.  Unfortunately, the exhibit’s duration expired last week.  Although it is not the same, you can always take a glimpse of the exhibit here.

Before I end my snippet about The Met, make sure to check out the rooftop (4th floor) for an incredible view of the city’s skyline and Central Park.

Check out my review on Red Bamboo here!  My sister and I also visited Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream, but I didn’t write a review for it.  The reason being is because I had only taken a bite out of my sister’s ice cream cone, and to my regret I wish I had gotten myself one!  Typically, I never say no to ice cream, but the meal I had at Red Bamboo was so good that I didn’t leave any room for dessert!

Stay tune tomorrow for more of my travel updates!

 

XOXO,

– Lori

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08.30.15 // Day 4 : The First Time I Visited NYC

September 15, 2015

Walking out of the subway station, I glanced up from the ground to realize that I wasn’t surrounded by tall, slender Europeans anymore.  It was men and women of my height, speaking in what I can only make out as Cantonese!

I was completely in awe with Chinatown.  I was most attracted to the classic and vintage appeal of the business and apartment buildings all along the streets.  It was good to see the other cultures thriving in Manhattan!  To give us further insight, we took a tour at the Tenement Museum.  It’s definitely a must-see, and I thoroughly enjoyed learning about the different families and living conditions back in the day.  It reminds you of how lucky you are to have a family that sacrificed so much to give you a better life.

With the help of my cousin, he led us through Chinatown until we finally hit a street made of cobblestone.  It was SoHo!  Each store was breathtakingly beautiful that all I wanted to do was just hug everything in it!  Due to its feminine and modern presentation, Prada was my favorite store of all.  For any fashion lovers out there, SoHo will definitely be your favorite place.

We eventually made our way into Brooklyn again, checking out the infamous bridge and neighborhood.  Dumbo (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass) was just an introduction to what was to come next.  It was kind of cool to know that TVLand’s Younger filmed here for one of their episodes.  Yes, I am a huge fan of that show.  We walked over to Brooklyn Bridge Park, which immediately felt like a date spot — seriously, couples everywhere!  The skyline was absolutely beautiful, especially with the sound of waves crashing in the river.  By being on the other side of the city, you’ll notice what a jungle New York is.

To see my review about Juliana’s Pizza, click here.

Chinatown

Tenement Museum

 

Somewhere in Chinatown

SoHo

 

Dumbo, Brooklyn // Is it just a coincidence that the Empire State Building is at the center there?

Brooklyn Bridge Park

 

Stay tune tomorrow for more of my travel updates!

 

XOXO,

– Lori

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08.29.15 // Day 3 : The First Time I Visited NYC

September 14, 2015

The subway was intimidating at first, but once you learn the system there’s really nothing to fuss about!  To briefly describe how it works, be aware that at every subway entrance there are stairs that lead to “uptown” and “downtown” Manhattan, aside from those that lead you specifically to Brooklyn.  There’s a schedule that tells you which subway to take, and which stop to get off of.  Like I’ve said in a previous post, I had used the Transit app to help me with that.  Some of these stations have a virtual directory just in case you have have any questions!

On our third day, my sister and I went to see the Flatiron Building, Empire State Building, The High Line, and Chelsea Market.  We did so much walking that our calves just continued to ache for the rest of the trip!

My favorite part of the day was when we walked through parts of The High Line.  The High Line is a public park that was once a railway, used to carry goods throughout Manhattan.  To preserve the place, it is now what I call “a park on a rooftop.”  What’s so great about The High Line is that the place is built on sustainable resources, so expect to see a lot of green whenever you’re in the area!  Chelsea Market was a favorite as well — partially because it reminded me of Los Angeles’ Grand Central Market and Anaheim Packing District. Many goodies can be found at the market such as Pamela Barsky, who makes quoted bags.  I brought this home with me!

We ended our day meeting up with an old friend, who is in the process of moving from Manhattan to Brooklyn.  My sister and I took a subway to Bushwick, where we met up with our friend for a burger run — I wish I can remember what the place is called!  Anyways, we chatted away with some new friends, who all grew up in California before moving here.  A lot of them have decided to leave to New York simply because they wanted to be here.  Oh, how I wish I had the courage to do that!  Coincidentally, our friend is looking for a roommate, and has offered the space if I ever decide to move out here.  I guess we’ll just have to see…

Flatiron Building

Empire State Building // Was told that Top of the Rock gives you a better view

The High Line

Chelsea Market

W 42nd St & Times Square

 

Stay tune tomorrow for more of my travel updates!

 

XOXO,

– Lori

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08.28.15 // Day 2 : The First Time I Visited NYC

September 13, 2015

The itinerary that I’ve drafted for this trip is more of a guide than a day-to-day schedule.  I’m one of those people who enjoy going wherever the wind takes me, but if I can have some control, I’ll take it!  Top of the Rock, located in Rockefeller Center, was the first thing on top of our list.  My sister and I were completely surrounded by tall, slender Europeans, who all looked like they’ve just popped out of a Ralph Lauren Ad.  As we were about to get our pictures taken, the photo assistant started a conversation with us. Here’s a snippet of our introduction:

 

Where are you both from?

We’re from Los Angeles.

Yeah, I thought so.  I like LA.

Are we that obvious?

Yeah, just like New York, you both got that swag.

I guess my sister and I didn’t have to worry about looking like a tourist after all — #LASwag!

Our day was further spent exploring Midtown.  We stopped by the Grand Central Terminal, Pershing Square, Chrysler Building, New York Public Library, and Bryant Park.

In the evening, we headed out to Chelsea and Greenwich Village alongside our cousin, who is studying design at Parsons.  He taught us the subway system, and I came prepared with the Transit app, which I highly recommend for anyone in NYC.  We grabbed dinner at Ootoya, located on W. 18th St.  Check out my Yelp Review here!  We spent the rest of the night passing through the neighborhoods, and stopping by Washington Square Park.  As I was observing the people around me, a homeless man approached us asking for a quarter.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have any small change or cash to give away.  Caught off guard, he began cursing and pointing at us, “I’m just asking for a fucking quarter!”  Wide-eyed and a little shaken, we eventually got over it as a woman sassily shouts, “Nah-uh!  I’m not giving you anything!”  The man responds by walking away, looking a little frightened.  Just one of the many hilarious scenes you’ll find in New York!

We eventually ended up in Madison Square Park.  It was good to catch up with my cousin, whom we haven’t seen or talked to in years.  I was getting to know him and his experiences out in the big city.  It’s so admiring to see someone so passionate about their studies, especially about fashion.  When my cousin first started his semester at Parsons, he had, unfortunately, spent it with Hurricane Sandy.  Being from California, this crisis was entirely new to him.  Apparently, my cousin says he feels a lot safer walking around in New York at 2 o’ clock in the morning than in Los Angeles.  There are always people around in New York regardless of what time it is.  Surely, this is a city that never sleeps!

Rockefeller Center

Top of the Rock // View of upper Manhattan

Top of the Rock // View of lower Manhattan

Grand Central Terminal

Pershing Square

Chrysler Building

New York Public Library // Audrey Hepburn filmed a scene here for Breakfast At Tiffany’s

Bryant Park

Washington Square Park

 

Stay tune tomorrow for more of my travel updates!

 

XOXO,

– Lori

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08.27.15 // Day 1 : The First Time I Visited NYC

September 12, 2015

I got back from my trip in the east coast this past weekend, and was busy catching up on life back home.  But, I am very excited to share with you about my adventures in the big city, and will be giving you a little taste of what my time was like!  If you follow my Twitter and Instagram accounts, you’ll notice that my day-to-day was jam packed with plans.

My sister and I flew with Jet Blue, which is probably one of my favorite airlines here.  They provide you with unlimited drinks and snacks, and they have more leg room in Economy than any other airliner.  On top of that, who doesn’t love free Wifi?

For those of you who are prone to motion sickness, I highly recommend taking Bonine.  I had taken it an hour before my flight, and felt entirely comfortable throughout the 5-hour plane ride.  Since New York is 3 hours ahead, I basically spent the whole day in the air because my early morning start was now bed time hour.  My sleepiness began to fade as I entered the Go Airlink Shuttle, provided by the hotel my sister and I was staying at.  The minute our driver pressed on the gas, my sister and I held onto each other for dear life.  With back-to-back traffic, the driver aggressively moved into another man’s lane and kept honking at the vehicles in front of him, urging them to move out of his way.  I guess this was our welcome to New York!

Ever hear about the Shake Shack vs. In n’ Out argument?  Apparently, Shake Shack is Los Angeles’ version of In n’ Out.  After getting a taste of their menu, I can, now, officially say In n’ Out is so much better!  Everything about it was mediocre, which was disappointing considering how much it cost for a burger and fries, especially when the portions was a lot smaller compared to that of In n’ Out.  However, if you have never tried a burger from In n’ Out in your life then you can resort to this.  To further read my review about the place, click here.

The logic I had when booking a hotel room was to find a place with tons of other tourists like myself.  Note to any future first-timers, you can find a better place than Times Square.  Times Square is equivalent to Hollywood, and I am just not into that scene.  After visiting Chelsea and Greenwich Village, I’d probably Airbnb a place there or crash at a family or friend’s apartment in Brooklyn.  Times Square is a lot glamorous on television than actually being a part of the crowd.  Regardless, the bright lights and large billboard signs in Times Square was mesmerizing so I wasn’t at all too disappointed.

My first night in New York was pretty much tamed compared to the next following days so stay tune to see more stories and pictures! 

 

XOXO

– Lori

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#TravelThursday : Travel Essentials Pt.1

August 20, 2015

It’s always exciting to travel, but it’s never exciting to pack.

If you’ve checked out my previous post, you’ll know that I will be traveling to NYC real soon.  Besides researching the best places to go to in the area, I’ve also looked into the weather climate during this time and the appropriate modes of transportation.  Taking the humidity and constant walking into consideration, I’ve made a list of traveling essentials.

Here’s a list of items I’ll be checking off of as I pack:

  • Documents.  If you’re flying, don’t forget your passport, boarding pass, and itinerary.  Also, like my Mama always says, “Bring cash with you!”
  • Suitcase/Carry-On.  Check out my post here on a do-it-yourself project I recently did for my new luggage, and where I got it.
  • Apparel.  Pack appropriately!  Find out what the weather is like, look into the tours and events you’ll be going to, and always bring an extra outfit, including undergarments just in case.  Also, bring one outfit that you may need in a possible night out.  The most important rule that I emphasize on while traveling is to dress comfortably!
  • Accessories.  There’s no need to over accessorize.  Typically, I’d bring a hat, necklace, and watch.  In other words, basics are the best because they fit all situations.
  • Handbags.  If you’re doing a lot of touring around, grab a cross-body or satchel.  It makes it easier for you when you’re on the go.  Also, it keeps the snatchers away.
  • Cleansing Kits.  Travel size.  If you’re not picky about body products, stock up on shampoo, body wash, toilettes, etc.  Also, purchase a toiletry bag as well — it holds all of my cleansing products.  Right now, I have the Ballistic Nylon Hanging Cosmetic Bag from Target.  Technically, it’s only for your cosmetics, but I use it for my tooth brush, shampoo, facial cleanser, etc.
  • Makeup Bag.  If you’re like me, I like to keep my makeup away from my body products.  It’s sanitary that way!  I suggest packing lightly when it comes to makeup, and just stick to the basics.  When I am traveling, I usually go real light on the makeup because my skin has trouble adjusting to a different environment.  Let your skin breathe man!
  • Shoes.  As I’ve mentioned before, dress comfortably, and that includes your shoes!  Knowing that I’ll be walking around a lot on my trip, I’m bringing my chucks and booties along.  Also, one pair of nice heels just in case I decide to go for a elegant night out.

One of the best ways to fit everything in your suitcase is to roll up your clothes.  For me, I like to roll up items that don’t get wrinkly so easily such as my towel, pants, and undergarments.  This way you have enough room to fit more stuff in there!

Now, it’s your turn!  Let me know if you have a packing technique in the comments below!

 

XOXO,

– Lori

 

Image via Polyvore

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#TravelThursday : What To Do In NYC?

August 13, 2015

Taylor Swift's Welcome To New York Preview As Told By Gifs

I have to say, I’ve been getting pretty tired of watching people slip away for their vacation.  I’m literally counting down the days till I get to hop on a plane and do a little traveling of my own!

It’s not a trip overseas like I’ve been dreaming about for years, but it’s a great start to cross off of my list.  New York is definitely on top of that, and it’s a place I’ve been wanting to experience for myself. 

I’ve drafted an itinerary for the trip, which carries the day-to-day plans of what I’ll be doing.  It’s more of a guide as you will.  I mean, you can’t explore the place without a little spontaneity.

Of course, I’ll be heading towards the major attractions:
 

  • Times Square
  • Rockefeller Center
  • Central Park
  • Empire State Building
  • Grand Central Station

Now, let’s not forget about broadway!  Originally, I was planning to see Gigi on Broadway, but saw an article saying it had its last show this past July.   So, my sister and I decided to go old-school and check out The Lion King — we both like to break out in song.  We’re also a huge fan of plays, so I will definitely wait in line to see Free Shakespeare in the Park.  Because we had a long list of museums that we wanted to visit, I’ve decided to drop it down to two museums — The Metropolitan Museum of Art (The Met) and the Tenement Museum.

Wow, I really do sound like a tourist…

But, I’m not all about following the crowd.  Nope, the reason why I’m here is because I want to experience New York like a local so I am asking any New Yorkers or lovers of the big city for any suggestions and recommendations!  Anything with cafes, restaurants, bars, book stores, boutiques, and the whole chaotic world that is New York!

So, please leave me a comment below with your suggestions!

 

XOXO,

– Lori

 

GIF via BuzzFeed

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