Category Archives: TRAVEL

#TravelThursday : A Weekend Getaway

January 4, 2018

Towards the end of the summer, I was in desperate need of a mental break.  Work was a bit crazy for me, especially since I was tackling on new responsibilities without the #bosslady.  Not as if it I hadn’t done the work before, it’s just the fact that I was juggling so many projects at the same time, all of which had tight deadlines.  All I remember from the month of September was going to bed thinking about work, and waking up thinking about work.

Apparently, I wasn’t the only one feeling a bit overwhelmed – my best friend had just started a new position as a nurse, so she found herself going crazy too.  What to do when you’re just about to explode?  We pulled an all-nighter, driving out of Los Angeles, passing through Vegas (both of us were mind blown about what lied beyond the strip) and found ourselves at Zion National Park in Utah.  Both my bestie and I were running on zero sleep, so you can just imagine how tortuous it was driving that blacked-out highway.

After being on the road for six hours, bestie and I, finally, arrived at Zion National Park – a place that I’ve been wanting to check-off of my bucket list.  The first thing we did was head-up to The Narrows, a pretty easy hike for people with tired eyes.  The Narrows requires you to tread through the Virgin River, which is about 16-miles in length.  Bestie and I did the typical 2-3 hour hike, which I believe is 3-4 miles to and back, starting from the Temple of Sinawava.  The time that we were there, the water was only up to our knees, which I’ve heard can go up to your waist line if you proceed deeper into the hike.  During this hike, I found myself laughing a lot, and that’s probably because I kept being sucked into the sand.  Not only was I laughing to myself, but the strangers around me couldn’t help but crack up at the fact that I couldn’t pull myself out!

The following day, bestie and I, originally, had planned to check-out Angel’s Landing, which was noted to be an extremely strenuous hike.  But due to the fact that bestie was bit fearful of how difficult the hike appeared, we decided to head over to Observation Point instead, which was noted to be just a strenuous hike.  Oh boy, was I SOOOO glad that we did not end up doing Angel’s Landing because Observation Point kicked-my-fucking-ass!  Literally, not within 5-minutes of the hike, I was already out-of-breath.  From that moment on, I knew I was going to have a rough time.  Not only was I was dealing with being #hangry, I was nearly this close in knocking the next person out, who would tell me again, “You’re almost there!”  Cursing at mother nature, I grew extremely silent as bestie and I made our way up the mountain – when that happens, you know it’s best to leave me alone.  As we approach closer to Observation Point, all that feeling of frustration vanished – mother nature turned out to be beautifully, breath-taking…

Want to hear the most funniest part of all this?  After returning back from Observation Point, bestie and I had strongly believed the hike was altogether a 16-mile trail, to and back.  The hike that bestie and I both agreed would be our first and last time to ever do, turned out to be only an 8-mile hike, to and back!  Like, what the hell…

Aside from all of that, if you ever decide to visit Zion National Park, be sure to check-out Zion Ponderosa Ranch Resort.  Bestie and I “glamped” out there, since it was the only available space near the park, which I had, later, discovered why – who the hell “glamps” in 30-degree weather?!  The difference between camping and “glamping” is that there’s electricity (and if you’re lucky, there’s a flushable toilet and showers next to your already-made tent).  The resort gives you the option to either camp, glamp or rent a well-heated cabin on the facility.  They also provide you an itinerary of the day-to-day activities available, from rock climbing to star gazing.  If bestie and I had more time, we would have taken full advantage of the place.

Check-out some of the highlights below:

After our weekend getaway, I definitely felt rejuvenated to push out the last of our client’s launch.  All I needed was a bit of the grand outdoors to help me re-focus my energy.  Aside from that, I was, especially, excited because it was literally just one-month before I take-off on my Europe trip!  Stay tune to read all about it next week 🙂

#FridayFunday : Fun In The Sun

December 1, 2017

Although the calendar clearly states that summer is over, it appears that Southern California has other plans.

I have fallen a bit behind in updating you on how I had spent my summer this past year.  I didn’t let the last couple of months go to waste, and ended up having some fun in the sun!  This past summer was ultimately a special one, especially since everyone in my family (the ones who I actually talk to), crammed ourselves into a three-story beach house (all 60 of us) for our annual family reunion.  Each generation was represented, and I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this huge family.

We had spent a three-day weekend in Oceanside, San Diego.  All bedrooms, sofa beds and floors were assigned to a specific family member.  We invaded a buffet, made breakfast and lunch together, had a taco man come in, played several rounds of volleyball on the beach and celebrated the birthdays of all the August babies.  We stormed the beach with our personalized t-shirts that had each family’s member name on it – from grandparents to grandchildren.  We drank together and talked about how freakin’ awesome it is that we’re all here!

Originally, I wasn’t planning to go…The reason for that is because I was saving up for a huge trip that I had already booked.  But my cousins who were arranging this whole getaway did not take “no” for an answer.  You know what?  I’m glad I was forced to go because this trip was something I very much needed.

In the next upcoming year, it looks like my family is planning a trip up north.  Again, I had flatly told them that I will not be going, and, of course, many did not understand why…Between work and bills, I have room for only one-trip next year.  I had always longed for the adventure that I had read about growing up.  Therefore, I made a commitment to myself that I’ll travel to new places each year – a goal I am completely determined in making it happen.  But, due to my absences over the year, I hope my family knows that if they ever needed me for anything, they know to call me, and I’ll drop whatever I’m doing to be there. 

Image photographed by me

#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!

#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!

#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!