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My Blog

Colorado: Winter Park + Boulder

Next, we headed to Winter Park to visit Grant's half sister. Winter Park was really cold. I am still recovering from a surgery so we decided not to go skiing or snowboarding. We did take the ski lift up to the top of the resort to take in the view and grab some mulled wine. We at a couple delicious places including Sharky's for brunch and Pepe Osaka's Fish Taco Tequila Bar. We loved the huevos rancheros with red and green salsa at Sharky's and the spicy tuna taco, ahi poke ceviche taco, and horchata from Pepe Osaka's. We would definitely visit those two places again next time we are in town. 

We also went to Boulder briefly to check out some of the shops there. I hope to stay there longer next time, but we enjoyed our quick bit at Illegal Pete's and walking through Pearl Street and checking out all the little shops. The Alpine Modern Shop was one of my favorites. I also enjoyed the toy store, Into the Wind, and  Boxcar Coffee Roasters not too far off the strip. 

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Colorado: Great Sand Dunes National Park

On the way out of Alamosa we stopped by the Great Sand Dunes National Park. This was my favorite part of our Colorado trip. There are 30 miles of sand dunes! We only hiked through a tiny portion of it. We kept thinking that we were at the top, but it seemed to never end. Boba was such a trooper going up and loved running around in the sand. It was cold walking around, but it was not so bad. It was better than it being really hot. I would recommend checking out the sand dunes if you're ever around that area. 

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Colorado: Denver + Alamosa

Grant, Boba, and I spent a few days in Colorado visiting some of Grant's family. We were able to do a little exploring and found some cool places. 

We spent a night in Denver at this little AirBnB cottage. 

We got to go to a couple cool places while in Denver. I enjoyed the chai at Black Eye Coffee. 

Then we were gonna go eat at Snooze at Union Station, but the line was too long and we stumbled upon a beautiful place called Mercantile Dining & Provisions and at there instead. The Union Station was beautiful! I love the signage and the white, gold, and black as well as the Christmas decorations. 

Mercantile Dining & Provisions had beautiful decor and delicious food. We loved the Croque Madame, Salmon Rillette, and Pastrami Hash. 

After Union Station we headed down to Alamosa to visit Grant's mom. We stayed at the Comfort Inn and the staff was so great especially to our little Boba. 

Boba met a horse for the first time. 

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Thanksgiving in LA

We flew out to LA for Thanksgiving. It was nice to have Grant come to my Thanksgiving for the first time. We were only able to stay a couple days though as I had to come back to do my first craft fair! We go a solid three days of family and LA in though. We spent a few hours exploring where I grew up in Santa Monica and did a mandatory stop at Bay Cities to have a Godmother.

The next day we ventured to Silverlake, Echo Park, and the Art's District. My favorite stops were Alfred Coffee, the stairs across the street from Alfred Coffee, Reform School, Shout & About, Echo Park Lake, and Poketo. 

Another thing that I love to do when I'm in LA is get some Korean BBQ. My family loves going to Soowon Galbi. It's delicious! Thanksgiving day itself was nice and relaxing. We just hung out with the fam eating and playing games. We'll have to all come back to LA soon. Even though I grew up in LA, I didn't get a chance to do a lot of exploring of the city. I'm excited to hang out a little longer next time and check out more places like the new Broad Museum. Until next time LA, Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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Salvation Mountain

Salvation Mountain has been on my bucket list for a while now, and I was so happy when we were able to visit it. It was a bit of a drive from Joshua Tree, but I convinced Grant that it would be worth it. It took us about 1 hour and 45 minutes to get there. It was unfortunately unbearably hot though. We weren't able to stay too long, but we had enough time to take in all the beautiful colors and structures. I hope to visit it again one day when it's not as hot. Here are some pictures from our visit: 

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Joshua Tree

After Palm Springs, we headed to Joshua Tree. We stayed in an Airbnb with a beautiful view of the desert and the stars.

It even had a pool, but it was way to cold to swim in it. 

We walked around town and found this cute store, before heading to the national park.

Joshua Tree was beautiful. I would love to come back to camp and climb. 

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Palm Springs

I haven't been to Palm Springs since I was a kid and I don't remember much. I remember going there during the winter and playing in the snow, but that's it. Also, snow in Palm Springs? That's not. What people think of when they think of Palm Springs. This time I went to Palm Springs when it was hot and got the desert experience. 

I went to Palm Springs mainly for Designer Vaca, a freelance designer vacation to hang out, learn from each other, and talk shop. This was my first year attending and I didn't know anyone there, so I was really nervous to meet everyone. I have bad anxiety and was able to bring Boba, and convince Grant to come hang out in the hotel room for moral support. 

Once I got a little more comfortable it was fun to meet designers from all over the world. It's great to learn from others, especially when you're normally working with yourself and just figuring things out on your own. Going to this event gave me new connections and the extra push I needed to get my lapel pins printed. Now those are my best selling items. 

The Designer Vaca took up most of our time in Palm Springs, but we were able to explore a little bit and get to stay at the Ace.

We loved how dog-friendly the Ace was. Boba even got a little goodie bag.

The bed was very peaceful, especially for Boba. 

We had a room with a sweet patio. 

Where we could get some room service. The date shakes were the best. We would get them all day if they were served all day. :)

The grounds were pretty with nice wood and color accents. 

We loved getting breakfast at King's Highway. I loved the corn fritters.

And if you get tired of King's Highway, super close to the Ace is Elmer's Restaurant where they serve delicious German pancakes like this one:

Once we checked out of the Ace, we went to visit the pink door. This is rumored to be the most Instagramed door in Palm Springs, so we dropped by to do a quick snap of Boba. It was too hot to stay out long.

Also not far from the Ace was Moorten Botanical Garden and Cactarium. We took a nice stroll through the garden and cactarium and checked out the tortoises. 

From there we went to visit Le Parker Méridien Palm Springs. It's so beautiful inside and out. I love their lemonade stand, life-sized chessboard, bocce ball court, hammocks, and restaurant. I hope that I get to stay there one day as they're also dog-friendly. They even had special peanut butter dog treats that their chef makes and the staff were all so friendly.

We randomly stumbled upon Robolights while looking for Frank Sinatra's home. The colors caught my eye and we parked to see what it was. It's a home that had been turned into an art display made of recycled materials by artist Kevin Irwin Jr. 

We ended our time in Palm Springs going to Cabazon Dinosaurs 20 minutes outside of Palm Springs before we headed to Joshua Tree. 



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My Favorite Things in Washinton D.C.

I got to live in D.C. for 3 months from mid-May to mid-August. The weather was pretty brutal as I was not use to the heat or humidity coming from California. Nonetheless, I had a grand ol' time. I loved how walkable it was, bike-friendly, and lots of free things to do. Here is a list of my favorite places in Washington D.C. 

SHOP: 

Salt & Sundry - They have two locations, both are beautiful and full of home goodies. 

Shinola - Love everything about this store. I especially love their watches and bikes. 

Vintage Vagabond - A good selection of vintage clothing.

Miss Pixie's - A fun vintage store. 

 

FOOD:

Chaia - Delicious fresh vegetarian tacos and shrub. I ate here almost every week and never got bored of them. 

Founding Farmers - Love this place! The food is greet and so are the drinks. My favorites were the chicken and waffles, salad, and cornbread. I also loved their vanilla New York cream soda and their clover club. 

SUNdeVICH- Tasty sandwiches in an alley, my favorite is the Beirut. 

 Union Market DC - A cute place with another Salt & Sundry location and lots of good eats. It reminds me of the SF Ferry Building. 

Donburi - Love the vibe and their katsudon and sashimi bowls. 

Daikaya - tasty ramen, housemade iced tea, and frozen yogurt. Grab a drink at Graffiato while you wait. 

Mandu - Great Korean brunch

Tony Cheng Seafood Restaurant - Good place to get my dim sum fix. 

Zaytinya - Go to the Portrait Museum and then head here for some tasty mediterranean mezze.

Great Szechuan - Good comfort Chinese food. 

Maki Shop - a nice chill spot to get some sushi rolls. It was my go-to to-go place. 

Shake Shack - Love the Shack Stack. 

Ted's Bulletin - Tasty pop tarts, my favorite is the blueberry cheesecake. I also love their decor and one night a week they serve dinner in a TV dinner tray. 

Pleasant Pops - Love their pops and enjoyed their salads and sandwiches. 

Amsterdam Falafel - Make your own falafel sandwich bar full of tasty sauces and toppings.

Hana Japanese Market - Love this mom and pop store full of lots of Japanese goodness. I love their fresh onigiri. 

Satellite Room - A bar with a great atmosphere and the food is pretty good. I didn't get to try their boozy milkshakes, but I heard those are good as well. 

American Ice Company - Another bar with a great atmosphere and tasty BBQ. Their grapefruit shandy is yummy and refreshing in the summertime. 

 

WORK LUNCH SPOTS:

Taylor's - Love their federal sandwich. 

Sweet Green - Hummus tahini is tasty. 

Protein Bar - Buffalo salad is tasty. 

Roti - Chipotle for Mediterranean food. 

Farragut Square food trucks

 

CAFES:

Dolcezza - Love their gelato and sorbet, my favorites are lemon opal basil and pineapple mint. I also love their nitro and cream drink as well as their rose water limeade. They also have excellent decor and fun wallpaper in their bathrooms. This is one of the places that I miss the most. 

The Coffee Bar - Love their espresso and chai latte. 

Teaism - Love their bubble tea, ginger lemonade, and udon. 

DuPont Farmer's Market - I went there every Sunday to get fresh fruits and veggies,

 

THINGS TO DO:

Movies on the Mall

American History Museum - Here you can see Abe Lincoln's top hat, the flag that inspired the Star Spangled Banner, and Julia Child's kitchen to name a few things.

Newseum 

Air and Space Museum

Natural History Museum 

The Beach at the Building Museum - A huge ball pit for both kids and adults.

The Bureau of Printing and Engraving - You can get a free tour of how money is made! You just have to go in the morning to get tickets for a certain time slot.

Library of Congress - A beautiful building full of marble, tiles, and history. 

Zoo - A free zoo to stroll around and check out all the animals, including this panda! 

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Adventure Time: Alcatraz Island

On Tuesday, Grant and I decided to play hooky and go a date to Alcatraz Island. I've always wanted to go to Alcatraz not only because I've never been, but also because there was an exhibit by Ai Wei Wei that's closing on the 26th. We reserved tickets online and took the F trolley to Pier 33 to board the ferry. I wished I was able to be in the bay more often. The view from there is so pretty. 

The kite below was definitely my favorite piece of Ai Wei Wei's exhibit. The colors of the kite were so beautiful and inspiring. 

Ai Wei Wei at Large exhibit on Alcatraz

The installation below was also really cool. It was all made of lego. I can't wait to have my house one day or have an opportunity to make a giant lego installation. I would to do some cool lettering. 

Ai Wei Wei at Large exhibit Windows on Alcatraz

After looking at the exhibit we went to the Cellhouse to do the audio tour. The cell block is kind of gives me chills as I thought about all the things that happened there and the stories that were told on the audio tour. I really enjoyed the audio tour and would highly recommend it. 

Alcatraz cell block Solitary confinement on Alcatraz Mini window with a view of the San Francisco skyline

The hospital is not part of the audio tour, but was interesting and a little creepy to walk through.  

Hospital on Alcatraz San Francisco skyline

After Alcatraz, we decided to continue being tourist and went to Boudin at Pier 39 to get some clam chowder in a bread bowl and Trish's Mini Donuts. Skip the churros and get the fresh and warm mini donuts. We tried a churro from a stand and it was no good.

Trish's Mini Donuts at Pier 39

We walked around with our donuts. They didn't last long. :) We found some musical stairs. I haven't seen them at Pier 39 before but remember there was a The Fun Theory sponsored by VW did this back in 2009 in Stockholm. They're really fun to walk up and down cause a note is triggered at each step.

Musical stairs at Pier 39

And of course we didn't forget to pay the sea lions a visit. They're so silly. I loved watching them hop all over each other, bicker, swim, and look up at the sky. 

Sea lions at Pier 39

Such a fun day in San Francisco! I love playing tourist in this beautiful city. I've lived in SF for 5 years now, and I still don't feel like I've done everything I want to here. Until my next adventure, have a fantastic weekend!

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Mini-Vacation in Mendocino

This past weekend we packed our bags, left our laptops behind, and headed to Mendocino, and it was beautiful!

We drove up Saturday and planned on finding a site to camp. We were told that it shouldn't be full, but of course it was! We eventually found a place to camp. It was so cold! I was so excited for Sunday and some sun. We packed up our gear and started to explore Mendocino the next morning. We hiked around Russian Gulch State Park. 

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640.0"]Russian Gulch State Park Russian Gulch State Park[/caption]

The blues of the ocean are just so beautiful.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640.0"]Russian Gulch State Park Russian Gulch State Park[/caption]

We had brunch at Egghead's Restaurant where we had some delicious pumpkin waffles and an eggs benedict. Luckily there was no wait and we were seated right away. 

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2500.0"]Brunch at Egghead's Restaurant Brunch at Egghead's Restaurant[/caption]

After that we walked around that area and checked out some of the stores before we headed over to Glass Beach! I had seen beautiful pictures of Glass Beach and didn't realize that there wasn't really any glass there anymore. I thought I would see so much glass, but I was sad to find none in sight. Grant was determined though and it paid off. He found a small part of the beach that had some glass left! I was so excited!

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2283.0"]Glass Beach Glass Beach[/caption]

I didn't take any of the glass. I hope that the glass will remain and continue to enchant others. 

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2048.0"]Glass Beach Glass Beach[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1837.0"]Sea Pal Cove Restaurant Sea Pal Cove Restaurant[/caption]

I love how the glass looks with the rest of the rocks, and it just wouldn't be the same without any glass. Fingers crossed that it'll still be there when I go back.

Our next stop was getting delicious fish and chips from Sea Pal Cove Restaurant. They have an outside patio where you can eat and soak up the sun. It was also pet-friendly. Pretty much everywhere we went was pet-friendly.

From there we went to Point Cabrillo Lighthouse. There we visited the little aquarium and museum. The fresnel lens of the lighthouse is so pretty. It was hard to capture it's beauty. 

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640.0"]Point Cabrillo Lighthouse Point Cabrillo Lighthouse[/caption]

It was finally time to check-in to our hotel. We decided to stay at Heritage House Resort. My friend recommended it to us, and it was great! We had a beautiful view of ocean and a nice patio for us to relax and enjoy the sunset. I really wanted to see some whales, but didn't see any. Next time!

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640.0"]Heritage House Resort View Heritage House Resort View[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2500.0"]Wild Fish Restaurant Wild Fish Restaurant[/caption]

We eventually wanted to find dinner, but it was harder than expected. Places closed earlier than noted. We went to three different places before we found one that would serve us.

Wild Fish was right next to a gas station and we weren't sure what to expect, but it was delicious! We had a great mushroom crab soup, focaccia bread, lavender lemonade, sword fish, halibut, sticky pudding, and lemon basil creme brulee. Everything was excellent. It was definitely on the pricer side, but we thought it was well worth the splurge.  

The next morning we checked out of our hotel and went to explore Mendocino Headlands State Park before hitting the road. 

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2048.0"]Mendocino Headlands State Park Mendocino Headlands State Park[/caption]

We then headed back on the 1 to the 128. We stopped at Toulouse Vineyards for some wine tasting. I loved their Muscat. It tasted yummy and smelled of lychee. 

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2048.0"]Toulouse Vineyards Toulouse Vineyards[/caption] [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2048.0"]Farmhouse Mercantile Farmhouse Mercantile[/caption]

We continued on the 128 and drove down to Boonville. I grabbed a milkshake at a cute little shop named Paysanne and looked at the pretty things in Farmhouse Mercantile

We then went down the road to Anderson Valley Brewing Company. We were lucky to catch the last tour of the day. It was cool to see how it all comes together and how they stress being green.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="640.0"]Anderson Valley Brewing Company Anderson Valley Brewing Company[/caption]

At the end of the tour we did a tasting. I loved their Blood Orange Gose, and took some home.  I highly recommend it if you like sours like me. We then decided to try out disc golf! I've never played disc golf, but they have an 18-hole course so we tried it out. I was horrible at it. Nonetheless it was fun and we now have frisbees to try it in Golden Gate Park. 

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="2048.0"]Anderson Valley Brewing Company Disc Golf Anderson Valley Brewing Company Disc Golf[/caption]

As we were about to leave the brewing company I saw this baby goat wandering outside of the fence, and it was a great end to our trip. 

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="1636.0"]Baby goat at Anderson Valley Brewing Company Baby goat at Anderson Valley Brewing Company[/caption]

We then headed home with a dinner stop at The Counter, to remind me of Santa Monica. Our mini vacation was a success, and I can't wait for our next adventure. Until then, back to work. Kisses!

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