melbourne: city & beach life

Two things I’m drawn to are bustling cities and beautiful beaches. Luckily, Melbourne had both and quite close to each other. One day on my trip, I walked around the city, found a gorgeous cafe called the grain store to eat a leisurely brunch and then walked over to this amazing place for donuts called short stop. The rose earl grey donut was amazing. Like my friend said, it sounded like a donut made for me. Not only was the donut delicious, they served it to you with a glass of sparkling water (on the house) and friendly service.

Afterwards, I was able to hop on the free tram (in the city) and get to Flinders street station and catch a 20min. train to Brighton beach. The train ran pretty frequently getting there and back. It was about a 5 minute walk to the beach from the station and I got to see the iconic bright bathing houses. Even though it was warm but windy spring weather, there was a man I saw sun bathing outside his bright red bathing house! I was of course in a thin jacket, scarf, and sunglasses, trying to keep warm.

The beach was full of tourists taking many photos in front of the different bathing houses. I’m glad I took the time to see and enjoy the beach in Melbourne. I highly recommend it if you are visiting. Stay tuned for more photos on my adventures in Melbourne…


coming home for christmas

It has been 8 years since I’ve left NY. I’ve never gone home for Christmas and instead during that time, I’ve celebrated Christmas in different countries including Korea, Thailand, and Singapore. Some of the memories I’ve made were  volunteering and giving out gifts at an orphanage in Korea, relaxing on the beach in Thailand, or watching Christmas movies in sweatshirts with the AC blaring while pretending that it’s cold outside. However, it’s not home. It’s not with family. It’s not Christmas in NY.

I just splurged and bought my ticket home for Christmas this year. So what am I looking forward to besides the 24+ hours of travel time, jet lag, and freezing weather? Hopefully a snow filled Christmas morning, ridiculous Christmas lights on homes (think full sized lighted reindeers on roof tops), and the tree at Rockefeller Center. Oh, there will definitely be some hanging out by the fireplace, opening presents with family on Christmas morning, and walking along Fifth avenue to take in the Christmas lights.

There’s something quite magical about Christmas time in New York. It’s hard to really explain it in words, it’s just something you have to experience. The countdown begins to Christmas!

Some photos I took in New York this past summer at the observatory of the Freedom Tower and the Brooklyn Bridge.dsc_0294dsc_0297dsc_0319dsc_0325dsc_0326dsc_0327dsc_0332dsc_0323dsc_0345

Exploring Arab Street & Rochor Centre

On Saturday, my photographer friends and I ventured to the sunny streets in order to get some good photos! Even though we were tempted to keep our outing indoors due to the hot sun, we persevered and managed to get some good shots. The Rochor Centre buildings are coming down soon and I was really excited to get some shots of these colorful buildings before they would just be a faint memory of Singapore’s past. Our route ended up looking like this:

1) A.R.C. Coffee (29 Sultan Street) – We need food/drinks before a good photo walk of course! Plus, they have really cool wall art outside the building.

2) Arab Street- We walked towards Haji Lane and saw the Mosque and fun restaurants, cafes and stores along the way.

3) Rocher Centre-It’s near Bugis MRT Station. Make sure you check it out before the buildings come down…

4) Curious Palette (64 Prinsep Street)- We ended our photo walk with more food and drinks of course at this hipster cafe.  DSC_0577DSC_0582DSC_0584DSC_0586DSC_0588DSC_0592DSC_0593DSC_0605DSC_0608


grand canyon- a name well earned

Two things that are true about my mom are: she gets her way, and she knows best.

After I did some actual research about driving from LA to the Grand Canyon, I realized it was a good 8 hour drive. I originally just thought it would be like 4 hours from LA. Nope, a good 8 hour drive (485 miles). I tried to persuade my mom that maybe the best use of our time would be to go somewhere closer to LA. We were only in LA for a week. However, she then started to Korean mom guilt trip me. “But, I’ve never been the Grand Canyon. I may never ever have a chance to go back again since I’m getting older,” she lamented.

First of all, she’s not that old. And second, since my brother and wife moved out to L.A., I had a feeling it wouldn’t be the last time on the west coast. Well, like the obedient daughter I am, I agreed to her long time wish of seeing these grand canyons and booked hotels a week before the trip.

So 8+ hours later, in our trusty Hyundai Sonata rental car, listening to hours of Descendants of the Sun soundtrack (thanks to Spotify), driving in the hot Arizona skies, we made it to the promise land. Our entire 3 day roadtrip trip looked like this: LA-Vegas (1 night)-Hoover Dam- Grand Canyon Sky Walk- Grand Canyon National Park(1 night)- Antelope Canyon-Horseshoe bend-Utah-LA.

It was utterly amazing. I’ve never seen anything in my life like this before. It definitely lived up to it’s name. You can’t help but feel in continual awe as you go from one view place to another. From people hiking in the trails, to wildlife along the trails, and just stopping to take incredible photos from all angles. We only had 2 days there, but I can’t wait to go back. I would love to hike some of the trails in the canyons and camp overnight the next time I come back.


the cali life

I finally made it to L.A. this summer. Yes, it was my first time in this beautiful city. I was expecting L.A. to be more of a “city” like NYC, but what I encountered was quite different. It kind of felt like the suburbs because everything was so spread out, there were big houses, but it was still a “city”. In the end of the week, I got used to the traffic (kind of), perfect sunny weather (not too hot or humid), and delicious and affordable Korean food.

One of my favorite places I went to was the Ghetty Center. As I took the tram up and explored the art outside and inside, I couldn’t believe this place was FREE. No admission costs and no suggested donation (ahem, the Met). Some of the other highlights from my LA trip was Griffith Observatory, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Santa Monica Pier, lunch at the Farmer’s Market at the Grove, eating Korean food Ktown (Ssam & Su nong Dan) and of course meeting my favorite nephew for the first time.

In addition to exploring LA, we went on  road trip to Las Vegas and the grand canyon. I highly recommend making a pit stop at the bottle tree ranch on Route 66 and the In & Out at Barstow. I’ve never seen such a busy and packed In & Out!! I guess everyone must stop there. More photos from the grand canyon coming up soon. Stay tuned…