driving the great ocean road

By far one of my favorite parts of visiting Melbourne was seeing the great ocean road. I mean what can beat a beautiful scenic ocean drive along the Australian coast, with a road trip worthy Spotify playlist, and of course good food along the way.

The route that we took as recommended by Melody’s friend looked like this:

Melbourne –> Lorne –>Cape Otway  Lighthouse –>  Gibson Steps –>12 Apostles View –> Back to Melbourne

In the end, I’m so glad we decided to rent a car instead of taking a tour bus. It was great just being able to pull over and make random stops as needed, for fun and unique Australian road signs or finding sleepy koalas in tall trees next to the road. I highly recommend the route that we took, but be prepared for the long journey. We were a bit rushed because we had to make it back by 7pm to Melbourne. However, the day trip is totally possible!

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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.

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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…

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road trip to rhode island {part 1}

” You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.”

                                                                                                      –C.S. Lewis

My summer adventures continue on to Newport, Rhode Island, with my girls that have stuck by my side since childhood. We stayed at Forty 1 North in Newport, Rhode Island, which was the perfect location. We were in walking distance to all the cute restaurants, stores and pier. We enjoyed a late lunch at The Mooring which was one of the waterfront restaurants that I highly recommend. After lunch, we had fun walking around and seeing the sunset and small stores. Here are some of the photos from day 1 of our trip.

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SOLC#23: Road Trip Adventure Part 2

The adventure just continues… 🙂

My dad, mother and I were eating a lovely Korean meal at the restaurant at the 11th floor of our resort. Maybe it was the off season or our timing, but  in the huge restaurant, there was no one else in there except us. As we continued eating, it seemed like things were going to be ok. Then the phone rang.

It was the car mechanic asking us if we had the car key. My dad told him that we would check with my brother because he was the last person to have the key. We continued to eat, but with an uneasy mind and quickly finished. My dad went first to check to see if the key was with my brother. Luckily, my brother put it in his pocket and forgot to give it to the car mechanic.   The mechanic told us to bring the key to the Chrysler car center on Friday, when we got back to Seoul. The car was already sent by tow truck to Seoul.

As we were sitting back in our room, by brother finally woke up from his long nap. He started looking for his phone. He looked all over and didn’t find it anywhere. Maybe it was in the taxi or maybe in the car. He was lying down in the back of the car, and he remembered putting it in the side compartment.

A few phone calls later, we got in contact with the tow truck and they found the phone in the back of the car. Yet, now we had another problem. The tow truck left the car in front of the garage at the Chrysler car center, but they needed to move it immediately. However, without the key, they could not move the car. My dad made some more phone calls and we found a way to send the car keys to Seoul by delivery immediately. We ended up renting a car for the day and drove to the bus terminal near us. We sent the car key to Seoul and hopefully it arrived there.

Afterwards, we enjoyed a nice drive to the Seorak mountain in our rental car. We enjoyed the clean and fresh air. We enjoyed the snow topped mountain peaks which we hiked up.  Later that day, our aunt drove from Seoul to meet us, and to drive us back to Seoul. Thank goodness for family!