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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hong kong- hills, charm, and grit

Hong Kong is definitely one of my favorite cities in Asia. I always look forward to visiting this city full of surprises, charm, good food, and hills. It’s even more fun when you have good friends that live there (#jandjinhk). Hong Kong definitely has a good mix of urban grittiness and nature throughout.

We had a great time taking the ferry our to Lamma Island for an easy hike and stunning views. I also loved exploring Stanely with our guide Janice (next time we will do twin peaks). If you are in need of a workout, just walk around Hong Kong island. There are so many hilly streets and areas, with a lot to see on each street corner, we were definitely burning off all the food we ate! Here are some photos from Lamma Island, Stanley,and Hong Kong Island taken by my iphone 5s.

Stay tuned for more on our food adventures in HK…

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exploring singapore’s coney island

One of the things on my to do list for my vacation was to visit the newly opened Coney Island Park here in Singapore.  Unsurprisingly, this Coney Island bears very little resemblance to the famous Coney Island amusement park and beach in Brooklyn, New York. It was actually the original intent of this island when bought by an Indian businessman in the 1950s to be an amusement park like the one in NY(according to this blog post).

I quickly found out that Coney Island park is an oasis located in the far north eastern part of Singapore, where most don’t travel to unless they live there.  I admit it was my first time in punggol! Getting there wasn’t too difficult, as we took the purple line to punggol and then bus 84 to Punggol point/Punggol settlement. It was much closer than I imagined. The island has a few paths, but the whole length of the main walk of Coney Island is about 2.4km from one end to the other. Luckily we went during a weekday morning, so it was quiet, peaceful, and serene, which was much needed.  Despite not finding the cow (there’s one cow that lives on Coney Island, which you shouldn’t disturb if you encounter), we enjoyed the peaceful nature walk and took a lot of photos along the way. There are bikes available to rent in Punggol if you prefer to explore the island that way.

Coney Island park is definitely worth visiting at least once, and it can only take up a few hours to explore most of the island.  Make sure to catch the Punggol waterways at the end of the trip, which connects easily to Coney Island. Here are some of the photos from our explorations. I like the  few shots of me taking photos and what I was taking a photo of! Thanks to James for those unexpected candid photos! coneyisland-0907coneyisland-091012378104_10153743148403895_830121547605935895_o10259174_10153743146573895_5572487902331253054_oconeyisland-09211933356_10153743147663895_758122576763176798_oconeyisland-0933coneyisland-0923coneyisland-0926coneyisland-0925 coneyisland-0942coneyisland-0938coneyisland-0936

vacation means…

Vacation means sleeping in, hanging out with friends and their beautiful babies, taking photos, eating good food, reading, and blogging. I’m hoping to catch up on many overdue blog posts in these next few weeks while traveling and celebrating the holidays. Can you believe that 2015 is almost over? It’s definitely time to reflect on this year and make new year resolutions…which might include blogging more frequently.

Here are some photos from hanging out with Aimee and her beautiful family! 🙂 oscarmaggie-0832oscarmaggie-0861oscarmaggie-0883oscarmaggie-0845

exploring the streets of penang

On day 2 of our Penang trip, we explored the streets of Georgetown. This cute area in Penang is full of unexpected street art. I thought it would be a few pieces of art, but I was pleasantly surprised by the plethora of art all around. It was like going on a scavenger hunt. I’m so glad that we found the Bruce Lee street art. What you don’t see in my Bruce Lee photo is that afterwards I completely fell onto the sand pile I was jumping from. A special thanks to all the photographers, photography directors, and models from our street art exploration adventure. 🙂

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adventures in the empire state

This summer in New York, I was able to do a few firsts, like riding the Staten Island Ferry and going to the Top of the Rock. I didn’t want to wait in line for the actual ferry to Liberty Island and do the whole touristy thing, so we decided to take the Staten Island Ferry, which happens to be free. It was definitely full of tourists doing the same exact thing as us, so try to get in front of the line to board and get a good spot on the upper levels outside! The ferry runs frequently and you can get there from the South Ferry station. The views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline were pretty good!  Now I can say that I’ve actually been to Staten Island.

I was playing tour guide for my cousin’s daughter that was visiting NYC for the first time. So instead of going to the top of the Empire State building, I decided to take her to the Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center. The views from the top were stunning. I think it might be my favorite view of NYC. I love that you can see the Empire State Building along with Central Park. I would highly recommend it! The food pics below are from Maison Kayser near the flatiron district, another yummy place for food and drinks. It’s always so hard leaving NYC…

 

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