Travelogue: Atlanta (Dec 2016)

Long weekend means road trip time! We flew into Atlanta and began there.

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

I’ve always wanted to go to the largest aquarium in the U.S. — the Georgia Aquarium.

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

It reminded me of the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas in New Orleans, which to this day remains my favorite (for blog post on that, click here).

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

Next to the aquarium is the World of Coca-Cola.

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

With the admission fee, you get a “free” coke at the start of the tour:

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

Here you can test out all the flavors of Coca-cola products from all the continents in the world.

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

After loading up on excessive sugar, we went to eat some BBQ because Atlanta.

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

Twin Smokers BBQ

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

The brisket was good but the BEST part was their DINOSAUR RIB!

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

The picture does not do it justice. And also the corn souffle (SO GOOD):

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

 

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

Ponce City Market reminded me of Chelsea Market in NYC, with lots of food options and retailers selling hipster things:

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

The “Beltline” also reminded me of the Highline in NYC, attached to Ponce City Market like the Highline is attached to Chelsea Market.

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

I saw a lot of people riding bikes here.

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

And of course, the main reason for coming here was for the wall murals nearby:

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

Dinner at King + Duke:

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

My chartreuse!

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

Bone marrow and amazing steak.

After dinner, we went to the Ivy for drinks and met up with a friend from college.

Of course I had to do a long exposure night shot of the city skyline:

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

Next morning, we went to grab some amazing banh mi for $3 (SO FAST AND SO CHEAP):

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

GET THE BANH MI DAC BIET!!!!!!!!!

It’s located inside an Asian shopping center which means lots of parking space and bakeries.

Tea House Formosa for bubble tea:

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

And that was it for Atlanta! It was a fun 1.5 day(s?) there, lots of good food and wall murals, kinda rushed because we were short on time. We could’ve eaten more fried chicken there. Next, we head to Chattanooga on the way to Nashville, Tennessee!

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LA: The Broad, Little Tokyo, Griffith (Nov 2016)

Eggslut time.

Los Angeles 2016

This one is located in the Grand Central Market.

Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

We sat at the counter and chowed down on the most delicious magical egg sandwiches ever. They give you so much bacon and meat!

Los Angeles 2016

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I ordered the “Slut”, which is coddled egg with warm potato puree, it was like a warm delicious blanket covering me in the middle of a blizzard in New York City. Also, it’s fun to hear them yell out “Slut” to each other repeatedly.

Los Angeles 2016

We walked over to the Broad Museum. I reserved advanced tickets so that we didn’t have to wait on the standby line. The earliest time I could get was 11:30AM. In order to sign up for the Infinity Room, you had to be inside the museum, so I wanted to be there as early as possible.

Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

As soon as we got inside, I signed us up for the Infinity Room. The wait was around 2 hours, so we explored the rest of the museum.

Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

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Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

Finally, we got a text to notify that we will be able to go into the Infinity Room shortly. We lined up on the first floor. There was a short queue. You can choose to go in with your friends or go solo. We decided to go one at a time.

Los Angeles 2016

The lights flashed periodically, so it was hard to get a good shot at the right moment and enjoy the moment at the same time. You get 45 seconds in there, and you can only step onto the platform. After 45 seconds, they open the door for you to get out and the next person to go in.

After the Broad, we walked over to Little Tokyo for lunch!

Los Angeles 2016

The original Daikokuya.

Los Angeles 2016

Their takoyaki (octopus balls) were actually pretty good. Ramen was okay. I’ve had better in NYC.

Los Angeles 2016

Mikawaya has lots of flavors of mochi.

Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

We walked around Little Tokyo’s cute stores.

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Then we Uber’ed to Griffith Observatory for the sunset.

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Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

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Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

Hello LA.

Los Angeles 2016

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Los Angeles 2016

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Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

LA: Irvine, Laguna, LACMA (Nov 2016)

My first stop after getting out of horrendous LAX traffic: Irvine.

Sit at the sushi bar at Taiko and tell the chef what you want. The sushi there was amazingly fresh and I loved everything we ate! Very affordable too.

Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

At the Irvine Spectrum Center:

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Check out Honey & Butter and their unique macaron flavors!

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Los Angeles 2016

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Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

The matcha one was so good!

Right inside the same shopping center is Hello Kitty Cafe.

Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

We drove to Laguna Beach, just in time for sunset.

Los Angeles 2016

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Los Angeles 2016

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Los Angeles 2016

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Stumbled upon a wedding shoot!

Back to LA…

Los Angeles 2016

Fat Sal’s — I love that everything here is “fat” and it’s good to be fat. My fat sandwich had cheesesteak, chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, crisp bacon, fried eggs, fries, mayo, ketchup, etc. How could you resist?! Best sandwich ever. Also got the milkshake but it was too thick to sip.

Los Angeles 2016

We headed over to LACMA to take pictures with the “Urban Lights”. If you’re only there for this outdoor exhibition, you can just park your car temporarily right outside where the signs are. We didn’t know this and looked for parking forever.

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Travelogue: Arizona: Camelback Mtn & Grand Canyon (April 2016)

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Solotrips are fun in that you get to do whatever you want whenever you want. Naptime anytime. The only downside is not having a consistent photographer to take pictures of you. I loveeeeeeed Arizona and will definitely have to go back. There’s so much to do and eat.

For this trip, I booked 2 Airbnbs. One was in Paradise Valley and the other in Downtown Phoenix (for the next post). I took an Uber from the airport (prices are really cheap there). There are specific pick-up areas called “prearranged vehicles” that are basically designated just for Ubers.

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Paradise Valley is a really nice neighborhood, and I chose it because I wanted to hike up Camelback Mountain as soon as I landed. My Airbnb place was right near the Echo Canyon trailhead.

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This is where I stayed for 2 nights!

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It was only 10AM and the parking lot was full already. Good thing I only had to walk from my Airbnb.

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It was 90 degrees and sunny. Bring lots of water!!! The Echo Canyon Trail is very steep with lots of scrambling. It was a lot of fun and I met people from all over the country along the way.

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There were stairs and then there were railings to hold onto…

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Some wildlife.

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This was not an easy hike, especially in 90 degree weather. But I loved it.

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At the summit, you can see the city of Phoenix.

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It took about an hour & a half to get up there (stopped to take pictures) and faster to go down. Be careful, as it can be very steep.

The next day, I took a Viator tour to Sedona and the Grand Canyon.

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(The view from my Airbnb at sunrise)

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Walked through some residential areas to go to the meeting place. The tour guide/driver, Robert, picked me up right on time at 6:40AM. The company that Viator used was Detours of Arizona. I didn’t want to drive 3 hours to the Grand Canyon and only had a day to spare, so this was a great way of seeing it (next time, I’ll go back to hike & camp).

Sedona first.

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Robert gave us time to wander and showed us cool places to take photos. And then gift shops, of course.

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This was half of my gigantic sandwich that was included in lunch. So tasty.

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When in Arizona…

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Next, we drove to the Grand Canyon.

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

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We went along the South Rim and stopped at different spots to take pictures.

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

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Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

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Definitely coming back to the Canyon. It sure is grand.

I loved living next to a mountain. On my last night, my Airbnb hosts gave me a homemade blueberry protein shake. They were both ultra-athletes and told me about the running routes nearby, so I took their advice the next morning.

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The neighborhood was really something. Although it was hot, it wasn’t humid. “Paradise Valley” was aptly named. I felt like I was in Hawaii again.

Downtown Phoenix coming up next! To be continued…

Maxine & Eric (Port Washington, NY)

I first met Maxine & Eric in college back in 2006, when they were just freshmen and newly in love. Maxine and I crossed paths again and again after that. Fast forward to a girls’ get-together dinner in December 2014, I randomly predicted (or ruined the surprise, hoho) that Eric would propose to her the next day (he did, she was surprised). And on December 10, 2015, they were to get married and I was honored to be a part of it. To this day, they are still madly in love with each other and it’s something amazing to witness.

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

After the “First Look”, we drove over to Port Washington to catch the sunset.

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

They always make each other laugh.

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

Maxine & Eric

 

Baby Photo Session at Coney Island

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