Shenandoah in October (Part 1): Skyline Drive

From NY to Shenandoah (Virginia), it was about a 5.5-hour drive. So we made some pit stops.

1) Philly. Gotta get Dalessandro’s cheesesteak!!!

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2) Washington DC – Maine Avenue Fish Market – Captain White’s Seafood 

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Pleasant Pops Farmhouse Market & Cafe:

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La Pop:

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3) Front Royal, VA

Happy Creek Coffee & Tea: 

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Love the wooden tables with their unique shapes. Love the decor and everything in it! Loveeeeed my Valencian: orange zest, milk, espresso, mocha, happiness. GET THE VALENCIAN! Wish they had this in NYC!

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And finally, we reached Shenandoah National Park.

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Driving through Skyline Drive, we saw a lot of cyclists.

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We stayed at the Big Meadows Lodge and went out at midnight to try to catch the stars. It was way too cloudy but we saw glimpses of the moon here and there. And a bunch of deer… in headlights… literally.

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Travelogue: Arches National Park, Utah (Sept 2016)

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Note: If you want to go to Fiery Furnace, you better book months in advance! We missed out on it. You can also risk it and ask for any last minute spots at the visitors center. (More info here)

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Devil’s Garden.

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Landscape Arch is the longest of the many natural rock arches in this park.

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Time for sunset at…

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Delicate Arch.

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Walking to the middle of the arch was amazing. It was windy and the view was kind of, well, majestic. I was surprised at how polite people were, letting others have their photo opportunities and not crowding the arch.

If you plan to see the sunset at Delicate Arch, I recommend you start hiking up an hour before the sunset time (check the weather). Also, bring flashlights or headlamps. We were the only ones with headlamps so people were following our light source going down the trail afterwards. It was pitch dark.

Utah 2016

I really liked camping out in Utah. The campgrounds we stayed at were all really good. There were lots of convenience stores around. The Utah night sky was the best part.

The view at the campsite next morning:

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We went back to Arches.

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Windows.

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We drove back to the Mexican truck/re-purposed gas station (Tacos La Pasadita) in Green River because it was SO GOOD.

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GET THE VAMPIRAS!

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Green River is known for their melons. So many different melons and cantaloupes.

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Yellow watermelon.

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Back on the road. Next, we go to Salt Lake City!

Travelogue: Bryce Canyon, Utah (Sept 2016)

We camped out at Ruby’s Inn Campground (info in the previous post) so that we could get a head start on hiking at Bryce Canyon National Park the next morning.

The Fairyland Loop is an 8-mile trail that takes you all around many spectacular hoodoos and viewpoints. It was probably my favorite hike of this trip, strenuous but amazing views that I could never even have dreamed of. It takes about 4-5 hours, especially if you stop and take pictures/snack.

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Depending on which part you start at, you go up and down in elevation — going up is always harder for me… I felt like I couldn’t breathe (I know I’m weak).

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So many hoodoos.

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After the Fairyland loop, it started getting really foggy and cold — we decided to drive through the loop to stop at the various viewpoints instead of hiking another trail.

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The Amphitheater

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We drove to the end of the loop to try to get more pictures, but it became so foggy that it was impossible to see beyond two feet. So we gave up and went to the general store to get some food to cook at the campground.

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There are plenty of general stores right outside the park for everything you would possibly need. I bought stamps and postcards to send out to friends. We also bought ramen and spam and cheese.

Side note — I really liked the name of this beer but didn’t buy it:

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Ruby’s Inn Campground
300 So. Main Hwy 63,
Bryce Canyon, Utah. 84764

Travelogue: Seattle & Other Places, Washington (May-June 2015) Part 1

Going north from Oregon, our next stop was Washington.

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We didn’t hike up Mount Rainier but we got to see it as a backdrop to most of our pictures.

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It was a strange thing, to have 70 degree weather and sunny but with snow on the ground. I wore a tank top but held a snowball in my hands.

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Went to Uwajimaya, a supermarket that sells lots of Asian products.

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When we got to Seattle downtown, it was already late but we found Taylor Shellfish Oyster Bar for seafood. It was decent, but subsequently we found Taylor’s farms outside of the city (that’s for another post in the future) which was wayyyyy cooler because you get to shuck your own oysters!

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We had some pretty good dim sum the next morning at Harbor City. Really enjoyed their special items like shark fin dumplings and scallop dumplings.

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It was a rainy day in Seattle. (What else is new?) We went to the Starbucks Reserve for some coffee tasting.

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Coffee flight.

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It was a pretty cool experience. All the baristas there are knowledgable and friendly. You can learn a thing or two.

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Next on my list: the Seattle Public Library

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It’s worth a visit if you’re into architecture, photography, art, people watching, etc.

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But of course.

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Lemon ricotta crumpet from the Crumpet Shop in Pike Place Market.

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Jack’s Fish Spot in Pike Place Market. Really enjoyed the fresh oysters here.

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Crab cocktail was not bad either.

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A trip to Pike Place is not completed until you’ve seen/smelled the GUM WALL!

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It’s actually an alley way beneath Pike Place Market – walk down the stairs and you should find it.

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Grabbed some ice cream from Molly Moon’s. It’s a MUST.

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View of the Space Needle from Kerry Park.

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Nearby, we stumbled upon a secret garden.

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Chihuly Garden and Glass – buy tickets online to save a couple of bucks.

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You can also buy tickets for Chihuly + Space Needle, but we decided to have dinner at the Space Needle (which gives you complementary access to the observatory) instead.

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Once you get up to the observatory, you can walk around until you get called to your table.

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The food at SkyCity at the Needle was amazing. I’ve seen many towers in my lifetime and they’re usually tourist traps and waste of money. But the food here was actually great!

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My ice cream…

Pictures from Olympic National Park — we stayed in Port Angeles in order to take the ferry to Victoria, Vancouver Island (to be continued…).

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La Push!

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Driving up to Hurricane Ridge was nauseating — it was very cold there too!

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