Banff Lakes: Louise, Agnes, Vermilion

We started our hike from Lake Louise. It started snowing in the middle of the hike and at one point, hailing!

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The snow made for interesting pictures though.

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Mirror Lake

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Went into Lake Agnes Tea House to sit out the hail – apparently everyone else had the same idea. It was crowded, dark (no electricity), but we somehow got seats. Cash only! They take CAD and USD but will only give change back in CAD.

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Lake Agnes after the storm.

After the hike, we drove to Vermilion Lakes for sunset.

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Vermilion Lakes are a series of 3 lakes – we drove from one to another to check out the best spot for photographing the sunset. Honestly, all 3 were spectacular. We decided on the last lake since we didn’t want to risk not being able to park and miss the short window.

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The colors shifted right in front of our eyes. One of the most stunning sunsets I’ve ever seen.

Again, we camped out at Tunnel Mountain Village 1 Campground (highly recommended).

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Cienfuegos, the Paris of Cuba

Cuba

The taxi driver that I booked came to pick us up in Trinidad and asked if we wanted to take a look at Cienfuegos, since it was on the way back to Havana. We pretty much had him for the whole day and could go wherever we wanted at no extra charge, so why not? Inside my head I was screaming with joy because I had researched about the city before, and it was nicknamed “the Paris of Cuba”.

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Cuba

Cuba

Cuba

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The colonial town of Cienfuegos was founded in 1819 as a Spanish territory but was settled by immigrants of French origin. Since it was a coastal city, it became a trading place for sugar cane, tobacco and coffee. I love that there were so many beautiful buildings with French influence!

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My favorite building.

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Cuba

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There’s always music everywhere you go in Cuba.

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We walked into a random restaurant because we were hungry and wanted a sandwich.

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Cuba

It was just a cheap, simple sandwich with ham, cheese and… tuna?!?! That sandwich ended up to be one of the BEST things we ate on this trip. For some reason it just worked. We should’ve ordered more. It’s called El Palatino, in case you ever want to check it out!

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Back in Havana, we ate at an unlimited buffet place called Ana’s. It was recommended by our host and very affordable ($10 per person). All the meats were dry and salty… but the view of the Malecón was great. I would not recommend it.

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Cuba

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

Eggslut time.

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This one is located in the Grand Central Market.

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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!

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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.

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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: Salt Lake City, Utah (Sept 2016)

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The drive to Salt Lake City was long. 4 hours long.

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The view from the hotel was awesome. Mountains!

We upgraded to the VIP floor, including happy hour (unlimited drinks and food) at the lounge.

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I loved the view! Sunset time.

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Free breakfast.

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We went to see the Salt Lake Temple and churches around the city.

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Next, we drove 2 hours to the salt flats.

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Because it had rained a couple of days before, there was still water on top of the salt, which made a reflection and really cool pictures.

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Exfoliating!

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Utah 2016

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Salty.

Utah 2016

Utah 2016

Utah 2016

Back to SLC.

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We found yet another amazing taco truck!!!!!! El Paisa Mariscos Y Tacos.

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BEST fish tacos I’ve ever had.

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Went back to the hotel for VIP happy hour (free unlimited drinks).

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…And sunset.

Then amazing food at Whiskey Street.

Utah 2016

Utah 2016

Peach mule!

Utah 2016

Utah 2016

And that’s all, folks.

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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: Vancouver – Part 1 (June 2015)

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From the previous post, the sunset from BC ferry (From Victoria to Vancouver).

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Stanley Park — like Central Park of NYC, lots of biking and scenic views of water and trees.

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Spent the morning at the park and went to the Lululemon Lab (pictures were prohibited) — got hungry and ate at the nearby Benkei Ramen:

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After lunch, we went to Aberdeen Centre in Richmond — an Asian shopping mall with a food court.

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I love mango drinks.

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My loot from a candy store.

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Really wanted to try these sushi but was too full…

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Next, we drove to Granville Island, which has a ton of shops and food. In Vancouver, you never stop eating.

We came here for one thing: The Lobster Man.

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You pick your own oysters, clams, anything you want and they weigh them — at great prices!

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We walked around the island some more.

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Back at the hotel, we shuck our own oysters.

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We also got live spot prawns.

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From our hotel, we saw the sun set and also to the right (not pictured) was the Richmond Night Market setting up for the next day (for the next post!) — I was pleasantly surprised that it was happening right across from where we were staying.

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At night, we went to Ho Yuan Kee for the famous Vancouver crab with sticky rice. To be honest, I’ve had better in NYC. This was a full day of nonstop eating…

Travelogue: Maine Day 2 (Acadia National Park)

On Day 2, we drove from Bangor to Acadia National Park. We bought an all week access parking pass for $20 — well worth it. I didn’t bring my DSLR on the trails, so here are some phone pictures.

We started off at Sand Beach and walked along the shore — there were many cliffs for you to explore. Loved the thrill of going to the edge!

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This was on a trail called the “Beehive” — there were multiple iron rungs for you to climb. We got through 2 sets of them and I couldn’t get past the 3rd set, even though we were SO close to finishing the route! All I saw ahead was a straight cliff and I couldn’t proceed. My fear of heights won this time.

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After our hike, we decided to drive up to the Cadillac Mountain… and we saw this:

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Clouds reflected in a body of water… sun shining in front of our eyes.

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When we got to the top of the Cadillac, all we saw were clouds below where we were standing.

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Obligatory yoga pose.

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Everyone was trying to savor this moment.

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It was like we were driving above the clouds.

After sunset, we drove around to look for food. Apparently, everything closes at sun down. We were lucky enough to find one place still opened:

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Next up: Day 3 of Maine — more hiking and eating.