Travelogue: Nashville (Dec 2016)

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

BEST THING ABOUT NASHVILLE? HATTIE B’S HOT CHICKEN! Go there go there go there go there go there. We went twice on this trip and we only had 2 days!

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

We went to Puckett’s as per my coworker’s recommendation — I love how there’s always a live band at restaurants here!

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

After dinner we headed over to Honky Tonk Central because it’s the most touristy thing to do and we had to check it off the list!

It was actually pretty chill there, we grabbed some beers and sat down near the stage — the music was so good I didn’t want to leave.

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

Biscuit Love for breakfast. SO MUCH GRAVY.

Had a tour of the Belle Meade Plantation (photos not allowed inside) and ended up buying wine from their wine tasting!

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

Acme Feed & Seed — another casual restaurant with a live band.

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

Food was mediocre, but what we were REALLY here for was the rooftop view. Take the stairs all the way up for it!

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

We HAD to get more hot chicken.

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

Bolton’s spicy chicken & fish.

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

THESE RIBS WERE FINGERLICKING GOOD.

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

The hot chicken here was hotter than Hattie B’s. Be warned. Not as juicy as Hattie B’s though.

Next — Pepperfire Hot Chicken. Even hotter! But we still concluded that Hattie B’s was #1!

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

That’s it for our short/long-weekend trip to Atlanta & Nashville!

I loved Nashville for its live music, hot chicken and wall murals!

Atlanta & Nashville 2016

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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!

LA: Arts District, Korean ice cream, and finding angel wings (Nov 2016)

Uber and Lyft were SO cheap in LA (compared to NY). If you want to avoid looking endlessly for parking or spending a lot of money on parking garages, just take an Uber. I took one to Downtown LA.

Los Angeles 2016

Chimney Coffee House.

Los Angeles 2016

BEST. BURGER. EVER. They call this the “Rogue”.

Los Angeles 2016

The “Rogue” sandwich has 2 eggs in it. TWO. Scrambled eggs and thai style fried egg, separated by juicy sage-black truffle pork sausage, cheddar crisp (omg crispy cheese), and sriracha yuzu mayo on a toasted house made milk bun. This combo is bomb. I was amazed at how all the flavors complemented each other and surprised my tongue at every bite.

After that, I was stuffed, but I had to get ice cream at Ihwamun.

Los Angeles 2016

I got the citron and ingeolmi (their signature flavor). They’re known for their Korean flavors — try Choco Pie! Their matcha is also really good. Some of the best ice cream I’ve had.

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I always seek out wall murals wherever I go.

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The Arts District Co-Op reminded me of Chelsea market in NY. Lots of vendors selling their own unique clothing and jewelry.

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Finally found my wings.

After that, I took an Uber to Rowland Heights (20 bucks for 1 hour in traffic, crazy affordable right?!?!) and serendipitously found another set of wings.

Los Angeles 2016

Zero Degrees.

Los Angeles 2016

Boba ice cream.

Los Angeles 2016

LOVE the unique bubble tea flavors here, and they come in a glass bottle as an option (+$1.50). Everything is so fresh and they don’t use powder.

Los Angeles 2016

Water drop cake with matcha.

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Next up, Korean food at Junkabok by Mokkoji.

Los Angeles 2016

They offer 3 set menus in addition to a la carte options: the Piglet, the Piggy, and the Pigzilla. I got the Pigzilla, of course.

It comes with: small stew or hot stone + small BBQ dish + seafood pancake + braised pork cartilage. It’s enough food for 3-5 people…

Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

Los Angeles 2016

SOOOOO GOOOOOOD.

Travelogue: Valparaíso, Chile (Dec 2015)

We booked a tour through our hotel in Santiago (~$50 USD) to go to Viña del Mar and Valparaíso. Nicknamed “The Jewel of the Pacific”, Valparaíso was declared a World Heritage Site in 2003. What I really wanted to see were the street art and wall murals!

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Isn’t he/she cute though?

Our tour guide picked us up with a small van.

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That’s not our tour guide, but it’s too adorable not to post.

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Quinta Vergara Amphitheater — where they hold the International Song Festival every year. It is the largest and best known music festival in Latin America.

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Legend has it that if you take a picture with this clock, you will one day return to Viña del Mar. We had lunch here and walked on the beach.

Without further ado, our next stop: Valparaíso.

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A city built on hills, people use these funicular lifts called ascensores (steeply inclined carriages) to get up and down.

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Colorful houses!

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Every corner there is art.

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We got on a funicular lift.

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Love the downtown architecture.

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Finally got one! It’s called “Mote con huesillos”. There’s a peach in there along with beans… very sweet and refreshing drink (and cheap too!). They sell them all over the streets of Chile.

What to do in Downtown Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Downtown Phoenix is all about art. I found soooo many wall murals on Roosevelt Row and amazing restaurants and cute gift shops (I’m obsessed with stationary and punny cards), all within walking distance.

ART MURALS:

Roosevelt Row Arts District (RoRo)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

“Wall of kindness”

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Remember the “wall of kindness”? There were more of them.

WHERE TO GET SOUVENIRS: 

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

My Airbnb was attached to a store that sold vintage clothing, jewelry, cards. Check it out if you’re in the area! It’s called GROWop.

Phoenix, Arizona (April 2016)

Besides GROWop, MADE is also a cute little store for stationary, jewelry, trinkets.

FOR YOGA: 

Sutra Roosevelt

They have 2 locations (Midtown and Roosevelt). Yoga & barre classes! Loved the decor. Wish I could’ve gone back for more.

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Travelogue: Portland, Oregon (May 2015)

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Our first stop in Portland: Heart Coffee. The wait for Tasty n Alder was about 45 minutes, so we conveniently crossed the street to this cafe, which served delicious lattes…

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Such clean and minimalist decor, it made for a great lazy Saturday morning.

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Potato Bravas

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“Duck… Duck… Steak!” Best of the dishes.

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Flat Iron (Washimi Wagyu with garlic roquefort compound butter)

Tasty n Alder is one of the top brunch places highly recommended by almost everyone who’s been to Portland. However, on the last day (in a future post) I had an even better experience at Screen Door. Anyhoo, brunch is wonderful in Portland but expect a long wait if you don’t get there by opening time.

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I’m not really a donut person. When my friends told me to go to Blue Star Donuts instead of the overhyped Voodoo, I obliged. Only because this was on the way to the famous bookstore, Powell’s Books (where I purchased many souvenirs…)

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OK well, I gotta admit, this was a pretty good donut.

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After spending a lot of time at Powell’s, we stopped by the Saturday Market. There are two right across from each other.

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Mango!

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The International Rose Test Garden was one of my top things to see in Portland. It’s FREE, it’s huge, and it has a gift shop that sells rose tea (BUY IT!)

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A lot of variety of roses, all different colors and sizes… some were as tall as I was.

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We also stopped by the Portland Japanese Garden next door, which was tiny and cost $9.50 per person… not worth it in my opinion because I’ve been spoiled by the one in SF.

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There was a special exhibition the day we went though, so that made up for it.

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When in Portland, must go to Salt & Straw for ice cream…

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We got the 4 scoop sampler — I enjoyed the variety and creativity, but it wasn’t anything mindblowing.

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Tidbit Food Farm and Garden – a small “food pod”, as they call it. Food pods are Portland’s term for a group of food trucks. There are several, but I chose this one; it had the most vendors open on a Sunday.

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I chose Namu, a Korean and Hawaiian fusion truck.

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This reminded me of Hawaii… the sauce was amazing, the pork was amazing, the EGGS!

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This was from a taco truck whose names I forgot (sorry).

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I love wall murals. They’re all over the Alberta Arts District. We stopped by the area just to admire them. However, my heart still belongs to Miami’s Wynwood Walls (see post here).

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Onward to Seattle.