July

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IMG_2886

July

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you may have seen these photos already but here’s a recap for those who don’t have an Instagram!

  • An older photos of Charles and myself from two years ago in Portland. I need to make a trip back there soon. When I first went there, I was there for less than 24 hours. Let’s say that I didn’t get the chance to fully explore the city.
  • This dreamy sunset photo was taken in California. I was going through older memory cards and found this gem in there. I’m kind of obsessed with the colors. Can’t believe I haven’t shared it but then again, I can get so picky with my photos.
  • Sunday pool days. Yesterday was an amazing day at the tide pools. I spent my time swimming and snorkeling. It’s one of my favorite “secret” spots on the island but it quickly became crowded. Crowded as in two more groups came in after us. It’s still a “secret” spot though compared to the very crowded Waikiki Beach.
  • Pork belly on top of a homemade tortilla, Asian-slaw, and a kochujang-lime sauce made by Charles and myself. I was eating this dish all weekend and now I’m craving it. We used up all the pork belly we bought the other week and I may need to head back to Costco to buy another slab of pork belly.
  • An old photo from Maui that I took of Charles’ sunglasses and a pretty view.
  • Red, white, and blue sunrise above Haleakalā Summit in Maui. I’ve never really shared this photo but I thought it was appropriate for 4th of July.
  • A road in Oahu. Don’t try this photo at home. I had a friend who looked out for me as I took this photo to make sure no car was passing by.
  • Charles and I in Tokyo. We’re going back in October and I can not wait. We’re both excited since this time around, we will be there a lot longer than 3 days.
  • Some lookout my roommate and his coworker took me to after a crazy hike that we went on that I did not complete (I shall write about it soon). This was a refreshing view since I’ve never seen this view before!

For my US readers, hopefully you guys had a wonderful 4th of July! Charles, Curry, and I walked to the beach and watched the fireworks from there. For everyone else, hopefully you guys had a wonderful weekend! Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram if you haven’t already!

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things to do in portland

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Here’s another trip that we didn’t plan on taking last year: Portland. I love traveling to new places and when I woke up one morning and found out that JetBlue was selling $55 one-way tickets to Portland, I could not pass up the opportunity. The problem was, I couldn’t find a flight back at the price that was convenient for us so we booked a one-way and crossed our fingers that we could find a one-way back from Seattle (we figured we throw in Seattle in the mix because we were already near Seattle). Luckily, we found a one-way back on Virgin America. As soon as that was booked, we then booked a one-way bus ride on the Bolt Bus. If you buy it at the right time, you can get the bus fare for really cheap. For Charles, Kris, and myself, it cost us about $25 for all three. Super cheap right?
Well anyway, here’s a few things we did while in Portland for less than 24 hours:
 
Mother’s Bistro & Bar would have to be my favorite place to eat in Portland. Mother’s is a cute, little place with delicious food. Charles ordered a stuffed frittata but the migas that I ordered was soooo good. The chipotle sour cream was on point but it was the salsa that completed the dish. I love the decor of the place (if you can’t tell already, decor is something I really pay attention to everywhere I go) and we got wonderful service.
 
Where to stay
The Nines in Portland is a beautiful hotel to stay at. If you’re familiar with the W hotels and the Sheratons, The Nines is in the same hotel company; Starwood Hotels and Resorts. The lobby is located on the 8th floor and when I say this is a beautiful hotel, I really mean it. The decor of the room was amazing with turquoise throughout the room. The bathroom was gorgeous with a cute vanity in the corner. The wallpaper was gorgeous. The whole room was gorgeous. Wish we had spent more time in this hotel room and we were there for only a night! Definitely will be staying here the next time I’m in Portland.
After we landed in Portland and checked into our hotel room, Deschutes Brewery was one of the few restaurants opened that had really good reviews on Yelp. We walked quite a bit from our hotel room but it wasn’t too bad of a walk. My brother likes to say that the burger he had here was the best that he has ever had. I’m not a beer person so I didn’t get to try any but a good chunk of what they had were IPAs if you’re into that kind of stuff.
 
 
Portland Japanese garden
One thing you’ll notice about Portland (or Oregon for that matter) is how green it is. The Portland Japanese Garden was no exception. After we checked out of our hotel room and left our baggage with the front desk, we took a cab to the Portland Japanese Garden (and it definitely was an expensive cab ride), bought our tickets, and strolled the gardens. If you know me, I love Japanese gardens (actually all kinds of gardens) to the point that I was researching Japanese gardens in Japan. Yes, I have a few gardens I need to stop by when we go. There’s a fee to get in but if you love gardens, I thought it was worth it.
 
We needed a place to hang out since we had to wait for our Bolt Bus to take us to Seattle. We decided to grab coffee and not surprisingly, the coffee was really good. The Pacific Northwest is known for their coffee so I wasn’t too surprised that it was pretty good.
When I think of Portland, I think of Voodoo Doughnuts. Maybe it’s from The Travel Channel but that’s the first thing that comes in mind. The Voodoo Doughnuts we went to was opened 24 hours (the 22 SW 3rd Ave) and there was a wait but it wasn’t too long. This was the location that was closest to us. Ordered a bunch of doughnuts (or is it donut? I don’t know) and I’ll say it’s worth a try if you’re in Portland. When in Portland right?
For my book-loving friends, this is the place to go! Powell’s is incredibly huge. I ended up buying two books from here: The Little Dictionary of Fashion by Christian Dior and The Little Book of Chanel by Emma Baxter-Wright. This place, like I said earlier, was massive. Took me awhile to find the books that I wanted (I actually was just looking for the fashion section in general to build my coffee table collection) but I had a lot of fun browsing around.
If you’re in Portland, definitely make a trip to Seattle if you haven’t been. The Bolt Bus is a cheap alternative to getting yourself to Seattle (or vice versa; if you’re ever in Seattle and never been to Portland, head out to Portland!). It was about three-ish maybe less hours to get to Seattle. It was comfortable, clean, and there was WiFi. But I didn’t use it since I don’t do well with cars and reading (hello motion sickness). We got to Seattle in a timely manner. No complaints from me.
We were in Portland for less than 24 hours and it definitely did not give us enough time to explore the city. I wanted to eat at Pok Pok and all of the food stands but we just didn’t have enough time (and when we did have time, the food stands were closed!). Tip: some of the best food stands close pretty early. There were also many, many restaurants that I wanted to try but couldn’t. Definitely going back to Portland (not anytime soon, or maybe)!
 
 

 

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