Tuesday, December 29, 2015

To Fresh Starts.

Another great year is coming to an end. I'm both excited and anxious to start it all over again. To create lasting memories and to forge more meaningful relationships in my life. I would have never guessed I'd be where I am right now. Happily engaged, mentally stimulated by my work, and increasingly wiser to the things that I need and don't need in my life. How am I 26 years old? It feels impossible and yet it is. 

I like to keep my new year's resolutions simple every year. This year is to continue to practice mindfulness in everything I do. I want to surround myself with things and people I love. I want to live simply. Treat myself well and try not to fret about what tomorrow might bring.

Happy New Year. 

Monday, December 28, 2015

Vienna, 2015.

This post is well overdue, but I wanted to document our time spent over Thanksgiving in Vienna, Austria. Vienna was one of the most beautiful towns that I've visited so far during my trips to Europe. I often wonder why it isn't more frequently brought up when people speak of London, Paris and other beautiful major cities.

We took a short two hour train ride to Vienna from Budapest and quickly checked into our Airbnb. We were fortunate to have fallen into the design neighborhood Neubaugasse, bordering the museum quarters in town.

Everywhere we went we were surrounded by beautiful facades and well designed alleyways. I have always loved the festiveness of winter time--Vienna is the place to be if you do too. Everything was so beautifully decorated for Christmas. I was smitten by how charming it all was naturally. In the course of 3 days, we were able to visit pretty much all the Christmas markets and get a taste of how it would be like to live as a local in Vienna. I hope to go back someday to visit Halstatt!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Autumn in Portland

Everyone who knows anything about me knows that I am completely obsessed about moving to Portland. Ever since my first visit three years ago, I've slowly built a fantasy in my head of a completely romanticized Portland--where it is autumn all year round. Crisp air, shorter days, seasonality that we just don't get in California where it seems to be summer all year round.

I was hoping I'd become disillusioned by my third visit, but I am even more deeply entrenched with the idea than I was before. Or perhaps with just the idea of moving somewhere new and starting over again in a new city.

In any case, we did plenty of hiking on this trip from Forest Park to Mirror Lake after the end of a scenic drive along the Columbia River Gorge. Visiting Oregon has become something of a tradition and one that I hope to keep up in the years to come. Perhaps next year we'll visit and run the Portland Half Marathon. That's certainly something to look forward to. Here's to 26.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Day Trip to Santa Cruz

My goodness, it was the perfect weekend for a hiking trip. A and I decided to rent a car and make the most of our Saturday and drive down to Santa Cruz for the day to go hiking. It ended up being a relatively gloomy afternoon along the coast, but those tend to be just as enjoyable. This shot is from Wilder State Ranch Park. It's just 15 minutes out of town but you feel as if you're a million miles away from city life upon arrival.

Summer time demands a trip to the coast. It's our seasonal tradition now. There's something very restorative about being outdoors and close to the ocean. It's a great reminder of how small we really are and how our daily stresses which seem so insurmountable and all-consuming Monday through Friday are really just so irrelevant in the grand scheme of things.

We ended up taking hwy 1 back up to San Francisco after the hike, stopping along the way at Bonny Doon's tasting room for a quick wine tasting. By dinner time, we found ourselves in our old stomping grounds in West Portal and the Inner Sunset for Marnee Thai and boba. It definitely made me miss living in the city. Looking forward to making the most out of these long summer days in the weekends to come!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Oahu, Memorial Day Weekend

A and I visited Hawaii for the first time this past Memorial Day weekend. Oahu has been on my travel destination list for a while now so it was gratifying to be able to visit and kick off the summer in the most wonderful way.

We took Hawaiian Airlines from San Francisco first thing in the morning on a Thursday and landed a little after noon. After finding the baggage claim we were met by a frantic looking airline employee carrying our leis. Soon after some back and forth, we arrived to the rentals lot and hopped in our rental, lunch and malasada bound.

My general impression of Hawaiian food is that it's incredibly unhealthy. I felt a little guilty for the amount of meat consumed on this trip, but not to fret. That's what vacation's all about. Soon after finishing up, we took Pali Highway to sleepy Kailua to check into our AIRBNB.

I liked Kailua a lot. Most people opt to stay in Waikiki where all of the resorts are, but Kailua offered us a slice of what Hawaii should feel like. We pulled into the driveway and were warmly welcomed by our host Beth and her adorable dachsunds and pit bull. One beach entrance to Kailua Beach was literally a 5 minute walk away from the house.

Greedily, we swapped into our bathing suits and rushed off to the beach. Eager to soak in the last of the afternoon. I'd never seen such clear, blue-green waters before. We had our fill until the rain suddenly arrived, forcing us back to the airbnb.

We ended up getting ready for Waikiki afterwards and drove into the city to get a drink at House Without A Key--a delightful venue where you can sit outdoors, watching the sunset over Waikiki beach to the lullaby of slack-key guitars. It was blissful. I miss it already.

Waking up every morning in Hawaii was delightful for the obvious reasons, but the most memorable feeling I take back now is one of nostalgia. Every morning I'd wake up feeling like I did as a teenager on summer vacations. Incredibly well-rested, carefree, smelling slightly of sunblock and summer. I relished that feeling so much on our recent stay in Kailua.

I'll definitely be back someday and hopefully soon to visit the other islands and do another ATV tour! Teehee.