Sunday, October 30, 2016

Seattle

What a week! Nobody could have prepared me for what was in store this week but I'm excited with how it turned out! More on this later. 

First, let me take you back to my trip to Seattle a few weeks ago. My best friend R and I have been planning a trip to the Pacific Northwest ever since I moved to SF, and our schedules finally aligned one weekend in October. Summer in Seattle is supposed to be gorgeous but it actually ended up storming the entire weekend by the time we went. Since we're in a drought in California, I actually didn't mind the rain one bit. 
Even the rain couldn't put a damper on my enthusiasm - drinking a PSL from the original Pike Place Starbucks in Seattle. 
Matching in our raincoats like the 12 year olds we are

We struck gold with our real-life BNB (not an Airbnb) in Seattle. We walked out the door and Pike Place market was just around the corner. Mornings were spent idly strolling the market with our Starbucks (the only place where I'll make an exception for being basic), picking up knicknacks from the artists, and admiring these gorgeous flowers. 

We walked to the other end of the market where all the fresh meats and seafood are, and got a glimpse of the fish throwing Pike Place market is famous for.


It was still raining by lunchtime so we stuck close by and hopped over to Matt's in the Market, a casual place with views overlooking the market. The food wasn't bad either!

 Mmhmm, I'm still thinking about that pulled pork sandwich.
Dessert at Elleno's Greek Yogurt, with greek yogurt so thick it tasted like ice cream that doesn't melt

It continued to rain the whole day, so we took the opportunity to go shopping and see a movie. It felt good having an excuse not to do all the touristy things and pretend to live in the same city again like we used to in high school! We went to Serious Pie (pizza) for dinner and Bathtub and Gin to try out Seattle's speakeasy scene for a nightcap, reminiscent of our Violet Hour days when I used to visit R in Chicago. 
The following morning, it cleared up briefly for us to walk to the space needle. Little did I know that the space needle was located right next to the Chihuly museum, a gorgeous museum full of glass sculptures you've probably seen somewhere in the world. While his pieces are displayed all over the world, Don Chihuly is from Seattle, so this museum is the mecca for all things Chihuly, including a cute glass garden. 



 In the shadow of the space needle

 Walking around the museum ended up being the perfect thing to do on a rainy afternoon. 
 So glad we could do a girl's trip!
 Glass garden
We walked back to the market for lunch at an authentic Szechuan place and some fresh oysters in the market. 


I've always wanted to go to Seattle and this trip didn't disappoint. What we didn't do in terms of touristy activities we made up for with plenty of girl talk, shopping, and eating--my idea of a perfect weekend getaway. R and I have gone all over the world together, Chicago, Montreal, Calgary, Denver, Mexico, and SF, can't wait for our next trip together! 


Friday, October 21, 2016

Yosemite


Man, I really have been slacking on the blog. I don't really have an excuse either. Second year is shaping up to be way better than first year, with most weekends off and me becoming more confident with how things operate at work. I've been taking advantage of most weekends off by taking some weekend trips recently. My parents came to SF last month for their annual pilgrimage and we went to Yosemite for a weekend, I went to LA to visit some friends the following week, and then I just came back from Seattle last week!

Thankfully, my parents didn't have to help us move this year (unlike last year where their entire visit was filled with helping us set up the apartment, going shopping, and cleaning) so they were free to be tourists and explore. Nights were filled with dinners with family friends and then we went to Yosemite for the weekend.

It was the first time at Yosemite for everyone. We're not a super outdoorsy family (our idea of exercise is a one hour hike with Charlie) plus my dad recently had knee surgery, so we mainly saw the valley by car, which was nonetheless beautiful. Unfortunately most of the falls were dry since we went at the end of summer, but that just means I'll have to go back when it's spring time.

Dry falls
The valley floor


It was hard to pack for the weather. I had originally packed long pants and long sleeves, but then it turned out to be 80 degrees and this was the only short sleeve tee I packed!  Then we ended up not really hiking anywhere, so JJ joked that I could have worn sandals all day. Outfit fail :(

"high school graduation" pics with my 50 mm lens

With the parental units

Tunnel view
Glacier point -- my favorite part of the park


Half dome in the background
Snapping away



Half dome at dusk





The whirlwind tour with my family was a great overview and intro to the park, but I feel like there was still so much we didn't even touch on. I'd like to try hiking or camping in the spring time when all the falls are running. With the beauty and majesty of Half Dome and El Capital so close, now I see what the hype is all about.