An Asian Adventure Part II

November 13th: We woke up early because our cab for the Elephant Sanctuary was supposed to pick us up around 7:00. We had pre-ordered breakfast the day before since we needed to eat before the cafe in our hotel was actually open (which was an awesome amenity). Breakfast was amazing like always.

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Our shuttle ride ended up being over an hour late which was super annoying because we could have slept longer. Two couples from Britain that were staying in our hotel were also going to the same Elephant Sanctuary with us. There was also two guys from New Zealand with us. They were super cool and helped make the trip more enjoyable.

Our “cab” ride was pretty much a truck with a top on the back with the sides open. The ride was about an hour long.

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Elephant Jungle Sanctuary was the company that we chose to do the excursion with. They had great reviews and don’t ride their elephants (the places that ride the elephants mistreat them). Once we got to the sanctuary, we put on Karen’s (the shirts pictured) so that the elephants wouldn’t be afraid of us.

Once dressed appropriately, we anxiously waited for the elephants to file in to feed them. We fed them corn stalks and bananas. The adult elephants would just eat the whole banana, peel and all, but we had to take the banana out of the peel for the baby (although he was pretty fast and would steal some unpeeled ones).

That was one of the most amazing experiences of my life.

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The awesome group we rode to the sanctuary with.

The amount of corn and bananas that these elephants ate was unbelievable! They just kept eating and eating and eating! Elephants need to eat between 200-600 POUNDS of food a day!! And they can drink up to 50 gallons of water a day. The guys working at the sanctuary had lots of interesting facts like this! They also told us there was a difference between African elephants and Asian elephants. Who would have thought! African elephants are larger and weigh between 4,000-7,500kg and Asian elephants weight between 3,000-6,000kg. Also, African elephants’ ears are like the shape of Africa and Asian ears are smaller like the shape of India.

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After feeding them, we went over to the mud hole and gave them mud baths. The baby elephant was like a little kid in a candy store in the mud. He was rolling around, splashing, having a grand old time.

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Following the mud bath, we gave the elephants a real bath. The baby elephant was even more playful in the water.

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We then cleaned up and were fed another traditional thai meal before heading back to our hostel. We were all exhausted and still had a 4 hour cooking class that night so we just chilled at our hostel’s pool for awhile.

The cooking class  (Zabb-e-lee)

http://www.zabbeleecooking.com/index.html

began by taking us to a market and educating us about all the vegetables in the market. It was interesting learning about all the different plants and vegetable that grow in Thailand that we had never heard of before. We picked up all our ingredients that we needed to cook our meal and had a chance to just wander around the market on our own.

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We then headed back to start cooking! Now everyone got to pick their own soup, appetizer, curry, and main dish. We all got the same dessert. I decided on Pad Thai (my absolute favorite thai meal. Pretty sure I ate it every day while in Thailand), deep fried spring rolls, and Panang curry. In the kitchen, our instructor would instruct each group as to what they were supposed to do. It was super cool how this class was flexible so we had some choice as to what we wanted to make to eat. We first made our soups and main dishes and ate them before starting the next items.

Not only did the food taste amazing (to my amazement), but she taught us how to make the dishes appear aesthetically appealing.

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We then made our Curry paste, appetizer and dessert. The dessert sounds very odd, sticky mango rice, but it is a huge fad in Thailand. You can find it anywhere. I will say, it was pretty darn good! Unfortunately, I was sooo full from all the other food I ate, that I couldn’t finish it. After the class was over our bellies were full and we were ready to pass out so that’s exactly what we did!

November 14th:

Today we had reservations to go ziplining! The zipline course we picked had a “rollercoaster” zipline which was this line that had handlebars that you had to hang on to and it would take sharp turns and throw you to the side (literally pretty sure my body was horizontal at some points). The views were amazing and the crew was a lot of fun. Once we were done with the course we were fed a typical thai meal and then headed back to the hostel.

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Tonight we headed to the bazaar. We weren’t really sure what to expect, but were hoping to find some good deals on some souvenirs. We hauled a tuk-tuk and headed to the bazaar. Once we got there we bought some items (including some awesome nike shoes for $30 US dollars) and checked out the drink stands (duhhh). They had live music and a lot of food trucks. We decided to eat some american food (it had been a hot minute since we had anything besides rice, noodles, meat and veggies!)

We even did the “fish pedicure” where Garra rufa fish eat the dead skin off your feet. Bad. Idea. It was so ticklish I could barely stand it!

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After the bazaar we went out to the night clubs again, Zoe in Yellow. They were hopping and we decided to hit up a speak easy, The Living Room after the bars closed. These speak easys are “illegal” because they serve booze after hours, but pretty sure their police could give 2 shits. The speak easy was in a weird building that obviously didn’t look like a bar. You walked in through a few rooms and then got to a door where they checked your ID and there was a cover. With your cover though, you got a free drink. Once in the bar, it turned into a club and everyone was dancing and having a great time. This place doesn’t close till the early hours of the morning, when the sun is coming up.

November 15th: The next day we flew to Phuket via Bangkok.

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Our hostel was really unique with quirky decorations. We stayed at Quip bed and breakfast.

It was connected to a bar called “The Library” and was set up to look like one. They served unique, fancy drinks. There were a few high rolling guy there with ladies and bottle service. One guy had a bottle of grey goose and was just taking shots from it. The bartender brought us over shots with limes so we just figured they were tequila blanco shots. We asked and she told us they were vodka shots. We weren’t gonna turn down free shots, but straight shots of vodka?! Man, did I feel like I was in college again! I’m also pretty sure I saw our bartender take at least 5 shots of vodka the short time we were there. Not sure how the rest of his night went! We didn’t stay out late because we had a long day the next day!

November 16th: Today we were off to Phi Phi island. We boarded a fairy and a short while later arrived to the gorgeous island.

The views on the ride were unbelievable.

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Once at Phi Phi, we checked into our hotel which was on the beach, grabbed some food [and drinks] and then headed to hangout on the beach. Man was it a hot one! I laid on the beach for awhile, but not for long and you were burning up. The water was even ridiculously warm.

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Man was it a hot one! I laid on the beach for awhile, but not for long and you were burning up. The water was even ridiculously warm.

 

That night we walked down the beach, stopped at a few places for drinks and food and then headed to the clubs.

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Now these clubs were lit and by lit I mean literally. They had fire twirlers, EDM music, and crazy drink specials.

They were super interactive with the crowds, pulling people up to do tricks with them. They also did simple things like the limbo, jumping rope, or just dancing. If you participated in these you would get a free shot (Lord knows what it was). There were clubs like these lined up and down the beach. Another big thing at these clubs was buckets. They sold buckets of whiskey/coke, vodka/sodas, tequila/sprite, pretty much anything you could think of they would do it in a bucket (nothing like trying to get you drunk).

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Day 17th We left the island and headed for Patong.

Here’s some more beach pictures because I just can’t get enough of how gorgeous it is there!

For our last stretch we booked a really nice resort (The Kee Resort and Spa) in the heart of the downtown area. We really liked this resort and I would give it a 4/5 stars. I didn’t give it a 5/5 only because our room’s air conditioning was on the freak and our room’s temperature was not controlled making it very sticky and uncomfortable in our room. They came in several times and said it was fixed, but wasn’t. We ordered some food and then went out to the bars.

As you’re walking down the street, there are guys trying to get you to go to a “ping pong show”. Now we had no idea what these were. If you’re interested, google it. We never ended up going to one as mind boggling as they sound, I couldn’t get myself to go.

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We went to a bar called “New York”. It was a dueling piano bar and it was a blast. We danced, we sang, we drank, and had a great time. It was very “american”, but still a good time.

We stopped at another bar on our way home which had a lot of ladies dancing. Dang could these ladies pole dance! In the bar, the bartender asked if we wanted to take a shot with him. Us being dumb, innocent girl we agreed thinking he was being a nice waiter buying us shots. WRONG! Appartently what they do is they make you buy the shots and you buy their shot too! That was a lesson learned. Not only did we buy the shots, they were the worst shots ever! Cheap tequilla, cheap vodka? I don’t know, but the next day Sarah ended up being sick and thinks it was from that nasty shot.

Another interesting thing about these bars is that they have girls (thai girls) playing games like connect four with guys. Loser buys shots. Now these girls aren’t stupid and they know how to win every scenario, so it’s all a set up. At least we didn’t’ fall for that one and try to play against them.

Ladyboys is another term frequently used in Thailand. There are a lot of men who dress up/pretend to be women and they are so pretty that you can’t even tell that they are actually men.

November 18th: We were supposed to go snorkling today, but as I mentioned earlier, Sarah was sick all night long and not feeling so hot in the morning. So while she rested up, Lindsey and I hungout at the pool ALLLL day. We met some friends including the bartender who was absolutely hilarious. We learned of the crazy amounts of Thai hookers on the street we went out on the night before. It’s so common that when you bring a girl to your hotel, they check in at the front desk and have to give them their ID in case anything happens to them or to you. Sketchy!

That night we went to one of the biggest parties – The half moon party {on the beach}. The full moon party is the bigger one, but unfortunately we weren’t there for that one. We met up with some guys we had met at the pool and waited in line for a good 30 minutes to get onto a shuttle to take us down to the party.

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Once at the party, the ticket included a bucket drink (again. They love the bucket drinks). This party was insane. They had dj’s, dancers, and of course fire twirlers.

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We were watching the fire twirlers and before we knew it they came over to us to bring one of us as a part of their show. So, I went up. They sat me down in a chair and gave me a cigarette to put in my mouth. I had to lay my head back while he was twirling the fire chains over my head to light the cigarette. My eyes were closed as tight as I could close them. As if I wasn’t already sweating from the humidity, I definitely was sweating now. Once it was lit, he did some more fancy twirls around my head and then gave me the chains to hold while they were still spinning.

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November 19th: Since Sarah was sick yesterday, we rescheduled the snorkeling trip for today. We got up early and headed to our snorkeling trip with SeaStar. This catamaran took us to the Rok Islands (Rok Nai, Pakrong Bay, Haa Island, and Rok Nok) Before we loaded the boat, the company fed us snacks. We now had a relaxing trip to our first snorkeling spot. The views were absolutely beyond words!

The crew got in the water with us and would point out cool fish/coral to us. They even took Lindsey’s go-pro and would dive down deep and get pictures for her. I was amazed at how many people on the snorkel trip didn’t know how to swim and had life jackets on! I’ve snorkeled before, but this was the first time I’ve really dove down deep into the water and I was loving it.

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After stopping at two different stops to snorkel, we headed to an island to relax and eat lunch. They had this cute set up on the beach for lunch with so much food! They had a whole table just full of snacks/goodies [all of which we had no idea what they were – traditional thai snacks].

We ate and then headed to the waterfront to relax and catch some rays as it was our last beach day before heading to Bangkok to start the trek home.

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On our way back home on the boat, we had one last snorkel spot.

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Once home we were exhausted after spending the day in the sun and just grabbed some dinner on the beach and called it a night.

They always gave you a straw with your cans.

We grabbed some rolled ice cream on our walk home. Nothing special about it. Tastes like regular ice cream ha

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November 20th: Today was a travel day. Bus to the airport, plane to thailand, and cab to our hotel.

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We grabbed dinner that night at a fancy restaurant [apparently we were supposed to have reservations, but didn’t know that]. They still let these dumb american girls eat there.

Dessert for our last night in Thailand!

We had wanted to check out the rooftop bar that was in the Hangover II, but it was pouring rain, so we passed and went back to our hotel. We had been pretty lucky with the weather during our trip. It was rainy this last day in Bangkok and one other day in Bangkok, but all of our beach days had been full of sun!!

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November 21st: Peace out, Thailand flat,800x800,075,f.u2

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We were lucky enough to snap the exit row AGAIN for the 16 hour flight back home. I seriously don’t know how I would have tolerated sitting in a regular row for 16 hours, making the whole row get up every time I needed to get up and stretch/use the bathroom, grab something from overhead, etc. I would definitely recommend requesting to have exit row seats for any long flight. We only asked when checking in and they were available! This flight seemed so much longer than the flight to Thailand. I wasn’t able to sleep much so I watched lots of movies on Netflix that I had downloaded, movies the plane had, did some adult coloring (no that’s nothing dirty), and played solitaire on the plane’s tv pad.

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As much as I loved Thailand/Vietnam, there were a few things I was beyond excited for – Air conditioning, free toilets, toilet paper, actual toilets that flush not just a hole in the ground that you have to dump a bucket of water on, weird airplane meals, and being able to communicate with my uber driver.

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Things I was sad to leave – $1 beers, $15 2 hour massages, the SUN and BEACH, the gorgeous views, the food, the pretty drinks (They love bendy straws in Thailand), and all the amazing adventurous friends we met along the way.

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17 days in Thailand/Vietnam was not nearly enough time. I’ve always been the type of person to want to travel to new places and not return to places I’ve been to before just because I want to see the whole world. I do not say that about Thailand though. I would go back in a heartbeat. There’s so much more to explore there and I could take those views in any day. 10/10 would highly recommend. We spent a little more money on the trip for the places we stayed, but there are nice hostels for $7-12/night. We met a lot of people who were traveling on their own and would just meet people at the hostels. As cool as that sounds, pretty sure I’d have an anxiety attack doing that. Also, a lot of people we met didn’t have anything but their flight there and flight home booked. They booked adventures and flights once they were there. This allowed them to stay in a place for longer if they were really enjoying it and leave when they were ready to move onto the next place.

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Cheers. Until next time, Thailand

An Asian Adventure Part 1

Where do I even begin?! In November two of my friends and myself went on an adventure of a lifetime. We took a 17 day trip to Asia which included Thailand and Vietnam.

This was my first BIG adventure. I’ve been to the Caribbean, but nothing further than that.

My trip started with a mini vacation in the US.

November 4th: 6am flight to Seattle, WA. Once I landed my friend Seth picked me up and dropped me off downtown to get my nails done with Lindsey. After getting all pampered for our trip, Lindsey and I walked to Ozzie’s (a Husker bar) to meet Seth to watch the Husker football game. Unfortunately, our Huskers lost, but we all still had fun. Lindsey and I had the red eye to New York City that night.

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November 5th: Arrived to New York City at 6am. Lindsey and I were exhausted after being out Saturday night and then being on a plane all night, but there were absolutely no [comfortable] chairs or even carpet that we could nap on. We took the skytrain to the terminal that we would be flying out of that night. While in the terminal we used the restroom and Lindsey set her neck pillow on the counter near the sinks. When we came out of the stalls, it was gone. People never cease to amaze me! We were literally in the stall for a matter of a minute and in that time someone snatched her pillow.

We decided to check our bags so we didn’t have to haul them around all day in New York City. We then began the epic journey of trying to figure out New York City’s public transportation. After looking super tourists and asking a few people for help, we were able to get to the subway to end up at Time’s Square.

After walking around for awhile, we headed back to the subway to meet Lindsey’s high school friend for brunch. We all three had the avocado toast which was absolutely delicious [of course with a bloody mary]. After brunch we had to check out Dough because who doesn’t love cookie dough!?

 

Lindsey and I then headed to see the Twin Towers memorial. It was breathtaking and heartbreaking all at the same time. Lindsey and I were pretty exhausted so we went to her friend’s apartment to rest before meeting up with my cousin for dinner.

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Anna took us to a Mexican restaurant where we got margaritas the size of our heads. It was so nice catching up with Anna considering it has been years since we last saw each other. After hanging out at Anna’s post dinner, we took a cab to the airport to meet Sarah and check in for our flight.

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While waiting, we met a girl, Jenny, who was flying to Thailand as well, but all on her own. We got her contact info so we could meet up later. After waiting for our airline to “open” their checkin line and waiting in line, we found out that we were at Air China and our flight was actually China Airlines. We then hustled to the Skytrain and booked it to another terminal.

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We made it to our gate with a little time to spare. Luckily, when we checked in, there were two exit row seats open so we took them and then the lady sitting in the row with us offered to switch Sarah seats so that we could all sit together.

November 6: These exit row seats were LIFE SAVERS. We didn’t have to worry about crawling over each other to go to the bathroom or to stretch, had all the leg room in the world, and it allowed us to get up and stretch more often then we would have in a regular row.

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During the flight we watched movies, colored, slept, gossiped, and ate some odd asian food that the airlines served. Surprisingly, the flight wasn’t too horrible and I was able to sleep quite a bit.

 

November 7th: We landed in Bangkok at 10am, but after customs, a cab ride taken the wrong way at first, checking in to our hotel, and getting ready it was after noon. We took a boat ride to bring us to Bangladesh road. Once there we stopped at a bar to grab some drinks and food. We were pretty jet lagged, but hit up one more bar before we went home around 10pm.

Our hotel had an awesome infinity pool and amenities.

With a HUGE breakfast buffet!

November 8th: We headed back to the airport to fly to Vietnam. Vietnam requires visas to enter which we all had ordered about a month prior. When checking into our flight, the attendant told me that my visa had expired. I was distraught. Long story short I had to expedite a new visa, wait for them to email it to me, and then print it off. I was panicked that we were going to run out of time. I finally got it, checked in, and [again] we booked it to our gate with minutes to spare. [insert 2nd face palm of the trip]

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Once landed in Hanoi, Vietnam, we headed to our hotel: Hanoi Golden Holiday Hotel. During our cab ride, we were sure we were going to get killed or hit a moped driver. There were no stop signs, or driving laws, or stop lights and mopeds were coming from every direction. It was the most organized chaos we had ever seen and I’m not quite sure how we never saw an accident!

These pictures don’t even do it justice!

Once we checked into our hotel, we were greeted with drinks, snacks, and cool wet towels.

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Our hotel was super cute and welcoming. It was small, but we didn’t plan on spending much time in there anyway! They even had Netflix in our hotel room.

That night we went out to Hoan Kiem Lake and walked around. We ended up eating Korean BBQ which was pretty good. After dinner we walked down to Bia Hoi Junction which is an area where they block the streets off and throw tables and chairs in the street and hundreds of people flock to party. The bars all have drink specials. One thing they also have specials on is Shisha and “Balloons” which were filled with nitrous oxide. Beers were really cheap, about $2 USD. We ended up staying out later than we had planned, because we were having so much fun.

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November 9th: We left early via bus to get to our Cruise ship. We met a couple from Canada who were very nice and they ended up buying us all beers while we waited to doc our ships. Unfortunately, We were on a different ship than the couple.

Once we boarded the ship, we again were greeted with drinks and cool towels. We grabbed beers and waited to hear the plans. We started off with a 6 course Vietnamese meal which was absolutely delicious while we sailed deeper into Halong Bay.

Our first destination was Titop Beach where we climbed to the top to get a good view over the area. We hung out on the beach for a little while since it was too cloudy and cool to get into the water.

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We boarded the ship and headed for our second destination which was Tung Sau area where we did a little kayaking.

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Once back on the ship, we enjoyed some happy hour drinks and learned how to make spring rolls. Dinner was then served, which again was a 6 course Vietnamese and International set menu. We had planned on joining in squid fishing and having a few more cocktails after dinner, but we were thoroughly tired and went to bed instead.

November 10th: We woke up and did Tai Chi during the sun rise on the sundeck of the ship. Following a light breakfast {which by the way breakfast in Asia is totally different than the US.  Their idea of breakfast includes foods that they eat during lunch and dinner like soup, rice, chicken, etc.} we made our third and last stop of the trip at Sung Sot (Surprise) Cave.

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Pho for breakfast because do as the locals do

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Back to Halong to grab our bus back to Hanoi. Once in Hanoi we checked into a different hotel, Hanoi Lotus Boutique Hotel which we had went a little cheap on this time {evident in the quality of the room. It was still livable, but definitely not as nice as the others we had stayed in thus far}.

We had made reservations for the water puppet show which we had heard we had to experience. The shows are performed in a waist-deep pool. A large bamboo rod supports the puppet under the water and is used by the puppeteers, who are normally hidden behind a screen, to control them. Thus the puppets appear to be moving over the water. When the rice fields would flood, the villagers would entertain each other using this form of puppet play. The whole show is in Vietnamese so you can’t understand it.

It was interesting for about the first 15 minutes and kind of funny, but 30 minutes into the hour I fell asleep.

Following the puppet show, we walked around and found Pho. We discovered that all the Pho we had in Vietnam and Thailand was different than the Pho we’ve had in the US. The base was the same, but all of the fixings was different and they didn’t bring you chili sauce or plum sauce to add.

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We walked around Bai Joi Junction again listening to people sing and bands play. We grabbed a few drinks and even tried fried mango which was amazing.

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November 11th: We were off to Bangkok. We had all day to check out Bangkok before boarding our night train to Chiang Mai. We stopped at the train station to check in our bags. The train station was very VERY dirty. Feral cats were running around and there was a note to take all of your food out of your bags so that rats didn’t try to get into your bags – this only freaked us out a tad bit :/

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We then headed to Grand Palace which makes up a combined area of 2,351,000 square feet surrounded by four walls. It is made up of numerous building, halls, pavilions set around open lawns, gardens, and courtyards.

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We had to cover out shoulders and ankles in order to enter. We also had to take off our shoes to enter the actual Temple inside the Grand Palace. No pictures are allowed inside of the temple which is unfortunate since it is magnificent beyond words.

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After the Grand Palace we grabbed some food, of course I had Pad Thai. We headed to the Train station to catch our overnight train which we (again) were running to catch.

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We had booked train 9 because we heard trains 8 and 9 were their newer trains. Our train was very nice and accommodating including outlets except to our dismay: no booze was sold on the train. We were hoping to have a glass of wine to help us sleep on the train. We even watched a Netflix movie on the train (a downloaded movie since the train didn’t have wifi ughhhh)

 

November 12th: We all slept well and arrived in Chiang Mai the next morning. We grabbed a cab to our hotel: Green Tiger House. We grabbed breakfast here which was absolutely delicious.

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We then decided to wander around. We tried some fresh squeezed fruit juice from the street and headed to Lila Thai Massage. We each got 2 hour full body Thai massages for $15 USD a piece which included 30 min foot massage, 15 min hand massage, 30 min back, neck, shoulder massage, 15 min head massage, and 30 min thai herbal compress massage. This was an intense massage! They throw you around like a rag doll.

After massages, we grabbed some drinks, checked out some more temples, grabbed some Thai grub (Pad Thai for me of course) and then headed back to the hotel to get rest and get ready for the night.

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That night we headed to the market on Rachadamnoen Rd that night which is a huge market with people selling their goods and people drinking, dancing, and poeple playing music. We ended up meeting up with Jenny, the girl we had met at the airport in New York. She brought some friends with her who were all traveling on their own that she had met during her travels.

They were a lot of fun. We all ended up going to the bar area and started at the bar called Zoe in Yellow (apparently the bar to start the night out at). The bar area was bumping. They were playing club music and had club lights going. They had almost a Railyard/Power and lights area between all the bars that you could go with your drinks and hang out. We went home around midnight because the next day we had an early start to go to the Elephant Sanctuary.

 

To be continued…

 

 

Turning uncertainty into Seasons

Does everything that happen to us have a meaning? Does everything happen for a reason? These are questions I’ve struggled with lately. Why did I get hit by a car? Why are there no jobs in the area I’m living? Why was my grandpa taken away from us? So many questions that will never be answered.

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This leads me to searching for an answer as I did when I was hit by a car.

Not having a job for the past few weeks has taught me a lot. I have NEVER been a saver. I’ve always done whatever whenever because I was able to. I’ve traveled, I’ve gone to concerts, I’ve partied, and I’ve shopped.

Over the past few weeks I’ve said no to concerts, said no to getting my nails done, and said no to sporting events. Inside I’m dying a little because “who am I? I never say no.”

Is this lul in my work supposed to be a lesson on the fact that I need to start saving and saying “no” more? Or does it just happen because that’s life and I chose to move here hoping there’d be jobs in my area and my luck there’s not. Or am I supposed to go home for a while and be with family and friends? Or do I not have a job so that I am able to go home with ease for my grandpa’s funeral and spend extended time with them before a job pops up?

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Yet mores questions I will never for sure know the answers.

Now death is always a touchy subject. It’s inevitable, but how can you not have questions. Why now? How was he still holding on after everything he’s been through? How can he be taken away before seeing so much of my life or my families’ lives? He worked till he was 91 shouldn’t that mean he has at least 10 years post retirement?

Yet more questions that will never be answered.

I for sure don’t have this thing called life figured out, but I sure try to. Maybe I think too much into things, but as Sugarland said, there’s gotta be something more.

If I wouldn’t have gotten hit by a car would I actually be traveling? If I would have had a job right now would I have been able to go home for extended time with my family during this difficult time? If grandpa wouldn’t have passed now would it have occurred at a worse time in our lives?

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When you have all day to sit around with your thoughts, it’s a pretty scary thing or maybe it’s a good thing?

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.” Jeremiah 29:11-12

There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under the heavens. Ecclesiastes 3:1

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Right now is my season for growth, personal growth. My last season was professional growth; traveling and growing as an occupational therapist.

Saying no is hard for me.  Maybe I needed this season to help me learn how to say no and grow personally. This must be my season of “jobless” of “personal growth”. Because if every season is a negative season, how do we go on? How do we wake up each morning with a purpose?

The day of my Grandpa’s funeral I received a call that I had landed a job in the Seattle area (which is great considering there had been no jobs even near me recently). Receiving that call on the day of his funeral seemed like no mistake to me. My grandpa was watching over me. If I had been working during this time I probably wouldn’t have been able to come home for the week I was home to spend time with family. It was much needed family time and am grateful I was able to be home for an extended time.

Things have a way of working out, they just sometimes aren’t the path that we see (or might not be the path that we want).

Find the good in everything. Search for the meaning. God puts you through seasons for a reason. No one said it would be easy. This season for me has definitely challenged me and thrown obstacles at me that I never thought I would have to face.

So what is your season? Season of love? Season of children? Season of uncertainty?Season of wealth? Season of single?

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Whatever your season is. Make something out of your “useless” season. Learn from it. Grow from it and Embrace the Detours.

 

RIP Grandpa. Fly high. I am so blessed to have an amazing angel watching over me.               02/16/1924 – 08/30/17297330_286501784705124_1877787322_n

 

 

Status: Hiatus

So it’s been a hot minute since I wrote my last blog. Time sure gets away from you when you’re having fun! Too much has happened in the last few months to break it all down, but i’ll give a short synopsis of the highlights.

The end of April I moved to Prescott, Arizona where I started my second travel assignment working at Mountain Valley Regional Rehabilitation Hospital. I met some amazing people who became not only great friends, but were amazing professionals. While there, I met two other traveling physical therapists who I ended up becoming very close with and doing a lot of site seeing with.

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Lake Powell

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I was blessed to have amazing friends help me celebrate my birthday right in Phoenix. Angela and Dubas even made the treck down from Nebraska! The weekend consisted of downtown Phoenix, kayaking down the Salt River, Old Town, and a pool party at Talking Stick.

Prescott was a gorgeous city with lots of activities on weekends to entertain. Events included wine festivals, beer festivals, farmer’s markets, kayaking, hiking, and distillery festivals.

In January I started getting false eyelashes put on professionally (oh the life of a girl). I was absolutely in love with them. One day in Arizona I woke up with what was thought to be pink eye. After 3 urgent care trips, pink eye meds, allergy meds and shots, 3 days off work, eyelash removal, eyelash application, and another eyelash removal, I found out that I had acquired an allergic reaction to the glue that they use to put the eyelashes on. Warning: unattractive pictures to show the intensity of the reaction. From top left corner to bottom right corner: Progression of no reaction -> getting worse -> getting better.

Other big events include: Jourdan’s bachelorette party in Vegas, Gingers wedding, wildfire miles from Prescott, visit from Maddie, and trips to Phoenix.

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After Arizona, I took some time off to go to my cousin’s bachelorette party in Minnesota where we went tubing down the river, I got to watch my cousin race his car, and we all went to hairball.  I then flew back home to Nebraska with absolutely nothing planned. It was so good to see family and friends and spend quality time with them all. While home I got to celebrate Andrea’s last night of owning the 12th Street Pub, checked out the breweries in Grand Island, visited family in multiple cities,

 

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On my 22+ hour drive from Arizona to Washington I was able to stop and stay with friends on my way up. I stayed with Cally outside of Salt Lake City who her and her husband were great hosts. My next stop was Boise, Idaho where I stayed with a fellow traveling COTA and her son and his wife. They took me around Boise and I absolutely loved the beauty and hidden gems of the city.

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Upon moving up to Washington I did not come with a set job. My two roommates had traveling positions locked and I was sure that I would be able to find something in the greater Seattle area. Boy was I wrong. I have had absolutely no luck with traveling or Per Diem work. There are jobs, but over 2 hours commute one way. I have learned a lot about myself over this time. I have learned to be an advocate for myself and for what I truly am looking for in a job at that time (in this instance placement is the most significant piece since I already have an apartment in lock down). Being jobless has really showed me the true meaning of budgeting (which I really never have done too much of before).

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With this extended time off I have had the time to really focus on myself: get good workouts in, meal prep, read, hike, and travel. I just returned from B.C. Canada where I was able to visit my lovely cousin, Dena. Her and her husband have a sailboat docked near Nanaimo. Dena took me around Victoria and we then stayed on their boat which was a new experience for me. Wednesday we went on a boat and went whale watching where we were able to see about 6 killer whales which was pretty neat. It was a quick trip, but we fit a lot in and lots of quality girl chats in as well.

I have been fortunate to have some connections up here which have connected me with families to babysit while waiting for a job to open in my area. Anything is better than sitting around all day. Prayers up for a job opportunity to open up for me!

“Sometimes a detour is just God making sure that you’re ready for where He’s taking you” – Pastor Benny Perez at the Vive Conference

Whip Cream & Lies

If you’re not a Bachelor fan then you will not understand my title!

WoW! Time flys. I wrote this post like a week ago and never got to posting – so here it is a week late

March 6th-13th

Monday nights are always busy, but Monday nights are what get me through the day. I always head to Tammy and Ben’s house around 7:00 for games. This week we played Heads Up (which no one had ever played before!!) So glad I could pop all of their Heads up cherries. We played the sound it out version, which is actually harder than you think! They have cards such as garbage disposal, not just animals. It was very comical! We then played the Just for kids game when we were noise making out!

After Heads Up it was time for discussion about that weeks’ service. Before moving to Cali, I had never gone to church groups during the week (except for when I was in high school). I really enjoy extending my learning experience out of church and into group. It really brings everything full circle and it’s great learning about everyone else’s struggles and triumphs all the while growing my relationship with God. Our current series is titled “Confrontingly Human” a series on the Church as one body.

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Of course we can’t forget the last part of every Monday night – BACHELOR watch time! We love reading all the tweets while watching it – since we are west coast and watch it late pretty much all the rest of the US has already watched it and tweeted their opinions.

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Tuesday night Tammy and I went to Montague to check out a hip hop class. I have been missing dance so much and was so pumped to bust some moves. This dance studio is a drop in studio so you can go and check out one class and not be behind because they teach new combos every week. The song we danced to was jojo’s “too little too late” talk about throw back. The teacher had phenomenal moves. It was just the right challenge; hard, but after repetition I was able to get it. I definitely plan on making a regular appearance on Tuesday nights.

Thursday after school was out, a couple of the teachers had a Lularoe party. I had never been to one before, but I heard they had super comfy leggings so I decided to check it out. I’m sure glad I decided to go. Their leggings are beyond soft and comfy and very affordable! They have a lot of fun and funky patterns. I was a little hesitant at first because I usually just wear solids, but once I tried them on I was sold. I also fell in love with their long cardigans which they call the “Sarah”. I recommend checking out a party if you get the chance!

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After the party a couple of us headed to grab some food at Blue Sea. It was happy hour so we ordered a bunch of appetizers. We ordered crispy calamari (to die for!), soft shell crabs (not my fave), oysters (they are only $1 each during HH), yellowtail shooters, and Hamachi jalepeno. I also ordered a pomegranant mimosa. I could have ordered a whole pitcher it was so good. They used real pomegranant in it.

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We then headed to the local college for facials. I had never had a facial done before and so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I really enjoyed it though and definitely plan on doing them more often now!

Friday a group of us met Tammy at her work (Facebook) for happy hour and dinner – EVERYTHING IS FREEEEE. Can’t say no to that! I got their braised pork belly with sweet otatoe puree and strawberry rubarb, chicken taquitos, pasta primavera, and stir fry ramen. It’s a cafeteria style, so you get in line and pick what and how much you want.

After dinner we went to the Oculus room to play some virtual reality. I had played it once a couple weeks ago with Tammy, but some of the guys had never played it before. We discovered this game – bar fight which was absolutely hilarious. The guys got so into it we had to make sure they didn’t punch the computer screen. We had intended on only being there for an hour and then going to a couple movies, but ended up staying there till about 10pm we were having such a good time.

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[Pictured my lularoe Sarah and leggings!]

Saturday night we went to Total Wine and more to pick up Palm Breeze’s (Palmie Breezies as Ben called them when he couldn’t remember the name) that I had put on hold earlier that day – after much searching I FINALLY found a place that sold them – only a 30 minute drive away NBD. This store had about everything you could imagine. I didn’t want to leave. Not only did they have every alcohol, but all the cutest wine glasses, openers, etc.

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We decided to grab dinner at Blue Line pizza for some deep dish pizza. Tammy and I split the BBQ chicken deep dish. The BBQ chicken was amazing! We had planned on going to a movie this night, but by the time we were done eating it was already 10 (technically 11 with the time change) and we all had to get up early the next day for church so we decided to call it a night.

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Monday was the Bachelor FINALE and so we decided to have a party. Of course it was Corrine themed. We had all the necessities – cheese pasts, cucumber slices, whip cream and lies, champagne, cheese cubes, and the final rose. It was probably the worst season i’ve ever watched, but the company made for a great time every week.

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Thats all for now!

LA Part II

Sunday was a rough start because by now we were all going on only a few hours of sleep. We quickly got ready and headed to Au Fudge, Jessica Biel’s restaurant. I highly recommend this place if you are ever in the LA area. Not only is it adorable, but the menu is phenomenal and it’s kid friendly with au pair’s to watch your kids while you and your friends enjoy a meal.

I’ve always heard the rave about chicken and waffles, but never really understood it. When I asked our waiter what he recommended, he immediately said “our chicken and waffles”. So I decided to go for it and try it. I also got a bloody mary to kick off my day. The bloody mary was sub-par, but my chicken and waffles was beyond words. It was the perfect mixture of sweet and a little spicy. The chicken was crispy and the seasoning was perfect. Mackenzie ordered the Vegan Hash and Tammy ordered the Bacon Breakfast Sandwhich, both of which they enjoyed! For dessert we had to try one of their famous milkshakes – everything of which is homemade including the ice cream. This milkshake is beyond words so I’ll just show you a picture and let you decide for yourself!

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After our ginormous meal we decided we needed to walk it off and went for a hike at the famous Runyon Canyon Park. It was a little rough at the beginning with the food still settling, running on lack of sleep and lack of exercise over the past few days, but it was well worth it. The views were breathtaking and you could see over the entire city. Tammy told us that we were lucky because the sky is typically pretty smoggy, but it was very clear that day. We snapped a couple shots and headed back down to go home and change for our photo shoot we were about to go on.

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So if you don’t know, there are many great photo ops in LA. Here is the link to the famous walls where you can have your picture taken: http://localadventurer.com/best-instagram-spots-in-los-angeles/

 

My favorite was the pink wall. Be warned: there will probably be a line at every wall! At the pink wall there is even a security guard to make sure you don’t touch the wall with your feet. We had fun picking out different poses and pretending like we were professionals.

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We also made a quick stop in DASH – their prices weren’t too horrible surprisingly!

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Mackenzie and I were needing some coffee by now so we searched for the nearest coffee shop which happened to be just across the street, Alfred’s coffee. We walk in and the line is enormous – literally would have taken an hour! Luckily there was another Alfred’s just a couple blocks away. We get there and again another huge line, but we have no choice so we wait. While waiting in line we discovered that apparently this place is famous (hence the huge lines!) I tried my first bubble tea and Kombucha. The bubble tea was decent, but I really like the Kombucha. I’m learning so many new things out here in Cali.

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We then headed home to get ready for the night because we had reservations at PUMP for dinner! PUMP was absolutely gorgeous. It was a magical garden filled with trees, chandeliers, candles, flowers, and beautiful antiques.

I had the chicken Milanese which was served with Lisa’s homemade potato salad (I’m sure she slung it up at home that morning) and an arugula salad. I could have had seconds of everything if I had the room. Tammy and Mackenzie both had the Tiger Prawn and Farro salad. Tonight we weren’t as lucky and didn’t have any celeb sightings at PUMP.

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I had to get the Jalepeno margarita again and the girls go the famous Pumptini.

After PUMP we headed to Nightingale Plaza where we had gotten on the guest list. After a little wait we get into the club which at 10 was still dead! This club was NOT what we expected at all. It was super boujee and we felt a little awkward. I think Tammy said it best “I feel like I’m in an episode of Straight Outta Compton”. Apparently Drake’s dad was there and we were told that “he likes to party”. There were also girls in angel costumes strutting around dancing above us. We hung out for awhile and then decided to go to the Abby because we had so much fun there on Saturday night. The Abbey was packed again and just as fun! We even saw “Oliver” from How To Get Away With Murder.

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We also saw Scott Hoying (from Pentatonix). Apparently he was too cool to take any pictures with anyone though. He was in his own confined VIP area with one other person.

Once we got home Mackenzie thought ordering pizza was a great idea – I didn’t disagree. I was so tired that I fell asleep before the pizza got there, but amazingly woke up right when the pizza got there! We all dominated that pizza. Nothing like a little pizza at 2AM!

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Monday morning Mackenzie and I swung into Urth Caffe to grab a quick to-go breakfast and then we all headed to Warner Bros Studios for a tour! The WB tour was amazing and highly recommend it to everyone! There is so much that goes on behind the scenes that it doesn’t even seem real. We saw the sets where the upside down kiss from spiderman was filmed, the Gilmore girl’s, Hart of Dixie, Friends, and many more.

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Pretty Little Liar’s House

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Luke’s Diner

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My favorite part was the interactive part. We got to take a picture on the famous friends couch. Mackenzie and I even rode on broomsticks with Harry Potter. And lastly I even won an Oscar for my acting skills.

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Our last adventure was a stop at Olive and Thyme. It was another cute little café/shop. Their food was scrumptious. I even got a little treat that was to die for. The coolest part about stopping here was when we were leaving we sighted Katie Holmes across the street. Of course we had to cross over so that we could grab some paparazzi pictures.

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What a trip! Can’t wait for my next adventure – but I sure have been enjoying these lazier weekends the past few weeks! Only 5 more weeks left in California and then off to my next destination which is still unknown at this time.

Los Angeles Part I

Where do I even begin on my adventures in California?! I decided to share my adventures in LA first because it has been my favorite trip so far. I’m splitting it into two posts because we stuffed so many activities into a few short days.

Ever since I moved here in the beginning of January, I have been trying to see everything that I can before I move in mid April. A couple of weeks ago 2 friends of mine (Tammy and Mackenzie who I met through VIVE church here) were talking about how we wanted to visit LA. Spur of the moment, we made plans and got an AirBNB for a week later. Tammy lived in Orange County for about 5 years and is very familiar with LA so she was excited to plan all the awesome spots to take us to see. So on Feb 17th we packed Mackenzie’s car full and do I mean full! We all had at least 2 suitcases for only a 4 day weekend and Mack had a whole suitcase just for shoes! 😛

The drive of course could not go without a little excitement. Mack’s low tire pressure light came on so we pulled over to check it. 3 girls checking the tire pressure and filling the tires with air is a show in itself I’m sure. Tammy went into the gas station quick and all of a sudden Mack screams “OMG. I JUST SAW A PEACOCK”. I thought she was crazy. She pulls her car around and sure enough a dang peacock was chilling at the gas station. Mack gets her pictures and videos of the peacock just in time for Tammy to think we had bailed on her. Back on the road we got after all the excitement! After another few hours we finally made it to Beverly Hills to our AirBNB which happened to only be a block from Rodeo Drive! Once settled into our place we got ready to head to Saddle Ranch.

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Saddle Ranch was pretty chill and we grabbed a table so we could get a few appetizers since we hadn’t eaten dinner. We got a jalepeno macaroni and cheese and this ginormous cotton candy. We got two (one for Mack riding the mechanical bull). After spending time at Saddle Ranch we decided to head down to Hyde Sunset Kitchen and Cocktails after recommendations from people at Saddle Ranch.

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We arrive at Hyde and the bouncer asks us who we know. We all look at each other with blank stares and say that we have never been here before. The bouncer replies “Okay. Go on in.” and didn’t even check our IDs. We walk in and all of our eyes light up at the same time. This place was amazing! We go up to the bar to order drinks and Mack is freaking out “look to your right. OMG. Look at the bar to your right.” So Tammy and I turn our gaze and sure enough there is Amanda Stanton and Josh canoodling and ordering drinks together (for all my non-bachelor fans this couple had been broken up and there was no news of them being back together yet).

We grab our drinks and head to the dance floor only to realize we are standing next to the VIP table filled with bachelor contestants: Luke Pell, Chase McNary, Lace Morris, Jasmine G., and Christian Bishop. Apparently they were all in LA for a recording of Bachelor Family Feud. In case you were all wondering because I know you are – Yes, Chase is just as cute in person! We were fan girling hard the whole night. We didn’t ask anyone to take pictures because we were trying to act cool – so you’ll just have to take our word for it! We also spotted Aubrey O’day from Making the band and Danity Kane and DeAndre Hopkins who plays for the Texans.

I would say our first night was a success – Oh wait. Don’t speak too soon. So we take an Uber home and walk up to our apartment and the door to the entrance is locked. The entrance doors were always supposed to be unlocked our host had told us. So we try our room key. It doesn’t work. We try the extra room key. It doesn’t work. We freak our for about another minute until I take another look inside and realize it wasn’t our apartment complex. We were one complex over! So we hop over to our actual apartment and the door WAS unlocked! Close call! Lights out for these girls!

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We wake up Saturday morning and get ready for the day. Our first stop is Urth Café which was packed. Apparently a lot of actors/actresses like to eat here as well. It was a little misty out, but sat outside under an umbrella and enjoyed our delicious brunch and coffees. I tried Tammy’s Matcha Latte for the first time and it was absolutely wonderful! They have awesome options for those of you who are vegetarian. I tried the Mexican Omelet which was served with baked bread and a mixed green salad which was to die for. Tammy had The Rustic Poached and Mackenzie tried the Salmon Scramble. To say the least all of the food was delicious.

We then walked around Rodeo Drive and checked out some shops and hotels. Not sure who designs the retail for these stores or who actually buys it, but the merchandise was ridiculously awful and expensive (well not my taste at least). It was cool to check out the stores though. We had fun walking through the fancy hotels and pretending like we were actually staying there. We also stopped at Kyle’s store (from The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills). There was some cute clothing in there, but wayyy out of this girl’s price range!

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We then hoped in the car with our tour guide, Tammy and headed to see The Prince of Bel Air’s house and then headed to the Hollywood sign where we took a ridiculous amount of pictures and boomerangs (we aren’t tourists at all).

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Our last stop for the day was the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I had heard my Celeb crush, Adam Levine, had just gotten his Hollywood star earlier that week and so of course I had to get a picture with it! They were actually setting up for the Oscars while we were down there which were the following weekend – too bad we couldn’t have a come a week later!

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Although we were exhausted we still had a long night ahead of us so we headed home to get ready. We originally had planned on doing dinner at this cute little place called The Bungalow, but realized by the time we got ready and waited for a table and for dinner that we would have used up a lot of the night, so instead we just headed straight for SUR! For those of you who don’t know what SUR is, it’s Lisa Vanderpump’s restaurant which is the focus of the show Vanderpump Rules. We were hopeful that we would see some of the bartenders/waitresses from the show. Although we didn’t see any of the bartenders/waitresses we did see the manager Peter, Lisa, Giggy, Ken, and Guillermo. They were all super nice and friendly!

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We had tried to make reservations at SUR before our trip, but it was completely booked so we decided just to go for drinks and appetizers.

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A group of married couples let us sit with them so that we could order appetizers. We ordered the goat cheese balls (yes, they are as amazing as everyone says they are on the show), ahi tuna, and sliders. I also tried their jalepeno margarita and they were amazing as well! Not too spicy, but not too sweet. The prices are decently priced which we were not mad about!

After we had our share of SUR we decided to head to The Abby which is a gay nightclub. Everyone said that it is a good dance club and a lot of fun. We headed straight for the dance floor once we got to The Abby and danced our booties off. We had so much fun! The night was not done yet. We then headed to Avalon which felt just like a club straight out of Vegas. We got there around 1:30 and it was still packed. It stays open until 7AM! They stop serving alcohol at 2 and then start serving again at 4. (No mom, we did not stay there until 7!)

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We were all a little hungry after the bars since we had only eaten small appetizers so we headed to Mel’s Drive In. I ordered a Patty melt and sweet potato fries which I dominated and might have stolen most of Mackenzie’s strawberry milkshake 😛 After indulging in a late night meal we went home and found the right apartment complex this time!

Stay tuned for my next post about the rest of our trip! 🙂

‘Tis the Season

Here’s my first blog post! I’ve been working on one about my trip to LA, but that one is taking me awhile because of all our adventures in the short time we were there so I decided to write a little reflection post first.

With Lent right around the cor….oh wait. It’s here. Yesterday as I was working out at the gym I was contemplating what I was going to give up so here’s what I came up with.

  1. I am going to go to the gym at least 5 days a week. Ever since my accident it has been hard to get back on the workout train. Prior to my accident I was going regularly; lifting and running. I want to get back into that habit and starting a habit is the hardest part of the battle. I am determined to get back to where I was over 6 months ago. I am planning on going to the gym in the morning so that I can get it out of my way and have the evening to adventure, hike, or just to have time to myself. Shout out to my mom for agreeing to call me in the morning, 4:30 my time; 6:30 her time, to make sure that I get up and go to the gym! What would we do without moms?
  2. I am going to read at least 1 “fun” book. I love reading for fun, but rarely do so. On the trek out here I was able to read, because my dad did a lot of the driving (You the real MVP). I think reading is not only good for the soul, but also for the mind. I also think this will help me decrease the amount of time I spend watching Netflix and my Roku at night because let’s be real it’s a ridiculous amount of time.
  3. Sweets only one day of the week. Let’s be honest. I have a HUGE sweet tooth and have a difficult time turning down a good dessert (as you will note later in this post). By limiting myself to only having one day a week that I can have sweets, I’m hoping to increase my self-control and save my “cheat” day for something that I really want.
  4. Improve my prayer life. After moving to Cali, I became a lot closer to God and also started attending Church on a regular basis. Prayer not only is a time to ask God to help with the problems in your life, but also to thank him for the good things and to grow in your relationship with God. I want to continue growing my relationship with God by not only praying more frequently, but praying with more intent.

 

On another note – this last weekend was a much needed chill weekend (not that I didn’t have plenty of time to chill on my week winter break I just had as well). Saturday night Tammy and Ben took me to my first Golden State Warriors game. It was so much fun! We went to Drake’s Brewing Company to grab a few drinks and dinner before the game. The atmosphere was neat and rustic. I tried their Demon Duck of Doom, a Saison, which was pretty good. For dinner I ordered their Porkbelly Sandwhich which had a hoison mayo, napa cabbage slaw, onion, and pickled zucchini. It was delicious! They have different choices of fries and I chose their spicy fries – probably won’t order them again and wished I would have went with the garlic fries instead.

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The atmosphere at the game was unbelievable. I now know why they call it the (R)oracle. Unfortunately, Durante wasn’t playing because of a bruised hand (come on it can’t be that bad, right?) Stephen and Klay (or should I say the Splash brothers) did not disappoint. They were sinking shots left and right. Although the Nets kept up surprisingly well, the warriors pulled through and won it.

Sunday I went to the 9:30 service at VIVE and the message was great. “Our God is an Awesome God” was one of the opening praise songs which was by far my favorite song that we sang in youth choir growing up. The message was about how God works in seasons for example you could be in a “single” season or a “stressful” season and how God is working in our seasons and that he will bring the right thing at the right time. Sometimes our “season” can feel stagnant, but it is actually when God is positioning us for what is coming. God makes something useful out of our “useless” seasons. You can check out the whole message on podcast “A Season of Suddenly” VIVE CHURCH with Adam Smallcombe.

After church Tammy, Ben, and myself went to Aquis for brunch (which none of us knew they actually served brunch food). I ordered their Monterey Scramble – organic polenta, sweet potato, edamame and cheese enchiladas with scrambled eggs, tomato-basil sauce, roasted corn organic brown rice, avocado, corn-jicama salsa and feta cheese – AMAZING! Tammy and Ben ordered a brunch special which they both loved. Ben also ordered their flourless chocolate cake which of course we all shared and I may have eaten more than my share 😛 We walked around Willow Glen and checked out some stores and then the rest of my Sunday was “mental prepare for going back to work” mode after a 9 day break.

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Monday was an easy first day back after 9 days. After work I met up with one of my best friends from high school, Caleb Northrup, who was in town for work. We went to Sino which is a family style dim sum & Chinese-inspired restaurant. Two of Caleb’s coworker’s were with us and we ordered wayyyy too much food. After dinner Caleb and I went for drinks at Straights which we later found out is a sister bar to Sino. I would recommend both of these places to anyone – great food, drinks, and atmosphere. Catching up with Caleb was so much fun and I didn’t want the night to end. Unfortunately some of us had to work the next day.

Welllll I hope you all enjoyed my first post – no judgements. I’m doing this out of pure fun, for a little therapeutic release, and for family and friends to keep up. Happy Hump day!