Birthday.

Since I “became an adult,” I’ve been utterly obsessed with Disneyland. Not so much Disney movies, characters or memorabilia, but specifically the theme parks. This obsession hit me late, but hard, and if you recall, David and I last visited the Disney park in Hong Kong. Their park is unique in its own way, and while you can find classic rides like “It’s a Small World” and a mystical take on “Haunted Mansion,” it just made me long for the Disneyland. This year for my Birthday, we took a theme park focused trip down to LA and even stopped by Universal Studios! I don’t want to overtly declare how old I turned, but let’s just say it was a great way to welcome the last year of my 20s..

Take me back!

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San Francisco Weekend.

I had an amazing time in SF catching up with my girls this weekend (who hasn’t moved down there??). When compared to past visits, I thought this weekend would be relatively “low key” and reflective of life in my late-twenties: good meals, girl talk and early nights.

Well, if this weekend proved anything, it’s that these trips will always center around shenanigans, despite how old we may feel. Saturday night was painful after an afternoon full of wine and sun, but the memories were well worth it :)

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SF Squad. Jen, Jaimie, Emily, Erin and Kristy.

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Thank you Wifey for letting me be your roomie like old times.

Me and Emily before our Chinese foot massages – a SF trip necessity with my girl Jaimie. 

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Thai for dinner.

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Hot Pot.

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An assortment of dumplings and seafood “balls.”

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Delicious Dim Sum – another SF trip tradition with Jaimie.

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Fort Mason Park picnic.

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Pho at Mau.

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Rajah paws.

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Organic Strawberry Lemon Sorbet.

Portland.

It’s been a while since our last trip to Portland (Summer Solstice 2013 – I won’t forget it) and partly because we could get down there hands-free and within 2.5 hours thanks to Bolt Bus, we decided to head down for a quick weekend trip.  Back when I first graduated college, my focus was on food trucks, Voodoo Donuts and the nightlife. Without surprise, I didn’t give into any of those past temptations; and on this trip, opted to enjoy drinks at a hotel bar, forgo dessert and eat what sounded good, not what was “trending.” Just because. I often joke about my accelerated sense of old age, but 28 has been free of self-imposed expectations to do what I think I “should” be doing. It’s nice to finally just be. As long as I’m done “being” before my 9PM bedtime.

Strolls around the Pearl district have replaced dizzying schleps outside of night clubs and I’m very happy about it.

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King Street Station from the Bolt Bus.

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Relics of old Chinatown.

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Food stall square.

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My favorite corner to photograph (near where the Pearl District hits Downtown).

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Brick and mortar.

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Believe it or not, this wasn’t me.

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We stayed at the Heathman Hotel primarily because of its location Downtown, and also because of it’s spooky past. The Heathman is known as one of the PNW’s most haunted places, though we didn’t experience anything out of the ordinary aside from discovering that 50 Shades of Grey takes place there. That was haunting enough.

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Shopping local.

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Powell’s Books at night.

Notable little trips: Taiwan.

It’s been two months since our trip, and I can’t believe how time flies. The first week home, I spent each jet lagged hour thinking about what we should be doing if were still in Taiwan. In honor of my reminiscence, I’m sharing some special occasions and destinations from our trip that I didn’t cover before. Again, feel free to ask questions!

Taichung City for my cousin’s beautiful wedding reception. My dad is from Taichung, and I’ve spent weeks there during visits when I was younger. Though we only stayed for the reception, we had the opportunity to drive around the city and grab some sweet delicacies  at the famous Jiunn Meei before our drive back to Taipei.

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Congratulations! I am still elated for you both.

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Taipei Zoo. I have been here three times now and the zoo’s size and detail amazes me every time. Be prepared to spend at least a few hours here, and if you hustle, you might be able to see every site. Don’t miss the lazy pandas, lounging hippos and nerotic guinea pigs (yes, there is a guinea pig and small mammal exhibit); they’re my three must-sees for each visit.

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Ximending Neighborhood is a popular area where young people congregate for entertainment, shopping and food. The atmosphere is similar to that of a Night Market, but there’s more room to loiter and rather than local finds, the shopping is focused on mainstream fashion and Japanese-inspired trinkets. This is also a great neighborhood for International fare like Italian or Japanese food.

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