2017: Recap

2017 was definitely THE year for the books, it was the year where I got to explore the world and unfortunately graduate college utopia to enter the real world. Here’s to hoping 2018 will have more adventures in store!

JAN: Started off 2017 with my first ever trip to NYC with the bae & friends, gastronomical horizons were expanded

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FEB: Spontaneously attended Ring Dance as a guest rather than a participant (was a lot less stressful, makes me wonder if I’ll actually enjoy my own wedding)

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MAR: Went on my first ever cruise with the high school crew and bae! Learned the beauty of 10 meals a day and craziness of UGA…I’m On a Boat ft. Lonely Island takes on a whole new meaning

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APR: Lots of “last” school activities: pig roast, scholars’ banquet, listening to my friends giving their POLs brought up so many memories and made me reflect on my four years in college

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MAY: Graduation festivities and FINALLY GOT MY DSLR!!!! As the college chapter of my story closes, the saga still continues

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JUN: Traveled to Thailand, Cambodia, & Martha’s Vineyard…made me step out of my comfort zone (and I learned really quick I basically had 0 street smarts compared to those who live in Asia)

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JUL: Settled into my new apartment and began the adult life, no complaints from this girl! Suburban living is definitely not for me.

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AUG: Went to the Watermelon Festival and decided to eat pho instead, but discovered the food mode on the DSLR >.<

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SEPT: Attended the Renaissance Faire in MD! It was an opportunity to try to dress up (even though all I did was wear a peasant dress and flower crown) and immerse myself in a different world…10/10 recommended, can’t wait till the next one!

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OCT: Comfy and Cute Halloween (maybe I’m getting too old for hardcore partying?)

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NOV: Work tested my limits in November so no adventure photos, BUT I did realize how much I enjoy what I do.

DEC: Explored various parts of Japan, can finally cross fresh fish and wagyu beef off of my bucket list. Definitely the most exciting place I’ve ever been to thus far. Solid way to close 2017, but was happy to be back in the States with the family for the holidays.

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ALL I DO IS WIN!

Shortly after graduating college, the competitive side of me is slowly coming back. My client I work for rolled out a holiday cookie contest…$50 dollars worth of materials and 4 hours of baking later, I won the Best Dressed Category with Holiday Hot Chocolate Mugs! Thank you to multiple recipes online for providing guidance on how to bake these beauties. The most painful and time consuming part was cutting the candy cane handles and “gluing” them onto the cookie cups.

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Happy Anniversary to Us!

Where has the time gone? It’s already been two years of us being together. When I reminded you of this, you said “it’s ONLY been two years?” I share the same sentiment. Time flies by super quickly when I’m with you, but it also feels like we’ve been together for a very long time just because I’m so comfortable with you.

This summer has been a tad rough, has it not? We went from living together to barely seeing each other for extended periods of time. You’re busy with your crazy rotations and I’m busy..err…doing fun things before entering the adult world, teehee. However, not seeing you as often just makes me appreciate you more. At least we move in together soon into our beautiful apartment (June/July TBD). Cannot wait to cook with you again and spend lazy days in front of the TV together! We officially have our own “nest” that is larger than Pusheen’s box.

This past year has been a whirlwind, and once again, we have experienced so many things together. For you, these things you have done before. For me, all of these were new experiences, so thank you for expanding my horizons. We went to New York together, set sail on a cruise, and were together on my college graduation milestone (you even discovered your interest in photography). We hiked Crabtree falls, discovered the best rotisserie chicken, boba tea, and ate bougie food in New York and Richmond.

You have surprised me this year by showing the softer, romantic side of you in so many unexpected ways. You can read me like an open book, yet I still get caught off guard by you, hmrph. I about cried of happiness when Sock-sheen was brought out, but my favorite moment was when you were saying “don’t laugh, it’s my first attempt ever, and the most frustrating thing i’ve ever done.” Well, Sock-sheen is perfect. Your labor of burning yourself with a hot glue gun and stabbing yourself with needles is a success. Thank you/props for not abandoning the cutie halfway.

Before the year ends, I hope we can travel to Asia together and visit Harry Potter World as well. Truth be told, I am excited, yet nervous to enter the real world (as I have told you numerous times before, then you always tell me did I not tell you to enjoy school blahblahblah). However, I know that it won’t be bad at all with you by my side. You’re probably never going to read this letter since you rarely/never go onto this blog of mine, but it’s here nonetheless for the future if I ever decide to make you read it, buahaha.

Thank you for being my motivator, companion, rock, sous-chef, and the garlic to my butter.

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Reminding to never forget my roots, even as I switch over to the business side, teehee.
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Look at this cutie, meet Sock-Sheen!

Graduation Trip Pt. 1

Richmond, VA –> Dulles Airport –> Bangkok, Thailand –> Krabi, Thailand –> Siem Riep, Cambodia

First time being out of the country in fifteen or so years has been quite the experience. Thailand was breath-taking and one day, I will return. Cambodia was fun, however, it is not a priority to visit once again. Surprisingly, I was not jet-lagged at all, thank you Benadryl for helping me adjust to sleep schedules quickly.

The hustle and bustle of Bangkok was invigorating. There was so much great food, interesting sights along the canal, good shopping, and impressive transportation systems. Night markets are a must see. Beware of tourist traps however! We got lured into one for a boat tour. When I go back, I definitely want to explore the city and take a few cooking classes. Krabi was relaxing with beautiful beaches, traveling was difficult…massages were amazing. Note: live near Aonang, as Krabi is actually a province. Cambodia was unique and Angkor Wat was impressive. However, every attraction requires an admission fee and workers basically force tips from you which left a gross feeling in my stomach. I was also not a fan of the food there.

Overall, this trip made me extremely fortunate for what I have in the U.S. and opened my eyes to numerous cultures. Onward to the next adventure soon!

My First Cruise Experience

Company: Royal Carribean
Ship: Majesty of the Seas
Duration: 4 Nights
Journey: RVA –> Port Canaveral –> Nassau, Bahamas –> CocoCay, Bahamas

Boy oh boy, was this an experience for the books or what? Even more of a bonus: this experience was with people that I care about (part of Team 804 and BF+friends).

Day 1: Throughout the days heading up to departure, I was worrying myself with the logistics of getting on, especially since the BF and I were not arriving together and the pass explicitly said to check-in together…check-in was extremely painless and we got onto the ship in about 30 minutes total. Everyone was extremely friendly. Stepping onto the ship was an eye-opener, it was so big and luxurious with so many people. Still was awed each time I stepped off of the ship. Our cabin stateroom was surprisingly spacious though the bathroom was hella tiny with the toilet flushing system with a lot of room to improve on. Our housekeeper was Filipino and oh so very friendly (GO JILL! You were the best even if we only got one towel animal the entire stay). Started to really feel like I was in paradise once we sat in the cafeteria (TALK ABOUT QUALITY AYCE FOOD). Toasted the trip with fancy fruity frozen drinks on top of the boat (unfortunately one drink ended up getting blown away by the wind)…this was where I met my soon to be favorite bartender, Edward, at the Schooder Bar. Dinner once again blew me away with the fancy menus and food selection. Presentation was a 10/10, food quality was a solid 7/10. Overall, I ended up enjoying the appetizers a lot more than the entrees.

Day 2: We spent the second day at sea. I do not remember much other than the BF being extremely seasick and getting served a wonderful beef filet dinner. OH! There was $3 buy-in for blackjack and dollar mimosas at the casino, teehee.

Day 3: Landed in Nassau and wanted to get off ASAP. First encounter was with a nice but really aggressive tourguide offering us a tour around the island for $30. Overall, I wish I could have explored Nassau more in depth. However, the people on the island were super aggressive and out to get your money with taxis and hairbraiding…this gave me low motivation to wander much further. The group explored the beach where they had 3 beers and 3 shots for 10 dollars. Water was cold, but oh so blue. We then went to a rum distillery with the BEST pina coladas. Ended up getting a full sized drink after the tour. Our tourguide was the best with his acting, all tours will dull in comparison here on out. As a self-proclaimed foodie, I much rather wanted to try island food and set out on the hunt for the best food Nassau could offer. We met a friendly but (wanting to sell us taxi rides) slightly intimidating person who suggested the fish fry. Ended up walking over 3 kilometers to McKenzies. It was a quaint, quite literal, coral pink shack on the pier overlooking the water…IT WAS ONE OF THE BEST FOOD DISHES I HAVE EVER HAD. (Shoutout to fried fish, conch, and conch fitters, apparently the fish burger was also great). The walk was entirely worth it. Crossed SeƱor Frogs off my bucket list and rediscovered my love for tipsy dancing.

Day 4: Cococay is Royal Carribean’s own private island and it was gorgeous. Easily one of the best places I have ever relaxed. The water was calm, clear, and warm. This island had a fabulous sandbar where I saw my first sea urchins, cucumbers, and other marine life. Lunch was brought to us (much impressed). I spent most of the day just relaxing and getting some much needed vitamin D, ahhh. After getting on the ship, we wandered around, played trivia, and hung out as a big group. One of my favorite memories was all of us goofing out and hanging out on the top deck and taking lots of pictures…then proceeding to play Bobby’s World and Who’s Triangle Is It? Went all out on dinner and got our special request (sinigang!!).

Reflections:

  • Overall, this has been one of the best experiences of my life, simply because it was with people I care about.
  • Being disconnected from the world with no cellphone was entirely refreshing and led to bonding that otherwise would not have happened.
  • Going out of the way to say thank you and asking people about their day goes a long way
  • Need to go on a cruise on the largest ship in the world, teehee.

 

 

75 and Sunny

Despite nagging thoughts in my mind telling me that 75 degree weather isn’t normal for February, spending the day outside was entirely irresistible. Started off with brunch at Perly’s, grabbed ice cream for an early dessert at Charm School, watched Get Out (holler to that coveted 100% on Rotten Tomatoes) and shared a Sweetheart flight at Blue Bee Cidery. It’s been a very long time since the boyfriend and I have had a “date day,” it was entirely refreshing and an adventure. Unfortunately, with the budding flowers comes his suffering with allergies. I may be developing allergies as well, uh oh.

 

Between school and work, life often gets busy and hectic…sometimes I just need a day like this to remind me of how blessed I truly am.

P.S. Richmond will always hold a special place in my heart.

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Food Reviews:
Perly’s: One of my favorite brunch places in Richmond, jewish roots with a homey atmosphere, expect a twenty-ish minute wait during the weekend, they do NOT accept reservations for brunch…the potato latkas and duck/potato perogies come highly recommended, then again you can’t really go wrong with anything on the menu.

Charm School: better ice cream than Bev’s? I think so. DO NOT PASS UP THE TOASTED FLUFF, I REPEAT DO NOT PASS UP THE TOASTED FLUFF (totes worth the extra dollar, and i mean you get sprinkles for free…). not to mention, the robin egg blue walls with references to books all around makes me feel right at home. currently daydreaming about the thai tea ice cream.

Blue Bee Cidery: atmosphere was fun, some of the ciders were quite potent, twas a bit crowded. however, they have flights of five drinks (3 oz pours) for fifteen dollars.

 

 

So you do have a romantic side to you…

The boyfriend surprised me by showing me a different side of him for Valentine’s Day. He always denies being overly sappy or romantic.

One Saturday morning, he says he has to work on a project with a friend and doesn’t know when he’d be back. Part of me was like “okay…why so vague…?” but I did not think much of it. Monday evening, he sends me an email with files. Upon closer inspection, it was ten images of him, holding up signs (HANDWRITTEN) with lyrics of songs that have sentimental meaning at various “first date” locations. Heart melts, I so lucky.

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Desserts in New York, I will miss you dearly

1- Boba Guys: Lychee Green Tea with Almond Jelly *WINNER*
2- Banana Durian Ice Cream: Morgenstern’s
3 – Venieros: Rainbow Cake and Chocolate Lava Cake *DISAPPOINTMENT*
4 – 1oBelow: “Matcha Made in Heaven” (Green Tea/Strawberry Thai Rolled-Up Ice Cream)
5 – Taiyaki: “The Classic”
6 – Eggloo *WINNER*