This my 50th post – wow!
Taking this time to wish everyone a joyous, healthy and prosperous year 2015. May this year be filled with wonder and grace and all your wishes and dreams come true.
This year, I am anticipating a few big life changes including a move to a new city! More to come on that… I’m also leaving for the Philippines tomorrow. I am going to be writing about my experience of living abroad at http://euninthephilippines.wordpress.com. I am nervous and more importantly excited and thankful for the amazing adventures ahead. As my friend M constantly reminds me, He makes no mistakes and everything has its perfect timing. Amen to that.
“I say, follow your bliss and don’t be afraid, and doors will open where you didn’t know they were going to be.”
Our time is a gift and I pray that every moment is like a miracle in your life. Happy new year! :)
Toodles noodles! <3
New York, NY, where dreams are made up, these streets will make you feel brand new, and big lights will inspire you. There has got to be a point where I say I’ve had enough of NYC. Until then it’s my favorite U.S. city other than my home sweet home, San Francisco!
Thanks to AA’s sweet flight deals and my random urge to see the xmas lights in NY, I had a really nice time in Big Apple in early December. A few highlights: visiting Columbus Circle (multiple times), catching up with my gals B, V and F, seeing the Henri Matisse exhibition at MoMA, and reading (and finishing my book!) at random cafes. I would have loved to get an original cronut at Dominique Ansel but the thought of taking the subway and waiting in line at 6AM in the temperature 30s sounded unappealing.
Three food & beverage spots I enjoyed and would love to go back to:
- ABC Kitchen (35 East 18th Street, New York, NY 10003) in Union Square. It’s an American restaurant, one of Chef Jean-Georges’s restaurants. It’s a large venue but B and I had to wait an hour+ for a table. Drinks, foods, service, ambiance and location, they were all very good.
- Whitehall (19 Greenwich Ave New York, NY 10014) in West Village. It’s a british pub slash restaurant that had cozy ambiance with brick walls and fresh pine wreaths in celebration of the holiday season. You know me loving everything british. This place gets an A+.
- Cafe Grumpy (200 W 39th St New York, NY 10018) in Midtown. Service was meh but the place was good for reading and they had a delicious rosemary currant scone that paired well with my hot coffee, so. Recommend.
Happy be-lated hump day! My short one-hour layover had turned into a full-day adventure and I had a nice time with A in this windy city! This year, very unexpectedly, I spent more than a month (in total) in Chicago! Well.. in the Chicago area since I spent majority of that time in St. Charles, IL. Oh, where this job takes me… We started the day at Millennium Park, walked to Navy Pier and around and around and then ended the night at… Millennium Park. HEHE. That is all for this post. For recommendations, see my older Chicago posts – dang, I’ve written heaps there!
In celebration of her XXth birthday, Mrs. Moon decided to grace this Emerald City with her presence this past October. She came for a bit less than a week and we took a day trip to Portland and another one to Vancouver and spent a full weekend in good ol Seattle. We had a rental car and wanted to take it easy with sightseeing, so these trips were a breeze.
Seattle: Hands down a special city that is so close to my heart always! See older posts for recommendations. You’ll notice a few repeatedly recommended venues: Shiro’s, Spur (for its Salmon Crostini, a bite of heaven), any of Tom Douglas’s restaurants (Serious Pie to name one) and Din Tai Fung in Bellevue (sesame buns for the win).
Actually, let me add one more to this list: Mamnoon (this middle eastern restaurant will blow you away with its utterly delicious foods and cocktails. It’s a completely renovated former garage across from Melrose Market and will not disappoint anyone. Says me.)
Portland: I like this city for its good and affordable restaurants and cafes, laid back and environmentally conscious culture, sales tax free shopping and International Rose Test Garden (oh man, this garden is one of the bests I’ve seen!) Let me explain and share photos from a few notable sites. Here I go! :)
- Japanese Tea Garden: This is a traditional Japanese garden occupying 5.5 acres in the west hills of Portland. There’s an admission fee and a mini hilly trail everyone has to walk on to get to the main entrance. No dogs allowed (sadly, Kiwi couldn’t go in).
- International Rose Test Garden: One of the most gorgeous inspiring gardens I’ve been to. It is a ROSE garden. Came close to Palazzo e giardino Giusti in Verona in terms of awe. There are over 7,000 rose plants of approximately 550 varieties. The roses bloom from April through October with the peak coming in June, depending on the weather. New rose cultivars are continually sent to the garden from many parts of the world and are tested for color, fragrance, disease resistance and other attributes. It is the oldest continuously operating public rose test garden in the United States and exemplifies Portland’s nickname, “City of Roses.”
Vancouver: I really enjoyed the afternoon tea at the Fairmont Vancouver. You should make the reservation in advance.
- Afternoon Tea at the Fairmont Vancouver: I love a nice tea time in good company – it’s so perfect to connect and relax and enjoy the moment. After going through a few review searches, I found the Fairemont Vancouver to be the one to take my ma. This Fairmont was going through a renovation at the time when we went so the lobby entrance was covered in white canopy tents. We spent two hours on the top floor, chatting and sipping the tea and munching on goods. This is a fantastic mother-daughter thing to do in Vancouver.
- Granville Island: A clear blue Canadian sky, ocean, a congregated shopping district that features day vendors, artists, fresh flowers and plants, public market that sells local goods and foods… A perfect blend of things I adore! If you like farmers markets, then you’d enjoy a visit to this “island”.
Finishing the post with one of the first pictures my mom and I took when she arrived. :) At my favorite gastropub, Spur in Belltown.
This is a picture post.
Enjoy some gorgeous photos of the last Summer days in Seattle…
“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are, let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in the quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.” ~Mary Jean Iron