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My friends and I decided to take a road trip to Los Angeles, CA for 3 nights.

Day 1

We left the house at 4 AM and grabbed breakfast. After a six hour drive, we finally arrived at Los Angeles! First stop was Lemonade on Ventura Blvd for lunch.

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I love palm trees!

IMG_1514Lemonade (12401 Ventura Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 91604)
IMG_1516My friend suggested the watermelon rosemary, which was super good! Highly recommended.
IMG_1518Our original plan for the day was to go to Bronson Canyon hike and take picture with the Hollywood sign, but we were all pretty exhausted. So we didn’t do much.

Day 2

Second day in the city of angels! We decided to explore the city of Santa Monica for this day. Our first destination was Urth Caffe, which is definitely worth the hype.

IMG_1549What I got: Portobello Panini & Japanese Tea Latte
IMG_1552My friend’s dish: Poach di Parma
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After lunch, we stopped by Buffalo Exchange for some shopping! Best thrift store ever. I found a very soft black t-shirt dress.
But we couldn’t stop after one store. We headed over to 3rd Street Promenade for some more shopping!

IMG_1556What we had for dinner~
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It was a bit different than your  traditional Japanese ramen. For this particular dish, you dipped the noodles into the broth then eat it. Kind of like soba noodles.IMG_1568

Day 3

We visited the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA). It was awesome!

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The yellow strings aka noodles…

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Some paintings I liked…

Then off to Venice Beach with some cucumber mint lemonade!
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At the beach, my friend may or may not have been injured… Yikes!

Day 4

Our trip was almost ending. We packed up our things and left to the Grove for more shopping and our last meal at the Short Order. What a bittersweet ending!

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For me, this LA trip was a huge success! We were able to visit, eat and see things we wanted to do, yet we had our spontaneous moments. I also couldn’t have asked for a better group of friends to go travel with. Red bull heart attack, middle-of-the-night-screaming, late night card games, etc… This trip was definitely the highlight of my summer of 2014!

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Diary, Food, Travel

Palm Trees

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Japanese Friendship Garden

IMG_0852 copyI got to explore the Japanese Friendship Garden in San Jose, CA (for my art history presentation).
IMG_0861_copyThe formless and non-symmetrical structure of the Japanese garden was evident with this wooden pathway.

IMG_0866copyBeautiful sunset peeking through the Japanese pine tree.
IMG_0883copy IMG_0867copyLook at the BOKEH.
IMG_0919copy IMG_0927copyHonestly, I’m just in love with Autumn leaves ❤

IMG_0969copyMemorable scene with the red bridge. Landscape in the Eastern gardens evokes the feelings of physically entering into the nature. The placement of water in relation to the garden was to elongate and extend the viewing experience by reflecting the artificial view of landscape. It amplifies that effect of becoming one with the nature.
IMG_0972copyAgain… I’m just obsessed with the red hue of leaves.IMG_0979copyAlthough I wasn’t able to capture all the little details and elements of the Japanese Friendship Garden, I thoroughly enjoyed my time there and it was worth the trip.

I hope I get an A on that art history presentation.

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Vancouver Trip

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Right after crossing the US-Canada border. I captured this scenery because it looked like the rural part of Korea, where my grandma lives.
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Crossing the bridge. I love the geometric aspects of this photo!IMG_0488

I SEE YOU, DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER!
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We visited Mount Grouse then Capilano Suspension Bridge. The reason why I don’t have any pictures from Mount Grouse is because I went zip lining and didn’t bring my camera. The zip lining was amazing and one of the memories in life that I will cherish forever. My sister and I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it. smooth

So I’ve always read tips on how to capture waterfall, but I had never actually tried it out myself–until this day. I really noticed the aesthetic difference between changing the shutter speed for photographing that “smooth” waterfall. I wish I had a tripod, but oh well.

After Capilano, we checked into Best Western Plus to take a quick shower and headed to the International Summer Night Market. THE BEST THING EVER. So many food vendors and market vendors! It was overwhelming at first, but I got used to the craziness. We ate so many things like fusion noodles, lamb skewer, Taiyaki, shrimp dumplings, mango shaved ice, and bubble tea. We wanted to try out more food because this night market is open for a limited time. I also bought things such as false lashes, headbands, bun donut, socks, and iPhone 5 charger. I wish I can go back there and eat more food!

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This is the second day in BC, Canada. We accidentally slept in until 10 a.m. (when we were suppose to be up at 7 a.m.) so our plans were all delayed. Day 2 in BC, Canada took place in Victoria, BC, which is an island. We took the BC Ferries from Tsawwassen terminal to Swartz Bay terminal. It costed about $15/each person.
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In downtown Victoria, we first visited the Blue Fox Cafe. Hands down the best quesadilla I have ever had. I ate the Moroccon Chicken Quesadilla and it was heavenly. My sister had the Moroccon Chicken Egg Benny (Benedict) and she also loved hers too. If you go to Victoria but not this cafe, you are making a big mistake.

After our heavy, yet delicious lunch, we headed straight to the Fairmont Empress Hotel and the Parliament Building. Because it was such a gloomy day, the pictures  didn’t turn out so well. Actually, it was beginning to sprinkle when I took the above photo.
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Next stop was to the Butchart Garden. We had so much trouble trying to find the right bus stop and actually missed the bus right in front of our faces. But it’s all good. We made it and it was lovely. We didn’t expect much because it was JUST a flower garden. But the beautiful scenery and calming atmosphere really proved us wrong. Because we went on a Monday and it was sprinkling, we didn’t see a big crowd (phew!). IMG_0657_1

SO…IMG_0670_1

…MANY…
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…PRETTY…IMG_0697

…THINGS…IMG_0708

…TO TAKE…IMG_0725

…PICTURES OF! (Well this isn’t really “pretty” but I thought it was pretty cool. My sister thinks I take pictures of odd things…)

Before we exited the Butchart Garden, there was a corner where they were selling gelato. We tried the rose chocolate flavored gelato and let me just say that it was the best flavored gelato I have ever tried. The blend of rose aroma and the thinly sliced chocolate ratio was perfectly balanced, enlightening my taste buds. I’m not even exaggerating. I didn’t even  get a chance to take a picture of it, because I just couldn’t wait to get another bite of it.
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The last day of our trip, we drove back to Seattle, WA in the early morning in order to avoid traffic jam and delayed border crossing time. We basically chilled and relaxed by eating this wonderful Cuban sandwiches, homemade ice creams, and even visited the evolution fresh store for some cold pressed juices!

This memorable trip really uplifted my mood for the whole summer. I don’t really see this trip as a temporary escape from reality. I view it as a bonding experience between me and my sister, a self-recharging moment before my first college year and just overall mind cleansing. If it is possible, I would love to go back and discover more local cafes, hidden gem spots for photography and museums.

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