Monday, November 30, 2015

Grand Cayman: Day 1

Two weeks ago, I hopped on a plane and flew down to Grand Cayman Island for a few days in the sun and on the surf.

I had been looking to close out the year with one more flight and even though Turks & Caicos was calling my name again (for $350), the $400 tickets to GCM tempted me into exploring a new island. I was happy because we managed to accomplish a good deal in five days without going overboard; we still had plenty of relaxation time and my self-made itinerary was flexible enough that we did not feel overwhelmed.
We got up bright and early on Tuesday morning and headed to the airport.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Lunch and a Show

This past weekend, I did something I hadn't done in over ten years: I went to a Broadway show. I think the last show I saw was Fiddler on the Roof with Alfred Molina (who I knew better as Doctor Octopus, as Spiderman 2 had just been released). And it's not like I'm some Broadway buff that's taken a long leave of absence or anything; I've only seen three shows total (the other two being Les Miserables and The Lion King). However, being in such close proximity to the city and a subtle lover of musicals, you'd think I would have gone more often.

I think the biggest wrench has been the price. Tickets for the more popular shows tend to be rather expensive (exceeding $100 per person for decent seats) and I don't have the patience to hang around the TKTS line. So, when my aunt was coming into town from Korea and she suggested we go see something, it was a nice little excuse to drop serious dough on a show. I looked at Wicked and Matilda before my sister suggested we see something Disney. Aladdin seemed to have the most buzz and cheaper tickets so I just went for it. We ended up paying $140 for our center mezzanine seats (plus a hefty amount in fees, which I found ridiculous). But, the show was awesome so I was really happy we got to see it.
Sis and I got up bright and early and drove to JFK to pick up our aunt. She hopped in the car with her luggage and then we were off to Manhattan. I'd researched a few parking garages beforehand and found a $30 coupon for a garage on 56th so we dropped the car off and then walked over to our lunch spot.

Monday, November 16, 2015

The 10 Worst Traveling Mistakes

I'm back from Grand Cayman, which is sad, but now I get to look at all of the photos and video I captured and relive the adventures so it's not all tears. In the meantime, I have a "filler" post which is actually pretty helpful, I'd say.

Traveling will forever be one of my favorite hobbies. I love every aspect of it, from the planning to the packing to the exploring and learning. Even coming home is an amazing part of traveling because there's nothing like setting your head on your own pillow after being away for a while.

I feel so lucky to have grown up in the internet age where everything I want to know is at my fingertips. The first trip I booked on my own (to London my senior year of college with a group of friends) was done online; the research, the flights, the hotel, the tube maps, everything we needed we found online. Unlike our parents' generation, we didn't need travel agents and we didn't once have to pick up a phone. We were our own travel agents.

Having this independence was and is amazing. I love that I can cater a trip specifically to my own wants and needs. The luxury of having a travel agent is that (if he/she is a good one) he/she will give good advice and tell you want to expect on a trip but doing it all on my own means I've made a blunder here and there. I've rounded up what I consider to be the top ten worst traveling mistakes.
Luckily, I haven't experienced anything too tragic - like getting kidnapped because I was lurking around some renowned kidnap zone - but the minor tragedies listed below can certainly be prevented.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

72 Hours in NOLA: Video Diary

As promised, here is my little travel video diary from NOLA. Despite the rainy, dreary weather, I still managed to keep my camera out at all times and did my best to try and capture interesting tidbits of our trip.
I've really been loving these little videos. They're great reminders of my trips and I'm actually excited to shoot footage whenever I go on trips now.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

72 Hours in NOLA: Day 3

H ambitiously woke up to go to the gym every morning so we never overslept.

On Day 3, we started the day with another walk in the French Quarter. We wanted to get some breakfast before we met up with our guide for the walking tour through the FQ and St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 so we headed to the all famous Cafe Du Monde for their renowned beignets.
It was another dreary morning (thanks to Hurricane Patricia) but luckily, it wasn't raining and actually, we caught glimpses of sunshine here and there.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

72 Hours in NOLA: Day 2

On Day 2, we woke up bright and early to grey skies.

We had tried to make reservations to have dinner at Cafe Amelie but they were closed for a private event. So, we did the next best thing and headed over to have breakfast at their more casual sister space, Petite Amelie.
The weather was drizzly on and off. It wasn't the best situation, however, it did create a bit of relief from the 80F weather.

Monday, November 09, 2015

72 Hours in NOLA: Day 1

Today is an exciting day for two reasons: one, I'm heading out to Grand Cayman tomorrow morning so I just have to endure one day of work this week and two, I'm finally sharing photos from my trip to New Orleans.

I flew down on Saturday morning with H and we had a glorious 72 hours in the Crescent City. The weather was a little uncooperative and we had to deal with some annoying bouts of rain which meant we didn't accomplish quite as much as we wanted to. However, we managed to eat everything we wanted to eat and I definitely boozed up more than expected so it still qualifies as a completely successful trip in my eyes. I should mention that we made lunch and dinner reservations for each day and we made it to each and every one.

The only big bummer for me was that I left my hat at the restaurant where we had our final meal. But, looking at it with a glass-half-full perspective, at least I didn't lose it at the beginning of the trip, right?
I'm going to warn you now that this (and the subsequent NOLA-related posts) will be photo heavy, especially in the food department. But I also feel like this is an announcement I make before every photo diary; I'm really predictable, aren't I?

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Frank Stella: A Retrospective

Last week, D invited me to the reception of a new Frank Stella exhibition at the new Whitney Museum location on Gansevoort. I'm not usually one to go out on a Thursday night (because I'm old now and a notoriously introverted homebody amongst my friends) but since I hadn't seen D in a while and I hadn't had a dosage of art in a while, I trekked out on the train.
We decided to enjoy a fancy little meal prior to the show so we met up at Buddakan.

Monday, November 02, 2015

DIY Succulent Mugs

I bought these little $5 cat mugs a few months ago with the intention of drinking hot chocolate out of them over the winter months. However, I didn't find the shape quite comfortable enough for sipping so then I decided to turn them into little succulent pots and they turned out super cute!
You'll need:
mug (the exact mugs I have are sold out but there are similar ones at World Market)
mini succulent plants
small stones
indoor potting soil mixed with sand
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