Travel

A Family Road Trip Around the Olympic Pennisula

Day One

We drove 4 hours from Portland, Oregon to Hoh Valley, Olympic National Park, Washington.

First stop: Aberdeen, Washington (hometown of Kurt Cobain) for some leg stretching, toddler playtime in the local park, and hot oatmeal and hashbrowns.

Second stop: Ruby Beach, Washington for some coastal views, pebble tossing, and Lara bars.

Where we stayed:

Hoh Valley Cabins. 10/10 would recommend.

Day Two

Where we hiked:

We opted for the Hall of Mosses trail, a 0.8 mile loop, in the Hoh Rainforest. It was there that we saw never before seen shades of green.

After our hike, we drove 1.5 hours directly to Port Angeles, Washington.

Where we ate: We had a phenomenal green curry, mediocre tacos, and a couple of cold ones at the most popular bar in town, Nextdoor GastroPub.

Where we explored: We walked along the Port Angeles waterfront park, snooped through their eccentric bookstores and fudge shoppes, and let our son play and explore the fountains and seaside to his little heart’s desire.

Where we stayed: 2 nights in a vintage (1970’s?) airstream on a farm in the hills of Port Angeles. Small, rickety, uncomfortable, and totally awesome.

Day Three

We spent the full day in the Port Angeles area.

Where we day-tripped: A 30 minutes drive from the Port Angeles city center, we drove to Lake Crescent Lodge where we dipped our toes in the glacier lake’s bright blue and surprisingly warm waters. Before trekking back to our airstream, we enjoyed hot coffees in the lodge’s picturesque tea room. This was the most eye-swooning experience.

Where we explored: Ediz Hook is a 3 mile long sand spit that offers city wide views of Port Angeles and the not-so-far Victoria, B.C.. Salty sea air, soft yellow daisies, and squawking seagulls galore. We also mosied through downtown and climbed up a rickety and swaying coastal tower to watch the ferries take people from the U.S. to Canada.

Where we ate: Due to the underwhelming options in Port Angeles (especially vegan) we decided to cook in our airstream. However, I did make a late night run to their impeccable health-food store Country Air to grab some overpriced oatmeal cookie vegan ice cream. YUM.

Day Four

Nearly exhausted from a second sleepless night in the airstream due to prison-grade mattresses, we geared up for our drive to Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park.

From there, sun-bleached and exhausted, we drove to Olympia, Washington (the state capital).

Where we stayed: The most hospitable Airbnb we’ve ever had the honor of staying at. This mother-in-law suite was settled amongst an artist village and was across the street from a vegan breakfast place. SCORE.

Where we explored: We spent most of the day relaxing, watching t.v., letting our son run around outside, and catching up on some hot showers. Anyone who’s traveled (especially with little ones) knows that eventually you need to fit in a lazy day like this.

Day Five

Our last day on the road. Since we moved to the PNW, I have had the Washington State Capital Building on my wishlist. Not only did this ornate and elegant beauty of a building deliver — it left me awestruck. It’s worth a visit to Olympia alone.

This was one of the most awe-inspiring, exciting, and adventurous road trips of my life with the two people I love with all my heart.

Travel

A Long Weekend at the Oregon Coast.

PSA: Stop what you are doing right now and add the Oregon coast to your bucket list.


Being a true Southern California girl, I have spent my entire life in and around the water. That is why when I found out that I would be a 90 minute drive from the ocean once I relocated to the PNW — a deep and mournful sadness immediately took residence within the pit of my stomach.

As it is for so many others, the ocean is therapeutic for me. Many a lazy Saturday morning I have spent floating on my back in Laguna Beach’s sleepy little coves and tide pools. In those moments, I felt truly free and weightless. As the navy blue waters lapped up against my sun kissed skin, I was reminded that everything would be okay. That I would be okay. The ocean never failed me.

That is why, after experiencing one of the toughest years of my life, I knew that this trip to the Oregon coast was a “must”.

Continue reading “A Long Weekend at the Oregon Coast.”

Travel

How to Spend a Quick Weekend in Seattle

Seattle is one of my favorite cities.

Without traffic, Seattle is only a 3 hour drive away from Portland, Oregon — making it a perfect weekend destination. There is so much to eat, drink, see and do in Seattle that you could not fit it all in one weekend.

However, there are a few Seattle weekend “musts” that I have come up with:

Continue reading “How to Spend a Quick Weekend in Seattle”

Travel

Why I Feel Guilty When I Travel

My mother bought me a globe when I was a little girl.

I stared at it for hours, daydreaming of foreign lands while I traced the outlines of faraway countries and memorized their funny sounding monikers. I must have been the only kid in the first grade who knew where was Svalbard was.

I was born to an multicultural family of nomads and globe trotters. My mother’s father was the definition of a rolling stone (he still drives across the country in his early 70’s) and her mother and stepfather were international chefs who trained and cooked around the world. My father grew up caravanning around Europe, the Middle East, and Africa alongside my hippie grandparents and even attended primary school in South Africa. Traveling is who we are.

That is why I never thought I would see the day when traveling would make me feel guilty.

Continue reading “Why I Feel Guilty When I Travel”

Travel

Today I am Grateful for: Thanksgiving in Chicago

In 2013, I flew to Chicago, Illinois to spend Thanksgiving with my mother over a long weekend. It would be my first time visiting and I was absolutely overcome with excitement. Chicago had been on my bucket list for quite some time primarily due to The Oprah Show. I had also just started dating Dan Kim who happened to be a big Chicago Bears fan.

For us California girls, it was a strikingly cold weekend despite the lack of snow (to my dismay). Despite the uncomfortable temperature, we tried to hit the major tourist destinations: The Chicago Bean, the Willis Tower and the Skydeck, and Millennium Park.

Continue reading “Today I am Grateful for: Thanksgiving in Chicago”

Food for Thought, Travel, Uncategorized

A Love Letter to Southern California

Dear Southern California,

Like I would an old friend with whom I have shared many a laugh that rose from deep within my belly, I miss you. Quite a few years have passed since we have shared the same space. The last time I saw you, I was still focused on growing apart from you. On claiming my own space for you were all I had ever known. I would not have believed then that I would one day ache for your teal white-capped ocean tides that cleanse one’s spirit or the tartness of your açaí bowls that taste best after a dip in the sea. I spent 22 years basking in your golden sun rays, breathing in your warm Mediterranean breezes…and taking you deeply for granted. But that is how it seems to go with one’s hometown, right?

Continue reading “A Love Letter to Southern California”

Travel

Walkabout: Part I

Beads of sweat dripped down my neck as I fought the urge to scratch at the feverish mosquito bites being rubbed raw between the skin of my feet and my tennis shoes. I winced. With my backpack protectively clutched against my chest, I traced the shape of my camera lens and its cap with my fingertips, as if that would somehow protect it from being stolen from the locals keeping a close eye on me. I took a deep breath. Warm evening air hugged the inside of my lungs as I sprawled out on the powdery white sand. Clouds the color of Tang and pink lemonade littered the sky of my fourth Koh Samui sunset in a row. My camera never left my backpack.

Continue reading “Walkabout: Part I”