Back in September of 2014, we took a trip to Hawaii and visited Honolulu and Maui. This trip was actually a continuation of a previous trip we took to Europe in November of 2013. At the time, American Airlines allowed one stopover at a North American gateway city for international AAdvantage awards provided that itinerary be completed within one year of the first flight. Living in an American Airlines gateway city, this policy essentially gave us a free one-way to anywhere in the United States, including Hawaii, within one year of the original flight. So the return flight itinerary was basically Europe -> NYC (stopover for 10 months) -> Hawaii. In April 2014, American Airlines changed their policy and no longer allowed any free stopovers, killing the free one-ways. So luckily, we got to take advantage of it before it was gone. In this post, I will be reviewing the resort we stayed at in Maui, the Andaz Maui At Wailea.
While our primary focus on the most recent trip to southern California was to take care of wedding stuff, we also decided to spend a few days in Arizona with our friends since we were nearby. Many thanks to Winnie, who helped plan our itinerary before the trip! We made stops at Phoenix, Grand Canyon, Page, and Sedona. I would say that photos don’t do these places justice, but when is it ever better to look at an image than to physically immerse yourself at the actual location? That being said, I hope seeing these images encourage you to visit Arizona in person, too!
This past weekend, Tie and I went to Pennsylvania with our friends to check out the annual Lantern Festival. We’ve seen others post their pictures and videos of the event from previous years and it looked beautiful. Props to Winnie for organizing!
We bought our tickets from Eventbrite months in advance. I didn’t realize just how popular the Lantern Fest was, but it was completely sold out in the few weeks leading up to it. Some friends had to turn to social media to ask for additional tix. Early bird gets the worm! Tickets were $37 and includes one lantern and a smores kit. Kind of pricey, but someone’s gotta clean everything up.
I told everyone we were going to Nashville mainly for the food and country music, but the truth is it was mostly for the food. My country music knowledge can be summed up by one Shania Twain album, a handful of Patsy Cline songs, and Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide” (wait…are they even country?). Nonetheless, I was eager to listen to some live music. Tennessee isn’t known for its scenic views, but I was surprised it was a popular destination for bachelor and bachelorette parties. Here’s what you (or y’all?) can expect.
This past weekend, I flew to Nashville with my girl friends Winnie, Alice, and Roxana. I wanted to get my hands on as much hot chicken as possible after having watched the Hot Ones video series on YouTube prior and salivating each time. So of course I took my food research quite seriously. My friends probably got sick of having so much meat every meal. I think I ate enough chicken to last me through the rest of this year. Anywhos, here’s a list of all the places we tried. Enjoy! (P.S. I only brought my phone with me this time, so no DSLR quality photos :T)
In the middle of tourist central Hollywood lies a small respite – The Museum of Broken Relationships. At first I asked myself, do I really want to get emotionally drained during our trip? I have a tendency to put the burden of other people’s sorrow and misery onto myself. As such, I didn’t know if I was ready to challenge my own sensitivity, especially since I’ve finally found myself in a happy relationship. But as it turns out, being in a better place in my life allowed me to step back and empathize or sympathize with others better. The museum was more a haven of hope and positive outlook through introspection rather than a weep fest. Also, it covered a range of relationships – relationships with partners, friends, oneself, etc.
Once upon a time I was obsessed with the film 500 Days of Summer. One of the most beautiful locations was The Bradbury Building, located in downtown Los Angeles. From the outside, it looks like many other landmark historical buildings. Inside, it’s obvious why it’s chosen as the backdrop for so many photo and video shoots. There are, however, restricted areas because does house several office spaces and government departments. My favorite things about the interior are definitely the ornamental cast iron banisters and giant skylight to flow a ton of natural sunlight into the atrium below.
One of the best outlooks in Los Angeles has got to be Griffith Observatory. You can clearly see the Hollywood sign from here! Not only is it a great spot for a first date, but it also has a giant telescope, space exhibits, and a planetarium. It’s also a popular place for fashion bloggers and their Instagram husbands. Moreover, admission is free (except for the planetarium).
As a New Yorker, I am perpetually envious of southern Californians who get to enjoy beautiful weather all year round. Yes, I enjoy the feeling of moving into another season a few times each year, but sometimes I wish we had the luxury to visit the beach on a whim without worrying about freezing temperatures. Santa Monica Pier, to me, is the image of California I’ve been fed by television shows and movies all my life. An expansive beach with crashing waves, surfers, carnival rides, skateboarders, and immaculately tan and fit residents everywhere.
The Broad is one of Los Angeles’ hottest new contemporary art museums, financed by Eli Broad. I initially thought it was pronounced “Broad” as in “ya dumb broad!” but it actually rhymes with “road.” The building itself is a work of art by Diller Scofidio + Renfro. Its special design comprises of a veil and a vault. The vault is the concrete “base” that floats above ground level. The veil is the honeycomb skeleton that wraps around the building, made of fiberglass-reinforced concrete. Beside the museum is a small grove of 100-year-old olive trees that look like a mini enchanted forest when it’s lit up at night. There are mini tree stumps for seating. The Broad is also located across the street from the Walt Disney Concert Hall, designed by Frank Gehry. Truly an architectural paradise 🙂