Chihuly

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art / Places / Travel

Chihuly Gardens was surprisingly one of my favorite places in Seattle. I admit that flowery glass sculptures sounded like a cheesy idea at first, but walking through the museum and seeing all the beautiful spectrum of colors and glass pieces was quite an amazing experience.  The grandeur of those glass sculptures are pretty neat to see in person.

(photo by Khoa T.)

(photo by Khoa T.)

Seattle

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Places / Travel

We arrived in Seattle late at night and after stuffing ourselves completely full with sushi, we were able to enjoy this awesome view from the rooftop of our Airbnb pad. The rest of our stay in Seattle consisted of exploring the neighborhoods and enjoying as much food as we could possibly stuff ourselves with, and that definitely meant lots of sushi, fresh seafood and locally brewed beers.  I didn’t realize how Seattle had so many different neighborhoods. I kind of just assumed that it was a a large metropolitan area, but I was definitely intrigued by the surrounding neighborhoods that we were able to explore. Thanks to a couple of friends and family that we met up with during our visit, we were able to take in some of Seattle’s amazing variety of cuisines, enjoyed some beach time and drinks with some really awesome company and conversations. I admit, I got a little lazy with the hauling my camera around during the most part of Seattle, but did manage to capture a few shots from Pike’s Market, a tourist stop for sure, but we enjoyed experiencing it nonetheless. I highly recommend grabbing some char sui on a stick while you’re in line waiting for that famous clam chowder. And if you’re up late looking for a spot to chill with drinks, I really recommend the Innkeeper in Belltown.

the Cascade

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Places / Travel

We opted for the train to go from Vancouver to Seattle. If you have time to spare, I highly recommend business class on a train through the countryside. The views are beautiful and that pink sunset against the ocean and mountains are just amazing.

Gastown

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Places / Travel

My impression when I left Vancouver was that it is a very romantic city. Maybe it was the beautiful sunsets on the beach horizon that we witnessed while experiencing our first drum circle performance by the locals, or maybe it was the scenic routes filled with sweet blooms throughout the city. If I could recommend a city for a pair of lovers, it would probably be Vancouver. We spent the last night in the city down Gastown’s lamp lit street enjoying a few drinks and watching other couples dance the night away as the singer crooned on until past midnight.

Museum of Anthropology

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Places / Travel

The Musuem of Anthropology in Vancouver had this large room where there are shelves and shelves and cabinets full of fascinating objects and relics from different cultures for guests to explore and admire. I was really captivated by all the beautiful and scary masks on display in the glass shelves. The colors and textures and details in these works of art are so amazing.

Vancouver

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Places / Travel

I met up with my friends in Vancouver for the second part of my trip. We took an early bike tour right away on our first morning in the city. The air was crisp, the weather more chilly than we anticipated, and the scenery was breathtaking. We managed to bike around the majority of the city, taking in all the beautiful glass skylines, mountain views and trekked through a part of the forest wilderness. I definitely would have suffered major heat stroke had this taken place in Houston, but Vancouver’s weather was so perfect that the bike ride was very enjoyable.

L.A.

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Places / Travel

          I’ve always managed to pass by or drive through the West Coast on previous travels, so a trip to a few bucket list cities was much needed, especially if it meant that I was able to get away from the sweltering Texas heat for a week. First stop was a quick visit to L.A. where my friend Sandra had been living for the past year or so. The L.A. scene is a plethora of colors, flavors, and strange oddities to behold. My first night there, we drove through skid row, and it was definitely a sight to take in. We ended up at Cole’s, where the spicy garlic sweet potato fries are something of a beautiful fond memory by now and the first time I really really enjoyed eating a pork dip sandwich. When we walked around the same downtown neighborhood the next day, it was as if skid row had been a strange dream that I had slept walked through. The streets were now filled with vendors selling cheap, yet alluring, makeup and tables and booths full of kitschy brass and plastic objects.  I had the day to spend exploring a small part of L.A.’s downtown area and eventually ended up in Little Tokyo where the majority of teenagers were there trying to catch Pokémon while I took in all the beautiful colors and foods that it had to offer. I even fell sucker to a few Japanese cat toys. I ended my quick tour of L.A. by ending up in Pomona, actually, where Chicano Batman was headlining a music festival in the art district. I hadn’t been to a live show in so long and getting a behind the scenes experience of the band and watching other great acts up close that nigh really made me feel nostalgic for all the shows that I had seen with my friends years ago. I still feel like I need to visit California for a longer stretch of time. Next time, for sure.