No Place Like New York City

IMG_9832I can’t help it. Every time my plane is near minutes away from landing into John F. Kennedy Airport, I play the song, “Welcome to New York” by Taylor Swift.  I plan activities and restaurants weeks in advance, knowing I would never check off the entire list but trying my best to do so. Can you tell? I love Manhattan.

Here were some of the highlights from the most glorious week in New York.

Best Skyline View

Skyline

 

I try to visit New York at least once a year, partly because I am obsessed with this city, but the greater reason is because many of my friends and my brother are currently attending New York University. Every time I’m interested in exploring a new part of the city; this time I visited Brooklyn Bridge Park. This park is beautiful. Even during the winter, there are so many families gathered around the frigid cold; I’m sure the summers would be flooded with New Yorkers. Why make the trek to Brooklyn when its 20 degrees and raining? The stunning city skyline. You get to see all of New York City and Staten Island.

Best Museum 

MET

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a must visit when you come to the city. Tickets are pay as you wish, and there’s just so much to explore. On a rainy day, I like to come here and get lost within the hundreds of galleries. Surprisingly, I always find a new time era I was unable to venture into before. It’s fun to be lost within different realms and be inspired by art from generations. There’s also free wifi at the museum, so grabbing a book or your laptop is a great place to get some work done!

Best Rooftop View

IMG_9960

There are so many attractive observatories in New York. Many decide to go up the Empire State Building, the recently opened One World Trade Center, or the Rockerfeller. My personal favorite is the Rockefeller because I like to see the Empire and the One World in my rooftop view, not be on it. However, I discovered a new personal favorite this break, the Whitney Museum. Many museums in New York are pay what you wish on Friday; it’s the same for the Whitney Museum, but it’s only after 7pm. The eighth floor of Whitney provided an gorgeous view of the Meat Packing District; I felt totally immersed in the city.

Best Dessert 

Juicy Spot

 

Juicy Spot Cafe. I stumbled upon this dessert cafe by mistake. My friends and I were looking for smoothies, and this cafe seemed to offer some (stated on Yelp). Upon entering the cafe, we were enticed to try the desserts. Recently, I’ve been seeing many cafes implementing a thai-style ice cream rolls. They’re extremely popular in my hometown, but they seem to have made their way to New York! They have an option to order the base, flavor, toppings, and drizzle; however, I chose one of their popular go-to combinations. I was not disappointed; the watermelon lychee ice cream roll was heaven. This cafe isn’t too popular yet, but I’m hoping more people will realize how delicious it is.

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Portland, Oregon

Prior to visiting Portland, many of friends and family were asking me why Portland? To be honest, I wasn’t too sure either. I scoured the web for things to do and most of the suggestions were hiking trails ranging from 20 to 120 minutes outside Portland. I went on a whim and decided to book tickets anyways. I was taking this trip with my brother, and most of our destinations were food and shopping related (no sales tax!), but regardless, we were ready to head to PDX. Below are some of the highlights from our trip.

Ace Hotel

We checked into Ace Hotel Portland because so many of the bloggers and Youtubers I follow stayed at this hotel. Due to some last minute planning, we were only able to book a room with a shared bathroom. I figured since I was studying abroad soon, this would provide me some experience for staying in hostels in the near future. The service at Ace is amazing; everyone was so polite and respectful. The hotel welcomed with us a few delectable, baked goods. The shared bathroom was extremely clean, but if you have hygiene issues, I’d recommend showering at 9AM, when housekeeping finishes bleaching the dirt out of every nook and cranny. My only complaint is the uncomfortable beds; it took a lot of adjusting, tossing and turning for me to finally fall asleep. 

Oregon Zoo

Oregon welcomed us with rain the next morning (and everyday afterwards). Still, we made the trip to Oregon Zoo. I had such a fun time here. Although it was raining, many of the animals were still present, and it was nice because we  practically had the whole zoo to ourselves. 

bed

Then, we headed to SchoolHouse Electric & Co. Like the name states, there were tons of lighting options, but I found so much inspiration in the decor of each unbounded room. From the chic-living rooms to the decorated bedrooms found within the realm of my childhood fantasies, SchoolHouse’s interior design delighted my eyes. 

bed2

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48 Hours in Seattle

Seattle is a city that wakes up at sunrise and sleeps at sunset, but beauty lies in the hours of awakening. Last week my brother and I traveled along the coast of the Pacific Northwest, flying first to Seattle, Washington. Seattle is a city that provides the perfect amalgamation of a bustling city, peaceful waterways, and delicate mountains, which is visible once you ride the seventy-three floors above the Columbia Tower. The 360 degree view is stunning. I made sure to head up both during the daytime and the nighttime for two different perspectives and made good value of my money ($9)! 

Sky View Morn

Sky View Night

One of my favorite aspects of traveling is Yelping new restaurants to try out. However, the problem with clicking the most reviewed filtered is trying restaurants and cafes that are the most popular, but it might not be the best (something to keep in the mind).  For an early morning breakfast, we headed to The London Plane. The London Plane is a flower shop, bakery, souvenir shop, and restaurant all in one. The service was amazing; it gave me such a bright, first impression of Seattle, and the food was beautifully decorated. I had one of their seasonal yogurts, and I loved the dash of pumpkin seed. My brother had a simple croissant with cured ham, but we both thought the overall food was just alright.

The London Plane Ellenos

Next stop? More food. Some of my favorites at Pike Place Market were Ellenos Real Greek Yogurt and Pike Place Chowder. At Ellenos, I recommend the flavor: Marionberry Pie. Not only can you taste the perfectly whipped yogurt and sweet berries, but the extra crumble from the pie provides an unexpected, yet welcomed crunch.

Pike

Walking down Pike Place Market, the Waterfront Park was undergoing quite a bit of construction, so I headed on the ferry to Bainbridge Island. Bainbridge Island is a beautiful, serene, suburban neighborhood. The fresh air tickles your nose. I was in love with the peaceful, idyllic, environment. If you love the outdoors, I would definitely recommend checking this island out. We walked along the Waterfront Trail; the walk was easy, and the views were breathtaking. 

bainbridge

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