The City Next Door

SF City

This week I made a short excursion to Berkeley and San Francisco. Since I am studying abroad in March this semester, I’m thankful I didn’t have to worry about school (yet). Therefore, I was able to meet up with a lot of my friends, declare my major, and have my fill of some of my favorite food and dessert.

I also had the unique opportunity of touring Little Giant Ice Cream along with a private tasting. One of the owners, Neil, was extremely polite, and I really admired his entrepreneurial spirit. They had classic ice cream flavors like vanilla, but also interesting ones like pistachio with meyer lemon cookies, mexican hot chocolate infused with marshmallows, and bicycle coffee ice cream. It was such a fun experience, and the decor is stunning. Both the toy robots that hung around the walls and miniature furniture provided a nostalgic reminder of childhood.

Little Giant Ice Cream

Little Giant Ice Cream




On this trip, my friend showed me an amazing cafe in Berkeley: Mission Heirloom Cafe. It has easily become one of my favorites at Berkeley, and I was so reluctant to share this find (just kidding). The restaurant leans more towards healthier eats, but there’s so many eclectic options like camel milk. I had the Chicken and Waffle, and my friend had the Shepherd’s Pie. When my dish first arrived, the chicken was black. I thought my chicken was burnt, but it ended up being a sweet, tasty seasoning. The waffle was gluten-free and drizzled with a floral honey. The decor reminded me  of a greenhouse. 

Mission Heirloom Cafe

Mission Heirloom Cafe

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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. 


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. 


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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.


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. 


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