A Public Library in the Mall – Seoul

 

We got a chance to go south of the Han River to check out Coex Mall near Gangnam. We decided on taking a taxi for time’s sake and surprisingly it only cost $15 from Gwanghwamun to Gangnam.

Coex Mall is a haven from the elements, both hot and cold. I say that because it’s huge! It’s connected to other shopping centers, has it’s own aquarium, movie theater, and is next to the SMtown museum. It gets better. Inside Coex Mall is the Starfield library meant for public use. Definitely check the place out because there’s lots to do.

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To A New Year of Travel Adventures!

I was already a week early to ring in the new year, and now that it’s officially here, I’m so ecstatic!  2018 had some ups but definitely a lot more downs, which is why I’m ready to say goodbye and hello to the new year.  Good things are in store for us, and we are looking forward to all the things we have planned.  Most especially, I’m looking forward to our trips!  Yes, we have 2 week long trips planned, and since we only get 2 weeks a year for vacation, one trip will be in May and the other in September.  It’s going to be a good year!

Does anyone else plan trips months in advance?  I love doing it although some of my co-workers are quite opposite.  For me, planning ahead gives me something to look forward to especially on rough days.  I guess in a way it’s like dangling a carrot on a stick.

Anyway, I hope you all start planning for your future travels, whether it be domestic or international.  I hope you invest in yourself and take the time to travel for the sake of your health and well-being.

Happy New Year!

Our 2 Day Stay in New York City

Below are just a few photos from our short trip to NYC back in 2011.  We stayed with my aunt in the Bronx so we saved a little money on accommodations.  Obviously, we had to prioritize our time so we made it a point to visit the Guggenheim, Central Park, and Top of the Rock.  We did just that plus a trip to Serendipity for their cold ‘hot chocolate’ and an unexpected musical to see Priscilla Queen of the Dessert courtesy of my aunt.  It was a fun filled 2 days in New York City for us newly weds.  Just a few months prior, we got married and this was our first trip together as husband and wife.

I could definitely do New York City all over again, but for an extended period of time.  I’d like to at least stay for 4 days just to soak everything in, and I’d want to go shopping, see a better musical on Broadway, and eat at Peter Luger’s because our friends told us so much about the place.  If we ever go back, I’d kind of want to go for New Year’s eve just for the experience.  I definitely wouldn’t want to be out in the frigid cold, but instead, I’d want to be in one of the hosted parties waiting for the ball to drop.

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Roof of the Guggenheim
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Had to get this because of the movie, Serendipity. #fomo

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From Top of the Rock overlooking Central Park
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From Top of the Rock
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Times Square

Day Trip to Washington D.C.

Below are photos from our day trip to Washington D.C. in 2011.  At the time we were staying in Atlantic City and the drive down took 3 hours.  We didn’t mind the drive since it was our first time visiting the northeast.  In fact, it was rather an adventure for us although somewhat of a rude awakening because of the amount of toll roads crossed.  Over here in California we take our freeways for granted, and that was when I figured out where the name ‘freeway’ is from.

I’d definitely like to visit Washington D.C. again and spend a little more time in their museums since they’re free.  I’d also like to tour the White House because who wouldn’t right?  Historical buildings are just amazing to see!

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Lincoln Memorial
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The scale of the Lincoln Memorial is amazing.  I think seeing this in person blew me away.

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Vietnam Memorial
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Vietnam Memorial
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U.S. State capitol building
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U.S. State capital buildings

When We Went to Chicago

Chicago is a beautiful city.  We had the opportunity to visit in 2012 when our friends got married in Omaha, Nebraska.  And since we were in the mid-west, we made it a point to see downtown Chicago.  We purchased the CityPass because it gained us entry into the Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Skydeck, Willis Tower, and the Art Institute of Chicago.  It was definitely a packed itinerary with a visit to Millennium Park, Lincoln Park Zoo, and gorging ourselves on deep dish pizza from Lou Malnati’s and Giordano’s.  It was a fun trip and we could definitely visit Chicago again.

Below are some of my favorite pictures from our trip.  Hope you enjoy!

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View from the Shedd Aquarium balcony overlooking the city
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Sue inside the Field Museum
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Looking down from the Willis Tower
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Cloud Gate in Millennium Park
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Buckingham Fountain

Universal Studios in Hollywood

Our trip to Universal Studios was actually fun.  It was my first time ever going, and the opening of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter park was the thing that got me to visit.  I can’t say I’m a huge Harry Potter fan, but I can say I did read all 7 books and watched all 7 movies.  So in a way, I am a fan but not unlike others who go above and beyond that.

The Harry Potter park is probably my favorite part of Universal Studios.  As a fan and also one who appreciates architecture, I loved walking through Hogsmeade and the castle.  The spaces are well thought out and creatively designed that it’s worth a trip despite the crowds.

Below are just a few photos I took at the park.  Hope you enjoy and find inspiration to go!

Trip duration: 2 day park pass (Aug 2016)

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Waterworld show
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Universal’s animal actors show
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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter
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The Wizarding World of Harry Potter

A Trip to Big Island, Hawaii – A Family Trip

If I were to describe Big Island, I would say it’s like the country of Hawaii.  Although it has Kona, the more commercialized part of the island, Big Island is fairly natural.  If you’re on the Hilo side, there’s the Puna rain forest and then there’s the Volcano National Park that’s actively flowing with lava.

Would I recommend a trip to Big Island? Absolutely and especially for those living on the west coast, it’s a bargain when flying with Alaska Airlines, Southwest, or even Hawaiian Airlines.  For domestic travels, I use Alaska Airlines to take advantage of their frequent flyer points and yearly companion fare offerings.  But that’s just my preference.  It’s okay to use a different airline.

Below are a few pictures taken from our trip back in 2017.  We didn’t explore too much since we were with family, but we still managed to do a few things on our own.

Trip duration: 5 nights, 6 days (April 2017)

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View from the Luau at Voyagers of the Pacific
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Voyagers of the Pacific Luau
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Hawaii Volcano National Park
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Hawaii Volcano National Park
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Kahauale’a
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Kalapana – Where the lava enters the sea
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Kalapana – Where the lava goes to the sea
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Kona at the Sheraton
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Kona at the Sheraton
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Kona at the Sheraton