Category Archives: National

Esmeralda

I’ve always been more of an adventure seeker. I beg my parents each year to go try something new like elephant riding in Thailand or hiking to a cloud-covered Machu Pucchu in Peru. But every Spring Break, my parents limit my adventure to a new area or island in the Caribbean. I’ve been to my share of turquoise-shaded waters–Antigua, Mexico, U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas, Saint Barthélemy–and I don’t really see the pleasure in waking up each day at noon and being handed a piña colada while I fry up on the beach.

That’s why I find the little pockets of adventure in the tropics so exhilarating: finding a few orange starfish while I swam with my mom in Antigua, driving on the roller-coaster roads in Saint Barthélemy, visiting the Chichen Itza pyramids in Mexico, or seeing this scarlet macaw walking around our hotel in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Okay, so it was the hotel’s bird but still. Her name was Esmeralda, and she was a feisty bird who snuck into the women’s bathrooms a lot.

Even though I do enjoy a good tan and a cocktail, I live in Southern California. I have enough daily dose of paradise everyday. I guess I’m just spoiled in that way, so those of you outside the Mediterranean zones, don’t listen to a word I say, because I say bring on the seven A.M. guided tours, the humid weather, the insurance signatures, all those flying shots, bring on the mosquitos.

/sa/

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Benedict and beaches

FOOD photography at Jeannine’s in Montecito, California.

I love this place, first and foremost, for its amazing desserts and second for its . . . lobster benedict. Basically, if you are obsessed with delicious food like me, this is the place to go for brunch before a sunny day on Southern California beaches.

This is a disgustingly small post but I’m tired and it’s finals week and the bottom line is everyone should go to Jeannine’s.

/sa/

The Bay part 1

San Francisco, but I didn’t need to tell you that, did I? How do you begin to describe the beautiful Bay? Should you count the number of fixies you see in a day or how many local organic cafes you find or just say, “This is probably the hippest city I’ve ever seen.”

In any case, my brother lives close by so I love to come up and visit him. I landed in SF and we went to this organic, gourmet (no joke) Mexican restaurant Nopalito. If you love Mexican food but are sick of the same Chipotle burrito every other day, this is the place to go. Crumbled cheese and cilantro topping, you really cant go wrong.

We also walked around Golden Gate Park, breathing in that sharp Northern California air. There’s the quaint Japanese Tea Garden inside the park with a bridge that you basically have to climb. In the evening we headed back to his apartment near Sacramento. He had just got his pilot license so we went for a spin–flew all the way to Half Moon Bay! I even held the wheel for .0005 of a second!

Of course, my brother was subject to “modeling” and waiting around while I got that perfect shot, sometimes even while up in the air.

/sa/

Snowmobiling through Yellowstone

Yellowstone! What a magical place.

It may be my second favorite park right after Yosemite (post soon to come), but I must admit that Yosemite doesn’t have that same mystery about it, a sort of cryptic allure.

We went during the holiday-time while vacationing, skiing, and hot cocoa sipping in Wyoming out of all the places. A bus picked us up along with a little boy, his father, two elderly women, and an elderly man. What a party, right? It was way too early for my owl brain to even begin to function. We got to the station right at sunrise, and I realized…I’ve never seen one before. Maybe it was the crispy cold air, but my cheeks turned red as I realized how pitiful it is that I lay in bed everyday dozing off last Friday night while this beauty happens everyday. I shake it off–not every sunrise has soft white mountains and a lonely lamppost in its scenic foreground.

The tour guide gave us giant helmets, giant boots, and, worst of all, giant jumpsuits. Everyone looks about as fashionable as a swamp-farmer. However, once we got our snowmobiles (which, by the way, we had to do by taking another stop on the car), I am very thankful for my attire, because we are facing 50mph winds in the dead of a Wyoming winter and I could not be cozier.

The Bison herds, the steaming sulfur caldrons, and the piles of untouched snow (one of my brothers actually face-planted into 7 feet of snow) created a quiet, frozen land that we seemed to be intruding upon with our roaring snowmobiles. But no snow mobile mewing could ever compare to the roar of Old Faithful–the most famous geyser in Yellowstone. I didn’t get a good shot because of the cloudy day in the background, but I can attest to the fact that Old Faithful can live up to its glory.

Now if I could only visit during the Summer!

/sa/