Tag Archives: beach


I have a feeling this summer is going to be the summer of road trips. I just returned from two back-to-back weekend road trips, and it’s surprising how inexpensive and accessible these kinds of trips can be. The first weekend was spent driving west with my sister from Colorado to California, and the second was heading south with a couple of girlfriends from Colorado to New Mexico. As long as you have good company, a full tank of gas, a backseat filled with snacks, a trendy/affordable Airbnb, and a wish list of places to see, it’ll be a successful roadie adventure. Here are my go-to recommendations if you happen to road trip this summer!

In N’ Out Burger
Old-fashioned burgers, french fries, and milkshakes. You can think of it as “fast food”, but the quality is everything the opposite of typical fast-food. A must if you need a bite on the road, or if you’ve simply never had In N’ Out before! You’ll thank me.
Seven Magic Mountains
Just imagine Candy Land in the middle of the desert. Just off of Highway 15, south of Las Vegas is Ugo Rondinone’s art installation of seven towers of colorful, stacked boulders each scaling over 30 feet high. A beautiful burst of color after spending hours in the car. It’ll be worth the pullover.

Balboa Island, Newport, CA
Tucked in the harbor of Newport Beach is the tiny community called Balboa Island. We spent the morning walking around the farmer’s market, exploring the quaint shops and restaurants, and watching the surfers from the pier. There is also a boardwalk and a ferry on the island which is more of a peninsula. It was a nice hidden gem away from the hustle & bustle of California weekenders.
Tabu Shabu, Costa Mesa, CA
O-M-G. Forget sushi and ramen and sashimi. Tabu Shabu is the new way to explore traditional Japanese cuisine. This style of fondue or “hot pot” allows you to cook thinly sliced meat and vegetables in your own pot of boiling broth (usually tonkatsu or miso), dipping into homemade ponzu and goma sauces, and accompanied by rice, ramen, or udon noodles. I have always loved Japanese cuisine, but I became quickly obsessed with shabu shabu! So much so, that I begged my sister and brother-in-law to go twice in the same weekend that I visited them. 2 times in 3 days. And I savored every frickin’ bite!
The Crack Shack, Costa Mesa, CA
If you like Chick Fil A, (or chicken sandwich in general), you’ll go nuts over The Crack Shack! Simply one of the tastiest chicken sandwiches and french fries I’ve had in years. I recommend The Firebird and Schmaltz fries. Great weekend treat for a casual lunch or dinner.
Fashion Island, Newport, CA
Explore Orange County’s premier shopping center at Fashion Island. My sister lives down the street from it and it was an endless promenade of shops and restaurants. Not to mention the largest Anthropologie I’ve ever been in! (I actually managed to get lost inside) It’s a great way to spend the afternoon if you need some retail therapy or quick eats.

The Plaza, Santa Fe, NM
The Plaza is the heart of Santa Fe with its rich history, beautiful churches, authentic restaurants, and endless art galleries/jewelers. The soul of New Mexico is portrayed everywhere with beautiful turquoise jewelry, vibrant art, rich food, stucco/adobe inspired buildings, and cultured people. I couldn’t get enough of the squash-blossom necklaces, long horn skull heads, chili-infused cuisine, and colorful pottery.
Kakawa Chocolate House, Santa Fe, NM
Sadly I didn’t have the chance to visit Kakawa Chocolate House, but I can’t tell you how many blogs/websites mentioned this place when I was researching places to visit in Santa Fe. So it must be good. From what I gather, Kakawa specializes in handmade chocolates, chile chocolates, chocolate drinks, and chocolate elixirs. I heard it’s the perfect afternoon treat. And a sweet reason for me to go back to Santa Fe one day.
Paloma, Santa Fe, NM
Hands down, Paloma was the best dining experience we had during our weekend in New Mexico. This stunning kitchen & bar is intimate, vibrant, and offers an incredible menu. Mexican-inspired with an exotic twist. The staff is extremely welcoming and friendly, the service was flawless, and the food was simply outstanding. A beautiful representation of Santa Fe cuisine with a lovely atmosphere. Highly recommend for a great meal!
Meow Wolf, Santa Fe, NM
I don’t even know how to begin to describe Meow Wolf. In short, Santa Fe is not really known for it’s night-life, so the young and eager go to Meow Wolf for entertainment. A venue filled with unique and mind-blowing art installations that will push your mind beyond reality. Someone best described it as “part haunted house, part fun house, part acid trip”. I felt like I was in a 2-hour episode of Stranger Things. If you are ever in Santa Fe, you MUST go. It’s a beautifully overwhelming and fascinating experience.

Have fun road-tripping this summer! xx

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that day











I am totally doing that thing again where I disappear for a month or two. Sometimes I feel like my lack of blogging is like a craving to bake cookies but you don’t want to buy the ingredients. Or maybe that’s just me being lazy. I suppose I’ve hit a wall and I didn’t feel I had anything worth posting for a while. But I do now!

I am newly engaged! These photos of me were actually taken before my mister popped the question. Poor guy was probably losing his mind when I asked him to snap some photos, but hey, I didn’t know he had a secret agenda! I was just happy to be on the beach. And he knows my love for the ocean. Hence the location of the proposal.

 Now, I am not going to dive into the whole story. Our closest family and friends know how it went down. And as much as I do love telling that story, I am not a “girly” bride-to-be. I won’t be building “Wedding Inspiration” Pinterest boards, or flipping through bridal magazines, or eating my weight in cake tastings. But I am still giddy about it, still touching my ring finger to make sure it’s real, still reliving that day. I wish I could rewind because I actually don’t remember anything he said while he was down on one knee. It was all too much to take in. Dammit. But that day was perfect. It was our day.


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1st stop: Cozumel, Mexico













Cozumel, Mexico, our first port. I’ve been to Mexico before, but not Cozumel. The best thing about this place was that there were so many beaches that were conveniently lined up along one main road. Which would make sense considering we were on the coast. We decided the best thing would be to rent a moped and beach-hop as we pleased.

This part of the trip was somewhat nostalgic to me. Being in Cozumel reminded me of my past trips to Mexico when I was younger. Being on a moped brought back memories of when my boyfriend and I rode to school together when we lived in Hawaii. Just him + me, roaming the island and discovering beaches. We must have visited 4-5 different beaches throughout the afternoon and finally settled on a quiet, peaceful part of the coast. We drank pina coladas, ate some great local food, collected some seashells and floated in the ocean. Oh, and I got some henna! Twenty dollars and twenty minutes later, I had some beautiful ink to flash around for the rest of the trip. But then I realized how long the henna lasts, and wondered how I was going to hide this at work… Crap.

The first stop in Cozumel. One down, two more to go.

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a quiet morning








I love quiet mornings. And a quiet morning on the beach ain’t so bad either. My mister and I have been cruising the Caribbean for the past week and we started in Galveston, TX. I’ve never been to Texas before; I didn’t really know what to expect. I envisioned cowboy hats, endless BBQ, seafood restaurants, and larger versions of everything. Yes, pretty stereotypical, I know. I did see those things. But I also got to see the ocean, which I haven’t touched in about a year. I love the ocean, especially when it’s not overwhelmed with tourists. That seems to be a rare find.

We didn’t spend much time in Galveston. It was just a short stop before we started the week on a boat. But that morning I woke up early and wanted some quiet time. I walked the beach for almost two hours before everyone else woke up. Besides a couple of eager fisherman, it was just me and the ocean for a short while, which was much needed. No cell phone, no social media to check, no work, no emails to read, no stress. Why can’t every morning start like this? Oh, right. I’m a working girl. So until Monday morning, I’ll be reminiscing of that quiet morning in Galveston.

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all the wild horses











What can I say about this? It’s simply breathtaking. These photos encompass a lot of things that I love in life; sandy beaches, ocean, roaming horses, and flawless fashion. And beachy-hair that I wish I had. I want to live in these photos. They make me quite homesick of the days that I lived in Hawaii. I might have to buy a horse and move back…

Shouldn’t life be lived in the way we admire certain photographs? I think that’s why we like to look at them. They share a story with us. They invite our imagination to live through an image and appreciate what was captured. They’re a dreamy getaway for a while. That’s why I like to look at them anyway. And hopefully I can then capture some dreamy getaways of my own. With some wild horses, of course.

(Source: FGR)

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