All posts filed under: Explore.

NYC sunrise.

One of the highlights from my New York trip was waking up super early to watch sunrise on the Brooklyn Bridge. We never really got used to east coast time so we had fallen asleep around 3am that morning and woke up around 5:30am to get ready. On just a couple of hours of sleep, we took the subway to the Manhattan side of the bridge and walked towards Brooklyn, taking all the photos along the way. The bridge is just over one mile long. There were only a handful of walkers, runners, and cyclists which made it easy to stop for pictures every two seconds. Once we reached Brooklyn, we jumped back on the subway and headed to Manhattan to get some New York bagels…and then to take a nap! I think I’ve only ever seen sunrise three-ish times in my life — Once in the Philippines while taking a morning beach jog, once on a boat in the San Francisco Bay when my husband swam from Alcatraz, and another time in Lake Tahoe …

yay friends.

When in New York, you must go shopping in the middle of the night! I was impressed and also confused that so many people were out shopping so late. It must be all the Times Square bright lights keeping us awake. One of the stores I visited was Line Friends which is kind of like Sanrio. My friend and I didn’t quite understand it, but we knew it was super cute and we needed to go. We had a seen a few people walking around town with their adorable bags, so when we found out it was close by, we immediately put it on our list of places to visit. When you walk into the store, there is a giant bear named Brown who you can pose with. You know those giant Costco bears; this is way more giant and way more awesome. He was also dressed up for Halloween. Like Sanrio, there are characters and they come in plush form… And in all the merchandise you can dream up. Like headbands… Also, backbacks, phone cases, …

eagle creek trail. 

I could hardly wait for this trip to Portland because I was going to go there with my adventure buddy – my Hubby! I was so excited to explore the Portland natures with him! Apparently, for our minimoon we hiked Eagle Falls trail and on this trip, our anniversary trip, we hiked Eagle Creek trail. Whaaaat? Pictures don’t do this trail justice, but imagine waterfalls, cool breezes, greenery all around, crossing creeks, … We made it to Lower Punch Bowl Falls, where stopped for a banh mi snack. We love us some dining waterfall-side. Next time, we want to do a day-long hike to Tunnel Falls and maybe check out some other trails, too. What are some of your favorite hikes? Share below!

stumptown.

For our first Portland stop we headed to Stumptown HQ for a coffee tasting which I then learned was actually a “cupping” session. Not a fan, but exciting, nonetheless. We learned how the pro coffee bean buyers smell, taste, and experience coffee beans in a blind test. I learned the difference between fragrance and aroma. Fancy. We also had a lesson in direct trade and fair market prices. After smelling the freshly ground beans and the brewing coffee, we each got a spoon and a spittoon and slurped our way down the tasting line, rinsing our used spoons in warm water between each taste. The whole thing was a germaphobe’s nightmare (and I won’t go into detail), but I participated still since I wanted the full experience. (Totally monitoring myself for potential contagious diseases now.) But back to the coffee. We tried five kinds of beans which are roasted in house at HQ. Honestly, it was really hard to focus on the fragrance, aroma, and taste when I was trying mostly to get the cupping technique …

bend!

Hubs and I went on a road trip to Portland, Oregon for our one year wedding anniversary. 1500 miles round trip! On the drive north we stopped in Bend, Oregon for an overnight stay at the Mill Inn. We had a little room issue upon arrival, but once things got sorted out we ended up in the San Francisco themed room – we felt right at home. The next morning we woke up to the smell of bacon and coffee… I want to throw breakfast parties like this! And have a tea station! His and Hers anniversary breakfast: frittatas, BACON, sausage, potatoes, greens, fruits, juice… Oh, and then we had waffles! You guys!!! The Mill Inn has the best waffles I’ve ever had – a light crispy, crunchy outside with a fluffy, moist middle. I might want to go back to Bend just for waffles. They make them to order and you can order one whole, one half, or one fourth! I don’t even like cherry things (love cherries, dislike cherry things) but the sauce …

horticulture. 

Happy Earth Day! Featuring a local nursery seems fitting for today. Behold: Berkeley Horticulture Nursery. It’s like a nursery dream! I had been here once before to purchase a garden pot and have been meaning to visit again. This is by far my favorite nursery in the East Bay. Helpful staff, suuuuper organized garden, awesome selection, excellent prices, and all the inspiration!   Time to tend to the garden! How will you celebrate Earth today? Share below.   

spice girl. 

Tell me what you want, what you really really want. I wanna (hah), I wanna (hah), I wanna (hah), I wanna (hah), I wanna really, really, really wanna…go to Oaktown Spice Shop and buy all the things. 😋 I’ve heard lots of great things about the Oaktown Spice Shop, and it lives up to the hype, y’all! If you weren’t a fan of cooking before, this has to be the store that turns you. There are so many kinds of cinnamons, peppers, salts, vanillas, herbs, and spice blends…so much inspiration everywhere. It’s like the Berkeley Bowl of spices. #eastbaylove The aroma is rich. As soon as you walk in you will be enrobed in a patina of fine spice dust. Mmm. You can purchase individual bags or jars of spices, or pick up a prepackaged gift box – think curry blends, BBQ rubs, or chai time mixes. Aside from the quality products, I love the displays of jars and baggies. Don’t you wish your spice cabinet could look like this? This is definitely a stop for …