All posts filed under: Explore.

travel journaling.

Whenever I go on a big trip I bring along a notebook to do some journaling. I usually go for a watercolor book because the paper is dreamy and textured. Sharing a little of my Japan travel journal today! I try to journal everyday on vacation to document highlights and everything we did during the day. And I decorate with things I find on my trip. In Japan, I found Kitta washi tape books and sakura washi paper stickers. These were perfect for adding accents to my journal pages. I also save all receipts, booklets, and little paper finds in case I want to include additional decorations. I add these at the very end, usually when I get back from my trip. Some of the local travel guides had cute images of places we visited; I liked including these, too. I sometimes create pockets in my journals to store small booklets, too. And I do lots of doodling (mostly food doodles). Do you journal on vacay? Share your journaling tips and habits below.

the other rbg.

My “craft fame” brought me to this hidden gem: the Ruth Bancroft Garden in Walnut Creek! I was invited to teach a crafty workshop in the garden this spring so I came for a tour of the workshop space. If the weather is good I’ll be teaching out on the patio with garden views; if it’s cold we’ll set up indoors in the new event space. After my crafty workshop tour, I got to explore the garden! It is a beauty! The Bancroft family owned over 400 acres of Walnut Creek. The property was a fruit farm in the late 1800s and was passed down for generations. Eventually, the family sold much of the land and the last of the fruit trees were cut down. Philip Bancroft, Jr, encouraged his wife Ruth to take over the land with her plant collection. Apparently, she owned so many potted plants – she was an original plant lady! The garden now sits on 3.5 acres, and their original family home still sits on the property (you can see …

art of DC.

Washington DC is full of art, too! I visited the National Portrait Museum, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and spotted murals and neighborhood art all over town. National Portrait Museum When I go to art galleries I like to get up close with the art and see all the textures in the paintings. At the National Portrait Museum I got to see Barack Obama’s portrait. It was even more amazing in person – so colorful and grand. Blagden Alley I love, love, love alleys with murals! I enjoyed reading about Blagden Alley’s history, too. It made walking through so much more meaningful. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden At the Hirshhorn I spotted a Pollack and a Mondrian! There was a special Manifesto exhibit and in the video room they timed it so the 13 character monologues were at one point in sync and almost chanting with each other. Art! Also at the Hirshhorn, a sculpture series which I didn’t quite understand, but I had to photograph all the pieces. Watermelon House We spotted the …

landmarks of DC.

In addition to touring gardens, I did some touristing to national monuments and historic sites! Everywhere you look there’s a piece of history and a story. I enjoyed walking everywhere because you could stop and discover places and hidden gems. Apple Carnegie Library Logan Circle Park Major General George Henry Thomas Statue U.S Department of the Treasury The White House and the National Christmas Tree Pershing Park / John J. Pershing General of the Armies Dupont Circle Fountain Lafayette Square / Major General Marquis Gilbert de Lafayette Statue United States Capitol World War II Memorial Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool and Washington Monument Famous Homes: John Logan House, Richard and Agnes Dolph Nixon’s Home, House Where Lincoln Died, Duke Ellington’s Childhood Home Chinatown Friendship Archway National Museum of African American History and Culture United States Department of Agriculture From the road – Thomas Jefferson Memorial and Potomac River Have you been to DC? What are some of your must see historic sites?

gardens of DC.

I went on a work trip to Washington DC and I made sure to go exploring every chance I got! This was my first time back since my junior year of high school. I remember visiting places I had learned about in history class. This time, at the top of my list were gardens and art museums/installations! Behold, the gardens of DC. United States Botanic Garden. The U.S. Botanic Garden spans a section of the National Mall. I was so excited to be there, the lobby folks gave us additional coloring books and orchid-gami sheets for enthusiasm! ๐Ÿ™‚ There were different gardens to explore – desert plants, medicinal plants, the tropics, and my favorite – the edible garden! They also had an exhibit featuring gardens around the United States. My favorite was the Tucson Botanical Gardens display with the blue walls. Community Garden at Woodrow Wilson Plaza. We stumbled upon a community garden while exploring town. For part of the year they hold Friday Farmers Markets in the space. We spotted giant okra. Enid A. …

lake loop.

Another 24 Lake Tahoe vacay! My parents drove up for their annual Tahoe trip; Hubby and I met them over the weekend. Here’s a peek at our whirlwind adventure! En route we stopped at Rosemary’s Farm to Fork Cafe for avocado toast, chicken and waffles, lemonade, and tea. We also stopped for treats at Mahoroba Japanese Bakery. And when we got to Tahoe, a homecooked dinner was waiting for us! And we found snacks in the pantry. QT ensued! We woke up early to enjoy sunrise at our Tahoe home, but whoopsies, we didn’t realize the sun would rise more to the north so we couldnโ€™t really see it break through from our vantage point. It was still pretty. We suited up and headed to breakfast before the crowds at The Old Post Office Cafe. I’ m a sucker for biscuits and gravy. And then for the first time, we looped the lake in one day. We werenโ€™t planning to, but we just kept going. ๐Ÿ™‚ We stopped every so often for nature views… Fancy …

folsom is hot.

Hubby’s Tennis Team went to District Championships this year (again, yay!). Their schedule was a lot better than last year’s schedule which meant there was time for a farmers market trip in Historic Folsom. The market is held every Saturday 8-1PM, and there’s a parking structure for easy and ample parking. The market is a good size, maybe 30-40 vendors and they had a nice mix of fresh produce, ready to eat foods, handmade items, and services like knife sharpening and chair massage. I wanted to get all the produce, but since we were traveling I just admired all the yummies. I mean, look at these luscious tomatoes! Hubby opted for a post-tennis match chair massage and, since it was 100 plus outside, I opted for a java chip popsicle from Tahoe Pops. Yezz. For food, there was a vegan food truck, Filipino food stand, lemonade, tamales, and coffee. I picked up a chicken tamal and a chile relleno tamal, plus a 24oz iced chai. Yezz, again. Gotta keep cool in the heat. For handmade …


I had big dreams for our last day in Japan, but let’s face it – we were so tired from all the non-stop adventuring. Plus, we arranged to stay in a fun hotel on our last night in Tokyo and all I wanted to do was hang out there! First off, they let us check in early – yessss, more time for relaxing. This room was my favorite out of all the places we stayed in Japan. It reminded me of Basecamp in South Lake Tahoe. The bed was so comfy, and we got two pillows each – every where else gave us one tiny pillow each. The style minimalist, but way cute, and a lovely light shined in. Also, I finally got to watch some Japan TV. The best part though – the bed has a built-in night light that senses when you get up when it’s dark. It lights up at the foot of the bed and then automatically shuts off. Gimme one of those! When there is foosball, we play! I love …

bike | bloom

This is a simple post. It’s about Tokyo bikes and flowers. We visited in the Springtime so all the blooms were majorly beautiful, and I was fascinated by all the bikes parked outside without locks (it’s honest there). Here are a few snaps from our stroll through Taito City and Sumida City in Tokyo. Enjoy. Shoutout to the simple things in life! Do you stop to photograph flowers, too? ๐Ÿ™‚


One of my favorite outings in Japan was our Arishiyama adventure day! We got up early to visit the famous Bamboo Grove! There is the main path with crazy tall bamboo – the one that is highly photographed. I wonder how old the bamboo is here. It seems they preserve a lot of the bamboo grove, but there are also areas where they grow and harvest the bamboo for building and craft material. We took our time taking it all in; it was so peaceful. You know us and crowds though – we left as soon as it got hard to take a photo without a photobomber. But not before having a panda photoshoot. ๐Ÿ™‚ Ahh, where do you like to explore on vacay? In the natures? Share below!