All posts tagged: travel

shopping culture.

The shopping culture in Japan is like whoa. Gifting and packaging play a key role. Shops often provide additional bags and tissues for gift giving. And if you’re lucky, your items will be wrapped with pretty paper and you won’t want to open them because the wrapping will be too lovely to mess up. Everywhere you go – a shopping plaza! Train stations had stories of shopping, too. In Toyko, the Ginza shopping district has big brand shops. It also has Itoya, an eight-story categorized shopping experience. It was on my must-see list. A floor for planners, a floor with cards, a floor dedicated to craft and one for fine papers… I visited an origami shop. Calligraphy and paper stores were also popular – I loved stumbling across these shops; the workers were always so friendly and curious where I was visiting from. My favorite crafty shop find: Wrapple Wrapping & DIY Cafe, a small boutique DIY bar and cafe with co-working space filled with washi and paper and decor items. We also visited the …

itadakimasu.

I travel for the food. How about you? Drool with me now; it’s time for my Japan food recap! Itadakimasu! Sushi for breakfast, Tsukiji Fish Market, Tokyo This is what dreams are made of. We woke up at 11:30PM Friday and waited until the Tsukiji Fish Market opened at 7AM Saturday. Yaa, we had reverse jet lag. Before breakfast we strolled the Kachidoki Bridge for some just-after-sunrise views. I had the maguro salmon don (left) and Hubby had a kaisen don (right), plus miso soup with a big helping of seaweed. That’s wassup. That fish was fressssh. And I am obsessed with sushi rice. Noodles for breakfast, Rokurisha, Tokyo I’m a big fan of being able to eat out somewhere I can have rice or noodles for breakfast. And if there’s a place open by 10AM in the States I am a super fan. It took Hubby and I a while to find the tsukemen (dipping ramen) restaurant on our must-list because buildings in Tokyo are confusing. I saw a line and no English restaurant …

tennis tuesday: sectionals.

This week on Tennis Tuesday: Sectionals! Sectionals were held at a few locations in the Monterey Bay Area. We hadn’t been in the area in a few years so we were excited for tennis and to do some exploring in between matches. Hubby and co played at Chamisal Tennis Club in Salinas and at the Carmel Valley Athletic Club in Carmel. Chamisal had a ‘by the water’ feel; I admired all of their landscaping and spectator seating areas (including the lawn where you could view up to four matches at once). Carmel Valley Athletic Club felt more ‘woodsy’ – like a log cabin in Tahoe feel and they had signs throughout the facility that said ‘members only’ – basically ‘keep out.’ I preferred hanging out at Chamisal; I felt more welcomed there. Also, Chamisal had really good fries in their cafe (so good we ate them twice…) and better-at-their-job tennis officials. Chamisal for the win! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Like Districts, there were four matches in three days. Competition was tough, but this made for some exciting matches! …

NYC eats.ย 

Well, well, well. My taste buds finally meet the eats of New York streets. All the foods we ate below! FRIDAY   Xi’an Famous Foods: Spicy and sour spinach dumplings, cumin lamb pulled noodles (biang biang), pork noodle soup / Highlights: house-made noodles, that dumpling sauce   Spot Dessert Bar: Matcha Lava (dark chocolate cake filled with green tea ganache, served with green tea ice cream, chocolate crunchy pearls, and cookie crumbs), Yuzu Eskimo (frozen Japanese citrus cream bar with Oreo crust, chocolate ganache, strawberries, sorbet, and chocolate crunchy pearls), mango passionfruit soda / Highlights: the crunchy pearls! SATURDAY Joe & the Juice: Breakfast Club (acai, avocado, banana, hemp granola, almond milk), Iron Man (strawberry, kiwi, and apple smoothie), and chocolate fiber muffins / Highlights: light and filling! Levain Bakery: Dark chocolate chocolate chip cookie / Highlight: melty chocolately goodness Shake Shack: Shack burger, ‘Shroom Burger (crisp-fried portobello mushroom filled with melted muenster and cheddar cheese, topped with lettuce, tomato, and ShackSauce), crinkle-cut fries / Highlight: cheese ooze Halal Guys: Gyro platter / Highlight: Halal …

shop feature: tender loving empire.

On my “I fell in love with Portland because of this” list is local handmade shop and record label Tender Loving Empire. The first time I visited TLE was in Fall 2011, before I kick-started my Feed the Fish co line. I must have been super inspired by all the handmade awesome in shop! On my second visit to Portland, I made sure to stop in again. The shop was just as exciting as the first visit. I even modeled for them. ๐Ÿ˜‰ For this most recent visit, I made a TLE a flag! #fangirlallday And, I was so excited to see my crafty friend’s plush cuteness in store. You can spot Tally Sue’sย raindrops, Oregons, clouds, Voodoo doughnuts, and sunny side up eggs all over the shop. I hope I get to visit again sooner rather than later. I’m also itching to visit their 2nd, 3rd, and 4th locations throughout the city.ย Any must-see stops on your Portland wishlist? Share below!

minimoon adventures: sunset.

What’s just as lovely as sunrise? Sunset! Pick a spot on the east-ish part of Lake Tahoe for beautiful sunset views, and always pack a blanket and mat for instant warmth and seating.๐Ÿ˜Š For Sunset #1 we headed to Lakeside Beach. The view was cloudy but the lighting was amazing. For Sunset #2 we caught the tail end of light at El Dorado Beach. Again, loving all the silhouettes and sky colors. Good night!