Posts Tagged ‘travel’

Pics from Hawaii!

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

Click on the photo to check out the entire photo album!

Emma’s Favorite Things – in San Francisco version

Monday, April 6th, 2009

I just finished writing a long e-mail to my friend about my favorite things to do and see in San Francisco. I thought it would also make a good blog post. These are my top 5 things (that I can think of right now) to do in San Francisco, and the surrounding areas.

So…Other than the uber touristy requirements of eating chocolate at Ghirardelli, going on a tour of Alcatraz and getting a sourdough bread bowl with chowder at Fisherman’s Wharf, and then going to check out the Sea Lions…… (all those things I recommend, btw)

Samovar – A Tea House.
They have 3 locations, but I fell in love with the location in Yerba Buena Gardens. Its a great place to just sit and drink some tea. For a light lunch or a little snack, I highly suggest their cheese and fruit platter. Its little and light and perfect for a little zen moment. Some fruit, cheese, nice bread and some honey in the comb. Absolutely delish.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art – AHhhht.
Practically across the street from Samovar. They have a pretty wide range of modern art, so even if you find alot of the stuff horribly shocking that it’s called art (i did), you’ll also definitely come across some stuff that you really love. Not a huge museum, and do-able in maybe 3 hours? I enjoyed spending an afternoon there, and their gift shop was fun to poke around in.

Chinatown and Dim Sum!
Yeah, Chinatown is pretty touristy, but its fun to poke around shops and getting dim sum is a MUST on a saturday or sunday morning! I can’t remember where I ate, but I started my walk at the big gate on Grant Ave at Bush Street, and I walked north on Grant. I think most restaurants on Grant are often marked up and more touristy, so look down the side streets until you find a place that looks interesting. That’s what D and I did, and we ended up in a totally packed place where we were the only gringos, and the waitresses didn’t speak any english. Luckily with dim sum you just point to what you want off their carts.

Asia SF – Dinner and drinks with talented dancers of the transgendered variety
I think I’ve gone here every time I’ve been in San Francisco, starting with a girl’s weekend trip with my Mom. Reservations are a good idea. It is awesome!!!! Dinner is good, but can be pricey. I think they have a prix fixe type menu thingie. The bartenders have always been great with helping me make a mixed drink decision, in addition to their sake and wine menus.  And don’t even get me started on the lady dancers of AsiaSF!!!! Most real women can’t even stand in 6 inch stripper shoes and here these ladies are, dancing in them on top of the bar to the latest Britney Spears songs. It’s a truly an awesome sight to behold.

Wine Country - Sonoma and Napa Valleys
Do it. I recommending having either a designated driver, or doing using a tour company. I’ve done both, and prefer having a DD, but the tour was pretty nice as well. We got to go to places that weren’t open to the public, and there weren’t a ton of annoying super tourists… I just don’t recommend doing the drinking & driving route. The pourers can have heavy hands.   Wineries I recommend: Domaine Chandon (great champagne, and beautiful landscaping) and Mumm (also great champagne). If you’re driving, I suggest driving up the main drag in Sonoma Valley, Rt.12, i think? and then crossing over at the top and going back down through Napa Valley on rt. 29. And just stop into whatever wineries strike your fancy.

Iceland Photos

Monday, March 30th, 2009

I’m back from Iceland! It was great! I’m sore from lots of strenuous activities, as well as sun and wind burnt, and I’m still massively under slept. But I had a really amazing time. My 2 favorite activities were hiking into snowy mountains to find a hot springs that we then bathed in (this tour), and riding Icelandic  horses though a beautiful area (with this company).

Some of my favorite photos:

Lemur wanted to go diving for all the coins.
Fun overall.
He wore it as a coat.
This shows a little bit better, but not really.
She had an itchy nose.
20 degrees F, 40 mph winds, heavy snow, and ready for a swim!

Check out my entire gallery of photos here.

I went with Devon and my friends Kate, Dan and David. We did lots of stuff… Which normally I would sum up, but Devon already did a great job at it on his blog… Check out:

What we did – Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.   Also see his impressions of Iceland, Impressions of our hotel and his photos.

I had a great time and I recommend the trip for anyone who would like a more active vacation, and doesn’t mind being cold all of the time. I certainly would like to return to soak in the Blue Lagoon some more.

Book Review: Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea

Sunday, March 1st, 2009

It’s been a while since I’ve written a book review. Probably since most of my recent reads have been trashy romance… erm… I mean “historical-romance novels”. But as of late, I discovered my local library’s graphic novel section… So I picked up a few, and a couple were really good.

My fav thus far: Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea, by Guy Delisle.

Guy Delisle is an animator who has traveled to many countries through his work…. Helping direct & manage jobs that get outsourced to other countries where its cheaper to employ animators. His graphic novel Pyongyang is about the time that he spent working in North Korea. It’s really faciniating. You rarely hear such indepth reporting from outsiders about what life is like in Korea. Its especially interesting in graphic novel form, since outsiders are forbidden from photographing so many things, Guy had a great advantage as an illustrator, being able to depict his experiences.

His experience with the locals there is surprising, although not entirely unexpected. How there is no opposition to the regime, and how noone ever says anything against their country. The idea of that is just so foreign to me. It’s something I love about the US.  While I have many issues with how many things are handled in my country, I just can’t even imagine such total domination over a country’s population.  The book Pyongyang made everything seem just so “1984“.

In general, I recommend all people to check this book out. It’s very thought provoking to say the very least, and it certainly makes me want to learn more about North Korea’s history and the US’s relationship with them. The book is available at Amazon.com, or see if you can borrow it at your local library.