I actually don’t know how to be one, but I felt like that title would grab people’s attention. Perhaps you have to go around drinking coffee that isn’t from Starbucks and not be bothered about the rain, because it rains all the time. In that case… I’ve got it down to a T because I do that in London, anyway.

News that Taylor Swift had gotten together with Tom Hiddleston exploded all over the Internet, whilst I was in the US, and I can’t lie… it infuriated me. So, I drowned my sorrows in food and decided to not let the likes of a blonde bimbo get to me.

Ahem.

DAY 11

This was a really chill day spent exploring more of West Seattle. It’s a bit of the way out from where my cousin lives, but it’s definitely worth a visit. 

West Seattle is home to spectacular views of Puget Sound, quirky and chic shops and Alki’s Beach Park. It’s a nice neighbourhood, especially if you’re just looking for some downtime on your trip.

My first stop was Easy Street Records, which has an impressive array of vinyls and CDs. There are also a handful of second hand bookshops, where you can buy books for $1. Honestly, I felt like I was in heaven as I walked around. I then took a bus to Westwood Village, mainly because I needed to go to Target to pick up some things that my dad requested, and also ended up in Barnes & Noble. I bought ‘303 Writing Prompts: Ideas to Get You Started‘, which has actually been extremely helpful in getting my creative writing juices flowing!

After, that I took another bus to Alki Beach and literally just stayed there until I needed to meet Doreen. The weather was really good, so I plonked myself on the sand, put my sunglasses on and chilled with my book. Note: Once on Alki, there are two free buses which operate in the local neighbourhoods. Route 775 travels along Alki Beach, Route 773 services the West Seattle “Junction”.

basic beaches.

basic beaches.

Before heading back to Downtown, I picked up some vanilla bubble tea from Saigon Boat Cafe. Delicioso.

After relaxing for a while, myself, Doreen, Chris and Tonette headed out to go on a little food trip, which according to Doreen was just a normal weekly thing. Oh, to eat like a king.

  • First stop was Soi, located in Capitol Hill. It is a Thai restaurant, with a focus on the food of the raised plateau of the North Eastern region of Thailand called Issan. My favourite dish had to be Nang Gai Tod, which is crispy fried chicken skin – I could eat that every day for the rest of life, ngl. I would also recommend Phad Kana Moo Krob, which is found at many roadside stalls through Thailand and comprises of crispy, tender pieces of pork belly stir-fried with garlic, Chinese kale, soy sauce, and fresh Thai chilies. Their drinks menu is also really good!
  • Next stop was Big Mario’s Pizza, which is only around the corner from Soi. An absolute dive of a place, a place you probably wouldn’t be caught dead in unless you’re a biker or a druggie, but the sort of place that you still want to be in because they serve the: Best. Pizza. Ever. New York-style slices with combinations you didn’t think would work, but actually do, for example pear and gorgonzola. So, so good.
  • Last stop was Kurt Farm Shop, also in Capitol Hill tucked away into the Chophouse Row building. All you really need to know about this place is cheese ice cream. CHEESE. ICE. CREAM.
Nang Gai Tod หนังไก่ทอด

Nang Gai Tod หนังไก่ทอด

Everyday, I eat

Everyday, I eat

Hearts satisfied, and bellies full, we headed back home.

Day 12

I just had to brave the queue at the Original Starbucks! After picking up a yummy corndog from one of the stands in Pike Place Market, I joined the queue and whilst the wait was hella long, it was definitely worth it!

Located near the waterfront of Pike Place Market, everything in the entire store is original: the floors, the fixtures, the counters. It’s pretty magical. They even have the Starbucks’ original mermaid, baring her breasts and spreading her tails.

Also, an amazing thing happened where I ordered my iced frappé and whilst I was waiting the barista gave me an extra refresher because they just had one spare. Love, love, love!

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The weather wasn’t that great, so after popping into Target and raiding the stationery section (I bought a new calendar and planner), I headed back home. Later on that evening, we went to see Central Intelligence. I would definitely recommend this film if you love comedies. Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson are epic together, and the sight of the Rock in a My Little Pony t-shirt is sure to set you off.

Day 13

What do you do on your last day in Seattle? Why, you head out to Tukwila and chow down on some Jollibee, of course! Tukwila is a suburban city in King County and the northern edge of Tukwila borders Seattle. Doreen and I ended up in Westfield Southcenter, where we obviously had to go to Jollibee because when will I ever eat Jollibee besides going to the Philippines? I had to go for the Chicken Joy because that crispy skin, tho… *drools. I can’t believe how much rice I ate on this trip, hahahaha. The queue for Jollibee at 10 in the morning was already hella long!

I could fried chicken every day. Every cot damn day.

I could eat fried chicken every day. Every cot damn day.

We also went to Seafood City, which is basically the second home for Filipinos.

We walked around a little bit and I bought some last minute gifts for family and friends. It’s a generic mall, and we have Westfield here in London, so it was nothing new.

Go Seahawks!

Go Seahawks!

By this point, I had already seen most of the touristy things in Seattle and then some, so there wasn’t much left for me to do. We ended up back home to relax before heading out for a late lunch with Tonette and Chris.

Westward is located on the north shores of Lake Union, and if you sit outside you get some great views of Seattle’s skyline. The weather wasn’t great, so we decided to sit inside, however if you want to brave the cold weather they also provide blankets and there is outdoor heating 🙂

It was definitely one of the fancier restaurants I visited whilst in Seattle – Tonette and Doreen ordered a buttload of oysters, but as I am allergic to seafood I settled for chips & dip and crudités. For my main, I ordered Confit Chicken Hash: pearl barley, green garlic, broccoli raab, poached farm egg, lemon yogurt. It was absolutely delicious. To be honest, when it arrived it didn’t really look appetising. I mean the presentation was good, but the colours were so bland. Nevertheless, it was really, really tasty!

I then had a latte and beignets for dessert. Beignets are absolutely gorgeous! I’d never had them before I went to Westward, but when Tonette told me what they were I just had to order a plate 🙂

chips and dip/crudités (raw, pickled & cured things)

chips and dip/crudités (raw, pickled & cured things)

Honestly, tasted better than it looks!

Honestly, tasted better than it looks!

Required to touch the soul to wake it up

Required to touch the soul to wake it up

Beignet, synonymous with the English "fritter", is the French term for a pastry made from deep-fried choux pastry.

Beignet, synonymous with the English “fritter”, is the French term for a pastry made from deep-fried choux pastry.

I was utterly distraught to be leaving Seattle. The fact that it was raining as well, was surely a sign that the sky was crying because I was leaving. Alas, I’m a hopeless romantic like that. Just like that 2 weeks were over in the blink of an eye. My flight home was uneventful; as my flight was in the evening, it meant that I arrived afternoon time the next day. Didn’t really have jet lag, to be fair, and I kept myself awake until it was time for bed. I had to do that because I had work the next day, otherwise my body would have been messed up, ha.

Back to reality.

Back to reality.

I had the most amazing time discovering new cities whilst in the US, and I know for sure that I will definitely be back. From visiting the Space Needle to going to Disney to crossing a death-defying bridge, and of course, eating all the food along the way – I would do it all over again… right now

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” – Anonymous

For now, it’s back to reality and dreams of going to Barcelona next August. Until the next travel post ?

Sometimes when I haven’t blogged in ages, I forget what it feels like to blog. Then when I actually do get round to writing a post or checking out blogs or replying to comments, I feel a rush and I’m like, “Damn, Chynna. You should really get your sh*t together and keep up with the blogosphere more because this feeling is amazing.”

Moving on.

Oh, LA. Where do I even begin with LA? Of course, the ultimate highlight of my trip to LA was meeting Nancy for the first time ever in our 5/6 year blogger friendship. I specifically remember my airbnb hostess asking us when was the last time we saw each other and her reaction when we said this was the first time we’ve actually met. Hilarious.

Nancy – you are awesome and sweet and just as amazing as you are online. I wish I could have stayed longer, but I’m so grateful that you were there to show me around some of LA. I’m also so touched that you were willing to spend your birthday with me at Disney! Love you, girl ❤️ – and as Terminator would say, “I’ll be back.”

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The thing about Canada is that it is a massive place. A massive place that I am hoping I get to see more of one day, but for now I am content that I got to visit Vancouver at least. Don’t worry, Merry-Beth, I’ll be back 🙂

Highlights include:

  • Richmond Night Market – for all the foodies out there, this one is for you!
  • Capilano Suspension Bridge – don’t go here if you’re afraid of heights, ha ?
  • The Peace Arch – look at me, I’m crossing borders!

DAY 6

selfie

Canada bound!

So, plans from the previous night fell through because we decided to be lazy and eat Dick’s (ha!) and watch Sherlock instead. Also the fact that we had to wake up early anyway was a factor in the final decision to stay in.

We woke up early that day to get ready for a road trip to Canada. Muta was still in my eye as I entered the car, but it’s whatever. The journey wasn’t too long, and took us approx. 3 hours. We had to stop off midway to drop off something for my Tita’s friend and then we were on our way to Vancouver!

Our check-in at the airbnb wasn’t until around 2, so our first stop was Stanley Park, which borders the downtown of Vancouver. The park is absolutely massive, and shows off some beautiful skylines of Vancouver. You have the option to wander around the park on foot or take a guided tour by horse-drawn carriage, shuttle trolley or tour bus. 

They have nine totem poles at Brockton Point which is a definite must visit. 

The collection started at Lumberman’s Arch in the 1920s, when the Park Board bought four totems from Vancouver Island’s Alert Bay. More purchased totems came from Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands) and the BC central coast Rivers Inlet, to celebrate the 1936 Golden Jubilee. In the mid 1960s, the totem poles were moved to the attractive and accessible Brockton Point.

The Skedans Mortuary Pole is a replica as the original was returned home to Haida Gwaii. In the late 1980s, the remaining totem poles were sent to various museums for preservation and the Park Board commissioned and loaned replacement totems.

The ninth and most recent totem pole, carved by Robert Yelton of the Squamish Nation, was added to Brockton Point in 2009. – Source

They also have a gift shop where I bought a Canada mug and a dream catcher 🙂

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Did I really use that as a post title?

It’s been two weeks since I’ve been back in the UK, and I am still bummed about being back. Coupled with the fact that I was straight onto a late shift, the day after I got back, I definitely needed the three day weekend from last week and these two days that I just got off. Good food, good vibes and good friends. Check ✔

As you know, I spent two weeks in the US and I, honest to God, had the most amazing time. I cannot wait until I get the opportunity to visit again. Here a few highlights before I delve more into my travels:

  • Reuniting with my Filipino family – I can’t wait until I visit the Philippines in November!
  • Discovering new cities – Seattle, Vancouver and LA were all amazing in their own right
  • Visiting the Space Needle – honestly, the views are beyond breathtaking
  • Meeting Nancy for the first time – I was ecstatic when I we finally met and did my usual spiel of “I can’t believe it’s you!”
  • Going to Disneyland California – Disney is a magical place ❤

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coney

Finally, after 3 months, we have come to the end of my New York travel series. Looking back on my previous posts make me very nostalgic, and I can’t wait to visit New York again!

My last few days in New York were very lowkey and mostly spent with family. Mutay flew back home on the Sunday, and after my cousin and I dropped her off at the airport we drove back home and I chilled for a bit. It felt a bit weird to not have Mutay around anymore, but I guess it would because we were in such close proximity for a while. Haha.

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