Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Travel Tuesday no.37 // Washington D.C.

Springtime in Washington, D.C. is truly something special. We booked this trip months in advance and were incredibly lucky to be in the city during the peak bloom of the cherry blossoms (without even trying to sync our visit with the blossoming period!). Row and rows of pink trees at the Tidal Basin - a magical moment for sure and definitely a highlight of our trip.

Aside from the cherry blossoms, our short time in DC was spent hanging out with family as well as sightseeing - a good combination and mix of both things. I haven't been back here in fifteen years and I never got to explore DC properly as a child, so this trip was really special. I felt like I was seeing the city and its sights from a fresh perspective, especially now that I'm an adult.

Today I'm sharing a little photo diary of our trip, including some of my favorite moments and places we visited. If you're interested, you can also see how I documented this adventure in my Project Life over here.

The first thing we did in DC was check out the cherry blossom situation at the Tidal Basin. So, so pretty although this side of the basin didn't have as many cherry blossoms as the other side. Across is a view of the Jefferson Memorial.

Looking down // Looking up. Always remember to find new perspectives when you're taking photos :)

Obligatory White House photo.

One of the places on my list was the Renwick Gallery (part of the SAAM), because they had a temporary exhibit happening called Wonder. Inside the gallery were beautiful and unique large-scale art installations, all using unexpected everyday materials and evoking the theme of wonder. It was so inspiring.

DC has more museums than we had time! We visited the National Museum of American History on our first day and briefly popped in the National Portrait Gallery in the evening. Love how the light flooded into the atrium and wish we had more time to see everything!

We headed downtown for dinner at Momofuku CCDC. I have to admit, I enjoy the Milk Bar a lot more than the restaurant. This was one priiiicy bowl of ramen.

We spent another day at the National Mall with all the other thousands of tourists out there, ha! It was cool seeing the different memorials and monuments around this area.

We ended up at the Tidal Basin again and it was pure magic. Even though we have a lot of cherry blossoms at home, there was something so beautiful about the pathway around the Tidal Basin with the rows of cherry blossom trees on one side and the water on the other. I loved walking around here and it was definitely an experience that took my breath away.

We also visited the Library of Congress and it wins for the prettiest building ever. I loved exploring the place, seeing the Thomas Jefferson library and basically taking photos non-stop.

The National Postal museum was recommended to me by my friend Christine, and it's a wonderful hidden gem in DC. The museum is small and relatively quiet compared to the other museums in DC, and it's easy to pop in for an hour or so if you're near Union Station. The exhibits were very well put together and I enjoyed learning about the history of and stories behind postage stamps. It definitely gave me a better appreciation for these little pieces of paper! Plus, lots of free paper (+ stamps!)  - perfect for scrapbooking ;)

Postal boxes from around the world! Very cool to compare the different shapes and designs since it's something I'd normally overlook if I were in a different country.

An afternoon in Georgetown was well spent. I really wish we had more time to wander around the area because the architecture of the buildings here were gorgeous. Perhaps next time!

One last Smithsonian museum visit - the Udvar Hazy Center in Virgina was a lot of fun to wander around in. If you're a fan of aviation, this is the place for you. I never imagined there would be so many different designs, shapes and sizes of planes! Lots of cool history as well.

I'll leave you with this last photo of my favorite plane which, at one point, was the world's smallest. Hope it inspires you to travel and take more adventures! 

Happy Tuesday! xo.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Friday Faves // 02

It's no secret that I love travel-themed products. I'm always on the lookout for special items to fill my home that spark my wanderlust and encourage more adventures in life. These are things that make me happy, and I definitely believe home should be filled with the things you love.

Today's faves are a round-up of travel-themed products from Uncommon Goods. They are an online marketplace that feature creative goods from a variety of artists and designers at a wide range of prices. Not only are the items they carry interesting and one-of-a-kind, but the company is also committed to offering handmade, recycled and organic merchandise. I love browsing their site in search of special items for me (treat yo self!) or better yet, gifts for friends and family. Anyway, here are my favorite finds:

01. Tea from Around the World // A combination of my two loves - tea and travel! Having different kinds of tea from around the world is such a neat idea and I love that the tea leaves are packaged in test tubes.

02. Neighborhood Map Coasters // How awesome are these cedar wood coasters? They are a fun reminder and celebration of your favorite neighborhood every time you have a drink.

03. Scratch Travel Journal //  I love the idea of an all-in-one travel journal, planner and check-list, but I think my favorite thing about this is the set of scratch maps included.

04. All Aboard Book Series // I thought these would be the perfect presents for my niece and nephew to educate them and encourage their wanderlust. The illustrations look super fun and cute. (You can also find more great kid gifts here!)

05. Cork Globe // This is the coolest thing ever...a cork globe where you can put pins on places you've visited! Going on my wishlist asap.

06. Watercolor World Map // I adore a good map and this beautiful, watercolored one would be such a great print to have framed and hung up at home. The unique design makes it a colorful statement piece without being too bold. Love!

Any favorites from my list? You can check out Uncommon Goods for more unique items for you or your loved ones. Happy weekend!

*This post is in collaboration with Uncommon Goods. All words and opinions are my own.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Travel Tuesday no.36 // Portland

Last December, my family and I headed down to Portland for a quick getaway. I've been to PDX twice before as a kid since it's only a six hour road trip from home, but it has been ten(!) years since my last visit. I was excited to go back to this city to explore all the cool places and spaces.

Portland definitely didn't disappoint. Even though the sun never made an appearance during our three days here, we had lots of fun eating delicious food, exploring local shops, and simply hanging out. I had a long list of places I wanted to check out and while we didn't make it to all of them, this trip was special since we were all there. Christmastime is one of the rare times when we're all together as a family. Definitely a great way to cap off the year!

Today I'm sharing some of my favorite photos from our trip (and you can see how I documented a summary of this trip in my Project Life here):

Started one of our mornings off at Blue Star Donuts. Oh man, so good. We kind of went overboard and ended up getting sixteen donuts, lol. It was worth it though! There were a lot of unique flavors and every single one was delicious.

I could spend hours at Powell's browsing their incredible selection of books!

Since it was the holidays, the Ace Hotel lobby was always busy whenever we passed by. We did catch a quiet moment in the evening though, and I had a good cup of coffee at Stumptown next door while waiting for the rain to pass.

We drove to Multnomah Falls, the second highest waterfall in the US. It is such a picturesque place and the fog made it even more magical. There was even a light dusting of snow at the higher elevations. (Bonus - there are rubber stamps to use inside the US Forest Service info center :D Talk to one of the volunteers; they're all super nice!)

Clearly, one flight of ice cream at Salt & Straw was not enough to try their unique flavors, ha! There were so many interesting combinations and surprisingly, the pear & blue cheese was one of my favorites.

There are so many amazing local shops in Portland! Too many on my list to visit - I definitely need to go back to hit up all the others. My absolute favorite from the ones I went to though was Lark Press, a lovely little shop filled with all kinds of treasures.

We had a lot of good meals in PDX as well. If I had to pick a favorite, I think it would be Tasty n Sons. Loved the industrial look of the space, the maps hanging on their walls, and their 'American diner' cuisine. I still dream of their shakshuka!

Schoolhouse Electric was gorgeous. Walking around and photographing all the details here definitely inspired me...I'm filing lots of ideas under #dreamhome!

We really enjoyed our quick visit and I'm hoping to be back again one day (definitely sooner than 10 years! ha) to explore more local shops and good eats. Love you, PDX!