Hello beautiful friends! Hope you’re having a lovely start to the week so far. As I’m coming up on my two year anniversary of living in LA, I’ve been reminiscing a lot and going through tons of photos and memories of all the things I’ve done and experienced over the last couple of years. I thought it would be fun to put together a little mood board of all the things that have capture my heart about this city. As much as I miss home, I’m growing to fall more and more in love with LA every single day, and I’m sure that love will only continue to grow in the coming years.
Looking for a fun getaway for the summer? Can’t decide where to go? I got the chance to spend a few days in Seoul last summer, and I absolutely loved it! Seoul was never a place that I thought much of and I never really had a strong desire to visit, but I am so thankful that I did. I tagged along with my mom on her business trip, so we didn’t have too much time to explore the city as a whole, but we were able to do some fun things and explore a couple cool places. I just wanted to write this to share all the things we did, and hopefully give you some inspiration to visit this really awesome city!
We stayed at the Sheraton Seoul Palace Gangnam, located in the Seocho-gu district. While it’s not walking distance from downtown, it’s only about a 10 minute drive (and a 30 minute drive from the airport). It’s also caddy corner from the Shinsegae department store as well as the Goto Mall, which is the underground shopping mall connected to the Gangnam subway station (super useful to help get around). The department store and the mall combined has enough to keep you occupied for at least a whole day. The mall has tons of sit-down restaurants ranging from Italian to Chinese to Korean, and the basement of the department store has a huge supermarket as well as lot’s of little eateries.
There’s an office building right next to the hotel with a bingsu shop (forgot the name of it, but you can find bingsu everywhere), which was a perfect little afternoon snack for my mom and I after a day of shopping.
On the second night, we went to the Myeongdong district which is a large outdoor shopping area. The only thing I can relate it to is Takeshita Street in Harajuku, Tokyo. It was crazy, chaotic and super fun. The streets were absolutely filled with beauty stores, clothing shops, and food vendors. We spent a couple hours walking around and buying some fun Korean beauty products, and then walked over to Ziu Spa, where we spent 3 hours getting pampered. It was a traditional Korean spa, so they had two big thermal baths as well as two sauna’s (one rock and one salt), where we spent the first 20 minutes before we got famous Korean body scrubs, massages, face masks and body masks. The session ended with cupping (this was the first time I tried it and it was so cool!). After feeling totally blissed out, we walked over to a Korean BBQ restaurant where we had lot’s of meat, beer and soju:)
On our last full day, we were lucky enough to have lunch at an Imperial Korean Restaurant, where we were served lots of traditional Korean foods including kimchi, bulgogi beef, japchae, buchimgae and lots of other dishes in a private (really fancy room). The restaurant was in an old traditional house with a huge Korean garden out back. We spent half an hour walking around and soaking in all the beauty after our delicious meal.
That night, we decided to stay close to the hotel and had another Korean BBQ dinner at one of the restaurants at Goto Mall. We found out that the restaurant did both BBQ and hot pot, so we decided to do both (because it was our last night and why not?). There was so much amazing meat, vegetables, kimchi, and of course ice cold beer. It was the perfect way to end our little getaway.
While there is so much more I would have loved to do and see, I am so glad I got a chance to visit this vibrant city, and I hope to go back again soon. Below I have attached some links to some of the places/things I talked about, and also have some photos to share. Enjoy, and happy traveling!
Sheraton Seoul Palace Gangnam: http://www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=4542&language=en_US
Shinsegae Department Store Gangnam: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SHP/SH_EN_7_2.jsp?cid=273804
Goto Mall/Gangnam Terminal Shopping Center: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SHP/SH_EN_7_2.jsp?cid=2021659
Seoul on TripAdvisor: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Tourism-g294197-Seoul-Vacations.html
This past Saturday, a historical moment happened. Over 1 million people around the country came together to bring an end to gun violence in the US. While I try not to get political on here, there are some things I feel I can’t avoid. This is not about red or blue, left or right, liberal or conservative, it’s simply life or death. But instead of looking at this from a negative point of view, I am choosing to look at the positives. And while there is nothing positive about the devastation that runs through the country every day, what has come out of that is extremely inspirational. Being at the Los Angeles March on Saturday began to restore my hope and faith that good will win. During times like these, it can be hard to remember that the good outweigh the bad, that there are more positives than negatives. But seeing all the people of different sexes, color and social class come together to ensure that every child going to school, every black man walking down the street and every person attending a concert can walk in and out safe and unharmed was so heartwarming. I walked beside all these people I had never seen before, but yet we stood in solidarity. I praise all the young students of Parkland High School for being the brave young leaders we so desperately need. These are the people we rely on to make change in the country and the world, to preserve the good of the American culture, while protecting the basic right of all citizens, the right to life. I don’t want to go on and on (because I could), but I just wanted to share my thoughts on what happened over the weekend, along with some photos that showed the protest and strength that we need.
And remember, good will win.
March For Our Lives: https://marchforourlives.com/
Got my Singaporean fix from QQ Kopitiam in Pasadena. The Laksa was super authentic and delicious, just like it would be at home! It was a really generous serving for a super reasonable price (two main dishes and one bubble tea was $21 with tax).
I know I may be a little late to hop on the bandwagon, but I am beyond obsessed with Halo Top. For those of you who don’t know what it is, Halo Top is an extremely low calorie, high protein ice cream (not that you can tell, it’s amazing!). The calories range from 240-360 calories depending on the flavor, so one serving is never more than 90 calories. A few of my favorite flavors are Birthday Cake, Sea Salt Caramel and Mint Chip.
This beautiful spread is from the Granville at the Americana in Glendale. They have a menu full of modern yet homey dishes that are absolutely delicious! This was the bacon & blue burger with a side salad, the Santa Barbara chicken sandwich, a side of sweet potato fries and the uptown mac & cheese. I would also highly recommend the chicken and blue flatbread (not pictures). A perfect stop for lunch or dinner during a day of shopping!
*As seen on BuzzFeed* Sushi Stop is a super affordable (and yummy) location in Pasadena (they have other locations too). At $3.25 for most of their dishes, it’s hard to spend more than $16 a person (and that’s if you are eating A LOT). Ranging from sashimi sushi to baked rolls to udon and tempura, they have everything you would ever want. To be honest, after eating so mush sushi in Japan, I was a little skeptical of this, but it did not disappoint!
Just throwing this in here because I miss Disneyland. A beautiful mickey mouse-shaped beignet (and some Mint Juleps) from New Orleans Square at Disney.
One of my favorite things about living in LA is finding all the small (what I like to call) hidden gems of the city. Gloria’s Cafe is a small Mexican-inspired breakfast/brunch restaurant tucked away in the back streets of Highland Park. Pictured above is the savory waffle (amazing!) and the breakfast taco. I would also highly recommend their breakfast sandwich which comes on a burger bun with pulled pork and scrambled eggs. For a main dish and (a big a**) iced coffee, I usually pay $14 (including tax and tip).
Where should I go next? Comment your favorite LA spots down below! And if you try one of these places, let me know what you think:)