In April, I took a trip to England. Having already seen the majority of London in previous trips, this time I did a little tour of other places, including Birmingham, Nottingham, Oxford, Stratford-upn-Avon, Warwick, and Bath. Below is my basic itinerary for my trip, along with some lovely photos of things I did, places I visited, and food I ate. Enjoy!
Day 1 - Bath
After taking a night flight, I arrived at Heathrow Airport in the morning, and grabbed a quick breakfast there before hopping in the rental car for 1.5 hours to Bath. Once there, I checked into the bed and breakfast, The Edgar Townhouse. After, I walked into town for some ice cream and then stood in line for the Roman Baths, what Bath is most known for. It was very beautiful, and featured a great audio tour guide throughout the museum.
Learning about the history of the springs itself was interesting, and so was the building surrounding it! It brought in aspects of the history of Bath in general, and is a must see. Outside the Baths was a little shopping, and The Bath Abbey, a famous church.
Dinner that night was at Martini Restaurant, a classic Italian stop. I got my all time favorite, pasta carbonara, and it was delicious. Following dinner, I returned to The Bath Abbey to watch a performance of Verdi Requiem by the Bath Philharmonia.
Day 2 - Bath
Breakfast in the morning was provided by the hotel, and was a sit down, which I was very impressed with. The food tasted homemade and simple, and they offered some good English classics. After breakfast, I walked into town to join the 10:3o am walking tour of Bath, offered for free by volunteer tour guides. The tour was around 2.5 hours, and led us around the entirety of Bath, with history provided along the way. Probably one of the best free tours I have ever received, the guides are all unique and tell different stories based on their own personal experiences living in Bath. Since the tour ended near the Roman Baths, I decided to try the High Tea they had in the Pump Room for lunch.
The high tea they offered ending up being very traditional, and they had a large selection of teas. On top of that, the room itself was beautiful. From lunch, I walked to the Fashion Museum, which featured some very old clothing, and even let you try on replicas! The audio guide taught a lot about the history of fashion, and I thought it was very educational and interesting to see the changes in fashion over time. You can buy tickets for both this and the Roman Baths at the same time for a cheaper deal.
I was feeling tired and a little sick, so I went and rested in the hotel for the rest of the day. On the way back, I stopped in waitrose to pick up some snacks, and was ended up wandering through the aisles and looking at all the crazy food. It is always cool when you walk into a grocery store in a different country, and see all these new, unfamiliar brands.
Day 3 - Bath --> Birmingham
Breakfast this morning was in the hotel again, and I had baked beans on toast for the first time. It was surprisingly good! Checked out of the hotel and hopped into the car to go to Birmingham. On the way, I stopped at Cadbury World. Surprisingly, this place was filled with local families, and we seemed to be one of the few from out of the country to visit. The tour they offer is through videos, signs, and presentations. It takes you through the journey of everything Cadbury has to offer, and ends in a shop filled with some really nice, and really cheap Cadbury chocolate.
This is definitely a cool stop in my eyes, but only visit if you are up for a little fun and cheesiness. The design is definitely geared towards little kids, but it was cool to learn a little bit about a chocolate company we don't offer in the US. Follow the visit, I stopped for Indian Food at Asha's. Their lunch deal was worth the price and the portion sizes were insane. Next, I checked into the apartment at SACO. The room space was very large and nice, perfect for a long stay or one with a big group.
There was a little bit of time left in the day to walk around, so I went to one of my favorite places, the library. The Library of Birmingham is decently new to the city after being rebuilt, and it is officially the coolest library that I have ever visited. There are tons of floors with every single genre you could possibly imagine, along with outdoor gardens and a view of the city from the top floor. Let's just say I wouldn't mind spending a few days just to check out every nook and cranny in that place.
Dinner that night was at a local chain, Handmade Burger Co. Coming from America, I had to say that the burgers were not particularly amazing, but there were a lot of cool choices on the menu.
Tune in next time for the rest of my trip! There were four more days on my tour around England, and in order to give you the most in depth itinerary possible, I have split this trip into two posts. I hope that you enjoyed the photos and tips I have offered today. Let me know in the comments if you want to visit any of these places, or if you have already and have any recommendations. Have an amazing week!
For President's Day Weekend, I took a break from the cold and made a trip down to Atlanta, Georgia. It is a very unique city filled with all kind of history and culture. Today I am sharing my itinerary with you of my trip.
This day was a little uneventful. After checking into our hotel, we went out for a small dinner and then turned in for the night. Already, I had started to noticed how spread out Atlanta was. Definitely put that into consideration when booking hotels, because things are farther apart that I originally thought.
The morning started off in downtown Atlanta, at the Georgia Aquarium. If you plan on going during the weekend, I highly recommend reserving tickets, because it takes away the waiting in a giant ticket line. The Georgia Aquarium is the biggest aquarium in the world, and it feels like Disney World inside. There are bright lights, decorations, and kids everywhere. It takes about 4 hours to get through.
The creatures ranged from local fish, otters, penguins, whales, dolphins to jelly fish, crab, sea horses, and piranha. It featured one of the biggest tanks I have ever seen, with a long tunnel giving you access to above. Inside were multiple whale sharks, the largest creatures on earth.
After finishing up at the aquarium, we headed across the plaza to the Center for Civil and Human Rights. There were multiple, but all very inspiring exhibits inside.
Finally, we walked to the other part of the plaza for the World of Coca Cola. The majority of this was very cheesy and uninteresting, although I didn't expect it to be anything amazing. The most surprising part was the room at the end that let you try all of Coca-Cola's sodas, including specialties from all continents around the world.
For dinner, we went to the Iberian Pig, a Spanish appetizer restaurant. They had cheese, meats, and other fresh made tapas to share. Some dishes we got include Mac and Cheese, Broccoli, and Rabbit Empanadas.
The morning started off with brunch at King & Duke. This was probably my favorite restaurant of the trip, because it was surprisingly quiet but the food was amazing. The menu took a cool twist on classic breakfast dishes, and everything was equally good.
The next stop was the Atlanta History Center. This place surprised me. A distance away from downtown, this place was not only museum but an entire plot of land with multiple homes and gardens. Each house had workers who were in character of the time period it was built, and one of them was even included in the Hunger Games movies.
A big place, this took up most of the day, and after we went to a few neighborhoods to walk around. One area was Jenni's ice cream, a well known chain in the South. They have traditional and some crazy twists on flavors. I got rocky road and peanut butter chocolate chip.
We checked into a new hotel that was located more downtown, and then took a walk to dinner at Max Lager's Wood-Fired Grill and Brewery.
The last day we wanted a quick stop for breakfast, so we decided on Sublime Donuts, a hip stop near a university with many unique flavors of donuts.
After, we went to Ponce City Market to walk around, and nearby was the Beltline. The detour along the Belt Line was gorgeous, and I wish we had more time to walk or take a bike ride down it. Alongside, we found a crazy thrift shop, with all sort of used clothes, games, furniture and more in a store the size of a warehouse. Returning to the market, we had some Indian food at Botiwalla. It was a unique twist on Indian that I have never had anywhere else.
The last stop before the airport was Honey Bubble Tea, for some long missed bubble tea. It was made with entirely fresh ingredients, and their menu had a wide selection of milk teas, clear teas, and regular hot teas.
I hope the itinerary had enough of options for things to do in Atlanta, and that you enjoyed it! Let me know if you plan on taking a trip there soon, or have in the past and have maybe visited these places. I hope you have a fantastic week!
Following the annual tradition, I took a weekend in December away to travel to a local city in search for a Christmas market, and other holiday related events. This year, the choice was Baltimore, and it couldn't have been more sucessful. Here is an itinterary of the places I hit, along with some lovely photos.
Arriving around lunch time, I checked into the Shereton Inner Harbor Hotel, and then took a walk to the Christmas Market. If you remember from last year, I visited a Christmas Market in Philidephia. The same company owns both markets, and also do them in other locations around the US. If you would like to see if there is a location near you, click here.
In comparison between this year's and last year's market; I would say that Philidephia's is more authentic because the entire event is outside, so it feels bigger, and the vendors that take it up are more german-themed. Here, half of the market was inside, and although it was cute, it felt more like a craft fair and less like a german market.
Lunch and walking around the Christmas Market was followed by a walk along the water where is was located, stopping at a Barnes and Nobles.
The unique thing about this bookstore that made it the coolest barnes and nobles I have ever been in was that it used to be a power plant. Inside, the shells of tubes are still kept and the escalators are old styled to look industrial. All together the bookstore had a cool aura that made me want to stay in it all day.
Exiting the bookstore, the walk continued to the old town. The destination was a cute square decorated with Christmas lights and a lot of quirky shops, otherwise known as Fell's Point.
Once the sun had set, I walked along the wated back to the hotel, while watching the parade of boats decorated with Chritmas lights. Dinner was at Alewife, a cute gastropub. The last stop of the day was at Miracle at 34th Street, a small block famous for having overly eleaborate decorated homes.
Each home had a distinct theme, a lot with many Christmas collectibles that you can tell have been collected and passed down by family after family. It was the most impressive set of lights I have ever seen, and was crowded with people on the streets, and lines to walk up and get a closer view on houses.
That concudes my day in Baltimore. I hope that it gave you some inspiration to go out and do something with family or friends! There is plenty to do in any town or city, sometimes it just takes a little searching. I hope you are having a great start to your december, let me know if there are any specific christmas or other holiday themed posts that you want to see this month. Have a great week!
On a recent long weekend, I took a trip to Chicago to revisit some favorites, and visit a few new places. Here is my itinerary from my 5 day stay, alongside some accompanying photos. Enjoy!
This day didn't consist of much because I arrived very late in the evening. All that happened was I checked into the James Chicago. It is not a particularly great hotel, but also not particularly bad. It was just slightly disappointing for being advertised as a more upscale hotel, because it definitely wasn't.
The day started off with breakfast at Yolk. I had a half pineapple that was filled with fruit, yogurt, and granola and it was delicious.
After breakfast, I took a walk over to the Art Institute of Chicago, where I spent the majority of the day wandering through the halls and exhibits of this massive art museum.
Located right near the institute was the Cloud Gate, the public structure that Chicago is famous for. The reflection is casts is stunning, and you could spend hours walking around, because it looks different from every angle.
I also took a stroll around the rest of Millennium Park, which had cool separated areas with little playgrounds, stadiums, art, etc. It is probably one of the coolest parks I have ever visited, mostly because it is so unique. Dinner was at Lou Malnati's for the dish Chicago is known for, deep dish pizza. I got the classic, and it was amazing, very different than any other pizza I've ever had.
The morning started off with breakfast at Wildberry Pancakes and Cafe. If you plan of eating here, I highly suggest putting yourself on the wait list online beforehand, because otherwise the wait is insanely long. The food was great, but I didn't understand why the wait was so long, because it wasn't anything outstanding. After, I took a walk over to the Chicago Cultural Center, which feature some beautiful domes.
Next was a walk along the Chicago River walk, looking at the architecture and the boats along the river.
I was hungry after all the walking, and was right near the Doughnut Vault, so I took a break for a doughnut. They were about a half hour from closing shop, so I got the last of the doughnuts for the day.
Since it was only the afternoon, I took a cab to a different area of Chicago, the Ukrainian Village, to walk around for a bit. From there, I worked my way over to a cool bookshop known as Myopic Bookstore. It was small with 2 floors, and small rows filled high with books of every genre.
I also happened to be near Mindy's Hot Chocolate, and after looking at the menu, it was necessary to go and try. I ordered one that was half Chai and half hot chocolate, and it was topped with homemade marshmallows. The combination is incredible, and I highly recommend visiting, because it was some of the best hot chocolate I've ever had.
The day was finished with dinner at Imperial Lamian, an upscale Chinese restaurant, where each dish was unique and different. There was an open kitchen where you could see chefs hand making noodles and dumplings.
Since it is located right near the hotel, breakfast was at Eately. After, I took a quick walk over and around Water Tower Place to see the tower itself and the mall behind it.
Next was a walk along Oak Street Beach, in the direction of Lincoln Park Zoo, an amazing option if you are looking for something cheap; this zoo is entirely free. Most of the day was spent looking at all the animals, the zoo was surprisingly large and fairly quiet.
Dinner was early that night, at a fantastic farm-to-table restaurant, the Girl and the Goat. Each dish tasted very homemade, fresh, and was served family style.
Today was focused mainly on the University of Chicago, and the area surrounding it. Therefore, breakfast was a quick stop at a unique Mexican place near the university. After, I walked around the campus of the university, stopping at a church for a tour of the bell tower.
The campus itself was serene, buildings covered in ivy and small quiet pathways led everywhere.
That concluded the day, because from there I had to go back to the airport to head home.
That concludes my trip to Chicago, it was pretty jam packed with places to see, things to do, etc. I hope that it brought you some inspiration for the next time you plan on travelling, and gave you some ideas if you plan on visiting the area. Have a fantastic week!
A few weekends ago, I took a trip to Montreal for the weekend. It was just starting to cool down for fall, and was absolutely beautiful. As a first timer, I was surprised by the strong European influence on the area. It is definitely the perfect place to go for unique, different experience. Here is a recap on everything I did while I was there.
After the drive up, I stopped to check in at the Westin Montreal. It was around evening time, so I took a walk around the boardwalk area before having dinner at Les Soeurs Grises.
Dinner consisted of a bunch of small plates, all with a very European and French influence. If you didn't already know, Montreal is in Quebec, which is the well known province for having French as the first language. That means everywhere you go, you hear French instead of English.
Day 2 started off with Breakfast at Olive and Goumando, a small bakery and restaurant. I shared a chia pudding which was covered in fresh fruit and Mediterranean egg skillet.
After breakfast, I took a short walk over to the Pointe-a-Calliere, otherwise known as Montreal's museum of archaeology and history. Inside, there is old remnants of Montreal's old city. Exhibitions range from family friendly and archaeology to the history of Montreal. It was a perfect start to the trip. After, we walked around Bonsecours Market, and then took a snack stop at Place Jacques Cartier. They had a stand serving fresh maple syrup rolled in snow, which is very traditional in Canada.
After the quick stop, I walked around the rest of old Montreal and took pictures of the gorgeous architecture.
Dinner was at Le Jardin Nelson, a place well known for it's beautiful outdoor garden seating, along with live jazz every night. The aura of the place was magical, and the food was great too.
Following dinner, I took a quick walk over to the Notre-Dame Basillica of Montreal, to finish off the day. The church was absolutely stunning inside, and my camera just didn't do it justice.
A quick drive brought me over to a funky diner known as Faberge, serving dishes such as smores waffles and pb&j french toast.
The botanical gardens was the next stop for the day. This stop took up most of the day, so I recommend setting aside a whole day if you choose to do it. It is all part of Space for Life, and i got a pass that had both access to the gardens and the biodome. The biodome was very similar to a zoo/aquarium type setting, focused on having full sections dedicated to a certain part of the world.
Tonight's dinner was found at Pizza Il Focolaio, a classic wood oven pizza place. It was made with fresh ingredients, and you could see the glowing of fire from the oven in the kitchen. After dinner, I walked around the area to get a view of it at night, and then had dessert at Chocolat Favoris, a place specializing in soft serve ice cream dipped in chocolate (of which they have over 10 flavors!) I had maple/vanilla ice cream swirl dipped in crunchy hazelnut dark chocolate.
I happened to be in Montreal around the time of their annual food festival, YUL EAT, so I stopped there to walk around in the morning and grab some snacks. It was filled with local delicacies, and small shops from restaurants. A great stop if it is happening when you visit, it gives you a taste of Montreal that only the locals usually get. Following, I took a drive over to Les Boules Roses, an artistic piece that takes up a series of streets in the city.
The last stop before heading home was Montreal Biosphere, a large sphere known for it's appearance at the World's Fair.
I hope you found this blog post helpful, or that you at least enjoyed hearing about it and looking at the pictures. I apologize for being missing on the blog in the past few weeks, but I;m back, and with a lot of fun fall posts in store. If you have anything you want to see on the blog this fall, please let me know in the comments below. Have a fantastic week!
Is it already Sunday? It is time for a new post, a travel one featuring my daily outfit. Last week I spent a day in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. During the day, I walked around the cute buildings, quirky shops, and ate tons of yummy food. Enjoy the itinerary of the day, I tired to feature the best of the best in the area.
Once arrived, it was lunch time, so I headed over to Streets. The restaurant is themed around street food from all around the world. I shared the Bao Box and the Open Face Humitas.
After lunch, I took the short walk over to the MIni Mall, which was filled with vintage shops, book shops, and other small boutiques. Some of my favorites included Soap Cherie, Pink Olive, and Spoonbill and Sugartown Books. I got a little hot and hungry from walking around, so the next stop was Old Fellows Ice Cream Co. for some matcha and Thai iced tea ice cream. Since that was relatively close to the water, I left cooler and fuller, ready to check out the view of Manhattan over the water.
The view of the water was the perfect area for some pictures of my outfit of the day. I picked a fall palette (because I miss my favorite season) but with summer clothes. The materials are also very fall -- sweaters and swede, but the outfit is cute nonetheless. Plus, if you add tights and booties, it would look great in fall too! Here is where everything is from:
And of course I had to take some pictures of the view without my outfit, so here are some of those. It was gorgeous, but sadly the sun wasn't in the most convenient place for photos.
Walking along the waterfront brought me to the very cute, East River State Park. This also happens to be the place where Smorgasburg is held (I would love to go to this). It had plenty of shade and was a great place to sit and cool off, with a view. After a quick rest, I walked around town a bit more, viewing all the amazing street art.
My second set of shopping stops were at Brooklyn Denim Co., Mast Brothers Chocolate, and Bluestone Lane Coffee. The Denim store has some great quality denim, in any shape in size, and most are locally made. Mast had some of the most inventive flavors of chocolate I have ever tasted. After these quick stops it was time for the dinner reservation at Zenkichi. It was filled with great quality Japanese food in a calming, private environment. Each party gets their own booth, surrounded by walls and a curtain. There is a button for when you would like to order. I got the potato mochi and udon.
Thus concludes a lovely day in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. If you live nearby or plan on visiting New York, I highly recommend spending a day in this area. It is a great break from Manhattan, which is generally very crowded. Also, it is filled with small local shops instead of the big commercial stores. I hope you enjoyed the photos and itinerary, let me know if you have been/plan on going to Brooklyn. Have a fantastic week!
It has been so long! Happy June everyone, it is so close to summer already. I find this time of the year to be the busiest, because it is the end of the school year, extra-curricular activities, and the start of summer activities. Nonetheless, I have a lengthy blog post for you today on a recent travel excursion. Enjoy!
Arrived in Las Vegas during the evening and checked into Elara by Hilton, a great family friendly hotel, perfect if you don't want to stay in a gambling hotel. It is generally quiet, and very open unlike some of the themed hotels, which can get stuffy. Also, it is located right in the middle of everything. From there, I headed over to Planet Hollywood, which was right next door, to eat dinner at Gordon Ramsays Burgr, a very busy burger joint. They have some of the best burgers I have ever tried, along with tons of different kinds of fries, and milkshakes topped with pudding.
Started off the next day by heading to Paris, also located right next to our hotel.
Breakfast was located in what looked like a tiny village, and thus called Le Village Buffet. They had the biggest selection of breakfast foods I have ever seen. I highly recommend going in between meals, because the later in the day it gets, the higher the prices get. I hopped in right before brunch started, and got to try a little of both selection with a cheaper price.
The rest of the day was filled with walking around hotels, from Paris to Bally, Bellagio for the botanical garden, Aria, New York New York, Excalibur, Luxor, and more.
Finished off the evening at an old favorite called Olives, which was conveniently located at Bellagio. After dinner, I watched the famous Bellagio fountain show, and then hopped over to the Mirage after popping into Ceaser's Palace. Here, I watched the great Cirque du Soleil show only in Vegas called Love, a show done in all Beatles songs. Although it was minimal with crazy acts, the stage and effects were crazy, and who doesn't love some good Beatles songs?
Woke up early for a quick breakfast at Egg Works before driving 4 hours to the Grand Canyon. Since this took up the majority off the day, by the time I arrived it was time for an early dinner and a small walk around the rim. A dinner located right next to the rim, El Tovar Dining Room, it is recognized as the best restaurant in the Grand Canyon. The walk in the evening was very quiet, a vast difference between the busy Las Vegas
Today, I had breakfast in the hotel room and then hopped in the car for the Desert drive, including lots of stops and views along the way. Working my way backwards, the first stop was at the Desert View Watchtower, an old, tall tower with great views
The rest of the drive had many stops including old artifacts from a Native American village, views, and a museum.
The afternoon consisted of parking the car, and taking one of the free, public buses up and down the rim, until sunset at Hopi Point.
Woke up extremely early to watch the sunrise at Yavapa Point. Very worth the morning stuggle of getting up, and it was very quiet and serene.
The next quick morning stop was at Mather Point, the one famous for its views. After this stop I hopped on the road back to Vegas, taking a little detour.
The small detour on the way back to Las Vegas was the Hoover Dam, around 1 hour from the strip. I took an 1 tour of the Dam, along with seeing the visitor's center, a quick film, and walking across the dam in the desert heat.
Tonight's stay in Vegas was at one of the themed hotels, which actually turned out to be my favorite of all, the Venetian. Soon after checking in, it was time for dinner in Aria, at Javier's. I got one of the crowd favorites, the Carnitas. It was a great finish to the trip, and I was quickly tired after the large meal.
That concludes the post for the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas. I hope you enjoyed seeing all the pictures of both, and that the itinerary helped you if you plan on travelling soon. Have a great week!
Closing off Japan week on the blog with an itinerary of Kyoto. There has been a lot of travel posts recently, so I will make sure to post in other categories for the upcoming weeks. Until then, enjoy some lovely photos and cute things to do in one of Japan's oldest cities.
Arrived via super fast bullet train and then checked into Royal Park Hotel THE. The location is right in the middle of everything, and the hotel offers free breakfast, which is very helpful option instead of searching every morning. After, we took a long walk over to Kiyomizu-dera Temple.
Being one of the busiest sights in Kyoto, I highly recommend coming here in the late afternoon. I arrived around an hour before it closed, and I still thought it was a little busy. In the temple is the Otowa-no-taki Spring, a sacred waters that bestows health and long life. After, I walked back down the busy street of Sannen-Zaka, the road leading to the temple filled with small shops, food, and crafts. From here, I slowly made my way to Ishibei-Koji, known as the prettiest street in Kyoto. A little bit down the street is a set of stairs leading to Kodai-ji Temple.
This temple is filled with beautiful gardens and a tiny bamboo forest, but the best time to come is at night. After sunset, they do a light show where the entire garden is lit with wonderful colors, and even includes a show every few minutes over the sand structures in the garden. From here, I traveled to Maruyama- Koen Park.
Known for the famous center covered with cherry blossom trees and lights, giving a very movie-like feel. Finishing off the walking tour at Yasaka-Jinja Gate, I walked though the Gion district and stopped for dinner at Issen Yoshoku. The small restaurant only had one option on the menu, and I had no idea what was in it, but it was pretty good.
Started off the day at Ginkaku-ji Temple, otherwise known as the silver pavilion. It was very pretty, but very busy and nothing super special.
On the way down, I stopped at 2 stands: one for creme puffs filled with different flavors, and another for a warm bun filled with meat. Both were definitely worth stopping at. Next started the walk down Philosopher's Path, a walk along a river lined with cherry blossom trees.
Along the way was a bunch of temples, the first one being Honen-in Temple. It was extremely quiet, giving off a totally different vibe from the crowded temple I had just seen.
The next temple was probably my favorite of them all: Eikan-do Temple. Although mostly known for the colorful leaves in the fall, this temple was pretty cool because you can walk through the whole thing.
Close to here was an udon place known as Hinode Udon. The wait was around 45 min, but well worth it as we got served immediately. The last temple on the walk was Nanzen-ji Temple, which was built near an aqueduct that was fun walking around. Don't come looking for a said waterfall, because I (and others) were unable to find it.
Soon after finishing the past, I took a train up to Fushimi Inari-taisha, otherwise known as the red gates. This location is another one I would recommend visiting later in the day, especially if you want to get some good photos.
For dinner, I stopped at a Katsu place called Fukunaga Katsukura. It was very traditional and came with heaping portion sizes.
This day focused mainly on a completely different side of Kyoto. I took a train ride over to the district of Arashiyama to spend the day. The first stop was the Arashiyama Monkey Park. At first, it seemed a little sketchy and deserted, but once you make it to the top, it is well worth it. Monkeys wander free amongst a great view, making it a great morning stop.
I also stopped to take a few photos of the Togetsukyo bridge before heading to the bamboo forest.
The bamboo grove was busy, but very picturesque. I took a ton of photos while walking down the long path lined with bamboo. After the bath ended, I took a short detour for lunch at Steak Otsuka. Was worth the wait and some of the best steak I have ever eaten. They offer cheaper options as well as the fancy expensive stuff.
Lunch was followed by a visit to Jingo-ji Temple, a very small, very quiet, but very pretty temple. It is known for the moss that covers the center.
The last stop of the day was a KinKaku-ji temple, otherwise known as the Golden Pavilion. There wasn't really much to see in this one other than the giant pavilion in the the center of a pond.
Ended the night with a quick stop at Chao Chao gyoza. The restaurant was entirely filled with tourists, but the food was still good. They had some crazy flavors of gyoza too.
On my last day in Kyoto, I hit 2 popular sights before heading back to Tokyo. The first was a train ride away to Nijo Castle. It was really cool to see the inside of the building, with all the colorful walls and decorative rooms. The gardens outside were also beautiful. I do not have photos of the inside, as they were not allowed.
The next stop was at the Imperial Palace, which was just a giant building in the middle of a park which you cannot enter. Still, it was a great background for taking photos.
The final stop before heading to lunch was Nishiki market, a kind of indoor area filled with local vendors selling food, crafts, and other products. It was very cool to walk through and see all the unique things.
Lunch was at Tofu Tavern, a place that specialized in everything tofu. They do set meals which you can try many different types.
That concludes my week of Japan for you on the blog! Let me know down below if you are planning on going to Japan, or have been and have something to recommend. Also, do you want to see a post on some tips I have when travelling to Japan? I'd be happy to make that post for you, so let me know if you find that helpful. Have a fabulous week!
I'm back! I apologize for being absent for the past few weeks, as I have been visiting somewhere special Japan - a world full of amazing food, sights, and culture was where I spent my Spring Break this year. In commemoration of the many pictures and memories, I decided to make this week 'Japan week' on the blog. Starting this Sunday, there will be spurted posts throughout the week including itineraries and tips on travelling. Starting off today, I will give you the itinerary for Tokyo, Japan, aside some stunning photos. Enjoy!
Arrived in the afternoon after a 14 hour flight. Took the bus ride from Narita International Airport, which was around 2.5 hours. Basically, by the time I checked into the Westin Tokyo, I was exhausted from both traveling and the time difference. Before I passed out, I visited Yebisu for dinner, a Teppanyaki restaurant. Very convenient and very good, but very pricey. After, I went back upstairs and hit the bed around 8:30 pm.
Woke up around 5:30 am because of the crazy time difference, but took advantage of it and ate an early breakfast in the hotel. The first stop of the day was a view of the city at Tokyo Tower.
From the top, the view was pretty insane, and was a great start to getting a feel of Tokyo. There are pictures telling you what everything is, and definitely made the city seem big. I recommend it as a first stop, because it helps get a grasp of where things are.
After was a stop at the park next door, Shiba Park. The park was stunning, making me wish parks in the U.S. were this cool. Despite being in a big city, it was like walking straight into nature, with hike-like paths, water, and towering trees. After strolling through the park we came across a temple, Zojoji, located on the edge, and took a few photos. Standing in the background is the Tokyo tower, creating a picturesque view.
A quick drive over brought me to Diver City Tokyo, where there is a view of many Toyota cars at MegaWeb Toyota. Next door is a giant mall, that is designed to look like night in Europe. After a quick lunch here, I walked around the plaza a bit more before heading to the last stop. Hama-rikyu Gardens was a large historic sight with a small fee to enter (¥300). A beautiful place to walk around and take photos, and was enhanced at this time of year because of the cherry blossom trees in bloom.
Located in the back of the gardens was a tea house, offering traditional green tea with a sweet. The house was located on a small bit of land in the water, which made for even better views.
Dinner was at a Shabu-Shabu restaurant. Shabu-Shabu is similar to fondue, in that you cook the meat in front of you. The meat is very thin, and it takes less then 10 seconds to cook in the broth.
The morning was started off at Shibuya crossing, known to be the world's busiest intersection. Located in the square is a Starbucks, and I took to the second floor to enjoy the view from above. The busiest times to visit are commuting hours.
Next up, I headed to Harajuku for a walk down the famous street, Takeshita Dori. Located along the street are many shops selling cute, kawaii clothes, and sweets galore. Among them, I purchased chocolate covered potato chips, 3 flavored cotton candy shaped like a candy corn, and the famous Japanese Crepes.
After walking around the streets and enjoying the sights, I went to the area of Roppongi for an early dinner. Today's restaurant was another cook-it-yourself meat. This one was called Yakiniku, and the restaurant was called Jumbo.
.Day 3 started off with a breakfast stop at Mister Donut, the Dunkin Donuts of Japan. Although slightly better than Dunkin, and with many weird flavors, it is nothing to rave about
,After walking around the area of Ginza, and peeking in K.itoya, a super cool stationary store, I took a walk to the famous fish market, Tsukiji. Here, I had an early lunch of fresh sushi, which was definitely the best quality I have ever eaten. The outskirts is where everything is: fish stands, grocery stores, restaurants, and other tiny shops. The actually market where the fish dealing happens takes place in the very early morning. Although, I did take a peek inside because it had a cool feel all abandoned mid-day, but was quick to leave after seeing a rat sniffing fish guts.
The next area was a train ride away, a place famous for it's technology, anime, and maid cafe's, Akihabara. Hours were spent wandering around the 9 story electronic shop, Yodobashi. Later, we took a stroll down the busy streets, filled with eye-candy and shops.
Dinner that night was at Hainan Jeefan, a Sinaporean restaurant, which gave me a break from all the Japanese food. After seeing it the other day in Harakuku, we took a 20 minute walk to another location of Ice Monster, a shaved ice place. They have pre-flavored blocks of ice that they shave down, so there is no syrupy flavor or uneven amount of it. Overall, it was one of the best shaved ices I have ever eaten.
Day 4 was a mostly casual day, starting with a late morning. After eating lunch at Yasaika Mei, a Japanese vegetable restaurant, I took the train over to Fukagawa Edo Museum. A great place for both kids and adults, this museum is a giant exhibition of ancient times in Japan. Inside is a tiny village, designed to be like Fukaawa-Saga chō in the mid-19th century. Each building is filled with what realistic furniture and other commodities that you can touch. There is even a water canal next to a screen that changes between night and day. In the sunset, there is traditional music that is played in the center of the tiny town.
Nearby was Kiyosumi Gardens, a great place to stroll around. In the middle is a giant pond, and may people come to feed the fish in it, which is fun to watch. The last stop of the day was for dinner at Ninja Akasaka, one of the many themed restaurants located in Tokyo. This restaurant had a Ninja theme, and was an amazing experience alongside some good food. In order to enter the restaurant, visitors are required to go through "ninja training" a process of walking down a small dark hallway into the main eating area. Our table was located in what looked like a cave. On top of that, all the food was themed, and there was a magic show done at the table while we ate.
That concludes this very long itinerary from Tokyo. I also visited Kyoto in Japan, so there will be an itinerary of that coming up soon. Let me know down below if you found this post helpful, or plan on/have been to Tokyo. Hope you enjoy Japan week!
I'm back! And better yet, with a great travel post for you. Last weekend, I took a trip to the capital of the United States, and it was beautiful. The famous cherry blossoms are currently in season, so the city was jam packed, but pretty nonetheless. Below are some stunning photos and my itinerary for the weekend, to help you if you plan on travelling soon. Enjoy!
Driving into the city, we took a stop at Union Market to get some lunch. Union Market is basically a warehouse filled with lots of small local vendors. I got an Indian crepe from dc dosa, pomegranate kombucha from Craft Kombucha, and some ice cream from Trickling Springs Creamery (pb & j and maple bacon flavors!) At the front, there was seating outside as the venue can be partially opened, making it a great spot during the summer.
After, we headed to check into our hotel, the Grand Hyatt. It is very centrally located, about a 15 minute walk from the National mall. From there, we walked to the Natural History building of the Smithsonian, and spent the next few hours wandering around. If you didn't already know, the Smithsonian is a museum free of charge, and definitely a must-see on a trip to D.C.
From there, we walked over to the Washington Monument to take some photos. There was a bunch of cherry blossoms around the area too, and are currently in season, so we took a bunch of photos there also.
Next, was to see the white house. It is possible to view both the front and the back, but the back is a much larger space to view and take photos.
Lastly, we stopped for dinner at a Spanish tapas place, Boqueria. This is a branch off of the three locations they have in New York. The best dishes I got were the lamb meatballs and the nutella churros.
Started off the morning with some doughnuts at Astro. The line was out the door, but it was worth it. I split the salted caramel, Crème brûlée and cherry blossom donuts. The Crème brûlée donut was out of this world good, a must-try if you visit.
After, we took a cab up to the Lincoln Memorial. Although very busy, the view was beautiful
From the Lincoln Memorial, we walked down to the waterside and started the long journey among the blossom filled walk to Jefferson memorial. The view along the way was absolutely stunning. If you plan on going to Washington D.C. definitely check if you are going when the cherry blossoms are in bloom, because it's what made the trip for me.
Next, it was time for lunch at the oldest restaurant in D.C, Old Ebbitt Grill. The food here was good, but the atmosphere is what you go for. With velvet booths and old decor, it really looks like the oldest restaurant in the capital Although, make sure to book a reservation if you decide to go, as it was extremely busy.
After lunch was a trip to the next Smithsonian museum, the National Air and Space Museum. Filled with old planes, this building is a great stop to waste some time. A must-see for those who love anything about planes and space.
Since it was getting late, we took a cab over to Georgetown to walk around. Not only is it a great stop for food, Georgetown is super cute with colorful town houses and old street lamps in this hilly neighborhood.
The breakfast stop today was at a Belgian place 15 minutes from the hotel, B Too. Their specialties are the creative waffles. I got a cornbread waffle topped with pulled pork and sunny-side up eggs. A great morning stop for those Belgian lovers. A 5 minute walk away is Ted's Bulletin. a bakery specializing in their homemade pop tarts.
The rest of the day was spent wandering around more Smithsonian museums, as it was rainy outside. We saw the Declaration of Independence at the National Archives, and American history at the National Museum of American History. Both were worth the line outside because they had some interesting exhibits inside. The must see is the cars exhibit in the American History museum.
Lastly, we walked to dinner at Rasika, an Indian restaurant. If you love Indian food, then this place is a great option. I ordered the Chicken Makhani and was stuffed after.
The last stop on the trip was for breakfast at Founding Farmers, a place dedicated to simple yet great food, I ordered the Strawberries and Creme French Toast, and it was probably the best French Toast I have ever had.
That concludes this travel post to Washington D.C! I hope it helped you plan for your next trip, or was at least a good look at what it's like. Let me know in the comments any of your must-dos from Washington DC, or if you want to visit. Have a great week!
A sixteen-year-old fashion obsessed girl, who stands just under 5 feet tall.