Thursday, June 26, 2014

Traveler's hat:San Fransisco

San Fransisco in two and half days: 1. Mayflower hotel Fairly priced and in a good location. Right in the middle of downtown, about a 30 min car ride from the airport and it was $279 for two nights. Very friendly and helpful staff, very clean with an old fashion style. Continental breakfast included but it included a very simple selection. 2. Upcider A bar that is located on the upper level on Polk st. Darkly lit, relaxed and causal vibe. The place is known for their variety of ciders that they serve in mason jars. They also have a good selection of beers and good garlic fries. I can't remember if they serve hard alcohol. 3. Blur Very small place, very loud, didn't like it too much, but the name is cool. 4. Polk St. Good place to go bar hopping. There is a variety of bars and restaurants. 5. Mc. Teague's Good spot for dancing. Small space though 6. Corona Heights Nice and simple hike. The incline is a little intense but not overwhelming. The begining of the trail was hard for me to find and there are mutiple entrances to the trail. The top of the hike is beauituful. A hidden trail within the city.
7. Castro District Very colorful area. Hot cookie is a good place to stop for a treat. There are a lot of unique boutiques and shops.
8. Lower Height street Lower Height street seems a little calmer them the other side of height street. A lot of local shops, books stores, photography. That's what I like about SF, you can walk down the street and find original stores. 9. Pier39, Applebees Very nice view of the piers,and Pier 39 is always the spot for sovereigns. 10. Farmer's market at Union Square Reasonably prices organic produce. 11. The Night Owl Small place,but good drinks and a good place to sit, drink and converse.

Strawberry picking

We drove on to the dirt road, admiring the fields of plants. Walking onto the farm property to register for our very first Strawberry tour, the aroma of the freshly baked tamales was in the area. We payed our $17 in just enough time to jump onto the tractor wagon that would take us around the farm. The clouds covered the sky, but the sun was peaking through just enough to keep the air cool, but not cold. As we drove by each field, our enthusiastic tour guide welcomed us with facts about the Tanka Farm, such as it being owned by a Japanese American family for about 75 years. We started with the vegetables passing by cauliflowers , kale, and getting to try fresh and organic cilantro, corn,carrots and green beans that was picked right from the ground. When we continued on we knew we were getting closer to the strawberry fields because the aroma tickled our senses. Eager to pick, we had to abide by some farm rules before we started picking. We started on a treasure hunt of finding the reddest strawberry. As I went after the larger strawberries, and I couldn't help but to snack and pick at the same time. Once our baskets were filled and our shoes were covered in mud, we climbed back onto the tractor and headed back to the main entrance of the farmer. A 45 minute tour that seemed to last only 10 minutes. After we exiting the tractor, we went shopping in their market, where they had great prices on fruits, veggies, salsa, tamales, fruit bars and more. Fun facts: 1. Purple carrots are healthier then orange carrots but not very popular, so they are not often sold. 2. The difference between fruits and vegetables is that fruits have seeds and they come from flowers. 3. Corn is a man made vegetable. If the human race went extinct, corn would only last 2 years. 5. Tankam farm also has pumpkin and watermelon tours.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Traveler's Hat : Lousiana

I have flown at almost all hours of the day, early mornings, red eye flights and the airport seems to always be busy. People walking, running, talking racing to their next departure. Call me strange but I kind of like being in the hussel and bussel of the airport. Knowing that in a few steps, and in an hour or so I will set foot on a machine that will lift me 1,000s of feet in there air and take me to a new location. It took me all day to fly from LAX to New Orleans. I had a 3 hour lay over in Charlotte, North Carolina which is one of the busiest airports. I got through with two beers and the airport's Wifi. When I finally landed, I was reminded that chivalry is not entirely dead when a young man helped me retrieve my bag from the overhead bin. Being greeted by my aunt and cousin in the airport was refreshing. Driving to my aunt's house, the night had already crept in and looking out the window all I could see was darkness. The trees were like shadows. We drove on the high way with no other lights escape our car and the cars we passed, running over the swamp water which is known to be a mysterious abyss. As we passed through the small town of Pochanitia , I saw the Western style building of mostly antique shops. There is something refreshing about having a change of scenery and being in the calmness of the country side. Advice to help you through your next airport visit: 1.Always get their early because getting through security always takes at least 20-30 mins 2. If you have an extra $85 lying around you can apply for TSA prep. It is a chance to walk through security pre screened, which means you'll get through faster and you won't have to do any of the annoying but necessary things such as taking off you shoes or taking your computer out of your bag. 3. Eat before you go, airport and airplane food is just expensive 4. Keep calm. I ran into a few disgruntle people. Being angry isn't gonna make you get to your plane faster 5. Bring entertainment: Book, tablet, music 6. Talk to people. You don't have to spend the entire airplane riding pretending like you are in an elevator and you can't make eye contact to the person next you. I had a lovely conversation with a lady and it made the plane ride go faster. ( results may vary) Trip Highlights 1.I woke up early to the sun gleaming through the curtains and the sound of birds chirping in the tree outside of my window. A refreshing change from being woken up by either my alarm , speeding cars, or someone taking out the trash from the restaurant I live next door to. 2. Visiting the Bug Museum in New Orleans. Somewhat conquered my fears as I stared into the eyes of spiders, cockroach, flies, beetles and much more. The butterfly garden was delightful. 3. The French Market in New Orleans, great place to get fresh smoothies, fresh produce, 4. Enjoy the quietness of the countryside and just lounging around.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Saturday Evening in San Diego

We headed down the 405 freeway around 2pm and arrived in San Diego around 4pm right at the end of the farmer's market. Nonetheless when we arrived in Little Italy the air was clear, and the colors from the walls and banners were inviting. The people we passed all smiled and everyone gave off a friendly aura. What was most captivating was the aroma of food that engulfed our senses. Just about every place we walked passed looked good enough to sit down and eat at, however we landed ourselves in La Villa. We walked into their beautiful open patio space with it's tranquil water foundation. We sat at the bar where on the counter top were various fresh ingredients for their variety of cocktails. We chose to indulged in their rich sangria and in their large portions of happy hour foods such as fried shrimp, margarita pizzas, and fried potatoes.
After our satisfying meal we headed over to the Mission Brewery. The building appeared to be an old Wonder bread factory. We walked into a spacious room, with the brewery machines in the back and black cat leering at us from the counter top. Luckily I didn't take this as a bad omen and I ordered the blonde and sat down at a barrel that was turned into table. As my friend and I sat down with our craft beers, we enjoyed the dim lightening and architecture of the place. We also enjoyed all the dogs kneeling by their owner's side.
Our last stop was the Gas Lamp District. It is definitely a place for those a fan of electronic music. However for us hip hop fans the C lounge is an under ground place that plays popular radio hip hop songs. Good music but not to much space to move around and dance. After being at the C Lounge we ventured off a few bars down and stumbled into Serf. A Persian restaurant who had moved their tales to the side to create a dance floor. The dj played mainly hip hop so we decided to end our night there.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

What life is teaching me

Embrace: accept or support (a belief, theory, or change) willingly and enthusiastically I think it's natural to run away.Some might say it's instinct. It's natural to avoid discomfort. But in related everything that you try to avoid will become the mouse that creeps up into your home and sneaks by every trap you set. Embrace, embracing everything and anything if not enthusiastically them wiling accepted that bad shit happens just a much as the good shit. Every moment or situation whether good or bad is a moment to learn from and grow from. Accepting what ever is happening and move forward
. If you have to tell someone how ambitious you are or how hard you are working you aren't working hard enough. Many people feel the need to flaunt their efforts, but efforts, attempts and words aren't always what is impressive. Let success speak for itself.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Me Confessions

I'm not patient. In fact, I hate waiting and I hate being passive. I feel that is I'm waiting, I'm not doing and nothing will happen. As a result I'm very active and impatience. I jump on things right away, I am anxious and often restless. One advantage my impatience brings me is that I take initiative and I get things done. But I'm challenged, my heart is torn and my mind is rattled because I believe that life is telling me to wait. But I don't know if I know how to. I keep busy so I don't have to wait. I compartmentalize so I don't have to feel the anxiety of waiting. I want to see, I want to go, I want to tell you how I feel, because we are not promised in second or minute.And waiting for things to just happen or to unfold seems like a waste, that I'm teasing fate. But what if I were to create inside of me a force that is more powerful then my impatience? What if I just believed that things will work out, and when it comes my time to act I'll know it. I can't control everything I have to accept that. But I can control to aspects how i feel and what I do. I hate waiting because I feel like loosing. But when you dug out the dirt, planted the seed, watered it, all you can do it wait for it to grow.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Life in Nassau

After our snorkeling adventure I was eager to freshen up, but as we were walking back we saw three women dressed in these black and gold greatly decorated costumes, almost resembling a bird as feathers were attached to their backs. Then we heard the music that led us away from our path and brought us into a parade. The street was flooded with colors, music and the people of the island, all celebrating the new year. As we shifted through the crowded audience and found a seat on the bleachers, were were able to catch the ending part of the parade, where the theme was celebrating American culture. Floats of gigantic size models of Prescient Obama, President Lincoln, Hilary Clinton and other revered figures shadowed over the crowd and moved down the street. Those not guiding the floats wore elaborate costumes that stretched past their own height. The live music of the parade took over the atmosphere as almost everyone was dancing or singing along. Everything and everyone felt united. The energy was intense, and it was energy that was created at 2 in the morning when the parade started and was still continuing strong. After the parade we wanted a deeper exploration of the island and sought to go on a tour. To schedule a tour we approached a group of local men all dressed in business attire ready to engage in a business meeting outside of the office. The first man we approached told us to wait a few minutes while he solicited to other customers to come on the tour. As we waited, we heard a deep voice coming from behind us saying " You want to know something?". As we turned around we saw a tall,slender man with dark skin dressed in a suit and tie sitting on the wall behind us. As our eyes locked onto hi as he gazed up at the cruise ships in front of us and he began to tell us some unfamiliar facts. He informed us about the process of bringing the ships into the harbor. He told us that the captain of each ship would bring the ship as close to the port as he could then he would let ago of the wheel and allow the island locals to then navigate the ship. When he saw that he had our attention he introduced himself and continued on indulging us in facts about Nassau. As he spoke to us, he gestured with his hand but kept his eyes moving from us to the crowds walking by, always ready to solicit a new customer. When he would notice a large group coming towards him he would quickly excuse himself to kindly approach the crowd. He would also greet them with the most welcoming attitude, repeating greetings such as " Hello, how are you , happy new year." I watched hopefully as he approached families, couples, groups of women and men, with charm and determination but after each approach he was always given the same answer, " no." Some said they had already seen the island before, others were just interested in the beaches. After about 30 minutes of waiting he was unable to get any more customers for our tour, but he was able to taxi us to Atlantis. Atlantis was a short trip, as we walked around the resort. When we returned to Nassau we walked around, went to the straw market where 100s of different souvenirs could be found. Walking around down town I was amazed by the creative crafts such as designs of conch shells and recycled soda that were crafted into miniature airplanes, cars and trucks. Also as assortment of colorful paintings. Nassau is definitely an island where your craft is your profession. I encourage anyone who visits the island to take a tour. You were learn and see things that you wouldn't see on your own. Support the island people who are so passionate about their home

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Nassau: Snorkling

We had docked in Nassau , Bahamas around 7:30am and I was awaken shortly after to get ready for a snorkeling adventure less then a few hours away. As I rushed to the cafeteria on board the ship, driven by my hunger, my eyes gazed over to the site of the island put my hunger to a halt. Looking onto the island I felt that I knew what sailors must have felt like after seeing land for the first time in months, even though for me it had only been a day. My eyes were attached for a few moments on to the colorful houses with triangular rooftops that I would later discover were actually a variety of different shops. Shops tucked close together covering every inch of land I could see. The excitement of discovering something new, walking into something unfamiliar overwhelmed me. Soon after breakfast we exited the ship and joined fellow adventurers to prepare for our snorkeling adventure. I have to admit that my decision to go snorkeling wasn't based on my ability to swim. I figured for $29 why not spend an hour or two swimming in the Atlantic ocean. I just hoped that swimming was like riding a bike, because I hadn't swam in years. When just about every one who had signed up was huddled next to the sign that said Rainbow Reef Tour, we were all guided to the side of the pier where we met a smaller boat. As I stepped on the two story boat rocky boat holding on to one of the crew members for balance I tried to shake off any inhibitions and proceeded to the top deck so that I could get a better view and potential avoid any sea sickness. When everyone was aboard the engine started to roar and as we drove off gliding across the water. With the wind thrusting in my face I gazed at the ocean, unaware of my destination. Letting my skin soak up the sunlight. As my ears rang from the tunes of Bob Marley songs which seemed to be the most over played music in the Caribbeans. When the boat finally settled and the engine silenced, I flopped down with my fins and loosely fitted vest ready to dive in the water. When I stepped in, I knew the water was going to be cold but my mental preparation didn't prepare me for the physical contact. As I stepped down the ladder, only entering knee deeps, I waited for the chill to rise completely up my spine before lunging my entire body in. When most of my body was almost completely submerged , I desperately tread water struggling to stay afloat. My slightly panic state must have shown on my face because the boat attendances threw me a floaty that I put around my waist and instantly felt at ease. As I floated and swam along I felt like my younger self in the days that I was more adventurous and would ride waves at the beach with my entire body. I felt calm ,and also very small. Here I am only one person, although among many other people, I am swimming in the vast ocean, peaking into this new world. As small brightly colored fish with gills painted blue and yellow swam past me I would get this feeling of excitement and nervousness. I didn't want to ruin what I saw, scare them away or otherwise interrupt their way of life. And as I watched them I wondered how we must of looked to them. After a little over an hour my play date with the ocean had come to and end. And as I climbed back on to the boat, feeling the water drip from my body as if the ocean was letting go I me, I desperately tried to maintained balance as the boast seemed to rock even more then before. On the boat ride back, we passed by many extravagant homes that allegedly belong to different actors and actresses. Passing by the homes that probably cost more then I have made this far in life, I thought back to my adventure in the sea and I felt at peace. Life isn't about gaining it's about experiencing and growing from those experiences. Any material thing can be lost, taken or destroyed by an experience will be with you for ever, and no one can take that from you. Or maybe I'm just saying all this because I'm writing this in my small studio apartment while others live in an extravagant mansion.

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