nature

Art is Everywhere

I truly believe that wherever you look, there is something worth taking a picture of. You might think your everyday life looks mundane but if you try to look at life with an artistic perspective, you might see something different. When Alex and I were waiting to meet up with his friend, Justin, we decided to take a stroll around the neighborhood for a few minutes and take some fun pictures!

I wish I could have taken more pictures while we were waiting! One thing I’ve learned from traveling is that you should try to have the mentality of, “There won’t be next time.” So if you see something that is picture worthy, just go for it! Don’t tell yourself, “I’ll do it next time!” Trust me, you will forget and you will most likely not have that opportunity again to take a picture of it. It’s happened to me way too many times. Don’t let it happen to you.

Nike.

Advertisements

More of Minneapolis, Minnesota

Eat Pray Love Journey – Day 7 – Minneapolis, Minnesota

I’m pretty much a morning person. I don’t like to sleep in because I feel like I’m wasting time and the longer I sleep, my back starts to hurt. I know, I’m an old lady. I like to take advantage of the morning as best as I can because I feel most productive then. Going to school from elementary to college at 8am and working at 8am has trained me to become a morning person. On Day 7 of my trip, I didn’t sleep in like any other previous days. I got up early around seven in the morning to get ready for the day and to grab breakfast at the house I was staying at. AirBnB said that this house provides breakfast if you wake up early enough. They said it can be Chinese or American food. I was excited about this part of the morning because I thought it would be a great opportunity for me to get to know the family over breakfast. But! If you remember from the previous post, I learned that there was some language barrier between me and my host family. Even though there was this language barrier, I still wanted food. So I went over to the kitchen and said good morning. The lady smiled at me and directed me to milk and cereal. Unfortunately, no Chinese food for breakfast. There wasn’t anything too exciting about the cereal. It was just very bland Chex cereal. So bland that I only poured myself like 4 spoons of it. Then her husband came over and started speaking to me in Chinese. He gave me tea and explained how there were leaves seeping in the pot of hot water. He kindly gave me a thermo of hot water just in case I wanted more. There was no room for me to tell him that I didn’t know any Chinese so I just nodded, smiled at him, and continuously thanked him. The only thing I understood from him was when he said “cha” which means tea in Chinese. I only knew this because of Cha For Tea, one of my favorite boba shops. Once he gave me my tea, he and his wife left for the day. I hung out in the house for a little bit. As I was drinking my green tea, I noticed diagonally in front of me was a picture of cats hanging on the wall. I thought that was interesting… After much sipping my morning tea, I decided to explore the neighborhood before meeting up with Mark. Ah, look at all those tall trees lined up and the golden leaves on the ground! Do you see those brown bags on the right side of the picture? Those are bags of leaves! I know I sound ridiculous for being amazed by that but I just don’t see that in sunny SoCal. This neighborhood had a homey touch to it with a spacious front yard. Nowadays in Orange County at least, a lot of the newer homes don’t have a front lawn where kids can play outside. It was nice to see something different in this neighborhood. They looked like they’re from those classic American movies. I didn’t want my mini adventure in the neighborhood to end but Mark was on his way to pick me up! For lunch, we went to Macy’s at Nicollet Mall which is located in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. To be more specific, we ate at Sky Room in Macy’s. Did you know that Macy’s is a pretty big deal here? Who would have thought that you could grab lunch at Macy’s? Apparently it’s common that all Macy’s has a food court except maybe California. Mark was saying that Minnesotans would be surprised to not see a food court at Macy’s if they were to come to California. Sky Room currently has 4 stars with 54 reviews on Yelp. They have a wide range of food such as an all you can eat salad bar, noodles, Mexican food, and the list goes on. I got myself a chicken panini sandwich with a side of coleslaw for $7.20. It was surprisingly good as it was fresh from the grill and service was great there too! The Sky Room itself was all white and spacious. There was a white grand piano in the Sky Room but I think we just missed the pianist. We got there at a good time though when the crowd was dying down. A lot of businessmen and women come here for lunch since it’s pretty convenient to get to. I would highly suggest checking out the Sky Room for lunch because it’s a hidden gem and while you’re eating, you have a great view of the city. We walked around downtown Minneapolis and it was actually quite a peaceful walk. It wasn’t as busy as I was expecting it to be but I guess it’s because everyone was working inside. We went to this one building that was a shopping center but also where some big banks were housed. The interior design was quite eccentric it felt like you were outside in. Then we finally drove over to Mall of America! This historical touristy mall is known for having an amusement park! It was hard to capture a decent picture of the amusement park but here’s what I got: Yup, there’s a Peeps & Company store at the mall. I’ve never seen so many Peeps products before in one store. When I first got to the mall I was overwhelmed at how big it was and how there were so many stores. According to Mark it’s only big because there are two of the same stores.  For example, there are two American Eagle, two Journeys, two A&W, and two of almost all of the big branded ones. I was looking for postcards and found one store called “Love From Minnesota” and another store called “I Love Minnesota”. Funny, huh? They both basically sold similar souvenirs. Isn’t the picture below a little funny? Windows on the left side and Apple to the right. I wonder how the employees from both sides feel when they see each other so closely. Like I told Christian, I told Mark that I wanted to see anything scenic that I wouldn’t be able to see in SoCal. He took to one of the 10,000 lakes in Minneapolis called Lake Calhoun. This lake was unbelievable! The reflection of the clouds on the water was so clear! I didn’t realize how clear it was until I took a picture! I was so amazed at how clear the reflection was. Mark said that when it’s winter, the lake is frozen and people will drive on it! I think they will ice skate on it too. It’s just like in the movies! We went over to Minneapolis Sculpture Garden which is freely opened to the public. It has 4.5 stars with 95 reviews on Yelp. There are artworks scattered around this scenic botanical garden. You can probably finish walking around the garden within an hour or so depending on how long you want to stand in front of a sculpture and look pensive. I love seeing trees lined up. I’m not sure if it’s the OCD in me but I appreciate symmetry and structure. Yup, I love trees that are lined up. For dinner, I had Vietnamese food at Quang Restaurant! I know, I was surprised too that there was authentic Vietnamese food in Minneapolis. When we got there, it was so busy! I shouldn’t have been surprised it was busy because it has some good reviews on Yelp. It has 4 stars with more than 400 reviews! Sometimes on a cold day, I like to get cold food. So I got myself a vermicelli with beef. It had the fish sauce where you pour over the noodles. The fish sauce could have been a little sweeter and a tad bit less watery but overall it was good for the fact that it’s in Minnesota. Definitely, nothing can beat Vietnamese food from SoCal! If I’m back in Minneapolis and I’m craving some kind of Vietnamese food, I wouldn’t mind coming back here. After dinner, I went to go play kickball with Mark and his friends. Good thing I brought my workout clothes! (Yes, I worked out throughout the first half of my trip.) The thing was, I ended up not playing. The captain had all the positions assigned for the whole game so there was no spot for me. It worked out well that I didn’t play because I haven’t played kickball since forever ago and I was afraid that I going to mess up the game for whatever reason. When we got there, I didn’t realize how cold it was going to be! I think it went down to high 20’s or low 30’s! It was so cold that a few of Mark’s friends gave me a scarf and gloves to bundle up in. It helped for a little bit wearing those. I had my legs crossed like Indian style because I was so cold and I wanted to curl up but doing that was a bad idea. My legs got numb pretty quickly because I had lost circulation in my legs from the cold weather. So I stretched my legs out and had to shake them off to get the circulation going. I did that periodically throughout the game. I probably looked weird doing that. Note to self: Quadruple layer up in workout clothes when you’re in Minnesota in the fall at night time. Oh man, it was pretty painful being outside in the cold. I don’t know how I survived that night but I think it helped that the game was entertaining. Unfortunately, Mark’s team lost but it was a good game to watch! Afterwards, we all hung out at Yard House to stay warm. It was fun meeting new friends, seeing Minnesotan nature, and experiencing darn cold weather! I loved it all! Thanks Mark for showing me around!

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Eat Pray Love Journey – Day 6 – Minneapolis, Minnesota

I woke up little before 5 in the morning to get ready for my next adventure. I washed up, packed up, and took some food from the continental breakfast room for to-go. Christian picked me up at 5:45am to take me to Bellair Shuttle station.

Huge thanks to Christian for waking up so early to drop me off! Thank you, thank you!

The shuttle was taking me from Bellingham to Seattle-Tacoma Airport. I thought about flying out of Bellingham to go to Minneapolis but it was about a hundred dollar difference. I was like nah-ah, not paying that much. Instead, I paid $37 for the shuttle to take me to Sea-Tac airport at 6am.

The bus ride was about 3.5 hours long in the rain. We made some stops to pick up more passengers. I felt that I chose a pretty good seat where I could get my own space and no one would sit next to me. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. The bus was pretty empty with less than half the seats filled but somehow, some lady just had to sit next to me. She was harmless but I just wanted my space early in the morning. I’m usually a morning person and enjoy socializing but like I said, it was early. I ended up knocking out majority of the bus ride. At one point, I tried to stay awake but I failed to do so. My head just kept bobbing. I only knew one thing to keep me awake. Listen to K-pop.

I’m not a huge K-pop fan in general but there was this one K-pop singer who’s American and did a remix of a classic American song with a lot of swag that I really enjoyed. I knew this was going to keep me awake so I listened to it on repeat. Here’s Jay Park singing When A Man Loves A Woman by Michael Bolton:

After listening to it a few times, I was finally at Sea-Tac airport by 9:30am. I went over to Sun Country Airlines to check-in my baggage.

FYI: If you check-in online 1-24 hours before your departure with Sun Country Airlines, you can save $5 for your check-in baggage.

If you’re a SoCal native like myself, you may not know anything about Sun Country Airlines. I was hesitant about flying with them because one, I had never heard of it. Two, it was cheap that it was too good to be true. From Seattle to Minneapolis, it was only $74. Three, I read some bad reviews about this airline. Some compared it to Spirit. If you know about Spirit, you know that it’s not good.

As I was boarding my flight at 10:15am, I noticed that someone was sitting in my seat. I guess the passenger who was in my seat wanted to sit with her family since they were sitting in that same row. As I approached the passenger about the situation, a flight attendant came to the rescue and asked if I could sit somewhere else since there would be some empty seats on this flight. I stood in the back until everyone was seated. Next thing you know, I got the whole row to myself!

I knocked out pretty quickly on this 5 hour flight. I don’t remember much about my flight except missing the opportunity to get some water from the flight attendant. I got really thirsty after my nap.

I landed in Minneapolis, Minnesota at 3:20pm. My friend, Mark, picked me up from the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The real adventure began from this point on.

I booked a room through AirBnB with a Chinese family. I thought it would be interesting to book a room at their house because I was curious about how they got to Minneapolis since there aren’t a lot of Asians in Minneapolis. The journalist side of me made me eager to learn their story. According to Wikipedia there’s only 4.9% of Asians in Minneapolis!

I texted the girl who I was communicating with from AirBnB that I was on my way to her house. She responded that her uncle should be home to let me in. So Mark dropped me off at the house. I rang the doorbell and an older Chinese lady opened the door. Immediately, she started talking to me in Chinese and pointed at Mark’s car.

Let me remind you that I am not Chinese. I’m Korean.

I was so caught off guard by the whole situation that there was definitely an awkward moment. I quickly told her that I wasn’t Chinese. She said, “Oh! Ok!” We both kind of laughed it off. I think she was trying to tell me that Mark should move his car to the driveway but I told her he wasn’t staying. So then she carried my luggage to my room and that was that.

I unpacked a little bit and then went to explore Minneapolis with Mark! He showed me around downtown Minneapolis and gave me a thorough history of it. The area reminded me of the cleaner and less congested version of Los Angeles.

We went to the Gold Medal Park in downtown Minneapolis. It’s a spacious park to walk around or sit down and relax to enjoy the view.

Yelpers comment that it’s a great place to jog or grab some fresh air. When I was here, there was definitely fresh, cold, and crisp air. On top of that, it was so windy that my hair got all static-y and I had to tie my hair into a ponytail! Even though it was messing up my hair, I still enjoyed the Minnesotan weather!

I loved this park since I was able to see a bunch of autumn leaves. Apparently the week before my arrival, all the leaves were on the trees but majority of them were all on the ground by the time I got there.

Right next to the park is the Guthrie Theater. Yelpers love this place as it currently has 4.5 stars with more than 100 reviews. We didn’t watch anything here but walked around it. I highly suggest you to check out the beauty of this facility. They really know how to publicize and honor well-known entertainment figures from the past. These photographs make this theater like an outdoors kind of museum.

Here’s a better exterior view of the theater:

Aren’t those large photographs amazing? Do you see that rectangular portion of the building sticking out to the left? It’s actually a balcony at the end of it! The balcony is something to check out because it has a perfect view of the Mississippi River.

From one side of the balcony, you’ll see an iconic sign in Minneapolis, Gold Medal Flour.

This historical sign is the predecessor of General Mills, one of the largest food companies in America. There’s a lot of history about General Mills that dates far back as the late 1800s. This building is no longer a flour factory but it has turned into Mill City Museum that is opened to the public. With 51 reviews, Yelp gives the museum 4 out of 5 stars.

On the other side of the balcony, you’ll see an aerial view of Gold Medal Park that I visited earlier. There’s a trail that circles around the hill located to the left of the picture. The trails leads to the top of the hill where you can also see the Mississippi River!

It got pretty chilly hanging outside in the balcony but I loved it. I was enjoying every moment of the coldness because I knew that I wouldn’t ever experience that kind of weather in SoCal. Afterwards, we left the theater and walked closer to the Mississippi River where I had to get one last closer shot of it.

Seeing the Mississippi River was really something. It made me reflect on my elementary days when I opened up my blue history book. I remember looking at the US map and seeing how long the river stretched down from Minnesota to Louisiana. It was the one river you just could not forget because of how historical it was. I really never imagined that I would see it in real life but I sure did that day!

The walking and the cold weather made us hungry. So for dinner we went to The Freehouse. I would compare this restaurant to a hip and an upscale version of Yard House. They’re known for their brewery selection and the fusion of different cuisines for their entrees. I got the Pesto Pappardelle that had asparagus, spinach, tomato, and basil pesto for $12. I love pesto so this meal just hit the spot. I think pesto is one of those sauces that can do no wrong.

Though Yelp rates them 3.5 stars with 142 reviews, it wouldn’t hurt to give this place a try. The ambiance here is upbeat where everyone’s enjoying their time even if it’s busy and loud. I wouldn’t mind coming back here and getting the same thing or even trying some of their unique plates.

After dinner, we went to a Target Express in Dinkytown. What’s Target Express and is Dinkytown real? Target Express is a like a convenient store that is located near a university. This store in particular only carries products that are necessities for college students. And yes, Dinkytown real.

Did you know that the Target Headquarters is located in Minneapolis?

There was actually no real reason to check out this Target Express in Dinkytown but just to see something different from the norm!

To end the night, we went to one of Mark’s favorite spots, Izzy’s Ice Cream. It is literally right next Gold Medal Park. After a long walk around the park, it’s a great idea to treat yourself to some Izzy’s! This little ice cream parlor has 4.5 stars with 64 reviews on Yelp.

You know an ice cream shop is a keeper when they change their menu of flavors on a daily or weekly basis. Izzy’s has 150 different flavors but they always have 32 flavors available. For that time being, I got two of their most popular ones on a Kiddie + Izzy waffle cone for $4. It’s a little more on the pricey end for ice cream but keep in mind that these are some unique flavors. For the Kiddie, I got the Norwegian Chai and for my Izzy, I got the Salted Caramel.

Say what? Who or what is Kiddie and Izzy? Kiddie is the larger or normal scoop of the ice cream and Izzy is the smaller and cuter scoop that goes on top of the big one. Cute concept, huh?

Ever since I tried the Apple Pie ice cream from my trip to Bellingham, Washington, my life has changed. Just kidding, not my life but my ice cream life has changed. So going to Izzy in Minneapolis got me all excited. The Norwegian Chai had a subtle spice flavor to it. According to Izzy’s, “…norwegian chai is finely ground, sweet orbs of Norwegian cardamom toast.” The Salted Caramel had a light sweet and savory taste to it which was perfectly balanced.

For a short amount of time on my first day in Minneapolis, I feel like we accomplished a lot! Thanks Mark for picking me up at the airport and showing me around Minneapolis! What a great start to my Minnesotan trip!

Bellingham, Washington – Part 3

Eat Pray Love Journey – Day 5 – Bellingham, Washington – Part 3

What I love about Bellingham is how there are so many different characteristics to it. There’s the old town and downtown sceneries but the best part is how in the midst of that there are so many spots to simply breathe the clean and fresh air while you’re standing in the forest!

We grabbed a drink from one of Christian’s favorite coffee shop called The Woods Coffee on Bay View Drive. Yelp gives them 4 stars for all of their locations in Washington. I loved the location we were at because we were able to see a clear view of the water from the inside.

They’re known for their cold brew coffee. I got their seasonal apple cider which made feel like I was fully experiencing the festivities of the fall and winter season.

Right by the coffee shop there was a boardwalk! It was so nice to sip my apple cider while enjoying the view of the water and feeling the cold breeze!

Afterwards, Christian took me to a place where he and his friends would hang out during the summer. The parking area was so hidden on the side of the road that we missed it! It looked like we were going to an undiscovered area that seemed illegal to enter but luckily there was a sign that said Teddy Bear Cove where it made it official and safe to walk around.

There was a long trail that went down to the forest. It really felt like I was in the middle of nowhere.

At bottom, we crossed over the train tracks to see the water.

We were trying to look for some mermaids but none showed up at the hour. So we took another trail nearby that led us to a cliff for a better view of mermaids. Again, we saw no mermaids but it was a peaceful view of the water.

We walked so much that we were pretty tired and needed to rest somewhere. So we went over to Pure Bliss Desserts. Ok, I know what you’re thinking right now. “What? She’s getting dessert after a long walk in the forest?” Mhm. That sure did happen.

On Yelp, this sweet spot has 4.5 stars with 47 reviews. We got there at a perfect day and time where we were able to get a happy hour deal! Because it was Monday, we got a dollar off on a slice of cake. We shared the last slice of the Almond Mocha cake for $5.

The chocolate and vanilla cake texture had just the right amount of moisture to it. The frosting is what carried the Almond Mocha flavor. It wasn’t too heavy or too thick. The cake overall had a good balance of everything. I definitely recommend you sharing this slice of cake. I mean, if you have a huge sweet tooth, maybe treat yourself to a whole slice.

Finally, to end the day I got a tour of Western Washington University and had dinner from their dining hall! This school is fortunate to have nature right next door!

Thank you so much Christian for a scenic tour of Bellingham! I miss seeing trees and breathing the cold crisp air! Thanks so much for showing me around in Washington and Canada! I can’t wait to come back here and hopefully show others the beauty of Bellingham!

Bellingham, Washington – Part 2

Eat Pray Love Journey – Day 5 – Bellingham, Washington – Part 2

I grabbed a late lunch with Christian in downtown Fairhaven where it’s homey and cozy. Historical and just beautiful too!

We went over to Colophon Cafe that has 3 stars with 80 reviews on Yelp. The numbers may not seem appealing but I say ignore them. I skimmed through Yelp and there were a lot of 4 stars. Also, I don’t think residents in Bellingham use Yelp so much. Maybe that’s why there aren’t a lot reviews. Maybe.

The restaurant was surprisingly spacious when I walked in because from the outside, it looked like a small cafe. It had some quirky decor but it worked with the restaurant’s eccentric ambiance. So I ordered a half sandwich of the Southwest Club that had turkey, bacon, avocado, bean sprouts, melted Swiss cheese with their amazing chipotle mayo spread sandwiched in toasted sourdough bread!

You can’t go wrong with the spread, avocado, and bacon together! They really stuffed this half sandwich with a lot of good ingredients. For $8-9, it was a little too pricey for me since it was only a half sandwich but it’s worth trying at least once. I did feel pretty content at the end!

Afterwards, we drove to this beach that was so calm and quiet. It was so peaceful to just stand there.

Oh yeah, this beach had rocks. Not sand. It was nice not having to worry about getting sand in my shoes.

Apparently, this is really close to Christian’s work so he and his coworkers once had a meeting here with this beauty in front of them!

I looked photoshopped because the water behind me looks too good to be true!

When we walked back to the car, I saw a guy sitting in his car looking pensively at the view ahead of him, the water. He probably came here to from a tranquil moment.

Where’s your peaceful place to hang out in your hometown?

 

Bellingham, Washington

Eat Pray Love Journey – Day 5 – Bellingham, Washington

My day didn’t start until late afternoon so I decided to take a stroll around the hotel. I was excited to take some pictures and make an adventure out of it!

I was walking down some road that led me to a residential neighborhood.

I found a hidden creek on the side!

At some point as I was walking, I made a right turn just because.

Then I found a bunch of leaves! They weren’t as colorful as the ones in Canada but these were still beautiful!

After being so excited to see so many leaves, I went back to the main street I was on. I kept walking and walking but the sidewalk came to an end where it just turned into grass and dirt. I noticed that there was so much open land to my right. It looked like it was the “right” moment to hitch hike because I almost felt like I was in the middle of nowhere but I wasn’t that far from my hotel. I looked across the street and saw horses just hanging out!

I wanted to walk across the street to get closer but there was a sign that said Private Property. So I turned around and headed back towards the hotel.

Far, far ahead of me, I thought I saw an animal but I thought I was going crazy. I got my phone out, zoomed in, and took a picture to see what was ahead of me. Do you see that brown spot next to the railing?

Well, guess what! A deer popped out of there!

I was a little scared encountering this deer but I tried to play it cool. I kept walking and then the deer crossed the street. I started recording this moment on my phone. The deer just walked like any other human being walking on a sidewalk in the afternoon. At one point we were parallel from each other and made eye contact which scared me. I think the deer knew that I was recording so I abruptly turned my camera down.

 

I continued my adventure and walked across the street where I saw some trees and a trail. I saw some lady come out of the woods with her dog. The weird thing was, there was no trail. It was more of a dead end.

I walked to the end of it and found nothing too exciting. It was a little scary so I wasn’t daring enough to venture out into the woods. After that, I finally went back to my hotel and waited until I got picked up to begin my real adventure in Bellingham!

 

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Eat Pray Love Journey – Day 4 – Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

I went to Canada! Canada, I tell you! Canada!

Well, before I went to Canada, I explored Bellingham for a little bit on my own. I went on an adventure to look for stamps! I walked half a mile to one UPS store but found out that they weren’t opened until an hour after I got there. Unwilling to wait, I walked back towards my hotel and started Yelping places that had office supplies. Luckily, there was Office Depot which was a lot closer to my hotel than UPS. I’m not sure how I didn’t think about Office Depot earlier but I initially had a hard time thinking about where stamps can be purchased other than the post office.

My walk to Office Depot was an interesting one. For example, there was a guy selling marijuana. Let me elaborate, he was one of those guys holding a sign that pointed to the pot shop. I didn’t realize that Washington legalized medical marijuana. When I got to the plaza with Office Depot, there was also Costco and Starbucks. I noticed that in the parking lot there were a lot of cars with the license plate from Canada. According to Christian, a lot of Canadians come down to Bellingham to stock up on food from Costco! Interesting, right? Anyways, I got my stamps and sent my postcards away for my lovely friends and family to receive back at home!

On my way back to the hotel, it started to drizzle but I didn’t mind it at all. I really wanted to embrace mother nature while traveling and I sure did. The air was so cold but it felt so nice with the fresh air. Also, it was nice to see some colored leaves!

By afternoon-ish, Christian picked me up and we were off to Canada! Whee! The drive from Bellingham to Vancouver, BC was only an hour long! It’s like going from Orange County to Los Angeles.  Going through the border wasn’t bad at all. We just had to show them our passport, tell them where we’re going and why.

I noticed all the residential streets that we were driving by had so many beautiful houses and trees lined up so perfectly. We randomly stopped by a wealthy neighborhood to check it out.

There was this huge park in the middle of the neighborhood that had these tall trees and it was just breathtaking!

I never thought you could have such a mesmerizing park in your neighborhood like this one!

I was seriously so excited to see so many leaves on the ground!

As we were driving, I realized how uncomfortable or odd it was to drive with the lights and road structured this way. Makes me feel a little claustrophobic on the road! Naw mean?

Our first official stop in Vancouver was to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. There’s a small cost for parking and admission was $32.95. If you have AAA, you can get a discount! The Suspension Bridge was built in 1889. It stretches 450 feet across and 230 feet above Capilano River.

Here are some pictures to show you what this park was all about:

We were at the park for a good two hours or so. There was a lot of walking and sight seeing to do! Pictures don’t do justice of how amazing this park is with the bridges and them trees! One random thing about this park was that everyone was able to take a pumpkin home! It was part of the admission fee! There were pumpkins laying around the front area of the park so you could just pick one up and go! I really wanted to take a pumpkin and tell everyone it was from Canada but I obviously didn’t. I didn’t want to get in trouble by border patrol. Maybe next time…?

Our second stop was to see the Olympic Torch! Go to Yelp for more info.

Can you imagine this whole place being packed with people full of pride and excitement for the Olympics? There must have been so much adrenaline going on here back in Winter 2010! It was quite eye opening to see those skyscrapers surround that monumental torch. Though it wasn’t lit up, it was still inspiring to see this and know that dreams came true for many athletes.

IMG_5618

The Olympic Cauldron is located near a harbor which has a great view of the water and of Vancouver! Well, I think that’s still Vancouver in front of us.

There’s also this view in the picture below! The colors on the trees and on the ground! It looked like I was a little photoshopped in but this was all real! I may be annoying you about the fall colors but it’s just that, you don’t see them much in sunny SoCal so I get really excited to see them elsewhere!

Our last stop before the sunset was at Queen Elizabeth Park. This park was definitely not just an ordinary park. There was a conservatory, Japanese like garden, streams, dancing fountains, and the list goes on! There was so much to see at this park!

As we were on our way out, we noticed that a proposal was about to happen! So we sat on a bench and watched it like a movie! Weird thing was that we didn’t see the guy pop the ring out. Either we missed that part somehow or it’s a Canadian tradition to not have the ring. We went with the latter.

After a happy ending, we were finally off to dinner! We went over to an authentic Chinese restaurant. According to Wikipedia, there’s a large community of Chinese Canadians in Vancouver. This all came about in the 19th century when British Columbia hired Chinese people to build the railway. Read Wikipedia for more information! Great history to learn!

We went to this restaurant on the wrong day and time. There was a Chinese organization having a Halloween party so it was packed! Luckily, they made an exception to seat us all the way in the back. It was fun to people watch.

I’m sure the guy and his wife in the picture above felt out of place. By the way, I ‘m not sure why people carry their iPads around and use it as an actual camera. I see that a lot with older people.

We wanted dim sum but obviously that was not possible especially with this banquet going on. Instead, we just ordered pan fried noodles with seafood.

We also shared the beef with vegetables.

Everything looked and tasted good but I probably wouldn’t come back here again. Not that I would anytime soon because it’s in Canada…The food wasn’t anything too spectacular because it was the same as any other authentic Chinese food I’ve tried. I can easily get these two dishes from Orange County.

After dinner, we were finally on our way back to ‘Murica! It took a little more than hour to get back because the line was long at the border check area. Once we got back to Bellingham, we treated ourselves to some ice cream at Mallard!

It’s a cute little mom and pop ice cream parlor where everything is handmade from local and organic ingredients! This popular ice cream shop in downtown Bellingham has 4.5 stars with almost 200 reviews on Yelp.

They’re unique flavors like Olive Oil or Chocolate Rum sets them apart from your usual ice cream chains.

I got the Apple Pie in a waffle cone for about $4 and oh my goodness, it changed my life. I didn’t know it was possible for an apple pie flavor to be in ice cream form! It was so good that I was tempted to get another one!

It was so late that I had to stop myself from getting another scoop. I will never forget that Apple Pie ice cream. That ice cream was a perfect way to end my Canadian excursion!

Thank you so much Christian for driving me around in Canada! That was definitely one Canadian adventure! I’m really glad that we got ice cream afterwards. At the same time, I’m kind of not glad because I really miss that Apple Pie.