2017 Year End Recap | November & December

Wow, I am so behind. I never got to do a recap of the end of year for 2017 😦 Sorry guys. November and December were filled with adventures in National Parks and celebrations!

November –  November is my favorite month and is filled with celebration. Not only is it both of our birthday month, but it’s our anniversary month too! Every year we try to do something special and different for our celebration month. Last year, we went to Hawaii and spent a week in paradise. But for 2017, we decided to keep it pretty light and decided to spend a weekend up north in the Monterey Bay area. Since we are saving for a wedding in 2018, we wanted to do something fun and new, but not spend as much money as we did when we went to Hawaii. We planned a long weekend up in Northern California to check out the Monterey Bay area and to the check out Pinnacles National Park… cause you know us, WE LOVE NATIONAL PARKS! (Support your National Parks!)

Instead of driving up to NorCal, we decided to fly up to San Jose and drive down to Pinnacles National Park. We arrived mid morning and picked up our rental car. Since it was our celebration month, we wanted to get more of a special car rather than a normal rental car. If you know me, you know that my dream car is a Dodge Challenger! I know, so random. So we booked it, but unfortunately, when we got to the airport the car rental company had already run out of those type of cars. Instead, we were able to get a new Dodge Camero! It was actually pretty cool, but I was a little bumped that we didn’t get the Challenger. So, after we received our car we headed down to Gilroy to get some breakfast. Gilroy is such a cute little town. I’ve been to Gilroy before for the Garlic Festival, so I knew that this would be a good stopping point for some food. We found a cute little hometown cafe.

After breakfast, we headed down to Pinnacles National Park. When we got to the National Park, it started pouring so hard. At that point, I felt like I hadn’t seen real rain in so long, so I wasn’t that mad about it to be honest. The rain let up and we went to one of the trail heads. This National Park is one of the newest national parks so it’s not yet set up like a normal, more established park. The park really has only one road, but has some long trails. Since we only had a half day to explore the park, we did the Bear Gulch trail and some of the High Peaks trail. This trail takes you through some of the popular areas and through some really cool caves and you see some unique rock formations. At the end of the trail you get to the Bear Gulch reservoir and then after you take a part of the High Peaks trail to get back to your car. I really wanted to do the High Peaks trail, but its one of the longest trails in the park and we just didn’t have enough time to do it. Just as a warning, some of the trails are not clearly marked so just make sure you have a map with you and especially if you’ve never been there before, make sure to bring someone with you. This park is now one of my favorites. Even though it was raining, I think it added to the beauty of the park. Since the park is covered with rocks and moss, the misty-ness of the sky added to the environment. It was so beautiful.

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After Pinnacles, we headed towards Monterey Bay and arrived in the early evening. After we checked into our hotel and rested for a little bit, we headed out to dinner at the Fisherman’s Wharf. We found this cute Tiki Bar and got some clam chowder, some seafood, and a fun island drink. Since it was a little cold, there weren’t that many people out, but ended the night watching the sea lions and exploring some of the shops on the wharf.

The next day, we headed down to explore the Monterey Bay area and Big Sur. We headed for breakfast at Cafe Trieste in Monterey. Its a cute Italian cafe and had a very filling and delicious breakfast. After, we did the 17 Mile Drive through Pebble Beach. It’s a nice and easy drive through Pebble Beach with marked stops and vista points. We took our time and it took us about 2 hours to do the whole thing. The 17 Mile Drive was so pretty and because it was a clear and crisp day, it made it even better.

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After we headed down towards Big Sur and our first stop was Bixby Bridge. I’ve seen so many pictures of this bridge and was excited to finally see it. When we got there, I was a little disappointed. I think people edit the pictures so much that it makes it look so much impressive than it is in real life. Granted, the engineering is pretty cool, but I was a bit disappointed to be honest. After, we headed down the Highway 1 and made some stops along the way to look at the beautiful views along the highway. We also headed towards the Julia Pfieffer Burns State Park to check out McWay Falls. For lunch we ate at Nepenthe, which was the cutest restaurant that was right off of the highway and had amazing view of the ocean and the coast. After taking our time going up and down Highway 1, we headed towards our hotel to rest and get ready for dinner. For dinner, we found a little seafood restaurant but it wasn’t that good… I was disappointed. After we headed towards Cannery Row to check out the shops and bars they had. We ended up spending the night at an arcade and played some fun games.

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Sunday was our last day in NorCal. We checked out of hotel and headed back towards Santa Cruz and towards the Mystery Spot. We signed up for tour of the area and was a fun spot to spend the morning. We learned about the history of the area and got to experience the “gravity pull” of the Mystery Spot. After, we spent the rest of the day at the Santa Cruz pier and at lunch at the pier and checked out the carnival games and rides of the area. Then it was time to catch out flight out of San Jose. Although it was only a weekend up north, we made the most of the time we had and saw a lot and had an amazing anniversary weekend.

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The rest of November, we spent at Wesley’s parents house to watch their dog so we couldn’t go on anymore trips for the month. For Thanksgiving, we spent a night in Dana Point with my parents. We had dinner near the water and watched the sunset near the break water. It was so pretty. I love the Dana Point area and it’s s chill over there.

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November was great celebration month filled with family and some adventure.

December – For the beginning of December, I planned a trip to Joshua Tree for Wesley’s birthday. Wesley’s birthday is technically in November, but since we had to dog watch we couldn’t go out to celebrate. We left a little early from our apartment and headed towards to National Park. When we got there, we got onto the Ryan Mountain trail… and let me tell you… I died on this trail! Although this trail is only about 3 miles roundtrip, the elevation is about 1,000 ft which is really steep in a short amount of time. But once we got to the top of the mountain, it was so worth it. At the top, you could see the whole valley of the National Park. After we drove all the way to the end of the park near the 10 freeway. Towards the end of the day, we checked out the Hidden Valley Nature Trail. We watched the Sunset and climbed some rocks. After exploring some more of the park we headed towards our Airbnb in Joshua Tree. I rented a small, but cute house in the area. For dinner, we had pizza at Pie for People although it took a long time to get our food, it tasted so good! Worth the wait for sure! 

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The next day was our last day and headed towards the park to do some more exploring and hiking. We did the Baker Dam hike and the Ryan Ranch. Both were pretty easy trails. Baker Dam had a lot of water, which I was surprised to see. Ryan Ranch had an old abandoned ranch at the end of the trail that you can explore. After taking our time leaving the park, we headed home.

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Later on in the month, Wesley’s company had their holiday party in Hollywood. We stayed at the Mondrian Hotel and it was so bougie! But I was very grateful to be able to stay there. We had dinner at the hotel’s restaurant and it was so pretty! They had strung cute lights along the open air patio and had beautiful floral centerpieces. After dinner, the company had reserved an area of the lounge area and we enjoyed drink service and some good music. But to be honest, I felt so out of place at the lounge because of the people there, but overall it was good experience and I’m glad I pushed my self out of my comfort zone.

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During the Holiday season, my sister was in town! I was so excited to see her! While she was visiting, we went to get my wedding dress!  A few of my bridesmaids joined me to get the right dress and I got it! I’m so excited for 2018 because we’re getting married at the end of the year! I can’t believe it’s happening! For Christmas, I just stayed home with my parents and Wesley and we had chinese food for lunch. A few days before New Year’s Wesley and I had an engagement party with our friends and family. It was fun to see everyone meet and get to know each other. And then lastly for New Years we celebrated at our friends house and counted down to 2018 with champagne and good company.

2017 was a great year filled with friends, family, and some adventure. I’m excited for 2018 and although we are already 2 months in, it’s already been off to a great start. Thank you for reading all of this and making it to the end! I promise to update my blog more often!


Travel Video | Tonto National Monument & Saguaro National Park

About a month ago, Wesley and I went to Arizona to explore Tonto National Monument and Saguaro National Park. I made a short video of our short time out there. Enjoy!!


Travel Video | Yosemite National Park


2017 March Adventures: Joshua Tree Dry Lake, “See you later”, & Yosemite

Can you believe March is nearly over?! It went by so quickly! March was a fun-filled month. It was filled with some emotional highs and definite emotional lows, with a close friend moving all the way across the globe. Also, this month truly kicked off the next couple of months I have ahead, since April, May, and June will be quite hectic. So let’s delve into to the month of March.

Joshua Tree Camping: The month of March started off with a good old camping trip to Joshua Tree… yes, again. I can’t get enough of this place… can’t you tell? My fiance and I went camping with the same group of friends. We spent the days hanging out and enjoying the environment around us and the night exchanging stories around a camp fire. It’s always great starting off the month camping and disconnecting from the real world for a weekend.

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Not Saying “Goodbye”, but “See you soon”: One of my good friends from middle school moved to Australia this month for an indefinite amount of time. Her family threw her a going away party and a bunch of us got together to celebrate her new chapter with her. I’m so excited for her to start this new adventure, but at the same time I was sad to see her go. Naturally, I nearly cried… I’m such a baby. But I know that I will see her in the near future. And now that it is so easy to connect with friends across the globe, I know that we will still stay close.
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Yosemite National Park: This past weekend, Wesley and I went to visit Yosemite National Park. We have both been before with family, but never have visited it together. We left the LA area early around 6:00 AM and headed out to the National Park. When we entered the park, it still took us almost an hour to get to the valley floor, but it was well worth it. We drove through the tunnel that leads into the valley and my jaw dropped. The view you see instantly takes your breathe away. The shear magnitude of the beauty of Half Dome, El Capitan, and the cascading waterfalls are so picturesque. We did a few hikes within the valley floor and I was in awe of the environment I was immersed in. After a long day of sightseeing we checked into our tent/cabin at Half Dome Village. Since we knew that it was going to be cold at night, we opted for a heated tent… which I highly recommend if you are staying there during Winter… even though it’s already Spring, it was still a bit nippy. Our tent was nice and cozy and just perfect for our stay. We had dinner and the hall within the village and enjoyed the free wifi and just hung out there for the rest of the night. The next day we woke up in the valley floor, which was pretty cool. We had breakfast again in the hall. The nice thing about staying within the National Park was that we could take our time leaving the park and we were able to enjoy the views just a little bit longer. Before we left the park, we did one more small hike to Bridalveil Falls and then we were off and headed back home.

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March was a great month and I know that the months are just going to get busier and go by quicker, but I’m not complaining! I’m really excited for the next couple of months. I’ll be sure to keep updating my blog! Thanks for reading and remember to stay curious and keep exploring!


So, it’s been a while…

I know, I know… and I’m sorry. I have been really bad on updating my blog these last few months and I apologize. These last few months have been mostly about work and Wesley and I haven’t really had time to go out on the weekends. Especially with the end of the year coming up, it’s been extra busy with work, holidays, and family and friends. But within in September and October, we were able to go to two different places, but I just didn’t have time to update you guys on the blog.

September – Labor Day Weekend

On Labor Day weekend, Wesley and I headed out to Alabama Hills and Lone Pine to check out Manzanar and camp in Alabama Hills. On the first day out in the Lone Pine area, we explored the town and Manzanar. Lone Pine is such a cute town and the main street of the town looks like time has completely stood still and looks like an old western town. When headed up the 395 North and towards Manzanar. As stated by the National Park Service, “In 1942, the United States government ordered more than 110,000 men, women, and children to leave their homes and detained them in remote, military-style camps. Manzanar War Relocation Center was one of ten camps where Japanese American citizens and resident Japanese aliens were interned during World War II.” Manzanar was an eye opening experience and came with a lot of emotion. The historical site had a lot of first hand accounts that you could read about and replica barracks that you could go into. Although it was amazing to see, it was also really sad be think about what the people went through and how scared they were to have everything and loose it all. We stayed there for the afternoon and after headed to Alabama Hills to camp out for two nights. Wesley and I have never camped alone together, we are always usually with a group of people. But camping out in Alabama Hills was amazing. It was so quiet and peaceful. We were planning to stay for two nights, but as we were trying to go up to see a ghost town, Wesley’s car was having some trouble and we had to get towed ALL THE WAY BACK to the LA County area… over 200 miles to be exact. So I hope in the near future we could go back and really explore the area even more so.

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October – Anacapa Island, Channel Islands National Park
In early October, Wesley and I went out to the Oxnard area to catch a ferry out to one of the islands in Channel Islands National Park. We decided to go to Anacapa Island. It took about an hour and half to get to the island from the harbor and we were greeted with a steep and beautiful rocky cliff of the island with a beautiful lagoon. The island is pretty small at about 1 mile or so wide. They have some camp sites on the island, but we decided to just stay for the day. They have different points of interest on the island, but the most popular point is Inspiration point. This area of the island is so inspiring and beautiful. This island is great for a day trip. There are different islands within the National Park, which I am excited to one day explore.

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So there was a little recap of the last couple of months with me. I hope you enjoyed! Till next time, see ya!


Travel: Channel Islands National Park

Yesterday my boyfriend and I went to Anacapa Island in Channel Islands National Park. This will mark the 13th National Park that we have visited together and we hope to go more soon! I made a short video of our day trip out to the island. There were so many amazing views from every angle of the island. Hope you enjoy the video!


NPS 100: Celebration of America’s National Park

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Although I am a few days late, I wanted to take a moment and recognize the 100th birthday of the National Park Service! My boyfriend and I embarked on a journey starting in 2015 to see as many National Parks as we can and it just so happen that in 2016, it was the 100th year of the National Park Service. With knowing that the centennial was upcoming, we wanted to see as many national parks as we could during any time we could take off from work and free weekends (usually holidays). In 2016, we visited 9 National Parks and 12 National Parks in total. We hope to visit a few more National Parks before the year ends. We bought a year pass, so might as well use it! So far, my favorite park that we visited was Arches National Park in Utah. The beauty of this park is so amazing. I love desert landscapes and the natural arches and beauty of this park leaves me so speechless. This park tested my endurance and my strength and made me realize that I could overcome obstacles. My boyfriend and I have cherished memories in this park and I would love to come back and explore more in this park.

I recently watched a video from the National Park Service and it stated, “Enjoy what is yours. Protect and keep this great heritage.” I love this statement and agree with it so much. Go and explore your National Parks.



Travel Video: Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Park

Over the 4th of July weekend, my boyfriend and I went to explore Kings Canyon National Park and Sequoia National Park. Check out a quick video of our adventure!


Photo Diary: Colorado & Utah National Parks

Over Memorial Day weekend, my boyfriend and I went to Denver, Colorado to explore some national parks in the state and in Utah.

When we first landed in Denver we went straight to the city of Golden to see the Buffalo Bill Museum and Buffalo Bill’s grave site. The museum was about an hour away from downtown Denver and had beautiful views of the city and greenery all around.

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After, we headed to our first official stop, Estes Park. The city is such a cute and quaint town. The nature within the town is beautiful. While we were here we went to see The Stanley Hotel which inspired the movie, The Shining. You would think the hotel would be creepy and scary, but it’s not too bad. It’s actually quite beautiful. My boyfriend and I also spent the majority of our time at Rocky Mountain National Park, right outside of Estes Park. Rocky Mountain National Park is amazing. The mountain tops were filled with snow and the valleys were so green and lush. There were moose and elk roaming the park. It didn’t feel real. When we were there, we hiked around Bear Lake and up Alberta Falls. Both had amazing view points. We also drove around Trail Ridge Road, which is actually one of the longest roads in the states. The road goes up to a high elevation and it even started snowing while we were up there. I wish we could have spent more time in the park, but sadly our time at Estes Park came to end and we were off to the next city.

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We drove from Estes Park to Moab, Utah. We made a stop in Glenwood Springs in Colorado. We went to the Glenwood Cavern Adventure Park to check out the caves. We took a tour in the Fairy Caves and saw beautiful caves and and learned about how the founders travelled through the mountains in Colorado. After the caves, we headed to Moab to explore Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park. Both of the parks had amazing canyon views. We both love the desert and the landscapes that come with it. When we went to Canyonlands National Park, we explored the part of the park called “Island in the Sky”, which is the most popular part of the park. The other portions of the park are for back country hiking and off roading trails.

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 photo DSC_0701_zpsdqzoul9d.jpgWhen we went to Arches National Park, we did some hiking to see the most popular sights in the Park. My favorite arch in the park is Delicate Arch which consisted of a hike up a rock face. Even though I felt like giving up throughout the hike, I knew the view at the end of the hike was so rewarding. We waited to watch the sunset at Delicate Arch. Even though it was really crowded, it was so beautiful.

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After a view days in Moab, it was time to head back to Colorado. We were headed to Alamosa, Colorado. But on our way back, we stopped at Mesa Verde National Park. This national park was different that the other parks we had visited. Going to this park was like stepping into history. We got to explore the Cliff Palace. The tour included climbing ladders and going down steep steps and it was so worth it. After our tour we rested in Alamosa for the night.

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The next day, we went to spend some time at our last national park, Great Sand Dunes National Park. This park was like seeing an oasis in the desert, but vice versa. The sand dunes were such a stark contrast to the Rocky Mountains in the background. At the dunes, you could rent boards so that you could ride down the dunes. We didn’t end up doing that, but we took our time roaming the dunes. After, we headed into to Denver to end our trip within a few days of arriving in the city.

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This trip was amazing and even though we saw a lot and did a lot, it was all worth it. I am so happy that I got to spend so much time and make so many memories with my boyfriend, Wesley. There is so much more to see in Colorado and Utah and we hope to be back soon.

Thanks for reading! Till next time!