Friday, January 20, 2017


Left: Inn at Occidental | Right: Occidental Church
Going from a graduate student schedule where weekends and weekdays seemed like a blur to a working adult who works nine-to-five, I’m starting to really appreciate weekends and to learn how to best make use of it. Two days weekend can bring you to A LOT of cool places especially when you live in the Bay Area. Always remember, the ocean is almost always 30 mins drive from you so you have no reason not to go out! 

One of those weekends, me and my friend discovered this hidden gem called Occidental near Santa Rosa. I was on a Gilmore binge and was dying for a Gilmore-inspired weekend getaway so when I found out that Occidental Inn exists, I just HAD TO go there and man it did not disappoint. I have already proclaimed Occidental as the Stars Hollow of North California.

For dinner, the innkeeper and some of the guests strongly recommended Hazel..

Grilled Rib Eye - one of the most flavorful ribeye I've ever had.
How does it remain hidden all this time? Dinner at Hazel was a win. Absolutely perfect in every way. I couldn't finish my steak because of its generous portion so when told that we'll be driving home the next day, the staff was kind enough to prep my leftover into a steak sandwich for the road. How can a restaurant be this perfect?

Next day, we went for some hiking in the redwoods (one of my favorite things) and ended our trip at Fort Ross.

Cathedral inside Armstrong Redwood Forest

Fort Ross Historic Park

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Guide to Norcal Weekend Getaway: Santa Rosa - Ukiah - Mendocino

I've been wanting to document my recent trips around North California but was too lazy to do it and today has been kind of slow and chilly.. a perfect day to stay home and finally got a work around posting these late posts, so here goes..

Brunch! The trick to having a good getaway is to start with an awesome brunch. We picked this farm-to-table gem nested in the town of Santa Rosa called The Naked Pig and boy did they not disappoint. We ordered their porchetta sandwich and bacon battered waffles -- regretted right away for not ordering more because they are delicious.

Our first stop was Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve. The entrance was hard to spot so make sure to keep an eye for a small parking lot. There isn't a grand entrance like other more popular state parks but this park is definitely worth a stop of you're looking for some nature therapy deep in the redwoods.

We stayed a night in Ukiah and stumbled upon this place called Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery which was an interesting addition to our trip.

After a fully rested night, we drove to Russian Gulch State Park for a 3 hours hike and it literally felt like we're hiking in fairy tale:

When we could no longer feel our legs, we ended the day with a beautiful sunset along the Mendocino coast.. 

So.. here's a summary to this weekend getaway:
Brunch at The Naked Pig, Santa Rosa - short hike at Montgomery Woods State Natural Reserve - Stay a night in Ukiah - Ten Thousand Buddhas Monastery - Russian Gulch State Park - Mendocino Coast.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

On traveling solo: finding self 75 miles away from home

I fantasize about travelling solo all the time but never really had the time to do it. The desire to travel solo has grown stronger lately especially with all the stress at school and life in general - but let's not go there. A couple of weeks ago, I finally messaged a friend of mine telling her: "I just booked a room for spring break! I'm really doing it this time!" and here I am right now, writing this post in a beautiful inn right across the Pacific Ocean ran by a sweet innkeeper, Jeff. 

I wasn’t planning to make this trip a spiritual one but God works in wonder and I knew for sure that it wasn’t by coincidence the topic of my bible study (that typically looks like this) for the past couple of days is something along the line of how to reconnect with God (and to hear His voice). My sweet Ahjuma, Danialle, recommended a book by Henry Cloud to bring for my trip, she also sent me a couple of questionnaires that I have to fill out during the trip and a one-day schedule that I have to follow. God bless her heart.

So where should I begin? (This is gonna be a long post, don’t say I didn’t warn ya.)

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Twenty Fifteen so far..

Moi lovely homies gave me a surprise (belated) birthday cake during our NYE party <3

Cos it's the "New Year New Me" moment, I'm gonna pretend to give blogging another go! The year started with a little "medical" trip to Penang, a town I love to hate, hate to love, with both of my parents. Thank God we all came back healthier than ever! During the trip, I managed to take a little solo adventure in Georgetown to hunt for those infamous hidden murals by Zacharevic. Unlike many other big cities, Penang is not the best (safest) place to walk around but tracking down those murals in Georgetown sure was a fun idea cos they're all so well hidden and it almost felt like treasure hunting.

Can't believe that it's only a few days left before I go back to San Francisco. One of my New Year's Resolutions this year is to get back into photography so I ordered myself a Pentax K1000 on Amazon and it should be there by the time I'm back :') Can't wait to get my hands dirty on it. In the mean time, I'm gonna enjoy the rest of the time with my family and stuff some more food into my face. I hope you all have a wonderful start of 2015!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Bye twenty fourteen!

This quote by Warsan Shire perfectly sums up my year of twenty fourteen.