The Waimea Valley Botanical Garden and Hike


On our second day, we decided to adventure into the botanical gardens next door (alright, but they were only a 5-minute drive away. That still counts!)

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Matt showing off his dorky camera hat!

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There were wild roosters everywhere!

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And we even saw a peacock!

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Jack of All Trades Fair in Jack London Square, Oakland


Last weekend, Oakland was teeming with life as the Jack of All Trades Fair in Jack London Square unofficially kicked Restaurant Week off (in my mind anyway).

Similar to the Renegade Maker’s Fair in San Francisco, it was full of neat crafts, quirky art and overall very enticing fair!

Jack of All Trades Market, right this way!

Jack of All Trades Market, right this way!

Succulents

Succulents

More beautiful succulents

More beautiful succulents

Refurbished just about anything into a working radio

Refurbished just about anything into a working radio

Now what do these remind me of...

Now what do these remind me of…

Thought the Burning Man crowd would love these!

Thought the Burning Man crowd would love these!

So here's where you can get them ;)

So here’s where you can get them 😉

There's something touching about the juxtaposition of beauty and it's fragility

There’s something touching about the juxtaposition of beauty and it’s fragility

Adorable!

Adorable!

But don't forget Wall-E

But don’t forget Wall-E

These are going to be EPIC next Halloween!

These are going to be EPIC next Halloween!

I just had to...

I just had to…

Apparently you can get these at Cost Plus World Market. Brilliant!

Apparently you can get these at Cost Plus World Market. Brilliant!

When I get married, this little beauty will be there

When I get married, this little beauty will be there

And a last few sappy shots. I just love those little Star Wars-inspired cranes (or is it the other way around? 😉

Star Wars in Oakland

The perfect time of dusk

The Jack London Square harbor in Oakland

Some pictures you just can't pass up...

Until next time!

Beautiful Downtown Santa Barbara


Santa Barbara is officially one of my favorite places in California! It was pretty tough leaving after just a day and a half…

Our Airbnb hosts made and hung this homey Santa Barbara guide in our bedroom!

Our Airbnb hosts made and hung this homey Santa Barbara guide in our bedroom!

La Arcada, a sweet spot smack dab in the middle of downtown Santa Barbara full of great restaurants and brunch spots

La Arcada, a sweet spot smack dab in the middle of downtown Santa Barbara full of great restaurants and brunch spots

First thing you see down this charming alley way is a fountain full of fish

First thing you see down this charming alley way is a fountain full of fish

State and Fig came so highly recommended we had to stop there for brunch our 1st morning, and I can't rave about it enough! Click on this pic for my Yelp review

State and Fig came so highly recommended we had to stop there for brunch our 1st morning, and I can’t rave about it enough! Click on this pic for my Yelp review

It's a little corny, but one of the cutest things about La Arcada and downtown Santa Barbara were all the statues of little critters

It’s a little corny, but one of the cutest things about La Arcada and downtown Santa Barbara were all the statues of little critters

We saw these sweet electric buses driving around downtown!

We saw these sweet electric buses driving around downtown!

We found this little house used for Japanese tea ceremonies in the heart of the Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens

We found this little house used for Japanese tea ceremonies in the heart of the Santa Barbara Botanical Gardens

The Botanical Gardens

The Botanical Gardens

Can you see the goldfish?

Can you see the goldfish?

We decided to wander around downtown and look for dinner when our Airbnb hosts' recommendations ended up being too busy, and ended up trying Brazilian food for the 1st time. In short: big success! This pic is linked to my Yelp review too.

We decided to wander around downtown and look for dinner when our Airbnb hosts’ recommendations ended up being too busy, and ended up trying Brazilian food for the 1st time. In short: big success! This pic is linked to my Yelp review too.

Hong Kong’s Lantau Big Buddha, Part 2


My trip around Eurasia with Alex was absolutely amazing! 5 whole weeks of wandering around Paris, Barcelona, Munich, Salzburg, Florence, Venice, Rome, Ephesus, Istanbul and Hong Kong! Alas, all good things must come to an end, and I am finally about to post the very large pictures from this trip! I wish I had taken more photos in Hong Kong. There are so many cool things I’d love to show you guys… but I started getting a little lazy after 4 weeks of endless walking and picture-snapping. Do google markets in Hong Kong though ;D Like the girls’ market! Now, without further adieu: a few more pictures of Lantau Big Buddha in Hong Kong.

The Big Buddha

The top of the hill where the Big Buddha rests was sooo beautiful!! =]

Tian Tian Buddha Garden Commemorative Plate This is the view that motivates you as you climb the stairs up to the tippy top. The Tippy Top I think I’m getting a little better at capturing cool images O=] Back down the stairs to the hill…. There was a Buddhist temple up there too =] Alex bought and lit some incense to pray for his ancestors. One last shot of the Buddha Alex got mad at me for trying to feed one of the cows O=] That’s it for now folks! I’ve got plans to go back to Asia for winter vacation but until then you’ll just have to settle for startup talk and fun California adventures! (Hint: I went back to Napa ^^)

Istanbul!!


Istanbul was amazing!! I forgot to take pictures of the Grand Bazaar (a must-see!!) and the hamam (public baths), but I did get a few shots of local sights =]

This aqueduct was real close to where we stayed.

The Blue Mosque

I didn’t get the names of these next structures. Walked by them on my way to the Grand Bazaar one morning.

One of the shops we slipped into for a snack had some amazing, yummy sweets! =3

One last monument pic for the road!

Wandering Around Selçuk


Selçuk is the city we stayed at in Ephesus. It was such a nice little town ^^ There were some beautiful ruins, several merchant streets full of cool shops and delicious food =3 Plus, our hosts were just amazing. I think we found the sweetest guys in town!

This cutie pie is Zuzu! I stopped to pet her and ended up making friends with the shop owner. One of the amazing things about Turkey is that everyone is so incredibly nice (and not in that “I’m being nice to you so you’ll buy my wares and then you can be off on your way” kind of nice… they’re very genuine, friendly people!)

I found a turtle while Alex and I were walking around looking at ruins!

I took a lot of pictures of cute homes and hotels in Turkey too O=] I wanted to remember the quaint, almost French feel of it. I can’t quite pin it down, but it reminded me, not of Paris, but of the French countryside just a little bit.

I loved the way the vines formed a thin canopy up above our heads!

Just like the one pictured below, most of the neat buildings we encountered were hotels/bed & breakfasts or restaurants.

So colorful!

Alex really liked this place….

We came back to this place for dinner later that day! The lady just seemed so sweet, and she was so happy (maybe a little surprised?) when we came back!

Below is the tall, white building inside the wall. You can sort of see it on the right side of the picture above…

There was a street called “Love Street” in downtown Selçuk. Cute, huh?!

We found this fountain nearby (if I remember correctly! It’s been a month but I took so many pictures I’m still posting the ones from Turkey and editing the ones from Hong Kong ><‘)

And now for dinner pictures =3 These were grape leaves wrapped around rice and all sorts of yummy ingredients. Yum!!

Om nom nom =3

If you ever go to Turkey, you must try the yogurt drink!

I don’t quite remember what the yellow stuff was …. but click on the picture for a larger view.

The restaurant was so beautiful at night =] And there was almost no one else there for a bit! Everyone started showing up around 9pm.

There was even a hookah lounge in there!

Alex is a pro…

Great note to end the night on! =]

The Ancient Greek City of Ephesus


We stopped to check these ruins out on our way to the ruins of Ephesus, an ancient Greek city. I don’t remember what this place was called but hopefully Alex does–I’ll see if I can get him to post it in the comments O=]

We found this cool casket in the ruins, like a fancy cemetary!

Ephesus, the ruins of the ancient Greek city

First thing we saw upon entering the ruins (they’re gated off like a big park) was this huge coliseum off to the side. We followed the throng of people ahead of us there…

All the ruins inside the park were just gorgeous! It felt like I was walking around a piece of history. It was all worn down… and felt very mysterious. I guess it made me wonder who the people who used to live there were, how they lived, what they did…

There were a few short tunnels here and there!

Pretty, huh? ^^

New Facebook profile picture!

There were tons of cute kitties running all over the place =3

More pictures from my travels here!