Day Trip To Death Valley

I’m actually not sure if I’ve ever been to Death Valley before this… and if I had, it was probably when I was really young because I don’t remember.

Not sure why I hadn’t gone sooner as an adult… it’s so close to Vegas and it’s really beautiful! As I was driving, it looked as if I were on a different planet!😯The colors and shapes of the mountains were unlike anything I have ever seen.

How to get there:

From Las Vegas, it’s about a 2 hour drive. You’ll drive through Pahrump but after Pahrump, there really isn’t anything… so, make sure you have a full tank of gas and some food for lunch. (Oh, right before you get to Death Valley, there is this small, abandoned town that is a bit creepy but kind of interesting to look at!)😛

It is $30 for a day pass. Which seemed a bit pricey but seeing how many different trails there were inside Death Valley, it could’ve been worth it. I wish I had set out a bit earlier… Got there around 12:45pm. Definitely was not enough time to hike more than a few trails. I would suggest leaving Vegas around 8-9am.

Must see spots:

Badwater Basin: A lot of parking. Easy hike.

Golden Canyon: Parking lot. Moderate level hike.

Zabriskie Point: There is a parking lot and a little hike to get to the top but we just parked on the side and adventured on our own path.

Since we didn’t have a lot of time that day… I definitely want to go back and see and do more of the hiking trails next time.

I’ve seen pictures of Artist’s Palette and it looks absolutely beautiful. Would love to do that one next time I go!

Death Valley is a definite must if you’re in Vegas!

Happy exploring!

L.A. In Two Days

I haven’t been able to travel abroad in over a year now… because of this pandemic. Yes, it’s been difficult, given the fact, that I used to travel at least every few months or so… and I’ve been really sad that I didn’t reach my #35before35 goal… but I can only take positives from this negative. I’ve been exploring my own hometown and have also been taking many road trips. I realized that there is actually so much to do so close to home!

I recently went to L.A. and even though, a lot of places were still shut down… I made the best of it. Looking for a quick little getaway?… California is the best!

Day 1:

Go to Canyon Lake Drive to spot the HOLLYWOOD SIGN. They recently made it harder to get close to the sign but you can still see it from the viewpoints. Parking is free as well.😊

Drive around Beverly Hills and check out all of the beautiful homes. Take a picture in the middle of the street with all of the palm trees! #instagramworthy !

Go check out the Griffith Observatory. Unfortunately, when we had gone… it was still closed. But, the views up there were still amazing! Note: You do have to pay to park.

Grab food at Neptune’s Net and eat on the beach! (with a lot of restaurants still being closed and only doing take away… this is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and have a picnic!)

Day 2:

Walk around Venice Beach. Take a photo at the Venice sign! You’ll find this on Pacific and Windward.

Want to splurge? Or looking for a great place for a date night? ~ Check out Nobu Malibu! The views here are amaaazing. AND of course, the food is SO GOOD.

LACMA – If you’re in L.A., you’ve got to check out the beautiful lights at LACMA.

Check out Little Tokyo! Check out the cute shops and grab some food! I loved the onigiris at Rice & Nori! We got a few onigiris and a cucumber salad and drove down to Laguna and ate lunch on the beach. It was perfect!

Last day:

Before we headed back home… we decided to check out the Farmers Market. There’s a lot of different food stalls and some restaurants. It is a little pricey, but it was fun to also just walk around.

SKIP: I don’t recommend going to the Hollywood Stars and Chinese Theater. I was so excited to check it out because the last time I had gone was probably when I was a kid. But this area has changed so much. It was really dirty, a little sketchy and there were a lot of homeless around. Parking was also $17! Not worth it at all.

Even though, travel has been restricted significantly for some… I hope you’re at least making the best of it and adventuring around your own city or to nearby places!

Happy exploring!

Note: I went back in July of 2020. Check with the current travel restrictions in California before planning your trip.

Mammoth In The Summer

Before, I usually thought of just snow and snow activities when I thought of Mammoth. I didn’t realize that it’s actually a great place to go in the summer months as well!

There’s so much to do there and so many beautiful spots to check out! I wish I had stayed a few more days so that I could’ve done some more activities. But I will definitely be back!

From Vegas, Mammoth is about a 5 hour drive. We set out super early in the morning and arrived in Mammoth around 10:30am. We grabbed some lunch and then headed straight to the hiking trails. Devil’s Post Pile and Rainbow Falls is a must! The hike was pretty easy and the waterfall at the end is SO BEAUTIFUL! It’s a 5 mile hike roundtrip to the falls and back. You can go all the way down to the waterfall and get into the water. It was FREEZING tho! I saw some people swimming… I’m not sure how they did that! I just put my feet in and it was so cold! But it felt really refreshing after the hike.

Devil’s Post Pile
Rainbow Falls
Rainbow Falls

After the hike, we drove to June Lake, which is about a 30 minute drive from Devil’s Post Pile. It’s a beautiful lake surrounded by trees! It was a bit windy when we went but still relaxing nonetheless.

June Lake

It was about 5pm, so we headed to our hotel to check in. We stayed at Sierra Lodge. http://www.sierralodge.com The room was pretty nice but the door and walls are really thin that we could hear everything outside. BUT for the price and the location, it was perfect for us. It is close to so many restaurants and bars. You can even walk to The Village (a cute little area with shops, bars, restaurants)

The Village in the day
The Village at night

We had dinner at Toomey’s. We read that this place was good so we wanted to check it out. It was good! And the staff were so nice and super friendly! (p.s. if you’re going out to dine right now (during this pandemic)… and if you enjoyed the service provided by your server.. please tip extra if you can! I was a server for a very long time and I know how hard it is.. but it’s gotta be even harder right now for them. Take care of them please.)

After dinner, we walked around The Village. It’s beautiful at night! With all of the lights… it felt like Christmas in July.

The next morning we woke up early to go kayaking but unfortunately, the wind had other plans for us. So, we just checked out Crowley Lake and had lunch there. (for lunch we got some protein bowls and juice shots from Elixir.. super good spot!)

I read that there were these really cool looking columns at Crowley Lake… so we set off to find them. Got lost a few times, went off roading but no luck. If you find them, let me know! Sad I didn’t find it.

But in trying to find the columns, we stumbled on some beautiful views and stopped to say hello to some cow friends.

Benton Crossing

If you have more time, I definitely say go KAYAKING! and also mountain bike up those beautiful mountains. You can take the gondola to the top and ride! How awesome is that?!? Next time for me…

Happy exploring!

Gilcrease Orchard (Las Vegas)

I finally got to visit a place that I have been wanting to go to for years! Gilcrease Orchard! It is a family owned farm in the Northwest part of Las Vegas. You wouldn’t imagine there would be something like this in the city but there is!

It’s located on N Tenaya Way. Exact address: (7800 N Tenaya Way, Las Vegas, NV 89131)

I live in the Southwest part of Las Vegas and it took about 30 minutes to get there. There is plenty of free parking and it is also free to enter!

They’re currently open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 7am-10am. For any updates visit their website: thegilcreaseorchard.org

I recommend getting there super early! We got there at 7:30am and there were already a lot of people! Some of the good produce was all taken already!

They have peaches, apples, melons, tomatoes, spaghetti squash, butternut squash, zucchini, cucumbers, eggplants, watermelon, onions and the most delicious fresh peanut butter! They also have almond butter, black garlic and olive oil at the registers.

Bring your own bags! (they do provide you with some, if you need, but they’re plastic.) So, bring your own reusable or paper bags.😊

The prices are determined by weight. But everything is very reasonably priced!

If you go now, (Vegas summer), be prepared for the heat. Even at 7am, it was really hot! Wear a hat and plenty of sunblock.

I heard during the Fall, they have some delicious seasonal goodies and a pumpkin patch! I’ll definitely have to go back around Halloween!

It is really cool to see something like this in a busy city like Las Vegas. Hopefully there will be more one day.

Happy exploring!

Ways to Stay Fit While Traveling

Exercise is sometimes already hard to get in on a daily basis… it’s harder while you’re traveling. But, I always try to get a little bit of exercise in on my travels.


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The best way in my opinion is to WALK! It also saves a ton of money on transportation… I literally walk almost everywhere I can while I travel. On some days I have walked over 10 miles a day!

Another great way to stay fit while traveling is to use resistance bands. They’re easy to pack! Super lightweight but really work out those muscles. You can use them for both a great leg and arm workout!

This is one that I recommend! I have used other resistance bands, and they unfortunately ripped over time. These are super durable and also really cute!

I also love renting bikes and biking all over the city. But it also depends on what city you’re in. Many cities in Europe have bikes all around the city and most people who live there bike regularly. Great way to explore the city as well!

Happy exploring! Stay healthy!

Instagram Worthy Spots in Vegas (off The Strip)

I think we all know that there are many places to get some awesome photos in Vegas.. but most people think there’s only The Strip to do that. Wrong! There are so many other places around the city to get some amazing, instagram worthy photos!

Most of these places that I have included are completely free or very cheap! We all like that right?😊

~ Neon Museum: (Cheap) They were having a discount for locals that was only $10 for admission. I’m not sure what the regular price is… but if and when they have a discount, jump on it for sure! It’s a guided tour as well… so you get some interesting info behind some of the iconic Las Vegas signs.

[ Located in Downtown Las Vegas. ]

~ Historic Railroad Tunnel Way: (Free) I actually never knew this existed until recently! It’s quite a hike to get to the last tunnel but I think it is pretty cool and worth it.

[ Located near Lake Mead. Head toward Boulder Beach, it will be the parking lot on the right side. Parking is free! ]

~ Red Rock Canyon: It’s way too hot to visit Red Rock in the summer.. but in the cooler months, I love hiking and exploring the mountains and different hiking trails. It’s beautiful!

~ Lake Las Vegas: (Free) This is one of my favorite places to visit in Vegas… it seems like you’re in a different country. Right on the water, the buildings are so beautiful! I suggest checking it out both in the day and at night.

~ Bellagio Conservatory: (Free) They change the themes here every so often… I’ve never seen one that wasn’t beautiful. A definite must for some awesome photos!

~ Wheel of Misfortune: (Free) Not a super popular place but I had fun exploring here for the day. It’s a good thing that it’s not so popular, you can manage to get a lot of good photos without anyone in them!

[ Located near Lake Las Vegas. You will pass the entrance for Lake Las Vegas, drive about 5 minutes. You will see a boat storage and a bicycle rental shop on the right. You can park there and then you will hike up to the desert. It will be about a 10 minute walk to the Wheel of Misfortune ]

~ Downtown Las Vegas: Another one of my favorite places in the city! I LOVE DTLV. There’s so much to see and do there and it’s very different from The Strip. There’s beautiful street art everywhere. Some places in DTLV that I recommend for some IG worthy photos… Ferguson’s Downtown, Art District, Fremont Street, Container Park. Honestly, there’s so many places to snap some great photos in DTLV. Just walk around and explore!

Happy exploring!

Why I Fell In Love With Amsterdam

Amsterdam had always been at the top of my bucket list of places I wanted to visit… I finally made it happen last year and it was everything I imagined it would be and more.

Amsterdam is absolutely beautiful. The pictures that you see on the internet… it really is that breathtaking.

The flower markets, the canals, the cute little buildings everywhere… how can you not fall in love with Amsterdam?

Where to stay: Hotel Asterisk – I loved the hotel that I stayed at… the room was pretty small (European hotels are usually very small, so it was expected) but cozy and had everything that I needed. The staff was extremely friendly and welcoming. But the best part, was the location. It is near many restaurants, bars, shopping… about a 10 minute walk to the Heineken Brewery and many other attractions. The museum quarter is also close.

They also gave me a cute gift when I checked out. I remember and appreciate the little things like this.☺️

asteriskhotel.nl

What to eat: Stroopwafel. O M G. Yum. These can be addicting… pair it with a delicious cup of coffee or latte and you’ll be hooked.

What to see: definitely check out the flower markets… you can pick up some cute souvenirs or just enjoy all of the beautiful tulips and other cute trinkets.

~ if you like visiting museums… there are some really great ones here in Amsterdam. The Van Gogh Museum can get busy so check to see if you can purchase tickets online first so you can get a good time slot. Otherwise the lines can get long. https://www.vangoghmuseum.nl/en

What to do: Anne Frank’s house, in my opinion, is an absolute must. They only sell a limited amount of tickets per day, so make sure to book that way in advance. https://www.annefrank.org/en/museum/tickets/

Writing about Amsterdam is making me want to go back! I hope you will fall in love just as much as I did with this beautiful city.

Happy traveling! (Dag! ~ “good day!”)

How To Spend Two Days in Belgium

I really wish I had spent a few more days in Belgium… because as soon as I got there, I just fell in love with the country. Everything is so beautiful and everyone is so friendly and nice.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough time to spend more than a few days here because I was on a tight time crunch for the rest of my Europe journey. But nonetheless, I still had an amazing time in Belgium!

If you’re short on time as well… I have made a list of things that are MUST Do’s.

Note: I stayed in the City Center area… which was close to shopping, many restaurants, bars, the train station… etc.

The hotel I stayed at: Hygge Hotel ( hyggehotel.be )- I highly recommend this hotel! It wasn’t cheap but definitely was on the lower price range of hotels in Europe… (hotels in Europe can be very expensive) It is also bigger than most hotels as well. I’ve stayed in a bunch of hotels in Europe that were the size of closets and were $100+ a night. This hotel had large private bathrooms, spacious rooms with large beds and beautiful windows all around to view the city. I LOVED this hotel. It was one of my favorites on my European trip last year.


Note: This post contains some affiliate links. Just so you know, if you use the links to make a purchase, I may receive a small commission or compensation from the links on this page… but at no extra cost to you! Thank you for your support!


Walk around Avenue Louise – This is a lively neighborhood close to the city center. There are tons of bars and restaurants that line the streets. It’s about 10 minutes from the main train station.

Check out the Ferris Wheel at Place Poelaert – Take a stroll around here and the streets at Place Poelaert.

Go to the Place Royale – I woke up super early one morning… and headed out in hopes of capturing some beautiful photos without anyone in them. Success. I got so many amazing photos of the Grand Palace with no one in them! It was also so beautiful to the see sun rising and the early morning fog around the beautiful buildings. Located in the Main Square, it is very easy to find.

Mannekin Pis – It will be crowded with other tourists… but I believe it is a must when visiting Brussels. They change the statues’ clothes every so often… it’s so cute!

Atomium – Years ago I was watching The Amazing Race and they went here… Right then and there… I mentally put it in my list of places to go to. I never forgot. I just HAD to come here on my trip to Brussels. It was pretty cool! It gets crowded, so getting a photo without anyone in it might be a bit difficult.

Day trip to Ghent – This is a MUST. It’s a short train ride from Brussels to Ghent… and totally worth it. Ghent is so beautiful! It’s one of the cutest little towns I have ever seen. I wanted to stay there all day but… I had to get back to Belgium. But it definitely is at least a half day trip. You must visit the castle that is there. It is called Gravensteen Castle and is about a 30 minute walk from the train station. The castle dates back to 1180 and was the residence of the Counts of Flanders until 1353. It was re-purposed as a court, prison, mint, and even as a cotton factory. It was restored over 1893-1903 and is now a museum and a major landmark in the city. I walked there to see all of the other beautiful building around the town… but you can take a bus/tram to get there as well.

Sant Nicholas’ Church – A beautiful, beautiful building that looked straight out of a movie. It sort of reminded me of Harry Potter World. Ha.

Eat mussels, frites and have an ice cold beer – After exploring the city for a whole day in the drizzling rain… sitting down to a big bowl of mussels and some delicious Belgian beer was a great way to end the day… any day! ~ Where to find great mussels: Le Marmiton / Beer suggestion: Grimbergen … YUM.

Musee d’Art Modern – The views here are amazing… go early so you can get some awesome photos with no one in them!

I hope you will enjoy Belgium as much as I did!

Happy traveling!

7 Things You Must Do In Hanoi, Vietnam

(writing this post Covid-19 quarantine) As people get excited to travel again… slowly but surely… I’ve been imagining, dreaming, planning, my next travels for awhile now…

If you’re ready to travel again soon too but you’re not sure where to… Vietnam was one of my favorite countries while I was traveling around Southeast Asia. It’s also one of the cheapest countries… so, if you’re on a budget, this is the perfect place!


Note: This post contains some affiliate links. Just so you know, if you use the links to make a purchase, I may receive a small commission or compensation from the links on this page… but at no extra cost to you! Thank you for your support!


Vietnam is crazy, hectic, nothing like I’ve ever experienced or seen… but it’s amazing. The food is crazy cheap but oh so delicious… and the coffee, oh the coffee. Yum.

Go to Hoan Kiem Lake – A lake right in the middle of the busy city. There’s a beautiful red bridge and the Ngoc Son Temple. Take a relaxing stroll around the lake and take in all of the beautiful sights. There’s also a pagoda right in the center of the lake.


Hanoi’s French Quarter – The history of Vietnam is pretty interesting… and if you didn’t really know about it, you’d be surprised to see things that you would imagine seeing in Europe. That is, because the French ruled Vietnam up until 1954. There are many buildings and foods that Vietnam still has that was influenced by the French. This area is quite beautiful to see, but you won’t feel like you’re in Asia.


St. Joseph’s Cathedral – The Notre Dame of Hanoi… that’s exactly what it looks like. Located in the Hoan Kiem District or the Old Quarter… it’s easy to find and you’ll be glad to say that you saw the Notre Dame of Asia. Ha.


Hanoi Old Quarter – Another great area of the city… here, you can find cheap beers, hectic markets, and delicious street food.


Try Egg Coffee – if you love coffee… you must try this at least once! I LOVE coffee. I had read about this and I just knew I had to try it… I also was on a mission to find the BEST egg coffee in the city and I definitely did. They have egg coffees all around the city, but I read that this was the best place in town.. Cafe Giang.


Go to Huong Lien – There’s a place in Hanoi that our former president, Barack Obama and Anthony Bourdain dined at together. I have always loved and admired Bourdain… when I watched that episode, I put it on my list of places I HAD to go to. I had read that there could be really long lines and you’d have to wait forever to get a table… But the day that I went, I got lucky. There wasn’t a line and I sat down right away. They have the table and chairs that Obama and Bourdain sat at encased in a display case. There are many photos of them all around the restaurant. Not only was it cool to go to a place where they had gone… but the food was delicious as well! Order the “Obama Combo”. Trust me.


Eat a Banh Mi – I love Vietnamese food… banh mi is one of my favorites. I did a lot of research to the find the best banh mi in Hanoi… definitely try this place if you get a chance!

Happy traveling!

My Travel Apps (part 1)

Here, I’m going to share with you all of the travel apps that I have on my phone… I do have quite a lot but all of them are necessary! (in my opinion)

I want to start off by saying that traveling isn’t EASY… (unless you’re a millionaire and money is not an issue!) But, if you don’t have money to throw away and are on a budget… you need to do some research to find the best deals and to make your travels smoother and more organized. Yes, it isn’t easy but it isn’t hard either! It just takes some time and patience.

First off, if you only check one or two websites when you’re looking to book a flight… you’re definitely not going to find the best deals. Even 3 websites is not enough. I check about 10, yes 10, different websites and I check them multiple times a day for a few weeks… just to get an idea. I write them all down and then I also check individual airlines’ websites. (booking with the actual airlines, you can accumulate points or rewards)

Once, I find a price that I think is the cheapest it will go, I book it. You’d be surprised at how much of a difference different websites vary in price. For example, when I booked my trip to Malaysia, roundtrip, it was about $130 on one website and another site, the same exact flight was around $300! I don’t know about you but $170 is a lot of money! Any amount of money you can save, do it! Even if it’s only $5! … because it all adds up.

Okay, so, let’s get started with my favorite travel apps/websites:

  1. Skyscanner – This has to be my favorite app to find flights. So far, it usually shows me the cheapest flights and the most as well. (this is great to get an idea and you can either book straight through Skyscanner, or check those airlines’ websites directly)
  2. Hopper – Not always the best but the color coded calendar shows on average how much you would spend if you were to pick those dates. So, this app is great to get just an idea of how much tickets would be.
  3. Kayak – another decent one but I check it to just get an idea again as to what the average prices are.
  4. Expedia – not the cheapest always but if you do find a great price, they offer points that you can use toward future travel or hotels.
  5. CheapOAir – I’ve found a lot of cheap tickets on here especially around Europe.
  6. CheapTickets – similar to CheapOAir, if you get lucky, you can find some great deals.
  7. Norwegian Air – If you’re traveling to Europe, this is the best to check. (if you’re traveling with a lot of luggage, this won’t be the best for you, since they do charge for check in bags) But if you’re traveling light… Norwegian Air is great. I’ve traveled to London from Las Vegas for less than $200!
  8. Trip.com – this is really great for booking flights around Southeast Asia. I’ve found some amazing deals on here while traveling around from Thailand.
  9. App In The Air – you can book flights from this app as well but I don’t use it for that. It’s also an app to keep all of your flight information in one area. For example, if you’re flying to multiple countries, you can have all of your flight info all together, rather than having to search for all of your flight #, boarding pass, etc, etc. It also counts all of the miles that you’ve flown and how many hours total. Pretty cool!
  10. Trip Advisor – I love trip advisor to look up things to do in any city and country. You can also book tours and such directly through the app. It’s useful because you can read others reviews and ratings to find the best deal for you.

This is just part 1. I have a lot more that I’d like to share!😁But I hope this list helps! Stay tuned for part 2.

Happy planning!


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