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. 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:

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!

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.☺️

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.

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.

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 ( )- 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!

10 Things You Must Do In Osaka!

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Japan. I love everything about the country. The food, the culture, the people, the shopping… EVERYTHING!

In 2018, after I left from a year in Thailand, I went to Japan for almost 2 weeks. But that still was not enough time to really see the country. I’d love to go back one day and explore other cities as well. On this trip I got to visit Tokyo, Kyoto and Osaka. I loved all of the cities in different ways. I ended my trip in Osaka… and it was absolutely lovely.

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!

Here I have compiled a list of things you MUST DO in Osaka! (in no particular order)

  • Go to Shinsekai! – Shinsekai is an old neighborhood in Osaka City’s downtown “Minami” area. It was neglected after World War II and has become one of Japan’s poorest areas. It also got a very bad reputation for being Osaka’s most dangerous area. But Shinsekai boasts a very colorful history and unique identity. Although, this part of Osaka was said to have a very negative depiction, I didn’t feel that at all! I even stayed in Shinsekai during my stay. My hotel was quite nice and there were so many restaurants, shopping and bars within walking distance. I didn’t feel unsafe at all, even during the night. I walked around at night a few times by myself and never felt that I was in danger whatsoever. (We all know that Japan is also one of the most safest countries in the world.) We stayed at the Hotel Vertex Osaka… I highly recommend this hotel. It was very affordable, clean, quite spacious and near so many things and was walking distance to the subway station.

  • Eat Ramen! – Well, I mean, you NEED to eat ramen if you go to Japan, whether it be in Tokyo, Osaka… or any other city. But this ramen was my favorite! I forgot the name of the ramen shop… but it was literally right next to our hotel… (Hotel Vertex Osaka) definitely stop by and eat some ramen here! The spicy miso ramen was SOOOOOOOO GOOD!

  • Go to Dotonbori! – A really touristy place but definitely worth visiting. It is one of the most iconic places in Osaka. There is Dotonbori Street and Dotonboru Canal. This is the best place to try some amazing Japanese street food and also people watch! There’s great shopping and tons of restaurants and bars as well.
The famous Glico Man

  • Try Takoyaki! – Takoyaki is a little ball of batter with octopus. I know, that may sound weird to some… but it’s really good. Trust me! It’s the classic Japanese street food. (I got some really delicious takoyaki in Dotonbori!)

  • Go to Osaka Castle! – I LOVE visiting castles on my travels. It’s one of my most favorite things to do. I am obsessed with castles and the history behind all of them. Plan to spend at least half a day here… there is a lot to see in and around the castle!

  • Visit Tempozan Giant Ferris Wheel – You can see some amazing views of Osaka at the top! There’s also the Osaka Aquarium and Legoland nearby!

  • Spend a day at Universal Studios Osaka! – I HAD SO MUCH FUN here… I absolutely love Universal Studios! I’ve been to 3 out of the 4 that they have in the world… and it never disappoints!
Harry Potter World🤓

  • Try Hokkaido Milk Ice Cream – This ice cream was so delicious! You must try it!

  • Eat Kushikatsu! – Originally from Osaka, this is a must try while visiting the city. Kushikatsu is a Japanese dish of deep fried skewered meat and vegetables, usually served with raw cabbage leaves and dipping sauces.

  • Ride a boat down Dotonbori Canal! – I had so much fun riding down the canal and looking at all of the cool buildings. The tour guide also tells you bit of history of the city and Dotonbori.

One more I wanted to add…

Get a drink at Starbucks! – I know what you’re thinking… go all the way to Japan to drink Starbucks?! But trust me… I always make it a point to go to Starbucks in Asian countries… they always have the most unique flavors that you obviously cannot get in the states. In Japan they have sakura inspired drinks and other different flavors. (I tried the yuzu iced tea… it was delicious! btw – also very expensive as with a lot of other things in Japan… but hey! Gotta splurge once in awhile!)

There’s so much to see and do in Osaka… I only had a few days so this is what I did! If you’re short on time as well… I hope this list helps. I also hope that you fall in love with Japan as much as I did.

Happy traveling!

The Must Go To Photo Spots In Vegas!

I was born and raised in Vegas and I’ve worked on The Strip for many, many years so I don’t really like going there unless I’m going to work. I haven’t done the “tourist” stuff in a VERY, very long time as well. But with this recent lock down… I’ve had time to go and explore this beautiful city that I call home. It’s been really fun and I’ve actually wondered why I hadn’t done this sooner.

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!

Here are some of my favorite spots for the best photos in Vegas!

The Las Vegas Sign – This is obviously a MUST. If you don’t get a photo here… did you really go to Vegas??

Venetian Hotel – The beautiful blue water and the cute gondolas in the background make for a really cute photo!

Fashion Show Mall – It’s been so long that I’ve actually gone to the outside area of the mall… I didn’t even know that they had painted the stairs! I’m not sure how long these stairs will remain painted… but definitely a cute spot to take some photos! (facing LV Boulevard)

The Mirage – The volcano and waterfalls are currently shut down but the dolphin statues and palm trees make for a beautiful backdrop! (bonus if the volcanos are in action!)

Caesars Palace – There are so many places at Caesars Palace, both inside and outside to get some amazing photos! Definitely one spot not to miss is the Trevi Fountain outside on LV Boulevard.

Bellagio – Featured in so many movies… there’s a reason why this place is a MUST stop for the best Instagram photo!

NYNY Hotel – From the Statue of Liberty to a small replica of the Brooklyn Bridge… NYNY hotel has some really cute photo spot ops!

Seven Magic Mountains – Off the strip… this is a really cute place to check out!

P.S. If you currently live in Vegas and haven’t gone down to the strip yet during this lock down… I highly recommend grabbing a bike and checking it out! I’m pretty sure there will never be another time like this. Do it while you can!

Hope everyone’s staying safe and sane!♥️

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