let’s have a tea party.

Earlier this month, I threw Natalie, my brother’s fiancee, a bridal shower. She’s a huge fan of Alice in Wonderland, so I thought it would be fun to throw a tea party with her family and closest friends.

We sipped tea and ate tea sandwiches.

We, of course, even played bridal shower games.

Yup, that included the toilet paper bridal dress game.

…and the three beautiful decked out in toilet paper brides:

Delicious tea, yummy food, and games?! I’d say it was a very productive day, hehe.

PS: Thank you G, Ali, Ann, and Shaleen for all of your help!

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only a month later: the 4th weekend.

For crying out loud, Sarah! When are you ever going to post right after an event happens?! Well, I guess it’s better late than never.

We spent our 4th of July weekend up at my parents’ place, and we did the usual – family time, barbecue, and fireworks. No complaints there! Well, the heat was definitely a complaint, but other than that, it was all good.

As you can see, it looked pretty eventful.

I still need to post about Nat’s bridal shower. Perhaps I’ll actually get to that before their wedding day, haha! We shall see.

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when you wish upon a star.

My cousin had never been to Disneyland before, so we thought it would be fun to take her as a reward forΒ getting such good grades this past school year! It’s always fun to take a first-timer to Disneyland; it’s like you can feel their anticipation and excitement. I mean, c’mon, even when you’re a grown adult, you’re excited. Need proof? See picture below, haha.

Her first character meeting was with Mickey, but I don’t have that on my SLR. Those are all on G’s phone. How cool is that?! Meeting Mickey right when you enter the park!

The kiddo was super excited to drive! Who wouldn’t be excited to drive in Disneyland [especially when the wait time for Autopia was only ten minutes]?!

Below is a picture of us before doing Haunted Mansion. Surprisingly, the wait time for this ride was only five minutes. Yippee!

After Haunted Mansion, they all went on Splash Mountain [I always sit this one out].

You can’t go to Disneyland without taking the obligatory castle photo and playing in Fantasyland.

I love my cousin’s commentary on the It’s a Small World ride: “These dolls are creepy”. Gotta love a nine year old’s remarks!

We also played in the wacky Toon Town.

In hindsight, I should’ve taken more pictures. I kept forgetting to take the camera out. Argh! I guess there’s always next time. Anyway, here are a few more random photos from our day in Disneyland:

Yup, there you have it, K’s first time in Disneyland. She really enjoyed it, so I’m pretty sure we’ll be coming back with her again next year.

Wishing everyone a wonderful [and safe] 4th of July!

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hello, yosemite.

It had been about a year since our last trip out to Yosemite, so being back in the park was much needed. This time it was for our annual summer get together with the family. We brought the dogs; they are, indeed, a part of our family.

The next morning the dogs jumped into the The Burley, and we took a bike ride around the valley floor. The dogs love the ride!

We biked to the trail head of Lower Yosemite Falls and took the dogs on a short morning walk to the bottom of the falls.

We continued to loop around the valley and even stopped to enjoy the views of the meadows.

Later that afternoon, we drove up to Glacier Point to enjoy the view. I have to admit, the view from up here never gets old.

On the way back to our campsite, Maui and Hilo were taking total advantage of Grandma and Granpda, haha! Free love and scratches.

Last but not least, my parents were totally utilizing the Christmas present we got them, an Eno hammock. Silly parents!

Although our trip was short, it was still a fun little getaway for the weekend. Hopefully, we’ll be able to visit before the season ends because I really want to get back on the trails [without the dogs, of course]. I still want to conquer some of the more strenuous ones. Maybe one day.

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hello, seattle.

Now on to my recap about our Pacific Northwest [mostly Seattle] trip earlier this month.

We landed late afternoon, so by the time we arrived at the W Seattle, we were in need of some dinner. We hit up Nijo Sushi, which I thought was delightful.

What a great way to start off eating in this foodie city! We then walked towards the pier to watch the sunset.

The next morning we drove to Olympic National Park. The neat thing about this particular park is the different terrains. On the coastal side sits the Pacific Ocean; whereas on the other side, it has gorgeous mountain ranges.

We hit up the coastal side first.

…and we hiked down to the picturesque beach to play in the tidepools.

We saw a handful of orcas playing off the coast, but unfortunately, I didn’t have the camera ready in time to snap pictures. It was my first time seeing them in the wild. Totally frightening!

I forgot to mention that Olympic National Park also has rainforest terrain. We spent some time walking the rainforest floor, and it was a wonderful breath of fresh air.

We then ventured towards the coast again. We passed the city of Forks along the way. Yes, that’s the vampire/werewolf town from the Twilight books. No, we didn’t see any crazy creatures. Haha! I did find it funny that there were people posing next to the Twilight signs and posters, haha!

The coast is so picturesque. Quite honestly, I have hundreds of photos, but I’ll spare you from looking at all of them.

We eventually made it up towards Hurricane Ridge, where there’s a phenomenal view of the mountain range located inside Olympic National Park.

Don’t the hills resemble the hills from the Sound of Music?! That was what I first thought when we got to the top. Anyway, aren’t the views incredible?!

By the time we got back into the city, it was pretty late, so we decided to have dinner at Shuckers Oyster Bar in the Fairmont.

Mmm, it was delicious, especially the slice of chocolate cake!

The next day [while G had to go to some work thing] I went to meet up with one of my high school friends to explore the city. I love all of the vibrant colors in the market.

We also checked out the gum wall again. It always grosses me out, so I have no idea why I took pictures of it.

We also had to drop in for a coffee at the first Starbucks store.

Later that evening, we had dinner on the waterfront at The Crab Pot. If you order the strawberry rhubarb, just know that it’s a whole loaf of yellow cake! I was expecting a slice of cake, and our waiter came out with a whole loaf pan. Needless to say, we didn’t finish even half of it, haha!

On a different day [after G was done working], we visited the Chihuly Garden and Glass venue. I love his work, so to see a handful of it was spectacular. The glass pieces looked incredible.

…and I had to take obligatory photos of the Space Needle. We decided not to go to the top because we went up it a couple of years ago, so I just snapped photos from below.

On our last day in the city, we drive a couple of hours to visit Mount Rainier National Park. It’s definitely a sight to see. I was actually surprised that the majority of the snow hadn’t melted down yet.

Some of the snow obviously melted because the park houses waterfalls all around the park. Here are just a couple of them:

After we visited the park, it was time to head back to the airport. Thank goodness our flight wasn’t too delayed.

It was nice to spend a week up in the Pacific Northwest, but it felt nice to be flying back home. Actually, after a month of being on the road, it was nice to finally spend some time at home. I love traveling and all, but sometimes, there’s nothing like being in the comfort of your own home.

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hello, washington, d.c.

After spending the week[end] with my parents, G and I thought it would be fun to drive down to Washington, D.C. and spend Memorial Day there. We didn’t stay long, but it was still fun to check out some of the sites.

Here are some snapshots of the Washington and Jefferson Memorials:

Then, we walked along Pennsylvania Avenue and peeked through the gates to see the White House.

We also got to see the historical United State Supreme Court. It’s neat to witness where our country’s laws get passed.

It was really hot and humid that day, so we scurried across the street to check out the United State Capitol. The architecture on this building is incredible.

Lastly, we stopped by the Library of Congress.

Before the sun started to set, we needed to head back up towards NYC.

Although it was only for a short time period, it was fun to enjoy the holiday exploring our nation’s capitol. I managed to obtain a ton of NPS cancellation stamps in just one day, so I’m excited about that. Hopefully, next time we will have more time to check out all of the Smithsonians. In the mean time, I’m just happy that we got to visit.

I still have more blogging to come. The Pacific Northwest post is coming soon!

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hello again, nyc.

I have been in and out of NYC this past year a handful of times, and I’m totally in love with the city life. It’s like I can’t get enough of it. The last time I was in the city, however, was different. We invited my parents to come hang out with us for the week. We spent the week showing them all of the tourist traps [and eating delicious food].

Before we actually headed into the city, we were stationed in Bergen County. We took Mom and Dad out to dinner at Gao Thai Kitchen, one of my favorite Thai restaurants in the tri-state area. I’m glad they both really loved it.

We even took them to have their first Shake Shack experience. Mom totally loved the ‘shroom burger just like I expected [we like the same kinds of food], and Dad really enjoyed his frozen custard.

On our first day in the city, I showed them how to use the subway.

Then, it was off to Battery Park to catch our ferry to Liberty Island.

It was a foggy day in the city, so I didn’t get a clear shot of the skyline, but we still had fun taking pictures in front of Lady Liberty.

After walking around Liberty Island, we hopped on the ferry to get to Ellis Island. I love the historical aspect of this island; there is so much to see [and learn].

…and then, we tried taking pictures with the skyline in the background, but the fog wouldn’t dissipate.

We spent time examining the name wall, then back on the ferry to Manhattan.

Next stop on our agenda was the Wall Street area. I took them to Federal Hall first because I needed to get my NPS cancellation stamp [yup, I collect those stamps].

Showed my parents the NYSE.

…and the famous Grand Central terminal as well:

The next day, we had to take them to [in my opinion, the best ramen ever!] Ippudo. Just as expected, they absolutely loved their bowls of ramen.

G and I took them to Times Square. They were in awe of all the lights.

..and before heading back to the Westin Grand Central, I wanted to make a stop in Soho to do some shopping with Mom.

I forgot to take pictures of our spacious suite before we got situated, but here’s some pretty views from our the window:

The next morning we all went to mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Afterwards, we headed towards the Rockefeller Plaza.

We were fortunate that it was a clear day because the views from up top the Rockefeller were ideal.

Everytime I see this picture of my Dad, I can’t help but laugh. What a goofball!

For lunch, we grabbed a beat to eat at the Chelsea Market, and later stopped to eat up on the Chelsea Highline.

Before we headed back to the hotel to rest up, we stopped at Washington Square Park [my favorite spot on the Manhattan map], just to enjoy the warm weather.

Later that afternoon, my parents really wanted to see the 9/11 Memorial site. They haven’t been in the city since 2004 [it still looked like Ground Zero then], so it has drastically changed since then. Besides, it was only a couple days after the new museum’s opening, so it was a perfect opportunity to take them.

Being by the Freedom Towers always gets me. If you plan on visiting the Memorial, expect a lot of graphic images and videos of the events that happened that day. If you don’t want to relive the events of the day, I don’t recommend walking through parts of the museum. It was pretty hard for me to get through itΒ because I remember the terror I felt that day so vividly.

The next day, we dropped my parents off at the airport, and on to Washington, D.C. it was for me and G. I’ll save that for another post though.Β It feels likeΒ I’m never going to catch up with all of this blogging, hehe.

Stay tuned!

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