Chicago Trip

On the first week of June, I took a weekend trip to Chicago for my birthday.  The weather was amazingly good for the first day, and then, cloudy for the day after (I’m told that’s the general Chicago weather).

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I visited a pretty extensive portion of Chicago, walking countless miles for 2 days.  It was fascinating to take in all of the architecture, water, and beach (?!?!).  I think I would definitely like to go back sometime to explore more of it, since I was only there for 2 days.

The traveling itself was pretty horrible though.  First, we missed our flight to Chicago, so we had to rebook and get on a flight 2 hours later (that’s what happens when we try to book a 7AM flight!).  And on coming back, we had a 5 hour delay at the airport because of thunderstorms in New York City… And then turns out it barely rained for 20 minutes here! Wow. We were supposed to get back mid-day, but didn’t end up getting home until 11PM…

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All in all though, lots of fun and cool places to visit, and yummy food to eat.  I loved how historic the Chinatown was!

San Francisco Trip

This month, I took a one week vacation to San Francisco, California; a trip which was long time coming. It was my first vacation in 2 years (my last one was to Japan in 2014, after graduating from grad school), and I enjoyed it by meeting up with many friends, new and old, and exploring the city and the country side.

I purchased a Sony Alpha 6000 for the trip, because I could not imagine bringing my large Nikon D7000 all the way to San Francisco, especially because I wasn’t planning on checking my luggage in. The tune of the trip was “Packing Light, and Budget Tight.” As my friend who let me stay in her apartment remarked, “That camera is probably the most expensive part of the trip.” The second most expensive part was the Ghirardelli Chocolates I bought at the airport for my mom. Hopefully, having a lighter, portable camera will motivate me to take it out and take more photographs.  Practice is what I need (and I’m still very far from getting used to working this new camera), and practice is what I’ll do!

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I spent countless hours in the Golden Gate Park Botanical Garden, and found so many beautiful flowers I’d never seen before, as well as a huge collection of succulents (I love succulents).  I’d never taken a “solitary trip” before, but I am looking forward to many more now that I experienced my first one!

My friend also took me around to see so many gorgeous places, and I was blown away by all the different terrains that one tiny city had to offer (anything from the beach, a desert, to marshland).  We even walked through clouds right outside San Francisco!

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I was also able to finally attend the Annual Aneurysm and AVM Foundation Awareness Walk in Crissy Field, which put me right next to the Golden Gate Bridge, so I had an amazing time there, and was able to take in the gorgeous views.  There were a couple of people taking photographs there (including MahVentural Photography, who uploaded a whole album for us). And there were even some of us!

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Photograph by MahVentura Photography (May 2016)

Of course, there is absolutely no way I could explore everything in four days, so I am definitely going to have to go back, but I was completely mesmerized by the views and landscapes (I LOVED the hills…).  Until then, the photos I took will have to suffice to remind me the sun I’m missing on the West Coast!