The kind of coffee we indulge in is second-wave coffee — chocolatey, milky, eclectic sophistication. So it makes sense that we fancy coffee in the PNW, since Seattle is kind of the capital of second-wave coffee.
In Rome, one of the hardest challenges a gastro-tourist can face is finding a place to eat in an area occupied entirely by tourists. Price gouging for mediocre food, crowded restaurants, and poor service are the hallmarks of eating in areas dedicated to tourism.
Rome’s historic center is no exception to these problems, despite Italy’s culinary fame. However, we avoided all of them when we dined at Tre Pupazzi.
Seattle in May is absolutely gorgeous, and the weather was an incredible reprieve from the Texas heat. The highest ranged around mid-60s, and we didn’t get stuck with any gloom or rain either.
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After spending almost four days in Guangzhou, we took a high speed train to Xiamen. Xiamen, located in Fujian Province, means “door to the house”, referring to the city’s centuries-old role as a gateway to China.
Port Aransas is about four hours away from Austin and is one of the longest barrier islands along the Texas coast. It’s now become a fishing, beach and resort village, and the weather is incredibly nice (though be prepared for extreme humidity and lots of sunscreens, or sunburns, in our case).
The thing about this city is that there’s so much to do, and it really never gets boring because there’s always something fun around the corner.
Ft. Lauderdale, a city just north of Miami, is home to only about 15,000, but don’t let that fool you: this popular tourist destination is at the heart of South Florida’s metropolitan area. It’s also where you’ll find (literally) every rich person’s summer house…
The Moody Gardens in Galveston are home to Iceland, where sculptors have carved a beautiful undersea journey from two million pounds of ice.
Did you know that the O in LOVE (from Philadelphia’s Love Park) is slanted because “love isn’t perfect?”
Known for its importance to the founding of America, Philadelphia is the fifth most populated city in the U.S. and also one of the most culturally and historically-rich (the only World Heritage Center in the U.S.)
As the third most populated city in China, Guangzhou is also the best commercial city on the Chinese mainland, according to Forbes. In Zhujiang New Town, there are underground shopping malls, vehicular tunnels and towering skyscrapers.
Guangzhou is the third largest (population wise) city in China, and is located on the Pearl River. It has an rich history of over 2200 years and was a major terminus of the maritime Silk Road and today, still serves as a major port and transportation hub.
At the beginning of August, my dad and I took a week long trip up to Maine, as well as a small trip to Boston and Mount Washington.
Huntington Garden is a beautiful spot to visit in Pasadena. They have gorgeous desert plants, as well as Chinese and Japanese gardens that are so beautifully laid out and designed.
798 Art Zone is located at a defunct military factory in Beijing, and the buildings each have a very unique architectural style reminiscent of both the time in which the military factory was still in use and more modern elements.
They say to save the best for last — and I’ll be the first to say that the food along the Silk Road was the best — so here’s the final post of the Silk Road series: FOOD!
Xinjiang was our final stop on the Silk Route, thus concluding our two-week long (pre-covid) trip that began in Xi’an and passed through three uniquely beautiful provinces. But perhaps more interesting than the scenery were the people themselves, a diverse and hospitable group who truly treasured their heritage, and their lifestyles.
And now we’re on the last segment of our (pre-covid) trip…welcome to Urumqi, Xinjiang! Now, Xinjiang is the largest province in China, almost 1/6 of the entire country. Additionally, it’s also the most ethnically and culturally diverse area in China. Out of all our stops along the Silk Road, we spent the most time here, yet could only explore a tiny, tiny portion of the province. Hopefully, I’ll be able to visit again later!
As we get ready to leave Gansu, it’s inevitable that we pass through the city of Dunhuang, which is a city right on the edge of the province. Strategically located at the crossroads of the ancient Silk Road and the main road leading from India, Dunhuang also controls the entrance into the heart of China.
Gansu was, to me, the best part of our adventure along the Silk Road. Lying between the Tibetan and the Huangtu plateau, Gansu is incredibly dry (so bring lotion!) yet contains so many treasures that attest to the power, beauty and reputation of China during the days of the Silk Road.
Next up along the Silk Road is Qinghai Province (formerly known as Kokonor). Although fourth-largest in size, Qinghai is the third-to-last of all provinces population-wise.
Xi’an is known as the ancient capital of China because it is one of the oldest cities in the country, the capital of both the Han and the Tang Dynasty, the starting point of the Silk Road and the home of the burial mounds of many historically important emperors (and one empress). Today, it’s become a historically rich and vibrant city, home to 8 million people.
Qingdao, known as China’s Sailing City, is both a major port and an industrial centre situated right on the east coast of China in Shandong Province (China has thirty provinces — they’re kind of like the states here in the U.S.). In Chinese, Qingdao means “greenish-blue island,” and that description is entirely true.
My three-week long trip (that happened a long time ago!) to Italy & Switzerland introduced me to a few dishes and snacks that I’d like to share with you. While I’m not certain I can provide you any recipes, I promise they’re very good, and that if you have the chance, should definitely go try some! Hope you enjoy the photos as we reminisce of the past — and look forward to the future!
Tirano is a small town in the province of Sondrio in northern Italy is adjacent to the Switzerland-Italy boundary.
After two weeks in Davos, we stopped by Zürich, the capital, for a couple of days. The atmosphere of the two places are polar opposite—one is the bustling capital of the financially-stable nation; the other, a pretty, relaxed small village at the foot of the Alps.
Again, a few summers ago, I got to visit the lovely town of Davos. Davos may sound familiar, as it’s where the annual World Economic Forum is held. But it’s also a quaint, iconic-ly small European town.
Two years ago, we spent a couple of weeks in Switzerland. Our destination was Davos, the highest city in Europe.
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