Mumford & Sons 2013

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It seems that all my bridges have been burnt
But you say that’s exactly how this grace thing works.

It’s not the long walk home that will change this heart
But the welcome I receive with every start”

“Roll Away Your Stone”
Mumford & Sons
June, 2013

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Seattle 2013

Next, I traveled to Seattle in March to reunite with JCC.  The last time I went to Seattle, this happened:

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I really love Seattle and had such a great time with great friends!  Sadly, someone got really sick and couldn’t partake in some of the activities, nevertheless she was such a selfless trooper!  What a great memory to share and I enjoyed every moment together as JECC.

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When we arrived, we went straight to Salumi’s (thanks for the rec, Jason!).  We strategically planned our days so that we could try everything we wanted to and do everything that we wanted.  So, we picked up a sandwich form Salumi’s, then dropped off our luggage, and went to:

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Paseo!  I got a bag of coffee beans for MK at Caffe Vita, picked up some dessert from Pie, and headed over to:

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Gas Work’s Park!  We ate our Paseo cuban sandwich, Salumi’s sandwich and meatballs, and pie from Pie.

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The famous troll!  Also seen here (10 Things I Hate About You)

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Unfortunately, it’s not salmon swimming season, so we didn’t get to see any fish swim by here.  But this is the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks or Ballard Locks.  How they engineered this is pretty fascinating.  Then you go downstairs and you’re supposed to be able to see schools of fish.

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Destroysters, coined by CK.  Elliot’s Oyster House has the most amazing happy hour ever.  75cents per oyster and 25cents added every hour until 6pm.

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This pie is not joking around.

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We hiked the Rattlesnake Trail to the Rattlesnake Ledge.  We took photos for 45 minutes when we got to the ledge – I posted 4 photos, but I have a hundred of us doing funky poses.  Mostly Cat & CK being super hilarious and daring, and me crying from acrophobia (fear of heights).

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We headed to Pike Place market for some fish air, walking around, etc.  Beecher’s handmade cheese was cheesetastic, Piroshky Piroshky was pir-aweshome, Steelhead has gravilicious poutine fries, and all the food sampling was satisfying!  We also stopped by the first Starbucks.

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Gum alley, 2013

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Space Needle, 2013

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Old friends reuniting and new friends meeting.  What?  CK’s friend Carol lives in Seattle, so she took us to Brave Horse Tavern, which had an amazing selection of beer and such good food, and then to a gelato place (I forgot the name).

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It had to be done.

Hawaii 2013

2013 has been amazing so far and I’ve been meaning to share my experiences, but I got super lazy.  So lazy that some Christmas presents I’ve received are still in the corner, in the bag.

I can’t believe it’s already end of April, and I’ve turned 26!  I’m embracing 26 and excited to see what God has in store for me this year.

Anyway, I’ll try to post up pictures from my traveling and not so much traveling that’s happened since January.  And I’ll start with Hawaii:

I went to Hawaii in February for the first time to celebrate two of my friends’ birthdays and it was so memorable!  We stayed in Maui for a week, but surprisingly, we had such a packed schedule.  There’s much to do in Maui!  Not so much after 9pm, but still.

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Once we landed, we  had to try Maui’s version of Giovanni’s shrimp: Geste Shrimp.  It was intensely satisfying.  Funny enough, after we devoured our meal, I still craved Boiling Crab.

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Hawaii has the best costco, ever!  We stacked on snacks and gifts/souvenirs for friends and family like crazed tourists.  “Made in Hawaii?  GOT IT.”  Also, they had a fresh poke station, and it was dang good.  Why you so cool, costco.

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At 3 in the morning, we drove out to Haleakala National Park to catch the sunrise on top of the mountain.  We did not take everyone‘s warnings of low temperatures and windchill, or their advice to take lots of warm clothes.  I was thinking, it’s Hawaii, how cold can it be?  BAH!  SO COLD!  I’ve never felt so cold in my life and every time the wind passed through our blankets and make-shift tent we created, it was painful.  Nevertheless, we got to witness the beautiful sunrise; it was worth it.

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Of course, obligatory beach photo.  Why is the middle so yellow.  Must be the sand; that’s how clear the water is.

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Ululani’s Hawaiian Shaved Ice.  This place is pretty close to Ululani’s and located in Fullerton, CA.

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The next day, we got up again at 5 in the morning, to take our adventure on the road: Road to Hana that is.  We realized we kept talking about “the road to Hana is hard, the road to Hana is blee, bloop, blah” and then didn’t realize what Hana even was.  It’s a small town in Maui, folks.  But it’s on the edge of the coastline and about a 2-hour drive through hills, mountains, and unpaved roads.  It was a little touch and go for a while, we didn’t think our car could handle all the unpaved roads, but it was the little engine that could.  Thank you again to the people who drove the treacherous roads!

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We stopped by Waianapanapa State Park to visit Black Sand Beach.  It was so serene and beautiful.  Click the link to find out why it’s “black sand beach.”  The short version: volcanic rocks turned into sand.  We also got to visit the caves that were nearby.

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We then got to hike the Pipiwai Trail to see the Waimoku Falls.  It’s a 400 feet waterfall and the waterfall was so impressive!  However, the trail was just as beautiful and peaceful.  We entered the Bamboo forest – literally thousands of bamboo trees.  One of the best hiking experiences ever.

Short story:  We saw this old grandpa hiking along the trail with us.  I even remember saying, “be careful” under my breath.  I got so afraid for the man.  But as we were hopping and crossing the streams, I fell.  In front of the grandpa.

I had to take a moment to regroup.

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Then we made it in time for our Luau!  Woo~

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The picture is super bright – I tried to fix the lighting since it looks like I photoshopped us into oblivion, but it’s the natural light!  We went snorkeling and swimming the next morning.  I can’t believe how many fish there were next to us and just hanging out.  Our other friend has all the swimming photos – looking forward to seeing those sometime soon, Julie!

The “Ryan Gosling” doppleganger photobombed our picture.  He was really cool, gave me lots of ginger soda since I was hullabaloo with seasickness.

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Then we had a nice dinner to celebrate Julie & Annie’s birthday!  Woo, thank you for planning this trip and inviting us to celebrate with you guys! Janice took this candid photo of them.  #bffs.

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Here’s all of us in our hotel lobby after the dinner.  Last time we’d all be together, since some of the other girls had different departure times.

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The next morning (the morning we leave), we had to eat all of the food we bought from Costco.  This milk tea is only made in Hawaii, and it was really good.  Even with edamame and bananas.

What an amazing trip filled with beautiful people and memories.  Can’t wait to come back again!

Weekend Diary

What an eventful weekend!  I can’t express how thankful I am or the joy I’m feeling.

Starting off Friday by spending quality time with friends over good food and coffee, to my 25th birthday party at Escondite, and ending the weekend off with close girlfriends was exactly how I hoped this weekend would be!

A huge thank you to everyone who took time out to celebrate with me and made sure I had a good time; I truly enjoyed everyone’s company!!!

An even bigger thank you to Hanna Jung & Michelle Hong for also making this wonderful weekend happen without a blip!

Sorry for lack of pictures, I will post them later.

Games

This morning, I told Michael he was the best because he found a way for me to defeat a level on a game called: Move the Boxes on my phone.

Since I was the only girl in my family, I grew up in the arcades,  with SNES, and Sega Genesis.  We used to play Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter, Super Mario, Donkey Kong, etc.  Then computer games came along and my uncle taught me how to play Duke Nukem.  This type of exposure to a kid probably wouldn’t fly by these days…

So here is my timeline:

In highschool/first year of college, I spent very little to some time in pc-bangs playing Starcraft.  I used to play that at home along with The Sims and Harry Potter.

My sophomore year of college was rough and I even got close to academic probation because my grades were so low due to enormous amounts of playing N64 Smash Brothers and various Mario games. But it was great because my apartment became the go-to place to play Smash Brothers!  I also like to take credit for introducing The Sims to my roommates, since we also played that the majority of our sophomore year.

One favorite story that Jono likes to tell is this one time I had a midterm for computer science class, and we played Smash literally all night.  20 minutes before my 8AM test, I asked Jono what “debug” meant.  He had no clue, and I went to take my test.  Naturally, I did not do well and I dropped the class.  I didn’t need it anyway…

My third-fourth years of college can be summed up by Nerts.  My friend Esther introduced us to the game and we literally had Nerts “tournaments” and people come over just to play Nerts.  The game is beautiful; brings people together.

Anyway, so that happened this morning, and I reflected on just how games has influenced my life.  Of course there are other things that kept me preoccupied throughout my life like LOST and movies, but that’s a whole other story that I will have to share another time.


{this was my first time meeting DK playing nerts}


{one of our many nerts games}


{peter han, me, and jono playing smash – just another regular morning.  we probably stayed up all night playing}

Singing

Growing up, I knew I wasn’t going to become an American Idol.  I think my vocal chords somehow got confused during development and I have this boy-going-through-puberty thing going on (thank God it’s just vocal chords, am I right?).

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Tiny story:  My mom signed me up for an audition (8th grade) for God’s Image, a choir based in Southern California:

Randy, judge: So why do you want to join God’s Image?
Me: Because my mom made me.

Of course I didn’t get in.  My mom was mad and embarrassed, and asked me to re-audition again the following year:

Sandy SMN: So why do you want to join God’s Image?
Me: To build God’s kingdom through praise and worship.

I remember practicing with Michelle at Stella’s house and while Michelle and Candice both got in the first time, I joined them a year later (sorry for outing you guys.. haha but this is how we all became friends!!!)

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I love going to Karaoke/NRB places because I can act as silly and sing off key as I want because nobody cares.  Unless they’re reallllly good and sing songs like Mariah Carey’s Through the Rain or Whitney Houston’s I Will Love You, then my song choices of Queen or Yellow Submarine sound ridiculous.

But church settings always got me so nervous: can the person next to me hear? ugh, am i singing in key? why is the song so high? i hate this song.

Tough times were when the praise leader would say “only voices,” then I had a mini panic attack.  The absolute WORST “oh God, no…” moments were during smallgroup, because it’s only 5-9 people.

I took it so seriously, and wished praise leaders had terrible voices so I could relate.  It’s absurd that I cared more about how I sounded at church than in a karaoke room.  So I came to God in prayer that I be able to freely worship.  I also realized, it can’t just be ME that can’t sing; so maybe if I sang my heart out, I would encourage someone else who might feel the same way, find peace.  Ever since then, it’s been awesome and praise God!  I find so much joy, not looking at me/surroundings, and instead focusing on Him and understanding who He is. YAY!


2009, when Hanna, Due, and I randomly went to NRB!