Jun 27, 2014

Hawai'i Photo Diary #3

Hanauma Bay was originally a volcano crater. After years of erosion, water entered this crater and now it is the home of hundreds of fishes and corals. Don't let this photo fool you, I am an experienced swimmer and it was pretty difficult swimming/snorkeling near where the water turns a darker blue. Personally, I don't like to use the snorkel breathing gear, so I just wear goggles and swim with fins.
We went to Germaine's Luau located on a beautiful beach. My "escort" on our bus to the luau site was really annoying, though. &funny story: since the luau was on a beach, I specifically wore flip flops so I could take my shoes off. That's what I thought my brother say. BUT he said don't wear sandals because he read on Yelp that there are mosquitoes or bugs in the sand.
The Kalua pork baked underground for a few hours before being pulled and served.
My last day in paradise, I wander out to Waikiki Beach on my own, one last time. ;(
On our way to the airport, the sky was split between beautiful weather and torrential downpour.
Overall, the climate and buildings of Honolulu resembled that of Hong Kong or Guangzhou! Even my grandma said, feels like China. 
One of the major turn-offs of Hawai'i was the amount of asian tourists visiting. And don't worry, I'm insulting them just as much as I am insulting my own family. If you caught me earlier, I mentioned fobs in one of these posts. If you don't know what that is, don't worry about it but these tourists give asians a bad rep for visiting the local's island. For example, prior to entering Hanauma Bay, we were told various times, do not step on the coral. It damages the coral. Three times I saw, guess who!? Fob asians standing straight up on the coral in the middle of the bay. They could not have stood out more. I'm just saying, if you are going to visit, at least try to respect the culture.
Hawai'i was beautiful! We did much more than what I mentioned, like pick fruit at a ranch, stand-up paddleboard and row a boat at the Polynesian Cultural Center, but you really must visit yourself to have the full experience. I can't wait to visit Maui next!

Jun 24, 2014

Hawai'i Photo Diary #2

We took a one day trip to the Big Island of Hawai'i, known for its coffee and Volcanos National Park. It was really hard to depict the beauty of this lush island through photos. It felt surreal driving on this 1 lane road when there was a huge green mountain in front of us, black volcanic rock besides us and the ocean beyond everything else.
 This view reminds me of the road in Ireland in that chick-flick "Leap Year" with Amy Adams LOL.
 Again, it was soo windy! I loved it. It was never too hot or too humid. The weather throughout the islands were extremely calming and refreshing.
 We also stopped at Punalu'u Black Sand Beach where, like the title suggests, there is black sand! Kind of crazy. If you dug beneath the surface, the sand was actually cool and moist.
 The waves at that beach were pretty intense as well. They weren't high, but they were wide and constant.
 And of course, the Volcano National Park. Don't expect to see any of those volcanoes you see in the movies or red hot lava. My mom did, and she was thoroughly disappointed. Why would the government allow people to come close to these volcanoes if they were incredibly active? Oh mom...
 1 of the 2 waterfalls I saw in Hawai'i LOL
 Somewhere in the middle, we wandered into this secluded trail engulfed by massive trees. Taking a photo does not produce the same effect that I felt standing there, but imagine it to be like the forests of Harry Potter, except all the trees were a much nicer version of the Whomping Willow.
Our last stop was Waipio Valley. I googled that it was a must see, but I was disappointed to find out that we couldn't get a good angle of actually seeing the valley. According to my brother, it was also frowned upon to go in the valley, as the locals do not enjoy rude (or as I like to call them - fob) tourists.
One thing I loved about Hawai'i was that there are no doors in many buildings. Many hotel lobbies did not have doors and everything was so open. Obviously there are doors to restaurants and offices, but even one restaurant we went to, it looked like it was indoors but as soon as we walked to the tables, it was outdoors. It's so nice how they are able to do that in Hawai'i, whereas in NY you have to worry about snow. :(

Jun 18, 2014

Hawai'i Photo Diary #1

The view outside my airplane window during taxing was insanely beautiful. Blue skies, turquoise oceans and sand everywhere! You will have to excuse that dot in all the photos, a speckle of dust entered my lens and I could not get it out for the life of me! 
We stayed at the end of Waikiki Beach in Queen Kapiolani hotel. This was the "ocean view" room. My dad felt chipped but I was expecting this. I noticed that the majority of the hotels on Waikiki beach were built so that the room balconies face the left and right, rather than directly facing the ocean. My guess is that you still get a partial ocean view with that type of a layout, so they dub the room an "ocean view" and it maximizes profit.
Waikiki beach was where all the tourists roamed. Including me. I find that after the sun sets, those few minutes where it is still somewhat bright is the perfect lighting. 
We hiked up Diamond Head, another tourist infested park. It is a volcano crater know for its amazing views at the top of the hike. 
Locals also hike here. If I could balance myself like that guy did, it would have made a heck of an Instagram picture.
The view from Diamond Head was breathtaking. The hike from the bottom up was hot. Once we reached the top, the winds dried all my sweat LOL and it felt amazing to stand there and look at the endless, blue Pacific Ocean.

Jun 6, 2014

LA photo diary

As we flew from JFK to LAX, the plane flew over parts of the Grand Canyon. Coincidentally enough, one of my closest friends from NY was in that area when I was flying over it. I hung out with a few of my university friends from the west coast. The highlight of my trip with them was watching X-Men at a Drive-In movie theater! We do not have those in the tri-state area, and somebody should do something about that because Drive-In theaters are crazy fun and cool. I bet they would make it $rain$ during the summer. We also hiked down a giant mountain to get to a cliff-diving waterfall at the pit of mountain. To say the least, it was a long hike back up. Somewhere in the middle, we had a brief but enjoyable bonfire at Huntington Beach. I learned that you probably shouldn't wear sneakers in the sand.
On my last day, I visited Griffith Observatory with my family. As I was looking for my dad, who was holding everyone up by sightseeing through his binoculars, I spotted a very familiar face. A fashion blogger. A YouTuber. It can't be. In the distance, a girl with long black hair and a white dress twirled in the non-existent wind. A man knelt 10 feet away shooting pictures from his fancy DSLR. I walked closer, stopped, and a huge grin came across my face. She stopped too. She thought I was passing through the tiny observation deck. You may know her as Wendy from Wendy's Lookbook. Wendy & MM were both so nice and sweet, they made my morning! & It is weird to feel excited that I met the man behind the camera!? He even took our picture :D hence the amazing quality lol
Now, the last picture (Long Beach, CA). Do you see that black mark on the top right?! Somehow, somewhere, something flew into my camera! I didn't notice it until in Hawaii and as a result, I took significantly less photos than I normally do. But in all honesty, lets not blame it on the camera, I have changed quite a bit in my 18th year. It's not so much the camera, as it is me. I don't want to capture or "document" every part of my life anymore as when I started out 2+ years ago. It's pretty annoying carrying all these bulky cameras and lens you see. Plus, from taking a lot of pictures, I know what shots/landscapes/images will look good (according to my standards) digitally or in print. A lot of the things I saw (specifically in Hawaii) were "priceless" and would have taken time to set-up. Anyways- back to the black mark in my camera! I tried cleaning the mirrors but to no avail! In other words, I was stuck with a dash in all of my Hawaii photos.
-Wow I really felt like rambling today didn't I-

End of May Roundup

Activities of my last week of May:
1. 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the World Fair in New York's Flushing Corona Park. The park was filled with various food vendors, a tribute Beatles band and lots of families.
2. I kind of dragged my friend with me to watch the fireworks. I find that the largest traditional fireworks that don't have any color and slowly waterfall down to the ground to be the prettiest.
3. Whenever I visit the Met, I go to through the main stairs and always miss the Egyptian side. This time, I finally went to this beautiful, serene room where the Egyptian artifacts and tombs rest.
4. A lovely candid of my friend Kim.
5. This foamy looking dessert was made out of yogurt! (It tasted like soap) 
6. Picnic in Central Park! This was something I've always wanted to do and now I can happily check it off my bucket list.
7. BeautyCon NYC
8. My friend Fanny and I at BeautyCon, I had a great time! We shamelessly stocked up on free stuff ;) who doesn't love free stuff?