Roadtrip! (#indie30 Day 23)

Day 23 of #indie30: Roadtrips!

I don't know if I ever mentioned this to you but I was in a sorority...well, still am. I never left. I mean, I graduated but I never gave up my letters...OH YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN! Anyways, I am an alumnae of alpha Kappa Delta Phi, this Asian-interest sorority. Being in a sorority, road trips were kind of a requirement. We were always on the road, either going to a convention, a retreat, or even for fundraising.

akdphi Penn State fundraising
Driving around Pennsylvania, collecting money for the Four Diamonds Fund, which helps fund pediatric cancer research
Anyways, I bring this up because I'm actually going to be on the road on Friday because I'm heading back to Penn State this weekend for our 20 year reunion!!! Well, 20 yrs since our chapter was first established on campus. So I'll be blogging/vlogging from the road!

Penn State Nittany Lion
We Are!!!!
My actual sister is actually a part of the same sorority (did I mention we are really close) so she's gonna be there. Any road trip with me and her means lots of food and tons of laughs! I mean...Exhibit A?

Exhibit B?

I rest my case!

So stay tuned for some fun filled posts and pictures of Penn State & my sister. Also, just wanted to sneak this out there but my sister and I are working on a super secret project, so hopefully that will be revealed soon too. ;)
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24 hrs in NYC (#indie30 Day 22)

Day 22 of #indie30: Write a 24-hour guide to your hometown (where you grew up, or where you live now) for someone who has never been there.

Oh boy. There's that word again..Home...Which to choose? Taipei? Or New York??? Will given I just posted about my day at Smorgasburg yesterday, I think I'll go with New York. Keep that ball rolling, you know???  Well, considering this is gonna get really lengthy, I won't do a Travel Talk Tuesday today. There's enough to read with my game plan for you. Btw, I'm keeping you budget friendly...So I'm assuming you're not taking cabs and you have a metro card (there's no daypass unfortunately but a $10 card should cover you for the day). Wear your comfy shoes! You're gonna need it. Oh and also bring tons of cash. More often than not,  a lot of little bakeries and restaurants are cash only so be prepared.

Ready? Let's Go!

Morning! Wake up and go to Murray's Bagel (on 13th st and Ave of Americas - aka 6th ave) cuz ITS NEW YORK!!! Personally, I usually go for the sesame bagel with cream cheese & lox BUT if you really want that New York Experience, get an everything bagel.

Image via NewYorkNative
Eat the bagel while sitting on the steps of Union Square and watch the people going to work or students attending class at NYU. You can also see some people set up a chess game and watch vendors sell their artwork. If you're actually at Union Square on a Monday, Wednesday, or Friday, you can buy some organic and fresh produce from their Green Market!

Image via NYC<3NYC
Digest that Bagel by walking from 14th st to 23rd street along Broadway and enjoy the people & traffic watching. Stop by the Museum of Sex, if you want to, or even the Museum of Math! I like stopping into Fishs Eddy (on 19th and Broadway) - a homestore that sells cute dinnerware, glassware, flatware, and serveware. It makes for some great souvenirs for someone special at your home.

Image via FishsEddy

Snap some pics of the Flatiron Building and Madison Square Park. Is it lunch time yet? GOOD! Cause you should grab a burger at Shake Shack (the In-N-Out of the East Coast). I usually get the shack burger, which is a cheeseburger with their Shack Sauce BUT if you're extra hungry, get the Shack Stack! It's their cheeseburger TOPPED WITH their shroom burger patty (YUM!) plus their Shack Sauce.

Image via Shake Shack
Okay, now that you're realllly full, get on the Subway (NQR is right near Madison Square Park), go uptown and get off at 5th Ave/59th St Stop. You can't come to New York without going to 5th ave! You'll get to see the Plaza, the original Apple flagship store in NYC, and of course, Central Park! Great window shopping there as well, as that is where Bergdorf Goodman is.

Follow me on Instagram for more pics!

Are you tired??? Hang in there because walk along 59th st towards the west side of the city because you're going to Columbus Circle!!! Grab a seat at the fountain and marvel at the view before you. You have Central Park on one side, Time Warner Center on the other, the Hearst Building right behind you, and a million taxis driving around you. It's hard not to feel like the world revolves around you when you sit there. Great time to rest your feet too.

Okay now it's dinner time. Where to eat? Well, grab the 1 (one) train (the subway is right on Columbus Circle), head uptown, and get off at 79th st (and Broadway) and walk to 83rd and Amsterdam Ave to Cafe Lalo for some dinner and cake! You'll notice this place looks familiar and that's because it's where Tom Hanks realized Meg Ryan was Shopgirl. Doesn't ring any bells? It's YOU'VE GOT MAIL! Duh!
via GuestofaGuest
Cafe Lalo is also one of those cash-only places so come prepared.

Okay now you're beat? Well head back to your hotel then and rest...Wait, you're not tired? GREAT! Jump on the C train (on the 86th st station on 86th and Central Park West) and head down to 23rd st to catch a comedy show at Upright Citizens Brigade!!! It's an improv comedy school/theater that you'll sometimes see the likes of SNL veterans, and future SNL casts, performing. Sometimes even Amy Poehler herself!!! (Bow down, I am not worthy).  They usually have shows at 7pm and 9pm but it varies from day to day so definitely check their schedule here!

For a late night snack, you're right by my favorite 24 hr joint - Copepllia on 14th st and 8th ave. It's Cuban diner fare. Their avocado milkshake is so good and their mac n cheese has pork belly. I mean, c'mon!

Okay, so that's your day. You are such a trooper for hanging in there! Now go back to your hotel room/airbnb/wherever you are staying. Hope you enjoyed my New York! It's a lot of walking and eating but thats me! :) I'm a grazer.

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Vidcon! (#indie30 Day 21)

Day 21 of #indie30: Where do you most want to go in 2014?

There's so many places I dream about going but I'm the most excited about an actual trip I'm taking this year. It's to a not far away land of Los Angeles but what I'm going for is the exciting part. It's Vidcon!!!

image via Vidconblr
What is Vidcon???

5th annual VidCon

Well, basically it's when YouTube becomes a convention and you get to see all your YouTube stars and connect with other YouTube channels and fans! Obvi, I'm a big fan of YouTube, not just as a person who uploads videos, but I watch a ton of channels. From harto to vlogbrothers, I LOVE IT SO MUCH and THEY. ARE.GONNA.BE.THERE!!! GAHHH #fangirlscream

This is the 5th year vidcon has happened but it's the first year I'm going so I have no idea what to expect, who I'm going to meet, and what the exhibits are going to be. I do know that every Sunday of Vidcon weekend, Vidcon people go to DISNEYLAND and we hang out together wearing our Vidcon  tshirts (that comes with registration) and take a group photo. HOW COOL IS THAT?!

But speaking of YouTube...IT'S VLOGGING MONDAY!

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No Offense to Pride Rock (#indie30 Day 20)

Day 20 of #indie30: What part of Africa interests you the most? 

Most of the people I talk to automatically think safari when I mention a dream African vacation. As much as I love the Lion King, it's not what interests me the most...Although, this type of travel was brought on by a Disney-affiliate...ABC, to be exact. The Bachelor, to be even more specific. HEAR ME OUT! On one of their exotic dates, they had an overnight stay in a tree house.

Image via GoAfrica
I mean, how romantic right? I never had a tree house growing up so it would be a dream come true, not just for the little girl in me but also for the adventurous adult that I am now!

Enough talking...Let's get to more pictures (courtesy of Lion Sands Game Reserve)

Need I say more?

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Cozumel and Why it Doesn't Count (#indie30 Day 19)

Day 19 of #indie30: Have you ever been to South America? What stands out?

I've been to South America but in my head it doesn't really count. I went to Mexico for a day because Cozumel was one of the ports that Royal Caribbean's Navigator of the Seas stopped at. I say it doesn't count because it was a tourist town and we didn't do much besides relax on the beach and drink tequilla based beverages. I mean, we were on spring break in college! I explored more on the actual cruise ship than on the island! (For the record, you can play mini golf on the Navigator.) 

What I really want to do for a South American adventure is to go on a luxury tour of Machu Picchu!!! What's a luxury tour??? It's basically a tour package where you stay in a very nice hotel in Cusco, Peru, get on the Hiram Bingham, a luxury train that takes you to Machu Picchu, and then take the train back to your hotel later that day. No full day trek, fine dining, and A LUXURY TRAIN?! How awesome is that? There's tons of tour packages that provide that kind of travel. I just stumbled onto this one by Peru-Explorer via a quick google search.

image courtesy of Belmond Hiram Bingham
Did I mention this comes with a hefty price tag?? Hey a girl can dream, right?
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Sea of Stars (#indie30 Day 18)

Day 18 of #indie30: What one thing, when you see photos of it, make you just want to just pack your bags and go?

I mean, this is what my pinterest is for...All those places I've pinned fit the description above. I think one that truly sticks out to me though would be the Sea of Stars located around Vaadhoo Island, Maldives.

image courtesy of distractify

The sea is inhabited by billions of bioluminescent dinoflagellates (aka glow-in-the-dark plankton). All along the shore, you see them glow as they get swept onto the sand.  Even though it is explained by science it still feels magical right?

Like you're living on Pandora.

image courtesy of dailymail

A big part of traveling, for me, is to see and experience something that I won't normally encounter at home and this definitely falls into that category.
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'Murica (#indie30 Day 17)

Day 17 of #indie30: Roadside attractions, national parks, or big cities? What’s your favorite part of traveling in the USA?

What I love about traveling in the US is that this country is so big, it has everything and I love all of it! From giant state fairs to small local farmers markets, from national parks like the Grand Canyon to cities with their towering skyscrapers. I mean, you don't need to travel outside of the country to experience something new!

Even the climates are so different! We have snowy New York...
Central Park in Snow 

To beautiful sunny weather in Florida. This photo was taken in October by the way. OCTOBER! That's already fleece jacket weather in the tri-state area.

Miami Beach

Not only is this country of the freedom of speech but its also the country of immigrants. Only Native Americans can say they are actually..you know..NATIVE Americans. Everyone else's ancestors originally came here from another country. It's the ultimate melting pot. I mean, we have the United Nations Headquarters in this country. The place where all the diplomats and heads of countries come together to discuss world affairs.

What I love most about America is that it you can go to all 50 states and have 50 different experiences. 'Murica, there's room for everyone.
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