10 hours in oahu, hawaii

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Today is the first day of school – I can’t believe it! I’ve also been the worst blogger. After recruitment and bid day, I was going to go to Hawaii but then I still felt sick and it was rainy outside, and I just couldn’t fathom hauling my butt over to the airport in the wee hours of the morning. So I ended up staying in Seattle that weekend but this past weekend, I was determined to make it out to Hawaii, even if it meant going alone. I’m so glad I did! The weather was a solid 85 degrees with some clouds but mostly sun. Perfect.

I flew out on Saturday morning at 8:30am, packing only a towel, swimsuit, and book (Crazy Rich Asians), glasses, waterbottle, and wallet. So yes, I packed pretty light. The flight was about five and a half hours, and I ended up reading the whole time. By the time I landed in Honolulu, it was close to noon and I was starving.

I took an Uber to Ono Seafood to grab some poke – unfortunately, it was closed! My Uber driver was nice enough to drive me to Foodlands, the grocery store on the island instead. I bought a poke bowl from there for pretty cheap with a generous amount of spicy ahi and rice. Then I booked it over to Leonard’s Bakery to try the Malasadas: Portugese donuts. The line was out the door, but I was determined to get some. You see, I just wanted to eat poke and donuts on the beach – is that too much to ask?

I walked about half an hour all the way to Queen’s Beach, sweat dripping down my back and my arms full with food. I immediately plopped down near a beach volleyball game and dug into my food, praying my ahi hadn’t gone bad in the sun. Needless to say, all the food was delicious. I people-watched and did some more reading and sunbathing. I even got hit in the head with a volleyball! The Oahu experience, everyone.

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After laying on the beach for three hours, I got up and walked around to explore the coast. There are so many stores for shopping! I didn’t want to take anything back so I just window-shopped, but there ended up being a block party that day too so tons of food vendors were setting up. I walked to the north end of the beach and decided that I needed some more sun so I set out my towel once again and relaxed for another hour before dinner.

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(Sidenote: the struggle is so real when you’re alone on vacation but want a photo, so you result to selfies.)

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For dinner, I knew I wanted to go to Marukame Udon since I knew it was highly suggested and super cheap. I got there around 6pm and there was already a daunting line out the door, but I wasn’t too hungry yet and had time before my flight, so I waited. I only had to wait in line for 15 minutes before I got in. I didn’t realize it was like a “fast-food” place. I literally ordered my udon and got it in three minutes. If you’re from the Seattle area, the setup is exactly U:Don. I got the Tantan Udon and it was to die for, and it was only $7 for a good portion.

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That pretty much wraps up my 10-hour trip to Oahu! I headed to the airport after that and took the red-eye home to Seattle. I walked to my gate with sand still on my feet and between my toes (and who knows where else). My last trip of the summer, a true send before the start of senior year.

Look out for a summer wrap-up/internship reflection post to come soon! As always, thanks for reading.

Jen

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36 hours in missoula, montana

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Hello hello!

I’m still catching up on blog posts, but lucky for me, I had sorority recruitment this past weekend so I didn’t get to travel anywhere anyways. I actually made it out to Las Vegas on a Tuesday too since I wanted to eat at one of the buffets but little did I know that the buffets close at 10pm! My friend and I got there at like 9:30pm so it was pretty pointless, but it’s always fun walking the Strip (I will always be in awe of Vegas. I swear it isn’t real.) Instead of recapping that trip, I wanted to recap a rather longer one! During the long Labor Day weekend, I went to Missoula, Montana.

I was actually able to leave early on Friday and fly out. I was visiting my co-intern who goes to school there! Usually I go to a new city to experience the city, but this trip’s goal was just to spend time with my co-intern 🤗

She showed me around the university’s campus, we went down to the Clark Front River, and ate dinner at Tamarack Brewing Co. It was so nice catching up with her! Missoula is a much smaller town than I’m used to, but it felt really safe the entire time. A little later, we drove up the hills to get a better view of the city and saw tons of deer. Apparently it’s pretty common to see deer everywhere. Our last stop of the day was getting ice cream at The Big Dipper. I got the Green Tea flavor and loved it!

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The next day, we slept in because why not? I don’t remember the last time I was so full of sleep. We made breakfast at her apartment and then headed out to Zootown Brew, a random coffee shop we saw. It was so Seattle-y! I needed to get some work done and she had homework, so it was the perfect time to do that. After, we walked around some more and ended up back down at the Clark Front River and strolled through dinner. We had an early dinner at Iron Horse, a classic.

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Since it was University of Montana’s first game day, there was a ton of people tailgating. We didn’t want to go the game, but we wanted to hike the M. We set out at around 7:30pm and made it all the way to the top (13 switchbacks!). It was a stunning view to see how open the city was within the mountains. Of course, we could see the football field, too.

We ended the night just watching Finding NemoFinding Dory, and having a good heart-to-heart. Missoula’s one of those small towns that is secretly endearing. It was refreshing, not busy like what I’m used to in Seattle.

This was one of my longer trips but I wish I could’ve asked for infinitely more time in the world to spend with my co-intern! Nevertheless, I woke up at a brutal 4:15am on the following Sunday to fly home.

That’s it for now – I think I’ll try to fly somewhere this weekend after sorority Bid Day is over if I’m not too exhausted (or sick). Crossing my fingers! Where should I go for less than a day?

Thanks for reading!

Jen

 

24 hours in austin, texas

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Hello everyone!

I hope everyone had a wonderful long weekend, I’m sorry I’ve been a little late on this blog post! I got really busy moving out of my apartment and everything. Two weekends ago, me and my good friend from high school, Julia, headed to Austin! We left early on Saturday morning and made it around 3pm. We tried Hut’s for dinner since we both wanted milkshakes. The milkshakes were indeed delicious, but everything else was sub-par.

After, we checked in at the Sheraton hotel by the Capitol, and then headed to the bridge to see the bats fly out! I had no idea it was a tourist attraction. I’d advise getting to the bridge a little earlier since it gets crowded, but don’t forget about the gorgeous sunset behind you, too! It was so fascinating to watch: apparently about 1.5 million bats fly out under the tunnel every night. So weird but so cool.

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We walked through Austin to get to Rainey Street, which is a really awesome street with tons of houses converted to bars. They all had their own vibe/feel to it, and we enjoyed hopping in and out of them to see all the different kinds. We stopped by Golden Tiger, a pretty good venue but the crowd was definitely older. There was even one bar, Un Bar Lievable, that was circus-themed that had a slide inside!

The next stop was 6th street, Austin’s famous street that closes down for the nightlife. It was still pretty early on in the night, and so we tried out Buford’s. The bartenders were great there, as was the bouncer. We kept walking down 6th street after that, and stumbled upon Rustic Tap because we heard the live music from the street. The music was lovely! The thing about Austin is that pretty much every bar has an outdoor portion; gotta love nice weather!

Our main stop that night was at Buckwild since there was a mechanical bull. Mind you, I didn’t have the guts to get on it but it was so entertaining. Not only were the drinks great, but the DJ was amazing that night too! Julia and I danced the night away. Buckwild was one of my favorite parts of this trip.

The next morning, we got up bright and early and stopped by Pueblo Viejo for breakfast tacos. This had been recommended by one of Julia’s friends and it was so good. I got the egg & spinach tacos but she got the chorizo one and apparently dreamt about those tacos for the rest of the day 😂 Needless to say, they were delicious. On the same street was Brew & Brew, a coffee shop and brewery. We found a small bit of Seattle in Austin! Such good vibes at this coffee shop.

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Since it was such a nice day out, we headed to Barton Springs Pool, a man-made spring that the citizens of Austin can enjoy! It was so nice, and for less than $10. We were limited on time, so we only spent a little over an hour there before we headed to lunch. The key to trying out as many food places in a new city in a short time is to order one item and share it so you don’t eat a full meal! We headed to Chuy’s, your classic Tex-Mex restaurant. We wandered around Austin then, stopping by Book People, the HOPE Outdoor Gallery, and the Austin State Capitol. It was 100 degrees at this point and we almost died of heat exhaustion, but it was worth seeing the city by foot.

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That was the end of our trip! We had a short layover in PDX and no joke, saw Sasha Pieterse from Pretty Little Liars casually strolling around the gates!!

I have to say that Austin has the best nightlife, tacos, and sunsets from this summer. A truly beautiful city, and has a lot of unique things to do instead of just yummy food. It is weird though – beware!

Thanks for reading!!

Jen

12 hours in portland

Hey y’all!

Jen here, writing the night before this is being published, which is off-schedule for me! The past week has been crazy. As you all probably know by now, I usually head out to travel on Friday nights to maximize my time in a different city, but this Friday was the semester-interns’ last hurrah so we all went out together; needless to say, I don’t regret not flying out somewhere. I had a blast with them.

Saturday rolled around, and I still had no idea where I was going. At the last minute, I decided to go to Portland since the weekend was already half over. My twin sister was going to be in Portland too, so why not? I parted ways with my co-intern and I dead-serious, not even embarrassed to admit it, cried the whole way to the airport; thank goodness we made plans to see each other again at the end of the month!!

I got to Portland late afternoon on Saturday and ended up getting dinner with my sister and catching up over Korean food. She had just returned from studying abroad so I loved hearing her adventures, and (I think) she liked hearing about my internship.

Later that night, we decided to go see Crazy Rich Asians (ugh, I haven’t even read the book yet, I’m a fake fan), and it was SO. GOOD. I loved everything about it. It’s a must-see (and maybe see-again!).

The next day, we decided to head to 23rd, where all the cute boutiques, shops, and eats are. We first stopped at Elephants Delicatessen, a really cool market-like area with tons of good eats. I ordered a black bean burger and an iced latte; the whole point is that they use really local ingredients, and you’d think it be super pricey but it turned out to be really affordable. Between me and my sister, we only spent $25 on our meal.

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After lunch, we walked around a bit and stopped in multiple stores. It’s funny because back in high school, I used to think 23rd had all the cool stores – but after living in Seattle for three years, the stores on 23rd are the norm in Seattle. I did pick up a 3-pack Rifle Paper Co. notebook set from Paper Source though!

We stopped by Salt & Straw where we both got our own scoops; I love the Honey Lavender but I’ll always be Molly Moon’s’ #1 fan. Sorry, Portland.

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Afterward, we pretty much parted ways and I headed back to the airport. It was a short and sweet trip, but it was lovely seeing my parents again and spending quality time with my twin.

The smoke has been crazy thick in Seattle, delaying a lot of flights. Another intern and I were dead-serious about to go to Las Vegas (for the second time this summer!) last night, but we decided not to risk it since we wanted to make it back to work the next day. Maybe next week!

As for this coming weekend, I was going to go to Hawaii with my good friend from high school, but of course, Hurricane Lane is a threat so that might not happen either. Where should I go? Stay tuned 😉

That’s it for this weekend recap – thanks for reading!

Jen

4 days in washington, d.c.

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Hello friends!

How is everyone’s week going? I can’t believe we’re already halfway through August – this summer is flying by! My co-intern is going back to school this week and I’m CRYING. I’ll be so lonely at work from now on 😭 I’m cherishing every hour I have with her left!

Last week, I left pretty early in the week to go to D.C. for a conference with a student organization (in fact, I’m Madam President 😉). I’ll be skipping over the conference stuff obviously, but I was in D.C. for four days and we had plenty of time to explore the city.

We left bright and early on Wednesday and got there around 5pm. It was so humid, y’all. I have a good friend from high school who goes to Georgetown so I made plans with her the day before to meet up for dinner. We went to Curry and Pie since she knows I’m a die-hard fan of Indian cuisine! I loved it: paneer pizza? I’m all in.

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After, we walked to the beautiful waterfront of Potomac River, where we could see the financial district in Virginia across the water. Then we walked around the Georgetown campus, which was stunning, but smaller than I imagined.

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We said our goodbyes and then I headed back to the hotel to hang out with the ladies who came with me for the conference. We went out to explore the nightlife and ended up at Rebellion; heads up, Wednesday nights are pretty dead in D.C. We learned that there are noise ordinances so they had to close their rooftop bar at 11:30pm.

The next day, my group had scheduled a White House tour super early. I was pretty excited, but we ended up going through security for longer than we were actually in the White House, and we only saw the East Wing. It was a little underwhelming, not going to lie. Most of the rest of Thursday was spent at the conference, really.

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The first half of Friday was also spent at the conference, but around 5pm, we had time to explore. We went out to dinner as a group at Provision 14, which was an awesome spot for drinks. I got a Moscow Mule and the shrimp linguini.

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Then we headed to the monuments! First stop? The Lincoln Memorial and the Reflecting Pool. We spent quite a long time taking photos there, haha. The lighting was prime! We walked through the Vietnam Veterans Memorial too. We headed back pretty early to get ready to go out, since it was a Friday night. We spent our night at Mad Hatter, which I highly recommend if you’re in the mood for some dancing!

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The first half of Saturday was spent at the conference as well, and then after it concluded, we got Shake Shack for lunch and then headed for the Holocaust Museum. I love reading stories about WWII (my favorite book of all time is All the Light We Cannot See), so I really enjoyed spending hours in there.

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That was pretty much the end of our trip – overall, I really cool city. We never tried public transportation, but the Ubers weren’t expensive either. I got a few mosquito bites (will they NEVER END?!) and it’s super humid; we even got caught in the rain once (it literally came out of nowhere). I loved the architecture in the city; a lot of the buildings had French-influenced windows and it felt very Paris-y at times. There’s so much I didn’t get to see, but I have a feeling I’ll be returning to D.C. some day. I bonded with my team, which was the goal all along.

As of right now, I have no idea where I’m headed this weekend – guess we’ll both find out later!

Thanks for reading, as always!

Jen x