March 23, 2015

Oregon-bound!


As a very last minute thing, I decided to fly up to Oregon to spend a week hanging out with my sister. I'll still be working (and I mostly came up to have her help me study), but I'm excited to see what kind of adventures we can find ourselves. I'm no newbie to Oregon, but there's still a ton I have yet to see.



My flight over was relatively uneventful. I spent a lot of the time blinded by the sun reflecting off of the clouds, becoming this bright, bright white. We dipped between big, billowing clouds -- and sheets of white that split the sky into what seemed like two worlds.

For a few moments, I felt like I was separated from the ground beneath us. As if my plane were going to take me on some fantastical adventure that would change me forever.



But ah -- at the sight of lakes and forests, I knew I was in Oregon. I was coming back to the earth, and I snapped out of my daze. Sitting in my sister's apartment, on this last minute trip, I hope to find something new. While I'm not sure what that is, I hope it's exciting.





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March 19, 2015

Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong and LACMA


To end the epic adventure that was our celebration of Caitlin's birthday, she and I headed to Koreatown for some Korean BBQ. I knew exactly where we had to go -- Kang Ho Dong Baekjeong. I first came to this place back in December, when Roxy came to visit.

We had an amazing time, and I've been going ever since. Each time it gets a little less magical...but still, I like it all the same.


This place always has a crazy wait, but something important to note is that the wait time is never actually as long as they say it'll be. I've gone mostly when it's been really busy, and the wait was estimated at 2 hours. We've gone over to the Line Hotel for a round of drinks and always, without fail, after about an hour we get a call from them letting us know that our table is ready.

So take whatever wait time they give you, and know that they're exaggerating it a bit. Just in case.

And if you are waiting and want to grab a quick drink, the Line Hotel is a nice spot. It's still a little strange to me, mostly because I don't ever know what to do when I'm there. It's a hotel lobby turned into a bar, but it's weird. I've been told that my friends and I are the only ones that find the area weird, so we'll leave the fanny pack waitresses to the experts and just nod and smile.

Sorry, tangent!



We were pretty hungry, so we opted for their combo meal, starting with thinly sliced brisket.

What makes Baekjeong kind of cool is that they give you some KBBQ staples along the rim of the grill. Cheesy corn, egg, and vegetables.

Everyone I bring to this place is always weirded out by the idea of there being egg and cheesy corn, but don't knock it 'til you've tried it! The cheesy corn is usually the favorite, though some (and these people get me on a whole 'nother level) live for the eggs.

And that is exactly how I feel.



Round two was, I think, the short rib.

If you've never had KBBQ, or Korean food in general, this setup might seem a little insane! Koreans typically eat a lot of banchan, or side dishes. When we eat meat, we usually pair it with a green of vegetable of some sort.

As you can see above, we have: kimchi pancake, salad, dipping sauce, my dirty bowl, kimchi stew (kimchi jjigae), soybean sprouts, and our grill.

You don't have to eat all of it, but it breaks up the meal into different tastes and textures.


Lastly, we were treated to marinated galbi (or marinated short rib).

We ate ourselves into a stupor and kind of stared at each other blankly. We barely spoke a word while we ate, and couldn't get any words out post-meal given the fact that our food babies were about to pop out of us.

No shame in our game.

After a hot minute, we picked ourselves up and headed back towards my house. Although we hadn't intended on going to the LACMA, when we passed by the lights, we had to turn around and stop.

Who can say no to taking photos by the iconic lights, right?





I debated not posting any photos of myself from this entire day because of how rotund I look.

But, I guess, you can't win them all. I know what my body looks like. There's no use in trying to lie to you and pretend like I'm some magical shape that I'm not.


And on that note, I'll leave you with this photo of some lady in the background modeling. Not sure if they were wedding photos, but she was doing some crazy poses.

C and I spent the rest of our time trying to figure out our selfie angle (which, if you follow me on Twitter, you know that we are not so good at). We drove back to my house, and she made the long journey back to hers. 





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March 16, 2015

Cactus gardens at the Getty


Last time, C and I were on our way to explore the rest of the Getty. Our intention was to go look at some art, but when we saw this corridor off to the side, we couldn't resist. The call of sunshine and something new beckoned us closer, and before I knew it, we were drifting away from the pavilion entrances.



We found ourselves at the cactus gardens, known for being somewhat secluded from the rest of the center. It's off to the side, and most people either pop by for a quick look or forego the sight altogether.




It's well worth stopping by, especially on a hot day. The breeze wraps itself around you and cools you down, while the Los Angeles skyline peeps in from behind. This scene in itself is the perfect way to describe the Getty.

A secluded museum up in the hills, overlooking Los Angeles. Next to the freeway, the city, everything. There's all of this hustle and bustle, but as soon as you turn inside and away from the cars -- you're left in your own little world.

The Getty is the kind of place you could get lost in.

(And unlike the villa, you don't need a ticket reservation to go)





Some of the only photos of us together! I wasn't necessarily going to include these, but I thought it might be helpful since a lot of you thought we looked alike. Caitlin is on the right, I'm on the left (the order is reversed below). 


If you find yourself here and a little weary, pop a squat on a bench and relax under the shade of the jungle behind you. Kick your feet up, conduct mini photoshoots with your friends. Whatever you want!

Just note that you're not actually supposed to go into the jungle..so adventure carefully! As in, make sure the guards aren't looking. Heh.





We ended up spending the rest of our time sitting here, enjoying being outside and catching up. It wasn't until the security guards starting kicking everyone out that we made our way out of the cactus gardens.


Unfortunately, everyone tries to leave at the same time because the center closes at 5:30pm on Sundays. So we ventured back towards all of the flowers near the entrance of the museum to kill some time before riding the tram.

And also dying because people kept blowing smoke right at us.




But finally, we were out. We were out and ready to grub. When we were sure that the parking lot would be stress-free and mostly empty, we scrambled into the car and sped towards our destination: Korean BBQ. But that's for next time.

(Thanks to Caitlin for the photos of me!)





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March 12, 2015

The Getty Center


In a continuation of Caitlin's birthday celebrations, we drove over to the Getty Center where we were met with the most insane traffic. I didn't realize at the time, but apparently there are a couple of exhibits that will be gone from the Getty after March. So people are packing it in and trying to see these works of art before they're shipped off elsewhere.

Bad timing for us. We waited to find parking and ended up with just two hours to roam the museum and the outdoor gardens.



Though, I can't complain. The Getty is such a beautiful place, it's distinctly different from the Villa and has been in movie after movie. It's architecturally stunning and always seems to be changing (they move the sculptures around the Center so that it's not always the same).

Roaming around the grounds is always visually pleasing and calming. No matter how busy the place is, you'll be able to find corners where you can spend a moment alone -- just enough for a deep breath of air or a quick snap of what seems like an empty building.



Caitlin and I fell in love with this walkway. The posts are covered in fragrant wisteria, and it's in a part of the Getty that most people don't venture to. It's a little bit out of the way from everything else, but if you take the time to go...


...you're treated to such lovely flowers and the most delicious smell. Is it weird to say that flowers smell delicious? 

It's everything that reminds me of being a child and wanting to run through fields and fields of flowers. I always had an image of myself barefoot, walking down a grassy path with blossoms hanging over me in an archway. The perfume of flowers making me feel cozy and sleepy.

Perfect for an afternoon nap.



Now would be a good time to point out that the person in my photos from the last post is Caitlin -- all of you were saying such nice things, but that isn't me! Above is Caitlin; below, is me. I'm not as fancy as her!



Anyway.

When you walk back towards the gardens, a winding path leads you to these flower trees. They're not as robust as they typically are, because it's just beginning to feel like spring here in California. These flowers, though, are easily the most memorable part of the Getty for me.

I remember coming here as a kid and pointing at the flowers every time. I wanted to have these in my backyard, some sort of ridiculously large backyard with enough room for flower gardens.




Could you imagine if you had this in your home?

Looking up at the sky with these flowers shading your face, the dog snoozing next to you in the grass while you read a book.

That's the life! I still want it.





For the first time, I walked down to the other side of the Alice in Wonderland-like garden and got a view of the waterfall head on.

There are tons of arches, flowers, and miscellaneous plants in this area. 

Though you need to be careful. I tripped three times, just in this section alone. Not sure what happened, but I'm thinking they wanted me out. The garden was rejecting my presence. I went in anyway, catching myself before I could fall flat on my face.






Look at this little fella hanging around the lavender!


After we sat in the gardens for a bit, hoping that the sweat would dry, C and I decided it was once again time to explore another part of the center.

We picked ourselves off of the bench and went back through the main entrance.




We walked under what I like to call my wishful home plans and through to the main level where all of the entrances to the other buildings are. A nice little map to show you how things are arranged, below!



So back out we went, eager to go deeper into the center. But I think that's enough for one post! I'm sure this one took an eternity to load for you, anyway.

My fingers are crossed that I'll be going hiking this weekend -- do you have any plans?





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