Austin trip recap

We drove from Houston back to Austin since we are flying out of there. I glad we did that rather than spend time in Austin and drive to Houston and drive back to Austin to fly home. I felt like we already drove so much in Houston due to its sprawl, it was nice to keep things (relatively) close in Austin. Austin was the more laid-back leg of the trip, we did a lot more walking and food crawling.

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Galveston half-day trip recap

We did a day trip from Houston to Galveston. In retrospect, I think we should have gone to the space center first and then spent the afternoon and evening in Galveston. It rained the whole day wherever we went. My friends and I noticed people wearing high rainboots — I guess they must get a lot of rain and it must be really high. Thankfully, I was wearing my waterproof hiking boots that day. My hiking boots got a lot use during the trip even though we only went on one hike.

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Houston food

Here are some of the food places we dined at in Houston. Please note, I am not a foodie. I don’t necessarily go to food places because I saw it on a magazine or TV. A lot of times it’s serendipitous — but really I’m just hungry. Also since I went with friends, they helped me decide where to go.

Phat Eatery (23119 Colonial Pkwy Suite B-2, Katy, TX 77449)

Cuisine: Malaysian

The first place we ate when we arrived to Houston after a 2.5-hour drive from Austin. This restaurant was in a large strip mall, I decided Phat Eatery because my friends never had Malaysian food.

Top from left to right: Sizzling Tofu (my favorite!), Roti Canai, Beef Rendang. Bottom: Sizzling Tofu, Mi Goreng, and I am guessing the vegetable side is water spinach (?)

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Houston trip recap

I’ve been meaning to write and reflect on my Texas. I recalled I promise to release a post the following week when I returned but that clearly didn’t happen (haha).

My friends and I met up in Austin and we drove straight to Houston first. It was about a 2.5+ hour drive. When planning for the trip, we thought it was best to go to Houston first rather than Austin because we wanted to get the long drive out of the way.

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Pops of pink (PPAC #70)

I know it’s a late post. Now that I have a kid, coming back to a normal routine after a vacation is quite a juggle. Before having a kid, I would be able to get back into a routine as soon as I returned from vacation or a business trip. Now looking back at that girl, I think she might be addicted to being busy. When I came back from my trip, I wanted to enjoy the pause, plan quietly my next thing, read, and watch the newest season of The Crown. I am forever a recovering busy-holic.

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Catching an early morning flight

I am back everyone! I promise I’ll post pictures in a future post and it won’t be posted six months after. In the meantime, grab some donuts from Austin. We got it from a place called The Salty. The star-shaped donut is the churro donut with a dulce de leche cream, the brown donut is a chocolate cake, and the white donut is a horchata donut. Honestly, I don’t think it tastes like horchata. It had a little cinnamon and the texture kind of reminded me of a tres leches cake which is also my favorite type of cake. We would also be snacking on some candied pecans. I picked up a bag from Buc-ee’s a popular large gas station/convenience store that also sells BBQ, merchandise, and home goods like a fire pit.

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In another 100 years…(PPAC #69)

…this iron statue will still stand in Sugarland, Texas. selfish.

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35

Yesterday was my birthday and I am now 35 years old.

I was about to share 35 lessons I’ve learned over the years in honor of my 35th birthday but it’s not quite finished yet. Instead of having one big post of 35 lessons –which would have been a very long post — I’ll break it up throughout the most. Keep in mind, these are just how I feel at the moment. Some are a little cynical and some of them I hope I outgrow someday. I may be 35, but I’m going through some growing pains so some lessons may not be so feel-goody…anyways here are my 35 life lessons and observations:

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What has Mocha the Travelling Bear been up to?

This was originally posted back in 2017. Scroll past the grey box to see what Mocha has been to up to!

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High sand dune, low lagoon

Huacachina, Peru is a pretty cool place to take photos, though it’s very touristy. I did not ride the sandbuggy nor sandboarding, my husband and I walked (or crawled) to to the top of the sand dune. We were stepping away from the tourist-heavy parts to admire these waves of sand.

Huacachina desert
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Postcard pastime

Here is my postcard collection. This is only a fraction of it. I get postcards from friends when they go on their vacations and I return the favor. Plus, when I travel I sent postcards to myself. It’s my little souvenir.

I also do this thing called Postcrossing where I would send a postcard to someone in the world and I would get a postcard back. I did this in my early 20s when the thought of travelling somewhere was just a dream. At the time, I was working an entry level job so I was not making a lot of money — just enough to pay for rent, food, gas, student loans, some fun, other debts, and some savings. Receiving postcards kept my dream of travelling somewhere alive — a reason to go on vacation. I guess I did a lot Postcrossing in my early 20s because I felt like I was in a funk.

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Finding blues and greens in the city

The most underrated feature of LA would have to be the nature and finding it is a lot closer than you think. I enjoy going to any green space to clear my mind after a long hard week at work. I know my husband fantasizes about living in the countryside, but to be honest I think he’d be tired of it very fast. If we lived in the countryside, would we seek solace (or fun) in the city if country life got monotonous? For me, I like to think finding a piece of nature in the city is a treat.

Some hiking trail in Chatsworth
Encino Resevoir
Somewhere in Griffith Park. This is one of my favorite photo where you get the downtown LA Skyline and the Griffith Observatory.

Lens-Artist Photo Challenge: Cool Colors – Blue and Green (host: Tina)

Some green and blues I came across the blogosphere:

John’s Space – featuring the most gorgeous lilacs!

Slow Shutter Speed – A beautiful ocean drive from San Jose to Pacific Grove.

Leya – A beautiful collection of greens and blues.

My Camera and I – Another beautiful collection featuring this lake.

Bulldog travels – shares photos from the Golden Gate Park Botanical Gardens. I haven’t been to that place in years. I loved how that city is so bikeable and walkable — although incredibly expensive!

P.A. Moed – Check out that mural! It’s stunning! Very Narnia like!

The Showers of Blessings – A very interesting history of peacocks in the San Gabriel area. Since I live in LA it explains some of the street names.

Bend Branches – beautiful sky shots!