Sorry for the mess

I apologize for the mess! We just returned from a camping trip with friends in the Eastern Sierra Nevadas. We camped out in Tinnemaha Creek Campground. It was a short but sweet trip. I’ve never been out in the Eastern Sierra Nevadas. The landscape here is quite interesting — desert life in the foreground and high icy mountains in the background. I would love to explore other parts of the Eastern Sierras such as Mono Lake, Manzanar, and the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest.

Continue reading Sorry for the mess

Just Chill

Our miniature schnauzer, Teddy tends to be resistant to water unless it is in a water bowl. But from our camping trip, we went hiking around Hume Lake. It was a hot day and Teddy did not mind taking a dip in the water before completing the rest of the loop. There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of rest. Thank you for the reminder, puppies. I can always tell myself “the world can wait.” There is no need to finish everything and everything quickly.

Teddy does not know how to swim, but he found a place that is shallow where he can rest for a little bit. Koda, of course, joined in.

Hume Lake

Hume Lake

My question here is: how is nobody in that hammock? This frame looks so peaceful! The funny thing about camping is you could do nothing for an hour and you don’t feel a itch to do something. At home or at work, doing nothing for two minutes makes you restless and can make you other around you feel restless.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Waiting

Check out some of these submissions for their interpretation for “Waiting“:

Back from Sequoia/Life Audit

I’m back from Sequoia and Kings Canyon! Here are some photos taken from my smart phone. Stay tuned for photos from my Sony NEX camera!

How was it?

Comparing this trip to last year’s trip to Zion National Park — Zion was more glamping. Come on — we had wi-fi in our camping ground and 15 minutes away, we had Starbucks.

This year’s camping trip with friends was a title rougher. Most of our group had no cell phone signal — unless you had Verizon. Also it rained during half of our trip and parts of our tent inside got soaked. On the days when there was no rain, it was very hot and there were some forest fires so the air was smoky. Also our campground was a few miles away from the main road. The road to our campground was mostly dirt and it can get bumpy. Taking a forest road may not be good for those who get car sick easily.


Off the Forest Road. You get the trees up close, but sit tight for a bumpy ride.

Seasons of Friends

Every year, since 2015, we’ve organized camping trips exploring National Parks with friends. Come to think of it, it turns out we have special friends event throughout the year and it was not intentional.

  • Spring/Summer: Camping trip — our newest tradition.
  • Fall: Friendsgiving
  • Winter: Our oldest event, the Holiday dinner with a White Elephant gift exchange. This was established before I started college and met everyone — it was established in 2004, but I did not partake until 2006. For a lot of us, it’s the only friends event we attend for the year. It’s a wonderful way to catch up.

I think it’s pretty cool we continue these traditions no matter what stage in life we are. Throughout the years some of us went out-of-state for school or for work, brought boyfriends/girlfriends, got dumped, some of us got married, have kids. It’s interesting how time is fleeting and how far we’ve come.

Right: The meadow next to our campground. Left: Hume Lake

Counting my blessings thousands of times over

I am 30 years and 2 days old now. I would not celebrate my 30th birthday weekend any other way. For me, instead of spending money and energy on a fancy hotel party, I would like to use it to celebrate all month-long. This month of September I’ll be auditing my life, sharing things that bring me joy and meaning. Brace yourself folks.

I’ve been blessed with life for the past 30 years. Looking back with melancholy and a heavy heart, there have been some people who not have made it. People who I thought could have done great things in life, but were taken away so soon. We heard news of a high school classmate who passed away in July 2016. We all found out after the fact via social media one year later. I use to see this person around town often, we’d say “hello” and catch up. It was wonderful to have known him during my school years during a phase where fitting in mattered, but he made you embrace your inner-quirky — who makes you, you. His passing was like a light went out in this world…or another way to put it: the lives he’s touched, we’ll carry the torch.


Me with my husband and dogs exploring the river.

It was a wonderful long weekend spending it with the people I care about. Here’s to more of that!

Off topic:

Advisory: Camping may cause you to do one or some of the following as soon as you get home:

  1. Consider a diet of green smoothies 2 out 3 meals.
  2. Consider a vegan diet 
  3. Make stove top roasted marshmallows for s’mores
  4. To immediately go shower and scrub all the dirt off
  5. Plan your next trip
  6. Clearer thinking
  7. Consider buying more plants for your place
  8. Pursue new challenges

Week 4: That time we accidentally went glamping

Week  4 of the Weekly Travel Blogging Challenge: Travel Misadventures

Maybe I can’t say “accidently went glamping.” It was more like a series of events happened and we went glamping.

To preface this, every year our friends and us go somewhere to camp. It somehow became an annual event and we called it the “Friends Camping Trip.” In 2012, we went to Anza Borrego and Sequoia. In 2015, we went to Yosemite. In 2016, we went to Zion. This year, we’re going to Sequoia. In 2018, we’re slated to go to Taiwan — I’m not sure if this is going to be an actual camping trip.

When we camp, we pitch tents in a campground, make food, make a campfire, go hiking, and not shower for x amount of days. From our campground, we don’t have cellular data nearby and for some people not having cellular data would drive them crazy. In 2015, on the Yosemite trip, we had a few first-time campers who were not sure what to do with their cell phone without any cellular data. Also there’s no outlet to charge your phone anywhere. These first-time campers did not want to come back camping with us the following year.

Back to the original story, when we went to Zion last year, there were a series of events that happened where we ended up glamping. We spent a fews hours at Las Vegas from Los Angeles to rest — it was the halfway point to get to Zion. From Las Vegas to Zion, we left at 3 in the morning and had breakfast halfway through our trip. By the time we got to Zion, it was not even  7 AM and the lines to get into Zion were jammed. By the time we arrived a lot of the camp spots were already occupied and they don’t do advanced reservations. It was first-come, first-serve. We spent about 2 hours driving in the park looking for a camp spot and no luck.

I wonder, if we left at 2 AM or maybe skipped breakfast we could have found a spot? Not sure. Oh yeah, I have to mention, we went to Zion a Memorial Day Weekend. We won’t plan camping trip around a holiday again.

What is our definition of “glamping”?

When we couldn’t find a camping spot in Zion, my friend said, “worst case scenario,  we can always find ourselves a dog friendly hotel.” I thought that was pretty funny.

I suggested let’s not look for a hotel in the area just yet. We already packed our tents, our sleeping bags, coolers of food, pillows. Packing for a camping trip is a lot of stuff for a rather short trip. Instead of looking a hotel, we looked for campgrounds outside of Zion.

And we found a place. It was a RV and campground right outside of Zion. About 30-40 minutes away from the main entrance, but about a five minute drive away from Kolob Canyon — a far less crowded part of the park.

The campground were nice, but I even have to say it rather fancy for a campground because it had:

  • Laundry unit which we used.
  • Wi-Fi
  • A full bathroom with toilet, sink, and showers. Yes, we showered during our camping trip. Instead of holding out until the last day of the camping trip and pay $5 to shower like in Yosemite, showers came with this campground and it was complementary.

Puppy sleeping

Teddy is the most glamped up of all.


A firepit we did not make and logs were provided by the campground!

french press

I was satisfied with my French Press coffee I brought on this camping trip, until I saw our neighbors drive into their spot with a cup of Starbucks. Are you telling me there’s a Starbucks close by? There was and we went to Starbucks. I can’t believe was “camping.”

  • Also to add, this campground was also an RV park and some of the RVs people had were nice! One of them had a karaoke machine in his RV and wanted to invite us over to karaoke. I wanted tell the person (jokingly), “Hi, not all Asians like to karaoke.”

What is your definition of glamping? Comment below!

Overall, our trip to Zion was a lot of fun. Instead of sharing all these unexciting photos of French press coffee and of Teddy sleeping in a tent, here’s a few photos of our Zion trip. I hope there will be opportunity to share more of these photos again, so here’s a teaser:

We’re cheering on Teddy to cross the river! This was Teddy’s first trip camping and being out of state.

The top-left photo is Kolob Canyon and the other two are Angel’s Landing.

Stay tuned for more photos of Zion in a future post!

Read more posts from the Travel Blogging Challenge:

Week 1: Your Favorite Travel Photo of You and Intro
Week 2: Little Known Travel Tips
Week 3: Funny Travel Story

Who else is doing the challenge?

Interested in participating in the Weekly Travel Blogging Challenge? Feel free to make your own today!