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by Orchid Singson

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Pier 39

March 19, 2015
To be perfectly honest, I wasn't that excited to visit Pier 39 on my second day in San Francisco. I generally try to stay away from tourist traps, but the pier was much more enjoyable (i.e. less crowded) than I thought it would be! It really helped that I went on a weekday morning haha. I strolled along the pier, explored a few of the souvenir shops, ate a delicious (but overpriced) pasta lunch, and even saw a few sea lions! It's a good place to bring any first-time visitors to SF, but I'd strongly suggest going during non-peak hours.

+ Visitor tip: Use this coupon to get a free Pier 39 Fun Pack at the California Welcome Center. It comes with all sorts of coupons, including free 2-hour parking. Most of the restaurants on the pier will only give you one hour of free parking, so this is a great deal!

Fortunes and Luck

March 15, 2015

Have you ever purchased a Japanese fortune before? Because I did, last week at the Japanese Tea Garden in San Francisco. I thought that it would be as simple as choosing a piece of paper (there was a little tree with papers tied to it outside of the gift shop), but boy was I wrong.

After receiving my payment of $2 (not a bad price), the woman behind the cash register pulled out a container filled with sticks. She started shaking it and told me to focus all of my energy towards it. Then I had to choose a stick. Each one had a number that corresponded to a certain fortune. The woman handed me a folded piece of paper and told me that I had to read it before leaving the garden. If I didn't like it (apparently some of them can be bad), all I had to do was tie it to the tree that I saw outside. You essentially have the choice of accepting your fortune or leaving it behind, which I thought was pretty cool! I ended up keeping mine. Here's what part of it said:

General Luck | Excellent - A new kind of opportunity or idea grows within you. It's best to discuss these ideas with your friends and through these interactions your idea will continue to grow and you'll have a better grasp of what you want to do with it.

Here's a short video clip from my visit:

All at Sea

March 10, 2015
"I'm all at sea, where no one can bother me."

I'm a bit behind on blogging, but that's because I just got back from a trip up to San Francisco! Whenever I visit, I always try to see someplace new. This time I ended up exploring Torpedo Wharf over in the northern part of the city. It's the perfect spot for viewing the Golden Gate Bridge up close. Plus, if you get a bit chilly (like I did), you can always purchase a delicious cup of hot chocolate from The Warming Hut. There will be more San Francisco photos appearing here on the blog soon!

Bottega Louie

March 4, 2015

There's obviously more to Bottega Louie than just their spectacularly colorful macaron displays. But let's face it, whenever I walk into that restaurant, all I really want to photograph are those darn macarons. They're just so pretty!! In other news, I'll be taking a fun road trip out of town this weekend. Expect more photos soon! You can also keep up with me on Instagram :)

Horseshoe Bend

March 1, 2015

While I was in Arizona last month, I stopped by a popular hiking trail that leads down to a spectacular overlook of the Colorado River. This section of the river is called Horseshoe Bend. It's conveniently only a few minutes away from Antelope Canyon, so it was the perfect addition to my trip!

The trail itself is an easy 15-minute walk downhill. Once you get to the cliffs, you'll notice that there aren't any rails or gates to keep people away from the edge. This is both exhilarating and terrifying. I noticed a few parents holding onto their kids (I don't blame them!). I thought it was pretty great to be able to shoot photos and enjoy the views without anything in the way.

Anyways, here's a short video clip from Horseshoe Bend below. And check out other posts from my trip to Arizona here (Antelope Canyon) and here (Wahweap Overlook).