Saturday, January 23, 2016

Philadelphia + California photo diary

Last few photos from Philadelphia: 1.) the old city hall where the independence hall also is---not entirely sure why it is sideways but it's flickr, so...; 2.) it is what it is as it says on the narrative; 3.) a pretty space by the hall; 4.) and that's the Liberty Bell that a lot of people including natives playing tourist in Philadelphia come to see. It took us 15 to 20 minutes tops to walk from a cafe that was close to the Philadelphia Convention Center, from after breakfast to make it to the Liberty Bell and the Independence Hall/Old City Hall and back. I'm still a bit remorseful I never got around to visiting a place Edgar Allan Poe stayed in seeing as I am a fan. Literature buff talk, yes. Don't mind me and please move along.

Of course, to further make worse my remorse at not visiting an Edgar Allan Poe landmark, this hotel, the Renaissance, that we were housed at by Delta thanks to a flight that was never cancelled but left super late due to some electrical failure---we would've missed our connecting flight to LAX by then if we went through with that flight instead of re-booking to another connecting one via Cincinnati, Ohio---well, I'll leave it to your imagination. The just had to have an old compilation of his works right next to Shakespeare's. The Renaissance Hotel at Philadelphia's lobby was beautifully lit and decorated for Christmas, however, and was quite the site to behold. I also got fixated with how the hotel was structured while we were at one of the rooms at the 10th or so floor for the night before the flight to LA.

Fun activity to do when in California? Hiking and beach-hopping. It is by the Pacific so it is just as pretty as the isolated islands here at home is and probably even more so because how the beaches are preserved is just...I can't say anything about it. There's a hiking trail at the Trump National Golf Club at Rancho Palos Verdes that offers pretty good fitness benefits. Going up and down the beach area and the trail is exhausting and therefore sort of beats an everyday trip at the gym. All you need is your tank of gas if you came from an area like Long Beach like I, my cousins, dad and aunt did when we went there. The hiking is free of charge, the beach view and entertainment to be had by it (you can probably even go picnicking there) is priceless.

The neighborhood and beach in Newport Beach area is really pretty. So posh.

And a few more miles' worth of drive from the Newport Beach neighborhood, right past the busier but still posh part of Laguna Beach and Crystal Cove is 1000 Steps Beach. It was busy when we made it there. It seems some couple had, had their pre-nup photos taken there. Pretty rad.

The Grove is fine, lovely and lively at night. Their Barnes and Noble is worth getting lost in along with their Topshop. Now if only I had more to spend at the latter.

 A trip is not a trip if you don't have a haul. On the way to and from the United States, the two Delta flights I've been on has transfers in Narita, Tokyo. I know, I know. Ever the Japanophile, this magazine haul is the next best thing seeing as I couldn't go out of the airport given the window of time I have to make it to the next flight and that I don't have the Japan Visa---my target this year or early next year is just that. Protip? A lot of the souvenir shops at the airport including one pharmacy I checked out does transactions fine in other currencies namely the British Pound, the European Euro, the American Dollars and the Canadian Dollars. Oh, and the Peanuts tote bag is a freebie from Sweet, a collab with Ungrid.

 I wanted a little something from Japan, I got a keychain. It should go well with the coin purse I got from the Japanese National foster brother but I'll probably just end up attaching it to a bag or something. And I failed to get a beauty haul from the pharmacy as I had been hoping to do. Yes, it is in Narita that I blew almost all of the Christmas gift cash I had been given granted the family and I spent that one in Long Beach for close to 3 weeks...including the New Year. It had been a fun vacation.

 Well, the SoCal beauty haul fared better. Other than that, I got to go home with a new-ish hair color via the cousin and her friends...when on a girls' night in at the cousin's place. I'll debut this one later but then my roots are already showing so should the ombre be a thing, I'll debut it eventually. I'm in the process of considering getting my first tub of the L'Oreal High Blue Quick Powder Lightener however so we'll see where this love affair with bleach and hair colors go. It's that or I get something cheaper from the local beauty supply store. We'll see. (I never did achieve the dirty blonde I wanted...yet but I'll probably just stick to the ash blonde I have that's closer to a light brown I'd been hoping to get for a while now.)

Happy 2016! Now, life resumes and goes on onward.