Category Archives: Places
Our last day in San Diego! We checked out of our hotel and left our bags with them before heading to the San Diego Zoo. We got there right at opening time to beat the crowds. We headed straight to the panda exhibit since one of the biggest reasons I wanted to visit San Diego was to see the panda cub Xiao Liwu. Unfortunately, the little guy was all curled up high in a tree, sleeping. So all we saw of him was this little black and white fur ball between the branches.
But his mommy Bai Yun was right up front and was super cute and cuddly while she chewed on bamboo.
Then my camera’s battery died halfway through our day since I forgot to bring my charger, so I had limited photos from the zoo. Oh well.
Has anyone ever actually seen a koala who’s awake?! They’re always sleeping whenever I see them at zoos!
The orangutans were really entertaining to watch!
After the zoo we picked up our bags from the hotel and took the bus to the airport and ended our trip in San Diego. We had a lot of fun during our short time there! We’re slowly but surely working our way through different places in California :)
Day 2 of our San Diego trip started with us getting a quick bite of breakfast at 7-11, and then it was onto the bus to take us to SeaWorld! We did most of the rides (except for the really kiddie ones).
The Skytower offered great views of the whole park and the surrounding areas:
We also saw almost all of the animal exhibits, like this cute beluga whale:
And this walrus:
And this turtle:
There was this cute duck couple walking around while we had lunch. The male was following the female the whole time. So adorable.
As for shows, we saw Blue Horizons:
And Sea Lions Live:
The sea lions were so cute and funny!
And of course One Ocean with Shamu! (Fun fact: I play Shamu during a skit in English class in grade 12. I cannot recall what the skit was about and why Shamu was in it.)
We stayed pretty much until the park closed and took a bus back to our hotel. By then it was getting pretty late and I was starving. Good thing Yufei booked a dinner reservation at Salvatore’s that night, since it happens to be our 4 and a half year anniversary.
Salvatore’s is a very nice Italian restaurant. We were seated next to the piano player and we really enjoyed the music throughout our meal. We were also given 2 glasses of complimentary Prosecco after we were seated! Such a nice surprise. Their bread was also nice and warm and crusty.
We shared an appetizer of tomato, avocado, and mozzarella cheese, which they actually put onto 2 separate plates for each of us (a nice touch):
For my main dish I ordered a linguini pasta with crab:
It was hearty and spicy and really yummy. Yufei got veal:
We were too full at that point for dessert, so our meal ended there. It was a wonderful dinner – great food, service, and ambiance!
Yufei and I took a quick 3 day, 2 night trip to San Diego a couple of weeks ago. I’ve been wanting to go since the baby panda was born at the San Diego Zoo, whom I had been watching on Pandacam since the very beginning. So on the second week of April, we finally flew down to San Diego for a little vacation.
After we arrived, we took a bus to our hotel, dropped off our bags, and headed out. We had a quick lunch and then walked over to Balboa Park. We took the day pretty easy and just walked around the park, enjoying the sunshine and the beautiful scenery.
We thought about visiting one of the many museums in the park, but it was rather late in the afternoon at that point and we didn’t want to pay for admission then have to rush through the museum. In hindsight, I’m glad we didn’t do the museums and just relaxed.
In the late afternoon we took a bus back to our hotel (the walk was pretty long on the way there) and checked into our room. We stayed at the Keating Hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter. The location of the hotel was pretty convenient, close to bus stops and has lots of restaurants and nightlife around the area. Our room was pretty barebones, what I would describe as industrial chic. They had all the necessary amenities though and served its purpose for a short trip.
After we rested a bit in our hotel, we headed out to get some dinner. I was in the mood for Mexican food, and we went to Fred’s Mexican Cafe, which was within walking distance to the hotel. The decor was interesting, very tropical and resort-y.
We had to wait for a booth, so we sat at the bar and ordered some blended margaritas. They were okay, a little weak and watered down. We got a booth a little while later. They brought some warm tortilla chips with salsa and they were delicious. Yufei ordered a carnitas burrito for his dinner:
And I got the baja fish tacos:
Both were pretty good and satisfied my Mexican craving for then (I’m kind of obsessed with fish tacos right now). After dinner we walked back to our hotel and rested for the night to get ready for day 2 of our San Diego adventure!
Spring weather has been kind of all over the place in SF so far, but there have seen some gorgeous sunny days for sure. Yufei and I picked 2 of these days to visit the San Francisco Botanical Garden and the Conservatory of Flowers, both located in Golden Gate Park.
The botanical garden is free for SF residents, which is awesome. Check out these pretty flower we saw when we were there.
There’s a little lake in the middle, and we spent some time enjoying the sun on a bench and watching the ducks.
It was also magnolia season when we visited.
I can imagine myself coming here with a blanket and a good book and just spend all afternoon lying on the grass reading. I will definitely be back in the future!
And here is the beautiful Conservatory of Flowers! The building itself is really gorgeous, and there is lots of lawns space outside for lazing around.
It costs money to go inside, but again there is a discount for residents which is great. There are a lot of really cool plants inside, including many species of pitcher plants.
The flowerbeds outside make for a beautiful backdrop for photos!
Just some stuff I did this month that I thought I’d share.
Chinese New Year lunch at my parents’ house. This is the first time I celebrated CNY with my parents in 5 years! Year of the Snake, which is my sign, which apparently means that I will have bad luck this year. Yeah, I never understood that either.
After lunch that same day, we took a walk in the Hayward Japanese Gardens nearby. It was a gorgeous day and the ground were really pretty too.
Finally rode in a streetcar after living in SF for 8 month! Yufei’s parents were visiting us and I got to do a lot of really touristy things in the city with them that I never got to do, this being one of them.
Beautiful sunset by the ocean.
Vista Point. A really nice place to view the Golden Gate Bridge from the north side.
Alcatraz! Another touristy visit.
Alcatraz offers some absolutely amazing views of SF. I like how you can see the streets go up the hill :)
We had some really nice warm sunshine last week, as you can see from the photos. But this week has been rather cold and yucky. I hope we get the sun back soon!
Yufei and I went on little weekend trip to Sacramento a few weeks ago. Megabus recently opened up some new routes in California and it was super cheap to take a bus to get to Sacramento (fares start at $1!). We got there in the early afternoon and our first stop after lunch was the Crocker Art Museum.
It was a much bigger museum than we anticipated! There was everything from modern and contemporary art to European masterpieces to Asian and African art.
There was even a special Norman Rockwell exhibit going on when we were there, which was a nice surprise. They had this little station set up where you can take a photo resembling Rockwell’s Triple Self Portrait.
The next morning we walked around Capitol Park and eventually made our way over to the State Capitol. It was a beautiful sunny day but very cold. Too bad we couldn’t take a tour inside because it was a weekend.
We walked around downtown a bit more and then in the afternoon went to the California Railroad Museum.
We learned a lot about the history of the Transcontinental Railroad and California’s history (now we actually know where many of the names of the streets in SF come from!).
There were also a lot of restored and reconstructed train cars that you can explore and even board. The coolest one was a sleeper car that even mimicked the motion of a travelling train!
I had a lot of fun on this little trip. It was the perfect affordable mini day or weekend trip from SF!
Reminder: You still have time to enter and win my very first giveaway of a beauty pack right here!
Okay, time for another update on the state of my dental school apps. As I mentioned in my last post, I was fortunate enough to receive acceptances to all three of the dental schools I interviewed at pre-December: NYU, UCSF, and UoP. I also had my Harvard interview last week, which was my last interview since I decided to cancel my UPenn one. So, so far I’ve applied to 6 schools, got interviews at 5, attended 4, and received acceptances to 3. Not bad!
My Harvard interview went pretty well I think. There were 2 interviews, and mine were with a fourth year student and the director of admissions. Everyone I met at the school was very friendly, and everything was great. Here’s a photo of me in front of the dental building:
However, I’m still not convinced that Harvard is the right school for me. For one, I don’t know if I want to live in Boston for 4 years. It would be nice to be back on the east coast, closer to a lot of my friends, but Boston didn’t seem that exciting to me. A current student told me that everyone at Harvard loved Boston except people from NYC. It’s true that I’d been spoiled to spend 4 years in NYC and nowhere else can really compare. The area around the medical campus has nothing, and even downtown was kind of small. And also I’m not sure if I like HSDM’s program. Dental students take classes with the med students in the first 2 years, and pre-clinic doesn’t even start until third year. I’m not sure if I like that. And it seems like the majority of students there want to specialize, but I’m undecided about that right now. On the other hand, it’s P/F, everyone seemed very happy to be there, and I’m sure that Harvard will provide unlimited opportunities. Anyways, I’m getting ahead of myself, since I won’t receive a decision until January at the earliest.
Which brings me to the next step, making a decision of where to put down my deposit. Right now I’m deciding between UCSF and UoP since NYU is expensive and I liked the atmosphere the least of the 3 schools. And since my parents just moved down to the Bay Area and Yufei and I are just getting settled here, it’s easier to just stay. But UCSF vs. UoP is proving to be a very difficult choice. I am truly torn! I’ve down pros and cons lists, asked friends’ opinions, consulted the internet… I still need to discuss it more with my parents and think about it in depth some more. But a choice will be made very soon, and I will keep you guys posted!