Pineapple PlantationTour: Oahu, Hawaii

You cannot visit Oahu and not visit the pineapple plantation. This place pretty much produces like 90% of the pineapples for the US. They also grow other fruits as well (such as: rambutan, sugar cane, jackfruit), not just pineapples. I literally spent like 30 -45 mins just browsing the souvenirs store. There was so much! i didn’t know what to buy! You can get anything from pineapple gummie bears to pineapple pancakes batter. After buying all the candies and snacks I wanted to bring back to Cali, i headed outside. They have a mini garden outside in the back where you can see baby pineapples. Of course, I browsed around and took pictures of almost everything there!

There are 3 tours you can do:
1. Train Ride Through History: It’s a  20-minute train tour aboard the Pineapple Express that covers two miles of the plantation. You’ll travel through the greenery of the North Shore on a custom-made while listening to narration on James Dole, the agricultural history of the island and the Dole story. You’ll see a working plantation showcasing stages of pineapple and other tropical fruits from planting to harvest.  My friend and I opted for this tour. Tickets cost $8.50 for adults and $6.50 for children. The only thing that was a bummer with this tour was that the pineapples were already harvested so we didn’t see any during the ride.

2. Plantation Garden Tour: It’s a self-guided tour where you get up close and personal with the plants and fruits and learn how pineapples grow. Through an audio tour, you’ll hear about the Hawaiian heritage and history of the Dole Plantation. There are 8 different gardens you’ll be visiting. Tickets for adults are $5.00, and for kids $4.25.

3. Pineapple Maze: Apparently this is the world’s largest maze in 2008. There are 8 hidden stations, and if you complete the maze in record time, you’ll win a prize and have your name inscribed at the maze entrance. Tickets for adults run at $6.00 and $4.00 for kids.

Note: even if you just come here for fun and don’t want to do any of the tours, you must ABSOLUTELY get dole whipped yogurt ice cream. It is absolutely refreshing and tasty! Ever since I had it at Disneyland here in California, I’ve been dreaming of having the REAL thing in Hawaii and it did not disappoint! Honestly, I still drool over it just thinking about it.

The dole plantation is one of those tourist things that you need to do once in your lifetime. It’s not the most exciting thing if you dont care for educational, history stuff so you’ll probably just be bored if you do visit the second time. But definitely visit it at least once if you’re every in Oahu!

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Lanikai Beach

This was the first beach we visited. Parking was difficult because there’s no parking lot here, you literally can only park on the sides of the road. 

Once parked, this was the view as we made our way to the beach.  

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Best part of visiting this beach was seeing the sea turtle!!! Bummed that there was only one that day but so happy that I even got to see one during my trip. It was definitely one of the highlights of my trip. 

After seeing the sea turtle, we went straight to snorkeling. This was my first time snorkeling ever! And for someone who is not a strong swimmer (I can’t tread water), this beach was very easy to snorkel. The water was so clear, you can literally see the fish in shallow water. Just swim towards the corals/reefs/rocks and you’ll find the fish! I didn’t see a school of fish, but I saw like 5 or 6 fish. I was so in awe! It was an amazing experience. Side note: I bought a fairly cheap snorkeling gears at CVS on the way to the beach. So glad that I did;  I ended up bringing it back to cali with me too. We snorkeled for about an hour until we got kicked off the beach since the storm and rain were coming,  and there was lightning. 

Warning though,  the rocks are sharp and painful!  I cut my pinky toe on one of the rocks. 

What I love about lanikai is that it’s a small beach and is not crowded with a bunch of tourists. It made snorkeling for the first time super easy (the waves weren’t crazy strong and you can see the fish in shallow water!).

Cee

Oahu, Hawaii

There are so many photos to share and so many things to write about hawaii, I don’t even know where to begin.
Let’s start with the purpose of my trip. I was in oahu for a friend’s wedding.  I bought my round trip tickets from Hawaiian Airline. I booked my flights in late June so about 2 months before my trip on Aug 23. I was so scared that tickets would would be expensive but luckily the bride and groom registered their wedding with hawaiian airline so guests get 5% off on their flights. Did you all know that you can register with an airline for your wedding? I did not! I thought it was pretty cool and super convinent for their guests. Anyway, with the discounted rate, my round trip flight was about $550, flying out of LAX, nonstop. I typically like sitting in the aisle seat because I use the restroom alot, but decided to sit by the window seats for the view of hawaii and I’m so glad I did. These views from above are absolutely worth the multiple times I asked my neighbor to move so I could use  the restroom.

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The Honolulu airport is not as pretty as what I pictured. It’s very old and outdated. Definitely one of the “uglier” airports I’ve been too.

My friends who arrived the day before I did picked me up, and we drove about 45 mins to north shore. North shore, by the way, is my favorite part of Oahu. It’s definitely less crowded, less tourists,  and really encompasses the hawaiian life.

Our first stop was for food, of course! Went to this little cute area that had about 5 food trucks.  t

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Giovanni ' s shrimp truck was bomb! Line to order and wait for food took about 30 mins

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View of what's behind the food trucks

I shared the garlic shrimp plate with my friend. First meal of the trip and it
did not disappoint!

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Afterwards, we got our first shaved ice of the trip, Masumoto. This place seriously has the best shaved ice I’ve ever had in my entire life!!

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Stay tuned for my next post as it will be on the first beach I visited in hawaii!!

Cee

City life in Austin

Ok, I lied. The previous post wasn’t my last post on Austin; here’s one last one!! This one is of the vibrant, colorful, artistic city life in austin.  We went everywhere from east 6th street to soco to downtown. There was even a farmers market one day. I love this city, so fun, hip, lively and young! 

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Cee

Austin, TX: Zilker Botanical Garden

We spent half a day exploring Zilker Park. Although it was hot and humid in Austin, there was alot of greens throughout the park. I guess unlike California, they do get their rains over there.  My favorite part while exploring the park was this little peekaboo spot where you can see the skyline of downtown austin.  I love taking pics of landscapes, trees and flowers so this was the perfect location for me to play around with my camera.  I left with a greater appreciation for our parks, plants and trees.

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A picture of me taking a picture.

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I just came back from a 5 days trip to Hawaii.  So stay tuned for my upcoming posts on oahu. There are so many pics to share; I’ll try not to lag in sharing them. I know it took me months to blog  about Austin. But I just feel so inspired after the hawaii trip that I will be updating this blog more often! I’m so excited and can’t wait to share my trip to Hawaii with you all!!!

Cee

Graffiti Art Around Austin

There were so many gratifi art around austin! It was definitely my favorite thing about the city.

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Found this while walking down east 6th street

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East 6th street

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Welcome to austin

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Love the colors

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Beautiful vibrant colors, bummed I didn't get the name of the intersections this is located at. But we stumbled upon this randomly when we stopped to look at directions

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Found this inside a clothing store

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There's art everywhere in austin...including inside a botique

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Down east 6th street

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Texas flag!

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So cute

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In front of amy's ice cream shop

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Witnessed a proposal. ♡. This is right at the jo's coffee shop

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Austin ♡. At hope gallery on Baylor street

Cee

What is your passion?

This post is kinda off topic from my usual traveling and photography pictures posts… but it does somewhat relate to my hobbies: photography and traveling.  And so I would like to share some personal thoughts on a topic that really got me thinking and doing a lot of self reflecting.

I was out a few weekends ago and struck a conversation with this stranger and he asked me a question that no one has asked me before (weird that in my 28 years of existence, no one has asked me this.  And also weird that I was with someone for 8 years and we did not ask each other this – maybe this is one of the reasons why we are not together anymore). Anyway, this stranger asked me:  so what is your story?  What is your passion?

For several seconds,  my mind went blank.  For the first time,  I didn’t know what to say.  So i finally said “what do you mean tell you my story?  I’m in HR and recruiting”. And he said,  “No, what are you passionate about”. Again, I couldn’t come up with an answer.  Good thing he was buzzed and it was dark and loud so he couldn’t see or hear the shakiness in my voice to come up with an answer. I finally said ” I guess you can say I’m passionate with yoga and photography”.  He said “ok, everyone does yoga so that’s cool. But ok, tell me about your photography. .what do you like to shoot. What do you look for when you’re shooting?”

No one has ever asked me about my photography. .. and so I’ve never had to explain what I shoot, why I shoot that and what I look for.  And so as I’m answering his questions,  I find myself coming up with the answers as I go. I know why I like taking pics of nature but I never really said it out loud,  not even to myself,  let alone explain it to a stranger.

Ever since that night,  I’ve been thinking alot… what is my passion in life?  Is it really photography and yoga?  What is it that im good at?  I’m not good at yoga or photography so can I say that those are my passions? Can you be passionate about something and not be good at it? But if I’m passionate about it then I should be good at it right? And this is where I’m stuck…between what I’m good at and what I’m passionate for. This is where I struggle in finding the answers to that question.

It’s too bad that I didn’t get this guy’s name or number because I really like that he challenged me. He definitely made me think about things that never really crossed my mind.

It has been months, and I’m still thinking about what are my passions in life. But I’ve concluded that you don’t have to be good at what you’re passionate about. Being passionate about something is not a skill; for example, you dont have to be good at traveling. Being passionate about something is loving what you do, no matter how hard it is, no matter how many obstacles you have to overcome to achieve it; it’s having these obstacles yet still wanting it, still hungry and yearning for it..that is what having a passion is all about.  I’m not good at yoga or photography but I still do them, trying to improve myself in those areas everyday…and that is what I’m passionate about.

I learned that it’s okay to not know the answers sometimes. That’s life, nothing comes easy. If it is that easy, then it is not worth living. Sometimes you have to think, discover yourself, experience it to discover the answers. You don’t have to have the answers at that moment. It takes time. .. sometimes a few weeks or months or sometimes a lifetime. But the answers will come to you and when they do, everything that you’ve experienced to get to that moment of realization, will be absolutely worth it.

Half the year is already over, damn, how time flies. I cannot wait to finish the year out strong…there are still so many more places to visit, so many more places to take pics of. I cannot wait! 

Cee

Austin, TX

I visited austin last weekend and I left wanting more!! There are so many pictures from the trip, I’m going to have to post multiple posts….so excuse the spamming.

Austin is very vibrant and artistic. There’s gratifi art and live music everywhere. Everyone has a bike and owns a dog. It’s very fun, young,  and hip. If you’re a super liberal person then this is the place for you.  I really don’t think I saw any old people here hahah. The weather is humid and hot, luckily there was so rain and floods during the time I was there.

There are so many restaurants here; almost every single restaurant has outdoors seating…so cute! The food was great,  especially Mexican food and BBQ ribs. Asian food like vietnamese and ramen missed the mark, but the tacos are delicious here!

Austin really is central hipster town.  It’s very similar to portland, except alot more fast paced!!! The fashion and style here is very music festival,  just imagine what people wear to coachella and that’s pretty much austin.

University of Texas is right in the middle of downtown austin (beautiful campus) and so partying is definitely fun here. There’s dirty 6th street, which is best described as the central spot for college students to party. They close down several blocks of 6th street on the weekends for people to partyyy! !. 6th street is very similar to king street in  charleston and downtown orlando. Then there’s east 6th street, known as hipster street. This was my absolute favorite spot to hang out! So many unique and cute hang out spots in this area. People in austin are so nice and friendly..definitely a very safe city to be in.

I really think that food trucks originated in austin because they are everywhere here. Unlike the food trucks area in la, in austin they have seating areas for you.  There’s literally a  lot of food trucks at very block.

Austin’s slogan is “keep austin weird” which I really don’t get it because to me austin is not weird at all. I feel like I fit right in! Maybe it’s because I am weird? Haha. I definitely wanna come back here again…there are still a few things I wanna do but didn’t get the chance to.

I will do seperate posts of specific things I did and places I visited with lots of pics included.

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This was found on the floor at whole foods (flagship store)

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Found at a clothing botiqur

Cee

Nassau, Bahamas

I went on a cruise to Nassau, Bahamas about two years ago. ..May 2013 ( it was a 3 day cruise during memorial day weekend.) The pictures below are of Atlantis Resort in Nassua.

The cruise itself was fun.. you spend the first day/night at sea. Then arrive in the Bahamas at around 8 am ish. From there you get to spend one whole day on land. You must come back on the ship by 9 or 10pm. Once back on the boat, you spend another night at sea and arrive at the Miami port around 10 am the next day.

This was my first time visiting a tropical,  beach destination. And I loved it!! I can’t wait to be able to go to hawaii one day… and if I’m ever lucky enough to the Maldives.  But for now,  I’ll just dream about it.

Once on land in the bahamas, we explored atlantis the hotel. Played some slot machines and then headed to our “swim with dolphins” reservation. Well it was more like petting, playing and taking pictures with them. This was definitely the highlight of my trip! The dolphins were so sweet, gentle, calm and fun! They’re seriously the cutest thing ever. I was nervous at first to touch them, but they were just so friendly that I felt very at ease around them. They kinda feel like silky, leather hahahha, if I remember correctly. After that we headed to the water park. It was so fun and relaxing there…the rides were exciting and water was so warm.

That sums up the whole day on land; I headed back to the boat around 6pm, took a nap and then headed to dinnner.

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Casually walking around atlantis

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The dolphins were so fun to play and touch!!!

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Atlantis.

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A rare picture of me. I don't like posting pics of myself. I like to maintain some mystery in the social/digital world. But here's me planting a kiss on a dolphin. ❤

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The amazing water park at Atlantis. That lazy river was so relaxing!

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This was like an outdoor aquarium. You can avidly snorkel In here. There are so many sea life in there, everything from stingrays to baby sharks.

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The view as you exit the casino in Atlantis

Cee