“Ita daki mas” – summer in Japan

I have always been skeptical of the old adage that travel is the best learning experience. However, after traveling to Japan for a two-week cultural immersion program, I have become a firm believer that travel is indeed the best learning experience.

Get ready for a photo overload, especially of food since I’m a foodie 🙂
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On the flight to Japan. Despite all the bad news of United recently, this 14 hour trip actually went pretty well. I had so many cups of green tea during the flight which I oh-so regretted later.

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My first breakfast in Japan – guys they have green tea granola. Let’s just say that I was obsessed.

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Visiting the aquarium – the jellyfish were so cool!

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The Big Buddha – little did I know when taking this trip that I would be in for a long hike in the nearby mountains.

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The hike was only half as bad as its length because aren’t these hydrangeas beautiful? These flowers were peppered all throughout the hike. Apparently, they are called the June flower in Japan.

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After a long and tiring hike, and an even tiring hour-long wait for the restaurant, we ate udon. Oh. my. goodness. The wait was definitely worth it because the udon was so good. There was also tempura and the chefs just made it right in front of you. Warm tempura is always the best.

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To cool ourselves off after the long hike, we got green tea and sweet potato ice cream. I know, the combination sounds weird, but guys, it was so good!

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Here is Takoyaki. It’s a ball-shaped Japanese snack made of a wheat flour-based batter and cooked in a special moulded pan. It is typically filled with minced or diced octopus, tempura scraps, pickled ginger, and green onion. It was delicious, but very hot! I could have watched the chefs making takoyaki all day long, it was such carefully methodical process.

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Apparently this is a hit-or-miss not only with foreigners but with local Japanese. It’s something called natto. It is fermented soybeans that can be eaten by mixing it with rice. I actually enjoyed the taste which my host family was very impressed by as only a few Japanese people actually enjoy it! Of course, as a foodie, as long as it’s healthy and relatively tasty, I’m always good 🙂

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On one of the nights, my host, my host sister and their cousin met up and ate out for dinner at a Hawaiian restaurant. It was so much fun hanging out with them – so much laughing and fun while with these three. The pancakes for dessert were equally as good, although we all regretted eating them because we became so full afterwards.

It wasn’t the healthiest option, but these days, I’m all about balance and moderation and that being mentally healthy is as equally as important as being physically healthy.

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My host introduced these to me, but apparently, these chocolates help reduce how much fat and sugar you absorb. My host and I both being foodies, ate a few of these chocolates just for good measure!

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Japan was just beautiful. Here are a few non-food pictures that are so beautiful.

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One of my favorite dinners while in Japan.

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I’ve always heard that you never know the taste of matcha unless you try it yourself. So I tried to try matcha as many times as I could. It’s definitely not as sweet as the matcha we taste at Starbucks or in the States. It’s a much more bitter taste but somehow has some charm to it. I actually brought home a matcha kit so I could continue making it at home! Once I’ve mastered it a bit, I’ll write up a post for those interested!

Japan was in short, such an amazing trip. I can’t wait to go back there someday!

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After two weeks in Japan, I took a two hour flight to Korea and stayed there for a week. My parents were already in Korea at that time so I met up with them at Incheon airport. After a quick week of meeting up with old childhood friends and family, we left Korea and finally headed back to home sweet home!

 

P.S.: In nod to the title of the post, “ita taki mas” is what Japanese people say before they start their meal. It’s kind of like saying “Thank you for this meal, I will eat it gladly!” I loved saying this every time before I ate because literally every time I ate something, it looked and was super delicious!

P.S.: If my host and her family or any of her friends are reading this, thank you for letting me have such a memorable trip!

 

 

Learning from Travel part 2

Yesterday’s blog post centered around why I think Japan is known to be such a healthy country from my visit to Japan.

Today’s post is centered around something more personal. If you have been sticking along on the blog for awhile now, you probably know that I, Stephanie, struggling with body image and self-love. As discussed in many posts previous, I am slowly and slowly inching myself to complete freedom. I’m still far but I’m not giving up.

Nevertheless, I’ve been able to make huge steps through my trip to Japan. Who knew that travel was also good for the struggling-with-self-love-and-body-image soul!

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Going to a completely new school where the majority of the student body and teachers spoke Japanese (a language I had no experience in), wearing a uniform, as a complete foreigner was terrifying. Again, as someone who struggled/struggles with body image and self-love on the first couple of days, I was extremely self-conscious about my body. I wanted to appear as thin as possible because a) the uniform was mercilessly unflattering and b) I knew that Japanese people were slim and I didn’t want to be an outsider already from appearance.

But what I was surprised was how much my host’s friends and classmates just didn’t care. Period. It’s hard to describe in writing or even through speaking, but you just know and you just feel it when people are #highkeyjudging.

But I felt none of that. I remember on my last day, all my new friends were saying how much they were going to miss my smile, my sweet demeanor, and my genuine curiosity in Japanese culture. And I believe them. Not once did I feel someone “scanning” me or having that judge-y face or feeling. They truly treated me as just me. As they only saw my inside and never the outside. (Now, important disclaimer: I never ever want any of my readers to think that being larger should be a social hinderance. NO. It’s just that in my own personal thoughts, as an individual, as Stephanie Yoon, I have always had that unhealthy and incorrect idea that thinner is better. Again, I’m still working on switching that attitude.)

I was so struck by this. I don’t know why, but I never felt this much sincerity of actually valuing what you have on the inside than the outside. It’s a sad reality I know. I’m someone who is very hard on myself and felt like only a handful of my close family and friends really valued me from the inside. So this experience in Japan was powerful.

And with this experience, I’ve been able to change as well, for the better. I’ve been able to really treat and value and only consider the inside of my family and friends. As much as I’m hard on myself, I am quite judge-y. It’s definitely something that I’m not proud of but is quite true. However, ever since I’ve been treated differently, I’ve been influenced to treat other differently too.

So with travel, I have first-handed experienced that what matters is NOT on the outside but on the INSIDE.

Do you 120% believe that what matters is on the INSIDE?

xoxo,

Stephanie

Learning from Travel

Just when you thought that I was gone, surprise! Stephanie back again!

I just came back a three-week trip and suffering terribly from jet lag. I went to Japan for two weeks for a cultural exchange program and then met up with my parents in Korea where I stayed for a week.

As much as travel is travel, attending a cultural exchange program really allowed me to become immersed into the culture. And of course, the foodie I am, while I was in Japan, I was hyper-aware of the food and the attitude around food.

In the 14 days I was there, I learned for myself why Japan is so well-known for its healthy and slim population.

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a standard meal 😉

ONE // portion size

First off, portion size. Even before I went to Japan, I knew from the numerous articles I read on the internet, that Japanese (and French and pretty much the rest of the world) eat much less than us in the States. Those sites weren’t kidding – I don’t know what I was expecting for smaller portion size but I don’t think anything would have gotten me prepared for the ridiculously small portion sizes!

It really may depend on the family, but my host family (oh my gosh, they were the sweetest!) did eat very little. And while it was hard to adjust at first, that adjustment and change was all part of the experience.

To put it in perspective, a meal that looks like it could be served to one person in the States, was shared by four people (two adults and two high schoolers) while I was in Japan. Eating in such a way for two weeks, my stomach and appetite has definitely shrunk.

The other day, I was eating my classic avocado toast meal and I felt so full even though I was only halfway into the meal! Usually I still feel hungry after two pieces of toast, but the other day, I already felt full only after finishing the first piece!

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I wasn’t kidding…

TWO// three square meals, no snacks

Another big thing I learned is that they eat very little if not no snacks. For my host family, we ate three square meals – but usually when we say square, we mean a big meal, but if you look at number one, square meals in Japan are like the quarter of the size of a square meal in America haha. I think the two weeks I was there, my host family’s mom offered snacks around three times. And the after-school snack was three pieces of watermelon with three pieces of melon. Not your usual mini-meal.

Also, because I was there as a cultural exchange, my host skipped her basketball practice and instead just went home with me. However, on usual days, my host and the rest of the student body have clubs from 3:30-6:30. These clubs range from sports (basketball, soccer, volleyball, tennis, etc) to music activities (orchestra, band). And the average commute time is 90 minutes! So when these students come back home, they eat dinner at around 8pm (when lunch was at 12:30pm!) I was alarmed at how little these Japanese students ate compared to their activity levels.

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Yes..it is white rice – but relatively healthy and small in portion. Much better than white bread sandwiches with heaps of mayo and cured meats.

THREE// they just eat.

One night in my second week staying in Japan, my host family and I started talking about the different cuisine and lifestyles between Japan and the States. My host said that while Japan is known to be healthy from other countries, she claimed that not a lot of Japanese people actually think that they eat healthy. Japanese people don’t make a conscious effort or decision to eat healthy. Unlike a lot of “healthy” people here in the States (I’m putting healthy in quotes because of this blog post) who eat salads everyday and go to SoulCycle, Japanese people just eat what they are given. They just eat. Their cuisine in itself is just healthier. In the two weeks I was there, I think I had red meat once if not at all. However, despite not eating a lot of red meat compared to back home, I didn’t feel like I was nutritionally deficient. They eat the feared carbs – they eat rice every meal – yet, they are still slim. Why? Because they eat everything in moderation and smaller proportion.

I have much more to share about what I learned while in my two weeks in Japan. But the other tidbits are more personal and specific to my body image and self-love. I’ll be sharing tomorrow 🙂

But in all, I never expected to learn so much while traveling. Most of my traveling after 8th grade has been to Korea to visit my grandparents. Going to Korea is kind of like going to Nantucket/Cape Cod for some in the States. I don’t go to explore and discover new places in Korea, but more to just spend time with family and friends and doing the mundane things – eating, shopping, and some R&R. So going to Japan this summer was such a mindblowing and amazing experience. Of course, other than food I learned other things, but I decided to share the food aspects on the blog today.

Have you learned something from your travels before?

xoxo

Stephanie

Last Weekend Home

I can’t believe my 18 day spring break is already over!!!!! (insert wailing emoji face here)

When I came down home on March 2nd, I was so happy, excited for all the fun and lazy things I would be doing over the 18-day break. The first few days are always spent wasteful, while the last few days are crammed and jammed with lots of events and friends. This weekend was exactly that: my last weekend home was probably the most jam-packed weekend I’ve ever had.

In imitation of one of my FAVE bloggers and girlfriends I’ve been blessed to find through blogging, Mackenzie, I decided to do a little weekend recap. While it’s not as interesting and fun as her weekend recaps, hopefully I can show you how much I crammed it during these last few days.

Throughout the whole weekend, I managed to “finish” one KDrama series. Now don’t think I watched all 16 episodes in a span of two/three days. Nah. I decided on Friday night that I wanted to watch this drama called “Weightlifting Fairy Nam Bok Joo.”I watched in total 4 episodes in total and most of the other episodes I watched clips on YouTube or inferred (it was quite a mental game to guess what happened in prior episodes I didn’t watch haha).

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Here’s the direct link to watch it in Viki. Beware! Warning!

I was intrigued at the plot synopsis as many people praised how it spread such a positive message of just being yourself and never be ashamed of who you are and to love yourself and those around you. As the title shows, the female lead was a collegiate weightlifter training to be an Olympic weightlifter. Due to her athletic commitments, she has a heavier build, has callouses on her hands, does not have a lot of time to spare, and eats a lot – things that make it hard for her to date guys unlike the stick-skinny gymnasts across her dormitory. But her best guy-friend (later turned boyfriend) emphasizes how important the INSIDE is rather than the outside.

This drama was really such a perfect drama for me since I’ve been struggling and dealing with that EXACT topic this week (as you could obviously tell from the ‘deeper’ blog posts I’ve been posting). So all in all, it was a light and airy drama which had characters that were very real and problems that were very real and understandable. If you are a KDrama fan, I highly recommend! (If you’re a newbie to KDrama I recommend “My Love from Another Star”).

Besides walking around the house holding my iPad watching KDrama (I don’t watch TV sitting down, I try to fit in some walking while I watch TV – efficiency my friends!), I did play some golf. I spent the entire Saturday morning from 8am to noon golfing with my dad. Although I’m not the most skilled player, it was a great time to catch up with my dad and have so fun. Oh and the weather was perfect this weekend.

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After our golf round, my dad and I went to my favorite Japanese restaurant. I ordered my favorite meal “chirashi.” It’s a combination of rice and sashimi.

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After our hearty lunch, my dad and I went back home and we relaxed a bit (aka he and my mom took a nap while I did some blog work) and then in the evening we went out to a Thai restaurant with our family friends.

It was great to meet up with one of my first friends I made in the States. While we weren’t exactly close when we were young, I think as time goes by, that one common thread of that we knew each other and went to the same school when we were young, allow us to be much closer now and have such a fun time laughing and talking. We caught up on a lot of things and we promised we would catch up again once I came back home.

Sunday morning was another golf round. It was much quicker because I had church. Church is such a huge and integral part of my life. I was born and raised in a church, yes, but I dedicate all the successful and good things that happened in my life to God and His glory. My church friends are literally friends that I’ve known since 1st grade and while we’ve grown up and changed, it was so great to hang out with them again. We are quite diverse group – but somehow, our personalities match.

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After church, my two of my best friends and I headed to the mall to watch Beauty and the Beast. Oh my goodness. My two friends and I had such a hard time reserving movie tickets last night. The entire back section was taken and there was only the front section open. We were debating whether or not if we would not break our neck sitting in the last row in the front section. During that time, the entire last row in the front section got taken! So we acted fast and sat in the second to last row.

I’m always grateful to these two. These two always had my back when I had a hard time adjusting to boarding school, and these two know my health journey very well (they’ve seen my physical body and my mental state fluctuate back and forth). And of course, they respect my eating habits so much, they always offer to eat at my favorite salad place when we go to the mall. Aren’t they the best?

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Our salads from sweetgreen. Let me tell you, it’s one thing to sneak in food into the movies. It’s another to try to eat it in the dark. 

We even snuck our salads into the theater because we were crammed for time. I love these guys so so much.

After the movie, we hung around in the mall shopping and then we parted ways. It was so sad having to say bye.

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Kimchi + tofu? Always makes for a great dinner 😉

After I got home, I had my last home-cooked dinner, and currently I am writing this blog post. After this blog post, I’ll take my last shower at home and soon after that, my last night at home.

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It’s going to be so long until I eat this salad at work. 😦

A lot of “last” today, but I’m trying not to be too sad because I know spring term will whiz by me and I’ll be on summer break hopefully soon.

How was your weekend?

xoxo,

Stephanie

What I Ate Over Winter Break

It’s been a tradition now that after every break, I do a post about what I ate over break. While some other blogs talk about what people did, my break (and my life actually…) is defined by the food I eat.

Of course as you usual, there will be a food overload!

For the first four days of winter break, I drove up to NYC with a couple of close friends to celebrate Serena’s birthday! We hung around the city for a while and then had dinner at Hangawi, a Korean vegetarian restaurant.

The restaurant was darkly lit and you had to take off your shoes to get in. There was a deep pit that you put your legs underneath the table. The atmosphere of the restaurant and the service was great!

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LOL…my friends in the bottom of the picture leaning over so they don’t get in the picture.

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The foods were vegetarian so it was mostly bibimbap or any bowl with mixed ingredients. My friends ordered the hot-pot bibimbap while I ordered the gluten-free zen noodles. They were sooo good!

 

After the dinner, we went to a Korean bakery and had a walnut banana butter bread (or something like that – I feel like these days, restaurants put so many names to ONE thing..)

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After that night, my parents, who drove up to NYC, and I spent two more days in NYC. The next night, my parents took me out to a celebratory dinner for completing turkey term (the term in between Thanksgiving and winter break) successfully. We went to a Korean restaurant (of course) called Gaonnuri.  The special thing about it was that it’s on the 39th floor so you could see all of NYC while eating Korean food. Can anything beat that?

The restaurant was a lot more modern than Hangawi, but nevertheless, a great environment to eat it.

It was so nice to be sitting at the restaurant, with winter break just starting, with my parents, and outside of the freezing cold (I think those days, like December 15-18th were one of the COLDEST and WINDIEST days I’ve ever experienced!)

My family ordered a pajeon (a vegetable pancake), my mom ordered bibimbap, I ordered galbi-gim, and my dad ordered some combination of fish and soup. But they were delicious! It was so nice to have two nights in a row eating Korean food after three weeks away from it!

The galbi-gim (left) was so good that I was commenting about its texture, richness, and flavor upon every bite. My parents got so annoyed that my mom promised me she would make her famous galbi-gim when we got back home.

We also had dessert. It was a combination of three ice cream flavors: black sesame, green tea, and caramel. They were oh. my. goodness. This was a whole new level of ice cream. Apparently, the head chef at this restaurant makes the ice cream from scratch. But either way, the ice cream was insanely delicious. My parents and I licked that dessert plate clean despite the cold weather outside.

Who wouldn’t want to eat delicious Korean food while observing the NYC skyline? Look at that view..

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After a couple of days in NYC, my family drove back home. Of course, by home, that means California roll (aren’t you guys sick of my obsession for make-your-own California roll? I’ve probably featured it in every one of my what I eat in a day over break posts.

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I mean so much goodness in my meal…ya know?

I also followed my dad to work before the Christmas season. I have a hard time working at home since my mom and I talk a lot to each other and we always have fun impromptu plans to go outside. Thus, I went to work with my dad for a couple of days just to get some work done. But let me tell you, this might have been one of my best decisions as his workplace has the BEST salad bar.

And then one more…because on the 23rd (the last day I went to my dad’s work) it was a half day, so my dad (and I) could technically have left and eat lunch at home. However, I wanted to make as much use for the salad bar so I got a to-go.

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My family also ate out a bit. We’ve been going to a peking duck place. I’ve never really LOVED LOVED this place, but for some reason, after I left for home, I started craving eating at this place. So we go every time and every time, I leave the restaurant full and satisfied. No other better feeling, right?

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Sorry about those hands at the top of the picture.

My family and I also met up with Serena’s family. It was a great way to catch up and rewind WITHOUT having the stress of school. I got a vegetarian meal. It was a cauliflower steak with I believe dahl (tell me if this is wrong) and some greens on the side.

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My mom also cooked some of my favorite Korean side dishes. I loved the side dishes so much the table looked like (aka had the same food) this for a solid three days.

img_4704And last but not least, on my last day home, my mom and I went out for a lunch-date at Le Pain Quotiden. It was sad (as it was my last day) but also great (because I had such a fun time with my mom).

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Exact same picture from our instagram (@avolicious_blog)

So that sums up my break! Hope you enjoyed getting a sneak peak at my eating habits!

What did you eat over the holiday season?

xoxo,

Stephanie

NYC Current Favorites

New York City has so many amazing food destinations and every time I go, I always plan the trip around the food! Yeah, just being the foodie that I am 🙂

SO here are the destinations that I’ve recently visited and recommend!

1.) Bibble and Sip


You’ve probably seen pictures on Instagram of creamy matcha lattes and giant oozing cream puffs. This place is definitely definitely worth the hype.


I had a matcha cream puff, earl grey cream puff, and a bite of the brûlée egg tart. They cream puffs were so good that we had to take one home, along with a black sesame croissant. The matcha cream puff was my favorite! The cream had just the right amount of matcha flavor and it wasn’t too sweet. The outside puff part was crispy and match-y. And then there’s the price. At $3.50 a cream puff, the cost is insanely cheap, especially for a super popular NYC cafe. This is the place that I recommend everyone take a trip to! It’s right in between Time Square and Columbus Square, so it is very conveniently located if you want to visit all the major touristy areas.


Next time I come, I’m definitely ordering a Lavender Latte. I hear it’s amazing as well!

2.) Hangawi


Hangawi is a Korean restaurant that serves only vegetarian food, and I had been eyeing this restaurant for a while because of its outstanding reviews on Yelp and Zagat. So for my birthday recently, I finally got to try the food here with my friends and it was so yummy 🙂 And while the food is not completely authentic Korean, it still tastes super good. Even my friends completely adverse to vegetarian food enjoyed the dishes.


I had a tofu stone bowl rice with sesame leaves, which was savory and delicious. I loved the flavorful tofu scramble, over the hot bed of rice.

3.) Beyond Sushi

   This sushi joint serves vegan and vegetarian sushi, and I tried the spicy mango roll and the mighty mushroom roll. The mushroom was by far my favorite, and it could be just because of my obsession with mushrooms, but mushrooms in sushi?! Mmm it was delicious! I love meaty vegetables 🙂

4.) By Chloe

You’ve probably also heard of this vegetarian/vegan restaurant that serves amazing meatless burgers. (You probably notice by now that I love going to vegetarian/vegan eateries)

This place is great. And really aesthetically pleasing-I went to the one near Flatiron.

First of all, the fridge is IDEAL. There’s chia puddings, fruit, plenty of kombucha, juice, and other goodies.

Then the actual food. I ordered a classic burger and it was so savory and tasted so much more satisfying than a regular veggie burger! The patty- a TEMPEH-LENTIL-CHIA-WALNUT PATTY- tasted so much like meat it was amazing 😍definitely looking forward to going again soon!!

Yes that’s the same picture from our Instagram 🙂

Now that I’ve shared my current NYC favorites, what are your’s? Recommendations in the comments will be much appreciated 🙂

Love,

Serena

Canada Part 4: Quebec City

Check out Canada Part 1,2, and 3. This is the last in the series 😉

On the second day at Quebec City, we took a bus tour and visited the Old Port Market, Plains of Abraham, and Old Quebec. 


I finally bought some Canadian maple syrup! It may seem touristy, but I thought the syrup tasted pretty good!

Hiking the Plains of Abraham while eating an amazing croissant. Probably the best idea I’ve had…

Next, we drove to the Montmorency Falls and hiked all the way to the top!


Views from the top 🙌 plus a rainbow!

We hiked until dark and headed back to the Old City for dinner. 

We dined at Mistral Gagnant, a very authentic and homey French restaurant. The food was very decently priced and I would definitely suggest coming here for a pleasant experience!

Lamb with potatoes and veggies

This wonderful dinner finally concluded our stay at Quebec City and Canada. Until next time!

Love,

Serena

Canada Part 3: Montreal and Quebec City

Check out Canada Part 1 and Canada Part 2!

Montreal offers many attractions, and my family and I visited the most famous ones:the Notre Dame Basilicca, Jean Talon Market, and Mont Royal.

Notre Dame Basilicca: where Celine Dion got married!
A yummy dessert in the Jean Talon Market
Views from Mont Royal
 

Our first stop was Mont Royal, a park that is often compared to Central Park in New York for its location in an urban area, and it’s beauty. My family and I walked around the park for a couple of hours, and it was definitely a workout! There were numerous people running up and down the countless steps of the park. It’s a great place for marathon training!

We only spent one day in Montreal, I wish we could’ve walked around longer at the Jean Talon Market! There were numerous fruit and veggie stands with loads of samples. I couldn’t get enough of them!
Next, we drove a couple hours north to Quebec  City. 

We had dinner at the Table restaurant. 


I had a salmon tartare, which tasted amazing because I love raw salmon! I also ordered an arugula salad with raw tuna, potatoes, green beans, and olives. There was too much tuna for the amount of arugula! Also, the addition of the potatoes, green beans, and olives didn’t really fit. I also tried a bit of poutine, a dish that Montreal is famous for. Essentially, poutine is fries with gravy and cheese curds. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I didn’t think the poutine tasted very special. Maybe I just went to the wrong place to try it.

We spent the rest of the night strolling around Old Quebec, and we took pictures of the elegant and gargantuan Chateau Fromtenac, a grand hotel that was named a national historic site.

Plains of Abraham (Battlefields Park)
Views from the Plains of Abraham

The Old City stole my heart, it was breathtaking, and my family decided to stay another night in the beautiful city.

More on Quebec City coming soon in Canada Part 4!

Love,

Serena

Canada Part 2: Byward Market in Ottawa, Ontario

Canada Part 1: Green Door Restaurant in Ottawa

Canada boasts numerous specialty food markets, and the first one I visited was Byward Market in Ottawa, Ontario.

One of the shops along the market that caught my eye was a cute fruit store that sold some mini fruit.

“Buddha’s Hand”
Mini pineapple!
Fruit Heaven and they’re all on sale 🙂

I also visited Moulin De Provence, a bakery that is famous for it’s Obama cookies. The story goes that Obama ate a maple leaf shaped shortbread cookie at the bakery, and exclaimed, “I love this cookie!” The cookies now symbolize a new relationship between the US and Canada.


Aside from the Obama cookies, they offer tons of other spectacular-looking pastries!

Fresh baked bread. Yum!


I wish I could’ve tried the pastries, but I only had American dollars, and the bakery doesn’t accept the exchange rate. My heart was broken and my family and I went to the bank immediately after!

Watch out for Canada Part 3 tomorrow!

Love,

Serena

Life Update! Finally Home…

It pains me to realize that I haven’t posted on the blog since July 30, almost a month! However, I am finally back from my traveling and I have a lot to tell you!

First, I did promise to post a series about my trip to Ontario, Canada and Vermont, I still intend on doing that. In the mean time, enjoy this picture of my ice cream at the Ben and Jerry’s headquarters!

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Non-Dairy PB and Cookies and EmpowerMINT in a chocolate coated sprinkles cone. Utter indulgence…

Second, I also took a small trip to Sacramento and San Fransisco, so I’ll post about that too!

Third, I just came back from backpacking with Outward Bound in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Yes, I’ve literally been eating peanut butter jelly pitas and drinking powdered milk for 14 days. I also was experiencing major vegetable-withdrawals…we didn’t have a green veggie until the last day!

But now that I’m home, I’ve been eating a lot of veggies, yummy home-cooked Chinese food, and ice cream (Ben and Jerry’s and SO Delicious). My mom stocked the freezer with ice cream because she knew that I would want some after not having it for two weeks…now I’m treating myself WAAY too much. “Out of sight, out of mind” is definitely true!!

Also, I got attacked by bugs and now my legs, arms, and face are scarred by no-see-um (sandfly) bites! I’ve been applying a “mask” of 1/4 cup coconut oil, 1/4 cup olive oil, and 5 drops of tea tree oil to my skin. It seems to be working slowly…any suggestions or tips for reducing bug bite scars?

Anyways, look out for posts! Hopefully, I’ll get them out this week and next week.

Love,

Serena