TEXAS 2018 // MARFA

MARFA 2018
MARFA 2018
MARFA 2018
MARFA 2018
MARFA 2018
MARFA 2018
MARFA 2018
MARFA 2018
MARFA 2018
MARFA 2018
MARFA 2018
MARFA 2018
MARFA 2018
MARFA 2018
MARFA 2018
MARFA 2018
MARFA 2018
MARFA 2018
MARFA 2018
MARFA 2018
MARFA 2018
MARFA 2018
MARFA 2018
MARFA 2018
MARFA 2018
MARFA 2018
MARFA 2018

A spontaneous weekend trip. Because we always talked (aka me nagging Vince) about coming to Marfa for years. So one day - we just got up and went! Might as well go now, because from the looks of it - Marfa is growing in popularity every year. And that’s exactly what I fear in the near future. That Marfa will get so touristy that the small town charm will be lost. Forever. No better time than RIGHT NOW. Unfortunately “RIGHT NOW” involved not so optimal weather, with cloudy conditions and chilly temperatures hovering around the 40-50F mark for most of the trip. Something that has dampened our Star Party viewing experience and photog hunts around the city.

I wish I could write more of our trip in detail, but time is of the essence and my little one is calling. As always, LOGISTICS AND RECOMMENDATIONS are down below. It’s true what most people say, Marfa is an insanely small town and you can easily hit up everything in a weekend. Most places are within walking distance, if not a short 5-10 minute drive. Remember, in Marfa, you are given the gift of time, so explore every quirky modern art, little artisan boutique, coffee shop - every nook and cranny!

MY TRIP HIGHLIGHTS: Paladin the Dog, Chinati Foundation Tour, Star Party at McDonald Observatory, Food Shark, Do Your Thing Coffee, El Cosmico.

SPECIAL THANKS to my friend, Tedrah, who was the only one who suggested a few places that are not mentioned by most travelers and travel websites/blogs.


--

TIME: November 2018
TEMP: 40-60F
CITY: Marfa
DURATION: 3 Days
TRANSPORTATION: My Prius (7ish hour drive from Austin to Marfa.)
STAY #1: Hotel Saint George
STAY #2: AirBnb
STAY #3: Hotel Paisano (We weren't able to book this place, but heard great things about it through friends!)
STAY #4: El Cosmico (Another place that we weren't able to book due to last minute planning. Highly recommended by most travelers! We did drop by to check the place out. Cute! But it's a good thing we didn't book, because there were stickers everywhere and a few got stuck on my dog's paw and vest.)

COFFEE: Do Your Thing, Frama, Big Bend Coffee Roasters
FOOD TRUCKS: Food Shark, Tri La Bite, Cowdog
MORE EATS: Pizza Foundation, Planet Marfa, Boyz 2 Men, Squeeze, Al Campo, Convenience West
DINNER + DRINKS: Stellina, Capri, Cochineal, La Venture and Bar Saint George at Hotel Saint George, Jett's Grill at Hotel Paisano, The Water Stop,
SNACKS/DESSERT: Buns N' Roses, La Playa
GROCERY: THE GET GO
MUST SEE ART: Prada Store, Chinati Foundation, Ballroom Marfa, Target in Marathon, Andy Warhol's Last Supper at Ayn Foundation
MUST DO: Star Party at McDonald Observatory in Fort Davis (About a 40 minute drive outside Marfa), Marfa Lights, Paladin the Dog (Apparently a local celebrity just hanging out at random spots all over town. You'll have to keep an eye out for the little dude, but he's easy to spot as he likes to be perched on top of his owner's car.)
HAVE MORE TIME?: Wonder around Fort Davis, Chihuahuan Desert Nature Center, Chinati Hot Springs, Big Bend National Park

CALIFORNIA 2018 // SAN DIEGO

SAN DIEGO 2018
SAN DIEGO 2018
SAN DIEGO 2018
SAN DIEGO 2018
SAN DIEGO 2018
SAN DIEGO 2018
SAN DIEGO 2018
SAN DIEGO 2018
SAN DIEGO 2018
SAN DIEGO 2018
SAN DIEGO 2018
SAN DIEGO 2018
SAN DIEGO 2018
SAN DIEGO 2018
SAN DIEGO 2018
SAN DIEGO 2018
SAN DIEGO 2018
SAN DIEGO 2018
SAN DIEGO 2018
SAN DIEGO 2018
SAN DIEGO 2018
SAN DIEGO 2018
SAN DIEGO 2018
SAN DIEGO 2018
SAN DIEGO 2018

I had planned on writing something of decent length about our 4 day trip to San Diego, but after thinking long and hard about it, I decided to forego the effort. Now that we have a little one in our lives, time is really of the essence and I have to use my time wisely, if not more efficiently. I'm not sure how long I'll keep this up, this not writing thing. Probably for a few years. So I'll just let the photos do all the talking in the meantime. Don't worry, I'll still add the logistics and recommendations to all our travels!

This was actually our first out-of-town trip with our 3 month old infant. We got invited to a wedding in La Jolla and thought it would be the perfect opportunity to test out the waters with baby in tow. Due to several requests, I wrote about our 4 Day Infant Travel Experience here.

And of course, I would like to thank those who have sent recommendations my way. Especially from the locals! It's been over a decade since I've been in this wonderful city, so it's much appreciated that the Instaworld stepped up and delivered on what's hip and new these days. As that saying goes, "Ask and you shall receive!"

Special Thanks: Heather + Martin, Akula Kreative, Ashley Cho, Jacob Fu, Ahline, Rizmash.


--

TIME: July 2015
TEMP: 75-85F
CITIES: San Diego, La Jolla, Coronado
DURATION: 4 Days
TRANSPORTATION: Rental Car
STAY: Residence Inn by Marriott

INSTA SPOTS in NORTHPARK: Holy Matcha, Communal Coffee, Pigment, San Diego Mural
INSTA SPOTS in LA JOLLA: Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, Scripps Pier, La Jolla Cove, Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve, Torrey Pines Gliderport, Salk Institute for Biological Studies, Ho Chi Minh Trail, Windandsea Beach
FOOD in LA JOLLA: Bobboi Gelato, Shorehouse Kitchen, El Pescador, The Cottage
FOOD in SAN DIEGO: Taco Stand, Kindred, Donna Jean
HAVE TIME? CHECK OUT CORONADO: Coronado Island, Hotel del Coronado
LOOKING FOR MORE INSTA PLACES TO CHECK OUT?: Old Town San Diego, Carlsbad Flower Field (Seasonal), Chicano Park, Potato Chip Rock, Old Point Loma Lighthouse, Botanical Garden and Lily Pond in Balboa Park, Museum of Contemporary Art

NEVADA 2017 // LAS VEGAS

NEVADA 2017 // LAS VEGAS
NEVADA 2017 // LAS VEGAS
NEVADA 2017 // LAS VEGAS
NEVADA 2017 // LAS VEGAS
NEVADA 2017 // LAS VEGAS
NEVADA 2017 // LAS VEGAS
NEVADA 2017 // LAS VEGAS
NEVADA 2017 // LAS VEGAS
NEVADA 2017 // LAS VEGAS
NEVADA 2017 // LAS VEGAS
NEVADA 2017 // LAS VEGAS
** UPDATE: THE INSTALLATION HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO THE LATER PART OF 2018. **

This wonderful art installation opened up in May 2016, during my year long world travels. It would be an agonizing year until I got back on American soil, then another 6 months to finally seize my opportunity to make it out West. The long wait was well worth it! These rainbow towers of giant rock are both a curiosity and conundrum. Def a jaw dropping sight to see in the middle of the desert!

We actually came on a Sunday afternoon, at the peak of the desert heat and unrelenting sun. Turns out it was also peak time for the tourist crowds. Turned off from the masses swarming all around the Seven Magic Mountains, me and the hubz decided to come back early Monday morning.

That did the trick!

Arriving bright and early the next day, it was just us two for the next 2 hours with barely anyone around. We even had time to bust out the drone, despite the windy conditions, but we made it work! Couldn't have asked for a better time in Vegas, even though that was all we were there for!

If you're planning on visiting the Seven Magic Mountains, you must hurry! It's only around for 2 years, with the 2 year mark quickly coming to an end. Perhaps sometime in early 2018? Yes, hurry!

--

SEVEN MAGIC MOUNTAINS
by Ugo Rondinone
Expected exhibition closing: Early to Mid 2018



-jin-

CALIFORNIA 2017 // PALMDALE

CALIFORNIA 2017 // PALMDALE
CALIFORNIA 2017 // PALMDALE
CALIFORNIA 2017 // PALMDALE
CALIFORNIA 2017 // PALMDALE
CALIFORNIA 2017 // PALMDALE
CALIFORNIA 2017 // PALMDALE
CALIFORNIA 2017 // PALMDALE
CALIFORNIA 2017 // PALMDALE
CALIFORNIA 2017 // PALMDALE
CALIFORNIA 2017 // PALMDALE
CALIFORNIA 2017 // PALMDALE
CALIFORNIA 2017 // PALMDALE
Did you know that you can find fun and local activities through Airbnb? Thanks to Airbnb Experience, we had THE best time hiking with the wolves, while receiving the occasional wolf kiss, and learning about each pack member’s story. Such an eye-opening experience!

Up until that trip, I had no idea wolf dogs existed. Let alone illegal to breed and own in The States. Neither full wolf nor full dog, they are caught between 2 worlds where they don't belong. So this is where they go when rescued, to a cozy wolf sanctuary to live out the rest of their years. Some of the wolfies have a pretty sad story, so it's good to know that they are in a better place now.

By the way, the entire wolf pack really do howl in unison! (Just like in the cartoons!) When one starts, the rest follows ... and they don’t stop howling! Arooo!

--

Check out the experience if you're ever Airbnbing in the Los Angeles area!

Walk With Wolves!
$150 / person
29063 Aliso Canyon Road, Palmdale, CA 93550

--

** This Airbnb Experience was sponsored by Airbnb and Collectively.
Though all thoughts and opinions are my own. **



-jin-

CALIFORNIA 2016 // SALVATION MOUNTAIN

CALIFORNIA 2016 // SALVATION MOUNTAIN.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // SALVATION MOUNTAIN.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // SALVATION MOUNTAIN.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // SALVATION MOUNTAIN.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // SALVATION MOUNTAIN.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // SALVATION MOUNTAIN.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // SALVATION MOUNTAIN.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // SALVATION MOUNTAIN.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // SALVATION MOUNTAIN.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // SALVATION MOUNTAIN.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // SALVATION MOUNTAIN.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // SALVATION MOUNTAIN.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // SALVATION MOUNTAIN.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // SALVATION MOUNTAIN.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // SALVATION MOUNTAIN.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // SALVATION MOUNTAIN.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // SALVATION MOUNTAIN.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // SALVATION MOUNTAIN.
One of the trippiest 'pilgrimmage' experiences I've had to date. Like a page out of a Dr. Seuss book. It's a surreal feeling standing on top of a rainbow mountain and seeing endless brown, brown desert land surrounding you. As far as the eye can see. Profoundly strange and yet, reassuringly peaceful. How very curious. These desert oddities never ceases to amaze me! Well worth the day trip out here, in the middle of nowhere. You will come mystified, but leave inspired!


-jin-

CALIFORNIA 2016 // JOSHUA TREE PARK

CALIFORNIA 2016 // JOSHUA TREE.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // JOSHUA TREE.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // JOSHUA TREE.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // JOSHUA TREE.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // JOSHUA TREE.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // JOSHUA TREE.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // JOSHUA TREE.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // JOSHUA TREE.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // JOSHUA TREE.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // JOSHUA TREE.
We day tripped it out of Palm Springs to spend a few hours in Joshua Tree National Park with sunset photos in mind. It was pretty much a race against time. The golden hour photoshoot disappointingly cut short. But totally worth coming out here! The desert is all kinds of magical when the sun slowly slips behind the mountain tops. The landscape softening and changing hues before your eyes. Next time we're camping/glamping here! Would love to get to know the Joshua trees on a more personal level!


-jin-

CALIFORNIA 2016 // PALM SPRINGS

CALIFORNIA 2016 // PALM SPRINGS.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // PALM SPRINGS.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // PALM SPRINGS.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // PALM SPRINGS.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // PALM SPRINGS.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // PALM SPRINGS.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // PALM SPRINGS.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // PALM SPRINGS.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // PALM SPRINGS.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // PALM SPRINGS.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // PALM SPRINGS.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // PALM SPRINGS.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // PALM SPRINGS.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // PALM SPRINGS.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // PALM SPRINGS.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // PALM SPRINGS.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // PALM SPRINGS.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // PALM SPRINGS.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // PALM SPRINGS.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // PALM SPRINGS.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // PALM SPRINGS.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // PALM SPRINGS.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // PALM SPRINGS.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // PALM SPRINGS.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // PALM SPRINGS.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // PALM SPRINGS.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // PALM SPRINGS.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // PALM SPRINGS.
CALIFORNIA 2016 // PALM SPRINGS.
If Downtown Los Angeles looks like it's stuck in the 80's, then Palm Springs is in the perpetual 60's. A very pastel and very modern Mad Men 60's. It's like being in retro unicorn heaven! Be still my beating heart! There's not much to do in Palm Springs other than go on mini photog hunts for the colorful oddities, which I'm more than OK with. That alone pretty much sums up my perfect vacation. Oh! And it's a great base for day trips. Joshua Tree National Park is about an hour North, Salvation Mountain a 90 minute drive to the South. Who knew being in the middle of the desert would be a quirky, vivid experience? Desert life is suddenly looking not so bad!


-jin-

CALIFORNIA 2016 // SANTA BARBARA

CALI 2016 // SANTA BARBARA
CALI 2016 // SANTA BARBARA
CALI 2016 // SANTA BARBARA
CALI 2016 // SANTA BARBARA
CALI 2016 // SANTA BARBARA
CALI 2016 // SANTA BARBARA
CALI 2016 // SANTA BARBARA
CALI 2016 // SANTA BARBARA
CALI 2016 // SANTA BARBARA
CALI 2016 // SANTA BARBARA
CALI 2016 // SANTA BARBARA
CALI 2016 // SANTA BARBARA
CALI 2016 // SANTA BARBARA
CALI 2016 // SANTA BARBARA
CALI 2016 // SANTA BARBARA
CALI 2016 // SANTA BARBARA
CALI 2016 // SANTA BARBARA
CALI 2016 // SANTA BARBARA
CALI 2016 // SANTA BARBARA
CALI 2016 // SANTA BARBARA
CALI 2016 // SANTA BARBARA
CALI 2016 // SANTA BARBARA
CALI 2016 // SANTA BARBARA
CALI 2016 // SANTA BARBARA
Visual snippets from a photo retreat for photographers:

Photo Field Trip!
El Capitan Canyon in Santa Barbara
February 22-26, 2016

Glamped it up in a luxury log cabin and attended numerous creative classes with fellow photog hipsters, while occasionally taking pretty pictures of a tranquil nature reserve. Can't say that I totally hate it, but was it worth the professional/personal growth? Meh. I don't think I terribly benefited from it. Befriended a wedding photographer from New Jersey who echoed our sentiments: the field trip felt more of a giant hangout for the already close-knit California photog community, if not the entire West Coast photog community. Ah well, we did leave with a handful of new Instagram friends and a nice swag bag. And perhaps a wee bit rejuvenated. The nature zen vibe is refreshing out here!


-jin-

CALIFORNIA 2015 // SAN BERNARDINO

The Unique Camp // May 2015
The Unique Camp // May 2015
The Unique Camp // May 2015
The Unique Camp // May 2015
The Unique Camp // May 2015
The Unique Camp // May 2015
The Unique Camp // May 2015
The Unique Camp // May 2015
The Unique Camp // May 2015
The Unique Camp // May 2015
The Unique Camp // May 2015
The Unique Camp // May 2015
The Unique Camp // May 2015
The Unique Camp // May 2015
The Unique Camp // May 2015
The Unique Camp // May 2015
The Unique Camp // May 2015
The Unique Camp // May 2015
The Unique Camp // May 2015
The Unique Camp // May 2015
The Unique Camp // May 2015
The Unique Camp // May 2015
The Unique Camp // May 2015
The Unique Camp // May 2015
The Unique Camp // May 2015
The Unique Camp // May 2015
The Unique Camp // May 2015
The Unique Camp // May 2015
The Unique Camp // May 2015

Jin likes to take pictures. A lot.
Jin also likes to take trips.
Jin likes to take a lot of pictures on her trips. 
Jin is unable to edit her pics because she's already on the next trip. 
Jin is left with thousands upon thousands of images to cull through at the end of the year. 
Don't be like Jin.

In the meantime, as I play photo editing catch up, my travel writing suffers. 
Sorry, Friends, I gotta get outta 2015!
Less words. More non-words. It's faster that way.

But I will say this: 
The Unique Camp was quite the sensory overload! 
The fellow creatives. The forward thinkers. The rule breakers. 
Yas. Yas. Yas! 

Everything - and everyone! - was just so unique!

Can't say that I've gained personally (or professionally) from the classes, or even applied what I've 'learned'. Networking was not a breeze, and honestly, it may be due to the surprising fact that there were a lot of people who thought they were 'too cool' for you. But the laidback social aspect and constant inspiration fodder was truly a daydreamer's playground.

If you're a unicorn looking for unicorns to kick it with, 
You're in the right place. 

- jin -

NYC 2015

NYC 2015.
NYC 2015.
NYC 2015.
NYC 2015.
NYC 2015.
NYC 2015.
NYC 2015.
NYC 2015.
NYC 2015.
NYC 2015.
NYC 2015.

Made a quick trip to the East coast back in May 2015 for a good friend's 35th birthday. 

Not much was taken on the SLR, as I was attempting to go all analog and iPhone on this particular trip. It's a tricky balance, plainly put, juggling between all THREE cameras. Oi. AND walking here, there, everywhere - by the time we made it to our destination, I was all tuckered out! So yah, got lazy and ended up using the iPhone for most of the creative snaps, candid moments, and ninja shots. 

Though - I am a bit miffed that I didn't take enough foodie pix! And missed out on a friend's rooftop Italian dinner party. Or never making it to Williamsburg to meet up a friend!

But there were many, many memorable moments. AirBnBing once again in our beloved East Village. Celebrating an ol' high school friend's birthday. Finally meeting an online acquaintance of 15 years - a real New Yorker, born and bred, with a flare for stories and an easy going disposition. This guy. It was like meeting up a long time buddy! Chatting it up in a pastry shop, chatting it up while he chauffeured us around on a rainy NYC day, chatting it up so much we didn't realize he sneakily bought us a boxful of pastries as a welcome gift right in front of us! (Also, how very Asian of you, Rich!) This friendship, it was meant to be. =)

We'll be back, NYC. Hopefully sooner than later! 

Next up! The rest of the 2015 Travels! LA, Iceland, Italy, Holland!

-jin-

LOS ANGELES 2014 // Lomo Version

LOS ANGELES 2014 - LOMO VERSION.
LOS ANGELES 2014 - LOMO VERSION.
LOS ANGELES 2014 - LOMO VERSION.
LOS ANGELES 2014 - LOMO VERSION.
LOS ANGELES 2014 - LOMO VERSION.
LOS ANGELES 2014 - LOMO VERSION.
LOS ANGELES 2014 - LOMO VERSION.

Snippets of Los Angeles 2014 shot with the La Sardina camera. By Jin Chu-Ferrer.

---

Back from NYC!

And now heading to  LA .

Only a week to breath in between trips, but I'm ready to switch gears.

From the hustle and bustle of the East Coast concrete jungle to the

rejuvenating Big Bear greenery tucked deep in the San Bernadino Mountains.

No internet. No work stress. No cellies.

That's right. 

No cellphones. (!!!)

Nothing but inspirational fodder and wholistic experiences for 4 days.

That's what The Unique Camp is all about.

Away from the city lights. In the wild, sorta roughing it out.

Getting all kinds of creative.

And I Can. Not. Wait.

So - looking forward to this weekend!

In a few days, in fact.

Let's meet and collaborate, yeah?

I would love to hear your story, fellow creative!

#ilovecreatives #uniquecamp2015

besos ... jin.

NYC 2014 // Lomo Version

nyc 2014.
nyc 2014.
nyc 2014.
nyc 2014.
nyc 2014.

Snippets of NYC 2014 shot with The Golden Half. By Jin Chu-Ferrer.

---

Heading to NYC later today.

14 more hours ... 

This giddiness. It has me digging up our last NYC photog adventures back in late 2014.

More daydreaming. More game planning. 

Then I stumbled across forgotten Golden Half lomo versions of that trip.

Light leaks. Happy surprises. Beautiful blurs.

So, so good. 

Hoping to recreate that mindless trigger happiness this weekend.

That Golden Half. It's a badass lil sucker.

1:30a.

Gotta snooze it up.

See y'all in a New York minute!

besos ... jin.

LOS ANGELES 2014

los angeles 2014.
los angeles 2014.
los angeles 2014.
los angeles 2014.
los angeles 2014.
los angeles 2014.
los angeles 2014.
los angeles 2014.
los angeles 2014.

A whirlwind Cali weekend back in October 2014. Catching up with old high school friends (Herro! Lynn, Anthony + Chris!), catching up even more at Lynn's celebrity friend's mansion til the wee hours of the morn, driving 2 hours away to play in a persimmon orchard, breakfasting at the famous Roscoe's Chicken and Waffles, airbnb-ing in the thick of it all.

Fill the in-between moments with my fascination of palm trees AND bougainvilleas filling every inch of this big, big city.

Whew. 

You may not be my favorite city, Los Angeles, but you sure do make me happy every time I visit.

But on to why we're really in Lalaland. To catch one of the last Craig Ferguson Shows. Ever. That's right! Craigy Ferg himself and Geoff the Robot and Secretariat. Even the talking rhino head. Yeah, all of it. I'm a big fan! I'm going to miss those trippy, quirky, funny late night randomness.

Especially those hilarious cold-opening dance numbers.

No? Don't feel me?

Then I think we can all agree that Scottish accents are pretty awesome. ;-)

Til next time, Los Angeles.

besos ... jin.

NYC 2014

travels 2014 // nyc.
travels 2014 // nyc.
travels 2014 // nyc.
travels 2014 // nyc.
travels 2014 // nyc.
travels 2014 // nyc.
travels 2014 // nyc.
travels 2014 // nyc.
travels 2014 // nyc.
travels 2014 // nyc.
travels 2014 // nyc.
travels 2014 // nyc.
travels 2014 // nyc.
travels 2014 // nyc.
travels 2014 // nyc.
travels 2014 // nyc.
travels 2014 // nyc.
travels 2014 // nyc.
travels 2014 // nyc.
travels 2014 // nyc.
travels 2014 // nyc.
travels 2014 // nyc.
travel 2014 // nyc.
travels 2014 // nyc.
travels 2014 // nyc.
travels 2014 // nyc.

First goal of 2015: catch up on all my photo projects of 2014! They're not much, though. The volume of photo work drastically dropped and the priorities shifted as the holidays came around. Rightfully so. But they're a minor nuisance, ya know? Like something in the back of your mind that won't go away. It's always there, sitting pretty and hidden. But still there. That, and 90% of the time it's the OCD in me to finish a project that I've started. Oi. Anyways, let's get on with it ...

So I had all these stories I oh-so fervently wanted to write about back in September when this trip actually happened. Meeting up with old friends (Mike, Talida, Tim), going on epic foodie adventures with them, exploring parts of town that may be possible residential set ups for us. But 4 months has gone by and I don't have the same fervor as when it was fresh on my mind. When I had just came back all bright-eyed and full of that big city motivation.

But I tell you this: this experience is wholly different from the last I was in NYC. Back in 2007. Now THAT was crazy epic. And it was exactly what you would think a New York minute would be. Spontaneous plans, happy surprises, unexpected adventures, multiple digressions (i.e. 4am train rides to an elusive White Castle in Queens - and constantly missing the stop! *shaking fists*), party after party after party. NO SLEEP. All crammed in one weekend. 

Hurts so good.

Ah, the epitome of youth.

This time around things are more tamed. It seems life priorities has shifted for everyone in their 30's. Some of us are wanting to settle down, some got married, some starting a family, some already started a family but time management became a problem. Thus the reasons why we weren't able to see everyone we wanted to see in NYC! We grew up, man! But one thing stayed constant in NYC - the energetic, chasing dreams vibe.

And I'm oddly drawn to it.

See you soon, NYC ...

besos ... jin.

TEXAS 2014 // Hotel Saint Cecilia

photo diary // hotel saint cecilia.
photo diary // hotel saint cecilia.
photo diary // hotel saint cecilia.
photo diary // hotel saint cecilia.
photo diary // hotel saint cecilia.
photo diary // hotel saint cecilia.
photo diary // hotel saint cecilia.
photo diary // hotel saint cecilia.
photo diary // hotel saint cecilia.
photo diary // hotel saint cecilia.
photo diary // hotel saint cecilia.
photo diary // hotel saint cecilia.
photo diary // hotel saint cecilia.
photo diary // hotel saint cecilia.
photo diary // hotel saint cecilia.
photo diary // hotel saint cecilia.
photo diary // hotel saint cecilia.
photo diary // hotel saint cecilia.
photo diary // hotel saint cecilia.
photo diary // hotel saint cecilia.
photo diary // hotel saint cecilia.
photo diary // hotel saint cecilia.
photo diary // hotel saint cecilia.
photo diary // hotel saint cecilia.
photo diary // hotel saint cecilia.
photo diary // hotel saint cecilia.
photo diary // hotel saint cecilia.
photo diary // hotel saint cecilia.
photo diary // hotel saint cecilia.
photo diary // hotel saint cecilia.
photo diary // hotel saint cecilia.
photo diary // hotel saint cecilia.
photo diary // hotel saint cecilia.

Swank hotel stay in Austin...wait...don't ya'll live in Austin?! Like a boss @jin_chu!! lol - Jerome via Instagram.

That's right, old friend, that's right. Jincent don't mess around when it comes to staycationing! 'Cause ya know, that's what ya do when traveling ain't your full-time job anymore.

Le sigh.

So why spend $$$ on a hotel room just 10 minutes away from Condo de Ferrer? Hotel Saint Cecilia happens to be one of a few legendary hotels in Central Texas famed for it's quintessential Austin vibe.

And have you seen photos of this place? An absolute dream retreat for any creative. Crazy good artsiness echoing the experimental inspiration of yesteryear's musicians and artists. 1 part unconventional mixed with 2 parts modern minimalism. Yes, please.

So yah, we barely left our bungalow. (Again, have you seen photos of this place??) The experience left us rejuvenated and undoubtedly inspired. So inspired I took tons of pix to remember that fuel for inspiration, the fodder for creative spark, the re-ignited memory of the dream. Thanks for letting us pretend we live off SoCo (and for not charging us $1,000 for the trigger happiness ... yet), Hotel Saint Cecilia. Even if for one night.

besos ... jin.

SEATTLE 2013

seattle 2013.
seattle 2013.
seattle 2013.
seattle 2013.
seattle 2013.
seattle 2013.
seattle 2013.
seattle 2013.
seattle 2013.
seattle 2013.
seattle 2013.
seattle 2013.
seattle 2013.
seattle 2013.
seattle 2013.
seattle 2013.
seattle 2013.
seattle 2013.
seattle 2013.
seattle 2013.
seattle 2013.
seattle 2013.
seattle 2013.
seattle 2013.
seattle 2013.
seattle 2013.
seattle 2013.
seattle 2013.

As many times as I've been to Seattle, I could never get tired of this city. The laid-back vibe, fresh air, nature-y backdrop. With a hint of the hipstery twist. Who's not down with that? It's like I had never left Austin! Though Seattle would have felt more like my 2nd home if some of my favorite people haven't recently moved out of this fine, quirky city! My ading is now somewhere in Arkansas. Liz moved to Houston a year ago. And Helen ... I have no idea what happened to her. But for sure, Seattle's not the same without them. Yeah, it's just not the same. Many, if not all, of my memorable Seattle (mis)adventures involved them all! Then in comes Jay to save the day. He moved to Seattle 2 months ago and thanks to him and his proximity to Seattle University, Vince and I got to be college kids all over again, running around Pine St. and E. Madison St. every morning. Def a great place to kill a whole week, where finding tourists this far removed from Pike Place Market, Belltown and Chinatown is rare. We kinda felt like locals! Young locals, at that. You know, kicking it with the college kids and stuff.

But I'll admit, even without all the good people no longer in Seattle, this trip has proven to be just as memorable as the last few. How many people can say they started off their very first hours in town jamming out at a Typhoon concert with Jay's roomies at The Crocodile and then going on a midnight tour around Brandon's malarial research lab immediately thereafter? We even ventured outside of Seattle to do a bit of hikage in Whidbey Island. (Our first choice was Mount Rainier, but weather beat us out. Next time!) And ain't nobody took advantage of the Car2Go like we did! Nor had to fight a losing battle for a Car2Go like we did. I thought you Seattleites walked and biked everywhere?? Oi. But I'd do it all over again - zipping around Seattle in a Car2Go. It's fun! Even though it's a hassle and even though parking is scarce and even though you spend more time searching for a Car2Go than actually riding in it. My Car2Go word of advice: Reserve, reserve, reserve! Maybe when I come back to Seattle in 3 years, teleportation will be alive and well. Hey! A girl can hope! Would def make my traveling life easier!

besos ... jin.

SEATTLE 2013 // Deception Pass Park

whidbey island // deception pass park.
whidbey island // deception pass park.
whidbey island // deception pass park.
whidbey island // deception pass park.
whidbey island // deception pass park.
whidbey island // deception pass park.
whidbey island // deception pass park.
whidbey island // deception pass park.
whidbey island // deception pass park.
whidbey island // deception pass park.
whidbey island // deception pass park.
whidbey island // deception pass park.
whidbey island // deception pass park.
whidbey island // deception pass park.
whidbey island // deception pass park.
whidbey island // deception pass park.
whidbey island // deception pass park.
whidbey island // deception pass park.

I'm gonna be honest, Whidbey Island may not be for me and V. The greenery and seaside sights are peacefully beautiful, sure. But life's slow here. A little too slow. I'm just gonna go ahead and even say mind-numbing slow. Every town we've visited on the island all had a cute lil market place and awesome water views to catch that rare whale sighting. Not too much going on besides the usual small island meanderings. But that's the problem. They're all like that. Every town. Predictably the same. So things got old and boring. Quick. But if you do so happen to find yourself in the area, go check out the highlight of our Whidbey Island road trip: Deception Pass Park. A mini hikage from the bridge down to the rocky beach below holds breathtaking surprises of vast blue water, heavy fog rolling in, and countless dead logs lining the pebble-filled beach. I don't recommend visiting the many uninteresting towns on the island, but the one-with-nature hiking bit is where it's at!

besos ... jin.

SAN FRAN 2013 // Unite SF Fashion Show

san francisco 2013 // unite sf fashion show.
san francisco 2013 // unite sf fashion show.
san francisco 2013 // unite sf fashion show.
san francisco 2013 // unite sf fashion show.
san francisco 2013 // unite sf fashion show.
san francisco 2013 // unite sf fashion show.
san francisco 2013 // unite sf fashion show.
san francisco 2013 // unite sf fashion show.
san francisco 2013 // unite sf fashion show.
san francisco 2013 // unite sf fashion show.
san francisco 2013 // unite sf fashion show.
san francisco 2013 // unite sf fashion show.
san francisco 2013 // unite sf fashion show.
san francisco 2013 // unite sf fashion show.
san francisco 2013 // unite sf fashion show.
san francisco 2013 // unite sf fashion show.
san francisco 2013 // unite sf fashion show.
san francisco 2013 // unite sf fashion show.
san francisco 2013 // unite sf fashion show.
san francisco 2013 // unite sf fashion show.

Select snaps from a fashion show me and Kim went to a couple of weeks ago at the stunning Conservatory of Flowers, which in itself is already quite a visual feast, but throw creative sartorial inspiration into the mix and you got camera eye overload! As well as one heck of a fashion experience, with free cocktails adding a nice touch to it all. Probably the closest we'll ever get to a Project Runway moment! Good fashion, good cause, good creative eye candy - can't think of a better way to spend a random Wednesday evening!

besos ... jin.

SAN FRAN 2013 // Random April Wednesday at Kim's

photo diary // san francisco 2013.
photo diary // san francisco 2013.
photo diary // san francisco 2013.
photo diary // san francisco 2013.
photo diary // san francisco 2013.
photo diary // san francisco 2013.
photo diary // san francisco 2013.
photo diary // san francisco 2013.
photo diary // san francisco 2013.

If you ever awoke one Wednesday morning on the couch of a Berkeley home atop a rocky hill with an awe-inspiring view of the San Francisco Bay, you know it's an amazing, surreal feeling. Coupled with coffee, vegetarian eats, and deers grazing in the backyard - you start wondering why you didn't plan to stay longer! Kim! Are ya sure you want to move back to the city?? Have you looked outside your window?? It's magical! 

And what's a dreamy morning without a good chat? Kim, who recently came back from 2 years of traveling the world, had many stories to tell. I, of course, was all ears and so we've spent an insane amount of hours chatting up a storm about traveling and food. 2 of my favorite things in life (and I suspect Kim's, too). Can the day get any better? Wednesday was feeling more like a lazy Sunday! Totally lovin' it! As many times as I've been to SF, with SF being one of my most visited cities in the states, this was a welcomed change. No touristy bit. Just life with positive energy and awesome company. Thank you, Kim, for being such a hospitable, entertaining host! As well as one heck of a renaissance lady: playing chauffeur, going on foodie adventures, sharing creative dreams, trading traveling tales, and sending me off with organic fruit and gummy vitamins. A woman after my own heart!

besos ... jin.