Where do I even begin? I know I tend to say this after every trip, but my recent trip back to Taiwan was truly one of the best. Maybe there wasn’t the excitement of seeing the panoramic volcanic view in Santorini, being surrounded by fairy-tale castles in Prague, or sipping (chugging?) mezcal on a beach in Tulum, this trip left me feeling more centered – I might even say, it helped clarify some questions I’ve been pondering on and is guiding me towards a direction I want to go for my near future.
Sounds unreal? I would argue that’s the power of being “home”. As a TCK (Third Culture Kid, a term used to refer to people raised in a culture other than their parents’ for a significant part of their life) who has lived in various countries and attended schools with people from 50+ different countries, for the longest time I have come to accept that “where are you from” is not an easy question to answer and that I won’t feel 100% fit-in in any culture. Although this sentiment still rings true (for which I feel grateful for and it has hugely shaped who I am today), I can confidently say that I feel much closer to and proud of my Taiwanese heritage. After all, this is where I was born and spent all my childhood years in.
Anyways, I guess I can go on and on about how touched or enlightened I’ve felt on this trip, but for the most part, this trip was so endearing because I got to visit places I frequented as a kid, eat food that brought back my childhood memories, and look through piles of albums that mom neatly created and organized throughout the years.
Dear sis ❤
How’s your internship going? I hope you are still learning a lot! So Mom and I went to Passau a few days ago, it was super adorable! It’s a town in Lower Bavaria, and it’s also known as “City of Three Rivers“, because it is where Danube (多瑙河) is joined by Inn (因河) and Ilz (伊爾茲河). 🙂 Well in this picture you can only see Danube and Inn…see how they have different colors?
Passau is a little less than 2 hours away from Munich, and really close to the border of Czech Republic and Austria. And guess what!? There’s no speed limit on the highway for the most part! My record was 180 km/hr, which is equivalent to 110 mph…pretty crazy right!? 😉 But honestly I still need more practice in driving…parallel parking took me forever when we were at Passau… 😦 Here is a picture of me before we headed to Passau! All confident and fearless haha
Thanks to Vince’s class project, I had an excuse to explore parts of Washington that I probably would have never heard of. He wanted to go to places that are more rural and that have different mix of demographics. So after a little bit of research, we chose Duvall and Carnation, two tiny towns that are less than an hour away from Seattle.
Because our main purpose was to get some work done, our decision to visit was very spontaneous. I really didn’t expect much (because from my super brief research online, it seemed like “middle of nowhere”–which is what he wanted for the project), but I fell in love with Duvall immediately after we drove in– it’s such a cute and historic little town! I had a feeling that their “downtown” is just this one street called “Main Street”- And all the shops had really cute signs- kind of reminded me of what I saw in Bainbridge Island. In general, nothing appeared “commercialized”, and I love seeing people just randomly bumping into friends or relatives they know in this ice cream shop that we sat at. And when we drove up to a family farm, everyone who walked or drove towards us would wave at us. It’s so interesting how different life is just less than an hour away from Seattle…
(Scroll over the photos to see captions)
Street signs in Carnation. Bird Street, how cute 🙂
This is not a gas station. It’s a gas station themed coffee shop 😉
This is the ice cream shop we sat at. Feels like a cozy home 🙂
And of course, there were many kids craving for ice creams… 😛
The whole “downtown” looks somewhat like this. Cute signs and small buildings.
Second hand books.
Hope you enjoyed my last blog post about downtown Charleston 🙂 Do you think that’s somewhere you would want to visit one day? Anyway, I gotta say my favorite part of the trip was the Middleton Place, where we spent hours on the second day.
Middleton Place is a huge and beautiful plantation built in several phases throughout the 18th and 19th century, and many of the Middleton family played important roles in the colonial history of South Carolina. Of course they were extremely wealthy, and had enormous amount of slaves to work for them–it must have been difficult to manage such a huge plantation! It’s hard to describe to you my feelings for this place…I just know that I could stay there all day long. I think that’s why I love the nature, I get so touched by its power and its beauty…it makes me feel like all my personal problems are not as big of a deal as what I thought they would be…Anyways, one of my favorite spots was the Butterfly Lake (the picture below), so serene and peaceful 🙂
So…I guess it’s about time to share my spring break vacation with you 😉 I would say I had a pretty atypical spring break for a “college student”. You know, no crazy drinking until 3 AM, or getting sunburn from laying on the beach all day. Honestly, I was deciding between Hawaii and Cancun in the beginning, all I wanted was somewhere warm and relaxing…until my housemate Keren mentioned Charleston, and I’m so glad I took her advice 😀
Mike and I had 3 full days in Charleston, so let me walk you through? :] I gotta admit that i’m pretty proud of myself for making my own itinerary…hehe I worked hard on it!
Day 1: Downtown Charleston
This is my last post on my Vegas trip 🙂
One of my favorite parts of this trip is just “sightseeing”! I’m a huge tourist so I love seeing things I’ve seen from movies and such. It’s also fairly walkable if there’s no time constraint…and I really enjoyed walking along the strip and shopping in this city of illusion and luxury. Steve Wynn once said, “Las Vegas is sort of like how God would do it if he had money.” I personally would describe Las Vegas as Disneyland for adults 😉 It’s just really like a different world that’s not part of the reality…
So I guess for this post I’ll just include the additional photos (please click to enlarge and see captions) that I didn’t talk about in my previous posts. I hope you enjoy it but don’t blame me if you have the urge to book a ticket to Vegas now! 😀
In front of Bellagio
Botanical Garden @Bellagio
Bellagio Fountain Show!
Bellagio Fountain Show from another side. Super beautiful :’) I can never get tired of fountain shows.
And how can we go to Vegas without watching their well-known shows? Luckily we got to watch fantastic shows for both nights. Both of them are really popular and unique as they only perform in Las Vegas (or at least that I know of). And even though they weren’t cheap, I just have to say they are so worth it- Although I try to tell myself to not splurge so much while traveling (especially as college students), there are things that we should experience while we are already here you know. And honestly, a Vegas experience without the shows is just not complete.
one of the dancers
Read this post first if you haven’t 🙂
There are so many hotels and resorts to choose from in Vegas, but I didn’t take long to decide at all! 😀 I guess for some reasons, for me the most signature views of Vegas are the gondolas at the Venetian and the fountain show by Bellagio…And after a little research online, I saw slightly more good comments for the Venetian (or maybe I was biased too since I love Venice haha) so we booked The Venetian right away- And I’m so glad I made this decision. I LOVE the Venetian.
Pictures worth a thousand words, so here are some beautiful pictures in the Venetian! 😀 These are probably some of my favorite pictures during this trip 🙂 The interior design is so realistic…I literally felt like I was in Europe, really! It was so romantic and beautiful. I could stay here for an entire day.
And basically, like most other resorts in Vegas, the Venetian has casinos, bars, clubs, restaurants, lots of shopping…etc. So it’s super grand, and convenient.
Please click the photos to enlarge them and see my captions. 🙂 Continue reading