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Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Funny Airport Story

Hi everyone! 

I have a short funny story to share with you all. It's more of a learning lesson but we tend to make mistakes while traveling and being in a rush so I thought it's worth sharing.

This starts when I was returning from studying abroad. My host city didn't have an international airport so I had to take a train to the city with the international airport. My train ride was early in the morning and I didn't really have time to have breakfast since I had stayed up all night packing (and being all emotional). In the morning, I took out all my bread and cheese and my last banana that I had left from the refrigerator and left the dorms. I ended up eating most of my bread and cheese on the train and put my banana in my coat pocket. While being all emotional again, I forgot to eat my banana and boarded the flight after some luggage size arguments with the airport staff. All that almost made me miss my flight so I had completely forgotten I still had a banana.
When I had finally returned to the US and was waiting for my suitcases, a customs dog came and sniffed everyone's purses and backpacks. I held my coat and let the dog sniff everything assuming I had nothing to hide and the dog started acting strange while sniffing my stuff. Being scared, I told the customs lady I had European chocolate and some cheese but nothing else. I didn't even remember my banana in my coat pocket!! She searched everything I had and finally found the banana. I just stood there being embarrassed while everyone in that section of the airport just stared at me. It was truly embarrassing because I was getting the wrong type of attention. We all know how bad it can be if you're the center of attention at an airport! I had to go through a separate line from all the other passengers and had to hand my banana to an officer. They took it out of my hands with gloves on and put it in a dangerous looking bucket with "Hazards" written over it. 

So my learning lesson was to not forget what you're carrying while traveling and make sure you have no fruits or veggies with you. If you do, you'll end up paying a hefty fine unless you can prove to the officers that you truly forgot and were meant to eat it before boarding your flight! 

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A smoothie a day

A lot of us have been taught about the food pyramid and some of us have tried to follow it. Although health researchers have updated the food pyramid, it's still hard to get the portions of everything that is recommended for us. Personally, I have a hard time following it with my fruit portions. Unless I have somebody cut the fruits and make a fancy fruit salad for me (like my mommy used to), I won't even remember to have any fruit in my daily diet. Now I'm going to share a yummy smoothie recipe that you can probably have every day without getting bored of it. I won't share the exact amount so fruits to add because I have different preferences and I normally don't measure everything but you can mix it up and add whatever you like and however much of it! Plus, you don't have to add everything listed in the same time!

  • Strawberries - known as a must have in any smoothie
  • Blueberries - healthy even in small amounts
  • Banana - usually I would have half a banana to get that taste in
  • Blackberries - I recently started adding these in because my fruit pack comes with it
  • Kale or Spinach - I don't always add this but most of the time you can't taste it so it's a good way to get it in your system without having to cook it
  • Cantaloupe - this wasn't my idea but it definitely gives your smoothie a sweet taste that can hide any other bitter ingredients you might be adding
  • Grapes - sometimes add a color or sweetness depending on the type of grape 
  • Pear - my rare smoothie ingredient but I love pears a lot to sometimes eat them raw so it works
  • Raspberries - not my favorite but I know others like this ingredient a lot
  •  Water, milk or yogurt for the blending

Add comments if you have additional ideas for a smoothie that tastes normal and is healthy. I like a smoothie that doesn't have too much of a certain fruit that hides the rest of the flavors so please share your ideas! 

Thursday, April 3, 2014

First stop... LONDON, ENGLAND

Hi Everyone! 

This blog will be about traveling and food... and maybe other things that I like. I'm not sure where it'll go from here or how often I'll post but I plan on picking random locations I want to visit and different food that I love! 

The first location of this blog is LONDON, England. It's actually one of the places I've been to but I still need to see a lot more there! There will always be a lot to see in a big city like that for all tourists and the people who live there.

Let's start off with my #1 favorite thing in London that drove me CRAAAAZY the first time I saw it. It's exciting to see it with your own eyes after seeing it on TV or movies for all those years. 

Yes, it really IS that gorgeous! Picture taken by me during my ride on the London Eye.

Big Ben... Something a lot of people don't know (and at once I didn't know this either) is that BIG BEN is not the tower itself. It's actually the bell of the clock! The clock tower, which is now called the Elizabeth Tower, stands at the end of the Palace of Westminster. 
I remember my first time seeing it. I couldn't even take my eyes off of it! I started taking pictures of it while waiting to cross the street to get closer. The clock's light in the nighttime is beautiful! After taking those 20 or so photos you can start walking further and you'll see the Westminster Bridge and the LONDON EYE! The big ferris wheel all London lovers dream of going on!

Going on the London Eye will cost you around £18. You might hear from others that it's not worth it but you gotta go on it at least once as a London lover. The one thing I wish I could do is get the whole capsule to myself someday when I go on it again. Some people actually get married on the London Eye! Not sure how because the ride is between 20-30 minutes. It's probably a short wedding or they book it for longer. Okay getting off topic... so yes the London Eye. They'll let you experience a 4D movie about London and specifically the London Eye once you buy those tickets. Make sure you don't forget to watch it (because I almost did!) 

Here's a picture I took when my capsule and the capsule next to me were at the top of the London Eye: 

Okay so next I'm going to focus on the TUBE and red gorgeous buses. The subway system that all tourists loooove about London because it makes traveling so much easier. One tip for all tourists is PLEASE GET A DAY PASS for each day you're there because you will be going around to a lot of places and trust me, it's not worth it to buy an oyster card that you have to add more money on each time. The travel card will work for unlimited times each day. So some of the pros and cons of the Tube and buses I'd say are:


  • Short waiting time. The longest I had to wait for a train was a little over 5 mins. Most of them come within a few minutes! Buses do have a longer waiting time but it's not too bad.
  • They go all around the city! You can get anywhere and everywhere in London with a bus and/or tube.
  • Tubes are super fast. Woohoo!
  • They are connected with major airports and train stations that go to other cities. Too bad the US doesn't have that. If I wanted to go to LA or NY I can't just go on a train that will take me there. 


  • They are really packed in Central London during peak times. I can't blame them since London is such a famous big city that tourists visit all year long. You really can't avoid the packed trains in Central! 
Photo above taken by me right by the Picadilly Circus!

So on the tube, we get to the Picadilly Circus. This place is packed and I mean PACKED with tourists. I guess this place is to London what Times Square is to NYC. I always wonder how they shoot movies here with no tourists. I'd be super angry if I was spending a day in London and I had to wait for the filming to be over to get my own pictures done at the touristy spot. I can't complain too much about the tourists and others who go there because you will get to see people from all over the world in one city... from honeymoon couples to students who came for a short weekend (like me the first couple of times I went to London). Aaah London... it's always full of exciting people!!!! 

If you're going on the London Eye and getting photos by the Picadilly Circus, you sure won't want to miss the first Madame Tassauds. If you like celebrities and want to see how they are in real life without seeing the REAL them , you MUST go there. (Some people still believe that I saw the Queen because I have a picture next to her! So if someone wants to believe that, let them!) 

Our next stop in my London topic blog is my favorite bridge in the world: TOWER BRIDGE. Now let's get this right... it's the TOWER Bridge, NOT THE LONDON BRIDGE! I like the London Bridge as well but you can't get confused and call the Tower Bridge the London Bridge and give it credit for being something it's not. The London Bridge is a whole different bridge! They are very close to each other but please don't get them confused. The Tower Bridge's lights at night make it visible from all areas near River Thames. I just can't believe someone could make a bridge this beautiful! I used to have different pictures of it as my desktop background and seeing it sure felt like a dream come true! Here is the Tower Bridge: 
 A little further from this is the London Bridge. It's an amazing experience to walk both bridges!

Next we'll take a little trip to FAMOUS PEOPLE land known as Madame Tassuads. I won't be posting those pictures on here because most of them have me in them but I'd like to share some things that you do not want to miss while you're there. With the crowd taking photos with all their favorite celebrities, don't miss out on any by rushing to avoid the crowds. You'll be surprised they have almost all notable people in that building. Next, the "taxi ride" of Madame Tassuads... They don't allow you to take photos during that ride but I like that idea because you'd rather pay attention to the ride that goes through the history of the UK and see the wax figures moving with the music. The last thing at Madame Tassuads that is a great experience is the 4D movie. The one and only problem about going to a tourist attraction that lots of people want to get the right poses and pictures at is that THERE ARE A LOT OF PEOPLE! The only thing you can do is go early in the day and still have to be patient... I must say it is worth the time though! 

When you're in London town, you really cannot forget the Queen. Okay, I admit you won't meet the Queen unless you're a celebrity but you'll get to see 100 other tourists and the Queen's guards WHO NEVER LAUGH at work! If the flag is raised that means the Queen is inside. My favorite part about going to the Buckingham Palace (which is where the Queen works!) was the walk from Marble Arch towards the Palace that's surrounded by a beautiful park with birds and a lot of British flags. When I say a lot, I mean A LOT. You'll definitely get the feel of being in the UK.

 Then the Palace of course...


Seeing the length of this first post, I'd like to keep this next part short. Here is a short list of some other places that are on the "Must-See" list of your visit to London for you London lovers!

  • St. Paul's Cathedral - the architecture and the traditional ceremonies!
  • Milenium Bridge
  • Twinings Tea Shop - get that English tea before you leave!
  • Shakespeare's Globe
  • Wembley Stadium for you soccer fans
  • Platform 9 and 3/4 at Kings Cross Station
  • Museum of London - they got a little bit of everything for everyone's taste!
  • the street that was filmed as Diagon Alley in Harry Potter (I couldn't find this because I ran out of time but if you do, please share photos!)
  • Hyde Park - London's famous park 
  • Oxford Circus - especially Oxford Street for all you shopaholics! You can go shopping in stores like TopShop or get the smaller souvenirs from the side shops on the street.
  •  Trafalgar Square - see from art galleries to street performers. This place is something you see in a lot of movies!

    • Somerset House 
    • Canary Wharf - Big buildings!
    • The Shard - get a view of London from Europe's tallest building (from my sources, let me know if it's not the tallest anymore!)
    • M&M world 
       Add comments if you have additional places to recommend! You'll notice you would never get bored in the world's 2nd most visited city (and believe it or not, the 1st one isn't NYC! NYC is #5 as of 2013 and it would be since it is far from the Eastern part of the world - not trying to downgrade NYC here but the focus of this post is on London!). 
      Source for that last "fact" I just added up there: