Last month, I went to Hong Kong to take care of my grandmother after her cataract surgery. It's not a very serious surgery, so my family wasn't worried. However, my grandmother always worries about something or another, so she was pretty worried. After the surgery was down, her anxiety lessened . . . but she's a worrywart so she still finds things to worry about. (Haha)
Hong Kong is a great place to visit. There's beautiful views of islands and mountains. There's also delicious food. During my three weeks there, I cleaned my grandmother's apartment, ate sushi and Chinese food, and went to church with my friend. It became an unforgettable, new and precious experience for me.
Sunday, April 17, 2016
Earlier in April, I went on a road trip with my older sister. We never had one before but we wanted to spend some time together before she gets married. It was a quick but fun 3 night 4 day trip to Nashville, TN and Lexington, KY.
THE FIRST DAY
We first stopped at the Jim Bean Distillery in Kentucky. Jim Bean is a famous brand of bourbon. Kentucky is the bourbon homeland, so I really wanted to visit this place. Since we were driving, we didn’t drink any of it there, but we did buy some for later! (And just as I thought, it was too strong for me.) >_<
We arrived in Nashville just in time for the Grand Ole Opry show! This is a one-of-a-kind country music show. Many different country artists perform together every weekend. New talent perform alongside with acclaimed singers. It was a great concert and was the highlight of the trip.
We went to The Hermitage. It's President Andrew Jackson’s family plantation. I learned a lot about Jackson’s personal history and political life. Have to say, he reminds me of Donald Trump.
At night my sister and I went bar hopping. I LOVE Nashville’s bar life. Every bar had live music. Some just played country music, but a few also played rock and pop. This was a new sister experience and we enjoyed listening to all the bands!
Before we left for Lexington, we just had to have Nashville’s famous hot chicken. We ate lunch at Hattie B’s Chicken. It's a good thing we got there 15 minutes early, because there was already a long line forming! It was worth the wait though – it was some of the best chicken I've ever had!!
After a long drive, we decided to stay in after dinner. It was nice to spend a night taking a break to just relax.
We woke up early to see the morning work out at the Keeneland Horse Track. This was a picturesque horse racing track. Even though it was a cold morning, we stayed outside taking pictures for a long time. The horses were so beautiful! And I never seen them at a race track, so it was a new experience for me.
Our last stop in Kentucky was the Kentucky Horse Park. The horses here were all retired race winners. Even though they wouldn't race again, you could tell they were all in good health and were being well taken cared of.
I had so much fun hanging out with my big sis and catching up with her. This trip truly became a wonderful memory for the both of us, and I definitely want to do it again in the future!
Sunday, March 27, 2016
This week, I went to an onsen (hot spring resort) with friends!
Actually, it's really a 24-hour bath house called King Spa. And even though I say it's a bath house, it's no regular bath house. There are a lot of different kinds of saunas inside! You can also get facials and massages there too, and there's even a Korean style restaurant.
First, we went into the bath house. There are hot baths and a cold bath, so we went inside each one 3 times. The cold one was cold as ice! I wouldn't have done it if my friends weren't there encouraging me to do it with them. Super grateful for them!
We went to the saunas next. All the saunas were beautiful! Each sauna was also different. There was a gold sauna made of real gold. Another room had amethyst inside. I had such a good time relaxing in all the different rooms!
My favorite was the gold sauna. It was the first one, and so really made me feel great.
Sunday, March 20, 2016
Starbuck's Cherry Blossom Frappuccino is back!
Today, I went to Starbucks to try it out. I asked the barista for a Sakura Frap, which she promptly asked, "What is that?". She said, "If you can tell me the ingredients, then I can probably make it." So I then begin describing the drink, and as I'm explaining she just stares at me and asks blankly, "Do you mean a Cherry Blossom Frappuccino?" She then points at the menu and written in big letters is Cherry Blossom Frappucino.
Hahahaha, in America, if you say "sakura" people probably don't know what you mean. If your say "cherry blossom" however people know exactly what you mean. I always say "Sakura" and I completely forgot about the English counterpart.
Up above is a picture of my frappuccino. For people who know what a cherry blossom is, your're probably surprised. It's not pink, but it looks like a white drink with a little bit of matcha in it. Unfortunately, this is Chicago's Sakura Frappuccino. There's no sakura extract, so it's a strawberry frap with matcha powder. I was really disappointed. *Sigh*
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
It's been a long time since I blogged, but I've also been really busy the past few months. A lot of life-changing events has happened. Some great and some . . . not so great.
But here's an update of my roller-coaster life!
Last year, I talked about my new dream about becoming an occupational therapist. After I finished my prerequisite courses, I was ready to start my graduate school applications! The applications were not hard to complete, but I really wanted to have a great personal essay that reflected my personality, my character and why I wanted to be an occupational therapist.
I meant to finish it before my Asia trip in September, but unfortunately I didn't, so I had to continue working on my applications while I was visiting relatives in Hong Kong. That was okay though, because I was able to include an incredible experience shadowing at a Hong Kong hospital. It was truly one of my favorite experiences while I was abroad!
I finally finished my application on my second day in Japan. I felt so relieved - I was ready to explore Japan!!! I traveled all over Japan and met wonderful people. I volunteered with an NPO called NICE. NICE is an international NPO that organizes volunteer trips or camps for international volunteers. There were 20 foreign and Japanese volunteers working together to plan a Halloween camp for the kids affected by 2011's tsunami. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and so to everyone I met, thank you for the memories!
After I returned from Asia, it was time for me to settle down with my parents. I moved back home not only to save money but to also spend time with my parents. My parents were really excited for me to be back home. It meant free back and leg massages for them! (Haha!)
Moving to a new city has its challenges. I don't have many friends here, so I spend most of my time working part time jobs and watching TV at home. However, I am exercising more, which has been one of my major life goals. I also just started to attend a Japanese club nearby too, which has been fun.
Another challenge that was my long-distance relationship with my boyfriend. He is in New York and I am in Chicago. That's a one-hour time difference but even that sometimes put a strain in our relationship. He was busy studying at medical school while I was anxiously waiting to hear back from occupational therapy schools. In February, we finally called it quits and ended our 6.5 year relationship together.
That is something I'm still wrestling with right now. Maybe I will talk about in the future, because there were more reasons about why we decided to break up, but for now just pray that God will continue to comfort and prepare me for my future husband (who I believe is out there somewhere!)
That's my 2016 update! Be sure to watch out for my next blog post!