Sunday, March 27, 2016

Chicago's Hot Spring

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

Sakura Frappuccino Taste Test

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

2016 Update

Hello again!!!

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.

Hong Kong port
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!

Volunteers during a hiking trip
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!