Travel

yinchuan again 🇨🇳 china travel diary (pt. 2 of 8)

I’m back I’m back! And just like every travel diary I’ve made, I can barely remember what happened here but I’m gonna do my best to talk about it!

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Little brothers – good for holding your water bottle, not so good for texting back.

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I spent a little under a week in Yinchuan with my mom’s side of the family, but we didn’t do a ton of stuff outside the house slash I didn’t take a ton of photos, so this is a bunch of shit we did crammed into one post, including shopping, noodles, hot pot, visiting my grandpa’s grave, and leaving for Kunming.

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yinchuan 🇨🇳 china travel diary (pt. 1 of 8)

It’s a belated travel diary again!! I’ve started school/work/interning/regular life again but I started going through my photos from China – here’s part one of (I think) eight, recapping my two weeks in China in August. I have such a floaty memory it’s a wonder I remember anything about this time lol. Also, bc I was kinda shitty about photos, these aren’t all from the same day just kind of…mooshed together where I thought it would fit/be convenient/make sense. Just a head’s up that there may be weird time skips 🙂

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My flight to Beijing left from SFO, and as I live a few hours away from San Francisco I took a shuttle in and completely conked out during the drive. I have anxiety about basically everything, so that includes travel and means I try to get to the airport with 3 hours to do nothing but wait. I’d much rather be waiting at the gate knowing I’m ready to go as soon as they are than spend a little extra time at home and sweat buckets of anxiety grossness in the security line. (I’ve learned this the hard way; my mom is one of those people who thinks “oh it’s fine, we have time!” and my dad and I are the types where you can never get to the airport early enough. When my mom controls our itinerary I’m just a complete mess and 9 times out of 10 we will miss our flight/train/whatever.)

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This painting by my gate is by Juana Alicia and Emmanuel Catarino Montoya – it’s called ‘Santuario/Sancutary’. Airports are kind of stressful and grumpy places, but I’ve always appreciated the sentiment found in them, of coming and going and reunions and new beginnings. Kind of like the opening/closing scenes of Love Actually, lol, where Hugh Grant as PM is like ‘look at all these people loving!’

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My flight to Beijing kicked off with a fun security video featuring a chubby baby panda, so right up my alley of interests lol. I read a bit of 1984, watched Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates (which I’d give a 3/10, and that’s really only so high bc I did laugh and I very much enjoyed Kumail Nanjiani and Jeanie/her husband), did a lil cross stitching, and tried to sleep.

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The best thing to see upon landing is that wonderful red DELAYED sign !! I think I ended up leaving for Yinchuan at the time I was originally supposed to arrive there, so that was very fun. My family came to pick me up at, like, 1AM and we went to get a quick bite at a late-night dim sum place before heading home.

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socal 🎨 spring break photo diary (pt. 2 of 2)

On this day, my frond Olive and I headed to LA, city of angels, city of girls with very long fingernails, city of The Broad art museum!!!!! We did a couple other things too, but the main attraction was obviously The Broad.

(Above is my attempt at a cute handwritten title card, done with the back pages of my planner and photographed with my phone and messily cut out with my old Photoshop app. Ta da. Am I happy with it? Not really. Am I so unhappy with it that I’m willing to spend more time learning how to do it better right now? Also not really. Maybe when I’m like 72 I’ll be a self-taught PS master.)

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We went to Sprinkles Cupcakes, which, if you’ve spent any time at all on Instagram, you’ve probably seen a photo of their cupcake ATMs. A basic bee’s pilgrimage, honestly lol. The writing in the ceiling circle (what an awful description, but lmk if you can think of a better way to refer to that lol) is an ice cream recipe from Benjamin Franklin, I think. How cerebral/historic/cool, right? I appreciated that.

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The location we went to had both cupcakes and ice cream, and I prefer ice cream over cake so I got a cupcake sundae type thing with salted caramel ice cream and a vanilla cupcake covered with sprinkles. A word of warning – the salted caramel flavor is super fucking salty. The girl working warned me that it would be and I even tried a bit and decided I liked it, because my usual gripe with salted caramel ice cream is that there’s too much ‘caramel’ and not enough ‘salted’. I was wrong, y’all. I was so wrong. It would have been all fine and good if it were a kid’s cup of ice cream, but it was larger than I expected and after a while it just tasted like a salt water rinse had accidentally fallen into a vat of ice cream. I had a lot of feelings about it.

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OK lol moving on from the ice cream tragedy, we also took a walk around the UC Irvine campus. These lockers are from the art department and the stickers say “everything is not going to be ok”, so in case you were wondering if things were going to turn out alright? They’re not.

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The Broad!! Pronounced like “road”, for us non-locals. Admission is free but tickets are popular, so you can either reserve tickets online for the next month (so, for example, tickets for July are released on the 1st of June) or wait in line at the door, which is what we did. I think we got there at 9 and they opened at 10, but it wasn’t a huge deal because we just sat and chatted. I don’t mind waiting in lines too much, which I think is a bit of an uncommon feeling re: queues. I guess I look at it as an opportunity to hang out with whoever you’re with, or if you’re alone, catch up on some reading or something like that. (Obviously DMV lines etc are hell on earth – this sentiment really only applies to voluntary ‘fun’-ish lines like art museum admission.)

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An infinity room! Yayoi Kusama’s famous infinity rooms were very very cool. Still undecided as to whether the strict time limits are a valuable part of the artistic experience or just annoying as hell. I didn’t take a ton of photos on my camera as I was freaked out because of the time limits, so I just kind of waved my phone around and tried to take it in.

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The paid exhibition going on at that time was for Jasper Johns. We just did the free stuff.

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socal 🌴 spring break photo diary (pt. 1 of 2)

Another day, another severely belated travel diary! Spring semester ended for me a few days ago, but during spring break (so at the end of March) I went to visit my best frond in SoCal, where she goes to sk00l with Peter the Anteater at UC Irvine. I stayed with her and her boyfriend (and their lovely dog) and we had a good few days of hangin’ out, art museum-ing, and eating lots of food, all of which are so so so nice any time but even nicer for ~long distance friendships~* like ours.

These photos are from the day we went to Laguna Beach, which you may know from esteemed reality TV show starlet turned lifestyle guru/Something Corporate bassist’s wife Lauren Conrad’s host of TV shows. Or at least that’s how I know of the city, lol. We started off at the Laguna Art Museum, then had lunch at Urth Caffé and had a long walk by the beach terrorizing anemones. (In our defense, we didn’t realize they were anemones. We didn’t know what the fuck they were, as the most marine education we have had is from Finding Dory.)

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Laguna Beach has an art museum, which was $5 entry for students but PRICELESS FOR CULTURAL IMPACT. Just kidding I think pricey art museums are bullshit and another way the bourgeoisie keeps lower classes down by depriving them of intellectual stimulation. Not to get all heavy and Marxist on ya ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Anyway I never turn down an art museum! The exhibition they had going on right then was on Tony DeLap, who is LITERALLY LIKE 90 YEARS OLD NOW AND STILL KICKIN’. I mean, what a legend. Lol, DeLap was one of UC Irvine’s founding art professors and his work focuses on abstract sculpture and minimalism.

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A lot of abstract/contemporary is very befuddling to everyone, including me, a self-proclaimed art luvr. It’s like, what is this red block? What does it mean? Why?? An article I read forever ago and keep going back to and foist upon anyone who listens to me for more than two seconds is this one from Salon, which describes abstract art and how it interacts with our brains from the perspective of a neuroscientist and his research. Basically, abstract art forces our brains to work in a different way than we’re used to and that’s why it bothers most people – super interesting and eye-opening and everyone should read the whole damn thing.

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london leftovers

So, I lied about 2 things. The first is that I was done posting my London photos from last year. I’m not. I found some more on another memory card. The second is something I said at the beginning of 2018 – I was going to post once a week. Obviously that hasn’t happened!! But I’m gonna keep trying and maybe I’ll hit that goal for the rest of the year?!

Anyway, let’s get into these leftover London pics o’ mine.

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london • trafalgar square & st john’s lodge gardens & daunt books & regent st

Mooooore London pics! Another cloudy day. Not too many photos this day either, because it started pouring – everyone on the street ran for the nearest shop/cafe/whatever and hunkered down until it let up enough to go out and seek more permanent shelter. Ah, London. You and your tempestuous weather.

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london • national gallery & bibimbap & british museum

More London photos!! A bit less this time than usual, because my camera battery died on this day… Today we’re heading to get some Korean food at Bibimbap (a restaurant in Soho on 11 Greek St that I REALLY RECOMMEND!!) as well checking out the really big name museums – the National Gallery and the British Museum.

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london • victoria & albert museum

The V & fuckin’ A everybody!!!!! I could scream forever about this place. On this day in particular I actually was trying to go somewhere else, but the bus schedule was different for some reason and I wasn’t able to get there in the end sooooo I went to the trusty V&A.

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So the bus I was supposed to take to get to my planned destination was at Wellington Arch, but through a series of unfortunate events that could have probably been prevented were I more comfortable with asking for directions and help from strangers, it didn’t work out.

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london • natural history museum & harrods & nando’s

More London pics today!! Today we are takin’ a wander over to the Natural History Museum and Harrod’s, which both need no introduction or description, with a stop in the middle at Nando’s for food. If you take away one thing from visiting my blog, let it be this: Nando’s is the crown jewel of the British Empire. *mic drop*

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A close second for crown jewel of the British Empire would maaaaybe be the shops on the high street. Marks & Spencer is unreal. Honestly. I guess I could compare it to Target in the US, because you can buy clothes/food/a lot of other shit there, only Target is like…the Guy Fieri version of M&S. And M&S doesn’t really sell electronics or toys. OK, this comparison did not pan out, but my ultimate point is that M&S is a heaven and if you ever find yourself in the UK, that should be your third stop. (First = hotel/lodging. Second = pub for food/drank.)

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london • camden market & regent’s park

It’s been, like, half a year since I left London and I still have not gotten all my photo posts up like I wanted to… WELL HERE THEY ARE! Or, here another one is. There’s, like, three more. Today we’re going to Camden Market and Regent’s Park, in search of mac n cheese and shelter from the rain, because it started pouring while we were out that day so we ran home.


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