Personal

Life Update // End of Semester


I am 3 weeks away from the end of the school year (can I get a woop woop?!) and life is a little crazy, but I wanted to check in since I’ve barely had any time to blog during the past three months. If you follow me on Instagram you’re probably sort of updated, because I feel like all I’ve done is countdown the semester away. Like no joke, I literally have like 4 countdowns, I have an app, my planner and my mom’s calendar on the fridge. It feels so good to check days off!

Today was the last day of week 4 (HA!) and i’m obviously wasting my afternoon/night catching up on TV shows, because man I need a break. It’s funny how when you have a huge to-do list you always find excuses to procrastinate, #mylife. Both summer and my husband are so damn close, yet so far away but I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel!!

Thankfully 4 of my 6 classes have stopped meeting, so we can work on our final projects. I have one 10 page term paper, one 5 page term paper (but i’m doing them both on the same subject, score!), six chapter reviews to write (fml, but they’re pretty easy since I already have notes), one book to finish (Silence of the Lambs and yes i’m devouring it!), one blog to set up/2 articles to write, another article about this awesome Instagram group (well.. if they ever reply to my messages), a photographic essay, 3 tests and a broadcast report about Airbnb in Puerto Rico all for one class (*insert eye roll emoji*).

If you made it through that whole paragraph, pray for me (HA!). But seriously, i’m soo close to graduating and I know this craziness will all be worth it in exactly 3 weeks!

In other news, G will be flying to Puerto Rico at the end of May so we can attend a friend’s wedding (he’s the best man!) and I’m so excited to attend my first wedding, you know not counting my own! I bought this gorgeous dress from Modcloth and I am crossing my fingers/toes/extremities that it fits (lol), especially since it’s sold out now.

We have some fun stuff planned for that week and a half, most importantly spending as much time as possible with our families!! We will be returning to Okinawa the first week of June. Well, hopefully because we haven’t even purchased tickets, lol. Waiting on the Hopper app to give us the green light on the best travel deals.

Speaking of Hopper, I literally just discovered this app and i’m in love! This week I purchase my tickets to Thailand this summer (!!!!) where I will be joining one of my high school friends on a relaxing 9 day island hopping tour of the islands on the East of Thailand, with Contiki!

Well.. that’s pretty much it for now. I will be back to blogging full time come June and I have soo many adventures to share with you guys! I hope you’re ready!

Hong Kong, travel, Travel Advice

4 days in Hong Kong: Our Itinerary

My 5 days in Taiwan: Our Itinerary post has become my most popular post as of late, maybe because I finally created a pinnable image for it! I’m so happy to see so many people finding my blog and I’m really hoping it has helped others plan their own trips to Taiwan. I’ve decided from now on to share my itineraries for all of my trips, but before that I need to go back and write the itineraries of past trips. Here is our 4 day itinerary for Hong Kong!

Girls Trip to Hong Kong! We ate delicious food, shopped at 4 markets, took the cable car to Lantau Island, then the Peak Tram and finally a ferry to Macau.Last year my friends Katie, Chaelyn and I decided to plan a girl’s trip to Hong Kong! We left on a Monday and explored Hong Kong for 4 days. We took the MTR, ate at some delicious restaurants, shopped at 4 markets, took the cable car to Lantau Island and visited Buddha, took the Peak Tram up to the most amazing few of the Hong Kong skyline and ended the trip with a ferry ride to Macau, where we saw the House of Dancing Water show. It was such a fun trip and I wanted to share our 4 day itinerary in case anyone is planning a trip to HK!

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Day 1: We left Okinawa around 12pm and arrived in HK via Hong Kong Airlines a few minutes before 2pm. From there we took the hotel shuttle to the Cosmopolitan Hotel. (I picked this hotel because on Expedia it said/showed they had triple rooms, with triple twin beds and since we were three, I wanted us all to have our own beds. It was the only hotel I saw that had this option but once we arrived we realized it was false advertisement.. *rolls eyes* Yeah the room came with 3 beds but 1 of them was a cot.. We fought and fought, but it was no use. Besides that our room had an awesome view, but the location of the hotel wasn’t ideal and the whole bed situation just sucked!)

Afterwards we went to dinner at Tim Ho Wan, one of the cheapest Michelin Star restaurants in Hong Kong. The BBQ pork bun is amazing and sweet! We later walked around Victoria Harbor to see the light show but we missed it by a couple of minutes. We decided to take the Star Ferry from Hong Kong Island to Kowloon and then back to experience the beautiful skyline from both sides; it was only HK $2 (which is like 25 US cents). Afterwards we headed back to the hotel, but not before stopping for dessert at a random waffle shop next to Causeway Bay Station (the closest one to the hotel) and indulging in a warm waffle with ice cream, bananas and chocolate!

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Day 2: This was our Market Day! We visited most of the famous Hong Kong Markets in Kowloon. First we visited the Yuen Po Bird Market, where birds are sold in gorgeous wooden cages. Then the Flower Market, where we wanted to buy all the flowers! We only found one or two stalls that sold Goldfish, but not the market itself. Then the crazy Jade Market, where we almost ran out after being attached by sales people (lol) but we ended up purchasing some gorgeous souvenirs!! (SCORE!) We then walked around the Ladies Market, in search for shoes for my friend Katie. We ended the day by visiting the Man Mo Temple and eating dinner a block away at the adorable Classified Cafe.

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Day 3: We were sort of tired from Day 2, so we had a later start to the day. We walked to Classified Cafe in Wan Chai and on the way stopped by the cemetery that’s right next to the hotel (lol). My Fitbit fell somewhere along the way and we had to retrace our steps (ugh!) and then we had a delicious breakfast! Sadly this meant that our schedule was compromised.

We took the MTR to Tung Chung Station and then stood in line for 2 hours (UGH!) to take the Ngong Ping 360 cable car to Lantau Island. It was miserable, but totally worth it once we saw the views from the cable car. After arriving in Lantau Island we ate lunch, tried some Chinese beer, visited the Tian Tan Buddha and finished shopping for some souvenirs. I wanted to visit the Po Lin Monestary but we didn’t have any time, because we had to be back before the last cable car left Lantau Island at 4pm I believe. We had planned to take the Peak Tram to visit Victoria Peak this day but just didn’t have any time left.

We came back to Hong Kong Island via the MTR, made a stop at Central Station to find a little hole in the wall Mexican restaurant I had found online. We searched forever and just when we were about to give up, with the use of our portable WIFI, we found it! Brickhouse was a gem! You could tell it was exclusively a local spot and we felt so happy to have found it. I suggest you get the Taco Platter and try as many as tacos and you like, but I recommend the Spicy Nemo and the Fat Man Dancing! Try out their delicious cocktails as well!

and here’s where our trip went wrong!

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Day 4: We had planned on doing a day trip to Macau on this day, but we also didn’t want to miss out on visiting Victoria Peak, (because let’s be honest it’s a MUST do in Hong Kong) so we did both and failed (lol). We took the Peak Tram and visited Victoria Peak first thing in the morning. There were no lines, the view was magnificent! (Here is where I realized I had forgotten to charge my camera battery.. *fuuck*) We were in and out in about an hour and a half.

Next we went to the Hong Kong – Macau ferry terminal. We decided on Cotai Water Jet company, but sadly had just missed a ferry and had to wait about an hour. The ferry ride takes about an hour (i suggest you bring a warm jacket because it’s freezing inside the ferry), and we arrived in Macau around 2pm.

It took us a while to figure out how to get from the terminal to the area we wanted to explore and how to exchange some Hong Kong dollars to the Macau Pacata (we ended up withdrawing money from an ATM at the terminal). We had gotten tickets for the House of the Dancing Water show at 5pm, so we decided to take a taxi to the hotel so that we could get help from the Concierge Desk. There they told us it would take 30 min to and from the hotel to get to the area we wanted to explore and we had to be back a bit before 5pm for the show. Because we had booked those tickets we didn’t have time to do the one thing I was most excited about, which was to explore the Portuguese side of Macau (*insert crying emoticon here*). This is when I realized I hadn’t done much research on Macau, but lesson learned!

They directed us to an area close to the hotel that was touristy, and it took us forever to find it because our Hong Kong pocket wifi didn’t work in Macau (DUH!) so we were actually using maps to get around (#fail). Let’s just say Macau was a total failure, but the House of the Dancing Water show was amazing! It’s a sort of Cirque Du Soleil style show. Macau, I promise you I will go back and re-visit you!


Day 5: Our flight left around 12pm, so we checked out of our hotel, took the hotel shuttle and arrived at the airport around 10am. We arrived back in Okinawa at 3pm via Hong Kong Airlines.

okinawa

Spring in Okinawa: A Month-by-Month Guide to Festivals and Fields

Happy Springtime! If you're wondering when, where and which flowers bloom in Okinawa - this month by month guide of festivals and fields is just for you!Happy Springtime! During the first few months of the year Okinawa becomes a magic wonderland full of all sorts of flowers and it’s simply my FAVORITE time of the year! I am suuper sad to be missing it this year (since i’m back home in Puerto Rico finishing my degree!), so I decided to add a bit of spring to my blog by adding my ‘Okinawa Blooms’ posts on my featured slider, as well as creating this post! I wanted to write down and organize all of the flower festivals / fields by month so you know which ones to visit and when.

1
IMG_63031-1024x682Sunflower Festival (ひまわりまつり)
They bloom late January, early February – but it varies annually. Kitanakagusuku has a huge field! The festival changed farms last year and now there’s an area full of flower vendors!

Address:
306 Kishaba
Kitanakagusuku, Nakagami District,
Okinawa Prefecture 901-2311, Japan
GPS coordinates: N 26 17.843E 127 48.622

Read more: Sunflower Festival 2013, Sunflower Festival 2014

IMG_08941-1024x718Cosmos (コスモス)
They bloom late January, early February. They can be found all around Okinawa, but Kin-Town has a huge field and it’s perfect for photo shoots!!

Address:
Kin-chō, Kunigami-gun,
Okinawa-ken 904-1202, Japan
GPS coordinates: N 26 27.506E 127 52.792

Read More: Cosmos field in Kin-Town

Okinawa International Orchid Show
The award winning show happens around the last week of January/first week of February at the Tropical Dream Center, next to the Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium. I’m hoping to catch it next year!

Address:
424 Ishikawa
Motobu, Kunigami District
Okinawa Prefecture 905-0206, Japan

cherry-blossom1Cherry Blossom Festivals (さくらまつり)
Unlike Mainland Japan and the US, sakura trees start blooming around Mid January in Okinawa. The cherry trees are different from the ones in Mainland Japan and are said to come from Taiwan or China. There are many places to see these beauties, my favorites are at Nago Park and Yogi Park in Naha.

Addresses:

Naha Cherry Blossom Festival
1-1 Yogi, Naha,
Okinawa 902-0076, Japan
GPS coordinates: N 26.208275, E 127.692276

Yaese Cherry Blossom Festival
1607 Tomimori Shimajiri-gun, Yaese-cho
Okinawa 901-0402, Japan
GPS coordinates: N 26.131374, E 127.720496

Mt. Yaedake Cherry Blossom Festival
921 Namizato, Motobu-cho,
Kunigami-gun, Okinawa 905-0222
GPS coordinates: N 26 42.402 E 128 08.944

Nago Cherry Blossom Festival
2160 Nago,
Nago-shi, Okinawa 905-0012
GPS Coordinates: N 26 35.245E 127 58.925

Nakijin Cherry Blossom Festival
5101 Imadomari, Nakijin-son,
Kunigami-gun, Okinawa, 905-0428
GPS coordinates: N 26 42.402 E 128 08.944

Read more: First Sakura Blooms at Yogi Park, Nago Cherry Blossom Festival

Bougainvillea Fair (ブーゲンビリアフェア)
The Southeast Botanical Garden hosts a Bougainvillea Fair the last week of February – the first week of March. These are my all time favorite tropical flowers! 

Address:
2146 Chibana, Okinawa,
Okinawa Prefecture 904-2143, Japan
GPS coordinates: N 26 22’30.6 E 127 48’22.2

2
IMG_0793Azalea Festival (つつじまつり)
They bloom in March! The Higashi Village hosts the Azalea festival for 3 weeks, be sure to check out the 50,000 azaleas in a variety of pinks!

Address:
766-1 Taira, Higashi-son,
Kunigami-gun, Okinawa 905-1204, Japan
GPS coordinates: N 26 38.235E 128 09.413

Read more: Azalea Festival at Higashi Village

Okinawa Zoo & Museum Flower Festival

The Okinawa Zoo & Museum hosts an annual flower festival featuring 30,000 flowers of many different varieties. The festival goes on from late-February to mid-March.

Address:
5 Chome-7-1 Goya,
Okinawa, Okinawa Prefecture 904-0021, Japan
GPS coordinates: N 26.328294, E 127.803503

Iris (ショウブ)
They bloom in late March, early April and there is a great field in Kijoka in the Ogimi Village.

Address:
1595 Kijoka, Ōgimi-son,
Kunigami-gun, Okinawa-ken 905-1303, Japan
GPS coordinates: N 26 42.402 E 128 08.944

IMG_10881Lily Festival (ゆりまつり)
They bloom from late April to the 1st week of May. Ie island hosts the festival where you will see fields and fields of white lilies, as well as some colorful ones. Take the ferry at Motobu Port and enjoy a day trip to Ie island! Make a reservation for a car rental in advance, if they are booked there is a bus that will take you to the field. You can also rent bikes and enjoy all the different spots on the island.

Address:
Higashi Eue, Kunigami-gun, Ie-son 
Okinawa 905-0501, Japan
GPS coodinates:  N 26 44.309E 127 48.541

Read more: Lily Festival on Ie Island, Biking on Ie Island, YYY Resort – Ie Island.

3
IMG_19221Hydrangea Garden (よへなあじさい園)
They bloom during Okinawa rainy season in end of May – early June. There is a gorgeous private garden in Izumi that is owned by Mrs. Uto Yohena, a 98-year-old who’s been growing Hydrangeas in her garden for thirty years!! Make sure to bring an umbrella and rain boots if it’s a rainy day! 

Address:
1312 Izumi, Motobu-chō,
Kunigami-gun, Okinawa-ken 905-0221, Japan
GPS coordinates: N 26 38.831E 127 56.707

Read More: Yohena Ajisai (Hydrangea) Garden