Archive | travel RSS feed for this section

craving europe, part two

17 Jun

believe it or not, i have even MORE photos of europe that i want to share with you guys! once again, i stole all these photos from blogs, but i lost all the urls.

I CAN’T WAIT!!!!!!!!

xo charlotte

golan heights

21 May

because i have so many stories/memories/amazing places to talk about from my trip to israel, i decided to divide my trip into multiple posts of the different areas we visited.  with obama’s recent policy speech recommending that israel return to the pre-1967 borders, my time in the golan heights seems very appropriate (because in the map which is seen in the articles, the golan would no longer be in the border).  before my trip i knew some information about israel, but my view of the country was far from accurate.  i viewed israel as all desert and when i got to the golan heights i was immediately proven wrong.  this area is beautiful and full of greenery and the people that live there are amazing.  our tour guide lived in the golan heights in a moshav and i really hope that the israelis don’t lose this beautiful place.

while we were there we went on an amazing hike, went rafting in the jordan river, and visited an olive press.  this olive press had the BEST olive oil i have ever tasted and they even sell to zabar’s in nyc and to whole foods in california!  this company grows its own olives and creates the oil themselves.  you can look at all of the amazing products here.  besides making all different varieties of oil, they make incredible skincare products that you should all check out!  here are pictures of the inside of the olive oil press:

we ended our visit to this area with a gorgeous viewpoint at mt. meiron

this area was amazing and i will never forget my experiences there, i already miss it.  look out for my next post on jerusalem!

xx m


20 May

hey everyone!  i just got back from israel last night and as happy as i am to get to finally spend time at home, it is bittersweet.  i have tons to do today because my cousin’s wedding is next weekend, so i’ll give all the details of my trip later but for now here is a song that sums up the birthright experience (i know char will love it since she loves any jewish/hebrew song).  i had such an amazing time and met really amazing people–miss you 415!

xx m

summer fun, summer’s begun

9 May

while i am INSANELY excited about this summer and the adventures that it holds for me and for all of my friends (more on this later) it is incredibly bittersweet.  i’ve only been away from school for less than 48 hours and somehow i already miss my crazy friends.  going from spending every second together (and every second that we weren’t together, bbming each other) to living our separate lives at home is definitely going to be an adjustment.  even though the majority of our friends live close, it’s so sad to think that we won’t all be together again until senior year.  that is the thing that we’ve all been trying not to say but it’s also why leaving for summer was so much harder.  charlotte, mary, and i will all be abroad in the fall and we’ll be missing our 8d friends and the shepardson food club more than words.  i love my friends so much and it’s going to be so sad to be apart for so long BUT we had an amazing year and next year will be even more amazing!

in addition to looking forward to next year, we also have SO much to look forward to this summer!! mary will be leaving for australia (which is causing me separation anxiety already, and this isn’t even happening for 2 months!) and char and i will be spending our summers as working girls in the city (charlotte has already mapquested and our buildings are approximately a 3 minute walk apart), and our friends are planning meet ups constantly to hold us over until we’re all living together again.  before we start those adventures though, i will be leaving for my own adventure tonight!

tonight i’m going to israel and i’ll be there for 10 days! i could not be more excited about this trip.  i’ve wanted to go to israel for as long as i can remember and that wish is finally coming true :) of course when i get back i’ll have a lot more to say about this, but so far what i’m looking forward to most is climbing masada, floating in the dead sea, and riding a camel (although this won’t be my first time doing this)!! it will be such a cool experience to make new friends and explore israel! so until then, i hope everyone has an amazing 10 days and i’ll report on my adventures when i get back!!

xx m


22 Apr

this is the weather where i am:

this is the weather where my family is. they did not invite me:

love my life.

xo charlotte


28 Mar

wish i was there…

hoping for warm weather!

xx m

we’re baaaaaaaack!

20 Mar

(said in a fran drescher voice). hi guys! m and i are back from our glorious vacation in the caribbean. we laid out (tried our hardest to get a little color before we go back to the arctic), took naps on swinging daybeds on the beach, drank some tropical dranks, read great books, watched some crime shows, and just had a totally relaxing and fun time!

the flight there was not uneventful, however. on the plane, i sat in a middle seat between m and a twenty-something year old dominican woman with her one-year-old daughter. i made the mistake of saying hello to the woman in spanish, so she thought we were bffs. naturally, then, it made sense for me to hold her daughter for approximately half the flight. she kept throwing her daughter on my lap so she could go to the bathroom, get a drink, get something from the overhead compartment, flip through the channels on the tv, etc. totally normal, right?

this wouldn’t have been such a big problem if the daughter had not screamed bloody murder every time the mother threw her in my arms. the mom would just laugh at how “cute” it was. uhh, not so much. in between bouts of hysteria, the daughter shredded my magazine to bits with her bare hands and stuck her fingers inside my iced coffee. #funtimez

things like this happen to me all the time, surprisingly. i think it’s because i have the “tour guide” look. not quite sure how to fix that, though. anyway, it was all worth it because we had a great break! stay tuned for posts urryday now because we’re back in action!

xo charlotte

if you can’t drive get the F off the road

19 Mar

so there’s this stereotype that asian women drivers suck at driving, which is maybe why my white dad was extra strict about me driving a car even after i got my license for about a month til he made sure i could drive (great…even my own dad doesn’t have faith in me) but in actuality i am a GREAT driver (maybe because he was so strict) and i’m not bragging, it’s just a fact. i know i’m a good driver (and everyone says so ;) ) i haven’t gotten a ticket or into an accident in the last two years since i’ve gotten my license in which i’ve driven over 30,000 miles (and yes i am bragging about that). my parents think i’m reckless and my friends think i drive fast but i know where i can drive fast and where i can’t (which distinguishes a bad driver from a good one) but in case you’re wondering if you are a good driver or not let me enlighten you:

  • you’re not a good driver if you have to look behind you to switch lanes or merge, a good driver would know how to watch the mirror before and while merging/switching lanes to tell if a car is located in the blind spot
  • you’re not a good driver if you can’t make a left turn (this is pretty basic)…sometimes if there’s a lot of traffic you just gotta go for it, good drivers are aggressive when necessary but not all the time (and those people who make 3 right turns instead of making a left…wtf are you doing with your life?)
  • you’re not a good driver if you hug the rail on the highway or the curb on the street because you’re afraid of cars around you, you’re a good driver if you can hug the double yellow line without being in a different lane–other cars can move for you, a rail or a curb can’t. which brings me to my next point…
  • you’re not a good driver if you can’t drive next to a truck or a bus–they’re not going to hit you so stop freaking out, they’re in their own lane, which i totally forgot about this point
  • you’re not a good driver if you can’t drive on the highway!!! (this shocks me because the highway is a lot easier to drive on than in towns and cities–you have your own lane and you just gotta drive straight…duhh)
  • you’re not a good driver if you can only drive a small car or only drive a big car, a good driver can be versatile and know how to judge and use the size of the vehicle. a good driver can drive any car, and be able to park it and take clean turns, confidently. (don’t let the car own you and hummers btw-ew plz do everyone, including the environment and my eyes, a favor and get a new car)
  • you’re not a good driver if you can’t drive fast–i’m not advocating fast driving but you should be able to if it’s a highway with a speed limit of 65. that means you can go 75-80! afraid of driving fast, and being afraid of getting a ticket two completely different situations. if you’re not confident about driving a car fast, you’re probably not a confident driver.
  • and lastly, if you don’t know how to parallel park, you suck at driving. you probably only got your license cus the cones are ridiculously far apart but if you can’t park between cars please learn.

so if you sound like you’re not a good driver, you’re probably not a good driver–but that’s alright, a lot of people who can’t drive, drive anyways! and people who can’t drive is just one category of drivers that annoy me on the road. there’s TONS of others. just to name a few:

  • people who don’t put on their blinkers for ANYTHING (including switching lanes, getting off an exit, and turning onto the road that i’m on, off the road that i want to make a left on–thanks asshole i could’ve gone and now i have to wait another 5 minutes)
  • people who don’t turn their blinkers on while their on the highway after they switched it on (do you not hear that annoying blinking sound it makes…TURN IT OFF)
  • people who park diagonally in vertical parking spots (think of others please!)
  • people who park in the middle of two parking spots so that no car can park next to them (you’re just a douche and your car is more likely to get keyed than get a scrape from another car door)
  • people who drive in the left lane at the same speed as people in the middle lane (this is just rude..please switch to the middle lane and stop causing unneccessary traffic)
  • old people that drive BELOW the speed limit are a lot more likely to cause an accident than people who drive above it (once someone gets too old that they forget which pedal is the brake and which is the gas…it’s time to retire from driving)
  • people with STUPID bumper stickers (like my pre-schooler made the honor roll! OH WOW YOU’RE RAISING A GENIUS)
  • people who are talking on their cell phones but aren’t paying attention to when the light turns green or what they’re doing (i don’t mind cell phones as long as you’re not making me late cus you didn’t see your chance to take a right on red)
  • people who don’t take a right on red EVER or a left turn when there’s a small opening (…you’re a pussy…)
  • people who drive with pets on their lap (i mean there’s nothing wrong with this, but it’s just creepy seeing a big man stroke his little toy shit tzu or teacup dog while driving)
  • oh and i can’t forget…asian women drivers. yes i admit–they suck at driving. it’s amazing–anytime i drive anywhere with a majority asian-american population i’m afraid for my life. they are all the above and drive like they are the only ones on the road with no lanes, lights or signs. if you ever see one behind the wheel (except for me!), be afraid…be very afraid.

so as you see i have a lot of driving frustrations–probably because i drove over three hours today in bumper to bumper traffic to get to koreatown, new york and back home. after a couple heart attacks caused by some asian women i have made it home in one piece and i’m ready to go boarding tomorrow to enjoy the last of the snow..

sorry if you’ve just realized you’re a sucky driver and i offended you…but maybe you should practice your driving skills ;)


travel one oh one

16 Mar

it’s no secret that i LOVE to travel.  to say it’s my greatest passion in life is the understatement of the year.  because i’m a control freak, i plan almost all of my family’s vacations.  therefore, i’ve amassed quite a few travel tips in my day.  here is just a taste:

best travel idea surfing website: this website is run by conde nast traveler, and it has great travel guides for all sorts of destinations.  it has reviews of hotels, restaurants, activities, shopping, and nightlife. is a great place to start if you’re looking for travel ideas.

best flight website: kayak.  it searches through all sorts of different websites (all the individual airlines’ websites, PLUS priceline, expedia, travelocity, and more) to find the lowest prices. hands down the cheapest flights around.  it’s also super user-friendly, and it includes all taxes when it displays the prices.

best hotel website: expedia.  i know there are websites where you can probably get better deals, but i think expedia is a great website to surf around on for hotel ideas.  it has lots of different filter categories you can fill in, like minimum star rating.  additionally, expedia has the most photos per hotel of any travel website i’ve ever seen.  aaaand it has accurate star ratings and good traveler reviews.

best travel advice website: fodors.  the forums on this website are a great resource. travelers provide truthful reviews of hotels and even offer comparisons between multiple hotels you might be considering.  i find that these forums often highlight problems with hotels that are not presented on other travel websites.

happy travels!

xo charlotte

virtual safari

15 Mar

a few scenes from africa for those of you who need a mental vacation…

xo charlotte