Skincare and Travel

My friend Michelle works at one of the biggest fashion retailers in the US. Not only does she dress in fine cloths, she also maintains the perfect skin. A couple of days ago she sent me a text recommending a mask for long-haul flights. I asked her to be the guest of my blog and share about her experience. Here is what she wrote: Continue reading “Skincare and Travel”

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Seattle Bakery Recommendations

Cafe Besalu

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For years Cafe Besalu was my go-to place for morning pastries. I always get the plain croissant with homemade jam and a cup of hot chocolate, pick a seat and watch owner and baker James Miller work his magic. A couple of months ago, Miller sold Besalu and moved his family to Spain. Continue reading “Seattle Bakery Recommendations”

Big John’s PFI, Seattle

Who would have thought that rummaging through an old dimly lit warehouse could be so much fun?

At Big John’s Pacific Food Importers, you’ll find aisles of specialty food items such as Hazelnut Spread from Italy made with Arcacia honey and Piedmont hazelnut; Cream of Almonds from Sicily; or Crème de Calisson from Aix-en-Provence.

Shelves of olive oils from France, Italy, Morocco or Spain. Continue reading “Big John’s PFI, Seattle”

Plum Blossom at Kitano Tenmangu, Kyoto

Kitano Tenmangu (北野天満宮) is a Shinto shrine located in northwest Kyoto. It is built in 947AD to honor Sugawara no Michizane.

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An important scholar, poet and politician of the Heian period, Sugawara no Michizane (菅原道眞) read poems at the age of five and wrote Chinese poems at the age of eleven.  Continue reading “Plum Blossom at Kitano Tenmangu, Kyoto”

Churchill, Canada

When our Saab 340 turboprop landed in Churchill, the captain switched off cabin lights, and the world around us turned pitch black.

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Churchill is a remote town in northern Manitoba, on the western shore of the Hudson Bay – the second-largest bay in the world. Continue reading “Churchill, Canada”

Elliott Bay Trail, Seattle

Elliott Bay Trail is a short walking/biking trail, twenty-minute walk from the touristy Pike Place Market. It is ideal for visitors of the Seattle area who wish to enjoy a great view without the crowd.

The trail starts from the Olympic Sculpture Park, goes through Myrtle Edwards and Centennial Park. There are interesting Pacific Northwest artifacts along the trail , such as a totem pole Continue reading “Elliott Bay Trail, Seattle”

Japanese Ryokan in Takayama

Koto no Yume 古都の夢 is a Japanese style inn in Takayama. Conveniently located in a quiet neighborhood, five minutes from the train station by walk.

Upon arrival, we were guided into the main living area and was served a cup of tea accompanied by Japanese sweets. Continue reading “Japanese Ryokan in Takayama”

February in Japan

We just came back from a fantastic trip in Japan!

February is still quite cold all over Japan. Unless you go somewhere south like Okinawa, the sakura flowers won’t blossom until late March. But there are still tons of places to visit, with cheaper hotel rates and less crowds.

I will write posts for each places we visited, but first, here is the highlight of our itinerary. Continue reading “February in Japan”