Let the Adventures Begin!

Hello, lovelies! If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know that I am an avid traveler! I go on trips throughout the United States at least a few times a year. However, I have NEVER left the country. Crazy, right? With my flight benefits and all of the opportunities I am given to go out of the country, I felt like it was about time to file for my passport.

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Normally, it takes about six weeks to get your passport in the mail once it is submitted… and after tons of paperwork and consistently checking the mail, I found this beauty!!

☑ Buy/Receive my passport

That means one more thing is checked off of “The List.” Now I feel like I need to travel ahh! I know traveling out of the country is a lot of work and preparation, but I am so excited that more doors are opened now that I have my passport. Let’s see where this takes us (and yes,us, since I will post all of my travel updates on my blog)! Let the adventures begin ✈️

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Washington D.C. Travel Diary

I have been on the longest blog hiatus of my life! I am so sorry for all the people who love to read my blog and see what i’m up to, especially the ones overseas. Hopefully, you have all been keeping up to date on my Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat! This blog post is well overdue since it’s been over a week since my trip to D.C. I had a blast guys! Kekoa and I have been planning for months to travel to another state or city. We finally put those plans to fruition, and this is the product! Took only three hours to get there, a lot of the attractions are free, and the food was pretty great. Such a great weekend getaway.

Btw, we visited the weekend before the election! We HAD to visit the capitol while Obama was still in office!fullsizerender-1fullsizerenderProcessed with VSCO with s3 preset

Also, another one off the list:

☑ Ride a subway for the first time

The underground transportation there in D.C. was super fast and cheap! Definitely our favorite way to get around to all of the attractions.

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As I say everytime, thank you my love for taking me to this beautiful place. You’re my favorite traveling partner and I can’t wait to travel the world with you. To my viewers, please keep an eye open for more blog posts in the near future. Just a million more papers to write, and i’ll be done with semester! Be patient with me! Everyone have a great day today and make sure to comment your favorite place to travel. See y’all soon!

Picture Spot | Biscuit Paint Wall

Such a popular Houston picture spot! I took my beautiful cousin Laynie out the day after my birthday. We went to the Japanese Festival and to tons of museums and picture spots, so I thought it was a pretty productive day! This wall was on my list so without further adieu –

☑ Go to Biscuit Paint Wall in Houston

We took some pretty cute pictures for our Instagram. Very good day overall!

Adventure Park | Virginia Beach, VA

Had a fun-filled early birthday weekend in Virginia with my love! Kekoa went above and beyond to try to plan mini-dates for each day I was there. For example, one day was a dinner and a movie, another day was a day at the beach, etc. This day specifically was devoted to Adventure Park in Virginia Beach! For a while Kekoa and I have talked about going to a place like this or at least finding something outdoors and active to do together (since a lot of our time is spent eating and sleeping when we’re with each other lol).

In a nutshell, Adventure Park is a harness and line obstacle course that varies in difficulty by paths. Kekoa and I attempted the three hardest courses of the park! I successfully completed, the first two and half of the absolute hardest course and of course, Kekoa successfully completed all three. Next time, I hope to finish the hardest course there is at the park!

The park allowed us to climb, propel, bungee, and other aerial activities – one of the which being zip lining! So, one more thing off of my list:

☑ Try zip lining

It was amazing! One thing that I really didn’t expect was being self harnessed and then zip lining on my own work. Added just a little bit of recklessness in the act! The view was great when I zip lined across the forest and over the water. It was even greater that I was right behind my love when experiencing it.

Overall, there was a lot of focus on physical strength, balance, and strategy in the activities. When my physical strength lacked, I learned to slow down and use things like my balance and mind to help me. Remember…

“Your speed doesn’t matter, foward is foward.”

I feel like it was great to use my brain for things like that rather than school work. It was a well needed break and a good workout for the day! Also, Kekoa and I exercised a lot of trust and things like that that day; so, of course it benefited us and allowed us to try something new together. I was definitely pushed to my limits on these courses, so thank you my love for taking me there this weekend!  Just another thing out of millions to love about you!

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After our three hour pass was up, we finished with a beach side dinner with dessert. Such a great day, and the little obstacles to overcome just made it better. I love little opportunities to learn, and the day did just that.

Hey, Disneyland

If anyone has seen my Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, or Facebook in the past few days, you would know that I spent the entire weekend at Disneyland with Kekoa! Of course, this trip took another thing off of my list:

☑ go to Disneyland with a best friend

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And a best friend he is. There was no one else I would’ve wanted to share this experience with. I was truly the happiest girl in the world in the happiest place in the world! For months and months we both have dreamed and brainstormed over the idea that we could travel together. Kekoa and I have always been used to frequent traveling, and we always always had a place to go during the holidays. With our flight benefits, traveling has always come easy for our families and will continue to be at ease for our trips together. The one place Kekoa and I agreed upon from the beginning was Disney, whether that’d be Disneyworld or Disneyland. The magic of Disney is something I wish upon all of you!  Kekoa and I were squirming of excitement through every long ride line and every walk to the park. I am thankful that I have a man that is just as excited to ride the “baby rides” as I am and can be festive with matching Mickey and Minnie hats and buttons. He is truly one of the best travel partners. From driving all the way back to San Diego from Disney at night while I was sleeping to holding the umbrella through the 130 minute Space Mountain ride to even running to CVS at 3 am to buy me a contact case, I knew he could take care of me and be the absolute BEST person to be with on this trip. Please enjoy all the pictures below. We took some pretty great ones!

  
  
  
  

  
  
  
  
  
  
  

Sam Smith

Since I am sitting in the Student Center and essentially trying to kill time for the next 45 minutes, it sounds like this would be the PERFECT time to talk about one of the coolest things that happened this summer: the Sam Smith concert!

The post-concert depression was present to concert attendees everywhere that friday night. We were all graced with the voice of the wonderful, incredibly talented Sam Smith.

I greatly appreciate and value live music. I love artists who have the charisma and vocal control to reel in even the least frequent listener, and boy Sam Smith was exactly that! The raw voice. The live instrumentation. The presence. The environment. Perfection.

So, that means I officially completed another task off of “The List” that I added over a year ago:

☑ See Sam Smith live

The Opener – Gavin James

The sold out event was held at the Toyota Center in downtown Houston, which happens to be one of the biggest concert venues in the city (other than the Minute Maid Stadium used for Bey and Jay’s “On the Run” states tour). Sam Smith never thought he’d “be in a place this massive,” he admitted between the first few songs performed. Gavin James, the opening act, also expressed his excitement for the large crowd by posting this picture on his Instagram!

Gavin James has been an artist that I had only recently discovered about a month or two before the concert. I first fell in love with his song “Nervous” (which you can give a listen to right now) and as I walked into the arena after my chicken strip basket, guess what song was playing? It was truly incredible.

Gavin James is what you call an “Ed Sheeran” performer. One who focuses on the vocals and his acoustic guitar over anything else. Honestly, the performance was just his mic and his guitar plugged in, two spotlights on this stool, and a logo on the screen.

The rawness of his performance, especially during “Nervous,” truly took my breath away. Each high note, each belt, each strum of the guitar was exactly what I had been craving to hear this summer. I truly aspire to become an artist who can broadcast a sound that is as pure as his. Such an amazing opener for Sam Smith.

The Main Event – Sam Smith

Without a doubt, everyone must know that Sam Smith has incredible talent in not only singing, but also songwriting. Before I attended the concert, however, I was totally unaware of this man’s performing capabilities. It surprised me! Sam Smith is one of those artists who I consider “better live than on track,” which is rare for this day and age. There are a few things I would like to touch on and explain about this concert.

  1. Stage and Extras

As you can see from the picture below, Sam Smith created a fairly simple stage set up compared to many big name acts today. For example, if you were to go to an Ariana Grande (don’t get it twisted, I love her and her voice) concert, you will see gigantic, animated props such as the big floating cloud that she sings “Best Mistake” on, several back up dancers and band members, a fantastic light show, digital effects as back up to the songs, and extravagant costumes that were fitting.  On Sam Smith’s tour , however, the stage housed six blocks mounting only live instrumentation/ backup singers, two small screens for close up video, and a simple light sequence. The rawness of his stage presence allows the listeners, in my opinion, to listen closely to the songs and to absorb the voice rather than “the show.” There were even instances where Smith was under one spotlight alone. Truly an incredible sight to see. 

2. Stage Presence

Oh Sam! He is honestly the sweetest thing when he is on stage. Before each song or series of songs, Smith, unlike any artist i’ve seen live, takes the time to explain to the audience his true meaning of the song. Many artists (especially pop and hip hop artists) face tough critiques on their songs when their lyrics are interpreted by others. Live, in front of thousands of people, is probably the best way Sam could have explained himself. He truly wanted to inform the listeners of not only his mindset when he wrote his songs on “In The Lonely Hour,” but also the influences that caused him to express the feelings that he had. All I have to say is: I HATE THE MAN THAT DID THIS TO HIM. With each song performed, Sam kept in touch with the emotions he felt at the time he was writing and projected that to audience. Even though many of the songs were depressing, Sam did take advantage of his upbeat songs by dancing and enjoying his time with the band on the stage. And most importantly, after every run or ending of the song, he smiled and thanked the audience. 

3. THE VOICE

Do I even need to explain at this point? Sam Smith’s raw, live voice completely amazed me. His riffs and runs, though not considered “the most challenging” when you compare it to many of the popular chart-toppers in the past 25 years, were precise and carefully added. What attracts me to his voice in particular is his vocal control and smooth-style of singing, with emphasis on VOCAL CONTROL. I mean, have you heard his voice? I truly believe that Sam Smith has fully mastered his falsetto transitions. I honestly really do have a weak spot for male artists with a strong falsetto voice, i’m not going to lie. Other than that, you can really tell how fitting his songs are to his voice, which in my book marks a true artist. I thank God for his throat surgeon who preserved that beautiful voice of his. The world would not be the same without it. 

I’m sorry i’m a bit nerdy when it comes to music critiques and technicalities! Without a doubt a night to remember though! I would like to give a BIG thanks to my mom who bought us tickets and to Sam and his band and tech crew for making that night so enjoyable. Looking forward to my next concert next week with Kelly Clarkson and Pentatonix! I’m sure they will not disappoint.

Until next time babies, stay tuned for more updates regarding school, my life, maybe even fashion and beauty next time!

Oh My Gogi

Yesterday, I completed another task off of my “The List” (that is featured on one of the tabs at the top of my blog), and boy was it a yummy one! Houston is known for their amazing eats and deals, and there was one thing that has been hyped up by many in the area that I felt like I needed to do this summer:

Eat from a Legit Food Truck

Me in front of the OhMyGogi! truck.

This is OhMyGogi! , a Korean-Mexican Fusion food truck in the Houston area. The menu has items from Kimchi Quesadillas all the way to even fries covered in Korean beef, Sriracha, and cheese. Honestly looks really weird at first glance, but believe me… once you taste it, you won’t regret it!

Outfit Details – Long Grey Cardigan – Cotton On, High Neck Cami – Forever 21, Black High Rised Shorts H&M, Grey Toms

Gogi Burger at Barnie’s Backyard.

The item on the menu that I decided to try was the Gogi Burger which had Korean bulgogi, colby jack, spicy mayo, sriracha, lettuce, onion, cabbage, and cilantro. Looks messy, but everything stayed together and the mixture of flavors perfectly complimented the burger. Pretty heavy burger to eat by yourself, but sharing was perfect.

Devin and I playing with Ja’s clip on fisheye lens in front of the truck.
(L-R) Jaycob, Ja, Me, Devin, and Noah group picture before we headed out!

And what made the whole taste-testing journey better – the fam! Eating can be pretty boring without great company, so I am happy I got to spend last night with these amazing people. Big thanks to Ja, Jaycob, Devin, and Noah for making the night very fun!

By the way, if any one wants to try OhMyGogi! in the near future, you can either go to their website to look at their menu or their twitter @OhMyGogi to find location updates and specials throughout the day.