Wednesday, January 30, 2013

USA Part 7: Hollywood/UCLA/The Grove

This post marks the conclusion of my travels to the US of A. I can't believe it. I swear that yesterday it was the 14th of December and I was packing for this humungous trip, with naivety of course. Tres naive. I'd never experienced such a Winter before and I had no expectations at all, so I rocked up at Incheon International Airport with a single sweater and literally paper-thin harem pants. The most rookie error I have ever made.

Currently, I have been in the most chilled state of being, ever. Listening to this baby has never been so therapeutic. Give it a listen and tell me that it doesn't drift you towards total serenity. I dare you. The combination of beat, electric guitar with the ever-so-subtle hint of synth, mmmmm. The best.

Living isn't easy when you've been free, and it's taken away. I will lay my head down, 'til some sense has been found. Perfection.

Hollywood, as you would expect, was totally different to Chinatown and Downtown LA. Like, I'm not talking about apples and oranges. I'm talking about Hello Kitty and lettuce. You could probably draw some point of commonality between the two, but you get the comparison.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

USA Part 6: Miami

Lately, I've been tapping into the Asian side of me. It remained hidden for quite some time because we are the minority where I study. I've been listening to #TBT music this entire holidays. It was probably somewhat fuelled by my trip to Korea. Man, Korea is an inspiring place. You just want to forget that you speak English and dive into the indulgent cheap, yet amazingly high quality holiday you deserve. I don't know how to say it in Korean, but just think of any compliment and it'll be fitting. I promise.

Before I proceed, I think I should pay my respects. Too many young lives have been taken away. The future of our world resides in these people, and I cannot empathise enough with those who have lost loved ones recently. I think the word I'd use to describe this feeling is numbing. The inertia is incredible; overwhelming. Lost for words. Stuck in the past. Immense disbelief. It's unfathomable unless you've gone through loss yourself. Once is terrible enough, but.. I couldn't even believe that it had happened twice to me. It's almost been a year. Still numbing. Still in disbelief. Denial. For the sake of everybody around you, I truly wish that you are in peace.

It's hard to transition from melancholy back to reality.

I guess it's worth a shot.

If you haven't noticed already, I changed my layout a little. I decided that there was just too much text and scrolling, so I'm now in the process of truncating what you can see on the home page. I also redid the icon! I think it looks a lot neater, because I remembered that I could change the size of the image through HTML, instead of doing it the hard way and resizing it manually. Of course I'd find the hard way. Of course.

Off topic. Sorry.

Miami. The land where Winter is still surf weather. This is, of course, a stark comparison to the negative, frozen body-causing Seoul Winter. It's beautiful. I don't know what else there is to say about it. Honestly, we were only here for 3 days.

Actually, we drove to Miami from Fort Lauderdale, straight after disembarking the ship. It was a hectic process and I was exhausted. I think we all were. A break was severely required, so we drove to Hollywood in Florida. I'd never heard of it, but it had a beautiful beach with an even lovelier broadwalk.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

USA Part 5: Oasis of the Seas

It's that time of night again. You know, the time when I really should be sleeping but posting is ever so tempting.

I hope you're not getting sick of reading about my travels.

It's getting a little.. redundant, having to write about everything. I guess it would help if I weren't going out so often to see people, leaving things like this to the late hours of the night, or the early hours of the morning; whichever you prefer.

It may seem clear that my mother was a little ambitious whilst planning this trip. She had good intentions. I haven't been overseas since I visited Vietnam, Singapore and Cambodia at the end of 2009/beginning of 2010. To me, that's quite a while, considering I do travel frequently.

Oasis of the Seas is a cruise ship owned by a line called Royal Caribbean. It's roughly twice the size of the Titanic - 100 000 tonnes. An accurate description? Think opulence. Think luxury. Think.. big.

Opulence. I like that word - mot juste.

My family and I took a cruise around the Caribbean Islands. Fitting, no?

I want to introduce you to this baby. Never have I been on a ship so big. Well, obviously.. it's the biggest ship in the world. Duh, Michelle.

Friday, January 25, 2013

USA Part 4: Orlando

I'm finally home. Actually, I came home 2 days ago but no matter, I have been resting and recovering (biggest joke of my life, I think I've spent about 100% of my time looking for the best makeup brushes I can buy). I had a doctor's appointment today and I bleached my hair again with Sandra and Alice whilst talking about our life stories. It was refreshing to see people outside of my family because I was stuck with them and only them for 6 weeks. Tell me about it.

Florida was the place we stayed the longest. It was a really nice change away from the biting Seoul Winter and the milder West Coast chills. Despite raining the first and last days of our trip, the rest was magnifique. However, I must inform you all that I currently never want to go to another theme park for the rest of my life. It's something you must do in your life though - visiting at least one of the Disney theme parks around the world. Actually, rethinking it through, it would be rather nice to visit Disneyland in Paris. Although, I think I like the idea of it rather than the idea of it.

Anyway, topic calls.

We were in Orlando for 9 days. Those were possibly the 9 most tiring days of my entire life.

So the theme parks we went to were:
  • Universal Studios
  • We were supposed to go to Sea World but then mum got sick so we stayed home and went to Downtown Disney instead
  • Kennedy Space Centre
  • Epcot Centre
  • Disney's Hollywood Studios
  • Animal Kingdom
  • Magic Kingdom

My favourite was definitely Epcot Centre. I'm pretty much in love with their International Village. Tres magnifique! Little Japan. Seriously. Get on that.

Just a few words of warning: there are a lot of photos. Prepare to exhaust that scroll. Dat. Scroll.

Monday, January 21, 2013

USA Part 3: Santa Monica

I've been up since 2am this morning, because my body is too stupid to realise that I'm not in the US anymore.

It's now 6:40 in the morning and I've spent the past 4 hours looking at and comparing different makeup products. I've grown an obsession over the past week or so and the cravings aren't satisfied. It doesn't help that almost all of the products that I want don't actually ship to Australia, so I've conducted a little research of other sites to try to combat that problem. It also doesn't help that I'm in Korea right now, and have been surrounded by a plethora of makeup and skincare shops. I just want everything. I can't help it, I swear!

I'm too tired to think, and my neurons have just about exhausted their action potentials thinking up a list of things to buy. Just when I thought I'd broken the bank with clothes in the US, here comes another department to rob me even more! I say that in the most positive light possible. Seriously.

I mean, what? Back to business. Now, where were we? Oh yes.

Santa Monica. A beautiful city.

Disclaimer: Once again with my amazing geography, I thought SM was in LA. I mean, it's right next to it. An honest mistake that many people make, so I guess it's one of my more.. acceptable misunderstandings. With a cherry on top? Absolutely.

Whilst downtown Los Angeles is a relative ghost town, Santa Monica boasts absolute opulence, lively and endless crowds, beautiful apartments, all complete with a pier of its own on the beachfront. C'est une belle ville!

To be perfectly honest though, the majority of my memory from this place escapes me. It's clear enough so that I can accompany my current opinions with photos in order to prompt myself. I'll let the pictures talk. Memories change. Pixels don't.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

USA Part 2: Las Vegas/Grand Canyon

Let me update you for 2 seconds. I send my most excited but exhausting greetings from Miami. Apologies for the lack of posting. I'm sure many of you know that I've been cruising.

(Now I mean this in a literal sense, as in sailing upon the seven seas, although it also makes sense in the mighty holiday spirit of absolute, sheer bliss while in the midst of relaxation and basically doing nothing.)

It has come to my attention that I like to post photos. Perhaps too many photos. Perhaps this is just an excuse to cut down on uploading time and basically effort because I have many more a post to.. post. Regardless, I hold true to my word (you may notice that I never set a time limit on myself).

So, first up after LA was Las Vegas. Just to fill you in on my extremely poor geography, I had no idea that Las Vegas was in Nevada. I thought it was in California. Like, honestly, I didn't even know San Francisco was in California. I'd heard of "NorCal" and "SoCal" from my friends, but I just thought it was a divide, like East or West Germany.

Wow. I must sound really, really blonde right now. That's honestly me. My geography is just.. atrocious. Especially that of the US. There's just too many states.. but I think I've figured out a few things. Like how Florida and California are NOT on the same sides of the country. New York is NOT in the middle of the country. Just a few things. I guess it's not hard to learn, but US geography just never struck any interest during high school, or ever.

.. It's never too late to start, right?

In case you were wondering, the answer is yes. The question is, of course, whether the road trip to Las Vegas is just like in the movies.