Tea Houses visit in Town!

A little late in posting when I visited these two separate tea houses in the spring but never too late to review. I went to Remedy tea café first up on Capitol Hill where its normal to find of a joint like this. I discovered this place through yelp actually. It had a clean modern city café feeling yet they served all around mix tea. The aroma of the place smelled so pleasant as you entered the door. It is what I can remember. The seating is not very private but it works. It reminded me of a herbal potion factory. The menu was simple. We got the bakery tier along with some stew and quiche. I enjoyed it although I was tad disappointed in the bakery tier we got. The tea overall was great. I cannot recall what I got but it was also a clean herbal taste. I rather enjoy a hint of orange aroma so it was close to that. They did have some cool names for their tea.

I have always known about Queen Mary. Real tea gurus may not think this place is a real English tea house but its the closest to it in Seattle. It is a small but well known English inspired tea house tucked up by the city’s University neighborhood. It sits on a side hill with a fancy curb appeal. When you enter, it is small but it is filled with the cutest trinkets and tea cups you can imagine. I enjoyed it here. Although it is my second time it has been over 7 years since I’ve been here. The one thing that may bum you out is the selecting from the menu of tea they offer. It is hard to choose and try them all. Because you want to try them all. But its okay, that is why you return. The food was mediocre for me. I suppose its what you prefer and order. But the fancy warm decors and tea itself made up for that part. See the pictures provided best perception. 

 

 

 

 

Adventure day into some of Seattle North Neighborhoods

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There is one thing I can say about living in Seattle is that I am never bored. As a local, there is always something to explore and see. This time around, I went for a little adventure up in the northern neighborhoods of Seattle; particularly Ballard and Fremont while a drive through Greenwood that is mainly residential but its also rising in a new community of shops. This drive up north from me was much overdue. Since they all sit along one another, they are similar in history. Although, I am not going to go deep in the history, I got the opportunity to hit of what it is today.

It was wet and drenched as Seattle would be but I still got enough pictures to showcase the things to do and see. These areas are not tourist attracted but are locally visited. But there are plenty of artistic crafts you may see around while window shopping one cannot miss. I have to say I appreciate neighborhood boutiques, bars and shops now that I am older. These things entertains the locals well. With the weary economy lately, I am happy to see that most of these shops are still around despite the bigger commercialized retail brands. I don’t know how long some will stay or some that have left and been replaced but what I was able to see today was a good sign.

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Plenty of restaurants, bars and coffee shops
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Private boutiques locally owned
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Street marble glass made by local students
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Yummy Taco Bar

 

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Burke-Gilman trail along Lake Washington Ship Canal
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This sits in the intersection of Ballard. You cannot miss the smell of the food.

 

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A random building wall piece

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Before I close this blog, I wanted to share my favorite spot this day. This piece of somewhat real folklore history of Edith Macefield’s home. Located in Ballard, this house inspired the movie UP. Edith was a real estate agent I believe who has lived in this house for a long time. When the business started to boom around the area and many old neighbors had left, she was the last to stand for her home. She did not want to sell this piece of land and home of hers. Today, it sits between Ballards Blocks, a business building of retail and commercial stores. It has not been well taken care of in the past few years as seen but it was well favorite and visited from locals and tourists during the movie’s popularity a while back. I wished that I had gotten the chance to take a photo of it before it went bad. There are other photos of it online when it was still nicely painted and cozy. (see 2nd below photo courtesy of habitat.com) Ms Edith passed away in 2008 at the age of 86. She had no children of her own. It is quite an amazing and memorable story even if some may no longer feel that the house needs to sit there.

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Circa 2016
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Courtesy of habitat.com

Kept this piece of information and photo last as it is a last tourist spot I’d remember to visit. This Fremont troll sits under the George Washington Memorial bridge. I suppose it plays a guardian of the bridge but it also plays a structural art piece. It is one of the newest history of Fremont only have there from 1990. I don’t know more on it but many like to visit and take photos with the piece.

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courtesy of Wikipedia

 

 

 

Cancun in December for First Timers

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@ The Finest Playa Mujeres Resort

Oh my where do I start? Well, first let me go back to when we decided to hit the south for December. I had never thought about traveling far during the holidays. But this trip definitely changed my mind. It was a surprise gift from family members. Boy, was it an amazing surprise.

Now instead of worrying about gift buying and the holiday rush this season, I was given the chance forget it and relax on the beach of Cancun. If you enjoy sun, beach, food and culture then its an opportunity to experience once from the cold weather.

For first timers in this region of Mexico, I recommend an all inclusive resort. That means its all paid in advanced, therefore, you will only have to worry about drinking, sunbathing, swimming and more drinking. Oh there are plenty of food to devour too so all that alcohol will be absorbed quickly. I was reminded, be prepared with a few dollars or pesos to tip the good service each time and be on your merry way.

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I would never had tried the inclusive for Mexico. However, remember that you are going into a different country and a tropical beachy area. If “relaxation” is on your mind as a first trip to any of the beach areas of Mexico, realize it as a foot stepped into the door of a new world. So if you do not want to feel paranoid or out of place, a resort would be ideal. Plan 1 or 2 excursions later on in the trip if you want to curiously explore the locals.  Assuming you are in a group who flew in together, stick together always. Cancun resorts and its surroundings are often mindly safe since its quite touristy and modern around the strip. But don’t be alarm by that either because December was definitely not crowded of tourists if you don’t prefer that. Don’t forget to say hello to the locals if they greet you. But like any other time on the streets in your own country, be smart about watching your back, avoid dark alleys and please don’t talk to weird strangers. Know your common street sense. And don’t wonder off on your own outside of the resort. Excursions can be anything from water activities to local city market tours. Don’t forget the Mexico ruins and historical sites. Your resorts will provide information for you should you have more questions.

Now that we are done with that quick 101 safety tip, understand that the resorts are huge depending on where you stay at.  Most are accommodating with things to do in the water, the beach, bars, singing stages, eateries, theatre shows and many more. So take your time and enjoy the scene and warmth. My personal favorite was sitting on the water floating along the horizon palm trees as my view. And of course, a mojito of a new flavor on the hour. What more can I ask for.

Pricing on the inclusive can vary with the hotels and resorts you stay at. So do some research on the pricings to fit budget and go for it. Expect to relax and not worry at all. Thanks to my two lovely ladies (M & O) who occupied me to a much needed get away. I wouldn’t have done the resort without their support and recommendation.

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Photos taken by me.

Local Bites: Woodinville Bagel Bakery

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Yes, it is just a bakery shop but its one I’ve been enjoying lately. This bakery stop has been one of my favorites before or after Sunday church service. Since I have been enjoying Woodinville lately, I’m discovering the town quite frankly. Its given me some serene and calm feeling away from the bustling city of Seattle where I reside.  

This place is simple bakery tucked in a plaza in the center of Woodinville city, about 15 mins away from Seattle with fair traffic. I just discovered it a few months ago and would periodically stop for coffee and bagel. I am determined to try every single kind and flavor. Anyone would enjoy the variety of fresh bagels. They also heat and spread cream cheese on it for you in varied flavors.  They serve sandwiches as well but the bagel section is always the fun part to choose from. Good old sesame and orange raspberry are my two favorites right now. The place doesn’t get too busy on Sunday afternoon so you can settle on their bench tables comfortably while you enjoy a bagel and a slow day.

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The old school wall is full of posters and I couldn’t pass on not taking a photo of it. 

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Address: 14126 NE Woodinville Duvall Rd, Woodinville, WA 98072
Phone:(425) 488-9899

Local Bites: Korean Food

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It has been a minute since I’ve gone to eat at a Korean restaurant. Often we think of Korean BBQ style of setting, however, I stopped at a Mom and Pop’s type of joint. Again, in the filter of Korean community of Federal Way, this place called Mommy’s Dumpling House serves up comfort food. It is nothing special, however, if you are a mandoo or dumpling lover, its the place for you. Dumpling style dishes are  popular here but they also have ramen and other simple side dishes. Unfortunately, the ramen noodle soup was cleaned out before I remember taking a photo of it. It is a simple dish I would make at home but that day was cold so I decided to try. If you are ever in this area, I recommend order number #2 Dumpling style with pork. It is my favorite.

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Mommy’s Dumpling House is located at

(253) 941-2483
1636 S 312th St
Federal Way, WA 98003

Price Range: $

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And then…a few weeks after this, I hit up a new joint with some cousins. So Moon Nan Jib Korean Restaurant sits along Pacific Hwy, in the same area as the community of Federal Way.  I have known of the plaza area, however, never tried. This place was quite cozy. But it was the juicy and fatty meat that blew me away. It has been a while since I’ve had good Korean Barbeque. And the neck bone stew was out of this world. Pictures don’t do justice and I wish now that I had taken better pictures of the cooked meat. My mouth is watering again as I think and type about it now.

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This pork neck bone stew so comforting that evening. The meat just falls right off as you pick it up. The soup was not too rich nor salty. It reminded of a home cook simple stew every Asian family had growing up.

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Another fun discovery about this place as well is that its quite well known for local celebs to dine at. Now you know its that good.

 

Location:

Address: 33324 Pacific Hwy S #203, Federal Way, WA 98003
Phone:(253) 815-8888

Open today · 10:00 AM – 11:00 PM
Price Range $$

 

Random Post #1 : Where I’ve Been is As Important as Where I Should Be

This weekend was the perfect start of the season to stay in bed, cuddling with a love one or as in my case, my 3 year old son and wait for reruns from the 90’s to come on TV.

I had the opportunity to look through mom’s old photo albums over the weekend with her instead. I found a very iconic photo of mom and I with the Seattle Kingdome in the backdrop. I was born in Seattle and this Kingdome was already there. However, after finding this photo, I only found out that the Kingdome was only a year older than me built. I believe I was about 7 months old here according to my dad’s hand written date on the back of the photo. The Seattle Seahawk football team also played their first game at the King Dome against 49ers the year it was built in 1976.

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Circa 1977

Today, Century Link owns this spot with their “Field” stadium today. Technically, two stadium stands there today. Safeco Field where the Mariners baseball team plays sits next to the other building. I went to go watch the demolish of original building and it was on a random whim. It was a random decision at the time but I am glad today that I did.That was about 15 years ago? Now looking at the photo, the nostalgic feeling has return with that moment. It was such an iconic backdrop every time I drove around the city. Growing up only knowing that, today, the buildings that stand in the same spot gives it a different feeling. Its refreshing but different. This place must have felt new yet strange for my mom who had only migrated into the city less then 2 years. Today, its more than home. Seattle has given us so many unforgettable memories. From our own grandmother’s home to my mother’s today. Although, you no longer can see the iconic building, you know the spirit is there.

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Present Day photo cr: sodomojo

Latest Obsessions – Signs, Signs, Neon Night lights & More

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Seoul

I don’t know where and when it started but this latest trend of Googling pictures of big cities and their bright neon lights and signs is such a nostalgic feeling recently. Even if I really haven’t been to most of the cities. But I am so awed and attracted to the scene right now. Not a very trendy thing in the West but many Asian countries use a lot of bright lights for their businesses. Some may find it cliché or too distracting but its a feeling of an unsleepy town for me that is always up. Lights also gives it a feeling of security, perhaps, just like the holiday Christmas lights in December that gives you that fuzzy feeling.

I am working hard and planning a trip oversea next year after graduation so I hope I can add my own touch of scene to the collection I found online. I have to give credit to these photographers, I apologize ahead if I cannot nor forgot to tag your all site names in credit. But these photos are just used for admiration only and not in any other form. Thank you.

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Japan
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Shanghai

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Tokyo

And just one random to share. An amazing scene with all these crosses in Seoul. It is a beautiful light-hearted scene. One may not realize but South Korea is heavily influenced in Christianity. The close perimeters of these crosses says it all.

Photo credits: MyDestination.Dreamstime.Koreanjoonganddaily.WilsonTai.TheCultureMap.