journeying north

Last week, I embarked on a 1,000-mile long road trip up to the Pacific Northwest with my mom.

menlo park

Our first stop in the Bay Area was PACE Art + Technology, a thrilling digital art installation that will blow your mind. Tickets are $20 each, with a $5 discount if you show the front desk your student ID. This is a must-see if you're in town! My mom was skeptical about the price, but she was more excited than I was by the time we walked out of the exhibition. So cute.

san francisco

The last time I dropped by the Golden Gate City was probably more than five years ago, so my memory of it is a bit fuzzy. I made sure to document it well this time! Personally, I think the best, panoramic view of the famous bridge is at Battery Spencer. My mom and I love bridges... it's overwhelmingly breathtaking when you realize how much effort went into creating each piece of every bridge. Before checking into our hotel, we dug into crêpes from Belly Good Cafe & Crepes, a darling shop in Japantown that sells Instagram-worthy desserts. Each crêpe features an adorably sculpted animal head; mine was an angry blue bear.

For breakfast the next morning, we visited the popular Sweet Maple. Try to get there early (right when they open is ideal) rather than at brunch time so that you don't have to wait in the tremendous line. I splurged on the Blackstone Eggs Benedict, which includes their famous Millionaire's bacon. It's glorious, I tell you. We headed to Mr. Holmes Bakehouse afterwards to grab a couple of their amazing cruffins. Again—a glorious, scrumptious must-try. One customer is limited to two cruffins (and don't forget to snap a picture in front of their slick motto). They're opening in southern California soon! Ready to get baked in Los Angeles.


After hours and hours of nonstop driving, we finally arrived in the beautiful city of Portland. We booked a reservation at The Society Hotel, an up-and-coming rival of Ace Hotel Portland that boasts cheaper prices. Minimalistic rooms and matcha lattes in the ground floor cafe—perfect, if you ask me. It's located in Chinatown, which wasn't too bad but my mom was slightly irked by how many people creepily roamed the streets deep into the night. We also went with the shared bathroom package for the sake of the cost, and it wasn't a problem at all as the bathroom was kept spotlessly clean (being used to the dorm life, it exceeded any expectations for me).

I knew I had to try two things during my stay in Portland: doughnuts and ice cream. I wholeheartedly recommend Blue Star Donuts and Salt & Straw. I later found out that Los Angeles has both of them, whoops. The Blueberry Bourbon & Basil and Maple Bacon were my favorite donut flavors, while Honey Lavender stole the show at the inventive ice cream shop.

Other than sweets, Pine State Biscuits is the place to go for your brunch fix. A biscuit sandwich is a must—if you want savory, go for The Reggie. If you have a strong sweet tooth, choose The Chatfield (their apple butter is to die for). They also offer Stumptown coffee; the cold brew is so smooth! Next to their NE Alberta location, I found a gorgeous mural with an equally beautiful quote by Andrew Murphy: You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.

columbia river gorge

Oregon, you are marvelous. Such lush, green forests and spectacular falls. I recommend Multomah Falls and Wahclella Falls. The first is super tall and a #1 tourist spot, while the latter was harder to find but my favorite of the two. It's a bit of a trek up Wahclella Falls Trailhead to reach the beauty. However, I assure you that the blood and sweat is worth every drop (okay not blood but you get my point). It's actually marked as an easy hike, but I have no muscles haha ~

About 1.5 hours eastward from Portland, you'll find Rowena Crest Viewpoint (the first photo of this bunch). You'll discover a long, winding road that's plain jaw-dropping and has been photographed by dozens of professionals.


We unfortunately didn't have enough time to visit Washington, but we'll be back. If you find yourself with more time in Oregon during the summer, I recommend visiting any of their splendid lavender fields or beaches. Traveling with my mom was so fun and I would do it again in a heartbeat. Love you lots.
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