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Zip Lining Through the Redwood Forest

Karla

Sonoma Canopy Tour is about two hours from Sacramento. It's one of the most exhilarating experiences and everyone should give zip lining through the Redwood Forest a try! There are eleven courses and each one provides a different experience. I went on a weekend, which was $109 per person. It is $10 off when you go on a weekday and prior experience is not required. This was my first time zip lining, so I was thankful that the guides were very helpful. They taught the importance of the gear and provided clear directions. I went through a trial course (about 15 minutes), that taught me how to use the brakes with my hand. Don't worry, gloves are provided and it's not as hard as you may think. I have to admit that once I was on the starting point (first redwood tree) my knees were trembling. As much as I love a crazy adventure, I do still get scared. But it will never stop me from doing it. Boy, when I was up there overlooking the Redwood Forest - it is beyond AMAZING! I was up there with eight other people and due to a bit of wind; the trees do sway back and forth a little. Zip lining was an easy feat once I got the hang of it. It was the last part where I had to rappel down a tree. Something about not knowing my destination, scares the sh*t out of me. The guide told me to hold onto my rope a certain way and just step off and glide down to the ground. I couldn't see the ground as I was gliding down, so I wasn't sure how high I was. After all is done, I wanted to do it over again. It was so great to have accomplished something like that.

Sonoma Canopy Tour
6250 Bohemian Hwy,
Occidental, CA 95465

The Must-Haves For a Beach Day

Karla

 

Face Mist

I love my skin to be hydrated, especially my face. Avene Spring Water Spray comes in a travel size bottle, perfect for a quick hydration mist on the face.

 
 

Tinted Moisturizer with SPF

After lathering some SPF face lotion, you can put on some NARS Tinted Moisturizer which also has SPF. It evens out the skin tone without packing on too much stuff, leaving you with a lightweight feeling on your face. 

 
 

Sunkissed Cheeks + Lippy

To give the face a little bit more "oomph" - lightly add some color on the cheeks and lips. My cult favorites are the Amazonion Clay 12-hr Blush in Blissful and ColourPop's Satin Lipsticks. I choose colors that are similar to the color of my lips to give more a natural look.

 
 

Calamine Lotion

I am very prone to swimmer's itch, an allergic reaction to microscopic parasites in the water. Using calamine lotion combats the itchiness. On rare occasions when I get sun burned, it also relieves the pain.

 
 

Beach Blanket

Using a large scarf as a beach blanket is perfect. It's light, comes in a whole range of colors and you can easily travel with it. Plus, you can use it as a blanket during a long flight. 

 

An Inside-Out Cave Hot Springs

Karla

 

Forty-five miles from the W. Entrance of Yellowstone National Park is Mammoth Hot Springs; also accessible and closer through the N. Entrance. It differs from all the other thermal areas because it is made out of soft-type rock called limestone. Due to its formations, the hot springs resemble a cave turned inside out. There's about 50 hot springs in the area. 

 

Upper Terraces

Lower Terraces

Mammoth Hot Springs
(map)

What To Eat At Raohe Night Market

Karla

 

Raohe Night Market is one of the oldest night markets in Taipei. Located in Songshan District, it is much smaller compared to Shilin Night Market. You can probably check out all the food stalls within an hour depending on if it's bustling with people. 

 
 

I come here for one reason only and that's to eat the sizzling pork buns. The food stall is located right by the entrance of the night market. You definitely can't miss this spot as there's a line of people waiting to get their hands on these delicious buns. They're cooked in an oven pot and served fresh to customers. The bun is flaky and crunchy and with the added juiciness of the pork, it's a perfect snack before you venture out for more food.

 
 

Chinese Doughnut Sandwich

I've had ice cream doughnuts, but a doughnut sandwich? Not yet, until now. The doughnut is filled with greens and chicken. It is surprisingly a good combination. 

Deep Fried Egg Yolk

I was a little hesitant about this, just because I was unsure if it was going to sit well in my stomach. Thankfully, it did! It's also very good. The outer part tastes just like a doughnut and the yolk is sweet - doesn't taste anything like an egg yolk. This is one of my favorite snacks here.

Jello Popsicle

The jello popsicle comes in several flavors. I had the mango and tasted like it was a popsicle minus the icy part. 

Grilled Squid

Can't leave a night market without trying anything grilled. 

 
 

At the end of Raohe Night Market is an Oyster Omelette stall. Definitely a must in Taiwan!

Raohe Night Market
Raohe St, Songshan District, Taipei City, 105
MRT Songshan Station

 

How Taipei Does Brunch

Karla

 

Taipei has everything you want when it comes to food. So, it’s no surprise that brunching is a popular thing to do in Taipei. A fairly new and California-owned restaurant called Spot Taipei has been making some noise around town with their delicious dishes. Their menu does change to provide different tastes to other people. This is one of the places that serve chicken and waffles and my favorite; avocado toast. In addition to the tasty food, the food presentation is definitely on point!

 
 

Burgers

Cooked medium-rare, served with crispy fries and house-made sauces.

Salmon Avocado Toast

The salmon avocado toast topped with mixed-arugula salad and a dash of citrus sauce is refreshing and light without leaving you hungry.

Mac and Cheese

Great size to share with 2-3 people. A little bit on the watery side, but the toasted breadcrumbs gives it some texture.

 
 

Chicken Wings

Perfect appetizer, paired with a blue cheese sauce.

Chicken and Waffles

This dish is big enough to share with friends. The chicken is crispy topped with pickled veggies. Don’t forget to ask for extra syrup!

 
 

Eggs Benedict

The poached eggs are cooked well on the outside and the yolk oozes out as you cut into it.

Spot Taipei does brunch so well that I feel like I’m back in California.

Spot Taipei
No. 58, Lane 233, Section 1, Dunhua S Rd, Da’an District, Taipei City, 106
Zhongxioa Dunhua MRT