Museum of Ice Cream L.A.

Come with me, And you’ll be In a world of Pure imagination Take a look And you’ll see Into your imagination

 

Art meets ice cream in the popular pop-up Museum of Ice Cream in Los Angeles. What began in New York has quickly spread to L.A., San Francisco, and now Miami. While the L.A. location has since sold out, I was very fortunate to buy tickets when MOIC extended its stay in Southern California. According to employees, every location is different, but what remains the same throughout is the sprinkle pool. Release your inner child!

IMG_2900

In true Willy Wonka-esque fashion, visitors can smell the banana wall paper, they are given ice cream, candy, and of course, there are many photo opportunities. Artists also contributed installations that were displayed including: Baker’s Son, Abel Bentin, and the co-founder herself: Maryellis Bunn.

Before you even enter the museum, those who were early could wait in a garden that had hula hoops, giant Jenga, and cornhole. Its as if Maryellis wants you to become a child again before you experience the MOIC. It totally worked. I indulged and used the hula hoops, and continued to do so when children started showing up. I swear, if it’s not already, hula hooping is going to be the next work out trend.

As my friends and I entered the museum, we were given Dove chocolates and entered a beautiful shimmery room. Thus our adventure began:

IMG_2926
Installation by Baker’s Son
IMG_2931
Art by Abel Bentin

 

Overall, it was so much fun. There was a foosball table at the end of the exhibit a well as a gift shop that sold ice cream for dogs! Our furry friends are not forgotten. MIAMI FOLKS: Tickets are on sale NOW. Before they sell out, purchase here. Definitely a family friendly event as I saw many children looking incredibly happy in the sprinkle pool. So far, MOIC is only in Miami until the end of January 2018, but who knows, maybe it will be extended as it was in L.A.

England’s Jurassic Coast

Over the summer, me and a friend drove through the Jurassic Coast in Dorset. We made pit stops at New Forest National Park, Lulworth Cove, Old Harry Rocks (yup, that’s the actual name), and Corfe Castle.

The Jurassic Coast itself is 95 miles long, stretching from Exmouth in East Devon to Studland Bay in Dorset (where you can also find Old Harry).

With road snacks in hand and music playing, our first stop was New Forest, where wild horses roam and where the rain made everything much more lush and vibrant.

CIG_IMG017CIG_IMG015

After we were thoroughly soaked from our walk in the rain, we drove onward to our Air BnB stay in Lulworth Cove. It was a cute hut built from scratch by our host, Roy, with a detached bathroom. Totally cute and located near trails.

CIG_IMG047CIG_IMG054

CIG_IMG073
The infamous Durdle Door

 

CIG_IMG066
Durdle Door from above

After a few days in Lulworth Cove, my friend and I drove back home to Brighton. But wait there’s more! On our way home we decided to stop by Corfe Castle, and finally, Studland to hike up Old Harry Rocks.

CIG_IMG169
The ruins of Corfe Castle. Construction began under William the Conqueror in 1086 and by 1106, the castle was one of the best-fortified in England.

CIG_IMG158CIG_IMG143

Studland Bay and Old Harry Rocks:

CIG_IMG198

CIG_IMG199CIG_IMG206CIG_IMG207

Overall, it was a fantastic trip. Definitely nice to have a friend to drive me around though so it was incredibly convenient as well, as opposed to when I travel solo. I absolutely loved walking through Corfe Castle, where you can literally touch England’s medieval past. There were trails surrounding the castle that have fantastic views of the countryside. Luckily, it was such a lovely day when we drove through.

If you happen to be a WWII history buff, Studland Bay also has pill boxes still intact from the war. If you have the time and are itching for a road trip, definitely consider driving through Dorset and the Jurassic Coast. Loved it!

*P.S. Beware of windburn when you walk through the trails at Durdle Door and Old Harry Rocks. LOL

 

Magic of Dubrovnik

11 May 2017

My final destination during my Journey to 30 was Dubrovnik. And you guys, Dubrovnik took me. I fell in love with the city as soon as I saw the view from my Airbnb (Shout out to Anesa!). I mean, there’s stairs to get everywhere: stairs to my Airbnb, stairs into the Old Town, stairs within Old Town, stairs to get out of Old Town – but having ran a marathon the previous weekend, I was ok with all the extra workouts.

I was originally drawn to Dubrovnik because I’m a huge Game of Thrones fan and HBO has been using sites in and around Dubrovnik for King’s Landing, among other Westeros and Essos locations. However, Dubrovnik is so much more than a GoT filming location, and its medieval walls were breathtaking. Like, if I were to retire tomorrow, I’d probably head to Dubrovnik….but real estate is expensive, so, wishful thinking.

When I first arrived I dropped my things off and headed out into Old Town Dubrovnik, the main centre enclosed by the medieval castle walls, which was a perfect walking distance from my Airbnb. Also nearby was the bus stop for the shuttle to the airport and the entrance for the cable cars that go up Mount Srd. So my Airbnb was in an ideal location.

As I took pictures of the beautiful city I made my way to D’vino, a popular wine bar amongst tourists and locals. I loved it so much I went there my next two nights. Thank you exchange rate for the cheap price of Croatian wine! 🙂 I bought the cheese platter — usually for two but because it’s me I ordered it anyway — paired with a white wine: Antunović Graševina Premium 2010. DEE-LICIOUS! #DLiciousDVino™

IMG_1591
D’vino’s Cheesy Platter featuring dried figs, fresh baked bread and Croatian cheeses. Yummy!

I walked around the city a little more and made my way to a restaurant (the cheese platter for 2 was just an appetiser). I ate at Dubravka 1836 Restaurant & Cafe and had a fantastic view of the Adriatic. Also I walked into the place with ice cream in hand because I’m an adult and I decided to have dessert before dinner. Seriously though, great views!

I walked around a little more, and yes, it felt like I was walking through King’s Landing, then I headed back to my Airbnb as I would have an early start the next morning for my GoT walking tour! Woo-hoo!

Tyrion Lannister
“That’s what I do. I drink and I know things.” – Tyrion Lannister, Season 6

Vienna: Day 1

8 May 2017

The second location I visited during my Journey to 30 was Vienna, Austria! Mostly because the train ticket from Prague to Vienna was under 25. #Bargain

I walked to my Airbnb from the train station and met with one of my hosts (Shout out to Ivan and Neva!). Ivan was really helpful and provided me with a map, and info about public transport and cool places to visit. He even suggested I visit a nearby tobacco shop to purchase a public transport ticket – which I did. I’ve noticed several tourist-y websites that suggest purchasing a “Vienna Card,” which will provide discounts around the city, and can be used as your transport ticket, but I overheard another tourist who said it sucked. His words, not mine. Having said that, I got by just fine purchasing a €16 week pass for all transport (bus, tram, metro), and using my uni discount everywhere. Worth it!

And with my public transport ticket in hand, I ventured off to experience the city. I first looked up vegetarian places to eat and Google suggested Wrenkh, which I’m glad it did because the food was delicious. Wrenkh did have meat options on the menu but it was predominantly vegetarian/vegan.

I ordered an olive tapenade, mushroom ragu, and the house white wine. Of course, I ate it all because I was starving.

CIG_IMG009

 

After that I snapped a few pictures of St. Stephen’s Cathedral before I headed down to the metro.

CIG_IMG010

I specifically took the metro to Prater so I could go on the Wiener Riesenrad (ferris wheel), and overlook the city. It was unfortunately raining at this point but it was still beautiful. Afterwards it was getting late and cold, so I grabbed some takeaway and I headed back to my Airbnb to get an early start the next day.

IMG_1133

CIG_IMG044CIG_IMG035

Journey to 30

IMG_0988
Near John Lennon Wall in Prague

I never actually liked the term “dirty thirty.” I felt it put a negative spin on people turning 30 when it should be a positive thing. I mean, what’s dirty about turning thirty? Waking up with a hangover maybe? Recently, I turned thirty and called it my “Journey to 30” which was much more fitting since I planned a solo trip to visit three new countries. I finally looked up the origins of “dirty thirty” and I’m now soooo happy I didn’t use it. Urban Dictionary’s definition is the following:

“The age at which single women without children realise that their biological clock is ticking. As a consequence they may lower their standards and increase their willingness to perform sexual acts as a matter of desperation in order to find a mate/sexual partner.”

So, yeah, I’m glad I didn’t use it. But it does point to a common convention across multiple societies: the pressure of being married and/or having children at a certain age. I don’t want to point fingers, but certain genders may feel this pressure more than others. Of course, there are other milestones people may feel pressured to achieve: the pressure of owning a home, the pressure having a degree, the pressure of having a well-paid job, etc. However, the reality is our own journeys may not necessarily lead us to these milestones in a cookie-cutter way, if at all. We all have our own journeys and struggles that lead us to new experiences – some good, some bad. I know I’ve come a long way. I think part of the freedom and contentedness I feel stems from the fact that I do not feel any of these pressures or competitiveness to be at a certain place in my life. I am happy with who I am and with where I am today. I am single. I am childless. I am a Ph.D. student living in the U.K. I am a 30-year-old who’s had a rich life thus far.

IMG_1915
Lokrum Island, Dubrovnik

Even as my Facebook feed increasingly becomes flooded with wedding and baby photos, I don’t feel that itch to go out and find a partner and have a baby. I feel that so many of us sometimes give in to those pressures and limit our own journeys to paths we are comfortable with. But you know what, it’s exciting, fun, and even a little scary to set out on new journeys. I wanted to move to a new country while having the chance to help others so I joined the Peace Corps and ended up living in a village in South Africa for 2 years. What?! I applied to grad school in the U.K. while finishing my Peace Corps service and actually got accepted! What the whaaaa?!?! And yes, I even got a corporate job working in HR for 2 years before I decided to quit and yet again go back to school to get a Ph.D. And here I am now. I didn’t place limits on myself and neither should anyone else.

wp-image-827933708
City Walls, Dubrovnik

I recently celebrated turning 30 by exploring new parts of the world and new cultures. I went to Prague, where I also completed my sixth marathon, then I headed to Vienna, and finally Dubrovnik. These cities were amazing, each with their own beautiful histories and cultures. I find peace in throwing myself into the unknown. I found peace dipping my toes in the Adriatic. I found peace eating an ice cream out of a chimney cake in Prague, I found peace feeling like a local as I used public transport in Vienna with ease, and I found peace meeting new people in all three of these gorgeous cities. My next few posts will be exactly about my Journey to 30, and this has been the most amazing birthday ever. Where will your journey lead you?

IMG_1453
Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna