. europe trip pt 2 .

Continuing on from my last post, the third day of the trip was packed with events since we decided to visit both Strasbourg and Heidelberg in one day.

Day 3: Strasbourg, France

P1000877But first, lunch (featuring bunch of random things from Migros): protein seeded bread, avocado, ‘Toscana’ spreadable cream, chocolate soy milk.

P1000881Strasbourg isn’t too far from Konstanz (where we stayed) so we made it there in little time.

P1000882P1000883P1000884I only saw these kind of cathedrals in TV shows or documentaries so it took me a while to absorb everything before registering how gorgeous this place was. Look at those beautiful candle offerings!

P1000893P1000908We were also able to access a view from the top of the cathedral. Maybe I’ve gone slightly out of shape, but the endless stairs were a bit tiring (my mom, on the other hand, was totally out of breath).

P1000912P1000920Unfortunately, my camera acted up against me during the later half of the day, so I have zero record of my Heidelberg visit. Oh well, at least I got to enjoy the moment~ best record is great memories, right?

Day 4: Frankfurt/Berlin

P1000922This is the only picture I have of Frankfurt, because tbh we spent 3 hours at the Frankfurt airport using the restroom and eating McDonald’s. By the way, not sure if anyone else was aware of this, but McDonald’s is so much cooler overseas. Like half of the places I’ve been to used touch screen self-ordering system and the menu had different things (like fancy sauce bottles). I still hate McDonald’s anyways, but it was interesting to see the difference between the ones in the states and the ones elsewhere.

P1000923P1000924P1000929P1000931P1000942P1000946P1000948First day of sightseeing in Berlin! We did the usual touristy stuff like visiting the Brandenburger Tor, Berlin Cathedral, Berlin wall, etc. The only thing I brushed past was Checkpoint Charlie because it was in the middle of the street and there were swarms of people trying to get pictures. I didn’t have the energy nor the determination to do that. Plus, it was probably the best place for pick-pocketers to get their hands on something.

P1000951P1000952And who can leave out currywurst when in Berlin?! And don’t worry this is vegan ūüôā If you go to Curry 36, there’s this vegan beauty for 2,50 Euros. If you’re lucky, the line for this place will be short.

P1000953To cool myself down in the 35¬įC weather, I got a simple Oolong tea to sip on from Comebuy Bubble Tea. I’m not sure if there are any vegan milk options, but if you’re like me and enjoy unsweetened tea to quench thirst, then this is a good option.

More on Berlin on the next post! See you soon~

. europe trip pt 1 .

I’m back!

Well, honestly I’ve been back for two weeks now. I was just too lazy to put together a post;;

If you’re reading this out of the blue, you probably don’t know that I went on a trip to Switzerland, Germany, Czech Republic, and Austria. Of course, it was all crammed in two weeks, but it was still such an awesome experience. I’m still thinking back on it and dreaming of my next visit.

The first day started off kind of hectic in Switzerland, because we couldn’t get SIM cards or the car we wanted for rental. We ended up stuck in the airport for 4 extra hours.

P1000763In the end everything went well with the rental. Not with the SIM cards though. Word of advice: make sure your phone is unlocked by your provider.

Day 1: casual sightseeing

P1000766The clean streets of Zurich.

P1000768The beautiful and grand hauptbahnhof.

P1000770A little snack I picked up.

P1000771I actually brought avocados on board with me from Pittsburgh. To be fair, I had three in the fridge and I couldn’t just leave them for two weeks only to come back to see sad looking avocados. Thus, they traveled 6000 km and made my meals much better.

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Day 2: Interlaken and the Alps

I’m sure Interlaken is one the must-go’s when visiting Switzerland. Even if we weren’t planning on riding the iconic red train up the Alps, we wanted to see the famous picturesque view.

P1000807P1000831P1000839P1000844P1000857I was seriously blown away by the view. The Swiss Alps certainly exceeded my expectations. Hiking this beauty is added to my bucket-list.

P1000859Our favorite ALDI in its home in Europe.

P1000870P1000869Strawberry near the Alps makes it 100 times better.

P1000871P1000872Also picked up chocolate soy milk, dark chocolate and vegetable spread at a Swiss chain called Migros. There were so many vegan goodies available that I was sad to not be able to explore the grocery aisles more.

Next up is our trip to Strasbourg, France and Heidelberg, Germany! See you in part 2!

. i’m not dead (yet) + random eats #7 .

Phew, how long has it been?! I actually lost track of the last time I wrote on here with the loads of deadlines looming over my head in addition to finals week.

With that being said, I was able to take a breather during a mini road trip to Cape Cod! My friend randomly decided it was time to check this off her bucket list, so off we went to see the sunset at the beach…

P1000640.JPGP1000643P1000656P1000663P1000666P1000667The wind was wild, y’all.

As for my eats, I’ve been eating the usual plant-based goodness :).

P1000604P1000606Lazy burrito bowl made with black beans sauteed with tomatoes and taco seasoning, tempeh and green peppers (same spices), lettuce, guac, salsa and cilantro rice.

P1000608For some reason, it didn’t occur to me then that the rice was supposed to go on the bottom.

P1000611More excited about the avocados in the back.

P1000615P1000612This is just the prep ingredients for my sammie, but it looked so pretty that I had to snap a shot! Courtesy of Iggy’s¬†bread.

P1000630The classic.

20170418_141746 (2).jpgAs humble and strange as this sounds, one of my all time wishes was to know and socialize with the kitchen/cleaning staff. Sadly, I was too awkward to do that prior to college (I still am tbh), but finally…I was able to hold a long conversation with the woman at the vegan/vegetarian section of the dining hall. I really enjoyed the conversation, which started from how great farmer’s market tomatoes were to how kids nowadays don’t conserve energy (I’m a grandpa on the inside).

P1000674Anyways, she packed me this giant stack of vegan cookies that were there. I’ve been going through them one by one‚ÄĒ all day, er’rday. Don’t worry, I balance it out with other nourishing foods, and a cookie will not kill me. ¬†Plus, it’s nourishing my mind ;).

Seriously though, I still have 5 left.

P1000683Leftover arugula got blended into pesto.¬†It was a simple recipe on the back of the package of arugula (thanks TJ’s!) that I adapted by adding sun-dried tomatoes and nutritional yeast.

I also have to clean out my fridge before I move out (in just a few days!), so someone please help me finish my jar of mayonnaise and tub of butter.

20170420_193652 (2).jpgI was lucky to walk into an event happening in one of my dining halls, where the theme was “Educate Your Plate” and the whole place was filled with plant-based menus. The lighting was dim (“to set the ambiance”) so the picture is really crummy, but my plate included: quinoa stuffed poblano peppers with avocado, mushroom tacos wrapped with steamed greens, avocado hummus with pita, green beans, small sample of kombucha and various grilled fruits. The small plate in the corner was also full of roasted root vegetables with some chimichurri sauce. Needless to say, I was happily stuffed by the end of the night.

P1000675They also had a plant-your-own herb station! I was torn between basil and mint…heck I wanted them all! But we were limited to one, so I stuck with mint.

P1000676P1000678Cute froggy for finishing touch.

I feel like¬†I should have written something longer and more entertaining to make up for my long absence. I’ll be sure to come back with more exciting posts once I’m home and able to test recipes!

And I completely forgot to mention this earlier in the year: I’m going to Switzerland and Germany this summer! WOOHOOO! Although it’s only for 2 weeks, I’ll be sure to snap some lovely pics!

Off to finish studying for my other exams~

. wrap up of 2016 (pt. 1) .

Wow. I’ve been gone for a while.

Other than my terrible habit of procrastinating, I have finals week, traveling and family outings as excuses for my absence. And the fact that I am terribly lazy.

My finals ended well, and I celebrated the end of the stressful week with my friend. We planned on going ice skating at the Boston Winter Wonderland, but little did we know how cold it would be….

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Not real frost though hehe

I’m not kidding when I say that the wind felt like it was cutting my skin. We were too much of wussies¬†couldn’t stand the cold, so we called it a day after a little while of touring and shopping around downtown Boston.

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On our way back, we stopped by H-mart to pick up some groceries for my friend to take back with her to Paraguay. According to her, there are only few Asian products available there, so most of them are sent by relatives who live in Japan and Taiwan.

We also grabbed injeolmi rice cakes and yokan jelly to snack on (with fancy oolong tea!) back in our dorms. The rest of the evening was so relaxing…it was a great way to finish off my first semester of college.

The next few days were just packing and cleaning. I don’t know what I was thinking, but I only brought six sweaters and 2 pants for going out. Needless to say, I had to plan outfit combinations during my 3-week stay.

Two days after my arrival in Pittsburgh, my parents and I hit the road to Chapel Hill, NC to hang out at my brother’s apartment. I have to admit that I’m a smidgen jealous of him having his own place, but I take pride in having Boston as my environment.

My brother took me to some cool places around his school:

One of my favorite places is a bookshop on Franklin St.; they have cats, people!!

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I could have stayed for hours looking for some interesting books and chilling with these guys.

Our last stop was a large store called Southern Seasons. The best way I can describe it is as a fusion of a slightly upscale grocery store + William Sonoma + gift shop (?). They sell a wide variety of things like food, clothing, kitchenware and decorations.

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Ho ho ho

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Variety of expensive af skin/hair products

My favorite Matt & Nat bags were on display…

…along with shelves and shelves full of wines and beer bottles.

The store was connected to a mall, so I ventured to some other (similar) shops.

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Fairy-like Christmas ornaments

The other 3 days in North Carolina were less eventful. I forgot to take pics of some of the amazing food I ate there, but I definitely recommend Mediterranean Deli, Spotted Dog and Sage Cafe. All 3 are completely different except the fact that they are veg friendly!

  • Mediterranean Deli: Cheap, tasty choices for both meat-eaters and veg heads. They offer a huge selection of sides in a deli case and indicate¬†any allergens (and which ones are vegan!) for each. Don’t skip the mini¬†condiment/mezze bar (FREE)!

Recommendations: Falafels, roasted eggplant, Armenian roasted veggies, lentil salad

  • Spotted Dog: Pub-style food with tons of vegan/vegetarian options. Think burgers, fries, pasta, etc. I went during dinnertime, but they serve sandwiches and soups for lunch.

Recommendations: Curry quinoa burger with beer battered fries

  • Sage Cafe:¬†All vegetarian Persian restaurant with vegan options available for almost every entree/side. Not on the cheap side, but still filling. It was my first time trying Persian food, but I’m glad I did! Dinner entrees come with rice and shirazi.

Recommendation: Bud-m-joon 

  • Looking Class Cafe: A small coffee shop that offers premium roasts, sandwiches, and pastries. Non-dairy milk alternatives and vegan goodies available.

Recommendation: Roast of the day

That’s basically it for my food adventure. On the flip side, I had toast and PB for breakfast everyday.

Before the road trip back to Pittsburgh (this time with my brother along), we decided to buy some Korean groceries at the new H-mart. Due to the lack of Korean grocery stores in Pittsburgh, we tend to drive some distance to get our hands on a few staple items, like a box of nappa cabbage for kimchi. Unfortunately, it was the grand opening day¬†and we stood in line for a while before entering the store. It was one of the nicest H-marts I’ve been to, and I would have liked to look around longer if it wasn’t for the overwhelming number of people in there.

This concludes my NC trip. To be honest, that was the most eventful part of my winter break, which leaves two weeks of free time at good ole home sweet home.