SPRING BREAK 2016


Here's a peek into my past spring break















Unlike most of my friends, I had virtually nothing planned for spring break this year. Partly because I spent waaaay to much already while studying abroad and partly because I wanted to catch up on all the films I haven't watched since...5 years ago??? 

Much to my surprise, I had all but one day spent outside the house and I'm so thankful for the people whom I got to share the precious moments with! From taking copious amounts of photos to discovering new eateries in the area, this break was definitely one that I was able to get plenty of R&R.

Here's a list some of the places I got to visit this time around:

The Broad 
Make sure you either have a reservation OR come about an hour before the museum opens to avoid long lines. Tickets for the famous Infinity Room is in a separate line in the museum (unfortunately, I was not able to get in *sad face*). Museum is closed Mondays. In my opinion, this museum definitely lives up to the hype! Check my INSTAGRAM for more photos.

JiST Cafe
This place just became a new favorite! The banana and chocolate pancakes are TO DIE FOR--the right amount of fluff and sweetness (what Japanese bread is famous for!). Filled with all types of Japanese fusion brunch food that's available all day/night. Their savory dishes, such as the Chashu Hash Skillet, is definitely worth a try. 

Los Angeles Arts District
I visited this area once before but another visit opened my eyes to a whole new world of art! Take a stroll around the area (and stop by the neighboring Little Tokyo for food) and you'll find a myriad of beautiful street art and exhibitions for your viewing pleasure. If you're into coffee, contemporary art, and cute cafes, this is the place for you.

I also got to take another trip to Six Flags and visit Manhattan Beach during the break as well! Stay tuned for a spring break 2k16 vlog to see more action~

Always thankful, 

Rachel

P.S.-I think I watched over 25 films this break.

EDIT: Check out my vlog from spring break...now live on my YOUTUBE channel!

CATCHING UP


Long time no talk friends...

It's been over a month now that I've been living in one of my dream cities: Rome, Italy. This whole experience is surreal and every day feels like a blessing. I had always wanted to study abroad ever since middle school (shout-out to Ms. Whitmore for inspiring me!) and to think that I am finally doing what's been on my bucket list is truly amazing. Speaking of bucket lists, I've been checking things off one-by-one and apparently, my list keeps also keeps getting longer and longer. There is so much to do here in Rome that I don't even think I can explore it all in the few months I am here. 

Studying abroad is everything I expected and more. The first few days were difficult. I had a hard time adjusting to all the new faces and culturally, Italy is a very "in-your-face" type of place. I honestly cannot remember the last time I breathed in air without the smell of cigarettes (lol). I got homesick...really homesick. I still do feel a longing for home, with all my friends and family and food, but the simple fact that I am here living out my dream keeps me from getting to a depressing state. 

Learning the italian language has been quite difficile. I had never learned a new language until this trip so it's been quite a challenge; however, being a student (not a tourist) in this city has helped a lot in my progress as I'm forced to speak the native tongue whenever I'm out and about.

Here's a few things I've noticed about Rome so far:
-smoking is very prevalent; teenagers and old folks alike do it...and they do it everywhere
-yes, there are fiats, smart cars, and vespas everywhere just as you'd imagine
-in regards to the previous post: italians drive crazy and park crazy
-you can cross the street whenever you'd like but only at your own risk
-public display of affection (aka PDA) is REAL 
-pasta is a staple and I've been eating it almost everyday...literally.every.day.
-italians are all about that civile lifestyle (google it and you'll see what I'm saying)
-taking the bus/tram takes about the same time as it does walking
-breakfast here consists of a caffe and a pastry (also, one should never order any with a latte aka milk after 11AMish)
-grocery shopping is cheap and must be done pretty much bi-weekly 
-italians are all about freshness especially when it comes to food
-there is no such thing as personal space 
Bonus: they do indeed dress well here (I'm currently diggin' the men who wear these really nice dark navy suits + dress shoes + sunglasses + riding away on their vespas...mi piace molto)

So there's a little catching up with me. Of course, the things I've listed above do not include everything (but I can have another post for that if you'd like). I've got weekends booked for places to visit both in Italy and outside. I'm flying out to Spain-Portugal-Paris-Brussels for our fall break next week! Also, I'm currently babysitting on the side to help bring in that extra cash. I'll probably be broke as heck when I get back to the states but hey! Still blessed to be here and I pinch myself everyday to make sure I'm not daydreaming. 

Make sure you're watching my vlogs! Click HERE to subscribe to my channel on YouTube. Oh, and follow me on instagram HERE for more updates (I broke my iphone T.T so I've been using my roomie's phone to upload lol). 

And here's a unedited selfie of me in Firenze...don't mind my swollen eyes, I got bit on the eyelid by mosquitos:



Ciao i miei amici, 

Rachel

FAMILY BONDING:



With college days speeding by like no other,
 it was due time that I had a nice relaxing day with my family...




Are you drooling yet?
Of course, my mom and I were the only two excited for this






My outfit for the day

Couldn't have asked for two greater parents than them <3

It's already Week 4 in college which means midterms are just around the corner. There is literally no time to take a breath here in university and the constant reading ( I'm taking 2 history/writing, and a communications class) is beginning to take its toll on me. Of course, I can't really complain as I'm taking classes that I actually enjoy learning in and I don't have to do any, ANY math at all.
But getting to the point of this blog entry, my parents and brother came down from home to visit and have a lovely outing venturing around La Jolla. We ate an incredibly filling meal at a famous place, here in San Diego, called Phil's BBQ. Let me tell you, baby back ribs + onion rings + coleslaw + french fries + baked beans = one happy Park Family. We devoured more than what we possibly could have during a normal lunch break and decided to walk it off at a swap meet nearby.
If there is one thing you need to know about me, it's that I love discounts. I literally thrive off of sale racks and thrift stores. So it was to no one's surprise that I literally ran to this place (my mom is actually addicted to antique/thrift shopping as well). My mom and I happily spent the next hour and a half scouring through old, but valuable items and found interest in different pieces of jewelry as my dad and younger brother trudged along 10 feet behind us. As with all events of shopping, it was a hit-or-miss affair. In this case, more miss than hit: I ended up leaving with just a gold, squiggly midi ring for a buck.
To end the day, we went to Balboa and strolled along the walkway admiring the beach and people-watching. I'm truly so blessed to have such a loving family and I know that by studying my best in college, I'll one day be able to give just as much support back to them.

Outfit:
- Sheer cardigan-- Anthropologie
- Striped dress-- Cotton On
- Black glitter sandals-- Target
- Camera bag-- Ebay

Peace n blessings,

Rachel