Winter Wonderland: I am a fragile tropical flower.

I assume no one’s surprised that I’m rolling into a post about thanksgiving way after the actual date. That’s because I am a winner.

 

It’s hard to believe that a year ago I celebrated my first thanksgiving in America. This year was even better than last years though, because I was lucky enough to have my family come out and celebrate with them. Thanksgiving is always a special time for me. It mark the point where I can officially start to celebrate christmas in public, instead of just talking about who excited I am about it (see: the entire month of November. My friends must be sick of my gushing. I just really enjoy christmas, ok?)

No, I’m just joking. Thanksgiving has a special connotation for me because in Hong Kong it would be one of the big parties my parents would throw. I have so many memories of being dressed up and stuffing myself with turkey, watching the adults table longingly when members of the kids table would graduate to that hallowed ground.

This thanksgiving I celebrated again in Oregon, only this time I brought along my roommate with me. She bravely embraced the insanity of my family (we are all very loving in a shouting and arms waving way) and spent five days with me in the beautiful town of Bend and then later Portland.

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Unsurprisingly, neither of us were prepared for the winter. We’re talking temperatures that include snow, ice and all those  fun little things about cold weather like frostbite. The second we stepped off the plane it was right into the middle of Antartica (or so it seemed to two SoCal girls). The second I stepped out of the airport I promptly slipped on a patch of ice and bit the dust. We spent a lot of the weekend talking about how cold it was and staying firmly inside. Any movement to go anywhere required the assembling of an outfit with two many layers to count. It turns out we make very cute marshmallow people though.

 

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We also went snowshoeing for the very first time. It’s something that I’m super glad we did, because it was just so beautiful. There’s really nothing like winter, when it goes all quiet in the soft cold light to remind you just how beautiful the world can be. I certainly admired it as much as possible, until I actually couldn’t feel my butt anymore and we slogged home. Poor Mom got a phone call begging for hot chocolate before we’d even reached the door.

 

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COLD COLD COLD.

In any case, this is just going to be a very quick post about how wonderful it was to take a break from college. The reason why i’ve been so late posting is because everything has gone full speed ahead with finals week. Definitely a good reason to relax and completely stuff myself with good food and better company.

It’s going to be a rough week ahead, that’s for sure. Good luck to anyone going through finals, and remember to be thankful for the amazing beauty that the world holds. Just, you know, from inside.

 

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Paradise – Ireland Through Photography.

I was looking through my photos and found some shots of Ireland that I just had to share. This is a purely indulgent (and sponsored by fond memories) post about how beautiful my trip was.

 

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A real life fairytale…

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Met the cutest little puppy

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I’ve never seen so many different shades of green

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Even the buildings were overflowing with the color

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Along the Wicklow Way…

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Even through fog

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and rain

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and more fog..

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Ireland remains one of the most beautiful places I have ever been.

There were times I had to pinch myself, I couldn’t believe how lucky I was. Sorry about this mostly wordless post, although I did end up creating a sort of avant garde poetry through the captions (haha).

As always,

Love, Amylia.

Ireland: Rain and Sheep on the Wicklow Way.

At the beginning of the planning process for this trip, Mom sat us down and asked a very serious question ‘Do you want to do a walking trip?’.

Starting off into the Wicklow Mountains

Starting off into the Wicklow Mountains

Fortunately, I agreed. Four months later I found myself on the Wicklow Way, dumbstruck at the sheer beauty of the Irish mountains and countryside.

Reaching the summit

Reaching the summit

It was a far cry from our stay at Edinburgh. Gone were our friends. It was just my mother, my father and me for the next week or so. We’d be hiking a beginners trail, but navigation and pace would be set by us. Before we started, I was nearly certain that this would be one of worst possible ideas for family unity.

This was a common sight on the trip - turns out neither of my parents are brilliant at reading maps...or admitting they'd been wrong.

This was a common sight on the trip – turns out neither of my parents are brilliant at reading maps…or admitting they’d been wrong.

Instead, it turned out to be an incredible hike. I can’t express to you how beautiful the Irish countryside is. Everyday seemed like we were walking in a fairytale. Luckily for us, it didn’t rain as much as we were expecting. But enough about that – I’ll let the pictures do the talking…

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Isn’t it gorgeous? That’s just a bare fraction of all the photos I took. Here’s hoping I find myself wandering the wicklow way again in the future.

Scotland: The Fringe, Castles and Maps.

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One of the most beautiful cities – Edinburgh!

I promised I’d try and get this post up sooner than I got to it. Oops. Regardless, here are some photos from the summer trip I went on. For nearly a month I was able to travel around England, Scotland and Ireland. It was unbelievable!! I couldn’t believe how much fun it was. Not only were my parents able to join me, but my best friend and her family also flew out. It was quite possibly one of the best summer’s I’ve had for a while.

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Ignore the gloomy skies – it was actually quite lovely!

 

Always wonderful getting to spend time with my mom!

Always wonderful getting to spend time with my mom! (It was a little windy, can you tell?)

I spent most of the trip completely enamored with the Fringe Festival. I cannot even begin to describe the feeling of celebration and artistry that was happening. Everywhere we went, there were people going to or coming from performances, absolutely buzzing with excitement. Every street yielded a street performer or musician (some were…better than others, for sure). It was just amazing!! As an actress I didn’t ever want to leave. We managed to see some incredible shows – Shitfaced Shakespeare was my absolute favorite though. And I’m not saying I want to try drinking half a bottle of vodka and seeing how well I know my Lady Macbeth, but I’m not not saying it…

 

Checking out some of the street performances.

Checking out some of the street performances.

 

Aside from some incredible performances, we also did the requisite amount of sightseeing. Climbing up to Edinburgh castle definitely took some work, as we had to push through the throng of people waving flyers. By the time we got to the top I was thrilled to see the view of Edinburgh. Scotland is such a beautiful country, and the history!

 

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The castle looking appropriately gothic.

 

This was one of the least busy looking photos of the festival...

This was one of the least busy looking photos of the festival…

 

As a history nerd, going to Scotland and getting to walk around all the old buildings was just a dream. It’s both daunting and comforting to look at a building and realize that it’s centuries older than you are. That you’re just a speck in the history of the world, and not even a consideration when compared to how old Edinburgh is. For example: there was a pond – a pond! – right by where we were staying that was created before the American Revolution was even a consideration.

 

Stopping on the roof of the National History museum to snap some photos.

Stopping on the roof of the National History museum to snap some photos.

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It was hilarious traveling with my best friend and her family. Perhaps the best description of just how opposite our families can be came from a day trip we took to a small castle. While my dad and I worked our way through every plaque possible and chatted about the history of the place, the others were outside running around. Definitely very different travelers, for sure!

 

A lord standing protector over his domain, centuries later.

A lord standing protector over his domain, centuries later.

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waiting in one of the many, many lines…

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Scotland was an unbelievable experience. I am so thrilled that I got to go, and really hope to be back again some day. As a performer? well, that would be a dream come true…

 

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