How to Stay Fit While Traveling

Staying fit while traveling

Whether you're traveling for business or pleasure, keeping up your fitness while you are away from home is never easy.  We often put a lot of time and energy into building up our fitness before we go away and it can be hard to maintain the balance of nutritious food and exercise once you're abroad. I've been incredibly fortunate to visit some amazing destinations and have picked up a few tips along the way.

1. Pack a great kit-this sounds superficial, but I'm more motivated to just do about anything if I like what I'm wearing :) 

2. Think beyond the gym- One of my biggest hurdles with working out while traveling is major FOMO, I feel as though I be should out exploring my surroundings instead of spending time in a gym that could be absolutely anywhere. Instead, I like to throw on my tennis shoes and make the city my gym! Going for a run is a great way to familiarize yourself with a new place and many cities have outdoor jungle gyms that can be used for body weight strength training.  If you're really limited on time, try to walk to places that you'd normally drive to.  You may not work up a full sweat but every little bit counts!  

Urban Workout

3. Be mindful of what you put into your body.  Plane/airport food is notoriously non nutritious so stock up on healthier options before you go. Be sure to drink tons of water as your body will be dehydrated from travelling. Limit your alcohol, its filled with empty calories and can lead to over eating, plus its pretty similar wherever you are so you're better off indulging with local dishes that you can't get elsewhere. 

Blonde eating crepes

4. Utilise Apps, Pinterest, and  YouTube for bodyweight Exercises-You never know what the gym facilities will be like when traveling so I like to find somewhere with a bit of space and pull up a YouTube video or Pinterest graphic showing a body weight exercise routine.  I'm also a big fan of the 7 Minute Workout Routine App, we can all find at least 7 minutes in a day, you'll break a sweat, and can do as many repetitions as you like. 

A Bikini A Day Circuit Routine

http://abikiniaday.com/circuit-routine/ 

35 Min Full Body Workout No Equipment

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZhJoRxWcLE

7 Minute Workout App

http://7minworkoutapp.net/

 

 

 

Exploring Bagan

Bagan

Having only opened its doors to tourists in 2012, Myanmar was rumored to be one of the last "off the beaten track" destinations in Asia.  While living in Hong Kong, I met several people working on projects to develop tourism in the area so I was eager to visit as soon as possible, with the hopes of experiencing the country before it becomes fully commercialized. 

I'd already planned a trip to Hong Kong and wanted to tack on a visit to a new area, so when my plans to visit Shanghai fell through, Myanmar was a natural choice. 

Myanmar Customs

Myanmar started an E-Visa program in 2016 so the visa application procedure was simple and only took about 3 days to process.  There are direct flights from Hong Kong to Yangon but timing is limited.  I arrived in Yangon around 1AM and went straight to the Holly Hotel to catch some sleep before my flight in the morning.  The Holly is one of the newest hotels in Yangon.  It was clean, relatively quiet, and included free Wifi and breakfast for only $40 USD per night. 

Air KBZ

I flew Air KBZ from Yangon to Bagan. While I've heard horror stories of local airlines being delayed for several hours, I had a great experience with them both coming and going. I do recommend keeping your luggage to a minimum as there isn't much overhead space and and checking bags is a pain.

I arrived in Bagan and checked into the Aureum Palace Hotel where I enjoyed Lahpet, or  Tea Leaf salad,  before heading out to explore.

The Bagan Archaeological zone is one of the most impressive sites in Asia. From the 9-13th centuries it was the capitol of the Kingdom of Pagan and a city of incredible significance for Theravada Buddhists, to this day it attracts monks from around the world looking to deepen their practice.  At its peak there were over 10,000 temples, today there are around 2,200 as many were destroyed by Mongol invasions and earthquakes. 

Bagan Temples Myanmar

Entering the Archaeological zone costs 25,000 Kyat (around $19 USD) and the temples can be explored by foot, bike, or hot air balloon. I recomend doing some combination of all three! Exploring by foot/bike allows you to go inside a few of the temples that are accessible to the public, you're also able to get amazing photos during sunset (arrive early to secure a great view). 

At nearly $400 USD per person, hot air balloon is certainly the most expensive way to explore the temples but it's also a unique experience you'll never forget.  I'd never understood the appeal of hot air balloons but after my experience with Golden Eagle Ballooning  I am eager to do it again.  It was a great way to see more temples but what I really enjoyed was flying over the villages and getting a peak into how the Burmese people really live.

Hot air balloon Bagan

When it was too hot to visit anymore temples, I returned to my hotel, the Aureum Palace.  It is an older property but the facilities are very well maintained and the staff is exceptionally helpful. The hotel has an amazing location right in the middle of the Archaeological zone, which means you can even view the temples while enjoying a dip in the pool!   In addition to Bagan, they have properties in Ngapali and Inle, they offer packages that organize transportation and accommodation for all of Myanmar's top sites. I was limited on time this trip but would love to stay with them again in the future. Rooms are between $140-250 USD per night depending on the time of year. 

If you've been to Myanmar or are planning to visit soon, shoot me a message, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

My Go To Travel Outfit

Clarion Alley San Francisco

Hats

Maxi Dresses

Totes

Flats

My Favorite Places in London

354A3605.jpg
Why, Sir, you find no man, at all intellectual, who is willing to leave London. No, Sir, when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford.
— Samuel Johnson

Stay

Rosewood London Hotel Entrance

Rosewood London 

https://www.rosewoodhotels.com/en/london

The Rosewood London is, by far, my favorite hotel in the city if not all of Europe.  Housed in a magnificently renovated Edwardian mansion that once served as headquarters to the Pearl Assurance Company, the hotel is conveniently located in High Holborn and within walking distance to many restaurants, bars, and West End Theaters, as well as excellent shopping in nearby Covent Garden.  The true standout of the Rosewood though is the incredible atmosphere created by famed interior designer Tony Chi, who managed to fuse Asian touch points with the best of British design to create a truly unique space to London.  If a stay at the Rosewood is a bit out of reach, you must stop by for a drink at the Scarfes Bar.  They're rumoured to be the best cocktails in the country and the atmosphere is incredible, the perfect mix of contemporary London eccentricity and Downton Abbey opulence!

Eat

The Ivy Chelsea Garden

The Ivy Chelsea Garden 

http://theivychelseagarden.com/

The Ivy Chelsea Garden has the best brunch in London, beautiful atmosphere and an extensive menu, there's something for everyone but I recommend the truffled scrambled eggs.

Sketch London

Sketch

https://sketch.london/

One of London's best known restaurants, Sketch is too beautiful not to be included, its the perfect spot for afternoon tea with your best girlfriends!

Berner's Tavern

Berner's Tavern

http://www.bernerstavern.com/

 Jason Atherton uses the highest quality ingredients to create a healthier (and more vegetarian friendly!) take on traditional british cuisine.

Explore

Victoria and Albert Museum London

Victoria and Albert Museum

The world's leading museum of art and design, sure to be a hit with any fashion lover!

https://www.vam.ac.uk/

Chelsea Physic Garden London

Chelsea Physic Garden 

http://chelseaphysicgarden.co.uk/

The second oldest botanical garden in the UK and a perfect place to spend an afternoon reading, also a great place to do lunch on the weekends. 

The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection

http://www.wallacecollection.org/

A free national museum with a beautiful collection of art and artifacts housed in a historic London town home.  Less crowded than the bigger museums with nearly as much to see makes for a much more pleasant viewing experience.

Daunt Books London

Daunt Books

http://www.dauntbooks.co.uk/

An Edwardian bookshop on Marylebone High Street, where books are arranged by country, rather than alphabetically,  so guides, maps, fiction and non-fiction sit alongside one another for a unique browsing experience and the perfect place to start planning your next trip.

 

Barcelona

Photos by Orlando Rivera

Photos by Orlando Rivera

Shop the Look

Hello, World!

Checking In: The Peninsula Paris

Hotel Peninsula Paris

A few steps away away from the Iconic Arc de Triomphe, Chinese Foo Dogs guard the entrance to Paris' newest 5 Star accommodation, The Hotel Peninsula Paris. The 19th century building originally opened its doors as the Grand Hotel in 1908. Even then, it was considered one of the most luxurious accommodations in the city.  It hosted many famous figures including Pablo Picasso and Marcel Proust, and was home to many historically important events, such as the founding of the League of Nations (a predecessor to the UN).  After several decades, the hotel fell on hard times, it changed ownership and the once magnificent property became an ill maintained government conference center.

In 2007, the building was purchased by a Qatar based property group, Barwa Real Estate, and Hong Kong and Shanghai Hotels, Ltd. Together, they spent nearly $1 billion dollars funding a six year renovation to restore the building's prestige, reopening it as the Peninsula Group's first European property. 

No expense was spared during the renovations.  Over six years, nearly 3,000 workers were involved including numerous restoration and art specialists. The beautiful lobby staircase was created by Schwartz & Meurer, who constructed the Eiffel Tower, the interior gilding was done by the same family owned company who worked on the Statue of Liberty, and all of the roof tiles were hand fashioned by the city's most talented craftsmen.  Upon completion, the per room cost came in a staggering $4 million.

Inside the Peninsula, you'll find delicate crystal leaves decorating the lobby ceiling, six restaurants (including one on the rooftop with panoramic views of the Eiffel Tower), a luxurious spa with an indoor pool, and 200 stunning rooms.  Each room allows the guest free phone calls anywhere in the world and is outfitted with the latest technologies (a hallmark of the brand, you can read more about this here ) , including a printer, coffee machine, a nail polish dryer and an iPad centralizing all functions from dimming lights to ordering breakfast.

Another hallmark of the brand are their motor vehicles, the Peninsula Paris offers a fleet of BMWs, Mini-Coopers, and Rolls Royces to transport guests around town during their stay.  Every aspect of the hotel is created with the guest experience in mind.  There are 600 staff on hand, including masseuses and cigar connoisseurs, to cater to the whims of each and every guest. The Peninsula Academy includes several customizable courses in arts, language, and culinary topics to create a unique Parisian experience for every guest.  

Being one of the mostly highly anticipated hotel openings this decade, the expectations I had were quite high. I'm happy to report that my expectations were exceeded across the board, the hotel was more beautiful than I could ever have imagined in addition to being very functional, the location couldn't have been better and the staff were friendly and attentive. Every minute of my stay at the Peninsula Paris was truly luxurious, I cannot recommend it highly enough.

Thank you to the Peninsula Paris for an incredible stay, I look forward to visiting again soon!  For booking information please visit their site

Outfit: Dress | Shoes | Earrings (on sale now)

Photos by Alina Kuznetsova

Harajuku Girl

Raincoat: Ted Baker | Top: NastyGal | Denim: J Brand | Shoes: Ted Baker | Photos: Lisa

Raincoat: Ted Baker | Top: NastyGal | Denim: J Brand | Shoes: Ted Baker | Photos: Lisa

Harajuku is hands down my favorite place in Tokyo.  Like most Americans, my first exposure to this wacky and wonderful neighborhood was through Gwen Stefani and her #squad of Harajuku girls.  Their colorful style was unlike anything I'd seen before, and I was obsessed!    It took me nearly a decade to visit the origin of the style I've adored for so many years but it was well worth the wait.  I could spend days wandering through the quirky boutiques, sampling local treats, and ogling the street style.  

In case you aren't as Japan obsessed as I am, Harajuku is a neighborhood, spreading from Shibuya to Omotesando, that is known as the epicenter of Japanese youth culture and fashion.  This article provides a great overview of the area's history. The most famous streets in the area are Takeshita, Cat Street, and Omotesando.  

Harajuku style is a collective term used to refer to the stylish young people that hang out in the neighborhood, it encompasses several styles, including:

1. Lolita-Influenced by the Victorian period, Lolita style is one of the Harajuku styles westerners are most familiar with.  Lolita fashions are usually very feminine, characterized by the appearance of petticoats, knee length dresses, and lots of bows and lace. There are several subsets of Lolita fashion, inclding GothicLoli, CountryLoli, and many more.

Image sourced via www.lfnista.wordpress.com

Image sourced via www.lfnista.wordpress.com

2. Decora-Derived from the word "decoration", decora style is characterized by loud colors and excessive ornamentation using everything from barrettes and ribbons  to stuffed animals and dolls.

Image sourced via www.tokyofashion.com

Image sourced via www.tokyofashion.com

3. Cosplay - Cosplay, short for "costume play", is a style inspired by popular Manga and Video Game characters.  

Image sourced via www.directjapan.wordpress.com

Image sourced via www.directjapan.wordpress.com

4. Ganguro- Ganguro style is essentially an extreme version of the quintessential California girl. The look is characterized by Orange skin, hair dyed blonde or grey, and lots of makeup, especially white under eye concealer.  (This is also what I look like when I try to contour :) )  

Image sourced via www.walkfashioncrazy.wordpress.com 

Image sourced via www.walkfashioncrazy.wordpress.com 

If you'd like to learn more about the fashions of Harajuku, I recommend checking out the sites below. 

 

www.tokyofashion.com

www.tokyofaces.com

www.japanesestreets.com

A Visit To Meiji Shrine

Top: Nastygal | Skirt: Karen Millen | Shoes: J. Crew | Bag: Coach Legacy | Photos:  Paint With Stars

 

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I was in Tokyo at the beginning of September.  This was my second visit to this wonderful city and I was excited to explore areas that I hadn't seen the first time around. 

One of the places I visited was Tokyo's most famous Shinto shrine, Meiji Shrine.  Ito Chuta, who is one of the most famous architects in Japanese history, designed the shrine which was then constructed in the early 19th history and was dedicated to the Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken.  Unfortunately, the original structure was destroyed during the Tokyo Air Raids of World War II and had to be rebuilt in the 1950s.  

Built on nearly 200 acres of evergreen forest,  the shrine feels like a tranquil oasis worlds away from the frenetic energy of the city center, in spite of the fact that its only a few minutes walk to Harajuku.  Tokyo's skyscrapers are hidden by the gargantuan trees lining the pathway to the inner precinct. Upon entering the main structure, visitors should stop for a dip at the cleansing station to purify themselves before making a prayer, which can be done by writing your wish on a piece of paper and attaching it to the prayer wall.

Meiji shrine is frequented by tourists and locals alike, making it an ideal place to observe the juxtaposition of old and new that is intrinsic to Tokyo.  While taking in the beauty of the shrine, I witnessed a wedding procession with the bride and groom decorated in traditional garb.  I would have loved to have taken photos but didn't want to intrude on their special day.  Traditional weddings usually take place on Sundays so I was incredibly lucky to have seen one during my visit, as it was a Friday afternoon.  I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to this beautiful place and hope you all have the opportunity to see it one day soon as well.

*All photos in this post were taken by the sweet and talented Lisa of Paint with Stars, you can see more of her work at www.paintwithstars.com . If you are looking for a photographer in the area, I highly recommend her. :)

 

 

 

 

Lunch at the world's cutest cafe

sourced from Hong Kong Coconuts When meeting new people, I'm often asked how I ended up in Hong Kong.  I've answered this question so many times now that my response has become robotic as I rattle off something about a love of travel and increased career opportunities. These are both true but my interest in Asia really began with Hello Kitty. I'm not quite sure when or how I first discovered this adorable, felinesque character (in case you missed this article  she's a British girl named Kitty, not an actual cat), but it became an immediate obsession, I just couldn't get enough of her! Over the years, I collected a rather large collection of Hello Kitty memorabilia, including everything from lunchboxes and school supplies to Karaoke machines, toasters, and even  Champagne glasses! For years, I insisted my bridesmaids would be wearing Hello Kitty dresses at my wedding, thankfully I grew out of that phase before I got married, much to their (and my husband's) relief.  I may have outgrown her, but old habits die hard.  So when I heard a Hello Kitty dim sum restaurant had opened in Hong Kong, I couldn't resist checking it out. 

sourced from Hong Kong Coconuts

When meeting new people, I'm often asked how I ended up in Hong Kong.  I've answered this question so many times now that my response has become robotic as I rattle off something about a love of travel and increased career opportunities. These are both true but my interest in Asia really began with Hello Kitty.

I'm not quite sure when or how I first discovered this adorable, felinesque character (in case you missed this article  she's a British girl named Kitty, not an actual cat), but it became an immediate obsession, I just couldn't get enough of her! Over the years, I collected a rather large collection of Hello Kitty memorabilia, including everything from lunchboxes and school supplies to Karaoke machines, toasters, and even  Champagne glasses! For years, I insisted my bridesmaids would be wearing Hello Kitty dresses at my wedding, thankfully I grew out of that phase before I got married, much to their (and my husband's) relief. 

I may have outgrown her, but old habits die hard.  So when I heard a Hello Kitty dim sum restaurant had opened in Hong Kong, I couldn't resist checking it out. 

In honor of the occasion, I threw on my Tarina Tarantino Pink Head Hello Kitty necklace and met up with three of my closest friends who were nice enough to indulge me on this adventure. 

In honor of the occasion, I threw on my Tarina Tarantino Pink Head Hello Kitty necklace and met up with three of my closest friends who were nice enough to indulge me on this adventure. 

The restaurant doesn't take reservations so the wait to get in was around one hour. Juliana and I got lost on the way there so Courtney and Megan put our names in and we were able to walk in almost as soon as we arrived. Sorry guys! :)  Once in, the staff was quick and efficient. 

The restaurant doesn't take reservations so the wait to get in was around one hour. Juliana and I got lost on the way there so Courtney and Megan put our names in and we were able to walk in almost as soon as we arrived. Sorry guys! :)  Once in, the staff was quick and efficient. 

Menus are available in both Chinese and English.  The food served here is traditional Cantonese made from mostly organic ingredients, for example the dye used to create her whiskers is made of organic beetroot.

Menus are available in both Chinese and English.  The food served here is traditional Cantonese made from mostly organic ingredients, for example the dye used to create her whiskers is made of organic beetroot.

Everything in the restaurant had Hello Kitty's face on it, from the china to the furniture.  They were even selling Hello Kitty wine!

Everything in the restaurant had Hello Kitty's face on it, from the china to the furniture.  They were even selling Hello Kitty wine!

The dishes were reasonably priced and the cutenesss was off the charts.  Unfortunately, the food didn't taste nearly as good as it looked.  In fact, it was absolutely horrible.  Quite possibly the worst meal I've ever tasted and that's saying a lot after 5 years in China! All of us are quite adventurous when it comes to food but there wasn't a single dish that any of us took more than one bite of as everything was oily and bland.  The pictures alone were worth a visit but I don't think any of us will be returning anytime soon, sorry Kitty!

The dishes were reasonably priced and the cutenesss was off the charts.  Unfortunately, the food didn't taste nearly as good as it looked.  In fact, it was absolutely horrible.  Quite possibly the worst meal I've ever tasted and that's saying a lot after 5 years in China! All of us are quite adventurous when it comes to food but there wasn't a single dish that any of us took more than one bite of as everything was oily and bland.  The pictures alone were worth a visit but I don't think any of us will be returning anytime soon, sorry Kitty!

Cooking class at the Oberoi NEw Delhi

As a vegetarian, Indian food has been a staple of my diet for many years. While most cuisines treat vegetables as an afterthought, the Indians prepare them with such creativity that even carnivores are left feeling sated.  I've always wanted to learn to make it, but there are so many spices I'm unfamiliar with that I was too intimidated to try it by myself. Which is why I was thrilled for the opportunity to take an introductory cooking course with the Chef at the Oberoi Hotel in New Delhi.  In a few short hours, I learned how to make a simple and delicious North Indian style vegetable curry as well as a traditional Indian bread called Parantha. Much to my surprise, I've found that it is actually very easy to recreate at home.  I've included the recipes below so that you try to make it as well. I'm complete rubbish in the kitchen so I know that if I can do it, anyone can. Enjoy!

Mixed Vegetable Curry

Ingredients: 

30gms Cauliflower

30gms Greenbeans 

30gms Carrot

30gms Greenpeas

10ml Oil

2gms Cumin

1 cup (chopped) Onion

1/2 cup (half chopped, half pureed) Tomato

1tbsp Red Chili Powder

1/2tbsp Turmeric

3tbsp Coriander powder

1tbsp Cumin powder

Salt, to taste

1tbsp (chopped) Ginger

2(chopped) Green Chilis

1tbsp (chopped) Cilantro

1tbsp Cream

1/2tsp Kasoori Methi (dried fenugreek powder)

Method:

1. Heat the oil and add cumin.  Stir until the cumin begins to crackle than add the chopped ginger and green chili. 

2.Add onion and fry to brown color, then add the red chili, turmeric and coriander power.  Cook on slow fire for another 2 minutes with the addition of a table spoon of hot water.

3. Add chopped tomato, mix and cook for 10 minutes until tomatoes are lightly mashed.

4. Add all of the vegetables except the green peas.  Add enough water and cover with a lid.  Cook for around 5 minutes or until the vegetables are completed cooked.

5. Add the green peas.

6. Add pureed tomato and salt, bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes.

7. Add ginger, green chili and green coriander then mix well.

8. Add the fresh cream and Kasoori Methi, adjust seasoning and serve hot.

Parantha

Ingredients:

2 cups wheat flour

water as per requirement

5gms Salt

20ml Clarified Butter

Method:

1. Knead soft dough with above ingredients leaving the clarified butter. Leave it for at least 30 minutes.

2. Roll into small ball shapes.

3. Roll into a thin round, use dry flour to assist as needed.

4. Apply a small amount of clarified butter and shape it into a triangle.

5. Roll the parantha in the shape of a triangle.

6. Heat stove and place the parantha on it. When brown spots appear on one side, turn it.  When the other side turns brown, turn it again.

7. Apply clarified butter on both sides. Remove from the stove and serve hot. 

Los Angeles Travel Diary

  There's nothing in this world that makes me feel more alive than exploring somewhere I've never been. I love taking in the sights, sounds and smells that make a place what it is; getting lost and making new friends along the way.  No matter how big or small, I believe every city has something unique to offer and I feel immensely privileged to have the opportunity to experience each and every one.

However, there comes a point in every traveller's journey when they wind up in a city that they just don't love. While they appreciate having been, they're left wondering what all of the fuss was about, and with no desire to return.  For me, that place was LA. Don't get me wrong, its not that its a horrible place (I mean, can any city with beaches ever be truly terrible?) but people talk about LA as if its the greatest thing in America and I just don't understand why.  It's expensive, it's difficult to navigate, and with the exception of theme parks, it doesn't offer anything that couldn't be found in every other metropolitan city in America for less money and half the commute time.  I'd pick Dallas over LA any day of the week. 

For these reasons, I avoid the city as much as possible.  Given that I live 7,000 miles away, this is usually an easy task.  But a few months ago, I was invited to attend a training by Patti Stanger and I couldn't resist the opportunity to learn from the Millionaire Matchmaker herself, even if it meant spending a week in my not so favorite city.  Since I had to be there anyways, I decided to go into my visit with an open mind and really try to understand what makes people get so crazy for this city. Much to my surprise, it worked! So if you've never been to LA or, like me, ever felt that LA just wasn't for you, I've shared my itinerary below in the hopes that you enjoy it a little bit more on your next visit. :)

After 24 hours straight of travel I'm always desperate for a shower, a snack and a nap.  I went through immigration, picked up my luggage, and hopped in a cab as quickly as I could. Forty-five minutes later we pulled through the ivy covered porte cochere of the London West Hollywood.  The staff were friendly and efficient, I was checked in and up to my room in no time at all. 

I immediately fell in love with the hotel's modern and luxurious decor as I'm a sucker for anything art deco.  The lobby area even featured these Mithchell Gold + Bob Williams Ansel Brass Chairs I've been lusting after for years. 

The entire property is beautiful but the standout of the hotel is truly the rooftop pool and dining area. It's the perfect place to have a glass of champagne and take in unparalleled views of the city.  I felt as though I was living in a Slim Aaron's photo. 

The next morning, I woke up and checked my Instagram only to realize I'd nearly forgotten one of our country's most important holidays-National Donut Day. Fortunately, I'd woken up ridiculously early (#jetlagproblems) which left plenty of time for researching the best donut shop in town so that we wouldn't miss out on the festivities.  Crisis averted.

After consuming a delicious and balanced breakfast from SK Donuts, we headed to Rodeo Drive for an afternoon of shopping.  It is a beautiful area and I enjoyed walking around but it's probably better for people watching than shopping, unless you're looking to drop some major $$$. However, I did end up  making  one purchase that day that I'm excited to share on here very soon!

After a full day of shopping, we met friends for dinner at Wolfgang Puck's Flagship restaurant, Spago . The ambience was good, the food was great, and the company couldn't be beat. We headed to Chateau Marmont for one last round of drinks then called it a night. 

The next morning, we grabbed a cab to Santa Monica where we had brunch at True Food Kitchen (I would eat here every day if I could) and did a bit more shopping to stock up on things that are difficult to  find in Hong Kong.  Later, we dropped off our bags and rented bikes to ride along the beach, all the way to the Venice Boardwalk where we ended up going into the Venice Beach Freak Show.  If you haven't heard of it before, it's a bit like a mini Circus where people with exceptional talents showcase their unique, and often very dangerous, skills. It's only about twenty minutes long and the routines change every week.  I recommend going at least once but, I will warn you that it is not easy to watch.  Those performers must have nerves of steel!

I didn't do any other sightseeing as the rest of my time was spent in training with Patti.  Overall, it was a great trip and LA just might be growing on me...