Taipei is a great place which is very modern but also full of traditions. The Taipei 101 is the 8th largest building in the world and has an amazing luxury mall at the bottom of it. While I was there I went to the Hello Kitty Restaurant it was out of this world with all things Hello Kitty! It was really fun to have tea time at the restaurant. There is a lot of street art around Taipei and some of the coolest examples where at Huashan 1914 Creative Park. This is a park which has traditional and trendy new restaurants, amazing gourmet coffee (a best kept secret that Taipei has amazing coffee houses), and also pop-up shops for artists and creatives of all kinds. The more traditional side of Taipei is all their night markets, street food, hot springs and tea time all which where a great experience.
Zermatt is not an easy place to get to but is worth the travel time. You have to take a 4 hour train ride through the mountains from Geneva to get there. Once there, I was told to try the hot chocolate but was warned it might reuin all other hot chocolate. It was amazing. We went to the top of Gornergrat to get an amazing view of the Matterhorn. The town is large in size but no cars are allowed unless for commercial use and they must be electric. This is to make sure not to ruin the view of the Alps and the surrounding environment. Zermatt is a place in the Alps where you can sky into Italy for the day which is very unique. I was there for New Years and on NYE fireworks are legal and people are allowed to shoot them off into street and drink in the street because there are no cars. It was crazy how many fireworks where going off and dancing in front of the main church outside.
San Francisco has everything you could want. This wasn't my first time up there but it was my little brother's first time up there. I find when taking someone to a place they have never been before but you have you rediscover things you love and hate about a experience. I foot how much fun riding the trolley was and how amazing the Golden Gate Bridge is. Also sourdough bread there is just the best. I forget how big and impressive the Monterey Bay Aquarium is all in all it was a great road trip and a good to spending time with the littlest brother.
This was my first time at Yosemite National Park during the winter (January) and man it was cold! Yosemite is a whole other experience in the winter. I saw waterfalls freezing in mid-air and then braking off and falling, a portion of the John Muir Trail, Half Dome, and the Mariposa Grove with famous trees. My favorite was the Faithful Couple but it's hard to choose because they are all such amazing giants.
Jackson Flats is a private campground which for large group camping. We wanted to go last minute and it was the only site open so I booked it. It was felt like we had no neighbors because the site was so large. Also the site was about 1/4 mile from the PCT so we had a chance to hike a bit of it. The section of the trail was beautiful filled with all types of wild flowers in bloom.
Bali is the most spiritual place I have ever visited. I had never been exposed to the Hindu Balinese culture prior to going to Bali. We stayed in Ubud and where fortunate enough to experience the Cremation Ceremony which only happens once every 3 to 4 years. I fell in love with Ubud which is know as the town of a 1000 temples. The best part of Bali besides the food and beautiful landscape where the people. The Balinese are the most kind people in whole and really make Bali the place it is today. I also was able to take a Batik class, visit the Monkey Forest and many beautiful temples.
This 3 night camping trip was packed with hiking, giant trees, and bears! Lodgepole is the Disneyland of campgrounds having everything from beautiful hikes ending in with waterfalls, tons of wildlife all around, rivers, the grove of giant Sequoias, and beautiful wild flowers. We had a young bear trying to get food the whole time we where there and he even came into our campsite the last night to try and get a s'more! Luckily we where able to scare him off by making loud noises. I can't wait to go back to explore more.
Venice is like no other city in the world. I was lucky enough to be there when Acqua Alta occured. In other words the city flooded. Walking through the streets on wooden planks and watching local children play on small rafts in San Marco Square is something I'll never forget. Venice is a place where you can easily eat a pizza bigger then you. The craftsmanship on the island is incredible. The hand blown glass and hand made lace is becoming a lost art but was amazing to see in person.