safari disco club

so a lot of my posts are kinda depressing generally i think.  well, i recently got back from spring break.  i was so excited to finally travel somewhere…which i thought the mba was all about.  i didn’t get to travel before school and it’s been a few years since i’ve traveled internationally so i was happy to spend my spring break trek in two continents that were new to me–africa (south africa) and europe (netherlands).

our trek went to johannesburg and cape town in south africa, with a layover in amsterdam on our return flight back for a few hours.

we went on a couple safaris and saw a lot of animals:

zebras, south africa, mabula, game reserve

zebras on the mabula game reserve

giraffes, mabula game reserve, south africa

giraffes

impala, mabula game reserve, south africa

impala

rhinos, baby rhino, south africa, mabula game reserve

a lot of baby animals (!), including this playful baby rhino with mama

lions, lioness, mabula game reserve, south africa

lions

lion, mabula game reserve, south africa

king of the jungle

bush, mabula game reserve, south africa

…er, the bush

hippos, mabula game reserve, south africa

hippos

much better weather than i’ve returned to in nyc…with beaches and…

yacht, cape town, south africa

a yacht

cape town, south africa, beach, human pyramid

human pyramids

cape of good hope, light house, cape town, south africa

lighthouses

victoria & albert waterfront, v&a waterfront, harbor, cape town, south africa

waterfronts

table mountain, cape town, south africa

mountains + clouds

table mountain, south africa, cape town

cable cars

penguins, boulders, boulder beach, cape town, south africa

even penguins!

vincent van gogh, string doll, amsterdam, netherlands, holland

and of course, vincent…with a special appearance in his motherland

and lots of jumping, cartwheels, flips, ACTION shots…

and of course a lottttt of drinking, dancing, and getting turnt up…

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feed the tourist

it hasn’t even been a month since business school started and it’s already so tiring and crazy.  i can’t imagine once fall recruiting begins.  i’m so behind and there’s so much to do.

labor day weekend was a couple weeks ago and a special person from california came all the way to visit me.  too bad for him the seasons changed suddenly after he left, because it was really hot and humid while he was here.

we did a lot but there’s still a ton more to do, so he should come back…and you should come visit too!

i’m a fat ass so it’s no surprise that a lot of the following photos are of food.  as of now, i still prefer ca but nyc does have a lot of great food and bars.

my hood…is not so nice. i’m pretty sure 2/3 of the buildings in this photo are projects…

yummy waffle from waffles + dinges

picnic @ central park

colorful macarons from the famous parisian maison laduree

so swirly, the guggenheim

of course, lots of pizza! ah-rue-guh-la

street art by the high line

the high line a la diorama…and more pizza a la artichoke

cloud city or new york city? @ the met

and of course, much more…bars, the book of mormon, y moooore food.

come visit, pretty please?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MOVE. EAT. LEARN.

so apparently that cool travel video i posted several days ago was part of a series for sta travel.  the one i posted was entitled “move”, and the other 2 are “eat” and “learn”.  i must say these are pretty effective viral marketing tools.  i know i like to move (travel, not exercise), eat, and learn (well, sorta) anyways.

 

 

and here’s “move” again so you can see them all together:

poland: my next summer travel adventure

have any of you watched disney’s take on rapunzel, tangled?  there’s a beautiful scene/tradition of these floating candle-lit lanterns.  my colleague was telling me about how this actually happens somewhere, which made me really excited because it sounds amazing.  i was surprised that it was real though since it sounds like a fire hazard but i’ll let the officials be responsible for that…i want to play!

tangled must’ve been inspired by the midsummer’s eve kupala day celebrations that take place in poznań, poland.  i’ve actually been making a to-do list of activities/goals after i finish applying and get accepted to business school and some of my top goals include travel.  i especially want to see europe as i’ve never been there before, and this will probably be the only time i have so much spare time to spend a month or two traversing that continent (even if i have no money, i don’t care).  i definitely want to incorporate this into my europe trip.  the photos below were stolen from urban aviatrix.

doesn’t this look amazing?  who else wants to go with me?  save up!

never stay at planet hollywood vegas

so i recently took my mom to las vegas for mother’s day/her birthday since she hasn’t been to las vegas in about 10 years or so and the strip looks pretty different now then it did the last time she was there.  i found a pretty good deal at planet hollywood and had never stayed there, but it was such a bad experience that i had to blog about it.  the last time i was in vegas, i stayed at the cosmopolitan and while it was bad enough to prompt my boyfriend to write a bad review for it on yelp and tripadvisor, i wasn’t too upset and would give it another chance.  but planet hollywood was terrible and i’m inclined to never stay at any harrah’s/caesar’s properties again.  how could they have messed up so badly?  let me count the ways.

  1. when we checked-in, their computers were down and they couldn’t issue any room keys so we had to wait forever (keep in mind that we had a show to catch in about an hour…there was a couple in front of me that canceled their reservation and looked for a different hotel)
  2. the room needs to be renovated as it’s pretty worn out…but i didn’t hold it against them
  3. there weren’t that many lights in the room, one of them needed its bulb replaced
  4. there was no mini fridge…not a big deal for me, but my mom wanted to refrigerate something.  i was pretty surprised by this…how ever will they rip off their customers?
  5. the speakerphone on our phone was broken
  6. the tv’s sound kept going in/out
  7. whenever my mom called housekeeping/front desk, they put her on hold for a very long time and sometimes even hung up on her!
  8. we were locked out of our rooms when both our keys wouldn’t work
  9. i tried to use the phone by the elevators about this problem, but it was broken
  10. i went down and waited in line for the front desk to get the problem fixed, and was given an attitude by the woman helping me.  she told me that the cards had been demagnetized, that’s why they weren’t working, and not to keep them near other credit cards or cell phones
  11. holding the key cards in my hand the entire time, i go upstairs and they still don’t work
  12. pretty pissed by this point, i come back down and the line is much longer.  i tell the guy working that i would like to speak to the manager
  13. the manager makes me wait for a very long time (i think he was on a phone call)
  14. i tell him that our experience at the hotel has been rather unpleasant and he offers to give me 50% off one night’s rate.  this isn’t too much since i had booked the deal at a very affordable rate and when i ask if this is the best he can do and he says yes, i accept
  15. we ask for an escort to our room to make sure the keys work because i do not want to come back down a third time and he’s kind enough to arrange technicians to make sure we get in ok
  16. since i had already paid in full when i booked the hotel, i asked if i’d be credited on my card and he says yes.
  17. throughout this experience, i am most offended that the woman i spoke with, and especially the manager, never apologized.  when you work in hospitality, service should be a top priority and even if it’s not your fault directly, you can still say something like “i’m sorry that happened, let me see what i can do”
  18. the vending machine on our floor ate my mom’s money then broke
  19. this trip was about a week and a half ago and i realized yesterday that i had not seen my credit card credited yet
  20. i had to call them today to have it processed

i don’t know…am i expecting too much?  have i been spoiled by nicer hotels?  i know this isn’t a five-star hotel, but it’s still supposed to be pretty decent, and i would think that the level of service should be better.  i don’t think i’m asking for too much…i’ve stayed at nicer hotels, but i’ve also stayed at worse ones and never had these kinds of problems.  this has been the worst stay and hotel service i’ve experienced so far, and i hope it stays that way.

i will never stay at planet hollywood again, and i have my doubts for the rest of the brand now.

the china comic & animation museum (ccam)

i saw renderings of and was pretty excited for the china comic and animation museum (ccam) but i didn’t realize that china is hoping to overtake the u.s.  in animation.  whoa whoa, china…a little ambitious trying to transform hangzhou into the animation capital of the world.

the best animation studios and histories are from the u.s., but even still, let’s not forget japan and korea.  a lot of animation is currently outsourced but none of these studios are getting acclaim for the work they’re producing, because well…it’s not really theirs to own.  if they want to be true animation masters, that means more than the technical animation–it means they have to be master storytellers, because that’s the real key (i.e. pixar, disney in the “golden age”).  most entertainment globally is still coming from hollywood/the u.s., i’m not sure how china plans on breaking this–even bollywood hasn’t done it and it’s been doing it for a lot longer.

but in any case, the museum designed by mvrdv still looks amazing and i hope to visit some day…especially since i’ve never really been to china.

mvrdv designed the buildings to look like 3d speech/thought bubbles…cute right?

for more information on the museum and how spending $130 million may not be the best way to stimulate china’s economy, read fast company design‘s piece on the subject.

travel deal | airfare between la + vegas only $9!

hurry, this is unbelievable!  spirit airlines is offering airfare for just $9 between los angeles and las vegas!  it ends up being about $39 round trip…which is amazing because i jumped at jetblue’s $19 fare (pre-taxes/fees) each way between long beach and las vegas and this is much less.

the sale is to celebrate its new non-stop service between the two cities and available on tuesday-wednesday departures starting may 10th – june 15th.

visit spirit airlines for more details and to BOOK! DO IT!

travel deal | intercontinental hotels group brand-wide sale 65% off

intercontinental hotels group (ihg) is discounting their rates at all their hotels through april.  this is impressive since ihg has over 4,400 hotels across the world.

and to sweeten the deal, if you pay with a visa credit card, stay 2 consecutive nights friday – sunday through april, you can get reimbursed up to $100 on checked-bag fees charged by the airline.

top deals include:

  • Staybridge Suites ATLANTA Buckhead
    $73-$85 Feb. 25-26; March 4-5; weekends April 8-30
  • Holiday Inn Midtown 57th Street NEW YORK CITY
    $77 Feb. 27-28; $125 March 9-10, 13-15
  • InterContinental TAMPA
    $83 April 22-23, 29-30; $97 April 15-16; $104 April 1-2, 8-9
  • Holiday Inn Georgetown WASHINGTON, D.C.
    $89 Feb. 19-21; $99 Feb. 18; March 4-5, 11-12
  • Avenue Crowne Plaza CHICAGO Magnificent Mile
    $98 April 17-24 (Easter week) 
  • Holiday Inn Express BOSTON Cambridge
    $102 Feb. 26; $119 Feb. 25, 27-28; $127 March 1-18
  • Holiday Inn Fisherman’s Wharf SAN FRANCISCO
    $111 March 2-3, 6-10; $120 March 13-17, 20-24, 27-31
  • InterContinental HOUSTON
    $108-$119 weekends through March 26
  • InterContinental DALLAS
    $109-$112 weekends March 18 – April 30
  • Crowne Plaza PHILADELPHIA West
    $128 Feb. 26-28; March 4-5, 11-12, 25-26; April 1-2
  • Holiday Inn Express Century City LOS ANGELES
    $139 most dates through April

this deal was stolen from travelzoo, so get more details on their page.  a little warning, they’re advertising it as 65% off but please keep in mind the fine print: “as much as 65% less than comparable hotels.”  but it’s still a good deal regardless, so take advantage before it ends february 25th.

travel deal | virgin airfare between la/sf + chicago $99

virgin’s having a great sale on non-stop flights between los angeles (lax) or san francisco (sfo) to chicago (ord) for $99!  this is one of the lowest fares i’ve seen and virgin is just plain awesome.  i’ve flown lax to sfo on virgin before and it’s the nicest airline i’ve ever been on and almost wished my flight was longer (almost).  so flying lax to ord would be quite nice…especially since i plan on going to chicago in the next few months to visit campuses for business school.  so i may take advantage of this deal, but it only applies for flights after may 25, which may be too late for me since i want to sit in on some classes.  this promotion ends february 21st, so grab a seat at virgin!