family, Vacation

Los Angeles 2017

We flew to LA right after San Fran.  I love it because I don’t have to sit in a car for 6 hours aka I’m not a road trip person.  Not because I hate driving, I just can’t stand boredom.  I also have the world’s tiniest bladder so I avoid drinking water and I hate looking for washrooms.  Well, you know what I mean, right?

I have been to LA many times because my mom’s family lives there.  I love visiting my grandmother and all my cousins, but it’s definitely not a place I want to stay for a long time.  Before showing pics of all the incredible food I consumed, I want to share three things I’ve never experienced in LA.


This is my first time staying at an Airbnb.  Let’s start off with the good points.  I rented the whole house so we can have our privacy.  It’s generally more affordable, especially when you’re traveling in a small group.  My brother and his girlfriend joined us, so if you break it down, it’s more cost effective than staying at a hotel.  We also have access to the fully-stocked kitchen, which was perfect for my brother since he cooks breakfast almost every day.

Staying at an Airbnb, you will get a feel of the city as a local.  I was lucky to find a really good host.  Whenever I have any questions, he will get back to me within 10 minutes (even at 1 am).  Also, the host is the perfect person to ask for any food or shopping recommendations.

Of course, there will be some drawbacks.  It may not be as cheap as a hotel when you factor in taxes and cleaning fees.  There is a lack of amenities and customer service.  People who need to change their towels every day, would not have that option.  The host only provides enough for the occupants (although you may definitely ask for more).

The location might not be ideal.  When I booked this Airbnb, I didn’t consult with my relatives about the location.  A few of them said it was a “shady” area, but luckily it was fine for us.  We left our valuables at my grandmother’s house.  Another disadvantage is your options may be limited when something goes wrong.  Such as if the air conditioning doesn’t work, you will not get the first-hand attention.  You will probably have to wait, sometimes for a very long time.

Would I do use it again?  I’m not sure.  I like the freedom of having a place on my own, but I also like the 24/7 service from the hotel.  I guess it depends on who I’m traveling with.  But, I think everyone should try it out at least once in their lifetime.

Uber and Lyft:

We don’t have Uber in Vancouver, but I heard it’s coming next year.  I can’t wait!  The very first time I tried Uber was in Europe (will talk about that in my Europe post).  I used Lyft for the very first time in Las Vegas.  I was skeptical of it at first.  I mean how convenient can it be?   Fortunately, I asked my sister how it works and before I know it, I was obsessed with this service.  I used Lyft 3 times during my stay in LV, and that was only 3 days and we had our own car.  Am I crazy?  Lol

I love the Uber and Lyft app.  It’s so easy to book.  They give you a fare estimate and the exact time when my driver will arrive.  Uber is awesome!  They provide a good-conditioned car.  Their drivers are safe and trustworthy and the rates are reasonable.  I mean what else can I ask for.  And if you want to save some money, you can also ride with others (providing if you are not in a hurry).  These are the reasons why I love riding in a stranger’s car.  Bravo to the guy who invented it!

Would I use it again?  You bet I will.  I can’t wait to hop on!

(Photo credit)

And the last thing I did in Los Angeles was paid respect to my deceased relatives.  There were a few people I wanted to pay tribute to.  The first is my uncle (my mom’s brother who passed away at a tender age of 19) due to an accident.  My memories of him are very vague as I was only 14 years old when he died.  I only met him a few times.  Luckily, whenever I see my grandmother, she would remind me how my uncle was.  He was kind, smart, and hard working.  He just graduated and would have a bright future ahead of him.  It is frequently said that the grief of bereaved parents may take a long time to heal, but they will never forget.  When I hear her talk, I can feel it deeply.  Her grief, love, and pain.

I also wanted to see my grandfather’s grave.  He recently passed away at age 103.  You probably remember him in this post.  I miss my grandfather, but I know he is in a better place.  He lived a fabulous life!  He refused to go to the hospital during his last few days.  Generally speaking, Chinese elders prefer to die at home where they are surrounded by their loved ones and it is said that it acquires good fortune to those who lived there.

I also went to pay respect to my grandfather’s older brother who passed away shortly after my uncle in 1989.  I have absolutely no memory of my great uncle, but he was my family member.

It was my very first time to the cemetery.  I went with my sisters, cousins and my aunt.  We only bought incense and flowers.  This was something I always wanted to do and I’m glad I did it.

So, that was what I did on my LA trip.  Now, let’s enjoy my food pics.

My cousin’s favourite dish (Walnut Shrimps) at a local Chinese restaurant.  We all love it too because of those candy-glazed walnuts.

This place is called Huge Tree Pastry.  They have the best Taiwanese style breakfast.  Everything was delicious and like any good restaurant, be prepared to wait.

Who doesn’t want a piece of Uncle Tetsu?  So soft and yummy, glad I was able to try it in LA.

We went to Quarters for dinner.  It is a trendy, Korean BBQ restaurant.  Service was incredible.  They cook for you the whole time, I totally felt spoiled.

Half & Half  has the best BBT place in Los Angeles!  If there is no such thing as calories, I would drink this every day!

No better warmth than having dinner with my relatives.

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5 Comment

  1. Reply
    Shireen L. Platt
    August 29, 2017 at 2:25 pm

    I have always wanted to try an AirBnB but my husband refuses and much prefer hotels mainly for amenities and services. Sounds like you had a good visit, Joanne and I too pay my respect to my ancestors whenever I visit my family back in Malaysia.

    Shireen⎜Reflection of Sanity

  2. Reply
    August 29, 2017 at 4:06 pm

    It sounds so lovely that you were able to spend all that time with your family. That really warms my heart to hear your family story. Look forward to seeing your Europe pics too!
    xoxo, mimi

  3. Reply
    August 30, 2017 at 8:43 am

    Great write-up of things youve never done in LA! and the food looks awesome! Mmm half and half…

  4. Reply
    A Very Sweet Blog
    August 31, 2017 at 10:25 am

    AirBnb’s can be tricky Jo! They give you pictures and you really have to rely on the reviews from previous guests. Glad everything went well for you their. I haven’t taken an Uber or Lyft yet. I plan to if going into the French Quarters, because parking is crazy. Thanks for sharing your experience. So glad you spend time with other family members. Also that you pay respect to deceased family members. I love that. You’re such a good person. You guys always have delicious looking food.

  5. Reply
    October 20, 2017 at 11:04 pm

    Great post! I miss LA already although I was just there again last month lol. The reason why I like it so much is because of the weather. You know how much I love the rain here. ? Can’t wait to go back to LA but maybe in a couple of years. Haha! Thanks for the recap of our fun summer vacation!?

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