Yosemite with Family

  12/28/2018. For New Year’s, my sister surprised my parents and took them up to Yosemite. Unfortunately, because of the government shutdown, many sections of Yosemite were closed off. But because the Chen family doesn’t believe in the law of inertia, we pushed forward and discovered even more amazing trails off the beaten path. We even had a buffet at the Chikchansi Gold ...

Boulder: Irene & Aaron

  12/12/2018. I went to visit my friends Irene and Aaron in Gunbarrel, Colorado. They had just moved out there from SF at the beginning of the year. Here we are at Avery Brewing. Really cool cloud. Here are the Flatirons near Boulder! Incredible. The path was icy and Irene and I fell a lot. Aaron did not fall. Here we are at Acreage Ciderhouse & Eatery. Incredible views all around! ...

Kiev

  06/28/2018. Here are Erwan and Arthur from France! We went to Chernobyl together, and now we are spending some time in Kiev together. Good times! This meal was amazing, only because we spent a couple of hours walking around finding something that was still open far past midnight. Louise is Charlotte’s (from my Belarus post) cousin. She’s German, but she’s been living ...

Belarus

  06/24/2018. Belarus, nicknamed the ‘Last Dictatorship in Europe,’ was perhaps one of the most interesting countries I’ve traveled to. As of January 2018, it’s possible to visit Belarus for up to five days without a visa if you fly into Minsk’s National Airport. I seized the opportunity to visit a country that is frequented by very few, and I found the ...

Estonia: Little Maria

  06/16/2018. Oh my heart, I only followed little Maria around from the time she entered Maria and Jaan’s home to the time she left. Congratulations to Britt and Kristjan on their second child, Markus! You can see Markus in some of the photos, except he’s still in his mother’s tummy. I would be so lucky to have a daughter like Maria!

Estonia: Maria & Jaan

  06/14/2018. It was so great to see Maria again after six years! Maria and I met when we were both studying abroad in Shanghai. Maria and her boyfriend, Jaan, are Estonian. There are 1.3 million people living in Estonia, and about 1/4 of the population is Russian. That means there are only about 1 million Estonians in Estonia. Do you have an Estonian friend? Ha! I do. Now I have ...

Portugal: Dom

  06/04/2018. Dom kind of just appeared, but we’re happy she did. Peta, Emma, and I decided to head to Sintra on our last full day in Portugal. Unfortunately, there was a national rail strike taking place, and none of the trains were operating. While deliberating whether or not to take an Uber, Dom snuck up from behind us and asked if she could join. We said no, but she somehow ...

Portugal: Mena

  06/02/2018. Mena is the heroine of our journey through Portugal. She was part of our tour when traveling through South Africa and Namibia back in the summer of 2016. She lives in Lisbon, but she drove out to Aveiro to collect us and escort us safely to Lisbon. Along the way, she took us to see the enchanted monasteries in Batalha and Alcobaca. Look at all of these notes that Mena had ...