Making the most of our Beijing, China Layover

I am fond of long haul flights with a long stop over -- because it's either I go out of the airport or it's a needed break for my legs to stretch it all out and walk. Our recent flight from LAX to MNL had a 10-hour stop over in Beijing, China. We flew with Air China --which we will never ever book again.

Visiting Great Wall of China during a layover tour
It was damn cold up there
The great take away from this trip tho is we got to see the Great Wall of China in person. I booked a layover trip via Viator. From Beijing airport, we got our own chauffeur brought us to The Great Wall, and then to Forbidden City and back to airport. 

You can book your trip here like how I did:

Layover Permit
But before you are allowed to go beyond the airport territory you will need a layover permit;
Since we just have a 10-hour lay over, we are under the 24-hour visa free transit category.
Getting a Temporary Entry Permit in Beijing china for a layover tour

The counter is just right in front of the gate where where we arrived. Just line up there and then show your 2 boarding passes. Includes start of destination - china - end destination. Then they will put a sticker in your passport. Note that, you MUST have both boarding passes for them to give you a permit. There was also a language barrier with the airport staff which delayed us a lot. My advice is.. Stay in line in the said counter, if they ask you to go somewhere else, don't go there yet until you get the temporary entry permit.

How long can you stay in China with just this permit? I found this Travel China Guide very helpful:

Driver waiting at the Arrival Hall
Our driver was waiting for us in Starbucks (arrival hall) holding my name written in a paper. We were late for an hour because of airport staff who kept on confusing us. We went with him in the parking lot and rode a Black VW Sedan. He doesn't speak english a lot tho.

But.. We have a an english speaking tour guide thru his cellphone. It's the first thing he gave us. We also have free 2 bottles of water which we used to dissolve Emergenc. Unbelievably, it was colder in China than in California during winter. lol

How much Yuan Cash Money do you need for the layover?
I had to prepare money for the shuttle, tram and entrance tickets. It is also for the food you'll be eating while on tour. I actually prepared 120USD for this trip for 2 people.

Entrance tickets to great wall of china - mutianyu

The Great Wall of China
So there you go, after 2 hours of mixed transportation we finally arrived.

Forbidden City
We met with our driver in the parking lot again. We spoked to our english speaking guide and told us that we are heading to forbidden city. They also provided a hand-written map where we will be meeting up again. Along the trail going back to where we will be meeting our driver again. We found some street foods that my mom and I tried.

Back in time
So we were dropped by the Beijing Capital Airport (PEK) just in time before our next flight. If you do not want to go out of the airport then, I have found some great stop over tips here:

You can book your trip here like how I did:


Portland,Oregon: Where Jessica Day Grew Up In

You can relate to my Jessica Day reference if you do watch New Girl. It's sad that they had their season finale, btw. My life had been hectic with "work", so we tried to squeezed in a 2-Day off to go around the City where Jess and Cece grew up in. From the airport, I went straight back to work again.

Here are the things that I loved about RAINY Portland, Oregon (besides the tiny houses and trailers):

Everybody loves DONUTS!

Blue Star Donuts. This is Valrhona Chocolate Crunch

Voodoo Donuts - Usually, there's always a long line here but we were lucky enough not to fall in line.

Food Trailer Parks. Our home was near one, so we got to grab late dinner and brunch.

One of our food truck brunches

Midnight Snack, It is.

Bookstores. I love that Portland supports reading a lot. I even got a blind date with a book for Valentine's.

Powell's City of Books

Another Read Through

We were there in time for Valentine's
This is my blind date baby!
 Ground Kontrol. Yes, we're a proud nerd couple.
We spent all our laundry change playing Super Mario Kart Racing

St. John's Bridge (Always on top of the list)
This is underneath it, tho.

Ace Hotel - We love the area where Ace Hotel was located. The next time we go in Portland, we will def check in here. 
It is beside a Stumptown Cafe - Perfect, right?
Living in an airstream (I'll talk about this in a separate post)
We've always wanted to experience something different

Moon Juice: Beauty Dust Review

It’s been awhile since I wrote here. The truth of the matter is, I'm having a hard time adjusting to starting a "new life". So here I am trying out things that will help me battle these anxieties and depression. The best thing about this product is you get more relaxed and prettier. Lol

I started with the trial sachet boxes of Moon Dust. My personal fave is obviously Beauty Dust. I won’t get into it’s ingredients because it’s what have been talked about but you don’t really get much important details about it in reviews. Beauty and Spirit Dust are my favorites out of all the moon dust flavors.

It’s not chocolatey. But it kinda tastes like blunt chocolate with an aftertaste that is fruity. I tried mixing it with Lemon Water and also with Green Tea. If you don’t like earthish taste, include it in milk or milk chocolate to conceal the real taste

Similar to Muscovado. It’s hard to dissolve even with warm water. You still get bits of it until your last sip (yeahhh, just don't breathe until the last gulp :p)

When should you take it
I experimented with this. At first, I tried it with lemon water in the morning but then  I get really relaxed and drowsy in the middle of the day at work. So, I tried it with my night tea right before I go to sleep.

The latter one, worked for me best. It get me full sleep and I don’t have a hard time falling asleep anymore. I watch friends on netflix everyday right before I go to sleep, little do I know That I fell asleep already. 

Beauty Effects
I have really dry hair before and now it’s way softer. My skin is also softer than before. The glow? I’m pretty sure that it helps but I have some other things that add up to it (hello, Korean skin care). 

I’m really happy with beauty dust. I swear it’s gonna be part of my daily routine for a very long time. I just hope they could create something that would improve it’s texture. Other than that, I really love the product.

I’m #moondusted. If you want to give it a try, Here’s a link to take 20% off your purchase:

Vibrant and Artsy Palm Springs + Salvation Mountain

For my birthday weekend getaway, we decided to visit Palm Springs and Salvation Mountain. At first, we were unsure of going to salvation mountain, because it's too far from Temecula. But, the road trip was really worth it. (Tip: Gas up, In between the travel, you wont be able to find a gas station though there is a small one about 15 miles before you get there)

Slab City: Salvation Mountain

God is Love

I wouldn't pass the time to take my #OOTD shot here

Palm Springs

Had Brunch Poolside at ARRIVE, they were really friendly here! FREE Valet Parking FTW!
It feels so summer, but it's really cold (still winter, not even spring yet)


Palm Springs Art Museum 

Contemporary Design Week
Moorten's: The world's first cactorium

Places to visit when we go back here:
Joshua Tree
Cabazon Dinosaurs
Cabazon Outlets
That Pink Door
Home Tours