Reviews and Other Stuff


Palo Alto, California

stanford shopping center restaurants


Every year or so, I get a chance to visit Palo Alto. It is absolutely one of the most exciting trips I look forward to out of all the trips I planned because it puts me in a California dreamin’ mood. It’s nice to see palms, pines, and lots of sun again.


On this trip, I stayed at the historic “The Cardinal Hotel”. It is probably the oldest if not one of the oldest hotels in Palo Alto, California. It has a charming old-world vibe with a quaint lobby and a vintage elevator. Entering this hotel will give you a glimpse of what it’s like during the old Palo Alto times. Just outside the hotel, there are lots of restaurants and shops to choose from. It’s what I really love about California, the varieties of things to see, the shops to explore, and the people from all walks of life, busy crossing the streets, just going about their daily lives, not to mention the fresh air in a very sunny yet slightly chilly early Fall. Yes, the Fall in California can still feel like Summer at most times.


bistro maxine palo alto california


Just around The Cardinal Hotel is Bistro Maxine where they have such delicious crepes and hot chocolates. I highly recommend that you try any of their breakfast specials because they’re all so good.


stanford shopping center photos


Whenever I’m in Palo Alto, I always make sure to visit the Stanford Shopping Center. This is one of my most favorite places to shop. I just love the whole laid-back vibe of this outdoor mall, and the decor is really beautiful. I could spend the whole day in this mall without getting bored just because some of my favorite shops are here. I love seeing Aesop’s unique store and Madewell has some really interesting styles that I could not find at my local Madewell store. The same is true for Sephora where here they have such a wonderful collection of Pat McGrath products. Also, the Anthropologie store in this mall is very fun to explore. If luxury is your thing, you will find several high-end brands here, and Neiman+Nordy are just around the corner.


stanford shopping center palo alto


stanford shopping center


anthropologie stanford shopping center review


anthropologie stanford shopping center review


A visit to Palo Alto is not complete without a visit to “The Farm” a.k.a Stanford University. As to why it’s called The Farm? just ask google, lol. I love the look of this school. It has a very relaxed unassuming architecture that gives you a sense of prestige nevertheless. Whenever I enter this campus, I think of the great minds that have been here, and also of the minds of the ones who are about to change the world.


palm drive stanford university


stanford university


Getting to Stanford University is a whole lotta walking especially if you came from shopping at the Stanford Shopping Center. However, the long walk is worth it because you get to stroll along and enjoy the view of the very scenic Palm Drive, which will remind you that life indeed, can be a peach. ๐Ÿ™‚


stanford university palm drive


stanford university


stanford university well


Walking inside and around campus is like walking through a bunch of gardens, vintage corridors, and passing through bicycles after bicycles. Students bike a lot here because the campus is very vast. I would not have been able to survive walking around here if it wasn’t for my comfy APL sneakers that didn’t need breaking in and can withstand hours of walking in different terrains. The nice thing about this campus is that there are plenty of seats to relax upon and chill.


stanford university campus


apl techloom breeze


stanford university


I concluded the end of my trip to Palo Alto with a nice dinner at my favorite spot along University Avenue which serves delicious Mediterranean/Middle Eastern Food. The restaurant is called Gyros Gyros and I highly recommend this place, but you have to come here with an empty stomach. ๐Ÿ™‚


gyros gyros palo alto


stanford university bicycles


Have you been to Palo Alto before? What are the favorite spots you like to visit in California?






Memories of Zurich, Switzerland

limmat river switzerland


Last Summer, I traveled to Europe and one of the cities I visited was Zurich, Switzerland. I spent a few days there to explore and unwind. It was my first time in Switzerland and I planned to not only visit Zurich, but I also had my trip set to Lucerne and the Swiss Alps which I will be featuring soon in my upcoming travel posts.


zurich swiss


hotel swiss night steinweisstrasse 8 zurich switzerland


I arrived in Zurich on a very warm and very bright late morning. The sun was really touching my skin in a very hot and quite aggressive way. I wasn’t used to that much sun anymore and I was squinting as I lugged my two large luggages on the front door of Hotel Swiss Night, located along the quiet residential street of Steinwiesstrasse 8. The hotel looks quaint, silent, and very homey with its quintessential Swiss design, complete with red and white paints/accents all over the walls just like the Swiss flag. You can also see replicas of big round cheeses and milk barrels as main decors right when you enter the hotel. Speaking of the hotel, it is actually not very large. The entire reception area is quite tiny and so is the narrow staircase leading down the breakfast room. The place feels more like a house rather than a hotel. Outside the hotel, you will find a red cow statue facing the door. The staff speaks good enough English and are overall very friendly and helpful.


view outside hotel swiss night zurich switzerland

The view outside my hotel room. What a cute multi-floor Swiss house!


makeup for traveling

I only took a few makeup and skincare stuff with me on this trip since I didn’t really have much time to pack, so I just mostly took the essentials.


best pouch for traveling





swiss bread


The Hotel Swiss Night has only one elevator and it can practically fit two very slim people, provided that they don’t have any luggage with them. I emphasize the words very slim because I think in most instances, it can pretty much fit only one person with a small luggage. But there I was, shuffling along with my two large luggages, doing the whole Tetris thing trying to fit my stuff inside the tiny elevator, and for the life of me, I still couldn’t sneak my second luggage in. So, I decided to leave the second one out first while I took the first one to my room, then I went back for the second one. Speaking of rooms, my room was to be very honest, really really small, and really really hot. As I mentioned, it was Summer when I arrived and I was placed in an attic room with just a portable AC and with not much space for both my luggage and for my legs to walk around. I also found the very low ceiling to be very hazardous. I mentioned hazardous because there were many instances where I bumped my shoulder against that low ceiling and I eventually ended up with a dull shoulder pain that lasted for months since that trip. Apart from that, for what I paid for, the hotel has horrible Wifi and the TV channels were not translated into English. Since it’s situated in a quiet residential area, there weren’t many shops around, but there’s a 24/7 grocery store nearby. Keep in mind though that everything in Zurich is very expensive. A very basic nail cutter for 25 USD, everyone? Shockers, right? Other than that, the hotel’s breakfast was ok, you may still have to ask for water or milk in German/Swiss German for the staff to understand, but the selection’s fine enough for me to survive. Also, the bed here is really nice and comfy, but everything else is just too tiny and too claustrophobic for me. So, I don’t think I’ll be staying here again.


lake zurich


The first thing I went to see in Zurich is the popular Lake Zurich. I wanted to see the beautiful swans looking majestic and swimming serenely. So I spent a lot of time strolling along the lake just staring at such stunning creatures and taking all the pictures I could get. Lake Zurich is indeed very beautiful and is fun to visit. It’s pretty full of tourists though but it’s not overly congested. There are shops and cafes around, so you can shop, eat, and drink while you take in all the views.


visiting lake zurich switzerland


After a couple of hours strolling along Lake Zurich, I went to take an eTukTuk ride which I booked at Tripadvisor. If you’re wondering what an eTukTuk is, it’s actually an electric car that takes you on a tour to see some of the highlights of the city of Zurich. I chose this tour because I knew I wouldn’t be staying that long in Zurich, so I wanted to get a comprehensive knowledge of the city in a short period of time. There several types of eTukTuk tours you can choose from, ranging from the central Zurich and surroundings tour even to a Fondue and wine tour. The meeting place for this tour is at Museumtrasse 1, which is very close to the Zurich Main Station. I took an uber there (driver was pretty responsive) and located my eTukTuk driver immediately. His name was Attila. He was very informative and very friendly. I learned a lot about Zurich through his explanations and his experiences living and working there. I ended the tour feeling quite knowledgeable and more oriented about the city.


zurich switzerland horse statue


zurich switzerland


blumen fitze zurich switzerland


After the eTuktuk tour, I decided to stop at Coop Supermarkt, which is Zurich’s most common grocery store. I love this grocery store a lot. In fact, I like most European grocery stores because there is a lot to see. In the Coop Supermarkt, I found lots and lots Toblerones which is pretty obvious because they’re Swiss-made, but I also found lots of ham, cheeses, sweets, desserts (did I mention that the ice cream here is so addicting?), European wines, various haircare products, different types of bread, and all sorts of hausgemacht (homemade) sandwiches and sausages. They’re all expensive though, but they’re also all worth it.


coop supermarkt review


limmat river zurich


zurich switzerland grossmunster


zurich switzerland visit


The following day, I took a stroll along the Limmat River where you can find the Fraumรผnster and the Grossmรผnster Church. This part of Zurich is very classic and has very interesting architectural works. I made it a point to stroll along the famous Bahnhofstrasse nearby, which is the upscale shopping avenue of Zurich. I also went to see the Farmer’s Market nearby and I found some really nice fresh flowers.


zurich shopping



zurich switzerland restaurants


zurich switzerland farmers market review


restaurant dialog zurich switzerland review


As I strolled, I stopped by to eat at Restaurant Dialog for a nice Lasagna. Then I continued my stroll but I felt very jet-lagged, so I went inside Gran Mota Restaurant for an ice-breaker, lol. I did get an ice cream and that sort of kept me awake for a while. I went to continue browsing some shops and even went back to Lake Zurich because I just loved staring at those Swans (dunno why), lol. I didn’t realize it was quite dark when I headed back to my hotel room and I literally passed out from the massive jet lag.


gran cafe mota switzerland


zurich bahnhofstrasse review


lake zurich limmat


The next day, I had a trip booked for Lucerne and the Swiss Alps.


what to pack while traveling


lake zurich


Have you ever been to Zurich before? What’s your most memorable experience in that city?


Stay tuned for part 2 of this post.