A Parisian Break [Part 01]

April 17, 2014


When you get an email asking if you're interest in going to Paris for a few days what do you do? You pack your bags and go, because they say Paris is always a good idea right? Even though I've been going, going, going I didn't want to miss this opportunity. So I packed my bags for a 11 hour flight to Paris. I arrived in Paris in the morning and headed to the hotel, Pullman La Defense for a quick nap before I started my day. For my first meal in Paris I enjoyed a tasty feast by Chef Jean Paul Corbillet at Quente and Sans – foie gras, fish cooked in the tandori and a delicious chocolate pear for dessert. The folks at Pullman were great host, the La Defense hotel was located right next to the metro and about a 20 minute ride into the city. The weather was fantastic while I was there 70's and mostly sunny – so what do you do when you've got a limited time in Paris?

A Parisian Break / blog.jchongstudio.com
A Parisian Break / blog.jchongstudio.com

Musee Orsay / blog.jchongstudio.com
Musee Orsay / blog.jchongstudio.com
Musee Orsay / blog.jchongstudio.com

First thing on the list is buy a museum pass and explore to your hearts desire. Because two days isn't enough time to check out all the museums I picked my favorite three to explore Musee Orsay, Centre Pompidou and of course the the Lourve. I'd say that Musee Orsay and the Lourve should be on everyone's list. If you a fan of modern art you should add Centre Pompidou. One of my favorite ways to explore a city is walking (and because sometimes the transit system can be intimidating - though the Paris one isn't at all!) I did the museum tour walking from museum to museum. It's a long walk but I did my fair share of eating so a few extra miles for me wouldn't hurt.

Centre Pompidou / blog.jchongstudio.com
Centre Pompidou / blog.jchongstudio.com

Centre Pompidou / blog.jchongstudio.com
The Lourve / blog.jchongstudio.com
Macarons from Laduree / blog.jchongstudio.com
More to come on what I ate in Paris in my next post but oh! I must share my tragic macaron story. My friend Marisa told me to check out Pierre Herme for some delicious macarons. I'm typically not a big fan of these but I decided to pick up a bunch for some friends back at home, so I loaded up the boxes and bought two for myself to try. They were quite delicious I had a mint chocolate and a passion fruit mixture – soft and chewy with a little bit of crunch. I toted the bag with me all day and set it down on a train ride but doze off. When I woke up I realized it was my stop so I ran out but left the macarons. By the time I turned around to retrieve them it was already too late. Jetlag you got the best of me, but hopefully I made someones day with some delicious macarons!

+ THANK YOU TO ACCOR FOR PROVIDING MY ACCOMMODATIONS FOR THIS TRIP AND BEING A WONDERFUL HOST! +
PHOTOS BY JENNIFER CHONG

Travel with REI Adventures > Superstition Mountains [Part 03]

April 08, 2014

Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
For our second day out – we used a lot of these stacked stones called Cairns to serve as markers for different trails we were on. Most of them are quite large but I loved these little petite ones we passed by.

Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
While we were out in the desert there was a few beautiful plants and animals popping around. We were lucky to spot a few Gila Monsters, an orange and black lizard creature with a venomous bite. I think I really just enjoyed saying Gila Monster!

Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Day two highlighted one of my favorite reasons to hike. To see things I can't see any other way. We took a side hike to La Barge Creek where we spent some time sunbathing and enjoying the nice and chilly waters. This side excursion was my favorite parts of the hike - a peaceful slow moment with nature.

Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
As we approached the end of our second day we set up camp at Second Water Springs and enjoyed a lovely Pad Thai dinner. That's right people PAD THAI while backpacking, who knew I could be so excited for dehydrated foods! It was actually quite tasty, so much so that I'd eat it at home if I was lazy to cook ;)

Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
On our final day we had a 800ft climb to the top - where we were greeted with some beautiful views. It was a biter sweet moment at the top – almost the end of our trip but the thought of having a clean shower was on the top of my mind. Once we approached the end of our hike we had victory meal (and drinks for some!) at Tortilla Flat Saloon, a fun restaurant filled with dollar bills literally all over the place.

Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
A big thank you to REI for inviting me to join them on this exciting adventure and my guides Sarah, Dove and Gary. Be sure to check out what REI Adventures has to offer on their site. I am sure you will not be disappointed. Now who wants to go to Patagonia with me?

Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com

+ POST IN PARTNERSHIP WITH REI, ALL OPINIONS SHARED HERE ARE MY OWN +
THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING BRANDS THAT ALLOW ME TO CREATE AND SHARE NEW CONTENT LIKE THIS. :)

PHOTOS BY JENNIFER CHONG

Travel with REI Adventures > Superstition Mountains [Part 02]

April 04, 2014

Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
My trip started with an orientation night at the REI store – there I was able to get to know all the guides and fellow backpackers I'd be spending the day with. They also split up additional backpacking gear like tents, cooking supplies and you know the good stuff FOOD! The next morning we started bright and early - breakfast at six and then off to the trail head. The first day we hiked about eight miles with an elevation gain of 1,000. I was worried about the elevation gain with the combination of a 40lb backpack but thankfully my body was prepared and I made it to the top to see this gorgeous view.

The Superstition Mountains are filled with all sorts of cacti that the guides were helpful in pointing out all the different kinds. I was fascinated by the Saguaro Cacti – these cactus are extremely tall and large. They grow between 40-60ft sometimes even over 70ft. Some just stood straight up while others had some crazy looking arms.

Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Once we arrived to our first night camp site Charliebois Spings we set up tents and rested our toes and headed out to look for water to filter for dinner and hydration for day two.

Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Our guide Sarah showed us how to use these Platypus Gravity-works hydration systems you filled one side with dirty water and let it flow through this smaller filter that takes out all the bad stuff and into another bag comes out clean water. Now that is what I'd like to call natural spring water!

Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Before dinner Gary, another guide, took us out to check out some of the Petroglyphs near camp.

Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com

Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
Superstition Mountains w/REI / blog.jchongstudio.com
If you're like me backpacking food is lots of trail mix and beef jerky maybe a sandwich here and there but to my pleasant surprise not on this trip! Dove and Gary cooked up some tasty meals - dinner the first night? quinoa coconut curry with mushrooms and sun dried tomatoes! We enjoyed some s'mores and got some rest for day two.

+ POST IN PARTNERSHIP WITH REI, ALL OPINIONS SHARED HERE ARE MY OWN +
THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING BRANDS THAT ALLOW ME TO CREATE AND SHARE NEW CONTENT LIKE THIS. :)

PHOTOS BY JENNIFER CHONG

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