Beach life – taking a breather

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After an intense working month, I took a breather and spent a week in Punta Cana with some great company. The Bavaro beach was just as in pictures – cushiony white sands and turquoise ocean. Beach resort vacation is definitely the most fun with a big group of fun friends. We rode dune buggies in the mud, sailed on the catamaran, played volleyball on the sands, searched for starfish in the ocean, played Resistance at night, and made deep conversations by the beach. It was meditating to shut my mind off from work and let my mind breathe completely. We all need it. It doesn’t have to be by a beach. Just give time to relax and recharge so you can take on life with a positive and energized spirit.

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Beach life – taking a breather

An update and Ottawa

This year started off quite excitingly (though I make no excuse for my lack of posting…). So here’s quick update =D

|January|

I made the decision to go back to school and accept my MBA offer. It all happened pretty quickly. I studied 2+ months for the gmat, took the test, sent in my supplementary documents, and got accepted all in a 4 months period. It’s going to be a dramatic change of lifestyle — switching from comfortable professional life back to debt-bearing but completely exciting student life. It just feels right, to finally realize your vision, chase after it, and make worthy sacrifices along the way.

|February|

So pre-MBA life starts way before school actually starts. I’ve been busy attending events and meeting future classmates and current students. The Problem Solving Challenge was the first case competition I’ve participated in and spending time on putting my case together was exhilarating. Something about starting with a completely unfamiliar and ambiguous topic and having the freedom to go any direction you want with your ideas just gets my blood flowing! And Yay I moved on to round 2 of the competition.

|March|

This month I experienced what it’s like to have a busy travel schedule: AWESOME. I spent a few days discovering Ottawa (first time there). The city was quiet but I found some seriously hip and delicious food spots. (Don’t mind this post sidetracking with some foodie recommendations…)

Best coffee/bakery shop: Bread and Sons

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Get their Latte!!! Best I’ve ever had. They use 49th Parallel beans from Vancouver, and it seriously leaves an aromatic aftertaste. The buttertarts and croissants were so crispy and heavenly – they sell out fast!

Best truck food: Ad Mare Seafood

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Is this a gourmet lunch or what?! Lobster roll was so fresh and chips so crispy and coleslaw so tangy. It’s a seafood-themed food truck right at the corner of Slater and O’Connor.

Most creative breakfast: The Scone Witch

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It’s a sandwich but made with scones instead of bread… How innovative and totally delicious!! The plain scones were absolutely amazing too, don’t miss the lemon-poppy! Prepare for lineups here, but you won’t be bored as their decor will keep you entertained with little trinklets and hipster accessories (for sale).

On our way back to Toronto, we stopped by an alpaca farm (insert all sorts of feelings of excitement). I’m just realizing how random this sounds…  I’ve always loved alpacas and wanted to see them in flesh for the longest time, this was a dream come true ❤  Words can’t describe how adorable they are in real life — so gentle and very curious too!! I just can’t get over the way the whole pack stick their heads out and slowly come up to strangers. FullSizeRender

The day after my short trip was the Rotman problem solving challenge weekend — two intense and fulfilling days of preparing and presenting our case in a team. It’s a first taste of what business school will be like and I love it. To my complete shock I somehow landed the 5th place overall scholarship! What!? An awesome start to this new journey already.

A day later, I packed up a completely summer-themed luggage for beach vacation in Punta Cana, for my girlfriend’s bachelorette party. What a whirlwind of events, didn’t anticipate this post to turn so long so I shall follow up with a separate sunshine-filled-beach-post! Stay tuned =D

Shameless plug: help yourself to instagram for daily updates 😉

An update and Ottawa

Positano & Sorrento wedding

This italy trip originated from the main purpose of attending our friend’s wedding in Sorrento. With a tight schedule, we decided to take a morning trip to Positano before the wedding in the afternoon. Boy aren’t we glad we pushed ourselves to squeeze that in, Positano was such a wonderful bundle of joy (and the bus ride there over the mountain cliffs was a delightful thrill too!) We powered through Positano in just 2 hours, walking down to the beach with views of the colourful houses and back up to the bus stop.

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Finally we rushed back to get ready to attend the wedding. It took place on the terrace of a hotel on the Sorrento mountains, overlooking the Mediterranean sea and island of Capri. It was an intimate wedding of under 30 attendees, but it was the most beautiful and breathtaking celebration that we were so lucky to be a part of. Visit the photographer’s website for more wedding photos.

I’ve always been obsessed about sunsets, but there’s something magical about sunset in Sorrento. The golden soft lights, the orange sun, the purple sky, the peach clouds, and turquoise sea, everyone was completely mesmerized by the view. We met so many amazing people at the event, it really gave us an eye-opening experience on what an “international life” means. The surreal view, the incredible people, and the love between the couple, all made this one of the most enjoyable nights we’ve had.

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Positano & Sorrento wedding

Wonderfully flooded in Venice

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Finally, a full day to experience Venice’s charm. As suggested by the awesome Rick Steve, we took the vaporetto line #1 for a grand canal cruise and got off at the Rialto Bridge. The surrounding Rialto market was completely lively with people, produce stands, hectic boat-traffic, and workers unloading goods from their boats. Don’t miss out on some cicchetti (venetian tapas) lunch while you’re here! (I realized my lacking in food pictures is due to overwhelming excitement to see food and forgetting to snap pictures… Mental note to make more effort for future travels.)

We wondered around the narrow streets towards St.Mark’s square. There was a bottleneck of people stuck at one of the narrow roads that leads to the square, and once we braved through the crowd, we were welcomed by an utter surprise of a scene: A FLOODED ST.MARK’S SQUARE!!! What an unexpected highlight! Without hesitation, I took off my shoes and happily splashed around the water-covered playground of a square. After that fun episode, we headed to Doge’s palace down the square (which was infinitely better than the Correr’s museum on the other side of the square). And finally, we ended the day with a trip to top of the Campanile bell tower for a full view of the glorious Venice and surroundings basked in sunset. Definitely a rewarding day full of excitement and surprises. =D

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Wonderfully flooded in Venice