TWA Hotel

I’m currently on a flight from JFK back to LAX. A Keeping Up With the Kardashians marathon is on both E! AND Bravo (airplanes are the only time I allow myself to watch it). Abe and I just took a really quick trip to the city we used to call home, for the NYC premiere of Go Back to China. Originally I wasn’t going to go, but I really wanted to see it with my family. Even though I’ve been in dozens of films, this is only the second time I’ve been able to sit next to my Mom in a theater while my face is on the big screen. The first time was with 2005’s Saving Face.

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We filmed a pivotal scene in that movie in the old TWA Terminal - now, 15 years later - it is a hotel.

Next time I’d like to stay in one of their rooms, but just walking around was worth the trip.

We had a late lunch at Paris Cafe, a great way to wait for rush hour traffic to clear up.

Outside, there’s an old TWA plane that is also a cocktail lounge.

It was surreal being in the same place where I filmed my very first movie.

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P.S. I’m wearing a “What Would Joan Chen Do” shirt (she plays “Ma” in the movie) by 17.21Women. DM them to order!

P.P.S. We visited another Saving Face location last night.

Stew-y Weather

I went to Chicago for the first time recently! It was a quick trip. I mean, quickity quick quick. Arrived on Friday late afternoon for the opening night screening of “Go Back to China” at FAAAIM. Then left the next morning just in time to celebrate my 16th wedding anniversary back with my husband Abe in LA. I did squeeze in a quick morning walk to play tourist, though.

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Go Back to China Sloth

Speaking of celebrations, I recently threw a little dinner party in honor of Abe’s birthday. Drake on Cake!

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I made “The Stew” - Alison Roman’s viral Coconut Chickpea Turmeric concoction. I’ve been meaning to make it for months, since I read about it in the NY Times.

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Here’s a video of me cooking it. It’s been forever since I cooked, let alone filmed myself doing it.

I’ve been super busy with acting work lately, and also editing my movie “I Will Make You Mine.” The latter has been a real test for my emotions. Did I rent a sweatsuit just so I’d feel psyched to keep going? Yes, yes I did.

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Next up is a lot more travel - I’ll be going to San Diego this weekend, followed by Bentonville, AR and San Francisco for more “Go Back to China” film festivals. And we also have an LA Premiere as the Centerpiece Film at LAAPFF on May 4th - tickets just went on sale. I hope to see you there!

Maui!

Abe and I spent a lot of our holiday season working on “I Will Make You Mine,” and then entertaining out-of-town guests. So we decided to take an impromptu vacation to Hawaii. We went to Kauai last year and decided to try a different island this time.

We stayed at Lumeria Maui, which was pretty magical. Honestly, we chose it because it was much cheaper than other hotels in the same area and loved how removed it was from everything. Plus, there were free yoga classes (and a sound bath!) and a pretty solid breakfast buffet.

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I followed pretty much the exact itinerary that my friends (and Maui locals) Lily Diamond and Alana Kysar had on their blogs (Molly Yeh had a great guide too). It’s really fun to read Susan Orlean’s Maui Surfer Girl article (that the movie “Blue Crush” was based on) too.

Highlights included The Road to Hana, Ululani’s Shave Ice, Coconut Glen’s and our favorite tiny little town, Makawao. We also ate pretty much exclusively from the Mana Foods Grocery Store in Paia.

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You can watch the highlighted InstaStories @mslynnchen!

Alaska Adventures

Oh, Alaska. You've been on my bucket list for a loooong time.

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And for good reason.

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Even though I had work to do the whole time.

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We had a large family reunion trip to celebrate my uncle's 75th birthday. Instead of a huge cruise, we sailed via small ship line Uncruise Adventures, which allowed us to stop whenever we spotted animals. In Glacier Bay National Park alone, we saw a whole bunch  (including the very rare Glacier Bear).

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Being on a boat all week was surprisingly un-claustrophobic, considering I rarely spent time on land. The activities usually involved getting on another boat - like a kayak or a skiff. Three sit-down meals  a day took up a lot of time too. They were incredible customizing meals for my group's dietary needs, including my celiac restrictions. I even got to make special requests, like gluten-free pancakes for dinner one night and an off-the-menu Cobb Salad for lunch (because we were obsessed with their bacon at breakfast).

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Day 6 we did get to plant our feet on some solid ground in Haines, Alaska - though I was swaying with sea legs the whole time!

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This town is adorable, and this bakery (which also sells gluten-free goodies AND Thai food) is for sale (half a million dollars) in case anyone is interested!

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I was particularly smitten with their Hammer Museum, which is very different from the one in LA.

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We flew out of Juneau, Alaska and explored the town first. I dig these little towns and all their quirks - though this one was a lot more modern than the other ones we visited. (I will say that in Sitka - where we started our cruise - I was very surprised to see my movie Saving Face at the local thrift shop!)

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I know my last few blog posts have been super travel-heavy but all that is about to change. I'll make an official announcement soon, but in the meantime click here for a sneak peek at what I'm talking about - and give us a follow on social media to stay in the loop!

Road Trip: Cambria to Los Angeles

When in Cambria, take a walk along the coastline...

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...visit Nitt Witt Ridge...

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...and the Elephant Seals.

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Also, be sure to grab a slice of Olallieberry Pie from Linn's - where they have a gluten-free version that is really impressive! I ate mine live on Instagram and couldn't quite pinpoint what an olallieberry tastes like - but it's a hybrid of a blackberry and raspberry.

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Our B&B hosts told us about this town nearby called Harmony, where the population is 18 and once had a cat mayor. You can watch the video I made there on my YouTube channel or at the bottom of this post.

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On our drive back to LA we stopped at Mission Street Ice Cream in Santa Barbara. I cannot stop thinking about this peanut butter frozen yogurt, which was so reasonably priced for the size and addictively delicious.

Mission Street Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt Santa Barbara, CA

Mission Street Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt Santa Barbara, CA