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.

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Mission Street Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt Santa Barbara, CA

Hearst Castle

When Abe and I first graduated college, we did a road trip up the CA coast and stopped at Hearst Castle. When we found out how much money the tour would cost, we kept on driving. Nowadays we can afford the price of admission (varying from $25-36 with an $8 service fee) but we can see why they charge what they do.

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We got tickets for the Grand Rooms (recommended for first-time visitors) but there's a lot of other tour options. Included is a bus ride, thorough guides, and lots to see.

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Abe took all the photos, obvi.

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It was actually cold on the day we went (the 4th of July!) so after the 1-hour guided tour, he stuck around the gardens while I went back down to the visitor center to stay warm.

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Before re-boarding the bus down you get to hang out by the indoor pool, which was probably my favorite part.

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J. Patrick House

Our last leg of this past 4th of July weekend road trip found us in Cambria. After all that driving, we were ready for some R&R at this perfect B&B - J. Patrick House.

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All Night Long

I'm pulling my first all-nighter in forever - we are currently in Middletown, CT where Abe and I just attended our college reunion. We have a flight we need to leave the hotel by 4:30am for, so I'm deciding not to sleep. It's been an amazing trip. We got in early 2 days ago before anything opened and hit O'Rourke's Diner for breakfast.

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You may have seen this place featured during the early years of Diner's, Drive-ins, and Dives. It's still as wonderful and charming as it was long before it was famous, while we were undergrads at Wesleyan.

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Recreating our first kiss on Foss Hill AWWWWW

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There are actually a lot of gluten-free options at my alma mater but nothing incredibly exciting. To be honest, I'm really looking forward to eating the leftover Buffalo Quinoa Salad I made before we left - which is, essentially just sauce (from the Slow Cooker Buffalo Tofu) with quinoa and stir fried veggies.

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Also worth noting - I got a French Manicure Gel with black nail polish instead of white and am obsessed.

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Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Big Buddha (Hong Kong)

During my last day in Hong Kong, the cast/crew of Go Back to China took a little day trip to Big Buddha. We took a glass-bottom cable car up...

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...which takes about 25 minutes each way. You get to know one another pretty well.

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That's a BIG BUDDHA.

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You walk up/down a lot of stairs - there is a nature trail you can explore. And a mall, with lots of food (I could only eat gelato) and gift shops. Also, livestock?

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It was raining the day we went, so there weren't too many people. It seems like April is the perfect time to be a tourist in Hong Kong - not too hot or crowded!

Last Day in Shenzhen

Back in Shenzhen from my Hong Kong weekend getaway to film the last day of "Go Back to China."

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I will miss working with this cast...

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...this crew...

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...and our fearless, bilingual leader, Emily Ting.

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When I was a little girl I used to do puppet shows for my Dad with stuffed monkey toys. It's funny how life turns out.

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