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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Hong Kong Weekend

I've had a couple days off from filming Go Back to China, so production was kind enough to arrange for me to hang out in Hong Kong. Even though it takes a few hours and crossing the border is a bit of a pain, I jumped at the opportunity to explore this city a little more.

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Friday

I was a bit tired from working all week, and traveling down from Shenzhen, so I decided to just hop on the Hong Kong Tram (nicknamed Ding Ding) and explore from the top of a moving vehicle. Starting at Western Market was a good idea, since it's the first/last stop and you're guaranteed a seat.

After an hour of street/people watching, I just hopped off the tram and took a subway over to Sheung Wan/Central. Abe was in Hong Kong earlier this year and stayed in this neighborhood. I got lost looking for the places he suggested, but stumbled upon Jenny Bakery, famous for their cookies. Apparently there's usually a long line and the workers are kind of rude, but at 5pm they were very pleasant and I walked out with two large tins (not gluten-free - a treat for the cast/crew) within 5 minutes.

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Saturday

This was my only full day in Hong Kong and I originally planned to go to Disneyland, since I'm a fanatic. But ultimately I decided it would be too crowded and went for something more local - Ocean Park - mainly because they have giant pandas. And I can never resist a panda. Sadly, the pandas were breeding so their exhibit was closed, but I still had a great time. If you go right when they open at 10am, you'll have the entire park to yourself. See my vlog at the bottom of this post!

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Later that same day I was disappointed to find that the Yuen Po Bird Garden is also temporarily closed (until May) but it is close to the Flower Market, which was also on my to-see list.

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Sunday

I've never really adjusted to the time change and have been waking up at 5am every day for the last 3 weeks, no matter how early/late I go to bed. So this morning I went back to Sheung Wan/Central and tried not to get lost again. This time I found Man Mo Temple!

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Finally, I took the Star Ferry back to my hotel in Kowloon. Now I'm going back to China to finish this movie - follow along on my Instagram Stories for the final few days.

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Filming in China

Hello from Shenzhen, China! I've never been to this city before (I actually haven't been back to China in over two decades) - unfortunately I haven't really had the time to explore because we've been working, but I've been having a ton o' fun.

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Filming food scenes is a lot more challenging now that I'm gluten-free, but I am loving this cast and crew...

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...also, the Go Back to China production team has been taking incredible care of my celiac needs with homemade meals and snacks. Anna Akana, the star of the movie, is vegan - so between the two of us these Chinese chefs are learning a lot about cooking for dietary restrictions.

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When I'm on my own, I've been making do with snacks that I packed (oatmeal, miso soup, energy bars/protein powder) plus REALLY plain stuff like steamed veggies/meat/rice and fresh fruit that have low risk of cross-contamination. As long as there isn't soy sauce in it, I've been pretty safe.

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Of course, I've been missing home like crazy!

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Here's a quick vlog I was able to put together while we were staying at The Mission Hills Resort. We're off to another city soon - follow along on my Instagram stories, where I have the entire trip saved in the highlights.