Boston Isabella Gardner Museum Courtyard at Night
Culture, Italy in Boston, Review, Sightseeing, Travel, Venice in Boston

Finding Venice in Boston: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum at night

I recently wrote about the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum during the daytime, but for me, it’s even more beautiful and magical at night!

Boston Isabella Gardner Museum Courtyard at Night

I went on a Thursday evening, as it’s open until 9:00 pm on this day, and I initially didn’t think I would like the courtyard at night.

Since the entire top of the courtyard is covered in glass, during the day everything is bright and sunny, and it feels like you’re outdoors.

However, even with dim lights in the evening, somehow the courtyard was illuminated just perfectly.

Boston Isabella Gardner Museum Courtyard at Night

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Accommodation, Review, Save Money, Sightseeing, Travel

Disneyland: Staying on-site vs. staying off-site

Hi everyone! I just got back from a fun trip to California, specifically Disneyland, the Happiest Place on Earth!

Disneyland Partners Statue in the spring

On this trip, I debated whether I should stay on-site again, or if I should save some money and stay off-site. On both my previous trips to Disneyland, I stayed on-site, first at Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel, and then at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. This trip, I thought about staying at the third Disney-owned hotel, the Disneyland Hotel. Looking at the prices for May 20-24, the lowest price I found was for $390/night, which was way more than I wanted to spend.

When I stayed at the Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa a few years ago, they had a deal to “buy two nights, get the third night free”, so the room ended up costing $298/night, which is still pretty steep. However, I really wanted to be immersed in the Disney environment, so I decided that paying that much would be worth it – and it totally was! Continue reading “Disneyland: Staying on-site vs. staying off-site”

Restaurants, Review, Sightseeing, Travel

The best patisserie (Stohrer) and ice cream (Berthillon) in Paris

When you’re visiting Paris, you expect to be surrounded by delicious food, especially pastries and other sweets. Since there’s so much to choose from and so little time to try it all, I’ve done the “difficult” work by testing out some of the most popular places to make your decision much easier! Let’s find the best patisserie and ice cream in Paris!

Berthillon Paris France best ice cream

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Getting a PhD, PhD Milestones, Study Abroad, Travel

Differences between US and UK graduation ceremonies, and highlights of Canterbury

Hi everyone! I apologize for the lack of posts recently, but last week I was in the UK to officially graduate and get my PhD degree! After going through two ceremonies in the US for my Bachelors and Masters degrees, I found it so interesting to participate in a UK ceremony. If you’re studying abroad in the UK or just fascinated by all things British (I’m guilty of both!), here are some observations I made throughout the day of my graduation.

England London Union Jack Flags
Not Canterbury! This is London, where my family & I were staying. We took the bus to Canterbury in the morning and returned in the evening.

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Review, Travel

Travel Tour Throwdown: Trafalgar vs YMT

Trafalgar Tour Museum Tickets
Tickets for the many tour excursions

Tours can be a great way to see many different countries in a short amount of time without having to plan all the logistics of traveling to each country, booking hotels, and reading up on all the major sightseeing destinations. However, tours can also feel rushed if the tour guide has to keep the tour flowing within a packed schedule, and sometimes meals are pre-planned so there might not be time to try out the cafe or restaurant you were looking forward to. Also, the larger the tour, the more frazzled the tour guide may be, since he or she has to be in charge of so many people getting back to agreed upon meeting points at a specific time. In short, tours are definitely not for everyone! This post will compare two popular tour companies, Trafalgar vs YMT, and shed some light into what each entails.

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Getting a PhD, Moving to Another Country, Study Abroad

Top 5 reasons to get a PhD in the UK instead of the US

I previously discussed the many hassles of studying abroad. So, why did I decide to get a PhD in the UK rather than the US? Here are my top 5 reasons.

University of Cambridge UK
Idyllic UK campus

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American vs. British English

Even through English is the main language in both the US and the UK, it still took some time for me to adjust to their different words and spellings. I was really surprised by the old-timey spellings of words like tire and fair, in which the “i” is replaced by a “y”.¬† I have to admit, I found this very charming and quaint! Something I found not so charming? Adding another syllable to words, like changing aluminum to aluminium!

US vs UK example
Image courtesy of

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