Do you ever reminisce about places you have lived in the past? Today I am missing Seattle, the place I lived for seven years. For about 6 months I lived in a quiet neighborhood called Ballard. Across the street from my apartment there was a place called Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, more commonly known as the Ballard Locks.


The Ballard Locks connect the Puget Sound and Salmon Bay which leads to Lake Union and Lake Washington. While Seattle might be known for it’s rain and gloomy weather, it is also a beautiful place to live. The lakes are so beautiful and when the skies are clear you can see Mount Rainier in the distance. If you’re planning to travel to Seattle, the best thing you could do is spend a day at a park next to Lake Washington or take a day trip to Mount Rainier. Of all the things I miss about Seattle, I miss Lake Washington and Mount Rainier the most.



There weren’t any fish going up the fish ladder while I was there, but it looked like it’d be interesting to see in the late Summer. In any case, it was a nice place to go for a walk on a nice sunny day! I’m glad I have photos to remember it by. I think it’s easy not to take photos of things in everyday life because it may seem mundane. It’s not until you move far away that you wish you had taken a photo to remember things by. I encourage you to take photos of the small, seemingly insignificant parts of life around you! What places do you miss from your past?


For the past 20 months I’ve had a part-time job tutoring English conversation at a big corporate company in Korea. Unfortunately for me, the tutoring sessions start at 7 a.m. (before the businessmen start their workday) so I need to wake up at 5 a.m. to get ready and take a bus to work. I wasn’t born a natural early bird so it hasn’t been easy waking up that early! So I’d like to share some of my tried and true tricks to waking up early in the morning.

#1. Schedule a reminder to go to bed early.
I like to set a reminder on my phone that I have to get up early the next day. This way I’m aware that I need to go to bed early so that I’ll get enough sleep before I have to wake up. There have been days where I’ve forgotten I had to get up early the next day and consequently went to work on just 4-5 hours of sleep. Ouch! So I calculated that if I want to get 8 hours of sleep I need to sleep at 9 p.m. Of course, sometimes I’m too busy to sleep a full 8 hours or simply don’t feel like sleeping that early so I set a hard deadline of 11 p.m. in order to get at least 6 hours of sleep.

#2. Tuck yourself in bed an hour before you have to sleep.
In line with being aware of having to sleep early, get comfy in bed an hour before bedtime. I have a tendency to read or check things on my phone before falling asleep in bed, regardless of whether I go to bed early or late. So I’ve found it’s helpful to schedule time to indulge in some reading before going to sleep so that my bedtime doesn’t get pushed back later than it needs to be.

#3. Choosing a book before bedtime.
You probably know this by now, but artificial light can keep you from getting sleepy! Although I tend to buy e-books rather than hard copies, I do have a few paperbacks that I keep for bedtime. Instead of reading a novel full of suspense, I opt for informative books that won’t keep me awake all night.

#4. Set more than one alarm.
If you’ve ever slept through an alarm before, this tip is definitely for you! Setting three alarms instead of just one will guarantee that you get up in the morning. If your alarm has a snooze function, by the time you get to your third alarm you’ll have been through two alarms and two snooze alarms!

#5. Start with a soft soothing alarm and build up from there.
I find that waking up with a soft soothing alarm is kinder on the nerves than a sudden loud blare. Waking up with a jolt puts me in a cranky tired mood so I like to start with a softer alarm and save the loud ones for last.

Do you have any tips for waking up early?


My last morning in London was spent at the St Pancras Railway Station and at the King’s Cross Station next door. I was taking the Eurostar to Paris from St Pancras Railway Station.


King’s Cross was literally, right next door! This turned out to be a perfect opportunity to dash over to Kings Cross Station to see a couple things before I left London.


First was this marvelous structure designed by John McAslan! It reminded me of the structure inside the British Museum because of the sort of netting design, but feel distinctly different in every other way. This one sort of felt like a whale spout and the lighting was different. I think I was more struck by the height and shape where as in the British Museum I loved the lighting.


The second thing I had to see was of course, Platform 9 3/4! As someone who grew up with the Harry Potter series, this was definitely something that came to mind when it came to King’s Cross! Platform 9 3/4 was not actually where the other platforms were, but at the far end of the main area when you first walk into King Cross (though there might be more locations I’m not entirely sure). It was part of a Harry Potter store and there was a line in front of the trolley to take pictures. I only had a split second between people taking turns to get a shot, and it didn’t come out very sharp. I tried putting the two together, but it didn’t turn out very well.  Anyway, I was so enchanted by the Harry Potter shop I completely forgot to take a photo of the actual store. There were so many souvenirs that made the Harry Potter fan inside me jump up and down. If you’re planning to stop by the Harry Potter shop while you’re at King’s Cross station, my advice is that you check out their website and take a look at what they have and plan a budget! I bought the Platform 9 3/4 ticket and a Platform 9 3/4 pin badge as I like collecting tickets and thought the pin badge would be perfect to personalize a utility jacket.


This is inside St Pancras International where I took the Eurostar to Paris. It was also the last photo I took in London! It was sad to leave London but had Paris, Interlaken, Venice, and Rome to look forward to.
Have you ever been to King’s Cross Station? Did you see Platform 9 3/4 while you were there?

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