Saturday, August 8, 2015

Baa Baa...Shaun?

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Shaun spotting all over London! I only met 15/50, wished I was able to see them all! I love all of them, which one is your favorite?

Monday, June 1, 2015

London Day 1

Day 1: 

I had just arrived the night before, being half excited and half asleep, with really nasty puffy eyes (thanks to the inflight movie) we went to Borough Market to start our food journey. It's a weekend market that starts on Thursdays. Tonnes of food stalls to choose from and fresh ingredients to be found. Crazy long line at Monmouth coffee which J said it's worth getting a gastric for!

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Kappacasein was highly recommended because of its unique home made cheese and also the way they grill their cheese. Initially, it's kinda pungent I must say but the flavor...mmmm... mmm... mmm..(busy stuffing my face) so amazingly yummy. So decadent and rich and salty enough. They literally have 2 half blocks of cheese on a 'grilling' station, and they'd just pour the melted cheese over boiled potatoes and served it with pepper and pickles. Yummers!!

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Since it is a market, there are no places allocated for tables and chairs to sit so people would just walk around with food in their hands and sprawled around the lawn enjoying their food. Plus, the weather was really beautiful to be outside. After a full belly, we walked along River Thames towards Tate Modern. 

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What a beautiful day to play with bubbles.

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This piece of art was done by a Chinese artist, just because we are Chinese, the gallery's tour guide assumed that we'd know more than her about Chinese culture and the meaning of this piece...Luckily C was there to answer all the questions that the tour guide directed at us! What do you think this piece of art means?

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Two pieces of steel supporting each other with NO additional elements! Purely sheer weight and precision.

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As usual....my favorite - Mark Rothko.

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For dinner, J&C thought it would be nice to go to Hutong at the Shard to view the sunset and to eat Chinese food. It is a really nice place because instead of getting tickets to go up the Shard for a 360 view of London, one can just opt to have dinner at Hutong while enjoying the amazing view! I was still recovering from jetlag so we didn't order a lot of food. A basket of tempura soft shell crab, dimsum platter, minced pork with lettuce and dessert. Though simple, my taste buds were awaken and I felt that the dimsum was so much better than the ones I've had in Bay Area! I really loved how delicate the dumplings were!

My stomach is growling as I type this, I wished I'd had more food when I was there. Well, all the more reason I should go again soon...

After dinner, we went for a walk and walked to London Bridge and took some wefie which will not be featured here :p

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Sunday, May 3, 2015

Spring 2015

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Spring came early this year. The flowers started blooming by mid February, these cherry blossoms caught me by surprised and were short lived. Before I was able to appreciate them, they had wilted. 

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On most weekends, I hiked at this park. Every time I walk passed the creek side path, I had not noticed the heart shaped leaves but that day I did. This year and every year onwards, I want to be able to fully live, laugh and love life. To fill my days with more joys and feel OK for whatever mishaps I encounter.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

Orange County

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It was a long awaited vacation. Had been sick for a while, and was looking forward to meet up with friends and family. Work was still haunting me while I was away, but luckily the company that I was with made it worthwhile to be away. Had quite an amazing time in Orange County, having lunch at the Ritz Carlton and staying at St. Regis, only because somebody had reward points to spare :) The weather too was beautiful...sunny but windy which made it pleasant. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Morchella

I never knew that hunting mushroom is a big sport in California. I only found out recently that there are many people that go out and hunt for mushrooms. Some even hunt it professionally, treating it as a full time job providing restaurants with rare seasonal mushrooms.

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Last month was the season of Morchella or Morel. It was supposedly so rare that when one finds the spots for Morel, one keep it a secret. Plus, Morel season lasts for only 2 weeks or so. I thought this wasn't a nice sport. So someone found a lot of Morels and started forwarding the photos of his findings to mushroom enthusiasts without disclosing the location. Worse, that person even gave the wrong location on the pretext of wanting to share the location of the Morels. Tsk tsk tsk... bad bad person. BUT! A generous professor who knows a lot about mushrooms shared the EXACT location with the mushroom enthusiasts. So with the exact location in hand, we drove all the way up to Yosemite to hunt for some Morels. 

We followed the exact location, (e.g. how many feet away, where to turn where to look, etc) but we couldn't find any. While we felt disappointed, we stopped and took a break. Lo and behold, there's one tiny bump pushing its way out from the ground, IT'S A MOREL! When there is a Morel, chances are there will be a cluster nearby. Another tip is to look under fallen tree trunks. So we found some the first few minutes, then we decided to venture and walk deeper into the woods. I was so shocked when I found the fallen tree, because when I looked into the hole near the base of the tree trunk, there stood a colony of Morel, big and small. Biggest being almost as big as a palm. There was one that was so big and deeply rooted that by the time we got it out, we kinda broke it. Morel can be quite brittle, so pulling them out without breaking takes practice. Since there is a law on how much one can hunt for mushrooms, we had to stop ourselves when we had reached the limit. At least we went home with some big Morels instead of a wild goose chase! Even though I may not be a mushroom connoisseur but hunting for mushroom is definitely a lot of fun.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Road trip to Oregon - Day IV

The final day of the road trip. We wanted to cut short the drive home, so after being defeated by Crater Lake, we stayed the night at Klamath Falls. The first thing that we did when we woke up was to find some good food. There was a bakery a block away from where we were staying. I couldn't help myself, and bought a lot of pastries. Sticky buns, adeline, bear claw, chocolate croissant, cinnamon twist and apple strudel (I think). It was very very yummy and very cheap compared to some of the bakeries in the Bay Area, I was very happy with my pastries! Yumm!!! Then we went to this cute little coffee shop for breakfast and headed back to the Bay Area.

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Since we never went to Crater Lake, we decided to drop by Shasta Dam, since it was on the way.

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I think driving for 4 days took a toll on us, we were tired, not very keen on staying long for each destination. The weather was beautiful and we walked across the bridge across the dam. We didn't even bother to join the free tour into the water plant. Then we headed back home. 

All in all, it was a very nice short road trip. The drive was very pleasant, Oregon is amazingly beautiful on a good weather. Even though we didn't get to do all the things that we planned, but we enjoyed ourselves tremendously. Can't wait for the next road trip! ♥

Road trip to Oregon - Day III

When I think of Portland, I think of local eateries. We wanted to take the trip light and easy so we didn't particularly looked into any famous local eateries. Furthermore the weather forecast changed, we wanted to make it to Crater Lake before it rained so we left Portland early in the morning after brunch.

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We Yelped for a place with decent reviews on our way out. We found this place which was opened for  brunch on a Wednesday morning. The place was quaint and cute. I cannot decide on what to order, everything sounded so yummy, so finally I chose Equinox Tofu, yes, of all things, tofu? But I felt like it at that time. AL ordered the Pillow - puff pastry stuffed with roasted red peppers, mushrooms, parmesan and caramelized onions topped with two poached eggs and poblano cheese sauce with potatoes. Mine turned out decent but I really liked the cheese sauce for the Pillow. Best of all, without tax it made the meal very affordable!

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It rained on the way towards Crater Lake, by the time we reached the north gate, it started to snow really heavily. It turned out that north gate was closed! Oh man, and with the snow coming down so strongly we had to quickly leave because we didn't have the chains on for the truck. 

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Within half an hour, the snow almost turned into a blizzard! So we quickly left without making it to Crater Lake. Worst, by the time we reached Klamath Falls, we found out the south gate for Crater Lake is open and the north gate is closed most of the time! But we decided to stay put at Klamath Falls for the night. AL had a moment playing with fresh snow so he was happy, and I was tired. I got car sick on the way towards Crater Lake and was glad that we could finally rest.