Tag Archives: vacation

I already miss Japan

Also, I am starving. I wish I could walk out the door right now, walk twenty feet in any direction, and grab a bowl of noodles. Stay tuned for the trip recap with plenty of delicious food photos.

Staycation!

I noted before that Michelle wont a night’s stay at The Langham. It’s the old Ritz Carlton in Pasadena.

It sits on twenty three acres of beautiful ground.

Michelle, enjoying the grounds and testing out her new curls.

The grand hallway. It’s not officially titled that, but it looks appropriate.

The patio. The spheres light up at night time.

This squirrel lives on the patio and will fearlessly approach any guest.

The Lanai Poolside King. The tint of blue in the top is the pool outside.

Michelle, enjoying the pool view while staying connected to the rest of you via her Droid.

We met Harrison and Annie for dinner in San Gabriel at this shabu shabu spot. Does the logo on the far left look like a penis to anyone else? It’s supposed to be a cat arching its back on piano keys.

Everyone gets their own hot pot! That’s Harrison and Annie, now known as Chong.

Raw beef, fresh vegetables, and fish paste ready to be dropped into simmering broth.

Michelle went with the seafood, like she always does.

Look how happy we are to eat!

After dinner we headed to the lounge at the hotel to listen to some live jazz and have another beer, but that was it for the night. We woke up the next morning with the sun already high in the sky warming the day. We spent some time by the newly opened pool and then went to lunch downtown.

French toast at Bottega Louie.

Michelle went with the pizza. Does she looked naked behind the pizza? Hot.

Next time. I will be back. Next time.

All in all it was a great getaway from reality for twenty four hours. We’re a little bit poorer now, but not quite as poor as if we bought airline tickets or three tanks of gas.

Kids at Heart

Just so you don’t think all I did in New York was eat and drink (although nothing wrong with that), here is a short clip of us in the subway station. They were doing construction so you could hear the jack-hammering. Like any grown adult, some of us decided to make machine gun motions.

The rest of the New York pictures can be viewed here.

I’m on a Boat!

Our last full day was spent with an ocean voyage on a catamaran.

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I’m on a boat and, it’s going fast and, I’ve got a nautical themed Pashmina afghan!

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The views were great, but some people were sick.

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Michelle lost a shoe, and the boat actually backed up to get it.

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With this one returned, the net shoe loss on the trip stayed at one.

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We got to see dolphins. They played with the wake of the boat.

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We got to snorkel and see fish swimming around the rocks.

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Sometimes you feel less sick if you’re driving instead of riding.

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It was a long trip, and it took a toll on some of us harder than others.

Be sure to check out the rest of the photos. Thanks to Google they’re even speedier now!

Costa Rica, Here I Come!

Dear Internet,

I am off to Costa Rica later tonight. Please be good and have lots of funny viral videos when I get back. I am doing my part and have some posts scheduled up while I am away, and I will share my pictures and video when I return. Here are some of the things I will see while I am gone.

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Hopefully I don’t get eaten by any dinosaurs.

Love,
m@

Thicker Than Water…Saltier and Redder Too

My parents and I took a trip up north to visit my brother. He just turned thirty a couple weeks ago. While that may seem completely normal to you, this is almost strange to me. Our family has always been hands off, coming and going as we please as individuals, never worrying about being forced to attend family functions. I think it has something to do with my brother getting married earlier this year. We don’t want to appear weird to my sister-in-law. So we get together and almost pretend that we’ve always been super close and involved in each others’ lives. I guess we’re a real family now. I’m not opposed to this. It will just take some getting used to for sure.

Speaking of getting used to things, I did a double take every time Joy referred to my parents as Mom and Dad. I knew my parents were the only mom and dad around when we were talking, but it is so foreign for me to hear any other voice address my parents that way other than my brother.

So this trip I started talking about…fun. Saturday we took a day trip to Carmel, where we stuffed our faces.

Brunch on the patio before heading to Carmel. Delicious.

The Mission at Carmel.

There was a wedding going on at the church. That means free entrance.

Father Junípero Serra.

Is this why they call the area Pebble Beach?

There are so many golf courses in this area.

Some of the wildlife.

The first rule is don’t feed the animals. I hope these tourists get rabies and learn.

My mom kept seeing real estate sale signs and wanting to stop to look. I don’t think these homes are in our price range.

Cypress Point.

The Lone Cypress. It’s a hoax. Out of frame on the left is another one.

Pebble Beach Golf Course. It was a gorgeous day, so we had dessert on the patio.

Trio of Custards.

Apple something or other with vanilla ice cream.

Chocolate cake. This is before we poured the hot fudge over it.

After Carmel we headed back towards my Union City, but despite the fact that we had eaten three meals already, we stopped for dinner. When we got back to my brother’s place, I jumped in the car and headed to San Francisco to hang out with Kyung. I got to see his new place, and I even picked up something extra when visiting him.

He gave me The Perfect Pushup. He said he wasn’t using it and gave me a deal.

Here is half of the set, being used as The Perfect Doorstop. Kyung is pretending to be The Perfect Floor Mat. In all fairness there was lots of whiskey and beer. I didn’t even remember taking any pictures that night.

Sunday was spent visiting my mom’s aunt, playing the Wii, and ended with dinner. It was a perfectly lazy day to follow the busy one in Carmel and San Francisco. Today was spent visiting a business colleague and friend of ours and driving back down home.

Good food. Good friends. Good family. Good times.

I Hate You Only a Little Now

For those of you that know me, I’ve always said I hate San Diego. Hate really isn’t the right word, but the area really doesn’t do anything for me. People rave about the Mexican food, but I believe it exists just as good and possibly better in Los Angeles. Michelle and I needed to get out of town for a bit, so we figured San Diego was far enough to be called vacation but close enough not to be a hassle.

We left on Friday, because we wanted it to feel like a real vacation and not just a weekend excursion. Here is our trip in photo format. Closed captioning is provided by michellewoo.com.

Sushi sounded like a good, light lunch after eating too many snacks on the car ride down. Conveyor belt sushi…not so good.

Ready to go kayaking? Hold your wrist and try to bite your ear.

We were the only two people that were signed up for the 1:00 PM tour. We had two guides, one of which was our personal photographer. They must have lost money on this tour, especially since we bargained the price down from $80 to $65. I told Michelle I was doing all the work, which is why they put the motors on the back of boats. She disagreed and called me dead weight.

One of the seven caves. We got to go into this one. The clarity of the water was so great everywhere. You could see right down to the bottom, and Garibaldi were swimming everywhere.

Sunning the day away without a care in the world.

The kayak tour was totally awesome since we got one on one attention from our guides. We talked ecosystems and about Discovery Channel’s Planet Earth. Michelle and I got to see a Thresher shark swim right under us. My head was still down looking for more sharks, when I heard Michelle say “Uhhhh!” I looked up and a wave was coming at us and wasn’t going to crash. I remember thinking, “I hope I closed the Ziploc bag tight on my camera.” Michelle got lifted out of her seat and got turned completely perpendicular, side saddling the kayak. She got herself straightened out, saying that was the best thing about the tour.

After kayak snack. Michelle says everyone eats crepes on vacation.

We headed to our hotel in the Gaslamp Quarter. I booked The Grand Horton Hotel, which I was later informed by Spencer was famously known for being haunted. I figured I wouldn’t tell Michelle until we left the hotel safely or until we were held hostage by the ghosts. As soon as we got into the hotel, Michelle used two words to describe the hotel: scary and Disneyland. It’s no wonder either.

Definitely Victorian. Definitely ghost territory.

She still doesn’t know this place is haunted. Can’t you just imagine the organ playing itself at night?

This is what you see when the elevator stops on the third floor. I was facing the elevator doors, but Michelle screamed when she saw it. That’s just creepy. I knew Room 309 was the most famous for being haunted, so when we got Room 325, I kept quiet and didn’t tell Michelle we had a ghost staying a few doors down.

We got checked in and took a well needed nap after paddling around the ocean for a two hours. We set ourselves up for dinner less than 1,000 feet, around the corner from our hotel at Cafe Sevilla. I’ve been looking for a place to get Spanish Tapas, ever since I came back from Spain two years ago. Well, Cafe Sevilla has a location in Long Beach as well. Looks like I’ve found a spot when I’m hankering for some Spanish food.

Calamari. This one is okay.

Shrimp Ajillo. How can you go wrong with garlic and butter?

Chicken, beef, and seafood paella tapas.

Patatas Bravas. Spicy, just the way we like it.

Phallic? Yes. Homsexually suggestive? Yes. Delicious. Definitely yes.

In order to not feel old, we decided we had to go out after dinner to at least one place. It was twice as rough for me since I have been sick for about half a week now with my nose running and a nagging cough. It got worse after dinner. I couldn’t even taste my whiskey or my beer. I had to trust Michelle when she said the beer was good.

Breakfast at Cafe 222, again less than 1,000 feet from our hotel door.

We hung around in our hotel room for a little bit before heading to Balboa Park. As soon as we got there, we strolled around, looking at our visitors guide and tried to decide which museums and gardens to check out. I think we must be spoiled by the Internet, because everything looked boring or too expensive. It didn’t take us long to leave this place. Michelle asked, “Is this what couples do? This is boring.”

The architecture was cool in Balboa Park.

International Gardens. Sounds impressive? It’s not.

This picture is posted for one individual only. I’d hate to admit it to him, but had we gone to this, it probably would’ve been the most interesting exhibit there.

Koi in the Japanese Friendship Garden. I had a long discussion with Michelle as to how large these fish were, and she kept saying they were smaller than I was thinking. I told her she should trust me, since we were talking about eye balling distances and lengths, which I have to do for work sometimes, and we were talking about fish. Still unwilling to concede, I had to pull up another picture of koi at the zoo with a duck as a reference for size before she was willing to believe that the fish we saw were the size of our legs. Well maybe not hers. Those things just won’t quit.

Taking pictures of ourselves is free and more fun tha plants. Let’s do that.

Obligatory picture of the industrial boobs off the 5 freeway.

We got into San Diego and left in just about twenty four hours. I felt like we had accomplished a lot in the short time we were there, at least enough to satisfy any urge that might take us down that direction for a long time. On our way back up we stopped at the Rainbow store and picked up a couple pairs of sandals. At 37% off retail prices, it’s worth it to pick up an extra pair for later. We finished our trip up with a stop in Irvine to get some spicy wontons and spicy beef noodle soup at A&J Restaurant, one of Michelle’s college favorites. I am thorougly exhausted.

See You Later, USA

Well, it’s after midnight, and we’re not prepared for our trip to Taiwan that we have to leave for at 6:00 AM. I am at Michelle’s place right now, watching her pack while talking to herself. She’s delirious from a lack of sleep. After she pulls herself together and gets everything packed, I still have to head home and finish packing myself. It’s going to be a rough travel day tomorrow, but hopefully this lack of sleep will allow us to be right on Taiwan’s time.

I’m sad that I’m going to miss half of March Madness. I seriously don’t know what my brother was thinking, scheduling his wedding during NBA All Star weekend and this Taiwan trip during March Madness. It should be fine though. The Bruins will still be in it when I return. I know they won’t let me down, especially if they decide to deploy a defensive strategy such as this.

I should have access to the Internet to check work emails and check up on March Madness, but in case I have any difficulties getting online, I’ll leave you with a couple of things to keep yourselves occupied. First, here is a website dedicated to Photoshop mishaps in publications and advertisements, often starring famous people. Secondly, here is a video with a cynical look at marriage. Until I return, keep a watchful eye out on the Internet. See you online from the other side of the world.

Taiwan is Not China or Thailand

I think I have my cultural sensitivity training covered. Thai people do not come from Taiwan. I have also told Michelle not to tell people, “I was here just last year. Shanghai and Beijing are cool.” Mao shirts are not being packed in the luggage. Nor is the matching Mao watch and lighter.

I’m heading to Taiwan for a week. My brother’s in laws live there, so we’re doing the wedding reception times two. I’m excited to get out to experience Taipei. I have a whole list of things to do and eat when I’m there from my friends that make frequent trips back and forth. The only thing I’m afraid of is that it won’t be as exciting as all these people make it sound. Taiwan is a second home to them, where they fit in very well culturally. Hopefully I have as much fun as they do.

Viva Las Vegas

It’s good to be back home. Las Vegas is a city that never stops, and it has taken its toll on me. Despite the trip being just Michelle and me, we got quite a few pictures taken.

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This was lunch on Friday at Dick’s Last Resort in Excalibur. They play Grease on a loop, talk rude to you, and make these awesome hats. I didn’t get one, but I’m sure if I did it would have been some snide comment questioning my manhood. If anyone stops in here, be sure to try the Pork Bonerz.

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We got hooked up with free tickets to Def Comedy Jam. We were afraid we weren’t ‘hood enough to understand the jokes, but it turned out great. The comedians were hilarious.

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Planet Hollywood had its grand opening, and DMC showed up. His posse looked like they weren’t happy with me taking pictures, but I told them I saw Def Comedy Jam earlier that night and said, “We cool, G?”

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This is second reception we walked right into at Planet Hollywood. The first was for John Stewart’s show. This was for Bruce Willis’ band. Perhaps we looked important, but no one questioned use without all access badges.

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Baby shrimp inside a baby pineapple. Those Hollywood types know how to live. Combined with two free bottles of water and six free drinks, we did pretty well during the night.

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We weren’t so fortunate in other places. They had barriers just for me.

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Michelle shows why she loves Las Vegas.

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Michelle shows her excitement for buffets.

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The walkway into the theater.

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The fifth and sixth Beatles.

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The Love Theatre.

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Love, Love, Love! Greatest show I’ve ever seen.

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Bellagio never ceases to amaze with their decorative displays.

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Still sleeping with no idea that I’ve lost our cab fare money. We’re walking to the airport.