Thursday, August 05, 2004

It's been a great run!

Well it's been a great run, but I am off and back to Thanks TYPEPAD you have been a great and wish I didn't have to leave but since I have already paid my web host for a year I need to use it. Maybe I will be back who knows. For those of you deciding what blog to use - GO Typepad. It's ease of use is what I will miss the most. For now the site will run for another month. So please -- take a look at the pictures - and read about our mis-adventures in South East Asia. Hopefully we will have more fun on ( New feature I added there is the Photo Album - register and you can share your travel adventures too. See ya next door. Ciao

August 5, 2004 in Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Second Bestest Friend

This weekend Chhimi and Tabitha spent it with Ahmar, Chhimi's official 2nd Bestest Friend, from Norfolk, VA. We saw Ahmar and his lil' brother, Nadeem in December 2003 when they visited their parents for Xmas. This time around Ahmar came by himself just to spend some time with his dad on his vacation. What a sweet man. Click Here for pics.

We went to Pacifica, Half Moon Bay, Union Square, and caught a movie (Anchorman) at the Metreon on Saturday.

Toes in the Pacific Ocean

We drove from Ocean Beach onto HWY 35 to HWY 1. The scenes were breath-taking to be right their on the edge of the coast. Chhimi and Tabitha haven't been on the beach in a very very long time. It was wonderful to see the waves, despite the cloudy weather of the city. We saw Pacifica Beach on the right hand side of the road and decided to pull over to enjoy it. We walked down the long winding stair case onto the beach strip and saw a group of 4 people flying kites. Awww...wished we had a kite. Then there were surfers all around in the water. We dipped our feet into the freezing Pacific ocean .... but it felt sooo nice to have the sand and salt water wash over our feet. We definitely got used to it. Even Ahmar couldn't resist and had to take off his shoes and run into the freezing cold ocean :-).

Half Moon Bay (sort of)
Next stop is Half Moon Bay's Harbor. We stopped over on our way to Half Moon Bay State Beach (which we never reached) but we decided to pull over and look at all the fishing boats. We stopped at a fish & chip placed and had ourselves some nice light lunch. Afterwards, we strolled onto the pier and saw all the fishing boats and fishing market selling fresh caught salmon. People were actually buying them too. the end of the Pier there were a flock of seagulls flying overhead and sqauting on the buildings so Chhimi decided to investigate. ...OMG! It was a close one, Tabitha felt something wet fall on her face...and she totally freaked out and thought it was seagull poo-poo. YUCK! She rubbed anti-bacteria gel on her face to wash away any thing that may be not "clean". Hahaha. Chhimi and Ahmar had a good giggle over that.

Union Square Dinner Time
Afterwards, we headed inland on HWY 92 to HWY 101 back into the city for Union Square. It was a very neat drive where we passed over fresh fruit stands and nurseries. Chhimi wanted to stop over but knew it was about to get dark already so decided not to. Next Time. We parked at the Metreon parking lot and decided to stroll over a few blocks onto Union Square. Same as always lots of boutiques and shops. We walked into a couple of stores and decided we were ready for dinner. King of Thai Noodle here we come. As we walked on Clement St, Chhimi got a scared when his favorite Thai joint was closed...but luckily, they just moved to a new location :-). Whew! The place is SMALL. Chhimi and Ahmar are not small boyz. the first table we got was hard for Chhimi and Ahmar to breathe. Poor things. So Chhimi requested to switch tables...a little better but still tight. Oh well. Food was good as usual. Chhimi and Tabitha even tried to order in Thai. The waitress definitely appreciated it and was more attentive to us :-). Awww....that's why we love this joint!

Funny Movie
Now, we decided to settle down the night at the Metreon Loew's theatre with Anchorman. Thought the movie was going to be sooo stupid....but all three of us laughed soooo hard and loud. Thought the movie theatre was going to be emtpy...but nope, it was a full house! Chhimi's sides were hurting afterwards. It was that funny (ok, Stupid Funny).

That's it for now. We're calling it a night at our hotel room in Foster City. Tomorrow, we're heading over the Berkely for some South Indian cuisine (DOSAS) ...MMMmmmm....looking forward to that!

Sunday Afternoon
After getting woken up at 8:00am by the hotel's maid asking for "housekeeping" and then proceeded to unlock our door even though Tabitha kept yelling "Go Away!" was freaky! Thank goodness we had the double-bolt so she could only open the room less than 1/8 of the way. Was that really housekeeping or was that a close encounter of something else?! Either way... Freaky. But no worries, Chhimi and I went back to sleeping soundly afterwards. By the time we woke up again to get ready and finally checked out, it was already Sunday afternoon, here we come.

Dosa In Berkeley
We dropped by Ahmar's parent's house in the Richmond district to take Ahmar and Uncle (Ahmar's dad) out for Dosa. Unfortunately, Uncle had to pick up prescriptions at the pharmacy prior to 6:00pm and we didn't know when we would be able to drop Ahmar back off. So, just the 3 of us again but we promised Uncle that we would bring him back one for sure. We got onto HWY 101 North and proceeded to Chhimi's favorite Dosa place.

We ordered 3 Masala Dosas with Sambar. MMmmm. We also order a Masala Uthapam (similar to a "steamed" pizza with India spices mixed with potato and other veggies. The food arrived just as our bellies were about to curse and yell. The fragrance and aroma from the spices were wonderful and tingled our nostrils. The sambar was cooked to almost perfection! It was sooo yummy that we all finished our share and were almost fighting for the uthapam. Good lunch for sure.

Afterwards, Tabitha got the crazy idea of walking from Sacramento Ave to 9th Ave. Yeah, WALK more than 15 blocks down to an Indian grocery store. What's even crazier was despite good judgement, both Chhimi and Ahmar tagged along. Half way through, Chhimi finally called it quits and said "that's it. It is way too far to continue to walk and way too far to walk back". So Tabitha quickly grabs the car keys and sprints back to the car on Sacramento and traveled back on University to pick up the 2 very exhuasted passengers. :-) It worked out.

We finally found the grocery store that Ahmar was telling us and parked. Chhimi decided to walk to another one right at the corner called "Milaan". It was a big indian grocery store but very very weird staff. The moment we walked in, a man quickly came to Tabitha's side and as Tabitha stared back at him, he asked "did you need some help finding something?" Response was "No, we're just looking" meaning "please move away from me before I kick you.". Then after walking to the aisle of premade package foods, Chhimi got sooo excited and wanted to get some. But NO PRICE STICKERS on any of its products. We got the same guy and asked "How much?". He says "$0.99"...then a younger "punk" comes up and says "No." "$1.99". Tabitha then found a package that stated "$1.49" and showed it to the guys...the younger "punk" says "No, that is wrong price. $1.99". We said "No thanks, we don't want it" and walked out. WEIRD STORE!!

Saying Good-Bye
We dropped Ahmar back to his parent's place and gave him hugs and waved good bye until the next time he comes back out to the Bay. Bye Bye for now "Second Bestest Friend" of Jigme Chhimi. :-) It was a nice time to see Ahmar and to catch up with him.

August 1, 2004 in Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Monday, July 05, 2004

Family Summer Vacation

This weekend is full of firsts for everybody. Tabitha got the wise idea of organizing a "family" vacation while Penjo was visiting from NYC for the long July 4th weekend. So, Chhimi and Tabitha planned a little camping trip up in Folsom Lake since they couldn't get Sly Park for only one-night. Although friends warned us that it was not worth doing a one-night camp trip....we were stubborn enough to not listen to their advise.

Penjo arrived at into the airport around 2:00 and didn't get back to Chhimi and Tabitha's place until past 3:00pm. Now everybody scurries and starts loading up our tiny little corolla with all the essentials, including (tent, 3 outdoor chairs, 2 flourescent lanterns, 3 sleeping bags, big ice chest full of food and bottled water, medium ice chest full of food and sodas, small ice chest full of food and food, outdoor stove, 4 propane cans, 3 backpacks full of one-night change of clothes including towels and PJs, and last but not least, our 3 bikes. From all that stuff that we packed, you wouldn't think we were only staying one night.

We arrived at the Folsom Lake park and checked into campsite #7. It was just full of...well, dirt, dry grass, picnic table...but that was it. Penjo thought we weren't roughing it enough...Chhimi thought "oh dear lord, I hope we survive the night"...and Tabitha thought..."crap,...where's the bathroom around here?".

Well, first thing we did was set up camp and our tent. Picking a place was a dilemma for us. Chhimi wanted it on spot covered by the rocks. Tabitha wanted a place where it was already set up before and looked leveled. Chhimi won. But we all paid throughout the night.

Afterwards, we took our bikes and headed out to the lake for a short ride. It was a lot of fun riding fromt he picnic areas into the sand towards the lake. Lots of people were there just enjoying the day....just like us. Just wished there were more family with us though. Then the boys dipped their toes into the lake to feel how cool it was.

Next stop is back to campsite #7. While heading back, we saw two ladies walking towards an area that looked like bathrooms. Tabitha immediately asks "what is up there on that hill". Ladies responded "Showers and bathrooms" Tabitha yells back "Thank you!". Whoohoo...found the toilets. Yay! So the three of us headed back to the campsite and started our portable one-time use Korean grill for our bulgogi.

We did BBQ "Asian Style"...Tabitha even made rice and bought chopsticks! :-D hahahah! After eating our bellies full, we gathered our things and chit-chatted a little while. It was soon dark so the 3 of us decided to visit the bathroom before we head into our tent. Grabbed our two little flourescent lanterns and hiked up the 0.05 mile to the bathroom facilities.

Rating: Not Bad for camping bathrooms. For those who don't know Tabitha, she's a complete Bathroom Snob. Ask her about Yosemite and she'll tell you. And they had showers there that was cool. The only thing was there were NO lights after dark. Not positive why?!

Afterwards, we trekked back to Campsite #7 and tried to light our $6.00 pile of wood in the fire ring. For those who don't know Chhimi, he's a complete fire-phobic person. Ask him about it. Penjo starts busy grabbing dried grass around the area and lighting it up...but that darn big piece of wood would not light. Finally Chhimi took the lead and ordered us to find small twigs to burn. Lots of them. Chhimi's fire took off...and was light....the duration was for about 20 minutes or so...but it was still very nice to have a small little fire around. Felt like camp!



July 5, 2004 in Travel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Friday, July 02, 2004

Is It A Flap Or Isn't It?

Parachute landed in our backyardTabitha is Confused!!!King of the HILL
That is the question we had to ask ourselves as we tried to set up our borrowed "tent" in the backyard before our 1-night camping trip to the California State Park. As we shooed away our wascally wabbits from our backyard, Tabitha laid down the blue tarp and got ready to set the tent up. As we placed the poles into its place, Chhimi and Tabitha thinks "this is easy stuff....very easy" but as we soon see, the "tent" is only one sheet of rain-proof material. No doors, No Windows.

The more we looked at it...the more it looked like a tent. We even asked our lovely housemate, Brenda, for some outdoor guidance. So now, there's 3 people without a clue to what they are doing...trying to see what the heck is going on with this tent. We even came up with an excuse that ...."hey, maybe Tabitha's friend likes his tent to be like this so it would be "roughing it" in the wild??!!

But oh boy, we were just cursing ourselves and asking "what the heck is this supposed to be?".

The answer....a rain flap for a missing tent! Where is the tent?! Tabitha asked to borrow a tent and instead she got a rain flap. Phoeey! Thank goodness the "Red Circle Boutique" was still opened and Chhimi went out and got us a nice 3-4 person Coleman tent to try out on our first time of camping.

WhooHoo! We will no longer be "camp-virgins" after Friday night baby. Just hope Penjo won't be "passing gas" all night long....No Beans For You, Boy!

July 2, 2004 in Travel | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Misc Pics from our trip.

New Pictures: of our vacation to Singapore and Thailand. Some odds and end.
Click Here

June 17, 2004 in Travel | Permalink | Comments (1)

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Summer Vacation

Hobbit Magic
10 Wonderful days to kick start the summer. 8000 plus miles away from Sacramento & not to mention the fact that I did not have to listen to Kings talk. The reason for taking such a vacation was a combination of being burnt out (both Tab & me) and wanting to get out of Sac-town.

*** (See Pictures) - I will post remaining pictures by this weekend. ***
Hostile Takeover

Well enough with Tabitha’s ramblings about the trip here is my summary of our vacation. We left Sacramento and boarded our flight from San Francisco International airport. A quick stopover in Incheon, Korea, (See Pictures) and 18+ hours later we reached Singapore. Note: Did not catch much sleep, as we were both excited about our vacation and the fact that Singapore Airlines offers one of the best in-flight entertainment and meals. (See Pictures) While Tabitha caught Chasing Liberty, I watched the entire Lord of the Rings Trilogy. (They had about 60 movies and a lot of TV Shows and on demand music)

After arriving in Singapore at 1:00 in the morning we caught our shuttle through Tour Winds and reached our hotel the Marina Mandarin (See Pictures). Note: If you are ever to travel in Asia get Asian Affair Holidays and plan your trip. Both hotels in Singapore and Bangkok were awesome. A quick shower and some shuteye later and we headed down for the complimentary breakfast at 6:30. Breakfast was a mix between continental and daily Singaporean breakfast that included noodles, congee (rice porridge) to name a few.

Day 1:
ORCHIDGetting around in Singapore is easy as getting on the local SMRT (subway) or local buses and taxis. For most of our journey in Singapore we used the SMRT, as it was very cheap and convenient way to get around. For our first stop in Singapore I decided that we would visit one of Singapore’s many orchid gardens. Singapore National Orchid Garden has some 400 species of orchids and 2000 plus hybrids. (See pictures) This took most of our energy and a better part of our day. We then headed over to the shopping paradise of the world Orchard Road. Stop at this place at your own risk – for shopperholics this must be heaven. From trendy shopping centers, expensive upscale malls, restaurant and nightclubs and we were in search of FOOD. Food in Singapore is amazing because of its amazing melting pot of cultures. The types of food offered in Singapore are a fusion of Chinese, Indian, Malay and Western cuisines. Every shopping mall or center has a Hawker Stand or as we call it a food court.

SHREK2sAfter grabbing a bite to eat we decided to head over to watch Shrek 2 in the comforts of a cool air condition theatre and to avoid the heat and humidity that Singapore was offering us. We decided to watch the movie in a GV Gold Class at Great World City. For people who have not heard of Gold Class and are wondering what the heck is Gold Class? Friends you have never truly watched a movie until you have experienced Gold Class theatre. (See Pictures) What is Gold Class? (Check out Tabitha’s Experience of GV Gold Class in Bangkok) But sadly, as much as Singaporeans love their food and shopping, they are seem to love watching movies as much as we do. When we got to Great World City we found that all show times for Shrek 2 were sold out.

SharkA little disappointed we decided to head over to Sentosa Island (something like a resort area for Singaporeans and tourist to get some R&R – it has orchid gardens, beaches, resorts, spas, theme parks…) to spend the rest of the afternoon exploring Underwater World and the Butterfly Garden. First let me say that I chickened out of my date of swimming with the sharks. If you saw how big the sharks were you would understand my fear. I would probably look like a huge American whopper to those sharks. (See Pictures) FISHHighlights here were probably the 83-meter long acrylic tunnel where you got to experience the creature of the deep and all that separated us was an inch of glass. It felt like we were in an aquarium bowl being watched by these great predators of the sea (all types of sharks and sting rays). Another first was the touch pool; sea horse and sea dragon exhibit were definitely worth the money.

Butterfly Garden – home to 2000 butterflies – and we managed to see a whopping 2 whole butterflies. We arrived at the garden around 6:00 and the people at the garden said that the butterflies were resting for the day. Stupid butterflies we fly half way around the world and they are sleeping (See Pictures). They do have a huge collection of beetles though.

CRABAfter a very tiring day flying in from San Francisco and island hopping we decided to call it a night and headed back to the hotel for a hot shower and a short nap. Made reservations to experience the local seafood delicacies. Our hotel concierge made reservation at “JUMBO Seafood at Boat Quay” another tourist location. My stomach and I made acquaintance with the famous Singaporean “Sri Lankan – Chilly Crab,” fresh river prawns and scallops. (See Pictures)

Day 2:
whaleWell we heard a lot about “Clark Quay” and it’s famous Sunday flea market. That was all it was a flea market. Not much to report from here are we were very disappointed. We then headed on to China-Town (See Pictures). We spent the rest of our day in China town buying a lot of stuff – Chinese paintings, good luck charms, cushion covers. Broke up the day by visiting a spa for a foot reflexology (getting my poor tired feet rubbed by some “dood”).

Returned back to the hotel and spent a lazy mid afternoon at the pool. After dinner it was off to one of the biggest seafood spots in Singapore called the East Coast Seafood Center. It has plenty of restaurants serving seafood. This time around I tried another Singaporean special – Pepper Crab. All in all this ranked much better than the Chilly Crab – but the Thai Crab curry still rocks my world (See Pictures).

Day 3:

MONKEYAfter a very disappointing second day we got up at the crack of dawn (too early for me). We went and visited the Singapore Zoo to have breakfast with the Orangutans (See Pictures). This was one of the highlights of my trip in Singapore. I just wish I could have touched the baby orangutan. (Don’t worry Marsha – I won’t kill the monkey) Thanks in part to the Animal Rights group we are just allowed to eat breakfast with them and take a picture but no touching. NO TOUCHING THE MONKEY PEOPLE. Since they share so much of their DNA with us we could actually give them our diseases and vice-versa. We also got close to a python. Note: Tabitha who is usually scared about pretty much anything wasn’t having a lot of fun having a python draped around her neck (See Pictures).

We were just going to have breakfast with the orangutans, but instead we spent the better part of the morning enjoying the Singapore Zoo. If you have little ones or are a little one at heart like me make sure you stop over at the Singapore Zoo. (Check out Tabitha’s experiences at the zoo).

After the zoo – we decided to visit my number one highlight of our trip to Singapore by visiting the Singapore Science Center newest exhibition and the only one of its kind in whole of South East Asia – “The Lord of the Rings Exhibition.” (See Pictures) I am not a very big fan of the movie but to actually see almost every costume and prop used in the movie was a very memorable experience the sad part being that you were not allowed to take any pictures inside. For those of you lucky to be in the Boston area around August 1st visit the exhibition there before it heads back to New Zealand.

1Some of the highlights from the exhibit:

Costumes – worn by the actual characters in the movie from Arwen, Aragorn, Legolas, Frodo, and Gandalf to name a few.
Arms and Armor – this was very neat to see the detail put into each armor even though in the movie you barely see few frames at the most. Arms and armor worn by every race in the movie from the humans, elves and the orcs. We even got to touch a couple elven weapons and human chain mail armor.
Models – I just can’t say enough about this exhibition. The full-scale detail models of the orcs, big blue cave troll was really impressive and mind blowing. There is even a model of Sauron.
If you are lucky enough to be in the Boston area in August and have enjoyed the trilogy then plan on visiting the Boston Science Museum as the exhibition will return back to New Zealand after it’s Boston tour and I am pretty sure the last time I checked Boston is a lot closer than New Zealand.

SlingOur last day in Singapore turned out to be a blast as we headed back towards our hotel we stopped over at the Merlion Park. (See Pictures)
We ended the evening with some shopping and visiting the Raffles Hotel for its famous Singapore Sling (Ingredients· 1 1/2 ounce gin · 1/2 ounce Cherry Herring brandy · 1/4 ounce Cointreau · 1/4 ounce Benedictine · 4 ounces pineapple juice · 1/2 ounce lime juice · 1/3 ounce grenadine · dash bitters).

For Bangkok highlights check Tabitha’s experiences or NEW PICTURES of our Bangkok Trip.

June 3, 2004 in Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Home Sweet Home

Well, we are home now...we landed in SFO airport about 7:00pm but didn't get out of the airport until 8:30pm since one of our duffle bags "split" on the zipper and we couldn't recognize it after all the duct tape the airport staff placed on it. Afterwards, we had to journey through another 1.5 hours before we reached home. But Home Sweet Home it is.

The first thing Chhimi did when we got home was marched directly into the backyard to check on his babies. Our 15 tomato plants in the dark looks pretty awesome, according to Chhimi. They grew a lot taller, almost as tall as Tabitha.....that definitely make Tab feel any happier :-).

It was great to step back into our room and see our bed all neatly made....we were just so tired by then...we had to hit the bed and snooze until the morning.

It was a fantastic trip for us but it is also wonderful to be back home.....

now we are just planning on our next vacation :-)

June 2, 2004 in Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, May 28, 2004

Some Random Pictures in BKK

P1010247 Chhimi chilling by the pool at the condo -----

May 28, 2004 in Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, May 24, 2004

Heading over to Bangkok

See Ya --- check Bangkok Highlights -- also continue checking Singapore Highlights as we will try and add more about our trip to Singapore..including lots of pictures.

CLICK HERE for the utimate web log of our adventures in Bangkok Thailand...aka "City of Angels" but these Thais cheer for Sacramento Kings instead!!! hehehehehe!

BTW, Connie....NO, that is NOT the flower name...and even it was did not win a prize because you cost me $$ for texting international.....just joking ;-)

May 24, 2004 in Travel | Permalink | Comments (0)