Monday, December 31, 2007
Monday, December 24, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Thursday morning, November 22nd, 2007
In about 3.5 hrs of drive, we were at Bakersfield. Our initial plan was to meet up with Lalit and had lunch here. I guessed we got there a little earlier than expected, and at the same time found out all the shops were closed. So... change of plan: we picked up Lalit at Mojave and had lunch at Denny's instead; KFC at next door was closed. Anyway, it took us almost 3 hours to a small town called Lone Pine, just West of the Park, with a spectacular view of Mount Whitney, the highest point in the continental US. It was our first stop before we head into the park tomorrow morning. After loading our stuff, we checked out the close by Alabama Hills before we headed back to the motel room to prepare our Thanksgiving dinner -- steamboat/hot pot! Yup, we brought all the stuff in cooler with us! Though we forgot to bring "sha cha" sauce, it's still yummy! We were so stuffed!
Friday morning, November 23rd, 2007
...was dedicated to drive around the desert park.
- 1st stop:- Furnace Creek visitor center (we found out that our SUV is not "hardcore" enough to drive the dirt road to Racetrack Playa) :(
- 2nd stop:- Devil's Golf Course. (rugged salt crystal rock)- 3rd stop:- Badwater/salt field; 282 ft below sea level, lowest point in the National Park/US.- 4th stop:- Natural Bridge Canyon. By the time we were about to leave, we knew that we probably couldn't make it to the Sand Dunes during sunset; not to mention that we had to stop by at Dante's View before that. It was dark very early. Instead of attempting to wrestle with time, we took a slower route to our next destination, passing by Artist's Palettes.
- 5th stop:- Dante's View. Excellent view, but it was windy and COLD!
- 6th stop:- Stovepipe Wells Sand Dune; one of the most accessible one. By the time we got close to the Dunes, the sun had set. We did a moonlight hike instead. It was GREAT! The weather was perfect! Of course we all rolled down the sand dunes. :D- 7th stop: - Stay overnight at the other side (East), outside the park at Beatty, Nevada.
Saturday morning, November 24th, 2007
...we drove west into Death Valley Park again. Trip to Racetrack playa was cancelled :( because the road was too rough for our SUV. :(
- 1st stop:- Mud flat. This stop was not in our plan. We drove by and found it interesting. So we decided to drove off road and stopped by. It's one of our highlight. :)- 2nd stop:- the volcanic Ubehebe Crater.- 3rd stop:- Mosaic Canyon; beautiful trail- 4th stop:- back to Best Western @ Lone Pine, CA. and crashed for another night.
Sunday morning, November 25th, 2007
It’s nice to be out in the wild for a few days... after our complimentary breakfast at the motel, it was time to pack everything up and get ready for another lonnggg drive back to civilization. Traffic was bad when we were about to get off Highway 5. We left the motel around 11am. By the time we were in the Bay Area, it's almost 7pm. So, we headed straight up to Sushi Tomi @ Mountain View, and treated ourselves with spiciy tuna donburi, handroll, chirashi donburi... :) yum....!
I'm sure there are a lot of places, and smaller hiking trails that we would like to explore... Perhaps some other time... (no lOnG hiking; i'm NOT a fan!) Anyway, this has been such a fun vacation!! :D
more pictures at: http://picasaweb.google.com/peisunl/DeathValley2007
Monday, November 26, 2007
On our way to Suzhou, we visited this 800+ year old water city, made famous by Mission Impossible 3 a couple of years ago.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
First big impression is the MagLev ( Magnetic Levitation) train from Airport to Pudong, which touched a maximum of 431KM per hour. I remember Jap's shinkansen was around 230KM/hr.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
It's a huge resort, isolated, quiet, and bulit on a long stretch of fine, white sandy beach.
Excellent place for honeymooners.
However, the once crystal clear waterfront is now 'bad', after Tsunami, by Andaman sea's standard.
During the 2004 Tsunami, this place was badly hit, including our hotel, Le Meridien.
Thousands of lives perished.
They took 19 months to rebuild the hotel, and right now, it's fully booked almost everyday!
Can't imagine the business.
Dinners need to be booked well in advance, despite having 7 restaurants.
Most tourists are from Europe, and 65% speaks German.
97.25% are white.
In our 6 days here, we saw merely 1 Jap couple, 1 Korean couple, and an Indian family......
We are among the privileged few..........;)
We shared a nice quiet time with Tze Ping, staying 5 nights here, just relax, stroll, swim, eat, sleep, nap, and relax.......;)
When night falls, we just laze around by the pool.........
While he is away, our daily activities include combing the white beach for shells, and hermit crabs, etc ;)
Monday, October 22, 2007
Completed the Nike Women's Half Marathon yesterday in 2:23:59. I was quite happy with the time as Amy and I have been running at an 11min/mile pace during our training. Our actual pace from yesterday was 10:59/mile, wow, we sure timed ourselves pretty well.
The race was a lot of fun. On Saturday, when we had to go to Union Square to pick up our bib and timing chip, there was a whole party going on. There were booths for manicure, foot massages, whole body massages etc... The wait for each one is approximately 30 minutes, so we just picked to get a manicure.
Yesterday, we were in the city bright and early around 6:30ish. I must say, it's very different to be walking around the city when all the shops were still closed, but there were these 20000 runners congregating around Union Square, and with loud music playing and runners cheering, I felt a bit bad for the people staying at the Westin . I looked up, and for a lot of the rooms, the lights were already turned on.
The weather was mild, and I didn't even need my sweatshirt anymore by mile 2. The course was very scenic, which was a good thing, because it certainly made the run much shorter. We started at Union Square, and then cut through the financial district, and then ran on the Embacadero along the bay. So we got to go pass Fisherman's Wharf, Ghiradhelli Square, and Fort Mason. It was such a clear day that the view of Golden Gate Bridge was simply amazing. Then, we started running uphill at the Presidio, that at one point, when we looked back, we could see skyline of the city. The view from the Cliff House was also very breathtaking, with the waves in the ocean. After that, we ran through Golden Gate Park and finished at the Great Highway.
The best part of the race was when we passed the finish line, there were these men dressed in Tuxedo giving out the Tiffany necklaces :) (One big reward at the end that motivated us to sign up for this race initially, hehe. )
Still can't believe we ran 13.1 miles yeterday!
Friday, October 05, 2007
Saturday, September 29, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Monday, September 24, 2007
This buddha is very high up on a pagoda.