Monday, December 3, 2007
Monday, November 12, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
Thursday, November 8, 2007
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
I think most brides would agree, trying on dresses is one of the most fun aspect of wedding planning. You make appointments at luxury salons, the sales consultant help dress you, and you coming out looking like a million bucks! Our first stop Saturday, Monique L'huillier.
I waited for my friend to change as I enjoyed the fresh flowers and chamomile tea with spices.
This was her favorite from the store..Camelot (same dress Kevin Costner's wife wore).
Initially we were going to Barney's New York, but they canceled since they are currently renovating the bridal salon. So instead we stopped in at Renee Strauss without an appointment. The staff was extremely friendly but we didn't really see anything we liked.
Last stop was Saks Fifth Avenue. She fell in love with this gown ~ simple yet elegant.
After a day of dress shopping, we had a drink at W Hotel before dinner. The hotel is a little small for her 250 people wedding but we enjoyed sitting outside by the pool.
We had dinner at the Little Door Restaurant. Dinner was to celebrate an early birthday for the same friend since I will be leaving for China and she will be heading to Hong Kong.
We started with a bottle of Pinot Noir and the Assorted Mediterranean Appetizers.
Monday, November 5, 2007
Sunday, November 4, 2007
This is their famous crab hot pot. We ordered the largest pot with 5 crab shells, thin bean sprout, bell cap mushrooms, and other stuff. Hehehe...I only eat, I don't cook. Due to friends weaker than myself, the pot was only 'small' spice. It was amazing even at mild, the pot was pretty spicy.
The service was impeccable. They had a wait staff cut the crabs so the tender meat is easily accessible. As you can see, they also divied up the crab shells. And yes, there was a scoop of rice in the shell with the broth.
We also ordered the pasta to try. The server brought a small round dough which she stretch and pulled until it's thin then teared them into small pieces to be cooked in the broth. I actually took a picture of the end result but my bowl was kind of 'not very clean' so I'll leave it to your imagination. The pasta was chewy but not as good as I hoped.
For the men in our party, we ordered the braised beef since seafood wasn't enough. This dish was mostly tomato based (where our crab pot was more the Korean hot paste) and a little sweet.
The last dish was the fried rice. The owner's son cooked it right in front of us. He used some soup from the braised beef pot, rice and his own special seasoning. It was delicious. We also ordered a large seafood pancake that we all ate before I had a chance to take a picture.
All in all, the food wasn't out of the ordinary. The small dishes the restaurant provided was better than most Korean restaurants ~ grilled fish, raw crab legs, small sausages, dried sweet seaweed. The crab hot pot was good but not extraordinary. The braised beef was sweet ~I don't usually like sweet ~ and included chewy rice cakes that I'm sure I ate a ton of. We all agree the seafood pancake and the fried rice was good, but not something we never had before. So will I go back, probably not. But it is worth a try!
Friday, November 2, 2007
On Sunday, Nov 3, clocks fall back from 1:59 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. One extra hour for everyone ~ WOOHOO!!
We will be flying in through Hong Kong and landing in Kunming. Kunming is the capital city of Yunnan province. It has a long history and was the ancient gateway of the famed silk rode. Today Kunming is the heartbeat of Yunnan province, enjoying a reputation as one of Chinas’ most picturesque cites as well as being the most popular tourist destination in southwestern China. Like other major cities in China, Kunming combines an ancient and proud tradition with the dynamism of being a modern metropolis. ~tripadvisor
The weather I heard is much like here. I guess the exact location across the globe will be about northern Mexico. There are about 25 ethnic minorities in Kunming, and the city is celebrated as 'City of Eternal Spring.' It's well known for it's diverse cultures and breath-taking natural scenery (hubs' afraid it's going to be like Yosemite). I'm hoping we get to see the major attractions like the Shilin (Stone Forest), Xishan (West Hill), Grand Park, Black Dragon Pool and much more! Kunming is also famous for it's bit part in history. China's lifeline to the outside world ~ Burma Road ~ had one of its terminals at Kunming.
Shilin (Stone Forest) is a maze of grey limestone towers. A walkway let you wander around the rock formations. Nearby villages are inhabited by the Sani tribes people who sell handcraft and act as tour guides. The location of Shilin has once been covered by the ocean. When the ocean pulled back erosion has been shaping the stones to the impressive “forest” it is now.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
The colors in this photo is just amazing. I love how vibrant Sarah hanbok is against the soft pink background.
The color added in this b&w photo is totally cool. I've seen where photogs add color just to the lips or flowers, etc and it always look a little cheesy to me. But this...this is GOOD.
Cloudy gray days make for great photos...look how the blue pop!
One of my favorite photo of the sweet couple.
It's a little over a week left before their BIG day. I am super excited for Sarah & SirvTee!
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I wish I was a kid again. I remember first time going trick-o-treating....I was like 'WOW, free candy!' My parents dressed my sister and I up as clowns; identical even though she was 3 feet taller than me. And of course, when we were going house to house, people thought she was too old to be trick-o-treating. They thought sis was in college when in fact she was only 9!! We didn't do many years of trick-o-treating before we moved on to giving out the 'treats.' We have a weird household, instead of candy, my dad is always giving out tee-shirts, posters, star war collectable coins, and oh yeah...that one year he was giving out small earphone radio thing-a-majig. We had kids coming back THREE times!
And now, I just want to borrow someone's kid to take my dogs out in costume. Oh how we evolve. =)
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
My aunts and uncles from San Jose flew down to celebrate with us. We had a fun dinner at Yamashiro (one of Mom's favorite because of the view, not the food). Since it was extremely dark at the restaurant, I didn't take any pictures. My little cousin B also joined us for the festivities. After dinner, we head to Old Town Pasadena for the infamous Pinkberry. My parents and my aunts/uncles never tried it before. They were amazed at the long line especially since the night was cold. Here we are waiting in line.
After the little frozen yogurt adventure,we head home for cake cutting and present openings. The cake was dark forest with a layer of Chinese pudding ~ it's from a Chinese bakery by hubs' work. Besides the 'American' sounding flavor, the cake itself was the typical yummy, light Chinese style cake.
Here's hubs and I with Mom & Dad (yes, I'm wearing pajamas, it was a long day). Look at the pile of gifts! My aunts informed Mom all the gifts were just random junk from their house packaged nicely. It's mainly just for the purpose of ripping open presents. They were JOKING of course. =D
Dad broke open one of his precious liquor collection. The sketch on the bottle is created by the master of art deco, world famous designer Erté. Initially there was 7 bottles in the set. Another bottle called "Inedit" has been launched in 1995 as a tribute to Erte's life and work (he died in 1990). Only 4,000 units have been produced. The design on the bottle is the first one that Erte created for the Vigne bottle, but censored at that time on the American market because the girl on the draw was half nude.
Erté created the luscious shape of the decanter, and then conceived visuals to represent the seven stages of the courvoisier cognac-making process. Each one of the decanters is filled with an exceptionally rare blend of the best cognacs -- some dating back to 1892 -- the year of Erte's birth. The third design in the series, "Distillation" inspired Erte to portray the coaxing of the precious spirit which is distilled from the wine, which reminded him of the genie appearing from Aladdin's lamp. ~ Courvoisier
Dad has been collecting since the bottles were first released. A few years back he opened bottle #8 when we had a family reunion (the earlier bottles are higher in value since people started drinking them before the artist passed away). This time for Mom's birthday, he opened bottle # 7 "la Part des Anges." Prices vary drastically...I seen it for $500 on ebay to $1500 at retail.
Here's my cousin B tempting the dog with persimmons.
Next morning we headed to the Temecula wineries. I didn't know what to expect. Temecula had much smaller scale wineries than Napa or Sonoma and the wines aren't as good. But the positive is Temecula is only an hour drive. We started at the Hart Winery. It was fairly small (literally a small shack on a hill) but they are building another bigger structure in the back. The owners are very friendly and it was a great start to the day.
Next up, Thornton Winery. It's a nice enough place but my only complaint was that I called ahead of time to see if I could bring my doggies, which they said I could. But look at the white sign to the right.
So the kids and I were out front in the lawn enjoying ourselves while the gang had lunch inside. I of course entertained myself playing on my iPhone ~ poor neglected kids.
Grandma came out after lunch to play with them. This is why I LOVE my mom. She really cares and always play with them and give them treats. My mom truly functions in the capacity of the grandma that spoils the grand kids rotten!
Then I called them for their afternoon treat and look how they come running.
Water, pupperoni, and chicken jerky.
Off to the other side, I saw the lawn was set up for a wedding. I was able to see the florist setting up before we left. The winery closes at 5pm and I'm assuming open to weddings after that. I can vouch for the food though. Mom bought me out a hamburger with grilled mushroom and it was delicious! I had my own little picnic under the trees.
All in all, Temecula was nice. It's not comparable to the Napa or Sonoma but it's our own little piece of wine country.
On our way home we went through the sand storm again. This time hubs had his camera ready. Initially we thought it was only in the morning but on our way home, it was just as bad. It's only for a short two miles before you reach I-10 on the 15 freeway. You can see from the side of the picture how hard the wind was blowing. All the trees were tilted dangerously to the side. It felt like we were underwater and the trees were the seaweed floating with the current!
Sometimes it was so bad you could barely see the car in front of you. All the cars came to a standstill. I can only compare the experience to driving through thick fogs.
And this is why there's high wind advisory.