Thursday, December 27, 2007
Interesting thing about paint these days, is that they have a special no "VOC" version, which apparently baby-safe. I guess those years of licking paint off my wall in Klang didn't do much for my intelligence then.... ;)
Christmas Day lunch, we hung out in another ghost town. This time at the Plaza. Other than M&S Grill, which we had reservations for, I don't think any other place had their front doors unlocked. Just like Thanksgiving dinner, it was nice for Christmas luncheon to not have to worry about cooking and cleaning up. Food at M&S wasn't too bad, but the waiter dude really seemed like he partied a little too hard on Christmas Eve, and he seemed a little snippy too cos we ordered some large portions to share... Looks like someone might have got some coal in their socks this year! Here's a picture of yours truly after sneaking in some sriRacha sauce on my fish and chips! BTW, the Sriracha sauce was really for our main event later....
After food, we adjourned to Clarice's place for her annual popiah party (REAL FOOD). It was really really good. As usual, I put too much filling in my Malaysian-Burrito, so had to double-bag the popiah most of the time. Too bad we didn't get any pictures, too busy eating to worry about that!
Merry Christmas Everyone!
Sunday, December 16, 2007
For the uninitiated, the next day, we were due for Yeesin's first pregnancy diabetes test. It was a very simple sugar drink that she had to consume 1 hr before her OB appointment where they would draw some blood to test her sugar level. If you "fail" that one, they you get the pleasure of having to go to a 5 hour long test, which from what Terri and Clarice tell us, is NOT FUN at all.
So, on the eve of the test, we have had 2+ days of eating with austerity, no KFC, no Mickey D's, and most definitely no cheesecake! Frankly, studying for this test was no fun at all! At least in school, we could chomp on oily and sweet stuff while cramming for exams!
Results come out next week, so crossing our fingers!
* UPDATE - 12/27 and counting... No call yet from the doctor... I think we passed!
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
So, while the rest of KC is enjoying the picture on the left, she gets to stay another day in Sunny SF, to enjoy this other picture on the right! So when the weather handed her a flight cancellation lemon, she made some shopping lemonade strolling the stores around Union Square today. Our little trooper was lucky enough to meet with another fellow peapod buddy [pregnant lady] and they spent the day shopping at GAP, and hanging out in general... :)
So, again i'm hanging out with Benji tonight, or as my co-workers call it - Bach'ing it. Tired of Mickey D's and KFC already, so I'm going to try something dangerous, and cook some curry chicken. Now for those of you that know me from college will probably remember my famous (or rather infamous) baked curry ala barbecue sauce chicken! One of my most prized recipes both for is rich flavor and more importantly for its ease of cooking, I was tempted to recreate this masterpiece tonight. Actually, i decided against it. (I can some people sighing in relief when they read this). Instead, I'm going to try Curry Chicken the normal way, with an instant packet..... If I make it through to post next week, you'll know that my stomach survived the trauma of cooking for myself. Until then... I'll be missing my BOO who is stuck in San Francisco!
* UPDATE - Weds. Yeesin's back safely in KC, and my stomach survived! YA!!!!!!
Monday, December 03, 2007
Flying in took longer than expected, rain storms hitting Las Vegas. Raining in the desert is kinda like Snow in Texas.... it screwed up traffic, on the ground AND in the air. So, we had to sit in Denver for a 4 hr delay while Las Vegas airport was shut down to just one runway for the rains.... Still, the delays were long enough to make the rest of the night more exciting! We had tickets to Zumanity at 10.30pm, but we landed at 9pm. Yeesin was chatting with a guy in the next aisle and managed to score us a limousine ride to the hotel to save us some time....
9.45pm, arrived at the hotel, standing in line to check in. Funny how you never seem to get a short line when you're going to be late for something? 10.00pm, finally get our room key, but discover that the room is like 10 minutes walk away from the reception desk. BTW, we forgot how huge these Vegas hotels are. 10.21pm, finally at the Taxi stand, got a cab and off to New York New York hotel. 10.28pm, at the WILL CALL line got our Tickets! PHEW!!! 10.30pm sharp! in our seats, in the 2nd row in front of the stage. SWEET! Guess if we missed the show we would be so kicking ourselves.... 11pm halfway through the show, we notice people still coming in late, and taking their time to get to their seats... So much for the drama earlier. Note to self, next time we can take it easy to get to any Vegas shows, apparently they don't take their mandatory attendance 1 hr BEFORE the show very seriously!
Its been 4 years since we've been to Vegas, so I forgot how good the casinos are at taking your money. With the flashy blinking lights, and the happy sounding "ding ding ding", the siren call of the machines just lull you into playing them. $5 basically lasts about 5 minutes if you're not careful. We watched while YS's co-worker started with $20 in a penny machine, and after a couple of wins, got sucked to into betting higher, and was up $100 after only 10 minutes! After that peak though, @ $3.00s per bet, she was in danger of losing it all. Luckily she had a system where she took out her winnings and put a portion back into the machine... if not that $100 and the original $20 would have been gone in a flash! Gotta hand it to the Casinos, they are really good at what they do... :)
Penny slots are good for something though, a good way to get comp'ed drinks...While I personnaly didn't have a lucky gene in my entire body, i figured out how to work the system. So, my best business plan was to play $1-2 worth of 1 cent slots, and order any mixed drink that I want, after a $1 tip... VOILA! a $3 drink. AWESOME!
The rest of the weekend, we spent just walking around the rest of the Strip. Not much has changed on the Strip since our last visit here immediately after our wedding, so didn't do much major sightseeing. Did get a chance to stroll by Paris Paris, the Venetian, and the sights around Caesar's Palace, so got to relive some of our Euro vacations from a few years ago. Check out this side by side shot of Venice vs the Venetian! [Hint, the one in Vegas has a casino in the background - The Mirage!]
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Friday, November 02, 2007
I will sign off the conclusion of our trip with a bad habit I've picked up over there! Cortados, which is equivalent to a double-shot espresso with foamed milk on top was my fav drink over there. Where Cafe con Leche (coffee with Milk) is the most common drink for breakfast, Cortados are perfect picker-uppers anytime after lunch! Hmmm... Yummy..... :) Adios!
Sunday, October 28, 2007
First day up, we went for a stroll in the Royal Palace. Its actually still being used for Royal functions today, much like Buckingham Palace in London... But fortunately for us, the Spanish Royal Family wasn't using it that day, so we got to walk around inside and admire their century old future and a weirdly huge collection of clocks and old & large self-portraits of previous kings. No cameras inside the Royal palace, so the best we could do was an outside shot!
We were the fortunate beneficiaries of a hotel date mix up with our travel agent. After a minor inconvenience of having to pay for our hotel room with a separate credit card, we did in fact score the a suite on the highest floor! It came with a patio overlooking the streets below us too! Here's a quick shot from the rooftop patio. During the day and night we could see people walking on the streets below. BTW, we also saw a couple of "working ladies" on the streets too, which unfortunately is part of any large metropolitan city in the world these days. Interestingly though, it is apparently illegal to pimp in Spain, so all of the ladies down below were private contractors publicly working out the arrangements with their clients in clear view....
A wonderful snack that we discovered over in Madrid was Churros! For those of you that are familiar with the Costco sold Churros with sugar and cinnamon, its kinda like that except without the sweet part. For the Malaysians, its like a less greasy Yau-Cha-Guai. It goes REALLY -REALLY well with melted chocolate (as depicted here), or alternatively you can also dip it into Coffee + Sugar in the morning Malaysian Style MMMMHHHMMMMM.... :) BTW, best place to eat Churros con Chocolate in Madrid is at Chocolatería Valor in Downtown. Also, don't plan on sleeping anytime soon for the next 4-5 hrs with all that sugar!
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Sunday, October 07, 2007
We'll blog the cities we visited over the next few weeks, starting with Seville or Sevilla as the locals call it! On the right, was our first day of arrival in in Sevilla with the Giralda tower in the background. For those of you guys in KC, you'll probably recognize this from the belltower next to the Cheesecake factory on the Plaza... After all, Sevilla and Kansas City are sister cities!!!
Nothing like being almost late for our train ride to start our hearts pumping for our adventure. Our first stop was in Seville actually came by way of Madrid. After landing in Madrid late at 9am, our Spanish driver drove formula-one style weaving in and out of traffic to make our 10am train ride from Madrid to Sevilla. Kinda reminds us of our Genting to KL taxi driver, except the cursing was in Spanish, and he was dressed WAY better, and his Mercedes was more STYLO. Still, he got us there with 15 minutes to spare, giving me just enough time to to navigate the language barrier and get our tickets validated, jump on the Train, and finally relax.
Speaking of the language barrier, we actually trained a little via Spanish language CDs in preparation for this trip. Nothing too fancy really, just basic travelling Spanish, enough to check into hotels, get transportation, order food, and find the bathroom. Interesting thing to note though for those of you that know Mexican Spanish, it differs slightly from Spanish Spanish. For Example, Cerveza "ser-ve-sa" is Mexican Spanish, while its pronounced "Ther-ve-tha", kind of like saying the word with a lisp. Different huh? Interesting myth stating that the "Spanish Lisp" came from a king that had a speech disability, unable to pronounce "s" properly he Lisp'ed his way through conversations. More on it here.
Nickelback sings "... And a bathroom I can play baseball in. And a king size tub big enough for ten plus me." Well, under the Sevilla Alcazar (Castle), the "Baths of Lady María de Padilla" are really rainwater tanks named after Maria de Padilla. Supposedly, King Pedro fell for María and had her husband killed (Talk about eliminating the competition!). María resisted his advances and in turn poured boiling oil over her face to disfigure herself to stop Pedro's pursuit (ouch). I guess Talk-to-the-hand wasn't invented yet??!!... Later she became a nun and is respected as a symbol of purity in Sevilla. I took this picture as an sweet background for my desktop.
OOOhhhh...Macarena!!! Unbeknown est to the poor church goers at Basillica de la Macarena in Sevilla, a local pop group called Los del Rio launched this greatest one-hit wonder hit song in 1995. Unfortunately, that darn song kept playing in my head as I strolled through this church, which hold Sevilla's most holy image. the Virgin of Hope - "La Macarena". Her claim to fame is her signature glass teardrops across her face, where her procession put her up on a 3-ton float to parade around Seville. Another item of note, she is the Patron of local the bullfighters, where a local bullfighter Joselito spent a fortune buying 4 emeralds for her. Too bad the favor wasn't reciprocated... He was gored to death in the bullring later. BTW, the she kept the emeralds.
And yours truly will be willing to take credit for a most fortunate event that happened on the 27th. As the sign on the left can attest, I timed our trip just perfectly to coincide with the World Day of Tourism. Short story so that we can move along, is entry to the Church and Giralda Tower was Free, aka Gratis!
Next the Giralda Tower (La Giralda), one of the most recognizable landmarks of Sevilla. You can pretty much see it from everywhere in town. The version in KC is pretty much a miniature version of the one at Sevilla. The tower used to be part of an ancient mosque, and when the Christians invaded, instead of tearing it down, they merely added a bell tower at the top. To this day, the bells actually do sound on a regular basis. The climb to the top was pretty tiring but interestingly enough there are actually no steps, just a steep walkway that winds itself around the tower until the top. The history behind it is the the Moors used to ride their horses from the ground floor all the way up to the top for the daily prayers instead of walking. That's what I call being efficient! Here's a pic from the top of the tower!
Finally, last but not least, the Star Wars fans in you guys will definitely appreciate the following fine location that we visited next, Plaza Espana a.ka. "Naboo" in Star Wars II - Attack of the Clones. Its original purpose, before hijacked by George Lucas was for the 1929 Spanish-American Exhibition and is a perfect example of Moorish Revival type architecture.... Personally, I think Naboo sounds more interesting, as we're more of movie buffs than architecture ones! It doesn't even take any imagination to see how this location works out great as the set for the movie!
In next week's Blog... Madrid!
Saturday, September 22, 2007
The flight to Madrid is just days away, and we're just waiting for the last pile of laundry to get done so that we can close up the bag and relax for the rest of the week. Our itinerary will take us actually to 3 nights in Seville first after we land in Madrid via a high-speed AVE train ride. Then 4 nights back in Madrid, followed by another 3 more nights in Barcelona to complete out our trip. Looking forward to a great time over in Spain.. Will be blogging again when we get back!