Delta Flight 5781: SEA to SFO

Last Sunday, on my flight from Seattle to San Francisco, I was one of six passengers on the plane.

As someone who has begrudgingly accepted the increasingly crowded world of air travel, this was a complete shock. So I figured that I would share my experience. After all, it might be my only flight where the pilot delivers his announcements to the passengers face to face.

Early last week, I decided at the last minute to head up to Seattle for the weekend to visit Jie’s family for Chinese New Year. Jie was driving up earlier in the week so I would have to fly alone. Ticket prices were predictably sky high only a few days out so, on a lark, I decided to go on Priceline to see if I could snag a cheap ticket.  Read more of this post

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Disneyland…The Most Commercialized Place On Earth?

The Holiday Season. A time for family, merriment and bringing out your inner child. All three came together this past Christmas as Jie and I drove down to LA to spend a long weekend with my family, meeting my baby nephew, Max, for the first time.

We also had a roller coaster ride of an experience at Disneyland that, for me, shined a very different light on the Happiest Place on Earth. Read more of this post

GORUCK in May – I Hope I Make It

I know that it has been a few months since my last post. But I hope that a new fitness challenge will get me back to regular updates.

This week, my brother Dan and I signed up for the GORUCK Heavy, a 24 hour, 40+ mile team adventure race that is several notches above the Tough Mudder intensity.

As if the time and distance weren’t difficult enough, you need to carry a 35lb rucksack for the entire race, not too mention enough food, water and extra sets of dry clothing to keep you going. Check out the recommended packing list. Read more of this post

Davis Labor Day Trip

Over Labor Day weekend, Jie and I had the pleasure of heading up to Davis with our friend Alan and his buddy John, two Davis natives, who were able to give us the inside scoop on this college town less than two hours from San Francisco.

The trip began auspiciously with a stopover in Fairfield to visit the Jelly Belly Factory. For a jelly bean lover like me, this free factory tour is worth it for all of the free samples that we had at the end. Yes, I overdid it, but when else will I get the chance to sample such diverse flavors as tabasco, draft beer and vomit (yes, they have a line of Harry-Potter inspired disgusting flavors that actually taste disgusting)?

The tour itself was schmaltzy, and the tributes across the factory to Ronald Reagan were a bit puzzling, but this was a cool off-beat tourist activity. If you have kids I would definitely recommend it.

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Tacoma

Jie and I finished off our action-packed Seattle weekend with a day trip to Tacoma, Washington’s 3rd largest city, located only 30 miles south of Seattle. What compelled us to visit? 1) it was close to Seattle and 2) it houses the Museum of Glass, an acclaimed museum featuring works from Tacoma native Dale Chihuly. Since we enjoyed visiting the Chihuly Garden so much the day before, we thought this would be a fun encore.

The museum sits alongside the Tacoma waterfront, separated from downtown by train tracks and connected by the Bridge of Glass on the museum’s roof. There are small boats plying the water, which leads to Puget Sound. It’s small but at least gives it a recreational feel and provides separation from the city’s giant port facility.

Approaching the museum’s entrance, you can’t help but notice a large, cone-shaped structure that houses the museum’s hot shop. This is where visiting glassmakers take up residence to produce art for the museum. We sat and watched as the glassmakers blew glass, fired their art in the various furnaces and used their tools to shape glass. That day’s session was overseen by renowned glassmaker Therman Statom while a museum staffer answered all of our questions on the glassmaking process. I will not be able to adequately convey how they do what they do but suffice it to say that watching them manipulate scorching hot, molten glass inspired Jie and I to look into classes where we can start learning more about this process. This was one of the cooler museum experiences that I have had. And yes, I have spent some time this week streaming the hotshop live from the museum’s website.

view from the entrance of the Glass Museum

view from the entrance of the Glass Museum

 

The Glass Bridge

The Glass Bridge

 

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Hisashi Iwakuma Bobblehead Night

Last weekend I returned to the Emerald City (Seattle, not the Land of Oz) to herald the initial meeting of my mom and Steve with Jie’s parents. During the course of an action-packed weekend (dinner at Din Tai Fung, a visit to the Chihuly Garden, a delectable BBQ at Golden Gardens Beach, riding the Seattle Great Wheel, etc.), we managed to squeeze in my first game at Safeco Field between the visiting Oakland Athletics and hometown Seattle Mariners. This promised to be a great opportunity to watch the AL West-leading A’s go up against the contending Mariners.

full family picture

full family picture

 

Just days before the trip, I picked up four field level seats on StubHub. Compared to New York, these seats were relatively inexpensive. Despite being 40 rows back, the views were terrific, allowing us to see the whole field. We also sat one row in front of a woman with a golden retriever service dog who was very cute and friendly, further igniting Jie’s burning desire for us to get a puppy. Read more of this post

Bavarian Style in the Cascades

During a trip to Seattle last weekend, Jie and I took a wonderful day trip to visit Leavenworth, a small town in the Cascades that is modeled after a Bavarian village.

When Jie first mentioned to me that there is a Bavarian-themed town within driving distance of Seattle, my first thought was let’s go. After all, I really liked visiting Solvang, and this was an opportunity to get outside Seattle to see more of Washington state.

The drive out from Seattle is gorgeous. We took Route 2, which heads east through the state and keeps going until you reach Michigan. Along the way, you are immersed in tall green trees and farmland before you traverse the Cascades. Along the way are an assortment of small towns with their own set of charms, such as Skykomish, an old rail town with a lovely bridge and a quaint general store where we stopped for lunch, as well as Sultan, whose high school team nickname is the Turks (which I think is awesome). Read more of this post

Guest Post: Gastronauts South African Style

For my second Gastronauts dinner, I invited my Stanford friend and fellow world traveler Shaw Yean, to pen a guest post briefly describing our meal. Shaw Yean has always been adventurous (she dragged me along to go skydiving after all), so I knew that she would feel right at home at her first Gastronauts dinner. After all, her family has roots in Penang, Malaysia so she is no stranger to diverse cuisine.

My biggest comment on the meal itself (which Shaw Yean describes well) was how rich the food was. I was so stuffed afterwards that I literally had trouble lying down to go to sleep. Read more of this post

Austin, TX

Jie and I spent last weekend in Austin, Texas celebrating the birthday of her law school classmate Yoon, who as a graduate of the University of Texas wanted to gather his closest friends back in Austin. As this was my first time in both Austin and Texas, I thought I would share some thoughts from our trip. Read more of this post

Half Moon Bay Sunset

To kick off the Memorial Day weekend, Jie and I took the short drive west to Half Moon Bay, where we took in a magnificent sunset.

Below are a few pictures:

Juxtaposition of cliff, beach and ocean

Juxtaposition of cliff, beach and ocean


 
Standing on a cliff overlooking the beach and ocean

Standing on a cliff overlooking the beach and ocean

 

Jie about to enjoy the view from a bench overlooking the ocean

Jie about to enjoy the view from a bench overlooking the ocean

 

Looking out on the Pacific from Half Moon Bay

Looking out on the Pacific from Half Moon Bay

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