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


My First Steps Towards GORUCK

To prepare for the GORUCK Heavy in May, I recently completed the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT) to get a baseline of my current fitness level. I welcomed 2015 by doing this test at a local high school track in Seattle, alongside Jie’s brother Lex.

The APFT consists of: 1) as many pushups as you can do in 2 minutes 2) as many situps as you can in 2 minutes and 3) a timed 2 mile run. Between each event there is a 2 minute rest.

I must confess that when I first saw this, I thought to myself, this can’t be too hard. Sure that’s a long time to be doing pushups and situps but I frequently run much longer than 2 miles. At most, this would take less than 25 minutes and be a good warmup.

Boy, was I wrong! Read more of this post

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

Back to Seattle

I recently returned from a quick two day business trip up to Seattle. Or to be more accurate, Greater Seattle, as I don’t think I stepped foot in Seattle proper the entire time.

I stayed in Bellevue, which sits right across Lake Washington from Seattle. It has the feel of a very new city, with a downtown filled with gleaming glass towers home to the likes of Expedia, Concur, Eddie Bauer and Microsoft (where I had a few meetings). It is also filled with lots of shopping.

The best part about this trip is that Jie happened to be in Seattle at the same time for a business trip of her own. So, we had the opportunity to go out to dinner both nights I was there. The first night, we headed (in the pouring rain) to Old Bellevue where enjoyed a quiet dinner and some Olympic skiing.

The next night, we met up with her family at a chic “gastrotavern” in downtown Bellevue called Black Bottle. Their small, shared plates made a great venue for a large group and the open space and ample use of wood made for a cool environment. I just hope that after dinner her family still likes me, especially since my Chinese continues to go downhill.

Read more of this post

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