London is...

The flight to London was quick and pleasant. Except for the Asian man sitting next to me. He smelled and he stuffed a rollie suitcase in the area in front of his seat!!! Anyhow, half of that luggage started invading my leg room area!!! Other than that, I watched two chick flicks, napped for two hours, and I was in London! So much faster than flying back to Hong Kong!

So far, London is alot like Hong Kong, all the road signages and the buses are exactly the same! Second, sales people are not very nice and not very helpful. I paid with a credit card today at the grocery and the lady behind the counter expected me to take out my own pen to sign it!  Other than that, I was pleasantly surprised by my Sunday Roast dinner, in many ways... for one, it was very delicious, and two, it was very huge and I finished it all!!!

I also had the pleasure to stay with my friend Saaleha and her family on my first night on this Island. Saaleha made me guest baskets, full of foods and goodies! So I recharged, hung out with the kids, had great Indian grill food Saturday night and a big Sunday breakfast!

 first glimpse of daylight on my way to London
 Saaleha Mimi and her baby daughter Hawaa
 Saaleha is the best host ever, she made me baskets of goodies!!! I'm eating the chocolate peanuts right now!
 Saaleha helping Umar with his shoes.. and looking a bit crazy at the same time.. =p
 Our Indian feast!!! Which included somosas, mango lassi, naan, a mountain of tandoori meats, roghan josh, salad, crispy chip thingy.. yum
 Next is the big Sunday breakfast with the family!
 On the way to the dorm apartment by Regent's Park
King's Cross.. Wa!!!!

To see more pictures, come here: http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150624322845332.681232.624635331&l=7d6170247f

Summer 2011

A summer of new adventures has started!!! After two years of graduate school, I needed to take a break from academia and try something new. Key ingredients for this adventure is London and Beijing. But before that, I made short stops at a couple of cities to visit people I love. This posting is somewhat of a backtracking, but gotta get the old out of the way to welcome the new!

First stop was SAN FRANCISCO!!!

The biggest news in SF these days is my chubby little nephew, Ethan Kim!! He's soo adorable. All you want is to hug him and kiss him and pinch him. Lacking experience with "early humans", I was pretty awful when I held Ethan at first... I was supposed to hold his neck, his bottom and burp him at the same time. What?!  But the last time I checked, I only have two hands.... So to all the mommies out there, you guys are super-women!!! How do y'all stay soo devoted I have no idea!

 trying to stable his neck...
so that I can force a kiss onto him!!
 So the trick is to poke his little chin, then he'll smile like a little buddha!
sooo cute!

After Ethan, I did do some geeky architecture sighting and I brought my mom and aunt along. We stopped by the De-Young Museum in SF and the Cathedral of Christ the Light in Oakland.
 The exterior cooper cladding of the De-Young Museum is meant develop a green patina over time to eventually "disappear" into its surrounds. But I think it's better right now, it has become part of the landscape, mimicking the native mountain backdrop that is signature in many parts of California. Buildings will never really be invisible.. so stop trying!!

Roof structure cantilevering out to create the idea of an enclosure without enclosing. 
pacific ocean 

 baby Jesus and adult Jesus inside the Cathedral of Christ the light =) hehe
Overall view of church. The front panels of glass forms the body of a fish, diving into water..

Next stop was NYC!

Usually, going to NYC involves eating soup dumplings at Joe's, having ramen, going to museum, going bar popping... For being in the city for only two days, I did all my favorite things to do there...

 arrived at JFK, waiting across from the Saarinen building
 NJ transit diorama. I took the NJ transit from NYC Penn station to the Newark Airport. It was very fast and comfortable. Nice! Yay, public transportation!
 The best soup dumplings ever!!!!!!!!
 And not too shabby lion's head.
 Drinking mini ales with my favorite gal, Jenny!
 With the help of Jae and Min-suk, we emptied more mini glasses.. =) They were really glasses for hobbits, they were way way way too small!
 Farewell photo 1
Farewell photo 2