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Updated: 2014-10-04T18:30:31.418-07:00


Harry Potter got stuck in the mailbox! =(


Like many other people, I pre-ordered the final Harry Potter book from Amazon, eagerly awaiting its release. I actually didn't get standard (paid) shipping to guarantee its arrival on the release date even though it was <$3 more (yes I know I'm cheap..but the point was that a day or two wouldn't make a difference in the grand scheme of things so I figured I'd just get it whenever).

But Lo and Behold, as I opened my mailbox today, I noticed that I had a parcel key to open one of the compartments that holds stuff that doesn't fit in the normal mailbox. This could only mean one thing--that Harry Potter had already arrived!! (I don't have any other online orders I'm expecting.)

However, my excitement quickly turned into frustration and disappointment as I realized that parcel key wouldn't open the compartment! I tried jiggling, banging, and cajoling the locker to open..but no luck =( I'm guessing the package is somehow obstructing the lock, or the mailman gave me the wrong key--either way my book is trapped.


Hopefully I can get this resolved soon!

Day 5 in Maui


Ah..finally a day I didn't have to wake up early!Met up with Chris and Winnie in Lahaina. Rented some snorkel equipment and headed over to Kapalua for some snorkeling, since I really enjoyed going there last time I was in Maui. Water wasn't as clear as last time but still saw a good number of fish.Next we wanted to head over to Black Rock (near Kapalua) as we heard the snorkeling there was good but didn't know exactly where to park. We did make it to the general area and at the advice of a guy on the beach snorkeled at the place we had stumbled upon (behind the Westin timeshares). Water was really clear and saw some really neat fish. The only problem was that I lost the clip holding the snorkel to the mask--whoops--and had a little trouble holding the tube up. Other than that it was great.By this time we were pretty hungry, so had some lunch at Hula Grill at Whaler's Village. Restaurant turned out to be pretty cool--got in on some happy hour drink specials. The tables were all in the sand so gave it a nice beachfront feeling. Only problem was that a bird in the tree above our table used my head as target practice...gross! Luckily there were showers right behind the restaurant on the beach so it wasn't a problem washing it off.After lunch, headed over to I'ao Valley and ended up bumping into Amy there. Went back to Lahaina afterwards and had dinner at BJ's. The menu's a little different than the ones I've been to in CA and food wasn't as good. For some reason, the logo on the restaurant was also different--but it's part of the same chain. We also had to wait a long time for a table. They also don't brew their own beer there, and there's just a small bar (no sports bar like the CA locations I've been to). They did have live music though.We were pretty tired by the end of this so time to call it a night!Here are some photos from the day (stolen from Winnie since I forgot to bring my camera that day):Lunch at Hula GrillThe Phallic I'ao NeedleDowntown LahainaLahaina at Sunset[...]

Day 4 in Maui


Day 4 also started out relatively early:Got up at 5:30am to go snorkeling at Molokini with WinCo. Conditions that day were perfect--the water was calm and clear--it totally felt like going into an aquarium!Saw plenty of of really cool fish (including state fish humu­humu­nuku­nuku­āpua`a, which is, btw, not the longest fish name in Hawaiian). We even saw some sharks and a golden colored eel.Stopped at Turtle Town on the way back and swam with the giant sea turtles. Apparently "Turtle Town" is a tourist marketing word and the location of it depends on which tour company takes you there...but the place where we went was quite good.We were starving when we got back, so we stopped at Kihei Cafe, one of the local favorites, for breakfast afterwards.Across from the restaurant was the Kam II beach, where we went for surfing lessons right after.Trying surfing was a lot of fun, but we should have gone earlier in the day. Unfortunately, there were too many people in the water (got run into and knocked over a lot) and the waves also died out towards the end. Appletini came and took pics (one of which is posted here) as they had already taken lessons earlier.After surfing we all went to a health food store and bought a bunch of tropical fruit--mango, dragonfruit, papaya, and such--which we enjoyed at my condo afterwards.It had gotten close to dinnertime at this point so we headed over to Lahaina, where WinCo checked into the condo they were staying at there, and then all four of us met up at Aloha Mixed Plate for drinks/dinner.The restaurant was really cool. It has this patio-like seating by the beach where you can watch the sunset and also hear the Old Lahaina Luau next door. Apparently "mixed plate" comes from the sugar plantation days where each of the different ethnic groups that worked at the plantation would bring their own type of food--so a "mixed plate" restaurant serves a big variety of dishes (Hawaiian, Chinese, Japanese, etc).I made fun of the girls for getting drunk off their fruity, tropical drinks--but I also had a Lava Flow myself (Pina Colada with strawberry syrup), from which I felt a bit more buzzed than I expected to... (I blame waking up early and the strain of doing all sorts of fun water activities throughout the day... =)Appletini rushed back to the airport to catch their flight right after dessert while WinCo and I walked around downtown Lahaina for a bit before calling it a night.[...]

Day 3 in Maui


Day 3 was insane!Woke up at 2am (after going to bed a little after 10pm the night before). Got ready and went over to Amy's condo where we all met up at 2:30 to go to the wedding ceremony.Took off for Haleakala at 3am and got to Leilewi lookout a little under 2 hrs laterWedding ceremony was at the lookout--probably one of the most unique ceremonies ever--and I mean that in a good way. I thought there was some structure or building where the ceremony would be performed and some sort of official or minister to preside. Instead we were way out in the wilderness, above the clouds (after hiking in the dark for about 5-10 min from the parking lot with flashlights). And the officiant was Albert's friend, who was "ordained" over the Internet and specially authorized to perform their ceremony that day. I took the "official" video. Cheryl played the wedding music on violin. And to top it off, we were treated to one of the most awesome sunrises..ever! Very cool.After sunrise, we drove up to the summit to take more pictures, and then back down to Kula lodge for breakfast.Unfortunately, I was feeling REALLY sleepy and really had to struggle to stay awake on the drive down to the restaurant. Appletini were in my car, and I would have asked one of them to drive, but Jeff wasn't feeling well (he already left some..offerings..for Pele, the Volcano goddess) and Tina was asleep.Kula Lodge was pretty nice--missed the wood-fire pizza but breakfast was good and they have really nice gardens and a view too. Felt a lot better after breakfast.Went back to Wailea afterwards, hoping to get some sleep, but turns out they fumigated the condo--so we went back to the mall for some shopping and ice cream--and then crashed for a few hours before heading out to the reception.Reception was at Spago at the Four Seasons in Wailea--VERY nice restaurant. We got our own private patio outside with views of the beach and sunset.Food was awesome too. Here's the menu, for the foodies. And of course we took plenty of "food porn" pics =)Appetizers:Spicy Beef Satay with Ginger Soy GlazeTempura Shrimp with Ginger VinaigretteIsland Kalua Pork Pizza with Roasted PineappleCrab Cakes with Basil AioliKamuela Tomato Bruschetta with Basil Aioli and Parmigiano-ReggianoSpicy Ahi Poke in Sesame-Miso ConesSaladsVine Ripened Kamuela Tomato Salad with Yuzu-Balsamic VinegarSoupsWild Mushroom Cappuccino (served like coffee, but it was a really thick soup, and really good, too)PastasChef’s Seasonal Risotto (corn Risotto)EntreesPan Seared Seasonal Catch with Lobster Crushed Potatoes and Sauce “Americaine” (think it was Mahi-Mahi)orGrilled Prime Beef with Seasonal Vegetable and Armagnac Sauce(I had the vegetable curry and Cheryl had the stir-fry, which were not on the menu)DessertsWarm Decadent Valrhona Chocolate Purse (pastry filled with chocolate sauce, like the goopy stuff inside lava cake) with Hawaiian Vanilla Bean Ice CreamorWhite Chocolate Mousse with Fresh Passion Fruit Sauce (the sweet mousse went really well with the tangy sauce)DrinksSake as we came in, plus champagne (for the toast), as well as white, red, and dessert wineMy stomach was about to explode after all that food--but it was so worth it!Amy and Albert did a great job of planning everything, it went off really well. Cheryl played the music on the violin for the husband/wife, father/daughter dance--Albert did really well even though he was really nervous =). A couple of speeches by Davis and Winnie on how they hooked up Amy and Albert, and another entertaining speech by Rocky on Albert's bachelor life.Took a few pictures and explored the Four Seasons a bit after the reception, then back to the condo to crash--needed to get a lot of sleep so I could wake up for Molokini early the next morning![...]

Day 2 in Maui


Day 2 was pretty chill. Cheryl/Davis and WinCo went to the wedding rehearsal way early in the morning, so Appletini and I went to Ka'anapali in an attempt to find some easy waves to surf. Unfortunately, there were really no waves to speak of, so we just went for a swim.

After swimming, we walked by the resorts and Whaler's Village shopping center. At the Westin (aka Waterslide Westin), we tried to go on the big slide, but it was for guests only. However, they had a smaller slide and a really cool pool with a waterfall cave that led to a jacuzzi. And they also had a nice lounge by the beach with fresh towels and really comfy pool chairs that were perfect for napping!

We then got hungry so ended up driving back towards Lahaina in search of Curry in a Hurry since it had good reviews and lots of Dave/Tina friendly food. Turns out they aren't in a hurry at all. In fact, they run on Hawaiian Time, which meant that they didn't open for lunch until 2pm! Not only that they are near impossible to find--it's just a shack in the middle of the parking lot with almost no signs whatsoever. Oh well, their food looked pretty good... we ended up getting burritos at Maui Tacos instead.

After lunch went to Wailea and hung out at Appletini/WinCo's condo and hung out there and went shopping at the mall for a while. On the way back from Lahaina we got some sugarcane juice from a roadside shop. Juice was ok but wouldn't recommend that stand as the guy was an kind of an ass (we tried buying from him in the morning but basically told us to go away till he was good and ready, but not seeing any other source for sugarcane we went back to him--and paid an expensive $5/each for a small cup of juice. He also wouldn't sell us plain sugarcane to chew on).

After shopping went to dinner at Mama's Fish House in Pa'ia. Great food with even better views. Winnie and I couldn't stop taking pics of the place, it was awesome. (photos stolen from Winnie and the official website since i didn't bring my camera =)


Day 1 in Maui (aka Happy Birthday to ME!)


As many of you know, my 27th birthday was on the 19th. Instead of spending it at the office working and attending meetings, I spent it on Maui! Thanks to Amy and Albert's upcoming wedding this Thursday, I was able to celebrate my birthday here in "Paradise" as well.

So, Day 1 recap:
  • Get woken up at 5:15am to go to airport.
  • Get dropped off at airport by mom shortly after 6am. Carrying around heavy bag to checkin.. and can't find ATA terminal (turns out it's way back next to the security line).
  • Security line is loooong.. luckily they let us cut to make the flight in time. Even thought it's a "full" flight, somehow was able to switch my seat from middle to window.
  • Amy and Albert were on the same flight as me, which was nice, we both get our rental cars then split up. Turns out the remote control fob on mine doesn't work...argh!
  • Get to condo in Kihei around 11am, but I'm too early to check-in--they tell me to come back at 2pm.
  • Get some suncreen at Long's and grab some lunch at Amigos.. food is just ok, not that great.
  • Time's only 12:30, got a couple more hours to kill. Drive around to Wailea mall. Seems like some woman just got her purse robbed right when I got there. Cops/security come investigate. Doesn't sound like the type of thing that should happen at a high end mall! Wailea's supposedly one of the most upscale resort towns in America...
  • Keep driving down the road past Wailea to Makena. Find some really nice beaches/scenery. Missed the nude beach.. maybe next time =) Too bad the road becomes progressively narrower/scarier--found some really cool lava beaches, but turn around after a while after I got poked by some thorns through my flip-flops where they were pruning some bushes.
  • Go back to Kihei and check into condo. Hang out there for a couple of hours and go for a walk along the beach park right behind condo.
  • There's a short coconut tree in the park, and I see this guy climb and pluck a coconut to eat on the beach.
  • I want a coconut too! I grab a rock and knock down a small one--too small and unripe. Second try gets me a larger one--but the rock also bounces back and hits me... coconut cracks as it falls and the water inside starts coming out. I carry both coconuts very carefully without spilling any on myself or the camera--get 2 glasses of coconut water--sweet! Turns out after I tell this story, some of the others try to find my tree too..heheh.
  • Time for birthday dinner at Matteos Pizzeria in Wailea. Catch an AWESOME sunset (first of many to come) in the parking lot. Cheryl and Davis also show up when I do, followed by Tina and Jeff (aka "Appletini") and Chris and Winnie (aka "WinCo") who had gone to Hana earlier in the day. Food is good and restaurant is fun and has an ocean view.
  • Great way to spend my birthday!

Zojirushi Micom Fuzzy


Yeah, I know it's been a looong time since I posted anything here--for no particular reason except that I've been lazy. Hopefully there should will be a lot less of a delay before the next post =)

For Dave Lee's bday, Evonne organized a dim sum brunch at East Ocean in Emeryville. The weather was perfect, and we got some awesome views of the bay from the restaurant. The look on Dave's face when he opened his gift--a Zojirushi rice cooker with Micom Fuzzy logic (the mac daddy of rice cookers!)--was priceless! Here are some pics from the event.




Photos from India trip are FINALLY up


Well most of them... check it out:

Hope you don't mind the cheezy captions =P If you have any questions, or want to see any of the pics I didn't post (seriously, there were over 1000...), just ask! India is a GREAT place to visit and if you are even remotely interested in going I can give you more info than you'd ever care to know that will hopefully convince you to go!

Singapore and pre-arrival pics to follow...soon.

EDIT: Pre-arrival pics have been posted!

Vacation's Over (almost!)


Can't believe that my two weeks in India are over already--a great trip but really short! Unfortunately, getting online was a pain in the butt which is why I haven't really posted anything. I still have a couple of days of fun left in Singapore (I'm at the airport now, running on low sleep), so I'll post all the details of my trip after I'm back in CA this Sunday. Here are some pics in the meantime:(image)
Sunset in Goa

Dosa and Paniyarram (aka "Dosa balls"--they're made from the same batter but pan-fried inside a special container--yum!

Traditional North Indian lunch cooked by my aunt

Quick update from India


Just a quick update from India. I've been here for a week now! Internet situation is a bit iffy so I haven't posted as much as I wanted to. Been visiting all the relatives and force-fed lots of yummy food (Indian hospitality is great but can be a bit overwhelming, when you're not used to eating so much!) Off to Goa on Saturday (resort area with lots of beaches, supposed to be really awesome). I'll post some pics later!

Happy New Year and Welcome!


Hi everyone and welcome to my new blog. Well maybe I shouldn't call it a blog--I don't really like writing much (in college, I AP'd out of lower division English and tested out of upper division--just to avoid all that writing)--so I don't really do that journal thing.

But hey, sometimes it's fun to share stuff that's going on with other people. Since it's a brand new year and since I will be going on vacation to India and Singapore, I figured now's a great time to start.

I'll try my best to post on all the fun stuff that happens on my trip, so check back often (or use RSS for automatic updates!). Feel free to post comments or let me know what you think--that way I feel special and don't feel like I'm writing into the black hole of the internet :)

Thanks for reading and Happy New Year!!

PS My other website ( is still alive too--I'll use that for photo galleries, videos, and stuff and this blogger website for blog-like updates. Eventually I'll link them both together).