Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cattle Cafe - Gie Dan Jie

... They definitely take the win so far for the "city's best gie dan jie (egg waffles)".

Too bad no photos! But picture this : perfectly golden orangey yellow in colour. Crispy on the outside. And chewy with the right amount of dough on the inside. And the smell... so fragrant! Eggy goodness.

Really tough to beat.

Abuse And Amuse

We walked pass the baby aisles in Superstore, and Ming says, "Oh look, baby bottles. Get yourself one. They [suit you]."
"Ha .... ha.... you're so funny."


Ming : "It takes more than 10 minutes to get to SilverCity from our place."
Me : "Nah, it takes about 10 minutes."
Ming : "More like 15-20 minutes."
Me : "And then there are previews that we can miss."
Ming : "And line-ups to get the tickets."
Ming : "15 minutes."
Me : "10 minutes."
(It took 10 minutes, but there was a huge line-up).


Ming : "It's orange??."
Me : "Yah, kaya is a peachy colour."
Ming : "It's brown."
Me : "Brown?? it's peach."
Ming : "Maybe yellow."
Me : "Peach."
Ming : "Peach like orange?".
Me : "Yah."
Ming : "No, it's brown."


We're walking through automatic sliding doors at Aberdeen when Ming said, "Do you know that if the automatic sliding doors don't open for you, that means you don't have a soul?".
Me : ??? "Where did you get that from?".
Ming : "Don't you watch the Simpsons?".


While watching Coco sleep...

Ming : "You're poking her."
Me : "I'm not poking her, I'm stroking her ears."
Ming : "She's twitching 'cause you're poking her."
Me : "You're touching her too."
Ming : "But she's not twitching when I touch her 'cause I'm not poking her."

It's an abuse and amuse relationship. Even through all that "bickering" and teasing, hanging out with him five days out of  the last seven doesn't have me saying that it was "five days too many".

Maybe just four. Days too many.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Sisterly Love

I was having afternoon tea with my mom and Aunt Irene, my Yee Ma ( "yee ma" = mom's older sister in Chinese). Along with Aunt Mei Mei and my cousin, Lisa.

Yee Ma says to my mom, "Amie really does have all the good features between you and [your husband]."

My mom : "That's what everyone says."

Yee Ma : "That's why she has none of your features."

My mom : "None?? Not even her flat nose?".

Yee Ma : "Nope, I think she has [your husband]'s nose. It's a good thing, a compliment, that she looks nothing like you."

My poor mom. I've said the same thing to her growing up. Most people (but not all) have said I have more of my dad's features than my mom's. I would say to her, "Yah, if I looked anything like you, I would look like this," and proceed to use both my hands to squish and distort my face. Jokingly, of course. I promise she did find the humour in it.

Coco Growing Up

Remember Coco?

Wow, looking back at these photos. She was definitely a lot smaller. Ming think she's grown a third bigger. I think she might have easily doubled. She is a bulldog afterall.

When I first came in the door, she was excited and jumpy for all of two minutes. The moment I sat down on the couch, she started to whimper.

And she whimpered.

And whimpered.

Was she missing her owner? Or was Ming abusing her before I got there? Or was she hungry and tired?

I tried taking her for a walk. When she charged at a little old Chinese lady on the street, I thought she was going to pull me to the ground. I think if she really tried, she could have. She didn't mean to scare her... she just wanted to play.

When we got back and I sat down on the couch again, she started to whimper again. Breaks your heart when she whimpers... why was she so unhappy?

She jumped on the couch, slowly waddled over and squeezed herself behind me. Then, she used her bum and nudged me off the couch. She's not a small dog. I had no choice but to get off and sit on the floor next to her.

She curled up into a ball and hugged her own leg, and was snoring within seconds. Ahh... now she's peaceful and happy.

She was whimpering all that time because I was sitting on her spot!

But she surely showed me who's boss.

(It's unfortunate that I can't post any of the photos. Must. Get. New. Laptop. Soon.)

Hello, Dad

I'm on my parents' computer every night now, which leaves me confined to the study room. Sucks. Dad came into the room while I was typing away at an email and msn'ing with friends at the same time.

Dad : "Hello!".

Me : "Hello."

Dad : "HELLO!".

Me : "Hello?".

Dad : "I'm just copying you whenever you walk in the room, 'Hello!'."

Me : "What would you rather me say?".

Dad : "Hello, low doa !". ( low doa = "dad" in Chinese, in a casual way)

Me : "I never call you low doa...".

I could hear him say as he leaves the room and his voice trailing as he goes down the stairs, "Hello, DAD! ... Hello, DADDY! ... Hello, Ah-ba !" (also means "dad" in Chinese) ... Hellooo...".

Okay, dad. Whatever you say. I'm getting greeting lessons at the age of 29. Although, it's just him thinking he's being funny for mocking me more than anything.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Virginia's Retirement

The day has finally come. She did tell me at the beginning of the year that this year would be the year she retires. I believed her but there was also a part of me that kept saying it won't happen anytime soon. Last last Thursday was actually her last day. And that day wasn't without tears.

It isn't just the fact that you work together with someone or that you see them almost everyday that brings a certain kind of closeness. In fact, it could very well have been just once a couple of months. But it's really how you bond with someone that determines how much they really mean to you.

With Virginia, I suppose I never really realized it until her retirement announcement was made. What do you mean I don't get to see you as much anymore? Counting down the weeks till her last day, I kept making the countdown out loud, "Virginia, I only have three more shifts with you."

"Oh Amie, don't say that."

Virginia was like my second mother. She was always interested in what I was doing with my life. In and outside of work. She gave me a million and one books and articles to read when I expressed a little interest in learning to take care of my finances. She gave me books to read when I was wanting to learn about real estate. Anything I wanted to do, she seemed to try to support. Even with my mention of wanting to meet new people, she took the liberty to give my email away to people she thought I might want to meet. (Namely, her friends' sons... which she was hoping to play matchmaker with - Yikes!). She always came into work bubbly and happy and had a million and one things to say and talk about other than work. So... I will indeed miss her so.

On her last day of work, it seemed like just another day. The store threw her a little party, and when asked to say a little something before she leaves, she said "You all have to be smart about your finances. There is no pension plan with this company, so when you leave, they will not give you a cent. So be smart with your money. That's all I have to say. Ok, I'm done." As true as it is, it cracked everyone up.

I was actually counselling a patient when she walked up to me and hugged me. And with tears in her eyes, she said "Goodbye Amie." I was getting all choked up finishing up my counsel while she walked away.

Tonight, a week later, we threw her a retirement dinner at a greek restaurant in North Van called Pasparos Taverna. She knew she was coming out for dinner with the store, but she was not expecting that we would have invited some of her other friends. With each unexpected face she saw, her face grew brighter and brighter in shock. She seemed so overwhelmingly happy.

And even at a night where we're suppose to be celebrating her retirement, one of the first things she said when she came in was, "Amie, I have something for you," and hands me a magazine titled "Money Sense - RETIRE SOONER!". Haha. It cracked me up.

At her retirement, she was more concerned about mine.

She went around taking photos with everyone. We took a picture together too. She looked at the photo and said, "Ahh, that's a nice photo...".

"... now I can take this photo for more matchmaking!".

Aiy, Virginia!

We had fun chatting, eating cake, opening presents, (and even some belly dancing!) before we called it a night. And with teary eyes again, she hugged everyone again and we made promises to go out for lunch or dinner and meet up sometime.

"I'll see you again. I'm coming to your wedding!".

Oh, Virginia.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Shopping Without The Guilt

What is one of the best feelings in the world?

Taking someone else's money, giving yourself a comfortable budget, and shopping without the guilt.

I walked into the Coach store on Burrard St. downtown and I bee-lined for the bag that I had previously checked out online. It was just as beautiful in person. The leather so soft. The colour so creamy and versatile. I didn't have to think twice and knew I was sold on getting that bag. The hobo bag from the Kristin Collection in a mushroom, to be exact. Now, that bag was $298, which actually meant, I have money to spare.

I spent the next 45 minutes browsing the store inch by inch. Wristlet? Clutch? Wallet? Scarf? Sunglasses? Watch? I wanted all of it. Even the sparkley earrings on display blinding my eyes underneath the spotlights were calling my name. Oh my gosh, this is so much fun! was all I could think. Suddenly, it wasn't even what I wanted. I was convinced that the bling-age are things that I needed.

I ended up choosing a more formal version of an evening clutch that also belonged in the Kristin Collection. See, even if I'd never use the two bags at the same time (one for casual wear, the other for evening parties), it still makes sense that they should somewhat match, no?

I got them to ring in my purchase and I paid for everything in cash.

Guys and gals, no, this wasn't a dream. That was really how I spent my Friday evening. I was in seventh heaven.

(Sure, the cash was pooled together by all my coworkers and it was for a retirement gift for Virginia, our retiring coworker...just minor details that I left out. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I don't roll like that. But it was fun while it lasted).

Thanks Shummie for the amazing shopping experience!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


As long as your fridge is stocked with things you like to eat - and I'm talking about produce and real food here - then there's always room for improvising. The only reason I would still cook after a long day at work after a night shift is simply because I love to cook. It's even more fun for me when I don't know what what I'm making and I decide on the spot with whatever is in the fridge. And even better, I have a brother who will eat anything I make and is totally honest about whether he likes it or not, which makes him the perfect critic and judge of all my experiments.

So, tomorrow for lunch, we're having quinoa cooked in chicken broth (not very exciting) topped with sauteed mushrooms and stir-fry broccoli and other miscellaneous veggies with a mildly spicy XO sauce. Even I thought it smelled good if I can say so myself. (My dad's love for sauces and condiments gives me a great array of flavours to play with).

My brother followed his nose and came into the kitchen. He agrees. "That does smell and taste good."

Of course, my response to that was, "I'm sooo writing what you just said on my blog!".

It's 11:40pm and the house smells. Don't like it when the house smells like food. I can't even sleep well smelling food. That will be the next lesson to learn. How to quickly get rid of food smell.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Should Have Listened

There was a sale a week ago for a Lenovo laptop with supposedly very decent specs.

Bro : So are you going to get it?
Me : Should I?
Bro : The deal ends tomorrow night. If you're going to get it, you should get it soon.
Me : Should I?
Bro : It's a pretty decent sale.
Me : So I should? (knowing that he never likes making the decision to what I buy, he wasn't going to give me a definite answer)
Me : But my computer isn't dead dead. It's still running.
Bro : That's how it is with computers. You either buy it now and upgrade, or you wait until your computer dies, and you're forced to buy one at a less decent price at that time
Me : So should I?

(I think I should have taken all those hints that my brother was trying to tell me to buy).

My wishy washy-ness or my disbelief that my computer would die this soon made me hold off on the sale. Days later, my computer is now dead dead.

Me : Ugh, I should have bought that computer when there was a sale!
Bro : Stop dwelling in the past. Move along now...

Clearly, talking to me can be quite frustrating, I see.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


The beauty of Ming living so close is it didn't seem too far-fetched to ask him to help me pick up some milk while he was at the grocery store. Mother sent me out to get milk. Just in case that by the time I got out of the movies, everything may be closed, I asked Ming. ( 'Cause God forbid having my brother eat his cereal in the morning without milk. )

Ming : Superstore later?
Me : I'm out with friends. Want to help me pick up some milk while you're there?
Ming : What??? You drink milk? Then why are you so short??
Me : Maybe you should stop drinking milk then. Or you might not fit in your house. (he's 6'1")


The downside of Ming living so close yet so far is that I couldn't smack him across the head before I went to pick up my own milk.

Monday, July 18, 2011

White Rock

Spent a lovely afternoon with the girls in White Rock. It was sort of spitting rain now and then but nothing enough to dampen our moods. Every time I go to White Rock, which isn't very often, I always want a big ice cream cone while I stroll along the water. But every time I'm there, I would have just eaten or haven't eaten (and need real food)... so I have yet to get my want.  I was determined to get it this time. Regardless of the mismatching weather.

But first, we had to put something into Allie's stomach before she fainted. We picked a random restaurant and sat out on their covered and heated patio. For a cloudy day, most of us were craving the authentic chai on their menu. Allie opted out because she knows she can make better ones at home. Some of us were a bit skeptical if they'd make it right. Allie looked at the staff, "They're Indian... it should be okay."

But of course, when we ordered it... they apologized that it's not available because none of the staff on duty knew how to make one. It was a bit ironic because Allie (being the least (or most?) Indian out of them all - she's Chinese but married an Indian) could have easily whipped one up for us if she got her hands on the ingredients. Anyway, in the end, we got our chai. They realized one of the staff did know how to make one after all...

While we sipped on our tea and nibbled on appies, we shared ghost stories. Don't ask me why we did. Can't remember the last time I had a ghost-story-telling session. I'm not a big fan. But... we did.

We took a long stroll up and down the strip, and then on the dock. We stopped there for a while watching others fish. Using shrimp as bait, we watched them fill up buckets of fish.  The people crabbing weren't so lucky.

We spotted a chic, modern corner-lot house from afar that we all agreed was pretty darn good looking. As we approached it, Jess noticed it had a "for sale" sign. We all joked that we should totally pitch in and score ourselves a summer vacation house. Jess whipped out her trusty iphone, and we played a game of The Price Is Right. How much do you think the house is? Allie guessed two million. Maria guessed 1.8. I went third and guessed 2.2 million. Jess had the last bet of 2.25 million.

The actual price of the house is...

3.38 million.

Sure, why not, just a million dollars from the each of us.

A few houses down was what we think was a B&B. Everything was adorn with white decorations. Very sterile. But with pink accents. Even the white fountain in the front yard was spewing pink water.

Oh! How could I forget? Before house-gawking, we went for some homemade ice cream in a fresh waffle cone. Maria dared Jess to try the "Wild Thing" on the menu. That's what it was called. The Wild Thing. Turns out, it was vanilla ice cream with blueberries and blackberries. Not all that wild after all. I went for the Black Forest. I normally prefer and crave something other than chocolate, but today, I wanted the cherries. And even though it rained while we stood undercovers devouring our ice cream cones, it was still mmm mmm good.

( To top off the day, Allie and I went to Sushiholic for dinner. JUST as good as I remember it.... mmmmm. Had the awesome roll, red roll, and sashimi salad. SO yum. And ended the night off meeting back up with Maria and Jess... and also Jen and Anthony... to watch Horrible Bosses. Which was one horrible movie. I take it's suppose to be stupid funny, but it was borderline just stupid).

Will upload photos when I have a proper computer.

Out Of Commission

My laptop is now out of commission. It was already on the brink of its last days for some time now.  I did see it coming. Now, I'm on a (not so active) hunt for a replacement. When it was on its last breath, blinking odd colours and then moments later, nothing at all... I thought I was going to suffocate myself. What am I going to do without you??

But, I guess it's not so bad.

I thought I'd take the opportunity to try not to glue myself to a computer all the time. I picked up the next book to read. Flipped through magazines. And watched three movies since its death two days ago. I suppose I'm surviving. Coping.

That six year old clunker served me well though. I swear there was hardly a day I didn't use it. Helping me kill time on those ferry rides back and forth from Victoria. Keeping me company at coffee shops. And practically my BFF that spent the most time with me all the nights at home.


Shopping anyone?

( I still have easy access to the internet. There are still another five running computers in the house. Just that none of them are mine. )

Monday, July 11, 2011

My Kind Of Day

It's been a while since dinner and movie night so that was the plan. Ming has been craving shaved ice lately and I claimed I knew a place that's better than his usual, so we added that to the afternoon before the movie. Then, the night before, Ming goes, "So what's for lunch?." Somehow, dinner and movie turned into a whole day event.

Once I got to Ming's place, I went inside the house to put away some popsicles into the freezer, while he went outside to my car to help buff off some scratches. The cool thing is, I didn't asked him to fix the scratches. Likewise, he never asked for  popsicles.

We drove out to Parker Place.

This shaved ice stand has been around for a looooong time. I remember coming here for shaved ice back in highschool. Karen and I still think it's one of the best. It used to be cheaper but hey, that goes for a lot of things.

You get to choose 8 items between beans, jellies, fruit, and other assortments of sweet goods. I let Ming choose... so there was taro, red bean, glutinous balls ("tong yuens"), pearls, coconut jellies, lemon jelly, green jelly, and grass jelly. And then there was condense milk to top. Can you guess that he likes jellies??

In the end, he still claims his usual shaved ice spot (Zephyr) is better.

Everytime I go to rave about something to Ming and we go to try it, it's never as good as I remember it! They didn't put enough condense milk this time or else I still think it would make a good contender. Perhaps, cut down on the number of jellies. Hehe. It looks good though, doesn't it?

After strolling through the chinese malls, we ended up with pork jerky, tofu pudding, dried plums, and dried cuttlefish/octopus(whichever it was). Bagfuls of junkfood. Seems to be the trend whenever we're out.

When we got back to his place, I cracked open a can of Canada Dry and plopped myself on the couch, while Ming was in the kitchen putting away all the goodies.

"It's a good day... my kind of day," I can hear him say from the kitchen.  (He was referring to all his junk food. )

It was a nice and warm afternoon outside but cool, dark, and quiet inside. Left the lights off but the sun was peaking through the half-closed blinds. The door was open and Afina ( Ming's dog) ran in. She sat on top of my feet with her tail wagging waiting for a tummy rub or to be pet. She then followed Ming into the kitchen hoping for food.  Ming went on to fiddling on his computer while I continued to play with Afina. These moments of tranquility are my favorite. I realized... it was also my kind of day.

We started a game of Gomoku on the ipad. I was at a great start winning two quick games but then Ming got smart.  I lost the next few games in a row. Lost count after the seventh game... The only sounds I could hear was the birds chirping outside, a lawnmower running next door, and Ming's chuckling everytime he beat me.  I wasn't any better in Connect Four either.

I don't know where the afternoon went. It was soon three hours later. Dinner and movie time. I went out to pick up some takeout from Penang Delight on Rupert St., not realizing that Ming's mommy had cooked a lot of food. So along with some beef rendang and roti (which we didn't even touch), we also had some spicy chicken wings and tofu and veggies. The chicken wing sauce was nothing I've tasted before. Apparently, it's a recipe from Brunei. Very yummy. And for the record, I prefer the beef rendang from Penang Delight over Bo Laksa.

"Notice that I put the veggies on your side?", he said.

There was also a huge bowl of chinese soup with longans and goji berries. My family makes the same soup too. Mmmm... thanks to Ming's mommy for a really delicious homecooked meal! I was so full.

First movie : Limitless. (my pick)

The movie is about the main character who takes a drug that allows him to access 100% of his brain, and changes from some lowly writer to a big shot. The concept was interesting but the movie was somewhat poorly executed. Bradley Cooper played his role well but plot was anti-climatic. Aside from the ending, the movie would be no different if the main character was addicted to crack. The withdrawal effect... the desperation when it runs out... people willing to kill to get more... not really new. They could have played up the effects of this special drug a little more. Anyway, still entertaining.

Second movie : Sucker Punch. (Ming's pick)

Totally a guy's movie. Video-game-like fight scenes. Pretty girls in scanty clothes. Ming said, "At least there was some action with the fight scenes."  I actually fell asleep during all the fight scenes. The interesting part was the story. Where were they and how are they going to get out? Another so-so movie.

And that wraps up another dinner and movie night. kind of day.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Today is my mom's birthday. She is now 58 years young!

It was just the other day when I found a card I had made for her birthday many years ago. I drew (or traced) hello kitty and coloured her in. It was such a kiddy card but really done to perfection. I asked her by looking at the card if she could tell which birthday it was. She guessed it when she turned 43, which makes it a card I drew when I was 14. A fair guess. But, the truth is... when we read the inside of the card, I had written, "Happy 39th Birthday!!"... which meant I was only 10.

I told her, "Wow... I'm only about 9 years away from my 39th birthday!".

She (of course) replied with, "So when you turn 39, will you have a daughter drawing you a card?".


The day started off with my mom teaching my dad some exercise moves that she learned from a nearby community centre.

It lasted all of maybe ten minutes before my dad proclaimed that it was good and he was done.

Instead, we spent the next half an hour or so trying to shake my brother out of his bed. By the time he reluctantly got up, it was already noon. We chose to go for dim sum for lunch.

This dish was actually fish paste rolled up in rice noodle. My brother and I both disapproved that they made it look so much like a "ja leung" (a chinese donut wrapped up in rice noodle the same way). So when you're eating it, you're looking at it expecting to taste a "ja leung" but instead of a donut, you're getting fish. How deceiving.

This is my grandmother. She is 87 years young. She is also one of my most favoritest people in the world. She is always so chill and so easy going. She's always supported me in my sometimes stubborn and rambunctious ways even when my parents obviously didn't. Mind you, as stubborn and rambunctious as I could have been, I've also made her congee when she was sick, driven her out to get her haircuts and to the temple, and picked up anything she needed. I love her.

By night, my brother took us out for dinner at The Keg.  I've mentioned it before... The Keg is reserved for special occasions in my family. And so this would be one of them.

My dad ordered the surf and turf for my mom, even though it's too much food. As always, he only wants the best for her. In this case, he thinks the lobster and steak combo is the best thing on the menu. (Spoiled).

I ordered a naturally grilled sirloin with mash potatoes. Mmm mmm... in comparison though, my brother's New York striploin was much more tender and beefier. 

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Cafe Medina and Parker Place

Last Sunday. Another day of food.

Hanging out with Karen means food, food, and food.

First stop : Cafe Medina.

Duck sandwich.

My fave dish there : Fricasee.

After we finished lunch, we walked a few stores down and checked out Dirty Apron.

It was a little shop with many neat items.

House-made salad dressings and sauces.

This green apple paste is suppose to be super delicious with proscuitto.

They also have a deli bar that sells sandwiches, paninis, drinks and other foods that you can buy for takeout or to enjoy there. There is also a mini stand of fresh produce. There is a little bit of everything.
The coolest part is that it's a cooking school. I took a peek into the classroom. It looks so fun and inviting. Should look into taking a class. Definitely a neat place to check out.

Karen and Ray were talking about their unsuccessful excursion in trying to hunt down some "gie dan jie" (chinese egg waffles). Since it was a nice afternoon and none of us had much planned, we decided we continue the search until we found some.

Second stop : Parker Place in Richmond.

I probably venture into Parker Place about once a year or less. Everytime I step in there, it brings me back to the good old times of childhood when we went there a lot with our parents... there was always some sort of goodies to pick up. Mainly food.

I love the many signs with all its writing and chinese words plastered all over the wall. Nothing changes over the decade. Nothing fancy about "gie dan jie".

Mission accomplished!

Wall Broken Down

I was reading Bing's blog entry about why she blogs.

Today, I received some not-so-happy news about someone so very dear to me going through some tough times. In the past two years, I think I've been hearing nothing but bad news after bad news after bad news. Things that have and are affecting different people in my life and people not in my life. I don't know if you call it unlucky... or just an inevitable part of life that you're not prepared for until it hits you. It's not petty drama. It's not self-inflicted or controllable. But it's all real. Too real.

After bouts and bouts of storms, you'd hope for your sunny breaks. That's how it's suppose to happen, right? When it rains, it pours... but the sun always break through afterwards. It's been a long time waiting though...

I guess I've just been incredibly lucky to not experience much of it in my early life. I've always had the perfect family. With loving parents. On top of that, loving aunts and uncles. I grew up with a gazillion cousins. I have so many people to lean on. I have so many memories to keep (as what is life without memories?). I went through school with usual childhood experiences. Mom handmade all my halloween costumes and even my prom dresses. Dad fed me my medicine when I was sick, built my bookshelves to keep my books, and made all our lunches to bring to school. Looking back, I had it really good. Picture perfect good.

It wasn't until a couple years ago did I realize that it doesn't always stay that way. And none of it is under my control. This is what being grown-up means I guess. And especially working in health care, I realize that people inevitably get sick. Someone starts to lose their strength. Someone else needs your care. People inevitably fall apart. No matter how strong they may seem. I  fall apart. We're only human.

And when this happens, it really puts everything into perspective.

And with the bad news after bad news after bad news, the only way I could keep my strength to carry on is to find my own sunny breaks in between the storms. Remembering what matters. Remembering to give myself chances to smile. Remembering that I'm not dictated by all the bad news, but living all the good days in between. And evidently with my blog, there are good days in between...

That is why I blog.

Wishing and hoping those going through these difficult times the strength and courage to carry on.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Smellin' Good

Coworker walked pass me and said, "Your hair smells soo good."

Thanks to MoroccanOil!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Handmade With Love

As I've mentioned, I was out of town on the weekend of Father's Day. I had written a post about celebrating Father's Day one week early because of this. Before I left for my weekend getaway, I made a card and handed it to my brother with specific instructions to give it to dad on the day of. (I had a card for Mother's Day... have to have one for Father's Day too).

One of my favorite things is receiving a greeting card.  Since probably the age of 12, I've kept every single one of my greeting cards from parents, brother, aunts and uncles, and friends. I now have two big boxes full. I pull them out maybe once in a few years and flip through them all again. Some are handmade. Some have thoughtful words. Some are just goofy. Some crack me up. (For example, the Christmas card that a boy gave to both one of my best friends and I back in highschool. One card; two names on it. He labelled it "To The Walking Crew" because he sees us walking home from school every afternoon. Haha). There are birthday cards, Christmas cards, graduation cards, good luck cards (before exams), and "just because" cards.

One of my other favorite things is giving them too.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Jazz Fest and Battleship

We asked for summer and that's what we got. I, however, was a non-believer that the forecast would be correct. Wore jeans, t-shirt, cardigan, and flats. Wished I wasn't so overdressed. Should have worn shorts and flipflops and tossed the cardigan. Oh, in hindsight.

Went to Glowbal for lunch. The service was excellent. The restaurant was comfortable. And the food was yummy. I would recommend it.

Restaurant decor.
Before our food came, they gave us some freebies while we waited. We like freebies! We got some mini donuts with cinnamon and powdered sugar and a shot of blueberry smoothie.

Donuts! Junk food... right up Ming's alley. It came in a dum sum steamer.

Ming ordered a steak sandwich and I ordered an ahi tuna nicoise salad.

Nicely done medium rare.

Nicely seared ahi tuna.

Their ketchup came in a tiny single serving bottle. Ok, not that interesting... but cute.
After lunch, we walked out to the Roundhouse and David Lam Park to check out the Jazz Fest. I've checked out the Jazz Fest many years in a row and it seems like it's getting more and more crowded. There are more stands of random knickknacks. There's a "parking lot" just for bikes.  And the crowd infront of the stage was jam-packed. Everyone was out enjoying a beautiful day.

Can you even see the big stage?

We took a stroll along the sea wall. It was much inviting for me... I needed that breeze. It was getting too hot with the sun baking down.

We stopped at a quieter area and sought refuge in the shade under a tree. Just as I was wishing I was more prepared and had something to sit on, Ming whipped out that something out of his backpack. Ahh, so prepared! I'm impressed.

I looked up looking for a starburst through the tree while Ming strategically placed his battleships on his ipad. We played a game of battleship. Why are classic childhood games still so fun?  So guess who won? Hehe. Quite the techy battleship with all its animations.


We continued on the sea wall, then down Denman St., up Coal Harbour, and ended up at Waterfront. All the while, I must have said "I'm hot" about ten times. Whine whine whine.

Should have worn shorts and flipflops and tossed the cardigan. Oh, in hindsight.

But... it was a lovely day.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy Canada Day!

Took my parents to Steveston for some Canada Day festivities. It was packed. I somehow was lucky enough to score a free parking spot right in the parking lot next to all the tents and sites. There were people parked blocks away or miles away walking in. Not to mention that the bus stops were all loaded with people. The line-up to the ice cream parlor extended out to the street. Same goes for the line-ups to the kettle corn and lemonade stand. It wasn't particularly sunny but the weather held out quite nicely for everyone to enjoy the day outside.

Asian parents love their free giveaways.

Water so murky.
There was a stand selling live sea urchins - 3 for $10. Their spikes aren't sharp. When you touch them, they wiggle around. It's kind of trippy.

We were so full from our sushi lunch and kettle corn from the afternoon, we skipped dinner. My dad bought a pound of shrimp off of one of the boats at Steveston for $4.50. We cooked them with a simple boil (in chinese, it's called "bak churk") and made a couple different dipping sauces. That was our dinner.

So how did you spend your Canada Day?