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4May/076

Greece, here we come!

After months of planning this trip (since Feb/Mar), we finally booked our flights and hotels. The flights were booked a couple of weeks ago, while the hotels were book about half an hour ago. Yay! Now, it's a real trip and not just one of those "next times." I've never been outside the U.S.; this includes Canada, although I'm not counting Puerto Rico. Okay, scratch that. I've never been outside the U.S since I was 2.

We have a pretty busy schedule. Here is a breakdown of our itinerary:

May 31st, 4pm flight, gets us to Athens, GR at 9am June 1st.
June 1st, early evening ferry takes us to our first island: Chania, Crete.
June 3rd, we drive over to Heraklion, Crete.
June 5th, we hop on an early morning ferry to Thira, Santorini.
June 8th, we take another ferry back to Athens, and finish the vacation there.
June 10th, 1pm flight back to JFK, gets us in I dont remember when.

Of course, there'll be lots of sight-seeing, eating, and beaching when we get there. And yes, in that order. Or eating throughout the day. I didn't buy any travel books, and printed everything from online sights, such as roughguides.com and frommers.com, amongst others. Both sources are great, but only as a starter. It's definitely worth it to do the research. I'm too cheap to buy the books. As this is my last semester at Baruch, and every semester we get $100 worth of print-outs from the computer lab ($.10 each), I figure I might as well put my technology fee to good use. I've never used more than $15-$20. Even now, I still have about $60-$70 left. I might buy a really cheap language book, although I did print some things out.

I'm so excited. I did some shopping and bought shorts and bathing suits. Although I already have 2 bathing suits, I figure we're not doing laundry, so 1 suit per city should be enough. As for shorts, well, I have none so I needed. Man, this trip is pricey. Although some of the hotels look nice, I think they've gotten a 2-3 star rating. The nicest hotel, and cheapest, is in the nicest place of all: Santorini. We won't be on the cliffs with all the hotels, but we'll only be about 10 mins away. Athens is expensive, and so are the cities in Crete. Especially if you want to be in a 3+ star hotel. Since we're staying a max of 2 nights, I figure crappy is fine...but not too crappy.

We'll also rent a car while we're there so we can travel all over the islands, and leave Athens. I'm actually very glad we're going at this time. This is considered low-mid season. Although they'll still be a lot of people, as like NY, it won't get as crowded as high season at the end of June to August.

Oooohh... can't wait. I'd like to say that I've started slacking because school's almost over and I'm about to graduate, but that's a lie. I've been slacking since I started school. ...and that was about 20 years ago.





Filed under: Leisure, Trips 6 Comments
25Mar/070

Henry’s Morocco Trip

For Henry's spring break, he went on a Morocco Trek with NYU Stern. He said there were about 60-80 students who went on the trek. The Morocco Trek was from March 9th - March 19th.

Among the pictures that Henry took, he took some at a market where they sold different kinds of seafood, some fish that we've never seen before. He also had two pictures of a skinned rabbit with furry feet, I didn't post those pics because I couldn't bear to look at those pictures. Horse meat was pretty popular in Morocco too, though Henry didn't have any and he didn't take any pictures either because they weren't too interesting, they looked like hunks of beef.

He also visited a mosque that is the third largest in the world (though Wikipedia says second largest), and though it looks like a classic mosque, it was actually built in 1993 and even has a retractable roof. It was the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca.

Henry complained that every meal he had started with a salad, led to chicken tajine and ended with very delicious and sweet oranges. But that was every meal.

Henry also found it interesting that people just parked their cars anywhere, like on the grass next to trees.

He also had some really nice pictures in the desert, where he had to sleep in the cold in a tent. He also rode a camel through the desert.

I'm not sure about the other places that Henry visited, but he did mention stopping in Casablanca, Rabat, Fez and Marrakech.





18Feb/072

a new year – Chinese style

I know the title doesnt make much sense, but I liked it. I know it should be a Chinese new year, or something along those lines. But it just didnt flow for me. For those that werent able to make it to this dinner because they had their own, here is what went down:

(I do have a few pix, which I'll post later.)

The pre-Chinese new year feast came and went in its glory. Dad made the food. As usual, it was excellent. We didnt eat much of the vegetables, but then again, we never do. Dad packed us some leftovers. I LOVE THAT MAN! Dinner was at 6pm, but I got there about 10 minutes late. HG got here 10 minutes later. Eric arrived by 6pm with about 6-8 bottles of wine. I dont remember the exact number. HG also had 2 bottles. As mentioned earlier, the food was delicious, and we gobbled as we always did. There was lots of talking, but for some reason, there was about 2 minutes of silence. That was very weird. There's never been any type of silence during dinner with this family, even before the kids were born. I'm sure that's normal for other people, but I felt very awkward. I made a comment that it was quiet, which ruined it.

After dinner, the men (minus Dad) stayed in the kitchen and yapped it up. A bottle of wine had been opened during dinner, but during their long conversations, another bottle or two or three were opened up. I stayed in the living room with the kids and mom. Dad was busy cleaning. We, half-heartedly, told him to go rest and that we'll clean up. I LOVE THAT MAN! Well, he cleaned up nicely, packed us some leftovers, and took out dessert. Along with his freezer-load of ice cream, there were oranges, and an awesome cheesecake from Eric's mom. (Thanks, Mrs. R.!- Don't worry, I asked also Eric to thank his mom for us. Who'da thunk it? I thought she was on the outs with this family, considering that we stole Eric from her family.) Anyway, we ate lots of ice cream, and eventually parts of the cheesecake.

Jay had his uncles playing an Avatar computer game, where you blow up your opponents pagoda. That little man is a cheater, but he's pretty decent. He kicked my butt in the game, but lost to his uncles. Let me tell you, those men are ruthless. They dont care that they're winning over a 7 year old boy. I had Jay playing Super Mario World 3 on PG's GameBoy, but he kept having me help him on levels he couldnt pass. Kay was all over the place.

After the kids were done yelling and beating everyone (yes, I said EVERYONE), it was time for them to go to bed. That was around 10:25pm. (Dinner was at 6:30pm, and devoured by 7pm-ish. This means there were lots of talking and playing. Dont worry, Oda, HG & I took loads of pix with your camera.) As Eric brought the kids upstairs to put them to bed, we were on our way out (Dad had the car warming). Of course, the rest of the men wanted to finish drinking, so I went out to turn the car off. PG & HG took it upon themselves to teach Steve a drinking game. I believe it's called "Chai Mui" (I'm not sure of the pinying, but from my 5 months of Mandarin, I think it's right). Even though he played it in English, he did learn how to say '5', '10', '15', 'open', and 'nothing' in Cantonese. He also learned 'listen up', and that PG is real good at the game (although he's unethical). It did take him a while to remember it, but mainly because they kept opening bottles and drinking. There was lots of trash talking. In the end, one whole unopened bottle and 3/4 of another bottle were left.

PG was supposed to go out, but obviously did not. I ended up driving HG, and myself and Steve, home. HG tried to moon some guy who cut us off, which led to Steve wanting to do it also. I started hitting both of them to stop. Eventually, HG put his belt back on, and Steve, begrudgingly, did the same. I took a scenic route back home because I didnt want to get on the FDR. The scenic route in the city sucks because there was traffic and potholes a'plenty. All through the highway, and until I got home, I was a total biotch and cut off anyone and everyone. Hey, I had to make up for all the time lost taking that stupid detour.

The next one we have should be even funner because HG should be graduating, and Oda should be pregnant. :-X ......I kid I kid.





5Jan/075

Kiddies

The kids are growing up so fast. Just today, Jayden told me he was the "Man for the Ladies". Man for the ladies!! Goodness, this boy is only 7 years old! 7! When I asked if it was for old or young ladies that were Kaylee's age, he said "No, they're too young. 2nd grade." (of course, i'm cutting to the gist of the conversation. there was a lot in the middle but it's all fluff.) I asked him what makes him the "Man for the Ladies", and he replies, "My body and my mind." I asked for the names and social security numbers of these ladies, but he wouldnt budge. I can bet none of his uncles nor his father can say that they were/are the Man for the Ladies. Well, here's a pic of the "Man for the Ladies".

And of course, here's his little sister.

11Nov/064

American Museum of Natural History



The kids (Jayden and Kaylee) are up this weekend and we originally planned on going to the Liberty Science Center, but it is being renovated and they are open in another location, but I don't think every exhibit was open Henry and I went with the kids and Eric to the American Museum of Natural History. We caught three shows, Cosmic Collisions, Ride Around the World and the Butterfly Conservatory.

Cosmic Collisions is played in the Hayden Planetarium and narrated by Robert Redford. It's a space show that Jayden and Kaylee had seen once before but Jayden loved it so much, he wanted to see it again. After watching it, it made me worry about an asteroid coming to earth, but we supposedly have a plan in case that happens. The Hayden Planetarium is pretty cool, Eric wants it in his living room.

Ride Around the World is shown in the IMAX theater. It's about cowboys all around the world. Kaylee fell asleep and Jayden was very fidgety during the show. Other kids were fidgety too, the girl in front of me kept on standing up. I would not recommend it for kids.

The Butterfly Conservatory was not a show, but something that is like a greenhouse that is very warm with plants everywhere and butterflies flying around. One landed on my head and a guy had passed over a butterfly that was on his hand over to Kaylee's hand. We got lots of pictures of it.

We looked at the mammals exhibit as well as the dinosaurs. But there was so much that we missed. You really need a couple of days to go through the whole museum. And some parts of the museum was very warm while other parts were a little breezy, so bring a jacket.

Filed under: Family, Kids, Leisure, Photos 4 Comments
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