Monthly Archives: February 2012

Photo Friday: Maui

Just visit already

Since you all are currently helping Danimal and I determine the destination for Epic Adventure 2012, I thought it would be appropriate to share a pic from Adventure 2010 in Maui. This was taken on an afternoon drive down the Kahekili Highway. (And yes, I will do a post on Maui… just be patient…)

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Epic Adventure 2012: Time to Vote

This fall Danimal and I will celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary. (How is this possible…) I know it’s cliché, but it feels like we just hopped on the plane to Greece to escape our families go on our honeymoon. Danimal and I have been to loads of great places.

Proof of the cruise... 2006 Ahoy!

Some have been better than others. On our first big vacation we went on a cruise. There are two kinds of people in this world… those who are cruise people and those who aren’t. We aren’t.

Visiting Adam's Bench Winery outside Seattle

One common theme of every one of our trips seems to be wine. Every vacation we have ever been on has involved some sort of wine tasting. Our first mini-break ended with the purchase of a case of wine from the Biltmore.

Maui 2010 (Yes, we found a winery here...)

Wanting this year to be especially epic, I have been thinking Argentina. It allows me to check another continent off the list and there are wineries in addition to awesome outdoors stuff. I did make the mistake of suggesting that we swing on down to Antarctica while we were there. (Danimal is NOT interested in going to Antarctica.) Danimal was thinking we go to Europe. The following conversation ensued:

Dan: I was thinking we go to Europe.

Me: Europe is easy. We can do easy when we are old. We need to go to the hard places like Machu Picchu now.

Dan: Why would we want to go to hard places?

Me: Ummm… BECAUSE THEY ARE AWESOME!

Clearly we have a bit of a disconnect on travel philosophy. Fortunately, there is no disconnect when it comes to loving to travel together. So we are turning to you, our Thirty4Thirty family to help us select this year’s destination.

Grand Tetons... Eat your heart out REI.

Sound off below in the comments with your suggestions! Oh… and don’t waste your suggestion on India. Danimal doesn’t want to go there either. [Sigh.]

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Photo Friday: Lake Steamboat

Just another day in paradise…

For years Steamboat Springs has been my haven. When I am there I can escape and relax like nowhere else I have ever been. This image was captured on a sunny day in June when Danimal and I were fishing on Lake Steamboat.

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A Farewell to Asia: Temple of 10,000 Buddhas

I promise this is the last day of Asia ‘week’, and in this case I’ve said the best for last. Several stars aligned that made my trip to the Temple of 10,000 Buddhas the most memorable excursion of my time there. Barry, Jana and I had been toying with the trip for a couple of weekends and decided to go on one of the many holidays… Cheung Yung Festival.
 

The Pinnacle

From Central we took the train to Sha Tin Station in New Territories. (Take Exit B out of the the station. Walk down the pedestrian ramp and hang a left on Pai Tau Street.) Oddly enough you will pass low income housing and an Ikea in this 1/4 mile exit. Before you actually get to the path for the temple you arrive at a series of white ancestral halls on Po Fook Hill.

Po Fook Hill

On festival days families visit the ancestral halls (that contain multiple internment rooms) to celebrate and remember their deceased loved ones. Families light strings of firecrackers to convey a sense of happiness, while others burned paper money, paper clothes and silver and gold pieces of paper to ensure that their ancestors will have all the wealth and protection they will need in the after life.

Buddhas on the Steps

The journey to the top of the monastery is over 431 steps. But for every step you take you are rewarded with 29.9 buddhas on average. There are actually OVER 10,000 Buddhas… there are 12,800 of them.

The Main Sanctum

Some are gold, some are painted in vibrant colors and they range is size and personality along the trail.

1 of 12,800

There were moments on the climb where you look out to see the city beyond, the buddhas at your feet and suddenly you feel incredibly small. And that is why this excursion should be at the very top of your list, 431 steps to the top, of things to do in Hong Kong.

View of New Territories

Happy Climbing!

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Bigger and Bling-ier (Yep, it’s a word now…)

At dinner on Friday night Danimal let out a bit of a sigh over the fact that it was still Asia week. He said, “I feel like Asia is lasting a lot longer than a week.”  So sue me. Asia is big enough (size and population-wise) and bold enough to justify a few extra days on Thirty4Thirty. And to prove it, I’ve included photos of the Asian affinity for being fabulously over-the-t0p.

"Help! I've been attacked by a bedazzler!"

 Barry and I discovered this Mercedes crying out for help at the mall in Kowloon while we were Christmas shopping. In general, Christmas brings out the best of the bling in Hong Kong. I can only imagine the grandeur of Chinese New Year.

The equivalent of Santa's Wonderland

Young children waited in line for hours to meet the person who I presume was Santa Claus. Don’t you love the scene!?! It is what I imagine the world would look like if Santa’s Wonderland collided with Narnia.
 

Time to Trim the Tree

 
If only Danimal would let me have a Christmas tree with pink feathers. (Or, the wild purple one.)
 

Talk About a House Boat

On the last weekend before the three of us went to North America for the holidays, Jana, Barry and I went to a bit of a celebration dinner. We put on our Sunday best and headed to Jumbo Kingdom in Aberdeen Harbor. Upon arrival, we took the ferry from the island to the floating restaurant of lights.
 
The Welcome Dragon

Every last detail was sufficiently ornate for the fine dining that awaited. The detail translated perfectly to the food + drink… the taste, service and presentation were sublime.

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Photo Friday: My Commute

A View from my Commute

Every morning in Hong Kong I took a seven minute escalator ride down to the office. I mean really, what I would give for that commute now. Not that my 12-15 minute commute is painful, but the escalator spoiled me. This photo was taken along one of my favorite stretches of the ride… just outside Orange Tree Restaurant a delicious Dutch restaurant.

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Time for the Mainland

Y’all remember Abbey of 2011 Trip #26  fame. When I lived in Hong Kong, she did a stint in Shanghai… ROAD TRIP! I flew up to the mainland for a long weekend. Folks, mainland China is a different ballgame.  Hong Kong is incredibly international where English is prevalent, Shanghai not so much. It was everything you imagine a Chinese mega-city to be and then some.

On the Bund... oh and I should mention that Abbey was 6 months preggo at the time

She, Tyler and I spent the weekend running around the city. Tyler… bless his heart… was the best sport about the whole thing. He had actually lived in Shanghai during college so served as tour guide, photographer and listener to stories. Up first on the agenda — Xintiandi. The district has restaurants, shops, entertainment and happens to be the home of the first congress of the Communist Party of China.

Wandering the streets of Xintiandi

 Xintiandi is a very pedestrian district  and our next destination, in the Pudong District, was anything but. The Pudong District is home of the world’s second tallest building and tallest observation deck, Shanghai Global. After a series of escalators, stairs and elevators we finally made it to the top.

View from the Top

For everything you see that is shiny, bright and new like Shanghai Global, you encounter activity on the street that reminds you that you are in a country that is still developing and very much Communist. 

Dinner?

Then there is the in-between. Yuyuan Garden is located at the center of the Old City. In addition to all of the shops, there are fabulous gardens. But, you know Abbey + I, we never made it to the gardens. We got distracted by the goodies. You really should go to the gardens though, they’ve been around since 1559.

YuYuan Garden

 And like that, the weekend was over and I jetted back home to Hong Kong.

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