Sunday, October 28, 2007

Sammamish Park and Halloween Corn Maze

It was a beautiful day, so randomly decided to do a local activity... hiking.. or at least a slightly watered down version of it :). Searching for a random place to be outdoors, we ended up at Sammamish Park... Almost lost my glasses, but it was nice to be outdoors and breathe fresh air.

After that, went to the first ever corn maze and an outdoor haunted house of my life. Drove half an hour north to this farm field place. It was an interesting, but I think it's one of those one time experience things. Reason: Waited in line for hours, and it was really cold!!! Without being cladded in snow gear, it was slightly chilly! The highlight though was that I poked some random lady that I thought was just some mendicant...but she turned out to be real.. oops!

Friday, October 26, 2007

Bittersweet and Thoughtful Day

My first scholarship ever in my life, but I will most likely not be claiming it. Though this was a bit late, today I find out that I am a NSERC process of elimination.. haha.. but still a NSERC Recipient if I choose to become one...

With this, all the preconditions for what I had thought about executing a year this time ago are in place... only it is 6 months late. Is this fate telling me there might still be hope?...Or is it fate trying to test my mettle to see if I am still the same boy I was who hang on too much to the past?

Don't get me wrong, I cannot regret the decision that I have made.. and in actuality, the preconditions were not met before the hard deadline. Besides, I am liking what I am involved in right now... and the potential that is inherently infused into it. So it's not really like I made a wrong decision at all. Perhaps the best way to think about it is that I had two good choices to pick from... so it was a win vs. win situation? But nevertheless, it's just interesting that 6 mths later, fate seems to be telling me that if I had chose this other path, the plan I had drafted a year ago could have been carried out...

But then again, though as impossible as it may be, I wonder what and where would I be if the desired uttered the words of desire. The trump card that alone would suffice for me to attempt what all these preconditions would have led to. 5 mths later yet still I dream...the bet that I would be willing to risk everything for...

It was funny today actually. In a day when I am reminded of my past, another part of my past magically appeared literally out of thin air. There were two peculiar things this night... One is really not my business, nor should I be thinking or caring about it, so we will leave that one aside. But the other peculiarity is the comment about that 'my face looked drained' after this encounter. This struck me a little bit.. since I really didn't think I was feeling anything at all... I wonder how I look at that moment, and more interestingly, how this vibe got picked up...

...Look forward and don't look back. If it was meant to be, then there will be another chance and a reason to work to get the pieces to fall into place. If it was not meant to be, then even if the world is moved, and heaven is flipped upside down, the endeavour is but a pointless and futile one...

On a lighter note, almost cooked my own face today when I opened the oven half awake... That was funny, yet dangerous... haha

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Willy's Weekend: Pike Place

Bound by the rules for all tour guides in Seattle, a tourist must be shown Pike Place. So off we went, bright and early at 10:00am-ish. One of the highlights had to be finding the perfect parking spot when we got there. Time it took to get the parking spot, 0 minutes. Location of parking spot: right on Pike street, by the 'public market' sign. You can't get a better parking spot than that on a Sunday!!! I think Willy must be the perfect lucky charm for finding parking spots... because yesterday at BSquare, we got the perfect parking spot as well! 2 out of 2 is pretty decent statistics!

Anyway, so parking spots aside, we had some chowder for brunch, which was pretty good. This place we went to had a bunch of awards up, so maybe that's why it was so good.

Also so for the first time what I'd like to call the 'space age washroom'... This was a stall that was made of stainless steel, and had a space capsule look to it. You pressed a button to open the doors, and it opened automatically (and closes automatically too). It was a pretty interesting stall I have to say. There were many bums around there though, otherwise I would have taken a movie of this stall. It was really cool, even though it was pretty smelly inside...From now on, the 'space age washroom' will be added to my itinerary for all future tourists coming here.. :)

Dropped Willy off at airport after trying out the 'space age washroom', then bought some groceries and went back home to sleep. Woke up at 5:00pm-ish and started to steam fish and make the normal Sunday dinner...
Result: The fish turned out great, but everything else I cooked that night was burnt! :(

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Willy's Weekend: Random Outings - Snoqualmie Falls, Future of Flight, and Melting Pot

As planned, woke up bright and early at 9:30am-ish to get ready for the hike. Hiking.. as we determined, was an unique Seattle experience... so we figured we start off with that. Luckily it wasn't raining too hard (it had been raining pretty badly this whole week), so we didn't need to bust out the custom designed rain gear (aka garbage bags with holes in it). So off we drove towards the east to reach Snoqualmie Falls.

None of us have been there, so we just randomly got to the vicinity and started looking for the trail path. We ended up driving all the way up a mountain, seeing pretty wonderful leaves and scenery, only to be led downhill to find that the falls was actually alot closer to the highway than we thought!

At the actual site, we realized that it wasn't really a hiking trail. The trail was less than 1 mile and was more like a lookout point. I definitely can't consider it as a hiking trail after seeing that the paved road we walked on led to a power plant, that and a truck was parked next to it...

It was a nice place though, I love waterfalls, they always look so peaceful, yet majestic... not to mention pretty.

After grabbing a quick lunch, we drove up north to the Future of Flight (one of the Boeing factories here). Once again, we randomly drove near the vicinity (since we sort of did not write down the exact details to the location) and managed to find it somehow. The most random thing is that we arrived at 2:56pm... which was the PERFECT time because there was a guided tour at 3:00pm. So we made it into it, without having to plan for it! One of the biggest highlights was that being so out of it from waking up so ridiculously early, I actually walked right into a pole... Yes, you read right... there was a pole in this auditorium, and I was looking to my right, and then thud... walked right into it... (face first if I recall correctly)... Oh, and the planes and what not were pretty interesting too.

After the Future of Flight Museum, headed back towards Btown for some bbtea... This place was great.. They actually used real green tea, so it was very flavourful. Rested up there until dinnertime at Melting Pot.

Melting Pot is this place where they do fondues. They have this famous cheese fondue, which tasted better than I expected, and also a main course, and a chocolate fondue to end it all with. It was one of those long sitting dinners. We started at around 8:30... and ended at around 12ish. It was a bit pricey, but it was an interesting experience.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Willy's Weekend: Blue Fin Lies

Getting a message last week, I was notified that the SyDe Crew will be invading Seattle. So like any proper tour guide, I went about thinking of places that S.Town can offer. The first idea I had was to try out this new AYCE seafood place at Northgate called Blue Fin. Since AYCE oysters is a rare thing in the east coast, I thought it'd be nice to take the SyDe rep from Chi-town to this place.

The restaurant was called Blue Fin. I was sooo excited too. I called them 4 thems that one day... one to make a reservation (which I couldn't as they told me), once to ask them if they had AYCE oysters tonight (which they said they did), once to ask them when they stop serving food (since rep from Chi-town might be coming in late), and once to ask them exactly where they are (since apparently the google maps mapped it across the street from where it was suppose to be).

And in summary, it was absolutely disappointing. So we arrived on time (after going on the wrong lane.. and going 80 to 90 miles an hour on the highway on a rainy and windy night). That was ok, but when we walked around the food section, one critical thing was missing... the oysters. We asked the guy there where it is, thinking we might have missed it, and the guy goes 'oh, the company that delivers the oysters got 5 other restaurants sick, so we don't have them'. I was like... er... wtf??? You'd think when I called them that 2nd time they could tell me that... They are lucky I was hungry, and that they had octopus sushi, and that I am more patient nowadays... otherwise I would rip that guy apart!

Blue Fin.. What lies!

After Blue Fin, headed to Parlour for some drinks and pool. After pool, showed showed Will Forza 2 and then time magically passed by. By 4am, we were tired and called it a night. Tomorrow, the plan is to wake up at 9:30am... to go hiking (rain or shine)!.. haha. So ends the first night of Willy's Weekend.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Shark's Fin in a Bag

Shark's fin in a bag for $3.99. Best thing about it is that its ready to eat... Authentic or not, it did have shreds of shark's fin in it. It tasted decent. It was a nice soup base, but they should take out the rice part of it. Mmmm... my first shark's fin soup in S.Town.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Early Flight

It was fun and all, , but this morning marks the last day for my guests. Dropping them off at the airport meant a REALLY early wake up time for me...

Originally, I had planned to drive straight into work after, but after being stuck in traffic for an hour... decided to go back home and sleep a bit...

Blahhh... soooo early... sooo sleepy!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Salty's Sunday and Gun Range

What is a Sunday morning for tourists without a trip to Salty's on Alki... mmmm...All you can eat oysters and valet parking. What a great place.

Surprisingly, I only had 30 oysters or so... and the more surprising fact is that my mom tied me (or even beat me) on the number of oysters eaten. For all those who think I am CRAZY for eating this much oysters... guess it runs in the family.. HA! :)

Also ran into fellow tour guide showing another TO tourist around... Once again we help out Seattle's economy. NICE!

After lunch, with special request from my guest, we went to the gun range... this time with my glasses on. Didn't really make a difference though, I still kept hitting around the guy's groin area. The scariest/funniest thing is that I lit the lanes on fire! I, with my less than perfect aim, shot into the stockpile of bullets... and then poof! The bullet shells area lighted on fire. That's something you don't see everyday.

After the exciting fire lighting experience, it was time for the semi-Thanksgiving dinner! Mmmmmm.. Turkey! yay!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Tour Guide in Downtown Seattle for a Day

The weekend arrives, and so it was time to venture into Seattle for the 5th (or 6th) time ever to showcase the city.

After reading and listening to the more experienced tour guides, it was decided that a walk around downtown would literally fill up the day. Places that were hit include Pioneer Square, Pike Place Market, and Space Needle. Randomly also walked through the Aquarium. This one was the surprising one, because it actually turned out really cool! You get to touch the starfish there, and its just presented very well. I was very impressed with it.

For lunch, had dim sum in the International District. The food there was ok, but the wait there was tremendously long. The bill did come out real cheap though, but factoring in the wait, the restaurant was not really worth it. The cool thing though was because we had to wait for an hour, we walked around the International District and got into this teapot selling place. There the lady served us 'kung fu' tea. Pretty interesting... The teapot sets looked pretty cool as well. Too bad they didn't have any glass ones (I was told that wood and clay is what is usually used), otherwise I would have got a set.. heh heh

Pike place was the usual... nothing special there. Just seemed like a big flea market. Space Needle though was interesting. The view was ok (it's nothing compared to CN Tower), but the view at night is REALLY pretty. Armed with my camera, I played around with it and got a pretty nice pic of the Seattle nighttime. Come summer time, I am gonna go back and take more pictures!

They also had this ice cream that was really cool. The smoke comes from the dry ice that they put in. After I got it, the 2 tables around me also got this dry ice ice cream :). What a great salesman I am.. haha

Personally, I think the bulk of Seattle's tourism revenue comes from friends and family visiting the people who work here. With amazing discounts on everything, the tour guides (us) take friends and family around and help out the tourism business here quite a bit. All these buy 1 get 1 free, and half price and subsidized stuff... it's a very neat perk! I wonder if TO will ever start doing something like this... hrmmm...

Friday, October 05, 2007

More Kitchenware... :D

Another day, another addition to my kitchen collection!

Here is the final tally...

Before parents came to visit, I had the standard Waterloo gear (2 bowls, 1 plate, 1 small pan, 1 pot, a few utensils here and there). After today, I am now the proud owner of 8 bowls, 2 plates, 1 big serving glass plate, 2 glass tuperware, 1 big wok, 1 small pan, 1 pot, and 4 more sets of chopsticks.


Thursday, October 04, 2007

New Tupperware...

So after a homemade meal last night, my parents realized one thing: I don't have enough bowls. So arriving back from work today, my place suddenly had 2 more bowls :). NICE!

Not only that, but they also got me a glass Tupperware. Something that was on my 'todo' list... NICE x 2! Now I can begin making hot lunch for work!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Parents Arrive... :)

Today marks the first time I have guests at MY place... wuhahaha.... Taking half a day off, I went to the airport to pick up my parents for their week long stay :).

First off was some good ol' dim sum chinese food, then it was straight to the supermarket... heh heh. Mmmm... Homemade meals... my fridge got stuffed w/ food... AND I learned some new dishes.

Biggest discovery was that steamed fish only takes 10 minutes to make... ahhh.. if only I knew this back in residence. Hard to believe that there are that many dishes that only takes 10 to 15 minutes to make. My recipe repertoire will be increasing exponentially over the next week! yay!