Friday, September 25, 2009

Weekend project

Before I post more photos on NY (sorry I've just been busy all week!), here is what I've been up to these weekends:

Making stationary for faraway friends! This one's made of recycled paper, old maps and post office themed rubber stamps. Gift tags included.

The friends we're sending these to are truly the most darling couple we know (we know many, so this was a tough label). Alice and Ron have retired long ago and been traveling the world for many years now. My family met them through a memorable trip to Florida when I was only 16, and we've been "pen pals" since.

Every time I get a letter with news on their raspberry patch in NY, a photo of their travels or sometimes even homemade cookies, it's like a pleasant little surprise in the mail.

So what's more appropriate than a traveler's theme letter set? :)

Monday, September 21, 2009

Read the label

US withdrawal symptoms include, but are not limited to, disorientation, lethargy, tearing, blocked nose and diarrhea. Ok, maybe not the diarrhea. To call mine a chemical dependence isn't pushing it, because I'm sure my dopamine levels were higher on 5th Av. than on Orchard Rd.

Only today after an afternoon yoga session, a movie, a mini date with the bf and a jog around the neighborhood, did I begin to feel a little more like myself. Could it be time to let go and move on?

I'll take the first step towards closure by posting photos.

Chapter 1: LA

The highlight of this trip was of course, the Moore's wedding reception. Livie was as beautiful a bride as we expected. The 3 couples had breakfast at Green Street and spent the afternoon at Old Town Pasadena before hitting the Langham Hotel where the bride and groom prepped for the event. Wendy and I played bridesmaids, covering up the tattoo on Livie's shoulder with makeup. It was a stark reminder of our college girlie moments

Big man holding a teeny blue bag, our present for the bride

Wendy and I stealing from the flower arrangements. We don't recommend this unless you're best friends with the bride. It helps too if she's far from the bridezilla sort, which Livie was

The fires in Pasadena were apparent throughout our stay and didn't once cease. We saw them early in the morning through the night. And in the still of the night, the air smelled like firewood. It was pretty scary

Like most Asians, we couldn't do without supper. This one was right after the reception. The night before, we had the greasiest burgers in the world right after a huge Mexican dinner

Dinner/supper during our last night with Livie. This place holds so many memories for Liv and I. It's the one Taiwanese restaurant we never fail to visit each time I visit LA. And each time, we forget how to order "sweet butter toast" in Chinese. Sweet butter toast will never be the same without you Liv

My last meal in LA at the Corner Bakery. I love how something simple like Caesar salad and carbonara could be so consistently good. It's like going to Boudin and getting the same ol' jalapeno cheese bagel and never being disappointed. This is far from what I can say for places like P.S. Cafe that charges an arm and a leg for sub par dishes

Walking back to the Moore's (yes I walked some distance in LA), I spotted these squirrels happily munching nuts and acorns from the tree

Chapter 2: San Francisco

First day in SF I met with my gfs and a delightful new addition, Little Arwen Rayne. Mommy and baby are just beautiful to look at. I love how Rachel has the most natural nurturing tendencies, caring for Arwen's needs at every drop of a tear or kick of her little socked feet. I wonder if I'll be as natural a mom

Melissa carrying little Arwen

I got to feed little Arwen lunch and carry her on my lap through dessert! So fun :)

Look how darling she is

Dinner at Bar Tartine, my now favorite restaurant in the Mission, with Terry, Borina and Curtis

Best gnocchi ever next to Zuni Cafe's signature. Compared to the latter, which is made of ricotta and simply poached with butter, this one's made of semolina, sauteed then served with the tastiest tomato sauce and thyme. The bf ordered burger and fries, and they were served with homemade ketchup. These are the details I really miss about SF restaurants

The weather was amazing that night, so much so that there was no need for air conditioning in the restaurant. I stepped out halfway to take a photo of the night sky trying to capture the stillness in the air

Borina was a darling and spent the next day taking me everywhere from Costco to Hayes. We got yelled at by a mad Japanese woman for, innocently mind you, trying to take a picture of her store. When she barked "No pictures!!" I swiftly put away my camera, not without first apologizing. Seconds later, we realized the woman was following us closely as we walked through her store repeatedly muttering, "Thank you. Goodbye." ??! We walked out feeling totally unwelcomed, only to hear an apology from her clerk who said "I'm sorry, but we spend a lot of time on the decor in this store, so we hope you understand." Before I could explain how he didn't have to apologize for
that but rather the store owner's utter rudeness, she came waving at him yelling "No need to explain yourself!" Hilarious. The bf always loved the decor of this store, so it's really sad how she had to tarnish my memory of it.

Seems we're not the only ones who were horrified by the experience. Read Maria L.'s and others' reviews on Yelp!

Miette, at Hayes, was a lot less Nazi-like. Their decor remains sweet as meringues and we love them for their macarons to their sweet little cupcakes. Well done Miette!

Dinner at Range with Shinta, Erick, Yoshi and Momoko, our other couple friends. It may surprise you to know that these young friends are married! Thanks for coming out you guys. It's really nice to see you again

We had a little "Chad" and "Steve" adventure this time around though not like the previous one where Curtis and Chris were mistaken for the founders of YouTube at a Friendster event. This was driving around town in an aqua zip car, eating In-N-Out before crashing in bed :) We heart Chad

Fog came in on the last day of our trip, which made it perfect for the next chapter: New York

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Photos from our trip to the U, S and A

Click here>
and here>

Quick teaser before you go :D

I love his sense of humor and sometimes have trouble remembering what life was like before him.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Graciously lost in limbo

We are back!

Though it felt good to sink our fatigued bodies into a cushy bed after a loooong 20+ hour flight from NY, I have to admit, I am feeling a tad bit unsettled.

How long will it take before I get used to waking up and not feel Leo's or Bo's morning licks on my face? Is it normal to go through days without having a list of new and exciting places to explore everyday? Will my hands feel empty from not carrying a cardigan around everyday, for fear of seasons changing?

It's been an amazing, almost surreal, 2 weeks with old friends and a lot of good food. Some adjustments will have to be made as I start my new job/commute tomorrow and get back into the swing of things in Singapore, which admittedly, I did miss because this is where I now call home.

Quick recap before I start posting pictures:
  • Livie's wedding reception was SUPER fun. We knew she married right when her father-in-law started pushing everyone to "shot gun" cans of beers in his kitchen. The result? This. And her mother-in-law definitely has her head screwed in the right place when she decided to book a room at a hotel that night. Way to go Moores!
  • We love you Liv, and are glad you've found your match in Peter :) I wasn't kidding when I asked to write. Please do so as we miss you dearly every day we're apart.
  • Shinta and Erick has a beautiful apartment in the Sunset area which encouraged me explore that side of SF for the very first time. I cannot believe we lived in SF for 5 years and spent most of our time in the north east neighborhoods. Thanks for having us dear friends!
  • Wendy and Marcos were the BEST hosts we could ask for in NY. We will certainly miss having you both as roommies! Who am I gonna go to for advice on outfit selections everyday? And who will laugh at Chris' dude jokes now? You guys have just been lovely company. Please come visit soon so we can have breakfast with orangutans together
  • Ryan is truly one of the nicest guys on earth.
  • We are as familiar with the streets of Boston as we were 5 years ago and will continue to love it the same way we always have: as college town
  • The bf's Boston landlord did not change the locks to his old apartment!

Our conclusion? The US hasn't changed much over time and it felt like we never left.