Home Sweet Home

Wow, it’s nice to be back home, especially sitting in an Alero for a week for long periods of time. There’s so much to write that I do believe that I’m going to bore you, so here is the stuff in short–just click on the section you wanna read:

J-camp pix.

J-camp was surprisingly really fun. I had a great time gettin’ to know some of the younger ‘uns and well, they’re overall a very friendly and energetic bunch :). *sigh* reminds me of the good ‘ol, er, young days when I wouldn’t get tired…and stay up all night while the counsellors would retire early. The slightly unstructured schedule was very relaxing and comforting :). For my second time of tenting, it was a very good experience b/c I didn’t get a single mosquito bite, tho I think Danny suffered from quite a handful…

Throughout the weekend, I was exempt from dishes and cooking. Although I kinda felt bad at times for ditching my campers, I didn’t feel bad at the same time :P. Thanks for the yummy food (yes, better than expected–thanks to last year’s horror stories), and for cleaning up! The only reason why I had this privilege of not having to do anything, was apparently, on Saturday morning, I woke up to see people crawling on their hands and knees. Yes, it was a terribly funny sight…so amusing that I was gonna take a pic if not for the fact that they were searching for Joyce’s diamond ring w/in the blades of green grass…I recalled that at Children’s Camp once, a counsellor lost his set of keys in a patch of green and just couldn’t find it! He just knelt there on the spot, closed his eyes and prayed really hard and when he opened them, there they were, right in front of his knees! So anyhow, I remembered that story of faith, and just fired up a quick prayer to God with similar intentions, as I knew how frustating that must’ve been to lose something of such sentimental and financial value. Shortly after, I kicked something and looked down. Thanks to God, it was a ring, the ring, after positive confirmation =).

Some of us were able to go canoeing too in the afternoon that day. Marc and I took an hour, Dan and Rita and one other (can’t remember who it was) went for the rest. After not canoeing since high school, I really enjoyed the opportunity to coast down the lake in appreciation of God’s creation :). The canoes however, were really um…not the type that I prefer or am useta. Instead of fibreglass, the canoe’s body was made from material similar to Fisher-Price indoor playground equipment and the seats were made to the bottom so the canoer wouldn’t be able to kneel instead of sitting (I find kneeling gives me more power).
The canoe seemed wider than normal but I guess it’s a good thing considering it would mean that it would be less likely that I’d fall into the water as I can’t swim.

That evening, the sky was really clear. A bunch of Jerms slept outside (or shall I say napped outside for 1-2 hrs) and I joined them for like the first 30 mins before going back to the tent after the bonfire. The bonfire was quite interesting; I haven’t been able to sing children’s songs with a bunch of older people for such a long time now ;). Anyhow, as we were star-gazing and figuring out which constellations were which, I ended up catching 3-4 shooting stars fire across the sky. Afterwards, I found out that it was the beginning of some meteorite thingy.

The speaker was really interesting too, though I can’t remember what he talked about. All i remember was that I was intently listening to what he was saying…heh.

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Weekend Pix.

If you notice, I only posted twice in August. One of the reasons is because right before the weekend of TJ/Daniel’s wedding, my work term was quickly coming to a close. Most of the time was spent either packing to move my stuff outta my house or OT (w/o pay) at the office to finish our report and presentation material for the Friday. Thankfully, the presentation and report went well and the director was impressed =). That concludes my term as a civil servant; quite an interesting one indeed.

Anyhow, the weekend was spent in TO and Derrick and his family was kind enough to offer their home during our stay there. TJ and Daniel finally tied the knot at Logos (Chinese) Baptist Church on Saturday afternoon. The ceremony was very comforting as it’s more often a solemn ceremony than one at ease. This time, the bride and groom and other members of the wedding party exchanged whispers here and there, and Pastor Tim gave a very amusing but good exhortation/blessing.

For the life of me, I can’t remember what we did in the afternoon. The reception/banquet was held at Celestial Court in Market Village. Chines food (8-10 courses) was very yummy and about 16 tables of guests (8-10) showed. Fortunately, Dave Chai (from Montréal/UW alumni) sat at our table, as I didn’t know any of the other guests (altho both of TJ’s ex housemates were there too :P).

Jen and Cal met up with us afterwards for a bubbletea at MetroSquare. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to see Jen as much anymore as she’s heading down to Boston(?) for more schooling. Congrats to her as she’s been accepted into the School of Optometry there! :)

Worship at RHCBC (thanks Rice) was a very interesting one as well. There are a LOT of youth there and Pastor Herman’s sermon was a very good one. He’s a very good speaker especially when he doesn’t need to refer to any notes and interacts w the “audience” by actually moving through the aisles. The sermon was on Worship and one truth I retained was that worship isn’t worship unless it’s life-changing. How powerful, true, and yet, challenging! O led Sunday School and it was informative, esp on biblical history.

Lunch w Rice and DD at Jap restaurant. Pretty yummy and way better deal than Sakura Island in the ‘loo…

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Road Trip Pix.

Aug 24, 2002
I now know why I useta keep a record of my trips. I don’t remember where exactly we went anymore. Boo. Anyhow, we started off our road trip at about 6:30 am (or perhaps even earlier) and drove down to the border in this really uncomfortable Alero (Oldsmobile) (and not very powerful either). I was stuck in the middle for the most part of the first lag of the trip to the point where my tailbone (whiplash permanent damages) began to complain of pain again. We stopped for lunch someplace — think maybe it was near Oregon U…as we drove past Portland’s chinatown. Along the way, we stopped at a factory outlet and because the CK store was closing, bought some pants for a mere $12.50 CDN, a shirt at Banana Republic and some others at Gap Factory Store.

On the first night after a dinner in some hick town (where we got paranoid b/c some guy asked us if we were from out-of-town and if we knew were the police station was), we stayed at a Holiday Inn Express in Grant’s Pass, Oregon. My brother complained b/c there was not an indoor pool. However, this room was a suite-style so we escaped from my dad’s snoring :P. The beds were also queen-sized, which meant that my sister didn’t complain of me kicking her and hoggin all the blanket and shoving her to the edge of the bed (unlike the other nights).

Aug 25, 2002
In the morning, we were late gettin’ out and thus, missed church. Not that there were many churches to choose from mind you…However, we did go to Oregon Caves and participated in a tour that lasted approximately 75 minutes. The caves averaged to about 5C but we were equipped with light jackets to keep warm :).

Driving to Crescent City took awhile, but we managed to arrive at the small town (with beautiful scenery!) and had seafood for dinner at AppleBee’s (some chain restaurant). The hotel (Anchorage Inn?) we stayed at really lacked in quality. Although it’s noteably the “newest” hotel in town, the rooms were dirty, the furniture used, and the service was really poor.

Aug 26,2002
On our way to San Fransisco, California, we drove through Redwood National Park and through some massively tall and huge redwood trees. Kinda like Stanley Park but much vaster in the sheer numbers of trees. Tons of Oxygen there i suppose :P. We inched our car “backwards” through the drive-thru shrine tree, which is this massively tall tree that has a hole in the middle of it. 3/4 of this tree is dead but 1/4 of it still continues to grow. For dinner that night, we stopped along the way at a steakhouse called Cowboy’s or something like that. As I’m not too into steak, I only say that it was decent, tho my family liked it.

By the time we arrived in SF, it was dark so we checked in the Holiday Inn (Golden Gateway–tho I don’t remember it lookin’ quite like the picture does), it actually sleeps better than Delta Hotels, though Delta has a nicer balcony view. This one lacked a balcony even tho we were on the 22nd floor (or something?).

Aug 27,2002
*yawn!*, apparently I kept kicking my sister in my sleep and hoggin’ all the blanket :). heh…anyhow, took the street cable car to the cable car museum (and place where they run the cables). I never knew that it was the cable underneath the cars that pull them along. For lunch, we had a meal at IHOP, then browsed on Pier 51 (or was it 39–one of them is Fisherman’s Wharf) and took some pics and then I forgot what we did for the rest of the day. Agh. Must’ve been unimportant. But it’s still buggin’ me…oh! we might’ve gone shopping at the Espirit store, which was closing; it was its last day in business in all of SF. Thus, when we got there, everything was 75% off, and then just as they were goin’ to close, they announced everything was $2.00 USD :) (so works out to be 3 bucks CDN!). Even though they did not have a fitting room (which they sold as well), I managed to grab at least 4 skirts (same cut, different design), flowery capris (i hate capris but since they were 2 dollars, i can use them in the house), and maybe something else, but I can’t remember what. =). This is all thanks to my bro who reaped the intent of street flyer advertising. dinner…what did we eat…er…??? OHOH, I don’t remember if it was this day or the next, but we visited SF’s downtown, which reminds me of NYC b/c of all these really big-name stores, and had cheesecake (YUMS! I had the keylime one) at the famous Cheesecake Factory–pricey, but worth it! :) My mom had the firecracker salmon rolls, a very yummy appetizer too, along w some really yummy iced mango drink! Tho’ a late afternoon snack, we had Costco hotdogs for a light dinner–to balance everything. At Costco, I picked up a 128MB SMcard for my dig cam for a mere $75CDN! ;).

Aug 28,2002
Good mornin’! Cable car-ed to Pier 39 (Fisherman’s Wharf), and took the Ferry to Alcatraz Island (home to the movie, The Rock). I was skeptical at first about the quality of an self-audio tour, but the recorded tour was very detailed–along w sound effects, and testimonials from ex-convicts and wardens. Very well done! Apparently, it’s award-winning. However, advice to future tourists, the place is sooo cold and windy; I was afraid i’d get sick! Thankfully I didn’t and lived to eat the food in SF’s Chinatown. Apparently, the restaurant we picked was a good one (X and Y’s Lounge–X and Y being arbitrary b/c I can’t remember what it’s called)–the food tasted good and many ppl came and went. However, I think some of us had a stomach rxn to it anyhow. Ate in the afternoon at a seafood restaurant in Fisherman’s Wharf. The manager there was extremely nice; after my bro complained that his plate of food was too cold, the dessert (two as it’s equiv to price of the meal) was on the house :).

Aug 29,2002

Off to Oregon Coast! As we headed back home, we stopped along the Coast for some dune buggyin’. The sand was sooo beautiful as it reflected from the sun. The sand is soo fine and soft there too (my feet just sank in the sand)! What a ride! Instead of steering our own buggy’s (which would’ve prolly been fun as well), we opted to take a guided thrill ride, where the buggy sat 6 of us, and the driver would steer us up and down, to the max of 35MPH or slightly over. Apparently, my dad wasn’t too thrilled as it felt like a 30 min coaster ride…*grins*. I definitely recommend it, and since we were in a 4-pt harness, there isn’t too much to worry about. The driver does this for the summer and allegedly gets paid $9.00/hr USD plus tips to do this every day :). How fun (tho I think that would be “tai chi gik” for me). We continued driving until we hit a Fred Meyer’s to eat lunch there (sushi) and explore a sand dune and to take some pix. Yes, although my pictures seem to have sand dunes in them, they were actually directly behind the Fred Meyer’s hehehe.

Our last night was spent in Lincoln City, with dinner at Wendy’s and some shopping at the Factory Outlets. Continuing on, the next day was spent shopping the ENTIRE day. First, at Lincoln City, then on the way back to Vancouver, we detoured to Sea Side and shopped there (more Factory Outlets) and had a seafood dinner at a local bar and grill, prior to arriving home at 2 AM. The city-line of Seattle is soo beautiful at night (as seen from the I-5/interstate) esp w the “needle”. I wish I had my camera ready, but when I did, it was already too late =(. And, that ends my trip. Phew. The week felt like eternity tho’; it was nice to be home again :).

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Vancouver Pix.

Caught up w some friends, like Ron–since he’s at the other UW. ‘Mo, LB, Chris and I went biking around the Sea Wall in Stanley Park one day before our vacation. I have never done that before, and it was beautiful as well :). I felt like a tourist b/c I kept taking so many pics. I dunno why I’ve never biked around the sea wall; there’s so much that’s to be seen along the path than if one was to drive. I think I’ve tried to blade it before but b/c the blading patrol only allow one to skate one direction, I soon gave up as I was (and still am) an amateur. Also spent time w my cousin/family/relative, popped by a BBQ, bbltea-ed w Zeke,Ron, and my sis, lunched w Ron at Bread Garden, and DROVE to metro to eat dinner w Allen, Albe, Mur, and Vinay. The thai food at the Thai House isn’t all that good; the ones in Ottawa are tastier, tho’ I have yet to try the famous Siam Bistro up there (my supervisor at MOL recommends it!).

Note: the Abbotsford airport is less tight on security than the urban ones (YVR, YOW, YYZ). They didn’t make sure that my electronics worked tho’ they did ask me to take them out. Ah yeh, FREE parking, and NO airport fee. not to mention, NO line up for anything, not even for the ticketing agents :). One can see the departure side from the arrivals. Strange eh? :) Ah yes, 3 gates w no “terminals”…you gotta get on the plane from the outside of the runway…and it smells like dung all around. Welcome to Abbotsford, BC :).

PS. One other thing, sitting in business class for no extra cost on Tango flights to Ottawa from TO and vice versa is very comfie!–just keep in mind to book in first 5 or so rows in advance :).

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