Friday, December 29, 2006

Journey to the West - Part V - Meteor Crater

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On the way to our next stop, Sante Fe, we passed by this Huge Sign. It says " METEOR CRATER", so being curious we decided to make a pit stop there. It turns out that Meteor Crater is the site of the World's First scientifically proven impact crater and most well preserved.

A piece of the Meteor

It was really really really cool, just checking out a crater. Its actually squarish, not round and it was caused by a meteor about 150 ft in length! Imagine that, a crater 1200m in diameter caused by that.

Ruins of an old house


The Guide

Journey to the West - Part IV - Red Rocks and Chapel of the Holy Cross

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From Grand Canyon we headed over to Sedona, home to Red Rocks National Park and the Chapel of the Holy Cross which is basically this church that is built into the rocks. Red Rocks National park consists mainly of rock formations formed by sandstone. Nothing to say, just pictures

Grp Shot

The Bell


Rocks and more Rocks

The Chapel

Side View


Dedicated to the Gals :p

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Journey to the West - Part III - Grand Canyon

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"We sat at this point & let our eyes wonder across the canyon.
All worries seeped away into the stony stillness & there was silence." - Gena McCafferty, Ireland

Day 3 saw us arriving at the Grand Canyon. Why is the Grand Canyon so cool? Its amazingly amazing and its a UN World Heritage Site. It was created by erosion over millions of years as the Colorado river flowed through the area.

We arrived there when it was snowing, so we got to see a really really rare site, the Grand Canyon with snow! This is one of the posts where pictures are all that is needed.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Journey to the West - Part II - Viva Las Vegas

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Viva Las Vegas!

City of Lights.... Sin City.. whatever you call it, Vegas is just exciting. The Strip is full of extravegant casinoes, ranging from something traditional like the MGM Grand to something totally uber cool like Caeser's Palace and New York New York.

MGM Grand

New York New York



Arriving in Vegas, we checked into the Hotel known as "Excalibur". The theme was naturally knights, wizards and all things Arthurian.


Hitting the Strip immediately, we checked out a few of the other casinoes, I am simply blown away by the scale. New York New York compresses the key elements of NYC into 10 blocks of casino + hotels + restaurants + 1 giant roller coaster. After some exploring we decided to call it a night.

The Strip

Day 2 - I got up earlier to hit the casino floor. Taking $20 with me, I followed Dr. Shafer's advice (my boss at CCI), "Craps and blackjack gives the player the best odds". Since I had no idea how to play craps, I decided to play blackjack.

Fast forward several games....

2 blackjacks + several banker bust + getting lucky, I was up $ 20 (ie: total $40). Remembering the wise words of my boss again, "Quit while you are ahead". I decided to stop and cash in. I definitely gotta thank Alicia for buying me the T-shirt I was wearing while I was at the table for that stroke of good luck, and errmm cat who claims she is some what responsible for that stroke of luck...

Seriously do I even need to go france after vegas?

Anyway it was back to getting some craps lessons and exploring the rest of the strip. Caesar's Palace is SIMPLY AMAZING, its got a world class shopping forum + amazing decor! To top it off, the buffet was simply the best, I loved the chef who kept cooking up mussels. I ate at least 2lbs worth of them, that is in addition to crab legs, steak, salad and more.

Char's New Jacket

Circus de soliel

Dinner at Cafe Largo

Caesar's Palace

After Caesar's Palace, the Bellagio was next. The highlight was the musical fountain of the Bellagio. It was simply amazing.

Bellagio's Fountain and Paris

Well that's it for Sin City!

Next Up - I can see clearly now, Grand Canyon adventures

Journey to the West - Part I - San Diego

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The final big trip.

Journey to the West.

Me, Char and Deliang flew towards San Diego to start our west coast Journey.

San Diego is a nice relaxed place. Being by the sea, it has this very nice relaxed pace of a coastal city. We started the first day by visiting Old Town and the San Diego Bay area. I shall let the photos do the talking:

Bay Side View

Welcome to Old Town

Cultural Dance


Who might I be Serenading?

Dinner was at Cafe Cyote which was voted BEST Mexican restaurant.

Cafe Cyote

Day 2 started with a visit to the famous San Diego Zoo. It was definitely world class, especially the monkey exhibits, it was 4 stories high integrating monkeys, hippos, fish and other animals. It showed the entire system from the tree top to the river. WOW


Giant Silverbacks

Oh look its Rafiki!

Cute Hippo!

Since San Diego was famous for its seafood, we went to the number 1 recommanded place, Fish Market. It was really nice having seafood dinner with a seaside view!

The View

The Food

Grp Shot

Next Up: Viva Las Vegas

How do you measure a year?

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All good times must come to an end. With the graduation ceremony of Batch 7, another chapter closes in my life. I always remember the song "Seasons of Love" from the musical Rent. I heard it at the last graduation and I always been thinking, 525600 minutes, how do you measure a year? Ultimately it is the amalgamation of all my experiences, the people I meet, the things I do. And I can say for sure, this was a year well spent. (I am repeating my graduation speech :p). Well, I gotta thank everyone for making this 1 year so special, the folks at CCI, NCBV batch 7 and Gean. (I thanked a lot more in my speech but this is a blog not some speech yar?)

Batch & and Gean

Seasons of Love

Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes,
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Moments so dear.
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights
In cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.

In five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure
A year in the life?

How about love?
How about love?
How about love? Measure in love

Seasons of love. Seasons of love

Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes!
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Journeys to plan.

Five hundred twenty-five thousand
Six hundred minutes
How do you measure the life
Of a woman or a man?

In truths that she learned,
Or in times that he cried.
In bridges he burned,
Or the way that she died.

It's time now to sing out,
Tho' the story never ends
Let's celebrate
Remember a year in the life of friends
Remember the love!
Remember the love!
Seasons of love!

Oh you got to got to Remember the love! remember the love,
You Measure in love know that love is a gift from up above Seasons of love.
Share love, give love spread love Measure measure you life in love.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Good Morning Baltimore!

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"Good Morning Baltimore" ~~ that was the opening song for the musical "Hairspray". This time however I really did went to Baltimore! A friend of mine since primary school, Kai Lee was studying in Baltimore so i decided to take a break from EAS 446 and visit her.

Upon stepping off the greyhound bus

While waiting for her to arrive at the meeting point (turns out she was too busy shopping :p), which is the famous Baltimore inner habour, I was able to get a few nice shots in:

Finally we were able to find each other (after 8+ missed calls)!!! Anyway we decided that a Saturday was best spent exploring inner habour and shopping. We headed to Federer Hill which was a famous fort position and also the top of the Baltimore world trade center.

Top of the Hill

Me and Kai Lee

After doing some shopping/exploring, we headed back to her place where I could crash for the night.

Housing area near JHU

So that is about it for Day 1!

Day 2, Sunday, me, Kai Lee and Sophie(a housemate) headed down to inner habour again (seems like the in place to chill). This time it was to the famous Baltimore National Aquarium. Best thing is, the entire weekend was dollar weekend, so any attraction is $1!!!

Now, I get to pay $1 to visit a world famous aquarium accompanied by 2 cute girls.... what a sunday (^_^)v

The aquarium was like 5 stories of WOWness. So many different exhibits, I especially loved the tropical rainforest exhibit. It really felt like a rain forest, hot and humid.

2 Cute Girls

The crowd on dollar day at the aquarium

Sophie trying to be "cool".... okok i am really out of good puns

Group Shot at the Rainforest exhibit

As always with any of my trips, food is a very impt focus. I was totally into lobsters when I was in Maine, now that I am in Baltimore.... its CRABS! For dinner, we went to the Rusty Scupper Restaurant, which is a nice place over looking the Baltimore habour and skyline. I just had to have the Maryland Crabcakes!

At the place

Still deciding

The view

Maryland Crab Cakes!

Grp Photo

A photo at Santa's Place to end the day

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