Wednesday, January 24, 2007

the summit at snoqualmie.

here are the pictures from my day trip to snoqualmie pass. the sights were so beautiful. just mountains and mountains as far as the eye can see. and white dotted with green, everywhere. cos the trees are the coniferous evergreen trees. it was beautiful.

ok prepare for an avalanche of photos. excuse me if i didn't frame the photos properly. it was too cold to take a proper photo when your hands are in desperate need for the thick thinsulate gloves.

dan (gerri's husband) came bright and early in the morning at 8am to pick us up from our house. so nice. =) on the way to their house, we crossed lake washington and it was beautiful!! the sun was rising over the lake and we were heading southeast. so i took this at the last possible minute, any further i'd have missed it. what a beautiful morning.

pardon the reflection. this was on the way to snoqualmie pass. up and mountain on the freeway, it was all white. it's so white that the photo looks like a black&white photo now.

that's randy! gerri's younger daughter. sitting in her child seat playing with her fingers. the 2 children are really funny. here she is oblivious to the beautiful sights around her, either too young to appreciate, or it has become a common sight for her. for us, i was so mesmerized.

many more mountain photos up ahead. see all the christmas trees? i was just soaking in the view and it felt like christmas. =) with the snow and the pine trees.

snow and mountains. snow and mountains.

wondering why is there a queue on the mountain? we were queuing up for tubing tickets. so thankful we managed to get tickets. it was a saturday. hence very crowded.

(the little pink girl at the side is randy! she appears in a lot of our photos in a corner 'cos gerri was taking care of her and helping is take photos.) my tubing companions linda (sitting on the float) and jieying.

this is what tubing is all about. step 1: you sit in a rubber tyre-like float. my first time down the slope. don't be fooled by the smile. i was quite terrified.

step 2: and off you go, down the slope! and why am i facing the camera, 'cos i went backwards down. on my first time. it was scary. but i looked up as i went down the slope and was immediately captivated by the surrounding view of the mountain range! so pretty! then all the nerves disappeared. and as i descended, the wind blew my hood off and my hair became SO messy. and as i reached the end, i stepped out of my float to find dan fliming my every move. ohmygoodnessss my hairr!!! i immediately duck behind jieying. haha. unglam moment.

my 2nd time. dan giving me a push down the slope.

and here i go again! this time the right orientation. different view, but very nice also!

this is dan and his older son, xander. xander is a pro at tubing and sledding. we all (including gerri) get our courage from him. haha.

after 2 hours of tubing we went back to the car to have lunch! and gerri prepared chicken soup with macaroni, kept hot in a rice cooker. =) it was very very nice to eat something so hot and home-made and delicious on a cold day. she also brought along 12 muffins, hot water with milo and coffee 3-in-1 packets, apples and we brought sandwhiches. she was very prepared and very nice. =) =)

linda and i, enjoying our chicken soup. =) cheers. thank you gerri!

we walked over to the skiing/snowboarding slopes to see how our friends were doing on the slopes. the sun shines on the mountains.

and the whole place is called the summit at snoqualmie. we were at the tubing center, while the central base area has 3 chair lifts and 4 slopes of different difficulties.

snow and mountain. snow and mountain.

i was surprised at the weather up here. i thought it will be all gloomy since the precipitation in this region is really high and it was really cold. but the sun was out. it did hail quite a bit while we were tubing.

the ski slopes. all with names. and the difficulty levels.

beautiful ice popsicles. xander loves to crouch on the floor and look for such popsicles that form underneath their car, so cute. =)

snowshoeing! we tried dan's and gerri's snowshoes cos we found this patch of snow that was really deep, like a few cm above the ankle. so with the snowshoes, we wouldn't sink! i felt like i was wearing a badminton racket.

xander has his own snowshoes too!!

this photo was taken when we went to this place nearby called sno-park. its a sledding place, where you slide down a slope using a sled instead of the float in tubing. this was really fun too! and exciting 'cos there are no proper lanes for sliding. so you'll need to siam people as they come sliding down your direction and run for your life. =) haha. and we could race one another down the slope.

and we played will night fell. everyone had a go at it, including gerri and dan. xander is the expert once again.

the variety of sleds that gerri's family has. we tried all, and i even "bellied down" the very last time. so instead of going down sitting on the sled, i laid down and my tummy was flat on the sled. it was quite exhilirating and not as scary as i thought. haha.

blurry picture of all of us. bad photographer. back row from left: dan, xander, gerri, jieying, randy (miranda is her name). front row: me and linda.

and to conclude our day, we all packed into the car and drove back to U-district. on the way back we were snacking in the car with tidbits, "green fingers", muffins with the 2 kids and i became the tidbit-dispensing machine for the kids. 'cos they weren't supposed to hold the packet and eat the whole thing. so they would go "more please", "more please", "more please". so cute. =) we had dinner at a korean restaurant and it was not bad! quite cheap also.

thank you gerri and dan for the day out. =)

ok got midterms to study for. aaahhh. can't wait for the weekend to come.

Monday, January 22, 2007

adventures at pike place & downtown seattle.

ok i need to catch up with my photo-updates. i have 2 weekends' worth of photos not posted up yet. school work is piling up with mid-terms and quizzes and assignments. mostly due to the fact that half of my modules do not have a final exam, so my term work counts towards the final grade. aaahhhh!!!

so the weekend before the one that just passed, meaning the 13th/14th jan weekend, saturday was spent at international district with gerri, her neighbour echo (cool name, but she's a taiwanese) and echo's 3 children (who are all adorable.). it was a snowy day again. my neighbour, roommate and i piled into gerri's MPV and we went chinese groceries shopping and our bill totaled to USD110+. haha. divide that 4 ways. it's chinese food withdrawal symptoms lah. i felt like buying everything. then we went to a chinese restaurant and had more chinese food! =) =) so thankful for a car because we would not have to carry all our groceries back home. i miss having a carrrr.

sunday will be described in pictures. and monday, martin luther king day was a holiday, but we spent it at home catching up with work. sadddd.

ok. sunday. we went to pike place! finally. i love the fresh fruits and vegetables and fish (except the smell). it's such a happy delirious feeling seeing all the colors of fruits and vegetables gleaming under the lights of the stores. yes and we saw this guy throwing fish to the other guy. oh i love the little stalls at the flea market too. selling all kinds of interesting stuff and trinkets.

ok pictures tell stories better.

everyone takes the same picture of the same sign "public market", jiejie too. but when i saw this other sign down the road, i took a different one! the beautiful blue sky and the sun is out once again. =)

welcome to pike place! i didn't take many pictures of the stalls because i was too mesmerized. =) will definitely go back for organic flavored pasta and fresh fruits like cherries and strawberries.

the view from the public market place. more pictures of the views to come.

er jie this is for you! i know you love to say "wait until the cows come home", especially when we were in tokyo. haha. so i took this picture for you. so cute. the whole shop sells all things cow.

the original starbucks. but we were informed by a local that technically, this location is not the original location. the original original starbucks was located somewhere near, but they moved to this present one. and he added we weren't supposed to know that. oh well. glad to be at the birth place of my favorite coffee joint. they were throwing coffee cups (instead of fish) inside. and it was crowded!

cheers with a hazelnut latte against the backdrop of half of downtown seattle. =)

the view from the waterfront promenade. the vast water body you see here is not even the ocean yet. it's elliot bay. but it sure looks like a big sea to my singaporean eyes. yes i haven't seen the great lakes of US yet. the road at the foreground is one of the interstate freeways. probably I5, which runs from vancouver to san diego (?).

the sun! nowadays we're back to gloomy days. and don't be fooled by the bright sun here. that day was coldddd. probably just a degree or 2 above zero.

the stadiums. baseball and football. sigh the seattle teams are doing badly. just that sunday morning was a big semi-final football game against dunno who and everyone was SO hyped up about it, even my prof (who is one of the top researchers at a top research institute). and he came into class the tuesday after the game and told us "excuse me if i can't form my sentences properly or if i look depressed and glassy-eyed, i still could not get over what happened on sunday and i have been supporting them since they started out in the 1970s". haha. so funny. today i just read that the baseball team lost too. oh well.

4 very satisfied and high-on-caffeine girls.

these tall structures were all around, and they look tribal. but i have no idea what significance they carry. but quite nice against the urban backdrop and the water.

here. a better picture of the waterfront promenade and downtown seattle.

the snow is still around.

welcome to downtown seattle! here comes a story of nice seattle people. my friend was so blur she misread the bus guide and we were supposed to get on the express version of the bus no. 74 to get us to pike place, but she didn't know so we happily got on the normal version which does not stop anywhere near pike place. so we sat on the bus until it reached the last stop. and oh noooo. we asked the bus driver if we were anywhere near pike place. alas we were quite far away. we looked at each other, still wondering what to do, when the nice bus driver told us to sit down, and that he would give us a ride there as it was on his way back to the terminal. so nice of him right. =) we said like a thousand thank yous and we got our very own ride to pike place. and he let us off even nearer to pike place than we would have been if we took the correct bus.

a quiet day in downtown seattle.

the shopping stretch, which is quite a few streets. i heart shopping.

gap store! its huge! but we didn't go in.

the sun sets. and we still continued shopping. till after dark. before the 4 tired but satisfied girls headed home for dinner. felt too guilty about the $$ spent to eat out. haha.

the results of 4 girls' shopping. i bought a new pair of trainers from adidas's stella mccartney range, which was on sale and it was so nice! bought a starbucks coffee tumbler so i can bring my tea to school without having to spend a bomb everyday at starbucks. and a top and denim skirt from american eagle outfitters, on sale too. slashed like crazy. there are sales everywhere so i resolved to stay away from downtown for the next 3 weeks.

here i conclude our very exciting and nice day out. the next entry should follow very soon. toodles.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

let it snow let it snow let it snow.

so the snowy days are still here. seems like it's christmas all over again.

it started to snow 3 days ago, and continued to fall intermittently over the next few days. this morning, a quiet saturday morning, after a breakfast of pancakes and ham and cheese omelette with green tea, i sat down at my table and drew my blinds. and there it was again. the fluffy light snow falling from the sky. at first you'd think somebody is throwing styrofoam bits from the roof as a prank, because it was so faint. with time, you'd realise it's real snow, in its subtle beauty. and yet it brings much inconvenience to the locals. gerri's place just 30 minutes away was buried in 8 inches of snow. she had to shovel her driveway just to get her car out to meet us today. her husband couldn't get to work. the ground was filled with snow that melted into water but soon turned to ice and became all slippery.

okok. pictures pictures. continuing from where we stopped. dated 5th jan to 11th jan.

this is the place for basketball. the NBA game that we went to only cost us USD10 because we bought it in school. the game was seattle sonics vs new york knicks. those of you who know, obviously the new york knicks won. key arena is just a stone's throw away from the space needle. it was raining buckets that night. but everyone still braved the rain and attended the game.

because we were early, they allowed us to go to the courtside to hang around as the players warm up. so we happily snapped away. sua ku singaporeans. from left: me, xianqi (bioengineering major), yanru (aerospace engineering and my tj oboe junior!) and alvin (don't know what engineering).

i assume the man in blazer is the coach of new york knicks. talking to some fans. the size of the arena is comparable to indoor stadium, but the central area is smaller.

as we grabbed dinner, the seats are slowly filling up. that giant hot air balloon like thing on the right is remote-controlled and it drops vouchers as it flies around the arena. we have no idea what vouchers they are but everyone frantically waves at it when it comes near, hands outstretched to grab any falling piece of paper.

in between the game. during one of the many time-outs. time-out entertainment include dancers, breakdancers, the mascot walking around and giving out freebies which gets everyone excited, competitions for "best kiss" and "best dance" where the camera zooms in on people or couples in the audience and they gotta give their best kiss or dance their best dance and it's projected on the giant screen. it's really funny. from left: me, suhui, yinyin (also engineering major and former basketball captain of hwa chong JC)

the game in action. everyone is tall. tall beyond words. yinyin was very kind to explain the entire game to suhui and i. including the 24 seconds to shoot thing and scoring system (2 points, 3 points).

ok. this is the street outside my house, where i arrived home from grocery shopping and snapped. most shots were blurry 'cos i couldn't find anywhere to put my camera. but it was beautiful.

the morning after. the sun rises! the person you see behind the car, he/she was shovelling her driveway. snow was everywhere except on the roads. i wonder why.

on the way to school. white and more white. =) it was so pretty.

if you remember i posted a picture like this, except it was all green.

on campus grounds. this area is right outside the students' union building, called the husky den (the husky is UW's mascot). where all the yummy food, meeting rooms, events, bazaars, pool tables, bowling alley, games room, tv lounge are located. in front of the building is this sprawling green grassy land.

my school is very near to the lake. this is a part of lake washington. more residential houses on the opposite bank. the ducks were swimming around. during my breaks when i'm free, i'd always come here and sit by the window and do some work or surf the net, with a nice hot cup of coffee or tea.

don't ask me why there's a ship docked here. i think it's the school of oceanography/marine studies. they probably take this ship out to the ocean to do research.

the sun! the sun! i know singapore got no sun. here it is. don't you miss it? i miss it too. so i'm very excited when it comes up. it really cheers me up.

the building next to the lake. i have no idea what school this is. but to the right of this building is the UW medical hospital. it's connected to my school, and very near. and that's the nearest place i can eat lunch. sometimes i look around the cafeteria and wonder if the doctors will carry the bacteria on their scrubs/white coats and infect everyone. haha.

dusk is falling. and the shades of color it casts on the brick-red buildings of UW campus is just beautiful. and as human traffic decreases, it gets really nice and tranquil and quiet.

the snow. is still everywhere.

everywhere except the places where people walk on.

you can't see it from here but the pond is frozen. just a thin sheet of ice. the ducks are confined to one corner of the pond where there's no ice. poor things.

i like how the strands of grass pops out of the snow, contrasted with how the snow decorates the shrub. so cute.

i could see mount rainer from here, but i guess it's too white for it to contrast against the sky. but it's beauutifulll. =)

parting shot. =)