Saturday, September 29, 2007

end of nuah.

it's tragic that the mid-term break is ending. it seemed to pass super fast. although i was determined to do as little work as possible and do things that i love, before i have to face the exams prep.

recap: there were many days of just nuah-ing at home, watching dvds. i did study for one afternoon with carlene. plus my first ever pedicure, which made my toes so pretty in the shiny chocolatey-brown shade. there was WSC's thank you dinner to our volunteers and my official stepping down event. there was a meetup with my sec sch friends which was nice. plus celebrating mid-autumn's festival in our garden complete with yummy mooncakes nice tea, a not-so-round moon and hugo trying to poke his big head in everyone's business and lap. and carlene's mum was nice enough to sponsor hugo some doggie mooncakes from her new business. so all you people with dogs!! if you want nice food for your dogs look for meeee! trust me, hugo enjoyed his mooncake so much. that silly dog of mine. (:

anyway my brothers and sisters dvd boxset came in the mail! way in advance of the 5th oct estimated shipment arrival date. i was so surprised to see it and i think i got it at the same time as the US people. and i love it. (: ahhhh. and i've been whining to people that i wished i was in the US right now because this week is where all the tv shows broadcast their season premeires! i do miss my US days a lot. where i can laze in front of the tv after dinner and eat a pint of ben&jerry's straight from the tub.

speaking of which, here are some of the first photos of las vegas. more to come.

after touching down at las vegas international airport, we waited SO long for the shuttle that would take us to our hotel. and when we finally do check-in (there was this cute guy that looked SO much like josh groban, i can still remember after so long haha.) and settle in it was approaching nightfall. so we ventured out on foot in search of dinner, still feeling that residual hot air from the afternoon sun.

aka "the strip". where most hotels and casinos are. they all line up along this long street called las vegas boulevard. here you find all the familiar names - bellagio, venetian, treasure island, the wynn and so many more. photos to come. and you'd find all these familiar if you watch CSI, ocean's 11, 12, 13 or Las Vegas.

we stayed at circus circus, which is towards one end of the strip. hence traffic is not so congested. plus rooms are cheaper. and we could afford a 3 star hotel with 2 queen size beds. very very comfy.

new kid on the block. or shall we say new kid on the strip. the latest addition to the trip is called "wynn". the last name of the guy who built it. it's really a beautiful hotel. i don't usually use the word beautiful for buildings. but it is really beautiful.

the night scene. everything is lighted up. it's really what you see on tv. all the bright lights and neon signs. blatant advertisement for s*ex and all. it is truly a city of sin. and i don't know why, the road is always jammed at night.

the next day we woke up late to recover from the semi-hectic travelling at new york, and we had buffet lunch at our hotel, which was cheap but not very good. but with food, we are always contented. so to work it off we decided to walk and explore the strip. BAD IDEA. the sun is SO hot (about 35 degrees C) and it's SO dry (about 8% humidity) i nearly wanted to faint. i've never finished my bottle of hot SO fast before.

here at the man-made waterfalls of wynn. don't be fooled by the smiles. it was HOT.

so we were always more than willing to walk into the hotels for some air-con. so typical singaporean. after wynn, the next hotel we explored was the venetian. here you can ride gondolas in the hotel's little river. very nice, but totally artificial.

ok. got many many more photos. but now is time for the new episode of grey's anatomy!

argh. school. presentations. research papers.

focus on the Lord!

Monday, September 24, 2007


i literally spent my weekend eating. starting from thursday.

i met up with teacher aileen, join, sisi and louisa at ikea alexandra for our usual swedish meatballs food outing. it started a year ago with my then-ypg2 discussion group. the missing people are jaymie who had driving, and aldine who is in perth. we had a great time of fellowship over a huge dinner and it was jolin's starting-work-treat. =)

on friday night after class, i had an even HUGER dinner with shannie, louisa and melody at the famous ang mo kio crab bee hoon place. called mellben. the 4 ladies managed to wipe out 1 medium crab in the crab bee hoon claypot thing and 2 small crabs (butter crab and chilli crab), 1 plate of sambal kangkong and fried man tou. the food was SO good. although the price is steep and the queue is horrendously long, it is worth it. those who need the address and telephone no. (to call ahead and reserve) let me know. this is HIGHLY recommended.

on saturday night after ypg3, we had a successful surprise birthday party for mike at his own house. it was a night of good food and great company. i had nice people to make my poh piahs for me, like melody and marianne. thank you my dears.

on sunday night, i had dinner with some of my extended family at this coffee shop zi char place in toa payoh. very very good and affordable food! we had a 10-course meal comprising crabs (again) chicken scallops tofu vegetables sea cucumbers etc.

i'm a happy girl. (:

but the thing that makes me most happy is singing for the Lord. at teens worship on sunday, youth II choir presented the song "before the throne of God above" and it was really well done. from what i hear. it is a very meaningful song and that really helps with memorising and really singing the song from your heart. i'm always happy after an item. it makes me glad.

the week-long break is here. and i just spent the first day of it watching dvds and playing wii till my right hand is a little achy. haha. and i gave up on trying "the legend of zelda" due to the complicated instructions on how to use to wii remote to play it. i shall figure out slowly. soon. this will be my last break before going supposedly full-steam with exam prep. my last exams as an undergrad!! so exciting.

those things aside, i spend my days thinking about lots of things. and when i do that before i fall asleep, i have trouble falling asleep. (duh.) so many things have happened in the past month and i always wonder what lessons can God be trying to teach me through all these painful trials and tribulations. and things have been happening to people around me too. and sometimes it does scare me. and it is always a challenge to always remind myself to ask, "what would Jesus do?"

at the end of the month, i really hope that all these bad things will stop coming towards me now. i need some sanity in my life.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

big apple day.

ok so on the next day i went to get the statue of liberty tickets. bright and early. and it's really wayy too early. i was SO sleepy and i was on my own, clutching my usual vanilla latte and a bagel on the subway, making sure i didn't board the express train which would bypass my intended destination and bring me all the way to brooklyn. yes that happened to me. so silly. so after getting the prized tickets i hung around the area and ate my breakfast on a park bench that overlooks the waters and the statue of liberty in the distance. very nice time on my own. great weather.

sculptures depicting early immigrants into the united states, all yearning for a better life in the land of american dreams. i like this the best.

after breakfast i decided to explore the city on foot and subway. so i walked to the financial district (again) and see how the morning rush is like in the world's busiest city.

the wall street bull. this became my entrepreneurship group's symbol of strength and power.

the NYSE again, without the sun and shadow.

then i took a short train ride and arrived at brooklyn bridge. this is the view of the city from the start of the bridge.

and the bridge proper. the word's first suspension bridge. i think. i'll always remember this bridge was featured prominently in the movie 'kate and leopold'. =)

the rustiness and rustic-ness of the bridge.

the suspension cables.

another short train ride brought me back to city hall. and i was here again because i had to change trains to get to my next destination.

and i'm here at chelsea, a neighbourhood where the gays gather. and i like it 'cos it's got the rustic small-town character.

my destination: magnolia bakery. famous for its home-made old fashioned cupcakes. i knew of it from sex and the city. that's how famous it is. and it is VERY GOOD.

the address is here. so if you are ever in NYC, go and buy! and you can smell it even before you get there. really. i was trying to find the correct intersection and sudden;y i smell this amazing freshly baked goods smell. and i knew where to walk.

on my way to the statue of liberty! the ferry ride resembles the ferryboats in seattle, just no space for cars. purely passengers. the nyc skyline is behind us.

the tiny statue.

the police coast guard, who waved at us. =)

the winds were very strong and a little chilly. but very nice.

me in the liberty pose. not very flattering. i think the statue looks so much better. haha.

after clearing security checks and some drama things that happened, we headed up to the pedestal (where the statue's feet is). on the way up, you'll walk through the statue of liberty museum. oh yes. my 2 new friends. they are students at UCLA but they're from argentina and guatemala. and i met them, well it's a long story. in a nutshell i met them while queueing up to get on the ferry. and because i was alone, it was nice to have some company and to make new friends.

the museum drafts the making of the statue and information and historical stuff about the statue. like it was a gift from france.

the view from the pedestal.

the 3 of us again. with the NYC skyline. the view up there is just b-e-a-utiful.


the inside of the statue. looks familiar doesn't it? like another famous landmark in paris?

look at how tiny the skyscrapers are!

after the liberty island, we took a ferry and headed for the neighbouring ellis island, where early immigrants who are entering US through new york city had to pass through many rounds of interviews, tests, medical exams etc before they are allowed to enter US. and many of them are rejected because they didn't pass any one of them. which is quite sad because they probably spent the last 3-4 months stuffed in a small container and had no food to eat or clean water, plus spending a lot of money arranging that pathetic transport, only to be rejected by US immigrations.

inside the immigration building. many exhibits depicting the early struggles of immigrants and the immigration process.

the big immigration hall, holding area once they got off the ships.

after walking around and exploring, we headed back to manhattan on the ferry.

we headed straight to times square 'cos we had tickets to catch beauty and the beast. but we had some time to eat dinner first and i decided we should try bubba gump shrimp company! it was inspired by the movie forrest gump of course andit serves very gd seafood! we had a good time trying the different shrimps and very good clam chowder (although the san francisco one beats it, but that's a story for another day.)

i caught beauty and the beast on broadway. it has ended its run, so maybe i'm quite lucky to have caught it. and it was GOOD! the sets and singing and music and lights. wow. i was quite impressed, maybe because i didn't have high expectations of it to begin with. i actually liked it a lot.

this is the guy that was the beast! he's quite handsome right. hence it was such a pity that he was behind all that fur and mask for the entire show, short of the first 1 minute and the last 2 minutes. but he has this incredible voice. and was nice enough to sign my playbill and take a picture with me. =) this photo really made my day.

me in the middle of the mayhem also known as times square.

one last look at times square. and one of my favorite cities - new york. it's quite apt that the first time i came to new york, i came to times square first. and now on my last night of my 2nd time in the city, i'm back there.

ohhhh looking at my pictures make me miss new york so much. if my grad trip with mel materializes i'll be back there!

and that concludes my very long recap of my 6-day new york city trip. i still haven't finish seeing the city, so many unexplored corners which i hope to explore when i go back. =)

the next day we packed our bags and left VERY early to get to the airport for our flight to las vegas. and we saw grand central terminal too. reminds me of the photograph where don't-know-how-many naked bodies laid on the floor of the station.

well next up would be vegas. and the grand canyon. =)