Category Archives: travel

Goodbye Summer

Cannot believe that we are already in September. Seems like the summer just flew by this year. It is hard to believe that soon enough, the weather is going to get chilly (it already has in Vancouver) and the days will get shorter…

I was just reflecting on this summer that just pass and I managed to come up with a fairly lengthy list of things that we did or accomplished this season. I wanted to joint it down here so that I can remember this.

  • Gardening – We finally set up our own garden in our backyard after 4 years of living in this house and we managed to grow quite a bit of vegetables for our first year of gardening. We had a lot of zucchini (I made a lot of chocolate zucchini bread!), plenty of lettuce, some radish, a few carrots, and we are expecting a lot of tomatoes (they are still green on the vines now). Pretty proud of what we were able to grow this year. Must definitely do this again next year. I am also hoping that our pumpkins will grow before the end of October for Halloween.
  • Golf – I finally got off my butt and got golf lessons. Been going to the driving range weekly (sometimes a couple of times per week) and I am definitely seeing some improvement! Now I need to actually play the game or maybe try some pitch and putt before I get more serious. But I have to admit I am definitely enjoying this new found sport and wish the summer could extend longer so that I can practice more. Looking forward to next year so that I can get even better.
  • Biking – My oldest son (big J) learned how to bike a 2-wheel bike this summer! Was so proud of him when I took him to the park and taught him how to ride a bike without training wheels. I have to say that I am a pretty proud momma to help him with this accomplishment that he mostly did on his own. What a determined kid. So proud of my boy.
  • Swimming – Big J also improved on his swimming quite a bit this summer. He enrolled in swimming classes when he did not have preschool and he has definitely gotten better. He passed his level and will be moving on once swimming classes start again later this month. He also enjoys it a lot and it is great to see him enjoy these sorts of activities that build up his confidence.
  • Fireworks – For the first time in a long time, I managed to go see the fireworks again for the Celebration of Lights in Vancouver. After having kids, it’s hard to go out and participate in these sorts of activities. Now that the kids are a bit older and that we can leave them behind for a few hours with a babysitter, the hubby and I are capable of doing date-like events again (movies, fireworks, golfing range, etc.). It was enjoyable watching the fireworks at Kits beach. Big J also had the chance to go watch the fireworks with his daddy who took him on one of the nights. He really enjoyed the experience and I can tell it was a memorable event for him.
  • Blueberry Picking – Last time we went it was quite a few years back before little J was born. For some reason it felt really warm this year and at the end we just bought some more blueberries rather than pick them as the price by the pound is the same. Anyhow, the kids (mostly big J) enjoyed picking blueberries but I enjoy eating them and baking with them. I usually enjoy baking my blueberry scones after a round of blueberry picking. It is also nice when my family enjoys my baking and asks for more scones! My recipe can be found here in this post.
  • Other highlights include going to the night market, church picnics, birthday parties, going to the beach, hanging out at the water parks, going to the PNE, and our last out of town trip to Victoria.

This has definitely been a memorable summer. Sad that it is almost over but looking forward to a new season of change. Goodbye summer.

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On the Island

Hello friends,

We are on Victoria island now for a mini family vacation with the kids. We are here mainly for a wedding on the weekend but decided to stay a few extra day to enjoy this beautiful island.

We are staying in Sooke and the hotel is really beautiful. Close to the water and such a nice view. We even saw some seals and a few deers in the wild.

Tomorrow will be the wedding. Should be fun to see old friends and of course to see our friend get married!

I started another TripColor page for our mini adventure that you can follow here. Or follow me on Twitter to get occasional tweets from me :) .

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Follow My Trip on TripColor

Hi friends,

It is day 2 in Hawaii and we managed to get a lot accomplished today.

I went to get some surfing lessons from Dane Kealoha who is a previous surfing champion. I did manage to stand on the board however I got tired shortly after and had a hard time getting up on that surfboard. For our first time surfing, apparently that is supposed to be decent.

Then we went up hiking at the Diamond Head crater with the kids. The kidlet managed to trek up there on his own (his motivation was that he gets to have his own shaved iced if he makes it to the top on his own). What a trooper!

Anyhow, I won’t be able to post updates all the time but I have been posting some pictures on TripColor of our trip. So go visit my TripColor trip here to keep up with our family trip.

Thanks for reading!

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Aloha

Aloha! We are in beautiful Hawaii yet again. We landed in Honolulu late last night and trying to get the kids to bed last night with all the excitement was quite a challenge.

Well today is a new day and we should be enjoying the beach and sun very shortly.

Just wanted to write a quick post to say hello and to also post a picture of the sunrise this morning.

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Hello Friends!

Hello friends, it has been a long time since I have updated here. Work has been busy and my kids are growing up so fast. Watching them grow reminds me how fleeting time can be and how I should slow down to enjoy the moment more often.

Anyhow, I am sitting at the Chinese Consulate office in Vancouver applying for my Hong Kong ID and visa. Since I am waiting I have decided that I actually have time to write a post.

Some updates about me and the family is that we went to Hong Kong in January with the kiddies. This was their first long plane ride and first time in Asian. It is definitely challenging traveling with children especially a young child who was sick. Anyhow, we survived through it and I am crazy enough to decide I travel again with my kids next month.

We will be heading to Honolulu in Hawaii (yes Hawaii again!) before little j turns 2. This time around I am looking forward to it.

I actually have another drafted post about Hawaii but haven’t had the chance to edit and post yet. Perhaps I will try to post it before our trip next month!

Alright, I should focus on this application thing. It is chaotic. Everybody looks lost… Bye for now!

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Harrison Hot Springs

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We survived our first road trip with the boys this long weekend. We did not initially plan to go away over the BC day long weekend however one of my co-workers had mentioned about his recent trip to Harrison Hot Springs with his 2 kids and that kind of sparked an interest when I brought it up with the husband. The last time we traveled with our 2 kids was when our little j was just 6 months old and we flew to Hawaii without much extra help. I won’t go over that trip again as it was definitely a challenging one with an infant, and therefore thinking about traveling again with my children wasn’t something I was too keen about. However, now that my little one is over 1 years old, it certainly made it easier this time around (and the fact that it was somewhat of a short car ride of 2 hours to get to our destination).

We left Vancouver city for Harrison’s on Saturday morning and arrived about 2 hours later. It would have been sooner if we did not run into traffic but what do you expect over a long weekend when everybody wants to get out of town?

Here is a summary of our activities during this fun little road trip:

Day 1

  • Lunch at Lakeview Restaurant. Small little family-owned restaurant. The food is decent (diner food) but the waitress is exceptionally friendly and helpful. We think she’s been working there for years (last time we went 4+ years ago she was already working there).
  • Check-in at the Harrison Hot Springs Resort. They have 5 pools there which are filled with mineral water. Our room was pretty decent and clean.
  • Hang out at the beach. The boys just enjoyed playing in the sand. My oldest son liked going dipping in the shallow lake.
  • Dinner at Black Forest Restaurant. We had meatloaf and Schnitzel. The Schnitzel was good but the meatloaf was salty. The service was mediocre.
  • Ice cream at the Green Star Cafe from the Harrison Village Mall. We always seem to go there for ice cream in Harrison’s. They have delicious cherry ice cream.
  • Sleepy time for the kids.

Lakeview Restaurant

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Vienna Schnitzel

Day 2

  • Breakfast at Lakeview Restaurant.
  • Hangout at the pool. The outdoor family pool is heated to 26 C. So even though it rained this day, we didn’t worry about being cold outside. Just needed to quickly warm up with a dry towel once you got out of the pool though.
  • Lunch at Harrison Pizza. Small little shop with homemade pizza and pasta. We tried the Harrison pizza and it was very tasty. The kids liked it. The owner of the shop is really friendly and this is a good place for families.
  • Nap for little j and more pool time for big j.
  • We rode a 4-person bicycle from Jamie’s Quadracycle Rentals. We strapped the kids to the front and the husband and I pedaled the bike from the back. Big j enjoyed the ride, and little j got a bit overwhelmed when the sun and the wind started getting into his eyes. We only rode for 30 minutes but it was fun. Worth a try if you haven’t tried this before. (I wish I had taken a picture of all of us in that quadracycle. But the husband did take a video with his iPhone while we rode with the kids.)
  • Dinner at Morgan’s restaurant. Food is pretty tasty but is somewhat pricey ($25-30 per entree).
  • Ice cream from Chantilly’s. We tried Aloha surprise (reminds me of Hawaii!), black forest, and blueberry sorbet. All were very yummy.
  • Sleepy time for the kids.

Breakfast

He Built a Tower

Boys at the Pool

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Bikes

Mussels & Clams Appetizer

Chantilly Gelato

Day 3

  • Breakfast from the coffee shop inside the hotel. We ate our food in the hotel lobby. I think little j made a mess there (whoops).
  • Hangout at the pool. More pool time at the family pool. Might as well take advantage of that mineral water.
  • Hangout at the beach. One last time before we head home.
  • Quick lunch. We ate a wrap, a calzone, and chicken noodle soup.
  • Drive home to Vancouver.

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What I really enjoyed about the trip was just the time spent with my 2 little boys and my husband. Sometimes it is hard to believe that we have our own little family now. It was nice to see my boys have such a good time hanging out with each other and just enjoying the beach and the pool. Also, it was just nice to get away from the city. Even though the town of Harrison’s isn’t too big it was a delightful short road trip. As mentioned before, I didn’t know what to expect traveling with my 2 boys again but this time around it was much more enjoyable. Probably due to the fact that my little one isn’t so little anymore (they grow so fast!).

Well, now I am looking forward to more family trips again. It is still a challenge packing and traveling with children (you have to plan so much!) but hopefully we get better at it each time we try it.

P.S. Check out my Flickr set to see the rest of the pictures from the trip.

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Hawaii, Birthdays, and Other Things…

Well hello! I have been way overdue for an update to this blog. I am sure more people would actually read this blog if I bothered to update more frequently.

Here is a recap of some interesting happenings in the last month:

  • I bought a new camera. The Canon T1i really rocks!
  • We went to Hawaii (yes, again!)
  • My son celebrated his 2nd birthday
  • My dog celebrated his 6th (human years) birthday

I got the new Canon T1i and I am so pleased with it! If you read the specs for this camera, it’s hard not to want it (unless you already have the 5D Mark II!). It was about time that I upgraded from my Canon XT (which I so dearly loved also). The sensors are great (colours are wonderful) and the faster speed is a definite plus. Now that I finally got a new camera body, I am coveting another lens. I am very pleased with the EF 50mm F1.4 USM. This is an excellent lens that is fast and that takes really sharp images. I highly recommend this fixed lens to anybody that likes to take portrait shots. I have heard that the 24-70mm is also another great Canon lens. I am going to test it out late when I rent the lens for a wedding in July. In a way I hope I do not fall in love with it or I am going to want to purchase it (it is a $1K plus lens).

We visited the island of Oahu (we when to Maui back in September) and it was a much more pleasant trip this time around. My son really enjoyed the beach and it was especially nice for us to not worry about him too much since the beach in Waikiki (where we stayed) is rather calm and shallow. We had a great time of eating a lot of great food and just relaxing a lot on the beach. The highlights were going to Hanauma Bay, the Honolulu Zoo, and the Lantern Floating Festival. We were lucky to have a friend show us around the town too since he is now a local there. We were there for a week and I wished we could have stayed longer. I do miss the Hawaiian beaches. Hawaii is definitely on my top 3 list of best places to live in the world. Vancouver is of course also on this list :) .

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Check out my flickr account to see the rest of the pictures taken in Hawaii. Or click here to see the slideshow.

My little monkey turned 2 last month. I cannot believe that my baby is growing up so fast! Isn’t he the most handsome little kid you have ever seen? Of course I am biased but how can you not like this little guy?

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New Couch

My dog Solomon also had a birthday recently. He is 6 years old but he still acts like a pup! He is really a wonderful dog and I am very thankful for such a loyal and gentle dog. My son likes to play with him and sometimes gets a bit rough with Solomon, but even then Solomon is always so nicely behaved. Not sure what I did to deserved such an obedient little dog. That’s a picture of him with his new couch on the right. Isn’t he also a handsome little dog? I guess I am just filled with handsome boys in my life! :)

So besides those updates above, this is going to be a busy month. I have 2 weddings to go to (I am taking pictures for them too!), bridal showers to attend, and birthday parties to celebrate (mine included). Oh, and Father’s day is also coming too.

I am hoping to finish up some sewing projects that I want to eventually sell on Etsy. I am sometimes too ambitious with the things I want to do. If only there was more time during the day! I have also been reading a lot of interesting books lately. I really love the local library as a resource. Apparently there is this feature where you can request books and they are reserved for you for 5 business days once the book is available. It is really a great system and I have been totally taking advantage of it. The Vancouver Library also stocks a lot of very current books. I have been taking out craft books, sewing books, gardening books, Malcolm Gladwell books, business related books, etc. I love absorbing all that knowledge! Perhaps that is why I have so many hobbies because I want to know more about everything.

Anyhow, I really must finish this update as it is getting late and I must get some rest (despite wanting to do so many things, it is also very important to get some rest). I am looking forward to hanging out with my son tomorrow morning. Hopefully he will sleep in a little so that I can catch some extra zzz’s.

Goodnight folks!

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Back from Maui!

IMG_5741, originally uploaded by gizzypooh.

Hello friends!

The boys and I went to Maui for a family vacation last week. It was my little boy’s first vacation and first plane ride. The plane ride (there and back) was not so pleasant but once we were in Hawaii, my son really enjoyed it. He loves the sand and the ocean! He just cannot get enough of the beach.

Even though it was a nice vacation, I have to be honest and say that I am somewhat relieved to be home again. Traveling with a 15 month old can be quite exhausting. We had to bring so much “gear” just for him (from the stroller, to a portable booster seat, to the car seat, etc.). I think if we had to go away on a family vacation again, I would wait until my boy is big enough that he does not need all that “stuff”, or go somewhere close by without the long plane ride.

We stayed in Kaanapali which is along the North West coast of the island of Maui. We mostly went to the beach (we went every day except on our last day since we had to check out of our hotel by noon) and strolled along Front Street in Lahaina. Activities can be a bit limiting when you are traveling with a small toddler. We also visited the beach at Kihei and spent an evening at the Hyatt for a nice luau.

Hawaii is such a pretty place, but I have to say that I think I like Vancouver better. Home sweet home…

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