Lilypie - First Birthday

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Panda Express

We crossed the Golden Gate Bridge into Sausalito, where we split into two groups for lunch - the boys went for hamburgers at Burger King, while mom and I, sick of having hamburgers, went to the Panda Express.

Sausalito in my farthest memory is a love story starring Maggie Cheung and Leon Lai, which I watched on TV when I was small. I recall seeing a lot of street graffiti in the movie, so I thought Sausalito would be kinda like a cheapskate place. But in reality, Sausalito is filled with hillside homes, yachts parked by the bay and looks rather POSH $$$. Pik Lay told me that it is a place dwelled by the wealthy. And I believe that, cos some of my colleagues had RM100 spaghetti there. $_$

Luckily, we went to the Panda Express.

The Panda Express is like a godsend to us Chinese who are simply cravingggg for a plate of hot rice and wok-fried food in America. You know, some of us just have to eat at least one meal of noodles/rice every day and hamburgers just don't fit the bill! Luckily the Panda Express can easily be found in most places and is one of the cheapest meals around - this and Subway saved our lives. We had Panda Express at least 3 times while in U.S.

In Panda Express, they serve economy rice/'zhap fan' with dishes like Orange Chicken, Kung Pao Chicken, Sweet Sour Pork, Beijing Beef, spring rolls with steamed rice, fried rice or chow mein. My lunch at Sausalito - Broccoli Beef with fried rice and a fortune cookie that served crap advice.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

[San Francisco] Golden Gate Day

Week 1
Day 4 (Nov 23rd, Sunday)
Day 2 in San Francisco - Afternoon at the Golden Gate Bridge

This is a continuation from City by the Bay - Part I. After taking many photos of the extremely picturesque Marina Green neighbourhood, we crossed the road to the marina where we could catch a glimpse of the famed Golden Gate Bridge. This is one of the many many scenic points to view the Bridge.

On the boardwalk at the marina

May I say that those who live in the Marina Green neighborhood are greatly blessed? Imagine waking up to the song of seabirds on a Sunday morning, putting on your running shoes, and just cross over the road to start jogging along the boardwalk to a fabulous view of private yachts, blue skies, the sea and the Golden Gate Bridge. Splendid.

Scenic Point #1.

Here, the Golden Gate Bridge is far from sight. A bit hazy, but nevertheless it reaped a chorus of wows and sighs from us as our car passed it by earlier in the morning. You can actually go down to the rocks and take pictures there. On the opposite side (not in photo), you can see the Alcatraz island, which used to host some of the most notorious criminals behind its jailbars.

Scenic Point #2.

I don't really know the name of this viewpoint... Fort Point, I guess? It's like a park or something. We drove here. The Golden Gate Bridge looks nearer here. And the day was so much hotter, since it was getting to noon. I really, really loved this park... it was like you could just lay down on the grass and read a book while sunning yourself or something. And the happy screams of children and balloons nearby... simply... happy.

Behind, you can see the cityscape of San Francisco

A cute green globe with beautiful white daisies on it - it is a call from the city to preserve green spaces

Scenic Viewpoint #3.

Here we are finally, at the foot of the bridge. It was an exceptionally sunny day and the skies were clear of the signature San Francisco fog. Leo said it's extremely lucky for us that the weather was fine so that we could take great pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge. I wouldn't have minded seeing the fog though... that same fog which I see in most of my San Francisco postcards... that shrouds the Golden Gate Bridge and makes it seem like... a piece of heaven.

You can actually choose to rent a bike and cycle across the Bridge to Sausalito if you like. I can't cycle to save my life, so we walked! Halfway across the bridge we went... surprisingly it's so much shorter than the Penang Bridge! :-)

The Engineer who built the bridge - Joseph Strauss

The Golden Gate Bridge and I

For all my life, one of the places that I'd dreamt of going was to the Golden Gate Bridge. And actually being able to see it in real life was AMAZING. The Golden Gate Bridge's color is not gold, but is called 'International Orange'. (From Wiki, the 'Golden Gate' actually means the area of water where the San Francisco Bay opens onto the Pacific Ocean.)


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Place to Call Our Own

Hello! I know, I know, it's been the longest time since I'd blogged... especially after I left my "6 Weeks in U.S." series dangling in mid-air... just after Day 2. :P (I'll try my best to continue from where I left off...)

Well, I was just... busy. Busy after Leo's homecoming, busy unpacking Leo's shipment stuff, busy with project work, and last but not least, busy house-hunting! For the past few weeks, we'd spent quite some time hunting for The One. And at long last, we settled on this. Finally, a place to call our own! :-) Let me present to you OUR future home:

IJM's Summer Place - where everyday's a Summer Holiday (I love the tagline! :P)

Artist Impression

The Summer Place is a new condominium project by IJM which is scheduled to be completed by 2010 year end. It is off the Jelutong Highway, between Georgetown and Bayan Lepas.

The soft launch happened two Saturdays back, at IJM's sales office. It was due to start at 10am, but people actually started queueing from 9pm the night before! I can't believe I did it too! (Well kind of, long story there...) I'd seen a HK movie a long long time ago when I was a kid, about HK residents camping overnight to get a flat (公屋). I suddenly understood how they must have felt. Leo said, Penangites have officially beat the Singaporeans in terms of kiasu-ism... but I guess, everyone must need a place to stay (居者有其屋)?

No kidding... look at the queue here (photo pinched from Percy's blog)... and yes, that's us, looking bored!

Buying a house is one of the biggest decisions in our lives. Although both positive and negative comments are abuzz, we still feel that this the best decision to make with our money.

The positives:
-Quality: Reputation of developer is good and past projects are of high quality and good management. Nice facilities, swimming pool is of extreme importance.
-Deliverable: Committed to deliver on time, construction still ongoing even at night.
-Location: Waterfront, seaview. Halfway to town, I'm getting bored of Bayan Lepas area anyway.
-Affordability: Promotions during softlaunch improves our cashflow.
-Good investment: If I decide in the end not to stay there, I should still be able to sell out at a good price considering the base price was low and choice units are few.

The negatives:
-Investment: Landfill, leasehold 99 years, value might drop after 10 yrs.
-Location: Nearby high-dense low cost flats, just next to Sg. Pinang, one of the 7 most polluted rivers in Malaysia, hot and sometimes smelly seabreeze, mosque and pasar malam<-solution: new road has been built to bypass low cost flat area, my unit facing poolview and not Sg. Pinang, aircon, I don't mind pasar malam and mosques, there's gonna be a church there too!

Well, as what my other friends who have bought a house tell me, there's no such thing as a perfect house. Just "Buy it and Love it"! So yeah, I agree. Perhaps after we do up our house to a dreamy white beach getaway concept, it would be perfect for us. And then we wouldn't mind the troubles of the world after we get home to our cosy enclave! Leo and I will officially be proud owners of a new Home after we sign the S&P agreement soon! :-)