September 24, 2007
The last days in Chicago
Sienna's first IHOP trip
Sunday we took a final dip in the pool since we were checking out on Monday and staying at Rich and Theresa's. Sienna didn't seem as excited about the pool as she was the first time. Oh well. In the afternoon we headed over to R and T's to watch football on their HDTV and eat brats.
Their dog Elvis
Monday we were total tourists and headed over to check out 'the bean' and walk around a bit.
Geeks at the bean
We had lunch in the restaurant behind the bean, it was really good! We checked out a few more places and took pictures, which I took film and hope they come out. We headed back just in the nick of time, it started raining!
Tuesday we kinda laid low and went to see Rich's old condo and that neighborhood. Had lunch at Moody's (?), apparently home of Chicago's best burger (wasn't bad) and walked over to the lake.
Wednesday we flew back and again, Sienna was perfect for the flight. It wasn't full and I debated about asking if we can bring on the car seat since we got spoiled the first time around. I decided not to just to see how she was going to be in our laps since the flight was so short. We did have a seat mate for the window so she was in our lap the whole time. She fell asleep in Yves' arms and woke up once we landed. And we got there about 40 minutes early! Yay! (Yves took the same flight when he came back from Chicago last month and it was also early.) Such a nice and relaxing trip.
September 14, 2007
We're back from Chicago! And it was a successful trip. The flights were great, the wedding wonderful and the weather wasn't the greatest with some on and off rain but we had a couple of bright sunny days.
We took the 6:45 am Jetblue flight and as you can see, we don't look totally awake. Our flight was pretty empty and we were able to take the car seat on board and put it next to us. What a big help that was! Sienna was an absolute angel! We started feeding her her bottle while waiting to board since that was her usual time. She didn't finish it so while we took off, I gave her the rest of it and she drank it. Once she finished it, we put her in the car seat next to the window and she fell asleep for the rest of the flight!! Who can ask for anything better?
Once we landed and got our bags, we headed over to Enterprise for our car. They happen to be out of the compact car we reserved and upgraded us to a PT Cruiser, a car Yves always had his eye on so of course he was happy! Now normally I wouldn't show a picture with my butt toward the camera but this happens to be one of the only pics of the car. Plus we were laughing at ourselves for changing Sienna in the trunk and calling ourselves ghetto. The trunk is so roomy!
Later that day we relaxed and took Sienna to her first trip to the hotel's indoor pool! She loved it!
We had Thai food with Rich, Theresa and Matt later that night. It was delicious! Sienna fell asleep in the car seat and just happened to wake up right when we were leaving. We ended up giving her some water back at the hotel and she fell back asleep in the Pack and Play. And then the rest of us fell asleep. What a long day!
Friday we drove up to Wisconsin for lunch to go to one of Yves' favorite places, the Brat Stop. Rich couldn't believe we drove up there but it was only a little less than an hour, equal to a subway ride!
I got the garlic brat and it was good. I only wished the bun was just a tad bit on the softer side. I think I felt the same way last time I had a Milwaukee brat back in 2001.
Where's my Brat? Where's my Brat?
Later that night we met up with some of Rich and Theresa's family for a sort of rehearsal dinner at a mexican restaurant called Don Juan's. It was delicious! And Sienna slept thru the whole thing and we were certainly a loud bunch! We also did not have any trouble transfering her from the car seat to the pack and play back at the hotel. Whew!
More on the trip later...
June 05, 2007
Rochester Roadtrip Success!
This past weekend we took our first family trip to Rochester, NY. Tammy and Mark were getting married and we really did not want to miss it. So we packed up the car (my dad's) and headed to Western NY on Friday. Mapquest said it would take 6 hours and with Sienna, we weren't sure how long it would actually take. We left around 9:45 am and with 3 stops, got to the Hyatt at 4:30. Not bad!!
I was laughing really hard watching Yves come up the little hotel 'elevator' with Sienna that I had to take a picture. And here is Sienna in her first hotel room! LOL
All the things we were worried about that might happen did not happen. She slept like a log in the hotel crib, she didn't cry during the wedding ceremony and she was generally a good girl throughout the whole trip!! For dinner on Friday, I went to get Dinosaur BBQ, which was only 2 blocks away! YUM! I took it to go to eat in our hotel room. We really didn't want to put Sienna back into the car seat to go out again after subjecting her to it for over 6 hours. Saturday morning, we went to breakfast at one of the places Tammy had suggested. Another successful restaurant outting with Sienna!! I guess as long as there is room for her carriage, there really shouldn't be much of a problem. She is such a good girl!
She woke up just in time for the couple to walk down the aisle!
She was asleep throughout the whole cocktail hour and we were right next to the musicians! Many people were disappointed she was asleep, they wanted to play with her. Need I say that she was a big hit with everybody? ;-)
As per her usual, she woke up just as we were sitting down to have dinner. Yves fed her and then I took over to change her. There wasn't any air conditioning at all, just big giant fans, so I wanted to change her out of her thick dress. She started to get cranky after dinner, which was after her usual bedtime. We took her outside and thought maybe the fresh air would help her calm down. Not really. We took her back inside and put her back into her seat and she fell asleep shortly after. And the band was playing loudly in the next room! I was eagerly waiting for the cake cutting, I needed a sweet fix!
They also had 3 trays of pastries. YUM!! I was told there was supposed to be a chocolate fountain but I did not see one. I'll have to talk to Tammy about that when they come back from their honeymoon! How can she tease me with that??
We left around 8:30 on Sunday morning, we took advantage of Sienna napping to get started on the road. I think we only stopped twice but there was also a little traffic. Since I couldn't pack sandwiches for the ride, we stopped for lunch at Friendly's. Another successful restaurant outting with Sienna! LOL We got home around 4:30. All in all a successful trip!
November 04, 2006
Today is our last day in Vancouver, we fly home tonight! Our flight isn't until midnight so we virtually have all day! We decided to head up to North Vancouver and check out the Capilano Suspension Bridge. It's a 450 foot suspension bridge among the rainforest. From the brochures, it looks really beautiful and it was!!
As soon as I stepped on the bridge, I was terrified! It moves!! Yves was walking behind me and I thought he was making it swing on purpose but he wasn't. It's just the way the bridge works. I was hanging on for dear life and chanting to myself what I read in the brochure that it could "hold 2 fully loaded 747s." Not that I was afraid it was going to break, I was afraid it was going to flip over! It's silly, I know. Many people were walking over it.
Well, after surviving the bridge, there were mini bridges among some other trees. Those weren't bad at all except we got stuck with a group of unruly little kids whose mother let them run across andf wasn't even watching them! We tried to get away from them as soon as possible.
After the bridge, we headed back toward the states and looked for some place to have lunch. We found this little restaurant off the highway called Madison's. It wasn't too bad considering it was in the middle of nowhere. Their onion rings were real!
We made it into Seattle around 5:30-6ish and decided to go see a movie to kill some time. We were too tired to do anymore sightseeing and even though we were going to sit on a plane for 5 hours, I welcomed seeing a movie. We went to see School for Scoundrels. It was funny, a good movie to see if you wanted to kill some time.
We headed to the airport, dropped the car off and tried to find something to eat. Not an easy feat at 10:30 at night. Our only option was gasp Wendy's. I used to love Wendy's! We both just got a burger, at least it was something in our stomach's and once wasn't going to hurt us.
The flight was uneventful, I think I might have slept for an hour. And we're home!! Yay! It's good to be home.
November 03, 2006
Vancouver day 2
So our first full day in Vancouver, we overdid it again. We walked alllll over the place! We took the train to the downtown area and went into one of the malls (I think it was Pacific Place??) to look for new shoes for me since the ones I had on were on its last legs. I don't know if it's just Canada or the shoe store was just nice but they measured my feet and put the shoes on me! I haven't had that kind of service in ages. I bought a pair from them and the guy said to wear it for 4 hours and then switch.
We continued walking and went over the Granville Bridge that leads to Granville Island. It's a cute little area with a farmer's market, little shops and restaurants. It turned out to be a real long walk. The above picture was taken while we were walking over the bridge and the bridge you see is the Burrard street bridge (I think!) We ended up having lunch there and going into a rubber stamp store (my reason for going) even though I only bought one thing there. We took this little ferry bus back to the other side and it took like less than 5 minutes to cross it!
We continued walking, our goal was to end up in Chinatown since we heard that it is huge in Vancouver. We walked through Yaletown and it didn't seem that exciting but we were probably on the outskirts. I think by that point in our trip, we were kinda touristed out.
We finally made it to Chinatown sometime in the late afternoon. Of course that is when the sun really comes out and starts shining. It had been overcast most of the day and only seemed clear in the north. And of course that is when we are just exhausted!
The Chinatown was huge! But still lacking in people. No bumping into people on the streets, no crowding...We weren't hungry or anything which was a shame cuz I really wanted to try their food. So instead we bought a bunch of buns from New Town Bakery and Restaurant, voted the best pastries by the Vancouver Sun. They also called their steamed buns "Chinese hamburgers." I don't know where they got that from but it's far from a hamburger! So we got some roast pork buns, a don tat, a coconut creme bun and a sponge cake. I have to tell you the roast pork was the best I've had. Better than New York!
We took the train back and caught a bus up to the street our hotel was on. My feet thanked me for that! Later on for dinner, we decided to try this Portugese restaurant a block from our hotel. I was quite disappointed as everything was just too salty. It's too bad Yves' first taste of Portugese food was from a mediocre place.
October 28, 2006
Vancouver, here we come!
Wednesday was pretty uneventful. We woke up to a misty and overcast day. We went to check out the free breakfast and kinda smirked. It wasn't really all that different from Silver Cloud's breakfast besides it being in a little room instead of a restaurant. They had the same stuff: waffle maker, bagels, cereal...But we got turned off with the styrofoam cups they had for the coffee. They had styrofoam plates and we might have been okay with that if only they had paper coffee cups. Yves has finally seen the light with drinking coffee in styrofoam, basically it sucks! So we decided to go to this little coffee place I saw yesterday. We both got egg and sausage sandwiches on english muffin and it was probably one of those frozen kinds but we also got cafe mocha! MMMM. We haven't gotten something like that in ages. It was good and sweet.
We headed down to the pier to catch the 11:10 ferry back to Anacortes and headed straight up to Vancouver. It took us about 2 hours and the border wasn't too bad, not too long of a wait. As soon as we hit Vancouver, fellow yellows everywhere!! Hello my peeps! hahaha
We found our hotel okay after making a wrong turn. We went with the Days Inn, Vancouver Metro. Apparently it is only 3 miles outside of downtown Vancouver and within walking distance of the Skytrain. The Days Inn is a Days Inn, nothing special but it was cheap. We decided to take the train into downtown to check it out a little bit. The Skytrain ended up being about 10 loooong blocks away. Normally not that big of a deal but we were at the end of our trip and starting to feel touristed out.
We went to the machine to buy our tickets. They operate on a zone system and we were going to zone 1 so it cost $2.25 canadian. We took the escalator upstairs to the platform and a train was coming in. We jumped on it. We then realized something didn't feel right. Where was a turnstile to put your ticket through? How did they know we paid? I thought maybe there would be one on the other side. Nothing. How bizarre!! They work on an honor system! If someone stops you, of course, you have to show proof you paid but we didn't see any sort of official looking person on the platform. I'm guessing if you get caught, there would be a hefty fine. The trains were only 4 cars long and shorter in length and narrower than NY. But the trains come very often.
We decided to get off at the waterfront and thought we might be able to take some night shots. HA. We got there and it was so foggy and misty, we couldn't see anything! We really didn't prepare for Vancouver so I didn't really know where to go. We saw the tourist information center and went in there and got some brochures, walked around a little bit and decided to call it a night. It started to rain pretty steady. On the way to our hotel, we stopped off at a little pizza place where I got a meatball sandwich and Yves got a greek salad to bring back to the room.
October 24, 2006
Tuesday, we took the shuttle van down to the waterfront to get our rental car from Thrifty. We got a white Chevy Cobalt. It had the bare minimum! Manual windows (didn't know they still made those!), manual door locks, no cruise control but it got us from point A to B so that was fine. We went back to the hotel to check out and we're on our way North! We head up to Anacortes to take the ferry over to Friday Harbor and the San Juan Island. We left the hotel at 11 and iIt took us around 1.5 hours to get there. The next ferry wasn't until 2:40 so we had some time to kill. We shared a half turkey sandwich from the little food stand, which turned out not to be so bad. And the view waiting for the ferry wasn't so bad either.
The ferry was really nice!! I don't know why I was thinking more along the lines of the Staten Island Ferry. I mean, that ferry is free, this one is not. There were cushy seats, carpet, nice bathrooms and everything!
We got onto the island around 3:45 and started driving around it. According to the brochure, the island is 55 square miles. I was hoping to see some Orcas but they knew I was coming and hid. It was a nice sunny day and the scenery was just beautiful!!
I do believe the island across the water is Victoria, BC
The sunset wasn't as pretty because it was so cloudy but it was still nice. We decided to head back into the little town to see about dinner since our lunch wasn't very substantial. We settle on a Mexican place and it wasn't bad. It wasn't the best but it wasn't the worst. I don't remember the name of it.
Since we spent a good amount of money on the hotel in Seattle, we just wanted something cheap for the night and we went to the Best Western. The only room they had available was a King Suite. It was a 2 room suite with a big frig, microwave and gas fireplace. It was nice and roomy and much more cheaply made than Silver Cloud since I could hear our neighbors talking and the people above us walking around. I felt like I was at home! But I put my earplugs in and was able to fall asleep.
October 22, 2006
Last day in Seattle
Monday was our last day in Seattle. I planned it that way so I could see Jude but I ended up not going. More on me being a bad fan later.
Since the weather was overcast and misty, we decided to go check out The Underground Tour. It reminded me of the underground subway tour under Atlantic Avenue that I missed out on. I wasn't sure if it was real or made up for the tourists and I was hoping it wasn't going to be hokey. We finally utilized the free shuttle van our hotel offers. It only takes you to downtown areas and this tour was in Pioneer Square. We made it for the 11 am tour and it was fun. The tour guide had a lot of corny jokes but it made it fun. The tour lasted about 90 minutes. We learned some interesting facts about Seattle, none of which I could recite right now.
After the tour we walked around a bit and headed over toward Chinatown since it wasn't too far away. I'm not sure if we ended up on the outskirts of Chinatown or what but it barely seemed like a Chinatown. And there were hardly any people around! We decided to have a dim sum lunch at Sun Ya Seafood Restaurant. Since it was a Monday, there weren't as many customers and only 2 carts of dim sum were going around. But since we weren't too hungry, it was fine with me.
I thought the dim sum was good, Yves just thought it was ok. The above picture shows we got har kow (3 pieces of shrimp inside instead of 1!!), shu mai,fun kor and turnip cake (yum! all for me since yves hates turnip cake). I had to ask for sauce for the turnip cake! We also got sticky rice and don tat. The sticky rice tasted a bit dry and the rice not cooked enough and the don tat's crust wasn't flaky like we are used to. I think that was all we got and it cost about $17. Pretty reasonable for dim sum.
After dim sum we called the hotel to have the van pick us up in Chinatown but we ended up having to go back to where we were dropped off instead. It wasn't far away but after walking so much earlier in our trip, I was just tired! I did the laundry when we got back and we just kinda lazed around our room. That's when I got really tired and lazy and the prospect of taking the bus to the venue that Jude was playing did not sound desirable. I know. I'm getting old. I haven't seen Jude in years and years and we're in the same town and I dropped the ball and didn't go. I'm a terrible fan. Yes. I. Am. Sigh...
For dinner, we walked a couple of blocks over to Pike Street and had some Indian food. It was pretty good. Then we just went back to the hotel and got our bags ready to check out tomorrow and start heading north!
We're back from our weeklong trip to Seattle/Vancouver! It was a fun trip but we are glad to be home, back in our beds and back with our pets. We took Jetblue's red eye flight Friday night and arrived home Saturday at 8:30 in the morning. It was a shorter ride than going there but it was still tough. I couldn't really get comfortable. My forehead was tender later on Saturday and I couldn't figure out why until Yves pointed out that I was trying to sleep (and might have) with my head up against the seat in front of me. Dad picked us up and took us over to Liz's to pick up Skippy. We had to get our Skippy right away! We spent Saturday cleaning the house, putting our things away and napping.
But I want to continue documenting the rest of our trip in chronological order and I'll continue that with the next post.
October 17, 2006
A football widow and super tourist
Barb and I planned on doing some stamp shopping while I was in town, especially since there were so many! At least more than the one we have in NYC. So Yves kindly asked if we could do it on Sunday so he could watch his football. Whatever keeps him busy while I'm shopping for crafts works for me!
We started out the day going to Snoqualmie Falls. It's right next to Salish Lodge, which if you were a fan of Twin Peaks, you will recognize it. It was a rainy day so I got to use my new rain slicker and the rain jacket on my new camera bag.
On the way to the North Bend outlet malls, we passed this Railroad museum with these really cool old trains out on display. If it wasn't raining, I would have had Barb stop because I just love old trains. Oh well. I'm not really a big outlet mall person but I did manage to buy these cute little bunny mini pans. And some chocolate covered pears, which I haven't tried yet. We were really just killing time waiting to have lunch at Twede's Cafe, where their Cherry Pie and a damn fine cup of coffee was made famous in, you guessed it, Twin Peaks. It was a cute little diner with Tweety bird stuffed animals lined up along the wall. I got a turkey burger and they serve it with a heaping of fries, which of course I had to eat all of them. Fries are one of my weaknesses and I am on vacation, damn it! Their cherry pie was good, although not as good as the sour cherry pie I had at Bubby's but I had to have it, it's famous after all!
After waddling out of the cafe with full stomachs, we heading to Make An Impression rubber stamps in Issaquah. It was a pretty big store and we had to have spent a good hour in there. I bought a decent amount of stuff in there without going overboard, we had other stores to hit too! After that we headed to Rubber Soul in the Redmond shopping center. It was a smaller store but really cute and nicely laid out. I didn't spend as much money in there as the other store, which is a good thing! What blew my mind about the shopping center was they had this big containers with big purple umbrellas in them. Barb said those are free to use while you are shopping. The mall is an outdoor mall. Well, that just about blew my mind! Besides the fact that they offer that but also the fact that there were actually umbrellas in there!!! I had to take a picture of it!
Turns out that Yves got his lunch for free at Taco Del Mar because another customer had canceled their enchilada order, which is what Yves was ordering, and they didn't want to waste it so they gave it to him for free!!! What's up with these Seattle people??
We ended out shopping spree at Ben Franklin arts and crafts which I've never been to since I don't think there are any in New York. What a great craft store! It's much better than Michael's, A.C. Moore's and Joann's. Guess it's a good thing we don't have any. I got some cool stuff and resisted buying any of the paper packs to keep my suitcase light.
As Barb was driving me back to my hotel, it cleared up and we actually saw the sun, as it was setting! I managed to get this decent shot of the needle while on the highway.
Later on we ordered room service so Yves could watch his Amazing Race show.
October 16, 2006
Super Tourists day 2
Man, I love the water pressure in our hotel's shower. It may seem like a small thing to some people but weak shower pressure could really make for a bad start to the day. And the curtains are great! They really do keep all light out of the room and you don't know what time of day it is when you wake up. And the hotel breakfast had hard boiled eggs so there was our protein. So today we went to Museum of Flight. Yves was really excited to go check it out. We walked downtown to catch the bus and the ride wasn't too bad, about half an hour. The bus driver gave us a transfer to use on the way back! Can you believe that? Use on the way back!! It blew our minds. The museum had an airpark with the concord and air force one planes and we were able to go on it. It was pretty cool. Inside the museum there were a bunch of planes hanging from the ceiling.
What's a car doing at the museum of flight?
It's not a car! It's an airplane! har har har
After the museum, we hopped back on the bus toward downtown and the transfers worked! We got off by the waterfront and had lunch at The Fisherman's. We had a delicious lunch of clam chowder (better than the one we had in San Francisco) and I had a crab cake sandwich and Yves had a grilled salmon sandwich. They gave us warm yummy sourdough bread and as usual, ate too much of it. Halfway through my sandwich I was full. Well, I wasn't wasting the crab cake so I just left the bun and ate the rest.
We went back to Pike's to pick up those almonds we tried yesterday. I got the orange honey roasted and I got Yves the regular honey roasted. I also picked up some organic homemade soap and almost got some chocolate. We then went on the bus to go back to our hotel. And I used the same transfer again!!! Yves was a sucker and paid. "It's only $1.25."
I tried to take a nap once we got back to the hotel because I was so beat but I couldn't get to sleep. It's hard for me to take afternoon naps. Before we knew it, it was time to meet Aunt Natalie for dinner. For some reason, Yves thought she was in Portland but she's been in Seattle 4 years now and works for Starbucks (and doesn't even like coffee!) We met her at Pacific Place, a mall in the downtown area and had dinner at Thai Ginger. It was a nice place and the food was good. We ended up staying for quite bit longer after eating dinner and paying the check just chatting and they didn't try to kick us out and it was a Saturday night! Wow! What's the matter with these Seattle people? She drove us back to our hotel after dinner and we just relaxed our little bodies, too tired to do anything else.
October 15, 2006
Super Tourists in Seattle
We arrived in Seattle via Jetblue Thursday night. Got a cab to our hotel, Silver Cloud Inn, Broadway. It was around midnight when we arrived so we were pretty beat. The room is really nice! A king size bed, free internet, frig and microwave (in the room) and laundry machines down the hall. The free breakfast lacks proteins but they have a waffle maker!
We started out our first full day being a total tourist. Our hotel is in Capital Hill, right across the street from Seattle University and not far from downtown. So we walked down to the waterfront and man, we didn't realize how hilly Seattle is, just like San Francisco. The waterfront is where I took the above picture. It was a beautiful sunny day. We walked along the waterfront a bit and then made our way to the famous Pike's Place Market.
This is the famous place where they throw the fish. See how big those crabs are??!! I didn't get a good digital shot of the fish throwing cuz all the freakin' tourists got in my way (haha) but I might have gotten it on my panoramic camera. We walked a little through the market and I got lured toward the smell of fresh frying donuts. They were mini donuts and we shared a half dozen of them. They were yummy! Lots of stalls were giving out free samples and I got pulled into the pepper jelly ladies. I bought the fresh garlic pepper jelly. Can't wait to try it out! We also tried some delicious orange honey roasted almonds but resisted buying any.
We continued walking in the downtown area and considered taking the monorail to Seattle Center but it wasn't working. So we continued walking toward the Seattle Center. We had lunch at this cute little Greek place next to the Space Needle. It was good!! I can't remember the name of it.
We decided that since we were there, we might as well go up to the top although they really get you with the price. While waiting to get on the elevator, they were doing those silly tourist photos, making us stand in front of a picture of the Seattle skyline. I made a totally goofy face on purpose and couldn't wait to see it. We got on the elevator and whooosh, it was pretty fast going up there! It boasts a 520 degree view and since I'm not that good in math, couldn't figure out how it was 520 degrees. Guess from looking up and down as well? Anyway, it was pleasant. It probably would have been much cooler during the sunset or at nighttime. This is a view of the downtown area from the space needle. You can see that there was a little bit of haze.
Afterwards, we walked back to the hotel and by that time, we were really feeling it in our legs. We would have taken a bus back if only they had bus maps at the bus shelters, like they did in San Francisco but they didn't so we didn't know which bus we could take. I guessed that we probably already walked 2 miles and Yves thinks it was more.
We rested a bit at the hotel before it was time to take the bus to my friend, Barb's house for dinner. Barb gave me bus directions, according to their website (they have a trip planner) but the bus wasn't where it was supposed to be. The front desk didn't know much about the buses but thankfully, we ran into somebody that knew. The bus was about 10 blocks away. The bus was baffling! First off, you pay when you get off, how weird is that?? The bus driver said because they have a free ride area. And he got me nervous cuz I asked him to let us know when to transfer to another bus and he wasn't quite sure! But he called it in and knew where it was we were supposed to get off. And then, our transfer bus was on the highway!! On the highway!! How weird is that?? And there were like 15 different buses at that stop. The driver was really sweet and let us off right in front of the stairs leading down to the bus stop, on the highway!
So I asked the 2nd driver to let us know when we reached the street Barb said we were supposed to get off and he was kind enough to do so. It seemed like it was awhile so I was just about to ask him if we passed it and he forgot about us but then it was our stop. Barb was there waiting for us and took us back to her house. We met her mate, John and had delicious BBQ that John cooked. And he was kind enough to give me 2 bottles of his famous hot sauce. We were starting to get really low on energy around 10ish and Barb took us back to our hotel around 10:30.
A pleasant but looooooooonnnnnggggg day!
May 07, 2006
Where the Streets Have No Name
We ended our trip by going to Joshua Tree National Park on Monday. After Tammy and Mark dropped us off at the Palm Springs airport so we can rent our own car for the day, we drove up to Joshua Tree. It was further than we thought. I guess it took about 1.5 hours. Joshua Tree is really cool! It wasn't as breathtaking as Grand Canyon or Red Rocks but it certainly has it's charm. Here are some pics.
May 04, 2006
Coachella part 2
Day 2, Sunday, April 30, 2006
We made it in time to catch the last song of the Magic Numbers so I can't really tell you if I liked them or not.
The Magic Numbers from the UK
Phoenix are from France. I heard a rumor that Thomas Mars impregnated Sofia Coppola.
Metric formed in Brooklyn. I saw this band years and years ago, they opened for somebody I can't remember. I liked them enough to buy one of their label-less cds. I'm glad they are doing well.
Matsiyahu-Brooklyn by way of PA. He was a lot of fun, as I expected.
Jamie Lidell from the UK. Although I just saw him last week, I liked him enough to stay for his whole set, which unfortunately was cut 15 minutes short for reasons unknown since he was playing when I arrived. But he did not disappoint!
Wolf Parade from Montreal. I really enjoyed them.
Sleater-Kinney from Washington State. I'm not a big Sleater-Kinney fan so only stayed for a song or 2.
This guy climbed up this metal sculpture. Not sure how high it was.
Gnarls Barkley are Cee-Lo and Danger Mouse. I really wanted to stay for more than one song but it was mad crowded and I wanted to see Stellastarr really, really badly. That Cee-Lo is a crazy dude!
New York based Stellastarr. I stayed for their whole set, it was easy to get up front, probably because everyone was over at Gnarls Barkley. I was really happy that they played my favorite, favorite song ever, Love and Longing. I took video of the song but I was standing right in front of the speaker so it came out distorted. Oh well. I definitely have to see their show next time they play.
YeahYeahYeahs are from New York! They were pretty cool, stayed for a few songs.
Seu Jorge. I couldn't get a really good shot of Seu Jorge. I only stayed for a song or 2.
Editors are from the UK. They had a really good set and stayed for more than a couple of songs. I wanted to get over to Madonna.
It was crazy over by the dance tent, people were climbing on top of the portopotties. It was after 8:30 before she came on when she was supposed to start at 8:10. This was as close to her as I got, a tiny glimpse of her on the big screen. I left after her first song, Hung Up.
The Go! Team are from England. They were FUN!! I was really feeling weak by this point with getting sick and being in the sun and using up my energy for Jamie Lidell and Stellastarr or else I would have been dancing up a storm like everyone else around me.
Art Brut from the UK I love Art Brut! They were great! Fun and campy and just a riot. And the last band.
It was a madhouse getting out into the parking lot. They closed one of the exits we used Saturday night so it was a big bottleneck to exit at the main entrance. We all got separated so I waited by the campgrounds for Tammy and Mark, who was waiting for Joy who didn't even get out into the parking area yet. Plus, they took away the parking lot balloons so we couldn't find the car right away. I was just feeling really miserable and weak by that point. We didn't stop at In and Out this time, stopped by a 7Eleven but didn't see anything I wanted so we went back to the condo and went to bed.
May 03, 2006
Coachella part 1
Coachella kicked my ass this year, I'm sick! I was reminded that I got sick last year too but I was able to nip it in the butt by the end of the trip. Not so this year. Right now I could breath but my throat is sore. Anyhow, I'm posting up pics in the order I saw the bands. I was really running around this year (more so on Sunday) so it's no wonder I got sick under the desert sun. Here we go...
day one, Saturday, April 29, 2006
Unfortunately, we missed Lady Sovereign so CYHSY were the first band we caught at 5 pm.
San Francisco's Deerhoof
Kentucky's My Morning Jacket
a bunch of dorky fans catching MMJ
Brooklyn's TV on the Radio
UK's Imogen Heap, also in Frou Frou. My favorite picture so far because of the palm trees and mountains in the background.
Crazy folky Devendra Banhart. How can you not love a guy that's drinking Verve Cliquot during his set?
Scotland's Franz Ferdinand. They are always fun! Since the sun went down, I started dancing.
California's own Eagles of Death Metal. I wasn't sure what to expect with them but I actually liked them and plan on buying their album. They were fun too. Or maybe I was just in a fun mood after Franz.
Depeche Mode What can I say? I love these guys and they did not disappoint. I think they only played a couple of new songs, which is good because their old songs really pumped the crowd. I was singing and clapping and dancing throughout their whole set.
Last year we made it a tradition to stop by In N Out after the show. this time we went inside and ate to properly compare the In N Out burger with the Fatburger we had last weekend. No comparison, Fatburger all the way! It wasn't crowded at all like last year either.
There will be more tomorrow with day 2 and then Joshua Tree!
Some notes about our trip while I remember.
We scored an upgrade on our car again this year, probably because it was so late. We got a Jeep Commander, it was pretty sweet but not as comfortable in the back when there are 3 people.
The stupid rental agency didn't give us directions from their office to their condo and at 2 am in the morning, it was pretty annoying. We managed to find the place, surprisingly! The condo was cute, a bit bigger than last year's condo with 2 bathrooms. Tammy and Mark's room had an Egyptian theme, our bathroom was nautical and the whole condo was sort of 70's.
Mark's friend Rob got totally lost on Saturday trying to meet us at Ricks for breakfast. He's a New Yorker that just moved to Los Angeles.
The coffee at Ricks was not as strong as I remember and the Cuban coffee is too sweet.
I liked the nifty little trays at In and Out burger and asked the cleaning guy if we were allowed to take one home. Of course he told me no but when we were outside waiting for Tammy in the bathroom, the guy came out and asked if I really wanted one and when I said yes, he gave me one! He said not to tell anyone or else he'd get in trouble so shhhh!
March 08, 2006
Horizon + Golden Gate Bridge
Some horizon 202 shots on the Golden Gate Bridge with expired film.
February 26, 2006
The last day
The last day of our trip was bright and sunny, of course! So we decided to take the bus to Golden Gate Bridge and walk across it for a bit. What a difference the sun makes! It was great! Then we took the bus down to Haight Ashbury and had lunch at this great taco place. Too bad I forgot the name. This picture was taken in H-A, what great colors! I love the architecture in SF!
Then from H-A, we walked back to our hotel in the south section of Nob Hill! I think we lost our marbles on this trip! The walk wasn't too bad but the last few blocks were tough! We passed Japantown on the way.
The next morning we woke bright and early to catch our noon flight. The ride back was more pleasant than the ride going, must be that 1 hour less travel.
February 24, 2006
San Francisco day 2
We started the day with breakfast at Golden Coffee a couple of blocks from our hotel. What a nice little coffee shop and cheap! Then we head over to Chinatown to walk around and check it out. We walked around a bit and when we started to get hungry, we walked over to the Financial District to try one of San Francisco's best dim sum places (as it said on Citysearch). We went to Yank Sing. While researching the best dim sum places, I was dismayed to see that only a few were in Chinatown but it's not as big as New York's Chinatown. Anyway, looking back, we should have known we were in for a big surprise when the bill came. First, the restaurant was pretty fancy looking, no dragon or phoenix on the walls. Second, the servers all spoke very good English. Third, they were selling their museum tea pot for $98, granted it was cool looking but a little steep for what it is. Fourth, they only open 4 hours every day. We knew we were going to pay a little more than usual but we did not expect a $65 bill! Wow! We were in shock. We had 8 freakin' dishes! And they were ok, not like New York dim sum, not as greasy but dim sum is supposed to be greasy!!
After we recovered from the shock, we went on the BART and headed over to Berkeley. Mainly just to ride the BART. We walked around the neighborhood for a little bit, got some coffee and headed back.
February 20, 2006
No Rice-O-Roni for us!
We just got back from our whirlwind weekend in San Francisco. Here are the details of our trip!
We arrived Thursday night after a grueling 6.5 hour flight via Song (Delta). I do have to say the exit out of the airport was one of the smoothest. By the time we got to baggage claim, our bags plopped right out of the hole! We found our shuttle van, picked up a few more people and off to Hotel Carlton. A very cute hotel! The decor was Mediterranean/Asian and the staff were super friendly. The walls were a bit thin and the doors slam shut but still a worthwhile place. Since we were so beat from the flight, we decided to eat at the restaurant in the hotel Saha - Arabic fusion. Their hummus and Morrocan bread was delicious! My lamb shank was a bit bland and Yves was too congested to really taste his BBQ salmon and shrimp.
If you really want to read more, continue...
Friday was raining and overcast but we went ahead with our plan. We took the cable car on Powell Street to Fisherman's Wharf. It was $5 a pop, more than I remembered it to be but it's a fun experience. It started to really rain when we got down there and we got a ferry over to Alcatraz. It was colder than we expected so I had to go buy a fleece and Yves got a knitted hat.
After Alcatraz we had chowder in a sourdough bread dough at Boudin's. My cousin was supposed to meet us afterwards but 2 hours later calls and tells me she's not after all. Our next stop is Vista point at the Golden Gate Bridge and we start walking in that direction to catch a bus. It had stopped raning by then so we decided to forego the bus and kept walking. We ended up walking all the way there. We walked so much my shoe cracked on the bottom! We were exhausted by the time we got there. I think the killer was those steep and long stairs right by the bridge. After spending some time at the bridge, we waited for the bus to take us back to the hotel. The ride didn't take too long. We found it funny that the bus we had to transfer to was down the block from the bus stop we got off at. How weird!
For dinner, we took a short walk to a Japanese restaurant in the neighborhood. We hobbled slowly back to the hotel afterwards, still aching from the walk.