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Sunday, January 30, 2011

New Years in Hong Kong (Hong Kong the second and final part)

Bob and I were super lucky because Jameson (Bob's co-founder) knows some amazing people in Hong Kong and he hooked us up nicely for New Years.  We met some really great people and had a wonderful night.  We met: Patrick Lee (co-founder of Rotten Tomatoes and AlivenotDead), Simon Yin (aspiring director of "Supercapitalist"), Derrick Fong (also an aspiring director), Dave Lo (ILM genius), Keith Lee (co-founder of Booyah) and so many other wonderful people.  It was a really great night.

We all met for the first time on New Years at Blue Smoke BBQ in Lan Kwai Fong, which is the ex-pat area of Hong Kong, for Tur-duck-en.  Yes, we had a chicken, stuffed inside a duck, stuffed inside a turkey for New Years and it was delicious.  There was also jumbalaya inside as stuffing. As sides we had mac n' cheese, mashed potatoes, black eyed peas and lots of other wonderful treats.





After dinner we went on a journey to the New Years party, we were like a little parade.  We had to take the metro to the other side of the river (luckily it was the side our hotel was one making the journey home at the end of the night easy).




We had a great time, and loved hanging out with our new friends.  We didn't stay out too late because we'd been told there would be more fun the next night, so we made our way back to the hotel around 1am.  All the streets were closed to traffic it was just a huge mass of people everywhere.  We swam through a river of people to get back.

The next day we actually had a lunch date with a nice guy that Bob knew via Twitter.  Stewart J. Mackenzie, and his lovely family are living in Hong Kong and loving it.  We had lunch at a cute little restaurant with a roof patio.  We had a wonderful New Years Day brunch and had a little tour of the area.

And then that night was crazy.  It was like being back in college.  We met up with the New Years crowd at a place called Racks, a pool bar/lounge and were out until around 4am.  It was like being back in college because it reminded me of all the Fraternity parties I'd been to, because we played flip cup and beer pong.  People were all over the place, they were jumping around and it was ridiculous.   I wore my awesome Captain America shirt that night and Patrick showed up in a Batman shirt, and a friend of his showed up in a Joker shirt, we were repping the comic books pretty good. :)  I will not be posting any pictures as I think people would prefer that I don't.  Let's just say someone, not me or Bob, was taken home in a cab by friends because they were ridiculously drunken. :)

And that was our last night in Hong Kong, and man was it fun.  I would happily go back to Hong Kong to have fun with these guys, they take good care of you and treat you like they've known you their whole life.  Don't worry, we're all Facebook friends now so we can keep in touch.

And that was our Christmas and New Years.  Stay tuned for the Adventures with Jay and Staci!

Loves and kisses,

Margaret and Bob




Saturday, January 29, 2011

Hong awesome!

I am so happy that Bob and I made it to Hong Kong for New Years because I had such a wonderful time and I really really liked Hong Kong.  First off the weather was awesome, second it's really international like Bangkok in the sense that everything is very easy to use and people speak a lot of English so it wasn't too hard to get around.  It also didn't hurt that we had a gorgeous view over the river that was just amazing.  (If you've ever watched the SyFy series "Caprica" I'm pretty sure that Caprica was modeled after Hong Kong.)


That's a view looking across from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island.  We stayed in the swanky Sheraton Hotel right by the river.  Like I said, the weather was amazing.  It was light jacket and jeans weather, as opposed to the shrill bitter cold of Shanghai and Tokyo.

I hadn't done a lot of research about what I really wanted to do in Hong Kong, i just knew that I wanted to go during the holiday season because I'd been told by a number of people that the city goes all out when it comes to decorations.  And it's true.  The buildings already have a ton of lights all over them but around the holidays they add even more with Santa Claus on them , or Christmas trees and ornaments, it was so bright at night because of all the lights.


We did a lot of wandering around and I signed us up for one official tour so that we could go to Victory Peak and the Arberdeen Fishing village and just get to see a bunch of different things.  I really enjoyed the tour and think it's one of the better group tours we've participated in.  It was a nice day and we had a pick-up right from our hotel in the morning.  We started the tour off with a lovely temple (yeh, we don't really care about temples but it was nice), and then moved on to Victoria Peak.  My mom said that when she and her family wen there when she was younger nothing was built up on the peak, but now it's crazy, there are gigantic houses everywhere.


IMG_1027.jpgSo the picture on the left is of incense.  The incense is wrapped around like that and burns in a weird circular pattern.  I thought this was pretty neat as I've never seen it look like this before.  There was so much incense in the whole place that we didn't stay inside very long because our eyes started to burn.  The picture on the right is me in front of the doors into the temple.  When you enter the temple there's a little step and you're not suppose to step on it, you must step over it, and with the "correct" foot, which is your right foot.  Otherwise you're doomed.  Don't worry, we stepped across with the right foot.  The picture below is of some statues inside the temple.



There's a starbucks at the top of Victoria Peak, just incase that was keeping anyone from going, don't worry you can get your coffee fix there.  You can also get some delicious frozen yogurt which we had because we missed breakfast and were starving.  I had pomegranate frozen yogurt with oreos.  It's the breakfast of champions, followed by a mocha.  Excellent.  We have an excellent professional picture that was taken of us on top of Victoria Peak but I need to wait until I get to a real scanner to add it to my collection.  The best part of the professional picture is that I had to buy it as a set with a little plate that says Hong Kong and has the same picture on it.  I've put the plate up in the guest room to freak our guests out.




After Victoria Peak we stopped at.....a Jewelry Factory where I got (the top ring):


My fingers look really wrinkly in this picture...but I LOVE my ring.  Bob wanted to let me pick out my own engagement ring and had bought me the lovely bottom ring which we used for my wedding band.  As soon as I saw this ring I was sure it was the one for me.  So it turns out this was the best tour ever as it resulted in my getting my ring.  I show it to Bob all the time and ask, "Have you seen my beautiful ring that my handsome husband bought me?"  He just rolls his eyes at me. :)

After our Jewelry fun we went to the Jumbo Floating Restaurant for a DimSum lunch.  The food was pretty good considering it was part of a tour.  The restaurant is on this huge boat out in the middle of the river and you have to take a little SamPan to get to it.  (Sampan is a boat.)



And to finish the day off we went to the Aberdeen Fishing village to the Stanley Market which is supposedly famous.  We looked around a little but didn't buy anything, mostly because we could get everything in Shanghai and not have to carry it back with us.  Over all, an excellent day.  Stay tuned for our New Years Fun.

Loves and Kisses,

Margaret and Bob



Once upon a time, long ago (about a month ago actually) it was Christmas and New Years 2010

Once upon a time in the lovely month of December, Margaret and Bob planned a wonderful winter holiday getaway.  Okay, Margaret actually made the majority of the plans, and Bob went because he likes to go everywhere Margaret goes......anyway..... (switch to first person)

We went to Tokyo for Christmas to spend our first Christmas as Mr. and Mrs.  with Bob's wonderful friend Jason and his family(his wife Momo and their daughter Akane).  We stayed in Kawasaki which is a suburb of Tokyo, but super nice.  Momo's parents have a really nice apartment nearby Jason's place so we were able to stay right near the house and it was nice and cozy.  We thought it would be an awesome idea to go to Tokyo Disney for Christmas Eve, and it was!  We took the subway to the park on December 23rd, and we stayed the night and got up early the next morning to have fun.  We rode on a bunch of the rides and ate terrible food all day.  It was cold out side but we did okay until early evening when it got really really cold!  We called it a day and started heading home for the night.




The pictures from top to bottom: (1)Bob holding up the Disney castle, (2)Bob riding the horsey on the carosel, (3)Bob, Akane and Me outside Tokyo Disney making mouse ears.

The rest of our time in Tokyo was spent just running around and having a good time.  We went to Harajuku, again, to try to see all the girls dressed up in their outfits.  I've finally decided that it's not my destiny to see them, as every time we go they aren't there.  I think three times trying to see them is enough.  We did get some good shopping in around Harajuku and Bob had his hair cut at a little salon down a back street where they barely spoke any english.  We stayed around that area all day because we met up with Bob's friend Ian and his wife Reiko, who is super awesome.  We did a totally American thing and went to TGI Fridays.  I really do like when we break down and have American chain food, it's very satisfying.




In the above photos:(from top to bottom) (1)The fun frilly outfits being sold in Harajuku,  (2)Bob's sexy new hair cut, and (3)Ian, Reiko and Bob after dinner.

Bob bought me some awesome headphones while we were in Tokyo.  He'd bought a pair for himself the last time we were there and I thought they were cool, so he surprised me with my own set.  They're awesome.  They're the Beats head phones by Dr. Dre.  And they're really cool because rather than having a regular cord they have a flat cord so they don't get tangled up as easily and the sound is seriously amazing.

I can already tell this blog post is going to jump all over the place because I keep thinking about things I need to mention and then I'll just write it down, the organization has gone out the window.

Our last day in Tokyo we had lunch with Jason and his family, and then hopped on the train towards Narita airport so we could continue our fun adventure in Hong Kong.

Stay tuned for the Hong Kong Adventure!

Love and kisses,

Margaret and Bob



Mochies of the World Unite!

I've been terrible about updating the blog for a while, so as things usually go when I've been bad, we're going to see a mass posting of things for the last month and a half to catch everyone up on how life has been.

In the middle of December we were lucky enough to play host to some of the Mochies from San Francisco who came out for a board meeting.  (Ick to the board meeting, hoorays for seeing great peeps.)  We had an exciting week of non-stop eating and fun, well that's how it's been for me.  I think Bob would tell you it  was been a lot of extra work.


Moshen was the first to arrive and we went to dinner with him on Monday night, and skipped the Pub Quiz.  We had delish Schesuan food at our favorite Xufing 131.  Bob and I have become pro at ordering food at this place and because I got there first I made the main orders.  We had so much food, we always have so much food!  We also had Patrick, Eric and Yoko so we had a great mix of people.  The place has these really excellent spicy chicken wings, and a great shredded potato dish.  We were all pretty tired, especially poor Moshen who had just arrived so we called it a night and headed home.

I made plans for all the Mochies to have dinner at another place on Tuesday night.  We went to South Beauty, I picked it because it has a good collection of different dishes from all over China.  It was a really great group, we had Sean, Patrick, Eric, Yoko, Ryan and his family (Jen and their two boys), Justin and Bob and myself.  We had our own private room and a huge table.

The week was really all about eating and drinking at various places.  We took everyone out to Hai Di Lao for awesome hot pot and some of the guys tried pig brain.  I refused, but Bob was all about it.  We had a huge group of people and we had our own private room.  We had Ryan and his entire family there along with, Mohsen and Leslie, Jameson and Katie, Patrick and Yoko, handsome Josh made it as did Sean, who we hadn't seen for a long time.  Some of the guys went out for KTV later, but I went home, I know I'm lame.  Bob went and it was apparently a great time, oh well, I'll go next time.

I also took a cooking class this week, and learned how to make springrolls.  While the springrolls kind of turned out bland I have great ideas for making mexican springrolls.  I'm thinking steak chunks with onion and red peppers.  YUM!  And then we'll dip them in salsa, mmmmm.


I was really excited when I found out that Leslie and Yoko wanted to go to the bath-house with me!  I couldn't believe it, I've been trying to find someone to go with me for a while now.  We met up early on a Monday morning and headed out to New Star.  I'd read all about this place, and Jameson and Katie had said really good things about it.  It's a Korean run bath house, and it was awesome!  Nothing says bonding time like getting naked with people you barely know.  We hopped in the hot baths and then got scrubbed down real good.  It's gross to see all the old dry skin that they've scrubbed off.  And then we enjoyed a nice massage and then korean lunch, it was wonderful.  I can't wait to take Staci there when she comes to visit.  :)  We got our own little pajama sets to run around in, and there are hot lounge rooms that you can relax in and areas to just have a good time.

Everyone parted ways the week of Christmas.  Leslie and Moshen headed to Beijing, Ryan and the family headed to Hong Kong, as did Justin, and Jameson and Katie ran away to Taipei.  Bob and I ran off to .....Tokyo!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Procrastination, Snow in Shanghai, and just random musings of the day.

I know I've been terrible and I have not properly updated the blog for quite some time.  In fact every time I open my iphoto application I'm reminded that I have yet to tell everyone about all the Mochi's coming to visit for the Board Meeting, which means that I haven't gotten to describe Bob's and my first Christmas.  (Well, first Christmas we've been married, it matters to me.)  And then on top of all that updating I need to include that Jay and Staci have come to visit, and now Staci has there's a lot of catching up to do.  This, is not the catch up blog, this is the.....bah, it's snowing, the support queue is ridiculous and my house is a mess blog post.


This is a snowy view from our balcony.  It's pretty, but makes me want to stay inside.

It's been snowing in Shanghai for the last couple of days.  The city looks nice covered in snow but it makes me want to stay inside and be lazy.  In other words, actually getting work done has been very difficult for me as I just want to lounge around and eat bon-bons and strawberries, sadly this is not an option.  We discovered just the other day, well I discovered, that having our washer and dryer out side on our balcony truly sucks.  I went out to start a load of socks and what not and the water was frozen in the hose, this was sad as I'd been avoiding doing laundry for a little while.  Don't worry we have not run out of underwear or socks, as the hose managed to thaw and defrost before the end of the day.  Because of this new finding we have signed up for a laundry service that picks up our clothes from our apartment and brings it back to us the next day.  This is awesome, sadly they will only wash our clothes, so I still have to fight our washing machine to wash towels and sheets.  Oh well, the clothes thing will be super helpful, in fact we had our first pick up this morning, I am very excited.  I don't mind doing laundry, but I don't want to fight the washing machine to actually get the laundry done.  That and it takes roughly 4 hours to do one load of laundry completely which is weird.  On an up note, I found dryer sheets finally!  Hoorays!!!!




From left to right: Photo looking out from my balcony, a view of our building, and my fabulous washer and dryer.


I had to go to the grocery store today because we're actually eating at home tonight.  I thought about ditching the cooking at home idea mostly because I didn't want to go out in the cold, but then the thought of ordering food and potentially waiting 3 hours for it to arrive because of the weather changed my mind and I bundled myself up.  It's actually not that cold outside today, it's just snowing which is okay.  I guess I'd rather it snow than rain, at least I don't have to carry an umbrella when it snows.  I bundled up into my many layers of clothes.  I have these new awesome leg warmers that go past the knee and are super warm and I love them and practically wear them every day.  (I have two pairs because they're so awesome.  And Staci got some too.)  I seriously get up and put on my yellow tights, knee high socks, my leg warmers and then my jeans along with an undershirt, a long sleeved shirt, one of my sweaters and then my jacket.  Then add my scarf, hat/earmuffs, and gloves.  I'm very very colorful.  Anyway, I bundled up, emptied out my laptop backpack for the groceries, queued up the ipod and headed out into the snow towards the metro station.  I wore my fox hat today so I had twice as many stares as usual.  We're going to have one of my One Wok Specials tonight.  I forgot to pick up zucchini'll still be good, I just will miss the zucchini as it's my favorite veggie.



Again, from left to right: a snow man which was, outside of this fruit market stand, and a picture of the bike repair shot that insists on blocking the sidewalk making all pedestrians walk in the road.  The guy at the bike shop yelled at me for taking a picture and I smiled and said "You can't do anything, and took another."  I'm pretty sure he had no idea what I was saying which makes me feel even better.

After arriving at the grocery store it dawned on me that I hadn't eaten lunch yet.  It's always a bad idea to shop on an empty tummy but I was able to restrain myself and only got a few extra things.  I did pick up some sushi for lunch because the grocery store I was at has excellent take away sushi.  Bob, and my sister Melinda, have both made me realize I actually like some forms of fish that are not from a can labeled "chicken of the sea."  I picked up some salmon sashimi, or whatever the special name is for the fish on top of rice rather than rolled in rice dish.  And to go with it, not that it really does, I decided to try the Matcha Milk Tea from Happy Lemon.  I suggest the Matcha Milk Tea, it's creamy and not too hot, plus it was only 10RMB, so about $2USD.  NICE.




To the left is my cup of Matcha Milk Tea, and to the right is my sushi snack lunch.  Both were wonderful, thank you for asking.

The wasabi that comes with the sushi is a little weird though, it has the consistency of runny guacamole, but tastes fine.  Not as spicy as I'd like but pretty good for store bought sushi.






I headed home with my backpack full of groceries, and my wonderful Matcha Milk Tea.  By the time I got home I was able to switch out the load of laundry, and start some towels.  Now if I could just get myself motivated to actually do my job, and clean the house.....

Loves and kisses,