Chicago Part Two

As stated before, we didn’t get much sightseeing done while visiting Chicago. We were busy cracking bad jokes, playing volleyball (poorly), and eating lots of Chicago food (YUMMM). However, we did catch a few sights while there, and oh what sights they were.

Millenium Park is awesome! I highly recommend a stop by if you are in town. It was hot, and super crowded, but a very well designed space, with great installation art everywhere.

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The Bean. Seriously cool underneath.

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We managed to get a group shot in the bean…. with a few others included.

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Popped down to look at the lake. It looks like an ocean.

Speaking of oceans, what did one ocean say to the other?

Nothing, it just waved.

I heard that the other day, it made me giggle.

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By the way, I found my new calling. Professional supersize Jenga player. That’s a thing right?10559681_10154377108765462_6839543082134599419_n

Until next time.

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Reunion, Chicago style

I’d never been to Chicago. I’d never really been anywhere in the mid-west, or middle earth as I like to refer to it. To be honest, I’ve always liked to stick to the coasts in the U.S.. While I still hold that West Coast=Best Coast, Chicago was Lovely. T and I are already planning a visit back to do some more exploring of Chicago and its great surrounding areas.

First things first though, I love my extended family, many of which live in the surrounding areas of Chicago. They very graciously hosted us for a multi day reunion extravaganza. I only see my extended family on my dad’s side every three years or so, and it is a hoot when we all get together. This post is for them.

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Most days we gathered outside, eating, playing volleyball, playing in the grass with the kiddos, and chatting. Perfect summer days.

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The kid’s kept us all entertained, and gave me a good workout chasing after them.

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My Uncle’s sweet cup for the weekend. We are classy folks. End of Story.
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Kiddie pools, not just for kiddies.
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O asked to be painted as fire….

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We young adults managed to sneak away for an evening out. Whiskey shots all around! Proving we are definitely family.family bar

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I miss all these dear faces greatly and I’m counting down the days/years until I see them again.

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#NYC Besties

I just returned from the lovely and chaotic week in NYC! My dear friend K moved out there last summer to pursue a job in publishing. She landed a new/amazing job a couple of weeks ago, so L and I flew out not only to celebrate that, but L’s 27th birthday as well. It was a week well spent with good food, good friends, museums, and shopping. I adore visiting New York, I don’t think I’d ever want to live there, but it is a fantastic place to holiday! I’ve already started planning my  fall shopping pilgrimage to New York next fall.

Get ready for several days of photos crammed into one post.

The view from Brooklyn.

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We only got lost a few times. Google maps is a lifesaver!

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We went treasure hunting in Williamsburg. There were some excellent pieces, I don’t think any of the furniture was going to fit in my checked bags though, so I passed.

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L and I popped over to the Highline on Easter sunday. Other than the fact that it was a bit crowded, I LOVE what they have done with the space.

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If you get parched on the Highline, don’t worry, there are a few food/coffee vendors dispersed throughout.

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Now this looks pretty simple, but if you are in need of a reasonably priced and delicious breakfast, pop into Jack’s Wife Freda. Eggs and Soldiers were my jam. It was so good, L and I went two days in a row. I am a bit distraught though as I think I was at this restaurant on one of the same days one of my favorite bloggers was, but different times. She took much better food photos, so take a gander at

http://www.thelondoner.me/2014/04/new-york-blog.html

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Made the obligatory swing through Mood fabrics. I could certainly have filled up a whole suitcase full of those fabrics.

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Maysville. Delicious whiskey bar (Shhhh, I drank wine). Enough said.

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Steppin out on L’s birthday!

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Baohaus was amazing!!! Go.

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#NYCBesties quickly became our theme after seeing this written on the wall of Baohaus.

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Fish Bao. It doesn’t look like much, but packs a real punch.

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First bites.

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That was good.

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Best money I ever spent on cookies.

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Last night in Brooklyn wandering though Brooklyn Bridge park, ice cream in hand.

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My favorite purchase of the trip!

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Stay tuned for another NYC post. Happy Monday!

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Until We Meet Again Hong Kong

All in all, I had a great time in Hong Kong! I hope that someday I have another opportunity to visit again. One of my favorite little sites that I saw there was the Wong Tai Sin Temple. Bits and pieces have been in construction since 1921, so it’s a bit of old mixed with new. I went on a sunday morning and it was already pretty busy with folk taking pictures and lighting incense. While I would have been thrilled to meander around the temple without the distraction of other visitors, I loved that actual worshippers still use the site regularly.

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Before you enter the actual temple, there are lots of stalls to buy incense and offerings. I loved that everything was red, gold, and teal!

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I LOVED the beautiful Chinese lanterns!

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Apparently, many of the worshippers take in tubes of sticks and as they are kneeling they shake the tubes until one stick falls out. These sticks are each numbered differently. After one falls out, they take it to one of the many nearby stalls of tellers, to have their fortunes told.

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Why are we so boring with architecture in the U.S.? Look how beautiful these color combos are!!!

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I went by myself that day, so I have lots of lovely (not so lovely) self portraits.

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Behind the main area of worship, there was a lovely garden with a koi pond and pagoda. It was a little bit quieter than the main temple, and I enjoyed sitting and watching the koi and turtles happily swim around the pond.

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These boots were made for walkin! These babies took me all around Hong Kong.

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I leave you with a few final photos from Hong Kong, that didn’t quite make it into any other posts.

Can you believe this is their scaffolding, all made out of bamboo? Let’s just say, I would have been afraid of climbing it, but clearly its working for them.

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I had the pleasure of several delicious meals of dim sum. This little treat definitely had the cutest presentation. Just a yummy steamed bun with an egg yolk inside, all dressed up like a hedgehog.

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And finally… Green Tea Kit Kats! I miss them already. I brought my sister some back, and it has taken every ounce of willpower I have not to gobble them up before they get to her!

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To Market, To Market

Now one thing I really loved about Hong Kong, was all of the outdoor markets (and a few indoor ones). Not only are the more well known ones awesome, like the Temple Street Night Market, but every little neighborhood is spotted with small open front stores and stands selling fresh veggies and snacks with the most intoxicating scents. While I had no need to buy much from these vendors, as I had no kitchen to prepare them, I was perfectly content wondering down the aisles of goods perusing the afternoon away.

It was a bit crowded in some of these areas, but I was in no hurry. Plus, it gave me plenty of time to snap a few good photos!

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Dried whole fish anyone?

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The smell walking by their fruit stands was simply mouthwatering. I’m still trying to figure out what kind of fruit a particular scent was coming from, as it wasn’t one I recognized, but boy did it smell amazing!

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The open meat markets definitely didn’t entice drooling, as I am a pescatarian, but I thought it was interesting to see every animal part up for sale. We could take a note out of their book, and find more recipes in the U.S. that use all of the different parts of the animal.

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Not only did I find the food markets in Hong Kong, but I also loved the fabric stores and the Jade Market! As a lover of sewing and design, I could have spent days sifting through stores of trims and fabrics. Alas, I limited it to one morning. I did come away with a few treasures though.

Look at this wall of sparkly goodness… who could resist?

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Now don’t be fooled by the name Jade Market…. you may not come away with any Jade. Actually, from what everyone has told me, unless you know without a doubt how to distinguish real jade from fake jade, don’t spend too much money on Jade here. Provided, the vendors are always up for bargaining, so if you can get them down to what you think a fun piece is worth, there are some lovely treasures to be found.  I came away with a few freshwater pearl pieces from a vendor that had been recommended to me, and let me tell you, you cannot beat the price.

Now the buildings don’t have AC, so they can get a bit stuffy inside, but it was totally worth it in my opinion.

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Such fun was had! I’ll be back later in the week with more on Hong Kong and a bit on Goaming!

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Adventures in Hong Kong

For some reason, Asia, at least China, has never been on my list of places to explore. I’m not sure why, but for some reason I have always been more interested in the buildings, history, and culture, of continents like South America and Europe. Well consider my mind changed and my heart hooked. I’ve been to Hong Kong and Goaming….. and I WILL go back.

I’m fortunate in the fact that I work for a Hong Kong based company, and I had the opportunity to work from their offices for two weeks. Even though I was a busy bee monday through friday in the office, I did have the opportunity to eat some amazing food, and do some sightseeing! Because I was there for awhile, I will likely split this up into a few posts. So take a gander, let your mind wander, and consider taking a trip to Hong Kong!

Look, I packed light….. Well, I tried.

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Sorry for the foggy photo. Honk Kong is humid, and it fogged up my lens. It did give it a bit of an etherial effect though.100_3628

 

People in Hong Kong love to shop (I would totally fit in). Malls, malls everywhere. This one was in Times Square, and I loved the sparkles hanging from the ceiling. You could only see about 10 stories from the ground, but I believe it went up to floor 16….. This was not the only mall like this. In Hong Kong they don’t have a whole lot of space, so when they don’t have space on the ground, they build up, malls included.

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Don’t worry though, even though there isn’t much space, they still make room for trees.100_3635

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Hong Kong has some pretty amazing sky scrapers. If you want a good view, take the peak tram. It’s a bit touristy, but the view from the top is pretty amazing, and the ride up in the old tram is worth the fare itself!

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Make sure you go on a clear night or day!100_3669

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For today I leave you with this. Go to Hong Kong, eat some egg tarts! Clearly I’m a fan, and i am now on a quest to find some this good in Seattle!IMG_1390

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More on Hong Kong and China to come later in the week!

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