Friday, December 31, 2010

From Snow in Jersey to Snow in Germany

December 29, 2010

7:30 pm (NJ local time)
Got to the airport three hours before my flight. Continental did not give me a boarding pass to print, which stressed me out for a bit; but now that I am sitting comfortably waiting at my gate, I am 25 % relaxed. I am still worried because I need to arrive in time at Heathrow. I had to get my luggage and then go from Terminal 4 to Terminal 5 to catch my next flight to Frankfurt. As I walked to my gate from security, I passed a flight flying directly to Frankfurt. Secretly, I was wishing that I was boarding that plane. So many things in life are unexpected; who knew I was going to meet someone from Germany.

*I will be logging about my day after the fact and I will try to keep it in chronological order, please forgive me if I jump around as I remember the incidences.

On the way to the airport, my Daddy drove us passed the control tower. After this week's fiasco of blizzardly weather, they must be super busy. It really isn't as simple as the iphone game, Flight Control, where I draw a path for the planes to land. I haven't beaten the high score of 78 planes, and these people land more than 78 a day.

11:00 pm
We were delayed for two hours, but we finally took off. I love sitting by the window just because I can look out and see the clouds and small lights. Overall, the flight was good. For those that have flown with me know that I hate flying, but I love that rush you feel when the plane is taking off.
View from plane after take off
When we first started.
When we were almost there.
December 30, 2010
11:30 am ( London local time)
plane landed in London Heathrow
11:45 am
went through customs? immigration? I don't know what its called. I love getting my passport stamped. My only pet peeve is when they do not stamp in the next available spot. I have China and Paris stamps in this passport too- now London.
12:16 pm
got my luggage

12:20 pm
Right now I am sitting on a train to get to terminal 5. Pretending that 5 hours is not so far away. While looking for the train, I saw signs that said 'Platform'. It reminded me of Harry Potter; I was so tempted to go look for nine and three quarters. While waiting at Terminal 5, a random Asian man came up to me and asked me where I was going. Super creepy, because when I told him Frankfurt, he was surprised and said 'no Beijing?' Funny moment of the day I would say. Just because I look Chinese, it does not mean I am always going to China!
State of mind: 60 % relaxed
6:00 pm ( German local time)
We arrived early, but immigration took forever. I had two women during this travel period cut me. All I know about them is they are from country that has red passports. Everyone is waiting in a long line, it isn't just them that is in a hurry; that annoyed me, but I decided to not say anything. This sometimes makes me wonder if I am cut out for the cut throat, competitive business world.

So my first few thoughts on Germany:
I have never had a plane park and we would deplaned and be loaded onto a bus that took us to the terminal. I only imaged it would happen in warm places like Miami and Florida. Next were the amount of fur coats the people arriving had on. I was chuckling because I think it was a coincidence that so many women were wearing similar coats. Last thought was about how fast cars travel on the highways.
Very Thrilling
*note: its in kilometers-130 mph
For dinner, Martin's mom had made a German meal with potato salad, and sausages. It was really good especially when I had not really eaten much in the last fifteen-ish hours. Too tired and lazy to write a blog entry last night, I went to bed early and decided to write one tomorrow (which is today).

December 31, 2010
12:00 pm  (German local time)
Martin's home
Slept for about ten hours. Martin and I took a short walk to the grocery store before lunch. I got to take a picture of the traffic circle we saw on the way to his house last night. (It is the civil engineer in me that still gets excited about traffic circles.)
Cute little store not too far from Martin's home
Sausages at the market
Pasta Head People
Redbull Cola?
After lunch Martin and I went on a walk through his backyard, which is a lovely vineyard. His town is known for wine. Maybe I will get a bottle...
Not the season yet.
The view as we were walking
A little stone shelter along the path
Tonight we are scheduled to have dinner with a childhood friend of Martin's. Martin made creme brulee for dessert. Yummy! Will post more about that tomorrow. Happy New Year Everyone!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

London & Frankfurt Bound

I will be leaving tomorrow night for my second trip ever to Europe. And YES, for those that keep asking I am super excited and am dying of anticipation. My bag is being weighed by my parents right now because they are being the usual nervous parents trying to make sure I am not over the weight limit. Daddy has already lectured and warned me of the "dangers" while I am away. Mommy has already tried sneaking in some extra money for me on this trip. Keep checking my blog for more regular updates on how I am doing. I will try to record and share every moment.

Now, I shall leave with a picture of the presents I made for a few friends. You cannot see the details but they are wall hangings for each friend and pictures of the memories we had this past semester. I gave it to them before we left to go home for winter break. I liked them so much I wanted to keep them and leaving them on my wall. Anyways, enjoy the last few days of 2010. I will see you in 2011.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Breathing in the Holidays

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays everyone. Hope you and your family are celebrating this wonderful holiday together. I will be going to my cousins in a little while. For the party, I baked cupcakes. I haven't posted a scrapbook layout in a long time. So here is something that is winter related. We had a snow day last year and we built a snowman, which I hadn't done in awhile. However, I hope Mother Nature will hold off the snow until after I arrive in Germany. Merry Christmas to all!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Semester One Done

I've developed a new philosophy... I only dread one day at a time. ~Charlie Brown (Charles Schulz)

99 emails in my inbox and 75 emails in my school inbox. Clearly studying for my finals took priority. Now that the semester is over, I have time to breathe. For some odd reason, writing this blog feels stressful. This is because as I write, a list of things to do this break is getting longer and longer. Applications for internship, write blog entries, cut/ highlight my hair, gather information on other business schools, sell my books, organize my hard drive, hang out with friends I haven't seen in months/ years, and pack for my trip to England and Germany! I think this will be the entry for today and I leave with this picture of a stress-free, happy group.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

To My Devoted Reader

My one consistent reader's brithday is today. She is also my long time friend of 11 years. Although I would not be able to celebrate with her today. We have a very nice dinner planned for Saturday, which I am very much  looking forward to.
Most Recent Picture of Grams, Dad and me.
Have to keep this post short, because I am prepping for my mock interview at school. Freaking out, but I realized I have actually done stuff with my life. Who knew!? I definitely didn't.

Anyways, I also recommend you check out my friend Alice's (aka Grams) work at Lingered Upon.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Ice Skating in Central Park

I have always wanted to go Rockefeller Center to go ice skating. Ever since the tree lighting on Tuesday, masses of tourist and locals are crowded around the area. When I went to see the tree on Friday, the line to go ice skating was ridiculously long. Thank goodness when I planned the ice skating get together for Sunday I had decided to go to the rink in Central park. I have gone ice skating at Central Park once before. This time I decided to go to the one further uptown near Harlem: Lasker Rink.

I picked out a restaurant for our brunch meeting. The restaurant was called Life is Good Supreme; their theme was healthy soul food. Though someone did question how healthy fried carrots were. They also had coffee that had wheat grass in it. Rather interesting, I would say.

1. Carrot Cheddar Fries
2. Martin's French Quarters
3. My Bella Burger
4. Steph's Cuban Burger
5. Dan's Full Moon
6. Brian's Breakfast Burrito
* Diana ordered a " Build your own omelette" but the picture came out fuzzy so its not included

Later we went to Central Park that is only two blocks away. We discovered earlier in the day that Brian use to play ice hockey. Who knew!? The things you learn outside the classroom about your classmates. I would call the outing a success.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Taste of Germany

I do not take full advantage of the fact that school is about thirty minutes away from New York City. Yesterday, Martin kindly invited me to go to a German restaurant for lunch with a few of his friends.
The restaurant was called Wirtshaus Blaue Gans, which translates to something like Blue Goose. I couldn't give a fair judgement on the food because I haven't really had "German" food. Thank goodness I had three very experienced critics with me. 
After, we went to see The Bull and New York Stock Exchange. These destinations were to fill time until we would be able to see the Rockefeller Christmas Tree. 
 Another good memory down...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Happy Hannukah!

Happy Hannukah!
I do not really celebrate Hannukah, but a lot of important people in my life do. So I would like to wish them a Happy Holiday. Other than that, I have not had time to making any layouts. This does make me very sad, but I have not stopped making memories. The memory I am posting is about a week and half late. But it is better late than never. Last Monday was a super cool guy's birthday. Without any planning, Diana and I were able to pull together an awesome get together to celebrate Mike's Birthday.


God blowing out his candles 

How many MBA guys does it take to wash dishes? Three!
Message to the Birthday Boy:
I am so glad I met you. Thank you for being such an awesome person to be friends with. I still remember the day I moved in and I saw that you were moving in too. Who knew we would be as good of friends as we are now. So this post is for you, Happy Belated Birthday. I hope you had and will always have a good time with Diana and me. Of course we cannot forget about our beloved Brian!
PS. One more thing, can you please stop watering the crops? I don't really like it when it rains. Thanks God!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Is It Possible...

to go to two weddings in one day? I have found out the answer last weekend; YES. My family was invited to two weddings. One for my Cousin Spencer and one for my Cousin Ann.

At these individual weddings, I realized two things.
One: I want a short and to the point church service/ ceremony.
Two: I have very few cousins that are not married yet.

Spencer's Wedding ceremony was held at the Krikpatrick's Chapel in New Brunswick. I thought it was adorable that they decided to have their ceremony at Rutgers, where they met. I have only been to the chapel once before for Sharon's Choir Performance. It is a small warm inviting setting with red walls and mahagoney seats. My vocabulary is limited so I don't know how to describe the decor. But it was really nice and simple. I loved the color of the bridesmaid dresses, champagne. And like I clearly noted above, it was short. It was only twenty minutes. They said their vows and "I do"s and were pronouned husband and wife within half an hour. Nice and simple.
Lovely Bride and Handsome Groom
Grace and Spencer
Cousin Joyce and Me
Cousin Ann's reception was held in Flushing Queens. A nice venue with all the proper lighting effects you need for a party. Most of my cousin's were there so it was more fun. But like I mentioned earlier, I am running out of cousins that aren't married. One of my aunts came up to me and said, "So.. when is it going to be your turn?" I came up with the quickest come-back which was to say Cousin Tony , her son, is still first. The reality of it is I am getting to the age that this question is not really a silly one anymore. When they asked me when I was sixteen, it was more of a joke. With only a handful of cousins left, I can only say that someone else is first so many more times.
Lovely Bride and Handsome Groom
Ann and Chris
Cousin Queena and Me

Thursday, November 25, 2010

A Day of Family

          I remember how Thanksgivings use to be. My aunts, uncles, cousins and family would go to Grandpa's huge  three story house in Queens (where my mom and aunts grew up and where my cousins probably use to play when they were little). On Thanksgiving Day, Grandpa would have cook up a great feast with all the essentials to a typical American Thanksgiving Dinner. We are a 100% Chinese, but we are also very immersed into the american culture. As Grandpa aged, we started eating out and then he sold the house. I was very sad that we no longer spent thanksgiving together. Old traditions fade, new ones emerge; all in all Thanksgiving still means FAMILY.
          This year, Mom is doing Thanksgiving and we are having some family over to celebrate with us. However, not everyone invited is blood related. I have learned that they don't have to have DNA similarities order to be considered family. 

I am thankful for my parents, my brother and my extended family. As annoying my parents may be, I know they mean well. With all the added stress my brother gives me, I still love him. As for my extended family members. They are playing a bigger role in my life: giving me advice, taking an interest in me and supporting me where no one else understands.
I am thankful for my "god" family: Godfather, Godmother and Godsister. They love me, spoil me and support me. I honestly don't need to say more because my love for them isn't any less than the love I have for my biological family.
I am thankful for my friends. Sometimes people you aren't related to are the ones that understand you the best. I am grateful that I have always had friends that believe in me, even when I do not believe in myself.
I am thankful for my new family at school: my roommate, my building mates, my classmates. I spend 95% of my time in Newark and I spend 100% of my time there with great people. 

Spend it with people you love and that love you.
Lastly, I am thankful for good health or none of these memories would be possible.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Back to Reality

11:08 am
At this time, I just remembered to change the time on my watch. We are having a lovely lunch with Kuohsin Chen at Flour Bakery. Dad and I had checked out super early today. We thought it would take us awhile to get to the bakery. It was only three minutes away from the hotel. So we were forty minutes early. When we first arrived, it was packed and had no seats available. This bakery wasn’t near any school in particular; who knew that is would be this pack at nine thirty in the morning. With a look around, we knew instantly it would have been a great place for Grams to take some shots. My pictures below will just have to do until she has the chance to go up there herself.

Their famous "sticky bun"

Hot Chocolate. I was too chicken to try the "Fiery Hot Chocolate"

Dad and Kuohsin

2:07 pm
We are about an hour and eight minutes away from Newark. I have taken a nap and pretty much just stared out the window for majority of the ride home. I should be doing some work. But I have always liked to just sit quietly and think. Now that I am slowly approaching closer and closer to real life again, I am being mindful of all things that I need to do once I return home. This weekend has given me some perspective on a few things I have been trying to figure out. I think these mini-trips help me remember who I am and what I want to do with my life. Now knowing that trips help me refocus, I am looking forward to my trips this winter break. 

Eat, Eat and Eat Some More

Today was another glorious "get fatter" day. We started today off with breakfast. When I saw the menu at the downstairs cafe with White Hot Chocolate, I knew immediately what I was having. Unfortunately, the barista heard me incorrectly and made me a White Chocolate Mocha. For those that do not know, I hate coffee. I don't ever go near it. But I drank some of it and let the cup keep my hands warm as we traveled to the JFK Library.

Dad is teaching me how we were going to use the T.
If you can handle the NYC subway, you can definitely handle the Boston underground rail system. A friendly transit worker explained to us how to purchase a Charlie Card. The cards remind me the Hong Kong's Octopus Card. There is a smart chip in the card and that is how the scanners read them. The Charlie card is going to be saved and used for my scrapbook layout. We rode the T and a shuttle to get to the Library. Now, when I think of library, I think of rows and rows of books. There were not as many books as I thought there would be. Dad explained to m later that it really was a museum. A historical museum entirely about John F. Kennedy. Not exactly my idea of fun when I go tour a city. But it was important to Dad that we went, so for the hour we were there, I chose to love history. It was unfortunate that we were only able to stay an hour. The travel time was longer than we anticipated  and we had lunch plans with Dad's former students at 12 pm; we had to cut our stay short.

A few things I like to show and comment on. 

Time has changed, you needed to be 21 to vote back in the day. The age requirement now is 18; I am 22 and I still don't vote.

You thought your hand writting was bad!? Try reading that.

I have this book in the 13th edition. I haven't cracked it open yet.

Met up with more of Dad's students. I got to see Munchkins! Jerry!

We had lunch at a nice restaurant in Havard Square area called Russell House Tavern. I had The Benedict. and of course I polished off my plate. We walked about 200 feet into Havard; I took two pictures and then we walked out. Dad wanted to go to the Havard bookstore; he immediately saw two history books to buy after looking through the first floor. We didn't dare go to the second floor because he was worried he would find more to buy. I found a few books that I may have an interest in reading. If there only were more hours in a day, maybe I would get around to reading books that have nothing to do with my classes. After lunch, we went to Newbury Street. We walked through it pretty quickly because everything was just out of my price range.

This t-shirt made me smile. If it wasn't pink, I probably would have gotten it.

Dinner. Small restaurant, big meal.
I made the reservation to Trattoria di Monica last night for 7:30 pm. We arrived a little bit early. I surely was in for a surprise. When I walked into the restuarant, it was practically a hole in the wall. A maximum space to hold 80 people. They had packed reservations from floor to ceiling. After looking at the menu, I was looking forward to having risotto. I ended up ordering...
Tomato Soup

Squid ink risotto with clams

I also had gelatto for dessert in a smal gellato place call Gigi Gellato. We returned back to the hotel after that because I was pretty tired from all the walking today. Want to hear something ridiculous? I asked if there was a fridge in our room to put my leftovers in. The hotel staff told me it would cost $15 for them to bring me a fridge. I decided to just put the food by the window for a night thinking it would be okay. Guess what I found in the room?! A fridge.

It has been such a long day, but I wanted to post this entry before I went to bed. Don't forget to set your clocks back everybody. Enjoy your extra hour of daylight. Another day of brunch awaits me. Goodnight.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Start of a Gluttonous Weekend

Before dinner tonight, Dad and I went to the Malls that were connected to the Sheraton across the street. I might have found a coat I wanted to buy at a store that I have never seen before called 343. Around 6:30 pm we met up with Jen for dinner. On our way to the restaurant, I was busy trying to take pictures. I stopped in the middle of the street trying to get some shots in; we passed a band playing on the street. I had to take a picture.

As we continued would have never guessed what I spotted. I have already asked Dad if we can go tomorrow. I am starting to think the Anthropologie stores are attracted to me. I see them everywhere I go.

 Dinner Time
Award Winning New England Clam Chowder in Bread Bowl

Pan Seared Sea Bass with Lobster Ravioli

The Coolest Thing in the Room: a Big Ship

I love hot chocolate. When I saw "Speacialty Hot Cocoa Drinks" I got super excited. Only to my dismay, the special-ness to the drinks was the alcohol that was in it. Super disappointing.

My Go-to Dessert: The Classic Creme Brulee

I haven't seen Jen in probably four years. I am so glad she is doing well and that she was able to come have dinner with us tonight. 

Above are the quick shots we took outside the restuarant. Below is a shot I took on the walk back from dropping Jen off at the T station. I thought it was a pretty site.