Year of the Rabbit: Goals

Chinese New Year is almost here! That means it is time to make some goals for the new year and see how I did in 2010.

I am still working on a theme. Last year was "Be the change" and I did okay on that one. I run my neighbors dog 2-3 times a week, helped some people at work, and helped my mom with her garden. It doesn't look very mind blowing here, but a lot of times I would say to myself "be the change" when something came up I didn't really want to do. I put myself out there a lot more then I did the year before. Here are the other goals I had:

Yearly Goals:
Half YES: "Be the Change"
YES: Run a half marathon

Monthly Goals:
YES: Vitamins are good for me. Take them.
YES:Wear a skirt
YES:Run 50 miles
no.....write a letter, by hand
YES and no.....Try something new
YES and no.....Volunteer
YES and no.....Read a book
YES: Try new restaurant
Half YES: Be a food photographer (for a day, once a month)

YES means I did it!
Half YES means I kind of did it.
YES and no.... means I didn't make it every month
no..... I think you know what that one means....

According to Chinese tradition, the Rabbit brings a year in which you can catch your breath and calm your nerves. It is a time for negotiation. Don’t try to force issues, because if you do you will ultimately fail.

To gain the greatest benefits from this time, focus on home, family, security, diplomacy, and your relationships.

Make it a goal to create a safe, peaceful lifestyle, so you will be able to calmly deal with any problem that may arise.

I think my goal for the Year of the Rabbit is BALANCE.

Yearly Goals:
Theme = Balance
complete P90X
Finish Grad School

Monthly Goals:
Run 60mi
Expand the front garden
Use the Rosetta Stone to learn Italian
New Recipe every month
Shoot Film


Snowboarding day 5-6

Today I made it down the hill twice without falling on a snowboard. This is a new personal best for me.
lake tahoe
I am ready to go snowboarding again. I am even planning on buying a pass next year so I can get in a lot more boarding. What a difference a year makes!

Yesterday was my first time on a snowboard in a year. I was a little nervous but headed to Heavenly (California Lodge) and up the tram to the towrope area to see if I remembered anything. I was at Heavenly pretty early and the towrope wasn't running yet. I hiked up the hill and decided to see what I could do. Testing out the new board and bindings was a little frustrating at first but I got it figured out. Heading down the hill I was close to where I ended last year. Toe and heel slides came back to me and I remembered how to link my turns. I still fell, a lot.

The guys who run the towrope showed up and started telling me how to do tricks after a few runs down the hill. It was pretty funny but I nailed a few of them and that helped my ego a little because I was still falling on some of my turns. After about 25 runs I decided to try Patsy's (the run I ended on last year) to see if I could make it down without falling. No such luck. We ended the day a little early because the wind came up but I was feeling okay. Here is a picture of T and I in front of the Lake View Lodge (T took both the pictures on this post).

Today we took the Gondola at The Village up the hill and I tried my luck on some runs there. The weather was amazing. Crisp, but not too cold, and sunny. I never really waited in a lift line and everyone who works at Heavenly is friendly and helpful. I think the hill I was on was called the Big Easy or Easy Street.... just my style. I had good luck exiting the chair lift all day and was starting to understand my bindings a little better. By the end of the day I had made it down the hill twice without falling!

This is huge for me.
Without falling.
I am still on a snowboard high!
TWICE! Without Falling!
I feel like I could do anything....


Snow day on the horizon

Wow. Give a girl a three day weekend and she still didn't get to her blog post....

Ignore the fact that we are having amazing (almost beach weather) in So Cal right now and celebrate my first snowboard with me!

You might remember last year when I learned to snowboard at the Heavenly Learn to Ride School (here is my review)....The pain has faded from my memory and T called and said "Tahoe?" and I said "sure...." and now I own a snowboard.

I bought a used Burton Feelgood (152), boots, bindings, gloves and a bag all for the price of one NEW snowboard! Score! I got everything at CBS Boardshop in Lake Forest, CA and everything conveniently matches.... What? I am a girl.... I at least want to look good, even if I am falling all over the place... Next weekend.... In TAHOE!


Confession of a food lover missing Hong Kong....

Missing HK
Dear Blog,

I have a confession to make.

I couldn't eat the food on the airplane home from Hong Kong. All I could do was think about the noodle soup I had for breakfast. I did not want to ruin the memory with airplane food....

But it gets worse.

When I got home I had a hard time thinking of a restaurant GOOD enough to eat at after Hong Kong. I am surrounded by great restaurants but all of a sudden they seemed... just okay.

I even had a hard time deciding what to cook because I didn't want to let the food of Hong Kong fade from my memory. T and I found ourselves wandering the asian food isles at the grocery store looking for something amazing. We didn't find it.

I was at a bit of a loss on this one. I have traveled around the world and never had this experience before. I have been thinking about it and I think I know why I am having these food withdrawals.

Hong Kong is an international city so there is a lot of different kinds of food. The palate never gets bored there. In addition, Hong Kong is on the other side of the world and offers a lot of different spices and food combinations I don't eat in the United States. I think this is why I was having food withdrawals. In all the other countries I have traveled to the food combinations have been familiar and I have been able to repeat them when I got home. In Hong Kong a lot of the food combinations were unknown to me. They were exciting and I knew I would have a hard time duplicating them. I don't know if you remember how I wanted to go to cooking school while I was in Hong Kong? Well we looked around but the week I was there was the week after Christmas and we didn't find one that was open. I think this would have helped me.

What to do, what to do?

I have a few ideas:
Try to cook some Dim Sum. That seems to be the thing I want the most.
Find a good Dim Sum place and eat there.
Find a good Dim Sum place that has a cooking school.
Go back to Hong Kong.

I am leaning toward going back to Hong Kong. Then I can eat my way through the city..... again.


Hong Kong: Day 7, Macau & Fernado's

Day 7 was overcast and gloomy in Hong Kong. Up until then we had blue skies and people kept telling us we were having great weather. Now I understood why. Our last day in Hong Kong we had decided to go to Macau, the former Portuguese colony, across the water. Macau is like Hong Kong in the sense that it was a colony that was turned over to China but still operates itself. It is the "Vegas" of the east and not really my scene.

I don't want to tell you the details of the crazy ferry terminal or trying to get through customs. Or how we were starving and trying to find a certain restaurant. I will tell you about the public bus we jumped on that took us to Fernado's where we had a great meal of shrimp in clam sauce, charcoal grilled chicken and fejoda. The public bus ended up giving us a pretty good tour of the casinos and hotels being built. It really is a dirty version of Vegas.

Here are a few pictures from the trip.
The shrimp in clam sauce (they were out of clams) and charcoal chicken at Fernado's.

Grand Lisboa casino.

Holiday icicle lights

Jay and Andrea supporting Starbucks.

The facade of the oldest catholic church in the background.


Hong Kong: Day 6, Photos around town

Day 6 had all of us waking up at 11am. I was recovering from my cold and the rest of the gang had stayed out until 3am ringing in the new year.

Day 6 was a mellow, walk around the neighborhood kind of day.

A few more Hong Kong observations:
1. Steering wheels are on the right side of the car and people drive on the right side of the street.
2. A yellow light after a green light lets the drivers know the light is going to change to red just like in the United States. In Hong Kong there is a yellow light after the red light to signal the light is going to change to green. Cars will go when the light changes to yellow... watch out!
3. Crosswalks with pedestrian stop lights make a fast ticking sound when they change to green and start to blink and make a slow ticking sound when they are about to change to red. People run across the street when this happens to get out of the way of the cars who gun it when the light turns yellow.

Day 6 breakfast started at a Vietnamese place called Nha Trang. Andrea said she was glad we were adventurous eaters because she got to try new restaurants. This one was on her list.

Then we wandered around and took some pictures.

T found a deserted building and we took some pictures from the roof.

We stopped at Holly Brown for some gelato.

This was the mac command center at the apartment.

We had Nepalese food for dinner.


Hong Kong: Day 5, Stanley

Day 5 in Hong Kong was New Year's Eve. I woke up with a head cold and was not feeling that great. We were planning on having a mellow day trip to Stanley (a beach town in Hong Kong) and then taking a nap before heading out on a boat to watch the fireworks over the harbor. By the middle of the afternoon I knew I wasn't going to make it to the New Year's Eve boat trip. I was done. I ended up going to bed at 8pm and slept for 15 hours. Here are some pictures from day 5. I was doing the socially responsible thing and wearing the Asian face mask. Makes for fun pictures....

We took a bus to Stanley.

I wore my face mask.

Jay took this pano of Stanley.

I don't remember too much of the trip, but I know we had lunch at a German restaurant.

Here is a short video Jay made of what I missed New Year's night.

Hong Kong: Day 4, Kowloon

It is day 6 in Hong Kong and I am on the come back trail from a nasty Hong Kong cold. On day 4 I was starting to feel it but made it through our packed day. On day 4 we hit up some markets in Kowloon, had tea at The Peninsula and then had a foot massage.

Breakfast at the Australian Dairy Co.

Walking around Kowloon

Bird market

Flower Market

Tea at The Peninsula

Temple Street Night Market