Monthly Archives: June 2011

Macau!

After two full days in Hong Kong, on Monday morning we headed off to Macau, by ferry.  It’s only an hour ride, you can buy tickets at the last minute, and it worked out perfectly – unless you love gambling (which we don’t), you really don’t need to spend more than a day in Macau.

What I was most excited about Macau?  To eat Portuguese food!

Sadly, that was the one thing I failed to accomplished.  We looked EVERYWHERE, we asked a bunch of people, and no luck.  It doesn’t help that Portuguese is not spoken at all there, and English is barely understood, even in the fancy casinos.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

P6201059

We started the day walking to the Macau Tower, one of the tallest in the world…

P6201063

P6201066

IMG_1420

IMG_1423

And enjoyed the view from up top.  After seeing the Hong Kong view, this was not as exciting, but still fun!

IMG_1442

IMG_1444

From there, we decided to walk to Senado Square, where there are still Portuguese looking buildings.  On the way, we passed by the “Gate of Understanding” built in 1993 showing friendship between the Chinese and the Portuguese.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sadly, the place was abandoned, there was a gate blocking the entrance that had been there so long, the signed was rusted through and we couldn’t read why it was closed.  Grass was growing through the concrete walkaway and there were parts of it that have fallen through.  It was a big disappointment that something that is part of their history (good or bad) is so neglected. 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We kept walking along the water, it was super hot (and I came home with some weird looking burn lines), but it was sooo peaceful!  I would have loved to gone for a run around here.

P6201081

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The funniest thing?  These exercise machines were in a couple of different spots in the city.  There was an elliptical…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

A Gazelle look-alike (and yep, AWKWARD picture)…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

And my favorite one, that’s supposed to be good for the hips (yes, my hip still hurts after a run, I given up trying to find a solution for it.  Maybe I need one of these things I at home!). 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

From there we stopped by the A-Ma Temple, the oldest in Macau, but it looked pretty new, and there was definitely a lot of new construction in it.  Definitely not impressive for something that was supposed to be hundreds of years old…  Is it wrong that I expected it to actually look old?

P6201094

Then we continued to make our way to the Senado Square, passing a few old Portuguese buildings on the way.  (And no, Karl is not lactating in the picture below, he just doesn’t do well with the heat…)

P6201103

IMG_1455

Despite the lack of Portuguese food, it was nice seeing things written in Portuguese!

IMG_1456

And finally, the Senado Square!  Sadly, it was very commercialized and some of the old buildings had huge modern “Body Shop” (and the like) signs.

IMG_1460

The buildings on the square reminded me a lot of downtown Rio – same architecture.

IMG_1463

And the sidewalks are very similar to the ones you find along the beach in Rio!

IMG_1464

IMG_1466

IMG_1468

St. Paul’s Church ruins were next, and only a couple of blocks away…

IMG_1469

IMG_1471

The church was destroyed in a fire, and only the façade remains today.

IMG_1472

IMG_1476

IMG_1479

P6201106

The old fortress, was next on our list.  Macau is a HILLY city, and we were exhausted by then!

IMG_1481

IMG_1482

IMG_1483

From there we did get a nice view from the Grand Lisboa top, the pineapple shaped building is totally-cool!

IMG_1485

And a tree with its roots running down a wall?  Awesome!

IMG_1486

After that, we cooled ourselves off in the casino!  We hit the slots machines and lost a total of HKD 60 (about 10 bucks).  The slots machines just aren’t as fun as the old ones with actual coins, and coins falling out.  Having it by credit, just takes the excitement away, so we didn’t stay long.

P6201107

On our walk back to the ferry terminal, we stopped by for some pictures at the Lotus flower.

IMG_1489

IMG_1493

We got back to Hong Kong shortly before midnight, and both agreed that one full day was PLENTY to spend in Macau.

Then we planned how we would spend our last day in Hong Kong – we did have a full morning and most of the afternoon to explore!

2 Comments

Filed under Asia, Pictures, Travel, Traveling in Asia

Hong Kong!

We had a fantastic time in Hong Kong!  I’ll post later all the specific details of what we did, cost, etc, so those travellers on their way there can get some ideas of what to do!

Hong Kong reminded me of New York City, with the amount of people everywhere (and Manila is supposed to be crowded – ha!), the different options of food (it was hard finding Chinese food, but we had everything else!), and the it never sleeps sort of feeling.

And without further ado…  Pictures!

We arrived late on Friday night, so not many things were open for dinner.  We went to a place that was 100% Chinese, and ordered something “safe” out of the menu (with the things we could actually understand).

P6170890

The next morning, it was raining when we made our way out to Causeway Bay, but luckily, right after lunch (we had delicious Vietnamese food), the sun came out, and it was sunny the rest of the day. 

P6180895

We walked from Causeway Bay over to Victoria Park, then went over to the bay side…

P6180906

P6180908

Then walked to the Peak train for the view.  And what a view!

P6180918

IMG_1294

Since it was already 4 o’clock, we decided to wait around for the night view as well.  Though we eating at Bumba Gump Shrimp in Hong Kong might seem like a cop out, when you see this view you would understand why it was PERFECT.  Plus, the lychee-pomegranate margarita was AMAZING.

P6180941

And it was worth the wait!  Though there were crowds there at the time (and even after taking all their pictures people would NOT move out of the way allowing the others to take pictures as well, I got fed up after 15 minutes and basically climbed in between two Chinese girls and snapped away.

IMG_1317

IMG_1322

IMG_1340

When we left the Peak, we walked over to the Star Ferry and took the ferry across the water to Kowloon Island.

P6180955

P6181003

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

P6181012

There we (err, I) shopped at Temple St!  I bought two paintings for our place, now I just need to get it framed!

The next morning, we took the MTR straight to Kowloon, to go check out the Sky 100 – a new observatory that just opened in April at the ICC – the fourth tallest commercial building in the world.

IMG_1370

IMG_1372

IMG_1376

IMG_1383

IMG_1388

IMG_1392

IMG_1409

After the ICC, we went to the Ladies Market, where I bought a couple of souvenirs.  You must bargain for everything, and for the most part, you get a price that’s 50% of what was originally quoted to you, but you know, it gets really tiring after a while.  I just want to buy something for a fair price, all those theatrics get old, and I bought a lot less than I would have otherwise if I didn’t have to bargain so much for every single thing.  (And it’s not that I’m cheap, but most of the times the quoted prices would be more than what you’d pay for the same thing in the US – even though it’s all made in China!)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I visited my FAVORITE drink maker so far – the Coconut Master, right off Temple St.  If you’re ever there, try the mango + coconut drink.  OMG, it’s to die for.  Fresh mango + coconut water + actual coconut + milk.  Yum!

P6181038

P6191041

P6191042

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

That night, we had Korean food.  Food in Hong Kong is VERY expensive, so I’m glad we live in Manila where I can get the same meal for 10 bucks a person!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The next day?  We visited Macau!  (Yay for more passport stamps!)

7 Comments

Filed under Asia, Pictures, Travel, Traveling in Asia

Update on the KITTEHN!

Yes, I have not yet named the kitten, so as a compromise, I call him kittehn.  As in obnoxiously “Hiiiii Kittehn!”

He had a MAJOR fungus infection, right after I found him, and it covered about 30% of his body at some point.  After some great tips from my friends on facebook, he is looking great now.  What finally worked?  I was keeping the AC off, since kittens cannot regulate their temperature, but by keeping the AC off, it also meant the room was more humid.  Humidity is exactly what fungus need to grow!  Once I turned the AC on, it finally started dying out.  And yes, he also took antibiotics and had a special ointment applied on him twice a day (yay for super-affordable vets on this part of the world!).

So when I first found him, this was his size…

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

P5180596

A week later, he weighed in at the vet at 7 oz.  Tiny!

After a LOT of bottle feeding, and finally moving him to solids, now not only he has grown to TWICE his original size, he even poops on his own (yeah, that period was not fun.  If you ever had to make a kitten poop, I feel ya.)

And OH MY GOD!  Does he have energy!  He sprints everywhere, runs all over the place, plays with toys, your hand, your feet…  I’m still keeping him separated from the other pets, because Lily doesn’t know how to play nice, and Lucas just plain hates him (hisses and smacks him).  So I’m not taking chances.  It’s a shame because he WANTS to play.

Another 3 weeks and he can get his first round of shots!  And then *sad face* I need to find him a home.  I feel terrible that I just can’t play with him as much as he needs – Lucas and Lily must take priority.  And they’re both SO jealous (Lily pees in front of the door of his room every.single.time I go in and don’t include her).

But, without further ado, look how big (and CUTE) he got!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

P6143391

P6143393

P6143397

Yes, he is still tiny-size for a kitten (he must be around 2 months old now?), but SO much bigger and healthier than before!

Anyone wants to adopt an adorable Filipino kitten?

8 Comments

Filed under Manila, Pictures

Music to get me running!

When I posted about missing my running partners and lacking motivation to run on my own, the consensus was:  GET BETTER MUSIC!

Yep, I don’t usually run with music, but as I’m stuck running on my own, I’m putting my walkman to good use. But, of course, if you have been paying attention, it’s lacking on the playlist department.  I have a bunch of random things in there, but most don’t get me running.  Apparently, as much as I love the 90’s the songs don’t motivate me to put one foot in front of the other… (Even the Guns n Roses songs – which I will sing aloud in the car completely embarrassing myself every.single.time – don’t get me moving.  What is this world coming to?!)

Turns out, when running, I like crappy pop music.  Of the “oh, my god, is that really playing three times an hour on the radio?” variety.

So I need your help!

Suggestions will be GREAT, specially since I haven’t been listening to the radio lately (no car in Manila yet!), so I’m out of ideas.

Here’s a sample of the songs that do get me moving, that I currently have on my playlist (and it might be of help for those of you also looking for ideas):

-Bruno Mars – Grenade, Just the Way You Are
-Cee Lo Green – F**k you
-Chris Brown – Yeah 3x
-Coldplay – Viva La Vida
-Enrique Iglesias – Tonight, I Like It
-Estelle – American Boy
-Flo Rida – Club Can’t Handle Me
-Jessie J – Price Tag
-Katy Perry – California Gurls, Firework
-Ke$ha – We Are Who We Are, Tik Tok, Blow
-Kings of Leon – Sex on Fire, Use Somebody
-Little Jackie – The Stoop
-Muse – Uprising
-Panic! At the Disco – The Ballad of Mona Lisa
-Paul Oakenfold – Faster Kill Pussycat
-Pink – Raise Your Glass
-Taio Cruz – Dynamite, Higher
-The Killers – Spaceman, Human
-Usher – DJ Got Us Falling in Love

And here is  list of completely RANDOM songs that in the past just clicked while I was running outside and made me keep putting it on repeat for the rest of the run (don’t judge!):

-Breaking Benjamin – Diary of Jane
-Buckcherry – Crazy Bitch
-Carolina Liar – Show me What I’m Looking For
-Finger Eleven – Paralyzer (of course this was before it got overplayed in the radio)
-Lacuna Coil – Enjoy the Silence
-Miley Cyrus – Party in the USA
-My Chemical Romance – Teenagers
-One Republic – Stop and Stare
-Pearl Jam – Light Years
-Seether – Rise Above This
-Soul Asylum – Runaway Train
-The All-American Rejects – Gives You Hell

(Told you it was totally random, but I guess it gives a better idea of the type of music I like?  Plus, for some of them, you can totally tell it would only work on an outdoor run…)

Now what would YOU suggest as an addition to my playlist?  (The more the better!)

And before I forget:  THANK YOU!

12 Comments

Filed under Training