icejohn2: (travel)
MontrealCannot believe how long I have not post here. Still around and read posts but just no time to post. Just went to Montreal Canada. Nice city and super friendly French Canadians!
icejohn2: (travel)
GondolaI cannot believe that it has been almost a month since I post last entry! This blog has become monthly event now! :) I have been very busy on traveling for both fun and work. I went back to Asia to visit my parents. It was great to spend some time with my family again. We even went to ride the Maokong Gondola. It was a long ride since the total length of the gondola line was 4.03 km (2.504 miles). The whole line had 4 stations and it was like a shape of number "7". So that means there were a spot that the gondola had to do a 90 degree sharp turn. It had been reported that the gondola system had some problems since its opening in 2007 but our ride went smoothly and was quite enjoyable. We enjoyed the view and the sunny weather.

Beanie BabiesIt was also very nice to spend the Mid-autumn festival with them. It has been a long time since I went home during that time of the year. The weather was just too hot and humid for me. It was sunny and around 95'F degrees (35'C) and almost 90% humidity all the time. I could not stop sweating even just walked for 5 minutes outdoor. The good thing was that I got to eat lots of delicious moon cakes with all the nice interesting new flavors and I gained several pounds! :) Oh, and I saw these beanie babies machines all over main shopping centers back home. People were really into them and kept trying their luck but very few got anything. :) And it surely is a big weather change when I come back to Wisconsin, US since the temperature changes from 95 degree to 45 degree (35'C to 8'C). Fall is definitely here now. Yawn! And wish my jet lag goes away soon!

icejohn2: (travel)
Life has been so busy recently that I barely have time to update my blog! The summer is short on the north here in Wisconsin, USA so we have to make the best use of the warm weather while it still lasts. As a a matter of the fact, some plants/trees have started to lose leaves even though it is still around 80'F (25'C). That's most likely due to the gradually shorten daylight. We went to visit Las Vegas last week to get away from all the work stuff and run into the heat! LOL. We stayed at the brand new hotel/casino, "Aria" in city center at Las Vegas. It is a very modern design building. As you can see from the picture, the roof of the lobby almost looks like a UFO at night time. And we were so lucky to encounter one of the few rainy days when we got there. Talking about luck.

Besides the usual casino tour, we also went to visit the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay. It was the 10th anniversary of the place but everything inside was almost exactly as I visited it 10 years ago. Quite a waste of money to me since there is nothing new to see. At least, they still have those big jellyfish! If you have never been there, it is still a place worth visiting, especially, for kids. We also went to see the Circus de Soleil show, "Le Reve" at Wynn. It was very good and had some amazing stage designs. But overall, it was not as good as the other show, "O", since both were using water as the main components. Overall, it was a great vacation. Now, back to work! :)

icejohn2: (travel)
I have been in Florida since this past Superbowl Sunday night for work. Thought I could escape the snow storm on the north but all I got here so far was cold or rainy days. It was pouring rain all day long yesterday and finally the sun comes out today. But it is very brisky, windy and the temperture is just 30 degrees (-1'C). Guess I should not complain because at least I do not have to shovel 14 inches (36 cm)of snow!

icejohn2: (travel)
Don't mean to desert this blog for so long and I wonder if I still have any reader left for this blog. :)

I have been in Gainesville, Florida for work since the beginning of this month. It gets to so busy that sometimes I even forget to eat dinner. The only plus thing about working down here is the nice warm weather. It is still around 75'F (22'C) during the day time. There is an empty slot next to my workplace as the extra parking as shown in the picture. It is right next to highway so it has this Mac sign which I always walk by during the break. Finally, all the work is done and I am ready heading back to Wisconsin to bravely embrace the cold! LOL.
icejohn2: (amaryllis)
It is another working trip down to Florida. The weather down here is just wonderful, sunny, 70 degree (20'C). Since I missed all the autumn colors on the north, I decied to take some time off on this past weekend to visit the local famous Kanapaha Botanical Gardens before the crazy Florida Gators vs Arkansas football game. One of its signature plants is this giant Victoria water lilies. Look at the size of the leaves and you would know why Amazon people used to put kids on the top of it! The most amzing thing is that they actually grow the water lily as annual from seeds every year in that garden!

Kanapaha Botanical Gardens is a 62 acre facility developed and operated by the North Florida Botanical Society, a non-profit educational organization. It is comprised of 24 major collections including Florida's largest public display of bamboos and the largest herb garden in the Southeast of USA. My favorite parts of this garden are water garden, herb garden, bamboo garden and rock garden, of course. If you look closer in the picture on the left, you will find out that it is not a falled trunk but a bending flower stalk due to the heavy flower heads! It was surely good that I visited thos garden on this past Saturday because I ended of working the whole day on this past Sunday. After all, it is a work trip.

icejohn2: (travel)
The weather has been gloomy since I got here one week ago. It got worse today and became pouring rain. This work trip has almost eaten me alive so far. The temperature has start to drop and it shows on changing trees leaves to different shades of red and yellow. Fall is surely on its way. I got to visit Rock N Roll Hall of Fame and Museum at Cleveland downtown lakefront on this past Wednesday. It was a good surprise to find out how nice it is of that area next to Browns stadium. It is almost like a smaller but cleaner version of downtown Chicago. The Rock N Roll Hall of Fame building itself is also an interesting structure. There were several catering banquets going on during our visit there on a weekday night.

I got to listen to one of the feature presentations called "From Asbury Park to the Promised Land: The Life and Music of Bruce Springsteen". It talks about how Bruce Springsteen created most of the songs in his first and second albums. They played different stages/mixes of the songs such as "Born in USA" and explained the lyrics changes as well. It was really well done and interesting. Of course, I spent almost an hour on listening to music jukebox of songs for all previous Hall of Fame winners, especially, the early influence ones from 40s to 60s. Quite a treat.
That was pretty much the only fun thing I did so far this week. Fortunately, my co-worker took me to Chinatown area in Cleveland downtown to have a nice dim sum lunch. That was really a bright spot in this bad weather day!
icejohn2: (travel)
Travel time for work again! Hello, Cleveland, Ohio! Got to Cleveland this afternoon and picked up my rental car at Hertz. They gave me a HHR, not a bad car at all. I was surprised how cloudy it was here. Aw, well, at least, it was not cold!

icejohn2: (travel)

Just got back from the free on-deck tour of Dennis Sullivan schooner. The Denis Sullivan, a 137-foot re-creation of a three-masted, 19th century Great Lakes schooner, was built in Milwaukee and launched in autumn 2000. It was the first tall ship built in Wisconsin in more than 100 years, and it sails as "Wisconsin's Flagship". Schooners were developed in the United States in the early 1700s. The word "schooner" may be derived from the term "scoon," an old-fashioned expression meaning "to skip a stone." It spends most of the time sailing all over the sea but always comes back to Milwaukee shore for the summer. It is always interested in getting to see all the equipments on the ship. It was a nice tour if the weather could corporate a little bit with less wind and be warmer (only 45'F - 7'C)!

icejohn2: (travel)
It has been a while since my last post due to my trip back to Asia. I have flown thousands of miles in the past 3 weeks back and forth between US and Asia. And all the hassle in Asian airports for the H1N1 passengers check made the trip even longer to reach almost 35 hours each way. On my way to Asia, it took almost 2 hours after my flight landed at Tokyo-Narita airport to have the fully medical staff on board and take the body temperature of all 300 something passengers. The same process was repeated when I waited at Tokyo for the flight back to US. the same airplane was from US and needed to deplane all the passengers from US first so we could board and head back to US. For the same reason, the flight was delayed 2 hours or so and we completely missed the connection flight when we finally got to Minneapolis. I saw these interesting battery powered toys at the Tokyo airport as shown in the picture. Their head will slowly swing around and sing music.

The real strange thing is that it seems that the rest of the world are treating this H1N1 like the death plague but nobody seems to care back to US. Anyway, it is quite a different scenery to come back to Wisconsin after spending 2 weeks overseas. All the trees have leaves and there are flowers blooming everywhere. Of course, that just means the bad allergy is back and big time of sneezing. There are even lots of new geese hatched and walk around the parking lots. They are really cute until they start to grow up and poop everywhere.It looks that lots of people had a great Memorial Day at Chicago. Too bad that I was adjusting the jet lag and could not go to meet some LJ bloggers that I have communicated on line for a while. Aw, well, maybe next time!


icejohn2: (Default)

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