Time at Reading Viaduct

Reading Viaduct

Another graffiti exploration! With some help from Google and social media we were quickly able to find the location and the safest entrance with parking and gates nicely cut and folded for you. We mean no harm! I just want to take pictures and see some of these amazing art work!
The first building that we came upon had machines I am unclear what they were for but inside the building had some nice graffiti.

As my brother processed to look into a room on one side, he noticed boots, a jacket hung up and curtains .. O.O we left the building after that. We weren’t sure how long this path lead and there were many times we said “should we stop here for the day?” but we continued – and I’m glad we did! We found the cool building that I see in many Instagram pictures. There is also a “ladder” you can climb up to see what other pieces are up there. And at the end of the path there was the giant tire swing I was looking for! I didn’t know it was giant but I was very excited that it was. Someone took the effort of lugging this giant tractor trailer tire up here, getting nice rope and climbed to the top to tie it up. Whoever you are, thank you! We also came across 3 normal swings along the way that people needed to get the materials, climb to the top and tie it up – thank you too!

Links to Places Mentioned:

Advertisements
Graffiti Pier

Graffiti Pier

Oh graffiti. What a controversial topic. I have mix feelings about it. I am not for the ones that are just name scribbles on people’s property that is being used like stores, cars, houses. But I do really enjoy seeing the creative, artistic graffiti on abandoned places that are not even being maintained.

I recently learned that there is an abandoned pier right near me filled with graffiti. After a bit of social media research, the boyfriend and I were off to check it out.
It was pretty exciting to see but I thought there were going to be more big pieces. We will probably come back every once in a while to see if there are any new pieces up!

Links to Places Mentioned:

The Clay Studio trio

Wheel Goes Round & Round

I’ve always wanted to try my hand at pottery! Mostly because I was excited to play with the wheel. It was one of the things on my 2014 activities list and the only incomplete one I could do at this point.

The Clay Studio offers both adult and children + family classes. I looked into the adults classes at first. They were all months long and not in my price range! I just wanted to try it out once to see if I like it. Turns out Ellen has been here before and what I was looking for was the children and family classes.

Hung, Casy & I signed up for the “Wheel Goes Round & Round” class. We were the only ones there without a kid – even though the 3 of us were probably more kiddy than the kids.

You’re allowed to take 2 of whatever you made home but I found 2 is really all you have time to make. I didn’t want to make a plain cup or bowl and had dragons on my mind that day so the instructor suggested making a cup then adding a dragon’s head and tail to it. So there we go!

wedge and figs None of us had breakfast yet so I was in charge of Yelping a place. I’ve had Wedge + Fig bookmarked for quite some time and since we were in the neighborhood, this was the pick. We arrived just in time! If we were a minute later we would have had to wait. The place is very small and the menu wasn’t that big either.

We decided on getting 3 different things to try and share: Egg Nola, Apple Stuffed French Toast & Strata. Everything was delicious! Except the mac & cheese used a stinky cheese, otherwise it was pretty close to perfect.

Bees a-buzzin’, kissable dandelion fuzz ♫

Have a wonderful & happy holiday!

Links to Places Mentioned:

2PM World Tour

2PM World Tour at 8PM Friday night at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. 2PM is a group that I don’t follow but still listen to – after this concert, I think I will follow them more. They’ve been around for about 6 years and at the concert was such a funny and humble group which made me enjoy the concert so much more. The crowd turn out was extremely disappointing, it might have been because of their marketing. There are a few people who saw my posts about the concert and would have gone if they knew 2PM was coming. Still, I enjoyed myself and was very glad to have gotten the opportunity to see them.
snacksAbout 20 minutes from the Prudential Center is a Japanese supermarket, Mitsuwa. I’ve never heard of this place until Linda said she wanted to stop by before the concert. They sell all kinds of snacks and beauty products that looks just like the pictures you see online: cute and lots of pink. I ended up getting a basket full of snacks for my brother and boyfriend to try.
HannosukeOne side of the supermarket is also a cafeteria and gift/pastry shops. I looked around and ended up at Hannosuke for ten-don aka tempura bowls – #6 Chicken Tendon: chicken, shrimp, kakiage (veggie), nori and a soft boiled egg. I usually don’t like tempura, especially shrimp, but they made it very light and not as oily as most tempura that I’ve had.
sheep horseOutside in the plaza was a gift shop, Mars New York, with lots of Japanese goodies like t-shirts, bags and posters of manga or anime characters, stuff animals, little trinkets but also more traditional Japanese stuff like kimonos. But I would say everything was pretty pricey so mind your budget.
2pm2pmApologies for the terrible concert pictures, I debated about bringing my camera but came to the conclusion that I should really enjoy the concert instead of trying to capture it. That was also something I noticed – a lot of the crowd was pretty still. Why? Because they were too busy trying to take pictures and videos than enjoy the performance.

Here is their latest title song. Enjoy!

Smorgasburg!

It’s the prettiest season of the year and the colors of the changing leaves makes me happy! I wanted to go to Central Park last year this season but could not find the time so this year was a must!

playground

We took Megabus so early the sun wasn’t out yet and got to New York around 9:30. Then took the subway to the pier for Smorgesburg which we thought opened at 10 but turned out it was 11! Hungry and kind of cold, we played on this cool little playground for kids.

Spicy Tuna Taco

plantain bowl

minis

When the gates for Smorgasburg finally opened, we were in there and ready to eat! The first stand I stopped at, Takumi Taco, sold tacos that didn’t have much taste and was way to expensive for a single taco. $6 for 1 taco!? What was I thinking!? Hunger and the love for tacos took over common sense.

My favorite was the plantain bowls from Mofon Go NY – good portion, good taste, decent price $10. I guess you can’t really expect to come to these things and not get completely ripped off.

central parkAfter our tummies have been fed, we headed to Central Park. I was a little disappointed because I really wanted to see the leaves all in orange. Most of them were still green or light green but still very pretty. I also really wanted to make giant bubbles. I imagined buckets of soap everywhere for people to play with but when we got there, it was just 1 guy with 1 bucket and he did not look very friendly.

rooftop deck of HyattWe then went to the Hyatt in Times Square to pick up Noah from work. We were a bit early so he let us check out the roof top deck real quick. It was so beautiful up there! And the sky was looking nice because the sun was just about to set.

Although there were a lot of little things that did not go as I wished, we all still had a great time and our tummies were definitely happy!

The Color Run Night

I Don’t Sweat, I Glow

The first Color Run Night in the US and I was able to be a part of it! It was called the “Philly” Color Run Night but located in Camden. I was not too excited about that but looking at it now, it was a pretty location. If it were to be in Philly it would probably be at Citizen’s Bank Park which means we would have just ran around the parking lot. In Camden, we were at the Campbell’s Field right under the Ben Franklin Bridge and next to the river.

We picked up our bids and packets then went to put them back in the car like most people. There were a bunch of designated parking lots of the event but if you were willing to walk one block over there were lots of free street parking.

There was a stage with a DJ and some Zumba to help is warm up. I went with the kids and was between the 2 most uncoordinated ones so there was a lot of stepping on toes!

I’ve done the Run or Dye and was suppose to do the Electric Run before we got thunder stormed out but the combo of both is so much better! It would have been nice if there were a few light shows or displays on the course but I’ll take what I can get. Oh yeah! We also wore headlamps: flashlight and black light option.

Back at base there was a party at the stage after the run. Music, lights and throwing the powder at the same time. There was also a nice little fireworks display for us!

By the time the race was over, we were all hungry and cold. Sonic trip! It was Kevin & Tina’s first time at Sonic!

I had an amazing time with the kids and cannot wait to do more with them!

Meet Cheif!

That saying in Chinese translates literally to “crazy people have crazy people luck.” This is how our adventure today could be described.

Our group of 8 had a reservation for 9:30AM at the SkyTop Adventure Center for Treetop Zipline & Challenge Course. When I calculated the time to get there from home, I didn’t account for stopping for gas, food and restrooms so I said we’d leave at 7AM. I also didn’t account for unexpected events like over sleeping. By the time we left the house, the GPS said we’d arrive at 9:35AM so I figured we’d be okay – but after all that stopping, it now said 10AM!

When we got near the place, we ended up passing where the GPS told us to turn and ended up at SkyTop Lodge where there was a golf course and expensive cars. We went back to where the GPS told us which turned out to be SkyTop Village, a residential area! None of us but Alec had signal so he called the adventure center who told us they had no idea where we were but they are located about a mile north of the lodge. We ended up driving pass here as well! U-turn!!

So by the time we got to the check-in desk it was about 10:15AM .. they couldn’t fit 10 people in a session – 2 of the people we were with had 10AM sessions – so we decided to wait for the 4:30PM session they always have available for people like us.

6 hours to kill!? What to do? There definitely had to be something to do since we were in the Pocono’s. None of us has gone horseback riding before and all wanted to so we looked up a place – Mountain Creek Riding Stable – that happened to be just about 8 miles away – called, made a reservation and headed over!

As soon as you open the car door an extremely strong stink runs straight up your nose! The inside where you sign the waivers was even worst!! We waited about an hour then was assigned our horses.

Meet Cheif!! My horse at that time! He was the one I wanted too! He is also a lot like me: snacking along the way when he isn’t suppose to and impatient.


We all had a great time and really enjoyed our experience. Looking forward to going back or finding another place with a longer trail.

After a nice horseback ride, we were all ready to eat. We asked the girl at the desk where she would recommend close by and was told PBC: Pocono’s Brewing Company – everyone met up there and bottom line is .. I don’t recommend this place.


4:30PM finally can around and we were just in time for our treetop adventure. There were 3 other people in our group and our guide. At first we thought having a guide with us would not be fun but he was very laid back and didn’t care that we were jumping around. He even jumped around and rocked the obstacles with us!

In the end, although missing our session and having to wait 6 hours would have been a stressful situation, we made the best of it and had a better time than we would have originally!

Lincoln Park

Visiting the Windy City

This will be considered mine & Hung’s first extended weekend trip we always talked about doing. Chicago was chosen random only because my coworkers just happened to be talking about Chicago a lot during the time we were trying to figure out where we should go.

Apple & Hung came over then Dad dropped all of us off. Pokemon on the flight!? Just for a bit before take off.

-The Transportation-

We rented a car which was not the original plan but turned out much smarter than not – words of advice: don’t be cheap – we were originally going to take public transportation around to save money but in the end, we would have been miserable not staying in the city and having to commute for an hour by train and bus one way on vacation. Although we had to spend a little more renting a car, paying for parking and gas, we were definitely a lot more stress-free than if we didn’t.

-The Hotel-

I’ve never used Hotwire before but my coworker was telling me that she has used it many times and always saved money and liked the hotels she stayed at – you just have to do a little research before you book. Tips for using Hotwire’s secret hotels option:

  1. Search the general area where you want to stay at
  2. Pick the hotel you are interested in
  3. You are provided with the area’s name, hotel rating (stars), price and in my case, I was given distance from the airport
  4. Go on TripAdvisor
  5. Search the area and filter by number of stars
  6. With the results and other information given, you should be able to narrow down the hotels and if you like all of them, it doesn’t matter which one it turns out to be

In my case, the hotel I thought it would be turned out to be the one we booked! But we did not stay in the main city so there weren’t as many hotels to narrow down from. I’m sure trying this for hotels within the big city may be harder to narrow down but it is worth a shot. We stayed at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Skokie and absolutely loved it! As soon as you check-in – physically – you are offered warm chocolate chip walnut cookies! When you check-in on Yelp you will also get a deal to redeem a free cookie. Let me share a secret with you! You can ask for as many cookies as you want at any time during your stay!

Hotel pool

My favorite part about this hotel is their pool. It may look small in the photos online and at first glance. It says on their website they have an indoor and outdoor pool but it is actually 1 big pool! A divider comes down the middle but only up to the water level – you can swim under or pick up the flap to go in and out! SO COOOL! And because we were not that close to the city, we had the pool all to ourselves for 2 days. It seemed like this hotel is more for business people or smaller families. I would love to stay at this hotel again when I come back.

-The Sights-
Cloud Gate
Buckingham Fountain
Crown Fountain
Jay Pritzker Pavilion
Millennium Park
Chinatown Square
OZ Park
Navy Pier
Lincoln Park Zoo
Willis Tower

One of the parks we passed by but did not get the name of.

Cloud Gate on cloudy day

Cloud Gate on cloudy day

water bending

He wanted to water bend.

Willis Tower in the afternoon

Willis Tower in the afternoon

Willis Tower at night

Willis Tower at night

-The Food-
Kuma’s Corner
Paleteria Arco Iris
Mia Figlia
St. Alp Teahouse
Grandma J’s Local Kitchen
Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria
Bow Truss Coffee Roasters River North
Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ
Hot Doug’s

Kuma's Corner

Kuma’s Corner

Chamoyada De Mango at Paleteria Arco Iris

Chamoyada De Mango at Paleteria Arco Iris

Mia Figlia

Mia Figlia

Grandma J's Poached Humboldt

Grandma J’s Poached Humboldt

Lou Malnati's Pizzeria

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria

cash register at Bow Truss Coffee Roasters River North

The cool working cash register at Bow Truss Coffee Roasters River North

Gyu-Kaku's stone pots

Gyu-Kaku’s stone pots – so delicious!!

Hot Doug's

Hot Doug’s

summary delay Oh and did I forgot to mention? We were delayed 2 hours on our way home – we were also there 2 hours early which makes the wait 4 hours. Apparently O’Hare Airport is known for that. No one told us why we were delayed and when we asked the people at the booth, they didn’t know either. But in the end, we all really enjoyed the trip. It has to have been one of the more relaxing ones.

keep havin a good day

We saw 2 of these in the city.

Until next trip!

Hong Kong in My Tummy

– The Food –

Let’s start off with the necessity: FOOD! It definitely helps to know someone who is local or else we’d be wandering through all the tourist traps.

Cold Milk Tea

Genki Sushi

My first conveyer belt sushi experience!

Genki Sushi

Different color and style of plates are different prices.

Kaiser Bakery

Breakfast almost every morning.

lemon coke

Lemon Coke! So simple but I’ve never had and love it now! I don’t normally drink a lot of soda but this made me drink Coke a lot.

curry fish balls

One of my favorite things about Hong Kong! Curry Fish Balls at almost every block.

Lin Heung Kui, 蓮香居, tea

Lin Heung Kui (蓮香居) a more traditional tea setting where everyone gets their own cup of tea.

Yue Kee Roasted Goose Restaurant, 裕記燒鵝飯店, honey lemon shrimp

Honey lemon shrimp at Yue Kee Roasted Goose Restaurant (裕記燒鵝飯店) was delicious! This store is located in the back of a parking lot down a small street. Somewhere you may not have discovered if no one has been there before.

Lucky Dessert, 發記甜品, durian

Lucky Dessert (發記甜品) is a cute “old school” dessert place with plastic seats outside that you see in Hong Kong movies. There is a variety of desserts you can choose from like durian, mango or shaved ice. It was the first time for some of the Si Hing’s to try durian!

korean grilled squid

This was from a stand in Ocean Park. When you order it, the person runs it through the grill one more time to make it hot. I preferred it normal temperature though.

Hui Lau Shan, 許留山

Hui Lau Shan (許留山) 3 layer drinks were delicious! They have a layer of coconut jelly that they do not have back home!

Parfaite Patisserie, macarons, xoxo, badtz maru

I stumbled upon Parfaite Patisserie by accident checking prices of currency exchange places to look for the best rate. I noticed these Badtz Maru, which they call XOXO, maracons by the window so I went inside. The lady was very sweet and we ended up having a conversation about traveling.

cafe de coral

“A typical Hong Kong breakfast.” At home, this is also a “typical breakfast” for me but I did not like how it was made here. I make the same thing at home more to my liking..

Pizza 2, King Pizza Tuesday, pizza

Ainhi recommended we try Pizza 2 aka King Pizza Tuesday right by the Ten Thousand Buddha Temple. I was not a fan of their pizza but their mash potatoes I liked.

snake soup

Can you believe I tried SNAKE soup!? Normally at home I wouldn’t try anything “weird” but being in Hong Kong, I had the mentality of ‘I’m on vacation, let me try everything.’ It just tasted like fish.

noodles

I cannot recall this restaurant’s name and they didn’t have a business card but it was in a cafeteria setting. There are many stands around and tables in the middle. At this particular stand, you get to pick the type of noodle you wants, how you wanted it cooked and what goes on top.

I didn’t think I would be eating chicken and french fries in Hong Kong but after lion dance practice, this place was right around the corner in a hole of a building. You are find the best things in hidden places!

鯉魚門, Wai Lung Seafood Restaurant, 威龍海鮮酒家, fish market

In 鯉魚門, there are fish markets associated with a restaurant usually across from them. You picked out the type of fish you want from the market then let the restaurant know how you want it cooked so everything is guaranteed fresh! The restaurant we went to was Wai Lung Seafood Restaurant (威龍海鮮酒家); it was amazing!!
Warning: There are people outside of every restaurant trying to get you to pick their restaurant! Also, it is best to go with someone who knows the places since there is no set menu or price here, they can tell you whatever price they want.

Dai Man Ki, 大滿喜日本料理

If you are going to Dai Man Ki (大滿喜日本料理) for sushi, make sure you make a reservation!

The food in Hong Kong is definitely a bit different than back home. I didn’t get the oily feeling in my throat, chest and stomach that I get from almost anything I eat. However, there are things I prefer back home. For example, the takoyaki aka the octopus balls. They fill their takoyaki with lettuce! Lots of it!

Restaurant Information:

安利 大排檔
Address: Hong Kong, 筲箕灣東大街57號
Phone:+852 2567 7122


Genki Sushi (元気寿司)
– various locations


Kaiser Bakery
– Kawloon


Lin Heung Kui (蓮香居)
Address: 2-3 Floor, 46-50 Des Voeux Rd W, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong
Phone: +852 2156 9328


Yue Kee Roasted Goose Restaurant (裕記燒鵝飯店)
Address: 9 Sham Hong Road, Sham Tseng, Hong Kong
Phone: 24910105
Website: http://www.yuekee.com.hk


Lucky Dessert (發記甜品)
– various locations
Address: 92 – 93 Sham Tseng Tsuen, Sham Tseng
Phone: 2496 9163


Hui Lau Shan (許留山)
– various locations
Address: Star House, 3 Salisbury Rd, Kowloon City
Phone: +852 2377 9766


Parfaite Patisserie
Address: 17A Yim Po Fond St, MongKok, Kowloown
Phone: +852 2295 4338


Cafe De Coral
– various locations
Website: http://www.cafedecoralfastfood.com/


Pizza 2 aka King Pizza Tuesday
Address: 12 Pai Tau Tsuen, Sha Tin
Phone: 2693 0000


Wai Lung Seafood Restaurant (威龍海鮮酒家)
Address: 鯉魚門海傍道中17號
Phone: 2340 1003


Dai Man Ki (大滿喜日本料理)
Address: 8/F, Chong Hing Square, 601 Nathan Rd
Phone: 3622 2162

RunOrDye

Run or Dye

Did my first “color” 5K today!

I thought there could have been more speakers or cheer teams around certain areas but overall it was fun!

Tip: Bring glasses & something to cover your nose & mouth!

After all morning of fun, we took the subway home so we didn’t dirty the car. On the walk after the subway, we stopped by Slice for some pizza & yummy sweet potato fries with old bay. So much fries, friendly service and nice dishes.

Has anyone done a color 5k before?

Links to Places Mentioned: