Friday, December 28, 2007

Jewelry Making Lesson

While we were up in Oregon for the holidays, we visited our good friends Jennifer and Wayne We had such a great time catching up, drinking wine, playing Wii and...making jewelry! Jennifer has an impressive "lab room" full of jewelry-making tools and materials. She showed us how to stamp, oxidize, polish, assemble and create the little bead charms. At the end of the lesson, I had helped create four necklaces, including the one pictured on the left. These will make great gifts for the mom's in our family. For a non-crafty person, I had so much fun! I really think Jennifer could make this her full-time job, she is so talented and creative. Check out her finished jewelry projects!

Stamping jewelry/Benjamin boxing on the Wii

Jennifer and Wayne making jewelry/Willy the cat

Sunday, October 21, 2007

New England Sunset

I was in Boxboro, MA (45 mins west of Boston) last week for work. It was beautiful - the leaves are starting to turn shades of orange and red and it wasn't too cold yet. I managed to snap a picture of this amazing sunset on my phone.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


We did it!

(photo courtesy of Jewels and Cy)

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Final Countdown

It's our last weekend as a "single couple"! We tried to come up with some exciting adventures to partake in but all we could think of was: clean house, do laundry, run errands and catch up on work emails. Yikes! Sounds like we're already down the path of being an old married couple. :) We need a plan to bring some work-life balance into our lives.

The wedding plans are pretty much done. We are relaxed, excited and ready to party!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Fishing and Wine Tasting

Benjamin and I had our bachelor/ette parties last weekend! The guys went to Santa Cruz for some deep sea fishing while the girls took a limo up to a few wineries in the area. Afterwards, we all gathered back at the house for a bbq. Thanks to our friends Jeff and Sara for planning, we had such a great time!

Photo albums: fishing, winetasting

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Virtual Scuba

Check out Benjamin's first underwater video! This was recorded with a regular old Canon Powershot...we may need to upgrade our camera soon.

Dominica - Part 2

After our time in Roseau, we drove to the eastern side of the island for a change of scenery. We chose to stay at Beau Rive Hotel which had received stellar reviews on tripadvisor. Beau Rive is like a home away from paradise. Mark, the owner, is from England and built his dream on Dominica about four years ago. The hotel has only 6 rooms, each with high ceilings, simple but modern decor and breathtaking views all around. Mark and his small staff do all of the cooking, we were presented with delicious breakfasts and dinners made from the freshest local produce. Home-made yogurt with guava jam, fish pie, vegetable curry, wonderful desserts and plenty of tropical fruit (mangoes literally fall from the trees onto the road!) Mark's pets: 3 dogs (Millie, Winston, Florence) and cat (Puss) also lived on the grounds, it was nice getting to know the whole clan during our stay. I would love a dog like Florence someday soon (hint, hint, honey..). Unfortunately the weather took a bit of a turn and we experienced some major storms which meant a lot of time reading, playing Scrabble and just lounging around - definitely not a bad thing! We managed to drive up and down the coastline to explore Turtle Beach, Red Rocks, Emerald Pool, Jungle Bay Resort (mediocre massage, but fabulous view and ocean sounds in the room). One of the more interesting places we visited was Indigo Art Gallery. The artist, Marie, built her natural studio and home into the mountainside - it's like a big tree house. Johnny Depp and Orlando Bloom made a visit to Marie when they were filming Pirates of the Caribbean and she had no idea who they were. They even wrote in her guest book! Our initial impression of Dominica was that it's a 'poor' island - most people live in shacks and don't have cars. When we asked Mark how people are able to survive, he said they are by no means living in poverty. In fact, Dominica has the highest number of centurions per capita. Life on Dominica is stress free...people grow their own crops and eat fish caught from their backyards. It's no wonder they live such long (and rich) lives.

View Picture Album

Florence the dog/Turtle Beach:

Eastern coastline from Red Rocks/Emerald Pool waterfall:

Driving in Dominica

Driving in Dominica can be a daunting task, ask Benjamin! Not only is it left hand drive on the island but the windy, pot-holed roads are only big enough for one car. Here's a little (narrated)clip of our experience:

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Dominica - Part 1

We just got back from our vacation in Dominica (Dom-in-eek-a), a small island in the eastern Caribbean..not to be confused with Dominican Republic. It was amazing! We chose Dominica for its rustic beauty, pristine scuba diving and lack of tourists. While it's a Caribbean destination, you won't find 5-star resorts, white sandy beaches and gourmet restaurants here. Dominica is referred to as the "Nature Island" with waterfalls, rain forests, rivers and lakes galore. There is so much to do and see! For the first part of our trip, we stayed on the southern part of the island near Roseau (the biggest town) at the Evergreen Hotel. We did four days of scuba diving with Nature Island Dive which was such an incredible experience. We saw many types of vibrant coral and sponges and the beautiful clear blue water was full of interesting creatures including sea snakes (eww!), eels and tons of colorful fish. Benjamin's favorites were the peacock and scorpion fish. We bought an underwater camera case for one of our cameras which worked pretty well. Nature Island Dive is a family owned business and we happened to be their only customers that week so we had the whole boat to ourselves. Our personal divemaster, Tony, was really cool - we learned a lot about the island from him. Several shows were taped on Dominica including Pirates of the Carribbean 3 and the new reality show Pirate Master, which Tony worked on the set of. By far, Dominica has been our most impressive diving location, it's going to be hard to top!

View Picture Album

Trafalgar Falls/colorful sea anenome and sponge:

Sunday, May 13, 2007


It's been a while since I've written...things have been quite busy around here lately. I have an exciting announcement to make: Benjamin and I are engaged! The wedding will take place in September so we've been busy planning. I'm lucky Benjamin has been such a huge help throughout the process, he's definitely made things less stressful. We're also getting ready for our upcoming trip to Dominica, a small rustic island in the Caribbean. The scuba diving should be fabulous as well as the hiking (they have a boiling lake!). We'll try and work in some relaxation while we're there too.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Korea & China

I finally downloaded the rest of my pictures from my trip to Asia. After Singapore, I was off to Korea for a day of meetings. I didn't have much time to do sightseeing but managed to squeeze in a traditional dinner and walked around the neon city. After Korea, I headed to China. Shanghai was a huge surprise to me, it's a lot more modern than I thought it would be. I've only been to Guangzhou (a city in southern China) and the two are completely different. Shanghai has many western looking buildings due to intenational settlements back in the 19th century. I visited our China office and explored a couple univerisities in the area. One of my old co-workers is on a 2 year expat assignment in Shanghai so he took me around the city which was really nice of him. All in all, it was a productive trip but I'm so glad to be home!

Seoul, Korea/Shanghai, China (People's Park)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Shop (and eat) til you Drop

One of my colleagues was gracious enough to invite me to a local-style Singaporean dinner on Friday evening. "Hawker" shops are open food-courts with no a/c and many vendors selling various local dishes. We had hainanese chicken rice, bbq stingray, and an oyster omelet followed by shaved ice desserts with coconut milk and fruit toppings. All of these dishes are inexpensive - around $3-5 SD ($2-3 USD) and very tasty! I spent the rest of the weekend checking out different areas of Singapore using the MRT (mass rapid transit) which was very clean (of course!) and highly efficient. I love the subway, I wish we had a better public transportation system in San Jose. I visited Sentosa - Singapore's island resort where there are beaches, an underwater world, butterfly park, golf course, and many other activities suitable for a family on holiday. After exploring Sentosa, I walked around VivoCity which is one of the newest shopping complexes here. You would not believe the amount of shopping and eating to be had in this country. Everywhere you turn there are stores and places to eat. I also had the opportunity to go inside a Hindu temple, which was an interesting experience. It was neat to see the different statues and priests performing rituals/prayers. Tomorrow I'm off to Korea, but only for a day so I won't have time to do any sightseeing.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Land of the Merlion

I'm currently on a two week business trip in Asia to visit our local offices and various universities in Singapore, Korea and China. It's an exciting time for us as we expand our programs into the AsiaPac regions. I've been in S'pore for 5 days now and am having a wonderful time. Everyone here is so nice and the city is very organized and clean as you would expect. Weather's in the 80s and humid, with on and off rain showers. The KT office is located in the north part, which is about a 30 min taxi ride from downtown. Since English is the main language here, I can get around easily. :) So far I've been able to squeeze in a little shopping, lots of eating and a nice relaxing spa treatment. I'm looking forward to the weekend where I plan to explore the city.The photo on the left is of a Merlion (cross between mermaid and lion) - Singapore's national landmark statue and tourism logo.

View of the city/Singpore's famous Chili Crab (yum!):

Foot bridge/Boat Quay:

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Happy Baby

We visitied our friends Paula, Alex and baby Josie last weekend. Josie is getting so big! She is such a cutie and very well behaved. Here are some pictures of Josie chilling in her new soft pink chair and hanging out with Auntie Karen and Uncle Benjamin. :)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Freezing in Phoenix

Jennifer and I met up in Phoenix over the weekend for the Rock and Roll Half Marathon. This race works out perfect because our friend Sharmin lives in the Phoenix area so we get to spend time with her as well. It was great to catch up and hang out with little Alex who is 9 months old already! She is so cute. Believe it or not, it was freezing cold in Arizona. It was a mere 28 degrees the morning of the race, I wore four layers of clothes and was still shivering. I was happy to finish in decent time despite my lack of training..I was probably motivated to run faster in order to get out of the cold!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Oregon and Georgia

We made it back (barely...but more on that topic later) from our holiday travels! Benjamin and I spent the last 10 days in Oregon and Georgia visiting both of our families. First we went up to Oregon where he got a grand tour of the great Beaver state. When we arrived, I showed Benjamin around the OSU campus and then we met up with our friends Jennifer and Sharm (and their husbands Wayne and Chad) for dinner. It was great to see everyone! We spent Christmas Eve in Sweet Home, the small town I grew up in and then on Christmas Day we celebrated at my sister's house. I think Benjamin might have been a little overwhelmed with a full house, plus we made several trips to different cities to visit extended family. Needless to say, everyone loved him! And of course the triplets had a ton of fun playing with and climbing on Uncle Benjamin.

A couple days after Christmas, we flew from Portland to Atlanta. Benjamin's parents gave me a grand tour of Atlanta, it's a really cool city. Then we spent a couple nights at Benjamin's brother's house which was about an hour away from the city in a very, very small town (smaller than Sweet Home). It was nice and relaxing. We had a lot of fun hanging out and playing with the kids. Benjamin has such a great family! Unfortunately our vacation had to come to an end and it was time to leave. When we got to the airport, we found out that our flight to Dallas was delayed by a few hours and we'd miss our connecting flight. Since it was New Year's day, all the flights were booked so our only option was to stay an extra night in Atlanta and fly out the next morning. At least they put us up in a hotel. We finally made it home safe and sound and trying to get back into the swing of things at work. Happy New Year! Cheers to a fabulous 2007.