Monday, December 31, 2012

Christmas 2012

This Christmas, I decided to explore my own city a little more. On Christmas Eve, I went to the California Science Center where space shuttle Endeavour is on display, along with a special Cleopatra exhibition. I have always been fascinated by Egyptian arts and history. After seeing the King Tut exhibit in San Francisco in 2010, I was not going to miss this one.

There is a peaceful rose garden serving as a courtyard to the California Science Center, the Natural History Museum, and the African American Museum.


Cool fighter jets soaring inside California Science Center.


Friday, December 28, 2012

San Jose, CA. October 2012

I visited my good friend Rasheed and his wife Andrea in San Jose in October. I have not been to San Jose in 10 years so I was curious how the area has changed.

I was wondering what one would do when you visit Silicon Valley not for business, but for leisure? Well, you go visit all the famous tech companies that are so intimately embedded in our daily lives, that's what you do.

First up, Google campus. The Android building has some fun "sculptures" right outside.


While walking around the Google campus, we noticed these colorful "Google bikes" parked everywhere. This makes going from one building to another around the campus super easy and fun.


Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Madrid, Spain. August 2012

This year for my big yearly vacation, I thought about going to Buenos Aires, Argentina. However, I got a last minute airfare discount deal that altered my destination. I ended up going to Madrid, Spain, and it did not disappoint. Having visited Barcelona in 2006, I was a little worried that I was not going to be able to deal with the later dining hours. As it turned out, I adopted to Spaniard's schedule with no trouble at all. The weather was interesting in Madrid: it was cold before 12 noon (55 degrees F), but between 1pm-9pm, it would warm up well into the 90's. I got lucky though, that the weather started to cool off 3 days after I was there and it was perfect. I slept in each morning, grabbed a light lunch, headed out to museums and sites in the afternoon when it was hot, walked for 4-5 hours, went back to the hotel for a nap between 6pm-8pm, got up, headed out to dinner at 9pm when the sky finally gets dark, then hung around until 12 midnight. I must say that I loved that schedule!

*** WARNING: LOTS OF PICTURES AHEAD! ***

Day 1

I arrived in the afternoon after a long flight. I showered, took a power nap, and headed out to the center of Madrid, Puerta del Sol. This is Madrid's Time Square where they ring in the New Year. Hello Madrid, I'm here!


I signed up for a tapas bar hopping tour that evening so I didn't want to eat too much. I passed by this place called the "Museum of Ham" (Museo del Jamón) and ventured in there. It turned out that this is not a museum, but a deli/restaurant.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sedona, AZ. Memorial Day Weekend 2012

I had been wanting to visit Sedona, AZ for several years. I had been extremely busy at work this year and desperately needed a break, so I booked this trip in the last minute. I am very glad that I did! It felt so good not staring at a computer monitor for 10+ hours a day. This was a relaxing and active (sounds like an oxymoron, doesn't it?) 4-day weekend for me.

This was my first view of Sedona as I descended into Oak Creek Canyon. It was such a beautiful drive turning onto Highway 89A from I-17 by Flagstaff. I had to stop on the side and take in the view.


This is the view from my hotel room!


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Ventura, California. April 2012

My church had a women's retreat two weeks ago at the Marriott hotel in Ventura. It was a great weekend getaway trip to refresh my soul, my spirit, and my mind. I learned much about Ventura and discovered interesting places along the way.

Since our hotel was right on the beach, after checking into the hotel, my Bible study group leader, her friends, and I went to the marina to have some seafood for dinner. This restaurant had a mini museum in the waiting area displaying old photographs and a map of Ventura. It was pretty neat to see.




Sunday, January 8, 2012

Tour of El Pueblo de Los Angeles / Olvera Street and Being a Tourist in My Own City Part 3

I went on a free tour of the El Pueblo de Los Angeles Historical Monument and Olvera Street this weekend. I had heard about Olvera Street in downtown Los Angeles, but I never visited. I was pleasantly surprised by this vibrant area full of history.

Our tour started in the Old Plaza. The tour office itself is a historic building known as the "Old Chinese Store" built in 1900.


Next to the tour office is the Old Fire House. This Fire House has been here since 1884. It says "Fire House No. 1" on the building.