Saturday, December 27, 2008

christmas dinner at the landmark hotel


we got an invitation from the landmark hotel for a free dinner and harmonica show at the murano italian restaurant on christmas night. since we didn't have anything else planned, we obliged.....

christmas dinner at the landmark hotel
the landmark hotel with the murano italian restaurant located on the 2nd floor.

christmas dinner at the landmark hotel
looking out the window from our seats on the second floor. the sidewalk across the street is where i took the last photo.

christmas dinner at the landmark hotel
x'mas candy from the restauant.

christmas dinner at the landmark hotel
olivia happy to be here.

christmas dinner at the landmark hotel
yup, she was real happy.

christmas dinner at the landmark hotel
"Smoked Chicken with Cranberry Sauce"

christmas dinner at the landmark hotel
"Creme Cardin ale"

christmas dinner at the landmark hotel
"Julienne Celery Heart, Basil mint with Sour Cream Dressing"

christmas dinner at the landmark hotel
"Grilled Beef Fillet with BĂ©arnaise Sauce"

christmas dinner at the landmark hotel
"Roulade of Fish and Shrimps with Basil and Red pepper reduction"

christmas dinner at the landmark hotel
"Home made Tiramisu"

christmas dinner at the landmark hotel
the taipei yellow stone harmonica ensemble.

christmas dinner at the landmark hotel

christmas dinner at the landmark hotel

the food and the music show were pretty good. we arrived fairly early so for a while we were the only people in the restaurant. even as they started serving our food, we were still the only people in the restaurant. it was really nice having the restaurant all to ourselves with the entire staff catering to us as if i had reserved the whole place; plus the music show didn't start until later on, so it was really quiet and relaxing.

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Thursday, December 25, 2008

we wish you a merry christmas!


to each and every single one of you out there...

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards


Send your own ElfYourself eCards


Send your own ElfYourself eCards


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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

olivia walking


here's a short video of olivia walking taken last week.....



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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

alice's 1st birthday party


on sunday, joanne & neil invited us to alice's 1st birthday party. we really enjoyed ourselves and olivia got to meet and play with with a bunch of other kids. some videos from the party.....







thanks joanne & neil for inviting us!

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Monday, December 22, 2008

musings on taiwan in cebu air's in-flight magazine


congratulations to boyd of musings on taiwan for being featured in cebu airlines' in-flight magazine as a "taiwan expert".....

musings on taiwan cebu air's in-flight magazine
click on image above to enlarge or the following link: http://www.cebusmile.com/2008/12/01/time-to-travel-to-11

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Saturday, December 20, 2008

macau weekend getaway


another 4 months have gone by, so it's time for me to escape the army again. taking advantage of this opportunity, karen and i went back to macau last weekened for a little vacation. we left olivia with my mother in law, so it was nice to get a little break away from the munchkin but it was felt really weird and strange not having her around. we really missed her and after one day, we were really eager to go home.

macau weekend getaway
our plane to macau with some cute paintjob.

macau weekend getaway
the shopping canal strip inside the venetian. this is located on the second floor of the hotel. with the man-made canal and the ceiling painted to look like the sky, it was really trippy being there as it felt like you were outdoors but yet you knew in your mind you were indoors. we actually felt sick after walking around for a bit.

macau weekend getaway
our hotel, star world.

macau weekend getaway
right next to our hotel is the wynn.

macau weekend getaway
the "old" lisboa. the original hotel and casino resort in macau.

macau weekend getaway
the "new" lisboa, the grand lisboa. this was a very impressive building to see in person. next time we go back to macau, we'd like to stay here.

macau weekend getaway
the x'mas spirit was in full effect all over town.

macau weekend getaway

macau weekend getaway

macau weekend getaway

macau weekend getaway

macau weekend getaway

macau weekend getaway
view from our hotel room on the 31st floor.

macau weekend getaway
a little midnight snack.

i've been to macau countless times now, and this was karen's second visit. macau is so small that we already covered most of the attractions the last time we visited together. however, even tho' most of the place we visited this trip we had already been to before, it was still a fun little trip. one thing that wasn't fun tho' was us losing about us$200 at the casinos. yeah yeah, i know it's not much compared to most people and the high rollers, but it's a lot to us. nevertheless, we'd love to go back to macau again.

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Friday, December 05, 2008

frank's texas bbq


last week karen, olivia and i met up with hui-chen and mj to go for lunch at frank's texas bbq along the north coast.

before we went to the frank's, we made a stop at the legendary haunted "ufo" pod village in sanzhi. i will make a separate post about this mysterious place soon, but let me just say it was really cool. there's been a lot of noise about this place being torn down for good, so i was really glad i was able to visit before it was gone forever.

frank's texas bbq
frank's texas bbq was just a few minutes drive north from the pod village. it's fairly visible along the road, so it's easy to spot.

frank's texas bbq
the place is fairly small so i'm glad i took the day off from work so we could go on a weekday. i'd imagine the place being somewhat packed on weekends.

frank's texas bbq
as you can see from the previous photo, the decor has somewhat of a "texas" and "cowboy" feel to it, which was punctuated by the huge texas longhorn poster on the wall.

frank's texas bbq
typical salad. nothing special.

frank's texas bbq
ordered this corn soup for olivia but after a couple spoons she didn't want it anymore. i gave it a try and i can see why olivia didn't want anymore. it was so sweat and creamy it just didn't taste right.

frank's texas bbq
this here is what hui-chen and karen ordered. i don't exactly recall what it was, but i think it was the boneless ribs.

frank's texas bbq
mj and i had the same dish, which was the 10oz rib-eye. the chili was really good and the steak was by far one of the best steaks i've ever had in taiwan. done just right and the overall portion of the set menu was just right too. i felt full after the meal, but wasn't stuffed. i was however disappointed with a couple things. for one, the only reason mj and i wanted to go to frank's is because he had a smoker. well, the smoker was broken. then the other thing is we never met frank.

frank's texas bbq
bummed out about the soup, olivia takes her sorrows out on some fries which she really liked.

frank's texas bbq
our good friends mj & hui-chen.

frank's texas bbq
karen and i ordered some ice cream for dessert, while mj ordered an apple pie.

frank's texas bbq
after chowing down at frank's we drove a couple minutes north to baishawan (white sand bay) for a short look. it was really windy but it felt really good as it wasn't too cold. it was really relaxing to just stand there looking and listening to the ocean while the wind blows.

from baishawan, we headed back south and went to fisherman's wharf in danshui. didn't take any photos there since i was busy holding olivia.

later on that night.....

frank's texas bbq
for dinner, we went to a thai restaurant just across the street from the bluesky.

frank's texas bbq
needless to say, the ever present sang som made its appearance. this is the first "small" bottle we finished. we opened a second "large" bottle which we nearly finished. yeah, both mj and i were feeling a little tipsy afterwards.

frank's texas bbq
mj and the bosslady sang a thai song (this song) together, which brought down the house! all the thai guys were going crazy!

frank's texas bbq
mj and the bosslady.

frank's texas bbq
here's a couple of taiwanese guys that were sitting in the table next to us. these two were some of the most polite drunken taiwanese guys i've ever seen. they were not being overly loud, didn't try to speak to mj in broken english nor bombard him with a thousand questions. best of all, they saw that olivia was with us so they actually made the effort to smoke outside, which is really rare for a small local establishment like we were in.

so there you go. as usual..... great times, great company, great fun day!

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