Hong Kong Trip

After the vacation, I have to admit it is hard to get back to the routine. Bryan and I still haven’t gone back to the gym. We should do that tomorrow. I am also catching up with my recipe testing. It should be almost there. At least, we finally got the Hong Kong trip pictures ready. Woo hoo!

Riding on tram through Admiralty.

Riding on tram through Admiralty.

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Las Vegas: The Neon Museum

Vegas! Not that kind of party Vegas that you are thinking! Bryan and I have way passed the party ages. We like to relax and eat good food during our vacation. And of course, we love sightseeing too!

We have been to Vegas a few times, but we were always there for CES. We never really got free time to do fun things. This time, we got to have a few buffets, gamble a little, watch Penn and Teller show, and check out The Neon Museum. Before getting into the museum, Penn and Teller show is awesome! Very funny and full of surprises! The best part is that Penn and Teller don’t really do traditional magic. They do contemporary magic, like they would use audience cell phone in part of their trick. I highly recommended the show.

Back to The Neon Museum, it is the boneyard for old neon signs in Vegas. It is a unique place with lots of history. When I stepped inside, it felt like I was gone back in time. Even though all the signs are not hung up, they are just sitting on the floor. But the boneyard is very well lay out. It was fun to look at all those signs. The only way to get in the boneyard is by joining a guided tour. The tour is about 1 hour-long. It is better to make reservation ahead of time. You really should check this place out if you are in Vegas. There are three things to keep in mind. Don’t go during a hot day. There is no shade in the boneyard. The day we went was about 80˚F. It wasn’t summer weather, but it was still very hot. Bring a bottle of water. Standing under the sun for 1 hour will sure make you thirsty. Don’t bring your kids. Kids will be bored with all the history lesson. With all the broken lightbulbs and signs, it is not a safe place for children.

The Neon Museum

The Neon Museum

The Boneyard

The Boneyard

"Hi"!

“Hi”!

Casino Sign

Casino Sign

Where is your luck?

Where is your luck?

Bryan and I with Ducky sign

Bryan and I with Ducky sign

Penn and Teller (Rio Las Vegas, 3700 W Flamingo Rd, Las Vegas, NV 89103)

The Neon Museum (770 Las Vegas Boulevard North, Las Vegas, NV 89101)

Beer Making

A couple of months ago, Bryan made his first beer at home! It was definitely a long process, but we are glad that the beer came out good.

During Christmas, Bryan got a gift to choose a beer starter kit from Craft A Brew. Bryan chose the American Pale Ale kit. The kit was sent to our home. Other than water, ice, beer bottles and a large pot, all the ingredients are packed inside a nicely designed box.

All the ingredients

All the ingredients

The process of making beer is not difficult, but it definitely takes a good amount time. The actual making time was about 6 hours. Then, the beer has to sit in a gallon bottle for 2 weeks. After the beer was bottled, it still needed to sit for 2 more weeks. It was hard to wait for that long.

Started by boiling water with malt and hop.

Started by boiling water with malt and hop.

The fermentation process

The fermentation process

Getting ready to bottle.

Finally, the beer was ready. When the bottle was being opened, there was a loud pop sound. Then the air bubbles started to appear. The golden color was very nice. The flavor was light and crisp with a hint of bitterness. All the hard works paid off! We are happy with the result. I think we will brew some other beer soon!

Homemade American Pale Ale

Interested to brew your own beer?

Check out Craft a Brew. They have some good starter kits with clear instructions. They even has the White House Honey Ale kit.

Bird Watching and Bird Feeding

Have you ever done bird watching? A couple of months ago on a Saturday, Bryan and I  wanted to walk around and took some pictures to try out Bryan’s new lens. We drove to a near park. And little as we know, there are tons of different kinds of birds. The birds are always around us and we just have to look. So on that day, we saw snowy egret, great egret, red-tailed hawk, prairie falcon, red-winged blackbird, and a few hummingbirds. We really had no idea that all these birds living so close to us. Simply amazing.

Snowy Egret at Playa Vista Central Park

Snowy Egret at Playa Vista Central Park

Allen’s Hummingbird at Playa Vista Central Park

Allen’s Hummingbird  at Playa Vista Central Park

Ever since then, I wanted to have a bird feeder. It is lucky that we live in a triplex, so we kind of have a front yard. We went down to a store calls Wild Birds Unlimted in Torrance. That store sells everything related to bird feeding. The store owner was very friendly. He asked us about our living environment and helped us pick out what we need to get started. We got a feeder and some seeds. Back home, we started by hanging up a tube feeder with sunflower chips and sunflower seeds. For the first two weeks, we didn’t have any bird at all. Finally, there were a few house sparrows one morning. Then, a few house finches joined in. After a few weeks, there are so many birds eating on our feeder every day. However Bryan and I wanted to get some different birds, so we went back to the store and got another feeder.

Two weeks ago, we hanged up a finch feeder with Niger seed. Within a few days, we saw a couple of Lesser goldfinches. They are bright yellow and small. They sing nice songs. They are beautiful and cute. We were so excited about that. I can’t wait until Fall, because I heard there may be American Goldfinches. Woo hoo!

It is very nice to do bird watching at home. Bryan and I like to watch them while sitting on the couch and surfing the web. Our next door neighbor can also see the feeder and he said he loves seeing the birds flying back and forth. He likes to watch them while he is watching TV. It is a really fun thing to do. I am glad that we got the feeder and exploring with this new bird watching hobby.

Our feeder and some Lesser Goldfinches

Our feeder and some Lesser Goldfinches

A Lesser Goldfinch was bugging another one.

A Lesser Goldfinch was bugging another one.

Want to identified a bird that you saw?

There are two really good sites that will help you. What Bird and All About Birds.

Want to learn about bird feeding?

Wild Birds Unlimited will teach you everything you need to know. They also have stores that sell bird feeders, bird baths, seeds and many more. If not, it is just fun to walk around their stores.

Cotton Candy Flower in China

Bryan found the following pictures and video online. We were both amazed by them, and I would love to share with you all.

We probably all have cotton candy when we were little. The fluffy puffy pink or light blue cotton candy is every child’s dream to have one. My very first cotton candy should be in an arcade place. After playing some basketball shooting arcade, my mom got me a cotton candy. The fluffy sugar candy was very sweet and fun. And of course, my hands were all sticky afterward. Whatever cotton candy you had probably is not as nice and beautiful as some of these that are being sold in China. Remember to check out the video. It is pretty amazing to see how they make these cotton candy flowers.

cottoncandy1

Cotton Candy Flower

cottoncandy2

The candy was being made.

New Baby Panda in San Diego Zoo

I love Panda! In general, I love animals. I can go crazy with little birds and fish.

Three years ago, a baby panda, Yun Zi was born in San Diego Zoo. I was watching the cute little guy through the panda cam almost every day. It was amazing to witness a panda growing up. After 5 months, Bryan and I went to check out Yun Zi in person. It felt like I have known Yun Zi forever. He was so adorable.

Panda Yun Zi (March 2010)

A few weeks ago, another baby panda was born in San Diego Zoo. I have been waiting for this day for a while. I am watching the panda cam every day. It is always shocking to see how small a panda baby is when it is first born. I am amazed by how mama panda can handle this tiny little baby with her big hands and feet. It just put a big smile on my face when I watched the mama panda and baby panda. I hope you will enjoy too.

Check out the few-day-old baby panda:

Check out the baby panda first exam:

Panda Cam link: Read

New Unique Flavors in Hong Kong McDonald’s

I think every little kids dream about going to McDonald’s to eat the crispy french fries and get their cute little fun toys. It was the same for me. I don’t remember how many toys I have collected from McDonald’s. In Hong Kong, the collective toys are not only for children. Adults love to collect them too. Haha… Yes, we love toys. Hong Kong McDonald’s has pushed out many amazing collection sets over the years.

One year, it was about Snoopy. A hard plastic Snoopy dressed up in different countries outfits. There were about 30 of them. People were lining up overnight to collect them. Of course, they were not free. You have to buy a meal and pay extra money to get one. But, the Snoopy were really cute. They were sold out in a day or two. I collected many of them too.

Other than the toys, Hong Kong McDonald’s also pushed out many unique flavors over the years. For example, taro pie, apple pie a la mode, pasta soups, flavored french fries, teriyaki pork burger and pineapple sundae.

This year, Hong Kong McDonald’s has introduced some exciting flavors along with a Hello Kitty plush toy collection. I wish I can be in Hong Kong right now! They just sounds awesome! Let me show you some pictures.

The Ugly Duckling Hello Kitty, Creme Brulee McFlurry, Honey Mustard Sauce

The Frog Prince Hello Kitty, Green Tea Red Bean Sundae, Wasabi Flavored Sauce

Wizard of Oz Hello Kitty, Pineapple Punch, Chili Pomodoro Sauce

Little Red Riding Hood Hello Kitty, Grape McFloat, Chipotle BBQ Sauce

The Singing Bone Hello Kitty, Black Sesame Sundae, Creamy Ranch Sauce

Don’t you want to fly to Hong Kong to try the food and get a Hello Kitty now? I think I am most excited about the black sesame sundae, chipotle BBQ sauce, and the creme brulee Mcflurry. And of course, I wish I can get one of these unique Hello Kitty plush toys!

Picture source: Read