Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Alaska Trip - Day 7/Ship 3

3rd day on board the NCL Pearl.

Today, we make our first stop in the Alaska capital of Juneau. We don't dock till 1pm so the morning is on the ship.

And now we finally reach Juneau. Now we get off the ship, an adventure in itself and on the tourbus to see our first Glacier.

For the 2nd part of the tour, we are going whale watching. Mostly for humpback whales only and we also see some seals.

Finally, only 45mins to see the actual town of juneau which has a population of 30,000 but is also the largest city in the US. Which means, everyone stays very very far apart. Oh and in a town of 30,000 they have about 31,000 cars.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Alaska Trip - Day 6/Ship 2

Day 6 was spent on board the ship, our first full day on the ship. Lots of eating and exploring mostly. Only 2 videos cos not much happening, I finished one of the 5 books I brought along.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Gay Pride Seattle 2009

I debated weather or not to post this but decided to go ahead and do it. Be warned some of the footage is a little risque, it is gay pride after all.

I only stayed for about an hour of the parade before I had to rush back to the hotel to catch the shuttle to the ship. But it was a fun 1 hour.

Alaska Trip - Day 5/Ship 1

We're boarding the Ship (NCL Pearl) by 2pm, but before then we went to another Seattle must visit place, Pike Place Market.

We got there just a little early and the stalls were only just setting up by we did get to see quite a bit that way too and also lots of dogs.

This next video is more of Pike Place Mkt but also there's a long segment where we went to the park where people were dog walking.

The next video is of us going back to the hotel and waiting till the shuttle comes to take us to the NCL Pearl, and our first day on the ship.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Alaska Trip - Day 4 - Part 2

Finally. I'm back online. Its the 6th of July but I'm gonna post all the videos on a daily basis as of when they happened. Hope you enjoy them!!! And trust me there's a lot of video!

Here's me continuing me adventures in Seattle on Saturday, we just arrived in Seattle and the folks are pooped and sleeping at the hotel. I however went out exploring.

The folks are finnally awake and off we go to Seattle's Space Needle.

And finally dinner to cap off this day.

Alaska Trip - Day 4 - Part 1

This first video is basically getting on the plane to Seattle.

The second is all we've done since getting here up till the folk's afternoon nap. Seattle is booked solid this weekend, which explains why our room only has 1 bed. This weekend there are 2 major events happening. One is Rock 'n' Roll Seattle which is a huge marathon and Seattle Out and Proud, which is the Gay Pride Parade.

My videos are getting longer I think, either that or there's just more content to record. Either way, I refuse to edit the videos I'm taking because it just takes too much time. So obviously these videos you're watching will be rough with some being a little too long or some such.

Anyway, Day 4 is split into 2 parts because I have so much more video recording. You'll see it soon, although things might be slow going depending on how fast or slow the ship's satellite internet is.

Temporary Suspension of Holiday Video

Soooo sorry but here's the problem, the ship charges $100 for 250mins of internet. But the upload rate is terrible! I can usually upload a 100MB file to youtube in 5+mins at home. Its taking about 1hr on the ship and each video is about 100-200mb in size. Hence, I will keep making the videos but will upload them at once when we get back to Minneapolis.

but quick update. We did get on the ship, all is going good and day 2 on the ship today, I'm mostly reading in the cabin and the folks are doing the casino thingy.

Alaska Trip - Day 3

All I can say right now is that blogging about anything using video takes a lot more planning and thought that I had originally expected. Its almost like making a documentary.

I won't add too much to the commentary, but it was a long day. Left the house at 10am, spent about 4 hours walking the mall then some small stops along the way like Target and finally at the casino to pick Papa up and have dinner. We got back about 10pm and started packing for the cruise.

Dad did win at the casino in case you were wondering but... let's say that I'm not comfortable stating the amount. It was for a large amount. I'm just happy both had a good day. Mom bought quite a bit of stuff, and a few of them were even for herself, dad spent several hours being entertained, what more can you ask for.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Alaska Trip - Day 2

Still at my place, I've got to work today so we only went out in the evening. Parents spent the day at home mostly jet lagged although they did get to walk around the neighborhood.

Evening was at a Brazilian restaurant which was very good. The waiters (all from Brazil) cook the meat and serve it. 25 different types of meat, most are excellent and the salad bar was very impressive too. Huge stalks of asparagus, beefsteak tomatoes, sauteed mushrooms etc.

After dinner, I asked where they might want to go and the answer was the Casino. It was a fun night out.


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Alaska Trip - 01 - Arrival

(This video is best watched in HD quality, just click play and then the HD button on the bottom right corner)

That's it in a nutshell, Day 1. Both were very tired, Pa went to sleep after dinner at about 7+pm and mom watched The Lake House and went to bed about 11pm. I spent about 3-4 hours trying to piece together several videos into a single video and finally uploaded the darn thing.

I'm working tomorrow so they are on their own. Lots of food in the house and list of cab numbers if they feel up to going to the Mall of America. More videos to come.

PS. Cos I know I'll get flack for this, I was not late in picking them up, I was waiting for 20+mins. But like I said, 3 ways to exits the airport and I was at the wrong one. :p

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Home Improvement 2009

Before the Improvements

After the Improvements

My New Toy

I'm cheap. That's why although I love technology, I don't always own the most up to date tech toys and why my phone is a relic of 2004.

But in liew of my upcoming trip to Alaska, I figured why not splurge. I'm always always always wanted a camcorder. But back when it was fashionable, they were super expensive and bulky. Plus, I don't exactly lead the kind of lifestyle where it would get a lot of use.

Let me know introduce the Vado HD. I've had it about 3 days now and I LOVE it.

In my next post you'll see just how awesome it is. Sadly the battery only lasts 2 hours. But that's 2 hours of video. I figure that should be more than enough for a day. My camera is the Cannon Powershot SD550 which takes great pictures and can also record video but no where close to the quality of the Vado HD.

So expect lots of videos of the upcoming vacation. And besides I'm also lugging my camera with me just in case things don't go as planned.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What's Happening

So its been a while since I posted any personal info on my blog and honestly, I'm not even sure I'll continue updating the blog on a regular basis except for periodic updates as and when it strikes me.

2 main things have occurred. My best friend Eins is leaving me!!! She's being shipped off to Shanghai for 3 years. (The bitch!) Ah well... guess that means I'll be visiting China sometime in the next 3 years. Sadly it also leaves me with no emergency contact in the States. Sucks to be a hermit.

And the second piece of news is that my folks are visiting me in less than 2 weeks! I always make the offer but was very surprised when they took me up on it. Mostly my dad cos he doesn't do vacations so well.

Anyway, we're doing 2 main places, Alaska and New York. The Alaskan cruise is 7 days long and going to be soooooo fun I think. We're on the ship Norwegian Pearl, and going to make 4 ports of calls. This will be the 2nd cruse that I've even been on. The first one was wayy back when I was about 6 or 8 I think, on a ship called the Rasa Sayang, I think it was a cruise to nowhere sailing Malaysia's waters but my memory's very hazy on that.

The ship is loaded with stuff, pools, a bowling alley, internet cafe, 10 restaurants, a spa, 24 hour gym, and even a rock climbing wall. (Not that I'll use that perk) I'm actually quite jazzed to go on the cruise, and want to visit 3 specific restaurants Teppanyaki Summer Palace (Russian food I think) and Le Bistro (French of Course).

We're booked into a Mini-Suite which is essentially a balcony room with more sq feet and a bath tub. Yep, on a cruise the tub seems to be a luxury item. Something new to me was the concept of Shore excursions, each time the ship docks there are tons of packages you can purchase that essentially takes you on a tour of ... something. I've got us booked on a different tour at each port and let me tell you, the cost is quite substantial. Its costing slightly more than 1/2 the cruise just for these excursions. But since I don't think I'll be back anytime soon and the folks probably won't ever, its worth the money I think.

Finally, it seems that the only time I ever do home improvement is when I expect visitors. For example putting up pictures in my house, or buying a new bed, etc all came about because someone was coming to visit me.

I have a nice little balcony beside my kitchen that I've been meaning to decorate for a while now but never quite got around to it. It sits bare while some neighbors have flowers and deck chairs etc. So I'm buying 2 items, a 3-Piece Nesting Table and a Sectional Corner Lounge Chair. Oh and of course I'll buy a potted plant or 2 a few days before the parents arrive, just cos.

That should take care of home improvement items for 2009.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Movie Review: UP

I'll be honest, I love Pixar movies (who doesn't) but after watching the trailers for this latest one I was not so thrilled. Still because of the amazing reviews it got, I took a chance.

OMG! Its perhaps one of the best that pixar has come up with. I don't say this lightly either. The trailers for UP did not do it justice. This show is funny and yet its depiction of an old man and his life is so enduring its tear jerking. That's right there are several spots around the show where you could tear up. I'm glad to say that I didn't give in till the end of the movie to shed a tear or 2.

Notice that I'm not giving any details on the show itself except to say its good very very good. Kiddies will love it and even better, adults will too and not feel as if they are watching a cartoon. Run, don't walk to watch this one. UP get's a very very solid 10/10 in my opinion.