I'm Out of Here!

Off to The Windy City I go for the weekend. I'll be leaving for Chicago later today (it IS 2:48am on Thursday morning...) and will be driving down w/ my parents. For some reason, I always look forward to these trips... not that the ride is very interesting, but I guess as I was sharing with Lyds one day, it's moreso for my own benefit, and for my own quiet time.

This week has been hectic. Since many of my out-of-town univ. buddies would be gone by the time I return from Chicago, I had to meet up w/ them... and also make an extra trip to visit my grandparents. I am so looking forward to some "me" time.

Yesterday was my last day at work... I miss most of the people there, but not the job itself... I don't know if it was a prank or not, but one of my co-workers decided to give me some work to do 30 minutes before I left... :P; they took me out for lunch at some sports bar across from my workplace (not like Elaine's wonderful farewell at IL FORNELLO!) and got me a nice card... It'll be strange NOT going to work after 4 months... must enjoy my week and a half of vacation before the terror begins.

On a totally unrelated note, I have a recent pet peeve - people msging me on ICQ simply 'cause they need something from me: like tips for what courses to take, textbooks, assignments, phone numbers, ANYTHING. It's not like they normally talk to me about... "normal" things. It's been bugging me for a while, so I thought I'd unleash my so-called fury :)

All right, it's getting late, almost 3 am, and I'm barely done packing. I might have to drive halfway too, so must leave for now :) Ciao!


So much to do, so little time...

It's my last day of work tomorrow/today! :)

Although little stress is there, here's a good place to do some stress-relieving:


Beautiful Pics :)

Here's something I found while cleaning out my computer the other day:

This was taken by my uncle with his digital camera in Tokyo near his workplace.

I'm in need of a certain object/place to take my photos... :P Too bad I didn't bring my dad's manual camera to Vancouver... could've taken very pretty pictures there... there's nothing vast and beautiful like that here in Toronto... :( Was gonna blog about my thoughts on taking photos but must sleep :( Nevertheless, enjoy the photo...


Good Friend?

I was reading an article on MSN (yes, I surf on MSN a lot – I really like it ‘cause it’s so full of resources… my favourite would be MSN photos) about the 7 types of friends you’d like to avoid having… and when I came across one of the points, I was reminded of a conversation a friend and I had a few weeks ago…:

The busy bee. She's the PTA president, a party organizer and a domestic goddess all rolled into one. She makes you feel as if you are but a mere blip on her overscheduled radar screen. She consistently shows up late or says she's too busy to take your calls. "Since my friend got a new job, all she talks about is her crazy schedule," says Leslie, 26, an environmental consultant. "She makes it seem as if she's doing me a big favor by making time for me!"

Don’t remember how we started discussing the topic of friends and catching up w/ each other. Somehow, she honestly said to me, “Holly, I don’t feel like I’m one of your ‘important’ friends, or a friend that you’d keep in mind first thing.” That wasn’t true, so I told her how I really felt about our friendship… nevertheless, that comment did make a slight impact on how I really treat my friends. When I read that point about “the busy bee”, I thought of myself. Although I’m not a president of a student group, I do have a crazy schedule compared to a lot of my friends… but I never realized how I might have neglected a dear friend. Something for me to think about…


Current Obsession...

PAUL FRANK is your friend. I find that soooo cute and cheesy...
I was surfing on MSN's Back to School Essentials site, and they had a section where you could purchase the must-have items online. At first I was interested in a Kate Spade pencil case, so that led me to the Nordstrom's website. Don't know how, but I eventually got to their Paul Frank section, which got me quite interested. I decided to check out the Paul Frank website today, and I must say, it's hilarious!

Just for the laughs, click HERE for a funny and cute movie.

I used to only like the Monkey, Julius, but after seeing the Paul Frank Movies, I'm falling in love with the short giraffe, Clancy.

Hehe, just wanted to share w/ you my new found love ;)

Short Msg

Wow, I haven't blogged since Wednesday. This has got to be the first time I haven't blogged in such a long time. Anyway, I haven't been feeling great lately and am very exhausted... The blogging will continue but for now, I'm just resting up... will blog once I'm revitalized :) But just in case, wanted to let you know I'm still around and alive...


Stuff Worth Noting

Couldn't really think of a title for my blog today... Perhaps it's due to the lack of rest I had today (Just came back from four hours of endless meetings... to come and realize how meaningless politics is...); nevertheless, here are some happy things happening in Holly's life (or happy thoughts she's been having!)

~ MY AUNT IS SOOOOO COOL :) She surprised me w/ an email the other night, and it was very nice and simple... asked how I was doing and how work was. For some reason, we've been emailing each other everyday since then, and today, she sent me a funky email, telling me to go wild and enjoy the rest of my summer. Blow some money and spend time w/ friends (as she said, friends as in boyfriend, boyfriends, boy friends, girl friends, friends!) It's just funny how she isn't dealing w/ me in a typical Chinese way... which is normally more conservative. She's a funky woman. I miss her soooo much (she currently resides in Japan)

~ Personal e-mails - I miss them sooo much. Recently, I've been receiving more personal email, rather than typical emails from student groups and other mass emails. Like today, not only did I receive an email from my aunt, but I got an email from a friend of mine that I never see! I think I'm gonna start e-mailing some friends personally, and hopefully keep it up.

~ Postcards! - received two of them in the mail today: one from my friend Christine from Xian, China, and another from Vicky in HK. Vicky always sends me postcards whereever she goes... I still have the one sent by her from HK in 1992. Oh, if you didn't know already, I have a fetish w/ postcards, especially ones sent from afar...

~ Abhi - my co-worker at work. He told me to take it easy during my last week at AXA, but comes running to me for help w/ his work today. Despite the stress and the amt of work needed to be done in such a short time, we joke around from time to time during work... and sometimes take the subway downtown together. He's taught me a lot about the "real world" and it's quite interesting. Glad to have a nice coworker.

~ NBTC - Originally, there was a meeting planned for this coming Sunday for the National Business Technology Conference 2003. 'Cause of church, I couldn't go... but I was amazed w/ the number of responses from people saying they couldn't go for the same reason! I pray that God will allow us to get to know each other well, and perhaps have cool accountibility during the time we'll be working together. Very awesome.

~ Dad - just four words for you: good listener, great advice. :)

The End.


On a Break...

I've been updating less frequently these days, partly 'cause I'm trying to spend more time away from the computer. I'm also doing a lot more thinking these days, and haven't really had much to say.

While most people went to Justis' concert on Saturday night, I went to a concert featuring The Taiwanese Aboriginal Childrens' Choir at my church. These kids are mostly orphans or come from homes w/ a not-so-great background. Man, they sang beautifully, w/ all their heart.... during the last song, some kids were crying too. I was wondering "why on earth would they cry while singing a song they've probably sung a few hundred times?" (They've been touring around the world since July 3rd and have been performing practically everyday.) When the pastor spoke a few words, it was then I realized why they were crying. The song was called "For the Unseen Hands" and talks about having God around all the time although we can't see Him. But those kids, despite their youth, have gone through sooo much, probably much more than you and I have; they have experienced God's love and know He's there no matter what. I was really touched by the kids.

Busy week ahead w/ meetings for extra-curricular groups; still have yet to get together w/ people.... :P only one more week of work left... and I have started slacking already :) Still, work is work, so it's no fun.


"Me and Jenn"

look at the blog entry below for the story :)



As I was looking through some old photo albums, I found many beautiful pictures (mostly taken by dad; I always knew my father was interested in photography ‘cause back in HK, he had his own darkroom and he often took pics of mom and I) I found pictures from my mom’s and dad’s trip to China, pics of me as a kid, as well as old photos of my friends and I. Coming across the last few pages of the album, I found a picture of a friend and I back in grade one.

That girl was my first best friend. Jennifer was brilliant, especially in English. She had a fond interest in horses and dinosaurs. I’m not exactly sure why we became the best of friends… ‘cause our interests differ significantly. I used to go to her house all the time – I loved her mom’s cooking, ‘cause it wasn’t Chinese :)

We were always in the same class until grade 4; she was in one portable, and I in another. Although we still hung out, we drifted, ‘cause little me, I wanted to be friends with the cooler group (since my class had the cooler people!) and eventually, I was hanging out w/ Colleen, a cool girl :) I still visited Jennifer’s house, but the visits were less frequent.

I was devastated when my parents told me we were moving and I had to go to another school in the middle of grade 5. It wasn’t too long ago that I went to Colleen’s hip bday party, and I invited friends to my own party. And Jennifer. My best friend… was I gonna miss her. Even tough we didn’t hang out, she was the friend I confided in the most. After moving to my new place, I invited Jennifer over for a sleepover and had a ball… but we didn’t see much of each other after that.

In grade 8 I had an art project which I needed help on, and for some reason, I knew Jenn could help me. Unfortunately, I only got to talk w/ her on the phone ‘cause when I picked up the info from her place, she wasn’t home. I haven’t seen or talked to her since then.

Sometimes I do wonder how Jenn looks like now, what university she’s at, how her family is, and whether she moved or not. Every time I’m around in the old neighbourhood (my grandparents live at my old house, so we often go back to visit), I kinda wish I might bump into her.

She was a cool friend, and I would love to see her soon…


The Holly Update…

I haven’t had much time for myself or for friends and family recently. I had to work overtime on Monday night, then run off to the Kinkos downtown to do some errands for a club I’m part of. Since I promised dad I would go swimming with him, I went straight to the pool after Kinkos and didn’t come home until 11 pm. On Tuesday, I worked regular hours (thank goodness!) and went straight to a KPMG Office Tour/Pool Party afterwards and didn’t get home until 10 pm. Fortunately, today is piano day for my students and I get to go home at a decent time and have dinner with my family!

The KPMG Pool (Snooker) Party was fun… we first went to their North York office for a tour, then we went to a bar on Yonge (around Eglinton) for some snooker. I got to mingle w/ some people who worked there, talking about ANYTHING but accounting (well, I did ask about their jobs while at the office…). I was in a group w/ a few ppl from other universities. It was fun while we were winning… until we got to the elimination round. Unfortunately, I had to shoot the last ball for our team; instead of sinking our ball, the scratch ball hit our ball and deflected to the black ball… and in went the black ball. So I kinda won…. for the other team. :( Nonetheless, it was still a fun night, getting to meet people from York, UT Missisauga & Scarborough, and Ryerson.

Nothin much happened on the weekend, but I did go down to The Taste of the Danforth on Saturday night with Ian. It was our first time, and boy was it crowded. We first went to the Eaton Centre, and walked up to Bloor. I was looking at different digital cameras along the way. We got to the Danforth around 7pm and hit the nearest joint… I had a pork souvlaki; that was the only Greek thing I had. The crowd was sooo huge that we couldn’t even find the end of the line ups for food… so we ended up going to Mariko for some good all-you-can-eat Japanese food. That’s my first experience of The Taste of the Danforth!

Friends from Boston came up to Toronto, so we had lunch/afternoon tea with them after church on Sunday. That was one of the highlights of my day.

Anyway, that’s all for now in Holly’s life… looking forward to the end of the day for some good relaxing at home. Perhaps I’ll rent a DVD :) (I love my Student Price Card! Rent one 7 day rental, get another for free… ALL THE TIME! 2 movies for 4.50… not a bad deal.)

O Me of Little Faith...

I haven't really mentioned the mean guy from work recently. Well, here's a situation related to the meanie that annoyed me. He was doing something which he discussed w/ the director about, and came out not knowing what to do... so he passed the work for me to figure out. I didn't know what to do exactly; nevertheless, I asked the appropriate person for the figures I needed and calculated some percentages which looked strange, so I told the mean guy about it. I was pretty sure I got the right figures, but I told him to confirm. Apparently, the next morning, he asked the person whom I got the figures from the exact same question I asked her, but phrased it like this: "Holly may have done this wrong, but she says the numbers are from these reports you gave her... is that correct?" When the lady told me about this, I was upset. My reaction: why would he ask me to do something if he has absolutely no confidence in my work? I was pretty upset at that time, but quickly got over it.

Last night's devo reminded me of this situation...

When we are in fear we can do nothing less than pray to God but our Lord has a right to expect that those who name His Name should have an understanding confidence in Him. God expects His children to be so confident in Him that in any crisis they are they are the reliable ones.

In the same way the mean guy felt about my work, I sometimes do the same w/ God. Well, not that I think God's work doing is incorrect, but I do doubt sometimes, or lack confidence. Simple worries already prove my little faith. Now that I understand how it feels to be asked to do something w/o confidence from the one who requested, I know I need more faith in order for God to move mountains... :) He does, but perhaps sometimes I'm blinded by my own worries that I don't even notice! Nevertheless, I'm glad my bad experiences have taught me so much more than expected.


Holly's Recent List of Things...

Raindrops on roses, and whiskers on kittens, bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens. Brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favorite things...
- The Sound of Music
- Seeing senior couples being very loving and caring towards each other (in Chinese: bak tau dou lo)
- Bonding w/ family and friends
- Photographs - William Wegman, nature pics, pics of friends, lovegety and sticker pics
- Taking photographs
- Snail mail/personal emails
- Worship
- Sappy romantic comedies or Jackie Chan movies (esp. Rush Hour 2 and Drunken Master), TVB (Chinese Shows) Series
- Food :)
- Travelling

When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeling sad...
- Jumping into a freezing cold swimming pool
- Weird dreams... which I've been getting more of recently
- Working overtime
- Growing up and can't turn back
- School...
- Hard work (or extra-curriculars) and no play :(
- Summer job search

I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don't feel so bad!

I'm just having a tiring day... :P and I needed something to think of while swimming; otherwise, I'd only remember how tired I was and wouldn't be able to swim continuously.... Since I'm so tired right now (long, LONG day - worked 9 1/2 hours), I have to put this on hold and update at a later time :)



...something I've always longed for. Being an only child isn't easy, especially in a conservative Chinese family. Up to this day, I still consider my parents being extra over-protective. (Yes, I know I'm being redundant, but it stresses the protectiveness ;)! )

Surprisingly, a sudden train of thoughts led me to the conclusion that I don't really want complete independence right now... Actually, it was moreso the thought of living on my own and doing everything w/o my parent's help that scared me. Tonight marked the first time ever that I prepared dinner completely on my own for my family. Blah, it's nothing really special, but I had no help whatsoever. As I was doing the dishes, I realized I'm growing up, and things can't turn back.... Sooner or later, I'll have to fork out my own money for family trips.... (as I am currently doing w/ my tuition); no longer will I depend on my parents. Not only that, I realized the time spent w/ my parents is slowly becoming less. Since my parents are the only immediate family members I have, I really do treasure my relationship w/ them... years pass by really quickly; in fact, it's passing by a little too quickly for me.

I'm actually more confused w/ my thoughts at this moment, but I needed to release some thoughts... All I want to be is a kid again.... :) It's funny, but common that when you're little, you want to grow up, but once you're all grown up, you want to be little again. I think that sums up how I feel as of now.


Funny Things to Read or See…

I’ve received a few funny articles/forwards during the past 24 hours; I thought it was funny :) (BTW, thanks Andrew for the article!) so here’s some to share:

- The Onion | Sanrio Introduces New Divorced Character - an article Andrew sent me which was really funny; I’ve been wondering what Sanrio’s been up to these days, as Keroppi, Pekkle, and a bunch of other cute characters have disappeared…

- Learn how to drive properly

- Last but not least, an interesting question:
This is a story about a girl. Whilst at the funeral of her own mother, she met this guy whom she did not know. She thought this guy was amazing, so much her dream guy she believed him to be, that she fell in love with him there and then... A few days later the girl killed her own sister.
Question: What is her motive in killing her sister?

She was hoping that the guy would appear at the funeral again.
If you answered this correctly, you think like a psychopath. This was a test by a famous American psychologist used to test if one has the same mentality as a killer. Many arrested serial killers took part in this test and answered it correctly. If you didn't answer correctly - good for you. If your friends hit the jackpot, may I suggest that you keep your distance.

Hehe, w/o these articles or forwards, I don’t think I can stay awake at work… :P

A Cross in Toronto...

These past few days have been very stressful; meetings and meetings, and lots of tedious linking to do. Nevertheless, while I was resting my eyes by looking outside the office window, I saw an unusual thing. A big cross in the middle of the city. Yeah, I know, it's the World Youth Day cross... but still, for weeks, my coworkers and I have only seen the huge WYD banner w/ the logo, and the cross was shielded behind the banner. Well, I got a chance to see the huge cross from my cubicle. Sitting back, I thought, how often do you see a big cross in the middle of a huge city?

Then I realized they were about to take the cross down... which led me to more thoughts. My mind flashed back to the time when Jesus breathed his last on the cross. I wondered how the atmosphere was when they took him down. I then realized how often I neglect to value the cross of Jesus, and the sacrifice He took for us.

What a reminder...


I Must Have No Life...

.... I have no social life. After teaching piano today, I came home and spent most of my time w/ my laptop, uploading my photos onto my Yahoo! album, and fixing some documents. (Surprisingly, I wasn't chatting at all... I spend less time on MSN and ICQ these days...) Speaking of which:
Vancouver Pics are available for viewing online!
Just go to the "Vancouver-July02" album, and you should see approx. 40 pics.

Speaking of piano lessons, my piano students came back from their trip to England and got me a very cute gift. It's a mug with this character (does the word Bubblegum from Carlton cards ring a bell?) that has my name on in, and a little poem... which is quite cute:
Who's the girl who's really cool and always flippin' jolly
It must be said, she's off her head -
the one and only Holly!

How cute and accurate is that.... :P

Paul has his new website up, and has a links section somewhere on his page... my blog is linked to his apparently, and the description is very accurate.... "mess with her and she'll beat you..." Ah, I remember the kicks and punches, as well as the bruises, that I used to give people. I'm sure some guys like Paul and Ian could tell you their experiences... hehehe :)

Anyway, must get away from the laptop... I need a break from a computer in general.

What's New w/ Holly...

...besides going gaga over her Vancouver trip?

Last week was a very long week – but there are things worth mentioning. Since I’m at work right now, I can only make this blog brief… so…:

- Went to Ernst & Young for an office tour Tuesday; wasn’t looking forward to it, since I haven’t been exactly enthusiastic about ASUT (Accounting Society of Univ. of Toronto) at that time. However, I got a chance to chat w/ one of the girls in our group, Sang; we visited Mountain Equipment Co-op together too :) Sang’s a Christian as well, so we shared a bit and had a nice time… we agreed to take each other out for Chinese and Korean food… so I’m looking forward to that!

- My dad finally got us a DVD player! In Vancouver, my cousin bought my uncle a DVD player at Costco for $140, and we thought it was a good deal, so my dad tried to look for the same model here in Toronto but they were all sold out. Apparently when he went back to pick up our photos on Friday, there was another DVD player on sale for $125! So we got one, and had our first family movie night since… 3-4 years ago? I actually spent most of my long wkend w/ my family, so it was very homey and relaxing

- Went out for desserts with Karen over the wkend; our first get together since June! The meet up was rather spontaneous, since I was supposed to be at a BBQ.

- One of my childhood dreams is finally coming to life :) Well, it’s nothing big; I’ve always wanted to have a garage sale of some sort. Well, my mom and I decided to have one while cleaning the basement this long weekend… I don’t know when or where, but I’m kinda excited! Besides, I’ll be clearing my house for some space, which is needed since my mom hogs up half the house for her business (our kitchen is her worktable, the laundry room is her heating press, the family room is her computer workstation, and the basement her metal storage space…)

- I want to become a better photographer… I’m getting very interested w/ my dad’s old Nikon camera… I’m getting annoyed w/ automatic cameras… :P

- Just got word from NBTC (National Business Technology Conference) Committee for 2003 – I am officially one of the NBTC Directors for Registration!

- So many friends to meet before we all head off our separate ways for school again…

Anyway work is getting very busy so I must stop blogging for now… in the meantime, I’ll have Utada Hikaru entertaining me while I link all these weird files together.


Vancouver Update #3 - Faith

The last of my Vancouver updates... I think I've been blabbing too much about this trip, but I personally think it's worth mentioning about, moreso for my own account. This trip is one of the shortest trips I've had (exclude the frequent Chicago trips), but it has been one of the most packed and worthwhile, and at the same time, relaxing trip since Hong Kong. At first, for some reasons, we were planning NOT to go to Vancouver, but at the end, we couldn't cancel our tickets... On the way back home, I asked my dad if it was meant for us to go on this trip, and he replied yes. Both of us felt it was a mini-retreat for us to spend w/ God, as well as have fellowship w/ family. It's been quite an experience.

You've probably heard me blab and mention the scenery to the TransCanada Highway several times in the past few updates. Well, the trip back from Whistler meant a lot to me. Not only did I get a chance to glimpse the wonderful creation of God, but it was the first time ever I had some sharing time w/ my dad and my cousin. Apparently, that morning, my dad felt compelled to share w/ us something he read from devo, and God provided us the perfect place to do so - the stop... (look below this paragraph) we had some time of sharing and prayer, and it was just amazing how things were planned.

On Sunday, it was my first time going to worship with a whole bunch of my relatives. Although we went to the Cantonese Service, I found myself experiencing lots - before service began, the pianist was playing all sorts of hymns; suddenly, she plays this familiar tune, and soon, I was humming to "Knowing You" - at first, on Sunday, I could only remember the words to the first verse and chorus, but couldn't remember the second. I had a feeling God was trying to make me understand the first verse before allowing me to reflect the second verse on Sunday night. The sermon was on Nehemiah and the rebuilding of the wall, concentrating on the process and Nehemiah's faith, calmness, and endurance thru it all. That one night, I couldn't fall asleep; I was hoping to sleep early, as I had to adjust quickly the night after to Toronto time, but I couldn't sleep; somehow, I flipped open "My Utmost for His Highest" to the devo for July 28th, and it related totally to what the sermon was about, and it reminded me of God's focus, not my own, when He works in me. Here's a short caption: "His end is the process -- that I see Him walking on the waves, no shores in sight, no success, no goal, just the absolute certainty that it is all right because I see Him walking on the sea. It is the process, not the end, which is glorifying to God."

One thing I learned during this trip is the importance of prayer. My cousins often encouraged us to pray w/ them, as with JB just before we departed from our brief get together. Through his sharing, Dad stressed the importance of prayer, and how we need to listen carefully, especially through different circumstances. Although it's something I KNOW already, it's quite a reminder, as I often neglect to pray hard.

I could go on forever with the different aspects of this trip, but these 3 updates will give you a taste of what I've experienced during this trip. Never underestimate what can happen w/ a short trip. :)


Vancouver Pictures

Spent most of the day at my grandparents', so I didn't have a chance to blog. Since I've scanned all the pictures from Vancouver, I'll share some w/ you before I upload them into an online photo album. Sorry if it takes a while for the pictures to show! :)

View of Vancouver from the mountains in West Vancouver

Lynn Valley - just a view of how big the trees in BC are

Stopping on the TransCanada Highway - note the magnificent view

** later note: since I've uploaded them on my online photo album, feel free to browse there (the vancouver pictures are under the album "vancouver-jul02")


Vancouver Update #2 – Family

Just some interesting tidbits on my family in Vancouver

1 - # of cousins I am close with before the trip
2 - # of fobby nephews I met for the first time in ages; one looks like Andy Lau, and the other Andy Hui
3 - # of female cousins I have in Vancouver
4 - # of relatives I’ve met for the first time in my life: one of my male cousins, my eldest cousin’s husband, my two nephews
5 - # of nieces/nephews I met on the trip
6 - # of relatives I became closer to after my trip
7 - # of nieces/nephews I have, and one of them is a few years older than me
8 - # of relatives I went to church w/ on Sunday, my first time ever worshipping God w/ relatives besides my immediate family
9 - # of Christians in my family in Vancouver

AND... a few other random numbers...

31 - # of years between my oldest cousin and I
13 - # of relatives I met during this trip
0 - # of relatives my age on my dad's side
20 - # of people in my oldest uncle's family (uncle, 2 aunts, 5 cousins, 5 in-laws, 7 kids) alone.
11 - # of females on my dad's side of the family, all except for one like to dress-up and look pretty... that one exception is me. Apparently, I'm the only tomboy...


I could go on and on w/ numbers, but I'd rather tell you about my family experience of this trip. Before going on this trip, I only knew my oldest cousin well; the other cousins I knew OF, but never talked w/.... (from my uncle's family, I have five cousins: three gals and two guys) There's one guy (Joe) I haven't seen since I was a baby, so I literally haven't met him before. Getting acquainted w/ my gal cousins (there's another one, but he couldn't make it back for the bday bash) was an interesting experience. Since they grew up w/ my dad (note random # 31 above...), I learned all sorts of nicknames they had for each other. I got a chance to bond with Stella, the 3rd oldest cousin, and it was very interesting, as she's a Christian as well (oh, she's from Saudi Arabia... hehe). What I admired the most was the sisterhood Lou, Stella, and Pris (my three gal cousins) had, as I am an only child and never had a chance to experience what they have. Joe wasn't very extroverted, so it was hard getting to know him. In fact, I only talked to him the night before he left. Oh, it was funny seeing him drunk too, 'cause he blabs a lot when he's drunk.... so he was talking about dieting the whole entire time.. haha. Apparently, he's a exec. VP for Vitasoy (in Chinese, Wai Ta Nye), so he stocks up on boxes of Soy Bean Milk whenever he visits Vancouver.

Then comes the generation below me. I apparently have seven nieces/nephews. I've met five of them before, but haven't seen three of them since I was 9...
There's Kotie, Pangus, Dor, Dani, Leo, and Andy (I haven't met the seventh one... and have no idea what his name is; at least I know that he's Leo's brother). Dor and Dani are the only ones I see "frequently", perhaps once a year. Kotie, Pangus, and Leo I've seen once or twice in my childhood. As for Andy, it was my first time meeting him - I'm his aunt, and apparently, he's a few years older than I. Kotie, Pangus, Dor, and Dani are pretty much whitewashed; as for Andy and Leo, both of them are pretty fobby, and both look like a HK pop star. Andy looks like Andy Lau (Lau Duk Wah), and Leo looks like Andy Hui (Hui Zee On). I didn't get to know my nieces/nephews well, as Leo and Andy often paired up, Dani and Kotie were inseparable... which left Pangus and I. We chatted about hockey and stuff :) (yay, someone in my family shares my love for hockey besides my dad!)

Last but not least is my uncle, and my two aunts. Yep, my uncle has two wives... back then, it was legal. I got to talk w/ all three of them lots, especially my younger aunt since she stayed up late w/ me at nights. My uncle's 80 and he still drives a big mercedes benz (one from the early 80s!)... I don't understand how a small little chinese dude can drive a big huge car like that. He swims everyday too! My aunts are both very caring; I had a sore throat during my first day in Vancouver, and my aunts took care of that by making ginseng tea and soup for me. :) Before I left, both told me to call often or write. I'm glad I got in touch with them, 'cause I don't really know my dad's side of the family well.

As for my dad and I, we both bonded during the trip... we shared our thoughts and chatted about silly stuff... he told me more about his family life when he was a kid, spending it w/ my cousins and all. This trip gave me the opportunity to know many others better in my family. It was also the first time ever I really worshipped God together w/ my family, as we all went to church on Sunday morning, and it was very cool just being with them during and after service. (Normally at home, I would just come out of service and hang out w/ my dad...) I miss most of the people there very much, and am hoping to go back soon. During dinner, mom hinted that we may go to Vancouver next summer, 'cause of her high school alumni events... so I'm hoping :) In the meantime, I'll busy myself w/ long distance phone calls to Vancouver :)

Next Vancouver update - on faith...


Vancouver Update #1

Since my long entry from yesterday got deleted, I don't plan on writing another long entry, so this update will be brief. Hopefully, it will tell you all about my trip... :) I have to blog about this before I forget... even Lyds' postcard arrived here in Toronto before this entry... wow, talk about fast postal service.

There's actually three aspects of this trip I want to share - the trip itself (i.e. intinerary), family, and faith. This trip is a really special trip for both my dad and I... for the time being, I'll tell you about my trip and the places I visited.

Highlights: Suspended bridge at Lynn Valley, overview of Vancouver and the Pacific Ocean from the mountains in West Vancouver, sushi in Richmond

I blogged on Friday afternoon at my cousin's place, so the only thing I didn't cover was... sushi! I've been told sushi in Toronto is incomparable to sushi in Vancouver... and I agree with that. The sashimi there is more fresh and the portions are huge. More variety of sushi and fish is given too... :) The cheaper prices don't hurt either. Since my uncle and aunts came along, we couldn't do the all-you-can-eat deal, but at least I had a chance to savour sushi from the west coast. Yummy :)

Highlights: Whistler, going to and from Whistler on the TransCanada Highway#1, side stop on the TransCan., Granville Island

My cousin and her husband took us to Whistler early Saturday morning. We took the curvy route on the TransCanada Highway#1 to Whister; the distance between is similar to Toronto and Niagara Falls. Whistler is a very nice place, with lots of mountains; the resort itself was plentiful and entertaining, as it was similar to an outdoor mall. Gap, Roots, and other clothing stores were among the many stores there, as well as cafes and souvenir shop. As much as I would've loved to take the ski lift up to the mountains, I couldn't due to high prices and relatives that would rather stay on ground level. Nonetheless the short stay in Whistler was lovely. Blue mountain is a tiny little hill compared to Whistler...

On the way back to Vancouver, we made two stops: one at the side stop on the TransCanada Highway and one at a McDonalds for some fruit'n yogurt parfaits :) The side stop was truly amazing. I can't describe it well, so I will have to scan the picture as soon as they're developed. I'll try my best to tell you what I saw in the meantime. The mountains were right in front of us, and down below is a rushing stream and valley... very very peaceful. My cousin(s) and dad had lunch at the side stop... and had some amazing time, which I'll share w/ you at another time... we spent at least half an hour sitting there. We then drove for another hour and made a quick stop at a Mickey Dees - the restaurant itself isn't all that interesting, but it had a magnificent view of a mountain RIGHT across.

Two hours later, we made it back to Vancouver and visited Granville Island. One of the girls from ASUT recommended me to go there... and it was pretty :) The Island consists of many small shops, a marketplace (similar to St. Lawrence Market), Cafes, and many musical performers. Unfortunately, our stay there was short as we had to rush back to downtown Vancouver to meet my other cousin who arrived from Saudi Arabia...
(I'm leaving the family stuff later for another blog...)

Highlights: Church, rendezvous with a friend, Stanley Park, Uncle's 80th bday dinner

Went to church w/ my relatives in the morning; then met up w/ a long time friend, JB! (Oh, he sends his greetings to those from NTCBC!) He took us to Earl's, a popular restaurant in BC that's similar to Milestones, but with more class and decent food. My dad came along too! Since we were meeting up w/ my cousin's husband in the afternoon, our time w/ JB was very limited. He took us on a quick tour of Vancouver, and before we parted ways, we had some time for sharing and prayer, which was nice :) My cousin's husband then took us to Stanley Park, which is sooo much better than the harbourfront in Toronto - it's very well planned, with a trail along the shores, and circling the park. Our trip there was short; if I didn't feel sick that day, I would've enjoyed my stay there even more! Nightime was spent w/ family - 16 of us celebrating my uncle's 80th.

Monday was spent w/ family, dim suming in Richmond before taking off for Toronto. I miss Vancouver, especially its breezy and cool weather. I think I have to start saving up money for another trip... hehe :)

That's all for now, folks :)