Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Shots of Washington, DC

We were in Washington DC for 5 nights from the 24th to the 29th of July, 2010. For the first few days, we walked and walked and walked till we almost died. Yes. The Metro is good. But some stops are still quite a distance to the attractions. And the killer walk is the one along The National Mall. It is a loooooong walk.

The hotel for the first three nights was pretty good - Crowne Plaza Hamilton, a few blocks from the White House. The subsequent two nights were so-so...The Marriot Wardman Park near the zoo. Why two hotels? That will be another post...

As our hotel was so close to the White House. Obviously, that was our first stop. I was busy taking photos like the rest of the tourists...and H said "Never seen the White House is it?"... Well, as I am a scrapbooker, I had to take some shots for my scrapbooking, right?


The White House - Front
(Actually, I cannot remember which is Front and which is Back lah)
The White House - Back
(One can tour the White House...but for foreigners, the procedure is lengthy as in months!)
The Capitol Hill
Capitol Hill Dome
(Tours of the Capitol Hill are free...and you can book a time slot in advance)




Ford Theatre
- Balcony where Lincoln was assasinated
The Washington Monument
Views from The Washington Monument
(Tours up are free, and you can book your tickets online)


Real Dinosaur Skeletons from The Natural History Museum, The Smithsonian Institute
(Not like the fakies over at London's Natural History Museum)


We hired a car for the last two days... one day to do SHOPPING!!! And the other to visit George Washington's Home in Mount Vernon, Virginia

George Washington's Home
(This one must pay....)

Think that's it for Washington, DC... for the time being...

Some photos of New Orleans...

Here are some scenes from New Orleans, aka The Big Easy...


Views at Jackson Square


Left - Statue of Louis Armstrong at the Airport
Right - Famed Cafe du Monde (located near to Jackson Square)

Street Performers on Bourbon Street


Bourbon Street ...


Some buildings around New Orleans

Food Glorious Food... Cajun & Creole Specialites


Laura Plantation - A Creole Plantation
(quite interesting)

We went to Jean Lafite Swamp Tours
(soooooo boring)


_________

Crazy Water Flows!

Did I mention that my landlord renovates and refurbishes all of his rental properties the moment a tenant leaves? Yes. Even if the tenant stays in the property for only a year! He really saved a bundle with us, I tell ya! We took over this house from H's then boss who lived in this house for 2 years. As we moved in immediately, no renovations were done. We have been living in this house for 4 years now - and that means this house has not been renovated nor touched-up for the last 6 years. Things are starting to show its age. My walls have dark dirt marks, there are some cracks here and there, but the thing that irks me the most is the crazy water flows from the bathroom faucets. Water flows are temperamental and it really irritates the heck out of us. But nope. Don't think we wanna move to another place - too BIG a chore. It's easier to just request that the landlord give the house a new coat of paint, and replace the faulty faucets.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Scrapperlicious.....

Just as I was lamenting about kids just wanting to BUY in my older post, I think I may be alittle guilty too.... I have actually bought quite a lot of scrapbooking supplies from the US in my last trip there in Dec'09/Jan'10 from Joann's and Michael's in Los Angeles.
What did I buy then?
4 albums and refill pages, embellishments, border punctures, pens, acrylic stamps and lots of papers. I think I must have bought about 8 stacks of paper which consisted of 48 sheets each. It was like USD 10 per stack. And you know how much they sell here? About USD 1.50 per SHEET or MORE! Sure I need to stock up, right? Right?
No. Didn't take any photos of my previous loot. Why ah?
And Yes. Bags were crazily HEAVY then....

So what did I buy this time?
Again, I bought my supplies from Joann's and Michaels....but this time at Potomac Mills, Virginia.


TROLLEY Bag
My old sling bag is waaaaaay too small to put my stuff in when I go for my Scrapbooking Group Sessions every Tuesdays. How did I bring this back? I had everything dumped in there, and used it as a hand-luggage on the flight. H brought it back home direct. He said he took care of it sooooo carefully that he didn't even allow the stewardess to help him take the bag up to the overhead luggage compartment! Heehee


Album and 3 Paper Stacks
This time, bought only 3 stacks (still had to buy some lah. So nice the colours!!!) as H kept saying I should focus more on embelishments. He was like going "Your pages are too plain. You should buy more of those things you call embellishments blah blah blah....". I wonder if he knows that it is those embellishments that are the expensive stuff!

Embellishments
Some ribbons, Stickers of all sorts, alphabet cut-outs etc etc...

Jolee's Value Pack!
If you are a scrapbooker, you would know that Jolee's stickers are really really nice BUT also kinda pricey. So imagine my grin when I saw this pack. $100 worth of stickers for only $9.99. Felt like 'chap-thou-kamm'(found gold)...heheheheheheh

--------That's it-------
That's all my scrapbooking stuff I bought this trip. Really CANNOT buy anymore scrapbooking stuff. I have stuff that I don't even remember that I have. The only consolation is that I have tonnes of photos to scrap (my sister's wedding from Dec 2008, sister's wedding from May 2010, Summer holidays 2010, and tonnes of baby photos!!!!!!) which means I WILL use the stuff that I have bought....and I have alrady started the ball rolling by completing 8 pages yesterday. So proud of myself. :-)
Now...another 999 pages to go....
The stuff below are embellishments and papers given by my friend S. She has packed-up and left for Seoul....after 6 years living here. Did I tell you that she also gave me her Klic-N-Kut machine when she left? I still haven't opened up the box. Don't know where to put it. It seems like a serious cutting machine. Am told that it can cut-out plywood too, in addition to the usual paper, cardboard, foam etc. Once I set it up, I wouldn't need to buy any more alphabet cut-outs. I can custom-made my letters to suit my papers! That would be awesome.... Now just have to see where I can put that big huge MAMA....
Papers and Embellisments from SH


Sorry. No picture of my Klic-n-Kut. Will upload once I have unboxed it!

Can one actually get tired of buying Electronics?

Really... what do you think?
Can one actually get tired of buying electronics?
For my hubby, the answer is definitely a BIG FAT NO.
I thought NOT too long ago when he replaced the TV in our with a slightly bigger one, that would be the end of it....for a while at least. But just yesterday, he kept saying that the TV in our room is too small and he wants to get a BIG HUGE TV this weekend! I don't know...what's with grown-up men with these gadgets? You should have seen him when he laid his hands on his iPad - he was like a little kid with the biggest candy bar in the world! Kept going "So Cool. So Cool. Too Cool" till my poor ears ached from all the repeats!

Monday, August 23, 2010

School starts TODAY! YIPPPEEEE...

Do I need to say more???

Kids are away at school. FINALLY! ...after 7 weeks away.

Peace and Quiet....... Ahhhhhhh ....

Kids JUST want to BUY!

Remember my trip to Penang Butterfly Farm? Naturally, you will have to go through the the souvenir shop to exit the farm. And with kids.... they ALWAYS want to buy something from the souvenir shop.

My S1 quickly chose a black T-shirt emblazoned with a large silver scorpion. Then my S2 also wanted it. So did my nephew. BUT the cool Tees only come in adult-sizes. So, I told the younger boys to choose some other Tees from the kid's range. They both complained that they are too babyish and insisted on having the same Tee as S1. Ding Dong here and there..Finally, they gave up on getting the Tee.

But my S2? Still very 'boh kamm buan' (Cantonese - mm kamm yuen) and had to scour high and low for something to buy. He HAD to buy something. And you know what he wanted?

See for yourself......

A flower in a rock!

Why would he want that?

He doesn't.

He JUST wants to BUY!

BUY whatever also can!!!

Of course I didn't buy this lah... Chor theng only.

Errr...what did I buy him? A POSTER about butterflies... At least cheaper, can put up on the wall and learn about butterflies!!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Misc on Moscow....

Okay. Okay... I promise that this will be my last post on Moscow. And since last post, it will be composed of mish-mashed photos from buildings-to-food-to-souvenirs...etc etc.

The world-famous Boilshoi Theater
(Seems like it is still under refurbishment)



The NUTCRACKER
We watched this in a smaller theatre next to the Bolshoi Theatre. It was performed by the Moscow City Ballet company.(I know the quality of this picture stinks. What to do? Have to curi-curi take picture with my small point-n-shoot)

One of the Many Metro Stations near the Red Square


Church near Tretyakovskaya Metro Station


Kafe Pushkin
TOP - Can you recognize the word "Kafe Pushkin" in Cyrillic?
BOTTOM - Interior of Kafe Pushkin


Some Russian Delicacies....
TOP - (L) Blinis with Cream Cheese and Red Caviar from Kafe Mania (R) Some soup being poured into a Russian Pie
BOTTOM - (R) Can you see the Russian-Wontons????



Tired Street Vendor!
Sorry lah....had to snap this picture.


Last but not least...SHOPPING!! No lah. I didn't buy anything in Moscow - other than 3 little magnets for my fridge.

Russian Traditional Costumes

Russian Matryoshka Dolls
H asked me to buy some...but what for? Do what with them?


TOP - (L) More dolls for sale; (R) Fur hats anyone?
BOTTOM - Convenience stores
.
One thing I noticed about Moscow. Merchandise are ALWAYS behind glass cases in those convenience stores/kiosks. People have to stand on the street instead of "going inside".

----------The End-----

Now...will be my posts on New Orleans and Washington DC!!!!!!

The Kremlin, Moscow

A visit to Moscow will not be complete without entering The Kremlin.
The Kremlin is the original defensive center of the city.

The entrance fee into The Kremlin is quite confusing. Fortunately, we had a Polish tour guide who spoke English and Russian in the queue in front of us - and she helped us to purchase the ticket. There are different ticket categories but we paid 750 Rubles/pax to enter The Armory (Tsars' Regalia, Carriages, Faberge Eggs etc) and another 350 Rubles/pax to walk-around the place and to enter the numerous Cathedrals (I think there is a cheaper ticket if you just wanna walk-around and NOT enter the Cathedrals). No access to The Senate and The Presidium is accorded to tourists as they are working areas (The Parliament).


The Kremlin Cathedrals can be seen from afar

Top - Lenin's Mausoleum at the Kremlin Wall (Behind walls is The Senate building)Bottom - Tomb of the Unknown Soldier near the Kremlin Wall @ Alexandrovsky Sad

Top - The Senate Building
Bottom - (L) One of the Kremlin Towers (R) Tsar's Cannon

Cathedrals inside The Kremlin
(
The Cathedral of the Archangel, The Cathedral of the Annunciation, Cathedral of the Dormition, Church of the Twelve Apostles, Church of the Deposition of the Robe.... don't ask me which is which. I also confuse)




A Myriad of Buildings in Moscow

Tried to upload more photographs onto this post....but kept getting an error message. Wonder if it is because the files are too big (DSLR files are HUGE!) After about 3 tries. I gave up...

Anyway, here are some that's either been taken by my Point-n-Shoot or DSLR-made-Collages.

Tretyakovsky Proezd
This is a Russian Revival courtyard built in 1871. This place is now filled with designer boutiques - BV, Gucci, Prada etc etc...

Synodal Printing House
Russia's first book was published on this site in 1564. But this building was erected in 1814 and now houses the State Humanitarian University


TsUM
An upmarket department store in Moscow. There is a Veuve Clicquot Champagne Bar here. The building was apparently based on Whiteley's in London.

The State Historical Museum and The Resurrection Gates

GUM Department Store
ГУМ, pronounced as goom is a fancy department store with fancy designer labels and other high-street stores. Unfortunately, it is as hot as an oven in Summer!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Red Square, Moscow

The first destination that every tourist visits is of course, RED SQUARE.
I supposed it is called the RED SQUARE because of the numerous RED buildings and the RED Kremlin Walls?


The most recognisable Moscow landmark is located here at the RED SQUARE.
....which is...



St Basil's Cathedral



Close-up of St. Basil's
(For a small fee, you can enter the Cathedral....but we didn't)


Lenin's Mausoleum at the Kremlin Wall
(Entrance is FOC but queues were kinda long. Again, we didn't enter because we thought we would be in Moscow for two extra days...and was 'saving' till later

The State Historical Museum
(Entrance Fee required)


Kazan Cathedral



GUM Department Store
(I think the architecture of this store is quite magnificent. More pictures in another post)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Moscow Metro

Some photos of Moscow's Metro
Beautiful, eh?


Mosaics on the Ceiling of Novokuznetskaya Station

Posted by Picasa