Tuesday, October 30, 2007

two more additions to the "to make" list

I was just looking at the Craft Magazine blog, and these two items caught my eye.

Pencil Scarf (Link) This would be super easy to make... and so cute!

Crochet candy corn pet sweater (Link) I don't think I have time to make one for Templeton this Halloween, but maybe next year, or maybe with a different color scheme for Christmas.
And the "to make" list continues to get longer...

Saturday, October 27, 2007

sleeping mt

I don't know how MT got into this sleeping position. Or how comfortable it was for him.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

scrabulous sandwich

This is what I ate while considering what my next Scrabulous moves should be. For a thrown-together sandwich it turned out really well. Starting from the top layer, it's mozzarella, basil, olives, chicken, and pesto. Yum.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

monday meal

This was my Monday dinner with Daniel. We went to a noodle/tofu dive in Sham Shui Po, where we happened to be when we got hungry. I'd never thought of myself as a big fan of soy milk until I tried it at this place... delish. And such a bargain. Noodles and soy milk -- a HK$17 combo.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

sunday fun-day

As mentioned previously, I had a fun time showing Daniel around during his stop in HK. I always like having friends visit. Besides enjoying the opportunity to catch up, I also relish the chance to do all the touristy things that I don't do too often (though, I'll admit that I have been to the HK Symphony of Lights 4 times in the last month...). I didn't really take any photos on Saturday, but here are some of the highlights from Sunday.

Dim sum with Kai and Sal. Thankfully Daniel was taking a hiatus from vegetarianism during his trip to China... otherwise he would've missed out on the char sui bao.
After filling our bellies, we headed over to HK island and then to the Peak via the Central Green Trail. I've got to say that I love the Central Green Trail -- it's beautiful! Imagine winding through a rain forest while still in remarkably close proximity to all the Central sky scrapers -- it's really quite surreal! You also come across some interesting colonial buildings. Here's a marker for Victoria hospital ("for women and children" -- love that!), which is now a swanky apartment complex.

A view from the trail.

Another view. You can just barely make out the tram tracks below.

When we got to the top, we walked around the new Peak mall for a while, and then finally made our way towards the Sky Terrace. We opted to forgo the experience when we realized that we'd have to pay $20 for the view. Quite ridiculous when you consider that we had the exact same view for free while hiking up...

After descending from the peak and grabbing a bite of dinner, we walked around Central, and then eventually headed back to the Star Ferry.

A couple of my favorite buildings... out of focus...

... and in focus.

Some blurry night shots taken from the ferry. Try not to get sea sick...

Sunday, October 21, 2007


I've had a great time showing Daniel around town this weekend.

Here's some cool graffiti that we came across while walking up to Victoria Peak:
More photos to come...

Saturday, October 20, 2007

sai kung to tai wai with mike and helen

Yesterday was Chung Yeung festival and a public holiday here in Hong Kong. The festival is also known as "Fall Remembrance Day," sort of the autumn counterpart of Ching Ming -- people clear, maintain, and bring offerings to the graves of their ancestors. And I found out from Sal that it's also traditionally a hiking holiday. No wonder there were so many people up in the hills!

I had the rare privilege of hiking with Mike and Helen, who also happen to be training for the Trailwalker. I don't get to hike with them much, because our days off don't often match up (though I'm still looking into getting Mondays off...;)). Seeing as it was such a special day, I even brought my camera along! Here are the shots I took:

This is the only photo I took on stage 3 (the fun trail I blogged about last week). I heard some rustling in the leaves nearby and saw this beautifully colored lizard. After doing a little research in a HK wildlife book, I now know it's a blue-tailed skink.
Yesterday was the first day I'd attempted stages 3 and 4 together. This is a view of Ma On Shan (beginning of stage 4) after we'd already gained some elevation. It's quite an intimidating mountain... thankfully the trail doesn't go over its peak.

A view of HKUST from Ma On Shan.

The fearless Tozers.

A view of City 1 and Shek Mun (new school location!) from Tait's Cairn. Not a fan of the air quality, but this was pretty clear compared to the view we had of Kowloon and HK island...

We opted not to finish stage 5 because of time constraints. Instead, we took the horrendously marked Wilson Trail down to Tai Wai. Sai Kung to Tai Wai = about 30 km. Not bad!

3 more weeks till the Trailwalker...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

my brother the metal worker

I just helped my mom download some photos from her camera. Here's a picture she took this summer -- Steve at his summer job.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

maclehose stages 3, 2, 1 & 3

Well, today I did my longest hike to date. It was going to be 50 km, but then we ultimately decided to shave off a couple of km road-walking -- we took a taxi instead -- putting the grand total somewhere at about 48 km. Even with the 2 fewer km, it was a long day. And I am now very tired and sore. But I can honestly say that it was a great experience, and I enjoyed the challenge of the hike. I've never before put myself to such a test, and had a couple pleasant surprises: I got a second wind at about the 35 km mark, and even felt like I could've gone on after we finished (which is good, considering that in 4 weeks, I WILL have to go on... at 48 km, we'll still have over half of the Trailwalker to go!).

Anyway, I'm feeling very encouraged after today's hike. If you'd told me a couple years ago that I'd be attempting the Trailwalker -- or even 50 km -- I probably wouldn't have believed you. Besides thinking that my dad and his friends were crazy for wanting to try such a long hike, I guess I also thought that I'd never be physically able to do the whole thing. But today was an incredible confidence-booster, and I think that [unless sickness or injury befalls me] I should be able to finish the 100 km! One of the biggest things about today was that we did one of the toughest stages, stage 3, twice. It's a 10.5 km hike that, when I did it for the first time 3 or 4 years ago, I swore I would never do again. So now, knowing that I'm capable of doing it twice in one day, with some other things in between, is a huge boost for me psychologically.

Unfortunately, I have no photos to share, because I'm not bringing my camera along on hikes anymore (until the Trailwalker) -- slows me down too much. :( I might share some stories from the hike at a later time though... for now, it's time for bed!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

of beavers and turkeys

Happy Thanksgiving, dear Canuck friends!

In honor of Canadian Thanksgiving (and because I needed a hat and Roots was having a good sale), I purchased my first distinctly Canadian garment. I couldn't resist the cute little cartoon beaver on the cap, and then when I saw the reusable bag into which they were putting my purchase, tears literally welled up in my eyes! I now own the cutest lunch bag in existence!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

spotlight 20% off sale

My favorite (read: only) craft store in HK had a store-wide 20% off sale today. I envisioned a store packed with craft-obsessed people, and myself pushing through the masses, grabbing anything and everything remaining in the aisles... But that image proved far from reality. Not only was the store mildly empty (which made me worry that they might go out of business...), I exercised a surprising degree of self-control.

Here are my few purchases:

Some rubber stamps -- I think I'll use them on student work at school, instead of the old, faithful star stickers that I'm using now -- more cost and environmentally effective. (I was originally going for a "stuff on my cat" kind of shot here, but Templeton turned out to be awake and quite interested, so that didn't work out.)
Kaiser, did you notice the Kaiser brand stamps and stamp pads? Hehe...

And some fun cotton fabric. I'd like to try my hand at making some clothing, and thought this would be a nice print for a simple beginner's shirt (read: no sleeves, buttons or zippers...).

And in other news, Sal left Spotlight with a lovely new sewing machine! I can't wait for the sewing parties that are to come!! :)

Monday, October 01, 2007

waterfalls and maclehose stages 7 & 6

Yesterday was another public holiday (happy Chinese National Day!), and I had the opportunity to do some more hiking. We started out beyond Tai Wo, at a village called Ng Tong Tsai, hiked to some amazing waterfalls near Tai Mo Shan, and then did Stages 7 and 6 backwards. It was a pretty challenging 20 km hike, and I was hiking with two very serious hikers -- Jacelyn and Cindy -- which meant it was a struggle to keep up, especially whenever I stopped to take photos. Regardless, I'm really glad I had my camera with me yesterday, because I saw some of the most beautiful scenery (in HK or anywhere else) that I've ever seen.

We hiked past a series of about 5 waterfalls. The first one paled in comparison to the latter few, so I'm not including any photos it. I think this one was #2. Beautiful!

Some interesting little plants along the trail.

A monstrous fern.
This is waterfall #3, I believe.

The hike to the upper waterfalls was very steep.

Waterfall #4. This one was by far the most spectacular. You can see Cindy at the bottom, my unknowing height reference. I couldn't even fit the whole waterfall in one shot.

The top of the falls. The next part of the trail took us up there...

...but we had to go through a closed portion of the trail, where a landslide had occurred a number of years earlier.

Did I mention that these two ladies are hard core?

Jacelyn at a particularly leafy part of the closed trail.

Here's the top of the previous waterfall. There was another waterfall above this one, but I was so distracted listening to a story about 2 hikers sliding to their deaths that I forgot to take a picture of it. I think that's Ng Tong Tsai (the village where we started) down below.

The trail above the falls took us through an old abandoned house. I was surprised that anyone would have ever lived up in such a remote place, but Cindy said that there used to be tea plantations up in these hills, and we did see some evidence of terracing.

This is where we met up with the MacLehose trail. A nice resting spot for people and cows alike.

Tai Mo Shan, HK's tallest peak. We opted to go the other direction.

Lion Rock and Beacon Hill in the distance.

A view of Tai Po and Pat Sin Leng, where my dad and I hiked last Wednesday. (Link)

Then I got tired, and put my camera away for a while. I was having a hard enough time keeping up, especially when we got to the steps on Grassy Hill and Needle Hill.

Stage 7 and 6 meet at the Shing Mun Reservoir, where we found many holiday BBQ-ers and some friendly refreshment sellers -- what a welcomed site! And I wonder where I can get one of those Dairy Farm shirts...

I've always liked Stage 6 of the MacLehose -- it's not too difficult, and the hike takes you past quite a few old WWII bunkers. The tunnels are named after famous London streets. You can barely make it out, but this one is Shaftesbury Avenue.

We saw lots of monkeys again. I thought these clay ones were pretty safe to photograph. I didn't want another monkey attack on my hands...

This might be my last hiking post for a while, we'll see. As the training gets more intense, I'm not sure how much I'll be able to take my camera out for random shots, no matter how picturesque...