December 2008


Na Pali coast is one of the most pristine and sacred area of Kauai. It is accessible only by boat, helicopter, or hiking. The Kalalau trail stretches a part of the coast line, ranking at strenuous level, runs 11 miles starting at the end of Highway 56 in Ha’ena State Park and end at Kalalau beach. The original plan was to drop Annie at the resort with her friends and kid and do a early day hike round trip of 22 miles. She definitely would not mind at all after hearing the mileage. After the first day of snorkeling and realized that I’m losing couple hours of daylight due to winter season, a full day solo hike is not safe. I still remember the experience of hiking Bright Angel Trail all the way down to Colorado river 10 miles out and back. Barely made it!

On the day it was pouring rain and foggy. I was sitting in the car and waiting for the rain to die down a bit – in this weather, may be I can do 7 miles out and back or tackle a different route to Hanakapi’ai fall if the coast is not clear, I thought.

After a bit of hesitation, finally decided to try out at least couple miles before heading back. The trail was muddy, slippery, and empty due to heavy rain. However, the surrounding is very mystical and subtle differences. Half a mile out, I met Tannea and Jeremy, a wonderful couple from Washington. After a few lines of conversation, we all think it’s safer to tag along in this weather. Turn out, Tannea is a talented painter with a contemporary landscape painting style. Check out her website here.

Except the well worn path, everything else is pristine. Crossing the stream couple times, tasting a few wild guavas and sour tangerines, we reached the end of the trail at the foot of Hanakapi’ai fall.

May be next time I’ll camp at Kalalau beach.

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“the pain passes, but the beauty remains” – Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Yesterday was a painful day for my full-time work place. There was a workforce reduction. It was sad to see our colleagues go, some of whom we worked together for a long time.

Hy took me out full day yesterday so I don’t get stuck in the hotel room whole day thinking about what went on. I was quite upset that I was away and couldn’t be w/ my team during this tough time.

Kauai has the ability to absorb pain. On a foodie discussion board, there was a post about restaurant comparison between Kauai and Maui. One reply said, if you are at Kauai, food is the least of your concern. Kauai provides beauty and peace, that you can’t find in Maui, which is quite crowded by tourists. It’s quite true. Hy took some really nice photos for some of the locations we were at yesterday. We will show them when we get back.

This post is for those of my dear colleagues. For those who ended their journey w/ us, may the pain ease and may you find beauty in the journey head. For those of us who remains, may we be able to find support and comfort in each other.

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You will be missed ~

Blogging right from the Kauai Coast : -)

Today’s day 1 of our Kauai trip. We spent most of our day in the air, transiting through Honolulu airport. During the trip, I get to read through a good Paris portion of JBT Corporation’s France travel book. I am reading a Chinese version of travel book about France published by a Japanese travel agency. Why so complicated, you may ask? Comparing to the English version of France Eyewitness Travel Guide, JTB’s publication has way more details about how an independent traveler can move around in a foreign country. One explanation I heard is that Japanese hates to be humiliated, so their travel book is very detailed so an individual traveler can be as prep as he/she can be before stepping out of Japan. I certainly felt more confident about my trip. i will share more about my trip planning tomorrow. Now, I need to hit the sack.

No blog goes w/o photos. Here’s another fall photo (location is Silicon Valley).

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Remember Noah from this post? He was just a little baby.

Noah is one years old now! Time flies! Thanksgiving Sat. afternoon, Jenny and Charlie invited us over for a home made Italian pasta lunch. With yummy food, good wine and Noah entertaining us, our tummy all popped out before we realize we ate too much 😛

So, we went out for a stroll next to a dried up creek near Noah’s house. The weather was warm, sunlight was soft, and color of fall gave us a perfect background for casual family photos. The session wasn’t planned. But they turned out real nice.

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This one is my favorite 🙂 Noah is learning to walk at this stage.
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I love the lightings of the following 2 photos.

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This morning, I struggled to wake up at 7:15am, as I went to bed at 2am the night before. It took me 2 full hours to drive to SF for my 9:30 Visa appointment at the France Consulate. I had to wait for a while for the receptionist to walk through the Visa application data. After I finished my finger print, I waited for 1 hour to pick up my visa. I thought the personnels are polite and professional. However, comparing to India embassy, India embassy is much more efficient. You can come back to pick up the visa any time after certain hour. You don’t have to wait in the room to get your visa. I was surprised how many people just sit around and waited like it’s normal. I was totally late for my meetings at work and I spent my hour waiting reading documents from work.

Besides the painful drive to SF and little annoyance of full morning gone, The process was smooth. Yes I got my Visa! Woohoo ~ Hy didn’t have to apply because Hy got US passport. Those of you girls who are citizens who can vote and have US passport, you should know how fortunate you are.

Paris aside, in couple days Hy and I will be at Hawaii zipping Pina Colada for a week. 😀 I gotta work hard tonight to get things wrap up at work. tic toc tic toc

Florist: Jessica Rao
Makeup Artist: Aimee Lam
Venue: Hotel Valencia, Santana Row
Jazz Band: Jazz By Design
DJ: Jose Torres from A Classy Affair
Cake: Sweet Passions Bakery

During our wedding prep session w/ Christina, she asked me whether it’s worth while to have lighting for the hotel reception. I told her, yes, certainly. Lighting always adds dynamic to the photo. It turned out beautifully w/ Christina & Phil’s wedding reception at the ballroom of Hotel Valencia in Santana Row.

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Just finish Victoria Secret Fashion show tonight. It was so beautiful. Makes me want to switch my career to design. And makes me want to loose a lot of pounds.

I am going to France consulate in San Francisco tomorrow morning to get my travel visa. Wish me luck!