Contingent Contemplation: Trinity Street in Vancouver

When I was young, my dad would drive the whole family to Trinity Street to take a look at the dazzling display of lights every Christmas. It wasn’t until one year when I decided to go there myself that I had to Google it up, and learn the tragic but wholesome reasoning behind the well-lit neighbourhood of Trinity Street.

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Mexico getaway before hecticness ensues

I just got back from my trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico!

It was my first time in Mexico, and hopefully not my last because it was loads of fun! A good balance of do-nothing-days and activity packed ones.

The resort we stayed at was Plaza Pelicanos Club, and it’s all inclusive with unlimited drinks (from either their bar, or either of their poolside bars), food buffet, and two more formal restaurants to choose from. Keep in mind that tipping is an extra expense you should factor in when you go to an all-inclusive!

One thing I wasn’t expecting was the lack of air con. Except for our hotel rooms, the eating areas, as well as basically everything else, didn’t have air conditioning.

Nonetheless, it was great having a private beach area, pools to choose from, and we even ended up getting a massage! The resort was nice. Again, only complaint was the lack of air conditioning, which I ended up getting used to halfway through my vacation. There are also vendors, usually dressed in all white to lessen the impact of the sun, who sold trinkets, snacks and henna tattoos on the beach, despite it being a private area of the beach. I’m guessing they have some sort of deal with the hotels.

Anyway, I didn’t mind them. They do usually try to make eye contact and get you to look at their wares, but I thought they had cool stuff. I never really bought anything from them except for skewered shrimp— these things are so delicous! By the end of my vacation, I had bought eight of these things. No kidding. The fresh lime juice, as well as the hot sauce, made these barbecued shrimps so amazing.

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It’s funny how much Mexico reminded me of Hong Kong. Mainly it’s due to the humid weather— always feeling slightly sticky. I miss Hong Kong, and am overdue for a visit 😦

In Puerto Vallarta, we did touristy things, as well as a few things that were probably not on a usual tourist’s to-do list. For one, we visited Pitillal, a nearby town where all the locals lived outside of the hotel zone. My boyfriend and I bussed to the town, first getting on the wrong bus, then finally on the right one. You can bet we were sweating buckets.

In the town there were loads of vendors, many that sold clothes, reminding me of Hong Kong’s street stalls. There were many restaurants, offering fresh tacos, morning gruel (I actually don’t know what the locals were eating in the mornings, but it seemed to be some sort of congee/oatmeal mixture?), and cold drinks. We walked around, admiring the low key architecture, and marveling at how many animals ran stray in the streets!

Our trip to Pitillal was very tiring, but I’m glad we ventured out!

We also visited a few malls in Puerto, including Plaza Caracol, which was about 2 blocks away from our hotel. We frequently walked over there after the sun set, since they’re opened quite late and walking at night is so much better than the morning! We also went to Gallerias Vallarta, which although looked quite fancy, wasn’t super exciting. I liked Caracol more, because it feels more authentic. There’s small stores selling clothes, shoes, candy (for cheap!), whereas Gallerias was taken up by Liverpool, a huge department store, and had more name brands that we were already familiar with.

This post will end up being way too long if I squeezed in everything on here, so I’ll separate my posts 🙂

In my next posts: ATV-ing, Cafe Des Artistes, and downtown Puerto!

Let the holidays begin?

Hey guys,

One main issue of ending exams early: no one else is free to hang out because they’re all studying.

Because this term I took quite a few courses that did not require a final exam, it meant that I was let off early during finals season. But don’t get me wrong, I worked my butt off during the term with papers every week!

Anyway, I will be starting my co-op position in May, meaning this latter part of April will be my only summer holiday that I’ll be experiencing! Super excited to start working (some of you seasoned job goers will probably be laughing, but let me enjoy this feeling before it gets old) but at the same time a little torn because it will be the first summer in which I’m not just lounging around. I suppose last year I was also interning in Hong Kong, but being in a different city feels different than doing co-op in your home city. But then again, I’m working in Yaletown! Such a beautiful part of the city that I rarely go to!

I’ve been doing everything that I did not have time for during the term, as well as being on the lookout for events that people can actually go to. This included Fan Expo Vancouver! Tom Felton finally graced us with his presence after cancelling on the convention two years in a row. I also got to see Billy Boyd and Michael Rosenbaum, and although I was never really well acquainted with their work (sure I’ve seen Lord of the Rings, but that doesn’t make me an expert on Billy’s works. Never seen Smallville, but I do know Lollipop Chainsaw in which Michael was the main male voice actor), but they were so witty and good at controlling the audience. Hats off to them! Was a pleasure to be at their panel!

 

I also got to go to EXP Bar for the first time! Always wanted to go, but somehow never found the right group of people to go with. They serve HUGE bowls of popcorn and their food ain’t half bad! Loved the clever names on the menu. If you’re into anything geeky, nerdy, gaming related—go. I personally couldn’t have alcohol that night because I had to drive, but they have a large selection with equally clever game/pop-culture inspired names. They show streams of League of Legends games there, as well as other things (RWBY’s Black trailer was played while I was there, and Jessica Nigri, who happened to be several tables over, requested they play an episode of Reboot). We went on a day that was really busy so our wait for a table was about 1 hour.

I also did archery. That was… harder than expected. Ha. Ha. Ha.

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I wonder what I’ll be blogging about this summer amidst working? I guess we’ll see 🙂

– Karen

Done Exams — Now For Some Me Time

Hey all!

So it had been a while since my last post, but that is all due to school, commitments and basically me not having anything really interesting to say.

But I must say, having been asked out by a 34 year old was either a high…or a low of my life? He knew how old I was too, I am pretty sure. This made me question what age is my upper limit when it comes to guys. But you know what, 34 would probably be fine, if that guy didn’t ask me in a semi-creepy way.

I am finally done exams and ready to type away! I apologize to everyone who is subscribed to me, as well as the people I am subscribed to! Believe me, I wish I had time to scroll away on my Reader on WordPress and read your lovely posts, but finals just did not allow me to do so!

To celebrate my freedom, I booked an appointment at Hive Hair Spa to do my hair. I used to go to Chura, but they are always booked, so I have to book weeks in advance. Also, Chura would require me to bus all the way downtown, whereas with Hive, I lived blocks away!

First time visitors get 20% off! I really liked the atmosphere of the salon. It was small yet modern, but very cosy. They had leather armchairs that you could melt into while they dealt with your hair. They also offer you complimentary drinks (various teas) and Pocky! I thought that was very cute and definitely a good way to differentiate their business! Pocky and Japanese stuff? You basically instantly make the connection to what they sell.

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After they were almost done with my hair, they also offer you a massage. Overall, it was a great experience and I managed to finish off my novel, Slaughterhouse Five, during my sitting. So great to have time to read something other than a textbook!

Although their hair stylists/barbers do not all speak English, they have one or two staff on hand who does! So at one point, my hair stylist could not understand my question so she went to get me someone who could explain stuff to me. So obviously, I did not really talk to my stylist, but it was totally fine because I am not particularly talkative anyway, and really wanted to read. 😛 But in all, she was still very nice and professional!

Anyway, I am going to put this holiday to good use– catch up on TV shows that I have been meaning to watch! So basically, that would include finishing off the rest of Supernatural, starting Merlin (so sad they cancelled it though!), and I cannot wait for the new Doctor Who episode!!

This was just a short update, just so I get a feel of what blogging is again. I am serious, it is that foreign to me now.

Here’s to hoping that everyone else out there is enjoying the holiday!

 

-Karen

 

Tis the season to be jolly!: Part 1 (And I am! :))

The 20th of December marked my last day of final exams! I am free!! And survived my first university finals/term one!

Right after my exams, I met up with Carmen! We went downtown to eat lunch at Hon’s…

Us and our noodles ❤

And then we walked around downtown. We wanted to watch Sherlock Holmes 2 so we continued shopping around until 4-ish. However, Carmen suddenly came up with a great idea: to hunt down a takoyaki food cart! Apparently the cart can be found at Howe and West Pender and we rushed there. At first we were slightly disappointed because it seemed like there was no cart…but then when we turned the corner, there it was!

This takoyaki food cart is the cutest thing ever! It was called Osa Tako Hero Takoyaki! The menu featured their food in a game-like theme. First you chose your ‘heroes’ a.k.a how many takoyaki you want. Then you can choose power-ups to upgrade your heroes’ abilities, a.k.a what sauce/toppings you want on your takoyaki! I was really hesitant to try the maple syrup one, but Carmen wanted to. In the end, the guy making the takoyakis allowed us to have a bit of each topping! 🙂 Surprisingly, the maple ones did not taste sweet!

Hero scroll! Choose how many heroes you want :3 And then their abilities on the side!

Carmen at the stall ^^

Our ten heroes with mixed abilities! Ahaha sorry for the blur!

Waiting for the takoyakis took pretty long and since our movie starts at 4:45, it seemed like we were going to be late. We had to walk bad to Scotiabank theatre and then buy our tickets! We were running towards Scotiabank, but then we saw a bus, so we jumped on. We go to the theatre with minutes to spare and bought our tickets. That’s when Carmen and I realized that it was Tuesday and the tickets were half price!!!! AHHH lucky us! ^.^ And we basically got into our seats just in time as well!

Sherlock Holmes 2 was very good in my opinion. Filled with wit and humour, Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law’s amazing screen chemistry will never cease to amaze me. Oh, and why must I fall in love with Robert every. single. time. I. see. him. in. a. movie?

So, thank you Carmen for the perfect after-exams day! And LOL to us falling asleep at random times of the day because we were both lacking sleep! I missed you Carmacorn and I am so glad we got to catch up!

Oh and here are my nails for Christmas! 

I wonder what else is in store this winter holiday…

-Karen