Grace Tu

Grace Tu

Saturday, December 31, 2011

A Review of Events in 2011

In January I started my 4-months secondment in San Jose with Daphne. We drove a 3-hour round trip to Duarte’s Taverna for their famous Crab Cioppino and I was amazed by the scenery along Highway 1 and since then had travelled back for photos - see here, and here, . I was introduced to Santana Row and the fish tacos place called “Wahoos” and was able to take Alan there during his visit. I also discovered that train-ride from San Jose to San Fran was easy and fun!

February was when I truly fell in love with the sunny California. We did a road trip and stopped first at Carmel Mission, then at all the wonderful points, coves, and beaches in Point Lobos State Reserve – see here, here, and here. I went whale watching with Daphne at Pillar Point Harbor – it was really cold but fun! Alan and I also visited Monterey Aquarium and that’s when I started my “I love Aquarium” series of photos. On our way there we saw many seals holding each other’s hand and just floated together while they slept – it was quite amazing.

 In March my dear sister came to San Jose to visit me – that’s the very first time we were in different cities for so long. I wanted to take her to Duarte’s Taverna again but the whole area was flooding! I pretended to be brave and got off the car to take some photos. We ended up going to Sam’s Chowder House for their famous lobster roll in Half Moon Bay – their lobster roll was named the top five “Best Sandwiches” in the States. During the weekend we also took the train to San Fran. It was so good spending time with my sister.
In March during Alan’s visit we went to Sonoma for wine/olive oil and cheese tasting.  There we met the nicest policeman we’ve ever met (story to be posted next year) and saw a bride from Oregan in her rain boots. This month I also discovered the Cuban restaurant near the office and they have the best beef stew and fired banana!!!

I had to say good-bye to San Jose in April; before we left I took Alan to “The Counter” for burgers in Santana Row. We then drove up first to San Fran and then Napa for some more wine tasting. On our way back to San Fran, we stopped at California’s dairy town for milk ice-cream and it was perfect! We also bought cheese sandwiches before we arrived at the famous Hog Island Oyster Co. Farm at Tomales Bay for lunch. In the evening, we felt more than satisfied to spend a little more to dine at Nick’s Cove Restaurant, Oyster Bar, Cottages (our bill was delivered in a shell!) – It’s a very special restaurant and I plan on writing a full post about it in the New Year.

In July we attended Kiran’s wedding in July and I got dressed up in a beautiful sari! We watched the fireworks of Celebration of Light from Granville Island, and we took Nimo to Burnaby Mountain for some Summery photos.

During August and September we had a meaningful and special trip in XinJiang, China, and I came back feeling I had grown and become a wiser person. I am aiming to complete all  the XinJiang and North Korea post in the New Year as well (part of my New Year’s resolution).  We visited my families in Taiwan and my dad took us to good places and eat so many foods that I missed. Back to Vancouver, I was also a hostess for the first time for my dinner party but my 8 guested plus Nimo got stuck in the elevator for almost an hour...

In October I had fun taking photos of all the reds and yellows in Vancouver. We attended my firm's Casino Night and I had fun being the photographer for the night!

We certainly enjoyed our food in the cold weather in Vancouver. I had daily chocolate tasting at work and I am now trained to almost only eat dark chocolate...The Gold Meal Plates Vancouver 2011 was a blast and we couldn’t stopped eating fresh bread from La Baguette et l'Echalote at Granville Island. We also had dim sum a couple of times in that one month with friends and family, and we saw ROMÉO ET JULIETTE the opera. I got my new iphone and due started a series of “Recent updates from my Camera Roll" series because there are simply too many photos to be taken care of!

In December I practiced snowboarding almost every week trying to get the lessons I took two years ago worth. We truly enjoyed my firm’s Glitter Holiday Ball and I was glad the dress I bought last February worked well. We had high tea and movie night with friends and Festive Buffet at Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, and we spent a white Christmas in Whistler see here, and here.

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