Saturday, May 31, 2014

Ke'Ehi Lagoon

On our way to Korea, we had a several-hour layover in Honolulu. So we grabbed a last-minute car rental, ate breakfast at Liliha Bakery, grabbed a few goodies from Kamehameha Bakery, and killed time at Ke'Ehi Lagoon. If I ever move to Hawaii, I'm changing my name to Paauilo.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Some Sydney Stuff

I took a decent number of photos during my trip to Sydney last summer (winter down under). Yet, all I posted was that Sydney sunset. Almost a year later, here is a random selection of images. And by random, I mean the ones I feel like posting right now.

I'll start with a couple of shots from the campus of the University of New South Wales. My cousin lives nearby and I decided to walk through UNSW on the way to the bus stop. The intermittent rain worked out great photographically.

The next pair were taken outside my other cousin's home in Cecil Hills. I used my 3-stop neutral density filter to get the cloud blur effect.

Beau loves playing frisbee catch.

I suppose no set of Sydney photos is complete without the Harbour Bridge. I snapped this while on the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly.

This guy hitched a ride, so to speak, on the ferry's wake. He was a popular sight.

I grabbed this long (multiple) exposure as I walked from Mrs Macquarie's Chair to the Town Hall area to meet up with friends for dinner and drinks. If I remember correctly, this is the Cahill Expressway.

This image, also taken along the walk to Town Hall, is Hyde Park in front of St Mary's Cathedral.

Finally, I took this photo of a Rainbow Lorikeet in my cousin's backyard as I was killing time ahead of my flight back to the US.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

League of Baduk

Just over a year removed from our Korea trip and I still have a mountain of photos waiting for the blog treatment.

I don't remember the name of this park, but it's just outside Jongmyo Shrine (another possible future blog post). The board game geek in me was fascinated to find a ton of older gentlemen playing the classic board game Go, otherwise known as Baduk in Korea.

Come to think of it, Baduk is wildly popular in Korea. They have not one but two channels dedicated to this, a board game no less. One channel seemed to be for strategy and tips. Another was for broadcasting competition.

There were boards on every available table and bench in the park.

There were easily over a hundred people either playing or spectating.

Not to be outdone, I also found a few games of Xiangqi (Chinese Chess).

These were equally popular with the spectators.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Green Flash Brewery

To be honest, I was never a big fan of Green Flash. I still don't really dig their West Coast IPA. But when it comes to awesome breweries and even awesomer brewery tours, theirs is hard to beat. Indeed, if you're a home brew geek, you must make a trip down to Mira Mesa. Most of the information went over my head. I won't lie. But even for the layperson, it's a great tour. And the people are just incredibly friendly and enthusiastic about what they do.

It all starts when you pay your $5 and get your tour token.

At strategic points through the tour, you will receive your four beer samples. First is the West Coast IPA that you see here. That's followed by Hop Head Red, Le Freak, and their Double Stout.


The Double Stout is served to you at the conclusion of the tour. If you haven't had enough at this point, you can get any of their brews on tap or in bottles to go. They also sell growlers and half growlers. We walked away with a half growler of Le Freak. A couple of days later, they had the release party for their seasonal Road Warrior Imperial Rye IPA and we couldn't resist coming back. We ended up getting that in a four-pack, while refilling our half growler with their Serrano Chili Double Stout. Delicious!

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Gaslamp Speakeasy

We visited the Gaslamp district on our first night in San Diego. I wanted some nightlife while keeping low key. So this Gaslamp Speakeasy worked out perfectly. True to its name, it took a modicum of effort to find—hidden in plain sight, if you will. But if you call the place a speakeasy, is it?

The bartenders were fantastic. Jieun ordered an Old Biddy (Blantons bourbon, muddled cucumber and mint, fresh lime, cane syrup) while my bourbon old-fashioned was off-menu (suggested by the bartender) but not exactly adventurous. In any case, both were delicious. The staff definitely know their way around the bar.

All this while enjoying some great live blues music.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

San Diego Model Railroad Museum

This place is all kinds of awesome. I've loved trains ever since I was a little kid. And now the big kid in me made sure we paid a visit to what is supposedly North America's largest accredited model railroad museum.

They have gigantic recreations of actual geography like the Tehachapi pass loop and the Goat Canyon Trestle. You'll find separate landscapes for O, HO, and N gauge setups, as well as a toy train section. Each and every one of the engineers are completely passionate about what they do. It's obvious.

You could spend a couple of hours and not notice all of the little details like the overturned chicken truck. In fact, the operator had to point out the wolf that was running away with one of the chickens in its mouth. Fantastic stuff!