Sunday, November 27, 2005

My Award From ImportFest 2005

ImportFest Vancouver 2005 (presented by Kumho Tire Canada) was held on at the Vancouver Convention Centre (Waterfront) on November 26th). It was finally over and quite a long day it was.  ImportFest is one of Canada's largest car show event featuring modified cars from across Canada and the U.S. It was so great to represent my own car club as well as my friend's. Too bad we didn’t any swag that we used to get like T-shirt and other door prizes as previous shows. Judging started at 11am just when I arrived there to set up my car and display area. Happy that I was there. Show didn't start till 12pm, but I was all prepped to go.

By the end of the show when we were getting ready to roll out, the most annoying part was those people who just kept revving (and those who were honking away). That was so disrespectful! But what made my day was that I heard my name over the PA and I won third place trophy for “BADDEST 92-95 CIVC”! Shipment of trophies delayed from Toronto to Vancouver so the winners didn’t get it right away. I was able to pick up my prize the week after at our local tuner shop, Vader Speed & Sound. Thanks guys!

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Thursday, October 20, 2005

Eastcoast Tour

Eastcoast Tour (Vacation with my bestfriend)

Finally getting started on my travel blog.

Toronto - Day 1 (Oct. 1 Saturday)

I woke up 4am to catch the 7am flight. Patric drove us (Keroleen and I) to the airport. It was approximately 5-hours for the flight from Vancouver to Toronto. Westjet departed and arrived right on time. When we got there, Kero called her friend, Darren, to pick us up. I called Patric to tell him that I arrived in Toronto. Ben called me just when we got to the outside of the airport in the passenger pick-up zone. I told him I'll call him back when I return.

After Darren came to pick us up, we went to his house first to drop off our luggage. I called my friend, Shaun, that I just arrived and will meet up with him later. After taking a rest, we went to Pacific Mall. I bought a pair of hoop earrings and had curry fish balls. I met up with Shaun for the first time in person and was happy to see him. He is a cool guy. Later on in the mall, Keroleen and I bumped into our old friend, Alan. I thought I'd saw him, so I told Kero, and we ran over. After looking around the mall, I went with Shaun in his car back to Darren's house and met up with Kero and Darren. Darren drove all 4 of us to Congee Wong to have a late dinner. It was about 8:00pm.

Later on, we drove around the area, and went to a Chinese dessert place. Good Stuff! We drove around again a bit and went back home to Darren's house to rest.

Michigan Road Trip: Days 2-4 (Sun, Oct. 2 - Tues, Oct. 4)
We rented a car and drove all the way to Lansing, Michigan along hwy 401 (Ontario) and thru I127 & I69 (USA). Time we left was 1pm and arrived in Lansing at 8pm. We stopped in between small towns/cities along the way to rest. After getting to Lansing, we first stopped at Wallgreen on Saginaw St & Waverly St. just near Kero's cousin's place. We made a few phone calls to let her cousin and friends know we arrived. First, we met up with Danny & his gf. Then met up with her cousin Michael & wife Suzanne at a Chinese restaurant called Golden Wok. Dinner was great.

Near the end when we were about to leave, we hear thunder and saw lightning. The weather was weird. First it was sunny in afternoon, then it was pouring, and then somewhat stopped raining after dinner. Kero drove and we followed her cousin back home and we relaxed for a bit. We ended up staying late and slept at 2am.

Next morning, we woke up at 10am, had lunch at a restaurant, and went to Michigan State University. We took pics and spent half the day there. Later met up again for Chinese buffet at a different restaurant. After that, we went to stop by the Capital Hall building and too a few night pics.

Third day came by... we met up for lunch at a bar & grill restaurant. Then went to Best Buy with Michael to buy a few things. I didn't need buy anything, but Kero was trying to look for her Ipod Nano. After shopping/looking around at Lansing Mall, we said our goodbyes to Michael and we went separate ways. Kero and I stopped by a few shops to buy snacks before heading out to the hwy. Our last stop was at the outlet mall nearby, and I bought a few useful stuff (kitchen stuff and edible stuff). Finally, we left to the highway (I-69) back to Canada. Again, we made a few stops in between to rest up. Oh yeh, hilarious moment was we went to go pee and I said to Kero (from the next stall) that it won't stop. Then we started laughing hard. There was nobody around, so it was fine. :) We got back to Toronto around 9pm.

Ottawa Road Trip: Day 5 (Wed, Oct. 5)
Woke up at 10am and started to head out to Ottawa on Hwy 401 east and then north on Hwy 7. We didn't like Hwy 7 cuz it was a one lane hwy and had to pass some slow cars. There was a cop car along the hwy, so we slowed down a bit (to 100km/hr instead of 120km/hr).

Our rest stop at Cobourg, ON. This is where the BIG APPLE is.

Finally got to Ottawa around 4pm; met up with Dan Mossman (Kero's friend), and he lead us to his apartment. Also met his wife Keiko and baby Saiya. Dan took us downtown and we did a walking tour. The night views are awesome.

After we went back to his apartment, I started to have a sore throat and I knew I was getting sick. Next day I felt horrible. Stupid thing was that I didn't grab my long sleeves/jacket in the rental car and I was feeling chilly in a baby-T walking outside at nite.

Montreal Road Trip: Day 6 (Thur, Oct. 6)
We woke up at our usual time (10am) and drove by the streets in downtown Ottawa before heading out to Montreal. It was about 2-hours drive so we weren't in a hurry. When we got to Montreal, we got there 1/2 earlier than we expected. Traffic was horrible there. I called my relatives to let them know I was in town. Keroleen called her friend, Emily, to meet her at her house. Emily was a super nice girl. She took us around the downtown area by transit. It was an experience. Later in the evening, I met up with my aunt and uncle for dinner at a Chinese restaurant in Chinatown. Kero and Emily went to Mount Royal on their own. I later met up with them at the Mont Royal subway station. I asked my uncle to drop me off there. And the girls came out to the entrance just in time; pretty much coincidentally.

The only thing I didn't like about Montreal is that people in the streets are rude drivers. They cut you off, change lanes without signalling, don't yield to pedestrians. Even pedestrials just cross the streets whenever they feel like. Sux!

Travel Day: Day 7 from Montreal to Toronto (Fri, Oct. 7)
We started early at around 9am and we drove downtown with Emily to meet with Kero's other friend, Tony. He worked at the Bell Cener so we had lunch nearby. The weather sucked; it rained on and off. After having lunch, we took a few photos and said goodbye to our friends. Kero drove; we looked for the hwy and started to head back to Toronto. It was late in the afternoon and it was starting to get dark and visibility wasn't too great. At 9:30pm, we finally got back to Toronto... drove around and got gas at 91.9 before dropping the car off. Darren came and picked us up... went to have late snack... and then went home. I slept a bit early cuz we had to wake up early for the New York trip.

New York Tour: Day 1 - New Jersey (Fri, Oct. 8)
We woke up really early.. like at 5am and Darren dropped us off at Golden Plaza where the tour bus picked us up. We were at the first pickup location. I was very excited and looking forward for the tour. We left the US-Canada border at 10am. Our first destination was an outlet mall on the way. Also was our rest stop. It was a long ride till we arrived at the New Jersey Gardens outlet mall. The sky was already dark and it was pouring rain when we left the mall. It was good that the shops were indoors. Afterwards, we were on the road again and arrived at Hilton Hotel. It was very nice and high class. I've took a few photos in the hotel and some silly pics of us having a "pretend" pillow fight.

New York Tour: Day 2 - New York City (Fri, Oct. 9)
Wake up call was at 6am and we left at 7am. We went to visit the following attractions: The Empire State Building (no visibility which sucked), TImes Square, Fifth Ave., Rockefeller Center, Statue of Liberty Boat Cruise, Intreprid Sea Airspace Museum. We also went around the city and saw old classic buildings. A lot of photos; lots of walking around, but it was a fun experience to check out the places.

Later in the evening, we were on the highway again and then arrived at Atlantic City. It's beautiful at nite time cuz you can see a lot of fancy lights on the buildings. Also saw Trump Plaza at almost everywhere. Atlantic City was a small casino city... like a mini version of Vegas. Very cool! We stayed at the Sheraton Hotel (another high-class hotel). I bought a shot glass at the souvenir shop along the way as we walked the boardwalk. We also saw a few massage parlors: price was $5 for 20mins, and $20 for full body massage for an hour. Pretty good deal I'd say, but we didn't go try it. I would probably go if there was a hot asian guy or a younger woman. =D We had a long walk back to the hotel--kept walking further and further along the boardwalk.

New York Tour: Day 3 - Philedelphia, Washingon DC, Baltimore (Fri, Oct. 10)
Again, wake up call at 6am and left at 7am. The tour felt like it was a very long week, but it is only the 3rd day. So this day was mostly stopping by to see buildings and monuments. First went to Philedelphia and stopped at a location for 15 mins. I stayed inside the tour bus and didn't go out cuz I wasn't feeling well still.. and there's nothing much to see anyway. Our next visit was the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, White House, US Capitol Washinton monument, Lincoln Memorial, and the Natural and History Museum. Finally, our last stop of the day was at Baltimore/Maryland. We went to the harbour and walked around and had dinner there. At an hour and half later, we were taken to the Comfort Inn hotel. It was a cheaper hotel, but they had free continental breakfast.

New York Tour: Day 4 - Pennsylvania (Fri, Oct. 11)
A lot of long distance driving today. First, we went to Pennsylvania to visit the Penn's Cave. It was an interesting boat ride inside the cave. Then we started heading our way back to Canada. We made a few rest stops in between. Finally, we arrived at the Duty Free shop near the border to look around and shop for some last minute things. I didn't buy anything cuz there wasn't anymore things I need to buy. A few people bought stuff.

About 10 mins, we arrived at the border crossing. This was at 8:30pm when we arrived. All of us had to go inside and got searched. Reason was because there was a previous tour bus that had a slight problem, so the custom workers had to search every other tour bus. Stupid thing is that we were stuck for 2.5hrs because our driver got fined for buy too many cigarettes.

Toronto (Wed, Oct. 12)
Finally a day I got to sleep in till 10:30am; woke up, got ready, and had some breakfast. Keroleen and I went downtown for a walk-about tour and took a lot of photos. We borrowed Darren's van and parked at Finch & Yonge Station to take the subway. It was a cloudy day and it was chilly in downtown. Later on, I met up with Shaun. He came to pick me up at Finch Station. It was raining, so sucks! Kero met with her friends for dinner while Shaun took me to Red Lobster. The food was awesome and I was so full after we finished. I met shaun's friend (Andrew I think his name was), who worked at the restaurant. He was super nice and gave us a bit of extras. Oh yeh, Trish Stratus was there! =0

After dinner, Shaun took me to the Civic Club's meeting spot. It was a weekly Wednesday nite thing. We were surprised that people were still there on a rainy night. I met a few people and talked a bit. Then we went home and I passed out cuz I was super tired.

Toronto (Thurs, Oct. 13)
Today's trip was to visit Niagara Falls. 12:30pm, Keroleen and I took Darren's van again and went ot pick up Shaung at his house. First we went to Pacific Mall, walked around, bought some stuff, and had late lunch there. We went for congee and it was quite filling. At almost 3pm, we finally left Toronto to Niagara Falls. It wasn't too long of a ride. The sky was getting dark and we finally arrived there. We took some silly pictures at the World Guiness Records building and then walked towards the falls. We were taking snapshots and checking out the shops along the way. The spotlights were very colorful at night time. First, we see the American side of the Niagara, and then the Canadian side. You can tell the difference, where the Canadian side is bigger and it curves.

Toronto (Fri, Oct. 14)
So it was my last day to have fun in Toronto. Went to pick up Shaun again and we ung out in Chinatown-Downtown-Koreantown.. and Harbour Front. Transit kinda sucked cuz there was so many people. Oh yeh, Keroleen called us "transit snobs".. hahaha..