Christmas 2008 and New Year’s 2009 with the Peng Family

Mr. and Mrs. Peng and Eugene came to Atlanta to spend Christmas and New Year’s with us.  We were so excited to have them over.  It is always fun to spend this holiday with them.  Eugene, for as long as I’ve known him, would facilitate the gift-opening process. He would hand the gifts over to the recipient and kept taking turns until all the gifts under the tree were gone.  We would always have lots of laughs.  Our dogs, of course, were always a part of this as well. They always got treats and toys.

After Christmas, we headed down to Florida. First stop… Orlando!

Here is Ray on one of the rides… shooting the bad guys.

We also did the whole South Beach scene…

Had some great pizza at Pizza Rustica…

To the Everglades…. that alligator was really close. No… we didn’t zoom that much.

We even witnessed a standoff between an egret and an alligator. We didn’t see the result of this, but it couldn’t have been pretty…

We ended the trip with celebrating Mrs. Peng’s birthday. On New Year’s Eve, we went to a Japanese buffet… pretty good!

We headed back to Atlanta the following day and spent some time there before Mr., Mrs. Peng and Eugene left to go back to Boston.  We had fun there too. We went to Georgia Tech and played some football, went to the Chinatown and had some good Chinese food.  And of course, not to mention, we experienced Eugene’s driving skills… yeap, that would be him at the steering wheel. Boy, he’s all grown up!

It was sad to see them leave, but we look forward to next time!

Boston for Mother’s Day

This past weekend, I went home to Boston to spend some time with Mom. It’s always so nice to go back, my parents treat me like a king and feel like I am in college again. Taking the train from the airport back to Newton reminded me of how different Atlanta is from Boston. The “T’ is a way of life in Boston, where MARTA in Atlanta often gets forgotten. Also I really miss Boston’s ethnic diversity.

A few great things about being home: Hanging with my parents, seeing Bean, eating my mom’s cooking, lounging around a real house, going out with old friends from college and high school. If Boston wasn’t so cold, I might be tempted talk to Ash about seriously moving back!

Here’s some pics of the weekend.

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My favorite picture of Mom and Dad.  This was taken on the porch steps in our back yard.

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Mom looks so young in this picture.  She has so much energy these days.

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Steps towards our front door.  Taken from our driveway.

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Our house is so nice now.  Since Dad did all  the work, it’s almost unrecognizable from what it was when we first bought it.  It’s so comfortable staying home.   Dad did such a great job, I hope I can take some really great set of photos one day to capture his handy work.

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Ah, the food.  This is batter fried carrots and onions.  It’s awesome, sort of like tempura sweet fries.

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My mom’s cooking is so good.  See how happy Dad is 🙂

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This is what I miss living away from the hometown.   We hung out at Our House, Arang (left), Wan (Center), Simon (not in picture) and Marilon (not in picture) drinking and catching up.  Proud to say I was the Connect Four champion that night.

New Camera!

At last, no more blurry, grainy and overall crappy photos.  No more pressing down on the snap button for 5 minutes just so it can take a picture.  We finally bought a new camera yesterday, a Sony CyberShot w80.  CNet rates it as one of their editor’s top choices and sure enough the camera is awesome.  The photos look great, even mistakes and random shooting comes out great.  We took a whole bunch of photos today, too many to post but here”s three I like.  You see the difference.

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Old Camera: Canon PowerShot S200

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New Camera: Sony CyberShot w80
The colors are true to life and blurriness gone.

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Photo Hard Drive Failure

Bad news today. Turned on my Lacie 160GB Hard Drive to realize that the drive is toast. Of course there was nothing important on it, just 7 years of photos and videos that Ash and I took! After a few days of frustration and research I was able to rescue most of the photos on it. Stay away from Lacie, they suck and also make sure you back up your precious data files regularly. I thoughy my external drive was invincible. And the great movie collection that I had is gone too!

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Soda Overload @ World of Coke

The Chang Family, (Su-Cheng, Wendy and Cadence), Jerry, Linda, Ash and I went to the Coke Museum in downtown Atlanta.

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Never before did I think a soda could become a museum but to my surprise it was really fun! Complete with 4D motion rides, human sized polar bear, working bottling factory, movies and huge number of memorabilia displays and historic artifacts all coke related, we dashed from exhibit to exhibit like it was Disney world! Of course the constant “drink coca-cola” brainwashing slogan was everywhere but in the end you a make yourself utterly sick of coke with soda buffet exhibit.

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There was over 70 beverage flavors from Latin America, Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America. Some of the familiar brands like Fanta and Sprite were there but there was many more strange ones that we never heard of.

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Some tasted quite good, but other were ghastly, tasting either like bitter water or listerine. It was a great time and we enjoyed seeing it with our good friends.

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