Monday, June 30, 2008

Lasik Update

Part I, II, and III

A good chunk of change later, both Luke and I are done! We now have perfect 20/15 vision and couldn't be happier! I have been recovering since Thursday and except for a little inflammation on my left eye (which is gone now), everything is good. Luke had his surgery on Sunday. Unfortunately for him, as he said in the comment section of my earlier post, his right eye was not completely numbed so he felt the cut. Ouch. I'd have totally freaked out if I was him. But Luke was a trooper and didn't complain...until he got home. :) Anyway, it's all good now. We both have a little bit of red blotches in our eyes, but it's normal.

For the next couple of days, Luke and I will still diligently use the eye drops every 4 hours and wear the goggles to sleep. We will keep water out of our eyes and wear sunglasses whenever we are outside. It's important to keep up with this routine until we are completely healed.

I am already seeing the benefits of Lasik. Everyone I talked to is right - it can really change your lifestyle. I am looking forward in being more active! For those people who are considering Lasik, I highly endorse it!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Friday, June 27, 2008

My Eyeglasses Days Are Over

Part I and II

I survived. After weeks of worrying, I was in and out in under 2.5 hours. This morning I woke up and read the time on my alarm clock without having to reach for my glasses. I can read the license plates from my bedroom window. Ultimately, I can do lots of things now, without saying, "wait, let me get my glasses." Things are looking good!

We arrived bright and early yesterday morning. The procedure itself only took about 10 minutes. The rest of the time were spent waiting and doing some last-minute tests. The procedure was definitely a bit uncomfortable, but not painful. For the most part, I am very happy with LasikPlus. Except for the receptionist who has zero customer service, the rest of the staff are all very friendly. Dr. Wills is the doctor and I personally know 3 other people who had the surgery performed by him. He's great.

There were two parts to the procedure. One at a time, the doc placed a ring on my eye to hold it open while creating the corneal flap. While creating the flap, I felt slight pressure on my eye. This was probably the most uncomfortable part of the procedure. The ring and the pressure made my eyes water. It really helped that the doctor walked me through the procedure. He told me what he was going to do before he did it.

Because I opted for the custom Wavefront Lasik, which provided a higher level of safety and accuracy, I moved to another table after the flaps were created. On this table, the flaps were lifted and the laser beam reshaped my corneas. I was asked to focus on a red blinking light. I did great on my right eye, but on my left, I couldn't focus well. so the doctor had to stop and start the laser several times doing the treatment. Once the laser made the necessary adjustments to the corneas, the corneal flaps were replaced. Few eyes drops later, I was done!

As soon as I stood up, although a bit cloudy, I could see! After I got home, Luke went to work and I went to rest my eyes. For the first 4 hours, my eyes watered like they never had before. I don't think I ever shed so many tears in my entire life. I made myself comfortable by keeping my eyes pretty much closed for the rest of the day. It was simply hard to keep them open.

I woke up this morning and my left eye is a bit irritated. I feel like I have a torn contact lens in my eye. We just got back from the doctor's a while ago for the day-after checkup. Good news is that I can already read 20/20! The bad news is that my left eye is indeed a bit inflamed so I am using eye drops every 1/2 hour. Hopefully this will get rid of the inflammation. I am scheduled for another checkup this Sunday.

All in all, no complaints so far. I can't wait until I am all healed up!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tag, You are It

This little survey/quiz has been floating around on blogs for a while now. Even though no one tagged me, I want to join the fun! So here I go!

What did you do 10 years ago?
In 1998, I had just finished my second year of college. I left VA Tech and transferred to UVA (call me a "Waho"). I spent the summer in between in Taiwan vising family, eating, and had an overall awesome time at the Love Boat…I mean, Study Tour.

Five items on your to-do list:
- Show up for my lasik appointment (I am getting really antsy)
- Organize closet and donate clothes
- Walk more
- Start gooco-ing again
- Plan our Christmas holiday (What? It's not too early)

Snacks I enjoy: I have several and they change constantly depending on my mood. My all time favorite indulgence would have to be [any tropical fruit] sorbet though. Oh, and warm chocolate chip cookies. They are lethal. I also love waffle fries from Chick-Fil-A. Mmmmm....I love the salty goodness! Lastly, can't forget about Doritos.

What would you do if you were a billionaire?
- Retire [our families too]
- Invest wisely
- See the world
- Have property in all our favorite places
- Oh, and no more real work [instead, I would volunteer a ton]

Places I would live:
- San Francisco
- But I think San Diego would be equally nice

Jobs I have had:
- Babysitter
- Sales Associate (fancy talk for cashier)
- AV Girl
- Food Service Worker
- Business/IT Consultant

Bloggers I am tagging: I am late in this game, but if you are reading this and haven't done it before, consider yourself tagged!

[image source]

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Pretty Word Picture

I am amazed everyday by the quirky tools out there, free of charge. Take Wordle, for example, you can make a word portrait out of any collection of words. Used right, the portrait is pretty and meaningful. Bonus- it is super easy to customize to your liking by playing with the font, colors, placement, word size, etc.

I used our wedding vows for my initial test and it turned out great! The generator enlarges words the more times they appear in the text, so the key words stand out. This is totally frame-worthy, can be screen-printed on a t-shirt, or gocco'ed onto a card. :) With a pretty design, the possibilities are truly endless!

Few more examples:

I Carry Your Heart With Me
- e.e. cummings

Feels Like Home
- Chantal Kreviazuk

From This Moment On
- Shania Twain

Have fun!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Gifts!

Since I am pretty sure little Justin and Mark don’t read my blog, I think it’s safe for me to reveal my birthday presents to them before their birthday celebration. My friend Tiffany has 2 little boys, a 1yo and a 2yo. She has her hands full 24/7, but no doubt enjoying motherhood. It just so happen that her boys’ birthdays fall within days from each other, so gift-giving is easy. 2 for 1, baby! =p

Tiffany mentioned to me a couple days ago that her boys are starting to watch Sesame Street. In fact, for their birthdays, Tiffany took them to Sesame Place, a kiddie-friendly amusement park in PA. Tiffany said that while watching Elmo’s World Live!, the kids started dancing along. How cute. So it was a no-brainer for me to get them some Elmo DVDs. This way, if Tiffany ever needs her alone time, she can just pop these DVDs in and have some quiet and peace to herself (hopefully!).

(Best of Elmo's World/Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland)

I am a bad aunt; I didn’t place the order until yesterday so they won’t arrive in time for their birthday celebration. I still want to give them something at the celebration so I came up with this (no-so-original) idea. With the help of Photoshop and images I found online, I put together a ticket design that basically said good for one Happy Meal. I printed the tickets on cardstock (from wedding planning days) I have laying around the house, trimmed it, and glued the front and back together. Not a bad job, if I do say so myself. Unfortunately, the tickets won’t mean anything to the kids, but hopefully Tiffany will remember to use them for their sake!

I know the naysayers will probably say..."Umm...ever heard of gift cards?" Well, this is more fun.

Personally, I think this is a great gift idea for all occasions and recipients. Hypothetically speaking, say if you want to take your fabulous wife on a great trip for her big 3-0, but because of the poor timing, it is not be possible to do so over her birthday. What to do? Make a ticket (or in this case, maybe a plane ticket) that indicates a future trip will be taken to celebrate the milestone. Yup! Hypothetically speaking, of course. =D

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Summer Days

One of the first things Luke and I learned about each other is that we share the same love for frozen grapes. There is nothing in the world that tastes better than these on a hot summer day. They are sweet, cold, and best of all, fat-free.

I wish you a fabulous summer, full of your favorite yummy treats!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

The Plan That Didn't Pan Out

The story of Pesto started more than a year ago when we moved into Oakie. After the moving dust settled, Luke and I decided to add a second dog to the family, thus began my long search. This is a lengthy story - so settle yourselves back in your seats and read on.

In 4/07, I called the Wolperts (Fred and Marcia/husband and wife), a breeder in Maryland, where we got Pargo (Luke found them the first time around via the AKC website). The Wolperts is very reputable in the area and compete in various dog shows. Being the responsible breeder that she is, Marcia asked me about Pargo's size and temperament to make sure the new puppy would be a good match. Pargo is just a bit more than 3lbs and has an extremely easy going personality. He does not warm up to other dogs as quickly as he warms up to people. This was more or less what I told Marcia.

Upon hearing that, she said that my next dog would have to be no more than 4.5lbs in size and must have Pargo's personality to match. Breeders usually aim to breed yorkies that are approximately 5-6lbs. Anything less than that increases the chance of the dogs being unhealthy and too fragile. Pargo was the runt in his litter of two so he is tiny by nature. A good breeder doesn't breed "teacup" puppies ("teacup" is a term referred to puppies that are less than 3lbs), but once in a while, they may get "teacup" size puppies. Once in a while.

So back to when I called Marcia in 4/07, after I told her about Pargo, she told me that she had a couple of young puppies but it was too early to say how big they would get full grown (usually, you take the puppy's weight at 12 weeks and double it for the estimate full grown weight). She said to call back in a month. The timeline gets a little bit fuzzy after this because I don't remember everything, but I recall calling her several times until in early 7/07 when she told me that she had a puppy for me! We were ecstatic! She said the puppy would be no more than 4.5lbs full grown and perfect for Pargo. We scheduled to pick up the following weekend. I was so excited that I could hardly contain myself! Unfortunately, during the week, she called informing me that the puppy had a grow spurt and would be more than 6lbs full grown. Therefore, she decided not to sell it to us. (I blogged about this before) After this, my research became less aggressive because the wedding was right around the corner.

Side note: Of course I didn't put all my eggs in one basket, between 4/07 - 7/07, besides keeping in touch with the Wolperts, I also contacted several breeders in the MD/VA area. No one had anything or a match.

After we got back from Disney, my search started back up and a breeder (also from the AKC website) in Gainsville, VA had a boy puppy available (older though, 8 months old if I remember it correctly)! The puppy was already 5.5lbs and still growing. This particular breeder, however, assured me that size wouldn't be a problem. I was desperate so I agreed to take a look. Once I got there and met the puppy, I just didn't have a good feeling about bringing him home. He was almost twice as big as Pargo and didn't connect with us like Pargo did when we first met him. When we first met Pargo, he came straight to us and sat down. He sniffed a little but otherwise very calm and curious about us. This puppy, however, couldn't care less about me or Pargo and ran around like he had much better things to do. I passed.

After that, we decided to wait because we were leaving for Hawaii soon and after we came back from Hawaii, we didn't think winter would be a good time for a new puppy. Fast forward to 3/08 when we celebrated our second anniversary with Pargo and I decided that it was time to look again. I called Marcia in early 4/08 and she said to call again in late 4/08 for updates. I emailed in late 4/08 and didn't hear anything until last Sunday when she wrote me back with these words that were music to my ears:

"Joyce, If you are still interested, I now have a really small male who would be the right size and temperament for Pargo. Please get back to me if you are interested. -M"

I called within minutes after receiving the email and confirmed that I am still terribly interested and would *love* to go see the puppy. After going over some details, we made an appointment for today, 6/21, for pick up.

As you can imagine, this whole past week I could hardly sit still. I didn't tell too many people because I didn't want to jinx it. I finally made it to Friday night and haven't heard anything from Marcia regarding cancellation, etc. I thought I was really going to get a new puppy! Then the dreaded call came at exactly 7pm last night.

"Joyce, the puppy had messy stool today and I just can't let him go yet without knowing that I am giving you a healthy puppy."

In a way, I am glad that she's being a good breeder and doesn't want to give me an unhealthy puppy, but on the other hand, I am totally crushed. Marcia said she will take the puppy to the vet on Monday for a checkup, if everything is okay, the puppy is still mine and we will just reschedule another time for pick up.

The search for Pesto has been a long and curvy and it's not quite over yet. I am still optimistic though. When I see Pesto home, growing up with Pargo, it will all be worth it for me. Until then, I will end this post with this picture of Pargo.

Upon hearing that he would not be getting a little brother this weekend, Pargo made an angry face.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Catalog Card Generator

To keep me somewhat accountable, I'm posting my to-do list for today. This is another neato resource I found online. Make your own "catalog card" here!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Take Me Home, Homer

While in St. Louis, Seana and I relied heavily on her GPS to get us to places. I am the type of person who gets lost in her own backyard and Seana openly admitted that she’s not much better with directions either. Luckily, with her GPS, we were able to explore St. Louis from top to bottom (and sideways too) without much trouble.

Seana’s Garmin nuvi 600 is simply awesome. It has a gorgeous widescreen display and so easy to use. Not only did it tell us where to go, but it told us when we would get there, how to take a detour if a particular road was closed, and where to turn around if Seana missed a turn. Even without the actual address to the Missouri Botanical Garden, we were able to look it up using the points of interest (POIs) function. Seana’s Lucy (yes, we named her GPS, Lucy) also comes with bluetooth, picture viewer, MP3 player, and more. While I think those things are a little bit too excessive (for me) to have, they are definitely good perks.

After I came home, I told Luke that I must have a Lucy of my own. After reminding me that he had already told me countless times that we should get one, his research began for a GPS. A few days later, he came across a great deal that was too good to pass up. Staying away from the mainstream, Luke purchased Navigon 2100. It is selling for a little bit more than $130 on Amazon, but Luke scored it for $99 from Staples, shipped. And with that, we finally joined the rest of the world.

The 2100 is the lowest-priced (and smallest) of Navigon's line of portable GPS navigators. Our GPS, Homer, is tiny and slim. Definitely very portable! While it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles that Lucy has, it has all the other requisites I wanted, such as precise turn-by-turn directions, including spoken road names via text-to-speech. Most importantly, it also comes with 1.3 million POIs pre-loaded.

We received Homer in the mail late last week and on the day we received it, Luke got it all set up by loading the maps and changing the preferred settings. He took it out for a test drive one day this week when he had a client meeting. He commented that it works great, and for the price, it's a great investment. I haven't had the chance to take Homer out yet myself, but pretty sure that I will like it just as much.

This Saturday we are taking Homer out for another test. We are heading up to Maryland for something exciting (cue suspenseful music)! Many many more details to come!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sugarlens At Work

My adorable assistant (aka husband, pictured above) likes to take pictures of me at work, as very evident by this collection I have here. Although I have had biggie for almost 2 months now, I am still discovering something new about it everyday. Regardless of whether or not I master it, having these oh-so-neat pictures of me in action are already worth it for me! I especially like the one above. :)

All pictures taken at Chincoteague/Assateague by my assistant and edited by me.

Capturing the Chincoteague drawbridge.

Taking a shot of the beach and the Atlantic Ocean.

Zooming-in to the wild ponies.

Documenting the deserted Main Street.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Pargo's Day Out @ Great Falls Park

This past Saturday we took Pargo to Great Falls Park. The park, roughly a 25-minute drive for us, is situated on 900 acres, along the banks of the Potomac River. The most pictured location in the park is probably the one above, which was taken at Overlook 3. There are 3 overlooks, all within 10 minutes from one another. Overlook 3 offers the best view; although we went to all of them. The waterfalls total 76 feet over a series of major cascades. I have been to the park a number of times, but this time with biggie slung around my neck, I took a few pictures that I am quite proud of!

We walked the River Trail, which offers opportunities to view the Potomac River. The trail, 2.4 miles round-trip, is overall a very easy walk, with some rock climbing along the river's edge.

The trail is so easy that even Pargo can do it! Pargo was off leash most of the time, even though pets were supposed to be on leash. :) He never ran too far though, such a good dog.

With a nice camera and natural beauty, it's hard to mess up on the pictures! :)

Aside from having the view of the Potomac River, towards the end of the trail, we were surrounded by tall trees.

Pargo had a great time and got more exercise than he had in months. The next day he laid on the couch for at least 4 hours straight, recovering from the hike.

It's a long rugged road...(literally!)

"Ew, Mom, don't kiss me in public!"

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Egg Tart (蛋撻)

One of my all-time favorite desserts can easily be replicated at home. My mom has been making these since I was a kid and now I make them myself at home (although I made this batch at my parents' house). I always look forward in finishing a dim sum meal with these delicious puppies, but I am glad with a little bit of time and effort, I can have these whenever I want. :)

Sugar's Egg Tart

-makes about 24 egg tarts
-Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Crust:
- 1 8oz cream cheese (room temperature)
- 1 stick (4oz) butter (room temperature)
- 1 cup flour

1. In a medium bowl, using your hands, mix cream cheese, butter, and flour until the mixture forms a dough. The texture should be slightly moist. Add more butter if it is too dry, or more flour, if the dough seems greasy.
2. Divide the dough evenly into 24 pieces and use a rolling pin to roll them flat.

3. Carefully place the flat dough into tart mold and shape it to the mold. Use 2 fingers to shape.

Filling:
- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 4 large eggs

3. Combine sugar and milk in a medium saucepan. Cook until the sugar is dissolved. Make sure to stir often! Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
4. In a separate bowl, use a hand mixer to whisk the eggs. Some people simply use chopsticks to whisk the eggs, but I find a mixer works better and gives a prettier consistency at the end.
5. Once the sugar and milk mixture is cooled to room temperature, stir in the egg mixture.


6. Fill the tart shells
7.
Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown and the filling raise up a little bit.
8. ENJOY and EAT!

Luke about to dive into a SUPER TALL egg tart (picture taken in Nov 2005, in Taichung, Taiwan). Mine aren't exactly the same as the one pictured below, but they're still good...very good!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Lasers & Guns

by Guest
Part I

We're gonna do it. We're gonna drop about a months salary on our heads in two weeks. Actually, it will be in our heads. I've finally been able to talk Joyce into getting lasik done on her eyes. Her vision is three times worse than mine and she hates to wear glasses. She refuses to replace her five-year-old pair, so she wears contacts most of the time. I see all the hassles that she has to deal with, so I'm glad she's finally going for it. I don't mind wearing glasses, but I hate not being able to see clearly without them. Of course, for something like this, I couldn't let her go at it alone, so I'll be getting my eyes done a few days after hers. We're both opting for the laser cutting method but Joyce will be spending a bit more on a fancier tracking/wavefront laser because her eyes are more severe than mine. I'm sure things will go smoothly for both of us, if not, we've got the lifetime treatment thing so they better get it right eventually. Definitely looking forward to the first morning we wake up and able to see everything without fumbling around for our glasses. Yeah, lasers are cool, but guns are even cooler.

Guns are great! Especially the digital kind. I had finished GTA4 a few weeks ago, just in time for the beginning of my summer semester. The game has various paths and I've only tried two of them. I got all the bad endings though. I think the game was trying to teach me something, you know, like revenge is bad and forgiveness is good. Every chance I had to let someone live, I chose to cap their asses instead. Oh well, I'll have to go back and try to be a nicer gangster later. But that is not gonna happen anytime soon! Joyce handed me a gift from heaven today, MGS4: Guns of the Patriots. Talk about a big surprise, she despises this hobby of mine, but she still knew I had been wanting it. I've been playing Metal Gear games since waaaay back in the day of the old NES in the late 80s and have not stopped since. So when Metal Gear Solid 4 came out this week, getting my hands on it was a no brainer. Thanks Tong!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Spring Planting: 50% Successful

Part I, II, III, IV, and V

It has been more than a month since I last updated on the progress of my herbs. Sadly, the cilantro plant died a few weeks ago. We don't know what happened, but after a big harvest one day, it just never grew back. I think part of the reason may be that it never really fully recovered from the incident. We haven't gotten around to start again from scratch, but definitely planning on it!

Ever since moving the basils to bigger pots, they have grown wonderfully! We have harvested several times after moving them to their new home (with the latest harvest just mere days ago).
With the warming weather, they are staying really happy and healthy. The stems are getting thicker and the plants are getting bushier. I am looking forward to a summer of cooking with basils.

Sugar's Tips (for growing basils):

- When the seedling stems appear tall and thin, they are probably not getting enough light. Make sure they get enough light to grow.
- Water plants lightly daily. Keep the soil moist.
- Buy big pots. The bigger the better. Space them AT LEAST an inch apart to give them room to grow.
- Rotate the pots frequently to ensure even growth.
- Make plants bushy by pinching off the top two pairs of leaves once a stalk reaches a reasonable height. The more you do this (without overdoing it), the more new shoots the plant will send out, becoming bushy instead of tall and sparse. You end up with more plant overall.

Even though the cilantro didn't make it, I am going to go ahead and check off #34 anyway. =p

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Wedding Greeting From The Prez

…or his secretary.

I recently came across this link: White House Greetings. Since the request can be made completely free online, I gave it a try. I had actually forgotten about it, until the greeting showed up in our mailbox last week. This will make a nice addition to our wedding mementos.

The man in the White House doesn't have the highest approval rating, but whatever your opinion of the President may be, years from now, I will appreciate this reminder of the times we lived in when we tied the knot.

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Layers Of Photoshop Fun

The past few days have been unseasonably warm, with temperatures soaring near ONE HUNDRED! So this past weekend, except for a quick trip to the grocery stores, I stayed in my little abode with the AC cranked up high. I watched way too much television, played way too long on the Mac, and, in general, wasted time away. (Hope you too are staying cool in this sweltering heat!)

Among many other things I did to keep my mind occupied, I went through some photos taken recently of Pargo and edited them. I used Layer Blending Modes (directions follow), a very simple function to help enhancing the photographs. It’s really easy and it resulted in photos that have more vivid colors and contrast.

Before:

After:

Instructions:

1) Open up your photo. In the Layers Option Palette, there should only be one layer, “Background”.

Right click on the “Background” layer and select “Duplicate Layer”.

A Duplicate Layer Dialogue Box should appear. You can name the layer, or just click OK.

2) De-select the original layer and with the new layer selected, click on the Layer Blending Modes drop down menu, shown below. Select “Overlay” and see what this effect has on your image.

Selecting Layer Blending Mode

Also on the same palette, I usually change the “Opacity” to 50%, but that’s up to you and the image. To finish editing, make sure both the original layer and the duplicated layer are selected.

AND YOU’RE DONE!
Layers are REALLY cool and powerful feature of Photoshop. Try experimenting with the other blending modes, and see what effect it has on the image! Have fun!

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Monday, June 9, 2008

0.75 Year!

Using a nifty application on MacBook, we took some photobooth pictures to mark our 9-month anniversary!

Wow, 0.75 year loh! Thanks for putting up with my weird antics, Ahbow!

I like this set. Pargo looking at me, then at the camera, then Luke, and the camera again with his little tongue sticking out. The little guy is so photogenic!

My two best boys. :)

(All photos edited using iPhoto)

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Cool Tees

Threadless has been around for quite some time now. It’s a cool site where anyone can submit designs for t-shirts. Users then vote on the designs, and the most popular ones are made into t-shirts and sold on the Threadless site.

I’ve been eyeing their t-shirts for a while now, but their prices are too rich for my blood. Some of their shirts are really cute and fun so I keep on coming back every now and then. Well, just my luck, they are having a Summer Blockbuster Sale where almost every t-shirt is only $10! (sale ends on 6/8 - today!)

Luke and I went through the designs and picked out a couple of favorites. At the end, we couldn't decide between the following two designs so we got them both! Can't wait to be matchy matchy on our future trips. :)

(Camouflage/Lil' Soap)

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Book Review: Love The One You Are With

Over the course of my last two trips, I brought along Love The One You Are With and read it whenever I had some downtime. I finally finished it early this week. FINALLY.

Emily Giffin reeled me in with her first two fantastic novels – Something Borrowed and Something Blue. Her third novel, Baby Proof, started to go down hill. I was hoping that her latest novel would match up to her early books but alas, it hit rock bottom.

Emily Giffin's new book has a very conventional storyline: girl meets (and marries) the seemingly perfect guy. Then she runs into an ex, one who dumped her years earlier and disappeared. She finds that she still has feelings for the ex, and starts questioning her marriage and her life. Suddenly the husband doesn't seem so perfect and the pull of her alluring ex tempts her towards a decision that will have lifelong consequences.

The main character, Ellen, was unlikable and unsympathetic. While I think it's normal to doubt your marriage at times, I found her attitude toward her best friend and her husband unsettling. I disliked her for her superior attitude. I also thought Giffin's depiction of southerners is rude and stereotypical.

I absolutely loved Something Borrowed and Something Blue and consider them as my favorite books. Giffin has an amazing talent and I am hoping that her next offering fares better.

Summer is the perfect time for non mind stretching novels, any recommendations for my next read? What are you currently reading?

[+/-] Extra Sugar!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Chincoteague: We Be Biking!

The morning before we left for home, Luke and I went on our very first bike ride together! A tandem, no less! It was so much fun, despite that my knee kept on hitting the handle bar and it left me with an ugly bruise.

Bike Rental - The Bike Depot on Maddox
Duration - 2 hours
Cost - $12
The Experience - Priceless

I made a (very) brief movie using clips of videos we recorded and inserted some still images. The music is a nod to the awesome show we had just finished watching days prior to the trip. I used iMovie for this little production. It was my first time playing with the application. Very fun! I will be starting to work on my next film shortly. :) Watch for Pargo Movie, coming soon to the computer near you in July 2008.

We biked for full 2 hours, or should I say, Luke biked while I relaxed my legs. :) From The Bike Depot, it was only a 4-minute ride to Assateague Island. We didn't do a cost comparison between The Bike Depot and the other rental places. The Bike Depot is the closest to Assateague so the prices could've been a bit higher, but it was worth it for us since we were short on time.

Ahbow-rella, ahbow-rella, go faster!



In addition to biking, we also walked the one trail that we missed the day before, which is the Lighthouse trail (1/4 mile). It is the shortest trail inside the Refuge. To go to the top is $4. We skipped it.

We made one last stop to the beach.

There is a petting pony zoo right next to The Bike Depot. At first I was afraid to pet the pony, but these two brave little girls assured me it was okay. :)

This concludes my posts on our trip to Chincoteague. My final thoughts? A great destination doesn't have to be foreign or far away, sometimes it can be right in your own backyard! Go explore locally. I highly encourage it.

Related Posts: Chincoteague: One Fun Picture-Taking Day and Chincoteague: A Very Tiny Town

[+/-] Extra Sugar!