Category Archives: Pictures

Picnic in Kendrick Lake Park

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What a great day for an outdoor meal! When the sun started to set, we decided to go pick up a pizza and have a picnic in the nearest park. On Jewell and Kiping is the Kendrick Lake Park that I drive by every day to and back from work.

Here we were. It’s not the biggest park, but it has a lake, a bridge, walking paths, and a playground, so it’s pretty nice:

We had two baskets full of food: chips, drinks, sweet snack, salad…

A lot of the good spots were already taken. It was not easy to find a clean spot on the lawn as many people walked their dogs in the park and dog poops were seen everywhere on the grass.

Finally we were settled:

It was the first time I had Papa John’s pizza. The toppings were not as good as Pizza Hut’s (we got the classic pepperoni, mushroom, sausage, and green pepper), but the crust was definitely better!

I made a bad mistake of wearing a skirt! So instead of lying down after we ate and enjoy the sun, I got up to walk around the playground and watch the kids play. Dad thought this was a good angle for a picture because it looked like I’m inside a monster’s mouth….?


The sun really started to sink down moments later, it made everything so beautiful:


I have to put these pictures up – never had I taken pictures this gorgeous, granted it probably had more to do with the beautiful sunset than my shooting skills.


Here’s dad, doing…. I wanna say a victory/peace sign? Haha~

A little rescue mission

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Summer is here, there have been so many “activities” in my window well. First and foremore are the annoying crickets. My window well is at least 5 feet deep, sometimes crickets get blown into it by wind and there’s no way for them to hop out. So they’ll stay under the rocks and chip the nights away! Ugh I just hate them! The “cricket” “cricket” sound totally keep me awake at night. If not for the ear plugs, I’d be tired all summer!

I’ve been complaining to everyone about it, including my neighbor Ms. Pam. She’s even seen me and my mom a few times going to the back with a broomstick and a bug spray. She said she saw a cricket inside her house one time and just squished it. I told her she was lucky because it was very difficult for us to find it in the window well. But after a couple of times trying, my mom and I finally got it, and squished it! It’s been so peaceful at night this past week (knocking on wood).

This morning, my parents and I are watching a movie in my room – it’s so much cooler down at the basement – and even the window blinds are down, I could see a shadow flying across my window. I thought to myself, that damn lawn man! Just couldn’t let people have a moment of quietness on a beautiful Saturday morning! But after a little while (I mean, I may sound obssesive with what’s going on in my window well, but I still was trying to focus on the movie!!), I was wondering how come there was no noise, as the lawn mower is usually really loud. I started staring really hard at the little area of window glass that was not covered by the blinds, and saw something furry! “Oh God!” I said out loud, “There’s a squirrel by my window!”. “Nah, leave it alone till we finish the movie,” said my dad. “But what if it scratches my window screen and makes a big hole?!” I asked. That got mom concerned. So we all got up from the couch, went to the window, and rolled up the blinds.

To our big surprise, it was not a squirrel but a bunny! A very little one! It was there with its head up, staring at the blue sky, wondering if it’d ever get out, it was so cute~~ Mom said she would’ve let me kept it as a pet if it were white; since it was not, we decided to rescue it! Mom picked up a broom (thinking we can extend the stick part down and let the bunny climb up; but I didn’t think so, it’s not a squirrel after all!). Dad got a bucket, and I took my camera. As we walked around our neighbor Pam’s house to go to the back, she came out from the door (probably wondering what on earth we’re going to do with all the supplies!), and asked “Cricket hunting?” I thought it was so hilarious, so I laughed and explained to her what had happened, and promised to let her see some pictures.

By the time we got to the window well, the bunny was tired from all the jumping and just sat there under the wooden edge of the window, so helpless:


Dad climbed down with the bucket and I asked him to take a close-up; here it doesn’t look like the bunny was real little, but in reality, it was just a little bigger than my hands:


It was not stirring while he took a picture so close which surprised me; it really must have been worned out. But as he tried to hush it into the bucket, the little bunny jumped. After several tries, it’s in there:


I patted it and let it run towards the backyard full of grass and weed. I swear it stopped to look at us, maybe it was my imagination, but I kept thinking like it would be in the movies, where the bunny would feel so greatful and eventually return to grant me a wish! Now I’ve said it, I’m sure it’ll never happen! Oh well, I still felt very proud of us~!

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Days later, mom and I strolled after dinner to the neighborhood next to us only to find tons of bunnies and rabbits there! It was no coincidence that one ended up in my window well…

《还珠格格》- 永远的小燕子

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要问我比较喜欢”还珠格格”还是”流星花园”,我可能马上回答不出来。我只知道看”还珠格格”的次数比”流星花园”多得多。就好像某人喜欢看 Friends 一样,因为是经典的戏剧,所以每当我低落,要振奋精神的时候,就想去“找”小燕子!

最近接连地看完第一,二部,套用琼瑶阿姨的话,就是又从头到尾地被感动了一遍。我每次都会趁感动的热潮来了,就拼命在网上搜集资料,这次找到了一大堆罕见的还珠照片(对于我是第一次看到,在中国的朋友可能已经看到腻了),看了几段幕后花絮的片段,和获知了一些消息。

原来林心如是后来顶替上场演的紫薇,且因为以前没红时随便拍过的戏差点丢掉饭碗。还听说赵薇本来是要演紫薇这个角色的。(太离谱了!) 我真是深深感激上天的安排!如果世上缺少了赵薇版的小燕子,我们就缺少了一个优秀的演员,而我的青春也会少了这么一位“朋友”。

很多热爱”还珠格格”的观众也有是冲着故事和另一位女主角,林心如的紫薇而来的。而我,是踏踏实实的因为爱赵薇(更确切地说,是爱赵薇的小燕子)。我从来没见过一个女演员有那样的气质。记得第一次接触还珠,是来美国两年后第一次回国,那时我表哥他们一家还没出国,我在他们家待了几夜。晚上,姑姑就会追”还珠格格”。那时已是2000年底,相信那是重播。

那晚正好播到紫薇顺利进宫,皇上在皇后那儿听闻漱芳斋夜夜笙歌,打算自己去看个究竟。原来,她们只不过在弹琴唱歌而已。皇上高兴地加入了她们。聊到紫薇母亲的时候,她们拼命地给皇帝暗示,可他不懂,列出了很多男人无可奈何的大道理。小燕子急了,手抬高,手指伸得笔直,摇头晃脑地说,“皇阿玛,你认为这种女人是不是太傻了,值得同情吗?我一听了就生气!等了一辈子还感谢上苍。那么受的苦都是活该了!女人实在太可怜,太没出息了,一天到晚就是等等等,对自己的幸福都不会争取!”(别以为我真的这么厉害,看到会背,我是看着土豆网上的视频照抄的。不过打到这里,才不得不佩服琼瑶阿姨的台词可真够长和罗唆的!) 我就着魔了,唰地一下子就被小燕子这种特征吸引住,以至于后面紫薇的温柔娴静一点在我那儿起不了作用。我就是爱小燕子那样摇头晃脑,说话“理不直气也壮”;更甚于她的挤眉弄眼,当然那也十分可爱。有段时间我会随意向DVD机里正在说话的小燕子按暂停,发现她的任何表情都是好看的!

看一些照片吧!

还珠1剧照

像花朵一样的她们…


三位花样年华的女子,谁更漂亮?

就这两张来说,还是赵薇吧!你无法不去注意到她微微向上弯的凤眼…

男俊朗,女俊俏的大家庭

还珠1幕后

调皮的小燕子不出奇,温婉的紫薇也正逢青春无敌的时候呢!

不是鬼脸,是惊讶的脸!
就算是鬼脸,也是俏丽的脸!

哟呵!这不是在第二部里出现过,在押运金锁他们去蒙古一路上欺负她的那个不良军官吗?原来幕后担当的是这么重要的武术指导角色!真该对他另眼相看了!

是导演喊“开麦拉”之前还是喊“卡”之后呢….?

还珠2剧照

确实很登对…

永远的小燕子…



唉,赵薇为什么要去烤瓷牙呢?虽然牙齿因此变白了,齐了,但却更大更满了。跟以前凹向嘴内的小黄牙比起来,就变得老练了许多。

还是没烤以前的清纯,小女孩儿模样好看。就像这张:


多甜美呀!

看得出来苏有朋是对赵薇动过心的!



很投入哦!

第二部里的三朵金花,又是谁比较完美呢?这次我不敢说是赵薇了,因为她比较适合第一部里的那个妆。第二部里的妆总少了一点什么。大概是灵气吧…

个个都是美人胚子,布衣布衫的一样好看!

记得这些镜头吗?

还珠2幕后

哈哈,连皇后也笑得这么开心!

拍戏时看得出来很严寒…

皇上的威严不及太后的庄严哦!

咦?这么一裹倒有些像乡下妹子了!

又要掉钢丝了… 想不到里面穿了可爱的Snoopy!

我说格格大人,哪那么多电话讲啊?

结婚前…


卖艺前…

吃饭时!

准备时!

宣传+生活照

他们穿清装好看还是穿便服好看?



“皇上”的头发长真快!

他们在卡拉OK,好开心哦!

“皇阿玛”真是面面俱到,亲自喂食!


看他们戏里戏外都相处得好,真为他们高兴!之前在网上看到一些拍摄花絮,他们真可算是打成一片呢!还听说不久前,四位主角赵薇,苏有朋,林心如,和周杰在赵薇家来了个“还珠好友会”。四人又聚在一起,还说什么要周杰出钱,赵薇执导(人家现在考了个导演牌嘛!)演一部喜剧。是真的就好了!

其它

开镜仪式。认得出所有的人吗?


黑白照更让人觉得她就是清宫里的一位“还珠格格”!

对!我不用别人表明给我,就知道哪些照片是来自第一部,哪些是来自第二部的。因为一跟二的服装,化妆,和旗头都有些出入。第一部里小燕子的妆比较好看,突出了赵薇的特点;第二部里紫薇的妆更适合林心如,圆又大的眼睛加上鲜红丰厚的嘴唇,更添了份楚楚动人!
虽然很多人都先入为主地认定林心如扮演的紫薇,但我觉得马伊俐在还珠3里的表现也是很不错的。她是剧中这么多更换了的演员里最能让我接受的一个。大部分的观众都说如果马伊俐没有接演紫薇会更喜欢她,在他们心中她就更加完美。可是为什么呢?如果一开始的还珠1和2都是她演紫薇的话,我敢打保票没有人会反感。马伊俐说挑战这个角色的一个原因是想证明大陆演员也可以演好琼瑶戏,对于这点,她确实做到了。她的紫薇,在经过了成婚和当母亲之后,变得成熟多了。是少了那份惹人怜的柔弱,但多了坚强和自信。
有一幕紫薇要拿一张白纸天书来研究,说“让我看看”,然后就接过去了,非常充满信心,好像她已经习惯为他们那个大家庭作疑难排解。在我印象里林心如版的紫薇 就不一样了。她会毕恭毕敬地请求拿到那张纸,这究竟是限于她的演技呢?还是林,马两人对角色的不同诠释呢?还有马版紫薇对儿子东儿的那种母爱表现得淋离尽至,我认为林心如未必能演出那种效果。她是属于偶像型的演员,让人有很注重自己外表的感觉,要她装嫩,演比自己年纪小的角色应该胜任过演一个母亲。但是,不可否认,她那又圆又大的眼睛确实比马伊俐来神,更似一个文诌诌的才女!
演皇阿玛的狄龙不算一个差演员,但就是没有张铁林的声威。毕竟这是大陆演员与香港演员的不同啊!很多戏只有香港演员演的来,演的像,特别是日常家庭的,轻松自然的那种题材。但说到清宫戏,大陆演员才有那种气势呢!
五阿哥的古巨基和苏有朋比起来,我只能说不相上下,两个都不是太出色或太拙劣。古的五阿哥比苏的成熟,但也严肃许多。古的演技不怎么跳得出框框,跟之前情深深雨蒙蒙里的何书桓一个样儿。可他的哭戏和吻戏比苏有朋强多了(这对苏来讲是否很惨呢?呵呵!)~
说到哭戏,第三部中尔康落难缅甸,所有人以为他死了。这一段需要每个演员都哭得天崩地裂。好笑的是,我注意到演尔康他爹的那位,不怎么会哭。有好几次,剧情需要他哭,他连正面都不敢瞧摄影机,那张不再年轻的脸逼迫要装出心酸的样子,被弄得像拼命要挤出水的毛巾那样,皱皱的,却也只是出来了这么一滴水(泪)。真辛苦啊!
演尔康的周杰是唯一没更换的主角。都“三代老臣”了,他演的戏就更肉紧了,虽然表面上是故作轻松。他的牙齿明显烤瓷过,变得更白更齐;而他也很注重,上半部一有空就张牙咧嘴,用笑来露齿,有点让人受不了。有道是共患难易,共富贵难,第三部里尔康的诠释也可以马马虎虎地套用这句话。因为前两部是他跟紫薇千辛万苦要在一起,表现出来的就都是共同走过风风雨雨的情景。第三部上半段都是讲他们幸福的婚姻家庭生活的,他演出来的快乐就好像有点夸张,轻浮。

到了尔康被缅甸公主俘虏然后染上毒瘾,家里人竭力为他戒毒的那些场景,才觉得周杰把他的演技发挥全面了。不得不承认,他是一个出色的演员而他在还珠三里的戏也是最难演的。但周杰克服了挑战,把离乡背井的人的无奈,念家,和染上毒瘾的人的愤恨及无助表现得恰到好处。让我不断地勾画出如果所有主角还是原来的演员会是如何如何。

新人秦岚真是太漂亮,太迷人了!她演知画那是再好不过了。我从不知道东北姑娘说话这么好听,这么温柔!她柔声柔气但口齿清晰,演活了背地里抢人丈夫虽让人厌恶,但表面上楚楚可怜让人无法痛恨的女人!
一直不提到第三部的小燕子因为那实在让我心痛。虽然看到后来也习惯了黄奕,但她与赵薇那么不同,实在想像不到琼瑶阿姨为何觉得她可以升任小燕子的角色。最近在看据说是“还珠格格”姐妹篇的“格格要出嫁”,里面鬼马的金蝉格格的表演者倪睿思还带了些小燕子的风气呢!黄奕是那种天生不巧的女孩。笑起来即使是真心的,也会让人觉得假装。我爸常说不是每个人都会笑的。那些电台的主持人就是天生会笑。他们每报告完一段新闻,就可以很简单地露出笑容。而有些人呢?即便使劲地咧嘴吐牙,也让人感到笑得勉强。黄奕就是后者;而赵薇就是前者。
黄奕不但抹杀了小燕子的精灵古怪,还把她的性格都扭曲了。不讲理是更甚,但是当初的小燕子怎么可能为了五阿哥而唯唯诺诺呢?如果她结婚前为了自己的“道理”可以牺牲掉五阿哥,结婚后又怎么可能那么害怕失去而被知画骑在头上呢?要说是剧本的要求,还不如说黄奕体会不了或演绎不了真正的小燕子!

事隔十年了,赵薇也成功地转了型。但我为何叹息?觉得失去了什么?她为什么怕定了型呢?小燕子的活泼和独一无二是只有在她身上才透得出来,既然这么绝无仅有,她为何急于撇清呢?好像都不愿提起她曾经是小燕子。而她成功地演绎了小燕子,为何不肯接拍第三部,让这个经典完满结束呢?这是好的,最适合她的呀。总比拍乱七八糟的东西强吧! 转型之后,她也变成了众多努力的,敬业的好演员之一而已! 就再也不显得独特了。唉….. 不过,小燕子的深入我心可以让我一直给赵薇机会,不管她演什么角色我都会想在那上面找寻小燕子的影子,也就是说我都会看她的戏。而我会不断重看“还珠格格”,所以不怕赵薇以后的角色太让我失望。在我心中,赵薇的小燕子是永恒的!

表哥婚后的第一个生日

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如题。我们(我,爸妈,表哥,他爸妈,还有表嫂)今天约在贵宾楼六点钟吃晚饭庆祝。也不知道是不是上班太忙了,我急急忙忙把要处理的工作处理掉,还要洗干净带便当的碗,洗脸洗手,涂抹防晒油,整理包包,关灯… 这些事情我平日每天下班前都做的,今天却特别的不得心应手。抬头看钟,还有15分钟,应该赶得及开车过去,至多迟到5分钟而已。

六月初的天气已经这么暴热。在即使遮了挡阳板的车子里开足冷气,还是热得呼呼哈哈的。终于赶到了,我想,一进去,就会有人对我招手,让我看到他们坐在哪一桌的。结果,里面空荡荡的,像是还没到吃饭时间!我连表都不看就拨电话给我妈,用质问的口气说,“你们怎么一个都没到,全要迟到啊?”她奇怪地问,“你说什么呀?现在才5点,我们不是约了6点吗?”我真恨不得用我的右脚狠狠地踩我的左脚,自己怎么这么笨?明明知道是6点,却把5点当作6点,唉。这就证明了我今天实在是被工作忙晕了头!

没法,附近又没什么地方可逛,我就干脆开了一桌,叫了杯冰水,咕噜咕噜地灌下去,人凉下来了。幸好我把<>带来了。这本书听说是经典之作,整体来说,我觉得一段一段。或者我不懂品味吧。是钱钟书叙述的社会现况让这本书成名吗?我反倒觉得是他观察入微,很多时候对某人的描写非常生动,让那一段的故事特别吸引。这时我刚好念到他描述主角方鸿渐睡觉打鼾的趣事,恰到好处,俨然就是我爸打鼾的情形!

我边笑眼睛边急忙地追踪着下一段,不知不觉,他们到了。人陆续有来,我就放下书,谈起话来。最后主角登场,还带来一只大生日蛋糕,我太高兴了!听说是栗子口味的,我巴不得没吃晚饭前就先点蜡烛,唱歌,吃蛋糕!他们点了一桌的菜,每个人也着实饿了,边谈边吃边笑,话题大都停留在表哥和 Tracy 结婚一事和回中国玩的见闻。

很快,蛋糕上来了,吃了一半,我才记得要照相呢!


以上就是我们几个吃饱喝足的样子~ Tracy 显然比结婚前瘦了,大概肉都长到我表哥身上了吧。不过却多了分小女人的妩媚,而且变得更白,更漂亮了。我的表嫂是个好表嫂!下两个礼拜要到 Aurora 培训,说好了住他们家,我还挺期待的呢!

Colorado Springs 2008

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It was not until I saw the Starbucks sign on 21st street (intersecting highway 24) that I realized the sands in my “year glass” have all flown through the tube – exactly a year ago, I was here, having climbed to the top of Pikes Peak – and came back down – and was trying to go to the next destination: Garden of the Gods. We were sort of lost and thus had been driving around that Starbucks a couple of times. Memorial Day weekend, 2008, we had new purposes in Colorado Springs: to see the famous U.S. Air Force Academy and the grandest mile of scenery – the Seven Falls.
As usual, dad demanded us to get up as early as possible and start our journey hopefully before the sun is making everything too hot. I managed to wear contact lenses, fix my hear, put on lots of sun blocks, and throw on my sunglasses. I also remembered to grab my personal mixed CD so I can play DJ in the car.
Chatting, singing along to songs, and snacking made the hour-and-a-half drive piece of cake (of course, I didn’t drive, so it’s easy for me to say!). Here we were at the guards of the Air Force Academy. The guy in uniform told us the visitor center was 4.5 miles from the gate and let us in. I thought, that’s almost as far as driving to work (25 minutes). Well, how I wished commuting to work would be more like this: there were no traffic lights, no crazy drivers, and along the path, both sides were full of green plants. Therefore, it only took us 4 minutes to get to the visitor center.
We went in at great timing, a 14-minute documentary about the academy and its students/trainees, which are called Cadets, was about to begin. After watching “Pursuit of Excellency”, I realized how tough, but fulfilling, the life of a cadet is. They must complete some 60 programs before becoming an officer in the military; the first step is physical training. The trainings they do remind me of action heros in movies, except movie stars are on wires when doing a flying scene, whereas these cadets are not. Here’s a model room for cadets:
Apparently two cadets share one room (I doubt any one room would be this clean, though)!
Besides strict discipline, there are all kinds of activities the cadets can do, such as religious rituals in the chapel, which is an architecturally stunning building, it also is where the cadets’ graduation ceremony is held:

We spent the longest time trying to find a parking spot. Then we realized something must be going on, because everyone who walks towards the chapel was very nicely dressed. We rushed to the entrance but were stopped by the guard. He told us there will be a graduation here in a few days (sure enough, President Bush came too and gave the commencement speech, it was on the local papers on Wednesday, 5-28-2008) and so today, a parent conference was taking place in the chapel, thus it was full, we could not go in. Not giving up, we tried to go in through the downstairs door for handicaps, but got dirty looks from a woman who was watching us. Failed to steal a peek of the inside of the chapel, I at least needed to have a picture of the side of the building:

(A plane was flying above and so the echo was loud…)

Onto our next destination. We figured we’d head over to Manitou Springs, but there were too many things to see there, including the Ghost Town museum (of things from the 1800’s!!), the Miramont Castle (where the famous Grand Staircase was housed), the ruins of the cliff dwellings off the side of Highway 24, etc. Finally, we cheaped out and decided to go to downtown Manitou Springs, which didn’t cost anything, and was categorized as a historic district with lots of old buildings.

I could only describe the downtown as NEAT:

It felt so good to be here. The weather was nice, people were out strolling with their dogs, sun-tanning, or drinking iced coffee and chit chatting under the sun… What a great life!

These buildings were probably well over 100 years! And many of them were in, on top of, beside, at the foot of, hills!


The tourist brochure mentioned the water of Manitou Springs, calling it having a “distinctive taste.” We tried a handful from this fountain and sure enough, the water was cool, and at first tasted a little salty and smelled a little like fish. But the aftertaste turned sweet and it helped quench our thirst till lunch time.

Later, we stopped at a couple of stores that sold hand-made jewelries and souvenirs. One of them was called the 10 dollar store where everything was $10 or under. I got really excited at first seeing all the vintage styled watches, necklaces, and earrings. But after browsing for a while, I realized the watches were out of battery and the jewelries were not that great of quality – not worth even 10 bucks. So we said thank you and goodbye to the store owner while feeling pretty bad for him. For the 15 minutes we were in his store, lots of people came in as well, we all touched, looked, and compared items, but nobody was seen paying for anything….

On the other side of the street, there was a jewelry store that sold pearls, Gordon’s was the name:

Mr. Gordon was very excited to see us. He started telling us about his hand cast pearl pendant collection and opened every cabinet for us to look. Dad was marveling about his cabinets, which, to our surprise, were all put together by Mr. Gordon himself, about 30 years ago, using logs that looked old, but gave a long-lasting feeling. His pearl pendants were very appealing, even though they were mostly casted in silver. Mom picked one out for me, it looked like a freshly picked cherry. With silver casting of a piece of leaf and stem, and the pearl shaping like a cherry. Mr. Gordon went inside and took out all three color pearls in the same style: white, green, and blue. I thought the blue one looked the prettiest and bought it. It also came with a silver chain so instead of putting it in a bag, I wore it right away!

The whole morning was gone fast, now way past noon, we were all very hungry. But it was hard to decide what to eat since there were so many restaurants, bars, cafes, and delis down the street. Mom suggested a bar close to where we parked, she recalled the sign said “best food in town.” Dad and I both objected, we were too hungry to walk the distance. Finally, we stopped by PJ’s Bistro, for we saw on their open menu, something we’ve never had before: Pierogi

I was happy as soon as I walked inside the little bistro, it was very cute (we sat on that middle table from the left row):

Picture from http://www.babayaga.net/

Curious of what Pierogis were, we had an order. Also on our order were a Turkey Bagel Sandwich and a Club Sandwich. (My parents didn’t want me to act like a fool and take pictures, so….). I highly recommend PJ Bistro’s sandwiches. The portion was pretty good (big), and they grilled their stuff almost to perfection. Also good were their various sauces. The Pierogis were not impressive at all because they were simply dumplings with beef stew stuffing. Nothing in the world can compare to my mom’s hand-made dumplings, so that was out of the question. However, the sauce used for the piergis, sweet and sour, red wine colored, was not bad. (Click on the link above for their address and menu and be sure to try their sandwiches if you happen to be in Manitou Springs!)

Despite being really full and sleepy, I reapplied sun blocks as the sun seemed to sting even more when you had a full belly. We took a shortcut to the Seven Falls instead of what our trip planner said, I felt so good about it! When we got there, the line was very long and moving ridiculously slow. Many people turned their cars around and left. We wondered if there was an accident and whether or not to continue waiting. After the man from the car before us returned and told his wife to keep waiting, we knew it was merely too many tourists. After about half an hour of wait, we finally got to the ticket booth. Guess what? It was taking so long because everybody was trying to purchase tickets with credit cards; therefore, there were a lot of handing over paper to sign, and receipts, etc. An old man that looked like a retired park ranger was going down car by car, keeping the passengers entertained and in line. My parents could not stop shaking their heads. They said if this was in China, there was no way that the matter could be handled like this. Things would need to be done 10 times faster to accommodate the number of people and a lot more staff would be hired to sell tickets….

Finally, we were in. We parked our car at a certain stop and walked a little up the slope. Besides kids, we could hear very clearly the sound of water running. We knew we must be near the waterfall… First thing we came to see was a human-dug tunnel where the elevator was housed that would lead to the overlook deck. Or people could take the stairs to go up. We chose the elevator because we wanted to go inside the tunnel. As I took off my sunglasses, I could feel lots of cool air surrounding me, like in an air conditioned room, it felt so good! Inside and outside the tunnel were like two different worlds! Too bad the elevator was not a see through one. Before we knew it, the doors opened and we walked out of the elevator, and the heat was instantly felt.

Many people were already here, taking pictures. We wondered what they were taking pictures of, where was the waterfall anyway? A kid pointed at a direction and yelled “mom, look, look!”, we looked to that direction, and to our surprise, there it was, the waterfall, the so called “grandest mile of scenery in Colorado.” My mom immediately regretted paying $9 each to come in. There weren’t seven waterfalls, just one that turned seven times, whether natural or man-made. All there was to see was the cascading style of the waterfall that doesn’t even compare to some of China’s little waterfalls, in terms of grandness:



Here’s the looking-down view:

Since we were already here, we decided we should still go up to the source of the waterfall. So we came back down by elevator, and headed towards the bigger staircase.

The staircase was pretty steep, 2 flights and 224 steps of stairs!

At about step 10, a bare-footed little girl started crying, “mommy, I’m scared”. So her mom carried her down and told the rest of the family to keep going. I hate to admit but I got affected by the little girl and my heart started pounding as I climbed each step, and looking down didn’t help at all. It was kind of scary. Especially to your left you must leave room for people to walk down.

I started counting the steps out loud while gasping which seemed to have helped. I am proud to report this was one of the fastest time I continuously climbed so many steps of stair! Here’s my proud look when I reached the destination:


… and my dad’s victory look:

While my mom and I sat on the rocks to rest our feet and catch our breath, despite how uncomfortable the “rock chair” was, we saw this 70 something year old Chinese man walking right past us, so unaffected from the climbing, as if he had just been walking back and forth in his living room. Our jaws dropped. Then we turned heads and saw his son gasping for air even harder than we were. We broke out into laughters. Since we were all Chinese, we started chatting and the topic was centered around how nowadays, the young generation was much weaker than the old generation. We also found out this family, consisted of grandparents, mom and dad, daughter and son, have lived in Colorado Springs for 10 years and today was only their first time doing some sight-seeing in the city!! We were much less ashamed of ourselves after hearing that!

Colorado Ballet – The Repertory Series

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Mercedes is a such true friend who always thinks of me. Today, she invited me to see the Colorado Ballet performance as she has an extra ticket. So she, I, and her step daughter Skii, drove to the Denver Performance Arts center in downtown, on this beautiful Saturday afternoon.

Because Mercedes couldn’t find her keys, we were running late. By the time we got there, the show had already started, so we had to sit at the very back till the first intermission, to get to our real seats, which were quite good – they were on the second row.

The Repertory Series is consisted of three performances. The first one is called “Leaves are Fading.” It premiered July 17, 1975 in New York:

Since we were sitting too far back, I couldn’t enjoy it as much. At times I even got so sleepy.


What a relief it’s intermission time! (This is how far back we were sitting):

So we got up and walked around the theater. It is truly artistic, from the doors:


… to the arts:

… to the stairs/building structure:

Here’s Mercedes and Skii, in front of the oh-so-real wax statues.

Break time is up and we found our excellent seats on the second row. The second performance is called “… smile with my heart” and was premiered October 23, 2002 in New York:

It is my favorite performance out of the three. Because it was very fresh, modern, and I felt I could understand the message they were trying to convey better. And I liked the fact that the band was on stage, playing live, as well:

The third performance was visually the most stunning one. It’s called “Straight Line to Never” and it’s a new performance just premierd March 15, 2008 in Denver!!! The costume, make-up, and dance routines are all very oriental. But I just couldn’t make out what message they were trying to deliver. Maybe because the music wasn’t soft enough. It sounded like music from the Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon soundtrack. But isn’t the stage setting gorgeous?!

Denver International Sportsmen’s Exposition

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Today is Saturday, but I had to work in the afternoon! Although it was a different kind of work. The Denver International Sportsmen’s Exposition is held at the Colorado Convention Center at Downtown from Jan. 24-27. My employer, the USGS, has a booth at the event selling some maps, toys, books, etc. and they needed people to man it. So I volunteered a couple hours of my Saturday to come and help, thinking it was all worth it because I got to come in for free while everyone else had to pay a $12 admission.

Wow! I’ve never seen so many people at a single place in Denver!


People in here must be very outdoorsy. Such fishing/hiking/hunting gears are not cheap at all! Too bad I didn’t have a whole lot of time taking pictures but here’s our booth:

That’s Colleen and Rob. Rob is such a funny guy!

And here’s Colleen, Rob, and Ken by the register:


I spent most of the time helping out with the cash register, but I gotta admit, I’m so much older now! 5555555~ I used to be so good with the cash register when I worked for a McDonald’s a few years back, now I kept on making mistakes… Sorry, Rob!