Today, I visited the HKCEC

Enter our latest giveaway below. Thanks, Jarkie, for putting together such a great collection!

A week from now, I’ll be back in BP gearing up for the next year of school, so I’m trying to savor the last days of vacation. Today, we visited the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre during our trip downtown.  It was my first visit to the harbor with my mother, who has not been back for 40 years. You can imagine how much has changed since then; the HK from her youth bears little resemblance to the city today with its skyscrapers and shopping centers.

 In front of it is the Golden Bauhinia Square, a site that signifies and commemorates the 1997 handover from Britain to China.

In front of it is the Golden Bauhinia Square, a site that signifies and commemorates the 1997 handover from Britain to China.

Runnin’ ‘Round Town

My cousin Gail arrived on Tuesday, and we have been exploring Budapest. Wednesday, on our first full day together, we saw the Opera House, Basilica, Vaci utca, Déak ter, and that general area. It was my first time up close to the Basilica, and it is beautiful! Unfortunately, the lift was broken, so I couldn’t go in. We were out during the hottest part of the day, and by the time we got back, the heat had sapped our energy. Having learned our lesson, we started out in the late afternoon yesterday (oh yeah, also because I forgot to charge my wheelchair batteries overnight. tsk tsk), and ventured to Keleti train station to buy tickets, Heroes’ Square, the City Park, and the Szechenyi baths.

“Photos or it didn’t happen!” you say … well, luckily for me, Gail is a great photographer, so I will wait for her to upload her pictures. Here are just a few:

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Some other interesting sights along the way:
– a Chinese hot pot restaurant
– part of the Berlin Wall on Andrassy utca
– guys doing bike tricks on Heroes’ Square

The more I see of Budapest when visitors come, even though it’s often the same sites, the more I grow to appreciate its charm and beauty. More soon!

You don’t change the city
The city changes you

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Today, I’m back at work…

It’s back to working and studying. Oh oh oh. But what an adventurous weekend, revisiting some childhood memories.

On Saturday, I got to see the good ole Arkie! 🙂 We caught up again and visited the library she used to go to… and then ate LOTS OF bok choy at Hot Pot.

Yesterday, I decided to do some DC sightseeing. I call it speed-museum-going. I only had about 2.25 hours to spend but I squeezed in as much as I could! First up, I have heard people rave about the Mitsitam Cafe at the Museum of the American Indian.

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Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian

IMG_3676There was a selection of exhibits such as Our Universe, Our Peoples, etc. The photo to the left (click on it for a larger view) is part of the Contemporary Life and Identities exhibit… gathering experiences from residents of eight Native communities, they look at how the identity of people have been shaped by the modern world. Those glittery sneakers are awesome. But beyond that glitter, it is a complex issue of how they can claim the future as their own… as their past has been shaped largely by the arrival of newcomers on this side of the world.

The cafe was lovely! Every single thing about the menu is grand!  What museum has a cafeteria loaded with such beautifully presented dishes? I do not know!

Breast of Duck, Dried Corn & Strawberry Cake, Red Wine Strawberry Reduction

Breast of Duck, Dried Corn & Strawberry Cake, Red Wine Strawberry Reduction

Next up, a trip back to my favorite museums of all time, the National Air and Space Museum.  Some of my favorite exhibits below. I am in love with their museum store and became a Smithsonian member. If you’re interested, click here. I am ever so thankful of what this museum celebrates. That of aircraft and spacecraft. But mostly aircraft. Without it, how would I have come to be a Kentucky resident? Well, I suppose I could have sailed across the ocean… ha! I mean, their exhibit of the Northwest Boeing 747-100B is always exciting, because that’s what 8-month old Jarkie came to the United States on. But it’s great to see their collections of aircrafts (especially ones used in war) and of spacecraft.

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1903 Wright Flyer. It was the first powered aircraft that was "heavier-than-air" that made flight with pilot aboard it.
1903 Wright Flyer. It was the first powered aircraft that was “heavier-than-air” that made flight with pilot aboard it.

Seems like it was a duck day for me. I stopped by a gelato place to catch up with a high school friend and we went to Chinatown Express in Chinatown (ha! surprise!). I ordered the freshly pulled noodles with duck. So good! Added some hot chili oil for a kick to it.

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I’ll be back tomorrow with a subscription box review 🙂 Surprise!

Today, I was a tourist.

Jessie, a friend from college who’s studying in Venice this semester, arrived on Friday evening for a 36-stay in Budapest on the last leg of her midsemester European tour. As I’ve said before, I like having guests in town to liven things up a bit, so this was a nice visit that came at a fairly good time for me exam-wise.

Since Jessie basically only had today, Saturday (really Saturday this time!), to see Budapest, we made a list of must-see places and headed out early. It was my first time doing all these touristy things, too! First, we took the tram to Margit Island, which was nice, but kind of empty this time of year. I bet it’s a fun place to picnic and relax in the warmer months, though. Then, we reboarded the tram and took it the end of the line in Buda, and walked up the steep hill to Buda Castle and Matthias Church.  I am not used to being out in the cold, and I don’t like it! Even the ~50° temperatures felt frigid.  That, on top of bumping along the cobblestone streets in my wheelchair detracted from my experience of the Castle District a bit. Objectively speaking, though, it is a quaint, decidedly European touristy area with spectacular views of the city. There was fog obscuring the buildings in the distance, and the sky was a perfect gray canvas, which gave it all a melancholic beauty. I’m looking forward to visiting again during different times of the year and showing other friends/family around.

My favorite part of our excursion was going to the Hungarian National Gallery.  The 1st floor has paintings and sculptures dedicated to narrating the history of Europe leading to the sovereign state of Hungary. The 2nd floor collection has Modernist works, and currently, an exhibit of political sketches and cartoons. Though the artists are probably famous in their own right, and it’s just my ignorance speaking, it was interesting to go to an art museum without any preconceived notions. I’ll definitely be returning!

I came home by early afternoon to recharge my batteries (literally and figuratively), while Jessie went on to explore the Parliament and other parts of Pest. It wasn’t even that long of a day, but I was tired by sundown, which nowadays happens around 5pm. Tomorrow, the last day of our extended weekend, I’m looking forward to staying in pajamas all day, studying anatomy, and catching up with Jarkie!

“Pictures, or it didn’t happen!” you say?! Well … I am a reluctant photographer, and even if I had brought my camera, my fingers would’ve been too cold to use it! However, Jessie assiduously documented the day, so I’ll post photos when she uploads them.

Jó eszakát!