29 December 2014

The Most Special Day in My Life - Part 1

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(The content of this post happened on June 12th, 2014 PDT)

The 12th of June was a very special day, actually one of the most special days in my life because it is “technically” the last day of my exchange year in the United States. Time flies, I have been in the U.S. for about 10 months and I didn't even notice this fact! During these months in the U.S., I have experienced so much that it’s hard to recall them all! But those months sure changed my life a lot, and the experiences I had were priceless.

(Cover photo) I've became a Del Norte Nighthawks after spending a great half year here.

The Most Special Day in My Life - Part 2

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(The content of this post happened on June 12th, 2014 PDT)

(Cover photo) My family and me in front of my school, Del Norte.

(The paragraph below were talking about a day before today- June 11th. Just this paragraph though.)
They (my parents) arrived United States in Los Angeles airport on June 11th and drove down to San Diego right after they got the car they rent. They actually experienced some problems while getting their rental car, it caused a few hours delay which made me pretty nervous on the June 11th evening, because I remembered that they used the airport Wifi to FaceTime call me at maybe around 4:00 telling me that they have finally arrived the U.S. and they planned to arrive San Diego at 6 PM or sometime around, BUT they never arrived until 10:30 PM. It might be okay if they could let me know that they were just having some problems with the car rental company, but they didn't have a way to communicate with me, there were no WiFi available outside the airport and they don't have phone either. Since the last time they called me was before they got their car and went on the freeway, I thought they had a car accident or something on the freeway! I knew people drive a lot faster on freeway in San Diego than in Taiwan and since my dad are driving a car the he have never drove before, I really thought that they had an accident. After hours of waiting, they finally FaceTimed me and told me what happened with the car rental company, right after they went into the hotel and found a wifi signal. They haven't even went into their room! They might be really worried about me worrying about them too! Haha I know it’s kinda messed up.

The Most Special Day in My Life - Part 3

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(The content of this post happened on June 12th, 2014 PDT)

(Cover photo) the big family picture.

We entered the house and I took my family around the house to show them where my room as well as other rooms are. We also chatted downstairs, my sister and mom loved the cat Toby, they can’t stop playing with him! My family and the Berryhill family and I were just chatting happily. And my family also gave them the gift they prepared for them, a really beautiful china vase, they loved it and put the vase into their shelves immediately. We then all went upstairs to my room and starting to do some final packing works. My mom helped me to pack which made the packing process a lot faster. No one likes packing, I had so many stuff to pack! At last, there were 4 luggage filled with my stuff, as well as some other bags. Isn't it crazy!

03 November 2014

Having fun at Belmont Park, Mission Beach

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(The content of this post happened on June 8th, 2014 PDT)

Time flies. A year of international exchange was almost over. On the last weekend of the year, just 4 days before my school ends, my host family took me to a really historical place in Mission Beach, San Diego called Belmont Park. According to Wikipedia, Belmont Park is an oceanfront amusement park opened on July 4th, 1925 as the Mission Beach Amusement Center. The park itself is so old that all the buildings and rides there looks so “classic”! We didn't spent our all day in Belmont Park , but also the whole Mission Beach area. There are many fine shops there as well as some great restaurants.

A wooden roller coaster in the park. Can you believe that it is one of the oldest wooden roller coaster in the U.S.?!

17 October 2014

New Kitten’s Arrival

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(The content of this post happened on June 5th, 2014 PDT)

On the 5th of June, we welcomed a new family member to our house. His name is Toby, and he is a cat! Karen and boys has always been wanting to adopt a kitty, and now they finally did. Since I also love small animals, I am glad that they decided to adopt a small kitty. When toby arrived, he is only a about a month old, which is really young, so we had to take care of him very carefully. Karen had his “room” and all the things he need prepared before he arrived, so he can sleep soundly on his first night in our house.

Elisa & Toby. How cute!

10 October 2014

Boat Project of Physics Class

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(The content of this post happened on June 4th, 2014 PDT)

Hi there! Whether you’re my old reader or this is your first time here, I am glad to see you here! I do know that I haven't been posting for more than three months, which is actually really ridiculous, but now I am back. I just didn't have time to write, that’s all. I really wanted to finish writing all the stories as soon as possible since I might forget what I have experienced in the States. I recently just finished taking a *really hard* midterm exam in my high school in Taiwan, that’s why I am feeling kinda relaxed right now and has a little bit of time now to write. So anyway, I'm back, and I promise that I will finish writing all the stories I have to write. (By “stories I have to write”, I mean stories about everything I experienced in the United States, including the round-California family trip. :D )

Cover Photo.

During my last month of exchange year in the U.S., I have done various of projects for different subjects. One of them is the Boat Project for physics class. Each trimester, students of Physics 2 class will have to do this project, yet it might be the most fun thing to do in this class throughout the trimester!

3 people will be grouped into a group to do this project. What we have to do is to make our very-own boat all by ourselves and eventually put it into water and one person will have to sit in it to see if it floats. From designing, assembling, to painting, we have to make this boat literally all by ourselves! So it is a really hard job.  The hardest part of this project might be the designing and calculation part, which we have to design the boat and calculate how high and wide the boat should be in order to not let it sink.

Boat-building in progress! :D

23 August 2014

Another Essay for English Class - My Hero: Jony Ive

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(The content of this post happened on June 4th, 2014 PDT)

So it has been a while since I wrote my last post. I have left the United States and arrived my home country, Taiwan, for about two months. But I know that I still have post about my last month of life in the states that I haven't finish writing them so I decided to finish them whenever I have time. I am just kinda busy working on my Taiwanese high school stuff like homework in the past two months, so I haven't have time to write.

Alright, so let's get back to the topic. This post is about another essay project I have written when I was in Del Norte High. This is also the last essay I wrote before I got out from school and enjoy my summer break. Since this is not a small project, every one of the students of Ms. Thompson's English worked hard on this essay, and we even have to publish our finished essay publicly to a website called "My Hero" for every other students that have needs to read. So it's kind of a big deal for me.

The topic of this essay is "My Hero", obviously it is a post about every student's hero. I chose Apple's designer Jony Ive as my hero, and why? Please read my essay! (You can choose to read it on My Hero website - http://www.myhero.com/hero.asp?hero=J_Ive_dnhs_kt_US_2014_ul, or just here on my blog)

A person who changed the world: Jony Ive

          iPhone, the most popular phone in the world, was designed by one person. Along with iPod, iPad and iMac, this person has made Apple the most popular brand in the world. Jony Ive is the Senior Vice President of Design at Apple Inc. in California, where he works out of a top-secret studio somewhere near Cupertino. He designed many of Apple’s most successful products that are award-winning and popular that most of the people are using them today. Although he habitually avoids publicity and does not like to be interviewed, people are still trying to find out his personal history and story. Jony Ive was born in London and grew up in Chingford, a town that belongs to the Greater London metropolitan area. He has been obsessed with design since he was a kid; his father also do designs which is an important reason why Ive started playing with design at a young age. He was a star student at New Castle Polytechnic, the top design school in the England. Ive moved to San Francisco, California from London, England in 1992, when he was hired by Apple. In 1996, he became the Director of Design. Eventually, he reached an even higher level, Steve Jobs made him the Vice President of Industrial Design at Apple in 1998. Unbelievably, all the Apple’s most successful products are designed by Jony Ive and his small group. Without him, Apple would not be this successful. To be a successful designer, one must possess both outstanding creativity and good collaborative skills. Being a designer is not a simple job to do, without creativity, one might not have enough ideas to create new things. Without collaborative skills, one might not be able to work and communicate with others well. But Jony Ive possess creativity and collaborative spirit, therefore, he is a hero that inspires other designers all over the world. 

          Everyone knows that one most important things a designer needs is to be creative. One's creative ideas can change the entire industry or even the whole world. For example, my hero, Jony Ive, has changed how people look at electronic devices. In 1998, Ive designed his very first product, the iMac, the computer which has a revolutionary design. The introduction of this product completely changed the desktop computer industry, because of its revolutionary new design that no designer had ever thought of before. “The simple truth is, Ive hates fuss and relishes simplicity. You can see that from his products. They may be revolutionary, high-tech magic boxes, but they look so elegantly simple that you know what they are for and how to use them the moment you first pick them up ”(Arlidge). Jony was interested in design since he was a kid, he decided to become a designer after he saw lots of minimal-designed sport cars while he was a teenager. After he was hired by Apple, he used his creativity to create lots of “surprises.” Jony thinks that many products are actually very poorly made, but people are using them because they have no choice, Jony decided to change this by using his creativity to “solve the problem.” He wants to make things simpler, he wants to make Apple’s products simpler, and easier to use. All of the products designed by him have one thing in common, that is, they all look simple but useful. Even if the products are newly introduced and people have never seen them before, they can still learn to use them very easily. Simple does that mean it is not well made. “He spent ‘months and months and months’ working out the exact shape of the stand of the desktop iMac computer because ‘it’s very hard to design something that you almost do not see because it just seems so obvious, natural and inevitable’”(Arlidge). Designing things is not a simple and easy job. Jony spent months just to make the new iMac computer so that it looks right. The reason why it is so hard and takes a designer so much time is that people are already used to the shape and how to use something they use every day. Jony wanted to change this. He thinks that people always limit what a thing can do, for example, he made music-enjoying and jogging possible to happen at the same time. The introduction of iPod take portable music-listening experience to a whole new level, people no longer need to carry a big CD player. If one can use their creativity spirit properly, they could change the world. There are so many ordinary things that we use every day but we never notice them, they could all be changed to be even simpler or easier to use! Jony is the person who has a creative spirit and has changed the modern world.

          Along with being creative, a hero like Jony Ive is often a team player. A great designer could inspire others, but can also be inspired by others easily. Every person could come up with an awesome idea that others never thought of before, everyone could figure out a way to make things better, but they need to be heard. The person who collects these brilliant ideas is the designer. A designer needs to know to listen and communicate with others, in order to accept other’s ideas and make their product better. Jony Ive is a person with very good collaboration skills; he can collaborate with others very well. He does not just design things, but he listens ideas and makes them even better. “There are times when I think either one of us or members of the team can feel discouraged. So I think that’s one of the things that’s fantastic working in groups. When you really think this can’t be solved and perhaps we’ve got too ambitious here, it’s fantastic when you’ve got other people around you to keep you going” (Grobart). Although there are only 15-20 people is his design group, it is still very hard to make all the people agrees to one idea. He thinks “successful collaboration” is not telling others agree to one’s idea, it’s combining everyone’s idea and comes with a even better idea. Also, he says that other people around you can keep you going, because they might not agree with your idea, but you can discuss with them and ask “how we can make it better”. With all the people in a design group rather than just one single designer, they can not only make things faster, but better. Working with others has another advantage, that is, everyone thinks differently. This does not seems to be a good thing, but it actually is. “When we were looking at objects, what our eyes physically saw and what we came to perceive were exactly the same. And we would ask the same questions, have the same curiosity about things.” (Allsopp) It is hard to make an ordinary object that everyone uses every day better, because people are all already used to it. To most people, an object might just be an object, nothing is special. But in the Apple design studio, a argument between designers might just have started. Every designer has their own thoughts about an upcoming product, but how they can figure out what to do? As a Senior Vice President of the Design Studio, Jony Ive uses his outstanding collaborate skill to lead everyone and find out a good way to solve the problem and even make it better. Jony says that collaboration is a requirement, because no one can do things perfectly all by themselves, they have to forget about their personal issues because they are working as a team. Because of Jony’s outstanding collaboration skills, he is able to make Apple better and take his design group to another level. 

          Jony Ive is my hero because he possesses creativity and collaborative spirit, which are both very important for a person who is a designer. His creativity made most of his products become best-selling and eventually became revolutionary. With his excellent collaboration skills, he is able to work with others well. Jony Ive does not just design products. He uses his creativity to change the world. In the past 20 years, his iMac changed the desktop computer industry, his iPod changed portable audio devices industry, his iPhone changed the cell phone industry, and his iPad changed the definition of “computer”. I am truly inspired by Jony Ive and wanted to be a designer, because of all the great works he have designed. I am inspired to design beautiful concepts and now I know to work well with other designers, instead of working all by myself. When a person does so many things that made this world better and help people do things easier, I cannot disagree with giving him a title of “hero”.

This is technically a "Stock Image" from me since I don't have a picture of the printed version of essay! :D

10 June 2014

Visiting Old Town San Diego Historic Park

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On June 1st, 2014, the second last before I leave San Diego, we decided to go visit a place that we haven’t visited before. If you know San Diego well and have been continued reading my blog you should know, this place is “Old Town San Diego State Historic Park”. The Old Town Historic Park is located in the Old Town neighborhood of San Diego and it is a state protected historical park. We thought it might be kinda fun to visit Old Town in the morning and have lunch there, and then we can take to trolley to Downtown. The reason why we’re also going to Downtown is actually because that my host family asked me where I want to go and I answered Downtown so they wanted to bring me there. My host family is really nice!

Cover Photo - Old Town San Diego

26 May 2014

Boogie Boarding at Cardiff Beach

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Since Monday, May 26th is Memorial day in America, we got a day off of school, which means we got all three-day weekend. On Sunday, we decided to go to the beach because the weather was really hot. This time, we're not just "going to the beach", we were going to be playing in the water, as well as to relax on the beach. the beach we went this time was the Cardiff Beach, which is north from us, we were actually there (near there) a few month ago but the weather was pretty cold back then, this is the first time we go into water.

(Cover photo) At Cardiff Beach.

24 May 2014

Physics Class Trip at Knott's Berry Farm

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Every year, students of Del Norte High School’s Physics 2 class will have a chance to visit the amusement park, Knott's Berry Farm, as a physics class trip. Luckily, I am one of the students this year, and of course, I got to visit Knott's Berry Farm! The main reason of the visit is to "learn physics", yeah, "learn physics". Believe or not, we actually have to do worksheets after visiting, we have to calculate things related to physics of the ride, such as the velocity and acceleration of the roller coaster. But I still had lots of fun anyway.

One of the rides in Knott's Berry Farm: Xcellerator.

12 May 2014

Watching a Real MLB Baseball Game

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Time files. Unbelievably, it’s May already. In just about a month, my family are coming to visit and I am going back to my country, Taiwan. Since I don't have much time left in here, my host family wants to take me to as many cool places as possible. This weekend, we went watching a baseball game in San Diego Petco Baseball stadium, it was a real baseball game! I was very excited because I ever been to a real stadium to watch any kind of sport games.

Beautiful view in the stadium!

15 April 2014

Second time visiting San Diego Zoo

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Karen brought boys and me to visit San Diego last Saturday while Jason and Elisa went shopping in Costco and some other stores. This was my second time visiting the world-famous San Diego Zoo. Just like usual, there were lots of people in the zoo during our visit. I am just going to keep this post clean and short since there are actually not too many new things to show, if you are interested in reading my first visit to San Diego Zoo, please click here to read the post from 2 months ago.

2 polar bears in the zoo hugging each other.

Dining in the Gorgeous Hotel Del Coronado

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Today, April 11th, 2014, is the last day of Uncle Paul’s third visit. We of course all don’t want him to go because he is also so kind to take us to cool places or nice restaurants, but it’s impossible for him to stay for too long since he also have people to take care of in Chico. The good thing is, he will visit here again in June when my family comes, so my dad can will be able to see “His host dad”, and I am very looking forward to it! On his last day in San Diego, we decided to go to a really beautiful place to do some shopping and have lunch, that is, the Coronado Island. It is an affluent resort city located across San Diego Bay from downtown San Diego, I have actually been there once with my host family, it’s about 5 months before when I first got here, and we were just there for dinner. But today, we are going there in the morning instead of afternoon, I believed that we will see another beautiful side of the Coronado. 

Hotel Del Coronado and the beach.

11 April 2014

The Tour of Redit data center

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Later today (April 10th), Jason brought boys, Uncle Paul and me to see the data center of the company that he works in. I was surprised because it is so close to our house! I don't know that there are a professional data center just around our house! This data center trip was really special to me since I am kinda like an "IT guy", and I have my own website as well, so I can learn a lot more thing about servers and internet by visiting a real data center, and there is a person giving us a tour, too. (Jason's co-worker) The data center we were visiting today was held by a web solution company called redIT, this data center was not like Google's, it is not as big and this one have many clients (companies) renting and using the same data center at one time. When we first arrived there, we couldn't even find where it is, there are no any signs or directions, I guess it's because they don't really want people to know where they are (as one of their data center protection). And people are unable to look in from the windows as well. 

Data Center (Image from Google; this is not the one we went.)

Beautiful Beaches and shops: Point Loma

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Time flies, today, April 10th, 2014, was already the fourth day of Spring break, also the penultimate day of Uncle Paul’s visit… Uncle Paul took me to many cool and new tourist places the past three days and also today, I love them all, and I really hope this week will never end so we can go even more places! Haha Fortunately, there is one more day tomorrow, the last day we can go out to somewhere together. The place we went to today was Point Loma, it is a seaside community within the city of San Diego. There are many beautiful beaches, nice restaurants, and fine shops in Point Loma, and of course, the best thing about going to Point Loma is that you can enjoy the fantastic view of Pacific Ocean and the California Coast.

A street in Point Loma.

09 April 2014

The Hero Ship: USS Midway Aircraft Carrier

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Today, April 9th, 2014, was the third day of Spring break. Uncle Paul and I decided to visit the USS Midway Museum. According to Wikipedia, The USS Midway Museum is a maritime museum located in downtown San Diego, California at Navy Pier, it consists of the aircraft carrier Midway. We have walked past it or even parked in its parking lot before, but I never actually got on it before, so we think it would be a really interesting place to go. It is just in the downtown area, and people are able to see it from very far away, I think it is definitely a landmark in San Diego.

This picture was taken in the control tower on USS Midway.

08 April 2014

Birch Aquarium & La Jolla Cove

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Today was the second day of Spring break, just like yesterday, Uncle Paul took me out to some famous tourist places in San Diego. Before we go, Uncle Paul and me went to a coffee shop to read newspaper, relax and have some drinks. I woke up at 7 o'clock today, just like the normal school day. We first took boys to their school, and then go straight to the coffee shop. The coffee shop we went to is call The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, it is located in 4S common center. There was only one person in the shop by the time we got there, so it was kinda nice. I had a cup of Latte and Uncle Paul had some tea. I felt really relaxed just sitting in the coffee shop and read some internet articles or play games with my iPad, or even to chat with Uncle Paul. We should definitely go there everyday!

(For cover photo) The spectacular view of the shore, the ocean, and the sky. Looking down from the Birch Aquarium.

San Diego Seal Tour Adventure

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Today, April 7th, 2014, was the first day of our Spring break. Uncle Paul, again, flew down from Chico and come visit us. Unfortunately, boys' school has their Spring break two weeks after my break week, so I have a week off while boys don't, it's kinda bad since we can not do activities together, but on the other hand, Uncle Paul can take me to some places that boys might not want to go, so it's also nice! Yesterday, before Uncle arrives, Jason took Ethan and me (Brennan was feeling sick) to a huge electronic store called "Fry's Electronics" just to look around, that store (or let's say, mall) was incredibly big, it even has a restaurant and a small aquarium in the mall! And it sells everything as well, from speakers, TVs to electronic parts, it's just unbelievable! Well, maybe it's just another "American size" thing, nothing too special Haha. After looking around at the electronic store, we went to a place called Invasion Laser Tag to play a quick Laser Tag game. We actually went there before once, and it was still fun this time! We then had lunch in Southern California Style fast food restaurant - In-n-out. Although it's my... 4th time having In-n-out (and having the exact same food), their classic cheese burger still tastes so good!

(For title picture) We saw a aircraft carrier drove by when we were on the boat tour

23 March 2014

2 Days Camping Trip on Palomar Mountain SP

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The 11th of March is Brennan's birthday, to fulfill one of his his wishes, we decided to go on a camping trip this this weekend. The campsite we were going is Palomar Mountain State Park which is about 5000 feet high above sea level, it would be really cold up there, so I packed my "Coat for South Dakota" with me. I guess this was the only time I really use this coat after moving to California. Since Elisa might be too young to go, only Jason, boys and one of the friend of Brennan called Ethan R. (and his dad as well) are going. I leaves school earlier than usual because we wanted to get there before the sun goes down. After a quick run home to take my coat and clothes, we started heading to Palomar Mountain State Park. Driving from home to Palomar Mountain takes about one and half hour, we took two trucks and uses walkie talkie to communicate.

Our campground.

09 March 2014

See Where I Went and Had Fun These Weekends

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Karen and Jason will take boys and me to different places almost every weekends. 2 weeks ago, we went hiking in San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve; and we went watching the Lego Movie last week. But since these are not really big "events", I didn't write post for them. It is very beautiful in San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve, it is a town nears the ocean, so hiking there are very makes me feel very comfortable, and the view was really good, too. The Lego movie was cute and funny, but I don't think I "love" it since I felt sick watching those tiny little Lego-made people all the time.

At San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve

Bought a Jawbone Jambox Bluetooth Speaker

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Again, I got something awesome on eBay again. I really love eBay, because I can always get something I want with a really good price on it. Meanwhile, I also really hate eBay since eBay charges me total 15 bucks for selling an $100 Target Gift Card. well, it's another story, but NEVER SELL THINGS ON EBAY!

This time, I got a Jawbone Jambox Wireless Protable Bluetooth Speaker on eBay.

First Time Experiencing Broomball On Ice

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Last Friday, Jason brought boys and me to Escondido Ice-plex to join the annual Family Broomball Night. Since it only holds one time a year, we cannot miss it! Broomball is a recreational ice game originating in Canada and played around the world. It is played in a hockey rink, and broomball's game rules are also just like ice hockey rule, but it is way easier than hockey, and we can just wear sneakers playing it instead of wearing ice skates.

Having fun playing broomball!

08 March 2014

Night at the Museum - "Wild About the Arts"

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Since Del Norte High School has the trimester system, this week is our final exam week. All the classes I take have final but yearbook class, yeah, even art classes have final! The final of art classes is called Night @ The Museum (N@TM). It is not really an "exam", but a art exhibition that was held on Wednesday and everyone including parents are welcome to come, all students who attend art classes have to display at least on of their work in the exhibition. Since I am in 3D Animation class, I also have to be participated the N@TM exhibition. I invited my host family to come with me, so they can not only see what I made and learned in 3D Animation class, but also take a look of the campus of my school and see some other high school student's art works.


25 February 2014

Disneyland Trip - Day 3: California Adventure - Pt. 1

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How time flies, it was last day of the trip already. Just like yesterday, we packed our clothes, had a quick breakfast, and headed to Disneyland. But today, we were not going to the original Disneyland Park, we were going to the new California Adventure Park. The park opened in 2001, and it is the second of two theme parks built at the Disneyland Resort Anaheim. I think there are more "old-kids" rides in California Adventure such as California Scearmin' and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Just as usual, both Disneyland park and California Adventure entrance were very crowed, we had to wait for a while to get into the park.

One of the most popular attraction in California Adventure: The California Screamin' Ride!

Disneyland Trip - Day 3: California Adventure - Pt. 2

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(Please read the first part of this post first: Disneyland Trip - Day 3: California Adventure - Pt. 1.)

We visited Cars Land today! (I will mention it later)

After this quick but awesome trip around California, we went to one of the most famous attraction (but it's not in the video...) in California, Hollywood! Well, of course, not the real one, we are still in Disneyland, we went to the Hollywood Land! This area are inspired by the 1930s Golden Age period of Hollywood, I really love it since I kinda like some old-fashion buildings, that's why I also love Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland so much, it is inspired by the 1920s of Los Angeles. The reason why we were here was because we are going to get ready for Elisa's "Disney Junior's Live on Stage" show at 2:30, this was the only time when she could take a small rest. Before lining up for the show, we just walked around the Hollywood Land. There were not too many rides in this land but some nice gift shops and maybe some stages. When we finally got into the show theater, we were surprised because we have to sit on the ground, there was no chairs in this theater, I guess it's because this theater was designed for kids to dance and sing. But we were actually expecting to sit on some nice, soft chairs and take a rest during the show... I have to say, the actual show was pretty good. Although it was designed for little kids, I still enjoyed it a lot, I love the decorations on the stage and the music of the show, plus, seeing all small kids dancing, singing and replying silly answers to the host was really interesting. I remember that there was one time when the host asked something like "Do you want to discover Mickey's clubhouse?" (which, of course, she expect kids to answer YES), and I heard a kid behind me answered NO really loud. That was just really funny!

23 February 2014

Disneyland Trip - Day 2: Disneyland Park - Pt. 1

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Yeah!!! This day was finally here! It's day for visiting the world happiest place, Walt Disneyland! Disneyland opens at 9 today, so we woke up at 8, and had a simple, quick breakfast. Our hotel offers free breakfast, it was very basic, and there has not place for us to eat so we have to eat in our room, but it's actually a good thing since we can finish it fast have save time to have fun in Disneyland! As we were on our way to Disneyland, we could see some rides in California Adventure Park such as California Screamin' and The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, that make boys and me even more excited! By the time we arrived Disneyland entrance (about 8:45), there were already lots of people waiting there to get in to the park, it took us at least half an hour to go through all processes and got into the actual park, processes including backpack check, which can make this 40,000-visitors-per-day park much safer.

One of the rides in Disneyland, the Space Mountain

Disneyland Trip - Day 2: Disneyland Park - Pt. 2

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(Please read the first part of this post first: Disneyland Trip - Day 2: Disneyland Park - Part 1.)

Disneyland Mickey's Soundsational Parade (I will mention it later)

Buzz Lightyear, one of the main characters in the movie "Toy Story", even has its own ride, called Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. We went on it after riding Matterhorn, it didn't take us too long to wait. I remember that I have played this in HK Disneyland, we basically just have to use laser guns to shoot wherever targets are. I got 13000 points at last, but Ethan and Jason got much more points than me, I guess they know the trick... At the exit of the ride, we can send the photo of us on the ride to our own e-mail for free, I of course did send it, but I looks dumb in the picture. Ha ha.

22 February 2014

Disneyland Trip - Day 1: Downtown Disney

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Where is "The happiest place on Earth"? I believe most people would say it's Disneyland. I've been looking forward going to Disneyland for months since I moved to California, and today, Feb 8th, was like dream come true, we were going to Anaheim for 3 days during the break! Anaheim is where Disneyland Resorts California located, including the original, oldest Disneyland Park, California Adventure Park, and Downtown Disney District. We planned to go Downtown Disney to have dinner and do some shopping on the first day, and visit the parks on day 2 and 3.

A restaurant in Downtown Disney- Rainforest Cafe

17 February 2014

Solana Beach: beautiful view & fine gift shops

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Today, we went to another famous coastal city in San Diego, the Solana Beach. We thought that today might be a nice day to go down there and have lunch. According to Wikipedia, Solana Beach is an affluent city in San Diego County, California. When we first arrived Solana Beach at about 10 o'clock, the weather was really foggy, and the sky was dark, there were only few people on the beach, and one person was surfing. To get to the actual beach, we have to walk through a park, so we decided to let Elisa play in the park. Karen, boys, and me walked down to the beach, it was a bit cold, and since the weather was foggy, we couldn't really look far from the beach. Karen told me that if the weather is nice, we will be able to see through all Southern California beaches, including the one we visited before, La Jolla beach. Elisa and Jason then came down to the beach with us, we took some pictures, and decided to head to the restaurant to have lunch. By the time we leave, the weather started to turn nice... well, it seems we doesn't have good luck today...

Solana Beach

09 February 2014

Chinese New Year Festival in Downtown San Diego

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Chinese New Year is a traditional Chinese holiday celebrated at the turn of the Chinese calendar, in 2014, Chinese new year was on January 31st. There are all kinds of Chinese New Year celebration around California during this new year season, since Chinese population have a large percentage in California. Today we went down town to attend the "Chinese New Year Food & Cultural Fair", according to the official San Diego website, this is a event fun-packed with various cultural performance including lion dancers, martial arts demonstrations and acrobatics, children's crafts, lantern parade and a wide variety of Chinese and Asian food booths.

The First Formal Essay I Have Ever Written

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English class is a must-take class in United States high school. Before I moved to San Diego, I had speech class in Ipswich, and I have "English 1" class now. Both classes require students to write essay or article, I just finished writing a formal essay in "English 1" class recently, and I would like to share with you.

08 February 2014

Upgrading iMac & Having Panda Express

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We did such a cool thing today, that is, open the iMac and upgrade its hard drive. Before doing this construction, we went to Costco to get some groceries. After that, I asked if I can buy some food at the Americanized-Chinese restaurant which is right next to Costco for lunch. This chain restaurant is called Panda Express, it is kinda like a "fast food" version of Chinese food, today was my first time trying it. Some people always say that Americanized-Chinese food are nasty, but I found it is actually pretty good! But all workers in the restaurant are not Asian, which is pretty interesting, isn't it a Chinese restaurant? I ordered a plate of chow mein with Beijing beef and black pepper chicken entries, all of them taste fantastic, it is even more delicious than the real Chinese food! Why was that? I guess is because most of the entries are either spicy or really sweet, but anyway, I love it! Maybe I should learn to make some Americanized-Chinese food instead of real Chinese food so I could feed myself...haha

The process of upgrading iMac was a good opportunity for kids to learn about computer hardware.

29 January 2014

Visiting San Diego Zoo Safari Park

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Today, January 26th, the weather in San Diego was still so perfect, not too cold, not too hot. So we decided to visit the San Diego Zoo Safari Park today. According to Wikipedia, the San Diego Zoo Safari Park, known as the San Diego Wild Animal Park, is an 1,800 acre zoo in the San Pasqual Valley area of San Diego. It is one of the largest tourist attractions in San Diego County. The safari park is different from the zoo that we visited few weeks ago, there are more wild animals here.

The parrot welcome us to visit San Diego Zoo Safari Park!

17 January 2014

Swimming in friend's neighborhoods

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I still can't believe that it's 80 degrees today, it's January already! Because of this, a friend of Karen invited us to their neighborhoods' swimming pool to swim. I was very excited since I haven't been swimming for so long.

Their neighborhoods is very huge, after entering their "North gate", we were lost. There are golf courses, tennis courses, swimming pool, restaurants and lots of houses in the neighborhoods, it's a very fancy neighborhoods. The swimming pool area is pretty big, there are standard lanes and kids area. Next to the pool, it's a small restaurant, people can order drinks or foods to eat either indoor or on the deck chairs. It is really nice!

After changing my clothes, I first played with boys. We use water guns to attract each others, it's fun to play with them. Beside playing with them, I also went swimming myself. I don't know how long is the standard lane, but I swam back and forward totally 17 times today. It's a kinda tired job. Elisa also came into the pool, she was just floating around, but it's super cute! When it's almost noon, we started to eat our lunch. We made our own sandwich and brought them to the pool.

Everyone was so tired after playing. But it was fun.

The video.

The swimming pool

14 January 2014

Must-Watch Great Movie - Captain Phillips Review

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Few weeks ago, Uncle Paul recommend me a movie called Captain Phillips, he said that it is so great, and it is one of the best movies he have ever watched. So I downloaded and watched it few days ago.

It is a great movie, I really like this kind of movie. If you want me to rate this movie from 1 to 10 star(s), I will give it 9.5. By the way, it has 8.1 stars on IMDb, which is very good. I would really recommend you to watch this movie, it is on iTunes now, or you can also buy or rate the Blue-Ray disk. Here is some of my feelings after watching the movie, it includes some important elements of story, so don't read it if you haven't watch it! Also, here is the trailer of the movie:

The trailer on YouTube:

The official website:

I still can't believe that this is a real story, not only Captain Philips is very smart and  wise, but the US Navy and other military people are awesome, they have really good skill.

Most of the people may think that those African people are bad, and they should not have done this, but I have a different thinking. Although being a pirate is bad and not right, but they don't really have other choice to choose from, I remember there was a moment that Philips said "everybody have boss". Those pirates of course have boss, too! I believe that if they have choice, they will defiantly do other jobs besides being a pirate, but unfortunately, if they don't be a pirate, they will have no money to live. One of the four pirates was only 16 or 17 years old, it is a age to learn, to attend school, but he can't. And one of the pirates said that he successfully got 10 millions from America government last time, but he was still being a pirate, because those money won't goes into his hand, but his boss's hand. They also want to have better life! Who will want to do this dangerous job if they can live in a house, have a car, and have money to get enough food? One of the pirate said "after this, I will go to New York, and buy a car." I really feel sad to those pirates, being a pirate is not the best solution to solve the problem, if their government can change, if their "boss" can change, all people can have a better life!

These are just my thoughts, but anyway, it's still a great, must-watch movie! Make sure to check it out!


(Thanks again, Uncle Paul)

Hiking Around Lake Poway

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(The content of this post happened on Jan 5th, 2014 PST)

We did a very healthy activity on the very last day of the Christmas break, we went hiking around the lake Poway in the morning. Poway is a city in San Diego County, it is not far from our neighborhoods (4S Ranch). Lake Poway is very beautiful, it is surrounded by hills, and there are trails around the lake for people to walk.

The weather was good that day, but I felt hot while I was walking. We spent one and half hours, hiked at least 3 miles. It was a really tired job since we were not always walking on a trail, the road is bumpy sometimes. It was a good activity though, I even saw some people riding horses!

After hiking, everybody felt so tired, we couldn't wait to have lunch!

The Lake Poway

13 January 2014

San Diego International Auto Show

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(The content of this post happened on Jan 3rd, 2014 PST)

The San Diego Auto Show is an annual auto show held at the San Diego Convention Center in early January. As other cities and countries, this season seems to be a great time to hold auto show, because at the same time, Taipei also has a auto show going on. San Diego auto show is not a real big auto show, unlike the one in Los Angeles or New York. We planed to watch the auto show and have lunch in downtown, my mood was really good that day because the weather was nice and I was really looking forward to seeing the show.

In the Auto Show.

11 January 2014

Jumping at Get Air Trampoline Park

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(The content of this post happened on Jan 2nd, 2014 PST)

On the last week of break, we did not do many activities, but we still did something fun. On Thursday, Karen brought boys and me to a trampoline place called Get Air. We had lunch at In-N-Out first, it was my second time having In-N-Out burger, it still taste so good. There were many people in Get Ait, we spent 15 minutes just to get tickets.

It was really fun to jump on their trampolines, they offer all kinds of trampolines for both kids and adults to jump (although very few adults were jumping Haha). I really had fun jumping, but it also made me really tired. I don't know whether Taiwan also have this kind of place for kids to have fun, but I really like it, because it's not only a fun place, but it's a healthy place, it's a good place for people who don't like sports to do exercise and workout. (like me Haha...)

This picture was taken inside Get Air.

04 January 2014

Coastal Beauty of San Diego - La Jolla

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(The content of this post happened on Dec 27th, 2013 PST)

There are dozens of beautiful beaches in this Southern California coastal city, San Diego. From the shores of Del Mar to La Jolla Cove, all of them are the downtown's historic towns. On uncle Paul's last day in San Diego, we went to the famous La Jolla cove, it is a perfect place to spend the vacation. La Jolla is only a few minutes from downtown San Diego, but it is very quiet and nice.

The La Jolla Cove

02 January 2014

The San Diego Zoo Adventure

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(The content of this post happened on Dec 26th, 2013 PST)

Thursday was the Zoo day! Boys and me were all very looking forward to go to the zoo, especially me, because it was my first time visiting the world-famous San Diego Zoo. According to Google, the San Diego Zoo is a zoo in Balboa Park housing over 3,700 animals of more than 650 species and subspecies.

Elephants in the world-famous San Diego Zoo