Saturday, July 09, 2011

Malaysia - March 2011

Our trip to Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia. Hiked up the side of a Mt Kinabalu (4km tall) over 20 hours over two days (left for the summit at 2am on the 2nd day). Picture a steep rocky staircase that just keeps going and going for 8.5 km. We were walking funny for the next two weeks. Oh and it was mostly through a rain forest so it was pouring rain for most of the time.

Also, saw great marine life on our dives and had lunch on an island (saw Nemo and Dad). Great street food at the night market across from our hotel (le Meridien) in downtown Kota Kinabalu. Food bloggers (amazing to find them even in KK) led us to the best local hainanese chicken rice and seafood.

Monday, July 04, 2011

Denver - January 2011

Catching up on posting these old photos. Was busy last semester with job market and teaching, so finally getting a chance to catch up. Not much to say about the Denver photos. Nice that R- got to join me for a day or two after the interviews. Surprisingly good local gins, great local contempo food (fruition), even the Rocky Mountain Oysters at buckhorn exchange. The hotel gin martinis with local gin were appreciated, but the french one (g-vine) was most memorable. R-'s first time skiing in many many years, and did amazingly well. Did a lot of research on local ski places, Loveland was a great nearby place, good if you're experienced, short lines, but ancient lifts which run slow but pickup fast. Keystone was more beginner friendly, had a nice learners area, without the craziness of the big names, and high speed detachable lifts and gondolas. Oh, and unfortunately, the post-9/11 terrorism museum that couldn't figure out what its acronym (CELL) stood for wasn't open, but the whole concept fascinated me. Esp that it would be in Denver of all places. I like weird museum concepts, like the po-mo food museum and the anthropology museum in geneva, or the news museum in DC. New math museum in nyc sounds exciting.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

Aruba - June 2011

Nice mix of beach trip, diving, and a nice hike. Learned some history and geography (formerly Dutch, and so lots of Gouda food these days. part of the A-B-C with Bonaire and Curacao off the coast of Venezuela, so its oil refinery that we drove by used to be the 2nd largest in the world and we saw a constant stream of oil tankers coming in and out.)

Not nearly as crazy dense as Bermuda (about twice the size of Manhattan or 1.5 the size of Disney World (thank you Wolfram Alpha) with only 100,000 people. Mostly full island but didn't feel densely populated at all.  I liked the colorful but subdued tropical style of the houses, each island seems to have its own palette (less precious than Bermuda).

Most surprising fact was that most of the supermarkets were quite large and all had Chinese names.
We weren't able to pinpoint just when that happened. Diving was some of the best we've been.

Mostly because warm water meant I could dive without a wet suit (which is liberating), but also great wrecks in shallow-ish water. Nice hike in what felt like the middle of nowhere, about 4-6 miles roundtrip, to a "secluded" natural pool. We were all alone there for about 30 seconds when a caravan tour of jeeps showed up disgorging a boatload of other tourists. But a crowd can be fun too.

From Aruba - June 2011