Grand Canyon and my longing for more of those

We travelled to the west during the labor day weekend and it was my return to California in three years. Orange County I once lived in, Los Angeles I often visited to and Las Vegas I occasionally had fun in remained unchanged. Except the great weather, I didn’t like there at all when I was a resident. However, a place that I hope remains unchanged was still there, indifferent from my memory of it.

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IMG_0255My longing for Spring grows every day. The next one will be Yellowstone National Park.

Some of Newport, RI

It was still wintery when we traveled through Rhode Island en route to Boston.

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Newport was beautiful and quiet. Not many people were seen in the streets, probably due to the cold weather. The town was small and likable.

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Cliff Walk along the mansions by the sea. A great stroll path.

IMG_7739 IMG_7738 IMG_7743 IMG_7735 IMG_7729The mansions reminded me of ‘The Great Gatsby’ where Gatsby threw lavish parties every night. As we arrived in the late afternoon, the mansions tours were closed. Even if we were there in time, I doubt I wanted to take a tour as the fare was pricy to look inside some rich family’s house.

IMG_7750Touro Synagogue, America’s oldest synagogue.

IMG_7753 IMG_7752And more than 200~300 year-old houses. They were colorful and small. I wanted to look inside these houses rather than the mansions.

IMG_7704A view of irony. It was freezing cold, and this guy was surfing!

 

Mike’s Pastry

I was curious what people were carrying around, a simple white box wrapped around with white thread and with blue letters on it.

IMG_8143The long line in front of the shop looked it would take way too long to see what’s inside the box. I contemplated whether to join the line or not but gave it a try.

IMG_8078IMG_8108The inside was smaller than I thought and more of a chaos. The colorful decoration made me discouraged and doubt about its pastries. But there should be a reason for so many customers.

IMG_8087Whereas the outside line formed in an orderly fashion, the line disappeared as I stepped in. Several wrapper-cashiers called and helped whoever is next, and I wasn’t sure if a wrapper-cashier called me or if I cut in.

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That’s the box and thread, which was tempting (I had to have one in my hand!). A customer picked his/her choices and the wrapper-cashier placed them in a box and used the thread from the ceiling.

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I picked my choices without knowing exactly what they are. To be frank, I just wanted to see my patries being wrapped and feel it dangling at the tip of my fingers. 🙂

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It took about 30 ~ 40 minutes to complete a transaction from lining up.

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The inside of the box. Are you curious how good they were? The two from the right were okay for me. But the yellow thing (the name forgotten) was unforgettable. I should have bought three of it. It was very soft, juicy and perfectly sweet! If you are around, you should try it (300 Hanover St, Boston).

Some cupcakes.

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Crema Cafe

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At a corner of one of the worldly popular attractions for tourists, Harvard Square, Crema Cafe quietly stood with a humble exterior. In mid-March, Boston was still very COLD. We had to dig through a cold-weather clearance section of Macy and buy each of us a faux fur hat that could be worn by dog sellers from cold Manchuria (The waitress from a popular pho restaurant in downtown Boston asked if we are North Koreans. Haha). And my feeling towards the academic city was totally different.

IMG_7903Inside the cafe was cozy and warm and inside me still a bit uneasy due to the cafe being in the Harvard area (No offense or anything, but just my personal thing). It was a small narrow cafe so its upstairs was a cute idea.

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It was a short stop only for 10~15 minutes from a long walk in the cold weather. I’d have had more to write about the cute cafe if I were to stay longer to read or study. One thing I can’t fail to write about is its latte. The latte was pricy (close to $5) but the best ever I had. The milk was extremely soft with a rich aroma. Anyone around Harvard Square should try it!

San Antonio Japanese Tea Garden

It was funny that the Chinese Tea Garden gate welcomes visitors to the San Antonio Japanese Tea Garden. After a bit of research, I found why the garden has a funny entrance (You may refer to Wikipedia). As opposed to my low expectation, the garden was enjoyable except the fact it was a bit too big to be a Japanese garden.

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Like Moai in Easter Island.

IMG_7438I like a small garden attached to a Japanese traditional style house, which is very green and with a variety of small plants and trees. This garden was way too big so that it should have remained the Chinese Tea Garden. The stone piled pillars look neat.

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What was impressive was the shallow pond and a lot of big carps in it.

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According to Wikipedia, Common carp leave up to 38 years and grow 110 cm long. I wondered how old they are in the pond.

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The start of a short trail leads to the zoo.

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I met students from a photography class, wondering why all are female. Look at the little lady model in pink.

IMG_7495I should take a photography class, too but am afraid if might lose interest.

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