Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Miami Beach

We stayed in a hostel right on the Miami Beach for three nights, but only got 2 hours to actually see the beach in day time. Why is that? Because we headed out early to other places and headed back at night. So on the last day in Miami Beach, we decided why not give it a couple of hours to the beach only 5 mins walking distance away. That turned out to be one of the best decisions ever made.

I proudly present you "MIAMI"

what a scene!

Hop on, I'll give you a ride to deep blue!

Key West

Key West is a city in the very south of Florida, also of USA. Anything there is labeled as the "Southernmost something". e.g. the southernmost christmas tree, the southernmost buoy. You cannot miss the sunset in Key West, Mallory Square is said to be the best place to see it.
Sunset in Key West

on Mallory Square

People make big fusses about the end of US 1 road in Key West, you would see this "Mile 0" thing on many of postcards there. Probably that's the best proof of being in Key West, moreover, the southernmost place of America.

Indian Key

I'm not sure if it's the right name for it, but I saw this plate right on the bridge which says "Indian Key Fill", so I guess it's more or less that.
As we were driving along US 1 from Miami to Key West, the astonishing view on both sides of the road kept us screaming. Nobody believes it's winter time. So when I about to drove onto a bridge, I saw this parking sign, that was when I decided I wouldn't waste another minute in the car.
little red

Let's just call it the Indian Key Bridge for now


This Dodge minivan has been with the seven of us the whole trip, it's part of the group. It always serves our comfort first though asks for lots of gas. It's in this white minivan have we acquainted with the song Life is Wonderful by Jason Mraz, which later becomes the theme song of this trip.

After about 4 hours' driving from Miami, everybody's hungry, so we rushed to Publix and bought some chicken wings, cakes, drinks, and cookies and had a picnic right on this beautiful beach in Marathon.

Monday, December 28, 2009

West Palm Beach

The first beach we visited on this trip, unfortunately, nobody saw this coming and we were the very few walking on the beach with jeans and sneakers on. Yet we still managed to have fun and buried Ray alive in sand.

He's volunteered

Sunday, December 27, 2009

St Augustine

St Augustine is said to be one of the oldest cities in USA. So we've decided to have more fun!
The Flagler College

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Trip to Canada - Blue Mountains

It's concluded by a friend as a crazy sports trip in Canada, as I went all the way from Florida to Canada to play tennis and badminton, and finally something reasonable, ski! People from north would get so excited when they get to see the sunshine, the beach and the ocean in the south, the same thing happens to southerners when snow is right in the touch, especially when you have all the ski gear on and ready to manipulate the snow. Well, in my case, it's being manipulated. You cannot avoid several nice falls as a beginner no matter how cool you could pose in front of the camera, before you know it, you are wallowing in snow. It's the height and the speed that are in effect, you will be just so scared of speeding and hitting something and never get up again. So you voluntarily put your ass down and make a nice and slow contact with mother earth as long as you feel a little acceleration. That is exactly why I spent 30 minutes right from where I was standing in the picture on "skiing" down to where all the cars were. For an experienced skier, it's a less-than-a-minute job. Anyway, ski is fun!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Trip to Canada - Niagara Falls

It might not be the best season to appreciate the Falls, but it's definitely the coldest season to see it. I got all soaked up by merely standing on top of it. But it's all worth the wet and cold. The view is just spectacular and is only offered to visitors on Canada side.
The famous horseshoe fall

you only see this in fairy tales.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Trip to Canada - Toronto

Spent 7 days in Canada (actually 5, the other 2 days were merely either waiting for plane or on plane). For a southerner like me, coming all the way from sunshine state of Florida, it has never occurred to me the kind of coldness of actually below zero or even more. It wasn't when I walked out of Toronto airport did I realize the huge difference between the these two trivial numbers, +20 and -10! It's so freaking COLD! That was when I decided the North would only be a destination of short visit!
Had some walking around Toronto in the first two days, yes, in the cold! Though I had brought all my winter wearings to Toronto, it's never "winter" enough. I was this hoodie guy touring around the city in the coldness and wind. I could actually feel the wind cutting my face and lips. When the attendant in the hostel asked me, "where is your jacket?", I said, "I don't have no jacket", she raised her thumb and said "you are brave!" Am I? I simply don't have one.
My favorite part of Toronto trip is Chinese food, it's the best taste I've ever had for almost half a year since arrival in Florida! The good thing about a metropolitan city is that you always find big Chinese community there, which means authentic Chinese food and merchandise. I'm just so jealous of my friend at University of Toronto, they're just a few walking distance to China Town!
The CN Tower

Toronto City Hall

University of Toronto

Inside one of UT's buildings

Thursday, December 3, 2009

not so WaterFree

Apparently, this Falcon WaterFree urinal is not Urine free.

Photo taken in the male restroom on the 6th floor of Library West at University of Florida with Motorola E8.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

St Petersburg

Had my first driving experience in USA this whole afternoon, St Petersburg, "fortunately", was chosen as target of my pilot trial. From Old Tampa Bay to St Petersburg Pier, then headed to Clearwater Beach. Missed several exits, made some false turns, but good news for St Petersburg residents, I have proved myself NOT a road killer. GPS is undoubtedly one of the most greatest inventions of all time, for a first time driver, and new comer to St Petersburg, I managed to find my ways around in a rent car with a GPS mounted in it!

St Petersburg Pier and Clearwater Beach are definitely the two places I would recommend for people who, like me, want to enjoy their day in sun, birds, sand and water.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Canada Visa for Chinese F1 Students

Just successfully applied VISA to Canada. It's so much easier to get it if you are holding F1 visa in USA. Basically you just need the following documents to be not refused entry to Canada:

1. Application form
2. Application fee
--- paid with money order is convenient if you're not in the vicinity of any embassies
3. I-20
4. Valid Passport
5. Certificate of registration
--- this can be issued at university admission and registration office

More details are posted on Embassy of Canada.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Lake Wauberg

Lake Wauberg, a great place for BBQ, boating, relaxing, friends and family get-together. Free entry for students and faculty with Gator 1 Card. We had a good BBQ time there on a sunny sunday.

View Larger Map

Saturday, October 31, 2009

some Halloween films

Get ready for the Halloween horror feast!

Horror Night @ Universal Studio

Having stuck in Gainesville for three months, finally the suburbanite goes into the big CITY seeking for some entertainment that he is deprived of for a long time.

Horror Night @ Universal Studio (Orlando)

Apparently the men behind this event have put tremendous effort in creating a scary ambience with the dizzy lights, scary music, bloody settings, big fire coming from the roof, smoke that permeated into every corner of the setting which dims your visibility, walking zombies on streets who approach you all of a sudden and scare the hell out of you and of course, the core of Halloween - Haunted House.

Dracula, Frankenstein, Silver Screams, Chucky, Saw

Only went to 5 of the 8 haunted houses. One and the only one tip to go to haunted houses: Always always go with girls :)

Also took two rides in Mummy, and one ride in Simpson, which were so cool. Unlike these freaking 90 degrees roller-coasters which give you a cold gasp even by simply looking at them, Mummy is more like a plotted-rollercoaster, it's indoor and doesn't have these crazy U-turns. I would take another ride next time. And Simpson is a 4D movie theater, just amazed about the way it makes you feel that you are losing gravity and falling from sky to the ground by simply adjusting the movements on the things you are sitting on, AMAZING!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Gator Growl

Had a great time in the swamp as the annual Gator Growl kicks off a great night show following homecoming parade. This year, Gator Growl brings in Dana Carvey, O.A.R. and Jabbawockeez. Just got so amazed by how far these standing comedians could go to amuse the audience, half of which students and the other half, parents. It's all about sex, homosexual, politics. Dana Carvey definitely knows how to mimic political figures. However, he's apparently not adding too much new sauces, coz I searched, after the show, through Youtube only to find the exact same jokes. Well, you can't blame him for that, because that's kinda how this entire entertainment industry works. And one more thing, if only they could've set up the stage in the middle of the stadium, my neck would feel so much better.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Homecoming Parade

I thought homecoming day was the day when new students come to university at the beginning of each academic year, apparently I was right about the predicate and object, but wrong about the subject. Instead of new students, homecoming is welcoming back former residents and alumni of an institution. Wikipedia has a more detailed introduction of homecoming.

Homecoming Parade is held annually here at University of Florida, UF organizations and neighborhood communities would participate in the parade as an opportunity to showcase whatever they wanna show to Gainesville residents. It's in the middle of noon, people have lined up along the University Avenue, and chopper is circling to ensure a full media coverage from the air. From distance, you can hear siren, which is only part of the parade.

Having just watched military parade on National Day, I feel so delighted to watch homecoming parade. Because this parade is FUN.

More pictures in Picasa

Monday, September 7, 2009

go Gators

As a new comer, you'd be very lucky to be in the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium to watch the Gators to rip off any opponent who dares to challenge the gators in the swamp. I'd say I'm the lucky one. Some of UF students have been here for years and haven't got a ticket to the game, yet I managed to have one after only one month of my arrival. A ticket to the first game of this football season.
University of Floria vs. Charleston Southern

The stadium is full of orange and blue, the symbolic colors of UF. One can be so easily touched by the enthusiasm of gator fans, who are not only audience, but also part of the game already. Once you are in there, you can't help but growl with them, cheer with them, clap with them and roar with them. It was a great game, big opening victory for the Florida Gators.

It's the Gator Nation
go Gators!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Crabbing at Cedar Key

Crabbing at Cedar Key, which is 2 hours' drive to the west from Gainesville. It's a great place for boating, and crabbing. Basically, we use chicken legs to lure Blue Crab, it didn't take too long before one is "hooked". For each crab caught, we placed it in a little iced cubic, not before long, they stopped struggling because of the coldness. After three hours crabbing in the sun, we ended up with close to 30 crabs and 4 tickets! Apparently, you need a fishing license to go crabbing. We were caught right on site by a patrol when we were about to leave. Lucky enough, the officer only gave us ticketed warnings rather than fines.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

International Hostels

If you are on a budget trip in China, international hostels may be a good choice to stay. It's Chinese decoration, western life style, and most of all, it's cheap, few dollars per night if you choose to share the room with several other travelers just like you.

We stayed in three international hostels during that trip. Shown in the above picture, from left to right, hostels in Suzhou, Suzhou, Hangzhou, Shanghai, Hangzhou, Shanghai respectively. Quite coincidentally, all of them theme in red, not surprisingly, because red represents energy and vitality in China, travelers, mostly the youngs, are that group of people.

Monday, June 15, 2009


When people talk about Hangzhou, there's a good chance that they will talk about the West Lake. It is most famous for the TV series New Legend of Madame White Snake, based on a legendary story there. We used to watch that series over and over and over again each summer break and winter break, just as the way how Star Trek works here.

Probably I had too much expectations for it before I was there. It's quite disappointing when I was there only to see towns of tourists heading for the same spot. And every spot you want to visit, you will have to pay for admission fee, which is not cheap. Besides, things are quite different from what I saw in the TV series. Nevertheless, it's quite a beautiful lake, a good place to relax.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


This was taken in the ancient city of Suzhou, apparently, it's modernized with all the neon lights and lanterns. But still, it's amazing view from the river. It has been there for like several hundred years now, probably with modern reconstructions on some of the buildings. Now it's a hot spot for tourists, consequently, commercial area.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

New York

had some good and bad experiences in this city, I can't say "I Love NY" as I can say it with HK. Just spent half a day in this city, everything I saw was a mere glance, but finally a countryside boy's dream has come true. The moment I got onto the observatory of the Empire State Building, I had this unspeakable impulse, "FINALLY!"

Emory University

Dooley, the skeleton figure on the right, is the unofficial mascot of Emory University. Lucky that I had the chance to visit Emory University earlier this March. The campus is small but awesomely beautiful. It's virtually founded in nature. Squirrels with little pinecones hopping right in the middle of campus avenue; unnamed birds flying over your head, chirping nicely. Just gives you the feel that you're so far away from the city, inhaling so fresh air, appreciating such fascinating scenes and enjoying the untainted atmosphere, that you'll have a longer life here!

Emory University traces back to 1836, a very old and prestigious institution in the states. To me, the fraternity and sorority houses are especially alluring, partly because of American Pie. It's been great experience traveling at Emory, met many great people, hope to be there again.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Tony Chan - New President of HKUST

Prof. Tony Chan, the newly appointed president of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology made his debut with students, faculty and staff today. His predecessor, Prof. Paul Chu, who has made tremendous contribution to the development of this university and bringing the reputation to the international level during his terms, will leave office in August and continue to research in USA. To live up to what Paul has founded and take it to another new level, Tony, the third president will face incessant challenges.


have always wanted to take a tour in Shanghai given all the domestic and international exposure of this "international city". But when I actually was in Shanghai, nothing is like what I have expected. It's like everywhere you go is under construction, totally a huge construction site. yeah, I know it's part of Expo 2010, probably not the best time to tour there. Hope to be in Shanghai again during the Expo.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Super Band Live in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is not only a financial center, but also an entertainment center, at least in the 90th. Though the entertainment industry is now on the down hill, artists still are fighting their way to Hong Kong and a lot of fine artists make their debut here. Hong Kong Hung Hom Coliseum has always been a shrine for singers. They see it as a great honor to have their own concert in the coliseum, because to do so, one needs popularity, popularity and popularity!

Super Band(縱貫線), which gathers four Chinese top artists (周華健、羅大佑、李宗盛、張震岳), totally meets this criterion. It's been a great night, a great appreciation of many old songs and the stage effect is awesome!

The Peak

probably started from Garfield's hilarious photo-taking scene(click this) with the Big Ben in A Tail of Two Kitties, this photo taking skill has been the hottie in town.

Friday, March 20, 2009

on the run

life's been on the run this month. Spent the first two weeks in Atlanta, New York, Shanghai and Jiangsu. Now I'm back in Hong Kong, it's a whole mess 'coz two assignments are due and two exams are approaching the following week and I need to make up all the courses missed through reading, reading, and reading! Hope to get it over with soon, comes April, life's full of sunshine again.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Taiwan or Japan

while Apple Store is updating its products, seems it's updated something more...
see the word "Taiwan" on the upper-right, it says "Japan" right above "Taiwan"...

(the photo is a snapshot of the page at 9:02:36 PM, March 03, 2009)

point C

professors have ways to confuse his/her students, as in today's Game Theory, Prof. Zamir showed how his professor used to confuse him.
"Given a point A, let's call it B", as he was saying this, he wrote a C next to the point.