My week in China was pretty great. I ate incredibly well, if exotically, got to see a couple different factories, and generally got a decent sense for Guangdong Province (I was in Dongguan and Shenzhen).

Again my friend Patrick was a fantastic host – we spent Saturday morning touring his factory (he’s the hairdryer king!), then came back to Hong Kong in the afternoon. He took me to a great hot pot restaurant, and today we toured Hong Kong Island (Shek O beach, Stanley Market, and Victoria Peak). I managed on my own to check out some more of the city in the afternoon/evening, and was pretty beat by the end of the day.

Traveling can definitely take it out of you, especially when it’s to an unfamiliar culture or a place where you don’t speak the language. I was really looking for some comfort food tonight, something familiar and easy on my stomach (though, knock on wood, I haven’t gotten sick at all since I’ve arrived). Oddly enough, Korean food is high on the comfort food scale for me, so I was glad to find Sorabol. I chowed down on some great bi bim bap and feel much better, thank you.

I’m headed back to Shenzhen tomorrow for a couple days, then back to Hong Kong Tuesday night and back to Seattle Wednesday morning. My flight leaves here at 8:25 AM and arrives at SeaTac at 8:40 – only a fifteen minute flight! Sweet, ’cause the flight out here was pretty long…

posted March 30, 2008 – 6:30 am

Greetings from China! It’s been a fascinating trip so far, with visits to several different factories (like watching How It’s Made live!) and some great eats. More to follow.

posted March 25, 2008 – 9:54 pm

I had a great day in Hong Kong, although I barely scratched the surface of the city. After a bunch of wandering around and window shopping this afternoon, I got the royal treatment this evening when an old business contact took me out for dinner. We went to this amazing seafood restaurant in a fishing village about 30 minutes outside of the city where we picked out our dinner from tanks of lobster, shrimp, cuttlefish, clams, abalone, and all sorts of fish. I’m looking forward to exploring more when I’m back next week after my visit to China.

posted March 23, 2008 – 6:12 am

I’m posting from the Narita airport, outside Tokyo. I survived the long flight (Seattle-Tokyo) and soon head off to Hong Kong. It’s either one in the morning or four in the afternoon. If I figure it out, I’ll let you know.

posted March 22, 2008 – 1:24 am

The Pi(e) Party was a great time, though I think my apartment reached capacity during the evening; I might have to find a new venue for next year. I think folks really stepped up the pie-making this year, too – we covered quite the pie gamut, from savory (spanikopita & curry pot pie) to sweet (lemon meringue, ice cream pie, etc.) with several stops (strawberry rhubarb & pineapple cardamom pie) in between.

I forgot to mention that Jared & Chika gave me some great birthday presents – a vintage cake carrier (like this, but in aluminum), a track jacket, and an advance version of Chika’s new line of wallets (a collaboration between her and Slow Loris). Good stuff – thanks!

Though it wasn’t quite as intense as the Herbfarm and Pi(e) Party, the rest of the weekend with Matt was quite enjoyable, and included a trip to Maekawa (always good) and a viewing of Be Kind Rewind (pretty entertaining).

It was tough to head back to work Monday, but it definitely helped knowing I’m leaving for a week and a half in Hong Kong and China on Friday!

posted March 16, 2008 – 11:17 am

Dinner at the Herbfarm last night was something else! The food was spectacular, and the wine pairings spot on. Highlights include a not insubstantial amount of Kobe beef prepared a few different ways (braised Kobe beef cheek is heavenly), some excellent smoked steelhead, a fantastic baked Alaska for dessert, and a Madeira from 1912 to finish it all off. We also drank some 30 year port – very appropriate for my 30th birthday. All in all, well worth it, though I don’t need to go again for a long time – it was decadent and quite over the top. But hey, you only turn 30 once!

It’s great to have Matt in town, and I’m looking forward to some more birthday festivities, included the Pi(e) Party tonight. Happy pi day!

posted March 14, 2008 – 10:46 am

I had a great time last weekend in Leavenworth, eating, drinking, snowshoeing and hot-tubbing with a great group of frisbee friends. And the German food wasn’t bad, either – I’m hoping to make some kaesespaetzle sometime soon.

It’s gonna be a busy couple of weeks ahead, with Slog in the Bog, spring league starting up, my birthday (and associated festivities), and finally a work-related trip to Hong Kong and China. Phew!

I waffled a little bit about it, but in the end did make a reservation for Matt, a couple friends and I to eat at The Herbfarm next week to celebrate my birthday – it’s not cheap, but you only turn 30 once!

posted March 4, 2008 – 11:29 pm
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