June 1, 2013

  • EAT – Lunch/Snack is served anytime from noon until happy hour. We have ours after the morning snorkel, at the bar pavilion where we can spread out on these sofa beds, and enjoy the cool ocean breeze…..

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    Enjoy a coffee table book and a cool cocktail/mocktail…..
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    Looking out at the pool area…..
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    We share three sides, Fried Calamari, Shrimp Cocktail, Pork & Shrimp Satay…..
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    Meaty shrimp cocktail…..
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    Shrimp & Chicken Sate…..
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    On another day, we had a-la-carte, tuna steak & rice…..
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    Bouillabaisse in white wine sauce…..
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    Tuna Curry…..
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    Nasi Goreng…..
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    Pan Seared Scallops…..
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    Chicken Tikka…..
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    Dessert, Molten Chocolate Cake…..
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    After every meal, we take a walk around the island, here, someone had a game going…..
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    There’s this huge piece of drift wood with an interesting shape….
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    A lonely mini crab stranded on the beach…..
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    Doing a body lift exercise to burn off the calories…..
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    Our lunch/snack package includes unlimited alcoholic drinks, but of course, we don’t want to get caught being dead drunk on the beach. I’m a light drinker so I only had an average of two cocktails per meal, that’s quite a feat already!

May 26, 2013

  • EAT – BREAKFAST is served from 7 until 11. We usually have ours no later than 9am. We walk this path every morning to the dining room …..
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    The two story building on the right is where we are going, it appears far away but only takes about five minutes of brisk walk…..
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    Pathway leads into the jungle and becomes a dirt road…..
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    The Dining Room…..
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    When it’s not rainy, the tables are arranged outdoors for an al fresco breakfast…..
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    The menu – items can be ordered individually from the menu. Since the room rate includes breakfast, you can order as many dishes as you like, aka. “all you can eat” …..
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    An extra page in the menu promoting some of the activities ( for a dear price!)
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    A three tiered starter, mixed fruit platter (top), Maldivian tuna mushuni (middle), pastries (bottom)…..
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    Different varieties of fruit plate everyday – slices of mandarin orange, kiwi fruit, mini banana, mangosteen, passion fruit, watermelon, pineapple…..
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    Longon, papaya, green lime, pineapple, water melon, Asian pear, kiwi fruit…..
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    Dragon fruit, water melon, pineapple, papaya, passion fruit…..
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    We ordered an extra plate of our favourite fruit, mangosteen, so soft, juicy and sweet…..
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    Or a mixed plate of mangosteen and passion fruit, so delicious….
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    Or…mixed fruit and yogurt…..
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    W likes this dish a lot, the Maldivian tuna mushuni, which consists of mashed tuna (boiled) seasoned with lime juice, sliced coconut and Maldivian spices…..
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    Roll it up and munch……
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    Chicken noodle soup, side of dumplings and red bean “taosa” bun…..
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    Chicken dumplings and “taosa” bun…..
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    Chicken congee, with “thousand year old egg”, minced meat, green onions…..
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    Omelette, grilled tomato, hash brown…..
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    Scrambled eggs, chicken sausage, hash browns, grilled tomato…..
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    Waffles, with a side of cubed Asian pear…..
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    Assorted baked items….
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    Overall, the menu items for the daily breakfast is nothing fancy, offering basic choices such as American or Chinese cuisine. I wish they could cook up a few Japanese dishes, offering some broiled/grilled fish. This could easily be accomplished since seafood is such in abundance and so close by.

May 21, 2013

  • Snorkeling near our bungalow – we spent a couple of hours each day exploring the coral reefs nearby, it was amazing to see so many different types of marine life. I was shocked to spot a shark just yards away while snorkeling, it was only a small one (5 foot long) and it appears to be hunting for smaller victims. (see the following video).

    While I was floating around, I took this photo for a clear view of our bungalow…..
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    Ladder access to/from the ocean…..
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    Jelly fish…..
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    Baby shark…..
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    A video of our little neighbors living beneath the bungalow. I was so glad to see all these marine fishes, some of these I have kept as aquarium pets before. Also, the turtle and the large schools of tiny fish at the end of this video were filmed in another location, at a deeper lagoon near the resort pier. Please pardon the amateurish video with the half looped background music…..

    Spotted a half-rainbow after a heavy downpour…..
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May 17, 2013

  • A Tour of this tiny island – it took us about 15 minutes to walk around it…..

    Lazy day by the beach…..
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    A morning stroll on the white puffy sand…..
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    On the left is breakfast/lunch/dinner area; building in the middle & behind the pool is where we get snacks & small luncheons & cocktails/drinks. This is my favourite place…..
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    This is the “boat” shaped structure for guest check-in, and doubles as a sitting/reading room…..
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    This is how the inside looks like…..
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    A private beach dinner…..
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    Cucumber, crab meat & roe…..
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    Seafood salad, squid, scallop, tiger shrimp…..
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    Surf n’ turf, grilled lobster and wagyu beef…..
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    Mango sorbet, sliced mango, crepe…..
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    So far, our stay have been a blast. We’ll be here for a couple more days, watching more sunsets, doing nothing and getting mildly drunk by the beach!

May 15, 2013

  • Good Morning Maldives – It was a sunny morning , perfect for some water activities. We also discovered a wide varieties of fish species underneath our bungalow.
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    Time for snorkel….
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    Feeding the fishies…..

    Lying by the beach…..

May 13, 2013

  • Maldives – We took a prop plane to Kooddoo, a small domestic airport about one hour flight from Male international airport. Then, a 40-minute motor boat ride to our destination.

    The plane, a Bombardier turbo propeller seats about 39 passengers…..
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    I have not seen a live pre-flight safety drill for a while…..

    Snapshot of an atoll……
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    Please pardon the fuzzy video, it was the smudgy window…..

    Going for a boat ride to our destination…..
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    It was a choppy ride…..

    Our rooms on the left, beach on the right…..
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    Check out this view…..
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    Bathroom mirror with an ocean view…..
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    Taking a stroll along the deserted beach…….
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May 10, 2013

  •  photo snoopy-5.gifYAY!! – Time for a short break from work and daily chores. We’ll be spending the following week in this miniature Maldivian island, somewhere in the South Indian Ocean.

    Hopefully, the weather will turn out idyllic……

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    (Photos from the resort website)

May 4, 2013

  • Musha (Santa Monica) – is one of my favourite restaurants in L.A., partly because the food quality is very consistent and the price is reasonable. After the meal, a nice stroll near the ocean/broadwalk or do some shopping nearby. Each time, we want their signature dish, Flamed Saba, this is a Spanish Mackerel fillet (sashimi style) sliced and then torched at your table.

    (Please pardon the background siren noise)

    The interior decor is quite stark and minimalist
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    First course, a trio of veggies, Hijiki seaweed, boiled spinach, Burduk roots…..
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    Spicy tuna dip…..
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    Actually, this is more like a spread than a dip…..
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    M.F.C. – Musha fried chicken, strips of chicken meat marinated with soy sauce, sake, ginger & garlic…..
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    Ikamen – squid sashimi with spicy Pollock caviar…..
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    Anago meshi – glazed sea eel, Hijiki seaweed & Mitsuba leaf, rice, mixed in a hot stone bowl…..
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    The entire dinner costs approximately $30 per person (including gratuities). We were too stuffed after all these savory dishes, so no dessert. Instead, we opted for window shopping around the corner!

    Musha | 424 Wilshire Blvd., Santa Monica, CA 90401 | 310-576-6330 | www.musha.us

April 6, 2013

  • London Tower Bridge – is one of the most sought after Lego sets and also one of the more complex sets to assemble. So, when W spotted this box at the Lego Store, he pulled the trigger. This is a gigantic set, with 4,287 pieces to be assembled, no small feat at all. Numerous tubs were utilized to organize the tiny Lego pieces, and there were several instruction booklets to follow. It was a quite a daunting task for a beginner…..

    Piece by piece, block by block, we followed the instruction and labored along, and gradually, the Tower Bridge came to life…..

    YAY!! The final product, exactly as advertised! I also added a few characters to this project…..

    Petrossian – is well known for the caviar dishes. This is one of those restaurants where I would love to try, but put off by the ludicrous charge to dine there. We jumped on an coupon offer, $99 prix fixe dinner for two. Champagne and Caviar, here we come!


    The prix fixe menu comes with vodka, we replaced with a flute of bubbly; crémé fraiche and crepe made a good pairing to the sweet and savory caviar…..

    House Smoked salmon, delicious with these petite toast…..

    W had the Prime Flat Iron Steak, medium well…..
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    Scallops Risotto, succulent and cooked just right…..
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    A trio of sorbet, lemon, raspberry and mango…..
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    Vanilla panna cotta, expresso caviar…..

    Every one or two days during the month, they offer a 5-caviar tasting course with a glass of champagne or a flute of Vodka, $35 per person. I should give that a try when I feel like it!

    | Petrossian Restaurant and Boutique | 321 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90048 | 310-271-6300 | http://www.petrossian.com

March 31, 2013

  • Legoland – One of the perks of living here in Southern California is the constant sunny weather and mild climate. That means almost every weekend, we can enjoy a wide variety of outdoor activities. This time around, we took a short 1.5-hour drive to visit Legoland . Building play sets out of Lego bricks is still my hobby, as W and I have assembled a few projects already. Hopefully I can share our creations in a later post.

    A boat ride in the Lego themed pond (top); L.A. (middle) and San Franciscio (bottom) landmarks…..

    Familiar landmarks in D.C. (Top) and San Francisco (bottom)…..

    Harry Potter!! Assembled with countless number of Lego bricks…..

    Inside a demo factory…..

    A closeup view of some Star Wars themed props + me & Yoda…..

    We did catch a breakfast before the drive – French press coffee, baked eggs (top) with prosciutto, potatoes and mushroom, baked with tomato and Parmesan cheese; pecan & banana griddle cakes (bottom) with whipped honey butter & warm maple syrup…..

    | The Raymond Restaurant | 1250 S. Fairoaks Avenue, Pasadena, CA | (626)441-3136 | www.theraymond.com