Spring Break 2008 – from Seattle, USA, to Vancouver, Canada

31 March 2008

Spring Break 2008 - 02

 

I have just been back from a one-week Spring break trip. In fact, the trip was planned as a short three-day trip from Portland to Seattle by train. However, I ended up crossing the U.S. – Canada border and visited the city of Vancouver of the province of British Columbia in Canada. Traveling to Canada this time was an impromptu decision which turned out to be enjoyable and memorable experience for me.

 

Spring Break 2008 - 01

 

I departed Portland by Amtrak Cascade northbound train to Seattle. With several stops along the way, the train took me approximately 4 hours to reach Seattle. The city is the biggest metropolitan area in the Pacific Northwest region. My first impression of Seattle is its hilly terrain and modern architectural buildings around downtown areas, including an upside-down skyscraper shape of Rainier Building, an unusual structure of the Central Library and the famous Space Needle, the legacy of the Century 21 Exposition (World’s Expo) held in 1962 . The waterfront of Elliot Bay provides a spectacular view especially from the Seattle Aquarium. Personally, I enjoyed the modern arts and scultures around the Seattle Olympic Sculpture Park and Fremont area as well as the Seattle Art Museum. A view of Seattle cityscape from Alki beach in the West Seattle area makes the place worth visiting.

 

Spring Break 2008 - 03

 

Initially, I planned to go back to Portland after a couple of days in Seattle. However, my friend drove a car from Portland to Seattle just a day before I scheduled to take a train back. He asked me to join his road trip to Vancouver, Canada which is just about 100 miles away from Seattle. As I have never visited Canada before, I agreed to travel across the border with my friend. I spent a couple of hours preparing the documents and went to the Canadian Consulate in downtown Seattle in the morning to apply for a visa and got the visa just before noon. It was fast and easy. Then, I was ready to hit the road to Canada. It took us 2 hours to drive from Seattle to Vancouver across the U.S. – Canada border.

 

Spring Break 2008 - 05

 

Vancouver is the third largest city in Canada. The city will host the Winter Olympics Game in 2010. Downtown area is vibrant and energetic while the city is just minutes away from the natures; both mountains and beaches are easy to reach. The waterfront area and the famous Stanley park boosts a spectacular view of the city. I also took a Seabus, the public transportation from downtown waterfront area to North Vancouver, which provided a beautiful view of Vancouver by the waters. I also visited the Capilano Suspension Bridge which is 230 feet high and 450 feet across the raging waters of Capilano Canyon in North Vancouver.

 

Spring Break 2008 - 06

 

Spring Break 2008 - 04

 

Spring Break 2008 - 07

 

All in all, this Spring break trip was enjoyable and adventurous experience for me. Now I have to get ready for the Spring term which starts today. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to my next trip around the U.S. and beyond in the upcoming Summer break.

 

Spring Break 2008 - 00

 

You may check out my facebook photo page for more pictures from this trip by clicking here.

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Mariah Carey – E=MC² Album Cover

19 March 2008
Mariah Carey - E=MC²
The album cover of Mariah Carey’s new album E=MC² which is scheduled to be released on April 15th, 2008 has just been revealed at the official web site. So far, Mariah has made a couple of TV shows and radio appearances, including a performance on Saturday Night Live where she performed her new song “Touch My Body” and “Migrate,” a collaboration with T-Pain. I just can’t wait to listen to her new album.

Iraq Body Count Exhibit at Portland State University

16 March 2008
Iraq Body Count Exhibit @ PSU - 20080316 - 01

 

Iraq Body Count Exhibit @ PSU - 20080316 - 02

 

Iraq Body Count Exhibit @ PSU - 20080316 - 03

 

Above are the pictures I took from the park block at Portland State University. It is the outdoor exhibition called “Iraq Body Count” which runs from Sunday 9th March 2008 to Thursday 20th March 2008. The idea of mixing red and white flags, which symbolize a number of people (American and Iraqi, respectively) killed as a result of the America’s invasion of Iraq since 2003, is eye-catching. At least, it is visually stunning that everyone who has never seen this exhibit before has to stop and take a look. It definitely raises the awareness of casualties of war in Iraq.

 

Here are the excerpt from the official web site of the exhibit:

The Iraq Body Count Exhibit started at the University of Colorado, in Boulder. Volunteers at the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center (rmpjc.org) came up with the idea to display thousands of flags, and first installed the display in October of 2006. This event garnered wide recognition and support, and eventually caught the eye of activists in Eugene at the University of Oregon. Once at the University of Oregon, the exhibit began to gain more steam, with the creation of the non-profit to support its tour across the country. With the arrival of the exhibit in Washington D.C. in October 2007, the organization’s goal of bringing the number of people killed in the Iraq War to the attention of the American people will take a major step forward. After this major exhibit occurs, displaying over 600,00 flags, it will continue to tour the country until American troops are withdrawn from Iraq.

For more information, please visit the official web site of the exhibit at <http://iraqbodycountexhibit.org>


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – 2 Movies for 1 Book

12 March 2008

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

It has just been reported in the news today that the final Harry Potter film from the final book “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” would be splited into 2 movies. Part 1 of the final movie will be released in November 2010 and Part 2 will be released six months later in May 2011. The first Harry Potter film was released in November 2001, thus, if the film is released according to the plan, it would take almost 10 years for the series to be concluded on the big screen, which is approximately the same amount of time the series of 7 books completed. The sixth Harry Potter film, entitled “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” is scheduled to be released in the U.S. at the end of this year (21 November 2008.) We will see how the young stars aged and how they would be fitted for the role of a 17 year-old when their actual age is 22 years old. It’s a huge 5 years gap to reduce. That’s what to be seen. Who knows? May be at that time we might have a new technology to make the stars look younger… 

 

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Daylight Saving Time – 2008

9 March 2008

Today, the clock had been adjusted one hour forward from 2.00 AM to 3.00 AM in most of the States in America as Daylight Saving Time for this year is in effect. Now, until Sunday November 2, 2008, the time zone that I live in (Pacific Standard Time – PST) would be changed into Pacific Daylight Time which is 7 hours behind the coordinated universal time (UTC-7). Thus, now, I am 14 hours behind the time in Bangkok.

Daylight Saving Time has never been practiced in Thailand so it might sound complicated for those who are not used to it. Anyway, it is a sign for the Spring which I am pretty much looking forward to. The cherry blossom trees in my neighborhood have started blooming. I can’t hardly wait for the warmer season to come.