Sunday, April 24, 2005

Lunch in Grenville Public Market

After we went to church this morning, I asked Richard to drive me to Grenville Public Market to buy some excellent breads. In Vancouver every area has their own public market. So far I have been to only 3 of them. The biggest one is Grenville Public Market, then there is Lonsdale Quay Public Market. And Richmond also has one, it's called Richmond Public Market. Richmond Public Market sells the cheapest produce but with lower quality ( what do you expect? ). My favorite one is off course Grenville Public Market since they have the most stuff there. I can find almost anything there that my recipe books demand. I have a quite large collection of recipe books that I collected over the years and I did not limit them into only Asian food but pretty much around the globe. When ever I went to Taiwan to visit my in laws, I always come back with at least 10 more recipe books. For me I would rather buy local recipe books than souvenirs ! And since I have so many of European recipe books too, this place is a great place to start if the book asked me to buy something specific. Actually, this place also sells all sort of Asian herbs and fruits too. Not only European food.

Grenville Island has more than food actually, they also has many craft stores. They made wood crafts here, custom made shoes, blown glass, silk, papers, even a brewery ! They also has Kids Market. You can see it more details about Kids Market in my previous entry when my cousin Liza and her family was here. Just scroll down this page and you will find it.

So today, I bought 2 loaves of bread. One is Pumpkin seeds bread, the other is sourdough. They even give me 2 free freezer bags for them. Then I bought also a fruit and nuts crips. I never try it yet, so I don't know if they are as delicious as the breads. Then I bought 3 fresh blueberries tart that to die for ! I love this place. Every guests I have I always bring them here and they love this place as well. So.... don't forget to visit this market if you happen to be here !


This photo is taken 2 years ago in Summer time. Beside food, Grenville Island also has many unique craft stores and Kids Market. Next to the Kids Market is this water park that only open in summer. It's a public place so it's free. Posted by Hello


From back to front : seedless green grapes, kumquats, green apricots, raspberries, and strawberries. Here, they also sell a lot of tropical fruits such as mangoes, dragon fruits, rambutan, durians, longans, mangosteen (manggis), jackfruits, and duku. I think they have more I just can't remember what else. Indonesian herbs too like kunyit, lengkuat etc. Posted by Hello


This photo actually taken in Christmas time, From this store, I love to buy their salads. Yummy. Posted by Hello


Only quality and organic apples are sold in this store. Posted by Hello


Organic Apples or any organic produce are being sold here. Posted by Hello


These are just one of the store that sells all sort of cheeses, prepared foods, olives and pastas. They have quite a big selection of european food here. Mostly Italian maybe. I love the fresh buffalo mozzarella. The best mozzarella because they are so creamy. Big different from the normal mozzarella that comes from cows. Weird huh? The pasta here is so colorfull and comes in many different shapes like candies! Posted by Hello


Fresh pasta comes in all kind of shapes, colors and fillings. They are very creative with the fillings, like lobsters, pumpkin, black truffles, etc. Posted by Hello


And this is my favorite place to buy bread. Not cake. Their bread is excellent. Crusty, chewy, nutty, fruity or tangy. It's up to you. And it cost only CAN $3.50. When I was in Surabaya, the bread cost higher but with lower quality. Posted by Hello


I love buying veggies here because usually fruits and veggies here are always so good looking . Posted by Hello


Me ! Posted by Hello


Me again... ! Don't be bored watching me! HA HA! Posted by Hello


The bridge is called Grenville Bridge and you can see around that area accross the water is a new development area called Yale Town. There are a couple of new tower is being build right now. One time, when they start selling the new high rise condo to public, people are lining up sleeping on the street 3 days before the sale began ! Properties in Vancouver is hot right now.  Posted by Hello


The mountain with a little bit of snow left is Cypress Mt. One of the three ski area that we have here. I have been to only 2 of them which are Cypress Mt, and Grouse Mt. Both approximately only 15 minutes from downtown ! Downtown itself is next to the sea. So within few minutes only you can have both beach and ski ! That's how good Vancouver is ! In front of the mountain is the English Bay I mention below and the bridge is Burrard Bridge. Posted by Hello


This is English Bay and look at those aquabus busy delivering people. Posted by Hello


One thing you have to be carefull is with these birds. Never leave your food at all! They will grab it ! One time, I saw a woman who just came out from the food court carrying his chinese food plate and a big seagull just swoop down and peck at her plate until it fell and the food was all over the ground. Then... he came back and finish his job by eating all of the Chinese food he can eat ! Posted by Hello


Yummy hot dog with european sausage. Posted by Hello


Around this river there are some hot spots like this Grenvile Island, Yale Town, English Bay, Kitsilano Beach, and Science World. And if you are lazy to drive around and find parking space you can just hop on this aquabus ! Posted by Hello


Accros the river from Grenville Island is already downtown Vancouver. The first area near the water is called Yale Town. A new trendy area where mostly young couple or singles live.The apartments around there is usually small but new. Posted by Hello


What a great way to eat on this beautiful sunny day here in Grenville Island Public Market. Posted by Hello

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Tulip Festival 2005 in Skagit Valley

After living for the past 7 years in West Coast area I finally made up my mind to see Tulip Festival in Skagit Valley, Washington State. I have planned to go there since a month ago. I want to make sure that when I am there, the tulips would be at their peak. Actually I want to go there last week but the weather did not cooperate. Almost everyday it was raining. So finally we decide to go this week because the weather forcast said that this week will be sunny and they are right. This whole week is so sunny and hot!

I tried to go there earlier to catch the morning light since it's best for photography but you know how it is..... We ended up starting from around 10. We were worried that there would be a long line in the border but it turn out to be not so bad. We only spent 20 minutes there.

After we passed the border the trip is only 40 minutes more and we arrived in Skagit Valley. First thing we did was going to the Info Centre to ask for brochures and some info. I know from the internet that there are many tulips, daffodils, and irish farm around this area but I just want to see the best one.

The direction to go to Tulip Town is easy to follow and when we arrived there I was so excited that I forgot to bring in my tripod ! I completely forgot about it until when we returned home.

The place is just like the one I imagine it will be. A vast area with any color of tulips growing there. The lady from Info Centre told us that this year weather is uncommonly warm so the peaks was in Easter. By now some of the tulips are already been cut off. I was worried a little about this but when I saw how many tulips are still left, all my doubts are gone. There are still so many tulips there and those that they already cut off did not bother me at all.

Since I plan to take as many photos as possible, I even brought my laptop with me to download the photos if my memory card is full. It turn out to be just right.

I wasn't the only one that goes crazy there with the camera, Richard also went wild taking tons of pictures of me. This is the first time that I was in most of the photos. Usually I stay behind the camera.

This place is definitely a great place to visit. Even if you are not crazy about photography, you will enjoy the view very much. Is like swimming in a sea of colorfull flowers ! Just..... try to forget the stink from the menure.....

From there we thought we should go to the other garden. I forgot the name. But after we saw it, we decided not to go there. The different is, if Tulip Town is a very large tulip farm. This one is more like a display garden but it's much smaller. Well... if you do not live in an area with lots of gardens and parks, you should go there. But if you live in Vancouver area with Butchard Garden, VanDusen Botanical Garden, Stanley Park, Queen Elizabeth Park, and Bloedel Conservatorium. I guess this place did not impress me that much. So we decide to skip it.

From there, the trip to Washington or US is not complete without going to shop for good bargain in Nordstorm Rack. I love this store the most because they carried great brand stuff from Nordstorm but with big discount. This is the best place to buy shoes ! Shoes that usually cost somewhere around $ 200 is reduced into only $ 39 ! Even Italian shoes..... Salvatore Ferragamo, tuart Weitzman, and many more are all here. And for clothings, I know Asians loves Ralp Lauren and they have it there too. In fact I just bought one shirt.

Then we went to another mall but basically we just went there to find food. Again, if you live in Vancouver, it's kind of hard to find food that can impress us anymore. So we decide to just eat what ever is available in that mall. We ended up in a seafood restaurant. The food is so so off course. I rather eat in Monk's in Vancouver. Now that is gourmet food ! It tastes and looks better and the restaurant is in a great location as well with gorgeous view and it cost the same.

Then we went to ... of all places.... Wall-Mart. Is not that we don't have Wall-Mart in Vancouver, we do off course, but we are looking for something that only available here in the States. But at the end they did not have it. I ended up only buying 2 boxes of cereal, hahahaha ! Go figure....

Anyway.... we have no problem at all in Canadian border. The officer did not even open our passports ! He just pretty much wave us goodbye ! I guess we are not the only one tired tonight.

Skagit Valley's Tulip Festival is definitely a must go place for anyone who happen to be in Washington State around April 1 to 30.

For more information about Tulip Festival, you can go to : http://www.tulipfestival.org/

And for future plan. I plan to go to a lavender harvest festival in July and I hope the one in Canadian soil because I plan on buying some of the lavender products to bring home. Lavender is one of my favorite scent of all. And if you never tried Lavender honey, you are definitely should try next time. The smells of Lavender honey is so heavenly. They are hard to find but they are definitely worth the effort.

And for more information on Lavender Harvest in Canada I found this site at : http://www.happyvalleylavender.com/lavender_harvest.html

http://www.lavenderharvestfarms.com/ourfarm/ourvalley.htm

And for Lavender Harvest in Washington area, I also found this site :
http://lavenderfestival.com/


I hope all these information will encourage you to find your own local Tulip Festival or Lavender Harvest. Try something new this year !





Come to visit Tulip Festival in Skagit Valley, WA or you can try to find one closer to your area. Try something new this year like we do ! Posted by Hello


Beautiful aren't they? Posted by Hello


All of the children there are as happy as my son.  Posted by Hello


Kai Kai loves Tulips Festival ! Posted by Hello


Happy Place. Posted by Hello


With all these tulips, I feel like staying here forever ! Posted by Hello


This place is a great place for you to teach your children about Tulips or nature in that matter. I teach Kai Kai about the structures of flower.  Posted by Hello


Rows upon rows of colorfull tulips are here for you to enjoy. Posted by Hello


It's a cool feeling to be surrounded with these giant tulips. Posted by Hello


Just the sight of these beautiful flowers can make people so happy. I know, because I feel that way ! Posted by Hello


Look at these gorgeous tulips in Tulip Town ! Posted by Hello