Dependent Origination

Archive for the ‘远足’ Category

I went to check out the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim past week. It is a gigantic show. Overwhelming. Lots of free food samples passing around. I didn’t even want to pick up any for the last day or two. It is that much amount of free food (and water).

I got to understand the food scene better through the Expowest and talking with people there. It is very much like a start up summit. Lots of mom-pop stores. Someone has an idea about a product, then finds a copacker and then off you go products to shelves. However, you really need to have a remarkable product (something people love) so it would go off shelves quickly to be successful. So it is a product-centric world too.

Half of the business school I attended is about how to secure funding. It almost felt like it is back to the Sillicon Valley 🙂 But investment amounts are much smaller. Everywhere you go, capitalism works the same way.

We went to Yosemite again late Feburary, to commemorate our previous winter trip to Yosemite 2006. Here is the post from ten years ago. Good thing that I have kept this blog for over twelve years.

We had really fond memories of our last trip there. In fact, both of us, when waiting for the sun set over Half Dome, recounted the dusk ten years ago, with fog rising a few feet over the valley floor, with ice and snow over those majestic granite monolith, and light disappearing quickly leaving a meandering longing over everything. It is that memorable.

Turned out in late February it was more like early spring in the Valley. It was still nice. Now that we were staying four nights, we had plenty of time to hike. We hiked to the old familiar Clark Point on the Half Dome trail. We hiked the Upper Falls. It was my first time hiking the Upper Falls, for my four trips in the park. The Lodge was giving out two lift tickets of Badger Pass for every two nights’ stay. So we had four lift tickets and therefore went to the ski area inside the park for two days.

Biggest news: DH learned to ski, finally. After nearly twenty years (albeit about six days of skiing for those twenty years), he finally took a chair lift and ski’ed a basic green trail with me. We were really happy. At the end of the first day’s ski, we were sitting in the outside lounge and reminiscing about  the day. He made great progress that day, and I was already imagining our future ski trips to Whistler and Vail. On the second day, we rode the chair lift together (in separate chairs because he was afraid of riding with someone else) and ski’ed down the mountain together. I felt so happy! Finally, now I have a partner when ski’ing. No longer a loner sport for me any more.

Another highlight is Fire Falls. We accidentally went to the park in a time for the natural Fire Falls of the Horse Tail Falls. It is a tiny and seasonal falls from El Capitain. Should I not check out my friend’s photo of it a few days ago, we would totally miss it. We spent the first twenty minutes looking up and wondering whether there was water at all. It requires good weather in the last two weeks of February to see it. And we saw it on the third night, the previous two nights being cloudy and cold.

Here is some practical information. We used our credit card’s 4th night free so the total lodging costs were reasonable. The lodge increased its price but giving out lift tickets, effectively throwing the ski part in. The free Valley Bus is still running to all stops so just park the car and ride the shuttle going to places and hiking. The food court is a cheaper option than the newly opened Mountain Room restaurant, which is on the higher end. There is a Mountain Room Lounge which serves mostly alcohol. We bought wines from the gift shop for three nights and consumed alcohol in our hotel room. That is definitely cheaper:)

One of our front lights was dead. The other has been intermittent, which means it would be on for a while, such as fifteen minutes, then it would be off, but next time it would be on again. This has been going on for nearly two years. And I have been turning on high beam for night driving all this time. The reason? It would be too damn expensive to fix it. According to dealer and other run-of-mill mechanic, I would need to replace both the hid light bulb and the ballast, the computer control unit of the light. The hid light bulb, mind you, is quoted at $275 not from dealer. From dealer it would be $290. The ballast unit would be about $200. Replacing the ballast would require taking off the entire lamp component and therefore the labor cost is at two hours, making the total for a single side ~$675. Having both lights fixed would be ~$1350. And this is not a dealer quote.

We recently decided to fix this problem since we are getting on a trip to a more remote place and it might involve night driving a lot. Apparently, the way to reduce cost: 1. buy OEM light bulb; 2. buy after-market ballst; 3. do it yourself. Luckily for us, once we replaced both light bulbs, all are fine now. We bought the bulbs off Amazon, them being naked-eye identical with the dead bulbs they replaced. So the $50 per bulb solution sounds so much more attractive than the $275 dealer version. You can check out the bulbs here (D4S, 42042).

How to use the 4th night free benefit that comes with a Citi Prestige card?

  1. You have to call through the Citi Concierge to make the hotel reservation. The agent would book the reservation for you and credit back your 4th night cost (with taxes) to your card.
  2. Citi Concierge number: 1-800-508-8930. Or this number 561-922-0158. They are open 24 by 7.
  3. Have to be the primary card holder to make the reservation.

可以坐地铁🚇到口岸。自己过关。然后在香港坐公交车去机场。这种旅费最便宜。但我还没走过。所以先不谈。

在深圳机场有两个选择:坐船或者坐大巴。坐船一人295人民币¥退港币120所以每人大约180。坐船直接到香港机场控制区,所以不必入境香港🇭🇰 是最大好处,因为去掉了一个最大的不可控的时间变量。门对门时间我用了三个小时,减掉不必要的周折,至少也要两个半小时。船🚢的班次不频繁,一个多小时一班。大巴每人200人民币¥据说车上过关。据说要两个多小时。早上第一班是九点半。所以这两个选择从时间到金钱是差不多的。个人选择。

我要补充一些细节。网上没找到,只能到了再问。但是不管机场问询处的人还是酒店前台💁🏻都非常不靠谱。搞得我赶上飞机✈还有点紧张😰 机场问询处说是卖船票。实际只能卖去澳门🇲🇴的船票。去香港🇭🇰的船票他们不能卖。但是不到最后一刻他们不会告诉你的。只说我们有免费🆓摆渡车去码头。然后问询处的船🚢时刻表自己空想的吗?和真的时刻表差太远。我赶上了十点一刻的一班。下一班是十一点半。再下一班是两点。如果你住在深圳,可以直接去福永码头。不必去机场。到了码头先查验证件和机票(Email即可),然后买票,就行了。没机场什么事儿的。

1. 这次一样也是匆忙之中决定去意大利🇮🇹 本来拿了申根签证是打算去挪威参加好朋友的婚礼💒 拿了签证之后发现我们两个miscommunication 她的婚礼时间改在八月初了 老公说你就自己去一趟挪威自己玩儿好啦 我研究了一下挪威确实很好玩儿 但是hiking很多 三块著名的石头都是要走一整天的那种hike 所以就有点不想自己去 在城里自己逛逛还不错 一个人hiking是不想的 所以以为就算了 白申请了一个申根签证 结果八月中老公想回美国🇺🇸 发现机票要两千多 他说这都够我们两个人各自飞到欧洲去了 所以他叫我挑个目的地 我就挑了意大利🇮🇹 他买了到威尼斯的票 我才开始研究能够去哪里 这时已经八月初了

2. 偏偏义工方面突然出现很多很多工作要在行前完成 所以根本没有时间去研究当地历史 其实我统共就研究了在威尼斯应该住在哪里 然后定了前面两天的酒店 连在威尼斯玩儿什么都没怎么看 所以本次trip都是到了当地再打听 可以去哪里玩儿的 

3. 一下就九月下旬了,才有时间回来继续写下去。总的来说我很喜欢💖威尼斯。威尼斯不大。走那些小小窄窄的巷子很好玩。走错路的时候就是遇到了水又没有桥。水很干净。冈都拉很有情调,也很贵。八十美元半个小时。还要晚上七点之前。划回来的时候我突然发现这不是我们上船的地方吗?这么快?!圣马可广场人潮汹涌,但是临水的部分很有情调。参观的教堂⛪钟楼还有最高统治者的宫殿都很堂皇。虽然不知道历史也有很多可以看的地方。傍晚和晚上有很多可以逡巡和等待的地方。有的piazza很有意思。有寻宝的感觉。要走很多路。第一天走不动了在rialto桥吃了晚饭。好贵,ripoff。最后一天发现了rialto market,可惜已经下午,大家基本都回家了。后来老公在rialto桥附近走了很多商店,买到两个很好看的玻璃杯子。是最满意的旅行纪念品。很想再去威尼斯。冬天的风景应该也不错。

4. 在威尼斯住在了Cannaregio。北边的海边。走的圣马可大约二十几分钟。一个旧修道院改建的学校🏫改建的旅馆。地方很大很宽敞。建筑很古朴,内部装修很现代。待着挺舒服。唯一缺点是两天的新浴巾上都发现了别的颜色的头发。让人怀疑这个海岛🏝是不是淡水很珍贵所以大家就不洗浴巾或者床单了。从机场过来有AliLaguna的船,四十五分钟就到。站名f. nove. 和酒店🏨告诉的不一样。所以要记下来。走三分钟就到酒店,很方便。离威尼斯比较热闹的地方都要远一点,所以要多走路。沿海的路边饭馆不错,有很漂亮的海景,还不是ripoff。虽然也贵。

5. 佛罗伦萨有点overwheming。首先我没有做任何功课。所以两个engineer看那么多的油画,实在无感了。其次正值八月下旬,人实在太多了。太阳☀太大了。在cupola排队排了两个小时,人多,晒。然后又在acadamia gallery排队。继续晒。我这时已经不行了。只能坐在马路牙子上了。所以两天以后,离开觉得挺好😎 所以我的建议,千万不要夏天去。其次去之前得做功课。不然就只能像我们一样去参观达芬奇博物馆和伽利略工作室了😅 好歹我还是上过艺术史的。好多画的名字和意义提一下是想得起来的。但是看多了就没区别了。

6. 佛罗伦萨是有很多好地方的。那个桥Ponte Vecchio远看很好看,近看很一般。老公兴奋地说这个桥和河边是他赛车🏎游戏里面开过很多次的赛道。相比之下桥那边的Palazzo Pitti和Oltrarno Area要有意思很多。三块五吃的冰激凌也是全意大利🇮🇹给的分量最足的。Piazzale Michelangelo不负盛名,日落很漂亮。有流浪歌手之后就更有情调了。但是比不上西班牙Granada在san nicolas广场看alhambra日落。城里的centrale mercado很有意思。里面的火腿拼盘看起来最好吃。市场里面很多有意思的东西,还有硕大肥厚的猪蹄卖。

7.  佛罗伦萨地区可以待上三天到四天没问题。城里还有uffizi gallery还有好些其他的地方可以逛,比如garden啊等等。然后周边有比萨斜塔。还有lucca可以去逛。光市中心的广场上的东西两天就比较合适。我们最后只爬了cupola和参观了教堂博物馆。我觉得四天会比较惬意。当然我们又看到了无数中国旅行团。几十人紧紧地围着导游。听讲解。然后三十分钟自由活动就离开中心广场。网上的中文攻略也都是两天逛完所有内容。我不知道他们是旅行还是急行军。

8. 在佛罗伦萨吃了一个很多人排队的sandwich place. 排了得有一个小时。东西很便宜。五块一个三明治。够我吃两顿。排到之后也没地方吃,就坐在马路牙子上面吃。我的那个口味一般,太innocent了。老公那个挺好吃。小店墙上都是名人来吃饭的照片,可是我们一个也不认识。柜台里面都是精壮的小伙子,手脚不停,看起来劳动强度很大。店外还有两块一杯的红酒🍷 很有意思的地方。

9. 在比萨看完斜塔之后,走回火车站。路上拐进了一条小街,吃了一个五块的pizza。两个人,很饱。pizza是现擀现石头炉子烤的。很好吃。还学会了一个意大利词儿artichoke = carciofo

10. 在佛罗伦萨住的也不错。一个在市中心的小房间。离duomo就两条街。所以位置是很好的。找有点费劲。那天坐高铁从威尼斯去佛罗伦萨。结果忘了查怎么从火车站去酒店。只好下车去找问询处。问询处的人说必须买她一张地图才告诉我们。只好花了两欧买了地图。但是找到了地图上的地方,我们开始仍然没找到房子。一个牌子太小,一个其实是在一个residential building里面的几间小房子,所以看起来很容易忽略。进了大门,见到了传说中古老而狭小的欧洲电梯。首先在一个普通的玻璃门后面。其次最多两个人。再加两箱子就转不开磨了。后来一次我们出门的时候,还替别的在hall里面徘徊不知道怎么上楼的fellow travellers指点过哪个是电梯。

11. 披萨好像就只有斜塔。其他的,好像每个城市都有的duomo, baptistry, cathedral, campanile, 看多了就都差不多了。看到斜塔我们两个还挺兴奋。毕竟很小的时候就听说了。伽利略的实验,两个铁球同时着地。初一学的?比好多同学的孩子的年纪还小。但是年纪小的时候就是更容易被impressed。所以我们照了很多和斜塔相关的照片。

12. Siena也是我慕名很久的地方了。第一个工作开始不久,公司vpe一家去意大利🇮🇹玩儿,就跟我说很有意思。那时我就想去。这次一看就在佛罗伦萨一个半小时车程的地方,马上排了两天。时间很合适。刚够把外地人第一次来要看的highlights都看完。还可以四处走走停停吃吃。酒店是hotel alma domus。位置不错。离佛罗伦萨来的汽车站五分钟吧。门口就是一排很贵的餐馆儿。来的时候,可以在san domenico教堂提前下车,走路更近。

13. 佛罗伦萨的汽车站地址 Via Santa Caterina de Siena。有这个地址好找多了。其实离火车站非常近。但是火车站的人不太讲英文,所以讲不清楚。佛罗伦萨附近好像有个很有名的大牌outlet。可能中国人去得多吧。我问汽车站,他们就都指我这个outlet bus。

14. Siena的汽车票是在汽车站街边一个便利店🏪里面卖的。网上居然没人提这个。

15. 汽车🚘经过的小城更像意大利🇮🇹的真实面貌。有的很破败。有的很工业化,谈不上美丽。但是都很干净。和中国不同。再穷也很干净。也要收拾。

16. 看了这么久的siena居然没人提到是个山城。是惊喜。城大小很合适。又有的逛,又不会没意思很快逛完。每天傍晚有歌唱游行。每个人系一条小城标志丝巾。我也想买一条。没发现哪里卖。和我们学校🏫的颜色是同样色系的。

17. 城中心广场气氛特别好。我们是第一天晚上出来乱走撞进来的。但是夜晚🏙温度宜人,很多人坐在广场上面。小孩子在使劲地向天空放飞自己的小降落伞玩具。一下一下地划破夜空。旁边是露天小馆子,咖啡馆,冰激凌🍨店。坐满了晚归的人。是很难忘的地方。

18. Siena的城中心让人惊喜。本来我都审美疲劳了。想又是duomo cathedral和bell towe和博物馆。能怎样。哎,还真的有不一样的看的。我还挺喜欢那个教堂和里面的图书馆。觉得如果我曾经是siena的居民,一定花了很多时间在那个图书馆里面。博物馆里面有可以瞭望全城风貌的观景台,很值得一去。

19. 总之传说中的 Tuscany地区,吃的我觉得一般般。可能还是得多花点儿钱吧?我选了两家便宜好吃的。但是味道都很普通,没什么印象吃到了什么东西。有一家专门品酒的地方,还稍稍有点意思。

20. 整个旅程最不方便的就是在自动售票机上不能用信用卡💳 因为都是要六位的密码。我连欧元💶都取不出来。因为我的PIN是四位的。所有的票都要在窗口买。第一次我们费了半天劲也买不成还眼睁睁地看着便宜点的二等座票卖光了。心情沮丧地去窗口排队。结果窗口还买得到。

21. 在佛罗伦萨火车站,有高铁列车。还有去披萨这种地方的regional local trains. 就在platform 1and 2. 票上没写。也没有车次或者座位。随便上随便坐。但是一定记得要在站台上validate就是打个timestamp. 不然车上一定会查票。查到会罚钱。我们第一次就是左打听右打听来的。结果上车查票大叔揪住了坐在我们前面的外国小夫妻教育他们。忘了我们也是要被教育的。所以躲过了一次小事件。

22.  中间被晒残了。买了一管本地产芦荟胶。结果抹了脸更红更残了。十天下来,皮肤变得跟生牛皮一样回到了加州。一半天灾,一半人祸。旅行这么多次,最多就是被晒成煤球。这是第一次肤质出现事故啊。

23. 我们的飞机离开威尼斯之后几个小时,意大利中部就地震了。我们还挺能挑时间哈。

24. 本篇从八月底写到九月底才写完,历时非常久。

day 1: fly to venice airport. land in the morning local time. take alilaguna boat to venice proper. check in hotel. sleep two hours. walk to san marco. eat dinner near realto bridge. walk back to hotel.

day 2: walk to san marco. tour doge’s palace. eat light lunch in its cafeteria. visit basilica san marco. visit bell tower. eat pasta dinner near san marco.  ride gondola. walk around. 

day 3: walk to santa lucia train station. buy trenitalia ticket to florence. walk to hotel. line up for a sandwich place and eat it  sitting on the curb. walk to ponte vecchio. walk to pitti palace and oltrarno area. walk to piazzale michelangelo. enjoy sunset.  

day 4: visit the cupola. tour mercato centrale and have lunch there. visit academia gallery for david. visit the duomo museum. go back to hotel and sleep.

day 5: walk to santa maria novella station. ride local trains to pisa centrale station. walk to the duomo area. visit the leaning tower, basilica, bapstery and the museum. eat pizza lunch in a side alley. ride trains back to florence. walk back to hotel to pick up luggage. walk to the bus station. ride siena rapida to siena. check into hotel. sleep. walk around. dinner. time in piazza del campo.

day 6: visit siena city center: museum, basilica, bapstery, crypt, library etc. eat late lunch in piazza del campo. sleep in hotel. walk around. dinner in wine tasting place. night in piazza del campo.

day 7: walk to bus station in piazza antonio gramsci. ride ordinaria bus back to florence. walk to train station. ride high speed train to venice. walk to hotel. rest. walk along fondamenta nove. walk to mercato realto and piazza san paulo. walk back to fondamenta nove. dinner in restaurant algiubagio. 

day 8: walk around the realto bridge area. buy souveniers. ride aliguna boat to venice airport. fly home. 


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