Tommy and Tammy’s bay area (and other) adventures


I am glad to see you are doing well and that the missus is adjusting to life in the US. She seems to be getting on much better, and after only three months! I wish you both a very Merry Christmas!

Best Regards,

Thanks Gao. Yes I am pleased shes adjusting well in such a short time. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours !!

Alrighty, hope ya’all had a good Christmas if not a great one.

One change is that i actually did Christmas shopping a few days before and with my wife. Where previously I do admit I must seemingly have had the least regard for this important family occasion. I had been very lazy bout it in other words.

I would just drop by Safeway on my way over to my stepmom’s in the city and scoop up near a dozen bottles of champagne or wine and buy wrapping paper and then wrap it hurriedly when I got there. Yes, not a lot of thought went into it. This year she made sure I put at least some effort in it.

This year I only bought one bottle of Jack and one bottle of Grand Marnier as presents where alcohol was concerned, the other gifts were more thoughtful. A few articles of clothing and chocolates. And i certainly followed the prevailing theme this year and put everything into those gift bags one can buy at the supermarkets and Walgreens. Cost more this way, but easier and seems more presentable then standard gift wrap. The dinner was great as usual. And the gift giving session fun and fruitful.

I got my usual load of coffee, articles of clothing, a bottle of Disaronno, Starbucks gift card and even a few small boxes of high end candy.

My wife had a lot of fun. She got loads of stuff she liked, Mainly creams, perfumes and victoria secret PJ and other stuff that girls like. So she had a great time. Which was awesome.

Last and certainly not least. Two long time friends of my dad’s have been coming to our family Christmas dinner for over 30 years. And the tradition has continued even though my dad passed in 2001. A few Christmases ago, one of those buds came to his last Christmas with us and sadly passed away not long after. Since then, my brother has taken it upon himself to buy identical gifts (as was the good friend’s tradition) and pass them out in his honor.

This year my bro really stepped up to the plate and got everyone Cirque du Soleil tickets to an upcoming show to be held in San Jose. That certainly put a big hole in his pocket ! Very generous indeed.

I was excited as I had thought about going to see that show but my wife was only “ok” with it. Mainly because she had never seen one of those shows. Note to self. Take her to see “O” when we eventually go to Vegas. And remind myself NOT to tell her I had seen that show previously with the ex. :slight_smile:

But low and behold our gift was actually NOT to the show. WE had a DIFFERENT gift from the others??! Say what?

We got a night at a deluxe bed and breakfast in Carmel that is considered one of the best and most romantic out there. Large ocean facing room with a jacuzzi , welcome bottle of champagne and cheese board and wine? And complimentary breakfast in bed the next day? Hmm. VERY thoughtful (and expensive) present indeed.

I told him he’s ruined it for us. I have been planning to take her to either Disneyland or Universal and I guess Motel 6 won’t quite do it now. :slight_smile:

Ok, enough jabber. Tell us bout YOUR Christmas. Let’s hear some stories.

I know of two indonesian restaurants in berkeley. One across the street from the Elmwood movie house on College and Ashby. … g-berkeley

That one iv been to 3 times. Its a bit pricey, with each dish being mainly around ten bucks, and the portions are really tiny.

She has not been to that one, but we went to the other place that I have seen. The Jayakarta Indonesian on University, across the street from the Taiwan Restaurant.

Both the Taiwan restaurant and the Jayakarta restaurants have been in business for decades, but sadly not one penny has ever been spent renovating them. And both places look it. IN short they are dumps.

But that aside, the Jayakarta was packed (and it seems to be packed any time Iv walked past). I had the Beef Rendang with rice , plate for bout 9.50. And I can say that it was really delicious ! She had an pempek, or some such. Its basically a big fishball cut in two. I thought it was not that good. That was not worth the 7.50. She tells me that it would be bout a buck in Jakarta at a similar restaurant.

She enjoyed it, but did comment that the place really should be torn down and redone. IT was , shall we say, grimy. But given the dearth of indo places around, we will probably be back there. I do like the Beef Rendang. And Its not more grimy then tons of other restaurants i guess.

Same cat, different posers. I think she makes the cat cuter :slight_smile:

Luv Whooper. He certainly has taken to her, as he strikes the same relaxed pose.

Wishing you all a wonderful new year !

WE are heading into dec 31st here, while you guys are gettin ready for the big shebang tonite ?
Fireworks still at TAipei 101? …

New years eve was a bit of a bust. IT was cold so didnt feel like heading over to SF by BART to join the crowds there. DId that once, was oK. Over rated.

So went to Walnut creek, but the place was very very tame, not what i thought it would be. A few bars had their crowds, but no more then an usual Friday nite would be, for example
Can you say sleepy?

At least whopper enjoyed his walk on city streets . Recently been taking him out for car rides and walks. He hates riding cars, but its getting better > Less howling with each ride.

Today, new years day, it was warm in Walnut Creek on jan 1st. Tons of people. Took the cat for a walk downtown . Neighbor went for a ride as well.

Brought whopper home pretty quickly as he was over heating, as you can see from his panting.

He won’t do well in Taiwan if he’s panting on a January day. Admittedly it was probably around 18c mid day today.

He,s happier when the weather is nearer zero C.

Being a cat found originally in the state of Maine, hes pretty hardy. Would probably have to stay indoors in TAiwan’s summers in airconditioned rooms.

HE would be fine in TAipei’s horrid winters though.

Are you moving back to Taiwan?

No. Always wanted to, but can’t see a way to do it. Had wanted to marry a TW girl to help in the process, but that didn’t pan out. With an Indonesian wife, perhaps one day I can make a move to INdonesia. But honestly , I think only if it was Bali. Because I don’t think I would want to live in Jakarta. Taipei yes, cept for the quakes. Jakarta no.

Think I will just have to stay here in sunny CAlifornia.

Went to PADI Indonesian again last night. Ran into the owner and his wife, who were delighted to run into another Indonesian. They were happy yakkin away in Indo.

Of course I had to up my bill now that everyone was being so cordial. But she likes their pempek. But their pricing is on the high side. I guess because the place is so small, they don’t have much of a choice.

Now that we missed out on getting Cirque du Soleil tickets at Christmas, she came across a site offering small discounts off events and found that we can save ten/ticket on the show going on in sF (before going to san jose next month). So i managed to get us front row seats at next Thursdays first show of Amaluna for 90/person. Still expensive but then Cirque shows are never cheap.

We will now see the show before my bro does. NOt sure if I should tell him or not.

Wished I had seen Alegria when it came here before Taiwan got them. That seemed like an awesome show. As you know, cirque has either travelling shows or Vegas shows. You can’t ever see the travelling show in Vegas so if you miss it when they come to town you missed it. You may have to travel far and wide to catch them around the world.

Wonder if Amaluna is heading to Taiwan in the near future? Following in the footsteps of Alegria, which was a tremendous hit for Cirque. IN fact, i understand it was the first time EVER for a travelling Cirque show to sell out all seats BEFORE the group even arrived somewhere. That was on their premier show in Taiwan, but I am sure that won’t be the last.

Well done for toning it down, Tommy. A very Happy New Year to you.

He doesn’t need to tone down anything.

That’s a matter of opinion. Anyway, it looks like he has, at least on the intimate details side of things, and kudos to him for that. :slight_smile:

Jeez man still giving your opinion on the thread, give it up already.

Well I believe you just gave your opinion, didn’t you ? At least I am being positive now ! Maybe it’s time for you to give up giving your opinion on other people giving their opinions …

Green Card interview in Feb. Hope the card comes soon after.

LIke to let her go home for a long visit.

Having a green card also allows her to overnight in Taiwan.

Amaluna - Cirque du Soleil - San Francisco

If I had my way we would have seen Amaluna from the cheap seats (65 apiece). Scrooge McDuck that I am.
As it turned out, we sat in Front Row seats for 90/apiece. 100-10 online savings voucher.

It was an experience watching Cirque from the Front Row. Iv seen one Cirque show in sF once bout ten years ago (from the cheap seats). I thought it was good and fine enough. I didn’t get the best seats for O in Vegas either as they were about 500 apiece ! I got “cheap” seats at 130 apiece . But that show was WOW… I dont think there is a bad seat in the house for O.

We didn’t get the best best seats this time either, which are at the FRONT of the stage, we were to the side, at some 130 apiece but where we were was just fine.

I had no idea the previous show, Alegria would be so good, until it went to Taiwan. Which peaked my interest and i saw a bunch of clips on Youtube of it.

Makes me want to see Alegria should it make its appearance over here.

Amaluna while good but, lacked a story. It seemed incoherent. I really didn’t get the message if there was one. It was good, but i have a feeling Alegria is better. So if Taiwan is getting Amaluna next, there may be some disappointment from those that saw Alegria.

The all girl band was great, rocking up the house.

If you are in SF you still have a chance to see Amaluna. Take the T train from Embarcadero , takes you to the front of the tents.

It is amazing how they set up the tent and all that equipment to do a Cirque show. Amazing work to get it all set up. Those guys are pros. Everyone involved with Cirque is !

That makes the high ticket prices seem a bargain !

I did NOT park there though. At 25/car, its a bit steep. I took the T train 2 stops further and parked for free.

Spent 4 bucks each way on the Muni for the two of us instead… NOT much of a savings that is true. But I just refused to pay 25/car for parking !

whopper tries to keep the same pose for the second pic but his itchy ears get the best of him :slight_smile:

Just came back from a nite at Tickled Pink Inn. Kudos and thanks to my bro for his very nice voucher.

Its one of those B and B that are quite expensive due to small number of rooms and exotic location, plus genteel service. Coupled with a welcome frexinet champage and continental breakfast. A nice room , with a great ocean view adds to the ambiance.

Had a very enjoyable time. Place seems to be full of older sorts (except for one young korean couple) with tons of bucks. Some over for a week from Cold and Miserable Canada.

Reserved crowd. Who knows, some may have come by private jet to the Monterey regional airport.

Had dinner and lunch at Carmel. Which has a beautiful beach with white sand and ice cold water.

Its not true what they say bout Carmel, that its a place for newly weds and nearly deads. Although there is some truth as there is no real industry there. You go to retire there when rich.

There’s a nice main street called Ocean avenue, where many of the restaurants are and some pricey small stores.

Restaurants there are on the expensive side, and frankly the food , while good, deserves no special mention. At least the two we went to.

I still refuse to pay to drive the 17 mile drive. Maybe one day. Who knows how much it costs now.

Was 8 bucks ten years ago.

The Monterey regional airport is a good place for private jet spotting. Saw some fAlcon 50s I think, and a few biggish twins. One was a Hawker possibly.

A beautiful house on the ocean and truckloads of moola and a falcon 7x on dispatch at the airport. Now that would be life on the hog for sure.

Living in luxury in Carmel and yet able to fly at a moments notice anywhere in the world !

IF I had a coupla Billion in the bank, that’s what I’d do :stuck_out_tongue:

Well heck maybe one day , i’d be rich enough to afford a modest house in Carmel and retirement cash and still have a Cirrus 22 at Monterey regional at least?

500k for the Cirrus . I’d do trips only to Vegas, LA and SF, and other immediate areas. And only in good weather. Don’t like being bounced around.

Now this may be at least a “more” realistic pipe dream.

Million dollar home and a half Mil plane with a sizeable annual income to stay retired?

That would be life on the half hog , at least.

Thank God for health insurance ! Had to take her to Emergency due to possible appendicitis !

Co pay came out to be bout 250. I shudder to think what those 4 hours in Emergency with a battery of tests and a CAt Scan would have come out to be in the USA, without health care.

Was a false alarm thank God.

My bud was 4 hours in Emergency once in Berkeley because his hip replacement ball had come out of joint. They only gave him aspirin, did Zero tests and the bill for his insurance company was 17,000 US DOLLARS !!

Scary !

250 copay aint a sweat by comparison.

Otherwise the only “cat scan” i can afford is to have my cat have a good look at her.

Course health insurance here is not cheap at 350/month. And that is with my employer picking up HALF the tab ! Otherwise it would be 700 USD /month !!


Quick thinking to get insurance, very wise. Hope she gets better.

Thanks, yes shes good now.