12.04.2016

549. Kyoto | Kiyomizu-dera Temple

Kiyomizu Dera Kyoto
On our first day in Japan, we visited a Buddhist temple called Kiyomizu-dera in Kyoto. It's considered a UNESCO Heritage Site. It was really beautiful there but unfortunately we were only able to stay for an hour and had to rush around. Also it started raining there halfway through. We were here in early Autumn so most of the leaves were still green..it would be a lot more beautiful to come when they've all changed colours though. There were some girls dressed up as geishas walking around taking photos. If we had more time there I would've liked to do it as well..maybe next time!

Kiyomizu Dera
Kiyomizu Dera
Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Temple
Hand-washing station outside the washroom

Kiyomizu Kyoto
Kiyomizu Temple Kyoto
Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Temple Kyoto
Kiyomizu Temple Kyoto
Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Dera
Kiyomizu Temple
Love Stone Kiyomizu
Love Stone Kiyomizu Temple
Kiyomizu Dera
Kiyomizu Kyoto
Kyoto
Kiyomizu Temple
This is called Otowa Waterfall, where there was a loooong lineup to get to. The water is divided into three separate streams. You stick out a cup, fill it up and drink. Each stream represents something different, and you are only allowed to choose one: success, love or longevity. Which would you choose?

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12.03.2016

548. Recent Life

City Hall Toronto Christmas
My trip to Asia made me realize how little I do here in Toronto. Sometimes I feel like I'm not doing enough in my life (only work, watch Youtube, read magazines, go out for food, etc and the whole day is gone). Whereas on vacation, I do so much in a day. I'm pretty sure I did more during my few weeks away than I did here all year lol. Since I also work from home and live alone, it also makes it more difficult to have structure in my day to day life. While I really love it I also wanted to have something regular to do and go to so it keeps me active and stick to some sort of schedule. At first I wanted to join a gym but then decided to do yoga instead. So a couple of weeks ago my sister and I joined a studio. I've been trying to go a few times a week..I really love it so far. If it was a bit closer to me I'd probably go everyday. Maybe I will when it's warmer though as I hate walking outdoors when it's freezing. As most of you know, I pretty much stay inside the PATH all winter hahah (& unfortunately there are no studios inside the path!). But a good thing is that this is forcing me to venture outdoors more often...for example, last night when I was walking back from yoga I walked around city hall and took these photos!

Toronto skating rink
Toronto Christmas city hall

& a couple of nights ago (also coming back from yoga), I walked through the mall just as it closed so all the hoards of shoppers were gone. Otherwise I hate going to the mall around the holiday season.

Eaton Centre Christmas
Eaton Centre Christmas tree
Eaton Centre Christmas
Fiasco Sorbetto
I'm obsessed with this sorbetto!! Since the food hall at Saks opened, I've been going almost every day to get my dinner/groceries (not exaggerating - I really do go at least every other day lol). I buy this sorbetto every time I'm out of it. It's so good. I kept all the containers and I already collected up to 5 now..I always get pretty addicted when I find something I love.

Lena Restaurant
After yoga last week, my sister and I went for dinner at Saks Fifth Avenue's new restaurant - Lena. We ordered all tapas to share. It was pretty good. We ordered these quail eggs in the photo above..when it came I immediately noticed the presentation of them was a bit off. It was like they were just thrown in there, and the toothpicks were laying down touching the sauce. I guessed they all fell over somehow when he was carrying it over..but our table was literally the closest to the kitchen/a few steps away, and the eggs have flat bottoms so I don't know how that happened lol. For a high-end restaurant, I feel they should've fixed it before serving it to us. I know they should all be standing up in a straight line as I then saw them bring out another one for another table which was presented that way.

Lena Restaurant
I loved the empanadas!

Lena Restaurant
Dessert was soooo filling. When we were choosing we asked the server how many churros came in an order and he said 2 or 3. I was thinking a couple regular sized sticks of churros. Then this comes out...for scale, you can see my sister's flan beside it lol.

Pottery Barn Christmas
My favourite place for Christmas/home stuff is Pottery Barn (besides Williams-Sonoma!)

Skewers
I'm not sure what this restaurant is called in english. I went with my mom and sister for dinner last week where almost everything in there was served on skewers. It was pretty good. I liked the style there. A bit like an izakaya.

Christmas lights Brookfield Place
Brookfield Place is my favourite for Christmas lights in Toronto! I went there tonight with my camera to take some shots.

Brookfield Place Christmas
Brookfield Place Christmas
Brookfield Place Christmas
Brookfield Place Christmas lights

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11.29.2016

547. Hong Kong | Repulse Bay Beach

Repulse Bay Beach
This cold weather in Toronto has me dreaming about the warmer weather back in Hong Kong..where we were just a few weeks ago. Here is Repulse Bay Beach. It's one of my mom's favourite beaches in Hong Kong that she used to always come when she was younger. Next time I visit Hong Kong I want to spend more time at the beaches. Whenever we visit Hong Kong we never had a day to just lay around and relax. Since there's so much to see and do there never seemed to be enough time. But next time for sure, and I think it would be fun to have a BBQ on the beach (we saw many people doing it).

This area has a lot of luxury real estate and flashy cars. Hong Kong real estate is the most expensive I've seen so far. I haven't really looked into London or NYC real estate but I assume it is comparable...I just know that in comparison to Toronto, Hong Kong is ridiculously expensive for the size you get. I started looking at homes in this area/Repulse Bay then at some others closer to the city.

**If you are not interested in real estate you can skip reading this part below**
There is one 2000 square foot condo here (2 bedrooms, 2 baths), selling for $78 million HKD which is about $13.50 million CDN. For that price in Toronto the house can probably make the list of top 20 most expensive houses in the city. A 4-bedroom Repulse Bay house is $41.20 million CDN. In Toronto, the most expensive house at the moment is only $29 million CDN & 10 bedrooms/24,000 square feet!!
So that is just a rough idea. For the condos in more central areas of the city, you can rent one that is tiny (for Toronto standards) at 260 square feet for $17,500 HKD a month which is about $3000 CDN a month. Here you can get more than double the size for about half the cost..or a little more than half the cost depending on location. & if you want to buy a decent sized apartment (say ~700 square feet), it would be literally millions (I am looking at one located in Wan Chai for example..$2.2 million CDN for 684 square feet). Also keep in mind that most of these places are really old and not nicely furnished inside. For that same cost in Toronto you can get a 3000+ square foot house in the suburbs.

I like real estate so I find it interesting to find out costs of places around the world. It made me realize how inexpensive Canada is in comparison. Someone I knew from London who lived here in Toronto for a couple years had said that Toronto real estate prices is like peanuts lol which I guess is quite true.

Repulse Bay Beach
Repulse Bay Beach
Repulse Bay Beach condos
Repulse Bay Beach Hong Kong
Repulse Bay Beach
Repulse Bay Beach
footprints in the sand
Trying to capture an artistic photo of my footprints in the sand. The water here is really shallow (like its Cantonese name) so we walked out a bit into the water. It was so nice to walk in the water on such a hot day.

Repulse Bay Beach
Repulse Bay Beach
Hong Kong Repulse Bay
Repulse Bay Beach Hong Kong
Repulse Bay Hong Kong
Repulse Bay Beach
Repulse Bay Beach
Repulse Bay Beach
meen and rice
meen and rice
Repulse Bay Beach
Repulse Bay Beach
I love the open style restaurants

Repulse Bay Beach
Repulse Bay Beach

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