Thursday, March 30, 2006

Dinner Cruise

Before we have the available time and resource to go on a vacation cruise, we went on a 3-hr dinner cruise in Manhattan.

The cruise consisted of an outdoor deck for sightseeing, dancing, live cabaret, and a buffet dinner. The atmosphere was much different than what I had expected. Despite the fact that there was a couple who had announced their engagement, the majority of the crowd consisted of bigger groups. There were a group of drunken women on the dance floor and a group of elders wearing tiaras. Sitting behind Rob was a table with two miserable girls who had not spoken a single word.

It was a dinner cruise on a Thursday night. I was surprised at the amount of passengers. Each group came for different reasons. As a result, the dj chose songs from I Will Survive to YMCA to clubbing songs and other slower dancing songs.

The weather was comfortable, and we were able to see the NY skyline at another angle.
My favorite part of the cruise is the delicious creme brulee cheesecake. In the end, we also purchased a picture they had taken for us as a souvenir. Although the night has turned out perfectly, we seem to enjoy the view of the Rainbow Bridge in Odaiba more than the bridges and buildings in Manhattan.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

St. Patty's Day

Wednesday, March 15, 2006


Rob and I are always on vacation. My scrapbook is filled with ticket stubs of things that we have done in the past summer and winter vacation. Unfortunately, while I'm in New York for my spring vacation, Rob has school. The way we spend our days is something we are both not accustom to. Rob has been busy writing reports and studying for midterms; I was sick and my jetlag took a long time to overcome. As a result, I spent the first few weeks in bed.

My sickness tends to wait until Rob is around. When he was in Japan, I had the stomach virus, throwing up for days. Here, I had the flu. I was drowsy for the first 2 weeks. After all, who else would run around delivering soup and food for me everyday if it is not Rob? In Japan, he made me お粥; he even sliced ham/bacon and vegetable for flavoring. In New York, conforming to the American culture, he brought back chicken noodle soup. Ironically, after weeks of sweat and stress, his mom thanked me for taking care of him.

After our plans were postponed a few times, I was finally healthy, and we went to Mountain Creek. It was quite horrifying to experience my first of many. It was my first time to snowboard (or ski), wear snowboarding equipments, and ride on ski lifts. We were there from 5 to 9 pm. I despise the cold, but the weather was warm that Friday.

The equipment was easy to put on because they are similar to rollerskates - the buckles, long shoelaces, etc. After a few pictures, the 5 of us marched onto the snow. I walked slowly onto the icy slope, because I didn't trust the sturdiness of the shoes. We followed the crowd, because our friend Tom adviced us to skip the bunny slopes. Note to self: Never take an advice from a beginner who is snowboarding for the second time of his life.

The most popular stories told by first timers are ski lift experiences. After overcoming the fear that the shoes will fail me, we had to travel up the mountain by a standing ski lift. The height of the mountain was intimidating. After all, I couldn't see our destination point. I gripped firmly onto the edge of the lift as I faked a smile for the camera. Just imagine riding up on a rollercoaster, incapable of seeing the end of the upward slope - that was what it felt like.

Since the lifts were running nonstop, we were afraid that we won't land on time. We inched closer and closer to each other as we lined up to get off. At last, contrary to belief, the 5 of us only took 1/5 of the given time to get off.

There was also a sitting ski lift. The oncoming bench was to "sweep" us away from our back as we stood there. Learning from others, we locked only one shoe onto the snowboard. As our bench took off, my snowboard was dragging in the snow. I thought my foot was stuck and I was about to die. I knew better during my second time around. Ski lift is the most dangerous transportation I have ever experienced. WHERE ARE THE SEATBELTS?! I could have easily fallen a 100 ft down, breaking a limb.

Furthermore, I had to support the weight of my heavy snowboard with my weak left foot while we were in mid-air. I thought my ankle was to break off. Thankfully, Rob took some weight off of me by holding my snowboard up. At the end of the ride, I was told to "jump off" from the lift once we arrive. As I landed, I thought the lift would hit me on the back of my head as I landed, but it didn't.

After our short trip to "death," we arrived. Soon, I learned to stand and fall. After another half an hour, I gained balance and arrived to the top of the first downward slope, 25 feet from where we first started. After a few short slopes, Rob and I were left alone. Rob and I snowboarded down the mountain without being told how to stop or turn. The first half went well. I was able to stop myself from hurting others. I stayed low to fall from a lower height. BIG MISTAKE! I ended up accelerating. Most of the time I stopped myself because the speed was far from what I can withstand.

Since first grade, I was taught to always fall forward. Snowboarding was reversing everything that I learned. I was told to fall on my butt. I was "addicted" to falling. After all, it was my only way to stop. Pain wasn't a question at the time. As I fall, I would dig my fingers into the slushes or press my fingers onto the ice in an attempt to stop falling downhill. According to Rob, after I make an effort to stop every time, I would lose strength and spin uncontrollably.

In order not to lose each other, Rob followed behind me as I snowboarded down the mountain. It was my first time, but it was Rob's first time, too. He would often stop 2 ft in front of me after I fall. Snow would fly to my face everytime. My hero always came to my rescue but this one time...

By the end of the day, I knocked my head twice. Both times, I lied down, facing the sky, waiting to become unconscious or the birds. Instead, I had 2 big bumps on my head for the next 2 to 3 days. So, here's the story of my fallen hero: One of those two times, Rob rushed to my direction. However, instead of coming to my rescue, he knocked me hard with his snowboard (thankfully, not my head). If only I had a clip of it, I would send it to America's Home Funniest Video.

By the end of our first trip downhill, we decided to go back to the basics: the bunny slopes. After 2 more times, our day was filled with fatigue, soup, and hot chocolate at the food court.

I was a crybaby. After all, I banged my head twice! Speaking of which, I must purchase a helmet next year. My butt cheeks, tailbone, head, neck, and arms hurted for the next 48 hours. In fact, because of the "head bang," I couldn't move my neck. It hurted when I sneezed. No word can describe the pain of a first-time snowboarder. No sport I had done is comparable.

At last, this marks another sport, next to skim boarding, in which I must defeat.