Sunday, August 30, 2009
Nevertheless, Peter and Nancy were never brought up to be tied down by tradition and outdated values. This is their wedding and they did it their way, creative and independent. Honestly, for a day that is supposed to be the most special and important, most right-out-the-book weddings just leaves guests with nothing to remember, in other words, its boring and uninspiring. Anyways, P&N really made an impression and set a higher benchmark that wedding planners can learn from.
So first off, no Hongbaos please. It could become quite messy and a chore to keep track of the gifts and hongbaos but there is a much cleaner and tidier way. There are wedding lists online that you can pick and check off what the bride and groom desire. It is a vast improvement over getting gifts that you don't like and not know what to do with them.
I missed the morning ceremony so let's dive right into the wedding dinner. A wedding at Sutton Place will be classy to say the least. The pre-dinner reception which featured rooms with different wines and snacks, gave the guests plenty of room and time to mingle. This is important as it does not constrain the guests to the tables they will be ultimately assigned to. The tricky part is the duration of the reception, which needs not be too long, (somewhere within an hour will be sweet).
In any case, we waited for barely over an hour to be seated. At first sight, the high vases with fresh flowers, shiny cutleries and beautiful chandaliers spoke of boundless elegance. The waiters were hard at work presenting the wine choices. After picking your wine, the party offically begins. The bridal party started making their way in, dancing to pop/techno/rap music, much like what you see in "Hitch". As the newly married couple graced the room, the music slowed to guide them in a slow dance. Funny thing is Sharon and I get the feeling that Nancy is ready to break out some moves if not for that constraining wedding gown. Nancy was wearing the same white wedding gown as in the morning ceremony, and as it turns out there will be no gown changing (as compared to many brides who change 3 or more times).
The night has two MCs, both of which I feel are outstanding choices being light-humored and eloquant. The transition between dinner courses were well-filled with speeches, games, jokes and kissing allowing a seamingless flow. The hip-hop and robot dances by friends were rather spirited and entertaining, the maid-of-honor's speech was sincere and moving, the love-profession of a fake gay couple was...... funny and there were many more memorable moments. Still it puzzles me that there are so many people who fancy the shoe game - its not like there will be unexpected answers that friends and family wouldn't know already.
The food was nice but the main course "mignon steak" was badly prepared if I must complain. Dry and hard, totally unappetizing. But the chocolate dessert buffet more than made up for it, I swear.
As all good things must come to an end, there will be dancing and much more rejoicing. P&N will be leaving for Santorini, Greece for their honeymoon. It will surely be a new adventure filled with romance and fun. I am deeply honored to be invited to such a special wedding as it has inspired me that planning a wedding can be as much fun as you make it.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Thursday, August 27, 2009
It features high-efficiency geothermal technology to heat and cool the building, solar thermal hot water, heat recovery ventilation systems that constantly circulate fresh air throughout each unit, water recycling andlow-flow plumbing fixtures. These reduce consumption of greenhouse gases by 87 per cent, municipal water by 83% and energy by 70%.
Delivering Urban living in a suburban setting residences have open floor plans, nine-foot floor-to-ceiling glass window walls, charcoal grey cream polished concrete floors and cut oak cabinetry.
The kitchen is state-of-the-art and the spa-like master ensuites have extra deep soaker tubs, separate walk-in showers and Han Grohe fixtures.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
The traffic was not really as dreadful as I would have imagined. It took us about an hour and forty minutes to reach the small town. There were some scatters of people on the shore, playing ball, swimming, sunbathing to name a few. Driving for long distances really does work up an appetite as we just bolted for the “Fish and Chips” store round the corner immediately.
After a fulfilling lunch, it was time to check in the Harrison Hot Springs Resort And Spa Hotel which owns all the hot springs rights in the area. We could tell we were early as the lineup was a little dragging but at the same time, we were pleasantly surprised with how nice the hotel looked. We checked out the pools and after weighing our options at the resort health spa, we decided to try the hot stones massage.
So we are staying at the 4th floor of the East Wing, which is newer though the design suggests it is at least 10 years old. Anyways, you get some view of the mountain and lake with a little balcony. Nice and comfy though for the price, it is rather pricey.
As we strolled down the dock, there were so many sea activities to choose from. The Sea Doo looks like fun but rather speedy. The Bumper boats are equipped with water guns but it only sits one adult with a kid per boat. The lineup suggested that people were turning up quickly after lunch and the shore was becoming more and more clustered.
Then we checked out some of the stores along the stretch, nothing really spectacular or eye-catching but there are some fun stuff like toys and games for kids. Afterall, it is quite obvious that this is like a family based resort, apparently because it is clean and proper. After seeing several couples cycling along, we decided that it would be fun to give it a try. So it was a tedious half hour cycling exercise around the neighbourhood. At parts, it was pure torture as we pushed and grunted our way uphill. On the way, we passed by two lovely ladies strolling their dog and they kindly took our picture for us. Interestingly, they were from Richmond and Maple Ridge, and they were just there for a day trip to relax.
After the exercise, our legs were weary and we walked along the shore back to the hotel. It was time for our private hot spring room. This one is hotter than the public pools capping at around 40 degrees. Everyone is restricted to 20 minutes in the private hot spring rooms as dehydration kicks in. Boy, it was hot. I was sweating like a bloated water tank and feeling dizzy as I made my way back to the room.
After a short rest, we were down at the docks again. This time, we looked at either pedal boats, canoeing or kayaking. Not wanting to risk getting wet, we took the safe choice of pedal boats. This was significantly easier than biking especially with the help of the wind.
By this time, we were quite hungry with all the workouts we had done. Dinner at the Copper Room was well recommended and did not disappoint. As the night progressed, the live music really took off, with olden oldies from, the 50s and 60s mostly, throw in some pop and a crazily enthusiastic crowd, soon the party was on. There were many old couple dancing, which is really romantic when you think about how many years they have been together and how in love they still are. Incidentally there was a 90 year old or so couple sitting behind us. While everyone danced the night away, the music lulled away our fatigue. When we finally dragged ourselves back to our room, it was almost ten.
The next day, we tried unsuccessfully to get a late checkout. Yes, business is that good. We tried the Lakeside Restaurant for a fabulous buffet lunch. You have to appreciate that they have a little corner with kids’ trays. Boy, we were so stuffed.
Finally, after tiring exercises driving and gourmet food, it was time for some relaxing hot stone massage which I have to admit, is the best massage I have ever had. Using hot basalt stones picked from Sunshine Coast, the massage improves blood flow and loosens muscles. My masseuse John, was nice enough to educate me on the culture and the neighbourhood when I was awake. But I was so relaxed that I fell asleep almost instantly for a good half of the massage. It was the perfect ending to a perfect trip.
This is my second trip to Harrison Hot Springs and still I am left wanting. We would probably need to prepare a three days stay next time to fully experience the fun and enjoyment that Harrison Hot Springs can offer. For a quick getaway, this is indeed memorable and satisfying.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
|Name :||Elisha Cuthbert|
|Birth Date :||November 30, 1982|
|Birth Place :||Calgary, Alberta, Canada|
|Birth Name :||Elisha Ann Cuthbert|
|Measurements :||34C, 24, 35|
|Weight :||110 lbs (49 kg)|
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
PriceWaterHouseCoopers bearish on Canadian commercial real estate
“The credit crisis and ensuing recession have dragged commercial real estate markets into very trying times, marked by value losses, rising foreclosures, and reduced property revenues,” says Frank Magliocco, partner and leader of PwC’s Real Estate practice in Canada. “There is simply scarce money and therefore limited buyers.”
“Owners need to immediately implement monthly or quarterly cash flow reviews to understand exactly what their short-, medium- and long-term capital needs are and, perhaps even more importantly, immediately identify what options are available to overcome inevitable refinancing hurdles,” notes Magliocco. “In some cases, a formal restructuring process, equity injection or other non-traditional strategy may be beneficial.”
Furthermore, certain owners of CRE should consider divesting non-core or underperforming properties as a means to generate cash or capitalize on growth. On the other hand, well-capitalized investors may want to see if value can be extracted from the downturn via opportunistic acquisitions.
How can I be surprised? Businesses are suffering because of the weakened economy and will likely suffer more with hyper-inflation. Better to be prepared and bearish than optimistic and bull----- crap.
You might also be interested to know:
Canadian companies scaling back on investment plans