Tuesday, July 26, 2005

CT back to work

Posted by Dawn at Tuesday, July 26, 2005 0 comments Links to this post
Today, CT's work is from 4pm-12pm. So, after our breakfast, we played tennis and basketball. The basketball hoop in at the tennis court. The interesting thing is that the court is smaller..so it is fun as we do not need to run so much. Ha..The weather was rather hot..so we were burnt after playing.

Cooked lunch today and after that, CT went to rest and woke up at 230pm to go for work. Packed leftover lunch for his dinner.

During evening time, Gek Teng called and asked if I would like to go with them for dinner. I told them that I have dinner at home for myself already and moreover, there were shows on TV I wanted to watch and not miss. The shows on Monday that I want to watch are Nanny 911 and Hell's Kitchen.

Nanny 911 is about a nanny going to rescue a family on the verge of falling apart because the parents cannot handle. The kids will be very naughty, screaming, rude, violent,messy and depend on their mummy alot etc.. I have seen the show with all sorts of kids..real terrible situation until one parent cannot take it anymore and called nanny 911 to help. So, it is a reality show. The nanny is given a week to sort things out and manage the family by giving the family rules and get it organised. Real neat!

Hell's Kitchen is exciting as left 3 contestants only vying for the place to run Chef Ramsey's Restaurant. Chef Ramsey is a top chef from UK..so it is a reality show about cooking. However, after the show tonight, I realised that I will miss the finale next week as I will be on my way home to Singapore. Sigh..The preview for the finale looked so exciting as Chey Ramsey will test them on their skills of running their own restaurant by asking them to design their own restaurant and the carpenters will design the kitchen and restaurant to their suiting.

Watched HBO also ..it was showing "Anaconda-The Hunt for Blood Orchid". I love exciting shows like this though I know it is quite dumb..just like it for its thriller..just like Jaws.

CT came home early today..earlier than I expected. He came back at 1130pm. His work actually ends at 12 midnight. Glad he came back early..

Monday, July 25, 2005

Went swimming in river

Posted by Dawn at Monday, July 25, 2005 0 comments Links to this post
This morning, we went to Walmart to develop the photos. We waited long for the shop to open but it was not open. We presumed because it was sunday..so they may open much later. So, we went over to Walgreens to develop. Not my preferred choice as they developing not so nice there...but since we needed to rush to put into the frame and give Jerry later..we had no choice.

So anyway, after developing which took only few minutes, we went back to put into the frames.The quality was not so good but guess, we did not have time to do improve things or wait for the shop in Walmart to open.

We went together with Kok Fong, Gek Teng and Jaimie in the car to Tellico Plains. It is about 45 mins drive. We drove to Long Johns cum A&W place to take away and eat at the 'beach' area. It is a restaurant which serves Long John Silver and A&W. I ordered a fish burger which is very nice and fried shrimps.

We reached Tellico Plains at about 120pm and had our lunch together under the tree. The place was crowded as it is a weekend. After eating, we saw Jerry and his family. They went to the nearby stall to buy their hotdogs while me and CT went down to the river to swim. Kok Fong and the rest did not bring their costume even though we told them to as they did not feel like getting wet and then feeling dirty after swimming in it...as there are no toilet facilities here. So, they just watched us and helped us take pics.

Me and CT had loads of fun swimming in it as we spotted fishes as you can see from the picture (two pair of eyes are better than one)...and stayed still for the fishes to swim to us and nibble on our feet or costume. Ha..very fun.

Lots of small guppies as well..but mostly, stripped fish about 20cm long..

There are some parts which are deep but can still walk..but most parts really shallow.

We swam about 3-4 hours and then went to a place with stronger current...to just enjoy the rush of the current..as shown in the picture. They have lots of guppies swimming against the current..cute.

People also brought their dogs..

We had a great time swimming. While swimming, KF and the rest took the car to explore around the area since they were rather bored. After that, we gave the photo frame to Jerry and the family. They loved it.

It will be our last time seeing each other as Jerry would be on leave for 3 weeks to spend time with his family. So, when CT goes back to work, he would be attached to someone else. So, we said our goodbyes and parted.

Reached hotel at about 5pm and met up for dinner at 630pm. Went to "PF Chang"- A Chinese bistro place which I went before with Kok Fong and gang, but CT has not tried yet.

We ordered Peking Duck, steam sea bass fish, beef with brocolli, honey chicken and Jaimie ordered ahi tuna (which is raw tuna with some sort of spice)- did not like this dish.

The fish came out without head and tail..only fillet..haha..very different. It was a nice meal. I will def miss Knoxville food as the food here is nicer than back in Mobile. But anyway, I cook more often back home in Mobile..

Sunday, July 24, 2005

To Big South Fork

Posted by Dawn at Sunday, July 24, 2005 1 comments Links to this post
Today, went to this National Park called, "Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area". CT wanted to go somewhere not too far but we have to come back for dinner as we will be meeting up with Jerry and family for dinner at "Outback Steakhouse" near my hotel. Jerry is CT's American colleague whom CT has been attached to for this trip to Tennessee. They invited us out for dinner.

So, in the morning, we went to the National Park. I chose that place as there is a twin arches which looked quite nice from the pictures in the internet. I have seen hills,mountains, trees and rivers. So, planned to see some rock formations today.

It was a long drive which I did not expect as we had to go to small roads with stones and gravels. So, it was difficult to drive fast...moreover, ours was a car, not a 4WD..so it was difficult. Took us about 2 hours to reach the place. We first went to the visitor centre in the national park to ask the person which places I should visit in the park given only 3-4 hours. So, they recommended a few places which we went to.

We drove to the twin arches first. It was about a 40 mins drive to the place and 15 mins hike. The hike was tiring as it was upslope and downslope, including of the hot weather. The twin arches is so huge that we only made it to one side of the arch. To go to the other side, we have to trek for a long while. So, we just stopped at one side and went back to the car.

This is how it looks. Very big rock formation.

The Twin Arches look something like the picture on the board.

After that, we went to the river side and walked on this bridge that is on the river..only few feet above the water. There were people who brought their dogs and the dogs started running to the river and soaking into the water, swimming and drinking the water. Very cute. The weather is very hot..should be about 30 over degrees. Look at what CT is doing...he found this stick on the bridge and started doing some kungfu moves..I was very surprised as his moves really look professional..haha..I guess he watches too many swordsman shows..

After that, we went to this lookout point at the mountain to see the view of the river. It is the Big South Fork River...the water is brown in colour..not nice..

We reached back hotel at about 3plus pm. We had lunch at long john's silver. Yes, there is a slight difference from the Long John here and Singapore. Singapore fries are nicer as it has some batter on it.. The fries here are normal. But the fish and chicken cooked here are more tender and juicy.

When we reached back, we met Gek Teng and Kok Fong in the lift as they just went swimming in the hot sun! They were surprised we come back so early as for the past few days, we have been coming back late. We told them it is because of tonight's dinner. We invited them, but they do not want to go as they like to try other food than Outback Steakhouse which we have been twice already.

Met Jerry and Family at 630pm and initially, the waitress told us that we need to wait for about 40mins and handed us this beeper thing that will vibrate and light up when they have a table for us. However, when we turned around, a second later, the beeper vibrated and litted up! Ha..they said got space already.

I have been to "Outback Steakhouse" twice already and this would be my third time. This time round is the most enjoyable as Jerry recommended ordering the "Rockampton Steak"..which is so nice! It has little fats, tender and juicy. Yummy. Jerry eats his steak very well done..he says he likes the burnt smell of steak..and does not like things raw. First time I hear people ordering very well done steak. I shared the steak with CT as it was a 16 oz steak..very large..and moreover, we ordered 2 appetizers to share with the whole table.

In the end, Jerry paid for the dinner as he said he was the one who suggested bringing us out...and suggested the place. He also gave CT a baseball as he is a little league baseball coach. In US, there is major, minor and little league. Little league is baseball played by kids. After dinner, we went to the carpark and Jerry started playing ball with his son, Ty. They were catching the ball and throwing the baseball.

Then, before we parted, we told Jerry that we would be going back to Tellico Plains (The place where he brought us tehre before) again to swim. CT told him that I like the place which I really do as it is a very relaxing place with fun and food. When Jerry heard that we are going to swim, he also wanted. So, we arranged to meet him there at 1:30pm as his church service ends at 12noon.

Initially, we planned to go in the morning, but since Jerry would like to join us, we went along with his timing. When we headed back to our car at the carpark, we found a note on the windscreen. We thought, "Summon ah? cannot be what...since carpark here is all free." Then we read the note..it was written by Gek Teng. She wrote that they would be playing bowling at about 830pm and asked us if we wanted to go. So, I told CT, why not. So we went to the bowling place which is very near by but they were not there. We sat till 9pm and decided to leave since we suddenly had things to do as when we were waiting, I was discussing with CT what to buy for Jerry and family since they have done so much for us. So, ideas were thrown and finally, CT suggested something very nice. He suggested printing out photos I took for the places we went together and put in a photo frame.

So, we left at 9pm since we couldnt see Kok Fong and gang. We went back hotel to place the photos into my camera memory stick. Then, brought the stick to Walmart for development. However, it was close..so we spent the time there buying a nice photo frame. We got this frame which has 8 frame..all diff sizes in the frame. So, I told CT that we would put 8 diff pictures in the frame depicting the time we spent together with them.

We planned to develop the photos tomorrow morning and pass to them when we go swimming with them in afternoon. So, tonight, I was planning what to develop.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Trip to Nashville, Tennessee

Posted by Dawn at Saturday, July 23, 2005 1 comments Links to this post
This morning, had breakfast and set off for Nashville. It is about 2 and a half hour drive from my hotel. I guess CT is used to driving long hours but he still does not like to drive..so it tires him out easily.

We went to Music Valley at Nashville which is about half an hour from the downtown. It is a very cool place. Our first stop was Opry Mills- a huge shopping centre with nice shops like Guess, Levis, and lots of other brands.. It has few hundred shops in it..only one storey. We went in for lunch first and I have already planned where to eat as it seems a cool place to eat in. It is called, "The Aquarium". It is a super neat place with lots of fishes,sharks and stingrays in a big aquarium as a center-piece in the restaurant. So, it is an amazing dining experience having to see the sea creatures swimming.

CT ordered tilipia and crab legs, while I just ordered a lobster bisque soup as I intended to share with CT his meal.
Before te food came, we all got up from our seats and went to the aquarium to see the fishes. For once, we wanted out food to come later.

Here are some nice creatures we saw in the tank..it is a huge tank which you can walk one round around it..

There are many types of sharks and huge stingrays..

There is also a huge green moray eel (from the picture below)..For a person who likes to dive underwater and appreciate the sea creatures, this restaurant is really cool.

We took our time to eat our lunch when the food came and the food was quite nice. The price is not that expensive..it is the usual price you pay when you go to American restaurants..So, I feel this place is worth going.

There were a lot of kids going up in front to see the fishes and sharks. When we first came to the place, it was not that crowded as it was only 11 plus pm. But when we left the place, it was crowded. So many families with kids love the place. It is def a great place to bring kids here..

After having a great lunch, we walked around the shopping centre. My first stop was of course a guitar shop! Nashville is known to be a music city. So def, there are guitar shops around and I went in this Gibson showcase shop which was huge. Gibson is an expensive and good brand of guitars. They had banjos, electric, acostic guitars..with a wide range. The cheapest guitar I could find was about US$2000...and I looked high and low for the most expensive one to play! I finally found a US$10,000 one and started strumming it. Ha..just for the fun of it.

The Opry Mills shopping centre has IMAX and cinema theatres. We went into this arcade place with computer games and those that you can win tickets and exchange for toys..Not only is it an arcade place, they have restaurants in it as well where you can eat and play at the same time or take a rest for a drink. There is also a bowling place in it and a japanese restaurant. Cool..

Another interesting place which we visited was a hotel nearby. What is so great about this hotel is that there is an indoor riverboat cruise in it. The size of this hotel is huge. You actually need a map to walk around and not get lost.

Here are some pictures of the Gaylord Opryland Hotel.

After visiting the interesting places in music valley, we drove to downtown to see what it is like. Lots of tall buildings and cars especially.. Parking very expensive too..unlike music valley where you do not need to pay.

So, we parked and paid for only half and hour which already costs US$2 and decided to use the 30mins to just take pictures and go off. So, we went to hard rock, bought a magnet and then took some pictures at the riverfront before we headed back home.

What was interesting about the downtown was that there are gibson guitar models in every corner of the street. Here some pictures of downtown which I quickly snapped.

The pictures are of a church in downtown which is quite big and on the right is one model of the Gibson guitar along the roads with Hard Rock Cafe at the background.

After a short 30 mins, we headed back home and was caught in this major jam which we had to stop our car for so long. It is quite common here to have jams because the highway does not have many lanes at some points and Americans use their cars very often..so no matter what time, there are always quite a lot of traffic.

What was fun was that one truck with animals in it were beside us. So, we winded down the windows and started mooing to attract the cows and other animals. Hehe..we had fun with the animals...just to entertain ourselves in the jam. Another interesting thing is that, a person in front of our car actually got out of the car and started going to another car to talk.

On our way back, we stopped by a fast food restaurant, "Backyard Burger" and entered the drive-thru to get our food.

Brought back the food home and enjoyed it while watching TV.

Friday, July 22, 2005

Up to the mountains again

Posted by Dawn at Friday, July 22, 2005 1 comments Links to this post
Since we did not go to see the sunset yesterday at the mountains, we decided to do that today. We planned to go to the town of Gatlinburg first before going up to the mountains. Dropped by at a fast food restaurant, "Chick-fil-A" for lunch on the way there.

I visited the town few months ago when CT was sent here for training for few days. I would love to go back again as it is a very nice town with lots of colourful flowers everywhere.

The last time I came was quite rushed, but this time round, I have the whole morning and afternoon to take my time and go to the shops of the town.

When we went to one of the shopping area, I saw a black looking animal walking in the mall. I thought it looked like a black bear as they are commonly seen in the Smoky Mountains. So, I went nearer and realised that it was a huge black dog. I couldn't help but take a picture with it..

There are a lot of tourist attractions in the town of Gatlinburg. There is the Ripley's Aquarium, Guiness Book of Records, World of Illusions, etc...So, it is a fun place for kids/families. They have lots of mini golf courses in the town as well...and it is usually crowded.

While walking the rows of nice little shops, selling interesting stuff, we stopped by "Ben and Jerry" ice cream shop for a milkshake. Yumyum..very nice. In US, one tub on Ben & Jerry costs only about US$2.50. In Singapore, it costs about S$8-$10.

Look at CT enjoying his triple chocolate milkshake. The weather is really hot. I would say it is about 32-35 degrees celcius. So, we kept stopping by for cold drinks.

Driving in this town is quite difficult as the lanes are small and squeezy. So, we parked our car a distance away at the welcome center and rode the trolley (bus) to the town. The trolley right is only 25 cents..which is much cheaper than parking in the town.

It is also nice to ride in the trolley as you feel more relaxed and do not have to worry about directions and parking.

After about 3-4 hours of walking in the town, we rode the trolley back to where we parked our car and drove to the Smoky Mountains by the bypass scenic route, which bypasses the town of Gatlinburg to avoid the traffic.

The scenic route was great as it overlooks the mountains and can view the town area as well. Lots of trees and scenery.

We drove to the many lookout points to view the smoky mountains and the weather was nice and cooling..maybe slightly below 20 degrees. We were about 4000-5000 ft above sea level.

We stopped by at "Morton's Overlook", "Newfound Gap" and "Clingsman Dome" which is the highest point in Tennessee- 6000 over feet. When we reached, it was drizzling and it was foggy driving up to that height. We took our umbrella, braved the rain as it got heavier and heavier as we walked the trail to the lookout point. It was very tiring as the route was very steep and we were freezing because of the rain and that we were among the clouds. Brr..

We were so tired and were panting a lot as it was about 900m walk up the steep slope. It was raining so heavily with thunder and lightning. All we did was pray and talked along the way to make our walk more interesting. All the tourists, turned back and did not want to complete their trails because of the heavy downpour. Only me and CT continued as we were determined and did not want to give up after driving up all the way.

When we finally reached the top, there was shelter. So we hid under the shelter and cuddled up as it was freezing. We even had to use our umbrella to shield the wind. We were in shorts and t-shirt only. Ha..

After about 45 mins, the sun came up and the rain stopped...and guess what?? We saw a full rainbow at the mountains. So beautiful. We were the only ones enjoying the scenery as no one dared to come up as it was raining just now.

We felt so happy and glad that we persisted and finished the climb up despite the weather when we say the rainbow. We planned to stay for the sunset. However, we went up too early and so had to stay up there for many hours. We were up about 6pm plus and the sunset is 845pm. So, it was 3 hours plus on top among the clouds.

Though it was cold, I felt it was a good time bonding with CT as we talked anything under the sun. Ha..

When the sun was up, the tourists came back up and we saw many come and go while we still stayed behind to wait for sunset. I knew CT did all this for me as he would not stay to wait for the sunset. So, I was pretty touched that he did not insist to go back down despite the weather but he waited patiently with me and did not complain.

After 2 hours passed, the fog came back on and everywhere was so foggy and cold. The colours in the sky were practically black and white...it felt like winter. So, it was quite nice taking pictures that looked like winter.

This was the shelter at 6000 over feet where we were hiding under from the rain and waited till 845pm.

Check out the thick fog..The weather was very cold..trust me!

When the time came up to 830pm, the weather was still so foggy that I told CT that we should leave since it is too foggy for a nice sunset.

So we left and walked back down.

Saw a bit of the sunset while we were walking back down. So it was nice.

We stopped by at A & W for dinner as there is no more A & W in Singapore. I missed it as I love the coney dogs, curly fries, fried chicken wings and root bear float.

However, in US, the A&W has no curly fries and chicken wings...but their fries are chilli cheese fries. Not too bad.

When we went to the A&W, we felt confused as it was a drive through..with no proper restaurant. Take a look!

The people in the car actually order their food by talking to the speaker and the waitress will deliver the food to you on a tray and attached it to the window. So, the people get to eat inside their car without having to get out.

We were totally blur about such concept. SO we parked the car, got out and ordered normally and ate outside the car where there are few tables.

By the time we reached home, it was about ten plus pm. Very tiring..and still feeling cold from the rain as we were drenched.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

To the Smokies

Posted by Dawn at Thursday, July 21, 2005 0 comments Links to this post
This morning, left at about 10am to Pigeon Forge first before going to the Smoky Mountains at Gatlinburg. It was about 45 mins drive to Pigeon Forge. Went shopping at the outlet malls. It is a huge area with few hundred one-storey shops, selling things at a factory outlet price. So it is reasonable. Had lunch there at "The Chop House". CT and I ordered pork chops for lunch. I enjoyed it. There was actually an option to downsize the food..so I did. What I got was just one piece of pork chop and one Idaho baked potato. CT ordered more as his lunch is charged under the company since this is considered his business trip.

After lunch, we made our way to "The Smoky Mountains National Park". We went on another way which has less travel to the park, without passing through Gatlinburg town. It was a very scenic drive. I planned to spend 2 days touring this national park and for both days, to see the sunset at the mountains.

Today, I planned to drive round "Cades Cove"-a place in Smoky Mountains and then drive up straight to mountains and see sunset. In Cades Cove, it is a self-guided one way tour in the car, driving slowly and just looking out for wild animals. I managed to see 4-5 white-tailed deers at different places of Cades Cove. It was awesome. Below are pictures of the sceneries I took while driving in Cades Cove.

In Cades Cove, there are a lot of churches and cabins along the way for people to see. It is like a monument site. Some places, you need to walk from the carpark to the place...about 1/4 mile, which is about 400m. Quite fun to walk in the forest to the place. This is one of the cabins seen in Cades Cove.

After going one loop of Cades Cove, 4 hours has passed so swiftly already and it was about 7pm. We stopped by the tourist information centre and asked how long it took to go to the mountains from Cades Cove and they said 2 hours. Thus,it was way too late to go up. (By the way, the sun sets at 845pm...very late)

So, we decided to go back after touring Cades Cove and come back tomorrow to see the sunset. On our way back, we stopped by a place with a river stream where I took out my shoes and walked in to soak my legs.

After that, we drove to another river place where people were swimming to take some photos. It was on the way back anyway.

While driving home, the sun was setting and I managed to catch the sunset on the roads where the sun appeared in front of me! I felt so so happy..Take a look!

The sky was orange-purple in colour. Very beautiful. The interesting thing is that the sun actually appeared in front of me as we drove on the road. It was as if God has made it put it in front of me to see His wonderful creation.

I was so happy as I love watching sunrise and sunsets esp when the sky has a nice colour.

When we reached back to Knoxville, it was 945pm already. We went to "Red Lobster" for dinner and even though they close at 10pm, they still let us in. That is the Southern hospitality for you.

By the time, we ate finish and left the place, it was 1030pm already...The waiter still gave us good service and with a smile. No one hurried us to leave though we were the last ones left.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Great trip!

Posted by Dawn at Wednesday, July 20, 2005 1 comments Links to this post
This morning, left the hotel at 8pm after our complimentary breakfast. We were meeting CT's American colleague and his family at this certain location which he gave us the directions to. The meeting point is about 45 mins drive away. We meet at 9am and then we followed his car to a nearby Walmart to park our car so that we can just go together in his car.

He brought his wife,Sharon and his 10 year old son, Ty. CT's colleague is called Jerry, who has been CT's mentor during this training in Tennessee. They have 3 kids but Ty is the youngest and still stay with them, so he came along.

He drove us to Tellico Plains where we saw rivers,waterfalls and lots of beautiful trees. The first waterfall we saw was a huge one which CT and Jerry went to climb. They climbed all the way to the top and CT came down sweating so much while Jerry did not even break a sweat. Ha.
Jerry is very fit for his age. He is already 50 over years old.

After looking at the waterfalls, we drive along the river and saw people playing in the river on the mini waterfalls. They were actually riding on the waterfalls..seems fun.

Then, Jerry drove us up the mountains to see the view from a top. We were about 5000 ft above sea level, travelled across the Tennessee border to North Carolina. So I actually managed to cross over to another state by driving in the park area. The weather was sunny and scattered drizzles at some parts of the journey. This is the view from the top. Very nice.

You can see from the picture that there are some dark clouds. We were glad that we were not caught in any heavy rain. It was only drizzling when we were in the car and sunny when we stepped out of the car.

Jerry has purposely taken us to this place as no tourists would know of this wonderful place and thus, it is not so crowded and the sight is beautiful.

After driving up, we went back down and did some nature trails in the forest with big trees. The trees are really huge and tall. Very nice.

Here is one of the biggest trees that we saw during our trekking..

Our trekking was about 2 miles. That is about 3 km plus. Very tiring. One our way back, I was walking in front with CT while the rest were quite far behind as Sharon prefers to walk slowly. Suddenly, I heard some ruffling noises down the trees where I was walking and I was wondering who would be down there.. I realised it was a black bear when I saw black fur coated animal which is about 1 m long. It should be a bear cub. I pointed out to CT as I was so excited and the bear was running quite fast. After that, we walked with so much caution back because if there is a cub, there would be a mummy bear. So, we were quite afraid. Heard many stories here about bears killing people. The bear was running too fast for me to take a pic..so cannot show. Sorry

After so much walking, we drove down to a beach area. Initially, Jerry told us that he was taking us to the beach now, I was surprised as Tennessee is in the middle of states..how can there be a beach? So I realised that when he meant by beach is diff from what I expected. It is actually a river among the forest. Very nice. I loved it so much that I told CT that I wanted to come back to swim as I did not bring my swimming costume.

There were people swimming, playing by swinging on the rope to te river like tarzan and some brought their dogs in..so cool. And the other thing I like is that there is a shop selling food by the beach. SO, we had our lunch there by the beach. Ate hotdogs and burgers plus a cool lemonade. Yum!

Our last stop was at the beach. So we stayed and watched what people did before we went back. I had so much fun watching the dogs fetching the balls in the river and just walking in the river.

It is so scenic with big trees surrounding the river.

Jerry brought us back to our car and we went back. Had dinner at Thai Restaurant with Gek Teng as Kok Fong has been out for night shift (4pm to 12 midnight). So she came along to just 'waste' her time even though she has eaten already. The Thai food was nice and spicy. We ordered chicken wing with pork stuffing, tofu with veggies, pork with lemon grass and green curry beef. Very nice but filling as the dishes came out big portions. I was so full when I went back to hotel. Think I cannot sleep tonight..

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

CT is off from today..

Posted by Dawn at Tuesday, July 19, 2005 1 comments Links to this post
Today, CT had work from 8am to 4pm. So, when he came back, he was all smiles as he would be off for 6 days consecutive. When he came back, we went to the gym to run on the threadmill for a while before we went back to bathe and then went out for dinner. We called JS to join us as he is also free for dinner as his work starts at 12 midnight.

So, we went to this Korean Restaurant which Kok Fong recommended. The place was full of Japs and Koreans as we saw a whole group of students there. The girl students were dresses very skimpily and very ah-lian..CT ordered a seafood pancake and a claypot rice dish with beef, egg and veggies. I ordered a bulgogi beef hotplate with rice. We had lots of food as JS also ordered an appetiser and in Korean restaurants, they give a lot of appetisers for free already...all small dishes of food.

Take a look at what the picture I took. Our whole table was full of food and yet, JS had 3 bowls of rice-one after another! haha.. It was delicious I must say.

After a filling dinner, we went back and just watched TV. In America, it is not safe to be out at night and moreover, in the South, there is not many places to go and walk around. City life and farm life is very different. It is very relaxing here as there is not much to do.

Tomorrow, it will be a full day as CT's American plant coordinator in Tennesseewhich he is attached under, will be taking us out to places where tourists would not go to. Cannot wait!

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Went out for lunch

Posted by Dawn at Sunday, July 17, 2005 0 comments Links to this post
Today, I went out lunch with Kok Fong, wife and Jaimie. It is still their off days as they have 6 straight off days. So, they asked me if I would like to go out lunch with them. At first, I did not want to because I had food left over from last night to eat for lunch today. But after thinking a while, I wanted to just get out of the hotel and after lunch, they will be going Walmart. I wanted to go Walmart to just walk walk and see. So, I went lunch with them.

We had lunch at this Chinese Restaurant which one of the colleague recommended after going there. The name of the restaurant is PF Chang. And boy, it is a big restaurant with nice ambience and modern decor. There were so many people and we had to wait for a table. We ordered Cantonese Roast Duck, Fried Fish, Mixed Veggies and Spare Ribs.
Each of us ordered one dish each. When it came, it looked so delicious.

The roast duck came in peking duck style with a wrap, spring onions slice, cucumber slice and 2 different sauces-the usual brown sweet sauce and the sour plum sauce. So yummy. All the dishes were yummy. I was amazed at how authentic it tasted.

After eating the meal, I commented, "Wow, this was good." Everyone agreed.

After lunch, we went Walmart. I bought strawberries and cough drops for CT as he has been coughing. Gek Teng needed to buy food as the next few days when Kok Fong goes back to work, she needs to cook for him.

After that, we went back hotel. When CT came home at 830pm, I told him that I went to PF Chang for chinese food. e was like,"Hey, never wait for me." haha..I purposely made that comment to make him jealous a little. I told him it was not my choice. The rest wanted to go eat. Anyway, I would def go back there again..It would just be more diff to eat with 2 of us only...must get more people to eat..4 would be a nice number to share.

Tonight, I cooked fried rice, minestrone soup and heated up last night's beef stew. CT enjoyed the fried rice as he misses it. After a full dinner, he still went to eat potato chips and ice cream. I said you got cough still eat all these..he sulked and went on eating. Oh well..

Saturday, July 16, 2005

Stayed in again..

Posted by Dawn at Saturday, July 16, 2005 1 comments Links to this post
This morning, I woke up and went to the laundry room. The machines were all used up. So, I left my bags of dirty clothes and went down for breakfast first. Kok Fong and Gek Teng were not there. So, I had breakfast alone. I made for myself a waffle as the hotel has a waffle machine. After that, I went back up to put my clothes in washing machine. A guy was in the room transferring his clothes to dryer. He was talking to me. I left after I put my clothes in and washed.

After half an hour, I came back down to transfer the clothes to dryer. I met this lady and she was chatting with me for quite a while as she waited for her clothes to dry finish. She told me she went to Singapore before as she stayed in Australia for a while. The people here are very friendly so much so that when the guy's clothes finish drying, the lady took out his clothes for him and helped him fold them as he was not around. They do not know each other at all but the way they helped each other out is amazing.

Even the staff here in this hotel is very nice. When I have breakfast, they would greet you and ask how am I doing. Eve the cleaning lady for the room would chat with me and today, I asked her what is the difference between dish washing powder with bleach or without bleach. I discovered that there are 2 types of dish washing powder from another cleaning lady when I asked her for more packets for powder. I went back confused there were actually one with bleach as I thought it would only apply to clothes washing powder. The lady told me that the one with bleach kills more germs and they would usu use that when the occupant has checked out.

I remember telling my form class students on their first day of school that there are always things to learn from everybody and so we should treat everyone with respect. I gave an example of the toilet cleaning lady in school and the gardener..that they have some form of knowledge that we do not have and that we should learn and be respectful of every individual. So, from my talk with the cleaning lady of my room today, it reinforces my point.

Today, cooked beef stew and reheated my left over soup from last night. Added potatoes, carrots, beef and celery. I love cooking stew as it is simple and tasty. All in one dish is fun..as I just throw everything in.

Oh, forgot to mention that a few days ago when CT was at home. He sneezed very loud and someone outside our room just shouted in," Bless you". haha..me and CT started laughing so much cos it was really cute and as I said, the people here are really friendly.

Another hurricane coming up

Posted by Dawn at Saturday, July 16, 2005 0 comments Links to this post
This morning, CT left at 630am. His work is from 8am to 8pm. But he usually needs to reach there one hour earlier to take over the shift work. So actually, he is working 13 hours, rather than 12. I stayed 'home' today as I need to cook dinner for CT when he come back. So, if I go out with Kok Fong and the rest, I would not have time to prepare dinner.

I spent the whole day editing my photos which I took in Chicago and here in Tennessee, also watching TV and reading a book. Cooked chicken corn soup today-added mixed veggies, cream of corn, crab meat and diced chicken thigh. Another dish I cooked was potato with minced meat.

There has been news about another hurricane coming up, called Hurricane Emily. The names of the hurricane are in alphabetical order. It seems that hurricane Emily will just miss us and go west. The recent hurricane dennis also just missed us and slightly to the east of my area.

Heard that Hurricane Emily has killed one person already..it is traveling in South America area..

Makes me appreciate the security in Singapore even more... :)

CT came home at 815pm...had a good simple dinner and then watched TV together. We were watching "Into the West"-a drama serial directed by Steven Spielberg. It is a new series about red indians. The number of drama serials in US is amazing. There are always new ones coming up..as well as reality shows. They have so many reality shows that you cannot believe it..I like reality shows because you see the bad side of humans and it gives you a better understanding of people..and what they are like.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Went to Kentucky..no no..not KFC..

Posted by Dawn at Thursday, July 14, 2005 0 comments Links to this post
Today is CT's off day. So, we went together with Kok Fong, wife and Jaimie to Kentucky to see the Cumberland Falls, which is known to be the "Niagara of the South". We went altogether in CT's car cos it is bigger. The 3 ladies sat behind while the guys sat infront to drive and navigate.

It took us slightly longer to get there as it was raining. So, CT could not drive so fast. It is quite nice but somehow, the scenery that I see or nature that I see, I would always compare it to New Zealand as I truly enjoyed all the sights and nature that I see in NZ.

Kentucky is just above Tennessee..so it took us about 2 hours drive as the Cumberland Falls is near the border of Tennessee and Kentucky. The waterfall is quite nice. We only walked for about 30mins before we headed back as it was drizzling.

Cumberland Falls (Niagara of the South)

CT, me, Gek Teng and Kok Fong
We were searching for KFC after that but could not find as KFC did originate from the state of Kentucky. So, anyway, we settled in another fast food place for lunch before we headed back. We reached home at 4pm and we decided to go play bowling just before dinner. There is a bowling place 5mins from our hotel. So, we thought that this may be the only time we can spend time together as a group, so might as well play today.
So, we washed up, got changed and met at 530pm for bowling. The counter lady in the bowling place told us that is is half price after 6pm. So, of course, we waited and to make use of the time, we went to Walmart grocery shopping first before we went back to bowl.
We played two games each. All for the price of US$6 per person, including shoes. Quite reasonable. One game is US$2.
I did not play too well though I was quite consistent...because the rest got spares and strikes, even though there were not so consistent. So, in the end, the rest played better. :(
Ha..but it is ok. It was all for fun and I was glad to see everyone enjoying themselves.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

CT's day off!

Posted by Dawn at Wednesday, July 13, 2005 0 comments Links to this post
This morning, when CT came home from work, we had breakfast together and he slept right after that as usual. But this time round, he would be sleeping until 2 plus pm as he has 2 days off from work and he needs to readjust back to his usual timing because after his 2 days of off, he would go back to 8am-8pm working hours.

Kok Fong and the rest went to Smoky Mountains today while I did not go as CT would wake up earlier today and we are thinking of going out after that. So, I watched TV and played with my computer as I waited for him to wake up.

By the time he woke up and bathed, it was about 3 plus pm already. So, we decided to go somewhere very near, which is downtown Knoxville. We are putting up at the west of Knoxville. So, we went downtown to look around. We parked at this all-day parking for US$4-which is reasonably cheap. Then we walked and took the free trolley to drive us around the place. It is quite a dead town with not many people, but the enviroment is quite beautiful and well maintained. Here are some pictures of downtown Knoxville.. they have a lot of different parks (look below).

We walked for about 3 hours before we settled down to eat in a restaurant which is by the Tennessee River...with ducks and cruise boats passing by. Very nice.. We shared a full slab of BBQ ribs for dinner.

CT looking at the river cruise boat pass by while eating our dinner.. Can you spot the ducks?

Reached back our hotel at 830pm very tired as we did lots of walking in downtown. After that, we watched TV together before sleeping. CT was feeling very tired..what's new?

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