Tuesday, July 31, 2012

10,000, hits!

I've reached over 10,000 hits! Thank you everyone for checking out my blog! I'm amazed (and surprised) that this little blog even gets that much traffic.

A big big big big big big thank you to all those who have been supporting me and this blog from the beginning. Without you guys, I would've never continued updating.

So keep reading and keep the comments coming! I love reading them :) Thanks everyone!

Friday, July 27, 2012

mcdonald's fairy tales hello kitty toys

I had to interrupt my Asia trip posts for this because I just found out about it and it's so cute, it'd be a crime not to share this with you guys!

McDonald's super kawaii promotional Hello Kitty Fairy Tales plush!

Are they not the cutest MD toys ever?!

It started on July 5 with the Ugly Duckling and basically every week, a new toy is featured. This week they're at the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz. Unfortunately, these adorable babies are only available in Hong Kong. WHY DIDN'T THEY START THIS PROMO WHEN I WAS THERE AT THE END OF JUNE/EARLY JULY!?

You what's even worse? Alex and I left on July 4 for Tokyo so if we had stayed one more day in Hong Kong, I COULD'VE GOTTEN MY HANDS ON THESE!!!! -cries an ocean-

Not very Ugly in my opinion..

The Frog Prince

The Cowardly Lion is soo cute!

Little Red Riding Hood.

They even have two "special" ones that you have to do a bit of extra work to get. This one is the a witch, I'm guessing and you can only her if you order delivery with over 70 Hong Kong dollars (about $9 CAD) of food. McDonald's is really cheap in Hong Kong so $70 is considered quite a bit of food. I remember when Alex and I were there with two friends, our whole meal was only 90 HKD and everyone had the trio plus one of those collectable Olympics cups.

Wise Owl?

This is a little random since I don't remember an owl being part of any fairy tale but that's ok because it's so cute! It's my favourite one out of all of them and of course, it had to be one of the "special" ones. You have the option of buying the complete set and you can only get the owl if you do just that. I believe the complete set comes with discount coupons but I don't really care about that ;)

I forgot to mention that each week the plush comes with a "special" meal, which is why in the pictures of the plush, there's always some kind of trio.

Apparently, McDonald's does this every year in Hong Kong. Last year, HK was dressed up as Ronald McDonald and his friends. It beats me why they only do this in HK, I'd definitely be eating more McDonald's if they did this in Canada.

Not as kawaii as the Fairy Tales one but still much cuter than the toys we have here!

I'm going to contact my friend in Hong Kong now and beg her to help me get this set! Anyone else interested? Let me know soon because I'm just waiting for a response from my sister before asking my friend, and I think the promotion is ending soon!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

shanghai pt. 2

On the third day of our Shanghai tour, we headed to Nanjing, which was about 3 hours away from Shanghai. We visited the Sun Yat Sen Memorial, where Sun Yat Sen himself is buried but we didn't get to see his tomb. It was blocked off from the public.

Sun Yat Sen is known as "The Father of The Nation" in China and he was a revolutionist. He was also the founding father of the Republic of China and was China's first president. He played a big role in overthrowing the Qing dynasty.

Entrance to the Memorial.

The design of the Memorial was actually the result of a competition. Over 40 proposals were received and each proposal had to follow several rules, which I was never told what they were.

The Memorial had a lot of layers if you could call it that. The way the memorial was designed is really cool. When you reach the top and you look downwards, you don't see the steps that you climbed.

The Memorial at a distance.

Getting closer.

Top of the Memorial.

Sun Yat Sen Memorial statue.

Our next stop was the bridge where the Rape of Nanjing/Nanking (also known as The Nanking Massacre) started. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the event, the Japanese invaded China and brutally murdered (and)or raped the residents of Nanjing. This occurred over a six week period. It's not surprising that the people of Nanjing (and some other Chinese) hate the Japanese.

Since this is a really touchy subject and I'm not 100% of the facts, don't take what I've written at face value. There are always two sides to every story but from what I've understood and read in history class (although history was never my strong point), it was a horrific event and it was wholly unnecessary.

Entrance to the bridge

Beautiful scenery

Part of the bridge that was blown apart by the Japanese

Part of the blown bridge

Finally, here are some pictures of the hotel that we stayed in. It looks beautiful but in reality, it was pretty bad. There was a huge patch of mold right outside our bathroom and the wallpaper looked extremely old. It was a government-owned hotel and what you notice about China very quickly, is that everything looks very grand when it's new, but they don't spend any money in maintaining everything so it deteriorates very quickly.


The pictures of the lobby actually look better than it did in real life -_-.

You can see the mold match outside the bathroom. Eeeeeeew!

The beds were rock hard. I know I sound like such a complainer, but the travel agent kept rambling on and on about how the hotels were 5 stars but this seriously was not a 5 star. A 5 star would have comfy beds, no mold and an AC that actually cools the room down. It would also have free internet, this place needed us to pay >:|

Monday, July 23, 2012

shanghai tour pt. 1

The first day of our tour (second day in Shanghai), we went to this complex that tourists visit. I'm not sure what it's called but it was interesting and the architecture was beautiful. But before I show you pictures of that, here are some pictures that we took along the way.

Coke Cola Truck

The highway spirals downwards

I apologize in advance for my crappy (and lack of) descriptions in China. The tour was in Mandarin even though my stupid travel agent promised that it would be in Cantonese. As a result, I had no clue what the hell the tour was talking about and I'm not familiar with any of the Chinese history so my posts about China will mostly just be picture posts.

After, we headed off to Nanjing Lu, which is the main shopping street in Shanghai. It's also one of the busiest shopping streets in the world.

First glimpse of Najing Lu

Sunday, July 22, 2012

first stop, shanghai

I didn't write another post like I promised because I realized that all my Shanghai pictures were on Alex's laptop (I didn't bring mine) and we didn't see each other since we were both jet lagged. Sorry about that!

The day after my dreaded CMA exam, was our flight to China. It took us about 18 hours to get there and my butt was really hurting by the time we got off the plane. Someone from our tour was supposed to pick us up in Shanghai. We eventually found him by some stroke of luck because he was being a lazy butt and wasn't even holding up the sign at the arrivals' gate.

On our way to the hotel, Alex was super excited and told me to take pictures of everything but I just wanted to sleep.

This was the first picture I took in Shanghai

What you notice about China right away is that it's very dirty and heavily populated (sounds obvious I know). But wherever you're going, you'll notice endless towers of apartments with endless floors and the air is very very polluted. The smog is always present and you rarely see the sun and/or clouds.

Apartment Buildings

We finally reached our hotel, which I totally forgot the name of it. It's supposed to be a 5 star hotel but it's more like a 3 star for our standards. Another thing you notice about China right away, is that they like to exaggerate, sometimes a lot.

Our hotel

It looks pretty nice from the outside and it's not too bad on the inside but when you're told that it's a 5 star hotel, you're expected to be wowed.

Our Room

The interesting (and slightly annoying thing) about our Shanghai trip was that every day we had to check out and check into a new hotel, with the exception of the first and last night. Our first and last night in Shanghai were at the same hotel. The reason was we would visit a new city or town every day but it was still annoying to pack and unpack every night. It was good because we got to visit new hotels and most of them were amazing (although one was really really crap) but annoying because of the packing issue.

That's all for today! Sorry it was such a short post, but I have to get ready for lunch at my Godfather's and I'll be there all day since he wants to hear about my trip.