2011 Howl O Scream

Loop had another Howl O Scream event this year.  We got the Fright Feast (dinner + show) and the Front Line Fear pass (skip to the front of the haunted house lines). 

At 5:00pm Alex, Justin, and I rode together to Busch Gardens.  We met up with the rest of the co-workers at the diner place for dinner and a show.  The show was alright.  Some of us left early to take advantage of the short lines.

Our group went through all the haunted houses first.  There were six in total.  I thought they were ok.  Aside from the decorations, they all pretty much had the same scare tactic: loud noises (since they’re not allowed to touch you).

After the houses, we went on the roller coasters.  The new Cheetah Hunt ride was really cool.  Though Alex timed it at 1:26 minutes.  Much shorter than the advertised three and a half minutes.

 

2011 Achieva Box Car Rally

Loop participated in the Second Annual Achieva Box Car Rally. This year there were a lot more contestants, a lot more cars, and the whole event was put together better.

Weeks prior to the race, Alex, Ash, John, Justin, and I spent time working on the car. The final result was a very shiny and car-like paint job. Sheri designed the decals.

This year we entered in two classes: Adult and Corporate. We won both classes!

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2011 Reunion

This weekend my high school friends had a mini reunion in Tampa, FL. We all went to the same high school in Miami, FL. Now we all live in different cities: Eliu (Miami), Karn (Tampa), Keun (DC), and Tim (Atlanta).

Tim was the first to arrive on Friday at 2pm. We hung out at Clearwater Beach. Eliu arrived late afternoon and joined us. We got some food at Crabby’s on the beach.

Keun’s plane was delayed. He arrived last at 8pm. After picking him up, we all had dinner at the Refinery in Tampa.


On Saturday, we had breakfast at Wildflower Cafe. Afterward we went to Busch Gardens. We went on the new Cheetah Hunt ride and the classic Montu. Then we grabbed some food. But by then a thunder storm was fast approaching and all the roller coasters were shut down. By the time we got back to the car, it was pouring and we got soaked. Just like 10 years ago when we came to Tampa.

After Busch Gardens, we went to Ybor City to get some cigars. Then we went home and cleaned up. Around 8pm we went to Cristino’s for dinner.

On Sunday we got breakfast at Panera Bread, dropped Keun off and went to get some Thai food at Wat Mongkolratanaram. After that we dropped Tim off at the airport. Eliu and I went home and just relaxed. Eliu left Monday morning.

2011 Independence Day

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For this year’s Independence Day, Jessica, Lucie, and I went up to Jacksonville. We went to Crazy Sushi for dinner. It’s our favorite sushi place. They have good/fresh sushi and a reasonable price.

A few years ago, we planted some trees in the backyard. The lychee tree didn’t make it (probably too cold). But the pear tree and the fig tree grew pretty well. We were able to get some fruits from them. Nice!

We spent the 4th of July morning in Jacksonville. Every year the neighborhood sets up a parade. There would be people riding their cars, bikes, lawn mowers, and some homemade floats. They also got the firefighters to bring their trucks.

After lunch we drove back home. On the way, we went through Gainesville. We got to see the dorm where Jessica spent her freshman year. We also drove by the new Kappa Sigma house.

In the evening we went to my office to watch the fireworks. It had a good view of the bridge where they shot the fireworks. A lot of my coworkers also came to watch.

2011 Loop Foosball

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First off, thanks to all the people who donated to help bring a foosball table to the office.  And thanks to Alex and Scott for going with me to pick it up.

I’ve been looking around on craigs list for a used foosball table. The two most popular ones are Tornado and Harvard. This one is the best I found for a good price. Hopefully we’ll get people at the office interested and maybe do a monthly tournament!

2011 Anna Maria Island

Jessica's cousins went on a week long vacation on Anna Maria Island, which is about an hour and half south of Clearwater. ??Jessica, her mom, and I went down on Wednesday to spend the day with them. ??It was nice and relaxing. ??Good mid-week break!

When we first got to the beach, we saw this large and dark something moving in the water, coming closer to the beach. ??It turned out to be a huge manatee! ??Pretty cool.

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2011 St Petersburg Segway Tour

Jessica and I went on a Segway tour in Santa Barbara??(Day 3) last year and really liked it. ??So when we saw a deal on Groupon for 50% off??of St Petersburg Segway Tour, we jumped on it. ??We also got $10 off for signing up with Groupon, double win!

Our tour guy was Brandon. ??He was pretty nice and took us around downtown St Pete. ??We got to see the Pier, the Museum of Fine Arts, the Dali Museum, and a few other notable places in the area. ??Overall it was a fun experience. ??Segway in general is a lot of fun.

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2011 Festival of Speed

Today Alex, Jessica, and I went to the Festival of Speed in St Petersburg.  We met up with Alex’s friend, Greg and his date Ashley there.

There were a lot of exotic cars and luxury cars. Some notable ones were

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Candied Pomelo Peel

A pomelo is like a large grapefruit. I bought one from the market last week. I ate the meat and kept the peel. I found some recipes online on how to candy some. Here are my steps.

First cut the peels and boil them.

After the first boil, rinse, and boil again.

Rinse and boil a second time.

After the third boil, the pith turns translucent.

Rinse with cold water and try to get as much of the bitterness out.

Scrape off as much of the pith as possible without damaging the peel.

Cut the peel into bite size pieces.

Slow heat in equal parts sugar and water.

Simmer for 2 hours.

Spread the pieces and let them dry out.

Sprinkle with sugar to taste.

Ready to serve!