Sunday, June 29, 2008

House Hunters


California is a very competitive state in terms of business, agriculture, economic, and pretty much everything. Living here is expensive. If you don't have a degree or skills you will end up working either a temporary job, restaurant or fast foods.

The average housing cost before 2005 was 300's and up. The condo and apartments was about 250's below, or it depends on how many bedrooms and bathrooms in the unit. We purchased our condo 3 years ago. We did not rent because we are planning someday to make it as our investment.

Before it was only me, my husband, and our dog. Now that we have a kid, we are planning to move to a bigger place. I feel like our house is getting smaller and smaller, and over crowded.

Since 2006 up to now the market was in bad shape. Thousands of houses were being foreclosed, and homeowners were kicked out from the bank. A lot of people are homeless and defend on welfare. The gas price is getting high and so as the food. I know that this is a good time to purchase a house because the market is down. The downside is our condo is worth less than what we expected. But, we came up the idea of renting our condo and buy a house.

I search houses from the internet, and some of them looks pretty in the picture. Most of these houses were beat up and falling apart. So we decided to look around some houses in the area. We made an appointment to meet a Realtor and help us to show the houses that we like. It takes few weeks to look for a house. It's not like going to a store and pick what you like and leave. It's a matter of patience.

Last week we look some houses again, and this time we found the right one. Wow! This house has a lot of potential, nice yard, nice kitchen, it has a fireplace, and the bonus....it has a built in pool. This could be our new place. So, we both agreed to make an offer to the bank.

All we need to do is wait till our realtor will contact us about the result

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Oregon



What I love in Oregon is the closure from the ocean. I love the breeze and the fresh smell of the sea. We visited Greg's brother in Tillamook and we stayed there for two nights and three days. We had fun hanging out with the family. We enjoyed going to the beach and ate ice cream afterwards.





At the tunnel


Coincidentally my sister-in-law from Colorado and her husband visited there too. It was fun to see them, and we had a chance to go to the church with them too. After the church we visited the famous cheese factory in Oregon, it's called the “Tillamook Cheese”. Wow! If anybody is going to Tillamook,you should stop by at the factory....not for the cheese but for the Big-O ice cream...they serve a lot of ice cream, and it's surely taste good!











Washington



Washington is a green state and it rains a lot there too. It is better than Idaho for sure. On our way to Seattle there are a lot of things to see, green forest,wild flowers,and lakes. I love the scenery.







We went to Seattle to see the Space Needle. We had a wonderful time , and it was great to see the whole view of the city. I had bunch of souvenirs from this city.








“The Space Needle is a tower in Seattle, Washington, and is a major landmark of the Pacific Northwest region of the United States and a symbol of Seattle. Located at the Seattle Center, it was built for the 1962 World's Fair, during which time nearly 20,000 people a day used the elevators, with over 2.3 million visitors in all for the World Fair. The Space Needle is 605 feet (184 m) high and 138 feet (42 m) wide at its widest point and weighs 9,550 tons. When it was completed it was the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River.[4] It is built to withstand winds of up to 200 mph (320 km/h) and earthquakes up to 9.5 magnitude[citation needed] (which would protect the structure against an earthquake as powerful as the 1700 Cascadia earthquake). The tower has 25 lightning rods on its roof to prevent lightning damage.

The Space Needle features an observation deck at 520 feet (160 m), the SkyCity restaurant at 500 feet (152 m), and a gift shop.[4] From the top of the Needle, one can see not only the Downtown Seattle skyline, but also the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, Elliott Bay and surrounding islands. Photographs of the Seattle skyline often show the Space Needle in a prominent position, even appearing to tower above the rest of the city's skyscrapers, as well as Mount Rainier in the background. This occurs because the tower, which is equivalent in height to a 60-story building, stands roughly four-fifths of a mile (1.3 km) northwest of most downtown skyscrapers.

Visitors can reach the top of the Space Needle via elevators that travel at 10 mph (16 km/h). The trip takes 43 seconds, and some tourists wait in hour-long lines in order to ascend to the top of the tower. On windy days, the elevators are slowed down to a speed of 5 mph. The Space Needle was designated[who?] a historic landmark on April 19, 1999.[5]”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Needle



We had lunch at the Indian Restaurant, and I love the food. I never thought that I will like their dish.

After all the fun we drove up to Shelton to stay overnight at my sister-in-laws house. Akesha had a blast to see her cousins. I love to stay there and hang out with my nephew and nieces. We had games and fun times, and we ended up going to sleep late.


The next day we leave around 10:00 am and drove down to Oregon.




Idaho



Welcome to Idaho known of the “famous potatoes”. I was really disappointed going to this state, there is nothing to do in Idaho. If you have plans to come in Idaho please change your itinerary. No offense but it's true, it's a bare place and it rains a lot. If there's another way to get from Utah to Washington...we wouldn't have gone to Idaho.

Strangely we passed few cities/towns on our way to Craters of the Moon, guess how many people live there? Oh my goodness....we saw like 200,500,900 or something population. The town looks creepy. I am glad that we did not stay there over night.





Anyway, we did went to see the Craters of the Moon. That was the highlight of our trip. What makes me disappointed was, I didn't get anything from there. I mean I don't have any souvenirs from Idaho, but I am planning to get one online.



















Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Nevada



On our way to Utah from Arizona we passed Nevada. Nevada for me is similar to Arizona in terms of the weather....not a good place to live again. What makes Nevada interesting is the famous city of Las Vegas. Yep it's true! It is famous because it's a city of sin,a lot of people go there for many different reasons. People love to go there for gambling,partying,or for whatever reason. I found it amusing specially at night...the strip is filled with lights! We actually went there 2 years ago, and I had a blast.

Check this link to see some photos of Las Vegas, Nevada http://www.wildnatureimages.com/Las%20Vegas.htm

This time we did not stay there,we just passed it...oh,actually we had lunch there...and that's it! We also passed the famous Hoover Dam (we went there before) we just took some pictures on our way.





Utah



What can I say about Utah....well,I consider it as one of the green state in the country. The Mormon state I shall say. Do you know that the temple square is the heart of the city? Yep it's true! When we drove down to Salt Lake City, it was raining and foggy. I don't think if I like to live in this state. Yet, I like the fact how people live there conservatively. Also, Mormon people are family oriented.

We stayed there for 2 days. We went to the Mormon temple, Salt lake marina, and to the famous mining pit in the country. I noticed that time over there is so slow...I mean, it's different compare here in California. California is a busy state. Time is gold where everybody is in a hurry...:)


































Salt Lake Marina











Temple Locale

Positioned on Salt Lake City's center block, known as Temple Square, the spires of the Salt Lake Temple rise amid downtown high-rises and super malls. Sharing the block are the North Visitors' Center and South Visitors' Center; the Tabernacle, home of the famous Mormon Tabernacle Choir; and the Gothic-style Assembly Hall. East of the temple is the masterfully landscaped Main Street Plaza, complete with reflecting pool. Beyond the plaza is the Church's world headquarters, known as the Church Office Building, and the Joseph Smith Memorial Building—a multipurpose Church building, which has become a popular wedding event center. The Church's Conference Center, an architectural masterpiece, lies directly north of the temple. Every holiday season, Temple Square is transformed into a highly popular display of hundreds of thousands of Christmas lights.


Temple Facts

The Salt Lake Temple was the first temple built in the Salt Lake Valley and the fourth completed in Utah (though its construction was started first).

The Salt Lake Temple was the only temple dedicated by President Wilford Woodruff.

With its distinctive spires and statue of the angel Moroni, the Salt Lake Temple is an international symbol of the Church.

The Salt Lake Temple is the largest temple (most square footage) of the Church.

Original plans for the Salt Lake Temple called for two angel Moroni statues—one on the east central spire and one on the west.

The Salt Lake Temple took 40 years to build with its highly ornate interior being completed in just a year.

During the construction of the Salt Lake Temple, the St. George Utah Temple, Logan Utah Temple, and Manti Utah Temple were all started and completed.

The walls of the Salt Lake Temple are nine feet thick at the base and six feet thick at the top.

The Salt Lake Temple is the first temple to feature a standing angel Moroni statue, which was created by Paris-trained sculptor Cyrus E. Dallin.

The Salt Lake Temple was dedicated three years before Utah became a state in 1896.

The Salt Lake Temple features beautiful hand-painted murals on the walls of its progressive-style ordinance rooms: Creation Room, Garden Room, World Room, Terrestrial Room (no murals), and Celestial Room (no murals).

The Salt Lake Temple is one of two temples that still employs live acting for presentation of the endowment. (The other is the Manti Utah Temple.)


Temple Symbolism

Rich symbolism adorns the exterior of the Salt Lake Temple, depicting mankind's journey from mortality into the eternal realms. Perhaps Elder J. Golden Kimball expressed it best when he stated: "When I think about that building, every stone in it is a sermon to me."1 Following is a summary of some of the major symbolism of the Salt Lake Temple:

Angel Moroni. The angel Moroni depicts both a messenger of the restoration of the gospel and a herald of the Second Coming: "for the Son of Man shall come, and he shall send his angels before him with the great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together the remainder of his elect from the four winds" (JS-M 1:37).

Towers. The three towers on the east side represent the First Presidency of the Church and the Melchizedek Priesthood; the twelve pinnacles rising from the towers represent the Twelve Apostles. The three towers on the west side represent the Presiding Bishopric and the Aaronic Priesthood; the twelve pinnacles rising from the towers represent the High Council.

Battlements. The castle-like battlements that surround the temple symbolize a separation from the world as well as a protection of the holy ordinances practiced within its walls.

Earthstones. The earthstones, located at the base of each buttress, represent the earth—the "footstool of God." Although the earth is currently a telestial kingdom, it will transition to a terrestrial kingdom at the coming of the Millennium; and at the end of one thousand years, it is destined to become a celestial kingdom.

Moonstones. Located directly above the earthstones, the moon is depicted in its various phases around the temple. The changing moon can represent the stages of human progression from birth to resurrection or represent the patron's journey from darkness to light.

Sunstones. Located directly about the moonstones, the sunstones depict the sun—a symbol of the glory of the celestial kingdom.

Cloudstones. High above the sunstones on the east center tower are two clouds with descending rays of light (originally planned to be one white and one black with descending trumpets.) The parallel of this symbolism is found in the Old Testament. Once temples were dedicated in ancient Israel, they were filled with the "cloud of the Lord." At Mount Sinai, the children of Israel saw this cloud as both dark and bright accompanied by the blasting of a trumpet.

Starstones. Six-pointed stars represent the actual stars in the heaven. Upside-down five-pointed stars represent morning stars, compared to the "sons of God" in the scriptures. The large upright five-pointed stars may represent the governing power of the priesthood while the small upright five-pointed stars may represent the saving power of the priesthood for those who attach themselves to it.

Big Dipper. High on the west center tower is a depiction of the Big Dipper, a constellation used by travelers for thousands of years to find the North Star. It is an appropriate symbol for the temple where patrons come to get their bearings on the journey home.

Handclasp. Each of the center towers features a pair of clasped right hands identified as the "right hands of fellowship" cited in Galatians 2:9. In Jeremiah 31:32, the Lord uses the handclasp to denote covenant making—an act at the very heart of temple worship.

All-Seeing Eye. Located atop each of the center towers of the temple is the all-seeing eye of God, which represents God's ability to see all things.2














At the planetarium

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