Winding road

Yesterday, we just went back from a vacation. I was tired physically, but very satisfied mentally. I lost some photography gears during the adventure, but that doesn’t matter. What I want to say is those tiny lost can’t compare what myself and my family got from the long-overdue vacation. I feel that I’m living a life again, I’m in control of my emotion.

Today, I woke up with a motion-picture in front of my closed eyes. I see winding road moving ahead, like what I see from a drone’s perspective. The winding road has not much scenery around, there’re not much details. The winding road goes left and then right and then left, it curves naturally and I feel like flying. I get that feeling when I swim in the shallow and turquoise sea near Hapuna beach, I can see the sea floor and I’m flying above it. I love a winding road without motion sick, the road is my new hope.

I’m grateful, feeling surrounded by love.

A Serious Man (Almost can’t make it)

I’m very serious recently, like a serious man. Since the Pandemic starts, I rarely feels less serious. Seriously, I lost friends, sleep and humorous, like a tree burning inside.

My family, my reason for life, plan a Hawaii trip with another family this summer. I know everyone is flying to this island to get rid of their tedious prison time at home, and I think that popular idea is not too silly. My brilliant wife booked a very very nice vocation home at the big island, and it’s about 4 time the size of our current home. And Hawaii is just a couple of fold better than San Jose where famous for their sands industry.

That vacation feels like a hole of light when I’m trapped in a dungeon. I’m counting every last bit of my fingers and toes. That’s the hope that I will not murder by my new boss in my deadly enterprise company, if I miss the flight I will definitely found dead. American has a drinking problem, and I lost my sense of beer tasting, totally eclipsed by the guilty of drinking. I can’t fake. I have no talent of beer tasting, I’m just using that as an excuse. There’s no cure for being a dull and tasteless soul. Not even Pixar’s soul, which is brilliant BTW. Before I gave up myself to “Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days”, no offensive, but you may know that’s the joy of being a fundamentalism (so you won’t be a hacker). Oh, I mean it’s hard to be a good dad, being optimistic, being a OK husband. I feel that is a wormhole to reborn. Maybe I can be “not serious” about everything, like a desperate meat ball.

When I march through this long and dark tunnel, I can see the light is at end of the tunnel. It’s only weeks away. It’s my nirvana, like “Negative Creep”.

And then, a day, then weeks, I get stuffy nose and other allergies symptoms. It’s OK, it happens every year. It’s the pollen, a good year for vegetarian, bad for my nose. Every year my months of allergies turns to Sinusitis around May, this year no exception. Oh, some exceptions, I also get a very sore throat. I mean like something burning inside, I shared the link above, that’s what I felt. I virtually visit my doctor, she is so nice, she told me that I should be under antibiotic. Oh, lovely, I love writing scripts with a powerful language. Penicillin is as lovely as PHP, which is the best language in our world. Penicillin is definitely better than beers! When I can eat Penicillin I will not even dream about beer. I was so happy, I start to worry. I worry that my nose and throat may get worse.

Oh, and it did. I lost my voice the next day, even with my favorite Penicillin. I didn’t get my bonus fever though. Lost voice is a good thing, I don’t need to show up in meeting. I just kissed my pillow for 2 work days, and a weekend. On a Monday, my voice becomes funny. My throat is burning. But my nose feels better, the Penicillin works. And a week later my voice sounds less funny, but throat is still dry, burning, like the unlucky California tree, still burning inside. Oh, it’s OK, it’s still two weeks until our vacation, I still have time to win the battle with feeling stressed of ruin my vocation being down.

Time flies to 72 hours before the trip day. We need to do our COVID test together. I’m sure my dry throat is not because of COVID, I got my Pfizer shots and are fully cooked.

But the night before the COVID test, my younger daughter got fever. I can’t believe that happened, I’m shocked it’s not a nightmare, it’s real. But we still need to do our test. We drive a hour and visit a city 1 hour away from our home, that’s another indicator that everyone is flying to Hawaii. I’m a serious man, doing a COVID test for a hot baby is a good idea, we can tell if she got COVID!

The next day, we got a good news that everyone is negative in our family. I mean we really feels negative, because our vacation is very close to vaporized. We will not fly when anyone in our family has COIVD, we will also not fly with a hot baby! Oh, I forgot the good news that we are COVID negative. One thing is off the list, but our little flower is still fever “not free” on that morning! It’s 48 hours until the flight. I’m a serious man, we almost can’t make it. Indeed!

But our little is fever free on that 47 hours mark. And then she stays fever free until 24 hours mark hit. So we have a thin hope to fly honestly (fever and symptom free, and COVID negative). But in the meanwhile I don’t feel sick, but my throat still feels funny, I still get dry mouth at night, I still feels like shit that we almost can’t make it. I start to plan for the worst, so I won’t die from heart attack. We start to pack our luggage, like there is still hope, like the summer Olympic this year. I start to worry that theft will visit our home. I found that I forgot my password combination of my safe, a physical safe weight for a ton (a metric ton not US ton, use as a metaphor). Then I search my home, from 1Password to every piece of paper I may use, I can’t find the combination. But I’m looking for that combination? I don’t need my passport, I don’t need money there (and there’s no money in it), I don’t need to use the prime lens in that safe, I don’t need to leak more secret of my life. And then I found the combination, I tested and been positive that I can open and close the door of safe. And then I continue pack my luggage. We sent our guinea pigs to our most thrusted friends’ home, they have a pool so everyone is happy to take care of other’s pets. We even get BBQ treat from my friend, we even tested our Snorkeling equipment from him. He even have snorkeling equipment we can borrow so we can return our equipment bought from Amazon. Sorry to waste some natural resources, I feel guilty because I love what Greta is doing. Oh, you can tell I’m a serious man, I’m talking with my “Rabbi”, and I feels like approaching a black hole. That’s just a metaphor, like what Christ Nolan used in his interstellar. Oh, where is my train of thought. I’m packing my luggage. I packed too much, like moving home. I want to pack a lot of medicines, so that we won’t sick in the trip. At this stage, me, the little flower may be sick at any time. We may be super tired, we may miss the flight. We may catch COVID on the flight because our immune system is weak. Lost our ticket for life is a step away.

I can’t sleep at night. My watch told me I didn’t sleep well. I still need to work, and the work feels heavy like black hole. This is mental disease, I’m not a capable man to raise two kids and keep my wife afloat.

I’m beer free for 3 weeks minus a day. I’m pretty sober but feels worse than those days I drink beers. But you know you can’t trade sin with god, you can’t please gods/goddess. Oh, I forgot to mention. I got neck pain, like lose a wrestling game. That was 3 days before the trip, the day after we did our COVID test. My neck and back just sore like lemon. I can’t tell the difference of sour and sore, I’m a bad language user, I don’t like PHP. I wore my winter cloth, because I see snow at peak of Hawaii big island. I worry I may get more cold and develop more symptom of serious man. I have a metaphysic feeling that warmth helps my neck. But you know that feeling is not much difference of getting helps from god. And I don’t even know how black hole feels. But it turns out the warmth doesn’t help, my neck and back still sore like stoned (I don’t know why stoned doesn’t mean it feels like stone, but have a sinful meaning. I don’t mean that “stoned” literally). So I used a pain reliever called ibuprofen, and it worked. Sorry, I’m not reducing fever, I just want to get rid of the back pain. It doesn’t work that well, my work still feels like sucking my soul out of my skull. So I used a pain relieve cream from Walmart, and it worked! There’s a volcano eruption on my back, near my neck. The ingredient of menthol burns my skin, but rather than that other ingredients do their job. The warmth do work, I mean that feeling like Salonpas patches, they smells like root beer, but they do relieve the pain.

So there’s a chance that I can reborn before the flight, my ticket to life. And only time can tell.

I’m writing this in Hawaii. I’m not detained by police. Our flight didn’t dive into sea water. Black hole doesn’t burp with our earth. So we actually made it! Flora is fever free and have a very high spirit. My wife didn’t divorce me. But Hannah did get her fever from yesterday, but then fever free for a whole day. Lyft scheduled pick-up worked. We get a XL car, and it caries our over-sized luggage just fine. No traffic, no traffic accident, no highway cops. We didn’t catch COVID, finger crossed. The Hawaii travel’s official website do work, and our PDF is not eaten by my Mac. We don’t have food poison. I do get some deep sleep before the trip, at least better than some other horrible day. I didn’t lose any electronics on the airplane. I didn’t forget batteries of drone, cameras. My back pain is still with me, but fades a bit. I get a blister on my foot, but it’s not broken. I still make mistakes, but they didn’t take my ticket to reborn.

Oh, I’m a serious man. I will go to interview, find some work which doesn’t eat planet earth. I still suck at leet code, but that will not take my ticket to reborn. I have some cash to stay afloat even my boss hate me. I love my daughters, my wife, my parents and the beautiful world. Hawaii is nice. It’s not as weird/cool as Australia, but very nice. It’s the same feeling to hear “Aloha” after you did your apple fitness+’s mindful cool down. The ramen place we went right after landing was a disaster, but it won’t take my ticket to reborn. There’s a small beach near the nice rental house where kids can practice snorkeling before they go to real snorkeling.

I’m doing my meditation, and my neck is sour like sore. I did drink an Ola light hazy IPA yesterday, and that taste worse than my home-brew hazy IPA I yielded last year. Which make me feel like not the worst beer taster in the world, at least I can brew something not horrible. Oh, I’m not saying Ola beer is horrible. It’s using the wrong malt bill and wrong yeast, used not enough dry-hopping and added to much hops to their wort. I’m the most hateful person in our group, because I critics like hell. But today, I start to joke like I used to be. Because I know I’m a serious man, and you can tell the end is as black as it is in the movie. You can only blow that gravity away by a laugh, like the serious Sci-Fi TV serious “Dr Who” (Sorry I only see maybe 3 episodes of them, and they are old, scary but fun. Newer episodes are boring, see I like critic like hell). And then I cleaned all the dishes, cleaned kids’ wounds from today, washed myself. Then I sit down, alcohol free, writing a poem of myself down. I will post it on my blog, I’m not a private person, I’m the opposite.

I lied a lot, like I used to be. But there’s some truth in this blog post, like I used to be. I hope that I actually get a reborn, been lighter body, been funnier, been serious only with none-PHP-language and maybe English and Chinese. I don’t want to lose my sleep, and the 3 hours time difference helps, it’s still before 10PM when I finish typing the words before this sentence. Why I’m pouring this much of negative words here? Because I’m really a serious man? I never own a motorcycle but I love to learn how to do maintenance of them. I love the craft of living, like I love making coffee and tasting beer.

Hope tomorrow I will fly away from the black hole, lands in Island Hawaii. Seriously joking like that’s the real quality of life.

Simple design is zen

Dan North (a.k.a. the BDD guy) tweets:

SOLID is well known Object-Oriented Design principles, Uncle Bob introduced this acronym in his book. If someone ask you about design principles in a technical interview, this probably is the most sound answer. But I totally get Dan’s point, those acronym is cool but hard to apply in practice. I mean everyone who is good at code know what is good design, and those principles does apply well. But in most of time, this is like a review of stock market. It make sense, but you can’t use the review to predict the market. I feel they are confirmation bias.

Please take a look on Dan’s deck “Why Every Element of SOLID is Wrong”, it’s humorous. His point is “Write Simple Code”, which I dig. This is a way to say don’t trust prediction of stock market, use your common sense. It’s not because any simple code is good code, it is just saying that you should “Chop Wood Carry Water”.

The goal of Zen, his master taught him, was to “archive a void … noiseless, colorless, heatless void” – to get to that state of emptiness, whether it was on the mound or in the batter’s box or at practice.

Before that, Zhuang Zhou, the Chinese philosopher, said, “Tao is in the emptiness. Emptiness is the fast of the mind.”

Quote from the book Stillness Is the Key

I feel the “Write Simple Code” tag line is in the spirit of zen. Always want to apply best practice, design principles feels like ego. We have an impression those pattern matching process make perfect code. But the order is wrong. We can refactor code to use patterns, but pay upfront cost to use pattern may be a waste. If we can put down our ego, we can just go back to our emptiness and write simple code. Make It Work Make It Right Make It Fast. Go back to basic, Chop Wood, Carry Water, Chop Wood, Chary Water.

How to backup your videos from iCloud?

It feels silly that I need to write a blog about this. When I google how to do this correctly, I found zero articles to solve the problem I’m facing. Some of them are outdated, some of them are talking about something else.

My problem with iCloud videos is capacity. I’m currently using the 200GB iCloud plan, and that runs out of storage. I can upgrade my plan to 1TB, maybe eventually I will do. But I feel this is not sustainable if I don’t delete some content and just let it grow. If I can live for years, then those photos/videos will outgrow what money can buy. So the solution is easy, I need to offload some big files in my iCloud. In my case, 75%+ space is used by photos and videos. I need to archive some of them which doesn’t bring much sentimental value to me and save them on some back volumes.

The first try I did is use the That’s easy, I just view “Albums -> Media Types -> Videos”, since they are normally huge in size. And then I need to download them and delete them. A couple of files in, I found a problem. The video I download has “creation time” and “last modified time” at the current moment. That’s useless for video archive if I can’t tell when and where they’ve been taken. Photo files have exif but videos don’t. I’m not familiar with the metadata standard for videos, but somehow iCloud can tell it in its interface. I already selected the “unmodified originals” when I download those file, so I guess that’s some limitation of how browser handle file downloads. But this is a dead-end, I didn’t find any way to archive downloading that over iCloud on the web.

Then I go back to my on Mac. There’s a feature of Export, which has a sub-option of “Export Unmodified Original for x videos”. On the next dialog, you can choose “Export IPTC as XMP”, “Filename: Use File Name”, “Subfolder Format: Moment Name”. This option is very helpful. I finally get my videos exported with the right “creation date” and “last updated date”, they are even been organized in a nice name folder including location and date. Say “Golden Gate Park, April 18, 2015” is very descriptive for a video 🙂

But then I found another issue. I can’t see all the videos that I can see from iCloud’s “Albums -> Media Types -> Videos” in my local Then after some research, I found the issue is because I migrated and then moved my iPhoto library to the Photos library. And after that somehow this Photos library is no longer my System Photo Library. You can click “Option” while you open the, and then you can tell which one you are using. Once you choose the right Photos library, go to “Preference” and click the “Use as System Library”. It tries to scare me by saying any photos which are not uploaded to iCloud may be lost. But anyway I need to go ahead. Then your will start to sync up with iCloud. But that is very slow. I waited for about an hour but there’s still nothing showing up from my iCloud. All the photos and videos are downloaded from my iPhones, which means they already have a copy in iCloud. So the behavior of re-upload them into iCloud is useless.

Then I figure out the right solution. I can click “Option” while opening the, this time I choose to create a new Photos library. Then I can go to preference and set it “Use as System Library”. This time the iCloud photos under “Albums -> Media Types -> Videos” will show up with short hesitation (download metadata from iCloud). After that, I can use the “Export Unmodified Original for x videos”. On the next dialog, you can choose “Export IPTC as XMP”, “Filename: Use File Name”, “Subfolder Format: Moment Name” option to export those videos as you do with local Photos Library. And then you can delete them, which also removes them from the iCloud library. Eventually, that storage will be reclaimed. Problem solved. To sum it up:

  • Create a new Photos library
  • Set the new Photos library as “Use as System Library” in’s preference; Go to iCloud tab and choose to sync up with iCloud Photos, use “Optimize Mac Storage” to save some SSD storage Use as System Library iCloud Photos Sync
  • Let it sync up a while, so your videos will show up in “Albums -> Media Types -> Videos” Albums
  • Choose the video you want to archive, you can choose multiple by using “Ctrl + Click”
  • File -> Export -> Export Unmodified Original for x videos Export videos
  • On the next dialog, choose “Export IPTC as XMP”, “Filename: Use File Name”, “Subfolder Format: Moment Name” Export Options
  • Check the progress bar (a white/grey circle on the top left bar of the window), make sure the export is done
  • Right-click and choose to delete videos




BTW, 「迟早更新」的这个制作利器的采访值得一读。我们也应该创造自己的声音。任宁特别文艺,枪枪聪明又温暖。而且他们的 podcast 是国内音质最好,剪辑最用心的吧?


Altruism: noun. The belief in or practice of disinterested and selfless concern for the well-being of others.

Jez Humble, 韩捷 tweeted. He said:

I respect Jez and follow his tweets. This one tweet is not that much special, it fits his persona of supporting feminism.

Feminism: noun. The advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.

His wife Rani is running a project for vulnerable women in the Bay Area. You may consider supporting her project.

That’s just a background. But what triggers me to write this down is because he talked about something very personal. He said he was adopted, which I never know. I thought all the kids in the first world is spoiled in love and everything is perfect. I’m not joking about adoption is not perfect. Not at all, I think that’s ultimate altruism in humanity, that’s morally brilliant.

I’m not good at writing. Because I always lose focus and miss my point. I should be better at editing that. But let me use that as an excuse for now.

Why do I think his support of Women’s right to abortion is great altruism here? Because as someone who is been adopted, there’s a chance that their biology mother had a hard time choosing abortion in the first place. I know there’s a big chance their biology parents well decide to give birth to this child. But we all learned that the world is not perfect, due to religion, ideology, social taboo, etc. an accidental pregnancy may leave no choice for a mother. And there’s an ideological divide that someone thinks the mother can’t stop the pregnancy even at a relatively early stage (which I can’t argue because I’m not a medical expert). But most people believe we have ownership and responsibility to take care of our physical and mental health. So there might be conflict. This topic is controversial. Let’s put that aside. But if a person who is adopted who supports his/her mother stops the pregnancy at her will, then he/she may eliminate the existence of his being. That’s a fictional thought because that’s not logically sound, you can’t change history by doing that. But I like this as a thinking tool, if we can change history by traveling in time, will you agree with your parents to stop your existence? I will hesitate, I will put some of my points later. But in Jez’s tweet, what I can see is he have a braveness to support his maker (mother) in case she wants to stop her pregnancy. That’s an altruism act I appreciate it, I collect those gems when I’m alive.

D’you know what I mean

by Oasis

I met my maker I made him cry, and on my shoulder, he asked me why
His people won’t fly through the storm
I said hey listen up man
They don’t even know you’re born

I don’t why. But this chapter of lyric comes to my mind when I think about Jez’s altruism. I must say I don’t even sure I’m right when I use the word altruism because I’m a bad English communicator. But I know the idiom of “meet your maker”, which referring to god if you are into that kind of thing. And the funny expression of “ready to meet my maker” means someone is ready to die. Maybe that’s not funny. To me, I believe my maker is my parents. I’m lucky they are very traditional, they got married, gave birth to me, raised me and they are not divorced. So I’m very lucky that I met my maker on the first day of my life, I live with my maker for the most time before I’m an adult. And then I still FaceTime them frequently when I move aboard. So I can meet my maker every day, and know they made a decision and stick to it, to make me and raise me. I’m more mature now, and kind of
educated, so I start to have that kind of thought that I don’t always need to make a selfish opinion on things. I can put selfless above selfishness sometimes now. That’s why I respect Jez speak up about himself and share an opinion that shows empathy to our maker, especially sympathy when makers are facing difficulties mentally or physically.

Let’s clap for this brilliant opinion. Let’s clap for his altruism perspective. Let’s clap for a shining facet of humanity.



今天刷 Instagram 偶然看到 Alex 的一张全家福照片,他说现在终于成为新西兰公民了。看到他们开心但也随着岁月成熟的样子我真的非常高兴。我非常非常的敬佩 Alex,我曾经觉得他就是那个高不可攀的终极偶像。我们共事只有短短两月,而后就只有很少的交集,他后来也伤感的登上小船漂到了世界一端的那个岛上。

曾经,我辞掉了我幸运得到的第一份工作参加了 Sam Newman 先生的一个创业项目。可是那时的我太不成熟,被项目中的无良人坑了,几个月就丢了饭碗被踢出来了。新婚还不懂事的我觉得这是天大的麻烦,所以发推求工作。Alex 当天就约我出来喝咖啡,也许那是个周日的晚上。我借口不会喝咖啡,他就说可以吃芝士蛋糕——柠檬味的非常好吃——我就更慌忙的推脱完全不懂他说的那个东西是什么。但是我们约了第二天在金湖茶餐厅见面。

和 Alex 相见的那天他在星巴克点了伯爵红茶。对于那时的我来说花掉二十块钱买一包袋茶冲一下热水很是不能理解,但是不明觉厉。对于 Alex 当时用的 Django 我完全不懂,python 也是从来没写过。但是和 Alex 聊天缺让我热血沸腾,不知道为什么,他鼓励我去接受这些看似挑战的新技术,他相信我一定可以马上搞定。而后我就幸运的加入了他的团队,队友还有蚂蚁和二傻。

我记和 Alex 一起工作的那段日子超级有趣,醒着就在看文档实验代码片段和各种配置。因为什么都不懂就写 wiki 给自己备忘。除了和老婆在一起聊天、给她做饭就剩下睡觉和研究技术了。后来我做的事情就是采购服务器,把【好看簿】从一台服务器升级到三台的服务器组。工作很顺利,这是我第一次在家办公,而且让我对在家办公很上瘾。我现在还记得每次和 Alex 见面他都拿着一本皮质的记事本,所有的事情都用笔记录下来,手帐写的非常整齐。他随时都有有趣的点子,听到别人有趣的点子也都记录在本子上。他非常忙,有接不完的电话,是个非常有趣的老板。他说之前在美国做过一个创业项目卖掉了,而后做了几年企业项目,后来就做了这个新的创业项目。他身上那种对工作和生活的激情是我羡慕的,我很想成为他那样的人。他给我看好看簿上他的结婚照,我得知嫂子在微软工作。他们两口子都是信息技术从业者。

后来,另外的挚友给我推荐了 ThoughtWorks 的机会。那次运气很好,通过了面试。所以幸运的得到的和 Alex、蚂蚁、二傻工作的机会就提前要结束了。现在看离开的选择还是对的,加入 TW 是我更大的一个转折点。Alex、蚂蚁、二傻这样好的同事和导师到现在也是难忘的。

看到 Alex 的全家开心加入新西兰的照片我非常开心。看起来真是一家人,每个人颧骨上的强健的肌肉都在描述他们努力生活后开心微笑锻炼出来的清晰轮廓。我们的样子都写下了岁月,我们也都有我们自己亲爱的女儿——美丽的家。这就是我们的样子。

Summer road trip 2017 day 5

Today is the last day of this very trip. We get up at 8AM. It’s because I didn’t figure out how to shut the sun blocking curtain, so the bright sunshine comes to hour hotel room early. Monkeys are energetic like never been on a road trip in previous couple of days. We give them 30 mins of TV time. A bonus of staying in quality hotel is that you have good TV service for kids. So you can lay back at the bed and enjoy your hair to dry after shower.

Because there’s a long drive coming, so we decide to give kids as much delight as we can at morning. We suit them in swimsuit and heads down to swimming pool. The pool is not ready, the pool staff are cleaning the pool by putting new chemicals into the water. He is kind enough to let the kids in the pool room and waiting there. Cleaning pool water is a science, the staff have lots of colorful bottles like a wizard and doing math on paper. He told us that you need certificate for this job and math is very important. After his calculation he told us we need to wait another 15 mins.

When kids can drop themselves into the pool, it’s almost 10AM. There’s another family from Gilroy shared the pool with us. And they have a inflated duck, Flora got a chance to play with it.

Kids loves pool, they enjoy playing with water. And time flies by, we finish the pool hour at 11AM. The hotel’s checkout time is 12PM, so it’s 1 hour pack time. My wife did that already because she didn’t spend the whole hour with us at the pool.

To be honest, indoor pool is cleaner but not as colorful as outdoor pool. The pool staff told us indoor pool is harder to maintain than outdoor one because of high humidity and harder ventilation.

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My wife drive the first 2 hours. We see the beautiful Mount Shasta along the drive, and then found couple of attractions we’d like to enjoy in future road trips.


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The first stop is at nowhere, after 1.5 hour of drive we found a stop of truck drivers. It’s a little wood house looks very old outside. And it looks even older inside, dark and creepy. There’s truck driver sitting in middle of the room enjoy a meal while watching TV. We used the bathroom and found a dressed plastic model in the bathtub. Hannah is scared by this place and refuse to use the bathroom. I encouraged her couple of times and blocking her view to that creepy model so she can finish her job. The owner of this little shop must have good humor and proud of golden time of truck transporting. We took some cane sugar coka-cola and chips and hit the road again.

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Then we had a lunch stop at Redding, CA, and had a lunch at Woody’s brewing, every town have their own brewery. We switched driver after the stop. The weather is melting hot, we are glad that we stay in a air conditioned car.

Any town have its own brewery

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How a burger eat a girl

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The whole drive back via I5 took around 6 hours. And we had some Chinese food at Milpitas as a conclusion of the day.

This journal is written 2 weeks after we finish the trip.

Summer Road Trip 2017 Day 5


Summer road trip 2017 day 4

Get up from Grants Pass’s Riverside inn early, say 7AM. And I start to think about the trip. It’s about sharing our joy of being closer to nature. And I feel satisfied.

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Hannah shared a bed with me last night, and she sleep lean towards me all night. Every time I woke up, I found I’m sleeping on my side at edge of the bed. Being a parents on the road is hard #LOL

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We have a nice breakfast this morning. It’s a free breakfast from the restaurant, a old couple sitting beside us talked with us all the time. They recommended river trip to us but didn’t know if they have a plan already. That feels like grand parents, they have goodwill but that’s based on their imagination. We also shared what we feel good yesterday in national park, because their son and son’s finance are planning a trip for today. We found “visiting the Visitor center for recommendation” as the best accustom choice for their son & finance.

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The room is on the river side. We found the temperature in Grants Pass is about 90F at day time, so it’s a misinformation that I say the weather is nice here. But we are lucky because we just stay here at night and morning, which have a very nice weather indeed. The river side room should be good for a couple without kids, it’s romantic and easy.

River view room in summer Grants Pass, Oregon

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After the breakfast we put everything include our kids onto the minivan. And then hit the road. No coffee today, because I feel my stomach is sleepless last night due to the extra foods last night.

After 1 hour of drive, we stopped at a state park near Rough River. We see a group people drifting and an old man phishing in the river. It’s beautiful and looks like a movie scene. Kids actually just need the rest room here. We can touch the cool river bed, and I really lure for dipping my foot into this cool river and do nothing. But, I need to drive and make the family time fulfilled.

After another hour of driving we stopped at road side and find those amazing summer snow around the road side. This is like 3 miles away from the Crater late national park entrance. There’s another Chinese family playing here. Hannah and Flora enjoys those permanent snow a lot. They just poking snow with stick and compressing them with their feet, kids’s fund are are easy but fierce. We just staying there for 20 minutes and kids are very high! It’s not a wasting of time when you drive, because you are the boss of the trip. You know your kids are the main factor of joy.

Won't melt in summer

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After another 10 minutes of drive we entered the Crater Lake National Park. Our national park annual pass still work this month, so it’s free, otherwise it cost $15 to enter this park. This park in Oregon feels like a typical national park, you enter a gate and pay then you enjoy plenty of happiness and wow along the road. We like this better than the weird state park eat all national park day of yesterday. It’s just bitching, nothing affect the good experience elf visiting of national park.

I want to repeat yesterday’s success by visiting the visitor’s center first. So this time I choose the Rim Village Visitor center, because the location looks awesome. But it’s a mistake. The Rim Village visitor center is super crowded, and it’s huge in size, so we wasted 20 minutes trying to find a parking lot here. No luck, we then decide visiting here is a failure, but it’s nothing we should just keep driving along the west rim drive. The awesome scene shocked us at the first stop. We found more people visiting the visitor center then those road side stops, which prove our choice are right.

You should stop at any road side scenic stop here. Each of them are awesome! I will share pictures later. It’s speechless.

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The traffic is pretty bad here. We found there’s a long drive under contracture (like 2 miles) near the watchman lookout. So you should expect 20 – 30 minutes wait for your turn to proceed. After a 20 minutes wait. We have a closer look at the wizard island. It has some sapphire colored pool on the island, which is double the density of shades of blue on the lake. That’s more dramatic than Lake Tahoe. The road last another 9 miles after that look out, which is a bit disappointing. But the view doesn’t disappoint us at all, they are amazing!

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Dive into the cool blue lake

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We arrived at end of west rim road around 3 PM (due to road construction it’s closed there, and it’s no longer a loop drive around crater lake). And then we turn back. We a low on gasoline so we decided to visit the Mazama Village to get some gasoline, that’s the only place available in the park. We took a 5 minutes stop at Steel Visitor Center, and I get my collector badge of national park. We arrived Mazma village around 5:10PM, and the gasoline pump is still working. The couple in front of us did a full car clean up at the gasoline pump before they fuel their car, which take like 20 minutes. That feels like a drama, because that’s really weird because there’s only 2 pump station which can fuel hungry cars 🙂 We didn’t complain, just listen to music and chill out.


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We took a dinner at this place. Pizza, soda and kids’s pasta. Food tastes pretty bad 🙁 But we appreciate the service, because you won’t expect series chef working here. We pay a good tip and drive back to city. We choose Medford, because it’s the closest big city near here towards our home.

It took about 2 hours drive to arrive Medford. And 80% of time are signal less along the drive. Which make booking hotel at last minute literally a fact. The drive is beautiful, and we should spend more time and energy. But it’s like a rubbish time for a family this size, monkeys are sleeping like zombie and wife are sleeping like a rock. We booked a Hilton Garden Inn 7 minutes before we arrive there. The main reason we choose this stay is because monkeys asked to do a indoor pool swimming at night. But it’s actually a good thing to the family because this hotel looks very very legit, it’s perfect for a long day.

I went out for 30 minutes personal time and visited a local beer place in middle of nowhere in Oregon. But it turns out awesome. It’s called ]The Rough Growler](, they provide no food but 51 beers on tap. I have a quick beer flights with 10 beers, after I write each beer the bartender tap it right away. Which is awesome, we explore the menu together, and he gave me at least 5 samplers during the exploring. He told me his all time favorite is Fieldwork Pulp, I literally laughing because it’s also my favorite brewer and it’s definitely an awesome sauce. It’s so so lovely, and I’m surprise that a local Oregon bartender knows it and have his own picture with that beer. Yes, I’m lucky to be a beer lover in Bay area where we have local access to Fieldwork brewery. Their canned beer are more rare than their tap beer I can tell, and whole foods plays an awesome role here. I had Pulp more than 10 pours in Blossom hill whole foods and Santa Clara whole foods tap room this year. They are more than awesome. The beer flights here are great, my favorite are those 2:

– Rogue New Crusty: it’s a golden barley wine, which is an American special Barleywine variety. It’s awesome, super smooth, lighter but full of flavor. It’s still a barleywine but with lighter color.
– pFriem Family Brewers Belgian Strong Blonde. Wow, this is awesome Belgium strong ale plus a triple. It’s floral and super fruity, also strong like hell. I love this fancy ale. And this is not my first pFriem, it’s like my 5th? This is the best so far, and I guess it will be the best from the brewer for a long time. Like Pulp for Fieldwork.

Take with the bartender, it’s nice. Oregon’s beer weather is super hot, it fused to everyone’s blood. Those drinkers here a super casual, not like beer geeks in bay area. It’s more like a life style for them. But the beer service is professional , it’s 51 on tap and bartender are beer lover who is kownledgeable. Price is accessible. The light condition is lovely. They have same beer fight service like we do and you can have 10 beers instead of times of 6 (or 4) beers in whole foods. Which make taking full house much easier. After the impressive beer tasking I drive back to hotel and spend another 30 minutes with kids in pool, because I promise so. Which means I finish those beer like a hurricane 🙂

30 minutes in pool with lovely monkeys feels like a twinkling of an eye. Awesome night! We planned for another hour of pool time tomorrow morning, then we will head home.

This vocation is awesome indeed. Booking hotel at last minute doesn’t waste the family a penny. And it increase flexibility and adventurous for us. Life is random, take your time and spend some time on road.

Now we planned a fancy breakfast at morning, and then hitting the pool again. Having epic food and music on road tomorrow. Feels unreal!

Summer road trip 2017 day 3

Got up around 8AM, went out from hotel at 9AM. First stop is Northtown Coffee in Arcata. Arcata is a quiet town near Eureka. It’s not fancy, looks old and forgotten. The coffee is good thought 🙂 Monkeys had some donuts from grocery store too.


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Twisted donut

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Hannah spills hot chocolate in the car. And the sliding door of our mini-van is soaked 🙂 We gave her some education and cleaned up the disaster. Parenting is exhaust if you are paranoid about have everything perfect. It’s a cure for perfectionism.

The scene starts to become green from Arcata. Trees, fog, seashore are awesome, cool down our soul. We crossed Big Lagoon, Stone Lagoon and freshwater lagoon. We stopped at Stone Lagoon Visitor Center for some pictures. It’s a lagoon, with forest on seashore, fogs floating at lower sky, it’s a mixture of different shades of blue and green. That’s the them of the redwood national park.

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And then we stop at Freshwater Lagoon, the color here is beautiful. A little village is on another side of the lagoon. It’s like a furry lawn spears into a mountain of forest. The seashore is dark grey, and the waves are wild.

Then we arrives at Thomas H. Kuchel Visitor Center. That’s the first visitor center of Redwood National Park from south side. There’s a sand beach behind the visitor center and monkeys just start to enjoy playing sands here. The sand is grey, dry and warm. Feels pretty nice, like a desert near the sea. The landscape here is redwood forest winded into shore line. The contrast is high, and fog smudge the contrast of colors.

A lady in information center recommended some place for us to visit today, which is good for family with young kids. The main attractions is some loop trails in Prairie Creek state park, some of them are stroller friendly.

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There’s no signal for Verizon wireless, not sure other cellular providers. So driving in this area requires paper maps (or a GPS works offline). The exist to Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway is easy to find, and you will find the Prarie Creak Visitor Center is right there. You can reach most of trails here. The parkway is shorter than we thought, so you don’t need to drive far away from the visitor center. Just park there (which is free) and start your trails. We choose the Prairie Creek Trail, which have view of some big redwood trees and also the creek. Kids love trees and creek. They climb dead tree trunks, collecting wild flowers. They chase and play along the trail. So the 1.2 miles walk feels nice, cool and fun. Because the Monkeys keeps stopping, so it take about 1.5 hours for the single trip. We went from north (road side parking #2) to south and reach the visitor center. I went back to drive our car. And I mentioned there’s no signal, so I made a silly mistake. I forgot the car key, my wife holds it. I also lost couple times, and when I start to think my strategy I found I forgot the key. That waste me about 20 minutes. I went back and picked the key from my wife at visitor center. And this time I took a way back from the road side. It’s much easier to follow. I also decide to facing the traffic when walk (take left side of road). So I can confirm the traffics see me. This time I took about 15 minutes walk back to the car, it’s actually not far from the road (not trail). And then 2 minutes later I arrives at visitor center, and picked up my family. Without phone service human are so inefficient 🙂

Holland Hill Road is bumpy, kids love it!

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We take a stop at big tree loop, but we didn’t make it (although it’s just 0.3 miles). Kids falls asleep.

We hit the road again around 3PM, and we targeted Klamath River Overlook. This is a river mouth to the sea. It’s the best picture place of today. Make sure you take the Mouth of Klamath Rd, which has a much better view than the lookout at mountain top. I love the color and mixture of forest, fog and blue river/sea. The lookout at top is too foggy to sea anything, so we just stay there for some cool breaths. We do take lot of pictures at the river mouth, it’s a highlight of the day. From the map this area is called Requa, it’s used to be the place boats went to the water.

Then we went to Yurok Loop Trailhead. This park is a short walk to an amazing beach full of drift woods. You can see derbies of giant redwood here. The beach is grey, wood are white and grey, and lagoon is light brown, so the beach looks like black white film color. The forest and bridge at background has blue/green/pale yellow color. So it’s like a pasted picture mixing greyed out beach and a colorful forest at back. We can see dramatic different views at this trail. There’s iron island themed rocky islands. And a high saturated colored forest/cliff and restless sea (like point Lobos) to the south.

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We feels really lucky today. Those 3 stops are just perfect for us.

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Kids are playing rocks, parents are melted in the phenomenal landscape

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Then we went to go east and stay at Medford tonight. So we take the last stop at Howland Hill Road, this is a famous bumpy forest road. And it just blows us away. Kids are so happy that Daddy pig (in Peppa pig theme) drives a bumpy vehicle under giant trees. We feels like tiny bugs in contrast. Because the trees are as thick as the width of our car. So suddenly we feels like driving toy cars here. It’s around 6:30PM, so the color become warmth here but there’s still enough light for us. Because we kids want to see their hotel ASAP so we didn’t take too much stops here. But we saw the famous Boy Scout Trail in middle of the Howland Hill Road, we should visit it “next time”.

After 6 miles of bumpy drive, I personally still want more of it. That’s super fun, and you can give monkeys surprise by steering to bumps 🙂

When we arrive highway 199, we want to drive faster. But the traffic is really bad here, there’s single track road because of constructer (suppose to finish 2018). So the drive feels hopeless and endless.

After about 1.5 hours drive we finally found a small grocery store (ray’s), kids visit bathroom and offload their stuff. And I found a hotel to stay. We stick with the last minute hotel booking rule for this road trip. And we are lucky that we found a hotel at Grants Pass, it’s a city I don’t even know exists. But it’s 30 minutes shorter than driving to Medford which is perfect because Medford is just easier to notice from map but has nothing we are looking for except a place to sleep.

Boneyard Blood Orange pale ale #mahbeer

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Today’s July 4th, so most restaurant doesn’t open. Those open ones are mostly close at 9PM. Using both Foursquare and Yelp doesn’t help that much because they have no idea if a restaurant open today, 4 stars restaurant also doesn’t mean much in small town because they have very small rates from customer. But my wife found one by her eyes near the hotel, it’s called Taprock Northwest Grill. She took ribeye steak and I took some fried seafood. Beers selection is pretty good. I choose the Bonyard (which I sips some at Toronado this year, they are very good). First one is the Blood Orange Pale ale which is a lighter American Pale Ale with strong fruity aroma, but it’s a bit too sour (blood orange juice) as a pale ale. Then I took the Bonyard RPM IPA, it’s quite good. That’s a very smooth IPA, not too hoppy or too bitter, just right about of entertainment. The night ends awesome, we enjoy those foods outdoor. Kids are super happy with comfort foods and steaks. There’s also lots of fireworks, we have a rider side view with fireworks. How awesome a day can be?!

After a long day, I need my lovely finger

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Oregon’s first couple of hours is nice. Food is good, beers are all local. Climate is nice, not cold or hot at summer night. And food, beers are cheap in California standards, tip well please!

I may comeback later. Quite tired after couple hours of drive and walks.