Wednesday, March 12, 2014

CNY in Moscow & Houston

So instead of a white christmas, I spent a white CNY in moscow and houston. It was the first time I wasn't able to be with my family and friends to celebrate one of my favourite festive season of the year. That mixed feelings when my instagram feed was flooded with cny related posts. Never miss Singapore and all that cny goodies so much! Thankfully it was a 10 days trip well spent :)

Almost froze my butt off when I first experienced the cold weather in Moscow after touching down. It was MINUS 25 degrees. Did I just 'walk' into a freezer?

Had enough rest, geared up and headed out the next day! What's to Moscow without catching a circus performance? 

The moscow metro was so confusing. We felt so handicapped as there wasn't any English words and the '101 routes' available made it worse. Had to compare the station names to the one we wanted to go letter by letter to figure out our route!

When all else fails, ask the security to lead you! 

Finally here! Thankfully the circus was just outside the metro station and easy to spot. 

Some of the secret snaps Sarah managed to take during the show. It was a good experience! There were more acrobatic performances than anything else. I vividly remember the last circus performance I went was 12yrs ago when a circus group came to Singapore and set up a temporary tentage. Anyone of you been to that before? Heh.


My #ootd on the first day of CNY!

Most russians that I've came across barely speaks English. It was so difficult to even try and order a Mac nuggets meal.

I ish can haz steamboat during cny too! 

Sharing the love with Kat. Haha.

There wasn't any snow showers at -25degrees but it did on one of the days when it was -11! Sarah & I was so excited we specially stayed out to take a few more shots. Lol. More than 10 over years since I've last seen snow in Korea!

Too cold to be out at night so we decided to dine in at one of the italian restaurants in the hotel..

Took the hotel's shuttle bus to the flea market! As well known as Ismailovsky market.

You may want to get all your souvenirs here! It's also easily accessible by the metro. Bargaining here is strongly advised. I hate the fact that being a tourist means getting chopped at places like this. The starting prices they quoted me are outrageously ridiculous. 

One of the common items seen in the market is nothing but the famous Russian dolls! Most of us will definitely want to collect at least one set of it. Well, the price range can vary from a few dollars to a few hundreds. 

Another commonly seen product here is the Ushanka! I tried my best to bargain and the lowest I offer I can get is one at about $50. They claim that it's 100% sheep's fur and hence the price tag. Will you get it?

We needed a break from the cold and all the walking. Had some chicken kebab and tried hot red wine for the first time. Never enjoyed a glass of hot red wine that much before 'cos I really needed that. It was TOO COLD for me to take it :(

Izmailovsky market is huge and you can spend at least 2-3hrs in this place.

*sings* Do you want to build a snowman~~

St Basil's Cathedral, checked! Borrowed the Ushanka I bought for Amelia. How do I look in it? Lol.

Would really love to try ice skating in the cold but I would prefer finding warmth in front of a fireplace at that moment. 

Continued our journey up to Houston a few days later. And look what's for dinner after settling down in our hotel? Cakes & pasta at The Cheesecake Factory! *squeals in excitement*

Spoilt for choices and I can only leave space for one slice. I picked the ultimate red velvet cheesecake! It was really sinful, but named the ultimate for a reason. 

Tried the most popular pasta dish, Cajun Jambalya pasta, made up of shrimps, chicken sauteed with onions, tomato and peppers in a very spicy cajun sauce on top of fresh linguini. Made a smart move by sharing it with someone. Almost impossible for one to finish it all alone!

Woke up to a foggy morning, ready for breakfast!

After trying as many dishes as we could, pancakes, breakfast set, crepes, etc, I left feeling puzzled. May I know what's the hype for IHOP about? 

I'll settle for Mac Big Breakfast anytime..

Ready with our wallets and chargeee towards Houston Premium Outlet!

Till the sun set and ready for dinner. LOL. 

No longer named The Boiling Crab, it's now known as LA Fisherman! Only the name changed while all else remains the same.

Let the feast begin!

My fun group of khakis for this trip! Indulged like king and queens when we only forked out about 27usd each. This place deserves a return visit!

The food portions in States' restaurant are insanely huge. Look at ours! We could barely finish half.

Left side driving in states for the very first time and I've never sat on the driver seat with a straight back for the longest time like this before. Lol. It was nerve wrecking and both of my hands were constantly on the wheel. I had to repeatedly tell myself that everything I do must be on the opposite direction because this is USA, not singapore. Abit exaggerating but y'know how scary it was? Nonetheless, given a choice to turn back time, I'd still want to give it a try! Glad I did it anyway. Ended this trip with a bang! :)