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Another endangered species we saw was the Hawaiian green sea turtle. It wasn’t as cute as the monk seals, but it was still pretty interesting and just lying on the beach.
And finally, another wild animal that runs rampant on Kauai is the chicken. The story is that during hurricane Iniki in 1992 all the chicken coops on Kauai got blown open, and now after 15 years there are flocks of these birds all over the island. The roosters crow at all hours of the day and sometimes they fight:
viagra drug– Most attractions on Kauai are admission free if you are willing to drive there yourself. Very close to our hotel are two attractions — The Spouting Horn, and the National Tropical Botanical Gardens. The Spouting Horn is a natural lava tube that spurts out columns of sea water as the waves push through it. It also makes a very loud moaning noise as the water comes up so the Hawaiian legend states that there is a giant lizard stuck in the tube yelling for help.
The Botanical Gardens is basically across the street from the Spouting Horn Park, and it has ten acres of flora and plant collections that visitors can walk through daily for free. The hubby took some gorgeous photos here, but was savagely attacked by bugs and now has bites all over his legs. I was also bitten multiple times. Here are some photos the hubby suffered for:
Other awesome free attractions include Waimea Canyon, Hanapepe the home of Lilo and Stitch, the Hanalei Valley, and ofcourse the miles and miles of white sand beaches on the island. We spent the entire first day there just driving along the main highway on the island and visited all the little towns along the way and that was pretty fun.
viagra drugviagra drug — These aren’t exactly free since we paid to stay at the hotel. However, I learned from my mother how to get the most out of the complimentary items. Basically, she would take all of the shampoo,soaps, and lotions that are free and put it in the suitcase. The next day the hotel staff would replace it. So often my mom would end up with a whole bag full of just hotel toiletries. Then she would give them as gifts to family and friends in China, who really love American branded things. So amidst the ridicule of the hubby, I took the shampoos and teabags and put them in my suitcase. I regret that I didn’t do this everyday since I forgot to gather up everything a couple days when we left quite early for our adventures. The hotel had some really nice eucalyptus scented shampoo.
One thing we did to save some money on the island is to go to the local Kmart and buy drinks and snacks. The six packs of Hawaiian Suns we bought at the Kmart lasted us for the entire trip and cost a little less than 2 bottles of water at the hotel. There was also a coupon in a tourist pamphlet for a free box of chocolate covered Macadamia nuts at the Kmart so we got that. So betwixt all that splurging, a little bit of frugality shined through.
So now I’m back in San Mateo, and the colors seem a little more muted, but this is home I suppose, and I am so glad that all wedding related expenses are done with.
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http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2007/08/27/was-the-wedding-worth-it/#commentsMon, 27 Aug 2007 14:22:23 +0000adminhttp://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2007/08/27/was-the-wedding-worth-it/I have been married for two days and the former fubby is now officially the hubby. Hurray! Before my wedding and a coworker asked me to tell him whether or not the wedding was worth it after I go through it. I promised that I will write an entry about it since I will be out of the office for about two weeks, so here’s a summary of the Baglady’s wedding afterthoughts.
Seeing Friends and Family — Shortly before the wedding the hubby said that I should be more excited about it because only a big event such as our wedding could bring so many of our friends and family from far away to see us. I think that’s very true because friends and family were the most important part of our wedding. Without them we wouldn’t have a big event anyway. Also, we saw quite a few friends of ours that recently got engaged after us. The hubby thinks that our engagement and subsequent marriage prompted some people to pop the question. I don’t think that’s the case, but I’m happy for all of the engaged couples.
The Toasts — My dad was really excited to do a toast. He was pretty nervous, and made some funny mistakes in his speech. My mom and I couldn’t stop laughing during his toast, but apparently other guests thought it was very moving and cried. Perhaps we just know my dad too well and know how hilarious he is. My maid of honor also gave a really awesome toast, and revealed to everyone that I said in high school that I never want to get married and I believe that babies are technically parasites (by definition, babies are parasites when they’re in the womb). Anyway, I thought the speeches are pretty priceless.
The Reception Hall — We got married at the Freedom Hall and Gardens in Santa Clara. It’s actually nestled amongst a bunch of office buildings right next to the Transmeta corporation. Weddings are apparently happening next to CPU creation every week. Who knew? If you read my you will see that we spent around $9500 for the reception. What I didn’t mention is that this price included the cake, the DJ, food for 140 people, unlimited alcohol and soft drinks, and an outdoor ceremony. In my mind it’s very well worth it since booking each item separately would cost much more than this. The cake and food were all wonderful and the DJ definitely worked with us before the wedding so everything went very smoothly. The Freedom Hall is very popular and they told us they already have reservations for 2009 wedding dates. I must say I was definitely happy with my purchase.
The Flowers — We spent the morning before our wedding shopping for flowers at the San Francisco Flower Mart on Brannan with my hubby’s godmother. We got flowers for fourteen tables, vases, bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages, the cake, and the flower girl basket for a little less than $200. The flowers were beautiful at our wedding because the hubby’s godmother did a fabulous job arranging them. The hubby thought the flower mart was pretty cool because it was just fun to look through all the different flowers, and I loved that it was all wholesale. I have heard of florists charging $200 just for a few bouquets, so I was very happy with how it turned out.
The Money Dance — The hubby teased me that I only did the dance to get money because I seriously can’t dance, but after we did the dance he found it to be a very fun thing to do because we got to talk to a lot of our friends and family one on one. Also, some people made pretty funny origami with their money and pinned a bowtie and tail on the hubby. One of his groomsmen pinned an IOU on his back. His uncle also taped a long string of expired credit cards on us and said that he needed them back after the wedding. It was just a very fun thing to do and I would recommend it even if it’s not really part of your tradition.
The High Heels — The heels really hurt me throughout the entire wedding, and I fell down once during the reception. I also walked super slowly during the procession that they had to play the wedding march twice. The hubby said he got worried for a little bit there since he couldn’t see if I was coming up to the arch or not. I am already klutzy to begin with and heels really don’t help.
The Wedding Dress — I should have paid much much less for this piece of garment. It got pretty dirty after being dragged around on the grass and serves no purpose now. Having an outside wedding with a big train is not a very good idea, but hopefully the pictures look nice.
The Bachelor Party — Well, the hubby’s groomsmen decided to take him paintballing the night before the wedding, and put him through the gauntlet where he was shot at by fifteen guys with no chance to fire back. The result was a very bruised hubby. The good thing is that most of his bruises are covered, but he still has huge patches over his arms that look like he was tattooed and spots all over his back that look like hickeys. On the day of the wedding he also had two large bruises on his head that was thankfully covered by his hair. He said he had fun “being a man”, but he is in pain now.
My mom always says that when you buy something and you’re happy with it then it is worth it, and so I would say the wedding was worthwhile. The good things definitely outweigh the bad in having a wedding. Nevertheless, I would never EVER do it again because I got a hubby now. We will go on our honeymoon to Kauai tomorrow, and hopefully it will be as smooth-sailing and fun as the wedding. I probably won’t write from Kauai, but I will be back!
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http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2007/08/26/carnival-of-personal-finance-115/#commentsMon, 27 Aug 2007 06:17:51 +0000adminhttp://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2007/08/26/carnival-of-personal-finance-115/This week’s! My article was Since I just tied the knot yesterday I thought these wedding related articles were very relevant to me:
— This article asks why people expect wedding gifts. I was totally wowed by the invitation the author received because on our wedding invitation we basically asked for gifts in cash or items. Read it and find out what I mean.
— These tips are very common sense and we applied most of them to our wedding.
Enjoy the carnival! As usual there are plenty of great articles to read!
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http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2007/08/21/foreclosures-and-newlyweds-why-home-purchasing-and-wedding-planning-should-not-mix/#commentsTue, 21 Aug 2007 20:25:23 +0000adminhttp://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2007/08/21/foreclosures-and-newlyweds-why-home-purchasing-and-wedding-planning-should-not-mix/Today on the front page of Yahoo! Finance there was an article reporting that since last year. This made me wonder how many of those foreclosed homes belonged to young newlyweds. It seems that to many people buying a home is the ultimate sign of settling down, and is an integral part of getting married so many couples actually make home purchasing a part of their wedding planning. I am getting married in four days, and throughout our engagement many people have asked us if we were purchasing a home. The fubby’s parents even generously offered to help us with the downpayment and my parents also already gave us a fairly large cash gift that they hope we would use towards our downpayment. We decided against buying a home during our wedding planning, and here are some of the reasons why:
viagra drug — Wedding planning take a lot of time and patience, and so does buying a home. Since we’re both software engineers working full time, it’s already stressful enough to use up our nights and weekends to plan for the wedding. If we added home shopping to the mix we would have another huge decision to make amidst all the other things we have to book for the wedding. Home and mortgage shopping would just make everything more complicated and add anxiety to both of us.
viagra drug — It’s nearly impossible to time the home purchase and the wedding perfectly so that we could move in right after we get married. A couple friends of ours bought a new construction home that was not finished until four months after their wedding. This is not a big deal if you are willing to wait, but why add stress to the engagement if your new home will be available after the wedding anyway? Also, when you shop for a house before the wedding, the wedding becomes somewhat of an artificial deadline for your closing date. When you put a time constraint on purchasing a home, you might not make the best choice. It is also a little risky to purchase a home before a wedding because technically you’re not yet married. So whose name will be on the title? Also, what if the wedding doesn’t happen? What will happen to the house then? So in my opinion, the engagement is never a good time to buy a home because it is a time of uncertainty.
viagra drug– A wedding is already a huge expense. When you throw in buying a house into the mix, the bleeding of cash would be extremely painful. Usually when there is a surge of expenses, a lot of people could get into credit card debt and other financial trouble. A lot of the times people also underestimate the cost of simply purchasing a home just like I underestimated a wedding. So unless money is no object, the expenses of buying a home could take a substantial toll on the relationship and add stress to the wedding planning.
viagra drug — People are always asking me, “Are you excited about the wedding?” I am actually more anxious than excited, but the point is that the days before a wedding is an emotional time. When people are abnormally emotional, they don’t tend to make the most rational decisions. Buying a home is such a big decision that just one mistake could send someone into financial ruin. I really think that in the premarital months some couples get too excited about starting their lives together in a big beautiful place and buy way above their means. I don’t have real statistics to support that this happens a lot, but I know I could have fallen into that trap.
viagra drug — Both the fubby and I are 24. We have no debt and have never missed payments on anything, but our credit histories aren’t very long so our credit scores aren’t as high as they could be. It’s more likely that young people like us won’t get the best loans possible even if we have very good incomes and the downpayment. Anyway, I really think credit scores are a funny thing, because apparently I need more debt to improve my score. I don’t plan to incur more debt, but waiting a few years so that our credit histories age a bit is probably a good thing.
I have also told a lot of you that I am not considering buying a home mostly because of the current prices of homes. It’s really out of our control that our engagement happens to occur during one of the greatest housing bubbles in history. I’m sure for some couples the cost not a big deal because the home is paid for by their parents or they’re independently wealthy enough to have substantial financial resources. Unfortunately for us, we would land in jumbo loan territory even with a 20% downpayment on most homes here and will have to pony up more than 50% of our paychecks for the monthly payments. I really don’t want to end up a foreclosure statistic. Regardless of the cost of a home, the sheer amount of work in choosing a home, a reception hall, a DJ, a caterer, bridal party, invitations , and all the rest could really weigh down a relationship. In conclusion, I really believe that buying a home while planning a wedding is a potential danger to the relationship and financial health of an engaged couple. We do want to purchase a home sometime, but we will do it on our own terms without the additional pressures of a wedding.
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http://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2007/08/08/after-i-do-a-checklist-for-financial-matrimony/#commentsWed, 08 Aug 2007 20:25:06 +0000adminhttp://baglady.dreamhosters.com/2007/08/08/after-i-do-a-checklist-for-financial-matrimony/So, the wedding is in seventeen days, and most of our premarital preparations are done. I’ve been reading about what we must do financially after we officially tie the knot and I learned quite a bit. This is a checklist to remind myself what needs to be done in order to combine and protect our assets, and hopefully this list is helpful to you too.
viagra drug– On Desperate Housewives, Mr. McClusky forgot to add his wife to his pension plan as a beneficiary, and when he died, Mrs. McClusky kept his body in the freezer to keep collecting the pension. Don’t let this happen to your loved one. I will add the fubby to my 401k and Roth IRA accounts as a beneficiary. I don’t really count on getting Social Security, but a retired surviving spouse is automatically a beneficiary in that system.
viagra drug — We are still pretty young and don’t have much assets right now, but we do need to prepare for the inevitable. A good will should resolve a lot of conflicts within the family if a death occurs. As long as we write a good will and divide up the assets in percentages then it would need minimal maintenance as our estate grows.
viagra drug — I’m sure not all couples do this, but I will give the fubby information on all my financial accounts since he will be letting me invest his money. It’s only fair that he knows where it’s going. Also, he should give me the information on his accounts too so we can track our bills together.
viagra drug– I’ve been meaning to get a safety deposit box for important documents such as marriage certificate,stock certificates, and immigration documents. It also could be storage for precious metals and other things that we don’t want burned down.
viagra drug — Term life insurance would be really important when we do have a child. We both have some life insurance from work, but they only pay for a couple times of our salary, which is not enough to take care of kids for 18 years if something happens to us.
viagra drug — I already opened a 529 account for college savings and have been putting in about $30 a month. I really don’t even feel this deduction right now since it’s so small. Over two years the account now has about $1000 in it since the investments have been growing. I don’t yet have a kid, but the rate of $30 a month isn’t going to be enough in 20 years for a college education, so I plan to increase the contributions with my fubby.
There are also some things that I don’t plan to do right away:
viagra drug– Chinese women generally don’t change their last names, and it’s not a good idea to go through this process while I am still a Chinese citizen. I would have mismatched names on my passport and green card, and that would be bad for traveling and identification purposes.
viagra drug — Usually people tell you to change your exemption to 2 & married on the W2, but that might cause us to pay less taxes than we should. So I will have to wait and see how this year’s tax filing works out and fill in the appropriate amounts next year. I am not too pleased that we will be paying more taxes on the same income, but that’s entirely another topic.
That is all I can think of now, hopefully these items will be implemented after marriage.