BensonHsu.com

previously the sileightymania.com journal.

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Sorry for the lack of posts… I was in Hawaii for a week, which totally sucked.

It was a pretty awesome trip… and I didn’t tweet or blog or check Facebook the entire time.  It was actually nice that I wasn’t in ADD mode like I am here, constantly switching between working and checking social media.  I’m not really sure why we distract ourselves like that.  I really don’t NEED to be doing 50 things at once.

So now that I’m back with a new outlook on the way I’ve been doing things, I’ve decided not to obsess about tweeting or updating Facebook statuses.  An occasional update here or there would be my goal… but mostly I’d like to concentrate on experiencing life and writing about it in this blog when time permits.

I’ll be back soon to write about my experience in Oahu and some music related stuff.

PH Towers Westgate is connected to a mall called Miracle Mile – which was nice because it was air conditioned and I didn’t have to walk very far to find some souvenirs for the kids.  What struck me as weird was they had a couple ABC stores and a Crazy Shirts store – it felt like I was in Hawaii.

If you’re ever at the mall, DON’T EAT THERE.  None of the restaurants looked appetizing, but we sat down and tried one anyways because it was convenient.  Big mistake.  The food sucked and prices were on the pricey side.  To cheer ourselves up from a crappy dinner, we stopped in to the Serendipity 3 we saw while driving down The Strip.  We’ve been on a sweet potato fries trip lately, so we ordered some fries and their famous frozen hot chocolate.  Score!

Next day we had brunch at Tableau inside the Wynn.

pancakes with chunks of apple and apple maple syrup

amazing french toast - the insides werent soggy and the crust was crunchy

heaven sticks

just some fancy hash

I love the Wynn, because when I gamble there, I Wynn – I mean win.  So after brunch, I went to go win some money so that we could go shopping later.

For dinner, we went to a place called Fiamma Trattoria inside MGM.  Here’s some highlights of the meal…

Ryan taught me about Scotch, so I got a Tasker 10 year.

Their Antipasto - I could have just eaten this all night

Buffalo mozzarella caprese

We went to go see Penn & Teller’s show, which was pretty good.  They shot each other at the end of the show which was pretty rad.  And afterwards, Penn & Teller both come out to meet the audience and sign autographs and stuff.

Vegas, Baby

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Last week, I went with Nadine to Las Vegas to celebrate our anniversary.

When I discovered a few years ago that most of the time it’s easier to valet your car in Vegas, I stopped driving my own cars there.  This time I rented at a local Avis who had awesome prices.  I got a Mercury Milan for around $33/day, which ended up being  a pretty swanky car for the road trip – it has a v6, Sirius radio, dual climate control, bluetooth, huge trunk and heated seats (that I didn’t use).  With the Sirius radio, I didn’t even need to bring my auxiliary input cable for my iPhone, which was nice because 3G reception is spotty in the middle of the desert.  Oh, did I mention that it had some awesome disco lights for my water bottles?  I think I’m ready for Hot Import Nights.

Anyway, I got there and man – there are tons of Bentleys in Vegas.  This little roadster greeted me when I arrived.

We ended up staying at the PH Towers Westgate, which Nadine had to remind me all weekend is not the same hotel as Planet Hollywood.  Which is a good thing, because I heard that even though Planet Hollywood completely updated the casino, their rooms are largely untouched and feel old.  We got to the hotel and they asked if we wanted to do a $30/night upgrade to our rooms, and because we were feeling fancy, we did – and I’m glad!  Check out our room!

Full kitchen and a dining table

Our living room with a projection screen

Our red couch and Marilyn Monroe

Our bedroom

Our bedside jacuzzi tub

To be continued…

NY Trip Day 3

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The sun finally came out on day 3 of our trip. We got up early to take advantage of the good weather, but first we had a quick breakfast around the corner.


The walls opened up which was really nice!


Then we went over to SoHo, which is a big shopping area. The feel of SoHo was drastically different… things seemed a lot more relaxed here, and the buildings seemed a little less cramped. It felt a lot like Old Town Pasadena to me with the relaxed atmosphere and tons of little clothing shops.


Next stop was Battery Park where we could get a view of the Statue of Liberty. We were short on time, so we didn’t actually take the ferry over to it.


In battery park was this small memorial to the World Trade Center.


We passed through Chinatown and Little Italy… the destination was Katz’s Delicatessen. I love pastrami – but after eating here, I realized I’ve NEVER HAD pastrami! When you order this $14 sandwich on rye, the person at the counter brings out a big steaming slab of meat and slices off a few pieces for you try just to make sure that you want it. It’s kind of like tasting the wine at a nice restaurant before they pour you a glass… except instead of wine, you get hot juicy meat.


I’m having a hard time thinking… pastrami on the brain… the rest of the pics are below. On the way to Rockefeller Center, we stopped at St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Then we went to the roof of the Rockefeller Center. Then super nice dinner at Daniel NYC.


Sorry, not a lot of pics from Daniel… what do you expect? It’s a nice restaurant… and I didn’t want to be the little kid there on a special occasion while others seemed to be eating at their nightly spot for some wine and good food. The ambiance was the nicest I’ve ever seen… the service was impeccable and the food was good too. Ever notice at really nice French restaurants that you can never understand what the waiter is saying through his heavy accent? Oh did I mention that it’s EXPENSIVE? Holy moly… I am probably never going there again.

NY Trip Day 1

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Sorry I am super late style with the NY trip updates. Life has been super busy since I got home!

So we flew out of LAX and landed in Newark airport. Our old friend Josh was nice enough to pick us up in his super clean G20t. It was MT, leather interior, auto climate control… I REALLY liked it! New Jersey is really REALLY green. The houses are all old and have a lot of character.

We went to dinner at Witherspoon Grill. GREAT steaks! The restaurant was right across the street from Princeton university, so we walked around the campus for a little bit.

Then it was off the our hotel in Times Square so we took the train.

Our hotel room was nice… 14th floor (which really means 13th floor!) and a view of 8th ave. We were so relieved to finally be at the hotel so we could sleep, but how can you sleep when you look out the window and see tons of people walking around at 11pm! So we went out to explore… and came back with a slice of pizza.

NY Trip Day 2

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Day 2 was rainy… but that didn’t stop New Yorkers from doing anything. Tons of people were still out and about.

Our plans for the day were to walk to 5th Ave. and visit all the big name stores like Saks, Macy’s, Tiffany & Co… but this is the cool thing about New York – everything is so jam packed that the coolest spot to eat or shop could be on the opposite side of the block that you’re on, and you’d never know. We made it a habit of looking around each corner every time we got to an intersection – just to make sure we didn’t miss anything. So we found Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, and a cool underground Apple store. Later that night, we went to see a Broadway show and had pizza again.

Rockefeller Center

Underground Apple store

Street vendor food sucks

Times Square is CRAZY. At all times, there is a film crew filming something.

Random other pics from the day: