Jan 22 2024

Sofitel Buenos Aires, Recoleta

Posadas 1232, C1011 CABA
Buenos Aires

… more pix on Google Maps; TA

This Sofitel is in Recoleta.

~ 2018 in Hangzhou’s Sofitel

Location is excellent, in a tree lined street in Recoleta neighborhood. Across street from a small shopping mall Patio Bullrich, which has movie theatre and cafe. A few blocks north (left) is the good restaurant Fervor and cute cigar bar, both highly recommended.

Very good service; again most of the staff don’t speak English.

Hotel has a restaurant Alma on the ground floor. A gym, pool (could use some cleaning!) and sauna on the first floor.

Our room is spacious, so is the bathroom. The electrical power outlet uses Type I – 3 prong. (Some other hotels in Buenos Aires use European Type F – 2 round prong). I only find one usb port in the room.

Bathroom. The corner of the bath tub is beautifully rounded out. Water pressure in the shower is very good. The three essential, shampoo, bath gel and conditioner (that’s how my shower’s sequence) are good but very difficult to get to – the pumps are too small and too close to the wall. Can’t imagine how some one with bigger hand …

Open drainage – ok it isn’t ‘open’ but it feels like it – you’ll hear every drop of water down the drain. Maybe it’s their way to remind you to conserve water.

Two elevators function well and quick. But at group check out time, it can take for long time. Remedy: go up first.

Apr 8 2023

Tiles at an Air BnB in France

Some tiles
24 Rue des Condamines

Apr 7 2023

Kerby’s Nursery

2311 S Parsons Ave
Seffner, FL 33584

This is the third nursery I visited in Florida, which is lovely and well run.

They’ve many exotic plants, butterflies, two kinds of lavenders when no one in the vicinity is selling, classes, cigar plant and many more.


Mar 15 2023

The barn doors 谷仓门

Barn doors for the den are high on my to do list.

The 10′ ceiling again causes problem: 84″ is the norm height but I need 96″. Again looking high and low for a while – a couple of artisans make the doors to order at exuberant cost (would have been in five figures after shipping, hardware and labor), I finally settled on one through Home Depot, at a reasonable price.

We paid $40 measurement fee to HD that can be used toward purchase on November 22, 2022 and in full on December 15 to order the doors. They are installed on March 15, 2023.

It could be a week earlier but when the installer went to HD to pick up my stuff, he realized that the hardware wasn’t there. A HD staff called, to apologize that by mistaken, one of her associate returned it when she didn’t find link between my doors and the hardware. I just laughed. The hardware arrived shortly after ordering, which was 2022. I got two calls from separate staff on two separate dates to pick it up. I asked if I could leave it with them since my house was still in the state of chaos of a sort. They said it’s fine. In hindsight, I should have picked it up because HD is always in a much larger state of chaos -:).

HD immediately ordered the hardware and offered me $50 discount eagerly, while I was still trying to comprehend the situation – I’m not that slow but kind of surprised that such thing could happen. Another lesson learned.

The installing subcontractor is pretty nice. Offered to deliver the doors for free since I had asked if I could stain it ahead of the hanging. Normally is no unless we pay: either $99 HD to deliver or rent their UHaul for an hour at $20 to take them home.


Matt is the installer. When he delivered the doors, he was very kind, giving me some much needed pointers – a few things to buy that are not included in the hardware:

  • door handles
  • floor guides ($)

It has been a while, I don’t remember what are included in our order. As it turns out, handles and guides are in the bundle.

Looking at hardware on Amazon, HD seems to charge an arm and a leg -:). $18.98 for handle: 5 star from 7,727 ratings; and $14.42 guide: 4.5 star from 4,612 ratings.

We stain it with Varathane polyurethane 聚氨酯 $26.99 on Amazon and $25.68 at HD. This is when I saw many chips and cracks. One can (1 qt / 32 fl oz / 946 ml) is barely enough for two doors, one layer.

There are few types: paneled, flush, or glass. I prefer simple, so flush is it. Again, there are many nuances to consider:

  • shape of the door
  • material of the door – wood, glass, etc.
  • type of wood
  • style of the door
  • paint or stain, and the color

The doors are installed on March 17. Matt came with a big garbage can -:) even there won’t be much garbage but some dust. He spent 3:30 to install.

Home Depot’s subcontractor

By watching Matt to install, I learned a lot. To align two hanging doors isn’t a cake walk. Over all, I’m very happy with this HD’s subcontractor’s responsiveness and consideration (office). However, the actual workmanship is so so.

The problems:

  1. the doors are too short
  2. not exactly aligned – the two doors seam is off
  3. the two floor guides are not aligned
  4. the top board isn’t cut to measure

Unsatisfied with HD or the door maker: it’s too short. Matt did say that they don’t make any door taller than this. But HD charges a fee to come to measure – how does this work, or what’s the point of this??


What’s this cancer claim? The paint causes cancel and the dust of wood may too? With the claim upfront, so the producers / manufacturers won’t get sued?

A few photos 


Mar 2 2023

My 2nd wood project

My second pet project – can’t call it a furniture because I don’t know what to use it for yet …

Everyone must has something that they simply can’t walk away from. Wood is for me. Although I don’t know exactly what to use it for but after seeing this small piece of oak, I knew I just have to buy it.


  • $16.83 wood

Feb 9 2023

The front door inserts

Our front entrance door is solid white. After a while, I find it boring. So we shop around for a glass one.


Home Depot is the first place we look while we were getting the barn doors. All the associates are helpful most of the times, but sometimes they can be deadly wrong.

They’re the one who told me that we can use insert (22″x48″) instead getting a new door. However one of the associates insisted that we need storm impact front door … in fact, we don’t. So diligent research is important. I know, with mountain of things to tackle, sometime one may just get lazy … then mistakes mount …

One of the neighbors referred us to this shop that did his. Two staff in the smallish store and the process is very simply and straightforward. Look around the samples. Ask questions if there’s any. Order and pay.

Waiting for HOA approval takes some time. When we finally got the approval on March 25, month and half later, the design Sonnet is no longer available.

We go back to square one and reconsidered: Waterside, Beaufort, Avonlea, Bristol and Kordella. The winner is Kordella.

Two cheerful kids came to install on May 12. The text message began the day they received my product (May 10) and wanted to schedule the first thing on Friday. They are polite, pleasant, skilled and thorough. I couldn’t have asked for a better team.

Here are their steps:

  1. take off the door, one side at the time
  2. cut out
  3. put the door back
  4. insert the glass insert, and screw in
  5. fill the screw holes
  6. clean up
  7. settle the bill

The inserts look nice. Their attention to small details, such as the creased screw covers: the corner ones are dented to match the 90? corner trim. Also, the little credit card reader is cute and awesome.


The vendor offers $25 credit for referrals after the customers ‘place their first order’. So please use Irene Eng as your referral, I’ll donate it to Tampa Bay Refuges.org to support its efforts.

Thank you in advance. My review on Google and Yelp.

PPS: painting the frame needs a little tlc.

~ The blue masking tape bleeds on the glass
~ When taking off the tape, be mindful that the paint is easily taken away as well.

Feb 5 2023

The outdoor kitchen

Moving in in October 2022, my indoor kitchen redone is completed on Jan 13, 2023, except the backsplash tiles. The outdoor kitchen becomes my next project. From our initial contact of two contractors in October 2022 to installation on Feb 24, 2023 with one do over, it took four months. The backsplash tiling is done on March 8.

Here is our outdoor kitchen’s journey:

Step 1: Shop for a contractor

Oct 28, 2022, we started to visit the out door kitcheners, the two companies that we got referrals for. After initial contact, we found them to be very unresponsive – It took a week or so for a reply.

What do we want? A basic strip with a grill, a sink, a refrigerator and cabinets. At first, I wanted a separate stove/burner, then decided to do without

Feb 1 2023

The Breakers

1 S County Rd
Palm Beach, FL 33480
(877) 797-1393

This 5-star historic hotel has 500+ rooms and a night stay costs $1,500. It opened on January 16, 1896 by Henry Flagler (1830-1913), to house the travelers on his Florida East Coast Railway (1885-), which is still running at this writing.

… on the beach

Feb 1 2023

Mar-a-Lago 海湖村

1100 S Ocean Blv
Palm Beach, FL 33480

Recently I finished Rick Reilly’s book, Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump (2019), documenting the good deeds Donald Trump (1946-) has done. Trump purchased this property in 1985, and called it the “Winter White House” or “Southern White House” after becoming the 45th President.

In early 1990s, Trump ran into financial problems and wanted to parcel out the property to smaller divisions. The local residents objected and he then turned it into a private club in 1994.

Palm Beach is a narrow barrier island east of the main land/West Palm Beach, linked by four bridges. Population is 9,245 (2020 census), with additional 25,000 snow birds migrating between November to April.

The little town is charming, with many whimsical courtyards and gardens, Pan’s Garden, Starbucks, and the Breakers.

Worth Avenue is their main street, the Rodeo Drive. Saks Fifth Avenue Living Green Wall @ 150 Worth – an art piece by the Garden Club of Palm Beach.

Mar-a-Lago means sea to lake 海湖.
床铺1985买到的, 很快他就山穷水尽需要💰💰 想把这个这个国家历史地标(1980)度假村割小块出卖

Jan 17 2023

The storm shutters

Our neighbor’s: the shutters are being tested. 

The hurricane shutters is a must down here: everyone has it. When Hurricane Ian terrorized the east coast in 2022 (Sept 23 to Oct 2) – reportedly, it was the deadliest one to Florida since 1935 – we weren’t here but hired someone for $350 to put up/take down the shutters. Luckily, all are good. We store the shutters in the garage.

One of our neighbors got their shutters installed today. The team has 18 workers. When all are good, they took the shutters down and leave them in the garage. The small yellow labels are important: they’re the location indictors.

Our shutters were left on the driveway after the garage floor was being sealed with epoxy. I would have to pay for someone to move inside – in a way, Ian saved me a few bucks – the man who put up/remove during Ian didn’t charge extra for it.