Category: Family

Central Park in New York

New York, New York: Taking a Bite of The Big Apple

It just so happened to be the coldest week in New York. 

New York: Taking A Bite Off the Big Apple

But weather was the last thing on my mind. My mind was on New York and the adventures to come.

Considered by many as the greatest city in the world, it’s a city full of energy, eye-catching sights and of course, delicious food options. 

Armed with our list of spots to see and places to eat, my wife and I were ready, ready to take a bite (literally) of The Big Apple. 

Here’s a list of what we did and ate. 

Chelsea Market Area


Artechouse NYC
Inspired by the Pantone’s color of the year, classic blue, we were submerged into an immersive art experience. 

This art institution is perfect for those who want enjoy art in an interactive fashion. As an added bonus, it’s  shelter from the nippy weather. 


Very Fresh Noodles in New York
Inside the Chelsea Market, endless food options awaits. We were looking for something simple and more importantly, something that will help defrost our bodies. 

The fresh, pliable, handmade noodles was the star of the show (super QQ). Our order of Taiwanese beef noodle soup even got the approval of our Taiwanese parents. Our bellies were warm indeed.  

Midtown Manhattan Area


Central Park in New York
Located in the heart of New York City, Central Park is a sight to see even in the middle of winter. Consider this a meeting point for walkers, runners, bikers, horses, strollers, dogs and interesting people. 

Strawberry Fields was on our list of sights to see. It pays tribute to John Lennon, who once sang, “I hope someday you’ll join us And the world will live as one”. 


Remi Flower and Coffee New York
What’s better than the smell of coffee? The smell of coffee and flowers. This cute shop combines both, making your basic coffee run much more unique. 

Powered by the stimulation of caffeine and the smell of flowers, a visit to this spot is the perfect way to start a New York morning.

DUMBO / Brooklyn Area


Empire Fulton Ferry Park Brooklyn
Where Brooklyn at? On the other side of Manhattan. It’s got a pretty view here too. 

Surrounded by restaurants, eye-catching architecture, shopping and next to the famous Brooklyn Bridge, this spot is great for photos of the New York City skyline. 


Juliana's Pizza Brooklyn

There’s Chicago style pizza, then there’s New York style pizza. You can guess which style we had.

Considered by some as the best depiction of what a classic New York style pizza should be, Juliana’s Pizza did not disappoint. Bonus, they offer a non-diary option which made my wife’s stomach smile. 

The whole time we were there, this line from Alicia Keys rang in my ear, “Concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there’s nothin’ you can’t do.” 

My wife got annoyed at me because I was singing that line the whole trip. Really off key though. 

Although the weather treated us coldly, our bellies stayed warm and our hearts full. 

New York, we’ll be back soon, until then, stay cool. 

call or text Bright Vision Optometry: (909)627-1111
schedule your next appointment online: CLICK HERE

the content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. please seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding your medical or vision conditions.

Bright Vision Optometry is a family-owned & operated optometry office located in Chino Hills, CA 91709

Mammoth Family Road Trip

Mammoth, California: A Family Trip to See Snow

Mammoth, cited as one of the best winter travel destination in California. 

Every winter, skiers and snowboarders flock to this small town in east, central California. Why? For the heavy snowfalls that descends from December to March. 

But what if you or your family don’t participate in winter sports?  

Don’t worry. Mammoth is a winter delight for everyone in the family including kids. 

In late January, we took a weekend trip to Mammoth to play with some snow. 

Here’s a summary of our trip! 

1. The Village Lodge at Mammoth

village lodge at mammoth

Nested in the heart of Mammoth, the Village Lodge is where we stayed. 

We picked this accommodation mainly because of location.

It’s a short walk to the gondola and there were plenty of food options available just downstairs. Super convenient, especially with traveling with kids.  

Inside our comfortable “condo”, there was a full kitchen where we cooked instant ramen one of the nights. 

The fireplace in the living room was a lovely feature. We all felt warm and fuzzy as we watched the movie Aquaman during our last night. 

Lastly, what’s a winter trip without a pool and a hot tub? You bet we took advantage of that. 

2. Food Options 

family trip to mammoth california

On the way to Mammoth, we stopped in Big Pine for a bite. 

We chose Cooper Top BBQ because of their awesome Yelp reviews and the food did not disappoint. 

Owned by a family team (just like us!) of son and father, we were treated to delicious, mouth-watering barbecue at an affordable price.

Highly recommended as a pit stop for food either on the way to Mammoth or on the way back home! 

During our stay in Mammoth, we mostly grubbed at the diners located in the village

On the day that we left, we ate at The Stove Restaurant for some good ol’ classic American breakfast meal. 

Big portions, coffee, prime rib hash, family-friendly environment.

What else can be better? 

3. Woolly’s Tube Park and Snow Play

tubing in mammoth

Because this is the first time Nick and Ryan played in snow, we decided to give them the full experience by visiting Wolly’s Tube Park

At first, the kids were hesitant and scared. Nick almost flaked on this experience. 

But once he saw how much fun Ryan had during his first run, he was all in. 

The fun only got more fun when we all came together with our tubes to do a “family” run.

See the video below to see us in full on tubing action! 

Of course, they finished their snow play with a cup of warm, hot cocoa.

Smiles all around. 

Mammoth is a great destination for a family winter get away.

There are lots of fun activities for the whole family including tubing, gondola rides and of course snow in the winter. 

We had a great time as a family and created memories that we will never forget. 

call or text Bright Vision Optometry: (909)627-1111
schedule your next appointment online: CLICK HERE

the content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. please seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding your medical or vision conditions.

Bright Vision Optometry is a family-owned & operated optometry office located in Chino Hills, CA 91709

lil wayne halloween costume

my past halloweens (pictures)

I believe the spirit of Halloween exemplifies the best of our human imagination. 

For one day out of the year, we can be anyone or anything we want.

Kinda fun, don’t you think? 

See our office Halloween decorations on YouTube: CLICK HERE

For your viewing pleasure, here are 5 pictures from my past halloweens. 

halloween past

Just look at these two, one guy is a dinosaur (that’s me) and the other guy is clearly Antoine Dodson.

In case you don’t know about internet sensation Antoine Dodson, now you know.

Thank me later. 

my past halloweens

Me with my nephews Nick and Ryan. 

You know who has the wildest imaginations? Yup, kids. 

In 2017 for Halloween, there were 2 Spidermans in our little family universe and 1 very cute ghost. 

Nick trying to throw the peace out sign though. Good try. 

lil wayne halloween

During college, a huge influence for me was rap music.

One of my favorite rappers at the time was Lil Wayne (check out T-Pain next to me). 

In case you were wondering, I don’t have “CASHMONEY” tattoo’ed on stomach. We used sharpies. 

Then for some weird reason rapper Soulja Boy was hot and trending.

My college friends and I? We got infatuated. So much that we all wanted to Soulja Boy for Halloween. 

Yeah. That’s all I am going to say about that. 

This picture is special. 

This is a throwback picture of me and my wife on our first Halloween as a couple. 

I was the lucky fisherman who caught the baddest (coolest) shark in the pond. 

Einstein once said, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.” 

So close your eyes and imagine.

Who would you want to be Halloween this year? 

pennywise halloween costume

This year, for me, you’ll float too. 

Happy Halloween! 

Text Bright Vision Optometry: (909)627-1111
Schedule Your Eye Exam Online: CLICK HERE

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Bright Vision Optometry is a family-owned & operated optometry office located in Chino Hills, CA 91709

Halloween Contact Lenses for 2019 by Gothika

Boo! Halloween is next month. Are you ready? 

Spice up your Halloween outfit with Gothika Halloween Contact Lenses.

Here are the colors for Halloween 2019:

Gothika Contact Lenses 2019

Order your Gothika Halloween contact lenses by Oct. 26th to ensure delivery before Halloween 2019!

Text Bright Vision Optometry: (909)627-1111
Schedule Your Eye Exam Online: CLICK HERE

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Bright Vision Optometry is a family-owned & operated optometry office located in Chino Hills, CA 91709

blue light protection for kids

Is Blue Light Dangerous for Kids?

If you are a parent and your kids use digital devices such as tablets or smart phones, you may be wondering, “Is blue light dangerous for kids?”

By now, the information about blue light energy and its dangers to human eyes have probably traveled to you some how. Whether it’s from a co-worker showing off their new blue light protecting computer glasses or another parent, demonstrating their kids’ tablet glasses with blue light filter.

It’s true, blue light energy is everywhere and more than ever, it’s time to start paying attention. Especially for your kids.

Blue Light Exposure in Kids

It’s hard to argue how much we depend on digital devices such as tablets and phones. Even more so as parents trying to raise kids these days.

blue light kids

Sometimes it’s easy to just give our kid an iPad and let them watch YouTube or play games. This becomes a habit for parents as well as for kids.

Learn more about blue light and other eye health updates of 2019: CLICK HERE

It’s well known, watching YouTube and playing games are addicting. These entertainment platforms make it so easy to watch another video or play another round of games. Before you know it, you just spent the last 2 hours watching highlight videos of Kobe Bryant. Not going to lie, I am guilty of this too.

Now imagine kids, with no awareness of what addiction is or the concept of that word. To them, watching YouTube or playing games is equal to their happiness. It’s no wonder the kids of this generation and their eyes are glued to tablets all day.

Not to say all blue light is bad. There are benefits of blue light including its effects to boost alertness, regulate circadian rhythm and elevate mood.

However, the rising of digital device usage in kids are exposing hours and hours of blue light energy to their eyes. This amount could potentially damage kids’ eyes. 

Blue Light Impact in Kids

Research have shown blue light can cause retinal damage.

Children may be at higher risk for blue light damage because more blue light energy passes through the eyes to reach the retina.

ipad blue light on kids

It’s the same concept as UV light. More UV light passes through children’s eyes because juvenile lens inside the eyes absorbs less (more passes through to the retina or the back of the eye). It’s why we recommend sunglasses even for kids.

Sleeping cycle is something else affected by blue light. The more digital device usage, especially at night time, the more your brain will start alert and awake. 

Which means less sleep for your kids and less energy the next morning. 

So not only can blue light have physical damages to kids eyes, but it can also be detrimental to kids’ performance and focus.  

Blue Light Protection for Kids

One way to protect from blue light is by using blue light filtering glasses. 

Blue light filter glasses and lens will block out the majority of blue light entering kids’ eyes. 

blue light keeps kids active

Another way to combat blue light is to decrease the amount of time spend on digital devices. Now this may sound easy to do but probably hard to execute. 

Lastly, power down all digital devices and stop using them 2 hours before bedtime. Instead of stimulating the brain with digital activity which keeps the brains of kids active, why not read a book before bedtime?

This simple action with help lull your kids to sleep earlier so they can wake up fresh the next day. 

There is no going back to 1990 where kids actually played outside. The amount of digital device use will not decrease, in fact it will probably increase.

blue light protection for kids

It’s true our kids are using devices more than ever. Think about when they are at school. They are on the computer, laptop or tablets during class. 

Blue light exposure for kids is inevitable but the damages from blue light can be preventable. 

Time will tell how much blue light affects our kids’ generation of eyes.

We hope it doesn’t but just incase it does, let’s get those eyes protected! 

Text Bright Vision Optometry: (909)627-1111
Schedule Your Eye Exam Online: CLICK HERE

The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Bright Vision Optometry is a family-owned & operated optometry office located in Chino Hills, CA 91709

A Mother's Love

Every Day Should Be Mother’s Day

The year was 1997. I was in 3rd grade and my sister was in 7th grade. 

It was 5:30 pm and mom wasn’t home yet. Usually she would be home from work by now. But today was different. 

Then 6:00 pm came and she was still not home. I remember staring out the window, crying and thinking of the worst,  “what if she never comes back home?” 

Mother's Day 2019

Outside, the rain poured harder. My sister did her best to comfort me.

“She’ll be back soon.” she said with a forced smile. I could tell she was worried too. 

We both stared out the window and watched the rain. 


A mother’s sacrifice is always under-appreciated. From physical sacrifices like giving birth to breast feeding, to delaying professional endeavors for the betterment of a child’s development. A mother makes countless sacrifices just to see her family smile. 

Our father passed away when I was 2 years old, leaving my mom as a single parent to take care of my sister and I. 

Sophie and Mom

Mom and me

At that point, mom made a huge sacrifice. In order to provide us the future she felt we deserved, she sent my sister and I to Taiwan to live with our grandparents while she went back to school. 

During the 4 years we lived in Taiwan, we saw our mom twice a year. Looking back, it must have been a hard decision to do what she did but my sister and I both really appreciate the sacrifice she made for our futures. 

Are you looking for a special Mother’s Day gift idea – CLICK HERE


A mother’s commitment to the well-being of her family can sometimes be overlooked or considered “nagging”. 

Before my sophomore year of college, my mom wrote me this letter. I thought she was such a nagger. 

A mother's commitment

In hindsight, it was one of the most impactful messages that I needed to hear. 

Nagging? Nope, more like caring.


A mother teaches her children just about every emotion by example – happiness, sadness, fear, anger, helplessness and most importantly love. 

Probably to your surprise, my mom was once handcuffed and arrested by police. 

Of course something like this would happen at the DMV. 

She wasn’t happy with the way I was treated as a minor and demanded to speak to the manager. The security guards “protecting” the DMV would not let her in.

But she still tried to force herself in anyways. I’ve never seen her so mad before. 

Mom's Day

Next thing you know, the police came and arrested her. 

I’ll never forget the time my mom went to jail fighting for me. Pretty badass I must say…

See video of my mom and I trekking the mountains of Patagonia – CLICK HERE

It’s now 6:30 pm, both my sister and I were crying now.

As if God heard our prayers, we saw a pair of headlights through the rain. 

A Mother's Love

It was mom. My sister and I ran to the door like puppies. 

When she entered, we were actually mad at her. We both yelled at her, still upset that she came home so late. 

But we hugged her tight. Super tight. 

My sister and I are who we are today because of our mom.

You shouldn’t have to wait until Mother’s Day to tell your mom thank you or I love you.

A simple gesture of appreciation can be done daily. It is important we consider every day as Mother’s Day. 

Superfly Mom

How fly is mom tho? 

Read More: My sister and I went to Milan for the world’s biggest eyewear expo – CLICK HERE 

mido 2019

MIDO 2019 – Eyewear Show in Milan, Italy

The world is so big yet so small.

Or is it the other way around? The world is so small yet so big? 

With over 1100 vendors and 59,000 attendees from every corner of Earth, the MIDO 2019 eyewear show compacts the global eyewear industry into one location. Milan, Italy. 

My sister and I flew in on a Friday afternoon. (Poor Sophie, she threw up a lot during the flight.)

Unbeknownst to me, it was Milan Fashion Week.  I looked down.

Sweatpants are fashionable right? 


Simple, it’s for you and your family. Our patients.

mido 2019 map

Sometimes you forget how big Earth is. Here’s a reminder, look at these population numbers: 

Chino Hills: 80,000
United States: 327,000,000 
World: 7,530,000,000

To ensure you and your family are getting the highest standard of care and highest quality eyewear, we explore the world, looking for answers to your eyewear needs.

We don’t just explore what’s new in the U.S. because what’s new in the U.S. could be “what’s old” on a global scale. 

This is why we fly to Italy to attend MIDO 2019, the largest international show dedicated to the global eyewear. 

Carin Eyewear Suzy

See more of Carin: CLICK HERE

Last year at MIDO, we discovered Korean brand, Carin.


When traveling to a foreign country, there are 4 simple phrases that will always help you. 

Hi (Ciao). Bye (Ciao). Thank you (Grazie)! You’re welcome (Prego)! 

mido 2019

My sister and I were riding the Milan metro back to our hotel. It was crowded and luckily we secured seats. 

During a stop, a group of elder ladies entered and one of them made eye contact with me. 

I smiled at her and said “Ciao.” 

She smiled back, “Ciao.” I offered my seat with my hands. 

She sat down and smiled, “Grazie.” 

I smiled back, “Prego.” 

Apparently kindness is an universal language.


Ultra light weight and comfortable eyewear for you.  

Kio Yamato Eyewear

Kio Yamato is an optical industry leader in processing of titanium metals for eyewear. 

Each frame is hand-made in Japan. It’s our MIDO 2019 discovery for Bright Vision Optometry. 

Learn more about Kio Yamato: CLICK HERE 

My sister and I landed in LAX on a Monday afternoon. 

mido 2019 optometry

Jet lagged and tired, we were craving asian food. 

On the drive back home my sister passed out. I looked at her and wondered, “Where to next?” 

Paris? Perhaps Korea? 

the easter island man

The Man From Easter Island

A warrior like necklace hung from his neck. He was tan with white flowers dangling at the tips of his long hair. 

I don’t know why he decided to sit next to me. 

You can tell he was proud of his tradition. It was 11:30 pm inside a restaurant and he was half-naked.

It was my last night here and I spent it with the man from Easter Island.

Easter Island is one of the most isolated inhabited islands in the world, if not, the most intriguing too.

There are hundreds of huge stone head statues called moai across Easter Island. These statues are so famous, there is even an emoji of it (🗿)!

The lingering mystery behind these statues and the people of Easter Island attract tourists from all over the world.  

How did native people, the Rapa Nui, come to live here? Why and how did they construct these massive monuments?

easter island

The man from Easter Island and I spoke for hours. He described to me the powers that come from the sun, the moon, the water, and mother nature.

For example, if he was hungry, he would go fishing in the waters and that was dinner.  Life was that simple. 

easter island head statues

He emphasized the importance of awareness to one’s spirit and of being in the moment. Perhaps it was something he had observed as lacking in our modern culture. 

While summoning my own spirit, I had one question for him.

“Do you want to meet my mom? She is sleeping in the hotel room right now.”

“Yes! Let’s go.” he said.

As we walked to our hotel room, the man from Easter Island picked a pink flower.

Inside, my spirit giggled with excitement.

My mom was asleep when I entered, still wearing her sleeping mask.

“Mom, there is someone I want you to meet.” I said.

She woke up, dazed and confused. She gave me a look as if to say “WTF?”

The man from Easter Island entered. He does his native dance and hum. My mom smiled and laughed. A pink flower was was handed to her. Their spirits embraced.

This is the story of the man from Easter Island.

MORE: Mother Nature – Banff and Jasper National Park with My Mom – CLICK HERE

MORE: Part 2 – “The Wedding Day” – CLICK HERE

What Does Marriage Mean?

It’s Monday, 10:47 pm in Santiago, Chile. Outside, the streets are surprisingly quiet. Inside our hotel room, the AC is on.

Tomorrow my mom and I start our journey to Patagonia. The famous “W Circuit” or “W Trek” hike awaits us.

what does marriage mean

I look down at this mess that is me packing. I see 3 neat zip-lock bags filled with clothes.

It reminds me of my wife.

I see my hiking shoes that still needs to be packed.

It reminds me of the meaning of marriage.

Weather in Patagonia is unpredictable and the winds are infamously wild. It’s common to experience all “4 seasons” in one day.

I did not know that. But luckily my wife did.

To ensure her husband’s survival, she packed him 3 zip-lock bags labeled “OUTERS”, “CLEAN INNERS”, and “WARMTH”.

patagonia hike

Marriage means commitment.

It means always caring for each other’s ultimate well-being, physically and mentally.

The W Trek of Patagonia totals 50 miles of nature’s best. Parts of this adventure involves terrain that require some tricky scrambling. Legit hiking boots are required.

I did not know this. But luckily my wife did.

Together, we went to REI and found the perfect hiking boots. Together, we went on a practice hike, up towards Mt. Wilson, to break-in my new hiking boots.

hiking boots

Marriage means doing life together.

It means her situation is my situation, and my need for new hiking boots is her need too.

Bucket-list worthy, breathtaking landscape and heavenly views, hiking Patagonia is every hiker’s dream. Including my mom’s.

Read: Mother Nature – Banff and Jasper National Park with My Mom – CLICK HERE

Now I did know this. Luckily my wife did too.

She knew this trip was important to me but more important to our mom. I didn’t even have to ask, she was already encouraging me to go.

Hiking the W Trek

Marriage means family.

It means starting a family together but more importantly, it means integrating family to the point “in-laws” are said by no one.

It’s Tuesday, 11:20 pm in Puerto Natales, Chile. Outside, the streets are understandably quiet. Inside our hotel room, the heater is on.

Tomorrow my mom and I start our hike to attack the famous W Circuit of Patagonia.

Puerto Natales

I look at down, my backpack is stuffed with 3 neat zip-lock bags filled with clothes and my hiking boots.

I am reminded of my wife. I am reminded of the meaning of marriage.

READ MORE: Part 2 – “The Wedding Day” – CLICK HERE

The Wedding Day (Part 2)

Saturday – 11/24 – Anaheim, CA 

6:14 am 
The aroma of scotch lingered in the hotel room.

There wasn’t much time left. I really need to finish my vows. So far I got nothing.

Today was suppose to be the best day of my life.Photos by Lin & Jirsa: WEBSITE

11:44 am
Surrounded by my boys that know me best, we scrambled to look presentable.  

The night before, we drank scotch, reminisced about our childhood and played video games. 

All good reasons to procrastinate perhaps. 

Photos by Lin & Jirsa: WEBSITE

1:00 pm
First look went something like this.

Wow. Just wow. Joseph, our awesome photographer, chimed in “Let’s rewind and do this one more time!” 

Wow. Just wow. 

Photos by Lin & Jirsa: WEBSITE

3:15 pm
She walked down the aisle. 

Eric, our officiant, says a few words. We kiss. It’s official.

Mr. and Mrs. Soong, party of 2. 

Photos by Lin & Jirsa: WEBSITE

5:26 pm
Overwhelmed and mesmerized by the smiling faces of friends and family, we danced. 

I raised my hand, my wife spins around. Beautiful.

She raised her hand too, I spin around awkwardly.

Nailed it. 

Photos by Lin & Jirsa: WEBSITE

8:22 pm
A surprise food truck entered the parking lot. 


That’s what a hamburger’s all about. 

In and Out at WeddingPhotos by Lin & Jirsa: WEBSITE

9:09 pm
The last song of the night. 

🎵 “Man this feel incredible, I’ll turn you into a bride, you’re mine.” – Bazzi (Mine) 🎵

I looked at my wife and I said…

“Today is the best day of my life.”

Photos by Lin & Jirsa: WEBSITE

BONUS: 11:46 pm
Meanwhile, back at the hotel…(warning: NSFW)

Read Part 1: “The Wedding Plan” – CLICK HERE

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