trips

trips

Boston

Shara, Juvy, Fritchie and I have talked about travelling together so many times but it has never materialized. One lazy weekend… we were chatting about needing a short break to recharge and before you know it we agreed to meet up in Boston in two weeks time! Woot!

It happened so fast that we were scrambling to find cheap flights… a nearly impossible feat! If it weren’t for Aeroplan points, I wouldn’t even have made it. However it wasn’t only flights that were expensive… everything in Boston was!

Thankfully, a generously awesome goddess (code name: Atlantis) covered the hotel bill and two angels named Richard and Julia lovingly prepared and packed a delicious home cooked meal for us. Salamat po (Thank you)! 🙂

What I love most about Boston is the European feel, magnificent tourist spots, awesome food choices (love the Boston cream pie!), and most of all, the superb and friendly Lift drivers.

Would I like to go back? Absolutely! I want to complete the exploration of the freedom trail, take a more detailed tour in Harvard and probably, join the 5K Boston marathon. 🙂

Check out the highlights of our trip:

Hotel Marlowe

chill

chillaxin’

hotelmarlowe-messyroom

watcha doin? 🙂

hotelmarlowelobby

lobby

chillmickeypajamaparty

Mickey Mouse Pajama Party!

Cruise

 cruise-emote  Battery Wharf
 cruise--------  cruiseboston

Harvard (my dream school…)

 Harvard  harvardground-

MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) / Kendall Square
My curiosity heightened about MIT when I started watching The Big Bang Theory. 🙂

MIT  MITbuilding
 MIT---  microsoft

Downtown

freedomtraillogo downtownboston
 downtown--- trinitychurch---

RalphLauren

Ralph Lauren shop

newbury

Newbury

 downtown--  downtownmowdelz

Lobster Attack!

 lobsterzzz  lobsterr

lobstergiggler

more vinegar please! 😀

 lobsterz

Budding Photographer Mode  (My Best Shots!)

 mowdelzphotographermode-  mowdelzphotographer-mode

The Next Top Mowdelz… (promising right? 😉 )

 mowdelzphotobomber  what
 hotel marlowe-elevator  mowdelzwackyduckface

It’s probably the only vacation that I’ve ever taken that I hardly contributed to the planning of the itinerary. Come to think of it, I didn’t even book my own flight this time. Thanks S, J and F… especially to G and K! You all rock!

Next trip, I’ll borrow the scissor for Fritchie. Promise. 😀 Kitakitz (See you)!

 

Montreal

Montreal is dubbed as the sin city of Canada and the largest city in the province of Quebec. It is said to be the second-largest in Canada and the 8th-largest in North America. There’s so much to see and do in Montreal… it would probably take a month or so!

Little did I know that I would be in for a challenge when my Popster friend, Mydzz, and I decided to go to Montreal via train (VIA Rail) last October 9th, 2012. Thanks to Google, Mydzz found the a number of popular places in Montreal to visit in our 4-hour time frame.

viarail viarail-

 

As expected, we had several bloopers during our trip…

1. Confused!
We nearly got off at the Dorval station, one stop away from Montreal, because we got confused with the announcement for the next stop.

2. Photo oppsie!
I was taking my photo (a.k.a. “selfie”)  with the Notre-Dame Basilica in the background when a guy across the street offered to take my photo. His shouting was so loud and animated that I ended up being the center of (unwanted) attention. OMG! Mydzz laughingly walked away and pretended not to know me. O_O

montreal-notredame--- Montreal-NotreDame-selfie

It’s a good shot though…. 😀 Hmmm… better than my “selfie” on the right… Don’t ya think?

3. Train seats mixed up.
We were finally settled in our designated seats when the VIA Rail officer asked us to move. Our fellow passengers told us that there was a glitch in the online booking system that mixed up the seating arrangements.

4. So French!
The VIA rail employees were talking to us in French while directing us what car to take. All we could do was to smile and say thank you. “Car 4” was the magic word that we needed to hear to put together all the things they were saying.

5. So lost!
Our million dollar smiles opened the hearts of strangers, happily chatting with us and helping us find the best views in the city.

Below are some of our snapshots:

montreal-port montreal-port-
montreal-science centre Montreal---
montreal-chinatown montreal-
montreal-archeology Montreal-Mydz
montreal-coloredbuilding montreal-justicepalace

Notre Dame

montreal-notredame- montreal-notredame--

 

Surprisingly, we covered several tourist spots in 3-4 hours with no tour guide. Ha! We spent an hour having lunch in a Chinese buffet… we pigged out at the Jade Restaurant! :p

The trip to Montreal proved to be enjoyable after all. Until next time! Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmwa!

Washington DC

According to Wikipedia, Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, “the District”, or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. As permitted by the U.S. Constitution, the District is under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Congress and is therefore not a part of any U.S. state.

I gather you already know that. Silly me. 😀

I was in Virginia visiting my relatives when my cousin Vilmor suggested that we should go to Washington DC over the weekend. Seeing the famous White House and exploring the capital of the United States pumped me up to the highest level!

Ready for cool snapshots? See below:

Museum

Museum - Washington DC -US 2012 - 114

long lost twin sister!

Museum - Washington DC-US 2012 - 116

cave-like wall with interesting artwork

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pleased to meet you.. 🙂

elephant in the museum ?!?

elephant in the museum ?!?

 

United States Department of the Treasury

US 2012 - 204 US Treasury Department - WashingtonDC-US 2012 - 071

 

The White House
(Click here to read what happened as we were driving around the White House -> “bullet holes”)

The White House

The White House

The White House entrance

The White House entrance

Random Photos

"The voice of reason is more to be regarded than the bent of any present inclination."

“The voice of reason is more to be regarded than the bent of any present inclination.”

U.S. Capitol (?)

U.S. Capitol (?)

Washington Monument

Washington Monument

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US 2012 - 156 US 2012 - 157

 

The trip to Washington DC was unexpectedly enjoyable and memorable. I certainly hope that I’ll be able to have a quick tour of the White House someday… Maybe on another visit? 🙂

Ta ta for now! 😀

Virginia Getaway

As promised, here’s the continuation of my Virginia getaway…
(Lost? Click here to read the related blog entry – Oh Virginia!)

Ever heard of a landfill site (a.k.a. waste/ garbage dump) being reused and converted into a park? That’s Mount Trashmore Park in Virginia! Can you believe that? Hmmm…. I wonder if that can be adapted in the Philippines… Transforming Smokey Mountain into a park or some sort of tourist attraction… Knock knock PNoy… Watcha think? 😉

Moving on, let’s have a quick tour on some of the tourist spots in Virginia :

Mount Trashmore Park
*** Whoever thought of converting this landfill site into a park was a genius!

Garbage Mountain -Virginia US 2012 - 828 Garbage Mountain -Virginia US 2012 - 812
Garbage Mountain -Virginia US 2012 - 818 Garbage Mountain -Virginia  US 2012 - 813

Virginia Beach Christmas Lights
*** I had a grand time looking at the Christmas lights. It made me feel right at home… if you didn’t know, Filipinos have a thing for Christmas lights.

Virginia Beach Christmas Lights - US 2012 - 057

it would be great if I have a car like this. 😀

Virginia Beach Christmas Lights - US 2012 - 046

Virginia Beach Christmas Lights - US 2012 - 033

it looked like a sinking ship…

Virginia Beach Christmas Lights -

Nauticus
*** It’s an excellent place to de-stress and chillax… So peaceful…

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nauticus - Virginia - awkwardly copying the mermaid pose US 2012 - 776

awkwardly copying the mermaid’s pose….

nauticus - Virginia US 2012 - 786

I was extremely delighted to visit these wonderful places. Hmmm…. Where to next? 😉

P.S.
To my relatives (Ate Pat & family, Auntie Sion, Kuya Freddie, Vilmor, Raymond, and Reichelle) in Virginia, thank you so much for the warm hospitality!

Oh Virginia!

Did you know that one of Virginia’s nicknames is “Mother of Presidents”? It’s after the eight United States of America (U.S.A.) presidents who were born there, namely: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, Zachary Taylor, and Woodrow Wilson. 😉 Thanks Wikipedia! Click this link for more interesting facts about Virginia.

In my opinion, that’s what makes Virginia one of the most special among the 50 states. It’s absolutely impressive! I was fortunate to spend Christmas with my relatives in Virginia and visit some magnificent tourist spots. You bet! Thanks to air miles for the free airfare. Woot!

Check out our sweet photos below:

Vilmor’s (my other cousin) New House
*** He was in the process of closing his house purchase when I was there for a visit.

Vilmor's new house - Virginia US 2012 - 299 Vilmor's new house - Virginia US 2012 - 309
Vimor's new house - Virginia - US 2012 - 763 Vilmor's new house - VirginiaUS 2012 - 296

Buffet Time!
*** Raiding Uptown Buffet and Hibachi Grill… I may be tiny but I eat like a monster… >=D

Buffet - Uptown Buffet - Virginia US 2012 - 180 Buffet - Uptown Buffet - Virginia US 2012 - 176
Buffet - Hibachi Grill - Virginia US 2012 - 765 Buffet - Hibachi Grill - Virginia US 2012 - 770

Christmas 2012
*** I lost interest in celebrating Christmas ever since my Mom passed away when I was 13 years old. After migrating to this side of the world and spending my first Christmas here alone, I started to long for a Filipino Christmas… my holiday in Virginia filled that void and rekindled my excitement for Christmas!

Christmas 2012 Virginia US 2012 - 198

Ate Pat’s lovely house

Christmas 2012 Virginia US 2012 - 195
Christmas 2012 Virginia US 2012 - 171 Christmas 2012 Virginia US 2012 - 168

Christmas 2012 Virginia US 2012 - 173

Ate Pat & TheCuriousMe

Christmas 2012 Virginia US 2012 - 166

Oh Virginia… Stay put, I will surely be back sometime. 🙂 More captivating pictures coming up!

P.S.
Meeting Ate Pat was one of the highlights of my U.S.A. trip, she’s the only cousin on my father’s side that I have never met… or maybe I was just too young to remember. I’m glad that I was able to spend some quality time with her and strengthen our relationship as cousins. It’s both heartwarming and overwhelming. 😀

table mountain

One Winter weekend in 2013, the VendAsta troupe embarked on another exciting trip to unwind and make the most of the weather. 🙂 The continuous banter and laughter kept our minds off the hour and a half drive to Table Mountain aboard our chartered bus.

bus--

inside the bus…

Jack and Bella

Jack and Bella… my playmates…

Some opted to ski and… I decided to take snowboarding lessons with some of the other VendAsta peepz… (click here to check out how the lessons went… it’s sooooo…. :p).

jeff and violet

Jeff & Violet… getting ready to ski!

snowboarding 2013 009

Scott & Dan want to snowboard!

Bella and Jack

Bella & Jack… on top of Table mountain… TheCuriousMe is soo jealous…

TableMountain

Aussie Alan and TheCuriousMe… nervously waiting for our snowboarding lesson

After a very eventful day, all of us met up in the chalet for a chillaxin’ moment with the VendAsta bear before going back to Toon City. See below for the snapshots:

allan and bella kushal and rebecca
bear with tony bear with thecuriousme and jellybean
bear with scott and brent bear with jeff guy and dan

Until next adventure… I’m lovin’ Winter! Woot! 😉
(Except in -45 to -50 degrees Celsius weather… 😦 )

New York Tour continues! (2 of 2)

The small town girl’s tour of  New York continues! Travelling for free is absolutely unimaginable… It’s surreal! Whoa! Thank you so much to my sponsors… 😉

Lost? Below are the related blog entries’ links that will help you keep on track… Read on! Errr… Click on? :p

New York New York Tour (1 of 2)

The 2-day trip felt like it lasted for ages! Our itinerary was jam-packed with activities! Thank goodness for our angels, Kuya Romeo and his buddy, for driving us around. It definitely helped us save time and visit more places. Salamat po (Thank you)! 🙂

Here’s the second batch of New York fun times… “picture posein'” as Justin Merkin calls it.. 🙂 :

Rockefeller Center
*** It was drizzling… and…  it was raining men?! 😀

Rockeffeler-US 2012 - 477

Rockeffeler-US 2012 - 484

Rockeffeler-US 2012 - 697

Rockeffeler-US 2012 - 704

Manhattan
*** All I know is, there’s an upper and lower east side of Manhattan. No matter what side we were in… the touch of class and sophistication makes this place exceptional. I’m lovin’ it!

Manhattan-US 2012 - 585

Manhattan-US 2012 - 314

Wall Street … Broadway… etc…
*** Gotta watch Wolf of Wall Street sometime… Money… money… money…. and a bull? 

near-WallStreet-US 2012 - 402

near-WallStreet-US 2012 - 631

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near-WallStreet-US 2012 - 410

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near-WallStreet-US 2012 - 397

Staten Island Ferry
*** Taking a breather before going to our next destination! 😀

Staten Island -US 2012 - 377

Staten Island-US 2012 - 609

Statue of Liberty (within the vicinity…)
*** The Statue of Liberty was under construction at that time thanks to Hurricane Sandy. Too bad… so sad… Oh well… there’s always a next time! 🙂

StatueofLiberty-US 2012 - 597

so far… yet so near…

StatueofLiberty-US 2012 - 604

StatueofLiberty-US 2012 - 342

StatueofLiberty-US 2012 - 348
StatueofLiberty-US 2012 - 587

StatueofLiberty-US 2012 - 606

sneaking up on the NYPD (again..)

Seaport / Pier 17
*** Surprisingly, this is a cool place to check out. Very interesting!

Seaport-US 2012 - 754

Seaport-US 2012 - 577
Seaport-US 2012 - 568 Seaport-US 2012 - 566
Seaport-US 2012 - 564 Seaport-US 2012 - 553

Larchmont
*** Staying overnight in Gladys’ condo was a treat! It has that “homey”  ambiance which made us feel at ease and comfortable. It must be the paintings and the couch.  Hmmm…. 😀

Larchmont-US 2012 - 718 Larchmont-US 2012 - 712
Larchmont-US 2012 - 504 Larchmont-US 2012 - 489

Of course, the trip will never be complete without going to Chinatown to buy souvenirs at a reasonable price… I must say, an all expense-paid trip to New York is certainly one of the best Christmas gifts that I’ve ever received! Thanks much! XOXO