Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Emma on Cats on Tuesday

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EMMA: Mama said, "No peeking on the bag, Emma!". I didn't peek. I just sit there quietly and patiently for her to unload what's on the bag. I would be really unhappy if there is no treat for me inside :)

I am linking to CATS ON TUESDAY.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


It's almost 11 pm Sunday night and tomorrow is Memorial Day - a federal holiday which means we don't go to work, and here I am blogging about something from my Barcelona trip from November 2009.

I was moving my albums from one external drive to another - a bigger one that's 1 terabyte capacity - when I aimlessly opened one of the albums and the image of food popped on the screen.  My husband who's reading the papers in bed and watching tv and surfing at the same time glanced at where I am (he's behind me) and immediately recognized the image on the pc.

Did you know that we stayed in a dormitory in Barcelona for 3 days?  We were looking for a bargain, since we were afraid that we'd bust our budget on a 3 week Europe vacation.

The choice to stay in a dorm was better than staying in a hostel for us.  The dorm was located inside the University of Barcelona Mundet campus - easily accessible by subway.

We have our own room, a  large room in fact with two beds, a tv, small ref, and the bathroom was furnished with towels and little soap.

Apparently here families come to visit and they stay in this part of the building.  The private rooms were separate from the accommodations used by the students.  So while you hear all the ruckus (music to my ears) in the "living room" once you take the hallway to the private rooms, it's pretty quiet and you'd actually forget you live in a dorm.  Many post grad students stay here too.  As a matter of fact I have seen many families stay there while we were there.

Another good thing aside from the affordable price is that it includes free breakfast.  The dining room is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  But only breakfast was included in the price.

What a buffet it was - one side is all bread of different kinds, crusty bread, rolls, savory kinds and even plain sliced white bread.  There is an area for meats, but the most enjoyable was the bacon, it's totally different and tasty. It wasn't crunchy like the ones back home but soft and a little greasy, but not the greasy kind like we know.  Then there are fruits to choose from and omelets and cereals.  And their coffee machine is to die for.  It's a vending machine kind but it makes the best coffee.  I o'd on the coffee - cafe au lait. 

I couldn't find the rest of the images I took of the spread, what I found were the plates we savored.  Enjoy!





Would you consider staying in a dorm while traveling?

Friday, May 27, 2011

Street Photography #9

Nevada City

Some thoughts:
  • Our anniversary trip went as planned, and the hotel we stayed in was really niiiice!  A 4-star hotel and we got it quite cheap because of Travelzoo discount.  The hotel was centrally located in the downtown area, walking distance to almost everything.  We walked to the farmers market - a block away - and reached the Old Fisherman's Wharf for a little sightseeing without taking the car out of the garage.  Plus the hotel room was beautiful and it has windows with window seating looking out to the plaza and the wharf. (I better go back here!) Also included in the package was a 3-course dinner for two.  The food was spectacular and the portions are humongous.  The ambiance was cozy and old worldly.  The lobby is just to die for.  Needless to say I was blown away by this hotel and spa.  After all I am a budget traveler and I veer myself away from accommodations that has a star attached to it like an asterisk.  But I'm glad we stayed here this time.
  • The planned luncheon at RED HOUSE CAFE didn't materialize, because there was a line outside waiting to be seated.  I didn't want to wait.  I thought it was a waste of time.  So we drove around and thought we'd go get either Afghan food or Mediterranean food.  Instead we passed by this small hole in the wall PAPRICA CAFE that serves delicious Lebanese food.  After sampling some Lebanese food the evening before at the farmer's market, our appetite was whetted for more of these delicious flavors.  It was a great idea to skip American food via Red House Cafe and venture off farther into the road towards Monterey and without plan stop here.  Needless to stay we were fed well for a small price.  I'm sure I'll post the pictures somehow.
  • I am contemplating on creating a new blog - a separate one for Buster and Emma. 
  • No plans for this three-day weekend, although we have been invited to a bbq at my husband's co-worker's house.  They bought the house a few months ago and I think this shindig will be like a housewarming kind. 
  • I'm having surgery again, this time on an out-patient basis.  Hopefully, no complications will arise. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

A Week Without A Post

A week without a post, how did that happen?

Anyway, we all know that all bloggers have off line lives and they sometimes get really hectic. The poor blogger finds himself/herself being pulled in both directions. And more often than not it's the blog that has to be let go. Enough, let me just tell you what has transpired in the almost one week I was out of blogging here.
  • Emma and Buster took their scheduled showers this weekend.  Buster didn't knew what hit him really.  But Emma knew.  She saw Buster and when it was her turn she politely declined.  I let her get her way - for bit - and when she thought her turn wasn't coming - boom, we took her to get her shower.  They smell fresh now.  It was in time with changing our bedsheets.  
  • Was planning on watching Thor over the weekend, but wasn't feeling it.  Did I miss a lot?
  • Been watching and following the San Jose Sharks (the local hockey team).  Unfortunately, they are getting beaten by the more powerful and experienced Vancouver Canucks.  You should see my friend from Vancouver's FB status posts regarding the Canucks' victories :(
  • Loving baseball on tv just like before.  I love my Giants.
  • Big NEWS - I finally got my DSLR - there goes my tax refund.  Loving the test shots so far.  Still need to learn how to use it but am so excited.
  • Blue Ray players were on sale and we snagged one.  This blogger is dumb dumb when it comes to technology.  Who knew blue ray players are now wi-fi enabled and you can access your Netflix thru it?  Not I? I thought when I heard the wi-fi on the packaging, I could watch You Tube videos thru it :)
  • Another purchase - a waffle maker - it was on sale.  So on Sunday night, we had waffle and bacon and eggs for dinner.  I don't need to go out for waffles now.
  • Anybody surprised that it was Scotty and Lauren in the finals.  I am talking about American Idol for those who has been living under a rock.
  • I got an invite. My niece's son is turning one. I haven't even seen the baby yet and he's one already!
  • I just found out that my cousin's daughter has a blog.  My, the girl can write too :) Must be in the genes.
  • My little furbabies are sleeping in the bed as I write this post while hubs is in a church meeting.
  • Looking forward to a lovely two days.  Driving down to Monterey tomorrow for our anniversary get-away.  Looks like we are creating a tradition here.  We went to Monterey last year and had an anniversary eve dinner at a tapas place and had anniversary lunch at this little cafe - RED HOUSE CAFE.  This year I told my husband we are going there again and I will plan to order the same food I had last year.  He was game with that plan of mine. And of course I plan to test out some more this new DSLR of mine. I suppose I need to name it right?
  • I know it's a quick get-away, but I am hoping I can get some rest while there.
  • I guess I'm missing the CATS ON TUESDAY post. 
See y'all later.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Buster's Corner on Cats on Tuesday

Yesterday, May 16th, was my birthday. My FIRST birthday. I'll show you how I spent my day:

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I ate like 25 times that day :)

I'm Cold!
Slept cuddled in blanket - it was a rainy cold day in May in California - go figure!

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I played with my favorite toys - plastic bag and mousie.

someone's hiding.
Played hide and seek.

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Lounged about with my fave magazine. [sorry about the image, mommy is trying her hand at editing photos. here she tries to put gausian blur on the back ground. mommy needs more practice.]

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And when mommy came from work - I got the best belly rub EVER!!! My birthday rocked!!! Needless to say I also was treated with extra helpings of treats. Happy birthday to me!!!!

I am linking to CATS ON TUESDAY.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Another Weekend That Whizzed By

I was planning on blogging last evening but change of plans prevented me from doing so.  As usual weekends are full of activities or chores.  I see that on blogosphere, my fellow bloggers were doing some cleaning up.  As did I.  Here's a list of what my weekend consisted of:
  • Saturday was devoted to cleaning and gardening.  Husband and a hired help pulled out weeds (hubs took out his weed whacker - his toy) and made my front yard pretty decent.  They also planted on the front yard some of the potted kalanchoe plants that we have for years now. Glad they finally got planted on the ground.  Also the rose bush that we dug up and brought here when we moved almost two years ago went into the ground as well. 
  • I vacuumed the downstairs while the two cats stayed upstairs.  They are afraid of vacuum and hair dryer.  I think it's the loud noise that spook them.
  • We finally got out of the house about 5:30 pm for some shopping.  Our first stop was Best Buy to check on the DSLRs.  I already purchased one online and in a matter of days it will be in my hands (yay).  Next was Costco, but we forgot that this warehouse closes early on the weekends so when we got there it was closed.  Final stop was Fry's electronics for more DSLR checking to make sure we made a good buy.  And oh, we had to stop by and buy some groceries too.  Luckily 99 Ranch Market is in the same center as Frys. 
  • Sunday was as busy.  Church first.  After the service, the congregation stayed to clean out (weed, sweep, prune) the garden, which was fun.  Hotdogs and chips followed. 
  • Before heading home from church, I convinced hubby to swing by Walmart to pick up some treats for the cats.  Today, May 16th is Buster's first birthday and I intend to spoil them rotten with some extra treats today.
  • And a weekend is not complete without a stop at Home Depot.  My husband always find something he needs in Home Depot.
  • Then it was more vacuuming and cleaning and laundry.  Fun weekend right?
  • By 4 pm, back to church we went for a talk and slide show on Israel-Palestine conflict.  For someone like me who is ignoramus about this long-standing feud, this session was very educational.  I intend to read up more on this.
  • The talk ran long, it was 6 pm when we arrived home and we were expecting our friends for dinner.  Hurriedly I put something on the pan and husband kept the microwave working. Luckily we had everything planned - only reheating is needed.  We weren't home for 10 minutes when our friends showed up and a lovely evening was had by all.  No wine, but beer was the beverage of choice for the evening. 
  • And my weekend ended with the two-hour season finale of Desperate Housewives on the tube and I was cramming for a post for my photo blog. 
  • The End.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Iris Loving

I have posted an entire post on my visit to the iris farm in my blog. But I couldn't post all the beautiful irises in one post. So here, a feast to the eyes.

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It was a breezy day that's why the flowers don't seem to stand still. :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Emma on Cats on Tuesday

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EMMA: Mommy are you done playing with the computer? Can we play now?

I am linking to CATS ON TUESDAY.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Comfort Food

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After garlic fried rice and longganisa, this would be my favorite breakfast. Believe it or not every single day in our cruise I eat this. My husband can't get the fascination I have and how on earth don't I get sick of eating it day after day.

I posted this today because I'm feeling so low. I am dealing with some news that are frustrating. I have never cried infront of my doctors before but I did yesterday. It was a low point. But I managed to put a brave front today in another appointment.

Breathe in, breathe out!


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Buster's Corner on Cats on Tuesday

What do you want?
BUSTER: Mommy I don't feel good.
ME: I know sweetie.
BUSTER: Don't make me get shots again because I feel sick after the shots!
ME: You're not getting another one this year. Next year again. Go back to sleep.
BUSTER: Okay mommy!

I am linking to CATS ON TUESDAY.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Weekend Reporting

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Another weekend is over. The above photo has nothing to do with my post. I thought this blog could use another photo after consecutive all text posts.

We began our weekend by taking the kitties to get their vaccinations. There is a mobile vet clinic that gives vaccinations and other vet services every Saturday at a local PetFoods store.

We loaded up the cats in their own carrier. I had my husband do this task, but he was a bit heavy handed with Emma, who screamed her little heart out. She did not want to get in. Eventually we got them in. And the short car ride freaked them out. Buster was meowing in that tone of voice that said he was really scared. They were both in the back seat. I had to take Buster's carrier infront to soothe him, and petted him and cooed the whole time.

Emma was quiet but I could sense that she was unhappy about the whole thing. I stayed with them inside the car while husband did the queueing up and filling out of forms.

The cats both received 3 different shots each. And while they didn't seem to feel it and they were very good the whole time, the experience left me unhinge.

I was told that the shots would make them feel lethargic and not their own selves for a couple of days. Just like people in the aftermath of a flu shot.

But Emma and Buster were unusually quiet all weekend. There wasn't that running up and down from Buster and Emma for the most part stayed in our bed the whole weekend. I would come up and check on her and she would let out that faint meow and I'd come and hug her and tell her "I know you are sick, baby."

They also got shots in their legs, and I think they felt sore, both of them as Emma was thinking twice before leaping on top of shelves all weekend and Buster was favoring that leg when he jumped down.

I hope they get back to their own rowdy selves soon, today if that is possible.

And so after that unpleasant experience for me, we thought we'd turn the day around by going to an iris farm. I found out about this iris farm from a local magazine. It's free of charge and they sell the iris for those who are interested.

It wasn't far, about 35 miles from home, and the drive was smooth and quiet. The weather on Saturday was high 70s and breezy, so very very comfortable.

The minute we got off the freeway, the farm was still about 6 miles away.
This road was lined with farms, nurseries, and beautiful houses. The atmosphere is totally completely farmland, yet only about 50 miles from SF and about 40 miles from Sacramento. So close yet so far :)

The farm was smaller than I expected - as I've been to a bigger one in Oregon. The blooms were definitely there, but apparently we were early for the peak season as many of the plants were not blooming yet. The lady who greeted us was very friendly and told us what to expect or do when we want to buy anything.

And of course she said we can just take pictures - when she saw hubs with teh tripod. People were there for the picture taking ops too. I'll sort out the phots and blog about it soon.

On the way back to the freeway, we didn't backtrack as we saw a sign to the town. When we followed the sign, we found we were driving in residential areas. I love driving in residential areas. I enjoy looking at curve appeals and house architectures. And then we found we were in downtown and I've never been here before. This city to outsiders is home to the Outlet Stores that are next to the freeway. I don't know anybody who had come to this city to be in this city - downtown area. People come here for the shopping.

After much failures, we finally found the way back to the freeway and to the outlet stores. We entered a few stores, got a shirt that would be good for my rafting trip this summer.

I must fess up here. In my single days, I had been here more often than needed. I have known these stores like the back of my hand. I have enjoyed shopping here. But this has been the first time I'm here as a married woman. That means I haven't been here in a long time. And maybe because I now value my hard-earned cash more now that I am married and have a mortgage, but I thought the prices of dresses - wow as they maybe - were pretty steep for an outlet mall.

We ended our Saturday by watching the Royal Wedding that we recorded. I peeked at the clock when it was time to turn off the tv and it was 3:30 am, Sunday.

And on Sunday, we stayed mostly at home. Slept till 11, got up and had oatmeal for breakfast. The Giants (baseball) game was on, but they were losing (again) so we changed channel and watched the Sharks (hockey) instead while browsing at the Sunday paper ads.

Sunday went by quickly, we cooked for the rest of the week. Our menu for dinner the whole week: goat goulash, gumbo, and steak fajita :)

Then before the day ended, we went for a quick shopping trip at Walmart. Snagged some shirts and cats stuff. Then went to Sears, they had a sale on Canon DSLR, but they wouldn't let us open the box to inspect the camera. They don't even have a floor model, can you believe that.

So I didn't get my Canon this weekend, but I think I found a new love - Pentax. Let's see if one of these babies could be with us next week.

So how was your weekend? And oh have a lovely May.