Thursday, March 31, 2016

One Quarter Down, Three To Go

In a little over a month I will be visiting the beach paradise Cancun for the third time. For someone who wants to visit as many new places before going back to the old ones, I surprised myself with this decision to go back to Cancun again.

How can I make this visit memorable? How can I see Cancun in a different light? I will be staying in the Hotel Zone, just like we did on the first visit. On the second visit we had a rental in a resort in the Puerto Morelos area, far from the chaos of the tourists in Hotel Zone and closer to the local culture of downtown Cancun.

On both visits, we spent significant time in the city. The first time we were there for 6 days and did the touristy things like visiting Chichen Itza (Mayan pyramid) and a boat ride to the mangrove forest. The second time we were there for a medical procedure, hence we stayed longer (12 days) and were more sedentary and lounged more on the beach than being a tourist. In addition, we were able to see and mingle a lot with the locals on the second visit because of our distance to the Hotel Zone.

Now that we are going back to the Hotel Zone, which on the second visit we saw so many changes that I hardly recognized it, I want to do some touristy thing in addition to finding more things to do than what is on Trip Advisor's list. I want to see what the locals see and eat where the locals eat again. Maybe there's a festival that is not on the Trip Advisor's list that will coincide with our visit to the city.

The husband is looking into visiting one of or both of the theme parks nearby - Xcaret and Xplor which are both water activity parks. I had checked their websites and so far from what I gather these are not something I am interested in partaking. Besides, the price for entrance is a bit over my budget.

Also the fact that we are staying in all-inclusive resort means that I would be eating all my meals in the resort, which makes the chance of hunting for local food becoming slim to none. It seems so wasteful to spend for food outside when you have already paid for your food inside the resort.

I don't have too much expectations for this upcoming vacation. Although I must say that I have fallen in love with the beach in Cancun. The color of the water is soothing, the white sand that turns pink when hit by the sunset is a sight to behold and the beach combing is unparalleled. This being the anniversary trip for 2016 I hope I can find something to spring as a surprise to the husband. I have not been going beyond the call of duty of the wife so I need to step up to the plate and do something he is not expecting but something that will blow him away.

Anyway, a few pics from Cancun.

Cancun 2013

On the beach of Xpuha, an hour's drive from Cancun, 2013

Cancun 2010

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Cancun 2010

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Bits and Pieces

· The day after the call-in sick post came out, I was out sick. Not intentional and has nothing to do with the post, since the post was drafted a while back and was sitting in my draft folder.

· My zumba class took a hit last week. I only managed to go once. It was holy week and I had church duties that coincided with the class schedule.

· Went to see LONDON HAS FALLEN which is a sequel to OLYMPUS HAS FALLEN. I’m one of those whose tastes run into the action genre, both in movies and in books. I like to watch/read about spy escapades. I enjoyed it, but you won’t miss a thing if you don’t see it.

· My sewing skills proved to be beyond rusty. I ventured into my sewing jobs – mostly alterations – the week before last and it took an entire afternoon to alter the length of three pants (1 for the hubby). I grew up watching my mother sew. She would give me small jobs, like unstitching etc. She would make me watch her and learn how to do small alterations. I ended up making a few projects, like doll dresses. But as I grew up, sewing became uncool. None of my friends were into sewing even though their moms would be sewing in the living room while we were there doing what teenage kids do when they are at their friend’s house. So I stopped sewing. Now that I need to be able to mend and alter, I realized my mistake of not keeping this “talent” in my back pocket for future use. Sigh!

· This weekend on Facebook, I shared a meme about greeting the SF Giants’ catcher Buster Posey a very happy birthday. Over dinner at my house on Sunday my friend asked why I would greet Buster and had never made similar greetings to my husband on his birthday. I told him that we agreed no public display of affection, especially on Facebook!

· On Friday after the Good Friday service at church we went to our friend’s (the same one who asked about the Facebook above) house to deliver a cake and present for their youngest son. He turned 8 on Friday and had a wonderful celebration of movies and pizza with his friends. The visit turned out more like chilling with the adults as the birthday boy was busy playing an online game with the same friends he went to the movies and pizza with earlier in the day. So at the dining room table, there we were two couples sipping cab and munching on antipasti (home made) lamenting about the woes of home repair. It was such a mundane topic that I never thought I’d be engaged in, although that says more about my Peter Pan syndrome than anything else. The chatter went on for hours and when it was time to drive away from their place (they live 5 minutes away) I sensed a peaceful feeling. I told my husband what a relaxing 2+ hours it was, just sipping wine and eating cheese and olives and talking to friends. Precious moments, I was blessed to have those moments. And the best way to end a work week.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Random Thoughts

I have a confession to make. Every Sunday night, I toy with the idea of calling in sick on Monday morning. The first thing I think of when I hear my alarm go off on Monday morning is shall I call in sick today?

Don’t get me wrong. I like my job. I like the company I work for. I like my co-workers. There is just something so deflating about Mondays. Must be the constant nagging in my brain that weekends are typically so full of chores that whatever time left for fun and relaxation is never enough to sustain me for another long week of battling with long commutes.

Moreover, there is something magical about taking a day off on weekdays when everyone is either at school or at work and you’re seemingly the only one you know who enjoys the sun while you go about playing hooky for the day. All I am saying is we all have FERRIS BUELLER syndrome inside all of us.

Thus I try to take a day off the right way, by scheduling a day off with my boss. I remember this one particular day where I decided to take the whole day off after an early morning doctor’s appointment. I typically don’t shop on my own, that’s not my thing, but on day’s off when the dear hubs is slaving at his lab at work I cherish these precious moments to stay longer than necessary browsing and trying shoes, trying on clothes I normally don’t like, and since I am confessing here I seem to always eat junk when I am on a day off and my “official” day off food of choice – nachos from Taco Bell. Hah, I know right? No reason at all, the nachos seem to taste better on my day off.

What about you, anything to confess?

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Well Hello There

This little niche in the wide wide world of interweb is pretty quiet, isn't it? It has been for a bit now. Lazy again, you'd ask? Naturally I would mentally search for a lame excuse, but you'd know I would be lying through my teeth. Therefore, I am not gonna lie. I'm not going to offer some excuse or thorough well-thought of but still untrue explanation.

The fact of the matter is over the time this spot has been asleep, in the background I had drafted several posts that had never seen light. I have not checked my drafts folder but I am almost 100% certain that those essays are no longer relevant. My nature is to write down things that upset me, that rile me, that amaze me or anything that interests me. Not all of these, however, are for public consumption and so has never been posted here.

I have every interest to continue writing here. Managing three other blogs + a full-time job + a full-time life is harder to juggle than I expected. I wonder how others do it - and they even have kids. I don't. Kudos to them.

So what is happening in my neck of the woods you ask?

First we are currently getting a good dousing courtesy of Mr. El Nino. And the rain will continue throughout the weekend we were told by ecstatic meteorologists. The slight discomfort of wet slippery road is nothing compared to the dire consequences of drought and so you will never hear a bad word about the rain from Californians, even though some areas are prone to flooding. It is this that I don't understand. I grew up in a tropical country and I know rain. And I know typhoons and storms and monsoons. This thing that California gets that everyone gets crazy about will not raise an eyebrow in the tropics. This rain is drizzle compared to the ones we get every afternoon during rainy season. But - a little rain is cause for flooding here in California. Why is that? The soil is different? I can't understand. I remember when I first moved here and there was a sign posted on the side of the road cautioning drivers of "flooded areas" in the freeway. As it turned out, the "flooded area" was simply a large puddle of water. Too much hype about nothing I thought. Since then I didn't put too much stock in the warnings like this, although that might not be a wise move on my part.

Anyway, I personally welcome the rain, whether we are in drought or not. I simply like the rain. I just wish I don't have to go to work when it rains so I can sit in my sofa, my legs under a comfy throw, the cat sitting on top of my legs and we are both watching the drops of Jupiter in the backyard through the glass door. Wishful thinking!

Secondly, I went to my first cat show EVER. One of the blogs I maintain is about my cats EMMA AND BUSTER and through their blog they have made kitty friends and one of them is SUMMER SAMBA who blogs here. She is a show kitty. The minute I heard through her blog that she is coming in my neck of the woods I knew I had to see her. Thankfully it was not difficult to convince the husband to drive all the way to San Jose for the show because he was keen on attending the TRAVEL AND ADVENTURE show at nearby Santa Clara Convention Center, which is next doors to Levi's Stadium where the Forty Niners play. So we hit the Cat Show first and we made the rounds, visited the cats that were competing and spent a good time with Summer, watched some judging and fell in love with two or more cats. We made the rounds of the merchandize for sale but nothing in my price range caught my fancy.

The Travel and Adventure Show was another first for us. We went from booth to booth making sure we collected the freebies they offer, mostly reusable bags, signed up for free travels - which I'm sure we will not win. Although we stayed for the drawing of 2 free plane tickets to Taiwan from the Travel Taiwan booth - which went to a lucky woman. In addition, they also had free bobba drink for attendees. Rick Steves was on stage giving a talk, but he was preaching something that every seasoned traveler or backpacker already knows so we just left. But his stage was packed with people wanting to hear what he's got to say. I grabbed one of his travel brochures from his booth, but it's been a week since and I haven't checked the brochures that I got from the show. The only problem with Rick Steves is that his trips are above my price line so I will never be able to be on any of his trips - unless Mr. Mega Million or Mr. California Lottery has anything to say about the matter.

Lastly, on the last post I was telling you about how we just arrived from a 3-week trip to visit family in Bangladesh and a little R&R in Bali. Well not too long after, exactly a week after we arrived we got news that my FIL had passed away. So my husband who was just getting over jet lag had to turn around and go back for the funeral. I stayed behind. We felt blessed that we were able to spend time with him over the Christmas holidays, his last, who knew, right? When I saw him he was more ill than the last time I saw him which was 3 years ago. I was there when I found out that he had COPD and I knew two people that lost their lives on COPD. He was a smoker, a heavy smoker at that when he was younger and so this was the result of it. Still, I didn't realize he didn't have much time. Just a sad way to begin the new year.