Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts

Random Photo: In the Berkshires


Seen on the grounds of the Mount in Lenox, Massachusetts. Worst time to see them during summer at dawn when the mosquitos start to buzz over your head.

Random Photo: Flat Iron District NYC

Summers in New York City can be unbearable. But this didn't deter people from eating outdoors. The Marimekko umbrellas also adds to the charm.


Random Photo: Byodo-In Temple



Every time we were in Oahu, we make sure to stop by the Byodo-In temple. We walked around, rang the bell and fed the fish on the koi pond. Next time, I have to note that we need to bring an insect repellant. The mosquitos here are borderline aggressive.

Diamond Head - Oahu, Hawaii

e on a roll in terms of hiking. The guidebook states that it is a challenging hike due to the stairs but the reward would be spectacular 360 degree views. Sounds good. We decided to go first thing in the morning, we heard that it can get crowded and parking is limited.


Halfway through the hike, we can now feel the sun bearing on us. We were rewarded with this view.

KCC Farmer's Market - Oahu, Hawaii

Another wish crossed off on our list. Farmer's Market is usually set up on a weekend morning. And since we are on limited time in Oahu, we ended skipping this adventure. I am glad we were finally able to visit one.

The KCC (Kapiolani Community College) Farmer's Market is organized by the Hawaii Farm Bureau which was originally started by a group of local farmers to promote and advocate the locally grown commodities.

We started our day early and was able to get a close parking spot. Then it started to rain.


Manoa Falls Trail - Oahu, Hawaii

We have been to Oahu multiple times. Every visit we make sure to do something that we haven't done before. There were also times that we go back to our favorites like eating breakfast at Eggs N' Things, getting shaved ice at Matsumoto and swim at our favorite beach in Lanikai.


Good Morning Honolulu!


Our flight took us to Honolulu early in the morning. Coming from the East Coast, we had a good 6 hours ahead so instead of nursing a jet lag we decided to go for an early hike to Manoa Falls.

North Shore - Oahu, Hawaii

We have been in Oahu before. The first time was our honeymoon. We went back when my daughter was 9 months old then we set up another trip bringing the rest of my family. One sister loved it so much that she decided to give up her job in New Jersey and moved to Hawaii for good.

We decided to spend our day in the North Shore part of town. Since we were staying in the Waikiki area, it would take us about an hour drive depending on traffic. Oahu got really crowded from the last time we visited. Traffic is such a hassle that it is not even possible (on certain days or time) to drive from one end of the island to the other.

We started our day on a hiking trip to the Waimea Valley. From our guide book, the hike should be an easy 1.5 mile walk ending with a swim to the waterfalls.


Bonjour Paris: Day 6 (Last Day)

It is our last full day in Paris. We decided that this day should be a bit more relaxed and prepare for the long journey back home. It is also our last chance is getting souvenirs.

Our first stop was to pick up some sweets and chocolates.


Bonjour Paris: Day 5

After waking up refreshed and ready for a good bout of sightseeing. Our goal today is to visit as much of the iconic places and probably do some shopping.

First stop was the Eiffel Tower. It is my second time to visit the Eiffel Tower and it felt like I am seeing this place with fresh perspective. The first time was a night visit when we were on a Contiki tour. The bus dropped us close to the entrance. I didn't even recall how the area look like since it is dark and we were following the tour guide.



























The tower had lights that dazzles in the dark night. I remember looking up the whole time on our way to the elevator. We didn't notice the lines to go up and was probably on a fast track since we are part of the tour group. Once were done, we head back straight to the bus.

Bonjour Paris: Day 4

So we finally made our way to Paris. The plane ride was quick and easy. The ultimate challenge was to find our hotel which is located on Montmartre area. Before we book our hotel we made sure it has a close metro stop. It also says that it is a hop and a skip to Sacre Coeur. Sounds really good.

The night before we left from Barcelona, we tried to figure out how to get to our hotel without getting an expensive taxi. It looked like the best way was to take the train to Gare Du Nord and walk our way to our hotel. What we didn't expect was Montmartre is very hilly so walking your way with a luggage on an uphill is hell. Another part that the streets are confusing, there are too many intersections with small streets. We did got lost. Good thing we got a map from the tourist booth at the airport and little by little we found our way to our hotel.

It wasn't a good first impression on Montmartre. It was seedy with a lot of sex shops. We are actually a walking distance away from Moulin Rouge. Good thing about the area was the place is not touristy and the restaurants prices are more reasonable.


Hola Barcelona: Day 3

We are halfway on our trip. The days seem too short for us. We seem to take our time in the morning that by the time we are ready to go out and had our morning breakfast, it is time for lunch. We decided to make this day a lazy one and shop for goodies to bring home. We still have another leg of our trip to Paris which also meant that we are carrying our luggage all the way to the airport and take the metro to our hotel.

On our last day, we decided to head over Plaza Catalunya and walk over to Las Ramblas. We got a random place for tapas. It seem to be a popular place with 2 floors, they are in the process of closing down the kitchen but was able to fit us in for late lunch. We just asked the waiter to order for us since there are so many items to choose from. He actually gave us the good stuff. The meal was delicious, it was also the most expensive meal we had in Barcelona.


Montserrat

We decided to make a pilgrimage to the monastery of Montserrat. It has been on my top of my list when I started researching on our Barcelona itinerary. It is accessible by train, about an hour and a half trip from downtown Barcelona. It is historic and picturesque. It was worth the visit.

Montserrat means serrated mountains and had been a pilgrimage site for hundreds of years. On top the mountain is a thousand year old Benedictine monastery. It is also the location of the oldest music school (that dates back to 14th century) in Europe where you can listen to Gregorian chants by the boys choir.


Bus Turistico: Barcelona

Now that we finally got through fatigue and jet lag, we are ready for heavy duty sightseeing. We want to see a lot of Barcelona. So we started our day with the Bus Turistico. Every major city has one of those red double deck bus that goes around the major sights.

I am still testing out my new camera. It was a hybrid of DSLR and point and shoot. It was easy to use and takes great photos but it had an automatic sensor that keeps on adjusting when turned on. It took about half an hour of use till it shut down. It is upsetting to think that I checked the battery before going out. After this day, I made sure to turn off the camera when not in use.


The Jamon Experience

I have been trying to eat healthy these past few months. I try to avoid processed foods, sugared drinks and pork. Processed foods and soda had been easy for me but anything pork had been difficult. So the game plan came into a concession on eating it in moderation. I have been successful for now until Barcelona. Here, pork is king.




Hola Barcelona: Day 2

We have to pick up our friend at the airport. After we drop off the luggage in the hotel, we decided to grab something to eat and walk around the area. We found the city somewhat desolate, (almost!) nobody around. It is a dreary Sunday afternoon. Only the big stores are open.


Hola Barcelona: Day 1

We have all this feeling of excitement when you land on the destination airport. Walking through the glass and metal Barcelona airport, I have all this anticipation. I know I will enjoy my time here.


The airport is so sophisticated. The summer Olympics was held here in 1992.

Hola Barcelona

I want to share some of the photos that I posted on my facebook account. This what I wrote on the caption:

"Dear Barcelona, I am so charmed. I would like to see you again. Soon."

It is basically a collection on my whirlwind trip with my lifelong friends. It is our annual trip where we get to go away by ourselves without the hassle of tagging along kids and hubbies. We usually do this on a long weekend within the United States but this year we got ambitious and chose to go to Barcelona for 10 days. By end of the trip, we all agree that we have been away far too long. We do miss our families.


Off to Ocean City, Maryland

We have been planning to go to Ocean City in Maryland for years. I heard that is it a fun place to be --in the summer. I could see that this tourist town is bustling with activity in spring and summer where the specialty is called Maryland crab. Our timeshare doesn't seem to have any availability in peak season but when we finally found an opening  and it is the dead of winter. It is a ghost town but the upside was that we have the place to ourselves, no lines and tons of parking next to the beach.



National Constitution Center

Philadelphia, PA

This was one of the stops we had on our weekend trip to Philly. And since, Philadelphia is an old old town, you would never ran out of historical places to visit. For the National Constitution Center is historic but not old. It is an interactive museum devoted to the U.S. Constitution.


Reading Terminal Market

Philadelphia, PA - It is my second time here at the Reading Terminal Market. It is also unfortunate that we only have free time on Sundays to stop by here where only 70% of the market are open. The Amish stalls are closed Sundays.

I do wish to see the market in its full glory when it is crowded and full of life. Maybe we need another visit in the near future, hopefully we would make it on a weekday.