Monday, 28 October 2013

A Surpise 16th: A Mix of Culture & Genre


As a party schemer, I am not in favour of 'spur of the moment, instant' party planning. However, for my niece's 16th birthday, I can not say no to my dear sister!

There are a lot of things to consider and there are a lot of reason to make this party VERY limited:

  • it's a Surprise
  • a month to make it happen
  • I have to incorporate Filipino's 18th debut into a sweet 16th celebration
  • VERY limited grown-ups, this party is for a bunch of 16 year olds
  • room for lots of dancing
  • no extravagant, expensive decor but simple & themed-wise (very rocket-science)
  • nothing expensive, but classy
  • Phantom of the Opera Theme
  • again, for a teen-ager! (enough said)
Planning for a teen-ager's party is no joke. I am very serious about this, and I would not commit to another surprise one, unless my heart is at stake. On the last two-weeks of preparation, me and my sister debated, argued, misunderstood each other on a lot of issues, especially about the flow of the program. Between me and her, the generation gap is so overwhelming to bridge, which is worst between her and her daughter. So I tried to make it as painless as I can to the celebrant, and boy, I am not mistaken. But because my sister is the brain of this party, I can only concede and try to  skip as much awkward as I can. Of course, as I expected, nothing missed my niece's attention despite her overwhelmed, emotional & surprised reaction. 

Teens, in this part of the world, have a whole lot of meaning to being 16. For Filipino parents, it would be very normal to celebrate a big 18th for a daughter. A Filipina debutante won't have any qualms because she knows it is a Filipino tradition. For a niece who is both a Filipina and a European by descent, but born Canadian, celebrating a 16th is the new 18th. She would like to celebrate her 16th because it means she celebrates it with her high school friends. She warned her mom: No big party with mom and dad's friends! Only party with her friends! But as a Filipina mom, my sister would want to make this year memorable if it means no eighteenth. 

So started the Surprise Party planning. My sister can only dangle the emotional torture in my busy-mom life, and for me to say NO is a crime. And this, she did a month before my niece' birthday. Again, I hate instant planning. But I pushed myself to whirl this one out. 

Theme: We started with the theme: Phantom of the Opera. My niece likes the movie so much, my sister suggested it right away. And I really like it if there is a theme at hand. My schemer brain could work around it 24/7. 

Invitation: 


Guestlist: 
Her group of friends from school (like 25 of them), family, Mom's and Dad's closest friends.
A combination of teen-agers, Filipinos and Europeans. Maximum of 20 grown-ups.

Venue:
Club Lasalle. Not too big, not too small of a hall. There is the dance floor that the kids could party their hearts out. Costly but worth it. 

Food:
A mix of Filipino & Western.

Sound:
Dad's radio. Kids can hook up their playlist & pick their songs. (Teen-agers who know their thing. Never try to make them do your thing. They have their own song.. so grown ups have to chill away)

Decor:
Black and white, with a single red rose for centerpiece:

Cake:




Program:
She got hauled in by her parents, and got her into wearing white!
Came in... thinking it's a candle light party for someone who passed away.
Surprise! It's her birthday!
Led her to her cake in the middle of the dance floor.
Candles came in.. making a path for the coming roses (Song: Young & Beautiful)
16 Roses came in (Song: Young & Beautiful), no dancing 
Last rose is her dad....
A father-daughter dance (Song: Dance with my Father)

To bring down the emotional moment: Khloe, my 4 y.o., danced her heart out with the Phantom of the Opera song with Ethan, nephew, coming out in the end wearing the phantom mask.
(awkward for both Ethan & Cass, but at least Khloe had a ball dancing.. LOL)


Chelsea, my other niece, did the prayer.
I welcomed everyone in like 10 seconds.
Dinner was served.
Then, the dance began.

It was quick, it was a surprise... it was as little awkward as I can pull off.
(With teen-agers, it's like a minefield -- everything is bound to be awkward!)

It was all good... it was memorable.

Pictures paint a million words:

Our sister flew in from North Carolina








Birthday is always a family reunion....


:)


Monday, 2 September 2013

A TinkerbeLL 4th Birthday Party


This year's 4th Birthday Party was a test for my party organizing capabilities. I haven't really organized a party for twenty kids for quite some time. But preparation is just one agenda, the party itself is another. 

The Tinkerbell idea came up because it is Khloe's desire to play with her friends in this indoor playland favourite of hers, Cheeky Monkey. At first I was thinking of a Safari Theme. Then I can't seem to come up with a good birthday dress for her. So Tinkerbell because I could let her become the Tinky, with the girls being the fairies & and boys the pirates. After the theme finalized in my brain, I started the planning.

Venue & Guestlist:
I rounded up the guestlist. It was around April, five months before the birthday, when I thought of inviting the girls from her Ballet Class. But because their Recital is around May, I have to give them out the invite before the busy recital day. So I booked the venue, then had the invites ready for their last rehearsal. When the summer started and I registered her for Soccer, I tried to add up the list of her teammates before their last game. Just like her Ballet, Khloe loves playing soccer. In her mind, all the girls are her friends. But because the party was set up on a long week-end before school starts, most of the girls are away. Then I mailed the rest of the invites for friends from Hamilton, Missassauga & Toronto. And handed out the ones from St Catharines. 

Give-aways:
For boys: I ordered pirate hats and a sword and eye patch set from Halo Heaven. To have it cheaper, I waited for their 60% and 40% sale online.For girls: I ordered flower halo for their hair from Halo Heaven as well, and tutu & wings for their dolls. I took advantage of the 35% off and Deal of the Day from the sites Facebook page. Some of the light items I had it shipped directly here in Canada for a fee, while the rest, I had shipped to California at no extra charge for order over $40. The loot bags I used were provided by salesgirl  from Chapters-Indigo/Kids for free.I lined it with green gift tissue from the Dollar Store.

The Cake:
The Cake is one of my proudest find for this event. It is an experiment of some sort as a preparation for her 7th brithday three years down the road. Devoid of Filipino bakeshops here in Canada, where I can just order the most adorable cake I trust, searching for that satisfactory baker is not an easy task. I googled, facebooked, searched and searched some more. Baker's list is not a problem. I am more concerned about the cake design and the taste. Usually, you could find a lovely fondant cake. Then, it would taste like it was not worth any fondant price. I ordered a cake once for my niece 7th, with a princess castle for design. When I opted 'yes' to the castle being edible, I didn't realized it will matter on the outcome. I ended up with a cake and a tiny-winny castle on the top. So I learned from that. I relied most on the reviews of the baker's websites. The clicker is  the "yummy" word. Surely, you can find websites with reviews raving about the design. But seldom will you find reviews that the general content was how beautifully it was done and how yummy and 'to die for' is the cake. Cake By Cheryl is my only choice. It was pricey, but it was all WORTH it. Everybody was asking me where I got the cake. And I am most proud to say, Cheryl made it.


The Dress:
Thanks to my dear friend, Cher, the Tinkerbell dress was an easy task. I begged her to drag my husband to the Disney Store in San Jose, California. I was hoping that their Tinky dress is the one I fell in love before they changed the design from the one online. Unfortunately, it was the same as online. And because I am running out of time before hubby fly to join us here in Canada, I let Cher picked the one from the store. So the Tinkerbell dress happened. 

The Food & Venue:
Cheeky Monkey has a packaged for twenty kids, with pizza or hotdog and unlimited drinks for the kids. This of course, includes a 2-hour play and party time. Added to the package is icecream or sundae. 

The Party:
Her friends came, and my friends came. It was a blast. I was crazy tired, but her joy is all worth it.

Next year will be a different story. Hopefully I will not run out of ideas untiL she'll turn 7.

Note:
We would like to thank all the friends for their wishes, their time and their presents. Love the love.
We would like to thank the Sadowski's for the bike, the Zamora's for the bike accessories and the Lazona's for the Cake. Above all, thank you Cher, for the lovely dress.


If you need help with your party ideas, just message me away. I would love to share my thoughts :)


Thursday, 15 August 2013

School of 2013 vs I Hear Your Voice

School of 2013 vs I Hear Your Voice: My Lee Jong SuK Affairs


Straight to the point, I highly recommend School of 2013. I watched I Hear Your Voice because of the hoopla around it. People were talking about it, I really thought it's all that. I was really not into it. Except maybe for the reason that I want to know and see the end of the killer, IHYV is not for me.

School of 2013, though, is a very different story. Not much fuss, not much hush around it, but a drama that captured my inner sense. It's a story of every student, despite it being made in Korea, any student can relate to the joy and the sorrow, the struggle and glory of every achievement and the pain of every failure. It's a story of friendship. A friendship of no other. A friend who never gives up despite the guilt, despite the pain, despite the torture of facing the truth. A friendship that maybe so rare to find in reality, but a friendship I hold true in my heart amongst my friends. It's a story of a real person, of me, of you, of anybody who can see the truth beyond a glass half full and half empty.

The lack of love story in this drama is very endearing. It focused more on the friendship which made this drama very unique. The friendship carried the whole story from start until the end. It's but as if throwing a love angle will destroy the equilibrium. I commend the writer for the storyline. It's not perfect for everybody, but it is my definition of art, of an artist looking past of what is expected by the majority. I care less if the acting was not strong. I care more for what it did to my psyche. Or to myself, as a person that I am. It made me hold strong of every relationship that I had with people around me.

I Can Hear Your Voice is not as bad as I may have described it. I just don't like the crazy hoopla. It's like BOF all over again. Lee Jong Suk is an artiste worthy of what is blessed to his career right now. He can surely pull the acting job effectively. I could watch him on any drama again, but would still go back to him as my School of 2013 bro-mancer with Kim Woo-bin. Unless given a drama that can move me again, I will stick my bromance. But giving ICHYV credit, the killer being out there the whole time the 19 episodes were ran, was the stimulus that kept me watching. But the scenes during the trials introduced me to Korean judicial proceedings. I now realized that even trials could vary from different countries it happen.

After ICHYV, I watched Beethoven Virus. Now, that was one drama that moved me.










Images Courtesy of:
http://static1.allkpop.com
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Does Language Matter in Raising a Child?

 
Multi-Ethnicity. Multi-Cultural. Multi-Citizenship.
 
 
As a parent to a 3 year old, it is still a struggle deep-within my heart, and my brain, as to which way should I raise my daughter: culture-wise or society-wise. Born American-Canadian, with a dual-citizenship on her dad's side as American-Philippine, our daughter is first and foremost, a true-full-blooded Filipino of ethnicity (both of us parents born Filipino).
 

But our decisions, so far, on how to raise her, were based solely on our wish to raise her as a good person, with strong faith and eternal love to people around her. For us, the country where she will decide to live is just a place in the map. But how she is going to live her life in that country is very important to us, her parents, because it would manifest the kind of parent that we are.
 
Language will play a very important role in her life.
 
One of the reasons why I chose to move back here in Canada is because of Language. Born in the United States, Khloe will forever be an American. When she grow up, I know she will find her way back to her birth country, whichever country I may chose to raise her. But atleast, I know, I tried my best to show her all sides of her citizenship. Here in Canada, she will learn French. With French, she can discover the beauty of this world from another perspective.
 
At home, we speak our native dialect in Philippines, Ilonggo for me (Iloilo), and Tagalog for my husband (Bulacan). Our daughter was raised with various kinds of language floating around her. Never, even once, did I prohibit her from learning all of it. Instead, I encouraged her to understand us, especially those words that are the same in both dialects. Always with pride in my heart when I see that understanding glint in her eyes every time she responds to us when we converse with her in our dialect. Although I do not forcibly teach her to know the words, our daughter has always been quick in trying to learn. It is my desire that when she goes back home to Philippines, she could communicate with everybody, not just those who speaks English.
 
It is my fervent wish that Khloe will grow up to be a person who appreciates her roots, her multi-cultural background, her multi-citizenship. I am always proud to be a Filipino. I wish I can impart to my daughter the richness of our Filipino culture, but I know she will have enough on her plate to learn as she grows. But I believe that my inner strength as her Mother will transcend to her personality, and that the manner of how I raise her will instill within her persona,  all the wisdom I learned as I navigated my journey towards motherhood.
 
I know some will say that it is easy for me to say this because my daughter is born in an English-speaking country. But let me say this....
 
"It is not the language that you want them to speak that will make them communicate successfully with the rest of the world.....but it is the kind of parent that you are to them, that will let them communicate to others how beautiful this world is in their hearts and minds."
 
I will forever believe... that our children are who they are because of how we raise them. Our child is a reflection of our parenthood.

Friday, 3 May 2013

Rooftop Prince: My Yoochun Awakening



Good things do come for those who wait... in my case, "for those who read". And I did read. Good thing I did.

I owe this kdrama watch for reading a post in DramaBeans: Thing Vs Things :Foursome 4eva. I usually just browse for DB's reviews, recaps (of dramas I'm interested) or recommendations. But again, I got one boring moment and I decided to read more of DB's posts. And stumbled into this one.

From the post, I found myself getting interested with the other two drama that I haven't watched yet: Rooftop Prince and Sungkyunkwan Scandal. I've heard of Rooftop Prince and it comes highly recommended but I kept myself from watching because I am not really a time-traveller fan, nor a periodic/historical drama follower. Sungkyunkwan Scandal, I've read it somewhere, but never thought of actually watching it. But given how this post categorizing foursomes in dramas which included BOF & YAB... I got really curious.

So I started with Rooftop Prince. It actually got me hooked. Even my three year-old was watching and laughing out like crazy. It's periodic in some slight way, drama in some dose, hilarity at it's best... and just a joy to watch.

My thing with with (Korean) KDrama, is that I watch it for the pure bliss of just enjoying the drama. No brainer, no rocket-science analysis going through my brain. I don't wanna contemplate on how the four from Joseon Period leaped to the 21st Century (Seoul). Doing that would require that little intelligence left in my sense to nit-pick the ending and expect a reasonable analysis of why the drama ended the way it did. Just too much brainwaves to use and too much effort to make. Not my idea of a past-time.

That's why I don't do reviews, I read them. I don't do serious blogging, this page is just like my electronic diary. And of course, because I started this tradition to blog every drama I watch, I am writing this right now.

Rooftop Prince should be watch with less brain works and just with pure hope for an escape. I love how the first episode confused me with two worlds in clashing alternate scenes, but how it actually not stayed on the Joseon era. Instead it leaped through the modern day without boring me, nor making me wanna skip the drama. Injecting the hilarious scenes right Epi 2 is such a tie that bound me to finish until the last episode. And it`s really worth it.

That twisting fact that surprised me on the last running episodes was refreshing, for it made me actually look forward for all of them coming back to Joseon. I was hoping Bo Young did not die... but part of me knows that the reincarnation-line was the real deal.

With the last episode, I psyched my brain out from analyzing. I just want to know how the writers will wrap it up. Will they follow the norm of happy-ever-after. Or  will they throw that last pigment of sense left in my imagination and will let the drama end as how I have it written in my drama-loaded-brain. (It was all a dream and Crown Prince and Sister-In-Law will end up together). So much for sense. LOL.

I know this post is nothing much to help anyone know more in deciding whether to watch Rooftop Prince or not... but one thing I am sure of.... I got seriously interested with Mickey Yoochun because of this drama. And because I watched SKK Scandal after this... I am telling you right now -- I don`t think Yoochun could ever disappoint me ever.

Just like my First Crush, Lost High-School Love (which I never had) -- will disappoint me, EVER!!!



Wednesday, 24 April 2013

KDrama: City Hunter


City Hunter: Resurrected Lee Min Ho in my Heart

You know that feeling of wanting to adore someone so much but something is stopping you because he kind of remind you of something weird and off-key. That is pretty much my feelings for Lee Min Ho. With all this hoopla surrounding Boys Over Flower and his flight to stardom, I was almost swept by his beauty. Sadly,  the "Jandi" factor always held me back. Which is really kind of weird given that Jandi and Goo Jun Pyo is not  mutually conclusive nor cohesive, both as characters and artiste. In fact, I was rooting more for Ji Hoo to end up with Jandi despite the fact that both Jandi and Jihoo has no connection at all, acting-wise. Maybe since BOF, Lee Min Ho has already caught me, but my irritation to Jandi just really pushed me to the roof.

So I tried my darn best to avoid anything Lee Min Ho. But I have this friend who really, really like him and asked me nicely to give him a chance. So I tried Personal Taste. Which I should have not done. Because once again, the lady-lead reminded me so much of Jandi. I almost did not finish the series. Good thing on this one, I was enamored of Lee Min Ho's dimples that I got zapped in to witch-craft and actually finished it up to the end. Weird!!!

Which I considered a good test of my skill, to finally be flexible enough with my preferences and loyalties. I am a very loyal person when it comes to anything: life, love, facts, or arts.

Watching City Hunter is an inevitable that I kept pushing back. But LMH's dimples are  a good calling. And a calling, I do not regret. 

City Hunter, is one of his best so far. Kick-ass LMH is an icing to my dimpled cake. He still lacks the acting depth, but getting out of the flower-boy image and just kicking ass his way to vengeance is a joy to watch. I love the fact that the series gives his character such a heart that makes him grounded. I really don't wanna see another cocky LMH. I like him confused, angry, vengeful, but longing for love and to be whole. It makes his character very interesting to watch. This series made me forget Jandi and her association to LMH. It's but as if, BOF was just a bad dream in my LMH's world of acting. I still have to see faith, which I've read was not good. Maybe, they're wrong.

As for the plot.... it was not disappointing. It was almost solid. Some loopholes, but no drama is perfect. But City Hunter is no boring. Even my mother, watching glimpse of pieces of some scenes kind of zapped her, too. As always, I found the ending lacking. I would like to know if he was actually able to develop a bond with his real father, but the ending kind of just cut it out. With series like this, I want to see more of the filial relationship between the characters, how it evolves and how it ends with the ending. City Hunter didn't gave me that. But I guess.... that's what most of Kdrama gives me.

I just like the fact that City Hunter resurrected LMN in my Kdrama-Heart. Now I am very excited to watch, Heirs.


Image Source:
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5LRW7kmmvJI/UXQrg1UWK9I/AAAAAAAACzg/9ll7zzIoSi8/s1600/City-Hunter13.jpg

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

That Green-Eyed Jealousy





Put yourself in a situation where in you are in a relationship that you thought is very strong. Then your partner asked you if it is okay to hang-out with someone, considered a friend, but a confidant on his/her every fall-out with past relationships. To throw more tensions in, yes, they used to flirt (lightly). 

Is it normal to say 'No, it's not okay!'? It is okay to be jealous?

I advised my friend ...

Give your partner that space to feel that you do trust completely. Do not expect the other to understand your jealousy. Jealousy is an insecurity. If you feel like you doubt that strong tie between you, then yes, you will feel jealous. Most of us pretend we are not. What we can not accept is the fact that we are not all that. That despite that declaration of love and trust -- we are still scared of that little chance of our partner getting tempted, getting swayed. And so we claim that they do not understand us, that all they want is for us to make the sacrifices, to always show the efforts, and pledge that endless understanding. We felt so defensive that we hope and we expect them to return the favour and in doing so, that they do the sacrifices themselves, to show efforts... and to understand us, too.

I believe that...
A relationship will stay strong if you will not treat your relationship as an exchange gifting. Like in a way that your partner's love has to be as much as how you feel. Like in a way that when you sacrificed something or someone, they have to sacrifice the same. That if you tried to be understanding all this time, it is time for them to understand you. No, a strong relationship is not that. If you want the strength of your relationship to last -- you have to learn how to work around each other's weakness. You have to be each other's weight to balance the prettiness and ugliness of A relationship. You both has to fill the holes and the gaps when the going gets tough. Because no one can help both of you get through anything except the both of you.

If you can get past that ugly jealousy and throw insecurities away.... then your relationship will sail smoothly pass through any storms of life 


Photo Source: 

Monday, 1 April 2013

My Korean Drama La La Land

Not much, but here is but my personal recommendations for Korean Drama to watch.

Melo-Drama

Winter Sonata - if this is your first Kdrama to watch, do not start. This drama requires patience, depth and heck of love for the dramatics. It is a long.... long... series. But I personally say, it is worth it.. You have to know how to appreciate real drama to finish this.

Love Rain - This is the second and last melo-drama I watched so far. I watched it for 2 reasons.(1)Director, (2)Jang Keun Suk. It is not as deep as Winter Sonata. I was kind of disappointed. But it was a good venue for JKS to explore his acting skill. If you miss JKS... this is one of your pick. Just do not expect much of your Tae Kyung fun.

Romantic-Comedy

You Are Beautiful - If you are a BOF fan, then, do not watch this just for the sake of  comparison and the hoopla. I watched BOF with open mind.. and even finished the series. Also, if you watched Heartstring already, then I warn you that you will regret that you did not watch this first before HS. YAB is simply hilarious, strong and a hoot. If you want just real crack of the day, this is the drama for you. Check out dramafever.com, YAB is still the most watched. Hence, I need not say more.

Goong/Princess Hours - With Kdramas, I hate the 3-sided love, the 4-sided, or the blindsided love affairs. With Goong, I simply love the fact that she stood by him, no matter what. As much as I hated him for taking forever to let go of that past connection with his ex, still, he never let the crowned princess feel ignored. They both have such a strong grasp of respect for each other, I rarely see this on other dramas. It is that silent commitment for each other that made me adore this drama.

Lie To Me - I know that a lot of k-addict would refute me on this one, but I just love the cracks of laughter Yoo Eun Hye could evoked from me. I know the plot is weak like crazy, but her acting just sends me to the roof. With rom-com, I sometimes kind of throw the drama-line/story-line out of my brain-window and just let go of that appreciation for wit and fun. This drama is just crazy fun.

Coffee Prince - I love this and I hate this. Maybe because I watched this after I watched YAB that I hate the fact it took forever for the plot to reveal her identity. Kind of ruined that beautiful casting because I cannot get over the fact that he was clueless until almost the very end. Still, I would recommend this to anyone because it was good acting and just a heart tugging and laughter-jerker. If you watched Goong, you should NEVER miss this. :)

Romantic Drama

Secret Garden - After Winter Sonata, this is the other drama that made me cry like I almost died. Tears flowing, can not breath kind of crying. I can not describe this drama in any other way, except for it being just real romance and real drama.

Being-A-Fangirl Drama

Personal Taste - I avoided any drama with Lee Min Ho on it because Jandi from BOF just kind of ruined everything LMH in my heart. At first I felt like I am watching Jandi impersonating the female lead here on this drama. But my friend told me to give this drama a chance. So I did everything I can to finish the series. There are  2 things that made me finished up and made my while worth it... (1) Yoo Eun Hye guest appearance (2) Lee Min Hos dimples and his smile. The Jandi personified in Ka Ins role is totally forgotten, as long as I can see more of his smile. I cud even appreciate the bromance more than the romance itself. Again, I am an official ruins of Jandi.

To The Beautiful You - If you have not heard of Shinee and Kang Tae Joon and is interested with this series because of the Jap Version, Hana Kimi, do not worry, so am I. Tae Joon is like an eye-candy, that chocolate-melts-in-your-mouth kind of way. He is just totally cute and a beaut to watch. He has little acting skills... but I finished the series because I just want to see his adorable face. So if you ask me about the story line, forget it -- I have no idea what happened, but I do recommend you to watch Hana Kimi, Coffee Prince,  or You Are Beautiful.

Historical Drama

Hong Gil Dong - I love how the characters evolved on this drama. The play of an idealist vs pragmatist factor on this drama is both a struggle and a joy to watch. The relationship between the Prince and Gil Dong is debatable evolution but for me, it was that relationship that glued me up to the finish. Not one of JKS acting best, but memorable.


Thursday, 21 March 2013

A Royal Keepsake

Princesses. Khloe's passion. Khloe's Joy.
Here's her memorable keepsakes with meeting them.



With Belle (Beauty & The Beast)


 




With Cinderella


 



With Mulan





With Ariel (Little Mermaid)
 


 



With Aurora/Brian Rose (Sleeping Beauty)


  



With Snow White





 




With Jasmine (Aladdin)






With Tianna (Princess & The Frog)




Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Catalina Island: Discovering South California More

One week is not enough for Khloe and I to re-visit California, her birthplace. But not minding the quick tik-tak of time ... we squeezed in as much moment as we can to see family and friends. It was whirlwind.

But knowing that this might be the last possible visit that we can before Khloe will start school, and the next one might be always a quick week-end or long-weekends to go, I pleaded with hubby to do a trip to one of the places I've been wanting to check out - Catalina Island. So hubby took some days off, and long drive we went.

Catalina Island is in Avalon, California (Southern CA).  There's four different port to get a ferry that would transport visitors to/fro the island. But we picked the Long Island Downtown Landing. As this experience is all new to all of us, it was another hit & miss. I booked us a ferry ride for 2pm, so we left Mountain View at almost 4am. I always prefer to start the long drive very early in the morning, but I did let hubby took some good sleep before his long drive. He took Highway 5, by 8:30am we were almost in L.A. But since we have ample of time for our 2pm ferry schedule, we decided to bring my friend, Cher, to the Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles.



 I always love to bring family & friends here at this beautiful spot. Either the drive up or the hike in Mt. Lee is an experience to remember. Going to Universal Studio and take a photo of this tourist spot from there is totally different from experiencing this scenic spot itself. First, finding the exact location is finding the EXCAT location. Hubby has driven it four times already and still won't get it right if the GPS screws up. I am hoping by now... he'll remember the right left turn the next time. If you miss it, you'll end up in a dead end and far away from the sign. Secondly, the view from the top is amazing. I always get awesome photos of Khloe just amazed and enjoying the scene. Her smile not only adds to the beauty, but it complements that scenic feel of freedom and worldly peace. Lastly, feeling that Hollywood vibe is not down there on Hollywood Boulevard where the Hollywood stars are. It is where the sign is. Reaching the top is like reaching stardom. It's a fleeting experience.

But we can't stay up there forever. So we decided to head off to Long Beach and wait for the ferry.

We were so hungry despite having eaten breakfast along the way.. and snacks here and there. We thought we can eat while waiting, but the cafeteria doesn't allow outside food, and pizza or sandwiches is not enough to appease our hunger. So we decided to eat on the ferry as it is an hour ride. Instead, we took photos:





So off we ride the ferry at 2pm. We brought our own food and necessary picnic stuffs. The ferry has window seats with a table that is good enough for us to feel like we're just in a picnic inside.
We enjoyed our lunch because of this set-up and Khloe was able to kill the time with colouring and bothering all of us to color with her.

An hour is not much of a wait. We were so excited to reach Catalina Island, especially because this experience is all new to us.

As I grew up in Guimaras Island, Philippines all my young life... Catalina Island is like coming home, or visiting home. I wanna feel that island breeze... those islander moments once again. I was really looking forward on this adventure.

And not disappointing us... we were greeted with this beauty...




Okay, so it's not my little Guimaras Island. It is the Catalina Island of California. If Guimaras is as grand as Catalina.. Boracay is yesterday.

We can't explore the island....  because we got there a bit late of the day already.... we can't really do much. But here's just a few of what we got.



The view from the port/pier
Walking distance from one end to the other...
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Another view from the pier

Overlooking the Casino

A farther look from the port


A keepsake of the building structures


And to check out the island... and go to upper part.. we rented a gold cart (most recommended mode of transportation) . Most of the snaps here were taken en route the mapped directions.. which not much of a help coz we got lost like 3 times.


Rental Golf C


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View from the Top

The Casino View


                                          The Bay View
       








As always.... a night... is not enough. But I am hoping one day, we could go back again....

























And... say bye... for now....