Ciao, Italia! Merci, Paris!

Reminiscing our trip to Italy and France May 2011…. We planned this trip to celebrate our daughter’s first birthday. She was our first born and we want it to be special. Since my husband’s relatives lives there. They kept on inviting us to come over and visit them since some of them had been here in the USA to visit us. We were like, sure! we have funds since we got our tax refund… did I say it loud? wink*

As being a Filipino citizen still. We have to get a visa to Italy before anything else. It was not hard we just followed all the instructions in their website and we got it on time.  Our relatives there already have itineraries for our 9 day trip. 6 of his uncles live there.

Okay now, this will be our first time traveling with a 1 year old. We made sure we had everything to keep our little girl comfortable. I booked her ticket as baby on lap so we only paid taxes for her ticket. I jot down all the things needed for this trip, all baby stuff and gifts for our relatives since we will be staying with them. And it is customary also to give them some gifts.

The day came. We were all packed up, I had to give Adi milk during take off and landing. So for all the parents out there who will be traveling with a baby. This work out since they will be swallowing their ears will not hurt. No crying babies on board, make sure bring a lot of different small toys to entertain. Our daughter was very charming, She was so quiet and just sleeping most of the flight time. All the other passengers specially the elderly enjoyed playing peek a boo with her.

We landed in CDG, France for our layover. Oh man! it was a huge airport and they did not have train unlike most of the airports I have been. We had to rush to get to the bus stop to get to the next plane ride to Bolognia, Italy. By the way, we are going to Modena, Italy. That’s were our relatives live.

To summarize the whole trip.

Saturday: the day we arrived at Italy, Uncle Amante and Auntie Phening welcomed us at the airport. they took us home to get to meet the other cousins, uncles and aunties. Then they toured us around Maranello were they have the factory for the Ferrari. They bout us a ticket as for my husband to be able to drive a Ferrari. In the streets of Italy, Man! OH! that was one heck of a ride!

with John, My husband's cousin. He paid for the ride. It was 90 euro to drive a ferrari.
with John, My husband’s cousin. He paid for the ride. It was 90 euro to drive a ferrari.
joy ride.
joy ride.

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checked out Ferrari Museum with Sincere, John's big sister.
checked out Ferrari Museum with Sincere, John’s big sister.

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we get to visit the Ferrari museum where they have the different models and different engines for the Ferrari’s. Dinner time was bonding time with the clan.

Day 2:

Trip to Rome: It was Uncle Amante and Aunti Phening who drove us there. That was a 5 hour drive to get there and another 5 to go home. We just slept the whole time. It was a Sunday Morning, the best time to visit the Vatican too. Pope Benedict was the one preaching. We did not get inside the church because there were a lot of people lined up. That was the thing when traveling with babies. We have the stroller so it was a hassle if we will get inside the chrch or go up the church tower and also to get to Fontana de trevi. Pretty much, Rome was so magnificent! get to see the Colosseo. let’s talk about some ancient history. wink*

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with the swiss guards
with the swiss guards

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Saint Peter's square
Saint Peter’s square
eating some gelatto
eating some gelatto

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with uncle Amante and Auntie Phening
with uncle Amante and Auntie Phening

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with the Romans.
with the Romans.

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authentic Italian Pizza. Nom! Nom!
authentic Italian Pizza. Nom! Nom!

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Colosseum
Colosseum

to be continued tomorrow guys… I am so sleepy now. It is allergy season and I just took an allergy medicine. It is also late.

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I will call this place “The City that never sleeps of Asia.”

If you have been reading my blogs, then you know that this is my 3rd country that I visited. My husband has never been to any other country. So I decided to plan this trip for his birthday. I found another cheap deals online for everything and grab the opportunity.

At the airport, you can get a welcome booklet on how to get around HongKong. I did not have to pay for any city tour, we just did it by ourselves and just followed the map. It was so easy. This city is very high technology for me, their train system is very organized even if it looks so complicated. The bus was like in Malaysia, they are organized too. We get to enjoy a lot of Chinese food here. They really taste good. We enjoyed eating at Cafe de coral. In short , we really enjoyed our stay here.

First time traveling overseas together for his birthday.
First time traveling overseas together for his birthday.
Our bus to our Hostel.
Our bus to our Hostel.
Our Hostel.
Our Hostel.

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Ocean Park
Ocean Park

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with Bruce Lee
with Bruce Lee

If any of you is planning to go here. Do not make our mistake not going to the Victoria peak and take the tram. Then you’ll get to see the whole Hongkong top view.

Oh well, another year have past after this trip. We are just awaiting for our departure date for our flight going to the USA. We are migrating there for work. So we decided, since we Liked our first visit to this wonderful country. Why not asked our family to come with us. And viola! as soon as I checked online another cheap deal I found and booked!

We came back May 2008 with my husband whole family, This time we already know where to go, since we only have 4 days to stay here, I told them, Why not go to Macau and it is just one ferry boat ride too. I told them that Macau is like Las Vegas of Asia. They have all the nice hotel and Casinos there. So same thing we went around the city of Hongkong, did some shopping at the night market, Ate authentic Chinese food and went to Macau jsut to visit the Ruins of Saint Paul and the famous Largo De Senado.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIMG_0630IMG_0653

Ferry ride to Macau.
Ferry ride to Macau.

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Macau Tower, they offer bungee jumping here. of course I did not tried that.
Macau Tower, they offer bungee jumping here. of course I did not tried that.

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Just like the sea world they also have their own Shamu.
Just like the sea world they also have their own Shamu.

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thsi time we stayed in a 3 star hotel.
thsi time we stayed in a 3 star hotel.

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tired.
tired.

Just want to let you all know that Hongkong was once a British colony and Macau was Portuguese Colony. I should say, twice is a charm for Hongkong. If given a chance I fly again there. So add this place to your bucket list in Asia, this is a tourist friendly place.

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Why Malaysia?

Malaysia is the second country I visited. It was in 2006 still, few months after my trip to Guam. but why? My friend Michelle and I were thinking of going somewhere since two of our co workers went to Singapore. First of, we want to travel to a country where we will not need to get a visa, plus we were on a budget. We saw this ad on the newspaper about Air Asia. It was one of the low cost airline in southeast Asia, We took that opportunity to book our flight. We talked about going to see the Petronas tower. They were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 and remain the tallest twin towers in the world as per wikipedia. They also have Genting highland where they have casinos and them park. The problem was we don’t know anybody there unlike our co workers who went to Singapore, they have a friend there and viola they had free accommodation. So went online and research on where to stay cheap. I came across these hostel sites… www.Hostelbookers.com. I saw a room that was worth 459 pesos I forgot how many ringgit was that but if you’ll convert it to dollar then it was only $8 a night. OMG!!! what a great deal. so we booked it!

Here comes the day! We were on our way there. Michelle and I was so excited because it will be just be the girls trip. I tell you, I you will be traveling just by yourself and and if you’re all girls. stay alert! Let me tell you about what happened next. So at the airport in Clark, Pampanga. All the passengers were lined up to get our boarding passes. Behind us was a group of Golfer men about 5 of them with an age range of 50 and up. One from the group started asking us where will we go in Malaysia, we said In Kuala Lumpur. He said “is it your first time going there?” we said “yes”. Then he started talking about different places that we can go to, he even told us where he work and they only stayed in the Philippines to play golf with their business partners. Michelle and I were like okay he is friendly.

Boarding pass ready! Since this airline is a budget one. We didn’t have a seat number. You get to seat where you want to but you should be fast enough to be able to pick a good seat. So we all sat in the plane… ready, set… take off. when the seat belt sign was turned off. The Malaysian guy went to seat beside us since it was vacant and started talking again about KL (Kuala Lumpur), he even gave us his calling card in case we need help to get around the city. Still appears to be a nice guy. Then before he went back to his seat he gave us 50 ringgit saying keep it as our shopping money. lol! so generous of him even if it was only $13 if you will convert it. Then his other friend came to talk to us. Maybe this one thought we were easy girls. He started talking about his business and all that stuff and we were like in our minds… “okay now, D.O.M. (dirty old man) stop this. He was scary because he started asking us how are we gonna get to KL. We told him by bus. He was insisting to give us a ride to KL saying he has a driver waiting at the airport to pick him up. Michelle and I were becoming uncomfortable, If I had watched Taken the movie prior to this I probably call for the air marshall’s help. Then we kept on telling him we are good. we want to explore the city by ourselves. He was still insisting but got tired afterwards and went back to his seat. Michelle and I started thinking on how we can escape this man. What is he will kidnap us when we land in KL.

We were thinking and thinking and we happened to look at the other seat. We saw 2 older fellow Filipina. I spoke to them and asked them to pretend that we know each other and that we will all go together at the baggage claim. The plan went well. We landed at KLCC airport and then  we met Ms. Rose Yabes and ate. They help us getting a bus to KL, we rode the same bus and chit chatted got to know they traveled all over the world already and we went separate ways. We just exchanged numbers so we can still keep in touch when we get to the Philippines. Here are some pictures for you….

with Ms. Rose Yabes... we still keep in touch on facebook. and ate.
with Ms. Rose Yabes… we still keep in touch on facebook. and ate.
Toll road, expressway to KL.
Toll road, expressway to KL.
Asian pose at the Chinatown.
Asian pose at the Chinatown.
At the hostel. These is were we should put our shoes. Those were the shoes of the other backpackers from different parts of the world.
At the hostel. These is were we should put our shoes. Those were the shoes of the other backpackers from different parts of the world.
This is their welcome board.
This is their welcome board.
It was so foggy, We just found out that there was a forest fire in Indonesia. one of their neighboring country.
It was so foggy, We just found out that there was a forest fire in Indonesia. one of their neighboring country.
Map of Genting highland
Map of Genting highland

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inside Genting Highland. ala Venetian Hotel style.
inside Genting Highland. ala Venetian Hotel style.
cable car ride.
cable car ride.
inside the cable car.
inside the cable car.
Standing behind us was one of the owners of Equator hostel. I forgot the name of the caucasian lady from Germany.
Standing behind us was one of the owners of Equator hostel. I forgot the name of the caucasian lady from Germany.

In short, we had a blast. Got to know that when pointing at something here it is rude to use your pointing finger, you should use your thumb to point at objects. They have a specialty dish called nasi lemak which was good except for it was sooooo spicy for me. I have a very low tolerance for spice. I get to learn that majority of their people are Muslims, We came there during their Ramadan, They have a very organize transport system which was subsidize by their government. It was a great experience. I learned a lot. and also, Trust your instincts.

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How did I become interested in traveling…

Did I ever thought of visiting different countries? No, It all started with my dad. Ever since I was 6 he kept on saying. Take up nursing when you get to college so you can go to the USA to work as a nurse since that profession is sooo in demand there and I heard that the salary is good too. since then I started wondering about that country and of course by watching Hollywood movies. Every time I think about USA gives me the vision of the Statue of Liberty in New York or Hollywood in California. It must be really nice there.

Years went by and I’m already in my 4th year in High school or 12 grade here in the U.S. I have to decide which course to take up in college. I already know I wanted…..I want to be a doctor. And we had this career orientation in school some of our alumni’s talked about different professions they took and stating how they became successful. Being a physical therapist caught my attention. From the way that Physical therapist talked about her profession was like…. Hmm… I think this will be good. She even said that it will be a good pre-medicine course because they tackle a lot of anatomy and physiology. So there we go I became a Physical therapy student, worked hard and graduated. I wasn’t able to pursue being a doctor because our family’s business went bankrupt. I almost ended up not graduating, thanks to my friends Connie which is a doctor now and Aise which is also a PT here in the US. Without their help I won’t be able to pay my tuition on time. We were able to repay them.

Of course, as a physical therapist in my country, we were all aspiring to come to work here in the USA. I said to myself, that will be my gateway for travels. in 2003 I had to work as a therapist in a slimming center where I get to know and talked to a lot of rich people who talked about their travel experiences and did part time as a home health PT. That even gave me more insights about traveling. I got really excited when my boyfriend, now my husband got me a birthday gift. A trip to the beautiful island of Boracay in the Philippines.

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We had to fly to get there. Oh, it was a lovely experience, what is even better is he proposed to me there and of course I said yes. We’ve been dating since 2000 just so you all know. He was the one opened my eyes in traveling places and see its beauty. I got to ride the plane for the first time.

Then my application to the US pushed through that I had to take the NPTE (US board exam for PT) so I can practice in the US. the company that was sponsoring me wanted me to take the test in Guam which is a US territory.Because it has to be taken only in the mainland USA or its territories. then the rest goes on and on and I was able to travel places.

I work here now in the USA as a PT and loving it. I got here with my husband in 2008, We got married in 2006 by the way and we now have 2 beautiful kids Adrianne turning 5 next month and Aidan 20 months.

Guam, USA
Guam, USA
I and Mavic Chang.
I and Mavic Chang.

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my fellow examinees.
my fellow examinees.
first time staying in a hotel in a different Country by myself.
first time staying in a hotel in a different Country by myself.
Church were I prayed for me to pass the exam.
Church were I prayed for me to pass the exam.
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first time running…

Let me share to all that I joined this Glowrun 5k this coming April 25, 2015 in DC at the RFK stadium. I’ve been really wanting to sign up for those type of events since I am into fitness and health. And I also know it is gonna be fun even though I’ll be sore and tired after. Well, it’ll be all worth it. So last week my co worker and I decided that we should practice first  just so to build endurance. So yesterday was the day.

We parked at Belle haven park in Alexandria, VA. From there up to the overpass on the Maryland side and back is a total of 5 miles.

So then we started, I felt like… oh well I haven’t done any running. I don’t think that I ‘ll survive this. I only do brisk walking when go to this trail with my daughter and husband. So my co worker and I started running and whew! We did a mile without resting. I didn’t know I will last that long. There goes the saying “you’ll never know unless you try.” That felt good. I did it! We did like 2.5 mile walk and 2.5 mile run. And I just want all of you to know the view here is so nice. You get to see the potomac river, the national harbor, DC monument and DC capitol.

So for any of you feeling they can’t do things. Try it first and see. we all have strengths inside us that we just don’t know.

So IMG_20150416_19344420150416_170906

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