Sunday, May 31, 2009

Adventure tripping

I have this friend who’s recently broken up with a long term partner of 8 years. They were planning on getting married early next year, but they recently decided to call it quits. She’s called me and asked me to organize an itinerary for her to Travel Alaska this June, as she wants to forget about her love misfortunes. I willingly obliged and have come up with a few activities and adventures for her to do whilst doing a bit of Alaska Travel. I told her now would be a good time to travel since the weather would be a bit warmer in Alaska.

Adventure is one of the necessary factors included in my friend’s trip. I found a tour group that would take her camping, traveling around Denali Park, canoeing and abseiling in various places as well. It’s good that I have used this particular tour operator before, so that I know that I can trust them in taking care of my lovesick friend. Now, I am not sure how effective adventure traveling is for broken hearts, but I am sure she will fall in love with the place.

We are expecting!

... Yes, it has been a while, and although I am only just about approaching my second month I just can't wait to share it to the world :) I am really praying for a safe first trimester for me and bub.

We found out I was expecting a day after Mother's Day :) Little did I know that I was already a mum on that special day! We were both so happy to learn that we would be parents sometime in the new year 2010! How exciting! Over the next few weeks and months I will be sharing updates about this exciting phase I am undergoing, and about my thoughts about the whole waiting game :)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Sooner than later

Sooner than later I think I would be wearing maternity clothes! So, I enjoy browsing through the websites that people have referred to me. What I like are the ones which don't look old fashioned or too eccentric (if there are any!). I am also leaning towards more dressy type of clothes that come in light or pastel colors. I wish I could find some outfit that I could wear to work, especially during winter season. I guess I still have to do more research to see what would suit me. I really need my sisters with me when choosing what would look nice in a baby bump fashion sort of way!

Taking photos

The past few days we've been going out during the day to take photos. We're lucky to have had really nice weather on saturday and sunday. We ended up going to the botanical gardens and the park a few blocks from our place. We also went around and did a bit of shopping again! Here's one picture I took. Not the best, but nonetheless I like it.

Almost checked in

As usual we were tempted to go and check into a hotel in the city yesterday, and almost book last minute accommodation online! We went around the city taking photos (it was such a lovely day!), and we even went on a picnic at the botanical gardens. We got so tired and lazy to head home. I guess it’s good we didn’t give in this time, since it would have been nice to maximize checking into a hotel maybe around mid-day and requesting late check out the next day. Plus, we did not have proper clothes with us, just the clothes we bought from shopping! Hubby and I agreed to just plan an actual weekend getaway sometime in June, during Queen’s birthday weekend. I’m not sure if we could already consider looking for last minute flights and last minute hotels since it still more than three weeks away. Surely there are a lot of good deals with cheap flights on Qantas or Virgin Blue.

I don’t know if we could really afford to go on an all out splurge this time, since we are planning to spend Christmas in Manila this year! I guess a few nights wouldn’t hurt that bad!

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Travel Rituals

(Note: Postcard photo from here)

Everyone's got their own travel ritual. Pre-departure. On the trip. Post-departure.
It can be a quirky pre-departure endless list of things to do, things to bring, must eat, places to see, people to write postcards to, people to call, things to take back home, etcetera. (I know I am guilty of this!) (Bigtime!).

Or, it can be upon entering your hotel room : take photos of each corner of the room, the view, the bathroom (Okay, I do this too coz I need it for my job!). And it could also be : setting the wake up call with Reception,or checking out the closets/bar fridge/drawers, etcetera.

Arriving back home, some people literally just plop onto the bed and take a very long sleep. Others I know unpack straight away and do one load of laundry. And still others, take a long warm shower.

We all have our quirkiness and travel rituals that comfort or satisfy us in some way. It's just simply the way we do. The way we are. Oh how I love talking about travel.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Chatty stuff

My family has always been opinionated about every single thing. This could be a good or a bad thing, depending on the circumstance. I remember having a lot of political chat around the dining table that could last for a few hours! Recently, I've heard that one of my sisters now is engaged in some sort of online discussion forum about politics. I guess it is such an interesting and colorful topic that a discussion can go on for years.

Thinking out loud.. By a Travel Agent

1. I know everything about all cities in the world, the minute you ask me about it.
- You ask : What is the easiest way to travel to Yekaterinburg? (Isn't that a name of a person??) (Umm, no. It is a city in Russia, and I've known that information since I was in First grade. Duh.)
- Oh and yes I know that at this very moment it is -5 degrees in Anchorage Alaska, because I was just there 5 seconds ago. Not.

2. We don't use Google. At all. Never. Because See #1, we know e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g!
- Do you have the telephone number for the airport in Belize? Oh yes, I call them all the time, everytime.

3. We know all Airline Promos, Hotel Promos, Stay Pay Deals, Etc... happening everywhere in the world for your trip to America.
- Oh yes, we do have a list of all these things emailed to us every single day from every single airline. Every day. Let me pull out my 100 page email from United Airlines this morning.

4. We are mind readers.
- I know exactly where you want to go, and you don't have to tell me your travel dates. I can tell from your voice that you want a one way ticket to .. Mars. Travelling tomorrow.

5. Oh yes, I will have your enquiry quote emailed to you within the hour.
- Yes, because you are my only client that has called me today and I am at your service 24/7. And I don't need to have lunch now because you called and are so special. Even if it's now 3PM and my shift started at 8AM. Oh, I forgot. I don't eat. And I don't have breaks.

6. I have a seat on that aircraft specially for you, because WAITLIST is not in my vocabulary.
- Let me send you my private airplane so you can travel to Rio de Janeiro for the Carnival, even if you called me just today, and the celebration starts tomorrow. And you thought about booking this trip at the very LAST minute. Literally.... Of course, I HAVE a seat for you on my Plane. Anytime you call. Because I own Qantas, you know.

7. You ask me about checked in baggage, and I know all airline policies by heart. This was part of our 100 item quiz in my subject Airline Baggage 101 years ago.
- And, so I know that you are not able to take your ladder onboard the aircraft, even if you say you need this to climb the roof of the house you are building in the province of Manila. (I think excess kilos will cost you more than what your ladder is worth in $) !!!

Above information based on true stories of my everyday life as a travel agent.

More of my 'happy thoughts' next time. I am revealing too much of my mean self. Oh dear oh dear. I never knew what sarcasm was until about 9 years ago when I joined the Travel Industry... Please don't think I'm rude, I am just a travel agent.

Site project

I am always on the look out for a good web hosting site that someone like me (techonologically challenged) would be comfortable using. I was browsing around and have come across a site that suits me well. Now, the only thing I need to find is time to do all these things. I would like to renovate my site and add a few things, improve on the layout and colour. It has been over a year since I've given proper attention to my website and I would probably need to dedicate more time here if I want to see this project through. Only time will tell!

Monday, May 04, 2009

Unfinished Business

Every so often I am sure we all ponder about those "Unfinished Businesses" that we have. Oftentimes we push the thought aside, knowing that the longer we think about them the more bitter we become. Really it is not always easy to let go of those what ifs in life. And the only solution to it is : Time. The longer we move away from the past the less important they become, and the more in touch we become with the reality that it isn't.

Unfinished Businesses have a purpose. And that is, to be part of the past that once was, but no longer is. I am sure if things turned out the way they were meant to be, then we don't have those what ifs. Sometimes things left unfinished are left at its best that way. Don't we all agree to that?

The magic of no endings allow us to relish the thoughts that will be kept in that snow globe of memories.

Booking my groups

One type of tourist accounts for those who travel out of motivation from an interest (or interests). I have made a booking for a group of people who traveled to visit archaeological sites in Greece, and another group that traveled to France and Britain to attend a war memorial event. Recently, I have had a group of people wanting to travel to the United States to visit a list of museums located in the Eastern part of the States. They were quite a handful as some of the travelers were wanting to try Gettysburg camping style, while the others wanted at least a four star rating hotel to stay at.

At the end of it all, they came into consensus that they would give rv camping Gettysburg a go. Majority of them haven’t tried this style of pa rv camping but were convinced that it would be an interesting experience. It was good that they have all agreed to this, otherwise I would end up having a divided group which would mean more work for me. I usually like dealing with group bookings especially if I communicate with only one coordinator.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Making my life easier

Recently I discovered online grocery shopping at Woolworth's HomeShop website. I usually like doing the grocery when I am not pressed for time, but sometimes it can be a painful chore. Especially when it's time to buy rice/detergent/etc (this can be gruesome taking it home-living without a car can do this). So now I have the option of doing my heavy shopping online, and have someone take it straight to our apartment! Another plus, is that I can just browse through weekly specials in one go. You know how while at the supermarket it can be overwhelming seeing all the stacks and shelves of goodies. One can easily miss out on things, or forget stuff to buy.

I love it that I can just click one button if I decide not to buy a certain item. I can even double the same item in one hit. Overall, I guess Homeshopshopping is just an alternative. Nothing beats the therapy of going through aisles and aisles of actual goodies.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Spa needs and wants

Since I am feeling cold and sore now, I am dreaming of getting a massage, facial or body treatment. I have recently suffered a few body aches and pains and so I am in dire need of pampering and beauty therapy. I would settle for a one day treatment for now. Ideally I would head to one or two Spa Hotels for a series of de-stressing and some body loving retreat. At the moment, this won’t be possible since I am due to start my second subject this coming week, and surely I will be busy with assessments and tasks. I hope I won’t be sickly this term as I am so over being sick or just the overall feeling of being not well. Maybe it is a good idea to get my spa this weekend just before I start studying again!

Autumn Chill

We are still a month away from Winter and it is too cold!! I literally have three layers of clothing on me + my super thick blanket, but I am still cold! Why??!! I know in other parts of the world, eg, Manila they are experiencing some heat wave (obviously due to summer). I am now really wanting to go some place warm, tropical, hot, anywhere but here!!

At this time of the year I am contemplating about moving to Queensland where it is most of the time tolerable weather.. Hubby is not considering this anymore, since he is pretty happy with our current city. I reckon we could migrate north for six months during winter!!

Is there some sort of 'heat' dance to do? I know there is the 'sun' dance to try to attract sunshine. Oh well, I should just another layer of clothing.

Flowers for Her

When I was younger I used to think very differently to my mom. We used to disagree about so many things, whether it was a petty issue or something trivial. She used to impose her opinions on me, and offer unsolicited advice. As I grew older things did not change. She was still very opinionated and bossy. When I moved here to live on my own, I remember missing her nagging and hearing her opinions. It took me a while to get used to living without her being always there with something to say about everything. She had the answers to everything and for this I admired her. She is one of the most intelligent women I know, and I love her so much.

I remember when I was in college I used to go bonding with her at the mall. We would spend countless times shopping and going for a snack afterwards. We would chat about everything. There were also a lot of times in college when she would pick up me and my friends from school and treat us for lunch at the country club. She instantly became the star mom that everyone loved and thought was cool. I was so proud of her.

Now that mother's day is coming up, I am sending her a lovely bouquet of flowers care of my siblings in Manila. As much as I wish I could be there to spend it with her, I can’t. Maybe next year she can spend it here and visit me!

Cebu Central

I’ve booked my parents for their anniversary to travel to Cebu and Bohol. There were great deals on Cebu Pacific and so I immediately grabbed them seats to travel for one week! Now, I am looking for a place for them to stay at in Cebu and Bohol. It’s not like it’s their first time to travel to these cities, so I am trying to check out places that would be nice for them and at the same time cost effective (they don’t want to spend too much). Since I love checking out hotels and resorts, and doing a lot of research, I am quite excited to do this for them. Besides, I travel through my family’s and friends’ eyes.

One of the options I saw, which was at the lower end of the options list, is Casa Escano. I’ve read that this is a quaint Bed and Breakfast place in Cebu. This was one place that had no frills, but was clean and comfortable. It is centrally located (not sure if this is a good being that it is in the city). Reviews on Tripadvisor mainly say positive things about Casa Escano. I suppose if my parents choose this they would feel at home.

Another option if they decide to be located in Central Cebu, is to stay at Crown Regency. My sister can get free nights here so it can be quite a good deal, really. And, I think there are quite a few choices of locations for this hotel. Okay, I'll research the beach resorts now.

(Photos from Casa Escano Website)

Those small things

When hubby and I weren't living together yet his old apartment had a bedbug problem, and some other insect problem. He even had to call an exterminator to get rid of this infestation. I remember the guy was very accommodating in answering our queries. I wish we found a site earlier that discussed issues such as this. It might have helped us understand the problem better. I don't think it was something he could have avoided since the apartment was pretty old. Hubby only stayed about a month at that place! Good our apartment now doesn't have any of these insect problems!

The big 4-0

Turning 40 soon has had me thinking about a few things lately. One, major one is whether to have another baby. Hmm. I guess this is partly n...