Dreaming of Paris
I am trying to post a blog with a picture.
I am trying to post a blog with a picture.
I have been following Chris' Parisian trip and it sure keeps me dreaming of my next trip / return to Paris (soon, I hope). In addition to Chris' blog, I also check in the Destination Paris website on a regular basis. I must be some sort of a glutton for punishment!
The picture makes my heart ache for Paris. I stole this pic from Destination Paris.
Three of my colleagues called me up last minute and asked if I wanted to go wine tasting in the Livermore Valley. I have done these ages ago when the wineries were few and novel to the area. Some 15 years later, many wineries have cropped up and some produce wines tasting real good to my amateurish taste.
Here's our office staff, Sylvia and Georgia.
We started at Deer Ridge Vineyards. Tried and enjoyed some Viognier and various reds. The owner of the winery took us around his property which gave the tour a personal touch. He shared his plans with us on what he was going to do to make the place an event center. He even has a two-berdoom + place on the property that can be used by clients who want to stay close by during an event. This could make a nice little get-away too at $275 per night.
The group proceeded to Charles R Vineyards, a small family-owned and operated winery tucked away on some dirt road. Fun thing about these small places is that you get to meet the wine makers and enjoy their stories. The hometown atmosphere was so prevalent that we got to overhear soon-to-be exes discuss their divorce proceedings development. :)
Kathy (Teachick) had this idea of a GTG in SF while she was here for Yoga teachers' training. What a great idea! She even had this stronger vision of some decadent Ghiradelli ice cream sundaes along with this GTG... Yummm. Here is the mastermind of this great event wearing one of her beautiful SF designer indulgences ...
The evening became a "Progressive GTG" and I loved it. Marcia, David, and Kathy started out with some pre-GTG wine at the Wine Merchant at the Ferry building as I was getting off BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) to meet my daughter, Tracey. We walked over from the Embarcadero BART station to the Fog City Diner. I am surprised that we did not see each other (Marcia, et al) walking along the Embarcadero. Maybe because we did cut across some parks... The ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) in me wanted to watch some birds at one of the parks but my daughter reminded me that we needed to move along to get to the restaurant at the appointed time...
So we got to Fog City Diner right on time. I noticed Marcia, David, and Kathy right behind us. Sharon was not far behind. The second phase (for M, D, and K) of the GTG began.
this is a very out of date post. I can't seem to get myself together after a few days in Hawaii... Is this a carry over of island paralysis???
I crashed (well, almost) a GTG that Susan (Girasoli) and Candi were planning. I sort of invited myself as I wanted to meet them both. They welcomed me with warm alohas anyway.
Susan made reservations at an Egyptian / Mediterranian restaurant near Waikiki. Great choice! Food was good and there was entertainment to add to the ambiance.
(food blog next post)
There was entertainment. The co-owner of the place provided entertainment and offered to take our pictures. Is that good service or what? ")
Belly dancing with sword balanced on her head. She invited Candi's husband to dance with her but he declined. :)
A very nice evening, meeting new friends, and saying goodbye to Candi who left for Asia early the next morning.
Working in a school, I thought this should not be too difficult for me. Perhaps a picture of the library and the terrific librarian whose job is going to be cut next year due to the budget crisis! (ARRGG)....
Or these ... These are my recent acquisition. Why two books? I usually give away books that I love so others may enjoy them too... or even ones I do not strong feelings for. :)
But this one, I really enjoyed and plan to take my copy with me on my next visit to Paris so I can find some of the things David wrote about.... like the sinfully thick chocolate at that dive on the 5th! So I thought, if I am to share, I better order some other copy to give forward.
As the say in the kids' show Reading Rainbow, "Get a copy for yourself, read it, you'll enjoy it!"
No, not food in Egypt, rather ... Pyramids Restaurant in Honolulu.
I just got done reading David Lebovitz' link on photographing food - hmm - annoyance to some... LOL
Instead of shying away from it, I decided (shamelessly) to post some of the photos I took when we had the mini GTG in Honolulu...
We started with these appetizers - hummus and falafel.... great with the flat bread.
My dinner was rotisserie chicken. The rice was presented in pyramid fashion.... cute
At least, I only took pictures of my dinner. Hopefully the annoyance was at a minimum... I did not ask my dinner companions to hold off on eating before I could take pictures of their dinner choices... LOL
Food was great. Susan made a good choice on the restaurant selection. The place was packed, so it maybe a local favorite too.... Thank you, Susan.
Red is my favorite color.... and I was seeing them all over Waikiki...
Red Grass Skirts... The pregnant hula dancer looked beautiful!
Red Furla -
Red Hats -
Red Hat Ladies Society from Hilo. They asked me to take their picture... so I asked if I could take theirs - after the sneaky one above... :)
I saw some couples, people who tried to be "matchy-matchy" in Waikiki. It was later that I thought, 'this would make a great blog topic' :) .... much to the horror of my children as I was trying to be discreet when taking pictures of those in matching gear!
What is it with Aloha shirts that make people want to dress alike? Seriously!
I think the matchy-matchy looked good on children though ....
Why do people go matchy matchy in Hawaii? They really do not do it when they go other places. Tourists do not wear matching striped blue shirts in Paris, do they? Not matching Big Ben T shirts in London. Or even matching rebosos in Mexico... but they sure feel compelled to do so in Hawaii. :) I wonder...
Oh wait, maybe except for this group. LOL
Waikiki's French Touch -
Taking a week off from summer school, and do nothing was a perfect self-prescription for an overworked kindergarten teacher. Marriott villas proved to be the perfect place for it! Check out my home away from home this week.
Granting that I could not get away from the Michael Jackson craziness / media mania, I decided that I could put up with anything when I am at a pretend state of retirement. :)
Here I am at this hot place - perfect for sun and heat loving me!
It looks like a true place in the desert... but the desert scenery stops there, I think.
Is this a cool sign or what? :) ..> says it all for me.
I actually had forgotten about Saturday PhotoHunt because I have not been receiving the emails about the Saturday themes. It was not until I checked out Jerry's and Palma's blogs that I found out what today's theme was. Thank You, Jerry and Palma!
Early this month, I went to Palm Desert for a week and saw many sights there that were rock-oriented. The Marriott Resort had rock themed landscaping all over... here is a sample of resort rocks. (I actually took this because I was curious about the plant).
From Palm Desert, I went to visit a friend in Alpine, California. Mapquest took me through deserted desert roads... where I was the only human (it seemed that way) for miles and miles... So I would stop in the middle of the highway and take pictures... Not recommended! Some examples of photos -
This must be why they put the sign up. :)
Arriving in Alpine, I stayed with a former colleague who relocated there. Here is part of her 3-acre backyard. There are some rocks there too.
She seems to live in a resort herself... all in all a nice visit to the desert!
After a rather busy Saturday of three baptisms and a house blessing (will blog later about these), Tracey and I are on our way to Cebu, Philippines. So we start at SFO, leaving the Fremont home Saturday, August 1. We are taking Cathay Pacific Airlines. Our itinerary today is SFO to Hongkong to Cebu City, Philippines. We have a long scheduled layover in HongKong. Mike and Jessie took us to the San Francisco Airport arriving around 9:30 PM.
Our travel agent told us to be at the airport at 10:00 PM for a 12:00 AM flight via Cathay Pacific. We promptly checked in and when Tracey checked the boarding passes, she told me that our flight is leaving 1:20 AM. Bright side of the situation – our layover in HongKong will be shorter. Maybe. Hoping.
Tried to connect to the internet at SFO, but no free wifi; I was not willing to pay the $7.99 daily rate when I only have a two hour wait. What happened to Gavin Newsom’s free wifi campaign?
Finally, after much people watching, we board for our flight to Hongkong. We watch first class and business passengers board before the lowly and common passengers, like us, were asked to queue for boarding. In my next life, I am going to be rich and only fly first class, said she who does not have much leg room in Seat 38 B, next to her daughter on 38C. Cathay Pacific handed out a packet that contained socks, toothbrush, and toothpaste tube to economy passengers. Nice.
August 3, 2009 - Ok, I am really just at the airport for now.... HongKong airport.
Island 1 – Hongkong. We arrive at the Hongkong International Airport. We have a 9 hour layover. Yes, 9 hours! There is only a single flight direct to Cebu City from Hongkong and that is not leaving until 4 PM and it is only 7AM now. So Tracey and I wait. We checked with Cathay Pacific to find out about our flight. We have no gate assignment. Too early per the person at the check in counter. We wait.
We shop – window shop. I can’t afford to do any other kind of shopping. If I were a shopping addict, I would think I am at a buyer’s Disneyland. This can easily be one’s “Happiest Shopping Place on Earth”. Seriously, you can go to Chanel, Burberry, Tiffany, and pick yourself up a Prada all during a layover! I window shopped as I have to save my pennies for the Philippines. Besides, I am too beat from the 12 hour flight, judging from this photo.
Actually Tracey and I spent our money elsewhere. We decided to get a lunch at an airport restaurant called Wildfire. Tracey called my attention to the table setting. They had silverware but with a plastic knife place setting. They must worry about passengers taking butter knives on board and be a threat to society. Ok, works for us.
The food was awesome. We ordered a Duck Confit salad and a sampler appetizer. Everything was really good… well except for the smoked salmon which resembled raw to my simplistic taste. I passed on that. I loved the stacked grilled tomato and eggplant topped with mozzarella, basil, and tomato. I want to recreate this at home.
I wanted to blog regularly while on vacation but (vacation) fun gets in the way sometimes. :) So I am going to try to post some late entries. This one is 14 days overdue!
August 4, 2009 – The island of Cebu.
A few cousins were there to meet us. Good thing because I would not want to brave the streets of Cebu City and their daredevils called cab drives. We checked in at the local Marriott.
Upon arrival we went to dinner at a restaurant that featured Filipino food - Café Laguna. After a long flight it was great to see family and have my feet planted on Tierra firma and enjoy authentic Filipino food.
First full day in the island of Cebu… Visiting my 88 year-old Mom was the main agenda for this trip. Tracey and I went to see her on the first day. It is wonderful to see her healthy and looking happy. She seemed happy to see us too. She even asked about her other grandchildren, Shawn and Mike. She recognized Tracey. She is looking wonderful and she seems very content here.
Since I have been on an Island Hopping vacation, I thought I'd post some sea ripples we (Daughter and I) have seen on this get-away. My daughter took the picture of my cousin and I.
In my hometown, Samboan, Cebu, Philippines.... sunset on our first day there ....
Crossing the strong ripply sea from Kowloon to HongKong.
For such a small body of water, I wondered why the sea was pretty ripply. Larger seas in the Philippines were pretty smooth by comparison....
August 5, 2009.
We are off to my hometown, Samboan, today. My Mom and her two caretakers are coming along. A van is picking us up from Marriott at 1:00 PM. The photo below is shown with my cousin, Fe - who lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada and my god daughter, Bem (standing next to my daughter, Tracey).
I started the day by blogging, but I am WAY behind when it comes to posting the entries!!! And it is going to get worse... blogging wise that is. For the next five days, I am not sure what or if there is even any type of internet connection at this town destination. I am sure, however, that my daughter and I will have our fill of swimming, eating, and sunning. There will be lots of sunsets too... I will be parked near some beach. YEAH!
Let me back track. I arrived to some awesome welcome. There are four relatives / families who want to host our stay here. My cousins are asking that we stay with them… Tracey said we each can have our own individual hosts! We just might stay at one different place each night so we do not hurt anyone’s feelings. Could this be something like too much of a good thing?
There are some wonderful views everywhere,,, so whereever we are, it will be great.
We decided to stay at my cousin, Fe’s home. My Mom and her two caretakers are staying with a cousin next door. Talk about some wonderful bed and breakfasts! How did I become so LUCKY!
These and the wonderful sight to wake up to. Retirement calls.
Today we swam, ate, caught up on the town gossip… well not all… as I find out more each day what, who, when, why, and where.
And the sunsets are beatiful too!
Tracey waiting for the sun to set on our first day in Samboan.
Fe and I joined her at the beach-
So we stayed and watched the sun disappear into the horizon. Irresistible.
Perhaps I should not wait three or four years between visits.
August 6, 2009
My daughter, Tracey, barely remember the town I was born and grew up in. Her last visit (prior to this one) was some 15 years ago. Time to reacquaint...
Samboan is about 150 kilometers from Cebu City. With road conditions, it takes one 3.5 hours to get from the city to Samboan... through some really funky towns.... and delightful sights. :)
I borrowed the two pics from Tracey... some creatures compete with pedestrians trying to cross a road well traveled. :)
Life is simple in Samboan... uncomplicated. No one hurries... My mother says that. That is one of the reasons why she abandoned California residency.
We started many a day in the sea ... swimming and / or snorkeling. Most mornings some little kids are up and early waiting for Tracey to get into the sea . They frolic with her. Happy children with not a care in the world.
The one in the middle, Kikay, really enjoyed visiting Tracey; made gifts for her and collected shells to present to her new friend, Tracey.
Reese and her sister Angel loved swimming early in the day as well.
PhotoHunt - Electric
When I saw this theme for today's photohunt, I immediately thought of the street outside my hotel in Kowloon from my recent visit to Hong Kong. To say that the show out on the street is electric, is an understatement. I wonder if they have power failures there. They just use so much electricity!!!
On a more subdued tone, here is a photo of an outdoor evening mass in my hometown, Samboan. Not too long ago, some 30 years, the town did not have all day electricity and now there is... WOW. :) This would not have happened 30 years ago. I was very pleased to see and attend this mass. And I was glad to be able to steal a moment or two during mass to take photos. :)
I follow David Lebovitz's blog... read his website deligently ... own his cookbooks... not that I really cook... but did you know that cookbooks are good reads?
So David is in town. I decided I have to see / hear him. His first appearance (that I know of) was in Emeryville. I ordered tickets. I talked my daughter, Tracey, into going to one of his appearances. Since Tracey now lives in Emeryville - the venue, Charles Chocolates, was in her hood, I thought it would be a great idea if she went to meet David too. :)
So I went to Tracey's apartment on Wednesday night, hurried her along as I did not want to be late for David's apparition. :) David's talk was scheduled from 6-8PM. So we get to Charles Chocolates around 6:15 PM... 15 minutes late ... to find the parking lot to ourselves. We went to the front of the building to check things out... What? Did they shut the door for late arrivals? Now, I am going to be p&@$ed.... Afterall, I drove up the busy freeway and fought rush hour traffic to get here!
So I shook the door which turned out to be locked... chained ... locked... Shook it again... Shhh, do not tell anyone what happened after...
Anyway, I was a day early...DARN! So we went to dinner... will blog about that restaurant one day...
I was determined to see him, so I went back the next day - yesterday, Thursday. Success!
Upon arriving at Charles Chocolates on the RIGHT DAY, I spotted David eating Charles' SMORES...a $5+ block of graham cracker, chocolate bar and marshmallow square. David says one can make a dinner of it!
David talking about his "The Sweet Life in Paris"...So casual and cool.
After his talk, he signed books... including my ... Sweet Life.. and Perfect Scoop.
This is part of the crowd lined up to meet the man.
Would he think I am a stalker if I go see him in San Francisco on Monday? hmmm. I need a copy of The Sweet Life in Paris for Tracey... who incidentally want to temporarily relocate to Paris...
This is one fun theme. I had lots of photos to choose from. Most of the photos are from my summer trip to Asia... so there are some literal mishaps included. :)
I am glad for Bilingual signs... I wish I were more than tri-lingual... I would have been lost if it were not for the considerate bilingual translations.
On a wall of a construction site in Singapore. I am sure the sign was intentional... sure caught my attention.
A hotel perk in Hong Kong.
"Do not weap slippers in the bathroom to prevent slidng"
A sign in the Philippines... At first my "English-speaking" brain read this and questioned "What???" Then I realized as I reverted to my "Tagalog-speaking" brain that "IWAS" meant - prevent... Duh! (on me)
The following were taken to satisfy the self-centered me... LOL ... Somewhere in the desert between Palm Desert and San Diego.
Cebu, Philippines... I wish I spent sometime here... :)
I kept thinking that I need to continue writing my blog about my visit to the Philippines, Singapore, and Hong Kong but life and work get in the way --- Arrrggg.. so here is another attempt- With the recent typhoons that hit the Philippines, school children there have been in my mind lately.
One of the highlights of the trip to Asia, was a visit to the elementary school that Mattos School sent school supplies and literature books as part of our Service Learning project. The children at Mattos learned a little bit about the Philippines as the project implies.
August 7 - Visit to Samboan Central School, the elementary school here which Mattos Elementary adopted for our service learning project a couple of years back.
When I arrived in Cebu, the Philippines was mourning the death of Corazon Aguino, celebrating her life, and everyone was off work and schools were closed to comemorate the event. (Is that a right term to use?)
So I waited until Friday, August 7th to deliver three boxes of school supplies, books, etc. that I had mailed in June... donations to Samboan Central School. In June, Larry Olson and Paula Tressell, Mattos School first grade teachers donated numerous literature books that they no longer use. I sent the boxes via LBC freight hoping they will arrive before my arrival for my Philippine visit and hoping that I'd be able to personally deliver them to the school we adopted some years back.
Back when we started this service learning project, Mattos students voted that we send school supplies to Samboan Central School as our service learning project. The school is in dire need of supplies, or any help anyone can extend.
Friday morning, I hired someone to deliver the heavy boxes to the school. The children and teachers were excited to see the boxes or pencils, papers, books, etc. Faces and smiles all around. One can really feel the warmth and sincerity of the welcome and gratitude we received…
(One of the teachers getting the children together for a Thank You, Mattos photo.)
I visited some classrooms.
39 kindergarten students crammed into a small classroom. I am not complaining about my work conditions any more.... although I miss the classroom of 20! :)
There must have been a scouts meeting that day as I spotted this group and asked them to pose for me. :)
My wish is to someday bring a group of teachers to this area and see for themselves how needy some students in these parts of the world are. Yet, their faces reflect happiness and joy for every little thing we donate.
Maybe Greg and MorningStar will go back with me next time. :)
I thought I'd post some vacation pictures... a time when I felt FREE from work, FREE from the hustle and bustle of the big city and lead a few days relaxing and enjoying the FREE and fun things a small town, Samboan, Cebu, Philippines had to offer.
These photos are from an almost undiscovered ... ok recently discovered fun place we enjoyed. We had it almost to ourselves. Except for the couple of local boys who volunteered to be our tour guides... How freeing is that! Ok, ok... I am taking "FREE" literally here... :)
My daughter and I and some cousins spent the day at the Aguinid Falls... undeveloped, non commercial yet enjoyable and naturally beautiful! At the beginning of the path from the main road, a welcome sign was posted.
The mayor's photo was on another sign. We had just met the mayor whose family invited us to dinner the night before.... So here is Tracey being silly with Raymond's photo.
Walking up towards the falls was literally walking through some jungle like path. My daughter who I thought was a real city girl... lived in SF, Sta. Monica, Sta. Barbara... etc. actually enjoyed tripsing through the river at the end of the falls, and the jungly (is that a word?) walk...
The falls had three tiers from what I could see... Tracey and her cousins went up the rocky climb and proclaimed FUN!
I was chicken to go up the upper portions of the falls... esp. in flip flops... so I stayed down... and enjoyed the scenery just as much!
I have been so behind in my blogging.... I thought PhotoHunt post will be a good way to get back in the groove... Bags... easy... :) Bags, bags, bags
I bagged these for my 30 kindergarteners... Each bag contained, a Halloween pencil, some erasers, candies, and some hokey toy. 5-year olds are so easy to please...
One student came in with more fancy bags.... not sure what the bags contained but they sure looked spiffy.
These bags I bought and brought home from the trip to the Philippines, Singapore, and Hong Kong... Not even sure when I would be able to use ALL of them... so far, I am using one and Tracey uses one ... :)
Birds- The month of November brings "birds" into my Kindergarten classroom. On November 1st, I take this bird out of my overstuffed classroom storage and put him on display... (I can not even recall where I found him, but it is a good prop for a kindergarten classroom, yeah?)
The children learn about this type of bird... that the young ones are called poult, that they can change colors when they are agitated or mad, that they roost, and one smart aleck 5 year old said, they can also be roast.... :), etc.
Then the children make their own rendition of the bird....
One parent made these "bird" cookies for the students....
But one of my favorite birds is this - one that can take me places. :)
I had a trying time finding a photo that fits into the "Bulky" theme. Here is a photo taken some years back... 4 years perhaps. I traveled with a group of educators, family, and friends to Paris and London area. Fun. Time to go back.
Stonehenge... has to be Bulky.
The local paper here has a practice of publishing travel photos if a copy of the newspaper is featured in the picture... hence the periodical that I am holding. :) (Do not call the fashion police... I am so mismatched... LOL)
Starfruit at an open market in Singapore. I think the starfruit is kind of jiggly once they are sliced...
Summer of 2009, my daughter, Tracey and I went on a trip to Asia. We visited Singapore. We enjoyed a day at the Singapore Botanic Gardens. There is an area that has the largest collection of orchids. The demonstration lab , visible to the public, shows the Shaker room where orchids get a start... a jiggly procedure.
Here we are at one of the orchid gardens. A second look at my photo... I am jiggly in the middle... LOL
On that same trip, we visited Hong Kong. While there we visited Lantau island where the biggest Buddha is located. If this were not made of metal, it would have been jiggly. :)
Have a great weekend, everyone. It is a 3-day weekend for me. YEAH!
Prior to our (my daughter and I) visit to Asia this past summer, my daughter researched things she wanted to see, visit, and eat while in Singapore. Lazy me went along with all she wanted to do.... I enjoyed that way of traveling -have someone else plan everything. So one of the things that she really wanted to try while in Singapore was Chili Crab, a seafood dish that originated in Singapore. Thus the balanced crab - the life of which hang on a balance.
Ok, backtrack... on how we got to the crab.
One of the days spent in Singapore , we headed to the Merlion area, as we, actually she read it was one famous tourist spot.
Here it is.
My daughter took this photo of me. I tried to take one of hers in a similar shot.... but I failed (miserably) to get that effect. Wonder how much balancing was necessary to get his shot. :)
From the Merlion area, we took a cruise to see the sights from the water.... or of the water.
The boat had this Warning Sign. Each infraction looked like the moves involved lots of balancing. I was not going to try any of those shenanigans. LOL.
We decided to have lunch away along the way and we were on the hunt for Chili Crab, My two cousins were with us on this holiday.
So here we are. Poor Crab before... balancing to determine how much he or perhaps she was going to cost us.
Midway.... looking delicious... and balancing on its claws.
After.... :( he had to give up the ghost for us.
Many of my blogging friends post "Gratitude Friday" entries. I saw this quote and thought it was appropriate.
"Gratitude is riches. Complaint is poverty."
I am indeed so full of gratitude for family... This being my birthday month... I am rich with loving friends and family who continue to celebrate my birthday.
This photo is of my grandbabies at the Monterey Bay Aquarium... boys I am most grateful for!
Cuddly? First thing that came to mind were my grandchildren... But you may get tired of seeing me post photos of my grandkids... (No eye-rolling please, LOL)
So I thought this may be a substitute.... Tarsiers....although I think my grandbabies are the most cuddly...
In any case, my daughter and I went to the island of Bohol in the Philippines this summer and saw some Tarsiers.
Philippine Tarsiers are endangered species endemic to the Philippines. Its name is derived from its elongated "tarsus" or ankle bone. They are nocturnal animals, are tiny, and the species make them one of the smallest primates, also making them difficult to spot. The average adult is about the size of a human fist.
The place that had the exhibit had a "Hands- off" policy, so cuddling was out of the question at that time... But don't they look cuddly? Seriously cuddly, in my opinion. :)
A few weekends ago, my family went to Monterey. (I will finish and post my blog about that weekend... soon )
We went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium as my grandsons are facinated with everything ocean. I love seahorses so that is where I wanted to hang out. Wouldn't you know it? When I got there, the battery on my camera died. So I pleaded with my daughter to take some seahorse photos.... I just love them.
These two look like the ones I see when swimming in the sea in my hometown, Samboan in the Philippines.
I love the trumphet-like front on this one.
I think these green ones are beautifully fascinating...
This past weekend, my Teachers' Union's Equity and Human Rights Committee sent me to a conference in Irvine. (Will post a separate blog about this later) I attended the conference with a few other teachers / committee members. Even though I did not want to go because I had grades and report cards hanging over my head, I am glad that I went because it was one of the best conferences I have attended!
After the conference, we drove down the coast to put our feet on Southern California sand....Fun.
I am glad that I went, got away from work even if it was for a short time. I am grateful that I got to go because I got to know some wonderful colleagues a little better.
Had fun with these "kids" ... :)
Became friends with these good looking dudes. Love them already! :)
Times like these are made for dreaming. I am working on Kindergarten report cards... Why does it take too much time???????????
And I can only do it after one on one assessments! For thirty yes, 30 kindergarteners. That took days!
I am not having fun... so I dream that I should be spending my evenings here....
or even better retire here or there (see above)
Samboan, Cebu, Philippines
Evenings should be spent doing nothing here or there instead of doing report cards!!!
The film industry honored their best a couple of weekends ago. While the OSCARS was the buzz in Southern California, a few teachers from all over the state of California attended the Equity and Human Rights Conference in Irvine, California.
At the conference, California Teachers Association bestowed honors to some of our best! One of the recipients of the award is a friend of mine.
Meet Carl Bullard. He was the recipient of the Leadership in Lesbian and Gay Issues Human Rights Award.
Carl is my school district's chairman of the Equity and Human Rights Committee. When I was asked to be part of the committee, Carl welcomed me with open arms and heart. It is no wonder that he is awarded this honor.
What we in Fremont already know, now the state of California knows... We love Carl!
Our union president attended the event. She (standing next to the Man of the Hour) is very proud of Carl's accomplishment. :)
I felt so honored to have been part of the celebration. Here we are at a pre-awards ceremony celebration.
A week ago, my daughter and I flew to San Diego to attend a SlowTravel "gathering". I have been to a few get togethers so I was excited to see "old" friends and meet new ones.
I invited my friend, Norma to meet us there. So she flew in from Sacramento.
What a much needed get-away for me! I took Friday off. I needed that!
While waiting for Norma's flight to come in, Tracey sat outside to enjoy the So. Cal. sunshine. I wandered around inside and found a San Diego Official Visitor Planning Guide. A headline close to the front of the magazine caught my eyes. It says "Happy Happens in San Diego". I am going to hold them to that. :)
Must be true. Here are some happy faces.
The three of us arriving at Jane and Ken's Friday night Gathering Kick-off event. Lovely place and totally enjoyable evening.
Colleen and Judy enjoying the evening.
The famous wine glasses...
Shannon the Incredible Organizer of many Slow Travel Events.
Palma, the famous chef and good friend.
I am so sorry that I do not have photos of Jane and Marcia - equally fantastic women who also helped put the event together. They all made the weekend look effortless.... Every single one of them seemed so relaxed as they enjoyed (along with everyone else) their months of work!
Many, many thanks to all of you and to Ken, David and Brad as well.
A week ago, I attended a SlowTravel Gathering in San Diego. I asked my friend, Norma to go with us (Tracey and myself) to the gathering. We met at the San Diego airport... Norma coming from Sacramento and Tracey and I flying in from San Jose. We made it to the hotel without any trouble. We checked in, found our room, and headed for the restaurant/bar for lunch.
Tracey's sitting and waiting spot at the lobby. :)
We met Shannon on our way in and saw Kim and Amy finishing their lunch, said our hellos and they were off. Norma, Tracey, and I had our lunch. I tried (Tracey's) Seared Ahi (first time for me re. ahi). Norma had soup, I had a burger, I think. It was so long ago, I can't remember now.
But this blog is about my "home" for my quick get-away. This is the view from the restaurant patio.
After lunch we walked back to our room via the back path. This is the view of the marina - right behind the hotel.
We saw Joan who was relaxing, reading, or maybe just enjoying the view. We had our hellos. In front of Joan's room, I saw a visiting hummingbird.
I think I am going to like it here. :)
(Sorry, this is a day late. But I had trouble uploading photos yesterday. :( )
This past summer while spending time with family in the Philippines we explored around and found this Farmers Market.... laden with fresh harvest.
and some of the little rural towns and with open markets. These are from Ginatilan, Cebu.
One with a little child minding the store?
I had more photos but I was unable to upload this... so I guess I better stop here. :)
... continued from yesterday. :)
Nang Glor's fresh avocado harvest - Samboan, Cebu, Philippines.
While in San Diego recently my daughter, Tracey and I went on a morning walk along Shelter Island's bay side. We saw some art dotting the walkway... nice ...
Not exactly art, but at the end of our walk we saw this "flea market" at the Yacht Club near Island Palms. (Or could be art to somebody's eyes) :)
While on a visit to San Diego's Little Italy, we visited their open market and found little bit of France throughout the few blocks the market covered.
There was this Creperie.... long lines here....
with the crepe maker making his best ninja pose?
the biggest brioche -
There were macaron stands
- where I had my fix ... yummm
A reflection piece is good way to evaluate the success of any project. Judging from my calendar, I was not too successful with this one. :)
I joined the madness in the hopes that I would be able to blog daily. After getting back from San Diego, I had problems logging on to my own blog. Then I had trouble uploading photos... I did try to blog daily... But I did miss a few days!
I hope I'd be able to do better in the future... or rather - that I have interesting happenings daily so I may be able to do daily entries.
This was a bit of a challenge for me... or perhaps I am just lazy this week, since I am on spring break. So here are some (somewhat) vertical interpretations - my take on the theme. :)
Vetical interpretation of the Italian flag.... Taken during a visit to Little Italy in San Diego, California.
Golden verticals - Entrance to Sterling Vineyards - Napa, California.
Crowded verticals - tall buildings Hong Kong Harbor - great backdrop for a morning TaiChi Class.
Love the row of palm trees ... with Tracey doing her morning Tai Chi.
During a educational class visit to Ardenwood Farm here in Fremont, Ca. An irritated peacock went vertical on us... much to the delight of my school kids.
Did I really push the vertical theme a bit too far?????? :) I told you, it was a bit of a challenge.
Ruffles must be in. I was reading Paris Breakfasts - A Bit of Skirt here - http://parisbreakfasts.blogspot.com/2010/04/bit-of-skirt.html
Then I read Barb's Follow My Bliss - I Love Ruffles. http://followbarbsbliss.blogspot.com/2010/04/i-love-ruffles.html
Fe in her signature ruffle top - She had them in various colors. :)
I thought I better post my collection of ruffles from this past summer. I took lots of ruffly photos while on a shopping expidetion in HongKong. My intention was to send the photos to my SiFAM, Fe... my Sister From Another Mother. :) But this habit of mine called procrastinating got in the way in a big and major way... so here it is... months and another calendar year later! Fe, these are for you...
You are ahead of the trend, as you wore lots of ruffles last summer and only NOW are they all over - :)
Skirts too -
Tracey had it all covered - ruffly dress!
When we were at HongKong's Victoria Peak
I went to my grandson, Izzy's school's International Festival and saw these ruffles as well.
See Fe, they are catching on to you. Ruffles are all over now. :)
Covered - Many of us take cover from the elements. I noticed that in Asia, women and or girls take cover from the sun!
Last summer, after seeing many covering themselves from the sun, I finally took the camera out to take photos of women and their umbrellas.
I noticed that men did not really mind the summer sun, but the women sure did.
Probably a smart practice to protect themselves from skin cancer... So here are more "covered" - all from about an hour walk on an afternoon in HongKong. A pink covering -
A more interesting pink :)
A lone covered in the shade
A covered tourist viewing HongKong from the harbor
Have I mentioned how much I liked the movie La Mission? It is very rare for me to go to a movie theater, sit down, and watch a movie. Perhaps once a year I go to see a movie. But I went to see La Mission! Twice!
I loved it... So when I found out that Peter Bratt and Benjamin Bratt were going to be Grand Marshalls at the San Francisco Carnaval, I headed for the city with a couple of friends.
I was expecting them to ride in one of the classic cars featured in the movie.
... and they did.
The Grand Marshalls - Peter and Benjamin
The co-star who played Benjamin's son in the movie. What a cutie!
Peter Bratt, writer and director of La Mission
The obiquitous press... :)
Benjamin got out of the car, walked over towards us and gave me some up-close face time!
Ok, now I am happy to go back to the barely-dressed parade participants dancing the Samba....
This week's photo prompt is SIX! Six? This is really a challenge. I spent time looking through my photo albums looking for Six... Then when I found one, I wanted to see if I had more... I do take to challenges well... LOL
Six palm trees - Samboan, Cebu, Philippines. (From last summer 2009 visit to the home country)
Six "tentacles" on a flower... Singapore Botanical Gardens - Summer 2009.
Six signs at Bubba Gumps Restaurant, Victoria Peak, Hongkong. Summer 2009.
Six arms on goddessees. Lantau Island - side trip Hongkong Summer 2009.
Last Saturday, Tracey and I were invited to go berry picking in Sebastopol, California. Such fun. There were blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries. Today, I am thinking strawberries... and my share of the harvest for that kind of berries. :)
Tracey hard at work, harvesting and weeding.
Our share of the harvest.
So many berries, such great results... I made strawberry sauce... with Splenda. Waiting for some sugar-free ice cream. yummm
After searching for reasonably priced hotel, the reunion planning team came to a decision to use Hotel Des Arts as our reunion venue.
The hotel is a "European" style hotel, another way of saying the rooms are pretty small but the price is right for us, the location great... and the staff willing to work with us.
(Photo from Rose's collection)
Hotel Des Arts is located close to the gates of San Francisco's Chinatown, a couple of blocks from Union Square and the Powell Street Cable Car turn around.
The rooms are painted by various commisioned artists, so each one is different from another.
My suite was adorned in some girlie designs...this is on the wall of the front room of my suite... some girl on a sailboat.
... one wall had vintage dress patterns decoupaged to the wall. I loved it... so did some friends who used my room for many photo ops... as did these two hotel guests who stopped by - curious of the source of the noise, laughter, and giggles.
One of the bedroom walls... cute, eh?
(I could not find Elizabeth's photo using the same wall for background... it would have completed the Los Angeles contingent.)
Hydie, on the other hand, had the graffitti walls. She said, it was a scary room that necessitated some wine consumption before bedtime.... I on the other hand, did not need excuse for the open bottles of chardonay nor for the uncorked cabs. :)
Lita's scary room.
At the end of our stay, our reunion group was invited to leave our signatures on one of the walls in the graffiti roo m.... We leave our mark! Yeah!
The Slow Travel Picnic in the Redwoods is an annual event, I missed the first two so I attended my first one last Saturday. What a fun event!
Prior to the event, a group of us were together at a museum and sometime during that day, it was discussed that a roast pig be brought to the picnic. My daughter, Tracey, was really campaigning that a whole roast pig must make an appearance. Ever the indulging Mom, I went looking for a roast pig source in the area. Roast pig or Lechon (Philippine term for it) is a specialty in my home island of Cebu, so I was taking this task as a personal challenge at this point. Can someone say, OCD?
I asked some Filipino friends in and around Fremont for recommendations... A week prior to the event, I made reservations for the smallest lechon to be picked up.
The day before the event, Food Network kept broadcasting Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations show about visiting Cebu, Philippines and feasting on Lechon. The show was repeated a few times during the day as if to torture me... LOL
So Saturday came, and time for me to pick up the lechon. I was hoping that the Slow Travel group will feel the way about lechon as Anthony Bourdain did... I was worried about the vegetarians in the group...
Anita was the master lechon carver.
Here is Judy, the event coordinator "taking care" of the lechon.
I invited my daughter in law, Katrina and the grandsons to attend the picnic. Katrina and Liam
The boys were not too thrilled to see the pig. Mikey kept saying "No, No" when I asked him if he wanted to see the pig. Izzy was more thrilled about dragging a stick around the picnic grounds, and hoping to hit the playground north of the parking lot. :)
Letha was one of the folks who was really "hands-on" at the event.
Pete made a science lesson of the event. :) Who can pass up a teachable moment?
There are learning opportunities in everything,
Tracey and Marcy saved this for another science lesson.
As it turned out, the lechon was a hit. Everyone who was a meat eater loved it.... as evidenced by the aftermath photo. Do not check out the following page if you are a vegetarian... or do not want to see what happens after lechon is enjoyed by "meatatarians":)
Time for me to get back to some reunion blogging.
Friday, July 9, 2010. The is actually the first day we are all together and will be spending the day reminiscing, I am looking forward to renewing friendships, some of the gals I have not seen for decades!!!
After breakfast the gals and some patient spouses waited for a tour bus to pick us from the hotel and take us on a day tour of San Francisco.
Here is how this started - plans and all. Delia called tour bus companies, found a good deal, and booked a 50-passenger bus thinking there will be that many joining us... per the intitial interest survey... and count. (Bus and driver - check.)
Inside of the tour bus... Editha Canton, in red leather jacket, joined us that morning. Across from her is Gloria Lingaolingao.
I asked Tracey to sort of plot out a tour route.. and she did. I showed the route to Delia at one of our meetings... it looked doable...
Now the day is upon us and we will try the route out. Bus pick up from hotel and we made our way to the Civic Center... San Francisco City Hall. We are on our way.
Hydie/ Lita Madula and Imelda share a laugh (already) ... Behind them is Ghela, Gloria L's daughter who joined the group as well.
In front of City Hall... with Tracey. BTW, Tracey came to the city early to join the tour... That was a real Godsend because she became our "tour guide" and did such a great job of giving us some information about the sights and important landmarks of the City.
Who would have thought that Tracey would make a great tour guide... :) Behind us everyone taking advantage of the photo op.
Tracey mentioned that SF City Hall architecture was inspired by the Les Invalides (Paris). Can you see the similarities?
The group in front of City Hall....
I know, people go to San Francisco to see the sights, architecture, museums, etc.
I do too... but some flowers caught my attention while I was in the city this summer... during my recent high school reunion.
I took pictures of many floral specimens up Lombard... Perhaps because I have been here so many times...and had no plans of climbing up the crooked street.
Around Lombard Streeet -
To climb up or not... the question of the day.... But the view is beautiful from down below...
Up close. Aren't they glorious?
Marichu among the bougainvilleas.
Did I say this was a favorite photo spot? Here's Rose.
I am borrowing the term "re-connections" from a friend's (Anne) blog http://www.slowtrav.com/blog/andasamo/. I love that term.
So we now come to Saturday, July 10th, 3rd day of our reunion. Saturday was a free day for everyone. No planned activites during the day. We gather later for dinner and dancing.
Saturday morning a group wanted to catch a cable car ride ... this is San Francisco after all. Upon finding the lines too long, a decision to ride other forms of transportation was made... Tracey suggested the F train...
Yes, Tracey is still the unofficial guide. :)
... but somehow that turned into walking excursion to the Embarcadero. I did not realize that the Embarcadero was that close to downtown. I need to get myself really acquainted with this city!
So we walked to the Embarcadero, Tracey guides us along. We reached the Ferry Building which was my destination for the day. Tracey was going to introduce me to the Farmers Market here.
Lunch at the Market Restaurant...
The rest of the group decided to take Muni to Fisherman's Wharf. Cravings for sourdough and clam chowder is why!
After a wonderful day of a fabulous lunch, walk around Ferry Building open market, celebrity sighting (Joe Montana), buying cheeses, and eating gelato, Tracey and I were ready to go back to the hotel and get ready for tonight's dinner.
Intramuros was the restaurant we had reservations at... It is a few miles out of the city. Intramuros is a Filipino restaurant that I recently discovered. A friend asked why take Filipinos to a Filipino restaurant? Hmmm, somehow, it is just a Filipino thing to do! :)
I tried some foods that I have not experienced before. Food is very regional in the Philippines, you see... like this Salmon Sisig -
Delicious... ate way too much as usual...
After dinner, we had an informal meeting to decide what the next venue is going to be for the next reunion... Some ideas thrown around: Rome, Los Angeles, California, Rome, somewhere in Canada, Rome... Hmmm, I wonder where...
Next room - some dancing... so off we went as soon as the dance floor opened.
Marinela's family came and joined in while dancing continues...
Sarah, Rose, Delia and the rest of the girls rocked on...
|Another free photo slideshow by Smilebox|
Right after school ended for the winter break, I took two of my grandchildren to San Francisco. We had 3 fun-filled days... of children's activities... Such fun.
We started with an overnight here at home. Izzy and Mikey spent Sunday night all set for adventure in San Francisco. They kept telling me they love staying in hotels... so they were looking forward to a hotel stay.
This is Mikey waking up on Monday morning - happily anticipating the San Francisco get-away. Izzy still snoozed away.
We got ready after breakfast and headed to the city. Here we are at check-in at the Marriott.
Country bunkins or what? LOL ... Auntie Tracey who loves these boys came along. She is a gem!
After check in we shopped for a little bit. Finding out that there was a pool, we had to get swim trunks for the boys. Unfortunately none were available at the stores we went to... so we picked up what we thought would work for a short dip at the pool. Oh, and the boys picked up one toy too... Ben Ten - whoever he is... :)
Mikey who protested that "People do not wear belts in the water!" gave in and played in the pool for a bit.
Izzy had a great time...
After the pool session, we rested for a bit and headed to Union Square as I wanted to see the tree... We used to go to the Tree Lighting the day after Thanksgiving... when the children were little, my children that is....
For dinner we headed to the Burger Bar... because I have not been there before... Here is a look at the menu... now wonder I had not visited it before... and no I did not order this one -
I will do a separate post on Burger Bar later....but we ordered this sliders for the kids...$12... tiny burgers... which they did not really eat---
... maybe because they had this decadent milkshake delivered prior to the sliders... but hey we only live once, right?
Back to the hotel after dinner but first a little playtime at the Ferrari store...
This was before they told me "No Pictures!" Izzy loved riding the mini version at the store... one can get one for $5,000. Nice toy. :)
Before heading for bed, the boys made a list of what they wanted to do the next day... :)
Children's museum tomorrow - or says the list . :)
After breakfast on our second day in the city, we headed over to the Children's Museum. I had not been there before... so I was in the exploring mood just as much as the boys were.
The children's Museum is located in the Yerba Buena Center which is only a block away from the Marriott we were staying.
The Zeum carousel met us at the entrance. We could not pass it up.
Inside the museum were many fun activities. I felt like a kid again...
Auntie Tracey and Mike working at the Digital Art Station
Can you guess which characters the children made out of clay. They produced an animated show. Izzy and Mikey creators, Auntie Tracey did the cinematography.
Saturday, the beginning of a three day weekend. Yeah!
Tracey asked me if I wanted to go with her and one of her former college roommates on a quick trip to the coast. It was a great day, so I said yes! Besides anytime a young kid asks an old person to tag along with them - is always A OK with me!
Since I went to bed early, I headed my alarm and got out of bed early,
6AM - got out of bed and did what every other person in the United States do on any given Saturday... enter the exciting world of laundry.
6:15 - to who knows when - played on the computer and do my normal waste of time activity! Who invented this addictive online activity? That person needs to pay for some of my therapy because I can not even imagine how much of my life I've wasted since I discovered AOL in 1997!
7:00 or something = made some coffee and breakfast... put clothes in dryer and back to the computer... Did I say something about addiction? Is there comprehab?
8:30 - thought I better shower so I can make that trip to the coast... and yes, I did... not going to the coast smelling like last night's nachos...
9:00 Sort of folded the clothes on kitchen table... they are still there and it has been over 12 hours! Geez, I need help... as I am still on the computer.
9:30 the housekeeper who promised to come at 9AM today arrived (surprise, surprise, she has stood me up for a couple of weeks! ) ... with two of her kids... Something is conspiring against me... seriously!
9:45 - who cares? I am off to the coast... the housekeeper can have her kids at my house, whatever ... (Tracey suggested I find a replacement! )
10 - Tracey, Yung, and myself are off to the coast. Oh, Yung is driving so I can "FaceBook" all the way there! Did I hear "Addict"?
11 - We are on our way towards Half Moon bay... is it October? I see pumpkins!
One of these trees will be decorated someday far away and beautify someone's home...not mine as I have given up on Christmas trees because I decided it takes longer to "de-Christmas" and I am not having any of that any longer...
We arrive in Pescadero... Beach Time!
(A later post on the town of Pescadero... Love that little town!)
Pescadero is a coastal town about an hour or so drive from my home. I do not get there often but when I do, I remember how much I enjoy being close to the ocean.
Sometimes I go to Pescadero just for the Artichoke Bread at Arcangeli Grocery. Seriously good. My daughter, Tracey seem to love the town and what Pescadero has to offer.
This charming little town is a short strip with few stores, very few... a couple of restaurants, and cute shops...
One of the shops is "Made In Pescadero" where artisans sell their wonderful creations. Beds, sculptures, jewelry, and a chest of drawer that caught my attention - costing $5,000. Hmmm out of my teacher salary league.
This was the store sign at the door warning families with kids!
Duarte's Tavern is the place for lunch or so it seems judging from the people waiting to be seated.
While the crab sandwich that I ordered tasted delicious, no time was wasted on the presentation of the dish. :)
The town is charming, and I hope to visit soon... or when the craving for artichoke bread becomes unbearable. :)
Tracey and I were on the road on my birthday. We were traveling from San Diego slowly going home from a Service Learning conference.
Since there was some delay on Highway 101, Tracey and I decided to stop in Pismo Beach and spend the night there, continuing home on the next day.
We went to a restaurant near the hotel for dinner... my birthday dinner.
I thought we were not that hungry so we planned to just get appetizers and call it a night. But that was not going to happen!
Tracey stuck to the plan and ordered a salad of organic greens, shaved purple carrots, etc,,, Purple carrots? Who knew? I had to try and it was wonderful.... so we shared.
Steamed black mussels with asparagus, tomatoes, and prosciutto, in a cherry, white wine butter sauce for Tracey.
I gave in to some Mahi-mahi encrusted with bread crumbs and crab meat
When mentioned that it was my birthday, the waiter came back with warm cinnamon bread pudding, soaked in vannilla custard and Southern bourbon sauce, ala mode.... Yummm!
Plus, the waiter gave me a gift, as we were leaving,... a card signed by the staff,
Plus a 15% off coupon for the next visit, and a can of their famous clam chowder... I can enjoy and pretend I am beachside when I enjoy the clam chowder.... soon.
A great way to celebrate my birthday. Thanks, Tracey for the birthday treat!
It's been over a month since I have done anything to or on this blog. I have done so many things and can't seem to post an entry here.... So here is another attempt at blogging .... again!
I have a great opportunity to organize a trip to Paris in the spring of 2012. The trip date is Thursday, April 5, 2012 through Thursday, April 12, 2012. I am excited. It has been a while since I was in Paris...
ACIS has asked me to organize this trip and I am looking forward to a week in Paris... plus a watercolor workshop in the gardens in Giverny, Claude Monet's home... plus evenings in Paris...
If you are in the Fremont area or close by, come to a No-obligation Informational Meeting on Saturday, June 11, at Le Moose Crepe Cafe at 5014 Mowry Avenue, Fremont Ca. 94538. Hope to see you then!
A friend of mine has retired in the idyllic town of Jocotepec, Jalisco, Mexico. It is a little town just outside of Guadalajara. So off to Guadalajara I went. It is only a 3.5 hour flight so in the middle of the night, I left Oakland arriving in Guadalajara in the early morning hours.
Rosario, the friend who I am visiting, picked us up at the Guadalajara airport. From the airport, we drove down to Jocotepec. But first a breakfast stop. Cute restaurant name, Yeah?
This was my breakfast...Chilaquiles con huevo. Deliciouso! (Ok, I probably butchered spellings here.)
After breakfast, we continue on to Jocotepec. It is close to the huge and beautiful Lake Chapala. For years, she has invited me to visit her and somehow I have been unable to until last week. I am glad that I did!
It is only about 40 kilometers from the urban center that is Guadalajara. It is understandable why many retirees from the U. S. and Canada retreat to this lovely town.
These structures welcome the visitors into town.
At Roca Azul, a section of Jocotepec, my friend has a beautiful home! No wonder she loves it here!!!
Tomorrow or in a couple of days, more on my lovely trip.
This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Eden's Wanderings and Wonderings in the Travel category. They are listed from oldest to newest.
Photo Hunting is the previous category.
wines is the next category.