Tuesday, August 21, 2012


A short drive from Waikiki lies a gorgeous snorkeling heaven, Hanauma Bay. Preserved and protected, this marine sanctuary is home to fragile marine life including corals, reef fish, honu (green sea turtles), sharks, rays, eels, as well as the colorful Hawaii state fish, humuhumunukunukuapua'a.  The park is dedicated to conserve and safeguard the bay, so all guests are required to watch a short video regarding a few things and rules to keep in mind when visiting Hanauma Bay.

Rule #1: Do NOT step on the corals.
Rule #2: Do NOT touch the fish, honu, and all other marine life in the bay.  Our body sweat, bacteria, etc., are harmful to these animals.

The park is open daily except on Tuesdays, and operates from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.  As this is one of the major tourist attractions in Hawaii, guests are encouraged to come early.  There is a $7.50 entrance fee and $1.00 parking fee.  Snorkeling and diving gears are available for rent at a reasonable price in the beach park.

For better snorkeling experience and to explore the deeper part of the bay, Vince and I joined a guided tour by Hanauma Bay Dive Tours.  There were five of us in the group plus a certified diver tour guide.  Transportation and snacks were included as well as quality snorkeling gears.  Although we had to shed extra buck$$$ for this tour, we never regret it because it was all worth it.  I remember the other lady in our tour group saying, "This is the most awesome thing I've ever done in my life!"  I definitely agree.  That was the best (and most scraped and bruised) snorkeling experience for me as well.

These are just a few of the various marine life that thrives in the bay.

A honu (green sea turtle) in action

...and here are a few more pics from our Hanauma Bay trip.  Feel free to click on the pics to enlarge:

That's about our second day in Hawaii.  Day 3 was another full and exciting day, so stay tuned to find out ☻


You can read my other travel stories here:


My share for:

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


How Vince and I ended up vacationing in Hawaii last month was due to a "wrong presumption." We were leaning on travelling to the Philippines or somewhere in Bahamas but we were mistakenly advised that if we exit the US, we will not be allowed re-entry, while transitioning with our visa status. It was only after I've booked our trip to Hawaii that the immigration lawyer realized that Vince and I are Canadian citizens, and we are in fact allowed to leave and re-enter the US provided we have a valid extension of our current J visa, which we do have.

So anyway, I was itching to go on vacation then. I was kinda feeling stressed out at work, and I felt like I badly needed a getaway. Quick. ASAP. Or else, I'd go nuts. That kind of feeling, if you know what I mean. Since we thought we're limited to travel within the States, I searched the Internet for top beaches in the US, and lo and behold, Hawaii beaches dominated. There were several here in the mainland that came up the top 10 including beaches in Florida, New Jersey, South Carolina and California, but to me they weren't as appealing as Hawaii. Plus, we're thinking that when we move to Georgia, we'll be a sneeze away from Florida and South Carolina, so might as well save those trips in the future when we're closer there. Therefore, Hawaii was it.

We flew out from Newark (EWR) airport, connected in Los Angeles (LAX), and arrived at our destination, Honolulu, after 12 long hours.  That was toooo taxing for me (and my little bun in the oven)!  That was my worst flight experience so far.   There was one time that we experienced turbulence for an hour-and-a-half! Can you imagine that?  I got terribly crampy and nauseated, I couldn't believe I survived that without *barfing.* Ooopppsss.

Vince and I were overly relieved when we finally landed in Hawaii.  I had arranged a shuttle transportation pick-up at the airport to our hotel (and vice versa) which included a "lei greeting" package.  So, after an hour delayed and bumpy, rough flight, Vince and I couldn't hide our giddiness and smiles when we heard locals at the airport greeting us "Aloha, Mahalo." The shuttle service representative was equally welcoming as well as she hung the fresh leis on our neck and volunteered to take pictures of us :)

We stayed at the Ala Moana Hotel which is about a 20-minute drive from the Honolulu International Airport. On the way, the shuttle driver gave a quick round of what to do and where to go in Oahu and the basic what-is and what's-not.

After we got settled in our hotel room, we went to the Ala Moana Center, one of the largest open-air shopping centers in the world, which is just beside the Ala Moana Hotel.  It's a very huge mall, but we weren't thinking of shopping... (yet)!  We were starving, so we headed to the food court, and oh my, there were so many selections! Too bad, my first-trimester appetite wasn't very cooperative, I settled for a beef teriyaki meal. Vince went for Loco Moco, a local comfort food. It's basically made up of burger patty and fried egg on top of Japanese rice generously smothered with brown gravy. It looked yummy, but my tastebuds were acting weird at their best, so obviously, I didn't get to enjoy it :(

Loco Moco

Our first day in Hawaii was wonderful and very promising. Vince and I were overly excited for the rest of our vacation :)

I'll end this for now, and will share more details of our Hawaiian escapade in my next posts. Stay tuned! Aloha and Mahalo ;)


Oahu Travel Bits and Tips:

Oahu is the third largest of the Hawaiian islands, and where Honolulu and Waikiki is located.

Instead of taking a cab from the airport to your hotel (or vice versa), pre-arrange a shuttle service. You can search the Internet for companies that provide these services or even call the hotel where you'll be staying at and ask for their recommendations (some hotel provide free shuttle service).  With an added lei greeting, you get the full experience of your first time arrival in Hawaii ;)

The farther your hotel from Waikiki, generally, the cheaper the accommodation is.

Aloha translates as Hello or Goodbye. Mahalo means Thank You or You're Welcome.

PS: For those who have a bucket list, I recommend that you add Hawaii to it, that is if you have not included it yet. Seriously.


You can read my other travel stories here:


My share for:

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Before I further write new posts in this blog, I'd like to fill the gap by taking this time to list some of the things and events that surrounded me while I was on hiatus from blogging:

1. My husband, Vince, bought us an iPad using his CME (Continuing Medical Education) fund.  So, technically, we almost got it for free courtesy of his residency program.  I said *almost* because accessories and extended warranty were not covered by CME. But still!  Yay to apps and games for me :D

2. My nth birthday came in May.  Friends from New York and New Jersey visited and celebrated with us here in Pennsylvania.  We had a simple party, with Vince and me preparing all our handa.   It was fun and the presence of dear friends made it more special.   Vince surprised me with chocolate-coated strawberries, which because of the power failure at our apartment, he had to deliver it to me himself while I was "borrowing Internet connection" at the hospital library.   He also gave me a very touching birthday card, a gift card for Ray-Ban sunglasses, and six luxurious hours of me time at The Spa at the Hotel Hershey. Awwwwww :')

3. Vince finished residency in June.  Yay!!  I'm so happy for and proud of my husband.  He rocked the graduation ceremony by bringing home recognition awards ;)   After three years of training, he is now a full-fledged family physician (well, of course, there's still the board exam which he is currently studying for - I doubt with his profession if he'll ever stop *studying*)  But yeah, congrats again, love!

4. My in-laws from Toronto and North Dakota spent the week with us here in Pennsylvania for Vince's graduation.  We bunked in our one-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment - all seven of us.  FUN!

5. We travelled to Toronto a couple of times. One time, we almost never made it back south of the border.  We unintentionally left some of our documents in Pennsylvania, and the border officer was hesitant to let us cross, much more sign our extension paper.  After careful scrutiny and looking up our travel records, the officer eventually signed it and let us in to the States.  Whew!

6. I went more often to the gym with Vince - at least, I think.  Hehe!  I even upped my cardio to 45 minutes several times in my desire to be beach-ready.  Refer to #10 below.

7. Glow bowling on weekends with Vince.  I got the hang of it, and actually had good nights when I bowled a turkey ;)

8. Nature trip and the likes.  Vince and I did a self-guided canoe trip down the Delaware water gap and then hiked at Bushkill Falls (the Niagara of Pennsylvania).  We also had one Saturdate at The Longwood Gardens, and finished off the night at Cheesecake Factory.  Sweet!  Oh yeah, we also watched the musical Mamma Mia ♪♫ here we go again, my, my! how can I resist you? ♪♫

9. And then, we found out I'm pregnant!  We planned on having a baby after his residency, and what do you know, we're right on time ;)

10. Second honeymoon in Hawaii happened.  Please see #6 above, and yes, the baby came before the supposedly honeymoon part 2.

11. I missed our 3rd annual whitewater rafting trip in Lehigh River :(  I got so exhausted from Hawaii and the bun in the oven was definitely making his/her presence felt already, I decided to just pass on it and stay at home.  Vince and the rest of the gang went ahead, of course, and they had fun *me sulking*  Oh well!

12. Weekend trips to New York to visit and meet up with friends.  We'll terribly miss them when we move down south :(

13. And my first trimester challenges continue...

See, even if I wasn't visible in blogosphere for three months or so, I wasn't just sitting at home doing nothing ;)  I love blogging and I really enjoy meeting people and making friends through blogging and social networking, that's why I hope to blog for the rest, but I believe my fellow bloggers would agree when I say that it could also get to the point wherein you would feel overwhelmed and burnt out, so a little hiatus helps to break the monotonous routine of cyberworld.  After all, there should always be balance in everything ;)

Okay, having said that, now I'm ready to share my Hawaiian adventure. Tell yah about it on my succeeding posts :)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Famous Footwear for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine.

August has arrived, and it's almost back-to-school time again!  My husband and I were at the mall a couple of days ago, and we saw several mom-and-daughter tandems hitting the stores for new clothes, school bags, and of course, shoes!  Talking about shoes, that's where Famous Footwear comes in.


Customers find shopping at Famous Footwear to be a breeze.  The stores are not overwhelming, you can get in and out quickly in no time.  They have a wide selection of brand name shoes and styles to choose from.  Kids find the coolest shoes at reasonable prices their parents can afford.  You can buy three (or more!) pairs of shoes in 20 minutes.  There's also the convenient option of ordering shoes online and having it shipped to your nearest store for pick up at no charge.

Speaking of buying more than three pairs, Famous Footwear offers a 15% Buy One Get One (BOGO) Half Off Back To School promotion.  Just go to this link:  BOGO + 15% off Famous Footwear Coupon, print the coupon, and voila, shop away!  What better deal is when you are a Rewards Program member or if you sign up to be one, instead of 15% off, you get 20% off on top of BOGO Half Off.  Other perks of being a member include earning a point for every dollar you spend to accumulate to $100 certificate a year, discount upon signing up, and other more inside discounts.  By availing this promo and getting more value of your money, shopping for a pair or two (or more!) would definitely be easier for you and your school kids ;)

So again, before you head off to the nearest Famous Footwear store, remember to print the BOGO + 15% off Famous Footwear Coupon, sign up to the Rewards Program for FREE to enjoy its benefits, and maximize your shopping powers.  Have fun! :)

Visit Sponsor's Site


My first trimester of pregnancy has not been a walk in the park.  I have been experiencing the classic symptoms, i.e., nausea, vomiting, food aversion, cramping, bloating, gastritis and ultra sensitive olfactory sense.  The odd thing is that as opposed to the more common "morning sickness," I begin to feel sick later in the day and become worst at night before *my* bedtime (I'm a night owl).  Blessed wife I am, my husband has been very supportive and fully hands-on in taking care of me and attending to all my needs and quirks.  However, when retching and heaving at 3:00 a.m. proved to be no fun at all and total energy sucker for me, he called up the local women's health center, and we scheduled an acute visit with an obstetrician the following day.

During the OB visit, I understood how strong pregnancy hormones are in that they reduce the ability of the stomach to empty its contents at a very much more slower rate explaining the conglomeration of symptoms I have.  I was given reassurance with regards to that, and the doctor even said that babies who cause nausea and vomiting are usually those who latch on pretty strong.  To curb my nausea and vomiting, I was advised to take doxylamine (sleep aid) and vitamin B complex, other than diphenhydramine (Benadryl) which I had been taking for the past weeks.  At the end of our visit, the doctor ordered an ultrasound just for baseline and to make sure that there's only one and not two (or more) babies inside ;)

Sheer bliss!  That's what I felt when I saw the black and white reflection of the 7.7-cm miracle inside my tiny womb.  I couldn't describe how happy I was to have caught an early glimpse of our first bundle of joy, and I will never forget how amazed and dumbfounded I was of God's greatness, realizing that behind all my weird and difficult symptoms the past 10 weeks, He has a wonderful masterpiece in progress.  Something tells me that the next 30 weeks of my pregnancy are going to be extra exciting :)

"Before you had a name or opened up your eyes,
Or anyone could recognize your face
You were being formed so delicate inside
Secluded in God's safe and hidden place...

You are a masterpiece, a  new creation He has formed
And you're as soft and fresh as a snowy winter morn
And I'm so glad that God has given you to me
Little lamb of God, you are a masterpiece...

- Masterpiece by Sandi Patty"

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Okay, I am fully aware that I've been gone for quite a while, and before a lot of eyebrows raise, please allow me to bask in saying that this blog is now ranked PR3! Yay!!! *I seriously hope not to jinx it with this post*

Can you believe that?? After being in hiatus for over three months, Google was very much gracious to not only resurrect my page rank but even raise it to the next level. I saw how from PR2 it went down to PR0 which was obviously not surprising given that I wasn't blogging, but miraculously with whatever formula Google uses, it's now PR3! Happiness!

So, in other news....

There's actually another reason why I believe I've gotten sexier (ehem!) Notwithstanding the fact that I've lost weight and now only weigh 100 pounds, the real reason why I think I've gotten sexier is because...


Yap, yap. Ten weeks and counting. Man, this is starting to feel like the longest 9 months of my life... but nope, I'm not going to let myself get carried away and blabber here on my comeback post all my first trimester episodes. I'll save those for future posts. LOL.

Having said those, I guess you can all agree with me that I've gotten sexier... and yes, I'm back blogging. Hehe!

PS: Hawaii vacation and other more escapade and adventures coming up soon! Stay tuned ;)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...