Vacation Mode

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(Warning: long post)

I’ve gone on my birthday vacation in May. It was fantastic! Me and my husband drove to DFW, left our car at Park ‘n Fly, and flew to Sacramento. We arrived in Sacramento on the eve of my birthday.

We stayed at my friend’s house, had a quick chitchat before heading off to bed. California is 2 hours behind from Texas, so my body clock was trying to adjust to the time difference. We woke up around 5am, preparing to go on our first stop, Napa Valley.

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We went to Castello di Amorosa, purchased the tour with wine tasting, bought 4 wines, and had picture-taking. We had birthday lunch at Gott’s, which has the tastiest garlic fries ever. Who cares about having garlic breath? Man, that fries was to die for! After that garlicky lunch, we finally headed to Downtown Sacramento. We rode the cruise with some party people for a good 1 hour. It felt like forever.

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The next day, we headed to Yosemite. We scouted the place for a whole day and was amazed at this great wonder. I was in awe. It looks so picturesque. It’s like staring at a live photo.

We stayed at Big Trees Lodge. Boy, let me tell you how spooky that place is! It felt like a hike to a haunted motel! The room looks like a museum, with creaky floors and olden days furniture. The bathroom looks like someone has been murdered there. The light was so dim that it felt like we’re in a horror movie. We were so spooked that we all cramped in that small bathroom to wash our face and brush our teeth together. We went to sleep at 8pm, hoping that we won’t see any ghosts.

We woke up early. I didn’t even dare use the shower where the bathtub looked like someone has been murdered there. I don’t care if I didn’t wash. I’ll just have a long and warm shower at my friend’s house when we get back. We headed to The majestic Hotel for a very elegant brunch, then prepared for our first ever hike.

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I never thought I would enjoy hiking as much as I did. My husband enjoyed it even more. We hiked the Mist trails up the Vernal falls. We were gearing up to continue on to the next but our friend told us it would take us hours to get to the next waterfall. Besides, it’s just our first hike, my friend said not to overdo it.

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So, we headed home, happy and satisfied with what we saw. We fell in love with Yosemite. We promise to go back there. We want to see it again. It was so hard to leave.

We hardly had enough sleep. My whole body and my legs were aching. We woke up early the next morning again to drive to San Francisco. We had a 9 am appointment at the Philippine embassy for our passport renewal. The traffic was so terrible that we ended up late for our appointment. Luckily, they still accepted us and it didn’t take long. We had lunch at one of the restaurants in Fisherman’s Wharf. They have the most amazing clam chowder. After lunch, we all rushed to hop on the boat to visit the Alcatraz.

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Let me tell you something about Alcatraz, it was THE most amazing audio tour I’ve ever been to. The second one is the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, where they shot JFK. I got goosebumps listening to the audio while exploring the place. The cells were all cramped. I couldn’t imagine being imprisoned here.

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After our trip to Alcatraz, we headed to see the Golden Gate bridge. My husband wanted to walk on the bridge so we did. It was so windy and chilly compared to Texas weather which is 100+ degrees F. Then we drove to Lombard street. My friend let my husband drive so he could experience it. It was really fun!

We went home late in the evening and we had to pack our bags to leave Sacramento going to L.A. to see our friends. My friend and her boyfriend went with us. We flew to L.A and met with our friends over at lunch. I also had to meet my sister. Later that evening, we walked to Koreatown, had Korean barbecue then walked to a nearby mall for a Korean Bingsoo.

I just miss being with my College friends so much. We had a never-ending conversations about everything. We didn’t even notice the time. Only when we noticed my friend’s boyfriend sleeping on the table did we realize that it’s time to go home. It was a bittersweet farewell.

The next morning, we had to meet my friend from Abu Dhabi for brunch. It was just a quick hi-hello and it was time to say goodbye. We had to fly to Las Vegas, and my friend and her boyfriend had to fly back to Sacramento. We thanked them for accommodating us and for spending time with us showing us around.

So it was just me and my husband in Vegas for 3 whole days.

We arrived late to the hotel because the rental car took so long to get. We stayed at Aria hotel and ordered room service because we were too exhausted to roam around looking for a place to eat. Hubby had pizza and I had chicken noodle soup.

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We woke up the next day and headed out to the Grand Canyon West over at Skywalk. It was a 2 and a half hour ride from the strip but it was all worth it. We headed back to town and passed by Hoover dam. But it was so hot that we just decided to take some pictures and go back to the hotel.

That night, we got dressed and roamed around the strip. We had dinner at Bubba Gump’s then walked around to check out the place. It felt so romantic walking hand in hand with the crowd. It was so fun to watch people. I think all kinds of people are here.

Since we didn’t have a really good sleep for a week already, my body finally gave up. I called it a night at 8pm, headed back to the hotel and slept.

We had a quality sleep that night. The next morning, we were even contemplating if we still wanna go see the Red Rock Canyon. I jolted right up to the bathroom and told my husband, let’s go see Red Rock Canyon!

We drove for a good 30 minutes. Breakfast was at a convenience store. I don’t know why, but I’ve always loved their coffee.

We just took some pictures. We decided not to climb it. We don’t have much time. That was our last day in Vegas and we haven’t scouted the whole strip.

So, we went back to the hotel, changed into some clothes that would shield me from the sun. Hubby wants to walk on a hot sunny day to see the strip on day light.

We went back to the hotel around 3 or 4 pm and took a nap. Then we went out around 6 pm and rode the High Roller. We wanted to see Vegas on top and it didn’t disappoint. I really enjoyed our last few days in Vegas with my husband. It felt like we’re just dating again.

The next morning was our flight back to Texas. It was really exhausting but totally worth it. We even discovered a nice Filipino restaurant in Lewisville, Texas. It was all worth it right at the very last second.

We arrived home, unpacked our things and let hubby rest. It was so nice to be back home. It was definitely one of our best vacations ever.

 

 

 

 

 

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My Life in the US

It’s been more than a year since I came here. It was a mixture of excitement and fear. I was excited to be in a new place, meet new friends and start a new life with J. Fear of what will happen and what my new job in another ER will be.

J and I finally lived in an apartment of our own and driving our own car. Since I’m the only one working for now, J became a house husband taking care of all our needs, all the cooking and cleaning, grocery shopping, laundry, ironing etc. We finally got used to the arrangement. My salary is just right for us. Living in this part of Texas is cheap. So we were able to get by and save some. 

My work place is huge. I was overwhelmed at first. This is the real deal. My new colleagues gave me a warm welcome. They were really nice and supportive. There was no hostility around. There was no negative energy. Everyone is helping one another. Even the Doctors are nice. No one is superior. No one yells at you. The Charge Nurse, the Nurse Supervisors are all great. The only stress we have is the workload. There are a lot of sick patients. I tell you, even the patients here are nice. You might encounter one or two rude patients but they’re usually on drugs or they have psychiatric problems.

The people here will smile at you and greet you. They will open doors for you. The place is simple. No tall buildings around. Just a small town with trees and greeneries.

I’m loving this place.I cannot tell how much. It’s been more than a year now and I couldn’t complain. 

Simple Joys

I asked my husband that we attend the first friday mass today as I haven’t been a good Catholic the last time we went to church together.

He woke up early and asked if I want breakfast. I said I want some french toast. Since he doesn’t know how to make it, I volunteered to do it. Ever since we moved in to this new flat, I haven’t been able to cook anything for him. So I made some french toast, fried some hotdogs, popped open a can of Hunt’s baked beans, brewed some coffee and served it in bed, just to make up for my bad behavior 3 days ago.

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After breakfast (which he enjoyed very much if I may add), we prepared for church. The church was crowded with Filipinos (as we attended the Filipino mass). The priest gave a very nice homily. After the mass, we went grocery shopping then headed home.

It was a very relaxing day. He cooked and I washed the dirty laundry. Then he started ironing our clothes while I fell asleep. When I woke up, he finished ironing and I started cleaning our room.

Now, he’s watching a movie on the internet while I’m typing nonsense, boring gibberish.

I love our simple life together. This is one of the things I’m always looking forward to after a tiring day at work. We’re still praying for our own little bundle of joy, but if it’s not the time yet, I guess all we need is to be thankful for having this wonderful life together.

And this is how I end my day.

2014: Let’s start the day right, or just try.

I started the year celebrating with my husband at my best friend’s flat. We brought all of our Christmas gifts, which we weren’t able to give because I have work on Christmas. The two children, my best friend’s 6-year old daughter and 3-year old son, cried when they opened their gifts. I gave them books and they didn’t like it. Maybe they were expecting toys. I felt so embarrassed when they were throwing tantrums telling their mom that they don’t like the gift. I know they are just children. They still don’t know how to act politely when someone had given them presents they don’t like. But I still got hurt. Maybe it’s the rejection. Rejection does hurt really bad, even if it came from innocent children.

Anyway, my best friend gave me Nike slippers and my husband got a Nike shirt. We gave my best friend and her husband a memory foam pillow. Kind of like an orthopedic pillow that protects your neck, which is also antibacterial and anti-mold. We gave their nanny a memory foam travel pillow as well.

Spending Christmas and New Year away from our family doesn’t really bring the true spirit of celebration. We just sat there watching a movie while awkwardly glancing at the clock wondering why the time was running so slow. It made me think, I should have gone to work instead.

Alas, 12 midnight came. We started making some noise. The children blew their toy trumpet. My best friend made some noise using her daughter’s coin bank. Her husband played some drums on his iphone, which is connected to the speaker, and my husband used the toy drum. Me, I just clapped my hands.

After making some noise, we started our Media Noche. Gluttony at its best. We waited for an hour for the food to be properly digested before we went to sleep. My husband and I slept in the children’s play room. I didn’t sleep well. When I was able to sleep, I had a nightmare. A child was lying curled next to me. I tried waking up my husband but no sound came out of my mouth. But I think he was able to hear me moan and I felt him trying to wake me up. When he asked me what’s wrong, I told him there’s a child lying next to me. So he hugged me tightly and told me I’m just having a bad dream.

This morning, after having coffee, my husband and I went home to prepare going to mass. We weren’t able to attend mass last Christmas so we made sure to attend the New Year’s mass.

Tradition. It makes you feel bad when you don’t follow it. They say a lot of things like, a year of bad luck if you didn’t start the year right. You should be happy, you should be in a good mood, don’t spoil the day, avoid any negative vibes, etc. But what about moody persons like me? Does it mean I’m gonna spend the rest of the year being moody when I have been moody my whole life? Does your attitude during new year or the way you act on the very first day of the year reflects what’s going to happen for the rest of the year?

Yes, I had temper tantrums on our way to church which made me feel like I’m not a good person. My mood didn’t change when we went home and decided not to go to my best friend’s flat for lunch. I stayed in our room like a grouchy 2-year old. My husband almost lost his mind trying to understand me. But in the end, he gave in and let me be myself. He gave me some space, came back and waited until I was ready to talk.

I think I spoiled my husband’s first day of the year. But he was too nice to even consider it spoiled. I wonder how long will he be able to have patience in me.

Here’s to the next challenges of married life. May we be able to surpass it all. Amen.

For the Love of Him

I love my husband.

I love the way he looks at me like I’m the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen. I have all the insecurities in the world and he makes me feel perfect.

I love the way he rushes home from work just in time to see me and will hug me tight, plant small kisses and tell me how much he missed me.

I love the way he takes care of everything. When I make a mess out of cooking, he will fix it and turn it into a delicious meal.

I love those moments when we’re walking hand in hand. He makes me feel safe and secure.

I love how he laughs at me and hugs me when I cry in a movie.

I love those quiet moments when we’re watching a movie at home, his arms around me and my head on his shoulders. It feels like I’m in a comfort zone.

I love how he makes me laugh when I’m sad and how he understands and keeps quiet when I need some space.

He knows how to make me happy.

He has seen the worst in me and still accepted me for who I am.

He never fails to say that he loves me.

I love him dearly. I cannot imagine myself without him.

We’ve known each other for 13 years. We found each other and were never apart. We are each other’s first and last love.

Looking forward to more years of happiness and togetherness, and overcoming challenges.

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Not Another Egg Story

A month has passed of trying to get pregnant but failed. I thought if a woman has an egg, it can be fertilized right away. But no, I was wrong. A lot of woman I know says you can’t always have it on the first try. Besides, I was too preoccupied about getting pregnant, so they say, that it’s giving me stress.

Why does life make fun of people? Women who doesn’t want to get pregnant, get pregnant, and women who wants to get pregnant doesn’t get pregnant? Maybe I should start thinking the opposite way of not wanting to get pregnant, huh?

Alright then. I stopped thinking about it for a while and started having fun. I’m a coffee addict. But I stopped because it wouldn’t be good if I’m planning to get pregnant. So there goes my addiction again, consuming at least 4 cups of coffee a day. I stopped drinking alcoholic beverages. Once in a while ain’t that bad so I gave in. I’m not an alcoholic, mind you. But sometimes I need to unwind with my friends, you know?

A lot of women I know who got pregnant told me they waited for years, 7 or 10 years, before they got pregnant. I should just wait, they said. Hell, no. If I waited that long, I would have a menopausal baby!

See, I have an inverted uterus. I had a talk with my married friends and we got to discuss about it regarding positions, and no, I don’t even want to talk about it on my blog, thank you very much. I asked my doctor about it on my appointment this month and she just told me nonchalantly that, yeah, after the, um, action, I should maintain the “muslim prayer” position, as what she calls it, for about 30 to 45 minutes.

Whoooo-aaaattt???

I just want to laugh when she said that. She looks so serious. Wait, she’s not serious, is she?

Oh, and by the way, I have an egg again.

I wish myself and my husband all the luck on having a baby. Maybe I should start thinking of a Muslim name for our baby, hmmm…?

A Month Of Unfortunate Events

I think I’ve finally gotten used to being alone on the week days and being with my husband only on the weekends. But this week, I don’t have any more weekend days off and this stress of thinking that I won’t be seeing much of my husband when he comes home is kind of getting into me.

That’s why I wasn’t too keen on my day off yesterday. I’ll be sleeping until afternoon and waking up knowing that my husband is not scheduled to come home not until the weekend. I slept after chatting with my best friend G. I woke up late, stared into space, too lazy to do anything. My husband isn’t coming home. He told me he still have one more day before the Eid holiday. I’ll be back to work by the time he comes home.

I didn’t have the energy even to eat. I started to warm up by doing the laundry. At the kitchen, the flat owner, who is also my colleague and friend, left me a cheese cake at the table, which I ate, then I made a coffee to match. That got me going so I started cleaning the kitchen as well. After doing the laundry, I decided to clean our room. See, a clean house makes me feel relaxed. I cleaned the bathroom afterwards then took a long and relaxing hot shower.

My husband didn’t call. I just received a text message telling me he already arrived in their flat in Dubai. I didn’t notice the time either as I was busy ironing our clothes and watching Friends which I downloaded from the internet. It was almost 11pm when I finished. No calls from my husband. Maybe he’s asleep.

I went to bed and started Googling about convalidation of marriage in the catholic church. I was so stressed about our planned church wedding that I’m having second thoughts about it. It isn’t practical but a part of me wanted to splurge and have a simple but memorable church wedding with our family. I discussed it with my friends. Some said it isn’t practical. We’re already married. Some said it’s something that should be celebrated and that my husband and I should loan money in the bank if we want to have a really nice wedding.

I discussed it with my husband. At first he wasn’t really sure if we should schedule our church wedding on our vacation. Then he called me back telling me that we should just go right ahead and get married in church. Well, between planning to have a baby and planning a church wedding, we really need a great amount of money. How do you spell stress?

About the baby thing, I’ve finally accepted that we didn’t make it this month. What else do we have to do but try again? I’m gonna have to learn not to think about it too much. It will come in time.

As I was contemplating on so many things, I heard the front door open. The flat owner is here. I heard some scuttle in the kitchen. She’s probably looking for something to eat. Then I was surprised when the door to our room slowly opened. I thought maybe she needs something. But then I had the surprise of my life when I saw my husband grinning from ear to ear.

My jaw dropped. I was still staring at him. I couldn’t believe it. I asked him why he went home. This was unexpected. Then he told me to come and see what he’s brought. I went out and saw his luggage. I looked at him with inquisitive eyes. He laughed and said he’s assigned to Abu Dhabi starting tomorrow. I was like a child jumping up and down then I hugged him so tight I still couldn’t believe I was hearing this. He’s home!

This month may have been a series of unfortunate events (my husband being away from me and not having a baby), but hey, who said it wouldn’t be okay?