What I Learned to Appreciate


Travelling, I learned to appreciate the weather report. It’s that few minutes of your time in the morning that would save you from over-wrapping yourself to sweat all day or from shivering with frozen ears ready-to-be0chipped-off-the-sides-of-your-head.
 
Travelling, I learned to appreciate the traffic report. It’s that few minutes of your time in the morning that could save your work and play. A 30 minute delay is a 30 minute delay on everything after.
 
Travelling, I learned to appreciate sleep… which is what I should be doing right now if only the dryer is working the way it should be… Sleepy
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Fall Is Coming


Summer is almost over. Actually, for some it already is. Although, officially, autumn should start on September 22, 2009 here in the USA, it is starting to feel cold now in New Jersey with mornings opening up in the 50s. The sun shines, the sky is clear and blue, but the entire state feels airconditioned. "Bright beauty" as the weather man on TV calls it.
 
While summer is a whole lot of fun, fall is a feast to the eyes. This is perhaps the best season to go out and enjoy nature at its best. Perhaps that’s the reason fall fashion is usually into earth colors. Come autumn, the colors of the trees change from green to shades of yellow, orange and red like as if the trees are on fire — I imagine them giving the last effort for the year to show their warmth before they shed everything for winter.
 
A friend here told me that she knew I was coming because the temperature is already dropping. Well, considering I often come here during the cold seasons and leaves before summer, I suppose she’s got a pretty good sense. Come to think of it, I’ve already experienced completing fall, winter and spring here but not the summer season. Hope that would change next year. 🙂

Same Old, Same Old…


I am away from home again. I am back in a room where I return to my solitude ways of killing time with facebook, twitter, chats and pandora.
 
The town where I live is the same as I left it. The house I’m staying in is the same as I left it, although there is not as many people living in right now. The room is still the same as I left it, although the airconditioner was installed on a different window, which turns out to be a great idea! The remaining window actually has a better view where I can watch the colors change for autumn in the coming months.
 
I got the same laundry day schedule as before: Thursday. That means my gym days would be M-W-F. But that’ll be like two weeks from now. I’m still on my 1st week of two for deconditioning — 5×5 was good but I’ll try HST this time… at least something would be different. 😉
 
Same old, same old…
 
 

Home


It’s cool to visit places; to see new things; and to experience different cultures. But nothing beats home. I’m so excited to be back in Manila this June. I miss my family, my wife, my kids and my friends.

Not a Typical Weekend in NY


This is my latest NY weekend:
 
1. Dinner at an authentic Chinese restaurant in Chinatown — awesome prawns in fruit salad.
2. Party at a "no name bar" found somewhere along W 14th St — great DJ music.
3. Hangout at the Seaport’s Pier 17 — favorite place ever.
4. Ride the free Water Taxi to IKEA in Brooklyn — quite an experience.
5. Take IKEA’s free shuttle bus to Brooklyn Bridge — my first time.
6. Lunch at Grimaldi’s — best pizza ever!
7. Cross the Brooklyn Bridge — always the best exercise.
8. Brave the snow storm at 7th Ave — gave up.
9. Ate "NY-style Shawarma" from a food stand near the 6th Ave — so and so.
10. Watch Johnny Gallagher perform at the ARS Nova Theater — amazing performance!
11. Chill out at The Bar Nine — lively and relaxing at the same time.
12. Stroll around Central Park — never fails to impress.
13. Walk along the 5th Ave — temptations!
14. Visit MoMa — wow!
 
I had my first yellow cab ride. I had my first bus ride. I had lots of subway rides.
 
It was great!
 
The fun weekend ended with a wonderful lunch at Anita’s Asian Cuisine along Rt 10 W, NJ.

After Thanksgiving…


After the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade in NY, the hearty Thanksgiving dinner with friends, the shopping attempts at Woodbury and Atlantic City Outlets, I have come to a realization how much I know I would be happier with my family. It’s really hard to be away from home specially when I get to see so many new and wonderful things but don’t get to share them with the people I value most.
 
I am happy to spend time with friends, yes, but not everything is permanent here. People come and go. The times together are warm and priceless, but nothing compares to being with my family whom I know are there to stay.
 
I miss my wife and kids. I can almost imagine how Christmas and New Year would be this year…
 

Atlantic City


After resting from the craziest holiday I’ve ever enjoyed, we went to Atlantic City. And guess what we did there… More shopping! There are better stores and deals in Atlantic City. We walked the Boardwalk a bit then went to Taj Mahal to try out a few slot machines. I lost $5.10. I felt so bad about it. I think it would’ve been more fun with an arcade video game like Street Fighter or something. But it was an experience. Perhaps we’ll go back there to play more slot machines anyway.
 
An hour before midnight, it was time to go home. I was assigned to drive but gave up halfway because I was super sleepy that my eyes were teary wanting to snooze at 65 mph. I swapped with Anthony and I slept through the rest of the trip. When we reached home, as usual for this weekend, I was asleep as soon as I hit the bed.

My First Thanksgiving


It was crazy!
 
We woke up early in the morning to go to NY for the Thanksgiving Parade. There were great floats, balloons and some celebrities. I have to agree it’s a must experience. We stationed ourselves at Central Park. I got a good spot and took lots of pictures. I’ll post some of the good ones later.
 
Then we watched Beowulf at IMAX in the afternoon.
 
Come dinner, we had a Thanksgiving dinner party (Pinoy style) at 77. We played Bingo with big prizes at stake. There was a portable DVD player, a digital camera, an iTouch and a 26" LCD TV. Unfortunately, I didn’t win a single one of them… not even a box of Godiva chocolates for the consolation prizes.
 
Come midnight, we went to Woodburry for the Thanksgiving sale. I have never seen so many people shopping like there’s no tomorrow… at past midnight. And to think that the weather was really cold: 20 degrees F and winds to bear! We shopped there until 5:30am, drove back to Rockaway for breakfast and went straight to the Rockaway Mall for more shopping. We were awake for more than 30 hours already by noon.
 
We finally decided to go home, have lunch and bath. It was a tiring but fun experience. I was asleep as soon as I hit the bed.

Morning Surprise!


Guess what we woke up to this morning… It’s not officially winter yet here in NJ. But it’s already snowing! They weather guy on TV called it a late autumn snow. We have around a couple of inches of snow outside. We went out and took pictures. Fun in the cold. 🙂

Visited the Highpoint State Park, NJ


It was a good day today to go to a park despite the low temperature. There was clear sky so we head off to Highpoint State Park, NJ as planned almost a week before. The trip was smooth setting a good mood to basically enjoy the park’s sceneries and to take great pictures.
 
The park has a beach which faces a lake draped with a beautiful row of trees in autumn colors. We could see a monument at the highest peak of the park so we went up there and spent some time taking pictures. The peak has a perfect overlooking view of the Garden State. I took lots of pictures while enjoying the pre-winter sights: trees of green, yellow, orange and red leaves around (not something you’d see back home in the Philippines). Wonderful! It was like seeing the entire of New Jersey in its final beauty before all the leaves have fallen for winter.
 
The wind at the monument was chilling and freezing. We took more pictures here and there and relaxed a bit at a picnic table talking about anything. We drove home happy and satisfied with the experience.
 
It’s a good day indeed.