Thursday, May 24, 2007


after the balmy-sultry-warmy-schmoozy-woozy-me-likey weather in florida, i am now officially a frozen delight back here in LA. honestly, the weather in florida is more to my liking. the weather here in LA is actually not that cold, but i guess warm weather suits me more.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

tick tock

the hours slip by so slowly... before i know it, i would be on another Continental flight bound for LA tomorrow morning. i'm gonna miss florida a lot.

on the bright side, though, that means the time draws nearer for me to go home to my beloved manila. =)

this also means that this is probably my last post from the US coz it'll be difficult for me to get in front of a computer in my relative's place in LA. not that it matters a lot, though. hehe.

Friday, May 18, 2007

manila, manila... i keep coming back to manila

it seems that i will be going back to my beloved manila sooner than i expected. i'm excited to go back to manila, yet at the same time i know i'm going to miss all the new experiences i've had here in the US. every time i come here, there's always new places to go, things to do, and each is an unforgettable experience worth putting down on paper (or in this case, chronicling in this here blog. ü).

oh well. at any rate i will still be "chronicling" each experience even when i'm back in the philippines so it will still feel like i'm still living it. until then, there would be more writeups until i'm done, and then there would be new things to discover, more things to write about. hah-ha! =)

i'm coming home to stayyy... ;-)

Monday, May 14, 2007

biking pics

these pics are taken at the rock garden trail.



we're about to go down this hill.

moi with me cuzes

Sunday, May 13, 2007

miss lamon the mountain biker...?

as i type this, i must have lost about a million pounds already. this morning my tito and cousins took me to a mountain biking adventure at the alafia river state park. and when i say adventure, i mean adventure. i might know how to ride a mountain bike, but to really ride a mountain bike through rutty and rooty trails (not to mention overhanging branches, lots of bugs, and scratches) takes a lot of hard work, at least for me. i'm just glad that before i agreed to come along, i have been biking around the subdivision ever since i arrived here in my tito's place. at least that gave me the warm-up/exercise i needed or else i would be dead and not writing this by now. ;-)

the first trail we took was sand pine. it's the easiest trail in the park and it was no sweat for me. it was nice just cruising around the twists and turns of the flat trail, going over some roots that jut out and basically just enjoying the scene. but on one part of the trail, i suddenly saw a snake that moved as i passed by! it was black with white or yellow stripes. that was really scary coz i had no idea whether it was poisonous or not. this is the first time i've ever seen a snake that's in the wild and not just in a zoo. scary but exciting as well. i think i've never pedaled so hard in my life to get away.

the second trail was rock garden. you may think that i thought we'd be going around serene zen-like rock gardens with birds twittering about, but no. i just wondered how the trail came to be named rock garden, and i found out soon enough.

we had to ride on a trail that's full of roots that have jutted out from the ground, and it's so much trickier as we had to go uphill then downhill most of the time, with all those roots around. well, nevertheless, this was where i started to poop out because instead of riding down the hill, i just walked the bike down and then uphill. yes, and i'm not ashamed that i did that or else i might have ended up with a broken bone or worse, dead. ok, i'm just exaggerating here, but then i really had no intention of riding down the higher hills and though this is uncharacteristic of me, i just made the excuse that "i'm a girl." yuck, yuck, yuck but yes, i did. üüüüü

but even with that, i enjoyed the mountain biking a lot and if i just have a lot of time, i'd do this every weekend. then maybe i'd really lose the pounds. ;-)

pics to come soon. =)

Friday, May 11, 2007

my visual DNA

no relation whatsoever to my so-called "travel and food blog." just felt like adding this. =)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

NASA Adventure

Over breakfast last Friday, I asked my cousin all sorts of questions before we left for the Space Center Houston. "Where will the tram ride take us?" "Are there shows?" "Are there any other rides?"

He answered all my questions with equal seriousness: "To the Lyndon Johnson Space Center where blah, blah, blah..." "Yes." "Yes." Then I fired off my last question: "Is there some kind of ride which has zero gravity?"

His answer: Yes. Only I have to ride an airplane that goes up higher than the normal plane that will go up and then down, like a roller coaster, in order to achieve zero gravity. And only people who are training to be astronauts can go on this. Oh, oh-kay. Zero gravity cannot be achieved on the ground (uh, so sue me. i just thought that with the superior technology of NASA, they have already invented some zero gravity room on earth. apparently, it's on air ü). Moving on, I was able to learn later on that the plane that's used in achieving zero gravity is called the C9B, or otherwise known as the "Vomit Comet." It is so nicknamed because of its parabolic trajectory path. (Wow, do I sound so professional! ;-)) On earth, they have a diving pool in the Astronaut Training Facility in order to simulate zero-g.

Astronaut Training Facility

The rocket Saturn V is kept in a large storage in Rocket Park. It is the last rocket made, and because of the advent of the space shuttles, it was never launched.

Saturn V

ain't this Saturn V rocket long?

rocket boosters of Saturn V

take a closer look

Inside the Space Center is the Starship Gallery, where there's a space time line, exhibits (such as the Apollo 17 Command Module, space suits, the inside of the Space Lab, etc.) as well as a display of moon rocks.

l-r: basalt, breccia, anorthosite, breccia

touchable moon rock. =)

this is me and another astronaut on the moon. i'm the one on the right. ;-)

Apollo 17 Command Module

Space Center Houston also has theaters, one of which is the Blast Off. It's actually a new attraction at the Center, and it features a simulation of a launch---"over 7 million pounds of thrust pushes a 4 1/2 million pound vehicle skyward." It was an awesome feeling. After the lunch... er, launch, people go straight to the Blast Off Theater where they are updated on the latest news in space exploration. This is also where they enlightened the clueless visitors about the zero gravity room. There is, however, a real zero gravity room---the Zero-G Diner. =)

I watched another film in another theater, which is called the Northrop Grumman Theater. The film takes longer than the first one, about 30 minutes, but it was so worth it. It's about the people who undergo training before they can be sent to missions up in outer space. When the real shuttle was being launched, I felt I was also in it. The view of the earth from outer space is very beautiful; the five-storey screen made the experience even more incredible. Oh yeah, and the film's title? It's "To be an Astronaut." I definitely wanted to be an astronaut after watching it. =)

There are more pics in my multiply page, so if you'd like to see my ugly fesz as well, click here and here. Be warned! ;-)

Sunday, May 06, 2007


i am now officially ensconced here in my cousin's room in tampa, florida. new adventures coming up! =)
the flight coming here was awesome. it's just about an hour and a half plane ride fron houston, and no matter how tired i was from last night's picture-posting on this here blog, it was worth it--the flight was short and smooth, the sky was very clear, and i could see different types of boats on the gulf of mexico below. i especially loved two things on this flight: first, when the plane took off, all i could see are fields of green--trees, trees and more trees, with patches of buildings here and there. the state of texas seems to go on forever, with vast terrains that still needed to be explored. and then second, on the plane's final approach to the airport, i saw this really, really majestic sunset. the glow of the setting sun reflecting from the water's surface as seen from the air is more spectacular than seen on land. tampa's many waterways transformed into golden pools of sunlight. it was simply dazzling, literally and figuratively.
i remember that when i was flying to houston, the flight was different. it was a bit bumpy as the plane was flying over land, and we also encountered a thunderstorm two hours into the flight. (the flight was about three and a half hours from los angeles). we were actually just above the clouds, and it was so amazing to see the force of nature literally light up under us... lances of lightning slicing through the dark sky. (it was night time, obviously. ü)
the flight coming to the US is a different story, though. i'll write about it real soon.
and i'm really happy that on all three flights, i sat by the right wing of the plane. the seats by the plane's wings are my most favorite!
and yeah, i'm a-going to the beach tomorrow! woohoo! =)

Saturday, May 05, 2007

nasa NASA ako

"Houston, we have a problem."

Ahh, the most memorable line by Tom Hanks from the movie Apollo 13 (and which also became included in the list of cliches). But hey, I certainly didn't have a problem at all in touring the Lyndon Johnson Space Center in Houston.

the names of the five space shuttles

a model of a space station

this is the only McDonald's that has an astronaut on top.

this is my weight on jupiter. my weight on earth? you do the maths. =)

Ooh, so many pictures... I'm getting sleepy now. =) More pics will be posted here and in my Multiply page soon and on the moon.

Downtown Houston Sights

I can't believe it... this is my third post for today! Yay! =) Anyhow, the following are some more of what I've seen on my jaunt to Houston yesterday. (May 3)

part of the Houston skyline from the Downtown Aquarium
Toyota Center, the home of the Houston Rockets

Reliant Stadium, home of the... home of Houston's football team. =)
Here's an interesting fact about Reliant Stadium: it's roof is retractable, so when it's raining the roof closes so everyone doesn't get soaked by the rain. Of course when it's sunny, the roof's open. Think convertible.

la Madeleine

After the fishy adventure at the Downtown Aquarium, my cousin and his family took me to la Madeleine, this quaint French cafe and bakery. All of us had a taste of what we ordered -- quiche lorraine, chocolate crepe, strawberry white chocolate cheesecake (I chose this one... m-mmm...), le pot pie (not pictured) and chicken friand (not pictured... it was attacked before I could snap a picture of it). French cuisine is one of my favorites as the food is mostly creamy with just the right amount of spices and a splash of wine. The atmosphere is also very cozy, with muted shades and light music. It was raining too, so it added just a touch of... romance. =)

the incredible hand

strawberry white chocolate mousse...

quiche lorraine

chocolate crepe

les poissons

The Downtown Aquarium in Houston was built in 2001 and it took 18 months to complete. It houses about 400 species of marine life in more than 500,000 gallons of underwater tanks. Within the six acre complex is the Houston Central Waterworks (not pictured), where you can see many species of sharks in yet another huge tank with 200,000 gallons of water. Visitors would not only enjoy the food in the restaurant, but the ambience as well, as one can have a full view of the tank teeming with different kinds of fishes, rays, and even corals. For more info, check out their website here.


i saw a sawfish in this shark exhibit!

anuzzer fish

and more fishes!

and another sawfish... this time in the tank in the restaurant

les pics 2

more pics from inside the houston museum of natural science.

my niece kate at the earthquake table

kate with the panther and zebra's butt =)

Friday, May 04, 2007

les pics 1

these pictures were taken in front of the sam houston memorial as well as from the houston museum of natural science. yep, i'm a fan of science, as well as museums! =) the pics aren't that good though, but still, enjoy! =)

with my tita and nieces (the other one's in the stroller =p)

c'est moi in front of sam houston's memorial

le zebra