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Thursday, May 31, 2018

Visit to Charles Dickens Christmas Towne






Charles Dickens Christmas Towne is a magical, recreated village where you 'll get the experience of stepping back into a 19th century Victorian England. This is one place worth visiting during Christmas time, located at Waterside Drive in Norfolk, Virginia. Children will surely enjoy it.

Inside the village, you get to experience walking on cobblestone path past candlelit windows, or enjoy delicious, seasonal baked goods, or sip hot teas and chocos at cozy places. You can as well shop pretty ornaments from many local merchants, or just watch strolling costumed actors and carolers greeting everyone with "Happy Christmas", and singing seasonal songs.

You'll also enjoy taking your photos from ideal holiday backdrops such as London vignettes or mesmerizing model train displays that are catchy for the children. 

There are lots of activities that the whole family can enjoy including the experience of seeing snow in the town square everyday of your visit!

Sent from my iPad Pro:
"Greatly blessed, highly favored...imperfect but forgiven child of God!"😇🙏

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Boardwalk Holiday Lights - Virginia Beach


One amazing place to visit during the Christmas season in Virginia Beach is the boardwalk for the sparkling lights.
It's gonna be a slow driving tour for those who are doing a quick visit.

I and my husband were able to sign up for a bus tour going there, so we were in a large group.

This has been a holiday tradition that makes the night lovely and wonderful to the Hampton roads and along 2nd Street & the Boardwalk of course!
There are certain fees for all vehicles coming depending on the type of vehicle you have. The fees may also change yearly.





You will be amused with the various animated holiday-themed light displays, and if you have kids, they would absolutely enjoy it! Attractive displays include jumping dolphins, frolicking sea creatures, blocks of festive fish, mermaids, santas and many more. I have attached some video clips as well as photos for you to enjoy ;).





Note that each light may not be exactly the same each year. They may add some new designs and remove some, or they may be the same with additional animations.

Enjoy the holidays with spectacular delight at Virginia Beach for your whole family. It will be worth it. Bring your cameras and take tons of photos and videos too!



Sent from my iPad Pro:
"Greatly blessed, highly favored...imperfect but forgiven child of God!"😇🙏

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

A Tribute Holiday Show For the USO

It was a patriotic night experience with a comedy in between watching the "USO Holiday Tribute Show" at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.

The show features songs and music during the WW II, Korea and Vietnam. The performance called "Thanks for the Memories" was nostalgic for those who experienced hearing entertainment during the World War II, which included comedy and music that starred Bill Johnson as Bob Hope and the Victory Belles from WW II Museum in New Orleans along with seasonal music and historical repertoires.






This tribute show is dedicated to all American veterans with holiday songs which were performed by Hollywood celebrities in the jungles, battlefields and even aboard aircraft carriers...those days when soldiers got their entertainment while on the battlefield!

This show brings you back into yesteryear!

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Guided Tour of the Hunter House Victorian Museum

Before you take this tour, take note that photos are not allowed inside! So, reserve your cameras for photos outside only! :(

This house museum is located in the Freemason district of downtown Norfolk, Virginia that is rich in both local and Victorian history, built in 1894.
As you walk towards the house museum, you can easily see the sign along with beautiful two-story eclectic 19th century homes lining the street as its neighborhood! 



The only photo I secretly took inside which they said this was a medical machine used to diagnose heart failures!

This gorgeous Victorian house museum was owned by Mr. James & Lizzie Hunter and their 3 children. The family was prominent since Mr. Hunter was a famous civic leader and merchant and a successful banker.
Most of its furnishings are original including the Victorian furnishings and decorative arts which also belonged to the hunter family.

Tours are offered if you want to know more about its history and the artistic style furnishings inside the home, or if you are just one person who loves art and history.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Chocolate tasting AT The Royal Chocolate

If you haven't heard about The Royal Chocolate yet, it's a local confectionary that would treat you with a hot choco fondue and homemade truffles.

Me and hubby


It's located in Virginia Beach Town Center that offers chocolates of all kinds, like choco-dipped apples, gourmet caramel and all kinds of exquisite chocolates placed in beautiful gift baskets.

It also has a special collection of handmade Royal Chocolates made with real Belgian chocolate.

You can always get a nice gesture from them by a free tasting! A very nice bonus if you also want to buy their products; - from regular chocolate products to chocolates-filled beautifully wrapped gift box and basket!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

A "Glimpse of Heaven" (Garin Farm - San Joaquin, Iloilo)

Garin Farm in San Joaquin, Iloilo Philippines is both a farm and a pilgrimage area in one. It's also a resort that integrates agriculture, leisure and pilgrimage, so expect it to be a place where lots of activities can be done; - from feeding the animals, doing leisure activities to Spiritual reflections.

Since I have already talked about the farm in my previous posts, I would only want to share my experience about the additional feature added at the pilgrimage area; - the meditation tunnel and stairway to heaven! It actually went famous in several social media and in the local news, so it caught my attention. With so much interest, I and my husband thought of visiting the place when we went to the Philippines for a vacation.


the path

meditation area

If you want to see the stairway to heaven, you can either do it in two options. Either climb up the 480-step stairways up to the Divine Mercy Cross, or hop on a cart going up with a minimal fee. The most efficient way to do it would be through the stairs; - you get free exercise, and at no cost! ;).
Take note that you have to go through the dark meditation tunnel to reach the stairway to heaven when you are coming from the stairs passing by the Divine Mercy cross.

Once you reached the top, facing the cross, you will be led to a stairs on your right going through the tunnel. It is actually dark because of black walls, and only lit by small LED lights at both sides of the main path. As you walk towards inside, you will then see a meditation area with the image of Christ where you can actually meditate and pray.
At the end of the tunnel is a bright light that actually is breathtaking when you see it...it feels like you are now few steps away to enter Heaven...God's Kingdom!


Once you've passed that bright light out of the tunnel, you will be amazed to see a "stairway to heaven"; a scene that is described mostly in the Bible (a simulation of some sort). The stairs are all pure white, lined by angels blowing trumpets on both sides, until up the main door as you go further inside where you can see more angels all dressed in white facing the Great White Throne, worshipping the Holy Trinity; - God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit on it.



Me and my family
The place has a different photo effects during the night and during daytime. We went there at night and we had the camera flash so it looked brighter. But if you know how to play your camera lights in a darker mode, you might be able to get unique kind of shots during the night. It's just amazing that during night time, the white color appears so distinctively bright.

The experience of seeing a simulated heaven is surely heavenly! You can basically meditate and pray there, plus you get an amazing feeling of how glorious it is to at least get the experience to see a "glimpse of heaven"!

Wonderfully blessed!!!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Facts To Know About Bermuda


  1. Bermuda is known to be 21 miles in length and 3 miles wide.
  2. It lies east of North Carolina about 650 miles. Bermuda is an archipelago with 7 main islands and with more than 180 islands and islets.
  3. You can have any kind of paint color for your Bermuda house, but all rooftops are painted white and are all made of limestones.
  4. No tax for everything, except property/real estate tax.
  5. Bermuda was discovered by Juan de Bermudez, a Spanish explorer in 1503 but didn't attempt to land due to treacherous reefs surrounding the uninhabited islands. Admiral Sir George Somers, established an English claim of the islands later in 1609 after his ship "Sea Venture" was wrecked on reefs off the shores of Bermuda.
  6. Almost everything is expensive!
  7. You can't own a house/property in Bermuda unless you are a Bermudian, your parents/family are Bermudian, or you are a millionaire!
  8. Bermuda is part of the British colony but they have their own government, and they don't get the same benefits like the British have.
  9. The Bermuda currency is Bermuda dollar (BMD) which is on par with US dollar.
  10. Bermuda became an English colony in 1684, and is the oldest British colony and has the 2nd oldest parliamentary democracy in the world.
  11. Head of the State is Queen Elizabeth II and is represented in Bermuda by a governor whom she appoints internally. It has a parliamentary system of government.
  12. Water in Bermuda is rain-dependent. If there is no rain in longer months, they have system to convert sea rain into household water. These tanks are stored underground for each home or property.
  13. No snakes, no sharks in Bermuda, but beware of jellyfish in beaches. They sting real bad!
  14. Bermuda is well known for pink sand beaches.
  15. They drive on the left side of the road.
  16. No McDonald's, Burger King, Starbucks or American franchises because local businesses would die. Only KFC is present and is expensive with a bucket of chicken costing to $39.00!
  17. A triangular area in the Atlantic called "Bermuda Triangle" is believed to be known for mysterious shipwrecks, disappearances and plane crashes. The apexes of these traiangles are Bermuda, Miami, Florida and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
  18. Bermuda's head of the government is the premier, who is also the leader of the majority party in the House of Assembly. The cabinet has ministers chosen by the premier from among the members of the House of Assembly and the Senate.

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Gardens at Yaddo - A Visiting Tour!

I had a quick visit at the Yaddo Gardens in Saratoga Springs, NY in early fall of 2016, and unfortunately, not much was to be seen. There were few roses at the rock garden, but other than that, there was nothing more interesting to see except for the pergola where I found it unique for a photo opp! :).




The pool and fountain are the areas that are "catchy" and attractive. I noticed many who come here usually do their photo shoots!




The pool is designed with upper and lower parts with fountains and with a long connecting rill of flowing water bordered by dolomite rocks with a separating rocky incline.

The present location of Yaddo Gardens used to house a farm, a gristmill and the Barhyte tavern. During the years between 1830-1840, many famous writers dined at the tavern, among them Edgar Allan Poe.
In 1881, Spencer Trask, a famous financier in New York city and his poet wife Katrina Trask bought the property and named it "Yaddo" as suggested by their daughter. The Trasks built the present mansion which was completed in 1893, where scenes of famous house parties were held attended by prominent statesmen, artists and even industrialists.



The Trasks has 4 children and all died leaving them without heirs, so that in 1900, they established the Corporation of Yaddo endowing it in perpetuity to administer a working community of artists.
Today, Yaddo's mission is to provide artist uninterrupted time to work, good working conditions and a supportive community which has remained central in its operation throughout the years.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Historic Saratoga Springs & Guided Mineral Water Tours!

This innovative tour is one in a lifetime experience as you will learn about the famous architecture of the renowned city of Saratoga Springs and how it became as the "spa city", and a tasting tour of water samples coming from the springs.
For many centuries, Saratoga was known only as a sacred ground of the native Americans.
Sir William Johnson established a mutual strong relationship with the tribe wherein in 1771, he was brought to an area called High Rock Spring for healing. Ultimately, his healing became a news and prompted curiosity and interest of the public about the water spring.

By 19th century, Saratoga developed as a resort town and catered those who sought the water springs for therapeutic needs. The place consequently became a thriving spa where devotees sought for "the cure" by taking hydrotherapy treatments and mineral baths and drinking prescribed amounts of different mineral waters.
These mineral springs were produced as a result of fractured shale along the Saratoga Fault Line, causing the waters to spring upward out from the resulting cracks. The water dissolves minerals from the limestones where they were trapped, thus, in the process became naturally carbonated. All of these springs contain the same minerals but in different concentrations, depending upon how deep underground they have originated. The higher the mineral concentration, the deeper the depth of origin.

These mineral springs of Saratoga are known to be naturally carbonated with carbon dioxide; they have a cool constant temperature of 55F; and several of the springs are "spouters" which shoot high up in the air.

Courtesy of Saratoga.com
The photo above is the polaris spring. The water has a carbonated, "alka seltzer" taste!

The springs are also categorized as alkaline (antacid), cathartic (Laxative), or high in iron, and many claim they have healing properties.
There are at least 20 mineral springs, some located in the Spa State Park, Congress park and High Rock Areas.

Take note that during the tour, don't expect all the mineral springs to be working. Most tours have only 4-6 mineral springs location working where you are free to taste the spring waters at each location. (Bring your own cups for the sample tasting!)

Geyser Island Spouter
This is a 'spouter" located in an island, surrounded by hardened minerals.


Hayes Well Spring
This one has a distinctive horrible smell and tatste! :(


You can learn more about tours by visiting the Saratoga Springs Heritage Area Visitor Center.



Thursday, January 4, 2018

Campuestohan Highland Resort - Overnight Experience


Campuestohan Highland Resort is situated between the boundaries of two cities; -Bacolod and Talisay, consisting of a 5-hectar property that is surrounded by the lush green mountains of Mt. Makawili, making the place cool most of the time and misty in the late afternoons.
From the mountain is a vintage view of mostly the entire part of Negros Occidental, including the Panay Island.

The resort is located about 800-meters above sea-level making it a great place to commune with nature that also offers a majestic panorama and breathtaking views!
The resort is owned by a couple - Mr. Ricardo Tan and Nita Tan.

Today, this place, which used to be a wide grassy land is now transformed as a wonderland for many children and adult alike which is now considered as one of the most famous tourist destinations in Negros Occidental.

The resort has amenities ideal for vacationing families with smaller kids and adults as well; - children's park and rides, several swimming pools that includes the wave pool (call the resort for wave pool's open hours), big statues and the heroes' hall consisting of marvel characters' statues. The heroes' hall is more than enough to capture a kid's heart (and when you couldn't afford to bring them to Disneyland!)


Someone dared a kiss to spidey! :)
Several outdoor rides and activities for adults are also available such as the famous hamster wheel, bicycle ride, a zip line, rope course, horse back riding and bungee trampoline. All rates can be accessed through their website or better yet call them and verify the prices for all outdoor adventure rides.

I and my family went for an overnight visit so we were given a complimentary breakfast which is applicable for a group of 3 or more, and a free entrance for each. Daytime visitors are charged with a Php 150/person entrance fee. (as of this writing).

A private transportation can also be arranged to pick up and drop off customers if  you have big groups with certain fees. In our case, we chose to get a private group charter, (a private van, good for 15 persons), although we were only 7 in a group. Regardless, we still paid Php 2,500 for the van. No complain about our transportation as it was much more convenient for us not to worry about catching our ferry trip back home, knowing a transportation is readily available upon checking out. The 2,500 pesos - transportation fee was for picking up and dropping us off from and to our destination.

All information including room accommodations and prices can be accessed through their website at www.campuestohanhighlandresort.com but reservations have to be done by phone. Take note that upon reservation, you will be required to pay 50% of your downpayment basing on your room rates, and you have to pay it through their bank account. How I wish bookings and payments can just be done online for convenience. The "paying" part is a bit of a hassle as you have to actually go to the bank to pay it, to get the actual bank receipt to present it upon checking in the resort.

For those who are planning to visit for an overnight trip, I have to be honest regarding their rooms. I find it too expensive for a Php 5,000 room that really needs maintenance! How would you like to pay 5,000 pesos for a room that has moldy ceilings, chipping paints and cracked walls??? I felt I was caught off guard because I know myself I couldn't complain in the middle of the night, and that if I will start complaining at check out, I know it will take time forever, and I didn't want our ferry trip to be compromised!...I wished I had more than enough time to do it.






Some amenities in the room is also lacking like hot water for coffee or tea! There was a thermos but no hot water!

No complaints about the rides!...I would surely prefer to visit it in the daytime, only if perhaps I'm a local and just live around the neighborhood.
It would be a sad experience for others who are quite far from the resort who need to stay for the night. By the way, I reserved 2 Tepee Hut Rooms...they have molds that need to be removed and walls that need to be repainted and fixed.

As I've said, I was caught off guard, but didn't have much time to complain. :(. Maybe, they can read this as a feedback.
We were there November 2016.

Anyway, experience wise about the rides, food and the cool breeze at night were amazing! I love the nature that surrounds the resort!


Thursday, December 28, 2017

Visit To Prospect Mountain


This beautiful iconic landmark nestles at the foothills of Adirondacks in Lake George, New York. It offers a magnificent panoramic views with a foot summit of 2,030 feet. At the peak, you can see a 100-mile view of Lake George and Adirondacks region.

There is a 5.5 mile drive up to the summit on Veteran's Memorial Highway and has 3 stunning scenic overlooks; - The Narrow, the Lake George Panorama and the Eagle's Eye. The summit was built and dedicated in 1969 in honor of America's War Veterans.



At the summit, you can conveniently use restrooms and enjoy using their picnic facilities such as picnic wooden tables and chairs provided in the area. There are also self-guided hiking and nature trails.
Don't miss the historical ruins such as the Old Cable Railway and the Bullwheel. The Old Cable Railway was once the world's largest cable railroad from 1895-1903 which was used to be a transportation that brought passengers who wanted to do an overnight stay at the Prospect Mountain House; - a hotel on the summit that was burned down twice later.



Sunday, December 10, 2017

Dining at Generations Restaurant (Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort)

This restaurant is owned by Golden Arrow Lakeside resort; - a lodge-style restaurant that also offers a view of the lake when dining located in Lake Placid, New York.



We had the experience of having a lunch here and the food was superb! There is a part where the view of the lake can be seen, but since we were a part of a big tour group, we only had a choice to sit at the middle which is quite hidden from the view. :( We had a quick peek for the view but it wasn't a good angle to take photos!
The restaurant is mainly located on Main St., and has quaint boutiques, shops and stores close by.


The Alpine Village Shoppes are series of shops that directly connects to the hotel (Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort). This is a good area for shopping for clothings, they have specialty shops, snacks, etc... you'll never get bored! :).

The neighborhood is quiet and peaceful. We saw a beautiful church close by and the colorful trees in the fall are stunning!





Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Beautiful, Charming Bermuda!

One of the best experience to visit the nautical charm of Bermuda is through a cruise ship.

Bermuda is an island and a British territory with Hamilton as its capital city. It is geographically located in the North Atlantic Ocean, approximately southeast of North Carolina, south of Nova Scotia and north of San Juan, Puerto Rico. It is once a vast British colonial empire in North America.

Bermuda comprises only 2 towns; - Hamilton (the only city), and St. George. But it is also an interesting fact that the Royal Navy Dockyard also known as Dockyard is being seen as its 3rd town because of its attractive amenities; - shops, museums, restaurants, art shops, British pubs, etc... The Dockyard is actually one of Bermuda's key attractions!



It has 2 berths; - the King's Wharf and the Heritage Wharf. These 2 wharfs are the first destinations since they are the only ports suitable for mega cruise ships.

Our ship docked at Heritage Wharf and it provides an easy access to shops such as the Clocktower Shopping Mall, and other attractions and entertainment at the dockyard.


Both the King's Wharf and Heritage Wharf are located at the Royal Navy Dockyard which is the island's primary cruise port.
Beyond King's Wharf is Bermuda's historic capital, Hamilton city, blending British and islander influences. Hamilton's Front St. comprises all the shops, restaurants and other commercial establishments, while the Church St. proudly shows the Georgian-style Session House built in 1815.

Bermuda has a rich maritime heritage with a nautical charm, full of rich heritage.

Pink sand beaches are also commonly seen along the South Shore and are considered to be famous worldwide.

It's really difficult to see the sand as pink in photos! I couldn't see the pink-ish sand but when you are actually facing the shore, there are pink accents that glitters as the sands are being washed by the waves!


The House On The Hill:




The house you see fronting the Heritage Wharf situated on a hill is the Commissioner's House! Did you know that it was actually a ship called "HMS Malabar"? It didn't actually sail or float but it was a ship! Its walls are made of hard Bermuda limestones which were quarried and shaped by British prisoners including some slaves and local workers as well.

The Commissioner's House was Bermuda's equivalent of the White House in Washington DC. After the British left the dockyard in 1951, it became abandoned until 1974, and then after 25 years, it was restored in the year 2000 with the efforts of many private and corporate donors and volunteers.
Nowadays, it is a common sight to behold when you're in Bermuda, considered to be its westernmost landmark.

Shopping wise, you will enjoy going around the shops, from the dockyard to Hamilton Front St., and St. George. Indeed, you can enjoy a fabulous shopping in Bermuda!