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Friday, February 29, 2008

Our "Brunch Date"

September ,3 2006

Venue: Sheraton Columbia Hotel Columbia, Maryland

This was where our brunch date where hubby surprised me one late morning. (I told you, hubby is really full of surprises :).)

Anyway, we went to Riverside Restaruarant, at Sheraton Columbia Hotel, and we had our buffet brunch. The food was really good. A lot of food options to choose from breakfast menus to lunch. I chose to eat lunch, so it was a full meal. The place was very scenic and sirene to me because the restaurant is just beside the lake, so it made the event more romantic to me :).

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We did a short walk at the back in the woods. It was somewhat like a nature tripping.

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Photo Sharing MyPhotoAlbum

Photo Sharing MyPhotoAlbum

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We ended up our walk at the Columbia Lakefront mini park, took a bit of rest and off we went back home. We both enjoyed it together.

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Photo Sharing MyPhotoAlbum

ICELAND - "Nightlife Capital of the North"

I got curious reading about Iceland. And there are 5 fun facts about it:
  1. Because drinks costs about $15, most Icelanders party at home before going out. Bars stay open until 8 AM on weekends.
  2. Iceland receives only 4 hours of daylight during winter. In summer, the nights are nearly as bright as days. This may explain why no one ever seems to sleep.
  3. Icelanders aren't big on personal space, so don't get offended if someone shoves past you in a crowded bar.
  4. Brennivin, Iceland's national rotgut, is nicknamed Black Death. Most locals who aren't homeless won't go anywhere near the sickening schnapps, but it's sometimes used as a chaser after a bite of hakari, a traditional dish of putrefied shark meat.
  5. Icelandic women are not only uniformly attractive and fluent in English, they are also among the "friendliest" in Europe.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Denver, Colorado Trip Adventures

August 14-19, 2006
We had a long flight from Baltimore to Detroit and from Detroit to Denver. This trip lasted for 4 hours which was pretty much exhausting. It must be so far the toughest trip we encountered because we both had the “altitude sickness” which at first we were not aware we were getting it. We were unaware that geographically speaking, we were 6,450 feet high above sea level. I was nauseated and got nasal headaches while hubby was having trouble breathing at times. It was manageable though, so thank God for that .
We got several itineraries as planned. Since we had a rented car, we managed to visit someplaces:

Red Rock Amphitheater – this place was really captivating! The long seemed unendless stairs going up was really challenging. Once you reach the top, you can see the famous amphitheatre which was famously called carved by Mother Nature.



Coors Field - we were able to witness this place when we were invited to watch a baseball game. My first time ever to watch this game. It was fun doing it and cheering for the Colorado Rockies against the Diamond Backs. Geesh,our team was lost :(.


Rocky Mountain National Park:




Denver Museum of Nature & Science:


Monday, February 25, 2008

Atlanta, Georgia Trip (2nd Visit)

August 4-9, 2006
Yes, this is our second visit after a month :) We had 2 1/2 days free time before hubby's schedule for symposium teaching. This time, we made at least 4 itineraries touring around attractions frequently visited by many.

Georgia Aquarium - (Aug. 5, 2006)
We went to the aquarium early in the morning to catch up with the long lines of going inside. It was weekend, so it was crowded.
Anyway, once inside, there are a lots of places to visit. This is considered to be the largest aquarium in the world. Just imagine, it has eight million gallons of fresh and marine water and more aquatic life than found in any other aquarium.
Obviously, it is all aquatic life scenes that are present there, so below is one of my many photos which includes the various marine life inside the aquarium. Georgia Aquarium is actually highly recommended for the kids, and for the whole family as well.



Stone Mountain Park - (Aug. 6, 2006)
This was the most thrilling ride I ever got for the first time...the summit skyride! This is the rock's top attraction. This high-speed Swiss cable car provides a stunning view of the Confederate Memorial Carving as it transports guests more than 825 feet above ground to the top of Stone Mountain. I closed my eyes most of the time since I have phobia for heights.

But we got the chance to see the famous Stone Mountain Carving up-close. I forgot the fearful scene of the height for a while and so I was able to get good shots of the carving :) The shots of the pool below was done by hubby. Remember, I couldn't look down..:)



Reaching the top was awesome! From there, we saw amazing views of the Atlanta skyline, the Appalachian Mountains and more up to 60 miles away. Then, another few more poses for the camera. lol!




We also tried the riverboat excursions and paddlewheel riverboat cruise along Stone Mountain Lake. I only was able to take limited shots during that time...I didn't remember why, but I guess I got so tired with the sweltering heat of the sun..so I didn't know exactly what was I aiming for LOL!




6 Flags Over Georgia - (Aug. 7, 2006)
The temperature during that day went up as high as 99F. That's more than the hot temperature in the Philippines! We were both sweating like crazy. With the help of the thirst quenchers close by, these helped us gained back our strength and enjoyed meeting Bugs Bunny and friends. Hanging out with these toons were fun...at least we became like kids only for a few minutes. It's good to be child like once in a while, right? :)



Friday, February 22, 2008

Longwood Gardens





The Topiary Garden

These are evergreen yews trimmed into large geometric forms and whimsical shapes.



While watching the fireworks and colorful waterworks...spectacular!




Thursday, February 21, 2008

Atlanta, Georgia Trip

July 3-8, 2006
Atlanta was our main destination during the entire trip. I can say this is the only place most widely visited by me and my husband. One thing that got me excited during this trip was the July 4th big event...fireworks! It would be my first July 4th to witness the big fireworks only to be disappointed at the end because there was a big thunderstorm that night, and so it was cancelled!
On the other side of it, we had 4 itineraries four our trip:

July 4, 2006 - Our visit to Atlanta Botanical Garden.

Main Entrance
Among the special highlights of the garden that we went to visit is "Niki in the Garden" which are mostly large exhibits of a renowned international artist Niki de Saint Phalle's outdoor sculptures. The Garden was the ideal place for Saint Phalle's work to be displayed because of her love of nature. Saint Phalle's imaginative, monumental artworks are beautifully displayed throughout the Garden. To me, they are captivating and very catchy that makes them unique too.

The Nepenthes Chandelier
The Nepenthes Chandelier is a one-of-a-kind creation by Dale Chihuly and was a favorite of visitors during the 2004 Chihuly in the Garden exhibit. A captivating assemblage of brightly colored glass in hues of yellow, chartreuse, and gold with touches of red, the chandelier sparkles in the Special Exhibitions space in the Fuqua Conservatory. The Nepenthes Chandelier was donated by David Jost Tufts in memory of Jeff Lewis.

Then we went to visit the garden's huge collections of plants, both indoor and outdoor. Of course, if you are a person who loves flowers and plants, this is worth it. I only got a few flower photos since I got more interested in the sculptures ;)



July 5, 2006 - CNN Studio Tour

Good thing is CNN was just a walking distance from our hotel, so we didn't have to take a cab to go there. This is CNN's global headquarters. Our tour was for 55 minutes, no photography allowed inside the studio, but photos are allowed on the lobby area.

Our tour started at the bottom of the world's largest freestanding escalator. Some shots of me were taken on the escalator, behind me were our tour group. Of course somebody was still ahead of me, who else...my husband! He was the one taking the photos :))





Once inside, it is pretty much tight in security, equipped with Xray machine. You have to pass the machine before you go inside the main studio.

Studio 7E - No photos were allowed, but lucky me...my husband was able to get 2 shots inside the studio :).



Studio 7E is a blackbox studio where it gives you an up-close look at the technology used at CNN everyday while delivering the news and the weather. This is where they do the actual reporting of the weather.

Other Tour sites (strictly no photos):

CNN Control Room - here, we witnessed the taste of the fast paced environment of live television news.

The CNN Overlook - this is the bird's eye view of the news room in action. Here they showed how news flows in from their sources and then out to their viewers.

July 3, 2006 - The World of Coca-Cola Tour

This tour was the only chance for me to know that Coca-cola originally came from Atlanta...the home of my most favorite drink..Coke! lol!
It's the only place where you can explore the complete story past, present, and future of the world's best-known brand!


July 8, 2006 - Atlanta Zoo

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Chicago Tour

June 26 - July 1, 2006

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Shots of chicago historical buildings during our boat cruise along chicago river that merges further into Lake Michigan.

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I also was able to catch the "pink train" which I see it as cute...lol!

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We were also able to get shots of some buildings during the night...
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CHICAGO DOWNTOWN:

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My second day in Chicago,Illinois.



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Just a quick shot while walking along. The Water Tower place is also a good place to do malling, or if you're a food lover, there are lots of choices around.
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A typical car park building in Chicago downtown. It is "head turning" for me so I took a shot :).

Monday, February 18, 2008

Filipiniana Festival

June 11, 2006 - Chessapeak, Maryland

This was my first time witnessing the festival here in Maryland and in the whole US of A! :) Of course, one thing that made me excited was the Filipino food. :) I was missing it since I was here.

Hubby wasn't sure where the exact place was, and so we were just having a tough task trying to park our car close by. Anyway, we passed through that and by the time we were able to get through the place, I was hungry. So...time to look for food! It was so hot and humid that day, and hubby was wearing his barong tagalog and so he was sweating like crazy. Anyway, we were able to take a place under the shade, while we ate our food.

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Photo Sharing MyPhotoAlbum

It was a good thing we were able to catch a glimpse of the parade (santacruzan) and took some shots. Afterwhich we went around and looked up some stalls. There were lot of stalls around selling different products that came from the Philippines (mostly). It was actually like you're in a Baclaran area in Manila where most of the products are affordable.

There were also some cultural presentations showcasing Filipino's unique culture, dances, songs, and even the famous Filipiniana dresses and barongs.

Later in the afternoon they had some mini concerts, mostly were bands run by Fil-Ams. I find it noisy, so we just had to go home after buying little stuffs.


Friday, February 15, 2008

Our Trip to National Aquarium, Baltimore, Maryland

May 7, 2006 - This trip ws not expected by me, but hubby was so excited to tour me around to places worth visiting. It is a 45 minutes drive going to Baltimore, but that's the most convenient drive my husband would do from the rest of our long trips. It was my first time to go around Baltimore, and see some famous landmarks such as the World Trade Center in Baltimore, where my husband partly works.




Photos Inside the National Aquarium:









The National Aquarium in Baltimore is Maryland's leading tourist attraction, and considered to be an international icon. The Aquarium addresses the challenges of protecting Earth’s aquatic treasures and mobilizes community volunteers in clean-up efforts to protect and restore the Chesapeake Bay. It also features hundreds of exhibits featuring more than 16,500 animals.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

May 4-6, 2006 -

Not much of a tour, but since it was only a short stay, we had a short trip visit to Duquesne Incline. This is actually considered as one of the top romantic spots along side such landmarks as the Brooklyn Bridge and Niagara Falls" according to MSN.com

Some Photos:






"Providing safe, reliable, rapid public transportation, via funicular railway, since 1877 May 20, for the residents and businesses of the Duquesne Heights and Mount Washington sections of the City of Pittsburgh. Utilizing two original, 1877 cable cars, the Duquesne Incline is a working museum. The Upper Station, on Grandview Avenue, includes a new platform for the public to view the Incline's historic hoisting equipment, as well as displays regarding the history of the Incline and the City of Pittsburgh, and pictures of other cable and rail cars from around the world."

Inside the Duquesne Incline Cable Car!


"Additionally, the spacious Observation Deck overlooks the beautiful Golden Triangle of Downtown Pittsburgh, and surrounding area including the upper Ohio River valley and lower Allegheny River Valley, ranked the second most beautiful view in America by USA Weekend Magazine !. Constructed, owned, and operated by The Duquesne Incline Plane Company from 1877 to 1964. Since 1964, operated by the non-profit Society for the Preservation of the Duquesne Heights Incline."


Our Photo at the Observation Deck:



Road Trip:

This is one of our favorite buffet restaurant when we go for a road trip in Pittsburgh.