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Showing posts from December, 2010

A New Year Thought

The new year is a few hours away.

Grocery stores are buzzing with last minute shoppers as carts are filled with all new year celebration necessities. The new year rush is here. In Hawaii, tradition is strong. Since this state is blessed with a diverse population, each ethnicity prepares their own new year treats. It becomes the perfect home for the foodie.

Most Filipino families prepare their own holiday treats while others just order catered food. Filipino stores gear up for the new year by preparing ready made plates or boxes of well-known traditional treats from kutsinta, bibingka, puto bumbong, pansit and more. While the Japanese  prepare their mochi and special gift boxes, the Hawaiians wrap their delicious lau laus and fire up their huli huli chicken. What I'm trying to explain here is that although Hawaii has so many ethnic groups, holidays such as the new year bring everyone together. Although each ethnicity prepares their own traditional food according to their own belief…

My NBA Game History

Authored by Greg Fletcher

I started going to NBA games when I was a little child. My father would bundle me up on a cold morning and we would take the car into the city to see a game. He always made sure to set our Adt home security before we left. We would leave early in the morning so that we could walk around the city before the game and look in all the shop windows. We would stop at a street vendor and grab a hot dog and soda for lunch and then head off to the stadium to see the NBA game.

We never really had a favorite team, it was more the day out for us. We made it a big event each year when we would go. After the game was over, we would always stop and have a quick bite to eat and then head to the parking garage to get the car. We could never eat too much when we stopped because we had eaten a lot of the vending stuff in the stadium.

We always hit traffic on our way out of the city because it seemed that every other father and child were doing the same thing we were and were no…


Dear All,
Merry Christmas
and a
Wonderful New Year!

Cuties Of Cavtat

Cats everywhere! Small cats, big cats, friendly cats, snobbish cats, and cute cats!

Strolling through the waterfront of Cavtat, you won't miss these cute, cuddly, friendly kitties; they seem to be roaming the area. I was busy taking photos when the first kitty approached me. Of course, I couldn't refuse taking photos and playing with these kitties.

Today, I present the cuties of Cavtat.

I badly wanted to take one of them home especially the one on the last photo.

"It's a Wonderful Life" is a Wonderful Family Tradition

Guest post of the week by Brittany Booker

Animated Christmas specials are undoubtedly one of the best parts of the whole holiday season. My kids would certainly agree! However, my favorite Christmas special is a classic that also happens to be a non-animated film. It takes a sad story, a real look at life, and a little hope, mixes it with a small ringing of bells and an angel getting his wings, and brings out a classic film that people have enjoyed for years and years. Naturally, my favorite Christmas film is "It's a Wonderful Life."

There are few movies of any genre that I've ever seen that inspire me in the same way that "It's a Wonderful Life" can. It's such a beautifully uplifting reminder that none of us are alone and that we all have our struggles. It teaches us that no matter what, each of us still has a definite purpose in the world and has an impact on the world. I think this is a beautiful message for anyone to receive and I delight in sha…

Postcards: Boats Of Cavtat

Relaxed is the word.

As I gazed at the blue water, the distant floating yachts and the softly rocking, docked boats of all colors, shapes and sizes, I felt serenity and calm. Water has this effect on me and so did Cavtat.

PEBA 2010 Blog Awards

Thank you! Agyamanak! Salamat!
To all who took the time to read, comment and vote for my entry "Outside Looking In," for the 3rd PEBA Blog Awards, I am happy, honored and humbled to announce that WE made Top 3 and that WE also got the Outstanding Blog By Region: Central America and Canada. This win is for my sister, Shiela, who also represented and received the award on my behalf. Sis, this is for you. You lived the tale, I only wrote your story.

My sincerest thanks to the hardworking PEBA Family! More power to you! More power to all the OFWs and their families! Congratulations to all the nominees!

Just Talk

Last week, I found out that my 1024 MB photo storage with Blogger has ran out. I guess I posted too many photos. I've been thinking of either opening another blog or continue with this one and just buy the extra storage from Blogger. I'm still looking for other options. I'll have to postpone thinking on how to resolve this since I have so many things in my mind with work and the holidays coming.

Fortunately, I am done with Christmas shopping, and the gifts are all wrapped and ready. Glad to say I managed to stay within budget. This year, Santa will be wearing a Hawaiian shirt, shorts, a big grin and a shaka sign (pinky and thumb salute - the other way of saying aloha).  I'm excited about going home to Hawaii for the holidays, and I can't wait to see my brother who arrived in the US a couple of months ago. And if you need some weather related reasons, I need a break from this frigid weather. It's been so cold and windy here that my heater has been goin…

Christmas E-cards For My Friends

Guest post written by Doug Lawrence

This is the first year that I haven't sent out paper Christmas cards and it feels a little weird, but I enjoyed not having to go on a special trip just to buy postage stamps to put on a huge stack of cards. Instead, I'm sending out Christmas e-cards with a picture of my family. Besides, no one really holds onto old-fashioned Christmas cards anymore like they used to.

I decided to just find an e-card to send to everyone. While I was looking through different e-cards that were options, I came across some information about Clear Wireless Internet Service and signed up for one of the service packages.

Then I figured out how to make a DIY Christmas e-card and decided to make one of them. But I have to say that the best thing about sending Christmas e-cards is that I don't even have to pay anything for them! Really good cards nowadays can cost way too much anything and I'm all for cutting corners without making sacrifices.

I Fell-In-Love With Cavtat, Croatia

If Dubrovnik is a chocolate box, then Cavtat is a paintbox. (The Independent)

After lunch, our bus took us to Cavtat. According to our guide, Cavtat is derived from the Latin Civitas Vetus or old city. Once I saw the clear, blue water, I didn't want to leave or rather I refused to leave. I found Cavtat so alluring and charming. Cavtat, formerly known as the Ancient Roman City of Epidaurus, is living up to its reputation as a seaside resort.

I think this quote from The Independent truly embodies what I feel and think of Cavtat (full article here): Cavtat perches on the saddle of a wooded peninsula set between two bays, so you're never more than moments from the water. The sea is as still as a mirror, a deep and brilliant blue with pools of green reflected from the pine forests beyond. A wide promenade, fringed with palm trees, runs along the harbour front.
This is the cosmopolitan centre of the town, where fishing and tourist boats jostle with gleaming jet-set yachts the size of b…

A Gift For The Lady That Reads Nonstop

Guest post written by Lizzie Harmond

Whenever I have to get a gift for my sister, it puts me in a pretty stressful state because I never have any clue what to get her. Plus, I care even more about what she thinks about the gifts because she is my sister and we're pretty close.

She's a really big reader and is always telling me about all kinds of novels that she knows I would love, but I really don't even know how she finds out about them. But I guess that because she's so dedicated to reading, she goes off the beaten bestsellers track for a lot of the books she reads. When I was thinking about that the other day and trying to figure out what I could get her, I came across the website and after taking some time to look at it, chose to change my home internet access to it.

Then I got the idea to get her an e reader! I know that she's not against the idea of reading from one, but she just hadn't felt the pressure to buy one yet. I think t…

Christmas At The National Harbor

Since the Gaylord Hotel is located at the National Harbor, we went on to explore the Christmas decorations at the marina. It was windy and freezing that night, but the banks of the Potomac glittered with Christmas warmth and cheer.

Christmas At Gaylord National Hotel

After experiencing ICE, we visited the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center, and I was in awe seeing how they have decorated for Christmas. I mean, the place was glittering, snowing (artificial of course), and absolutely Christmassy.

They look like glitter curtains and they'd change color from time to time.
Inside the hotel, there are trees covered in lights.
Eye catching whenever they change colors.
A hanging Christmas tree.
Trees, gardens and shops inside the hotel.
A huge gift underneath the hanging Christmas tree.
The "Cat in the Hat"
Christmas decorations everywhere.

Konavle Valley: Croatia

Time doesn't exist in the Konavle Valley.

Visiting Konavle made me feel that I was worlds away from my usual life. The place is so peaceful, serene and natural. Here, I was mesmerized by the crystal clear Ljuta River; it is by far the cleanest river I've ever seen.

This is the view from our table. Restaurant servers wearing traditional Konavle dresses. Ancient water mill. Another view of the Ljuta River.  Restaurant Konavoski Dvori is situated just beside the beautiful Ljuta River. I really enjoyed their cheese and smoked meats. 
 This Roman waterway stood the test of time. Being here really made me listen to my thoughts.


First Cruise Stop: Croatia

After a day at sea, it was exciting to see land especially that it is my first time to visit Croatia. Our stop in Croatia included a wine and dine tour at Konavle, a relaxing afternoon stroll at Cavtat and a historical tour of the "Pearl of the Adriatic," the Old City of Dubrovnik.

Below are my first few shots of Croatia:

I found this place charming and refreshing. Although I still associate Croatia to the 1991-95 war for independence from Yugoslavia, I didn't see any traces of war, rather I saw a country full of life and hope. Through the genuine smiles of its people and to the full appreciation of their culture, Croatia is absolutely and truly beautiful.

ICE! At The Potomac

On Saturday evening, PW and I got two tickets for a 7:00 PM entrance to see ICE! How the Grinch Stole Christmas, which is according to the Gaylord National website, an indoor wonderland where your family can explore 10 different holiday scenes created entirely of two-million pounds of ice, including thrilling ice slides that stand more than 2 stories tall. ICE! is hand-sculpted by 40 international artisans and kept at a chilling 9 degrees!

And yes, it was freezing inside the dome. Three rules apply when you're going to see ICE:  (1) no touching; (2) no sitting; and, (3) no licking of any of the ice sculptures.

All visitors are given a parka before entry.

That mischievous smile.

Impressive ICE!