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Showing posts from July, 2011

Savings With Straight Talk

This post brought to you by Straight Talk. All opinions are 100% mine. Mom and I have been talking that after our current cell phone contract expires, we'll switch to a no contract cell phone provider. One of the companies we looked into is Straight Talk. We love that there are no contracts, no surprise bills and no credit checks, and most of all, they have great, reliable nationwide coverage and excellent reception/connectivity. Reliability matters to us because Mom lives in Hawaii and I live in the DC area; our current provider has been plagued with dropped calls. Let's look at Straight Talk's monthly plans: (1) “All You Need Plan” meets even the needs of heavy phone users with 1,000 minutes, 1,000 texts and 30 MB of web data; (2) Unlimited Monthly service is only $45, and includes calls, text, picture messaging, and web; (3) Imagine unlimited calls, text, picture messaging and web for a whole year, for only $499.00; (4) 411 calls are included at no extra charge; and, (…

Maui's Hana Highway

I think that visiting Maui is incomplete if you have not driven through and survived Hana Highway. Here, you'll experience one lane bridges, sharp and tight turns and nervous inducing rocky cliffs. Setting aside the gripping part of the adventure, you'll be amazed that every turn through this lustrous green forests and mountains leads you to spectacular views, hidden waterfalls, unexpected dead ends and sometimes you feel the thrill that you're going to drive off straight to the blue and beautiful Pacific.
Highway 36 is one of the most famous highways in the country, but most know it by a different name: the Road to Hana. The trip is 52 miles of winding roads with 1-lane bridges, hairpin turns and stunning landscapes of rocky cliffs, plunging waterfalls and rolling valleys. The ride takes about 3 hours, but you'll want the whole day to linger. (Source here.)Put on your seat belts and let's take a drive to Hana Highway!

Colors Of Maui

If given the chance, I'd LOVE to visit Maui again. I'd like to drive through the winding, treacherous and breathtaking Hana Highway, breathe in the dewy mountain air and the seaweed scented ocean breeze. 
Also, I can't forget the spectacular display of flowers and their bursting colors. And talk about Rainbows, check this photo I took while ascending Haleakala Volcano.
 This was just the beginning of the journey of colors - Hana Highway.
  Driving through Hana Highway, our first visit was at the Garden of Eden. This is the Banana greeting that welcomes you at the entrance.

L-R: Cup of Gold, Anthurium, Starfruit and Birds of Paradise
Tropical flowers offer a feast of colors.

Breathtaking views. Recognize one of them from the movie Jurassic Park?
Also, if you visit this place, you'll get to meet Pepper, the resident dog at the Garden of Eden.

LP: Malaya (Free)

Sa Waimea Beach, Hawaii, parang may hinihintay sila...
(At Waimea Beach, Hawaii, everyone's  standing still and waiting for something...)
Ano kaya ang hinihintay nila? (What are they waiting for?)
Talon! (Jump!)
Kung sila'y tumatalon at nasa himpapawid, kitang-kita ko ang kanilang kalayaan. Kalayaan na lumipad at magpakasaya kahit sa ilang segundo man lang. Ako ay naiinggit dahil sa isang aplastic anemic na tulad ko, hindi ito puwede dahil kung may mangyari sa akin na trauma sa tubig o sa mga bato bato sa paligid, ay maaari ko itong ikamatay. Tulad nila, ako'y naghihintay na gumaling at makawala sa aking hawla. At sana sa susunod, ako ay malayang tatalon sa bato na ito.
When I see them jump off this rock, I see their joy and excitement. They relish their air time even if it lasts only for a few seconds. I envy them because for someone with aplastic anemia like me, a jump like this could be fatal. I am still waiting to jump. I am waiting to be free and be healed of this disease…

Remembering Spring

As I sweat and whine about summer's oppressive heat,
thoughts of spring has filled my thoughts of late.

I miss the -

tall weeds dancing to the soft spring breeze
outburst of vibrant colors
sweet floral scents that filled the morning air
anticipation for the first spring rain
waiting for the right time to sow the vegetable seeds
deciding what flowers to grow
excitement of house renovations
looking forward to starting a new.

It's good to remember spring, but now, fall will be here anytime soon.

LP: Masaya (Happy)

Sila ay mga mananayaw ng mga Russian folk dances na napanood namin sa St. Petersburg, Russia. Napakasaya silang panoorin at puno ng sigla ang kanilang sayaw. Napakaganda at makulay ang kanilang mga pansayaw na damit. Magaling silang mananayaw kaya't pagkatapos ng palabas ay napakalakas na palakpak ang ibinigay ng mga manonood.
They are the Russian folk dancers that we saw perform at St. Petersburg, Russia. They are a treat to watch as they perform their folk dances with energy and vigor. Their colorful costumes adds to the cheer they bring to the audience and that's one reason why they were given an outstanding ovation after every performance.

My Big Break

Guest written by our friend Mason Abbott

When I broke my collarbone playing pickup soccer last year I had a really hard time recovering. I was more or less bedridden for about 4 months and I’m very active, so saying it was hard for me to stay laid up is an understatement. The first few weeks I had a lot of visitors who helped make the time pass but after that stopped and I had tons of different books I’d burned through I went to and decided it was time for me to get satellite. I spent the rest of the time watching old movies and healing myself back to health and after what felt like years, my collarbone was finally good enough for me to walk on again. The good news is, now I feel stronger than ever and I’m back to my old ways at the gym all the time but for those few months I really learned what it meant to get in touch with my leisurely side. Thank goodness for some much needed R&R!

Maui's Kuka'emoku

Let's take a break from my Finland travel posts and fly back to my home islands, Hawaii. Lately, the thoughts of home have been really making me homesick and going through a rough time in the health aspect makes me miss the warmth of home instead of the needles and cold, impersonal clinic visits that is my reality for now. Hopefully, after this post, I'll feel the warmth of Hawaii - even if it's just in my thoughts.

Visiting the Iao Needle was something I've been wanting to do for the longest time, but it was only last year that this dream came to fruition. I was home in O'ahu for the holidays, so Kepi and I decided to visit the island of Maui for two days. Of course, two days weren't enough, even a month is not even enough to explore or enjoy the beaches of Maui. Maui is so beautiful and has so many things to offer. From beautiful beaches, whale watching, picturesque volcano and breathtaking scenery. You name it, Maui's got it.

So here starts my adventure…


This photo was taken during my visit to Maui's Garden of Eden: Arboretum & Botanical Garden. There are so many fruits, flowers and exotic plants there but this Pinanga really caught my attention. I didn't research much on what this fruit is for, but I find it interesting that they look like prayer beads and I love their deep red color.