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Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Canadian money (dollar) is now equal or (or greater or lower) in value than the U.S. dollar. When I was there last month U.S. dollar is a higher value just a couple of cent more. That's whey I didn't have a hard time using their money. Their bills are five-dollar, ten-dollar, twenty-dollar, fifty-dollar and one hundred-dollar. For the coins they have one-cent, five-cent, ten-cent, twenty-five cent, one-dollar and two-dollar. The U.S. don't have only two-dollar coins. Queen Elizabeth is in their 20$ bill I was shocked but my niece explains to me why she's part of the Canadian money notes. Canada was colonized by England back in the 19th century.
I have couples of Canadian bills and coins with me now for my own keep sake. I love to collect money from the countries to traveled from. That is my collection aside the fringe magnets. Collecting silver morgan dollar is something I would like to do someday. And if only I can buy a gold too. They are good investments though.
Not only Korean makes great movies or telenovela they also makes very good BBQ aside Kimchi of course. So when I found out that Koryo serves Korean food I grabbed the chance. This restro nestled at the food chain area in Southgate mall Edmonton. By the way, Edmonton is one of the home of Korean immigrants. There are many Koreans over there.
I ordered the Koryo special menu which is their BBQs. Beef bbq burger for my niece, I tried it and it was good. The beef was tender and flavorful combine with the melted sweet cheese on it. Yum! I ended up taking another order for it for to go.
I had their chicken and beef bbq with plain white rice and noodles for the side. I think what makes their bbq special is their sauce. It is really taste good. I didn't see any difference of the grilled meat. Its the sauce makes it.
I ate a lot during my vacay in Alberta last month plus when I came home it was holidays that means I consumed more foods. I haven't done any exercise yet I should hit the richmond gym so soon to get rid all the extra fats. *Sigh.*
Travel period: December 2011
I have never seen a Rest Room such the ones they have in Southgate mall (Edmonton). In the ladies room it has play park for the kids and rocking chairs for those who wants to take a rest while waiting the stalls to be available. Literally, it's a rest room! My sister and I takes turn to watch her little boy Julian. We're waited my sister while Julian is playing the toys at the play park area. I like this concept a lot I can rest my tired feet on a chair from walking in the mall. It is also very convenient for Mommy's.
Julian playing the toy. This is how the play park area inside the rest room looks like. I was on the rocking leather chair while taking this photo.
Monday, January 30, 2012
This is the Edmonton Public Library or EPL located in Sir Winston Churchill Square Edmonton where my niece and nephews's favorite place to go to borrow books they love to read and DVDs for movies and games for free. My sister tagged along me in there to return books and to borrow another DVDs along with the kids. This library is huge as in tremendous. They have thousands of books and DVDs available for the locals. Of course first come first serve, that's why my niece and nephews are constantly checking online if the books or movies they likes are available to borrow then that's the time they can reserve it. Once they reserved the books or dvds the library attendant will email or call them to inform if ready to be pickup. How convenient, isn't it? That's why my sister never buys her kids a dvd game nor movies or some books because she can have it for free at the public library. In fact they have books from other countries such as Vietnamese books, tagalog books, Mandarin books, etc. I guess they have almost everything. My niece is self learning on how to play guitar right now. She got a new guitar but don't have time to enroll in the guitar school. I should tell her to check the EPL if they have more guitar chord chart available for her to practice and learn at home.
I like their library system, its very easy and convenient. They have self-service checkout. You can see on the left photo below, my sister is checking out the books and dvds she borrows. You have to be a member in order to own a library card to access the self-service checkout machine.
Meanwhile, the children's library section is full of happiness. They have computers for kids, toys to play, lots of books, tables for them to write, read and draw. My 5 year old nephew doesn't wanna go home once he's in that room. :)
When I went to Alberta last month I only bring one make-believe fur coat, two pair of sacks, and a couple of thermal long sleeve shirts, a pair of shoe, pants, and other personal stuff. My only reason being is the airline baggage fees. I don't wanna pay extra, it is so expensive, I hate it! I'd rather buy winter clothes in Canada which I did than paying those extra baggage fee. Funny though the coat I brought for my trip wasn't even useful in Canada's winter, I couldn't wear it cause it's so thin I get freeze. Good thing is my sister and niece have plenty of winter coats which I wore during my stay over there. I learned that there are certain types of coats depend on what degrees. I never knew that here in Florida.
This coat I wore in the photo is heavy and is very warm.
I bought winter boots and bogner hats in one of my sister's favorite store in Edmonton. I never regret of not bringing my own winter clothes because I love shopping in Edmonton they are not pricey, the stuff are so beautiful and the quality is great.
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Saturday, January 28, 2012
One afternoon before dusk (winter in Alberta have only few hours of sunlight thus it darks early) my sister brought me in the neighborhood park just a couple of walks away along with my niece and nephew. It was chilly and gray outside yet we braved the cold just to see the park where a lake turn ice. Nobody was outside making noises except us. That being said, we are obviously new to this country and being ignorant somehow brings us so much fun. We are absolutely had fun. Immeasurable. Like I said to my husband it makes my heart bigger. We're so amaze how the lake turn ice and yet still beautiful to look at. Amaze how we can run onto it. My sister took a lot of videos of us while playing around in the frozen park. Too bad I can't upload it here right now hence I got problem resizing the file. I'm not a technical person I still have to figure it out. I don't know even how to download videos from youtube till now that's my biggest problem. I'll let my husband do it instead. Once its done I will post a video here. Just looking at the images makes me wanna come back to Alberta. *Sigh*
Travel period: December 2011
Travel period: December 2011
West Edmonton Mall in Alberta is tremendous. It has theme parks inside of that mall where mostly locals enjoys to stay especially during winter season. I must admit the place was packed when I was there last month even during weekdays. Obviously there is not much to do outside on winter except if you like to do skiing, other than that indoor activities is a must. My nephews and niece loves Galaxyland where kids and alike are play till they drop. They have plenty of rides out there much like Disneyland minus the castle, micky mouse and minnie mouse.
I only took on the Swing Of The Century ride right after my sister told me that the attendant allows them (my sister, nephew and niece) to take the swing ride again for free because they are kababayan (fellow Filipino). I went and asked the attendant if I can take a ride for free sure enough he allows me. I love when he said "yes" with a smile, such a pinoy. My nephew and niece really took advantage of him they keep take that ride multiple times until they couldn't do it anymore. How would you like to get dizzy after the rides? Nobody does although it's funny. Haha. But I do enjoyed it.
My nephews and niece were also riding this swing boat. I passed this because I had tried it in Hongkong and I don't like it.
Travel period: December 2011
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To find a delightful sweet food is one of my goal when traveling. I always have to look out for that it doesn't matter if its confectioneries, pastries or jam. Finding them is an easy task. Sugar is everywhere! When I was in Edmonton, Canada my sister brought me to Southgate Centre Mall - that means shopping and eating. I couldn't resist. That is always been my pleasures. Teehee!!!
Noticed a stall where bunch of people were patiently waiting in the queue line. When I near at it I smelled a delicious tempting cinnamon spice which I love so that gets me curious. I always been a curious person no wonder why I wander. Anyhow, to make the story short I ended up myself fall into this cinnamon roll. The smell alone makes me hypnotize that's how strong the cinnamon spice is, how much more when I taste it was so good. It's actually to-die-for.
They serve it hot and the glaze on top of it is slowly melting, when bites it will burst the sugar and spice flavor in your mouth. Its sweet but it is so good. The bread is so soft and fresh it just perfect all together. I hate when a cinnamon bread is hard and dry unlike the Cinnzeo Cinnamon it is so soft. I guess its because I got it while its hot. But still.
This is the Cinnzeo stall in Southgate. You can see while they preparing and cook it at the same time. That woman on the right side of this photo is making the dough. That's why the cinnamon rolls are fresh when we buy it. I wish they have that in here. If only I could get a merchant cash advance to buy a franchise of this business I will do it just to have a branch here in Florida, that would be great! Until then I'll longing for it.
photo credits: the first two photos above is own by ringmybelle, and the last photo is own by CinnZeo online.
Travel period: December 2011
Friday, January 27, 2012
One of my favorite shopping haven is Anthropologie. Anything looks old or vintage per see is my like. Love rustic furniture, rustic clothes, rustic kitchen wares or any rustic knick knacks for home, and Anthropologie has all that. Its such a delightful feeling to be in that store. Some kind of place I would love to live in. Full of shallow happiness. :)
These photos was taken at Anthropologie, of course, in West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta last month. I'm sure my niece Jola would be happy to credit her for taking this photo of me while wandering around in my favorite store. She is such a good paparazzi. Anyway, I did buy some beautiful mugs from there. I am so happy using it everyday.
They said men are easy to buy a gift because they mostly like electronics or watches but that is not the case for some men. Let's say, my father doesn't know anything about the latest electronics (he didn't even know how to use cellphones) and he doesn't like jewelries either. So I always have a hard time to find a perfect gift for him whenever there's a special occasion. Of course I wanted to buy my father the best gift I could afford to reward him but instead I ended up buying him a macanudo cigars which he loves more than any gadgets out there. I guess finding gifts for men is indeed easy after all.
Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Edmonton, Alberta is beautiful. They have their own world. I was there early December of last year and the weather was so perfect for winter. It didn't snow a lot, the highest Celsius I've experienced when I was there for 10 days is only -8 Celsius. According to my sister the usual weather on winter in Alberta is -21 or more and that is bittering cold outside. Pretty much my stay was lovely as I expected. Love the calmness and cold of the city so I took the chance to sightsee around the city, the parks, and museums while mostly locals were at their cocoons. :) I'll let the photos do (most of) the talking.
Monday, January 23, 2012
Ever since my friend Rub got me a Hawaiian Host chocolate the Original Maui Caramacs chocolate in particular from their recent trip in Hawaii I fell in love the taste of it. This is the kind of chocolate that fits to my taste buds- a milk chocolate covered caramel with macadamia nuts is oh-so-good. I can eat the whole box in one sitting. Too bad I can't find it anywhere at nearby stores. Occasionally Ross store has it, and I hoard. :)
Labels: guilty pleasure
Sunday, January 22, 2012
I captured lots of images and videos from my last visit in Canada. The above photo is me capturing a video of my nephew and niece rolling their body around in the snow (they're so funny to look at) while I didn't noticed my sister on the other side was capturing a video of myself using one of her sony camcorders. My sister love taking videos more than I do. Photography is my cup of tea. But that besides the point, anyway, when I am revisiting the albums of the images I took from my previous Canada winter vacation I get so thrilled to write about it here in my blog. Now that my allergy is gone, I will try my best to update this blog everyday.
Tim Hortons's Canada's Dunkin Donuts version. They sell coffee, tea, hot specialty beverages (like espresso, cappuccino, etc.), cold beverages (like iced coffee, fruit smoothies, etc.), snacks & baked goods, sandwiches, and great breakfast foods. When I was in Canada I have to have Tim Hortons coffee not because I really have to but only because I need to have a hot coffee to warm my body because it's freaking cold over there. Tim Hortons stores are can find every where in Canada. And is very affordable.
This was me at the cash register counter waiting for my order.
I must admit that their coffee is good. My niece for some reasons ordered an iced coffee while the weather was -10 Celsius outside. Weird. :)
Me sipping the hot Tim Hortons coffee outside the mall.
The pollen caught me as usual every time the season changed. I just got a seasonal allergy. It started when I was in Canada for my winter vacay. I got so caught up by the allergy really bad, it took me almost four weeks to finally recover the cold, sore-throat, cough, and body ache. Note to self, I should see a doctor after two weeks having the bad allergy than taking home remedies using those over the counter meds before I got the bad annoying coughs. Queen of procrastination that is me. So this is what I got. Not... a very good idea. Thank God I finally recover it, and my energy is back to normal now- that means my brain is now functioning very well. I'm happy to be back in the world of blogosphere! :)
Friday, January 06, 2012
This was the Continental aircraft I flew in departing from Fort Lauderdale going to Edmonton, Alberta. I was waiting my time to board in that aircraft. Been waiting for this flight for so long.
Finally, the aircraft is off to the sky! That's Fort Lauderdale panorama view. Florida clouds are gorgeous, ain't it?
After more than 8hours flight I finally arrived at Edmonton safely at exactly 9:45 PM. Their immigration officer is cool. She didn't bother asking me so many questions. She only asked me- where I live, my job, and what's my purpose to come in Edmonton. The only disappoint me was the baggage claims department. I don't know for some reason they didn't announce, our luggage was stuck in the aircraft for almost an hour before I finally get them. I was so anxious to see my family outside and so does they. My family thought I didn't make it. When I finally met them, the words came out from their mouth was "what took you so long over there!" Hahaha I don't blame them, do you? As long I got my luggage and I arrived alive then that's what only matter.
My older sister and I chatting about the freezing weather welcomes me. So there, welcome to Canada! It's freezing indeed!!
At my sister's home sweet home. Of course the kids couldn't wait for their gifts, they are very excited for it.
My brother-in-law prepared me a delicious balbakwa soup (it's a pork meat with bone base soup) a Filipino food I miss.
Here's the happy campers, my niece and nephews playing with the toys I bought for them, while I was webcaming my mother on the other side.
Travel period: December 2011
Wednesday, January 04, 2012
year 2011 brought joys, tears, and no fears on me. Still there were ups-and-downs, certain thing bad happens that I wish it didn't occur to me but then I realized those were out of my hands. If bad happen comes then good thing will follows. I don't lose hope. Despite of that I feel so blessed. I got a life that I really prayed for. So here goes my year-end report the highlights of my 2011.
Early 2011 my father passed away. That terrified me. I had sleepless nights, cried in a bucket, and had broken heart because of that. My father who wishes us (me and my sisters) to finish school in order to have a better job and comfortable life he never had. A strong man yet has a soft heart. He loves and protects our family to death. With all the blessings my husband and I had been saving I was able to buy plane tickets for Philippines to attend my father's funeral. When my mother learned about my attendance she was happy to be able to see me again since my last 2007 homecoming. My mother was sad about the passing of my father but at the same time she was happy to see me again. Talking about optimism in our family always look at the brighter side of the problems. We mourn. We celebrate. During those time my relatives were all there who comforted us in our sorrows. That helps our family able to realized that we're not alone. That said, our broken hearts get healed easily. Thanks to our faith in God and family.
When I was in the Philippines to attend my father's funeral my family make sure to prepare my meals very good. I ate the local foods I like! I sure took the chance to savor all those foods that I couldn't have in Florida. There is no better than home food.
I never expected to see old friends whom I truly miss a lot. The unexpected surprises is priceless. I have no plans to meet them cause all I want is to be with the family during my short home-coming. 10 days is not enough for a big family bonding but when my friend visited me at the wake the idea came out. After few days my father's funeral my friend fetch me to see our old friends from my previous job. I never expect everybody came out to see me. I was so happy. Everybody was happy!
Came Spring our dearest friend flew from Philippines to visit us here in Florida. This is definitely one of the highlights of last year because my husband was happy to see his best friend. He is so funny, and to be around with this man who has humor and who loves food is fun. We did nothing but talk, eat and driving around the city for two and-a-half days. It was a treat that we never forget and would love to do it again when he comes back next year (2013). :)
Last Summer, my heart was again broken when our beloved furry-kid Stormy passed away. I can't talk about her if I did I cry. She left us a big hole in our heart. The pain I feel is immeasurable when she's gone after my father. It was so painful to see her gone. You have no idea how she change my life in a way I now care the feelings of animals. I feel blessed to be her mommy.
After all the pain my husband and I been through we learn to embrace a new chapter of our life. To go out from our comfort zone is something we needed. Our friends invited us to be part of their daughter celebration at the beach in Miami, so off we went! It is a lovely, lovely place. We also found an old zoo and a garden we both love over there.
I was present at the Bon (A Japanese) Festival with the husband for the first time. Learning other cultures is interesting. The highlights of this event is the lanterns floating and the taiko. Love to hear taiko! I was participating the traditional dance without a shame. It was fun.
Another culture I learn is Cuban. Through our friends they show me their world not in Cuba but in Little Havana and Hialeah (Miami) where majority of Cuban-Americans live. There are Cuban things and values that I learn are familiar to my Filipino culture because both countries was colonized by Spaniards way way back. I learn to love Cuban food especially their vaca frita, ropa vieja, bread pudding, and espresso. Gosh, talking about it makes me hungry now. Cuban food is indeed the best!
To be able to get here in U.S.A is such a dream come true. Never in my wildest dreams that I will become a citizen of this great country. Until it all happens last year without any hustles from my citizenship application process to interview till applying for a passport. I could not have done this without my husband support. He's behind of all my achievements. This is the best birthday gift he gave to me, aside of course the material stuff he bought for me. :) Yes, I officially became a U.S. citizen on 2011. That is definitely the highlights of last year.
Before Christmas I flew to Edmonton, Alberta, Canada to visit my sister and her family, to explore Edmonton, and to see a snow. I got what I wish for. I had such a happy experience playing on the snow while its falling with my sister and nephew. Despite the cold weather my sister family and I had a great time roaming around the city, dinning out, and shopping. It was fun and memorable experience I would never trade to anything.
This is it! The highlights of my 2011 life (good and bad). Here's for 2012 more adventures, more achievements, good health, and prosperity for me and my DH, and to everybody. Cheers!!!