A glance at my wandering thoughts

Santo Niño

Posted on January 19, 2016

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We finally concluded last Sunday the Santo Niño celebration, a famous religious celebration in the Philippines about the Holy Child Jesus. This has been a worldwide practice among Filipino Catholics even in the US. The Vatican has set the 3rd Sunday of January as the liturgical feast day of Santo Niño as proclaimed by Pope Innocent XIII.

I’m glad that this tradition has been formed in the minds of future generation whose interest to their culture and devotion to the Child Jesus will never be forgotten through the help of parents, communities, and even schools that encourage cultural performances.

A few blogs ago, I posted my sewing comeback in reference to my daughters’ costumes as Singkil princess and my youngest as one of the maidens. I promised to post the finished dresses including the prince’s outfit. Here they are, done with their performance…

The most challenging for me is making the Prince’s pants and sleeves for the top. Basically, this is my first time to make men’s outfit. The sleeves were painstakingly difficult to assemble. Unlike normal sleeve patterns, this one calls for upper and lower cut two-pattern sleeves; thus, matching the notches was tedious. I had to re-do them twice which explain why the bottom of his top is different in color because I ran out of fabric material due to my mistake. I used the princess’s top fabric instead and I think the golds harmonize well with the blue hue. To make the wrong sleeves useful, I made a Kufi hat out of it as shown in the picture.IMG_0316-1

 

The hanging beaded bells added a chiming sound effect to the costume. The making of these hanging beads was time-consuming and so I let the girls do it. I secured them in a gold lace and hand-sewn at the base of her kebaya (blouse) for easy removal in time for hand-wash after use. I found an elastic necklace material at Michael’s and it was perfect to hold the ankle bells.

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The colorful combination of the maidens’ costumes complemented well with their magenta sash and striking fuchsia fans.  I took the color swatch from their striped skirt in deciding which fabric color to choose for their kebayas. This type of outfit is indigenous in the Southern part of the Philippines with Islāmic communities even today. History tells us that the Royal family of Rajas in Cebu were the first to accept the image of Santo Niño and eventually converted to Christianity. Santo Niño de Cebu has been a huge annual celebration ever since.

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Charcuterie

Posted on January 4, 2016


I still have one more day to enjoy before going back to work mode. Tomorrow, my snooze button will be useful again. The past weeks have been wonderful just because the atmosphere was the most anticipated time of the year. I accomplished many things on my list during the holiday break while several of them are yet to be crossed out. I just completed today some of the most time-consuming tasks I need to get done…Happy me!

I’m still eating some of our New Year left-over food. Thankfully, there’s enough to suffice my girls who eat like birds. I did not cook any main dish on New Year’s Day. Food is everywhere at Christmas time. I decided to prepare something light on day one of 2016. The hubs and I paid a trip to the grocery store the day before and purchased our favorite brie with good finds on charcuteries. Before heading to our trips as scheduled on New Year, I prepared cheese board and small bites to keep us going.

The cheese and charcuterie board reminded me the time when I was in Germany. I’m used to eating hot foods in the morning but I learned to eat cold cuts and artisanal bread early in the day during my stay in Frankfurt with a strong cup of coffee as the only hot item on the table.

 

Cheese Board and Charcuterie

Cheese Board and Charcuterie

 This combination of figs and olives are delicious. They are both sweet and tangy.

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 I’m used to the sweetness of brie but this one is both a bit salty and sweet. I’ve been looking for a triple cream and stores are usually available with double cream. I’m glad I found this. The texture is similar when you eat Lindor chocolate. Of course, how can I forget the Ancho chili jam that is almost like a tradition in the presence of a brie. The caramelized almonds complement well with the cheese.

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This is something that intrigued me when I saw this at the store. It is called Panforte di Siena. I googled it and I found that this can be eaten as a dessert or a breakfast. It has an acquired taste with strong spicy taste. This is good with coffee, just make sure you don’t put sugar because this is very sweet. I told my girls that when I ate it, I felt like I am in a different era, probably around the 1500s. I know it’s odd but I just felt like it. Well, that is something different for this new year. Never be afraid of something new!IMG_0153-1

Here’s the full brand name that I took photo while in the store

Panforte Di Sienna

Panforte Di Siena

 

 

The Things I Love About Christmas

Posted on December 28, 2015

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I love Christmas Day. Sadly it’s over and it passed in the blink of an eye.  There are hundreds of things I love during the holiday season and one of them is not hitting the snooze button. I love it when I can enjoy few days of vacation. The anticipation of the big day has always been a race of thought in trying to recall the things I have completed in my to-do list. Yet, in spite of the hustle bustle, I still managed to enjoy the busyness of the Christmas season because after all, it is the most wonderful time of the year. We started the Christmas week with a handful of parties either with friends or at work.  I love it when my close circle of friends spends our annual Christmas group reunion together. As friends, we all agreed that we don’t need expensive gifts for each other. There are financially challenged families who would benefit the extra dollars we would spend for exchange gifts. So, we decided to reduce our price bracket and share the rest to them.  This year, one of our friends gave the idea of adopting a few families in one of the parishes in our diocese to be their secret Santas in the hope of uplifting the spirit of Christmas to those families.

That is not to say we’ll have a boring Christmas party; I love fun and to add excitement in our get-together, the ladies exchanged scarves and socks for the gents. We were able to enjoy the simple gift giving and a buffet brunch before heading to our Christmas caroling later that afternoon. It was a busy but rewarding day. I love it when mindfulness of the season through the gift of sharing has been accomplished.

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Go Warriors!

It was flooding with socks and scarves 🙂

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You can never go wrong with a scarf. I never had any specific Christmas scarf and this one will surely be used for many years to come.

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Scarf, scarf!

Christmas day is for family; hence, the whole world generally celebrates with a big bang declaring it as an official holiday in most places since time immemorial. It is basically a break to spend time with your loved ones. Every year, my sister-in-law would invite my daughters with their cousins to spend a few days with her the day after Christmas. It has been her traditional annual bonding moments with them.

We have an empty nest for at least a couple of days while kids stay with their aunt. Last night, the hubs and I have had the opportunity to stroll in the mall to look for significant sale events. When we got home, I looked around my daughter’s bedroom and found a lonely Pooh bear with his Grinch hat…alone in the middle of the bed.  I wonder how it feels if we truly have an empty nest when kids have gone out to college. It must be really interesting.

Lonely Pooh Bear

Lonely Winnie the Pooh

I seldom go to my girls’ room and it made me smile when I saw this frame on the wall. It’s funny because I just heard this quote from a teen star in the TV show a few days ago, “A girl should be two things: Classy and fabulous” but then I couldn’t recall why it was familiar. Now I know why… Coco Chanel’s famous line is hanging on my daughter’s wall. I remember shopping in one of the thrift stores with my daughter over a year ago when she saw this frame and wouldn’t leave the store until I purchase it for her…and there it is in its glory 🙂

Fab girls

Classy and Fabulous

In all things Christmas, I get really excited when I receive Christmas cards by mail. I can feel the effort and the love of the person who sent it, I guess because I love doing it too. Every year, I try to send greeting cards to friends and families in time for the holiday, a tradition that I want to pass on to my daughters. I admit for being guilty of procrastination but I love it when my girls gather around the table with me and take responsibility as to who would take care of writing to specific family and friends. It’s not easy to write and think of a holiday cheer, it needs a strategy. However, amid the Christmas music, to-do list that needs to be crossed out, and other things that occupy me, it is often a challenge to cherish the cards I received. I won’t deny that I often skim quickly and look who it’s from and set them aside. But, it’s very important to choose a day to gather them all and read again.

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Christmas Greeting Cards

 

“May the spirit of Christmas guide your heart just as the wise men were guided by the star”

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A Greeting from a friend

I like to re-read them over a cup of hot chocolate in front of the fireplace. Tranquility is the key to absorb the words of inspiration and encouragement from these greeting cards when all is calm and silent.  The old fashion hand-writings and smiley faces written on the card make the moment more nostalgic. Such moment is part of the essence of Christmas where love abounds. How do you manage reading your Christmas cards from friends and family?

 

 

 

“Goodbye boredom, Hello bowling”

Posted on September 4, 2015


It’s Friday, hubby and I finally have a date after years of my absence from reality. Being a grad student can make you invisible in many ways particularly if it has nothing to do with weekly school project and peer discussion. Gone are the sleepless nights where I had often wished to even use my sleep time just to complete a weekly paper worth 3,000 words; not to mention the days that even my driving time must be used for phone conferences with school peers to meet the week’s project deliverables for the course requirement. It’s time to forget those calculus exams and excel solver that can be nerve-wracking at some point. No more prowling of CEOs that I need to discourse in the assigned problematic case studies.

This week is freeing…Yes, how wonderful it is to make plans on the spur of the moment! So I called hubby in his office today for a Friday night out. We decided to play bowling and the title of this blog entry was actually based on one of the monitor score screen’s catch phrase in which I found witty, it says: “Goodbye boredom, hello bowling.”

It’s really nice to have a diversion; but on the contrary, I felt a bit worried that I might get too comfortable. Being “easy” or feeling lazy is not a normal thing for me anymore. I told the hubby while we were in the car that I’m afraid I’ll love this laid-back moment but hopefully not too often. I enjoyed it nonetheless only because it was our closest moment having fun together in a very long time.

We bowled to our hearts’ content; about an hour and a half. It’s enough for him to sweat (he really played like a pro) and of course he won the game but my score was not bad either. It was a minute before 9pm when we reached our 300 and afterwards, we decided to have a small bite for the night since we both haven’t eaten dinner. I craved for a milk tea and there’s no other place to go than a Vietnamese soup joint with its tea shop which was 15 minutes away from where we were…’glad they are open late. We both get beef pho and for sure it was delish! If not for my work the next day, we would have watched a late movie in the theater but that would be an overkill since I have to wake up early for work. It’s just amazing how simple moments can give our lives a bliss. I can’t wait for the coming weeks 🙂

A New Beginning

Posted on April 6, 2015


When I was coming of age, I spent most of my days with siblings and close friends. We were very much engaged in our parish youth activities.  I grew up surrounded by people with solid belief and a family whose faith is anchored in Christ. The priest in our parish was instrumental in honing us with the foundation of Church’s teaching.

One of the most important lessons I learned is to remember that Easter is the greatest feast in the Christian calendar.  I always thought it was Christmas with all the festivities around both the faithful and secular world. Nevertheless, the given explanation to youngsters with simple minds was easy to comprehend; Christmas is when we celebrate the humanity of our savior, and on Easter, we celebrate his divinity.

My family spent our Holy Week as usual. We observed every sacred day that make up the Paschal Mystery. Hubby and kids were busy as participants in schools and parish activities. Yesterday was Easter Sunday and all of us woke up late since we went home close to midnight on Holy Saturday. Easter is always a new beginning. It is refreshing and exciting especially in this country where we always look forward to celebrating holidays. We did not plan on going out since most major establishments are closed on Easter. The girls think they are too old to Easter egg hunt…or so they thought. My youngest painted the egg shells after her sister fried some eggs. She also did a table game once we finished our brunch meal at home. It was funny in a way since she made the eggshells like fortune cookies with special message inside. Their dad was lucky to find treasure in one of the eggs. It was a simple celebration that brought us closer together as a family, yet it was a little more special than our usual Sunday mornings. I hope yours was a happy one as well.

Happy Easter to the Christendom!

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Hot Cross Buns complete the Easter meal.

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A refreshing lemonade with mint and sparkling apple juice.

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Brunch with the family at home.

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The tulips are pleasing to the eye. The girls creatively arranged the flowers using a tea pot as the vase.

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Fresh Kale and fruit salad. Spring is upon us.

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Mr. Peter Rabbit is quite a carrot teaser.

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My favorite Lindt bunnies…’wondered why my daughter secured them under the glass dome.

Painted eggs

Colorful Easter eggs

Tinker, Tinker, Little Stars

Posted on January 5, 2015


We had an opportunity to take our daughters with their younger cousins to visit Exploratorium in San Francisco during the holiday break. As usual in a place like this, children and the young minds are the stars of the museum. This museum is full of interactive exhibits that will absolutely piqué one’s mind. It’s hard to just stare and observe without exploring them with your own hands (hence the name “Exploratorium”).

I found out that the founder of this institution was Frank Oppenheimer. His last name definitely rings a bell. I’m talking about the Manhattan Project in the mid-40s during the 2nd world war era. He was the younger brother of Robert Oppenheimer, the father of Atomic Bomb. I’m sure you are all familiar with the Nagasaki and Hiroshima bombing in the mid-40s (yeah, I love history).

The interior of the building is like a factory filled with machineries and tools. You will not enjoy if you are there for sightseeing alone. The possibilities to examine them with your hands and mind are practically infinite. It’s a joy for someone who is a hands-on person with inquisitive mind which fits the character of a youngster, ok, perhaps older people too!…  Part of my role was to keep an eye on these four minors. They were oblivious of each other as soon as they started tinkering into exhibits. I enjoyed watching them as well as playing with the exhibits.

What interests me most was the social and behavioral impact of the exhibit. It helps the visitors figure out how things work yet at the same time, it gives information on the social aspect of why people behave the way they want to manipulate things. It reminds me of good ol’ days in my experimental psychology class back in college years.

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Prisoner’s Dilemma

Social dilemmas were featured.  One of the best examples was the prisoner’s dilemma where it involves two participants which create an outcome where they cannot cooperate in any decision due to distrust of each other. The result is often one person squirting water on his or her partner’s face or sometimes, no effect at all because of the fear that the other will do the same. It was fun because the participants cannot see each other’s move yet it teaches a lesson to ponder. The kids were confused at first until they tried doing it.

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The museum was packed with visitors and we were lucky to get a good parking spot. The downside however is the rip-off parking price tag. We were charged for $45 because our vehicle was considered “full-size”. On the plus is the cheaper admission ticket because we are from the bay area; ok fine, I call it quits!

Overall, the experience was fecund and it seems that the children enjoyed the museum where tinkering gave them new perspectives to remember, hopefully for a long time.

Beautiful Yesterdays

Posted on January 2, 2015


Yesterday was the last day of 2014 and even though I had to work, it’s ok since I’m looking forward to an almost a week off after the New Year’s Eve. Holiday time off is always rewarding. It gives us a break from the humdrum of our life’s routine. I’m so glad that I’m able to sneak out a time to post an entry in my blog space today which has been a difficult task for me this past year.

As soon as I got out from work yesterday, I hurriedly drove home to start roasting a turkey that I’ll bring to a friend’s house for the eve’s party. After I set the oven for 3 hours and gave instructions to hubby and my girls, I hit the road again and look for a salon to have my nails done.  While driving, I had a chance to reflect on my day’s activities. It dawned on me that time is becoming a luxury. The lack of time I have for the things I want to accomplish daily is seemingly evident. I’m sure most of you will agree that rushing is inevitable even with a managed time at hand. It is getting difficult to juggle things around with so many things to do yet so little time. I guess it has been like that in my entire adult life or at least since I started a family. All these realities come to mind in moments of silence. When you know that time is slipping before your eyes, it’s good to stop and reminisce the past.

 

Christmas 2014

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Oh Christmas Tree!

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How lovely are your branches…

I can proudly say that the Christmas week was less stressful than I thought it would be. The trick is to finish all the “essentials” before delving into the trivial stuff. Being a Catholic, it’s hard not to reflect why we celebrate Christmas. It orders our mind to the right direction including how we treat others and brings out the Christian message to everyone and so the rest follows on smoothly.

I’m a great fan of holiday festivities and will do everything to excite the mood of the people around me. Christmas day is the best time for family gathering. Family is a gift just like how our Heavenly Father gifted us with his son and the son gifted us the holy mother Church. This is what we get from our Christian tradition, the value of family and the love that centers within.

I started trimming the tree a week before Christmas. I just love to see those beautiful ornaments that helps get on the Christmas spirit.

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6.5 lbs. Boneless Roasted Prime Rib

 

We have had our relatives celebrate with us on this special day. I decided I would roast a USDA prime rib. I was kind of intimidated to do it as I have never tried roasting a prime grade rib. It turned out well and was happy with the result. The next day, I re-roasted the leftover for 250° in the roaster oven and left there until we were ready to eat (perhaps a little more than an hour) it was actually better in my opinion. The texture was tender and very moist just like the first time I cooked it. I did not make a gravy from Au jus because there should not be any modification or enhancement that go with this beauty. The meat itself is extremely superb. Between USDA choice and USDA prime, always go with the latter although it can be costly but special celebration is always worth a try. I accompanied the meat with roasted fingerling potatoes which I marinated with olive oil and herbs. The aroma was excellent!

I didn’t forget to make a Christmas candy bar for children. It looks festive and makes them hyper too. The sugar rush is part of the excitement!

 

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Sees Lollipops and sour patch candies

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Assorted chocolates and Santa’s gummy worms

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We also had a birthday cake for baby Jesus

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Children are the happiest during Christmas season

 

Welcoming the New Year

 

2015 looks promising!

I think this is the best way to start, begin with a positive outlook.    This post is about the beauty of yesterdays, so first, it’s good to go back and reflect on 2014 and learn from the past, and hence we can be ready on what 2015 has to offer. Gratitude is a right attitude in recalling the things that happened to us. Here in US, the holiday mood starts on Thanksgiving Day until New Years. Reflecting on things both good and bad will always give us an insight to resolve our weaknesses and at the same time, be mindful to preserve our strengths.

 

A New Year of Blogging

Posted on January 10, 2014


“I want to write, but more than that, I want to bring out all kinds of things that lie buried deep in my heart”
– Anne Frank

Before I begin another year of blogging, happy 2014 to all my readers!

My calendar is already filled with activities for the next two months although no blogging schedule is included. For some reason, the impulse to write in my blog just comes out randomly; yet sadly, the constraint in time is obviously crushing. I’m thinking of sharing the activities that occupied me in the last two weeks of holiday period. I want to re-experience those moments by writing them…yes, those exhausting, frustrating, and overwhelming moments! It was exhausting because in spite of the holiday spirit, I was never given a time off at work except the days of the holiday itself. Hence, it’s frustrating and overwhelming when you are trying to juggle the Church activities, the family tradition of cooking and eating together, and the thought of waking up early the next day because I have to be at work…booo!…but the best part of holiday season is the reason of the season which is the celebration of Christ’s birth, that was the most consoling part.

On Christmas Eve, my kids and hubby were busy at the Church (they are all members of the choir). They were almost present in all masses that day. As mentioned, I was at work and didn’t even think of our “Noche Buena” dinner. Thankfully stores are open until 7pm. I was able to grab some stuff to prepare for our Christmas Eve dinner. I only bought a little piece of this and that (ready to heat food) but I made our dinner table extra special since it’s only once a year celebration.

Noche Buena

Noche Buena, Christmas Eve

More!

More!

The next day was a relief. We spent Christmas at my in-laws’ house so that the kids and cousins can spend time playing and open presents together. I was relieved since I didn’t have to cook. My talented sister-in-law is like a culinary expert who happens to know a lot of gourmet cooking (I wish I have taken some photos of her cooking).
The New Year was a bit exhausting since everyone is coming to our place. I love entertaining if only I have the luxury of time preparing and cooking all the special recipes I collected. New Year lunch is on us but after work on New Year’s eve, friends invited us for the countdown. We went home and I started cooking after the ball dropped at midnight; I was awake for 22 hours!!!..Imagine that 😦   Roasted Turkey, Sole Veronique, Spinach salad, lettuce wraps, Pesto and crab crostini were some of the foods I prepared within the 10-hour period before our guests arrive. It was very rewarding yet tiring. Around 6:30pm, my body gave in and I slept until the next day and by 6 AM the day after New Year, I was at work.

The fun did not stop there. I thought of a group reunion with my friends on the weekend before I delve deeply with my 2014 schedule. I invited them to come over to our place since it was my weekend off. This time, I think I perfected the crown roast compared to the ones I have made in the past. I also cooked wild and basmati rice in mushroom sauce, stuffed tilapia, leek soup, Russian potato salad, eggplant caponata, and other appetizers. Our friends enjoyed the food with fun and laughter which was the main purpose of our gathering…

Indeed the Joie de vivre!!!

The kids set the dinner table

The kids set the dinner table. New Year!

Ready for Baking

Tilapia stuffed with Spinach

Crown Roast of Pork

The highlight of our Dinner

Chai Tea

Chai Tea..From Scratch..

Appetizers

Appetizers

 

Christmas with the “Thainese”

Posted on December 10, 2013


I used to plan our family’s meal menu for the week as it’s more economical and the food items in our pantry are easier to monitor. Alas! I haven’t succeeded in maintaining that task lately. The practical side of me is frequently challenged when my thought process is constantly interrupted with an avalanche of things to do which often end up unfinished. An aide ‘memoir will help I suppose.

A few nights ago, I was preparing for a work report that I needed to finish. In short, I didn’t have the time to prepare our dinner. I asked the girls for ideas about dinner and they decided to have Pad-Thai noodles since we haven’t had one for a very long time. Problem solved ‘coz I don’t have to think anymore and so I said, “Ok let’s go for Thai cuisine tonight”. We often get our favorite Pad Thai in this Thai-Chinese restaurant near our place. I have to say that they have one of the best palatable cuisines and my colleagues at work will attest to that. It’s a fusion of Thai and Chinese cuisine obviously.

My husband called the restaurant in advance and ordered the food for pick-up. The woman in the receiver assured him that the food will be ready in ten minutes. One thing I like about this place is that they have a speedy service. Although the food is for take-out, we all went to get it, undeterred, despite the chilly temperature outside.

As we entered the small but cozy restaurant, a family in the corner and two elderly women on the opposite side were enjoying their dinner. I was staring incessantly on the young family of four admiring the selfless behavior of the dad. He kept attending to the needs of his children, carefully dividing the food in each of their plate. As their order comes out one after the other, he would divide it evenly and sometimes feed the smaller child while his (assuming) wife is very much engrossed eating or sometimes picking on her children’s plate seemingly oblivious of her husband’s expression of attention.

Actually, I intend to highlight this article about the Christmas décor of the restaurant. The interior looks festive with the spirit of Christmas except for one thing that really puzzled me at one point. When you enter the door, on your left is a welcoming statue of Buddha with big belly adorned with Christmas trimmings 🙂 At the center of the restaurant is an eye-catching midsize Christmas tree ornate with various colorful holiday trimmings. A unique figurine placed on the side of the tree similar to Buddha is tangled with few Christmas lights. A strange blend of contradictory element is in place and I thought it was interesting. I told my husband that this place has a sense of rare and remarkable fusion not only of food but in its statement of belief. He wittingly agreed, hence he called it…

“Christmas with the Thainese”

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Captured from my iphone

Adventures in the Universal Studios (Hollywood)

Posted on December 4, 2013


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….Continuation of our Thanksgiving holiday escapade.

Universal City Park

Universal City Park

It was around 5 AM on the morning of Friday after Thanksgiving when my body clock awoke me. I knew it was “Black Friday,” one of the most important dates to shop in prep for holiday gift giving here in US but I didn’t even bother to look for online deals. I checked on the girls in the next room and they were still asleep. I rested an hour more and the four of us were at the breakfast buffet of the hotel by 7AM. Hubby and I had omelets while the kids picked their choices. After our fill, we went back to our suite and started to get ready for our adventure. There was a 30% chance of rain according to weather channel, so not a biggie, right?  Wrong!… since the time we left the hotel, there was a heavy downpour and the sky showed no sign of stopping. As we reached the theme park, we opt for “preferred” parking for an additional five bucks. We already had our printed tickets but we still needed to register by the gate to get the “real” tickets. It was ok since we were the first in line but the real pain began at the entry gate. The line started to queue but very slow in movement. People started to get soaked and there were no raincoats available by the gate; not until you reached the gift stores inside the park. Ok, that reminds me, ATTENTION: Universal Studio management team! (anyone there reading this?)

I mean, come on! They’ve been in this business for many years, and obviously it needs improvement. One of the reasons of slow movement (aside from lack of better system) is due to biometrics and bag check…[at first I thought I’m entering the white house with all the security check]. It was my turn for bag check and HappyMappy does not have a happy face at all 😦  Mr. Security greeted me and said “Good morning!” I responded back with a sad face and said “having a wet head is not good at all” he smiled back at me and mentioned the beautiful Christmas music in surround sound. Well, that was fair enough to calm me down but to add salt to injury, my biometric was not matching my name because the staff didn’t figure out quickly the wet finger prints and it caused detection problem to the scanner. Anyways, to make the entrance story short, all’s well that ends well!

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We love Lucy..Where is Ricky Ricardo?

The entrance hassle gave inconvenience to many guests that morning but it went away as soon as we had our raincoats 🙂  anyway, we went there to have fun and now, let the fun begin!

The Christmas music really helped alleviate the unhappy moments at the gate. You can see the people singing along with the sound of Christmas carols as they enter. We spotted Lucy and the girls posed for some pictures.

At this time, the rain hasn’t stopped yet as we roamed around the park. Slight changes are noticeable since the last time we visited Universal about 10 years ago or so. We decided to ride the Studio Tour; the signature ride of the park. You can miss all the rides but never miss this one or else you will forever be regretful.

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Studio Tour (1 hour ride)

One of the best sceneries in the Universal Studios is the aerial view of the Universal City seen behind the Apollo 11 team (see the first picture of the greenery above this post). It was almost like a magical landscape. I know.., the picture don’t give justice to the real view but that’s all I can give you.

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Grinch mas

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Entrance

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Thing 1 & 2

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Whoville

The rain did not stop the flow of people, but by afternoon, the park started to get crowded. We tried to ride all the major attractions such as The Studio Tour, the Mummy, Transformers, Crustyland/Simpsons, etc.. Jurassic Park and the Water World is spot on for the rainy day because you will need to wear raincoat regardless if the sun is up.

It was tragic to learn the news when actor Paul Walker died from a car crash. We just saw the cars that were used in the movie Fast and Furious. RIP Mr. Walker.

Cars used in the movies "Fast and Furious"

Cars used in the movies “Fast and Furious”
Megatron

Megatron

The best thing about the park is that restrooms and food stores are ubiquitous. You don’t have to worry of starvation (unless you forgot to bring money) and the call of nature. We have three-day ticket to enjoy the park but the young bloods have conquered the Theme Park in two days. Actually in day 1. they consumed the major rides and seen some live shows. Day 2 is more on savoring the rides they enjoy most.
We have seen the rest of the Live shows and my three musketeers continue to go over on their favorite rides while I stayed behind and waited for the giant robots to show off their antics.
I love it when they come out from the spaceship-like door. They are my favorites and really made my day 😀 Megatron was mean and he actually made a little girl cry, he is truly living with his character. He would say mean things to those who would ask for handshake as if he is going to throw them in the air… made me crack-up 😀

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Bumblebee and Optimus Prime with my girls

I enjoyed watching the conversational scene of the transformers while people lined up for photo shoots. The characters look so real and their movements are quite impressive. My hero of course is Optimus Prime, he reminds me of Voltes V during my childhood days in the ancient time.

One of the most exciting activities in the high school that my daughter applied to is the robotics department that involves series of projects. I wonder if they can make similar breakthroughs.

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The following photos are proof of how our day went. Enjoy!

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The Whos of Whoville

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Marilyn Monroe

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The newsmakers

Apollo

Apollo 11

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

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Bitten by a minion

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Happy Girls

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