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Showing posts from 2013

Jinan Suites, Al Khobar

I am missing in action here for over a month. That's because the kids were into quiz bees, quarter exams, and projects the past weeks. That's the main reason I forgot to post our Dammam-Khobar getaway. If you're wondering why we always go to Al Khobar, that's because it's the nearest city from Riyadh that has beaches! And I love the beach. Even just the sight of it.

Durrath Samaa / Jubail Holiday Getaway

I love going to places especially those that I haven't been to. I usually don't go to a place again if I've just been there a few months ago or if I've stayed there for a long time.

Last Ramadan, we went to Jubail with our friends here. Jubail is known for being the largest industrial city in the Middle East. But it also boasts of clean beaches and waterfront amenities. It is almost 500 kilometers away from Riyadh so we started our trip at 5 AM. Unlike our trip to Dammam which was a little dangerous, we were on a convoy this time so we just took our time, stopped over on rest areas, ate breakfast on the road, and played good music on the way there.

We stayed in Durrath Samaa Hotel. It was in the central part of the city and offers free parking. The air-conditioned room is clean, has free Wi-Fi, and is reasonably priced.

After checking in and resting for a while, we headed to the Corniche to check out the parks and the sea. One of the things that I really like about Sa…

My First Pineapple Upside Down Cake

As I've said here, I've always wanted to bake. I already baked brownies a couple of times but didn't get to take pictures because my kids ate them while they were still warm. Last week, I thought of making one of my favorite cakes, the Pineapple Upside Down Cake.

Online Finds #1

My work as a graphic designer requires that I browse the net for inspirations and free images that I can use on my designs. When I am online, I always stumble upon ideas and things that either leave my bookmark list long or push me to act on some tasks, do better or just be creative.

So I thought of sharing with you some of the things I've discovered while online. But before that, let me share with you first what happened last week.

Royal Saudi Air Force Museum, Riyadh

Just last week, a friend who will be spending his annual leave in Sydney, Australia asked us to take him to the airport. Along the way, our conversation led to Qantas being mentioned in the 1988 movie Rainman. In that movie, Raymond, portrayed by Dustin Hoffman insisted to his brother, played by Tom Cruise, that Qantas is the safest airline in the world. I believed that perception for years until I did my research.

Bible Verse #10: Friendship

A Day in Baher Villas, Al Khobar

The school opened last June and the kids are now busy studying, doing homework and projects. I'm happy that I wouldn't have to think of things for my kids to do just like what I've said here. My kids love to go to beaches on their vacations from school. And because we didn't go to the Philippines this year, Fred and I thought of bringing them to a beach resort here to bust their boredom and change their environment even for just a day or two.

Macau Tour, Day Three

Our tour guide had to work on our third and last day in Macau so we had to fend for ourselves. Since we've been to almost all the places that was on our list, except the Go-Kart and the Macau Museum, we took our time and decided to just walk and explore Taipa by foot.

Macau Tour, Day Two

There were things that happen just when you thought you've planned your trip well. Just like the sudden change in weather on our second day. Although it was already cloudy the day before, we didn't expect that it would rain the following day. But the gloomy weather didn't stop our itchy feet from exploring and checking out new places.

Macau Tour, Day One

I wanted to present our trip to Macau in terms of heritage (Cantonese or Portuguese), structure, or activities to do there but my lack of knowledge on its history and the Macanese's way of life prevented me from doing so. Posting what was on our itinerary, which our tour guide made, was the best way, I thought.

My Dream at the City of Dreams

After our visit to The Venetian Macau, we headed to The City of Dreams which I forgot to ask my Macau-based friend why it was aptly named. Maybe, because of its dream-like beauty. Or maybe, because people who've gone there dream of going back there again. I'm one of them.

The Beauty of The Venetian Macau

While it took me a while to think of an opening statement for my Macau vacation posts, I still didn't come with a fitting one. So I dug deep into my thoughts and finally just told myself to be honest. And so here goes:

Would it be shameful to admit that my three-day tour to Macau two years ago was my first out of the country? At first, I didn't want to admit to friends who keep asking me if I've already been to this country or this tourist destination, or worse, if I've traveled abroad. I either change the topic just so I won't lie, or I just return the question. But later on, when some true friends who don't measure me up by the number of countries stamped on my passport told me they haven't traveled abroad or even boarded an airplane yet, I felt grateful and proud. Small feat for some. Big feat for me.

My high school friends and I came to Macau via Cebu Pacific. Though it was my fourth plane ride already, I was excited for the tour because I was also …

Tea: I Like, I Dislike

Though loaded with work and sometimes forget to enjoy a decent lunch (which results to bingeing later in the night, but that's another story), there's a whim I enjoy every work day. I can have tea or coffee anytime I want to without making one. That's because we have a tea boy who makes them for us. He also brings us glasses of water whenever asked and buys our snacks from the nearby store.  I know we're pampered, to a fault. The office isn't the same without our teaboy. We can live without him, but it's just different when he's there.

Bible Verse #9: God's Riches and Provision

Janadriyah Festival 2013: A Cultural Tour

When I heard about Janadriyah Festival from my husband's boss last year, I've always looked forward to visiting the venue. But because we're still new then and Fred isn't too familiar yet in the routes here, we decided to do it this year. I'm happy that it pushed through and Gabby and Sunday had something interesting to do on their vacation, even for just a day.

Slow and Easy Mornings

It's the start of another work week but I woke up a little late today. I didn't rush to prepare and cook our breakfast and lunch. I had everything in our ref.

We went to a double birthday celebrations yesterday and there were lots of food. I mean, LOTS OF FOOD. Most of the guests left happy (read: with left-over food to take home) and so did I. When we came home, I tossed the zip-locked food in the ref, washed up and slept soundly knowing I didn't have to wake up early. Thank you, generous birthday celebrants.

Bible Verse #8: Good Courage and Strength

A New Summer Vacation

Short but frequent posts or of medium length but infrequent posts. I'm actually not torn between the two. I believe that frequent, short posts is more doable than longer ones. So I might resort to that at times when I'm inspired to do so.

We're Guests of a Saudi Family

It's vacation time for Gabby and Sunday! That means the much-needed break for me. No more getting up a little bit early to prepare their breakfast and packed lunches and getting them ready for school. I am now enjoying those extra snooze time and the unhurried sipping of coffee in the morning. I'm so grateful.

Bible Verse #7: Beauty and Vanity

My Pockets of Time

There are things that I do when I have those short, supposed-to-be-doing-nothing moments. And most of the time, they're when:

1. I'm on my way to the office, seated at the front passenger seat of Fred's car, and instead of talking non-sense or talk about non-sense things, or just run out of no non-sense things to talk about, we either concentrate on what we choose to do: he, on his driving and what work awaits him at the office; and I, on putting on my lipstick or eyeliner.

Goodbye, Winter

Summer is almost here. And how I will miss winter. I like waking up to chilly mornings and sleeping to freezing nights. Winter gives me all the right reasons to enjoy a mug of good, hot coffee and snooze a little longer. Winter also brings with it the much awaited rainfall, be it as little as a short drizzle or as much as a whole day non-stop downpour which flooded our garage weeks ago.

A Trip to Fantasy Land

How time flies! January, which is the coldest month here, flew just like that. Gabby celebrated his 11th birthday and Sunday, her 9th. And for that, January left happy get-togethers, sweet smiles, and thoughtfulness and generosities from friends. Thank you so much to them.

No Bake Cheese Cake with Fresh Strawberries

While it should still be winter here, the temperature rose to around 24-26°C the last few days. This borrowed summer made me miss the chilly mornings when the shrill ring of the alarm clock isn't enough to jolt me (because I usually go back to bed and snooze for a few more minutes) and the warm water from the shower wakes me up more than it cleans my body.

Some Winter Loving

It's already our second winter here and I believe we already warmed up to the climate here. Our body must've already adjusted to the cold weather. Or most probably, we've prepared for the temperature dip earlier and better. The kids have several hoodes sweaters and jackets already and they don't go out without them anymore. And as a loving mom, (yes, I think I am), I always massage oil on their backs before they go to sleep. It maybe just me but I believe that the massage oil I apply to their bodies either blocks the draft that seeps in from the windows or the essential oils spew out anti-viral essences that boost their immune system. But whatever the therapeutic effects those oils give, no one is really prepared for the harsh weather.

Bible Verse#6: God's Comfort

Pizza Overload

If I would count the number of pizza slices and flavors that we had the past two weeks, I'd say we have eaten enough for two months. It just happened. Someone treated us to a pizza, or the pizza store is the one nearest to us when we got hungry, or we just didn't like the choices of food stores in the mall that we've gone to.

Holiday in Riyadh Zoo

I have been asking Fred to bring us to the zoo here for the longest time but he didn't have the time because he has work on Thursdays, which is my rest from work and the kids' rest from school. Last Christmas, my Tunisian boss, who's kind of making up for the fit he had on me the day before, told me I could have the Christmas day off so I can be with my family. Wow, that was one making up any employee would like to hear from their boss! Fred on the other hand, was also allowed to stay with us. Yay again!

Bible Verse #5: A Time for Everything