Monday, October 24, 2016

Te Arai Reserve

Winter's out, spring's here, summer's coming.  It's time to hike again!

The weather hasn't been so perfect like this for ages!  First hike is Te Arai Reserve in the north, 1.5 hours away from home.  Love the rough road going to the park.  Nothing our tiny car can't handle.

Lunch was served at the back of the car - grilled liempo and fried rice, flushed down with cold coke, chocolate donuts for dessert.  Could pass for a perfect date.  I'm cheap like that :)

Te Arai boasts of walking tracks, horse tracks, beach area for swimming/surfing, grazed areas, sand dunes. 

I especially loved the white beach with long and wide coastline, the lagoon, a thousand splendid shells, tree-lined paths, and more lush views.

And the bluffs... how could I ever forget the bluffs?  It deserves a separate post.  The bluffs deserve a separate post... Yes, they do.  Did I say I need a separate post dedicated for the bluffs?

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Teh (and Paul)

Hot milk tea on a sunny yet still cold spring morning!  I do mine with extremely hot water, english breakfast tea, heaps of creamer (coffee mate is love!), and brown sugar.  

I love how it doesn't make my heart palpitate like coffee does.  I love how the mild tea flavor combines with cream - tastes like magic!  These raves are all coming from someone who can't drink coffee :p

Flashback to 2008 in Zurich... Paul the African (?) BA asked me to join him for tea.  We went to the cafe, he ordered for tea, and put in in tons of milk in his cup.  You can't even find a trace of tea in there!  He probably saw me looking at his cup.  He said, "Hey, this is the way I like my tea, ok?  I like it milky!"  Hahaha sure, Paul!  Whatever works for you!

Speaking of Paul, I also fondly remember some comedic stories with him!  Like that time when we were tasked, more like punished, to test results for a project.  The results were in spreadsheets that span about 3 meters when printed - this is just for one test case.  There are about a hundred (?) tests!  He managed to escape all that by saying, "I ain't doin' that! I have bad eyes!" (he's squint-eyed).  Smooth!    

And that time when we went to Mc Do for lunch.  We had to ride the bus but we both forgot our transport passes in our desks.  Too late to go back, we rode the bus anyway, and hoped that no random inspector will hop in.  It's just one stop anyway!  Yes, irresponsible (and may I just add, young?).  No excuses!  I sat down in the bus.  He looked  at me in disbelief, scared too like we were fugitives, "what are you doin' sittin' down there?  You don' even have a pass! Stand up here!"  Hahaha kapal nga naman ng mukha ni ateng!  Uupo pa!


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Amag Away

Winter is over (vs GOT's 'winter is coming' nyek!).

This usually means it's time to clean all the molds that accumulated on the window sills.  Molds are really annoying. They come at a time when all you really are in the mood for is hybernating.  Who wants to move around and clean during winter?  Well, not me :)

Last Saturday, the weather forecast said 'crappy day' so I said something bright to Mike - that it's about time we remove the molds.  To which he said, "'di ba tayo magkakasakit pag nagliparan yun at nasinghot natin?" 

Aba, that was a brighter remark and good attempt to escape cleaning.  Then I hit back, "'di ba tayo magkakasakit lalo pag di natin nilinis?" 

Hahaha!  The supernova award goes to... the molds!  For making us shake our bonbons and clean.

And boy, did we clean the moldy windows!  But wait, there's more!  We also cleaned the sofa and the carpets!

Pag sinumpong nga naman oo!  It does wonders!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

How to Fight with the Demons in Your Head

- play candy crush until you run out of lives - once you consume the initial 5 lives, you'll have to wait for 30 mins (?) before you could play again
- play sudoku - medium level will take you 3 - 12 mins
- play with a kid - this is fail-proof! You'll absolutely forget everything that messes with your brains
- sing karaoke over youtube - especially useful when you are alone in the house as you can sing at the top of your lungs. All-time favorites: tadhana, anything for you, sunlight, sway (mga bagong-bago!)
- water the plants and talk to them too
- cook
- drink. Water. Lots of it. Coffee/tea too. Experiment on coffee. I've tried adding butter and coconut oil after watching videos on how to make bullet coffee. Good :)
- surf on facebook, blogs, twitter 
- watch informative videos
- pray

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Christmas 2015

Mike and I spent our first NZ Christmas on 2014 with fellow orphans :p - friends who have no family members here.  At that point in time, we only had each other and we are all one family

Christmas of 2015 was a bit different as we got to spend it with the cool oldies + kuya and April and dear Keyla :)

The Christmas feast

Keyla and her love letter from Santa.  Santa sneaked inside our house while we were out for Christmas mass.  Sneaky Santa :)

Missing wawi, whose visa got botched :(

We opened gifts, half of which were for Keyla.  The joys of being a kid :)

The things I would do to always have a Christmas like this :)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Shakespear Regional Park

2015 Christmas Season had been extra special. Mami was here! And so were Tita Marenila and Tito Peps (April's parents).  I fondly call them the oldies, Keyla protested and said it was not a very nice thing to say. :p

Dec 20, 2015

We went to Shakespear Regional Park, all geared, more of psyched, to harvest cockles.  Armed with a, hmmm, plastic bag, we searched for cockles.  It turned out you don't just go to the beach with the hope and desire of getting cockles.  

There's actually a thing called "tides" (no rocket science) hehehe that you have to consider.  And it was high tide when we got there, and high tide always means no-cockles.  Bow.  Sayang effort and hopes! :)

With my beautiful mami...

What's not to love?  I will never get tired of these...

the following pics are from kuya's cam:

kitang-kita, the label on the frame says 'Shakespear Regional Park'


The closest thing that we could get to 'swimming' in the beach.  Still too cold that time :)

The napurnadang cockles picking.  See that white plastic bag?  That's where we intended to place our cockles harvest.  Hahaha!

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Whangarei Trip - part 3

Just like all good things, all wonderful journeys come to an end.

This is one of the lookouts.  I feel the views would have been more spectacular had the sun been out and proud. 

On the way home, we passed by Whangarei Falls, which was a stunner!  All thousand and one views around it!

Again, we were unprepared for this short trek, but who cares?  We're happy, the trees, rocks, waterfalls, and all creatures are happy!

Happy 5th, my lab!  More travels!

Whangarei Trip - part 2

At the side of the house, there was a sign that said "beach" and it led to this path.  Beaches always mean good news so we gladly followed the track even if it meant we had to do a semi-hike in wrong attires and wrong shoes - or the lack of shoes.  


This is the NZ silver fern.  I learned from Mike that this plant, native to NZ, has a silver hue and is useful when planted along tracks for night walks.  Bongga!  Silver!

Finally, the beach!  

Don't be deceived by the seemingly powerful glares of the sun.  The water is still ice-cold if we were to use my standards.  No swim, just dawdaw the feet.  All good.

After inhaling the glorious beach scent, we went back and drove further to Matapouri beach - a white beach!

And hopped to the other side of town to check out more beach views.

As we missed Keyla, we did this and sent her the photo :)

I love happy paths that lead to beaches :)

I know I will never get tired of walking along beaches, it fills all my senses!  I could bask under the sun the whole day - sunblock or no sunblock, migrai..... no migraines, please!

Dinner was take-away pizza and lots of beer and wine.  Wine has been a necessity for me... for reasons I'd rather not discuss!

The day was a success.  One of our most memorable travels :)

Whangarei Trip - part 1

It's been almost a year since Mike and I went on a road trip.  Last weekend, we made an advanced anniv trip up north to Whangarei.  It's a trip that never disappointed.  Perfect in every way :)

Weather forecast was promising - it promised there will be rain, winds, and don't-even-try-to-make-plans-this-weekend kind of weather.  We made plans anyway.  We figured we'll sleep all day in Whangarei if weathers turns really sour.

On our almost 3 hour journey, there was an ongoing battle between the sun and the clouds.  It was good in a way because we've discovered that since we've moved to NZ, extreme sunlight triggers our migraine - and it pretty much moves us into a worthless state.  So some cloud bkanket is really good!

It rained indeed.  This is the entrance of the b&b, all doomed and lonely (I associate rain with grief).

And with a little luck, the above pic magically turned into something like this:

The bathroom - with the pikachu (peek at you, get?) window.  It was very neat and maselan-approved.  I pray that nobody ever walked outside during the times I took a bath and used the loo for whatever reason.  I pray.

The bed with a mosquito net (aka kulambo).  The owner had been very honest, she said she saw 1 mosquito the other day so she attached the mosquito net.  So thoughful!

Loved these outdoor hot tubs!  Took away all the stress and exhaustion.  I liked it scalding hot!

We had burgers for lunch!  Si misis matipid!  Nagbaon ng burgers!  Hahaha!  I swear I craved for adobo and wished that we brought adobo instead of burgers.  This was reminiscent of our Turi Beach (Indonesia) trip when we brought packed lunch of lumpia and rice.  Kailangan laging may baon!

Loved these pictures on the wall beside the tubs.  If I were to name this picture, the name would be "Talikod".

Since the weather turned fab, we went outside and let our hair down!  Explored the exterior of the house and we found paradise.

This is the view from the garden:

This is the b&b, hosted by Susy and Brett.  Such lovely hosts!

And more take-my-breath-away views!

What I'd do to wake up every morning to these views!