The Comforts Of Home In Your Hotel

>> Tuesday, October 8, 2013

When looking for accommodations for your family vacation, what do you usually look for? No matter where you are, isn't it that you would look for comfort for your family first? I for one would usually look into the hotel room's size, and the services available. It should be clean, with amenities that my little girl can also enjoy, is accessible, and will of course allow me to unwind and relax. It also must have good reviews from people who have actually stayed in that hotel. It should also have hotel bar supplies that meet my expectations, a good selection of wine and a modern yet subdued ambience conducive for conversations.

I would always appreciate a hotel that offers a welcome service to its guests. It gives it a more personal touch. It could be a bottle of wine, or a small basket of sweets and chocolates to nibble on when you have nothing to do in particular or complimentary drinks at the bar. It need not be a five-star hotel for you to enjoy luxury in your hotel room... We once stayed in a hotel that was really nice. We were able to book it at a very reasonable price. The room was very charming and the bath supplies had me thinking of this hotel supply online that also offered almost exactly the same products. 

Come to think of it, if you are a hotel operator and would love to upgrade or update your hotel supplies, the Atlanta hotel supply can just be the right shop for you. It would be a great idea to start a business in the hotel industry. With all the hotel rooms that we have slept in and the experiences, good and bad, they will surely help in designing a place that guests can call their home away from home.


The Shape Of You

>> Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Two Sundays ago, we received a very unexpected news. A news that my father in law suddenly collapsed and was critical in the hospital. My husband had to fly immediately to the Philippines but my mother in law told me that it was the same case as Uncle Nilo's. Tatay has always had hypertension and was diligent in monitoring his BP and was very careful with what he eats. He refused however to take his maintenance medication because he felt his BP would worsen/shoot up if he failed or missed a day to take them. But then it was too late for that... :(

Tatay passed away last Tuesday due to high blood pressure aneurysm. What it is, and how it can be diagnosed and prevented you can find here.

It was such a sad and bitter day for us, especially to his two children who are both based abroad: my husband who is Germany-based and his brother who is UK-based. I guess it must have been a very long journey for my husband. I honestly wished we could be with him when he flew to the Philippines or that my brother in law can also fly back home to see Tatay for the last time but certain circumstances prevented us from doing so.

My heart still grieves at losing him... It was barely five months when we last saw him. He was always so happy and always laughing, making jokes and always tickling our little girl. Making sure his granddaughter is comfortable and happy. He always puts the needs of his family first before his needs.

Now he is gone. Finally resting and no longer feeling pain. I pray that you are now resting in peace Tatay. And I pray that the Lord will comfort the loved ones you have left behind: Nanay (my mother in law), Kuya Leo and Ate Ann and Luis, Hanhan and us.

Coincidentally, I found this song from Jewel entitled "In The Shape Of You" which perfectly describes how I felt with your passing away... I am thankful for the time given me to get to know you more. Thank you for everything... Coming home to the Philippines will never be the same again without your laughter. :( Indeed, there's a hole in our hearts in the shape of you.

Your passing was unexpected Tatay... May you find rest in the Lord, our God.


Fireworks Are Heavenly

>> Friday, September 13, 2013

I have always enjoyed fireworks shows... I was in awe when I saw my first spectacular and long fireworks show at the Showa Kinen park in Tachikawa, Tokyo in Japan. It was the summer of 2007. Then came the string of fireworks festivals in the succeeding years.

Each firework show is unique and beautiful in its own way and each never ceases to bring home that feeling of awe and wonder at the beauty that pyrotechniques can offer.

When we moved to Germany, I thought I would be missing out on the fireworks show but I guess I am way too favored when we found there is an annual three-day fireworks show called "Flammende Sterne" happening every summer at Scharnhauser Park in Ostfildern. Year after year, we go to the park to witness it, except for this year since we went on a summer holiday.

Since I wasn't able to watch this spectacle, I felt my summer went by incomplete. But then I saw this video shared on Facebook about a fireworks show competition held in Berlin and was again awed. I felt like I was there watching the fireworks myself. And on top of that, it was designed by Filipino contingents. I am just so happy to see it so I am sharing it here. I hope you like it.


A Series of Beautiful
and Unfortunate Events

>> Wednesday, September 4, 2013

It was a nice fine Saturday. We wanted to go hiking again before it gets too cold for our little girl so we decided to go mountain hiking up in Nebelhorn in Oberstdorf. The drive from where we live normally takes just two hours but we got stuck in traffic due to the high volume of vehicles who also wanted to do a "last day out" before the summer break ends.  The long drive got the husband irritable. We got to our destination at around two in the afternoon. We only have at least two and half hours left for our hike before the cable cars stop running. Of course we could always hike on the way down from the peak but we also had to consider the temperature and the terrain. It is okay if it were only me and my husband... but if you are with a little girl who likes to complain if she doesn't feel like doing something, then that is another story.

The cable car of the Nebelhornbahn leaving the Gipfelstation (peak station)

We reached the peak of Nebelhorn via cable car and then hiked our way down to the next station of Höfatsblick. It was only a kilometer stretch but with the steepness and the loose stones along the trail, it took us over an hour to hike as we stopped here and there for some photos. There was also a lot to see: alpine flowers in purple, yellow and white, and the  The hike down from the peak also saw us discovering the home of marmots. We spied four marmots in total and the little went nearer the rocky formations to get a closer look.

As we were moving on towards the Bergstation, I then noticed that my sunglasses were missing.. And that's when tempers flared... It's unfortunate really so my husband had to hurry and climb back up, tracing our tracks. It was nowhere to be found. I just hope it went to better hands.

Although the trip didn't turn out as wonderful as we expected it to be, I am still thankful. For the beauty of nature that we were able to behold. For the time given to spend with one another. For the memories albeit not so good....



What I Like (and Don't Like) in Coffee Shops

>> Friday, April 26, 2013

I love coffee and enjoy going coffee shop hopping. There is just something about coffee that makes my day. It is not just the coffee though, it is also the ambience in the coffee shop, the furnishings, the layout, the perks that they offer.

I love coffee shops that are spacious and airy, with tables and chairs and bar stools so arranged in a manner that allows free flow and unobstructed movement of the customers and the shop crew. I love contemporary design so I would really opt for a coffee shop that has contemporary bar stools for when I want to enjoy my coffee alone and couches that will not "swallow" you when I have company. I would love it if the stool has a back rest that is neither too high nor too low so that I could also lean if I want to, and has a foot rest, adjustable height and can be swivelled 360° for a more relaxing sit. Something just like the Harmony bar stool.

I love it when the main entrance of the coffee shop has an impression of inviting to it... I don't mind if the shop's busy but I just don't like it if I have to wait for some 10-15 minutes for my coffee or line up to order one. Call me lazy but I like it better if a waiter comes to take my order. :)

Of course, I would prefer if the coffee shop offers free WIFI to its customers. Most coffee shops already do. It would also be great if charging your laptop or other gadgets is free of charge but I would understand if some coffee shops charge you for a certain fee. After all, electricity is an expensive commodity and if you are only going to order a cup of coffee and stay at the coffee shop for hours on end, the shop could go bankrupt because of high operating costs.

I also like the fact that some coffee shops now have a point systems or memberships that allow its loyal customers to enjoy discounts and perks.



A Friend-ly Gathering

>> Thursday, April 25, 2013

It has been four years (or maybe more!) since I last saw my beautiful friends from the university and so when the chance came for us to meet, we didn't let the chance pass us by. I also wanted to hand over the shoe box of pens and pencils I have collected from my friends and classmates at graduate school in Germany for our little project Pens of Hope in Davao, so it was just the perfect timing.

© Photo by Mervz Mosqueda via Facebook
The little girl decided to lie down while waiting for my friends to arrive.
It was a Saturday and we decided to meet at Yellow Hauz, a quaint coffee shop in Davao City. While waiting, me and little girl ordered some refreshments. After a few minutes, Kikit and her hubby Dan, arrived carrying snorkel gear... They just came from a day of snorkeling at Paradise Beach Resort at the Island Garden City of Samal (IGaCoS). It must have been very nice to be with schools of fish, I so envy them.. Hehehe! 

A smile and a shoe box full of hope!
© Photo by Claire Apigo Guillano via Pens of Hope Page on Facebook
Anyway, before we forgot, we handed over our shoe box of pens and pencils and Kikit asked to make a souvenir shot with my little girl as the model.

After three pots of hot tea, two other girl friends, Ate Tess and Shugar (along with Sweet, her little girl) arrived. It was almost time for dinner to we transfered to Matina Town Square and opted to dine at Kanto bar and restaurant.

THANK YOU for the wonderful time! Until next time...
© Photo by Claire Apigo Guillano via Facebook
Indeed, it was a wonderful evening filled with sensible talk, laughter and wonderful company. It may have been years but it is heartwarming to know that the friendship remains. Even if we grow in numbers (family members are always welcome in the group) and we live far apart, it makes me smile to know that when we come home again, we have another family to come home to... our SICO family. :)

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