Monday, November 29, 2010

Autumn At Montgomery Village II

Today's my first day of work after a two-week vacation and it's painful. I feel like a new employee all over again trying to catch up with new cases and issues we're dealing with. My jet lag isn't helping as I am sleepy and tired most of the time. In addition to catching up, I was shocked to find out one of my coworkers resigned while I was away. I feel sad because I didn't have time to say goodbye to her; she's been a wonderful coworker and she's one of the people I get along with really well in the office. I'm hoping we can still schedule lunch before she settles at her new job. I'll surely miss her.

With winter slowly invading the area, I can't help but miss the colors of autumn just like I'll miss working with C, my coworker.

Here are more autumn photos I took at Montgomery Village.

"A few days ago I walked along the edge of the lake and was treated to the crunch and rustle of leaves with each step I made.  The acoustics of this season are different and all sounds, no matter how hushed, are as crisp as autumn air." (Sloane)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Glad To Be Home

After two weeks of travel, I am glad to be home. I've enjoyed immensely my trips to Italy, Croatia, Turkey, and Greece, but now, it's time to get back to the daily grind. It was still fall like when I left, now the trees are bare and winter is starting to settle in the area.

I'm still suffering from jet lag, and my to do list is long: there's loads of laundry to be done, groceries to be picked up, and bills to be paid. I can't wait to share my vacation photos with you, but first things first. I am glad to be home and I would like to thank everyone who visited my blog while I was away; I can't wait to visit yours.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

A Thought From Rainy Rome

What a day in Rome!

I can sum up our second day in Rome through these words: breakfast, nutella on toast, great coffee, roman forum, palatine hill, colloseo, saw lots of women in skin tight jeans and boots, lunch with pizza margherita and pasta carbonara, piazza navona, rain, san pietro, rain, fontana di trevi, gelato, rain, rain, rain...hotel.

But here's a little thought anyway:

Today, a lot of memories came pouring in apart from the rain. Rome has been my home as a student, and I can't believe I am back visiting. As we walked through the city, we visited familiar places including my old flat at Borgo Pio; the noisy bakery below our former apartment looks the same - dark and full of soot, the restaurants and souvenir shops on my street are still there. Everything seems to be where I left them. In my opinion, Rome hasn't changed since I left, and after all these years, I still feel at home.

Although PW and I were soaked and our shoes went squish, squish, squish as we waded through the flooded streets of Rome, our giggles and laughter drowned the loud rain. As we huddled under our little, cheap, red umbrella, it felt good to be back in Rome.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Cruise Report

Life is a cruise.

This is our travel route and we're now sailing back to Italy. After the cruise, we'll be visiting Venice, Milan and Rome, and I'm hoping to visit my former university (Rome) and if time permits see some friends and former classmates.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful week.

Image: Royal Caribbean Cruises
Happy Thursday to all!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Autumn At Montgomery Village

Blogging as we sail through the Adriatic Sea. It's been smooth cruising so far and very happy to be here. Regular internet connection is a challenge, but I'm itching to just say "hello to all." Pictures from this vacation will have to wait, as it's not easy working with the ship's computers.

Anyway, below are more autumn photos I took earlier. Enjoy and will update soon. Thank you for the visits and comments. I will be visiting your blogs soon.


Autumn is an easy subject to photograph. I've never been so inspired to go out and just spend a whole day driving around, finding places that I find most colorful. This year though, fall was easy to find because it was everywhere.

After Lake Whetstone, I crossed a road to the Montgomery Village proper. With proper I mean, where the houses are located. So the stream you see in the photos is a tributary of Lake Whetstone.

I cannot endure to waste anything as precious as autumn sunshine by staying in the house. 
So I spend almost all the daylight hours in the open air. (Hawthorne)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

On Travel And More

Packing for this two-week vacation is tougher than I thought. I'm so used to just throwing everything in my red backpack then head out with my passport and ticket, but this coming trip includes a week at sea and a week traversing on land. Although half of the trip will be spent on a backpack like travel, it is the cruise thing that throws off my packing technique.

Although I've worked for a cruise line before, this is the first time I'm going on a cruise holiday. There's a dress attire included on the ship's itinerary and it includes at least two formal nights; this I'm not used to and formality isn't really my cup of tea. When I travel, I stuff my travel bag with cargo pants, jeans and any other comfortable casual clothing I could find. I'm more of a backpacker, which is quite far off from the cruise culture that I know off. Still, I packed one dress that I could pair with my sneakers...LOL. Or, I'll just order room service during formal nights.

I think I'm done with the packing, so it's just controlling my nerves during the long flight. Somehow, fear of flight is suddenly an issue with me. This is a new thing, and it's not that I'm new to flying. I'm puzzled myself because I've traveled quite a lot in the past , so where the hell is this fear of flight coming from?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mr. Frost Is Here

I think that jackets and coats are here to stay. It felt that October was an abnormal month because there were days I'd wake up shivering in the mornings, then frustratingly shedding off my coat and sweater towards the end of the day due to heat and humidity. For me, October was a crazy month in terms of dressing. I didn't know whether to wear a long sleeve or just a blouse to work. There's a greater probability of being either over-dressed or under-dressed in the month of October. I guess that as the cooler temperatures make themselves at home in the area, it is easier to dress for one main purpose - to ward off the cold.

Last week was the first time my car was covered with ice and saw the grass and plants covered in frost, and although I'm not looking forward to scraping ice on my car or even shoveling snow on the sidewalk, I can't help but also get excited about some of my winter favorites like hot chocolate, warm cookies, pink mittens, purple scarves, winter boots, knitted sweaters and soft fluffy warm socks. Winter brings forth a few of my favorite things.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Autumn At Lake Whetstone

It seems that every year (or any time of the year), I go back to this place, Lake Whetstone. I used to live close to this community, and I remain amazed at the lake's serene beauty which is magnified during autumn. It's a quick getaway from life's daily grind and the lake itself is an easy access or drive from I-270. It is here where I've taken lots of walks and stared quietly at the lake as I get lost in my thoughts. Somehow, I found the lake's company soothing and relaxing.

It is here where I've practiced taking photos with my then brand new Nikon last year. The lake and wildlife thriving in the area are perfect subjects for an amateur photographer like me. By far, autumn is my favorite time to visit because I know the trees around the lake are ready to show off some colors. With my several visits during the year, I figured out that early in the morning is the best time to take photos especially when it's not breezy or windy. When I took the photos below, I was lucky because the lake was calm and the surrounding houses and autumn foliage were perfectly reflected on the lake like a mirror.

As I post these photos, autumn is slowly bidding goodbye in the area. There are still colors but not as bountiful like last month. Nevertheless, I am so thankful and glad I was able to capture autumn this year. I will be posting more autumn themed photos. I hope you'll enjoy looking at them as I had a blast taking photos of autumn's lovely colors.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Five Question Friday

This is the first time I'm joining Five Question Friday, so here we go.

1. If you could have any talent and turn it into an occupation, what would it be?
* I'd love to be a good writer, and have my own newspaper/magazine column. I'd love to write about lifestyle and focusing on the fun things in life. There's just too much violence and crime in the news these days, so I'd like to write feel good stories and focus on the lighter side of life. We all need a good smile or laughter these days.

2. Would you rather have a house at the beach or a cabin in the woods?
* I'd love a house at the beach. With Hawaii as my homestate, nothing beats waking up to the sound of the waves and just burying my toes in the sand. After all, I am born and bred in the tropics.

3. Is there any meaning or reasoning for the names you chose for your child/children?
* No children yet, but I'm considering adopting a dog. This morning, I just thought of the name Misha. I think it's a cool name. It's easy to remember and pronounce. I imagine a chocolate Lab named Misha.

4. What is your guilty pleasure?
* It has to be shopping. I do consider about my bills and other responsibilities, but sometimes, the urge to shop is stronger. I don't know, the force is strong with this one.

5. Do you live in a house that is deep cleaned or straightened?
* Oh no, if you'd care to look at my list below, I'm a self-proclaimed procrastinator. My house can be a total mess some days, and then clean and organized some days. Also, it depends on my mood.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Twenty Questions

I got this tag last year but didn't come to my attention until last month :(. My apologies to Sis, Gandang Igorota, and thank you for this tag.

Here's the rule: Remove 1 question from the list below, and add your own personal question to make it a total of 20 questions. Tag 8 people, list them out at the end of this post. Notify them in their chat box that he/she has been tagged.

1. At what age do/did you wish to marry?
* I do not have a specific wish to marry age, but I think that it will come when I'm ready.

2. What color do you like most?
* Pink

3. If you can have a superpower, what would it be?
* The ability to fly so that I don't need to buy tickets to see the world.

4. If you can travel anywhere in the world, where would you want to go?
* Top on my list are Greece and Egypt.

5. Which part of you that you love the most?
* My eyes because they're sort of the windows to my soul.

6. When you get sad, what do you do?
* I cry and write on my journal.

7. What are you afraid to lose the most?
* The people I love.

8. If you win $1 million, what would you do with the money?
* Invest and travel.

9. What do you love the most last year (2009)?
* Finally fulfilling my wish to own a house.

10. How did you get your name?
* I am not sure where my parents got my real name, but my nickname, Kayni, was coined by my father.

11. What is the moment you regret most?
* Wasted years with a man-child.

12. What type of person do you hate the most?
* Narcissists.

13. What is your greatest asset?
* My loyalty to my family, love ones and friends.

14. If you had one wish, what would you wish for?
* My platelet count to be 150,000 and higher.

15. How did you celebrate the New Year last year?
* Watching movies with PW.

16. Name the one body part your hubby or significant other tells you he adores.
* Help!!!

17. What are you looking forward to this year?
* Two weeks in the Mediterranean and Christmas/New Year at home in Hawaii.

18. Anything in your life that you wish weren't so awful?
* My health but I'm hoping things will get better soon.

19. What's the shallowest thing you intend to do this year?
* Drive to Hershey's Chocolate World and eat a Hershey Sundae.

20. What is your worst trait?
* I have the tendency to procrastinate, then I panic when I'm overwhelmed because I've procrastinated. Does that make sense?

No tags so feel free to snag.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Part 2: Shenandoah National Park

In the mountains, time stood still. There are no work deadlines to be met, no blaring beeping of cars stuck in traffic, and no work politics or corporate mambo jambo to decipher. Up there, the singing crickets, the soft breeze that ruffle the leaves, and the birds reign supreme. All the usual everyday stress of life seems so far and distant and I loved it.

A town below.
That's the road we took to get up here. Lots of winding roads similar to Zig Zag Road.
Fall foliage.
In between fall and winter.
Blue Ridge Mountains.
My famous shoes and I, sitting on a rock, waiting for sunset.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Part 1: Shenandoah National Park

The mountains are always calling. They said that you can take the girl from the mountains, but you can never take the mountains from the girl. Does that make sense? Being born and bred in the Cordilleras has instilled in me great respect and utmost love for nature and culture. My heritage of mix Sagada, Bontoc, and Ilocos, Sagada being the dominant one, makes me proud and blessed that I grew up with a strong belief of who I am.

My recent visit to Shenandoah National Park reminded me of the Cordillera mountains. Although geographically speaking the terrain looks different, the mountain feel is unquestionably the same. The air up in the mountains felt cooler, fresher and cleaner, and when you gaze at the neighboring mountains and further, the view is beyond beautiful and breathtaking. As I closed my eyes and breathe in the mountain air, every breath and every beat of my heart  took me back to the places near and dear to my heart - the Mt. Provinces.

To be continued...