Twinkle and I thought about just chilling out on my last day in Seattle. But just at the last minute since we both got up so early, she suggested if I was up for Bainbridge Island. New place, so I thought why not! :) Our escapades have always been one of the things I treasure dearly. At the end of the day, it's more than the place, it's the quality time spent together with true friends! :D Bainbridge Island was cool. Not that commercialized yet. We saw quaint shops, the harbor with loads of ships, and loads of restaurants. I was fascinated with how the cars were parked inside the ship. It was cool. :D
I could still remember the picturesque view of Mt. Rainier in Seattle. I thank my best friend for going out of her way just for me to witness this wonder! It was a long drive that was steep and filled with swerves but it simply was so worth it. I couldn't imagine how something extremely hot and cold could take place at the same point in time. It was witnessing snow amidst summer's extreme heat. The trip gave us a balance of nature's beauty. Loads of waterfalls which I ultimately loved. I could still hear the gushing falls roaring until this very day. There were loads of greens and lush forests. And of course snow capped mountains. Even just browsing through the photos I took continue to give me a feeling of high. See for yourself! :)
During the weekend, Cher, Joyce and myself decided to conquer Ault Park for some photo opportunities. Lucky for us, Ault Park did not disappoint us. In fact, we were extra pleased. Not even the sun's intense heat could get in my way. We were happy to discover such beauty in the middle of Cincinnati! :D
It has been 8 months since I last headed for Cincinnati. Today, I finally head back with the company of Joyce and Cher. I must admit I was still much excited even though I’ve been to the place for the nth time. I didn't sleep during the packing process. At the airport, 3 of us were already engaged with all sorts of stories. For the first time in my life, I didn’t even open my computer to go online. What a surprise! :) Inside the plane, I paced myself to fight off jetlag. Sleeping at the right time intervals and keeping my eyes wide open whenever I had to. I have been quite outdated during the past months so I grabbed the opportunity to knock off 3.5 movies during that flight. As shallow as it may seem, I felt accomplished after that. :) We had quite a memorable flight. I even got flagged by a random person for my non-stop talking. Hehe. The past 4 days have been all about food tripping and bonding sessions from the heavy stuff to the most trite. We started off with McCormick and Schmicks to Teak to Graeters to Jean Robert’s Table. And of course tonight, I feasted on my favorite sea bass of all time from Mitchells at Newport! I probably over hyped things but personally, I could eat that dish forever! I even had a past entry on that sea bass already! I realize I have several photos of the same sea bass eaten during different time frames with different people. Such an addict! Haha!!!
To feast on great food with the company of wonderful friends, I could not ask for more. What a privilege. :) In every single trip, I always make sure I enjoy it to the fullest and no one has the right to get in the way. Not even dry cough! Thanks to Joyce for the vitamin C and who could forget, my ever reliable Thermoburst that kept me back on track! :) I have more than a week of memories with Cher and Joyce and I can’t wait! Check out our food trip sessions that may potentially get you jealous!!! :) We promise to go for healthier options after this! :D
Great Seafood at McCormick and Schmicks!
Going for Thai with Teak
French Delight at Jean Robert's Table
Graeters : Cincinnati's Pride
Personal High at Mitchells
A colleague of mine, Wells brought me to the Grand Finale for dinner and truly it has lived up to its name. One of the best desserts I've ever tasted. The crisp puffs topped with chocolate fudge came in alternate layers with vanilla ice cream and was surrounded with fresh strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries! The seafood crepe I ordered was also a blast. I had to share the joy of eating it with Wells cause it was just soooo good! :) I also like the ambience of the place. Check out my pictures for proof. When I get the chance to fly there with my Manila friends, I'm definitely taking them there even though it's a bit farther than our usual eating destinations.
3 East Sharon Road, Glendale Ohio, 45246
I wanted to know how the actual fruit tasted. So I bought one for myself from Jungle Jim's :) Not really a fruit I would buy and eat on a regular basis. I wasn't even sure whether I was suppose to eat the seeds or get rid of them. Juice was more sour than sweet with a weird consistency. The dried ones I like though. :)
I always enjoy this night view of Cincinnati from Newport, Kentucky.
While here's another angle of Cincinnati during the day from Mt. Adams.
There's the P&G Towers along with the latest sky scraper which happens to be the tallest one as of today. It had officially beaten Carew Tower. Notice how there's a tiara on top to represent Cincinnati being the "Queen City." Just learned about that trivia during this trip! :)
Given the chance to travel, two main objectives come to mind: (1) to capture great memories of meaningful people, places, or things and (2) to visit all those people scattered around the globe who have made such an impact in my life.
I headed for Kansas City this time around to visit my high school chemistry teacher, Mrs. Ligon. It was already more than 8 years ago since I last saw her. Who would have thought I could fly over and visit the rest of her family? I used to think those just happened in the movies or in a dream. But hey, anything is possible huh? I was very excited to catch up on stories that were left untold over the years. When I landed in the Kansas City airport, the entire Ligon family was there to fetch me. I was very touched because of the amount of effort they exerted just to make me feel very welcome. Ate Sharon even kept saying: Shucks, Queen there's nothing to see here! Where will we bring you? But really, when I think about it, it was not about what I get to see but the company I’m privileged to be with! I got to ride their family car as we headed for Zona Rosa. We rested for a while in this cool lounge area and tried catching up with stories! There was an ongoing car exhibit of vintage cars outside which was cool knowing that those vehicles were born even before my grandparents! There was a band playing jazz music on the side to set the mood. We headed for some Ribs/BBQ at Smoke House BBQ for lunch since Kansas City was known for that. It was always nice to have a taste of whatever was the food highlight in a specific place. Then we headed for their lovely home. It was such a pretty and cozy place which made me feel so welcomed and at home. It's even more amazing to know that Kuya Rob was behind all those home improvement wood works to beautify the place. Home renovation is very popular in the US. Last week, my supervisor Dave just shared with me so many pictures of how he transformed his home into some place you would never expect. So we rested and watched a few Philippine TV shows since they had both ABS-CBN and GMA networks. We feasted on some good tasting chocolate cake. Rai was very kind enough to share with me her room! It was a pink room so it was easy to fall in love with it for any pinkaholic like myself haha :-) We headed to the Union Station in the afternoon and took some snapshots. I discovered how Kansas City was known as the city of fountains. You'll randomly find one after another as you go places! We headed for this mall, Crown Center where I found the world’s only Crayola Cafe. Thought that was pretty cool. Hallmark's headquarters was also situated in Kansas City. We also had good frozen custard which was the 2nd I’ve tasted next to Carmens at DC. I like the smooth consistency of frozen custard I don’t think anyone thought of it yet in Manila. Well, I may be wrong. Then we had sinigang for dinner. It was just about perfect timing after not having any Filipino dish for the past 2 weeks. Kuya Rob's a great cook even though he tries to be humble about it hehe. I played cards (Old Maid) and marbles with Rai during the evening. Having a little sister to hang out with reminds me of my brother, King who I greatly missed. Rai is such a sweetheart she would sometimes deliberately lose just so I get the chance to win as well. I love talking to her because of how witty and cute she is. I had a good sleep after not having enough sleep for quite some time. The jet lag was quite intense 2 weeks ago. My body clock was still in Cincinnati mode of course which allowed me to get up an hour before everyone else. It was a busy Sunday for us. We started the day with church. I loved the architecture! It was very much wedding material haha! Kuya Rob and Ate Sharon both even did the offertory. I found out that the school, Cristo Rey where Ate Sharon taught chemistry, biology, and forensic science (cool huh?) was connected to the church. There was a passage way. I felt happy to have gotten the chance to see what the high school classrooms were like in Kansas City. It was pretty cool. The lab was integrated with the lecture area all together. So it was the students moving around from 1 class to another. This surely reminded me of those chemistry days where we created little experiments which included: ice cream making, playing with co lored pigments, law of conservation of mass explosions. So anyways, we visited the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art afterwards. By the way, Kuya Rob's team did the construction for that. I love anything to do with arts so to be stuck in a museum is something I enjoy. We took photos of the famous shuttlecock pieces in the greens outside. It was a beautiful day with great weather. After going from contemporary to Renaissance to European to photography we realized we forgot about lunch! We had our late lunch at Winstead, a diner place since the 1940s. Onion rings were huge, chunky, and yummy. We went to the Country Club Plaza which I thought was interesting because I found so many famous restaurants I’ve been going to from Cheesecake Factory to PF Chang’s. The architecture was very distinct at the plaza. There was a unique blend of fountains, shops, architecture, and horse carriage going around the area. For dinner, we headed to a hotel and casino place called Harrah's. I got to meet their friends from there. The little boys were very hyper haha! The smoked prime rib was sooo good :-) When we got home, I played with Rai till 11PM! I was worried since she had classes the next day. We ended up sleeping together during my last night which was very nice. The next day I knew Ate Sharon and Rai had to go to class. It was sad since I was never a fan of goodbyes. I was lucky Kuya Rob could take me to the airport since he was on flex time. However, the plans changed. Rai couldn’t wake up because we slept so late. Even Ate Sharon called her school to say she couldn’t make it. She had to get rest too! I was deeply touched because I had an entire family send me off to the airport. I felt guilty at the same time causing a disruption to their schedules. We had a photo op at their very nice sala before we headed for the airport. As I flew out, I felt really blessed to have been given the chance to spend a weekend with them. I was obviously saddened to go. I will miss this family :-) I had such a great time with them. I am forever grateful for the memories that we can always look back to! :-) One day I hope I can go back and Reema will be there by then :-)
On the way to the Great Smokey Mountains National Park of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, we passed by this place called New Found Gap. What's significant about this place is that it serves as a divider between Gatlinburg, Tennessee and Cherokee of North Carolina.
Since 1940, this area has been one of the most popular destinations. With such magnificent view, I totally understand why.
I was fortunate to have such a great weather during my visit last weekend. I was very hyped with this trip because I finally got my lensmate kit which included a 72mm circular polarizer. Lensmate didn't fail me, it allowed me to capture the bluest skies just the way I wanted it.
Right from the New Found Gap, one could already catch the glimpse of the Great Smoky's. Certainly a place one must check out! :)
Reaching the Smoky Mountains literally felt like I was on top of the world. I got to see layers of mountains in different shades of blue. The sight was simply amazing. A friend even said it felt like we were on cloud 9. I couldn't agree more given such breath taking experience. The wonders of nature continue to fascinate me. I'm just grateful to friends with the same passion for travel and photography in making this dream a reality!
I always wanted to experience the autumn / fall season in the US. Just the idea of being able to capture all those colors in my mind excited me. I headed for Laurel Falls in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. The hike up opened my eyes to such vibrant colors of fall! How I wish we had all these back in Manila. Leaves of yellow, green, orange, red against the deep blue skies were so mesmerizing. It was inevitable that a certain feeling of 'high' got into me and simply made me fall in love with fall. :)
All about the traveling Queen who wanted to share with the world the little and great discoveries that have brought her joy.