Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts

Happy New Year!!!

Happy New Year, everyone! I thoroughly enjoyed my break from all things blog and social media the first week in 2019. It was just great to be able to spend time with family and enjoy the moment. For their “big” Christmas gift, S. and I surprised the kids with a trip to Florida starting the day after Christmas through the first week of January. Everyone had a great time.

It was the first time in years that we didn’t bring in the New Year during Watch Night services at our church, but the family fellowship we experienced at Florida made up for it.

The kids’ faces were on smiles most of time (except the night time when they had their typical sibling bickering). We stuck to Universal Studios during this visit. All three parks—Universal Studios, Islands of Adventures, and Volcano Bay—were visited. Since my brother in loves and their significant others and family joined, the kids had ample playmates and ride companions and that made the trip even more fun.
Hanging with the Cat in the Hat and Things 1 and 2

Vacation Recap: Paradise at Paradisus Punta Cana

Hello everyone. I’ve been waiting to share this one for a while. It’s the recap of our trip to Paradisus Punta Cana! It’s been three years since we visited the Dominican Republic, three years since we stopped by Paradisus Palma Real (see that post here). This time, we invited my brother and sister in love and their spouses. Yep, S.’s brother and his wife and his sister and her husband joined us for a really beautiful trip, a couples’ vacation that we will definitely have to repeat in the future.

The lovely walk outside our room

Weekend Recap: Visiting Umi

 Hi everyone! It’s been a pretty awesome weekend. The kids and I woke up very early to drive to the Maryland House rest stop and meet the kids’ grandmother aka Umi there because she had some Easter goodies she wanted to give them. My mom lives about 5.5. hours away and works crazy hours as a nurse. Sometimes it’s hard to catch her to see the kids, so we meet at the rest stop—halfway point for both—so we can catch up. Since the MD House has been renovated, we grab a bite to eat at one of the restaurants, let the kids run around on the green space for a bit, and after a while load back up to go back to our homes before the next actual home visit. I didn’t stay as long as we usually do this time because I had to sing the next day and I also knew I would be seeing her in about two months’ time for a summer visit. The kids, however didn’t mind and had a great time with Umi.

The next morning we got up pretty early to attend church services. I was able to find a nice little ensemble that fit my baby belly and didn’t make me look too frumpy lol. This Sunday was Palm Sunday and I always enjoy the blessing of the palms, the significance of the story of the Triumphant Entry, and the realization that Christ knew that it would not be long before he gave His life for everyone. Church service was beautiful although my daughter was a bit antsy and with no nursey services, I had to turn to her a couple of times to remind her of expected behavior. I realized toward the end that she wasn’t misbehaving, just fighting sleep as her schedule had been pushed back when we went to visit with Umi. I encouraged her to try and nap, but to little avail. In addition to Palm Sunday, it was also Youth Sunday, which meant our son was singing. It also meant the blessing of babies. One of our favorite couples were blessing their recently born daughter. It is always such a beautiful sight to see babies blessed and prayer for.

After church was over, we went to the baby’s home for a Christening celebration. Since the game was on, the men were more than excited to participate. S. usually loves these events, but was feeling poorly and missed out. You know he is sick when he misses food. He actually stripped from church clothes to chill clothes and was in the bed in five minutes after walking through the door. He insisted I go with the kids since the hosts were expecting me (and I suspect he needed the quiet to recuperate).

The kids really enjoyed themselves racing in the yard, playing with their cousins, and having a great time. Their cousins are already on Spring break, so our son was a bit disappointed when we left while the sun was shining. I explained that he had school and I had work the next day. His cousins didn’t and could stay and play all evening.

All of this fellowship just opens up to the activities coming for the next few weeks. There are two Easter egg hunts, Easter services, family and love. One hunt is the Annual Hunt sponsored by our church with a golden Resurrection Egg. I volunteered to help hide eggs for some of the older groups. That way when my son and daughter hunt, there will be no conflict of interest in finding eggs.

I’m most excited about the person egg hunt I’m throwing at the house. I plan on doing it once we get home from church. I will hide the eggs, take a few pictures of the before, make sure the kids have changed out of their church clothes, and release them into the yard for Easter Egg hunting.

I’m heading to the Dollar Tree and Five Below this week/weekend for plastic eggs, candy, and also stuffers for their Easter baskets. I’m very excited. How as your weekend?


Charleston, SC

While on a business trip to Charleston, SC, I decided to take some of my down time to visit a few sites in the city.  I've never been there before, but have always wanted to partly because of the deep historical and architectural significance.

The city didn't hesitate to share its history with me.

The city's children could run up and through this fountain.  On a humid day, it hit the spot

I  took a walk near the Charleston Waterfront Park and just enjoyed the beautiful fountain, the cool breeze, and the beautiful architecture that was constantly surrounding me.  My colleague accompanied me and I was very fortunate that she also loves and appreciates such things.  She's traveled extensively in Europe and saw a lot of European inspiration in the buildings.  She thought about how the colonists settled in the area and saw the connection immediately.

Most of the older or restored buildings had markers that designated their year and any awards they won for the resoration

The Art Institute has a campus in Charleston.  Some of its students went across the street to sketch on the stairs.

We found this jewel in a hotel courtyard.  If you look carefully, you'll see the bottom fountain bowl is actually multi-colored.
There was so much for our eyes to feast on it that it would have almost been easy to forget to feed our bellies.  Almost...

We stopped at a local restaurant called Charleston Crab House.  Can I tell you how much I loved these crab cakes?!  Oh my goodness!  They were so yummy I ended up writing a review on them for Tripadvisor.  The service was great.  The food was spectacular and it was visited again the next day!!

It made waking up every morning to prep for meetings a lot less painful.  Though I have to admit that my meetings weren't half bad.  New experiences will never be taken for granted.

Meeting bound....
In the afternoons, I was able to return to the our hotel and enjoy some quiet time.  I took advantage of room service only once.    I wasn't really that impressed....except for the cake.  The cake was amazing.

Not the Lobster Roll I was expecting, but I won't complain.

This Carrot Cake was pretty good though

All in all, it was a very productive trip.  I hope to return one day with FatherWinter and the kids.  It has a lot of wonderful attractions and things to keep everyone entertained.  Plus, it has tons of history and I love that.  Of course there is also tragedy here.

It was my sincere desire to visit Mother Emanuel AME Church to pay homage to the victims of the Charleston 9 Massacre.  Unfortunately, it rained a lot in Charleston and the area wasn't so easy to navigate for me in the rain.  The downtown streets flood quite a bit there.  I do plan on returning to pay my respects the next time I am down.

Hope you enjoyed the journey.

Family Vacation 2015

Hi everyone!

We've recently returned from our annual family vacation.  I have to say it was an enjoyable time for the most part.  Part of what made it so enjoyable was the knowledge that pretty soon our Honeybee will be a legal member of our family as she already is in our heart.

God willing, next year this time, we'll be making our annual family vacation without having to receive permission to go. Woohoo!!!

So, for the past three years, our family has visited Orlando, Florida for summer vacation.  This year, we extended an invitation to FatherWinter's brothers and sister.  Because schedules were so crazy, only two additional families could join us.  But that was more than enough as we really had a great time with them.

FatherWinter, Superbug, and the cousins
The kids got to enjoy Universal Studios and Wet n' Wild water park everyday. Honeybee did very well with the water slides and pool play.
Water slide fun
Adorable swimsuit

We kept her in her life jacket during water play and FatherWinter held her to make sure she was secure.  Honeybee soon became so relaxed that she fell asleep while he was still floating with Daddy.  It was such a cute photo.
Favorite moment of the trip:  Honeybee was so relaxed in the water that she fell asleep while floating.
On most days, the older children went with FatherWinter and their uncles to ride the roller coasters and thrill rides or meet their favorite characters.
Superbug and Spider-man.  Love this pic!
The Green Goblin made Superbug step back for a while.

While the big kids (men included :) navigated the rides, my sister in law and I took the younger children around the park to enjoy the little people rides.  Honeybee was able to ride the carousel, a fish ride, and see a couple of shows.  It was really interesting to see her face when we saw the Barney show.  She doesn't watch Barney on television, but she was really attentive at the show.  She was a bit apprehensive of seeing them up close, but enjoyed clapping her hands at the songs.

In the rest of the park, Honeybee's diminutive size confused a few people.  She does very well on her mobility, but in such a large park as Universal Studios and with her age, we preferred to carry her or let her ride in the stroller.  Since she is only in the 2nd percentile for height and 0 percentile for weight, she looks about six or nine months instead of sixteen.  That meant the ride attendants were reluctant to let her on because they didn't think she could sit up on her own.  Once I put her on the ground and she started walking and they heard her speak, they knew she was much older (but were still amazed).

Walking through Seuss Landing

It was great spending time with all of the families and wonderful that Superbug got to spend time with his cousins.  He really enjoyed himself and I'm looking forward to doing this again soon.  We're already discussing a vacation next year...a cruise.

The first night Daddy and Honeybee were super tired after the journey.

We had a huge rainstorm while at the water park.  

Dora was awesome in the parade

Whatever we do, we'll be blessed to do it together.  We hope you have a great evening and stay blessed!

Paradise at Paradisus

Hello everyone!

We're back.  FatherWinter and I just had an amazingly awesome trip in the beautiful Dominican Republic.  We spent 8 days and 7 nights celebrating our 3 year wedding anniversary and the great things that God has done for us on this journey.  The setting was the beautiful Paradisus Palma Real. Hands down, it was an amazing trip!

View from the lobby stairs

We arrived on a Saturday morning and, after receiving our bracelets, were immediately directed to the one of the restaurants to enjoy the buffet while they prepared our room.
Our all access pass for the week