Year 2018 – Day 2

New Year; trying to be a better me.  Going to try to workout more and eat healthier.  You know the usual things that I’ve been telling myself for probably the last 8-9 years.  This year might be the one where I actual get my shit together again.

I went to visit family in NYC on New Years Eve.  I was going to visit Rockefeller Center and see the tree, but it was so cold.  It was also New Year’s Eve and super busy, so I decided to put it off.  I’ll try to head out there and check it out before they take it down.

2018 has been okay so far, but I know that I can become a better human.  I just have to progress daily and take it day by day.

Year 2017 – Day 348

Man it’s been a long day. Time travel is always rough. My day started at 2:30am. Got ready and packed up my things. Drove with one of my uncles and two of my cousins to the airport. There was hardly any traffic and we got there with plenty of time to spare. Luckily my airline was open so I was able to check in and get my boarding pass.

We got breakfast at McDonald’s before they left. It was technically my last meal in the Philippines. I didn’t have to wait that long for the flight. I eat some Pinoy chips and bought some drinks. When I was on the plane I just passed out shortly after takeoff. The plane was one of the newer planes with newer touch screens and new seats. It was very comfortable. The flight time was only an hour and forty five minutes. I woke up during the breakfast meal. It was an egg and ham omelette wrap thing and mango juice. I ate all of that pretty quickly then went back to sleep. Next time I woke up was when the captain was telling us we were making our decent.

I was able to get through Hong Kong security pretty quickly. Then I got to play the waiting game. I got through and upstairs to the gates around 11am. I checked the board and my flight wasn’t listed yet. So I got to play the waiting game. I basically went to each wing of Terminal 1 looking at all the stores. I got some Hong Kong dollars and got some local cuisine. Once I found what gate my flight was taking off from I setup shop there.

The flight itself was 14.5 hours or so. I basically slept 85% of the ride. I didn’t mean to sleep that long, but whatever. I’m not jetlagged and that’s all that matters. There were a lot of sick people on the flight though. I think that might be why I slept so much.

I got through customs and immigration pretty quickly. JFK put in a lot more kiosks since last year. I spent a good 45 minutes waiting for my bag though which kinda sucked. Then once I finally got my bag I took the wrong AirTrain to get to my connecting train to my car. Once I got on the right one, I ended up missing the train by 10 minutes, but there was another one only 20 minutes away. Then it was only a matter of another hour train ride then 40 minute drive home.

I’m finally home after a full day of travel, but it was definitely worth the hassle because the adventure was great. Now I gotta rest up because I’m off to Rochester this weekend for a family friend get-together.

Year 2017 – Day 347

Went out to eat yesterday for dinner. There was a bunch of people coming over to the our family’s house for dinner and it was just easier for my cousins and I to not be there. We went to the next town over. Since the two cousins I went with don’t drive we took a tricycle which is basically their taxis. It is a motorcycle with a sidecar. It was only three of us, so it was doable. There was a little bit of traffic on the way there, but we cruised on the way back. The guy was going 40 kph on the way back which was pretty fast.

We got a lot of food as usual. We got pancit, french fries, lasagna, Buffalo wings and smoothies. You know a classic meal.

Today is my last day here in the Philippines. Well technically I’m leaving tomorrow morning, but I won’t be able to do anything since I’m leaving at 8 am in the morning. We are having a dinner tonight with the whole fambam which should be pretty epic. Last year they had a boodle fight which is part of Filipino culture. Basically, it’s a long table and everyone just stands next to each other and eats. I don’t have any pictures of it on my phone or laptop to show, but you can just Google.

Time to get some rest before heading to the airport in 6 hours.  I’ll make sure to chronicle my airport adventures, but probably nothing too much too see.  I have to get back into work mode and will do some studying on the flight.

Year 2017 – Day 346

Food food food aaaaand food. Went to this restaurant with my cousins in the next town over yesterday. It was really good. We got Kare Kare, Sisig, French Fries, Steak, Crablets, tons of rice and banana split. It was four of us and we weren’t able to finish it all. I was so full after everything. It was delicious as well. I’m going to miss the inexpensive food when I go back home.

After dinner, we went into the main town to check out a factory that the owners decorated for the holidays. The lights were pretty amazing. I was wondering how the neighbors would get any sleep and how they would be able to go out after sunset since there were so many people blocking the roads.

After checking out that area, we walk to the nearby Church to see the lights there. There was a basketball tournament going on as well. The lights at the Church were nice as well.

Then it was on to the municipal building for the town. There were a lot of people hanging out there and lots of nice lighting going on there as well.

I’m going to have to go to Rockefeller Center when I get back home to check out the tree there and the light show on 5th Ave. Only a few more days left of vacation here in the Philippines, but there will be plenty more adventures to come.

Year 2017 – Day 344

I’m so full of food, but I somehow still lose weight while on vacation to the Philippines.

The other day was my grandmother’s 90th birthday.  There was a nice celebration with lots of food, drink and people.  It was held at my family’s house and it was setup covering the whole place.  There was a HUGE cake too.  When I first saw it I didn’t think it was all real, but after seeing how many people showed up it made sense.  Overall it was a fun day.

Yesterday I went with a few of my cousins to a food park which is like a food court in the States.  This one was an outside venue which was pretty nice.  We got food from three different places.  We got a bunch of grilled meats, chicharon bulaklak, shabu shabu and I got some tacos just to try.  All the food was delicious.  I tried all the meats which were BBQ pork, pork ears and chicken intestine.  The tacos were alright.  There was too many tomatoes on it for my liking.

After the food park, we heading back home and stopped off to get coffee at a nearby place for drink and dessert.

And that brings me up to today.  Just got back from going to Hop Chan again with some of the fambam.  Didn’t take a pictures of the food, but we got the usual family style plates.  Seafood fried rice, mixed meat fried canton noodles, cold cuts plate, beef and broccoli and hot pot of seafood.

I’m so full.  Tomorrow I’m going to a different restaurant with some of my cousins.  My stomach can’t wait.

Year 2017 – Day 340

Vacation is all about food, right?  When I go on vacation I am usually looking to eat something good.  This vacation is no exception.  My cousin got married the day I arrived, but I flew in at night so I couldn’t make the wedding.  Pictured is a mini cake from the wedding.

My other cousin got me some Jollibee for lunch the other day.  For those of you that don’t know, Jollibee is basically the Filipino McDonald’s.  It’s pretty popular.  I got the Aloha Burger.  It was a cheeseburger with a slice of pineapple on it.  The pineapple was really really sweet.  I could only handle a few bites with it on the burger before taking it off and just eating it separately.  My favorite thing there is the peach mango pie.  It’s so good!

One of the first lunches on my vacation one of my aunts and cousins went to a Chinese restaurant not too far away.  I went there last year when it first open and it’s pretty good.  The drink we all got was almond juice with lycee.

That brings me up to today.  I skipped breakfast because we went to an all you can eat Japanese buffet.  It was pretty awesome for the price.  The only issue I had was the grill.  This one was charcoal operated and the cooking area wasn’t that large for the amount of food we got to start.  We ended up having to wait a while for the meats to cook before eating.  Towards the end of the meal, we had it figured out and down to a system.  For dessert, they had cheese ice cream.  It was a first for me and it wasn’t too bad.

I have a week left of adventures and I’m sure there will be a lot more food eaten.  The past few days have been pretty low-key since everyone is working or in class.  More of my family is flying in the next couple of days so I’ll have more sight seeing adventures.

Year 2017 – Day 336 (Continued)

So I’m lucky enough to go on a vacation back to my motherland of the Philippines to see my family.  I’ll be going for 14 days, but with travel it’s only really 9, but I’m not complaining.

I’m going to be taking a bunch of pictures along the way, but I’ll only upload the highlights.

My day started at 3 AM EST.  I didn’t sleep at all for over 24 hours except for when I blinked ONCE between 2 and 3 AM and then started having a panic attack.  I had to catch a 4 AM train to get to the airport and Google Maps estimated I was 46 mins away so I had to 2fast2furious it up.  Luckily there was hardly any traffic on the way and I was able to get to the train with a couple minutes to spare.  I rested by eyes for an hour on the train then got to JFK.

The security checkpoint was pretty redic.  It took me about +90 minutes to get through.  It’s a good thing I got there 3 hours before my flight.  When I got to the front of the line I realized the issue.  People were leaving electronics in their baggage so TSA had to open them and it was holding everyone up.  After finally getting through all that I was able to find my gate and setup shop near a chair with a nearby power outlet.  I charged up my phone and just relaxed until boarding.

The first leg of my flight is +15 hours and I’ve done it enough times in the past few years I look forward to it.  I get two meals, snacks, tons of in-flight entertainment and I get to sleep pretty peacefully.  I sat in the back row window seat, but the alignment of the window didn’t allow me to rest my head against it that well.  I didn’t get to sleep as much as I hoped.  If I had to guess it was probably 5-6 hours.

I watched 4 movies (Rough Night, Baby Driver, The Big Sick and Spiderman Homecoming).  There are other movies I made note of to watch and I got Stranger Things 2 on my phone if needed.

Got to eat some nice food on the plane.  Cathay Pacific serves some pretty good airline food in my opinion.  I think next time I go I’ll try and get business class just to see what it’s like.

After my +15 hour flight, I got to Hong Kong and hung out there for 6 hours.  I was able to create this site and charge my computer a little.  Hong Kong airport is nice and spacious.  The views by my gate were pretty nice during the sunset too.   Note to self, next time you go bring more American dollars so you can buy some food.

At this point in the trip, I’m starting to get pretty tired.  I passed out right after takeoff and slept all the way until they served food and then passed out again.  I got to the airport around 10:30 PM local time, but didn’t leave until 11:15-30 because baggage claim took a while.  I was able to breeze through customs which was a first.

I didn’t get home until 1am and zzzz’d the night away.  24 hours of travel in the books.  Now my vacation starts.

Year 2017 – Day 336

I was getting notices that my site had malware on it, so decided to just purge the old site and start from scratch.  And as per usual I’ll try to post my adventures.

I picked the best time to redo my site too. I’m doing this all from Hong Kong airport during my layover to the Philippines on my laptop with only 33% battery.  If you are seeing this Dec 2nd, you know that I was able to get it done.

I should be able to send out updates periodically while I’m on vacation. Just wanted to get this first post up and the site setup so I don’t have to do it later.  I’ll definitely be tweaking the theme and everything once I have time.