Category Archives: La-la-life

Hanging out with Hollywood stars at Madame Tussauds

During our visit to California last May, we asked Kurt to take us to Madame Tussauds’ wax museum.  We passed by this place last year during our walk around Hollywood Boulevard, but we were pressed for time back then so we didn’t get a chance to go inside.

IMG_9280a (1)We were in Hollywood, so of course there were plenty of sidewalk character impersonators outside the museum

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Looks like there’s a Spidey convention going on

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Master Yoda.  Very tall you have gotten.

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There was this Wolverine impersonator who looks amazingly like Hugh Jackman

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I wasn’t able to get a shot of him facing the camera, but look at him!  He looks like the real deal!

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Before heading inside the museum, we took a quick photo with this giant Oscar

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We also posed with Shrek for a bit.  He was there to welcome the visitors at the museum.

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Ticket counter.  Kurt actually bought our tickets online because it was cheaper, but we had to pick them up here.

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We had to take an elevator to get to displays.  The inside of the elevator was plastered with photos of celebrities

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Once we got to the entrance, I was disappointed to see that there were a lot of people already inside.  I was hoping we’d be able to have the place to ourselves for a while since we came really early.  But then I realized that most of the people weren’t moving.  It turned out that they were the wax figures!

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There’s only one real person in this shot – everyone else is a wax statue

Isn’t that cool?  I didn’t expect the displays to be out in the open like this.  I’ve only been to one other wax museum before and all the statues were behind velvet ropes.

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Even this photographer was made of wax.  He was there to greet us as soon as we got off the elevator.  I actually stood and posed for a while because I thought that there really was someone taking pictures of us.  (A photographer took our picture right before we got on the elevator, so I thought that this guy worked for the museum too.)

I love that visitors were free to go up to the statues and touch them – something that was definitely not allowed in the other wax museum I went to.

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Ezra was very impressed at how lifelike Lady Gaga looked

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Check out those eyes

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We were blown away by the details on these figures

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Even Ryan Reynolds’ stubble looked real!

We spent our morning going around the museum and posing with the “celebrities”

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Here’s Ezra and Kurt with Snoop Dogg (or Snoop Lion as he’s known now)

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Brangelina with their new adopted daughter

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Keeping it classy with Selma Hayek

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Kurt fanboying over Selena Gomez

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Oops I did it again XD

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Hello there Mr. Smith

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Ezra was fascinated by how real he looked again

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Selfie time

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With Sandra Bullock – the queen of rom-coms

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Here’s Julia Roberts, another rom-com favorite

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With Morgan Freeman.  At this point one of the museum’s staff came up to us and advised us not to look at the camera when we pose with the displays.  He said it will make the photo look more realistic.

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Taking a little break before moving on to the next exhibit.  Cheers~

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Is this how Kurt picks up girls at a bar?

 We made a quick pit stop before moving down one floor.  I thought it was cool how even the bathroom had a Hollywood theme:

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The bathroom stall doors looked like the doors to a dressing room:

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The mirrors also had fun stickers (like funky glasses, cute hats and wacky mustaches).  I took a few photos of Ezra and me goofing around with them but I think I accidentally deleted them because I can’t find them anywhere T__T

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With Marlene Dietrich

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Charlie Chaplin (I love how the museum provides us with suitable props to pose with :D)

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Having tea with Ingrid Bergman from Casablanca

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Staring off into space with Vivien Leigh from Gone with the Wind

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Um, I forgot who this guy is

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Nice Kurt – that’s totally how those things should be worn

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Interrupting Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire to deliver an urgent message

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Peter O’Toole from Lawrence of Arabia

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Getting cozy with Elizabeth Taylor as Cleopatra

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Kurt looks a little too pleased as he crawls into bed with her XD

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Chatting it up with Audrey Hepburn (Breakfast at Tiffany’s)

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The famous scene for Psycho by Alfred Hitchcock

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Revisiting Third Street Promenade and Little Tokyo

Last summer, our family went to California again to visit our relatives.  We were excited for our trip because we wanted to see everyone again, and and we couldn’t wait to escape the summer heat in the Philippines.

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Quick selfie before leaving for the airport

It was the height of summer in the Philippines, so I was eager to get to the airport to cool down.  Unfortunately when we got there we discovered that the airport was under renovation so the air conditioners weren’t working!  It wasn’t as hot as being outside in the sun, but it definitely wasn’t the cool escape I was hoping for.  We were sweating the entire time we were checking in.  The airport lounge was a *little* better.  They had some fans and an evaporative air cooler, but unless you stood in front of them, they didn’t really cool you down.  Nevertheless, we were still happy to be there since we haven’t had breakfast and we wanted pig out on their free snacks.  Besides, after a while we were able to secure a spot right in front of the air cooler.

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Breakfast time :D

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I had arroz caldo, mini sandwiches, siopao, siomai and some pastries

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After we were done eating, I took out my GoPro.   I’ve only used it a couple of times before this so I needed to practice.  Since I didn’t buy the LCD BacPac, I needed to learn how to hold it so my shots are framed properly.IMG_8851

Of course I had to learn how to use it with the monopod too.

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We had a lot of time before our flight, which we passed by playing Candy Crush.  Did you know that the entire time we were in California, I never made it past this stage?  I spent over a month on this stupid level before I was able to move forward.

Soon it was time for us to board
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We chose EVA Air again because they had the most affordable fares.  Plus, we really liked their service.  Ezra and I love EVA Air because they always have Hello Kitty as their mascot.

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Duty free magazine with Hello Kitty on the cover.  Inside you can find loads of cute Hello Kitty merchandise:

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Travelling essentials

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Cute Hello Kitty backpack

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Hello Kitty perfumes

After a few hours, we made it to Taipei airport

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We had some time so as usual we wandered around the airport to stretch our legs before our long flight ahead.  Ezra and I were excited to see that they renovated the Hello Kitty terminal

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They had a new Hello Kitty mascot in front of the store

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We also stopped by the orchid garden again

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Everything’s so purple!  Like my phone :D

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Ezra and I had to keep checking with the GoPro app on my phone because we were still unsure about our framing.

Finally it was time for us to board
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All settled in for our 11-hour flight.  Ezra and I actually had a good flight because the lady next to her transferred to an empty seat in the back.  We ended up getting the entire row to ourselves :D

When we arrived in Los Angeles, Kurt, Ate Xenia and Ate Maryann picked us up.  I’m pleased to report that our immigration experience wasn’t that bad – we managed to get out much faster than we usually do.  The lines were much more organized this year.

The next day, Kurt took Ezra and me sightseeing.  He has very limited free time these days since he’s working now, so he makes sure to pack our weekend with lots of activities and make the most of our trip.

Ezra was getting her monopod ready when Kurt saw it and told us  that he has a better one:IMG_8939

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Monopod battle, lol.  (It was actually a piece of his tripod)  Naturally we decided to just stick with Ezra’s monopod.  We already got a lot of weird stares from people whenever we took it out, so can you imagine how obnoxious we would have looked walking around with that huge thing.

Fun fact: Kurt has a longer “monopod” which we showed us later.   He shot this photo with it:

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It’s the stick from his boom mic.  It was so long that it actually touched the ceiling!  You can see my aunt’s entire living room and dining area in this picture.

Anyway, Kurt took us to Third Street Promenade on our first day there

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I had the backseat all to myself (but I was willing to share it with some friendly snacks we brought along in case we got hungry during the day).

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If you remember, the last time we were here, I was wearing heels which made it very difficult for me to walk.  We had just come from church and I didn’t expect that we would be going sight seeing that day.  This time I made sure to wear comfy shoes.

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SKDR Films : Madame Tussauds

I’m still working on my US 2014 blog entries, so here’s another video that Kurt made for us during our trip there.  This was when he took us to Madame Tussauds in Hollywood.  Such a fun day~ I think it’s clear from the video how much we enjoyed ourselves.  We were exhausted by the time we left the museum.

You can see the other videos Kurt made of our US trips HERE.

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Another trip around the sun

I celebrated my birthday earlier this week.  I was a little busy with work so I wasn’t able to post this entry on my actual birthday like I did last year.

This year’s celebration was very simple.  I only had one class the whole day, which made me feel like the university gave me a present. When I got to the office I found a rose on my desk from Amie, along with a note :D

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Thanks Aminess~

For lunch, the family and I went to our favorite 88-Resort for some Korean food.  This is where Ezra and I celebrated our birthdays last year too.  It’s becoming a tradition I think.

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Birthday selfie while waiting for our food

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Banchan :D

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Family photo taken by our waiter

After lunch, I returned to my office and found this note on my door

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Thanks Davies! :D

The rest of the afternoon was pretty uneventful – I spent most of it checking quizzes and lab reports at my desk.  At around 4pm, some of my officemates and I went to IRRI to have merienda together.

When I got home that evening, I found one of my favorite cakes waiting for me at home – Sans Rival :D

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A “fishy” trip to Dagupan and Baguio

Last January, our family went on a short trip to Dagupan.  It was a business trip for Ezra and my mom (for their Milkfish Project), but my dad and I were free so we decided to tag along.

The drive to Dagupan takes about 5 to 6 hours, depending on traffic.  On our way there, we stopped by Our Lady of Manaoag. My parents love visiting churches around the Philippines, so whenever they have a trip to Dagupan they make it a point to stop here. We didn’t stay long since there was a wedding going on at the time. We prayed for a while and lit some candles before continuing our drive to Dagupan.

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Replica of Our Lady of Manaoag in the candle gallery

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We arrived at NIFTDC at around 4pm. Doc Westly was kind enough to let us stay at the new Asian Fisheries Academy dormitory.

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After dropping off our luggage at our room, we visited Doc Westly in his office to thank him for accommodating us.  My mom also grabbed the chance to schedule a meeting with him and his staff.

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We had to leave after this because Ezra and my mom had to meet with another collaborator at a restaurant called Jacobo’s

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Such a beautiful place.  It reminds me a lot of Kilika Island from Final Fantasy 10.

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My dad and I walked around and took pictures while Ezra and my mom had their meeting

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Rare shot of Ezra being so hardworking XD

My mom didn’t have to work the next day so we decided to drive up to Baguio for some sightseeing.  The last time we were there together as a family was back in 2008.

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My grandfather was a member of the Lions, so we stopped by the Lions Monument to take some pictures

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We also made a quick stop at the Kenon Road Viewing Pavillion.

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After this, we went to the Lourdes Grotto to pray and light more candles

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We saw this adorable pup there :D

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We also dropped by Bell Church, a popular Taoist Temple in Baguio.

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The last two times we were here, we were able to get our fortunes told by a monk. Both times gave me accurate results, so I was hoping to do it again this year.  Unfortunately the main temple was closed when we got there. However, we were free to explore premises and take pictures.

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Thailand 2013 : Adventures in Ayutthaya

During our visit to Thailand last Christmas, our family signed up for a tour of Ayutthaya.  It took us around different historical temples and ended with a nice riverboat cruise buffet along Chao Praya River.

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We booked the Grand Pearl Riverboat Cruise, which was recommended by our hotel.  A shuttle picked us up and took us to the River City Shopping Complex where the tour bus was waiting.

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It took about 1 1/2 hours for us to reach our first stop for the day. On the way there, our guide gave us some background information about Thailand and the royal family.  He told us that Ayutthaya was one of the old capitals of Thailand, back in the 16th century.  I also enjoyed learning about how the Thai people assign different colors for different days.  Our guide explained that most Thai houses and establishments will have a yellow flag displayed next to the Thai flag to honor their king, who was born on a Monday.

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I was born on a Wednesday, so according to Thai beliefs, my lucky color is green.  (According to Wikipedia, this also means that my unlucky color is pink – which sort of sucks because it’s my favorite color and practically everything I own is pink.  Good thing I’m not superstitious.)

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Our first stop was Bang Pa In Palace

IMG_5800Our guide put this sign up on our bus and told us to take a picture of it to remind us of our bus number and meeting time

Bang Pa In Palace is the Summer Palace of King Rama V.  The guide showed us around and talked more about Thailand’s history. This trip took place 9 months ago so I can’t really remember everything he told us.  To make up for it, here are some pictures I took while we walked around:

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Lovely pavilion in the middle of the pond

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Palace Directory

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There were many beautiful gardens inside the palace walls

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Lookout tower

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I forgot what this place was, but I think it was the Throne Room

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Beautiful architecture

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Look at the intricate details on the gate

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Outside we saw this little house thing:

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I’m not really sure what it was for, but it was open to visitors.  It was a little cramped inside and you had to take your shoes off (which is common for most of these places), so my parents decided to skip it.

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They had really low ceilings on the first floor

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The second floor was more spacious

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This is the gazebo where Ezra had her 51st portrait for 2013.

There were a lot of lovely hedge carvings around the palace.  Our guide told us that the prince/king likes doing these himself.

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Adorable elephants
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This one’s supposed to be a cobra

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We found this cute gazebo which looks like it came straight out of a fairy tale

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After a exploring the palace grounds, we went back to the bus to head over to Wat Maha That

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Quick selfie while waiting for the rest of our group to arrive

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On our way to our next location, our guide pointed out these pillars which clearly showed how high waters reached during the flooding of 2011.

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When we arrived at the temple, we saw a bunch of these interesting looking tuk tuks :)

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There were also some locals there selling some yummy looking ice cream

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Before we went inside the temple, our guide gave us a bit of information about the place.  He also reminded us to be respectful and showed us this sign which contains things that we are not supposed to do while we were there.

Our guide told us that this temple was built around the 14th century.  When the Burmese attacked Ayutthaya, the place was destroyed.  A lot of tourists come here to see the ruins.IMG_5943

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There were several of these Cambodian-style pagodas around the area

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INSTABITS : July 2014

It’s a brand new month, which means it’s time for my July Instagram dump :)

This was Ckloy’s pasalubong from Texas :D  Most of my free time has gone into making good use of this baby. I’m currently playing Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends.  Ezra and I have loved that game since Bam introduced it to us almost a decade ago.

Date outfit for when Ckloy and I watched Transformers: Age Of Extinction

Brinks has been complaining that she never sees mocha ice cream at the grocery anymore, so when I found this,  I had to share it with her XD

My hair got some much needed TLC this month.  I used to go for treatments every month back when I had colored hair, but ever since I went back to my natural color my hair has been healthier and I haven’t needed it as much.

This is what my bedroom ceiling currently looks like thanks to Glenda. Read more about it in this entry.

Glenda aftermath at our house

There wasn’t much to do without electricity so I spent most of my free time reading ebooks.  This was one of the ones I finished this month, and I loved it!  It reminded me a lot of the Sea of Tranquility, which was my favorite book of 2013 :)  I wrote a review for it which you can read HERE.  (This was the first book in the More series. I tried reading the others but so far I don’t like them that much)

Since it took a week for electricity to be restored at our house, we would occasionally invade my uncle’s house in San Pablo so we can charge our devices and go online.

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