” We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaving. And we all have some power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing.”
-Louisa May Alcott
It’s funny to note after 32 years, here I am writing another chapter of my life. I considered Jeddah as my second home, in fact, it was my HOME, this is where I grew up professionally , I have learned my craft and skills with much passion and as my term ends, I realized the love and respect my patients gave me was tremendous and I will be forever grateful for the experienced.
So after a month, I was still wondering whether my decision to come home finally was indeed the right one. Well, mostly on financial aspect, I wonder if my savings will be enough to pull it off, at least untill my practice picks up.
Yes! I am pursuing my childhood dream to put up my own dental clinic. At age 59, I will go down to history 🙂 I will be doing what my friends and colleague have done 32 years ago !
I wish my father was still alive to witness this new chapter in my life.
So be it..
Beautybeyondfifty have changed her domain to “The Dental Aesthetic Clinic”
I was invited for a Tea party with Filipino Women’s League in Aiea at Dr. Amy Jacang residence. It was a beautiful day with beautiful women in a beautiful location overlooking the city, I would say they are the Beauties beyond fifties 🙂
Each guest brought some Filipino dishes, it was like “fiesta” with a twist of camaraderie .A lovely afternoon was spent with bona fide members giving speeches , songs and dances. The new would be members were asked to introduce themselves. It was an afternoon of smiles and I was excited and privileged to get some photos of the day. The usual meeting is held every first Friday of the month at various locations in central or west of Oahu.
The Filipino Women’s League
– promoting Filipino sisterhood through culture, companionship and community service.
It was also announced that the Filipino Women’s league have helped students who are brilliant in their field of studies but can not further their education due to lack of finances through their scholarship program. It caters for male and female students with Filipino descent who intend to pursue a career in college or university.
In addition, I also learned they have cook book for sale entitled “Hawaii Filipinas Favorite Recipes” for Usd 15 plus shipping but through my research, it is also available in Amazon for Usd 25.
Wow! It’s amazing to meet all these women and one thing I am delighted about is they all look beautiful in photos. I think because their smile are genuine and confident.. Confidently beautiful 🙂
Thank you Pat for taking me to this wonderful event.
After the easy hiked in Makapu’u Lighthouse trail we decided to do another hike 🙂 yep! We’re hyper that day because that was my last day in Hawaii. This hike was in my opinion the real one!
It was already raining a bit when we arrived at the place, I took my backpack camera knowing, if it rains.. It pours …:-) got a rain cover for it! Yeah that was the plan but I did not have time to cover it when the rain came real, I hid my camera under my shirt and focused on the muddy trail. It was slippery, in my mind if I slipped, either I break my leg or my camera. The choice was clear, got to take care of myself first. I can buy another camera..if ever.. thanks God ! nothing happened 🙂 My friend? Oh she was the monkey, running from one tree to another hahaha joke! Well, she was younger and more healthy than I am (I guess).
If I am not mistaken, this is where the original “Jurassic Park” and TV show “Lost” filmed some of their scenes.
The Manoa Falls trail is a 1.6 mile trail and leads to a 150 foot waterfall that empties into a small pool of water. Swimming is highly discourage due to the threat of Leptospirosis a condition that may lead to kidney failure.
On our way back, more rainfall which made it even more challenging to me but I enjoyed every minute of it.
It was a wonderful day to hike in a rain forest like Manoa. Thank you my dear friend Adora for taking the time to be with me. I hope you had a wonderful day too!
” No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other’s worth.” – Robert Southey
I’m one of a lucky woman who has friends around the world and even though we don’t regularly get in touch, we know deep in our heart we care for each other. Adora is one of the few I cherished. No matter how far we lived apart or how many years we haven’t seen each other, the bond we have, remained the same. We don’t even chat regularly, hahaha I know 🙂 with the advent of different social media, we just don’t! She just chat in whenever she likes to, I replied whenever… no pressure..no trick 🙂 But we know if one is needed, all ears and all day we’re for each other.
It’s about an hour drive from her place to mine, She drove early morning just to pick me up so we can see the golden sunrise at Makapu’u. It opens at 6 am, so we decided to have coffee and bagel with cream cheese for breakfast. GPS calculated we will be there in 30 minutes, just on time as the sun rises up!
Did we got on time?
We got lost!
Believe it or not, I think the address she put on GPS was a mistake! But it’s ok, we have all day to figure it out 😊 we just enjoyed the ride and eventually we got to our destination!
Makapu’u point lighthouse hiking trail – located at the southeastern part of Oahu, is an easy hike with a moderate inclined to 657 ft summit. It is also known as Kaiwi scenic shoreline. Theres no shady trees but its alright, it was a beautiful day to begin with. if we don’t stop often times to take photos we would easily reach the top within 30 min.
These trails are paved from parking lot to the top so, it’s really an easy way to the top, We’ve seen babies on stroller ( a good exercise for mom) men with dogs and little kids running. Awesome scenery, seeing the coastal view towards the Koko head.
The lighthouse is off-limits but we can still view it from the top.
and the breathtaking views of Makapu’u Beach and the beginning of the Windward coast.
To infinity and beyond…
“A friend is the one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.” – William Shakespeare
The ADA convention (Oct 18-22) successfully ended and it’s time for me to explore the Oahu Island again, this is my first hiking adventure, 8.5 hrs of nature experience. I have been in private dental practice for 32 years and been in and out of the country to attend courses, conventions and meetings but It’s only been 5 years that I enjoyed exploration in between. I guess I was so busy to earn a living, busy as a mom and with my career, that I was always in a hurry to go back home. However, for the last five years, slowly I lowered my guard and enjoyed the surroundings, the nature and really appreciates the blessings that came along.Thank you Lord 🙂
Now, It’s time to explore 🙂 I was picked up at 6:30 in the morning, we were a group of four, oh wow! My companion have a Canon camera, a long big lens and a tripod. I have Nikon and lens kit (18-105mm) and was given a tripod to use during the hike. Imagine a 59 yrs. old lady carrying a backpack and a tripod exploring the 1,875 acre valley (Waimea Valley). Did I arched my back? Got a back ache? Nope not all! Mosquitoes bite? oh yeah! plenty! so be aware, take insect repellant before doing the hike.
On our way we passed through the famous Hale’iwa sign. I was told that the original sign was a female surfer. Want to read the sad and heartfelt story about this sign? click here
Waimea Valley – is a rich and culturally significant wahi pana (storied place). Historically, this Valley has been home to and ruled by a long line of Ali’i Nui (kings), Ali’i (Chiefs) and Kahuna Nui (High Priest). It has gone many changes over the years but despite of the changes the mana (life force, essence) remained.
I guess, no matter what age you are, you can still visit this place. Oh by the way, there’s a shuttle for those who have difficulty in walking, they take you around from the entrance to the end, where the Waimea water falls and back for a small fee.It’s a very peaceful scenery, plenty of plants, flowers, tree and even though there was a bit of rain showers every now and then, I didn’t mind it all. I walked with much enthusiasm and energy!
I enjoyed walking as well taking photos of the flowers along the way.
At the end of the trail – Waimea Falls! My first time to take a photo of waterfalls 🙂
What do you think? Did I learned some photography trick? hahaha I know I was overwhelmed by the scenery that I forgot to ask more questions to our photographer guide dee-jay.
30 foot waterfall that cascades down into a pool below. Swimming is allowed with free life vest,swimming noodles and boogie boards, though at the time we came, the water was a bit dark due to the intermittent rain, but it did not matter to a lot of people , they still dived and enjoyed swimming into the fresh water.
After the hike , we went to see Pu’u Mahuka Heiau – the largest Heiau (religious site) on Oahu. The view was awesome! overlooking Oahu shoreline.
As we moved forward to old town of Haleiwa, we passed by in Laniakea Beach or popularly known as” Turtle Beach”. The cars were parked on the other side of the road, so we have to crossed to see the green turtle.
We ended the trip after lunch at the old town of Haleiwa. I had shrimps and rice and was too full to get a shaved ice for myself 🙂
Woke up at 4:30 early in the morning for an early pick up of 5:30 to catch the sunrise at sandy beach. Crazy? yeah ! to some but not to me, why waste time, I won’t be in Hawaii forever 🙂
Rise and Shine!
This is a perfect tour for a female solo traveler who loves to take photos everywhere! Who doesn’t? Well ? If you are reading this, you’re guilty ! 🙂
Nope? alright I did not say anything.
I don’t drive so this tour was a triple treat! I got a transport, a friendly professional photographer and a lot of tips for taking a scenic places in Oahu. Perfect combination indeed!
Sandy Beach located at south shore of Oahu, located between Hanauma Bay Nature preserve park and Makapuu’u point on the East.
Lisa was bubbly and pleasant to talk with, we were only two, so that’s even make the tour better, all women 🙂 I’m glad I took two lenses with me a 50mm and 18-105mm lens. Lisa advised to use the 18-105mm lens. I hesitated for a while because I like the images that comes out with 50mm, I feel it’s more sharper but at the end, I followed what she told me. She gave me a tri-pod to use and I asked , should I use polarizer? Nope! and why they asked me to bring it anyway 🙁
What is circular polarizer? What does it do?
It cuts glare, when shooting water – ok no need for it bec it’s only 5 am and it’s still dark.
for the Sky, it changes the color significantly, rotating the polarizer can make it dark or light blue
There’s no amount of bright sunlight yet so it won’t create an impact if I use polarizer. Got it!
1/80 F11 ISO 400
1/100 F11 ISO 400
Alright, I set up my camera and again..it was acting up, I look at Lisa camera (Canon) we have the same setting, aperture priority mode we tried F5,F8, F11 , my camera (Nikon) doesn’t give the same outcome. One tip I learned in this tour is about Exposure compensation setting.
Adjusting the Exposure Compensation can add drama to the scene or add more brightness to the scene. I was in Aperture priority mode, so adjusting the exposure compensation will adjust the shutter speed. By the way, my Cam D90 has little button on top with a positive (+) and negative sign (-) by pressing on it and moving the main dial to right or left will change the exposure compensation setting.
Makapu’u Point Lookout
As the sun rises up, we moved to Makapu’u point located just off Kanalianaole Highway on Oahu southeastern tip.
“Rabbit Island” the Mañana island is across the Makapu’u look out point. Does it look like a rabbit head? I was told it was once inhabited by introduced rabbit after a rancher released them there.
Waimanalo Beach approximately around 3 miles long of white sand, I can sit here for the whole day, doing nothing , go home relaxed and re-energized. Perfect place to have a beach stroll and eat cold pizza 🙂
The beach is backed by iron wood trees which provides a lot of shades.
I forgot to ask questions about photography, I just took photos here and there…enjoyed the sun and shades, the sweeping of the breezy air gave me goose bump , remembering my friend who recently passed away.
After Waimanalo, we headed to see the Ko’olaumountains, actually we didn’t hike to the mountains, we just saw it on the road.. the Ko’olau range – dormant fragmented remnant of the eastern or windward shield volcano of Oahu
The long trip leads us to Kalapawai market for breakfast. This has been in Kailua since 1932.
To get to a more panoramic view of the Ko’olau cliffs, we headed to Nuuanu Pali lookout – is a site of deep historical significance, the battle of Nuuanu 1775 where King Kamehameha I, won the struggle which lead to the unity of Oahu under his rule.
Before we end the 5.5 hrs. trip we went to Tantalus lookout, it’s long winding road through the lash of Manoa, sometimes steep inclined on the way to the top!
And that was the end of the tour, forget the settings and enjoy the scenery 🙂
Oh yes! After photography class and roaming around the park, It’s time to have a Hawaiian style cooking class !
It was a 3 hours home cooking experienced hosted by Linda in her lovely home far from the hustle and bustle of Waikiki. I was greeted by “bacon”, so amazing to have seen and touched a domesticated pig! Adorable!
We were in a group of four, the kitchen and ingredients were all assembled and ready. While we were learning all the recipes, Linda gave us some stories, and information about Hawaiian culture, stuffs etc. It was like, cut-talk-hand me-talk-mix-talk-cook- and a lot of more talk-and eat of course! It was so indulging and I enjoyed every minute of it.
First thing in the menu? SPAM MUSUBI of course! So popular in 7/11 or abc stores. Two years ago, my friend taught me how to make it but I want to learn more. It was exciting to know it was included in the cooking class. It gives me a lot of memories.
Spam Musubi – is a popular snack or lunch in Hawaii. So easy to make and easy to pack as well. It is composed of grilled or fried spam sandwich in between with a pack of rice or a variation of different ingredients, the scrambled egg could be in the middle of the rice and the spam is on top of the rice. We sprinkled furikake, salt, fried onions, add some slices of avocado and wrapped it in with nori sheets.
Next popular dish is POKE – is a diced raw fish served as either an appetizer or for main dish. My sons love it so much but honestly, I don’t eat raw food and poke is not on my dream list. This is my very first time to prepare and eat Poke.
We prepared three kinds of POKE: Spicy Tuna Poke, Shoyu Poke and Hawaiian Style Poke
Spicy Tuna Poke
1Lb Ahi Tuna, cut into 3/4″ cubes
1/4 cup mayo
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp shoyu (soy sauce)
1 tsp Alae red salt to taste
1/4 to 1 tsp Ichimi (ground japanese chili)
a few drops of chili oil to taste
1 TBL tobiko or Masago
Mixed all ingredients together well and serve with sliced scallions on top.
Hmm, checked out my photos below 🙂 I don’t need a caption to prove that I am a first timer in POKE!
And while we were enjoying the Poke preparation, the COCONUT BUTTER MOCHI was already in the oven. We mixed all the ingredients ahead of time, so the sweets was hot and ready for dinner. baking time : 45 mins to 1 hr.
Coconut Butter Mochi
2 cups sugar
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded coconut
1 box mochiko flour
1 stick of unsalted butter,melted
1 can of evaporated milk
12 large shrimp, deveined, peeled to the tail and skewed
3/4 cup panko
1/2 cup flaked coconut
flour for dusting
2-3 eggs, lightly beaten
salt and pepper to taste
Tips: roll in the FLOUR – EGG – PANKO/COCONUT mix
Ladies, I recommend this experience if you are traveling solo, in here, you meet new friends, learn how to cook few dishes and have an enjoyable dinner! drinks were on the house 🙂
I have two days before the ADA convention starts so I decided to meet Nicole, a family and wedding photographer in Honolulu, to get some professional tips in photographing. We met at the entrance of Honolulu Zoo at 7:30 in the morning, I found Nicole already waiting for me, I readily like her the first time we say hello, soft-spoken and polite.
I have the classic Nikon D90 and a 50mm lens (1:1.8G). I noticed Nicole have a Canon and 50mm lens (1:1.4G). Mine was a handed down Cam from my eldest son which coincidentally his first camera and was bought from Honolulu year 2009 🙂 yep! brand new, if I am not mistaken D90 came at the later part of 2008 replacing D80. At first my Cam didn’t cooperate well, huh! after all the blurry photos I’ve been getting was not from my hand but rather from the camera itself 🙂 Isn’t it D90 has a built-in auto-focus motor? I know…I can hear you..all excuses huh! She suggested that I should maybe tune it up or just buy the body, anyway I already have a good lens with me. Carrying this big camera was also heavy, hmmm maybe I should just consider buying an Iphone X. what do you think?
I am hobbyist in photography and I would like to learn how to use it in manual setting. I always consider myself as a beginner in DSLR (digital single lens reflex)camera. My son would always like to note that having a good camera is one thing but to have an eye and a story is another thing , of course this is not his words, I just gathered my interpretation of what he told me. However, being in a right place and point the camera in the right direction and at the right time with emphasis on lighting will give a good if not better photos. Right?
Anyhow, let’s talk about the ‘Exposure Triangle”
ISO – measurement of a digital camera sensor’s sensitivity to light
Aperture – the size of the opening in the lens when taking the picture
Shutter speed– the amount of time the shutter is open
Hence, its early in the morning and we’re outside, my ISO was set at 200. It was a beautiful day, from the zoo , we walk towards Waikiki beach. My aperture was set at F2.8 and F5 depending on what I want to achieved. My camera was acting like crazy so Nicole told me to set it to Aperture priority.
So, if it was cloudy or dark, I would increase my ISO to 400 or 800 or even higher. The higher the number, the more it is sensitive to light but the images would be higher in grain or noise.
Aperture is the “F’ or F- stop or F/number. My camera was set to aperture priority, so the shutter speed is automatically chosen by the camera. When I choose F2.8, the opening of the lens is bigger, the smaller (shallow) the depth of field (DoF) meaning only a part of the image will be in focus and the rest will be blurry. I love to take photos of flower so this was a good tip for me, I can focus on the petals and the rest of the parts like leaves are fuzzy. If I want to have a bigger focus I will increase to F5 or F11 and all the images will be clear resulting to a bigger (wider) depth of field.
Before we end the one hour walk, Nicole was able to figure out what was the problem with my camera and as I walked home, I tried many settings. Hence, it’s a 50mm lens, I have to move closer to my subject to get a clearer image.
Though it was a short meeting, I totally enjoyed the company and the experienced having to walk with a professional photographer like Nicole.
Ladies, if you would like to know more about Nicole click here
It was a long flight from Jeddah to London to Chicago to Los Angeles and finally to Hawaii. How many hours?
From Jeddah to Heathrow (5 hrs) to Chicago (9hrs) to LA (5hrs) to Honolulu (5hrs) total= 24 hrs plus lay over , roughly a total of 36 hrs! WOW:-)
I arrived around 12 noon in Honolulu, I decided to take a shuttle bus (USD 16) instead of Uber taxi (USD 32), it was an easy ride to airbnb. Yep! I got airbnb at Hawaiian Monarch Hotel (USD 85/day) not bad, the photos in the app looks exactly as it is. It is only a 10-15 min walk to Hawaiian Convention Center – venue for the ADA (American Dental Association) annual meeting, the reason why I flew 36 hrs from Jeddah. Omg!
I familiarized myself around the area checking how long it will take me to the venue, shall I wear high heels or flat shoes? Trying to gauge my pace and at the same time looking where is the nearest grocery stores etc. It is a good location after all, there is 7/11, Abc store, restaurants, hotel, spa and shopping malls. I don’t have to take a taxi, everything I need is just around the corner. Good choice!
The place is also secured with a lock key card, no one can get in the elevator without it. There is security guard 24/7 a small gym a coffee shop and a small breakfast resto at the lobby. The studio is good for two people, it’s clean but I found the floor sticky so I texted the owner and she did address my concern immediately, cleaning the floor twice. Pretty neat huh! The studio is equipped with a small Fridge, microwave, iron and ironing board, towels ,basic kitchen wares and a lot more!
Ala wai canal – is an artificial waterway in Honolulu. Hawaiian monarch Hotel is just adjacent to it. A lot of people walk and jog along the area. There is a rowing team that practice almost every afternoon, though the water may not be as clear, it’s a good place to just sit for a while, instead of staying inside the hotel.
After an hour walk, I decided just to stay in bed and tried to sleep to regained my energy. I wish! but I couldn’t, it’s an emotional roller coaster first day for me.