The Swans of Lake Lucerne (Luzern)

Autumn Cheers!

Raining hard when I arrived in Lucerne but it didn’t stop me from taking pictures. The Swan in the lake of Lucerne are tourist friendly.

I enjoy watching them, ignoring the rain (which goes on and off )

I keep on flashing and it seems they enjoying the attention too!

as if trying to impress the onlookers, he dives beautifully

with his head neck twisted

on triangle formation

by two’s

arching his neck again

and again

what a lovely sight!

I can’t stop clicking , I hold my umbrella on one hand, camera on the other hand. Waiting for his wings to flap and looks like sleeping or tired of showing off!

then suddenly…opens his wings

and off they go!

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Coffee and Cream Adventures continues with sweet spices: Nurture Spa Village

After Tugawe rendezvous,we arrived Manila at an early hour of 6:00 am. We got our new bag of clothes and off to Nurture Spa Village in Tagaytay City.When children are already grown up, it is not easy to decide where to go. Each one has each own interest, unlike when they were young, take them to any places, give them toys, ice cream, chocolates and cakes, they squeeze you with hug and kisses.Now?? a lot of choices, take them to movie (what kind?), food (what type?)shopping (where?)places (with whom?)Pictures(NO!) etc..lol!Run out of ideas? you bet!

Anyhow,i thought about Spa! yes, why not?, would it be great having  bodymassage in one place? Relaxation en grande! Unfortunately, it was raining so hard that we were not able to tour around Tagaytay, nothing much to do and having body and facial massage is just right at the moment. YES??? NO to my youngest son, he said ” I don’t wanna be touch”, it took us awhile to convinced him, at least facial and foot spa will do for now. So, here’s our adventure in pictures:

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Coffee and Cream, goes to … Tugawe Island Cove Resort (honeymoon 101)

Coffee and cream? Yes, that’s how my mom used to call us, “Kape at gatas” whenever she looks at my husband of 28 years. Being married for that long years doesn’t give us a credit as a perfect couple. Like other couples we have the ups and down of marriage and as my friend puts it, we should believe in the sanctity of marriage, no matter what situation you are in. To rekindle the romance, we decided to go to an island for our “honeymoon 101”, so; here we go…the perfect place for honeymooners and the enemies alike.

shores of Tugawe cove

Tugawe island cove resort is in Caramoan, Camarines Sur. We travelled by plane (1hr and 10 min) from Manila to Virac, Catanduanes, and then by land (1 hour) to Codon port

Codon port

where we were fetched by Blanca, our super butler in a small boat of Tugawe resort,

Tugawe boat with Blanca- our super butler

around 45 min from Codon to Tugawe. We were greeted by staffs politely and were ushered to our Cabana with welcome drink of ice tea in a pitcher.

Cabana-front balcony view

The place was amazingly clean, refreshing and so serene, aha! I told my husband, I can shout, curse…Let it all out and no one would even care and he said the same but with more love and affection that he can do whatever he wants (wink! you know what I mean).

first day upon checked -in

We are both beyond our golden years and we’re glad we came when our knees are still in good condition otherwise we would just be happy in our cabana balcony looking at the blue sky and the clear ocean.

infinity pool

Going uphill to the infinity pool and up more to eat in the restaurant was a bit troublesome but worth every step. The foods are fairly great considering the remoteness of the area.

lighthouse

We went up more to see the lighthouse which is still under construction, the place is unbelievably awesome.

Let no one who loves be unhappy, even love unreturned has its rainbow -James M. Burrie

Though there was no spectacular sunset, there was rainbow, I just wished I had a better camera to begin with but I think my canon point and shoot did fairly well.

my first red wine

At night, the lights at the pool and the sea breeze was so romantic to say “I do” once more, but they said don’t commit the same mistake, so we didn’t (hehehehe), nevertheless, my husband with the help of the staff gathered some fresh flowers and open a bottle of red wine to celebrate a never-ending story of love, hate and affection. Whoooh oh la Ia…I bet at one point reading my blog, I can see a smile on your face. Perfect evening for an imperfect couple equals a happy ending. Achhinnng!

People are not perfect… very often the relationships that are strongest are those where people have worked through big crises, but they’ve had to work through them. So the challenge to us is to work through that.
Patricia Hewitt

The following morning, after breakfast we went island hopping, as usual Blanca (with Pay mario and pito) were there to guide and help us to have a whole day of fun and made sure everything was in… like kayak, snorkels, table and umbrella and of course

picnic a lacarte (bicol style)

the foods were wrapped in banana leaves, different drinks in cooler with ice ohhh Blanca you made our day!thank you so much.

katanghawan island

First stop: Katanghawan island, 30 minutes boat ride from Tugawe, a part of the island serves as a venue  to shoot TV episodes of “survivor US”, white sands, clear blue sky and sea, snorkeling, fresh coconut drink. 

Clear blue
tinago island

2nd stop: Tinago island, 40 min from Katanghawan. As the name implies “tinago”meaning “hidden” marvelous island surrounded by rocks and green mountains.

Kayaking

A perfect place to camp for a couple who love nature. We did Kayaking, swimming and ate our “baon”packed lunch. The next time we come around, oh yes, we would love to come back again with full camping gear and a charcoal for grilling a freshly catch fish of the day!

fine sand, clear water so perfect!
tayak lake

3rd stop: Tayak lake 30 min from Tinago island. We hiked for about 15 minutes from the shore lines and walla! from blue water to green water, amazing Tayak lake!

Pitugo bay

4th stop: Pitogo bay, as i ran out of camera battery, i also ran out of words to describe the hidden paradise of Caramoan islands.

stones lines the shores

In here, instead of white fine sand, piles of smooth-edged white and red-black stones line the shores as if, it was purposely laid out. Remarkable beauty of nature!

this photo was taken with iphone4

Oh before i forget, let me introduce Kevin the great horn-bill of Tugawe, coincidentally same name of my youngest son.

Kevin- the great Horn bill

On the way back to Manila, the weather was not that great so we have to re-route,it took us about an hour by boat to reach the nearest town from Tugawe,

3 in one, not an easy ride to up and down the hill and zigzag road

another 40 min motorbike ride to Guihalo port,

2 hrs in ferry-boat

2 hrs ferry-boat trip to Naga and another 9 hrs bus ride to Manila. Would i take this trip again?Oh yes! an adventure of a lifetime, Thank you coffee and cream, let’s drink to that, Cheers!

Herzon(Supervisor) and Blanca (butler) Thank you so much!

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Thank you! Cathay Pacific Airways

 Cathay Pacific Airways, “we always go the extra miles to make you feel special” indeed, you made our flight special, My son and I were travelling from Philippines to Jeddah, K.S.A via Hongkong, during check -in, I handed out my gold card (AA advantage),and got a “ruby’ tag on our ticket.When I handed my boarding pass, the officer -in-charge said” Hello Dr. Suarez welcome, we found an upgrade for you …business class..what a surprised but what about my son? Yes, Mr Suarez welcome on board 🙂 cool!

business class seats

To the staff of CX902 Nov11-12, 2011 thank you so much, good service…Well done!

seat can be reclined all the way

Hopefully, i can always travel like this! 🙂 huh! in my dreams…oh well, i wish!

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From Bicol with love

It was raining hard, flight was delayed, we only have five days to spare so be it, rain or shine we got to be there, either by air, land or sea and we did it!. My parents were so surprised to see us, as we got inside the house, one by one, screaming, even the dog was barking, the house was full of joy and laughter and teary eyes…it was a great day for all of us!

Though the weather was not that great, rain showers all the time, I took some few shots of one the beaches in the island of Catanduanes and the famous Mayon Volcano in the province of Legazpi City where my husband is currently residing.

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PETRA- It has to be seen to be believed.

the siq

Ready for 3 hours walk ? yesss! It’s even longer than that, every step I made is worth a million awe, It’s marvelous to see and touch one of the new wonders of the world (7/07/2007). I could have gone on for more 800 hundred steps to monastery but I need more time to make it.

narrow passage (siq)

TIP: you need to wear a walking shoes, a big bottle of water and a hat to walk one kilometer.

horse driven carriage

Another choice to go around the trail… is by horse or horse driven carriage but you can’t appreciate much the writings on the walls along the siq (gorge) or to really experience the walk along the narrow passage between mountains  to reach Al-Khazneh( treasury).

Al khazneh (the Treasury)
the end of the siq-- a glimpse of the treasure

Walking will give you more time to take pictures, appreciate how the Nabataeans ( ancient villagers) works hard and used their clever minds to  create water system, carved their niche, incredible architecture of natural beauty not to mention sophisticated machinery doesn’t exist 2000 years ago.

Along the siq, the remains of the tomb can be seen, I see the influenced of the trade to the east into the arab world; building are built with ancient Egyptian, Babylonians style that I can only see in movies or in history books.

Tired? well you can actually hire a donkey or for more adventurous… a camel, both come with a handler who speaks English very well.

TIP: If you don’t want a ride just say “No, thank you” don’t say “later” because they will follow you all around.

colorful striation of rocks

I am fascinated by the colors of the rocks, Petra has been known a” rose-red city” because of the colors of the rock in which it is being carved. By the way, from Amman, Jordan, I traveled alone in chauffeur driven limousine (courtesy of my boss) around 2 hours and 3 hrs walking (cars are not allowed inside) to the narrow gorge and walla to the city of red rocks!

If given another chance, I would definitely come back and explore more the area, climb the high cliff mountains and experience the sunset.I like to experience the candle procession (done twice a week) people walk in silence , just you and the nature…nothing more!

the Hadrien Gate

One can’t stop to wonder and gaze what a wonderful stories have been told about this place and its people and you bet! I am still in awe!

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Dead Sea -the sea of salt

Don’t know how to float? Come to dead sea, its unusual buoyancy will make you float effortless…Yesss, it’s true, i was able to float in no time, standing or you can lie back and read newspaper, wonderful experience.

dead sea at Jordan Valley Marriott resort

To reach this unique spot, we traveled from Amman around 30-45 minutes by car, as we go nearer down, my ear pops too. Dead sea is the lowest body of water on earth, the lowest point on earth and world’s richest source of natural salts.

a closer look

It has also therapeutic effect on skin but beware if you have an open cut or sore, it really stings! I opted for arabic coffee scrub instead of dead sea salt rub and i came out of the spa, beautifully tan and smelling great too, an aroma of brewed coffee! hehehehe.

I was so lucky to capture the amazing sunset at dead sea, its reflection was like a big candle glowing  at dead sea.

beautiful sunset at dead sea

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Celebrating 52 in Style!

October 27, 2011, flying high aboard Royal Jordanian Airlines, My friend Nabil warned not to travel on my birthday but I have a little superstitious belief that If I die, I die in style! 🙂

So, I reached my destination Amman, Jordan…in one piece… kicking and alive! Yeheyyy!

We had sumptuous lunch at my second family house. As much as I would like to eat more arabic dish, I was thinking about the 5 kilos I lost… hmmm i told myself…,”stop eating” otherwise your dress wont fit! SPandexxxxx!

After meeting the family members and old friends, we headed to Marriott  resort and spa at Dead Sea. Wonderful place, large swimming pools ( I think they were 4 of them), I was booked as one of the bride’s family member so for the meantime, i signed my name with their family name, (for discount purposes) yay!

beautiful sunset

After getting my things into the room , I hurried up to see the beautiful sunset, while walking along the shore, I met old friends, we sat down at the lobby of the hotel, few more minutes, familiar faces came in and I’m still dressed with shirt and jogging pants, I excused myself but they said it’s alright no need to change…so, dinner is served!

52nd b-day dinner

At the very end, waiters were getting closer to our table, I thought for a while, they were already closing but to my surprised, one is carrying a big cake with one big candle. Hurray! it’s my 52nd b-day. Cheers!

thanx for coming!

Thank you for an awesome night, a night to remember!

My Switzerland escapades: Zermatt-Matterhorn to Rothorn Paradise (day 6)

3,000m above sea level

After visiting the campus in Brig,we decided to spend our last day in Switzerland at Zermatt village at the foot of Matterhorn and enjoy the Rothorn paradise ride. huh! waaah… wooo! ahhh! hahaha that’s me! I’m scared of heights but I am turning fifty-two, and I shall face my fear so here we gooooo…3,000 m above sea level.

to Zermatt

the view along the way is so amazing,I feel serenity and peace, mountains, water falls, river, houses with colorful flowers, an urban city in a rural setting.

As we get in Zermatt, the town is completely different,you see only electric cars, no pollution, the air is dry and clean, surrounded by world-class hotel, restaurants and shops (watches, souvenirs, chocolate etc.)

houses along the way

Would i have known before, I would have book a hotel and stays overnight, but too late, we’re going back to Saudi Arabia.

From Brig to Zermatt it’s about 2 hrs. ride then we asked the tourism office what can we do for a day, either we climb to the alps or we stay in pre-alps. Ahhhh, i told kevs, we don’t have the proper clothes to bear the 365 snow mountain, so we choose Rothorn paradise, where we can see the beautiful side of Matterhorn.

to Rothorn paradise

We walk to the tunnel for few minutes then got into Sunnegga express (I would describe it as a chair backward ride up to the mountain) then to Gondolla cable lift. I think my son enjoyed the ride more than me, because i just kept shouting :-), at the end I refused to go up more with him in Rothorn paradise, I’m fine in here, go ahead and enjoy the paradise! I still would like to celebrate my 52nd bday next month. I really don’t know why I’m so scared of heights.

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