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Exploring the East Coast (Part 2)

Of all the places comprising our itinerary, Niagara was what I looked forward to the most. 
Days prior to our trip, hubby showed me videos on YouTube where people get drenched while on a boat ride across the river below the falls.  For some reason, this worked up my nerves into serious fidgety. Whenever we plan trips and even ordinary dates, I almost always care for only two things- 
one, if it’d make a good photo shoot location and two, (and more importantly) 
if it'd offer a good dining experience. But with Niagara, all I wanted was to feel the water! 
Maybe because it’s summer and it was too hot out, maybe because I miss being on the beach, 
maybe because I have never seen a waterfall in any way, form or shape, 
or maybe because it was simply a much needed vacation. 
Irregardless, Niagara, we're coming!!!
It was a 4-hour drive to get there from Pittsburgh. I was kind enough to share the pain of driving with hubby. Although I’m not fond of geography, I was in the best(est) mood to listen to hubby’s lectures about Niagara on our way. I eagerly nodded, as if I cared and understood everything, 
while he patiently conveyed every bit of information he gathered from his research. 
The stubborn-wife-attentively-listening-to-the-husband happens very rarely, 
so that, in itself, was a blessing to the man.
But hey, I absorbed the fact that the name Niagara is actually a collective name for three falls- 
American, Horseshoe and the Bridal Veil falls. Anyway...
The Maid of the Mist was at the outset. This passenger boat (spot it on the previous picture above) 
sets sail across the river and gets close to the bottom of the Horseshoe falls, 
that bathe the passengers with a bounteous mist coming from the very powerful rush of the waterfalls. We ended up taking off our hopeless sunglasses as our vision clouded up with water. Although the ponchos provided looked cheap and unreliable, 
those plastic babies actually surpassed my doubts, keeping us from getting fully soaked up. 
I was thankful hubby won the argument over having to wear the poncho or not.
The Aquarium did not have a whole lot but we were lucky to catch the sea lion show. 
It was short but sweet enough to melt the audience’s hearts as the onstage sea lions outperformed themselves in every act, not showing any hint of old age or bitter past.
Adventure Theater was both entertaining and interesting. We watched a movie that narrated the legend and history of Niagara. It was a great way to sit back and relax after some hiking in the park. 
Then there was Niagara Gorge Center, which showcased antiquated exhibits 
that provided information on history, fossils and geological formation. 
Not my thing but their time-capsule-like elevator was pretty cool. 
It virtually fell a course of 12,000 years explaining the development of the gorge at every drop.
We unknowingly saved what was unexpectedly the best for last- the Cave of the Winds. The elevator dropped 175 feet down the Niagara Gorge, trailing to a wooden alley towards the hurricane deck. 
We were welcomed by the mighty surge of the Bridal Veil Falls face to face! 
Believe it’s the closest means to get to the falls and to me, the best way to experience the falls. 
If the blue ponchos saved us, the yellow ones weren't fully geared up for the hurricane!
It was the most wonderful feeling I’ve felt in a verrryyyy long time, I could stay there forever.
Night came when we wrapped up our Niagara experience 
with the illumination of the falls and fireworks.
 Niagara was the best part of this road trip and definitely the best experience yet. experience I want my loved ones to experience too. 
The breathtaking attraction made me realize, once again, 
how blessed I am and how awe-mazing my God is. 
Many, O LORD my God, are Thy wonderful works which Thou hast done, 
and Thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto Thee: 
if I would declare and speakof them, they are more than can be numbered. - Psalm 40: 5

Exploring the East Coast (Part 1)

We planned for our trip to the east coast early this year. To say we were so excited is an understatement. The thrill was amplified by the anticipated double date with a precious couple.  However, God had a more exciting adventure in mind. They were blessed with a bun in the oven that has also brought great joy to me and hubby. Our friendship has outgrown time and distance that we consider their blessing ours too. We knew a lengthy travel time, both flying and driving, will not be ideal or convenient for our preggo friend and the baby so we decided to postpone our plans- maybe in the near future, maybe not, but definitely in His time.

While our excitement has switched over to this year’s UPC General Conference, something unexpectedly came up- another one of those undeserved blessings that led me and hubby to pursue our planned east coast itinerary. We jumpstarted our road trip with a 12-hour long drive to the Steel City- Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

We tried to minimize as less pit stops as possible, munching on snacks to calm our growling tummies and only heeded to the call of nature if deemed really necessary.

Two hours away from Pittsburgh is Akron, Ohio. If you are an NBA fan, you know this is Lebron James’ hometown.  We drove around his neighborhood and amused ourselves with all the beautiful mansions, greenery and flowers. 

Then finally,we arrived Pittsburgh late at night so we got to witness the pretty city lights as we entered the city on the way to the hotel. We got to driving around the following day and contrary to my initial, night-before impression and what I had actually hoped for, ‘Burgh is a lot bigger than Lexington, Kentucky. I dread driving in big cities but I also believe that it’s just a matter of getting used to. I also prefer living in a small town, opting for a laid-back over a fast-paced lifestyle. And my personal preference of raising a family also leans towards the previous. 

Hubby brought me to Monterrey Bay Fish Grotto, a restaurant overlooking the city. As soon as we were welcomed with a valet parking person, we knew that it was an expensive restaurant. Since we were both starving, we were convinced to, at least, get in and check out the menu but also agreed that we’ll just have to go out if prices are way out of our budget. Surprisingly, the meals were reasonably priced, considering the size of each serving, its mouth-watering aroma and the explosion of flavors for every bite. Bonus, their meals were mostly consisted of fish, which the waitress said, were fresh from Florida daily.

Out of curiosity, we also rode the Duquesne Incline, century-old wooden cable cars that bring passengers atop the steel city, to enjoy the best views.

Three nights and two days may have not been enough to fully discover Pittsburgh. However, we enjoyed our visit and are truly grateful for the wonderful experience. 

February in Pictures!

After church and before our post Valentines date.

Freezing at the Color the Wind Festival 2013..

Our pweeetty snow lady- made in fun and love during the blizzard!

Heya, I'm back!!!

On the 3rd week of
February already?
..but 2014 has not really sunk in yet.  
So I wanted to walk down 2013 memory lane 
and muse over my favorites..

I have to count my fingers to determine how many.. 
but it’s been 6 years! 
That long for the poor husband to be stuck 
and deal with the stubborn wife that I am . 
Definitely looking forward to N more years
of love, friendship and drama.

Road trip to the south 
at 3000+ miles and  ~45 hours of driving.
The hubby’s persistence on the idea 
was more than I could contest. 
My skeptical self was overcome 
by the fun and pretty places we chanced upon. 
Maybe to him, 
it was a dream come true to watch NBA live for the first time. 
To me, 
it was another undeserved blessing-  
an (almost) all-expense paid trip 
and quality time with people we consider family.

First photo shoot.. 
and it was our friend's sister's wedding! 
If you can't tell, the hubby and I both love taking pictures. 
The enhancing of the pictures..
well.. it is a whole different story. 
I have a love-hate relationship with it 
and I blame my laptop for being so ancient 
that it gets so lousy when I run the application 
to edit the pictures. 
The hubby doesn't only have the talent to do it 
but he's got such patience 
and endurance for such a painstaking task!
Look at us,
taking our turn to pose
after the wedding.

Mamang’s 57th birthday-
Grateful for the year that has gone and come.. 
and looking forward to what God 
has in store for her in the coming years. 
I love you, Mang.. to infinity to beyond. 
May you continue to beautifully bloom 
in the Lord’s loving grace, mercy and goodness.

General Conference 2013
My first and definitely not my last! 
Nothing compares to the awesome presence of the Lord
and the precious infilling of the Holy Ghost 
through powerful preaching 
and anointed music.
Already looking forward to this year's conference!

O give thanks unto the LORD; 
for he is good: 
for his mercy endureth for ever.
Psalm 136:1