Dec 16, 2010

Romping in Manhattan Beach

We visited Manhattan Beach on three occasions this trip. Clear blue skies and sandy white beach... What can I say? We couldn't get enough of this place! :)

Manhattan Beach
busy pier on a Saturday

Manhattan Beach
look at the size of that wave

Manhattan Beach
surfers waiting for the next big wave

Manhattan Beach
the beach

Manhattan Beach

Manhattan Beach
the boss' car

breakfast at Uncle Bill's with my brother

Manhattan Beach
photo op

Jerry and Junnie
Jerry and Junnie

With JC, Magi and Winston
with JC, Magi and Winston

Manhattan BeachManhattan Beach
Magi and JC on the left, Jerry and myself on the right

Manhattan BeachManhattan Beach

Manhattan BeachManhattan Beach

Dec 15, 2010


When the boys in the house are playing together, there would be instances when they would end up squabbling or taunting each other over small things. I would usually join in the fray when the little one starts calling out: "Ma, o! Di-hia is teasing me!". At this point, I'd tell them to quit it. If the name-calling or snickering persists, I'd mete out a punishment as severe as grounding both of them from watching tv, using the computer or going out with friends. You see, I'm the resident judge, one-woman jury and jail warden rolled into one.

Why am I writing this? The following pic I took was after I allowed the elder one to go out with his friends after his periodical tests tomorrow. So glad was he that he was extra playful with the younger brother.

I'll leave you to guess what happens next after this huggy-huggy, sweetie-sweetie episode. :)


Dec 8, 2010

LA Live and Staples Center

After our Manhattan Beach lunch and Beverly Hills bag shopping, our DIY tour of Los Angeles culminated in LA Live and Staples Center where Pa, Jerry, Junnie and Jerome watched a game between LA Lakers and Toronto Raptors.

It was a first for Pa and Jerry at Staples Center, and I'm sure they felt like boys again. They say it's a different high watching a game live, even if you are seated far from ringside. I guess it's because of mass hysteria or the collective energy of cheering fans. I wouldn't argue with them on that, men know their basketball in the same way women know their purses. It's their thing.

So while they braved the crowd inside the stadium and cheered rabidly as much as their lungs and vocal cords could take it, Ma and I went to survey the grounds of LA Live. The weather became cooler later in the night. And since it was a Friday, we were not surprised to see a large crowd milling about and socializing the night away.

We don't get to do this often but there we were, together, miles away from home. We just sat there, talked, took pictures, enjoyed the scenery, and simply savored the moment. Plus, LA Lakers won that night too! :)

View of LA Live from where I was sitting at Wolfgang Puck
my view of LA Live where I was sitting

At LA Live
the tourists

LA Live
the Arrezas

At LA Live
with Jerome

Papa and Junnie
Father and son - Lakers Fans

Dec 7, 2010

Manhattan Beach, Beverly Hills and Designer Bags

Arrival of Pa and Ma (Toronto to Los Angeles)
Seeing Pa and Ma after months

Manhattan Beach Village Mall
Meet the Arrezas! The only one missing is our sister May who is based in Singapore. This was at Manhattan Beach Village Mall after having lunch at Islands

By the sign of the famous address
JUNNIE: Ma, magpakuha kayo dun sa Beverly Hills.
MA: (while walking) Saan? Saan ba ang Beverly Hills?
ME: Ma, eto po oh. Junnie meant the signage lang.

Beverly Hills sign
Ayan! Junnie insisted (hah!) that we have a picture taken next to this famous address signage while he filled the car with gas at a nearby station.

At Barneys NY... (imaginary conversation/s)

Goyard galore

ME: What's a nice color for this Goyard kaya?
JERRY: I think I'm having a headache.

Checking out Goyard at Barney's
MA: Bakit naman ang mahal nito? Parang plastic lang naman.

Jerry: Your Longchamp looks better than that. :)
Jerry was probably thinking, "Your black tote (Longchamp) is better than that Go-whatchamacallit"

How about a Balenciaga, dear? LOL
ME: How about a Balenciaga dear?
JERRY: Huh-oh!

Family decision time :)
Family meeting. Haha!

Bringing in the reinforcement to finalize decision. LOL
All these people... to finalize a purchase??? :) And why am I the only one smiling here?

Junnie :P
JUNNIE: Women!!!

Photo credit/s: Papa(razzi), kahit bawal mag-"kodakan" at Barneys.

Dec 6, 2010

Night Drive Around LA

A day after we arrived in Cebu (from Shanghai), we were packing again for another trip to a different continent. Wanderers much? This time, I was to meet up with my parents and brother in the USA. Jerry was on official trip.

Pa and Ma were flying in from Canada after staying there with my brother and his family for 2 months. I thought it would be great to meet up with them even for just a week. What was I hoarding the mileage for if not for trips like this one, right? Thanks to HSBC/Mabuhay miles I didn't have to break the bank to make the trip. ;)

PAL's flight from Manila to LA last Nov. 4 landed on time, but I guess there was some confusion about our ETA when my brother Junnie and friend Jerome took a while to meet us. LOL. Junnie made up for it by taking us around LA for a night tour. Sweet!

After getting lost in LA's maze of freeways, we got to our first stop, the Griffith Observatory, minutes before it closed. We were not able to enter the observatory itself but stayed instead at the viewing deck. The lights were awesome, pretty much like a million stars or flickering tivoli lights right beneath you. It reminded me of Cebu's Tops but on a grander scale.

We promptly took pictures before leaving in a hurry, giving a whole new meaning to the words photo finish. :)

Griffith Observatory

After the observatory, we were driven around LA, Santa Monica, Wilshire Blvd. and we even dropped by Wild Card in the hope of catching Manny Pacquiao on training (no luck here, place was closed).

The Wildcard Boxing Club above the laundromat, quite obscure huh.

This is the rear entrance of Wildcard where we sometimes see on tv, Dyan Castillejo trying to interview Pacman for an upcoming fight

No Manny Pacquiao that night but got to shoot this pic near the training facility

And because it was late and the last meal Jerry and I had was from the plane, we drove to IHOP for a (huge) late night meal.

WIth "little " brother :)
with Junnie

Jerome and Jerry

huge meal for my standards

A little after midnight, Junnie and Jerome dropped us off at Ayres Hotel where Jerry and I stayed for two nights.


According to Junnie, this was the actual itinerary that night:

Griffith, then went down to LA Downtown then Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood and Vine, then Vine to Wildcard, then to Sunset Boulevard again, then to Wilshire, Beverly Hills, then to Sta Monica Blvd., 3rd St Promenade, Sta Monica Pier, leading to Marina del Rey, beaches at night before proceding to Ayres at 220am.

Dec 3, 2010

Last Post: Shanghai Recap

After a health scare last June, I realized there are things I should be doing more of... like, to name a few, be with my loved ones and see new places with them every chance I get. The trip to Shanghai was a result of this realization.

There was a long weekend coming up at that time. Shanghai's weather was not too cold yet. The Expo was still on. The e-passport renewal, visa application and arrangement with the tour provider went smoothly as well. And the trip to that part of the world was a first for me and Jerry. Everything was in our favor, plus, of course, it was my birthday too. The decision to go was almost instantaneous. :)

And so the last 8 posts (links below) are about the sights we were blessed to see in Shanghai. The 72 hours were well-spent and we enjoyed every minute of it. Hopefully, the next chance we get to visit, it will be with the rest of the brood.

Marriott Courtyard Xujiahui

World Expo 2010
Catholic Church in Communist China
Shanghai Museum
Nanjing Road
Silk Factory, The Bund
Yuyuan Garden

On to the next adventure...

Tired feet

Xintiandi ("New Heaven and Earth")

Old Chinese shikumen houses, the precursor of modern-day townhouses (in my opinion), make up 2 blocks of Xintiandi. Shikumen ("stone gate") houses were made of stones, bricks and tiles and used to be residential structures of the people of Shanghai in the early 1900s.

Nowadays, these houses have been restored and have become galleries, bars and cafes, boutiques or theme restaurants. This part of Xintiandi is now a tourist attraction and an entertainment complex where urban residents and tourists can converge during the day or at night.

ordering dimsum at Grand Steam

shikumen (house) circa 1920s blended eastern and western styles

reminds me of Intramuros

Click here for more about Xintiandi.
A visitor's guide to Xintiandi