Wednesday, June 06, 2018

New Jersey- New York- Philadelphia- Canada Trip (Part 4)

Summer 2018 was made so special with our road trip across three states, two countries, one iconic landmark, and one nature's wonder.

Our last day was equally special since it was my birthday. David disappeared after we got back home from the mall the night before to get flowers, cards, and gift for me. We were filled with excitement because our last destination before heading home would be Niagara Falls.

The scenic views from Philadelphia and New York to Canada were indescribable. Walls of rocks, beautiful trees, and pristine lakes kept us entertained. As always, we just followed the route from Google map so imagine our surprise when the map ended right in front of a residential house!

After a little bit of research looking for the proper route, we finally arrived at our destination. Niagara Falls was the most beautiful place that I have ever been. Even when we were still at the car looking for the parking area, we were already so overwhelmed with emotions. It was the perfect way to celebrate my birthday with the person I love so much. The three falls are part of the Niagara River, which forms the U.S./ Canada border all the way from the city of Niagara Falls up to Lake Ontario. American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls are on the American side of the border, and the Horseshoe Falls is on the Canadian side. We opted to see the Canadian side.

The temperature was almost 95 but whenever we stood right at the part where the mist was, it dropped to about 60F. We felt sad that we were able to stay for about 30 minutes only. We had more than six hours of drive on the way home and it was getting late.

The Port Huron border was packed with cars and we were at the bridge for more than an hour. I felt bad that my husband was the one driving the whole time of our travel. He was beyond exhausted and when a deer jumped right in front of the car when we were near Grand Rapids, I could not believe how fast he stopped! We were both shaken thinking of what could have happened if David was not able to stop. It was past 11:00 p.m. and he was driving since 7:00 a.m. Thankfully, we arrived home safely closed to midnight.

For most people, traveling is all about that adrenaline rush brought by the excitement of seeing new places, meeting new people, eating new foods, and basking on beautiful surroundings. Traveling is not a panacea but it does give you a clearer perspective about life in general. For me and my husband, it is our time to talk and enjoy the moments uninterrupted by technology and worries of life. Plus, don’t forget the joy of seeing a very dear friend.

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New Jersey- New York- Philadelphia- Canada Trip (Part 3)

 New York Brooklyn Bridge during night time.

Philadelphia downtown where we met Mich. 

The main reason of our travel was to meet Mich who was in the U.S. to attend a convention. She was sent by the University where she works. Even though fate brought us far from each other, we continue to enjoy this special bond that connects us. We used to spend hours just talking about anything and everything.

There were no words to describe the moment that I hugged her again. It was so special that my best friend met my husband for the first time. The moment was made more beautiful with the fact that we were in a beautiful city of Philadelphia. Although I enjoy traveling in different cities in the U.S.A., I always relish the time that we go back home but Philadelphia was different. It has this blend of old and new which makes the city more welcoming and I actually felt right at home.

King of Prussia Mall considered as the largest mall in United States in terms of the area for lease. 

We had breakfast at one of the restaurants at Readers Market. My husband said the biscuits and gravy he had was the best he ever tasted. The place is a historic indoor market which has about 80 vendors offering a wide variety of cuisines from all over the world with some operating the same way back in 1892 when it first opened. Nothing could be better than spending the first hour of seeing each other after seven years in a very special place.

It was raining so we decided to spend the rest of the day at King Prussia Mall and TJ Maxx where we tried to catch up with each other’s life in between shopping and laughter. Needless to say, I was dreading the time that we would drop off Mich at her hotel and say our goodbyes. Although I was glad to spend the whole day with her, I wished it was longer. 

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New Jersey- New York- Philadelphia- Canada Trip (Part 2)

At the Liberty State Park where we had a good view of the iconic Statue of Liberty. 

All geared up after being well-rested the night before, we drove on the way to Liberty State Park where we planned to ride a ferry and see the iconic Statue of Liberty. However, when I realized that the view of the statue from the park was good enough, I told David we didn’t need to ride a ferry to get a closer look. It’s known for a long queue and we knew that we won’t have enough time to see other places if we stayed there for so long. Visit to New York was limited since we needed to head back to Philadelphia in the afternoon to meet my friend who would be arriving from Italy.

The drive to New York was crazy. Traffic was bad and tolls were confusing. Instead of stressing ourselves of missing the turns and paying several times in the same toll, we chose to just enjoy the ride. I also find it ridiculous to pay $15 in Lincoln tunnel. It was worth the drive though because we were able to enjoy the beautiful day at Central Park.

We were surprised that we easily found a free parking area right in front of the park. Interestingly, Central Park is bigger than Vatican City. It contains several lakes, theaters, ice rinks, fountains, tennis courts, many playgrounds, and baseball fields. It was so amazing being surrounded with trees and giant sculptures of rocks amidst the city with skyscraper buildings. Central Park makes New York such a nice place to live knowing that you could just walk there and breathe some fresh air. Of course, David enjoyed playing with the pigeons and he ended up having a bird poop on his shirt.

The next stop was back in New Jersey for some taste of Filipino cuisine. Jollibee makes the visit in different states complete. As always, it was full packed mostly with Filipinos.

After enjoying the delicious lunch comprised with palabok, chicken, peach mango pie, halo- halo, and hotdog, we headed to the two-hour-drive to Philadelphia. Unfortunately, I booked the wrong hotel. Hilton has several hotels and I chose the one about thirty-minutes from where Mich was staying. King of Prussia where our hotel was located was breathtakingly beautiful though. We were so near the King of Prussia Mall known for being the largest mall in the U.S. in terms of leasable space. Mich and I decided to just meet the following day since our hotel was not as near to hers as we initially thought.

We ended the day shopping and enjoying the rest of our Hilton complimentary cookies in the comfort of our room.

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New Jersey- New York- Philadelphia- Canada Trip (Part 1)

Oftentimes, we get wrapped up in the daily mundane of working and paying bills that enjoying life becomes secondary. David and I however have always discussed seeing new places and creating memories by traveling. As a matter of fact, in the short time of my stay here, we have visited places near Michigan and our recent travel was the farthest so far.

To wander in an unfamiliar place with the person closest to your heart is the most beautiful feeling in the world. Knowing that the reason for our travel was also to meet a very dear friend added to the excitement.

We left Friday at 4:00 a.m. anticipating the thirteen-hour-long drive. Our first destination was NewJersey known for having the most diners in the world. Fifteen minutes after leaving the house, my husband realized that he didn’t have his phone. We frantically searched the car but it was nowhere to be found. Missed calls however indicated that the phone was just somewhere in the car. Finally, I told him to check the car’s roof and of course it was there! Fifteen minutes on the road and his phone was on top of the car!

The travel was quite uneventful but it was filled with picturesque sceneries that stretched as far as the eyes could see. We also savor the moment of just being able to talk without worrying about anything.

There were many road repairs making the travel longer so we were exhausted by the time we arrived in our hotel. Our plan to meet a friend in New York upon arrival did not push through since we were both so tired.

If there’s one spectacular thing about New Jersey was that you got to enjoy New York’s beautiful view without enduring the crazy traffic of the former. Right across our hotel was the Hudson river offering a waterfront view of New York’s skyscraper buildings. My husband and I were just too exhausted though to do anything except to grab dinner so he had his pizza and I had my Japanese cuisine.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2018

The Best Ways to Deal with People Who Hurt You

Through the years, I had this important realization. The greatest human frailty is simply being human- weak and more often than not, acts on impulse emotionally not rationally. I used to be deeply affected when people are rude or they say mean words. Through the years however, I managed to be more of in control how I react on situations. I perceived it as simply toughening up with the harsh realities of the world.

1. Breathe. Negativity was just hurled. Instantly, the air turned hostile. Taking a deep breath several times while reminding myself to cool off always works. I think just by simply doing this, I get the moment to reflect on what just happened and if it is worth to say or do something.

2. Pray. A long time ago back in Naga City, a very dear friend told me not to pray for the other person who act unkindly to me but pray instead for myself. I pray that I may be enlightened and not harbor ill feelings. I pray that I may find forgiveness in my heart. I pray that the pain would not last for a long time. I pray that I would be strong enough and be kind enough to understand what that person is going through.

3. Forgive. Concealing negative feelings toward others would be more detrimental to one’s self emotionally, spiritually and physically. Forgiving is not forgetting. It simply means choosing not to dwell on the why’s. I have no control about how others would behave toward me but I always have control about my own behavior. By forgiving, I refuse to be carried in the abyss of negativity.

After doing these three steps, I still find myself sometimes broken hearted, hurt, and deeply offended. That’s just another human frailty. However, at the end of the day, I remind myself that by following these steps, I choose to be in control of the situation.


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