Wednesday, August 08, 2018

The Best Ice Cream Place in Muskegon is in Whitehall!

Everyone knows that old saying, “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream”. Well, not me. I don’t scream for ice cream. I am not a fan. Seriously.

David brought me to many places trying the different flavors of ice cream and I always end up not liking it. The problem? My palate is overwhelmed with too much sweetness. The swirl of colors and flavors are not appealing to my penchant at all.

So, imagine my surprise when a night of my husband’s sugar cravings brought us to the small ice cream place in Whitehall. The banana strawberry shake finally got me. Smooth dreamy real flavors rolled into one! This summer rush under the sweltering heat of the sun can be cooled down by the amazing blend of subtle sweetness available at Dairy Treat. They also have a treat for your dog so bring an extra two dollars!

Our happy place! 

Malt or shake? 

Don't forget your dog's treat! 

My husband said this is an antique picture. 

Monster sweetness! :D 

Sunday, August 05, 2018

River Tubing Adventure at Ludington State Park

Tubing (also known as inner tubing, "bumper tubing" or even toobing) is a recreational activity where an individual rides on top of an inner tube, either on water, snow, or through the air. The tubes themselves are also known as "donuts" or "biscuits" due to their shape.

The idea of a river tubing was something I didn’t really think about until I moved here in the United States. I was more of into boating and river rafting. It was my first time last year and so glad to be able to do it again today!

Sitting back in the inner tubes (except I had a tiny raft) while floating at the relaxing water for about two hours certainly belongs to everyone’s bucket list. The adventure treated us to the vibrant display of green trees and beautiful sceneries.

After the tubing, we were greeted by the beautiful water of the great Lake Michigan! Waves were so high but the water was so shallow so we had a lot of fun swimming. For the first time, the water was warm enough for my ‘tropical body’.

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

How the Jellyfish Sting almost Killed My Sister

The death of a seven-year-old Filipino-Italian Gaia Trimarchi because of a jellyfish sting during an island-hopping tour in Caramoan (Philippines) brought back the memory of how my sister almost died because of having the same experience.

The little girl who was a gold medalist in swimming competitions in Italy died in her mother’s arms on the way to the hospital. She was stung by the box jellyfish, the world’s most poisonous creatures which kills 20-40 people in the Philippines every year.

The sea is treacherous and it was a painful lesson my friends and I learned several years ago…

I was awakened by a shrill of scream that penetrated the depth of the night. My eyes riveted in the darkness that shrouded me. But, no…it was more than that…the cry was familiar…I chilled when I heard it again. I wasn’t dreaming…

It was almost end of the summer when my former classmates in elementary agreed to spend an overnight swimming in a nearby town’s beach resort. Many of them were in their last days of vacation and about to be back in Manila for their studies.

I decided not to join them since I needed to finish the University requirements the following day. My parents were also quite adamant to permit us. However, after several “conscience pleadings” from my friends and prodding from my sister, I finally relented.

After dinner, one of my friends and I spent our time walking along the shore while others were swimming. Not long after, she decided to join the rest of the group and I fell asleep in the cottage.

The trip immediately turned into a nightmare.

I was trembling when I scrambled on my feet trying to figure out where the sound came from. Then, I saw a friend running while shouting my name. She told me that my sister was stung by a jellyfish also known as salabay.

I saw the group pouring her water and struggling to remove some tentacles that perforated her skin. She was screaming so loudly that I could still hear vividly the terror on her voice. She also fainted several times. We immediately brought her to the nearest hospital after being told by the cottage owner she didn’t have anything for first aid.

When we reached the hospital, she was still unconscious and her arms were swollen as if painted with ugly red lines. Her legs were also full of red stripes.

Time occurred in a haze. When we finally got home, my sister was writhing with fever. Her arms were so swollen. My friends explained to my furious parents what happened while I was in shock the whole time. She was crying non stop and she was brought again to the hospital. She stayed there for about two days but her condition only worsened. She had on and off fever and her blood pressure was so high.

It was the second night when my parents were warned my sister could not make it. We brought her to a bigger hospital in the city and she was given 24 hours to live. Despite of the pain relievers administered, she was constantly in pain.

My sister survived that traumatic accident. However, the tentacles left permanent scars on several parts of her body. Her skin was severely damaged and until now the ugly red blemishes are still visible. Don't be deceived by the beauty of the sea. Always take precautions and bring something for first aid.

What to do when you get stung by a jellyfish? Click here.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Shocking Discovery at the Wilderness Trail

Our every day walk allows us not only the opportunity to maintain a healthy life style but also to bask on the beauty of our small town. There is no pollution, the roads are clean, and there are trails where we can walk without worrying on getting hit by cars.

That’s the luxury that I enjoy the most living here in the United States. Thus, I was deeply saddened last week when we visited this place (July 27) and found a shocking discovery. We’ve been to this area several times and we never saw it in this condition. Soda cans, plastics, and other forms of garbage were thrown in the small body of water. It was a flagrant disregard to the no littering signs all over which left us the question, why?

We saw several soda cans floating on the water. :( 

At closer look, that thing at the right corner looks like a tupperware. 

Bottles were everywhere.

I simply could not believe that it was the same place where we used to watch fish and turtles. The water was so filthy we could not see anything except garbage.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

The Ripley Home

History aficionados will fall in love with the circa 1883 Ripley home. The tour inside provides an esoteric insight into the newly renovated structure teeming with original hardwood floors and features 12’ ceilings and 10’ doors.

We walk through this area almost every day and I never really thought that the brick splendor exudes all the elegance you could hope for including a new kitchen with Viking appliances, large sweeping staircase, crystal chandeliers, four marble fireplaces, sauna, and the original intricate custom brass hardware.

Nestled on a charming Montague town, it is a reminiscent of the days long past perhaps offering also a glimpse of the life of the original owner, pioneer businessman and pharmacist Lafayette G.Ripley. 

(A virtual tour of this home and a brief biography of Ripley are available here.)


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