Archive for the ‘of Wanderlust’ Category

In the midst of Golden Gate Park is the California Academy of Sciences. It’s pretty much a natural history museum complete with (1) the Steinhart Aquarium that rivals the Aquarium of the Bay in Fisherman’s Wharf and even slightly at par with Monterey Bay Aquarium (I’ll actually leave this judgment for later since I haven’t been to the Monterey Bay Aquarium in a long time); (2)the Morrison Planetarium (Planet Arium South Park episode, anyone?) which I still think is one of the best places for a nap in the middle of the day; (3) a Rainforest which is basically a giant circular humid greenhouse; (4)  the Kimball Natural History museum with the mammal room, and exhibits on sustaining life on earth; and oh…yeah, they have a revolving special exhibit…this time it was (5) SNAKES AND LIZARDS.

Between my boyfriend and my brother, many pranks and psychological torture were applied on me in the Snakes and Lizards exhibit. There is apparently a lizard that can leap from boulder to boulder and run at 16 mph. My brother whispers, “You can’t outrun that…” Then Boyfriend tossed a rubber lizard at me which resulted in a strangled scream which resulted in a lot of people looking at me which had my brother asking in a LOUD VOICE, “Was that scream you?”

I don’t care. I’ll scream if I want to.

After that ordeal, the rest of the day went easy peasy. We went to the Aquarium where we touched starfish and sea urchins, we napped in the Planetarium where Jodi Foster’s throaty voice lulled us into a dream filled with nuclei and mitochondria, we went to the Living Roof (my first time in over 5 visits) and froze our butts off in the freezing San Francisco summer wind, we played with the toys in the gift shop and overall had a great time!

on the Living Roof overlooking the De Young Museum

well, a slice of the Philippine Reef was behind us.

mmm...Moray Eel

Hey, fishy, fishy...

It's a piece of rolled up carpet...Oh, actually it's a snake.

Sssslytherin's in the House

...and finally, this guy always makes me smile by planning little trips to make me happy!

Here’s the caveat: The California Academy of Sciences is a whopping $34.99! This hurts because the Smithsonian in Washington DC is FREE! And even the one in Los Angeles is only $12!

So, unless you really value the rainforest attraction and the planetarium, the living roof, the albino alligator, and the sustainable design of the CAS, then it’s recommended that you really plan your visit for that day instead of just randomly dropping in for 3 hours. If that was the case, then I’d say hop on Thursday nights Nightlife: 3 hours, NO CHILDREN RUNNING AMOK, wine, beer and hors d’oeuvres served — all for $12. STEAL.

Below are a few shots from Nightlife from my birthday in January:

Glow in the Dark

Nightlife Crew

Hey, Lil' Guy...


When there aren't little kids running around, you actually get to learn stuff.

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So we all know that if you ride Business Class, you get bigger seats, more legroom, unlimited liquor and flight attendants that address you as “Ms./Mr./Mrs. Last Name.” If you’re really lucky, you get the seats that turn into claustrophobic little beds.

On Philippine Airlines Mabuhay Class (their equivalent of Business class), you also get to have Filipino food!

I can’t really compare the food from other airlines since I’ve only flown Business class on 2 airlines (Delta and PAL). Delta was meh. PAL always amazes me with the food.

Nommers. So enjoy drooling over the food:

Mixed Tapas

Prawn Sinigang

Pork Loin with Figs

Nuts & Cheese, Creme Brulee and Fruits

Filipino Arroz Caldo (Porridge)


Yogurt, Fruits, Breads

Beef Guizado (and Spiced Vinegar!) with Scrambled Egg & Garlic Rice

Mixed Tapas

Some Kind of Cured Pork with a Slice of Pear and Foie Gras

Bacon-Wrapped Steak, Scrambled Eggs, Mashed Potatoes & Apple Crepe

Fruits, Nuts & Cheese Plate

Pork Adobo!

Sigh, such delicious flights on Mabuhay Class, Philippine Airlines. It’s really bad for a diet. I flew Economy once, and barely ate anything. On Mabuhay Class, I keep ordering and re-ordering stuff on the menu. But y’know, it’s not just a flight, it’s a dining experience, too!

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When I was a child, my mom used to get so exasperated with me. She and my nannies and a veritable army of…well, actual soldiers, would spend an entire afternoon looking for me through the woods in Camp Lapu-Lapu (a military camp, where I grew up). I would saunter back into the house just as the sun was about to set completely covered in dirt, mud, scrapes, and smiles. My mom used to tell me that I stank to high heaven, too and the first order of business was always to throw me in the bathroom and order a bath.

Asa naman sad ka gikan?” (And where have you been this time?) and “Asa naman sad ka nalagput karon?” (Where have you been thrown to this time around?) As a semi-literal translation goes.

I would tell her about my adventures. Did you know there is a creek to the west side of the camp? And my mom would exclaim that a child had died in that creek (which sadly only piqued my interest in said creek). Did you know there are people living in the woods and they own pigs? My mom would sigh and tell me that they were squatters on government land and my dad would have to do something about them.  I saw two dogs stuck together from the butt. A statement my mom never followed up with anything. Now, I know why. I found a new way to the back of Daddy’s office. My dad worked on the top of the highest hill in the largest white building in the camp. The front was a meticulously designed garden with acres and acres of marching grounds. The back was an unpaved parking lot that bordered the woods. My mom would sigh. You have to be careful, mi hija.

Then we would get to the point where she would have to scrub my feet. I wore flip flops everywhere. It was almost always dusty, dirty and muddy wherever I happened to be. She would seat me on the toilet bowl cover, put a basin of water which was a mix of the lukewarm tap and water specifically boiled to clean…well, me. She would dip a washcloth into the warm water and start to scrub my feet, making sure to clean my heels and in between the toes. I would squirm and complain, but it was a ritual, almost.

We would eventually get to the dark mole on the side of my right foot, just beneath the ankle bone. More than once, she would sigh and point to it. “La-agan gyud ka, tan-awon palang.” (No straight translation comes to mind, but it means something like I am stricken with wanderlust just by the very sign of it.)

To this day, my tendency to be anywhere but home is both a joking and sore point with my mother. I never stay home on the weekends and most nights I do wander off before stumbling home. When I stay home for too long, I feel suffocated, like there was somewhere else I should be. Once, my parents had gotten mad at me for pushing my brother off the swing (hey, I was 6!) and they told me I could not go outside. I normally would have howled and caused a tantrum when I didn’t get my way. But this time, they thought it was so eerie how I simply stood in front of the window and stared outside, tears silently streaming down my face. I didn’t make a single sound. It was like I lost my spirit.

I do that at work too, almost every day (minus the crying, of course). My bosses and co-workers have noticed my tendency to spend at least a minute or two each day just staring out the window in silence.

I explained that it was this urge, this longing to be outside at all times. I have to move. I have to see something different. I have to feel the sun beating against my skin. I have to feel the ground beneath me as I walk towards somewhere…anywhere. I have to.

As I grew up, it became a driving need for knowledge and adventure. I had to meet these people I’ve read about in encyclopedias. I have to see the culture I have only seen on tv. I have to listen to the languages I have only ever heard on tape. I have to taste the food I’ve only ever seen pictures of. I have to. I want to know for myself whether something is true and real. To me, the only way to do that is to experience it.

You see, I have never been the person who couldn’t sleep when they were somewhere new. I have been comfortable on the floor, on hay, on a giant mattress, on a hammock, on the sand, on a carpet, on anywhere. I can sleep in a cramped car, in the bed of a pick-up truck, in a camper, and even on the hood of my car. I’ve never had a problem with unfamiliarity. I embraced it and occasionally, I’ve actually yearned to be somewhere utterly unfamiliar and new. Do you know how utterly amazing and mesmerizing it is to do, feel, and be something entirely new? I would follow that feeling wherever it takes me in this world.

However, later on, as life became more complicated (as it surely does when you become, gasp, an adult) it became a need to escape. I had my heart broken and I had to run away. I had to see places and things and people that didn’t remind me of him. I was overwhelmed with the decisions I’d made in the direction of my life, so inexplicably (or rather, because of it), I found myself turning towards the exact opposite direction.

Wanderlust–as strangely driving a need as it is can be dangerous. I’ve become a flight risk even to my own family. They look at me with unsteady eyes–their gazes asking me if I will be around for long enough. I’ve left what I call “home” in shambles because I cannot stay long enough to build one. Sometimes, the life I supposedly live in is a mess because I’m too busy living somewhere else.

It’s exhausting. Suitcase to suitcase. Miles and miles. Jumping from one adventure to another.

It’s financially draining. Simply because this is how the world works. To get somewhere, you have to pay for it.

And finally, it’s lonely.

When you need something different all the time, when the scenery has to change all the time, when the experience has to be different every time…it’s hard to find someone who can stay along with that and fulfill that. I’ve demanded new adventures, experiences and lifestyles of the same person before. It’s not fair. I know this.

And so now I’m a little bit older. A little bit more settled into adulthood that I’ve realized I cannot simply runaway from growing up. I’ve stayed in one place long enough to see that I do want that silence, that comfort of the same bed every night. I’ve started to envy the way fingers from two hands just learn to fit perfectly into each other instinctively.

I’ve started to question the need for the giddiness and spark in exchange for comfort and safety.

I don’t know. There’s only so far that wanderlust can take me. I need to settle down within myself long enough to find what’s missing. And that, my friends, is what I need to do now.

On a brighter note: March sends me Tahoe, April to Los Angeles and Dallas, May to the Philippines, June to Chicago, August to Las Vegas and Cabo, and October to New Orleans…yeah, I’m pretty broke right about now. But I’m so excited.

Hey, I never said Wanderlust was entirely bad, just that…y’know, I had to tone it down a bit.

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Taken by Surprise
A Little Giddy
Getting in Touch with My Azn
Photo Fused. Me in Pic 1 and Santa in Pic 3. Go Windows 7!

Southwest Airlines, in conjunction with Windows 7, had set up a Santa picture booth in Chicago Midway. I did this mostly because it was free and they gave me a $20 off coupon for my next Southwest flight. All I had to do was anonymously fill out a “How Cool is Windows 7” survey.

And then there is also the fact that I’d never really had a picture with Santa before.

I asked my mom why I had never done the Santa pic before, and she just shrugged and said, “It’s really not a big deal back home.” To which I nodded and shrugged, too. Because I never felt like I wanted to or needed to or even had to sit on Santa’s knee and tell him what I wanted for Christmas. It just…wasn’t done.

However, it is a sweet novelty to (finally) be able to do it, so there I was, sitting on Santa’s knee and getting all giddy like a child again.

Then he asked me what I wanted for Christmas. And I gave him a blank look. I had completely forgotten the whole point of sitting on Santa’s knee was to tell him what I wanted for Christmas. I thought for about ten seconds but couldn’t think of anything that I really wanted.

I gave him a smile and said, “Actually, I’m happy. Maybe for Christmas, I just want to stay as happy as I am now?”

He nodded and said, “That’s really good, sweetheart, let’s wish for that,” and then gave his customary booming, HO HO HO laugh.

And that, folks, was my first time on Santa’s knee.

(And for decency’s sake, probably my last.)

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The Little Bear of South Hall

Sather Tower

Top of the Campanile

Stanley Hall

Greek Theater

Bridge to Faculty Glen

Hearst Mining Circle with Campbell Hall & Sather Tower

with Krystal

Cesar Chavez Student Center

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It was an extremely hot day in the Bay Area, which made for a perfect beach day in Northern California. 100+ degrees inland = approximately 80 degrees on the beach.


Poplar Beach, Half Moon Bay, CA

One of those Cool Beach Bluffs, Usually Shrouded in Fog, Perfectly Clear on Tuesday

A Little Bit of Laying Out, A Little Bit of Football, A Little Bit of Awesome

Running Up to Meet the Waves!

Running Away from the Cold Water!

Check out the Detail in the Jean Shorts...Wrong Use of the Camera Focus

My Favorite Picture for all the Little Details

These Two Were Fun to Watch: Humphrey and Herschel

Gorgeous Beach Day

Crab Cakes and Chowder for Lunch, Fun Beach Day, Capped off with a Beer from the Brewery...Now, we can go Home.

I’m beginning to really like this camera.

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Extreme 100 degree temperatures. Warm desert air like a constant giant blow dryer. Glittering pool days. Candy-colored bikinis. Sparkling lights. Drinks. Shots. Drinks. Shots. Dance Dancing the Night Away. Sleeping as the Sun comes up. What? Say what? Oh, that’s right…it’s Summer and it’s Vegas all over again.

Good as Gold

cheers to life!

Rollin' 8 Deep

What Better Way to Catch Up?

Complimentary Dinners are Love

Celebrate Good Times, C'mon!

Party Bus for Free

Club Hopping Like We Were 21

Help! I Need New Feet!

Ahhh…a post shall be dedicated to the minutiae of the trip. Suffice to say the word “comped” is the best way to describe the entire weekend. Say what? Three days in Vegas and I only paid for a couple cab rides. Epic Summer Vegas Weekend, loves.

Shout out to @Sigh, TNT, H2, HeyHey, Daf, Bedhead, and Missionary! Had a TON of fun, Ladies! ❤

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