Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Getty Museum

Going to the museum by taking the Sta. Monica Blue Bus line is much easier for me than taking my car. It only takes one short bus ride from Bundy and Sta. Monica blvd. to the museum and you're there in 10 minutes. You walk in, take the tram to go up the steep hill and enjoy the fabulous view West of Los Angeles. If you opt to take a drive to the museum, you need to call them first for reservations which will take weeks, and you have to pay for parking.

the 405 freeway going north. 
Freeway leads to San Francisco, Sta. Barbara, North Hollywood, Sherman Oaks, etc.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Humble Administrator's Garden

It is the largest of all classical gardens in Suzhou and 
the most representative of Chinese classical gardens in the Ming Dynasty. 
The name for the garden came from an essay called  "To cultivate my garden and 
sell my vegetable crop is the policy of humble man".

Suzhou is a city with many beautiful gardens. A visit to the  Humble Administrator's Garden was the most amazing and humbling experience. We enjoyed the walk admiring its ethereal beauty which gave us a feeling of tranquility and serenity. 

The layout of "water" characterized the Humble Administrator Garden,
 because a pond takes up 3/5 of the whole garden. 
You will come across the pond almost everywhere when walking in the garden.

It is listed as a World Cultural Heritage site and has also been 
designated as one of the Cultural Relics of National Importance
under the Protection of the State.

                               The exuberant trees and flowers bring delightful effects of nature.
                                   There are numerous scenic spots that combines both
                                          the human ingenuity and the beauty of nature.

Eclectic Shanghai

I decided to meet my sister in Shanghai. Anda is on a business trip so I hung around with my sister-in-law Imelda who lives in Shanghai and my niece Robin who happened to be taking classes in Fudan University. So the 3 of us did what tourists normally do, sight see and eat. Imelda took us to Hunan restaurant and the food was hot hot hot but they were so delicious.

We headed off to the Shanghai museum where they showcase the most incredible chinese artifacts and once outside the museum,  you can admire the modern Pudong skyline.  It was a good day to be outdoors.



We visited temples after temples that house a variety of Jade Buddhas.We tied ribbons to have our wishes fullfilled and lit incense for our good fortune.




 We dropped by a tea salon and we were educated on the different types of teas and how you serve them........What a full day........Now what to do tomorrow...hmmmm....



Venice of the East

 This is my first trip to Shanghai.Thanks to my sister-in-law Imelda for touring me to new places I have never been before. I've done the city, walked around the french corner where we had apple tartin and ice cream. By then we were craving for western food so even Kentucky and McDonald's were delectable. We had our retail therapy of inexpensive lubutongs, goat cheese and diors. Figure that one out..hahaha... 

The drive to Suzchou was a couple of hours but the trip was well worth it. Zhoujiajiao reminded me so much of Venice but the ambiance is very eastern.We decided to take a ride and enjoyed the moment


After the lovely ride, we took a walk around the eskinitas and there were a lot of peddlers selling thier handicrafts and wares. Our chinese guide told us that chinese people eat everything with four legs....except the table...hahahaha....there were frogs, snails and anything that moves that were being sold. So when it was time to have lunch, I lost my appetite. Although I skipped lunch, I was entertained by a chinese couple with their local music.

After our lunch, we took a walk around the narrow walkways again and lo and behold, hawkers were making hot hopias and the smell opened my palette and I got hungry.  I was a happy camper the moment I saw these savory delicacies. They were so delicious that it reminded me of the hot hopias in Binondo, Manila by Quiapo church. I felt totally at home. Even the baby agrees with me. 

Can I take you home with me?...:)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Wonder of the World

 It was a long and bumpy ride to Sagada. This is a road trip that one must experience even once in their lifetime. Of course you can fly to the mountains and see it in a different perspective which I'm sure is fabulous and expensive, but we opted to take our guest in an SUV. It took us 8 hours long but the sight of the countryside along the highway was beautiful and tranquil. We drove past the banawe rice terraces and you can't help but look at it with pride and joy in your heart.

When we reached Sagada, I know I'm in a good place. You look at the children's faces and find happiness which simple life offers them. A small town that values family and tradition and have utmost respect to their dead. So a walk to the school grounds put a smile on my face. 

Whenever I'm in a new place, I always visit their local church. Missionaries are committed in taking care of the locals by preserving the simplicity, integrity and dignity of SAGADA. There is a certain spirituality that you feel when you're here. A perfect place for soul-searching.

What is there to do in a small town? A visit to the cave was an exhilarating experience. Here I was in my hiking boots and our guide told me that all I need are rubber slippers. The cave was underground, vast and wet. When I got to the cave, it smelled like coffee which turned out to be the stench of bat poo. We were walking on limestone which was not slippery at all. It provided a grip that won't make you slide or slip. The ripples from the rain were left engraved on the limestone. The water was clear and cold.

Are you ready for this? This is not man-made. This is a natural carving done by mother nature. Nothing in this cave is painted or vandalized. Pretty amazing work.

And now it's time to leave this magical place and head back down to the city.