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Topic: Airplane

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Airplane The day after returning from Sarasota we left for Japan. Paul was going for work and I was tagging along for fun. Alexa and Paul Andrew stayed with my parents for the 2 weeks while we were away. We made 2 unexpected stops on our way to Japan. Our first stop was Shemya, Alaska, home to the Eareckson Air Force base, and one of the last of the Aleutian Islands before Russia. The pilot told us we may have a fire in the cargo hold and were going to be making an emergency landing on the island. We spent about 6 hours on the island, hanging out in an old airplane hanger and the mess hall. Once the plane was cleared for takeoff, we were told we would not be able to continue to Tokyo, and would have to spend a day in Anchorage, Alaska. So we spent a day in Anchorage before finally arriving in Tokyo.

After our arrival in Tokyo, we took the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) to Numazu where Paul would be working. While Paul spent his day working, I walked around the town, visited the fish market, shopped and just relaxed. We spent our first weekend in Osaka, Kyoto and Tokyo. We visited some amazing temples in Kyoto and even got to see a festival (Gion Matsuri). Osaka was a major city. While there, we walked along a part of town just filled with lights, throngs of people, restaurants and karaoke bars. It was unlike anything I had seen before. We also visited Osaka castle then headed over to Tokyo to spend a day and a half there. While in Tokyo we visited the shops in Ginza (Apple Store of course), Tokyo Tower and traveled outside the city to a town called Kamakura. While in Kamakura we visited more temples and hiked about 3 miles to Daibutsu, which is a large Buddha. Once the weekend was over, we went back to Numazu till Friday. Friday evening, we hopped back on the Shinkansen and headed back to Tokyo. This time in Tokyo we visited the Imperial Palace, Roppongi Hills (large shopping mall), Akihabara (the electronics area) and the Tsukiji Fish market for the daily Tuna auction.

Sunday morning we began or trip home. The flight to LAX was interesting because it was the pilot’s last flight. Once we landed in LAX we were met by 2 fire trucks spraying water on the airplane. Paul had to remain in LAX for the week and I continued home.
Published Nov 21, 2010 - 07:40 PM


Airplane In November we tagged along on one of Paul's work trips to California. We of course visited Disneyland and had breakfast with Minnie and friends and had lunch with the Princess' at Ariel's grotto. This time we visited plenty of parks, Craig Park in Brea, William Mason Park in Irvine and Irvine Regional Park. Alexa and Paul Andrew love playing in the park. Irvine Regional Park was real nice because we got to ride a train, ride ponies, play in the park and visit the zoo. We also saw a one ring circus in downtown Brea the day we arrived. On our last day we visited Ana Maria in Huntington Beach and took the kids for a walk down by the beach. We took a red eye home and thank goodness the kids slept most of the way home.

Now in December we did our annual trip to Disneyworld for Very Mickey Christmas. Unfortunately this year s Very Mickey Christmas was very wet. We stayed in the Magic Kingdom a few hours, had dinner with Winnie and friends at Crystal Palace, rode a few rides, took pictures with some characters, had hot chocolate and cookies then called it a night around 9. Saturday, the weather was much better. Christina and my mom went to the outlets, Paul went to class and my dad the kids and I went to EPCOT. Alexa wanted to go so she could take her picture at the Character Spot. After lunch in England of fish chips and of course beer for the adults, we met up with everyone at Hollywood Studios. We rode Toy Story Mania, saw the playhouse disney show, Ariel show, and the Osborne Family lights. Sunday we had breakfast with the characters at Chef Mickeys. However, before breakfast we saw the Jonas Brothers in concert for the filming of the Christmas Day parade at Disneyworld. Look for us in the audience on December 25. We are waving yellow pieces of cloth.
Published Dec 13, 2009 - 02:00 PM


Airplane Taking advantage of a work trip for Paul, we headed to Australia for 2 weeks last month. Paul headed out first, for work, and Gloria followed a few days later. The time difference was difficult to manage at first, but got better eventually. We spent the first week In Sydney, where Paul was working. The hotel was located in the “Rocks”, which is the oldest part of Sydney. The location was wonderful, with many shops and restaurants nearby, and only a few minutes walk from the downtown and the Opera House. On the first weekend, we did the Sydney Harbor Bridge climb, an amazing trek up a 40 story bridge! We also took a wine tour in the Hunter Valley, a couple hours outside of the city. While Paul was at work Gloria had a great time walking around the city. She visited the Botanical Gardens, the Victoria Building(a shopping mall), the Australia Museum, walked up and down St George and Elizabeth Street (more shopping) and enjoyed the cafes in The Rocks. Gloria also took the bus out to Bondi Beach and enjoyed the walk along the cliffs from Bondi to Bronte Beach so much she made it a point to make sure we went back before leaving Sydney.

After Paul finished up work, we took a flight up north to the tropical city of Cairns. We took a dive boat out to the Great Barrier Reef. Paul scuba dived for the first time, and Gloria did some snorkeling. The coral was amazing, but not as much fish as the Florida Keys… I am sure it depends on the dive spot. The next day, we took a scenic railroad to the rainforest city of Kuranda, and got our pictures taken with Koalas, and fed some Kangaroos.

Then we were off to Brisbane. In Brisbane, we caught our breath, and just chilled out for a day. We went to the Australia Zoo, better known as the Crocodile Hunter’s zoo. Later, we stopped to visit Gloria’s friend, Susana and Tim, and Aaron and their new son Alec. The next day, we rented a car, got up early in the morning, and drove up to Hervey Bay to see Humpback whales. It was worth it, as the whales really put on a show. Driving on the opposite side of the road was also interesting. Finally, it was time to go home, and we were missing the kids very much at that point.
Published Sep 05, 2009 - 03:16 AM


Airplane First of all the temperatures were not spring like at all in early April. It was more like winter. Thank goodness the kids didn't mind being all bundled up and Alexa loved wearing her gloves. Paul Andrew just kept on removing his gloves and using it as teether. Poor baby had 2 molars come in while we were away.

This was the first time either Paul or I had been to Chicago so it was a great adventure for us. We had heard from everyone that it was a great city and we definetly agree. Here is a brief recap of our wonderful and hectic trip.

We arrived on early on Tuesday, April 7, and checked into the Conrad Hilton. Lucky for us they had our room available. From the hotel, we took a taxi to the Shedd Aquarium. We could not believe our eyes when we saw the line for the Aquarium. About 200 people and the line was barely moving so we decided to go the Field museum instead. The kids loved the Field museum. Alexa wanted to take a picture with every taxidermied animal and Paul Andrew loved playing with the instruments downstairs in the children's museum area. We returned to the hotel to take a much needed rest and then had dinner at an excellent Italian restaurant.

Wednesday morning we got an early start and went back to the Shedd aquarium. Unfortuately for us the large animal area was closed for renovations. The kids loved looking at all the tanks and just running around a bit. We decided instead of taking a taxi back to the hotel we would walk back instead. We walked through Grant Park, stopping at the Buckingham Fountain ( the one that the show at the beginning of Married with Children), then made our way over to Millenium Park. At Millenium Park we visited the Bean and the Tower Fountain. After a very busy day we had a casual dinner at Weber Grill.

Thursday started with a nice stroll down Michigan Avenue to visit the Hancock Building. The views from the observation floor were beautiful. Alexa seems to have absolutely no fear of heights. She would stand right at the window and look straight down. From the Hancock building we walked over to Navy Pier. We walked around and then visited the Chicago Children's Museum. The kids loved being able to run around a bit. Paul Andrew loved going down the musical slide and Alexa loved playing in the water area. Dinner that evening was delicious. We finally had Chicago style pizza. After about a 40 min wait at Giordanos we were able to sit down and enjoy our pizza.

Friday we spent all day at the Museum and Science and Industry. Wow! What a museum. There was so much to do I don't even know where to begin. There was an agricultural area with tractors for the kids to get in, an outer space area, a circus area, a coal mine but we weren't able to go because the line was 90 min long. etc. The list just goes on. Paul even went inside a submarine. In the late afternoon we took a walk down Michigan to do a bit of shopping. Alexa got to pick out a doll at the American Doll store.

Saturday was our last day in Chicago and also the coldest. We spent the day at the Lincoln Park Zoo. Luck for us there were buildings we could go inside for warmth. We saw just about any animal you could name, lions, tigers, penguins polar bears, cows, giraffes, monkeys, and many more. Alexa had fun climbing in a huge maze while Paul Andrew took a nice nap. After the zoo, we had lunch and the Grand Lux Cafe on Michigan Avenue. We then went back to the hotel to pick up our luggage and go the airport. Whie waiting for our early evening flight the kids played in the kids area at the Admirals Club.

Published Apr 27, 2009 - 02:48 AM


Airplane Paul was recognized for his work by Beckman Coulter at an awards banquet in Laguna Beach. Wednesday morning I flew out of MIA to meet up with Paul who already in California since Monday. From the airport we went to Seal Beach to have lunch at O’Malley’s. We decided to take the scenic route down to Laguna by driving on the Pacific Coast Highway, and arrived at the Surf and Sand Resort early in the afternoon. We had a beautiful room with a gorgeous view of the Pacific Ocean. That afternoon, we took a walk down to the city center, and then strolled back along the ocean. The houses along the beach are absolutely gorgeous. For dinner we ate at the hotel beachside restaurant, the food and view amazing.

Thursday, we lounged by the pool and took a dip in the cold Pacific Ocean. Actually Paul did. I just went in to about my waist. Thursday evening was the awards banquet at the Montage Resort. The place was beautiful and the food was delicious. Paul and his team got to go up on stage to receive their awards.

Friday was our last day, because Paul had to go to class Saturday morning in Orlando. We had signed up to go on an excursion called Dolphin Safari. At Dana Point, we boarded a catamaran along with 8 other couples. The day was perfect, a flat ocean, and not one cloud in the sky. We were able to see Pacific white sided dolphins, common dolphins, seals and a Minke whale from far away. Friday evening, there was a delicious dinner buffet up on the terrace of the hotel. Unfortunately, Paul and I weren't able to stay long because we had a red eye flight to catch. I got on a flight to Miami and Paul flew to Orlando for his weekend class.
Published Nov 23, 2008 - 11:19 PM


Airplane Two weeks after we returned from California, we once again boarded a plane back to Los Angeles. This time though we took the kids, Paul’s parents and Dan. Paul went for work, the rest of us for pleasure. We left Miami early Friday morning. Thanks to Paul we all got to hang out in the Admirals Club before our plane took off. Paul Andrew behaved great for his first flight, sleeping most of the time. Alexa also behaved pretty good, watching her movies and playing with her seat in business class.

Saturday morning we decided to drive down to San Diego to go to the zoo. The drive form Brea to San Diego was just under 2 hours. Not too bad. The zoo was amazing and huge. We saw all sorts of animals: panda’s, polar bears, giraffes, elephants, monkeys, the list just goes on and on. Since the zoo is so large they have a double-decker bus that takes you to see most of the animals. We decided to ride the bus rather than try to walk the entire zoo. We also took a sky tram to visit the polar bears. Alexa and Paul Andrew enjoyed being so high up. By the end of the day we were exhausted.

Sunday, was our day in the city. We woke up early and went to the La Brea Tar pits. Alexa loved seeing all the bones of the animals that had gotten trapped in the tar pits. From there we went to The Grove to have some lunch in the Farmers Market and walk around and do some window-shopping. While Alexa and Paul Andrew were sleeping in the car, we did some sightseeing. We drove down Sunset Boulevard, Rodeo Drive, the streets of Beverly Hills, and then drove The Pacific Coast Highway up to Malibu. Our day ended with a visit to Shannon and her family in Santa Monica. We had a great barbeque lunch and Alexa had a blast playing in the sandbox.

Monday was back to work for Paul. The rest of us met up with Annjanette, Ashley, Ana Maria and Billy at Irvine Regional Park. We had a picnic, rode a train and saw some horses. We were going to go for a pony ride but they are closed on Mondays.

Tuesday was Alexa’s day. We went to the Disneyland Hotel to have Breakfast at Goofy’s Kitchen. Alexa got to see Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, Chip, Dale and Prince Charming. Paul Andrew loved looking at the characters. He would smile and try to touch them every time they got near him.

By Wednesday we were pretty exhausted. The kids and I stayed at the hotel while Tina and Dan went to ride the rollercoasters at Knott’s Berry Farm. Thursday we visited the Discovery Science Center. It was a nice place, but way too crowded with summer camps.

Friday, Paul was able to work a half-day. In the afternoon we all went to the Long Beach Aquarium. It’s a very nice aquarium. Alexa loved looking at all the tanks and sticking her hands in all the touch tanks. Paul Andrew was happy as usual. He loved looking at all the people and checking out all the tanks.

Our Flight home was early Saturday morning with a layover in Dallas. Our flight was delayed leaving Dallas. Alexa loved spending the extra layover time playing in the McDonalds play area in the terminal. About 2 hours later we were able to board the plane and head home. The kids once again behaved excellent on the airplane. We had a great trip!
Published Sep 19, 2008 - 09:14 PM


Airplane On July 15, Paul and I left Alexa and Paul Andrew with my parents and went on a romantic getaway to California. It wasn't all fun and romance, Paul had to work the first 2 days in LA and then the fun began. Our drive up the coast started early Thursday morning. Our final destination that day was Monterrey. We drove up the Pacific Coast Highway making stops at the Reagan National Library, Santa Barbara, Andersen's restaurant in Buellton for split pea soup (Abu's recommendation) and Solvang to see the Dutch village. It was a beautiful, but long drive down the coast. The road was high and very winding. We drove most of the way with the top of the Mustang down, but the weather got too cold, so we had to put the top up towards the end of the drive. That day we were on the road for 12 hours! We arrived at Monterrey at about 7, and headed to the wharf for dinner, and finally went home to rest. We were pretty tired.

The next morning began with a beautiful 18-mile drive around Pebble Beach. The day was a bit misty and foggy but it cleared up as the morning wore on. After the drive, we walked around downtown Carmel and it was beautiful. Next, we stopped by the Monterrey Aquarium, on Cannery Row. After the aquarium we continued our drive up the Pacific Coast Highway, stopping in Santa Cruz. We enjoyed lunch at the boardwalk. The boardwalk is right on the beach and is an amusement park filled with rollercoasters, merry-go-rounds, carnival games and carnival food. Our next stop was Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. We walked the mile trail seeing the huge redwood trees. From the redwood forest we drove to Silicon Valley. We, of course, made a stop in Cupertino, Apple’s headquarters. Our final destination that day was Napa Valley.

We visited 4 vineyards the next day. We started out in Napa Valley where we visited the Rubicon vineyards, formerly know as the Coppola vineyards, and St Supery. The wines were so good that we bought 2 at Rubicon and 4 at St Supery. We stopped to have lunch at Mustards Grill, which was delicious. We then drove over to Sonoma to visit some more vineyards, St Francis and Ledson. In Sonoma we bought 4 more bottles. That evening we drove to San Francisco for the last 2 nights of our vacation.

While in San Francisco, we visited the Golden Gate Bridge, walked along Fisherman’s Wharf, ate some delicious clam chowder in a breadbowl, and visited Alcatraz. In order to get tickets to Alcatraz we had to make a line at 7 in the morning and the tickets went on sale at 9. It was very cold but we finally got our tickets. Alcatraz Island was pretty impressive. The jail was built high up on the hill and you got to see all the cells, the mess hall, and the officers living area. It was a short time in San Francisco, but we saw everything we wanted. Before we knew it, it was Sunday and we had to fly home to see the kids whom we missed a lot.
Published Sep 19, 2008 - 09:12 PM


Airplane Paul and I went to Paris for a week during Thanksgiving. Paul went for work and I tagged along. Alexa stayed home with her grandparents and played on her newly built swing set. Our trip was made rather interesting because there was a transportation strike, all Metro (subway), train and bus service was shut down. Because there was no train service, the 2 days Paul was working, I was unable to make my way from the hotel, which was by the airport 30 min away from the center of Paris. So for those 2 days I just hung out at the hotel and relaxed.

Our first excursion was to Versailles. We had to rent a car because there was still no train service. It was very interesting driving in France. We got a bit lost but we finally made our way to Versailles. The castle and gardens were absolutely beautiful. We had a delicious lunch in a restaurant by the lake in the garden. After Versailles we decided to drive to the Eiffel Tower. Boy was that a crazy drive. Traffic was a nightmare. Worse than anything I have ever seen in the United States. It took us 2 hours to finally arrive at the Eiffel Tower (according to MapQuest it should have been 20 min). Once there we bought our tickets and made our way to the 1st floor of the Eiffel Tower. Paul didn’t want to go any higher. The view at night was gorgeous. Our driving adventure got even worse when we tried to get back to the hotel that evening and found out the expressway was closed. Thanks to the iPhone and MapQuest we were able to eventually find our way home traveling on side streets. It was pretty scary.

The next day, we moved to our new hotel in the center of Paris, driving into the city one last time. As usual we got a bit lost but stopped at a gas station and I was able to talk to the guy in my excellent French and he gave us directions. Our new hotel, the Hilton, was a few blocks off the Champs Elysee. Thankfully, the strike was winding down and we were able to take the Metro. We visited a lot of the sights. We saw the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triumph, the Louvre, Musee de Orsay, the Catacombs, Les Invalides, the Champs Elysee, Sacre Couer, Notre Dame, St. Chapelle and took a cruise down the Seine River. We enjoyed eating at the braserries, patiserries and having our nightly crepes on the Champs Elysee. We had a great time and I can’t wait to go back. By the way, I forgot to mention, I was 25 weeks pregnant for the trip (Second international trip for him).
Published Feb 24, 2008 - 03:42 AM


Airplane Back in September Paul, Alexa, Katie and I (Paul Andrew also went in the belly) all went to Southern California for a week. We once again stayed in Brea and visited all of our usual sites plus some extras per Katie’s request. Of course we once again went to Disneyland, visited with the family at Huntington Beach and Costa Mesa, went to The Grove, and just hung out at the hotel. Katie also insisted that we go down to Robertsons Boulevard to check out Kitson and The Ivy. She was also dying to try Pinkberry ice cream and we luckily found one at the Farmers Market in The Grove. We had a delicious Mexican meal at The Gardens of Tasco. We had such a good time Katie says she want to go live out in California. Alexa is a born traveler. She behaved excellent on both plane rides. She is truly a frequent flyer.
Published Feb 24, 2008 - 03:24 AM


Airplane Paul, Alexa, my grandparents and I went on a trip to California. Paul had to work in Orange County, California and the rest of us tagged along. Alexa went on her first plane ride and she did great. She slept the first two and a half hours, woke up for about an hour, got a bit fussy, then went back to sleep. We arrived at LAX mid-morning, picked up our rental car, and headed out to the hotel. Once we arrived at the hotel, the room was not ready, so we went to the store to buy Alexa's necessities (diapers formula, food, etc). We were all pretty exhausted after a long day of traveling plus the time difference, so we went to bed early. Alexa had no trouble adjusting to the time change.

Monday morning, Alexa and I dropped off Paul at work and we drove to Disneyland. There, we met up with Ashely, Ana Maria and Aurelio (family members of mine from California). Alexa had a great time in Disneyland riding “It’s a Small World” and “Alice in Wonderland”. She did not enjoy “Winnie the Pooh” and “Buzz Lightyear” though. I think they were too dark and noisy. Once we were done with our day, we went to pick up Paul at work. Boy were we exhausted when we got back to the hotel.

Tuesday was the day Abu and Aba arrived in California. Alexa and I spent the morning at the mall waiting for the abuelos to arrive. They arrived around noon, and we went to have lunch at Friday’s, which was across the street from the hotel. We had a nice relaxing day which was quite a change from the day before.

The next day, Abu and Aba joined us at Disneyland. We took Alexa on “Pirates of the Caribbean” since she loves the song “Yo Ho, Yo Ho, a pirates life for me” She sobbed through most of the ride, because I don’t think she liked the cannons and the darkness. However, she did stop crying when she saw the dogs and heard the song. We once again rode “It’s a Small World” and she still loved it. We called it quits early and went back to the hotel. Later in the afternoon, we picked up Paul and went to have dinner at Red Robin. Alexa did not like the restaurant. They have a man dressed in a robin costume that walks around the restaurant. He and many waiters went to a table near us and loudly sang “Happy Birthday”. After that, all she would do was cry and keep looking at the table to see if the robin would be returning.

Thursday, we decided to take a break from Disneyland, and went to Huntington Beach to Ana Maria’s house. We walked down to the beach, out to the pier, and through town. It was a bit windy and cool, so we didn’t make it all the way down the pier. It was a very nice and relaxing day.

Friday was Paul’s last day of work. Once he was done with work, we picked him up and drove to Disneyland. Abu and Aba stayed behind and went out with Ana Maria instead. We rode “It’s a Small World” 2 times and also saw the parade twice. Alexa loved the parade. Her favorite float was the Lion King. When the rhinoceros came walking towards Alexa, her hand went up in the air and she began to scream. The other rides she really enjoyed were the Jungle Cruise, Casey the Train, and the Tiki Room. In the evening, we met up with Sasha (another cousin) and her boyfriend and rode the race cars. Alexa fell asleep while racing. Poor baby was so tired she slept through the entire fireworks show, and there were some real loud booms and music that I was sure were going to wake her.

We spent Saturday at Huntington Beach at Ana Maria’s house. Paul, Alexa and I went walking along the Pacific. We got adventurous, and got our feet wet along the seashore. The water was a chilly 58 degrees. For lunch, we went to our cousin’s restaurant and spent some time with more family members.

Sunday, we headed to West Hollywood to see the American Girls Doll Store. It is in a beautiful open air shopping mall called The Grove. Alexa left the store with a Bitty Baby and stroller. She had so much fun pushing the stroller in the store we just had to buy it for her. If you have never been to an American Girls Store, it is just amazing. They have a beauty parlor for the dolls, a restaurant for you to eat with your doll, a theater, and a doll hospital. It’s a little girl’s heaven. Then we went to Paul’s heaven, the Apple store. It was a nice one also, two stories. You don’t see those very often. For lunch, we went to a Mexican restaurant called The Gardens. We left there stuffed. It was a 5 or 6 course meal. I can’t remember, all I know it was a lot of food and delicious.

Monday, we once again returned to Disneyland. This time with Abu and Aba. We decided to give Pirates of the Caribbean a second chance. We had to wait to wait in line for about an hour, but it was worth it. Alexa really enjoyed it this time; she was constantly looking around to see what was coming next. We once again went on “It’s a Small World” and saw the parade yet again. “Pinnochio” and “Dumbo” were the new rides for the day. Both were a hit. Paul and I also went on Indiana Jones while the abuelos and Alexa rode the Jungle Cruise. We had lunch at Goofy’s Kitchen. It is a buffet where the characters come to your table and say hi. Alexa got to see the Mad Hatter, touch Dale’s nose, play with Goofy’s whiskers, and stare at Snow White. She loved to see the characters, and was not scared one bit. In the afternoon, we said our final goodbye to Disneyland.

Tuesday, it was time to return home. Luckily we were able to switch to the earlier flight that Abu and Aba were on. Once again, Alexa behaved great on the plane. She had an excellent first vacation.


Published Apr 22, 2007 - 04:08 AM



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