Sunday, September 15, 2013

Journey to NYC day 4 & 5

On our fourth day, I woke up to this breath taking view from our hotel and took a second to reflect on what life must be like here in NY. Nagmuni-muni in tagalog. haha. Then got kilig and squealed "Hello Man'hatn"!!! 

From Manhattan, my bff Mike and I hopped on a subway and went to Brooklyn. 

After walking through the bridge, we headed off to another tourist spot, Ground Zero. It was just so heart breaking to be here around the memorial date of 9/11. 

For late lunch, we went to another recommendation restaurant from Patty, The Spotted Pig in Greenwich St. As the New Yorker claims, this is a place where normal people to to feel like celebrities and celebrities go to feel like normal people. We did spot some pigs but we were hoping to spot some celebrities too and unfortunately, we failed. hehe. This was my last meal with my bff before he went back to LA. Hope to see you again and thanks for being my travel buddy and my solicited photographer! hehe. 

At National Public Library.

Met friends from Singles for Christ for dinner and they took me to Serendipity! Another food trip highlight for me. We had their famous must-try Frozen Hot Chocolate!

Had a short tram/cable car trip to Roosevelt Island.

For my last day and last meal in NY, the newlyweds and Elle took me to Jollibee and Red Ribbon in Queens which rounded off my trip. I love you guys and I love New York! This city definitely feels like home. See you next time, Big Apple! :)


Journey to NYC Day 3

The condo that we booked was owned by a Korean guy right smack in the middle of K-town! For brunch, Sheila and I had Bonchon chicken cause we don't have this yet in Atlanta while Mike stepped out and came back with a box of Halal cause there's none like this in LA. He loves it and had been eating Lamb Halal from food carts everyday since day 1. haha.   

Thank you to Sheila's friends who lives in NY and they took us to my dreamland. Laduree french macaroons, bon jour! 

Central park proved that NY is not plainly a concrete jungle. We had the perfect weather to stroll along this iconic movie public park and wished that I was HHWWing (holding hands while walking) with my dear hubby. hehe. 

If LA has In N Out, NY has their Shake Shack! This is a must go to burger place in the city. I had the Shack burger and cheese fries and it was so good! However, Farm burger in Atlanta is still on my no.1 list. Love your own right? hehe

While we were digesting that calorific meal, we wandered through Fifth Avenue, the most expensive shopping street in the world! One of the stores that captured my attention was Tiffany. It reminded me of my fave movie, Breakfast at Tiffany's. I stayed true to my goal and window shopped only. hahaha. 

Thanks to Mike's friend from LA, Allan, who requested to buy him some Potatochip Chocolate and that's how I found this new baby. We were lucky that the sales lady was a Filipina and she let us taste test an array of chocolates to our hearts' content. Royce's originated in Japan and in the US, it's only available in NY. 

For dinner, I recommended Joe's Shanghai in Chinatown. The first time I went here was on 2009 with my husband and we ate here out of curiosity cause of the long cue. Most people come here just to eat their famous pork and shrimp soup dumpling (xiao long bao) and that's what we ordered too. After my first dumpling, it changed my life forever. haha. 

After dinner, Mike pleaded that we go to McGee's Pub. It's the bar where How I Met Your Mother TV series got their bar set concept.  

For our third night, an angel came down from heaven and gave us free 2 nights stay at Marriott Residence in by Time Square! The angel is from Atlanta who leads Singles for Christ and had to travel coincidentally to NY for work. Thanks a bunch Sandra! :)


Saturday, September 14, 2013

Journey to NYC Day 1 & 2

Hello there everyone! I'm so excited to blog about my incredible adventure to the Big Apple to attend one of my best friend's wedding. My first travel to New York was with my husband when we were still dating 4 years ago. With us was my bff, Ate Beng, my very first girl friend and household leader in Atlanta. She went to NY to visit Chris, the guy whom she met in a Singles for Christ conference in California in 2008. On 2009, they became officially together and after 4 years of dating, discernment, and prayers they finally tied the knot! I had a very memorable time and I hope you let me share it with you.   

I flew out Saturday morning and very so timely, I found a Manhattan wedding chick flick in the plane called Bride Wars. It's about two best friends who wanted to get married ever since they were little girls in a hotel called the Plaza in Manhattan but got into some major fight because of a conflict in their wedding dates. The brides in this movie were the epitome of a 'bridezilla', it's scary. It's sad that they put a lot of their efforts and frustrations in having a perfect wedding and missed on important things in life like nurturing their relationships with their future husbands. Wedding planning is blood and sweat and so can sometimes either make or break a couple. I'm glad to hear that my bff was a very relaxed bride like me. hehe. We both are very blessed to have very good and godly men. They're also lucky to have a lot of friends and family who lovingly and willingly helped them achieve a very elegant but simple, love-filled and heartwarming wedding. 

The day before their wedding, as soon as I landed in the hustling city of Manhattan, I attended an anticipated mass at Church of St. Francis of Assisi with my other two bff's Myk and Sheila and prayed for a safe and meaningful vacation. 
Chris and Ate Beng invited us to attend their rehearsal dinner held in an authentic NYC pizza place called Grimaldi's. I loved that their pizzas were thinly sliced so I was able to fit 2 big slices in my tummy. I also loved their espresso gelato truffle! Haaay I was hoping that my dress would still fit me after that super delizioso dinner.hehe. After that, we had some bonding time over karaoke with Singles for Christ New York. Blessed to meet new friends and to have mingled with these awesome people.
Here's our home for the weekend that we booked via We were very satisfied and impressed with this affordable and cute condo centrally located in Midtown Manhattan. I recommend for those of you who travel on a budget. 
Most of what was on my itinerary were recommended by Patty Laurel, a Filipina blogger/jet-setter (I can't believe she replied to my email! kilig fan moment right there.hehe). Thank you Patty! 

Early Sunday morning, we went for brunch to a very cute and very native market place a few blocks away from our condo, Chelsea Market. Sheila and I felt for a second that we were real New Yorkers and not tourists. haha. I fell in love this place, I can live here! lol 
They had the biggest Anthropologie store I had ever seen!!! I was day dreaming of an Anthropologie inspired house while I was window shopping. hehe. I told myself that my extra luggage room was only meant for food pasalubong and my money was only for food tripping so I had to control myself from shopping. It was an absolute torture!
Right outside Chelsea Market was The Highline. A public park elevated above the streets on Manhattan's west side. 
In the afternoon was Chris and Ate Beng's wedding ceremony held at St. John the Baptist (Padre Pio) few blocks away again from our condo (happy with how convenient our place was!). It was a very solemn and spirit filled wedding centered in the presence of Christ. I am sure it was a dream come true for my dear friend to have walked down the aisle towards her groom and towards Jesus on the cross. I'm amazed on how much she's patiently waited for the right guy to find her. She's a testimony that true love waits and that it is possible to set high standards in looking for our future husband and have faith in God that He will grant them. I'm glad she didn't settle for anything less than she deserved.  

In the evening was their reception held in Pennsylvania 6 few steps away from the church. We had the bar all for ourselves and partied the night away. Congrats again Mr. and Mrs. Metzger! 
And because the city never sleeps, the tourists barely get sleep too! After the wedding, we still had the energy and went sight seeing and bustled through the glittering lights of the concrete jungle. We walked to Grand Central where I imitated Serena walking down the stairs (Gossip Girl.haha). Then we dashed towards the hypnotizing lights of Time Square. Ang ganda! After all the walking, we stopped for hotdogs sold in street carts then hailed a cab and finally hit the sack. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Happiest Place on Earth!

The 4 J's: Jovy, Jonah, Joselle, and Joyce :)
Finally, I am happy to be back in blogland! Debbie downer hung out in my mind and kept my mood down for a while. But she just left for good and now I am inspired to write again! The past few weeks have been an emotional roller coaster for me. As some of you may know or may have heard, the reunion my husband and I anticipated and looked forward to was obstructed and had to be delayed. It did take its toll on both of us. I felt so bad for him for what he had to go through. When you're married, you feel every ounce of pain your spouse feels. It's like your hearts pump together as one even if you are miles apart. However, by the grace of God, we have recovered quickly from such a heart breaking misfortune. Although we unfailingly believe that God's plan for us are always good and He makes all things work together for good. So the trials and disappointments that come our way, as bad as it may seem, could be for our good, could not be so bad after all.  Of course, we won't see it yet now, but later, it will all make sense. Just keep the faith and be positive!

I would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to the people who lifted our spirits up and for all of your encouraging and kind words especially from our families, dear friends, my CFC family, Ligaya ng Panginoon, and my coworkers who all felt our pain from this nightmare. Much love from my husband and I to all of you! Mwah!

No matter how much emo time I'd like to indulge myself upon because of the heart breaking circumstance, I just found it impossible for me to do. God may have allowed for me to go through such a trial but He also allowed so much blessings to rain down on me and I cannot complain. I guess when the Holy Spirit dwells within you, you see blessings shine so brightly that it leaves no room for negative thoughts. I'm so blessed and just thankful for the opportunity to be reunited and to spend some precious quality time with my older sister, Ate Joyce before she goes back to the motherland. 

Last week, we wandered and took a road trip to Disney World, the happiest place on earth, with our two younger sissies. It was indeed the happiest place and it took all my predicaments away as we felt like princesses in our magical kingdom. Originally, this trip was intentionally planned for my sister 'cause she had never been here but little did I know that it was also for me. My second visit to Disney surprisingly felt like the first time again. It was a much needed trip for myself! I was so thankful for the company of my jolly and crazy sistahs! We had so much fun on the road, singing, laughing, reminiscing the good 'ole days, and catching up, thus I felt not the tedious drive. What would I do without them? 

Here are photos of us, forever Disney babies in Disney World.    

Day 1: 7 hour drive to Orlando and Downtown Disney

Day 2: Disney's Hollywood Studios
My Ate's favorites were the live shows!
Day 3: Drove home sweet home and passed by an outlet store.
Day 4: Mass at St. Benedict Catholic Church with mama-mia!
Now, my sister is back home in the Philippines and we miss her already! See you next time Ate! Love you! 

And guess what. Another blessing just dropped from the heavens to our mailbox yesterday! The schedule of my naturalization oath ceremony already came in the mail. Things can start to move forward now. Hang in there my love and we'll be reunited real soon! For with God, nothing is impossible! Thank you Lord for the strength and the wisdom!