Saturday, March 25, 2006

Happy Birthday Mom!

Mom turned another year older today! Here she is blowing out her candles surrounded by lovely roses and some cards and a check from me. Ha!

Of course, there has to be one with the two of us!

Happy Birthday Mom!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Happy 30th Birthday L!

Here's one of my best friends celebrating her 30th. Her husband, The Chemist, plus 12 close friends celebrated L's (aka "Goober") birthday in elegant style at a Boston lounge and restaurant. With the exception of her elder sister who could not attend, the other four women in her bridal party were there. So we're talkin' just close friends folks.

To the left, you'll see Goober shimmy-ing in one of her gifts, a new blue bathrobe. Doesn't she just look ssssexxy in that bad boy!?!? The Chemist seems to thinks so.

On the right is the birthday gal between me and The Artistic One, who is donning her typical laugh-out-loud-laugh. Don't we look awesome for a bunch of 30-year-olds?

Hey wait, I'm not 30 yet! Haaa!!! I'm the baby in this pic...

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The Travel Itch

All this talk of traveling has made me itching to get on a plane. So when this happpens, I just look back at some of the amazing places I've been:

Me watching the sun set at the Delicate Arch.
Arches National Park, Utah (2001)

This statue, like many Incan artifiacts originally intended for display was completely covered with a thin, gold plate. When the Spaniards arrived, they melted all the gold, kept it for themselves, and exorcised the object by chopping off its nose, and branding a cross by one of its ears.

Tiwanaku, Bolivia

Iguazu Falls, Argentina (2003)
Me on a ski lift on the Argentinian side of the Andes (2003)

Isla del Sol y Lago Titicaca, Bolivia/Peru (2003)
Hiking the top rim of Isla del Sol,
the island in which the sun was birthed
according to Incan mythology.

Day 1 of the Inca Trail, Peru (2003). This picture may help you understand why the Incas called this place "The Sacred Valley". I look at this photo and ask myself, "How can you NOT believe in a God?"

Day 4 of the Inca Trail. Arrival at Machu Picchu.

Chillin' on the beach in Zanzibar (2004).

For more pics, check out my flickr album.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

It won't be Ghana this year

Well folks, it looks like Ghana isn't happening this year.

Based on my work demands, the only month that I can get away is July. And Ghana in July is HIGH season. This means that a round trip ticket from JFK to Accra is $1700! I almost fainted. I have never spent so much money on a plane ticket, not even to the Philippines.

If The Roommate remained, I would've saved the money and visited my friend E, who is in Accra on a fellowship till August (If I go, it would be the 3rd continent E & I would spend time in. We met on the Inca Trail in Peru). But now that The Roommate is leaving on April 1st, my typical monthly savings will go to rent. So I really can't pull off a $1700 ticket.

This situation leaves me with two options:

  • Visit someone I know and stay in free lodging
  • Visit someplace closer to home (read: Central America)
If I were to go to Central America, it would have to be Costa Rica. Why? There is so much to do in Costa Rica: the beaches, the rainforest and jungle, the biodiversity, the really good infrastructure. What else can you ask for in a country? And a trip to Costa Rica would not be complete without learning how to SURF.

Which then got me thinking about my wanting to try something new. And since I've always wanted to learn how to surf, maybe now is a good time to learn. If I end up hating it or not able to do it, at least I would've tried it. But a 3 day, all-inclusive surf camp in Costa Rica looks like it'll cost me $800. Yikes! I'll have to use my frequent flier miles to get there and really go budget traveling. As of right now, I do not have a travel companion. Even though I have no problems traveling alone, it would probably be better and cheaper to travel with someone.

This then led me to thinking about my first option which is to visit my uncle and his family living in Maui. Maui!!! Apparently, the most beautiful of all the islands of Hawaii and the island which my uncle has been inviting me to visit for the last several years. I could stay with them and take surfing lessons too.

Thinking thinking. Will be thinking about this for a little bit. If you have any suggestions, I would welcome them.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Re-living New Wave Music: Depeche Mode

Yeah! I've got tickets to see them at the Tommy Hilfiger Center in Jones Beach this May!!! I'm soooo excited. Look, you do not understand. I was not allowed out of the house when I was a teenager. Only tasted real freedom when I left for college. So I led a real boring HS existence, which is why I always felt like I missed out on what everyone else did: no concerts, no sleepovers, no late night outings for JoJo.

Seeing bands like Erasure, Depeche Mode (Who's next, the Pet Shop Boys or OMD? Geez, I remember jr hs classmate, PY, had all the band names etched on the front flap of what would be the progenitor of the messenger bag.) in concert is merely making up for lost time!! Because I couldn't do it when I was 13!!! I've waited sooo long...17 years. The wait is well worth it. :) The first single off their album, "Precious", is old-skool DM!! If you've heard it, you would know without a doubt it was them.

*sigh* Listening to their music reminds me of the days when my high hair was stiff from hairspray and when the only color in my wardrobe was black. I love the 80s!!!