Magens Bay --San Thomas

Saturday, July 14, 2012

The train of our lives …

The very first time I rode on a train was with my late father where we traveled on an overnight train from our home town to where the high school that I went to. It was weird but interesting experience. We were all going to some destinations, some were the same, some were different. Some folks joined us from one of the stops and some from other stops. In fact people came and went  at some junctions at some points. Funny thing was they were all strangers from all over the place, but yet we share one thing in common –we had a destination in mind. 

Our lives are just like the train that I took, we made many stops along our lives. In some stops, we met the most meaningful people in our lives and we seemed to share the ride of the lifetime together. At different stops, we met some people that we wish we had never met, some had disappeared into the dust, some managed to stick around like flies, some left behind such huge imprints in our lives. Also in this very train of life, we manage to meet our loved ones and as we journey thru the life, we end up sharing one destination in mind.

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That first train that I took with my father has marked the beginning of my own journey toward my own life. He was there to accompany me to my first destination in life –first stop in my journey. Ever since, I have been to many destinations around the world and have met many wonderful people in my life.

At the same time, I have taken many of you with me on my train and we have made many stops visiting some life events that I had encountered, visiting some lessons that I have learned, and visiting the places that I have been. And this train has been running pretty much non-stop. It definitely has been a meaningful ride and I hope you enjoy each ride with me.

Today, my train of life would stop for a bit as it needs its maintenance time. I would return soon once my train is ready to move again. Meanwhile, please don’t forget to stop by now and then visiting the 189 stops that this train has made so far under “Blogs since October 11th 2011.”

Of course, when this train returns, it will sound its horn and you would surely know.

See you at the next stop,
Journey of Life

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Journey into Canadian Rockies and Glacier Park ...

My girls learned about the Canadian Rockies during their elementary school and my older one wanted to do a cruise. So, after doing much research, I had come across a tour company, Caravan, traveling to 'Canadian Rockies and Glacier Park."  Afterward,  we flew from Calgary to Vancouver to visit our high school friends and boarded on a cruise to Alaska. ( From Alaska, we flew to Seattle, WA then drove to Oregon.

Today, I am going to take to visit the Canadian Rockies and Glacier Park! --Normally we would travel on Fridays but this Friday, I have one special blog in mind so please come back and check my blog out. For now sit back and enjoy this journey!

Once we arrived at the Calgary airport, Caravan has arranged a shuttle to take us to our hotel at Hilton Garden Inn. We took the taxi to the downtown and stroll around. It was quite a city!

Then our journey start on visiting the Waterton Lakes National Park. We were in awe, Canadian lakes are so clear, literally we were able to see their reflections on the water.

Then we crossed the border back to Montana, US territory and visited the Glacier National Park. .

 And yes, we rode on this world famous, 'Red Jammer!"

Originally built and designed specifically for sightseeing in the National Park System of the United States of America, these 25-foot-long vintage touring coaches were fully restored in 2000 by the Ford Motor Company and are the only remaining buses of their kind in operation today.

Then we arrive at our unforgettable site, Banff National Park ...

You are kidding me, of course we rode on the Bow River Float for sightseeing. Afterward, we went to the Moraine Lake. Is there a word beyond gorgeous?

And since were there, we wouldn't miss Jasper, a town must visit --visiting Canadian Rockies without visiting Lake Louise is like we were never there! And of course, you wouldn't want to miss the totem pole from Lake Louise :-)

Journey of Life
Totem Pole from Lake Louse

And definitely, Maligne Lake!

Enjoy a scenic morning drive to glacier-fed Maligne Lake, 14 miles long and ringed by dramatic snow-capped peaks.
We stayed in Jasper and were excited to see this Elk, so we asked our girl to pose near this very Elk ...

Journey of Life

Afterward, the elk was agitated and started to stomp and OMG. we ran as fast as as we could! A good lesson to learn --respect someone's space and --yes, definitely the animals'!

Just when you think you have forgotten the ancient time... I am taking you back to the Ice Age --well, not quite, just a glimpse of what the Ice Age has left behind. And who can resist the temptation of ice cold water --wait! Not just any ice cold water --perhaps the eternal water!

Ladies and Gentlemen, here is the "Columbia Icefield’s Athabasca Glacier!"

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Drinking the eternal water --perhaps trying to preserve my youthfulness!

Journey of Life
We were not skating ... trying not to fall into the cracked ice field...

And that concluded our journey for today and hope you enjoy the scenic photos.

Until next stop,

Journey of Life

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Little Things in Life ...

The other night, my girl wanted an omelet  and no one seemed to be available to cook for her. Then she got up and decided to head to kitchen and wanted to cook one for herself. I was a bit worry since she never cooks except in her cooking class, so I looked at my hubby. He said, “I wish I could, but I am really tired.” I nodded signifying that I understood how he felt, then I tried to convince my girl to wink it out and eat something practical –like cereal or something. She insisted then I went to the kitchen with her, reluctantly but said, “Okay, mommy would do it.”

I couldn’t stand looking at my girl cooking by herself, even I haven’t been cooking for 16 years, I have decided to do it. Then unexpectedly, my hubby got up and walked into the kitchen and told me that he would do it. – I was stunned and wondered, “Is that how love supposed to be?”  Regardless how I felt about cooking, I would have done it for my girl. Regardless how tired my hubby was, he did it for me simply he knows that I don’t enjoy cooking.  

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Sometimes we look for big signs or big gifts to signify how love supposed to be. And sometimes we take those little gestures that our love ones do for us for granted and often overlooked. If we pause for a moment to look at and feel the sincerity of those little gestures and only then we could sense how those little things that matter. And if we take a moment to enjoy the little things in life, we would realize that they make our life truly fulfilled!

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 Hope you enjoy this stop visiting the little things in life!

Until next stop,

Journey of Life

Sunday, July 8, 2012

The most unforgettable gift in my life …

[Disclaimer: Sandra has a blog hop for writers’ workshop that I am participating in ( and the following is the third fictions that I have ever written so far. If you have missed my very fist one, co-authored with my girl, check that out!  
I must say the following is not a fiction at all--in fact this is one of the most unforgettable moments in my life. Now sit back and enjoy!]

He looked very fragile. His eyes drooped heavily and looked like he was in great pain. But still, his smile was very vivid and soothing. He was about fifty one years old, six feet tall, with black hair, brown eyes, a tall nose and his facial was bit pale. He dressed in coffee-colored shirt with black pants.Sitting across from me, beside a dining table was my father.

For whatever reason it may be, it was just the two of us and I liked it that way. He and I, spending a special moment together. As much as I enjoyed that moment, I was lost for words. I wanted to say a lot of things to him or perhaps chat with him like I used to. My mind was struggling to find a topic to discuss or perhaps some comforting words to him, but, again, I was met with dead end.

“Are you ready and packed?” He broke the silence. 
I looked at him intensely and replied, “Yes, father.”
“I want you to know that there is nothing that I can give but an opportunity to study abroad to broaden your knowledge.” He continued with his even voice, but I could tell it was tightly controlled.
Struggling to hold in my tears and I managed, “Yeah …”
“Once you are successful, I want you to take care of your siblings. Is that okay with you?” He was on the roll.
“Um … of course!” Yet again, I coughed up a couple words before finding myself running toward the kitchen. I couldn’t control my rolling tears. They just kept rolling down and they wouldn’t even listen to me. I kept asking them to stop and go way, but still they stuck around like magnets.

After a moment that seemed like an eternity and simply a heartbeat at the same time, I finally walked back to the dining room and sat down—again, across from him. I felt like he was looking right into my heart as he went on talking like no time had lapsed between when our last words were exchanged. 

“Even though, I can’t leave you much wealth in money, knowledge in itself is a wealth. If you study well,  knowledge can help you build on your own wealth. Money would be gone in no time if we are not managing it well, but knowledge that you gain will accompany you and will open up many avenues in your life and perhaps bring you much more rewards other than money.”

I nodded in silence, again struggling to block the gush of water that was about to pour again from my eyes. He seemed not to know that I was struggling inside or perhaps he chose to ignore that and went on, “Once you have the knowledge, you could use it anyway you want. And that would be your foundation to your life that you can build upon. Knowing you, I know that you would be successful someday. I hope, you don’t forget to look back and take your siblings’ hands with you. And pass on this gift that I have given you.”

I nodded again and this time, I let out a bit of my trembling voice, “I would father. I would!”

That was it, the last dine that we shared and one of the most unforgettable moments in my life. I took his advice and absorbed as much knowledge as I could and passed it on. I did! I lent my hands to all of my siblings—younger and older. And like me, they are also doing well. This gift didn’t stop there, I am passing it on to my girls as well.

My father had passed on to another world when he turned fifty two, six months after our last encountered and I was not there to witness it. It had been years since he had disappeared from this world, but somehow he is always there in my heart, and perhaps he is watching me from there. I have treasured the gift that he had given to me. I never stop learning. Everywhere I go, be it my girls’ field trips, be it the vacation visiting museum, archeology sites, I am always there in the front, listening intensely. As one of my co-workers noted, “One of the things that I admire about you is your spirit of learning!” Today, my father’s gift has been  rooted in my family and I know it would be passed on to many more generations. 

I hope you enjoy this little stop looking into one of the most unforgettable moments in my life --the time when I received the most unforgettable gift: knowledge.

Journey of Life

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Voyage of Glaciers with Princess cruise line

Voyage to Alaska was our first family cruise (second to both of us) and it was definitely one of the most fabulous cruises that we have so far. The Alaska beauty is definitely unrivaled! The glacier was so peaceful and pleasing to the eyes as we couldn't stop staring at them. We had a great time strolling along the streets in Juneau and my husband bought me a $1000 coat which made from fox tail! A fine piece, indeed!. Visiting the rain-deer, and feeding them were definitely an unforgettable experience for our family. Riding on the Iditarod race dogs was a dream came true.  Did I mention that we spotted a black bear? --The Park ranger had to chase all of us away since the black bear was approaching, and it was a lifetime experience!

Here are our port of calls:

Vancouver, British Columbia

We arrived Vancouver from Calgary to visit childhood friends of ours and they welcomed us with their open arms and let us stay at their fabulous home. Then they took us to visit the Stanley Park, and Vancouver lookout. We were fed with yummy Cambodian food (I want it now :-)) and home cooked meals which were heavenly good!

Stanley Park

Stanley Park is a 404.9 hectare urban park bordering downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It was opened in 1888 by David Oppenheimer in the name of Lord Stanley of Preston, the Governor-General of Canada --Wikipedia
 Vancouver Lookout

Offers 360-degree views of the harbour, mountains and downtown.

 China Town

A visit to Vancouver would not be complete without a visit to the Victoria Island.

Of course, Burtchart Garden is a must visit in Victoria Island

Vancouver was where our voyage to the Glaciers started, and time for a farewell with our beloved friends who managed to get us to the port in no time as I wrongly remembered the time. And we almost didn't make it if it wasn't for our friend's utmost help. Alaska, here we come!

Ketchikan, Alaska

I won't  be talking about the cruise experience itself, if you want to know more, please refer to my previous post on Why cruise line matter Instead, I am taking you all straight to the excursion that we took :-) --Rainforest Wildlife Sanctuary Nature Walk. The main attraction is feeding the reindeer!

Juneau, Alaska

I love Juneau! Why?! My coat, of course :-)

We also joined the Dog-Sled Summer Camp to experience riding on a dog-sled. I must say, it was too short of a ride but definitely fun one!

Skagway, Alaska

During our stop here, we decided to hop on an excursion to visit the Yukon and the suspension bridge. 

And the bonus visit

Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska (Scenic Cruising)

 College Fjord, Alaska (Scenic Cruising)

 And here is one of my favorite photos of the day ...

Hope you enjoy this little getaway and have a nice weekend!

Until next stop,
 Journey of Life

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Eraser …

As I picked up an eraser the other night and examined it. I couldn’t help it and my memory traveled back to the times when I was much younger. Writing was so much fun using my favorite pencil. And I could write and write without worrying about the mistakes that I would make. Why? I had an eraser that would just erase pretty much anything that I wrote. The best of all, it didn’t leave much mark behind. Well, depending on how hard my strokes were. Then the whole thing became a bit complicated when I had to use pens. I love pens, especially those inky pen where you need to refill the ink and my! My handwriting was just much more beautiful with those pens. With one caveat, once those inks were on the paper, they were there permanently unless you use wipe-out—and wipe-out leaves some mark behind.

Our lives are like those papers that were written either in pencils or pens.. Some memories that were imprinted on our lives were as light as the pencil marks. When the time come, they were just as easy to be erased using our ‘memory eraser’ and pretty much left with nothing. However, some memories were engraved quite deep as if they were written using those inky pens. Even if we found some ‘memory-wipe-out,’ they would leave behind some marks and each time when we look at the mark, we were reminded that there were once where the deep memories lied.

Unfortunately like the papers, our lives are pretty subject to the writers. But, as a writer, we can choose wisely on what to write on the paper and perhaps we can choose wisely what memory to write in our lives. Now the question is, what are you thinking to write next time?

Until next stop,
Journey of Life

Monday, July 2, 2012

I was once asked ...

I was once asked a question by a boy whose father smokes. He said, "My father asked, 'you will die, I will die. What difference will it be if I smoke or not?'"

Well what is the point of life? Yes. You will die and I will die. Everyone will die in the end. If you think of life in that way, then yes there is no difference whether or not your father dies. If life to your father is of such little value, then mind you, ask him why is he still living?

What is important is how you live and who or what you live for. Many people have dreams, dreams for the future, those dreams are the very anchors that people hold on to. Even in the hardest times, if you have a dream you can look ahead to that. You can hold on to that line, and one day the harder you pull, the harder you work, you can pull yourself there, to your dream. However, smoking will destroy dreams. Smoking will slowly snip away at that line that connects you to your dream. Dreams are so fragile things, yet they have the ability to motivate people. Protect your dreams, value your own life, that is why you should not smoke.

I have a question to ask you: Why be dependent on nicotine?

Many teenagers like to be independent from their parents, isn't smoking nothing but dependence on nicotine?

Independence. Independence is a word that provides such strong feeling. Countries fight, people die, for this very idea of being independent. If people care so much for independence, then to all of you who defend smoking, please value you own lives and your own dreams. Those who smoke are enslaved by the tobacco companies and enslaved by nicotine. Don't let tobacco take your dreams away. Together, as a world, we can stop smoking.

Disclaimer: Written by a teenager girl whose personal goal is to educate teenagers and children all over the world on the harm of smoking and second hands smoking. Please support her by clicking on her fan page and 'Like' it!

and here is her website:  and what she has to say:

"Smoking is a major issue prevalent around the world, but the magnitude is much greater in Indonesia, the home of the smoking baby and the "heavenly smoke", which as been claimed to cure sicknesses and diseases. Such a major problem resides in the very heart of Indonesia, for it has long lodged in the culture. To make a change as large as this, I plan to start with the children, the next generation of the Indonesian people. As an American I am fortunate enough to have access to many resources and to have been educated about smoking. I want to bring what I have to the people of Indonesia, I hope that by raising awareness in different places, I can make a difference. Last summer, August 2011, I traveled to Malang and Jakarta, Indonesia and visited four schools.This was the summer in which I gave my presentation on the dangers of smoking and secondhand smoke to over 2,000 teenagers and adults. I am glad that it was well received and I will continue to give my presentation in order to reach out to more children and teenagers in Indonesia. "