Posted by: kimgust | January 2, 2010

Our Ubud Palace



Nick’s Pension, originally uploaded by Eyefly.

$40 goes a long way in Bali.

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Posted by: taratravels | January 2, 2010

How to Avoid Overweight Luggage Fees

When we left El Nido, Philippines, we went straight to the international airport in Manila where we met up with my college friend, mfet, and his girlfriend.  He found us another deal, as only he could which allowed us to travel to Bangkok for $45 each on Cebu Pacific Airways.

The funniest part of the trip was watching the pair try to figure out how to avoid paying over $400 in fees because they went shopping!!!  Sweet talking didn’t quite help.  Asking for a Christmas favor only helped a little.  My favorite: sneaking heavy items back into the luggage, after they weighed it, didn’t help (they were caught!)

So, here’s what happened:

Marvin and April started wearing a lot more clothing.  Instead of flipflops, sneakers (that’s heavy).  And wearing a few more layers and jackets just for the flight isn’t too much to ask.   Redistributing weight between the luggage was crucial.  Making Marvin’s backpack 20 lbs instead of 5  probably helped.  The winner was bringing an empty duffle bag which I then added as my hand carry. In the end, they only paid $50.  Allelujah.

Posted by: taratravels | December 30, 2009

Wedding Recap

Its been a month since we got married in El Nido, Palawan. When we invited our friends and family to “fly away to paradise,” it didn’t really dawn on us that so many of our guests would feel the same magic that we felt. Perhaps it was the limestone cliffs that reminded us how small we are and how beautiful nature is, perhaps it was the fact that the staff anticipated our every need before we even had a chance to express it, or perhaps we were just happy to celebrate this next phase in our life so everything seemed even more special.

A few highlights:

  1. Traveling with our grandparents. Kim’s grandfather and my maternal grandparents, all over 80 years old, traveled to El Nido without complaint and made sure to be a part of our special day. We only hope that we will have the same strength and commitment they have for our family. After watching Kim’s grandfather, I realized where he gets his energy.
  2. White flags. When Kim saw those 4 white flags waving in the wind as he approached our private island, he felt like he was in a movie set. I was on the other side of the island being covered in beach towels so that no one would see me before I walked down the aisle.
  3. My cousin’s daughter. Isabella is her name and she came up to me during breakfast, with her sweet voice wishing me a “Happy Wedding Day.”
  4. Dancing with my husband to Michael Jackson’s “Can’t Stop Loving You.”Not many people know this but we practiced for 30 minutes tops and haven’t really danced as a couple much.  We wanted to give honor to the King of Pop so we broke out some MJ moves and it turned out ok 🙂
  5. Our luxurious room. The Deluxe Seaview Room upgrade at Miniloc Island was amazing!  Kim had his rain shower and I loved the space and high ceilings.
  6. School of Fish. Seeing what looked like a tornado of THOUSANDS of fish while snorkeling was unbelievable. I kept yelling “oh my god!!! oh my god!!!” Apparently, you can see this while diving but its rare to see when snorkeling, especially only a few meters from a resort.
  7. Ceremony Glitches. As a planner, I knew we should have rehearsed the wedding more but things happen, right?  In the end, even though I had a feeling our ceremony would have some glitches, all that mattered was that Kim and I were together, surrounded by people who loved us.

Our list probably could be longer but I’ll leave you with pictures:
Wedding Photos

The first 15 pages are the best photos…enjoy!

Posted by: taratravels | June 12, 2009

Deal of the Day – Hollywood Bowl

When you live in Los Angeles, its hard to think of public transportation as your first choice because rarely does it work in your favor if you value time or convenience.  Now that I life in SF, I’m always looking for the “alternative” way.

Recently I discovered that there are 14 Park & Ride lots that can take you Round-Trip to see the Hollywood Bowl throughout Southern California.  It’s $5/person RT compared to the $14 parking fee in the nearest lot to the Bowl.  When you factor in gas, time and traffic, the Park & Ride seems like the best option!  I recently booked this for my parents and know that they will enjoy not having to drive back after a great concert.  Check out the link below and it will tell you what time and lot to go to, in order to make your show:

Park & Ride for Bowl Events

Posted by: taratravels | February 25, 2009

Confessions of a WeddingGownAholic

I picked up the paper and saw that the movie “Confessions of a Shopaholic” is running in the theatres and decided to make a confession of my own. As a woman who honestly never dreamed of her wedding (even after all the weddings she’s been to), and especially not the gown, I absolutely LOVE trying on dresses. This is my reasoning: if I’m dropping over a few hundred dollars for a dress that is worn for only a couple of hours, then damnit, I better enjoy the experience of shopping for one. So, I book my appointments or show up spontaneously, try on a few dresses with veils to feel beautiful, possibly fib about my interest in them, do the walk and turn…accompanied with some ooohs and aaaahs, and then move on. Is this horrible?

I think I’ve narrowed down my choices to three, which consistently remain my favorite, but until I order “the one”, maybe I’ll try on a few more 😉

SIDE NOTE – does anyone else read the series “Shopaholic” because I absolutely find it hilarious how she can justify every expense.

Posted by: taratravels | February 24, 2009

San Francisco — where cafes and bars abound

Its a shame that its taken me over a year to pick up where I last left off.  Since my best friend’s wedding, I fell in love, got engaged and moved to Bay Area with my fiance…needless to say…my next “journey” starts in San Francisco.

We bought a starter home in the heart of the Mission where we’re surrounded by bars, cafes and restaurants that extend past the standard taqueria to offer everything from vegetarian Japanese cuisine to Ethiopian to Colombian.

This is the newest bar to open up, about 100 steps from our home:  Mini Wine Bar

The price for any flute is $8 and the entire place fits up to 12 people.  I’m a little claustrophobic but if anyone else has tried it, let me know if you love it or hate it!

Posted by: taratravels | October 29, 2007

Mian’s Pre Wedding Festivities

One of my dearest friends in the whole wide world is getting married next Sunday and the whole thing is pretty last minute…but for the fun of it, I wanted to share a bit of the pre-wedding festivities… Vodpod videos no longer available.

Mian’s video

Posted by: taratravels | September 5, 2007

Point Reyes Excursion

I recently had a weekend getaway in Point Reyes which was pretty fantastic, just because its so close to the Bay Area but feels like a world away.  My friend and I stayed in Olema which sits right on the San Andreas fault and decided to take some easy hikes.  Soon enough, I found myself surrounded by deer, elk, ducks, chickens, seals and awed by the coastline.  Its a beautiful place to get away from the city, meditate, be romantic or just chill…plus there’s a ton of inns and bed and breakfast places you can book and I want to try them all!

Posted by: taratravels | August 22, 2007

Baby Bebot

Happy to be filipino 🙂

Posted by: taratravels | August 10, 2007

Photos of New York

Here’s some photos of my week in NY…will post the Poconos rafting shots (Southern Pennsylvania) on Flickr (right column).[rockyou id=79969018&w=256&h=192]

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