Studio Esperanto

So! I’m excited to show you a couple shots from my Oiran photoshoot in Kyoto.. It was called Esperanto Kokoro Kyoto Okazaki Studio. It was expensive but totally worth it! It was kind of lucky too that it was a decent walking distance from our hotel/inn that we stayed at in the city. This was from our 10 day trip to Japan that my best friend and I took this past February, which was a very busy 10 days lol.

The studio staff were very friendly even though they can barely speak English. Their photographer was the best out of all of them and it turned out to be such a great fun time!

I’m definitely thinking of going back and doing they’re other options for dress and costumes!!

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Cancun, Can Can!

I’ve never been to Mexico and it was really fun when a big bunch of us went (10 ladies) for a good week. It was interesting because we got to sight see and at the same time have enough relax time for me to get so burnt that I’m peeling off skin after only a week has passed. Of course, my best friend was with me (never apart, we are. lol). The only thing I didn’t like was how they used USD currency. It made everything a little more expensive that they should’ve been, in my opinion. I mean you can haggle but still.. it wasn’t the same.

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My favourite part was Isla Mujeres! Haggling for souvenirs, and getting offered tequila on a burning hot day was funny. And yes, the last ferry back to our resort left without us, but we toughed it out and got on a different ferry and braved the bus back to Barcelo Costa. We saw this amazing view of the cliff and it was breath taking. You could see iguanas soaking up the sun on the rocks, too. A little creepy but since, they don’t move fast, they didn’t creep me out too much. There’s a good story to this: Riding on our cool golf cart, we were about to go around the island to see this amazing cliff, according to our friend.

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But she forgot the directions of how to reach the cliff, andย none of us knew enough Spanish to ask the native speakers. Then my cellphone comes to our rescue. I had downloaded the Google Translate app on it and had Spanish, French, and Japanese languages so I could translate offline. ‘Acantilado’ is the word for cliff and we would stop every now and then to make sure we were heading the right way. Then just when we get tot the cliff, our personal chauffeur noticed there was a map right on the steering wheel. LOL. We laughed ourselves silly.

 

Resting in hammocks at Xel-Ha
Resting in hammocks at Xel-Ha

The excursion that we went to first was called Xel-Ha. We did quite a bit of snorkelling and eating. Now that I think about it, we were only there for 2.5 hours which was totally not enough to finish the whole thing! Even though on it’s map, it looks like a theme park (so fun!) and it had the river where you can jump off a small cliff! I wanted to do that and walk on a rope!! We started on the wrong side of the place.. Ooh and there were dolphin interactions for an extra $100 which I did not have, sadly. Next time, I will do it!

Hammock Store

Did I mention that I bought a hammock chair? Haha, the guy wanted it for $75 and that thing was not worth $75 at all. So I haggled to get it for $40 but he wanted $45, so I said, sure. I didn’t realize it wouldn’t fit in my luggage so I had to carry it like it was stroller/carry on. At least, the airport didn’t give me so much grief for it. I refuse to post pictures of our bar hopping tour; I was red like a lobster from all the alcohol, but at least I was still moving; if I was drunk as heck, I wouldn’t be able to move off the floor–which is a very scary thought, when you’re in a different country that you can’t speak the language of… LOL!

Hello, Canada (Vacation’s Done)

Well, I’m back at Winterville. After almost a month of full-on sun and sweat, coming back to Canada seemed like a blessing at fist. Then the snow starts coming and I thought, Now I’m thankful for those sun filled days. The whole family went on a bit of an Asia Tour, sort of, along with my best friend, who turns out to be such a celebrity in that part of the world. ๐Ÿ˜€ We left Canada on October 16th and came back November 13th. First leg of the trip: Hong Kong. That city reminded me so much of New York! The people, the mess (lol!); it was a big, busy city and so much lines, strings of people everywhere we go. Go to a ride: lines, go to a restaurant: lines; I tell ya, there were lines EVERYWHERE. It wasted so much time waiting on those lines. but anyways, we did get to see a lot for our three day stay.

Tian Tan Buddha in Lantau Island (Hong Kong)
Tian Tan Buddha in Lantau Island (Hong Kong)

First we went to Ocean Park, a theme park, aquarium, and more. Kinda like Sea World in Florida, but smaller. Then we went to Lantau Island to see the Tian Tan Buddha a.k.a. Giant Buddha. That was an awesome experience! And we got to see monks, female ones! I’ve never seen a female monk. They shave their heads, too, interestingly enough. Then we got on a ferry to get to Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade and Avenue of Stars. Then we shopped a bit at Mong Kok and tried some street food.

Then after that, we headed to Singapore, where you’ll be fined for chewing gum. There we went to Sentosa, checked out the Merlion, Universal Studios and Marina Bay. We were getting tired at this point, with our fully scheduled days, missed lunches and late nights. My best friend even got sick on the last day there; the poor thing.

Merlion Statue in Sentosa, Singapore
Merlion Statue in Sentosa, Singapore

Then we were off to Philippines! Oh, the beach! i wish we could’ve stayed at the beaches longer and had more sun to cook us a bit while frolicking in the salt water. That week really killed my hair. It was nasty by the time we were done, but with the help of lots and lots of conditioner, it thankfully revived to it’s usual rat’s nest style. Philippines was mostly time with relatives, which wasn’t the original plan but the weather was finicky and so some stuff were either, ‘Let’s do this now!’ or ‘Let’s not do this in this weather.’ Anyways, the highlight for me was the Donsol trip. Even though we didn’t get to see the whale shark (too early into the season), the island hopping was more than adequate to cover for that loss. The fish feeding was amazing! And the waterfall that ended at the sea was phenomenal! It was hands down the best island hopping I’ve been to. ๐Ÿ™‚

Beach and sun makes for a good island hopping experience!
Beach and sun makes for a good island hopping experience!

That vacation was one of the coolest ones yet. It felt longer than just a month; I was starting to dread work, thinking I had forgotten how to do things at work. On a different note, surprisingly, we all got along pretty decent, with very minimal bickering. LOL. With 6 adults, I thought it was gonna be a mess, but thank goodness, it went well. Next time, I’ll post more in depth coverage about each place that we went to see. Ciao for now! ๐Ÿ˜€

New York, New York!

OMG! New York! What can I say? It’s the city that never sleeps; the big apple.. I went for vacation there for a week with friends and co-workers and we were so busy that it totally felt like we’ve been there for two weeks after our 3rd day! I was mostly grumpy when we were walking around due to the heat and my walking shoes turned out to be not so fun to wear after 11 hours of walking around; I almost got blisters, but I saved my feet by buying flip-flops then later on, I bought the most comfortable shoes ever. It’s a Sketchers H2G0, which was water resistant and felt like a saviour for my feet! I convinced my best friend to buy one too so she wouldn’t suffer from her flats and she was so surprised at how comfy it was! ๐Ÿ™‚ I strongly recommend it! It really made me a better, less grumpy person during our trip.. LOL!!

Feels like heaven!!
Feels like heaven!!

And so I digress.. Back onto the main topic of this post: New York. Such a wonderful city, but I guess with the large number of people in the city, it didn’t have a good smell.. Reminded me of how Manila was when I went back in 2008: crowded and a little stinky. But at least, NY wasn’t too scary or to smoggy. We went to see a lot of things and I loved a lot of the things we saw. I found the area of NYC where we stayed as so-so; the streets were stinky and it was humid and all in all too crowded for me. Let me say though, it was not a boring place. Lots of things to see like the Broadway shows, wax museum, etc. We went to see Lion King – The Musical and it was fantastic; the only off thing about it was the actor playing the older Simba had an accent and it was coming in and out during his speeches so it was distracting… like his pectorals.. HAHAHA!! It was because the costumes they wear exposed the guys’ manboobs and he was the most buff one–I guess because he’s Simba, so he has to be the best looking one?–so every time he moved, those things twitched. LOL. Anyways, those are the kinds of things you can see, and shop around, too! There was a Forever 21 and H&M right by Times Square.

The Big Apple

Then there’s Brooklyn. The Brooklyn area was nicer, in my opinion. The Brooklyn Bridge, being so close to the Hudson River was very nice and breezy, although it felt like it was prone to drizzly weather. It was super windy too! But I liked that ๐Ÿ™‚ I would show you a picture of my teal pants that got ketchup stains all over it but it looks gross. Long story short, we were out of money and bought street food and it dribbled on me because I was pretty much inhaling those hotdogs due to starvation. I should let you know, we wasted so much money eating out! Tips are a killer! We each spent about $400 for eating out for four days! Sheesh, in hindsight, we should have thought about that better.. We orignally placed to do groceries, but we were hardly ever at the condo to even buy food for it.

Nintendo World's Link

Nintendo World had this picture of Link that was made up of a lot of pictures of people. It’s really cool! I got a Mario and Luigi keychains from that place. I love green and I’m tall so Luigi sticks with me while Mario goes to my sis. On a side note, surprisingly, during the trip, the group had such dynamics that no one person was overly loud or no ‘clique’ ever formed; it was just good ole hanging out altogether. Thank goodness we never got to a club! We were always too bushed to want to go out after a full day of busy, busy, busy. Once we got home, every one started collapsing on beds and slowly one by one, we would go have our showers. That place was tiny for a group of 7 people, but we managed. Overall, New York is a good place to go, but not for just for a week.. Or I should say it’s a good place to keep coming back to because you can always go and see something else. ๐Ÿ™‚