O’ahu, Hawaii

The very first time I visited Hawaii was right after the 9/11. While there were many people afraid of flying, I took advantage of the opportunity and booked my flights to Honolulu. It took about 10 hours (including layover in San Francisco) to reach the Island. For me, the excitement and anticipation of exploring a new destination was over the top and indescribable. When I arrived at the airport it was a ghost town. I stayed there for two weeks and had the whole Island all for myself.

SCENIC DRIVE AROUND THE ISLAND

Entrace at the Diamond Head

On my first full day I decided to drive around in order to get acquainted with the entire island. It took me at least four or five hours driving from East to West only because of its magnificent view along the way and it was hard to resist not stopping at each place.

I started driving along Kapiolani Park then up to Diamond Head Road and Kahala Avenue. I then took H1 East and pass all the scenic view along the way.

I also enjoyed passing through several tunnels. The drive itself was a piece of cake because of the breathtaking view along the way. I must admit, of all the places I have been to, I say this was the best and easiest drive of them all.

Driving along Kalanianaole Highway was pretty nice especially when I discovered upon Hanauma Bay, a well-known volcanically formed nature preserve. The view of the bay from the look out point above was breathtaking. I made a mental note to come back in a next day or two so I can explore it in great detail. Not far down the road from Hanauma Bay, I passed Halona Point, an overlook that also reflected the beauty and strength of Oahu’s volcanic past. A steep lava hillside led me down to the view of Pacific Ocean.

Beyond Hanauma Bay, the coastline becomes extremely rough with waves pounding the rocks. I saw some local fishermen around the area. I also came across an excellent trail to the summit of Makapuu Point with views of Rabbit Island and the stunning Makapuu Beach. A little further north along the coast road is Waimanalo Beach, a popular spot for windsurfing. I also passed the town of Kailua. This highway gives you access to two different directions (1) heading to the north shore of Oahu or (2) back to Honolulu across the ragged Mountains. This route will take you at the scenic Pali Lookout which offers a spectacular view of the Mountain range.

Another place that I enjoyed very much was the Pali Lookout. Unbeknownst to a lot of people there is trail at the lower end of the lookout that you can take to get a different perspective on the views from the Pali. This trail follows along the route of the Old Pali Highway. There is a wide variety of plants along this trail and is worth a quick look.

Away from the urban bustle of Honolulu and the crowds of Waikiki, the Kamehameha Highway (Route 83), the road that pass through the North Shore has its pastoral tranquility and rural charm. It is set against the backdrop of the blue Pacific. Along the way, it passes a succession of small coves and bays and miles of white-sand beaches. The waves at Waimea Bay and Sunset Beach may hit 25 to 30 feet or more during the winter time — the largest waves in the world (so I’ve heard).

Traveling Oahu’s unspoiled North Shore I saw roadside vendors selling local delicacies such as coconuts, fresh pineapple, sweet corn and shrimp. I stopped by at one of the food stands which offered island’s most refreshing shaved ice (snow cone) that has difference tropical flavors.

Greece – Athens

In Spring of 2009, my husband and I took a 15-day mediterranean cruise aboard Celebrity Solstice. We visited three countries (Italy, Greece, Turkey).

Piraeus Panoramic View

Athens is approximately seven miles from Piraeus main port, the biggest in Greece, and one of the most important in the Mediterranean. It is walking distance from kastella, a hill strewn with beautiful houses that offers a majestic view of the Saronic Gulf. Piraeus is also home to an archeological museum, a naval museum and the picturesque area called Micromanao.

Upon arriving at the Port, we hailed a cab to take a City tour. We visited Acropolis one of the great wonders of the world. It consists of four ancient buildings: the Parthenon, Temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheion, and the Prophylaea. The acropolis was built during the apex of Greeks Golden Age in the 5th century.

At the Acropolis

The ruins

Panoramic view of the City of Athens on top of Acro

We also visited Plaka – an older area of the city on the north slope of the Acropolis. We walked the narrow cobblestone streets with winding staircases and old mansions, and took a rest in one of the numerous charming taverns.

The Tower of the Winds which is also in this area is one of the most well-preserved monuments in Athens. It was built-in the 1st century BC and used as a water-clock, sun-dial, and weather vane. Each of the eight sides of the octagon has a relief depicting the wind that blows from that direction.

Athens local cuisine consist of the following: For starter you will most likely find these three favorites on most menus:

Taramosalata


Taramasalata (a dip of spread made from fish roe), melitsanosalata (made from smoked eggplant) and


tzatziki (a yogurt cucumber and garlic dip usually used with bread).

The traditional main entrees include moussaka (baked dish of minced lamb, potatoes and eggplant), gemista (stuffed tomatoes or peppers). Fast food in Greece consists of giro (Gyro – slices of grilled meat with tomato and onions in a pita bread), souvlaki (shish kebab), and pastries filled with a variety of stuffings including spinach, cheese, or meat.

A meal is not complete without a piece of baklava (a very sweet phyllo pastry filled with walnut and honey for dessert).

Athens drink specialties is Ouzo, a clear licorice-flavor drink and brandy (botrys and Metaxa) are the national aperifits of Greece. You will be served with wine at almost all meals and social gathering, and is relative inexpensive.

THE DEFINITIVE MALE CHAUVANISTIC

HUSBAND OF THE YEAR AWARDS:

The honorable mention goes to: THE UNITED KINGDOM

Followed closely by The UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

And then POLAND

But 3rd Place must go to GREECE

It was very very close but the runner-up prize was awarded to SERBIA

But the winner of the husband/partner of the year is: Ireland!
Ya gotta love the Irish. The Irish are true romantics. Look, he’s even holding her hand…

Woman has Man in it;
Mrs. has Mr. in it;
Female has Male in it;
She has He in it;
Madam has Adam in it;
Okay, Okay, it all makes sense now…
I never looked at it this way before

Ever notice how all of women’s problems start with MEN?

MENtal illness !
MENstrual cramps
MENtal breakdown
MENopause
GUYnecologist

AND

When we have REAL trouble, it’s a HISterectomy.

J’taime Sexy M-I-A-M-I

I have been living in Miami for almost 23 years, and I love it here. Living in South Florida is like being in paradise and yet we are still part of the United States – Land of the FREE!

Miami often called the caribbean of the U.S. It is also a gateway to LATIN AMERICA and cruise capital of the WORLD. One good thing about my beloved City is we pretty much have everything anyone could have asked for. We have the sun, beautiful beaches, amazing ocean, theatres, museums, shopping, fashions and beautiful people. If you live here you will never get bored! There is always something going on, something for everyone. If you are like me who loves people watching there are plenty of places to do that. You could go to SoBe (Lincoln Road), Coconut Grove, Coral Gables, to name a few. If you like the water, there are ample of beaches you can go to. If you do not want to do any of these things and more interested in driving around to nowhere, then I suggest you take A1A route all the way to West Palm Beach and enjoy the ocean, the hotels, and beautiful homes along the way, or better yet, you could drive down to Key West, the Southernmost part of the U.S. and be in a different world in just 2 1/2 hours.

Shopping here is also fabulous – we have high-end stores (Bal Harbor) who cater to opulent shoppers. For those people who like signature lines (e.g. clothes, purses and shoes) but with a limited budget, you can go to Sawgrass Mall – a huge outlet stores where you can purchase things at a very affordable price.

Miami is very fascinating and intriguing City. If you have lived here long enough, you will see local people (especially women) at day time wearing tank tops, short shorts and flip-flops. Come night time you would see them strutting their stilletos, beautiful sexy dresses, heading to nightclubs to have some fun. We have fabulous nightlife here with great house music, best DJ’s, and most importantly, good-looking crowds. If you prefer going out casual we have plenty of local bars who cater that type of patrons as well. My favorite place is the Tobacco Road in Brickell. In short – Miami is cool, hip and very social City!

South Beach is the place most visitors go to when they come down to Miami. Why? Because it is a fun place to be, where everything goes. I am sure there are other plenty of reasons why people go there. Some likes its vibrant atmosphere. For some people, they prefer hanging-out in SoBe because of nighlife, and for some just to be a part of the limelight and to rubbing elbows with the rich and famous. However, there are more to Miami than South Beach. if you happen to be in Miami, I urge you to see other neighborhood. We have plenty of other great places to see down here aside SoBe.

Now let’s discuss about one of the downsides living in Miami especially if you are a W-O-M-A-N. Women in general have become a victim of the stereotype “Materialistic Miami women.” A friend of mine who used to live here often complained about how Miami women behave. He says when he goes out to a club, he oftens encounter women asking him what he does for a living, what type of car he drives, so on and so forth. He then asked why these “Miami women” were more interested of knowing his social status rather than knowing him as a “person!” Of course being a loyal Miami Gal – I defended my sisters. First of all not everybody they meet at the club are from Miami, so categorizing every women they meet as “Miami women” is not cool and unfair. Maybe there is also some truth about his statement but I had no answer for that. I told him maybe it was because he happened to be in a wrong place, hanging-out with a wrong crowd? I told him if he goes to any clubs (specially SoBe) be ready to encounter such type of behaviour particulary if these girls had already too much to drink. Local people will never ask strangers that type of personal questions. Most Miami women (at least that I know of) are nice, family-oriented, professional, and warm.

One thing visitors should know about the “real” Miami women – we are not vain at all. We just love to have fun, to dress-up and have a good time with friends!

Around The Corner There Is A Friend

Around the corner I have a friend,
In this great city that has no end,
Yet the days go by and weeks rush on,
And before I know it, a year is gone.
And I never see my old friends face,
For life is a swift and terrible race,
She knows I like her just as well,

As in the days when I rang her bell.
And she rang mine but we were younger then,
And now we are busy, tired gals
Tired of playing a foolish game,
Tired of trying to make a name.

‘Tomorrow’ I say! ‘I will call on Jane
Just to show that I’m thinking of her.’
But tomorrow comes and tomorrow goes,
And distance between us grows and grows.
Around the corner, yet miles away,
‘Here’s a telegram madam,’ ‘ Jane died today.’
And that’s what we get and deserve in the end.
Around the corner, a vanished friend.

Remember to always say what you mean.
If you love someone, tell them.
Because when you decide that it is the right time it might be too late…

Seize the day.

P.S. This poem was forwarded to me by one of my colleagues as a chain letter. I removed all the scary threats that could happen if the recipients fail to forward it to others. I can relate to this poem ’cause I am not good at keeping in touch even though I think of them often.

It Pays To Go To Charm School

Two informally dressed ladies happened to start-up a conversation during an endless wait in Toronto’s Terminal 3 airport.

The first lady was an affluent Torontonian married to a wealthy business man.
The second lady was a well-mannered elderly woman from Bell Island, Newfoundland. When the conversation centered on whether they had any children, the Torontonian woman started by saying, “When my first child was born, my husband built a beautiful mansion for me.”

The lady from Bell Island commented, “Well, isn’t that precious?” The first woman continued, “When my second child was born, my husband bought me a beautiful Mercedes-Benz. Again, the lady from Bell Island commented, “Well, isn’t that precious?”

The first woman continued boasting, “Then, when my third child was born, my husband bought me this exquisite diamond bracelet.
Yet again, the Island lady commented, “Well, isn’t that precious?”

The first woman then asked her companion, “What did your husband buy for you when you had your first child?”
“My husband sent me to charm school,” Bell Island Lady.

“Charm school?” the first woman cried, “Oh, my Lord! What on earth for?”
The elderly Bell Island lady responded, “Well as an example, instead of saying, “Who gives a fuck?”,
I learned to say, “Well, isn’t that precious.”

Attention Women: Do We need To Take These Classes?

Classes for Women at THE ADULT LEARNING CENTER

REGISTRATION MUST BE COMPLETED
NOTE: DUE TO THE COMPLEXITY AND DIFFICULTY LEVEL OF THEIR CONTENTS, CLASS SIZES WILL BE LIMITED TO 8 PARTICIPANTS MAXIMUM

Class 1 – Up in Winter, Down in Summer –
How to Adjust a Thermostat. Step by Step, with Slide Presentation.
Meets 4 weeks, Monday and Wednesday for 2 hrs beginning at 7:00 PM.

Class 2 – Which Takes More Energy Putting the Toilet Seat Down, or
Bitching about It for 3 Hours? Round Table Discussion.
Meets 2 weeks, Saturday 12:00 for 2 hours.

Class 3 – Is It Possible To Drive Past a Shopping Mall Without Stopping?
Group Debate. Meets 4 weeks, Saturday 10:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 4 – Fundamental Differences Between a Purse and a Suitcase
Pictures and Explanatory Graphics. Meets Saturdays at 2:00 PM for 3 weeks.

Class 5 – Curling Irons — Can They Levitate and Fly Into The Bathroom Cabinet? Examples on Video.
Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning At 7:00 PM

Class 6 – How to Ask Questions During Commercials and Be Quiet During the Program. Help Line Support and Support Groups.
Meets 4 Weeks, Friday and Sunday 7:00 PM

Class 7 – Can a Bath Be Taken Without 14 Different Kinds of Soaps
and Shampoos? Open Forum. Monday at 8:00 PM, 2 hours.

Class 8 – Health Watch — They Make Medicine for PMS – USE IT!
Three nights; Monday, Wednesday, Friday at 7:00 PM for 2 hours.

Class 9- I Was Wrong and He Was Right! — Real Life Testimonials.
Tuesdays at 6:00 PM Location to be determined.

Class 10 – How to Parallel Park In Less Than 20 Minutes Without an Insurance Claim. Driving Simulations.
4 weeks, Saturday’s noon, 2 hours.

Class 11 – Learning to Live – How to Apply Brakes Without Throwing Passengers Through the Windshield.
Tuesdays at 7:00 PM, location to be determined

Class 12 – How to Shop by Yourself.
Meets 4 weeks, Tuesday and Thursday for 2 hours beginning at 7:00 PM.

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