Enchant 2016: Vancouver Christmas Light Maze & Market

Life

Enchant 2016, the world’s largest Christmas Light Maze finally came to Vancouver. It’s located at 1st & Crowe St (close to Olympic Village station). There are 55,000 square feet of illuminated sculptures along the light maze, over 40 local vendors at the holiday market, an outdoor pit fire, a variety of food trucks, as well as a licensed eating area where adults enjoy their favourite beverages.

Tickets cost $20 for adults and they also provide different ticket types for children, family, and seniors. Ordering online ticket immediately is recommended or they will be sold out fast.

Dress accordingly to the weather. The nights are obviously freezing and some areas are wet when it rains.

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Hopefully, Enchant will come back again! I’ll be looking forward to taking more better photos when it’s not too crowded.

Las Vegas

Travel

I took a 5-day trip to Las Vegas. Deaf Nation World Expo was hosted from July 5-8. Since my companion couldn’t make it, I planned to sleep over my good friend, Zachary’s place instead. The temperature was around 40C during Summer. It was so hot as hell unlike Vancouver which it was 20C. My head had been in a little pain for the first two days. haha!

Other than I thought Las Vegas was only full of casinos, it was obviously magnificent. There are 24-hour casinos and endless entertainment options. The Strip is over 4 miles long and lined with elaborate theme hotels such as the pyramid-shaped Luxor and the Venetian — more huge entertainment palaces! Especially, the strip is impressive at night when the city is illuminated by glittering neon signs. I wanted to thank to Zachary and my dear cousin Cherrie for spending the time to show me around the city. It was really wonderful.

In the future, I will explore more places as soon as the temperature is perfectly good. Summer is not for me. haha!

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Toronto Trip – Part 1 of 3

Travel

Toronto was my next trip after a half year passed by. My stay was 9 days. I actually booked a flight in the last minute because I didn’t think of taking a vacation. I, of course, needed to give myself a break. I talked with my friends via Skype about sleeping over their houses. They live in Toronto and they were my tour guides. It was my first time to travel alone and sleep over a friend’s house. I used to stay in my family’s house and relatives’ whenever I was out of the town.

1st day

Flying from Vancouver to Toronto takes 4 hours and 30 minutes. I had some boring time after reading all of anime books in iPad. There is a small screen on the back of seat. I could watch any movies; however, the subtitles are not available. Therefore, watching Tomorrowland without the subtitle was pretty boring, but it killed my time for good. haha

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Terminal 1 at Toronto Pearson International Airport is much similar to Vancouver International Airport. But the interior design is really nice.

I finally met Keri and Kaede in person for the first time. They drove me to Kaede’s house on the outskirt of Toronto. They live in Richmond Hills. But we headed to Kipling station first as I needed a day pass for the next day. It costs $11.50 CAD. I found it a bit surprised that there are the huge highways and plenty of restaurants and cafes open 24 hours. Eventually, I was hungry because of my clock body and I have even eaten dinner I ordered in the airplane. We went to Tim Horton to eat and to have a conversation.

2nd day

I started my travelling day with my friend Keri who guided me to Toronto from Richmond Hills. We walked down to Richmond Hill Centre that is the bus loop. I got VIVA ticket for $4 CAD. It is only used for the outskirt of Toronto. The VIVA bus is very interesting. There are small tables at the back.

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Arriving Finch Bus Terminal in Toronto before we went to the subway. I felt being a bit irked when some Asians constantly stared at me. Because I have man bun hairstyle many men don’t have in Toronto. Their hairstyles are more like 2013 trends and business casual. They are really elegant, nevertheless.

The subway astonished me as there are no signals on cellphones, but they are available at a few stations. Some stations have WiFi. And, the subway cars are connected together by the open corridor. I couldn’t believe my eyes that those are very long!

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Reaching King Station from Finch Station takes up to 20 minutes. I felt different without signal and the view through the windows. Once we got out of the subway station, I was totally overwhelmed by the tall buildings. I almost had dizziness. I observed the buildings while walking to St. Lawrence Market. Plenty of the buildings are almost full of the bricks and I have a fond of the old-fashioned bricks!

St. Lawrence Market is a public marketplace which they sells produce, livestock and many more. The building was the first official City Hall in 1899. It was then relocated to “Old City Hall” at Queen and Bay Streets.

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I finally met my friend Jami after we met in the Philippines 2 years ago. They guided me to The Cathedral Church of St. James and George Brown College where Jami studies at. GBC has many campuses. But I just visited some.

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We took a long walk to Toronto Eaton Centre, instead of subway train. We didn’t expect that there was an event called “Busker Festival” at Yonge-Dundas Square. I was lucky to be there at the event. Then, we met Kaede after her work. After Jami went home, we had dinner at Hard Rock Cafe. I had relaxing time at a patio and then we went to see ‘TORONTO’ at Nathan Phillips Square.
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Jami and I were on Skype and have been organizing a list of places until we slept around 2AM. It was crazy!

3rd day

We got up around 6:30AM. Kaede drove us to Sheppard Centre where she works at. We waited for Jami to meet us at York subway station and then we headed to High Park by train. There is another line called “Bloor-Danforth Line” that the old subway trains run. They are smaller than the ones from Youge-University Line.

Heading to High Park. It reminded me of strolling around a park in Vancouver. We went to see a garden — a large maple is full of red blooming flowers. After that, we went a cafe for lunch. It was a very long way to walk as the park is large. For the first time, I took a streetcar. It is old-fashioned and smoother. I like it so much! haha

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Getting down at Museum subway station, we went to visit Royal Ontario Museum as it has unique architectural design like Transformers. Then, going to Brookfield place through the station. The ceiling blew my mind already. The place is with Bay Wellington Tower which is a 49-storey office tower.
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The streets were crowded already. We found out that they were on their way to Rogers Centre for hockey. According to my friends, if the seats in Rogers Centre are full, they will be watching the big screen at Air Canada Centre instead.
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I came to see Toronto Railway Museum for a short while. Then, going to CN Tower. The ticket price is quite expensive. I wanted to see the sea of houses and buildings, though. I found it frustrated because of the fingerprints on the windows I hardly see through and the crowd.
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Ripley’s Aquarium of Canada is very fascinating! The sharks startled me when my friends pointed at them. hahaIMG_0578IMG_0581IMG_0613Untitled-32015-08-28-20.20Untitled-408-28-201508-28-20151

So, this day seemed very long and tiring to travel. And though it was so much fun!

Dallas, Texas

Travel

Howdy! I got up after a few hours of sleep. It’s because my flight was delayed. We had hard time to land in Austin through the storm. We had to stay in Houston for about an hour so the storm was almost clear. Then, we flew to there. Oh again, it was hard until we finally landed! This was my first-time experience.

What first things did I see when I arrive? The roads are huge and a lot of vehicles are larger than the ones in Vancouver. Of course, I am small. haha!

My sister’s family and I were going to stay in Dallas for 2 nights. Driving from Austin to Dallas takes 3~4 hours. I never knew there are no mountains. The land is flat. And, I found it interesting to see some houses which look like barn houses.

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In the halfway, we took break time to have snack in Collin Street Bakery.2014-12-020

After checking in a hotel, we had dinner and then going to Gaylord Texan Resort.2014-12-19 22.46.06

Next day, we went back to the hotel to visit “ICE”. Inside ICE is -12 degree. I couldn’t feel my face. It was hard to smile in the photos after a few minutes. I came up with my mind. I covered my cheeks with my hands until my face became warm. I could smile perfectly! haha!

There are 3 areas of snow tubing. They said I can slide 3 times per one mark. My wristband had 4 marks. It means I should slide 12 times?! OMG! In fact, I got only 2 marks as my back hurt. haha! It was so much fun.

Last day, heading to Reunion Tower to overlook..

Going back to Austin. I’ll post another blog about Forth Worth, Texas. (visiting there after ICE at Gaylord Texas Resort)

Flying Alone

Life, Travel

I booked a flight to Austin, Texas on December 18, 2014 until January 3, 2015. For the first time, I rode in the airplane without my family. It’s good for gaining experiences and improving independence.

Of course, I went to the Philippines with my father in 2013 and I was the one who was responsible for helping him, such as offering him a seat, asking him what airline meal he wanted, etc. I learned some. However, it was not enough for me as he talked to somebody to help us and I missed something.

With my sister, we went to Hawaii in Summer 2014. She was way too fast to get tickets and to arrive the gates. I missed something and got many distractions as she tapped my shoulder all the time.

How did I feel while I travelled alone? I guess I felt much better without my family as I am focused and alert. I like to figure out on my own. I don’t care if the workers at the airport are awkward whenever I said I am Deaf. It helps them to know and to do their best. I can use gestures, anyway. Was everything fine when I arrived Texas from Vancouver? Yes, it was all good. No problem!

It’s about hearing aids. Some Deaf people don’t need hearing aids and they can use gestures and write forth and back. As for me, I wear them even though I don’t understand what they say. In fact, I didn’t want to wear them due to the noise, yet I have to. For the reason, I want to be alert whenever the announcements appear. The flight attendants notice my hearing aid and they use gestures and write a note for me. It’s nice of them.

5 things I love about Hawaii

Life, Travel

The island of Oahu is so beautiful I have ever visited in my life. I have been thinking of what I really want again.

1. Food/Dessert/Snack

Poke has been stuck in my mind. It is similar to sashimi; however, there are many kinds of flavours. I WANT SPICY FLAVOUR!!! haha! Hawaiian shave ice , acai bowl, and Hawaii chocolate haupia pie are so good! And, macadamia nuts is one of my favourite nuts. I always eat it since I grew up.

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2. Art

Amazing things I never stop being fascinated by are: modern patterns, surfboards, skateboards, paintings, home decoration, clothing, accessories, graphic designs, and more! I can say nothing boring. It’s because this matches one of my artistic personality types.

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3. Weather

In fact, Hawaii feels like the Philippines I grew up for many years. I like the weather in Hawaii more than in the Philippines because there are more breezes through the houses and anywhere.

4. Activities

Every time I was on the way or went to the beaches, I noticed what people do all the time – skateboarders, joggers, surfers, and many indoor/outdoor activities.

Hiking is one of my hobbies. I heard that hikers go to the trails all the time. For the first time in Hawaii, I went to Pu’u Ma’eli’eli Digging Hill with my relatives. I think it feels the same as I used to hike in the Philippines. I enjoy the nature, though.

And, I saw GoPro cameras are almost available in all stores. Playing with the camera on a beeaacchh! Waaaves! *Splash*

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5. Scenery

Beaches are everywhere around the island. I love the feeling of sand between my toes even though it is tiring to walk or run. It gives me calmness and clears my mind. I also love swimming or I’m going to die without saltwater. haha

The mountains and overlooks are sooo… amazing! Whenever I was on the way, I couldn’t stop staring at the mountains surrounded by beautiful clouds and sun rays on the mountains. As for the overlooks, the view is wider! I enjoyed when my aunt drove on the zigzag road… until we reached the top.

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After I came back to Vancouver, I had a weird feeling. While I was on the bus, I felt like “Where are the nearby mountains?!” haha