A Travellerspoint blog

AN OVERNIGHT STOP IN NORCO, CALIFORNIA

Six hours of driving is too long!

overcast 74 °F

B715AB44-77B1-46F3-AFC7-18124033FA1B.jpeg

The driving time to San Diego from our hometown in Central California is six hours without the stops or the congested traffic in LA. By the time we hit Los Angeles, it is already the rush hour, which makes the already bad traffic in LA even worse! However, we did the best to evade that by rerouting our journey. We drove through Highway 210 and I-15, instead of taking the Highways 405 and I-5 South onto LA.

You bet, the six hours drive was long, so we took a break and spent the night in Norco, a low profile town just off the I-15 freeway. This town has a (not so lovely :-/) artificial lake the home to Norconian Resort built in the early 1920s. Sad to say but, this resort is now decaying in time. But that’s precisely the reason I want to see the place. I am so into abandoned buildings! And when I read about this once an iconic Hollywood-location for film makings, I couldn’t help but get curious hence, jotted it down on my to-see list. For the record, we all have our must-see/do list!

C6C05F6F-7DBF-4B76-9697-2D551629C960.jpeg

339C7B91-3028-460C-AB0E-DBEA1F2D9D5C.jpeg

5BFAFB48-D0A2-4EF8-9322-035CE8651E85.jpeg

WHERE WE STAYED:
When scouting for a hotel, free breakfast is our number one consideration! (Give the Lemques free brekky, and they will be the happiest people on earth! :D) Next is a comfortable bed, and then the location (if it is a safe area.) With those in mind, Howard Johnson was our best choice. The hotel is also near to many restaurants-- a plus factor indeed.


BBEC4AF3-1FDD-4653-BF9B-5CE5FFD75BCD.jpeg

41EE4876-3B75-48DF-AA48-39BA11EFCFC7.jpeg

WHERE WE HAD DINNER:
To satisfy our cravings for grilled meats, we went to Kaza Maza Grill Restaurant! We tried their beef and lamb kebob, which comes with a fresh veggie salad and delicious basmati rice. We loved it, and their flavorful garlic spread too! My daughter had ordered the Lentil Soup, but I ended up finishing it

BA496A22-4981-48AD-BCF4-D31CC7051727.jpeg

E17853A8-9552-4867-8F82-F0B22A23CBF6.jpeg

Posted by pasyandoraCMay 22:24 Archived in USA Tagged norco Comments (4)

FAMILY GETAWAY to SAN DIEGO CALIFORNIA

Packing and excitement...

sunny 70 °F

F21A92D3-9B74-42EE-B562-27AD1A01F94A.jpeg

I just unpacked my luggage from a recent trip, and here I am packing it up again! This time, however, is not for a journey far away from home, but a short trip to Southern California with my threesomes! Where to? San Diego! Yep, we are heading down to this town in California that has the most perfect and gorgeous weather in the entire state if not the whole country! I mean we are talking about sunny days, cloudless skies and balmy soothing nights here! And I don't mean during summertime only, but 365 days (okay 364 days) of the year!

This trip to San Diego is not our first time. And like San Francisco or New York City that merit a continuous cycle of going back to discover and rediscover, "America's Finest City," is no different at all! That's the thing I love about San Diego. It never gets old; in fact, it is like a breath of fresh air each time. San Diego always has something new to offer to curious travelers (and tourists!)

Thus, I was extremely excited when Ed told me that his graduation rites are going to be in San Diego! He is finally receiving his degree in Laboratory Science! After three years of gruesome days and nights of studying (and sacrificing many travel opportunities too), he is to march on the stage to receive his diploma! And what a perfect venue for celebrating this milestone and accomplishment for the hubby! In a city that does not only offer a year-round of a mild climate, but there is a wide range of activities that a family like us will enjoy! We wouldn’t settle elsewhere.

I love planning, especially planning for a trip. I asked each member of the family their bucket list for this trip, and in the following journals are the activities we came up with excitedly!

Posted by pasyandoraCMay 01:24 Archived in USA Tagged san diego Comments (8)

CORON PALAWAN: MOM & SON GETAWAY PART II

First Day: Snorkeling …snorkeling …and snorkeling again until we got roasted!

My son and I left our Airbnb place in Quezon City at a wee hour to catch our flight to Busuanga.  It took thirty-minute to get to NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport) Terminal 1 via taxi.  To avoid the traffic congestion in Metro Manila to the airport, pick a schedule first thing in the morning to fly.  Trust me, getting up early is worth it.  After the long queue at the security area, my son and I were already sitting-pretty at our designated boarding gate.

two-way highway from Busuanga Airport to the town of Coron

two-way highway from Busuanga Airport to the town of Coron

Our schedule to leave was at 6:00 a.m. and touched down at Busuanga Airport forty-five minutes later. This airport was small but very busy though even at a wee hour. Soon we found the transportation company, which I pre-booked via AsiaTravel.com and this van will bring us to Coron.  From the airport to the town proper is a forty-five-minute drive along some narrow highway surrounded by mountains, rice fields, and brooks. In no time, the driver stopped in front of a bank building, behind it is our Airbnb stay. Check-in is not until 2:00 p.m. but the house cleaner allowed us to get inside our room anyways. The Airbnb room wasn’t the best accommodation, but I must say it was enough to be our home for four days.

stunning colors of Coron waters

stunning colors of Coron waters

Without an itinerary in the morning, I went for a walk alone.  The son opted to stay in our room to take a nap.  In my sauntering, I observed that the town of Coron though flocked by both local and international tourists still is very undeveloped. In some ways, that is okay; the old charm is present, to say the least. However, infrastructure is abysmal. It embarrassed me. I wish the local government do something about it. In the meantime, when I reached the port area, the view changed into more sublime. The iconic karst cliffs with their fearsomely jagged rocky outcrops even quite far away are visible from where I was standing. Just a stone-throw away are boats anchored and lined up waiting to be filled by those tourists who did not book their tours before their arrival in the locality. Here, I inquired the cost of an island hopping tour. It wasn't expensive in my opinion — PhP800.00 ($15.00) per person, including lunch, I think that is fair enough. So, I walked back to our Airbnb place to pick up my son, this time the tour agent went with me. I don't know why, but maybe as not letting me go!

Jagged mountain tops on the horizon …

Jagged mountain tops on the horizon …

Our group consisted of different nationalities and different age groups. It turned out we had the most enjoyable time exploring one island to another. We were brought to at least eight spots of "what-to-see-and-do," snorkeling as the most superb activity for my son and me. In fact, we did nothing but snorkel! By lunchtime, our tour guide and boatmen brought us to an islet (can't remember the name,) but have beautiful white sands. Some nipa cottages scattered by the shore and we occupied one of it. Our lunch was prepared by the boatmen in the boat, so, while us their guests enjoying swimming and snorkeling, they were busy grilling fish, broiling chicken legs, and making eggplant salad; and I must say it was a delicious meal. After our lunch, we were given a few more minutes to enjoy the islet. Some went for swimming while I spent more time taking more pictures

tour boats

tour boats


From that little lunch island, they brought us to other spots for snorkeling. The corals in Palawan, in general, are absolutely stunning and is an enormous feeding ground for marine life. Those who are looking for varied and challenging diving, Palawan is none but better anywhere in the world! (Of course, I am biased!). Anyways, for non-divers, there's also plenty to keep them happy!  By five o'clock, most tour boats then return to the town and the end of an adventurous day. For our dinner, we tried some Italian food at Altrov, and while may not be the best dining experience for us, this food house is charming with candlelit tables and interestingly, a shoes-off policy restaurant! ~

just mesmerizing

just mesmerizing

Sample of lunch provided by tour groups

Sample of lunch provided by tour groups

gorgeous water colors

gorgeous water colors

Coron’s version of tuk-tuk

Coron’s version of tuk-tuk

Early evening stroll

Early evening stroll

sunset in Coron Busuanga Palawan

sunset in Coron Busuanga Palawan

“Alms…alms…”

“Alms…alms…”

“The age of innocence …”

“The age of innocence …”

Dinner

Dinner

[/float]

Posted by pasyandoraCMay 20:36 Archived in Philippines Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises lakes children sky Comments (6)

CORON PALAWAN: MOM & SON GETAWAY PART I

Hi, my name is Elijah, and I inherited my mom’s travel bug! 🐜 🐛 🕷

overcast

My mother and I

My mother and I

Hi, my name is Elijah.  My mom asked me to write an introduction for her blog for Coron, Palawan.  My parents were born and raised in the Philippines, and they still have relatives there.  When they go back for a short stay, they bring us along.  And this visit I just had is already my third, and each time is a blast!  This year, my family decided that we would spend the Christmas Holidays over at the Philippines.

Aside from spending the holidays, we visited to attend my cousin’s debut.  It was her eighteenth birthday, and for girls, that is a huge deal in the country.  I was excited because before that day and time came, my sister and I practiced on what is called a “flash-mob dance.”  Unfortunately, I didn’t get enough practice and ended up not dancing when the day of the debut came.  However, I still enjoyed my cousin’s eighteenth birthday party, nonetheless.  I met many more cousins that I have not known as well as new friends on the side.

My mom is a traveler!  I am too.  Got the travel bug from her I guess.  When she asked me to go with her in one of the islands in the Philippines, I did not second thought!  So, a few days after the debut party, my mom and I went to a paradise island where we did nothing but ride an outrigger boat, island hop, swim, and snorkel until we got roasted!  This island-province Palawan encompasses 1, 780 islands and islets!  One of these islands is called Coron, where we got to see one of the most colorful underwater attractions.  Moreover, this sword-shape province/island located in the Southwest of Luzon is rich in ancient landscape of coves, white sand beaches, bluest lagoons, and razor-sharp limestones cliffs that rise from the crystal-clear water.

We stayed at that island for four days.  The town itself was very crowded because it was tourist season at the time we visited, but the island tours were so much enjoyable, I did not want to stop exploring nor leave the island Coron!  By the way, Philippines has 7,107 islands, which makes it the world’s second-largest archipelago!  Sixty percent of these islands are still undiscovered and uninhabited.  Thus, if anyone is looking for (secluded) islands adventure, Philippines has tons to offer and must only be your choice!  (My mom asked me to write that.)

”always be kind, son”

”always be kind, son”

After the four days, we went back to Manila to spend the rest of the break. While in the Philippines, we got to hang out with my cousins to do what typical teenagers do.  We visited the malls and even stayed up past midnight.  We played card games, Pictionary, and charades.  We also explored many ramen houses and Korean barbeque places as my cousins were huge fans of Japanese foods as well as Korean foods.  May I also add that the museums in the Philippines are a par quality too, not to mention educational!  Those who love to shop, read this; although my sister and I aren’t fond of shopping, Metro Manila has a legion of them – from down-market to upscale shops, your pocketbook will run dry.  We enjoyed hanging out in their bookstores though! 

My experience in the Philippines was a blast as I mentioned!  We got to see its attractions and visit relatives, although the extra work from school got in the way while we're there, it was nonetheless, enjoyable.  My experience in the Philippines this past visit did leave me with fond memories. To be honest, they have a lot of beautiful places in the Philippines, but the constant congested traffic wasn’t fun.  We arrived in the Philippines in a colder season, so at least it wasn’t that very humid. All was fun until the last day of our stay in the Philippines.  We, of course, said goodbye to our cousins and visited the city of Makati -- famous for its skyscrapers before we drove to the airport and returned home to California.  My overall experience in the Philippines was remarkably fun.  Also, I got to do what I am unable to do here in the States, and that was hanging out with cousins past midnight.  Indeed, I had the best time in the Philippines and would love to go back again!

” breathe deeply”

” breathe deeply”

P.S.  My mom will write the rest of information about traveling to Coron, Palawan.

Ropes

Ropes

Underwater world

Underwater world

Posted by pasyandoraCMay 00:35 Archived in Philippines Tagged philippines palawan coron Comments (5)

(Entries 1 - 4 of 4) Page [1]