Saturday, July 31

Road Trip 2010: The First Leg

Washington, DC to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Trip distance: 150.3 mi Time: 2 hrs 49 mins 

Off we go on our road trip to Philly, NYC, Niagara Falls and Pittsburgh. The entire trip will take about 6 days and we will drive just over 1100 miles. We're picking up a rental car this afternoon and then setting sail for Philadelphia, PA. Some of the sights we hope to see are the Liberty Bell, National Constitution Center, Betsy Ross House, Penn's Landing and maybe even the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Maddy might find some of these places boring but I'm sure he will benefit from it later when he learns of the historical significance in 3rd grade. He can tell his classmates, hey, I've been there!

Tuesday, July 27

Maddys 8th Birthday

At Silver Diner for dessert & cake

At Sakura for Maddy's 8th Birthday
So happy Daddy is back home with us. Maddy and I missed him bigtime. We are so looking forward to our vacation in a few days. We are going on a road trip to Pennsylvania to see historial sites and stay for the night. Then onto New York for two nights and then to Niagara Falls (NY) for another two nights. It's been a long while since we've had a family vacation and we are definitely going to make the most of it before Daddy is off again in three weeks. He's going to Albania & Moldova.

Sunday, July 25

Happy 8th Birthday Son!

Barefoot Maddy @ 4 years old
Maddy is growing up so quickly. What happened to my little Samoan speaking, barefoot 4 year old? It seems like only yesterday that we were walking down a gravel path on the National Mall when our 4 year old Maddy kicked off his shoes to walk barefoot because he said his shoes made his feet hot. I can still remember the look of horror other parents were giving us as they walked by.

I'll see you tomorrow night son, Sakura here we come again!

Working Abroad: Romania & Bulgaria

If you come from my side of the world (i.e the South Pacific) then you would be forgiven if you needed to look up a map to find out where Romania and Bulgaria were. That's what I did when I found out I was headed for Bucharest, Romania and Sofia, Bulgaria for my latest assignment.

A map of Southern Europe
My first stop was in Bucharest. What did I know about Bucharest before I landed there? Try nothing at all! I should have done a little research about the place because the history of the city is quite impressive.

Remodeled in the late 19th century by French and French-trained architects, the city features large neoclassical buildings, fashionable parks, and even its very own Arc de Triomphe on the elegant Soseaua Kiseleff, an avenue longer than the famed Champs-Elysees and home to the city's mansion district.

Bucharest is laden with historical charm - from the streets of the Old City Centre, which are slowly being restored, to the grand architecture of the Royal Palace and the lush green of Cismigiu Park. The city also claims a large number of museums, art galleries, exquisite Orthodox churches and unique architectural sites.

Nicolae Ceausescu's legacy, including the Parliament Palace (formerly called the People's Palace), which at 3.76 million square feet stands as the world's second largest building after the U.S. Pentagon, provides an interesting introduction to the dictator's megalomaniac vision.
The Arc de Triomphe in Bucharest, Romania
Apparently Bucharest is also known as Little Paris for the many tree lined boulevards and French inspired buildings. We drove past the Arc on our to and from the airport and it was pretty impressive.

The view of Bucharest from my hotel room
I didn't get to see much of the city while I was there, which was a pity because I doubt if I will ever have the chance to see it again.

Downtown Sofia, Bulgaria
After spending 2 weeks in Romania, my colleague Jim and I headed for Sofia, Bulgaria. Sofia was founded over 7000 years ago and is littered with ancient ruins that go back to Roman times and beyond. I had a chance to walk around the city and see some of these ancient walls that existed during the time of Christ.

The Church of St. George, dating back to 4th century

The Church of St George is an Early Christian red brick rotunda that is considered the oldest building in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. It is situated behind the Sheraton Hotel, amid remains of the ancient town of Serdica.

Built by the Romans in the 4th century CE, it is mainly famous for the 12th-14th century frescoes inside the central dome. Three layers of frescoes have been discovered, the earliest dating back to the 10th century. Magnificent frescoes of 22 prophets over 2 metres tall crown the dome. Painted over during the Ottoman period, when the building was used as a mosque, these frescoes were only uncovered in the 20th century.
I head home tomorrow via Frankfurt. I can't wait to be reunited with Maddy and Rach, it's been too long. After a few days rest we intend on hitting the road for a 7-day road trip that will lead us through Philadelphia, NYC, Niagara Falls and Pittsburgh.

Tuesday, July 13

Movies to See

Maddy and I have been spending quite a bit of time at the movies during the holidays. The following list are the ones we have seen so far :)

The Last Airbender in 3D will not dissappoint. Was awesome and the effects were just as cool.

The Karate Kid was slow going at first but picked up half way through and ended with a bang. Thought Will Smith's son did a great acting job.

Toy Story 3 I'm actually surprised I liked this movie. Lovely story behind it.

Indispicable Me
Maddy laughed throughout the entire movie and really enjoyed it. Good for the kids.

Eclipse Hmm was ok and worth the $6 spent. I'm rooting for TEAM JACOB lol

Knight and Day thanks to Dads copy lol I kinda got bored halfway through and didn't finish watching the movie.

Grown-Ups have yet to see this one, but it's next on my list. Was told it's really funny!!!

Monday, July 12


It's been a while since we updated our blog so I thought I would post a few things that we've been doing since the last one.

Maddy is now on summer holidays and enjoying his time off school, even though he misses his friends.
The first week was spent with his friend Nathan at a basketball camp for a week. He LOVED it. I just wish it wasn't so expensive, or else I would have put him in the camp most of summer. Last week, I enrolled him at the Providence Rec Center in a SportsZone Camp which included soccer and basketball. He thoroughly enjoyed himself there too. It was a full day camp and everytime I went with Liz to pick him up, he didn't want to leave. He had made a few friends and was upset to leave them each day :(

This week will be spent mostly at home with me. Maybe the occasional movie, or play at the park or even a visit downtown DC. He's enjoys coming along with me to the gym as well. They have a cool kiddies play area with tube slides and all. I usually have to wait 10 mins after I'm done with my workout to wait for him lol.

We spent an afternoon with Liz and her cousin Lonica, Vai & Baby @ Splashdown Waterpark. Maddy couldn't get enough of the place and swam the whole time we were there. His favorite ride was the tube slide.
Maddy has also been to a few birthday parties this year -Dominic, Michael & Christopher's birthdays @ Pump it up, Avery's 8th birthday @ Skatequest, Danny's birthday @ Lasertag, and a birthday sleepover at Gavins place. We've decided not to have a bash for Maddy's birthday this year, but instead, take a small family vacation when Daddy gets back in a few weeks.
On another note, you may have noticed I no longer have a Facebook page. I decided to take a long vacation from that as I've been spending way too much time on there and not enough time with the important things in my life :) Happy Holidays everyone!!