If I am having coffee… – 3/31/2016

♥This idea was taken from The Daily Post blog   ” If I am having coffee “ but I am putting a twist on it, instead of speaking to a random stranger, I will speak to people that I miss a lot  from back home.♥

with the Breakfast Club...

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RJ and Ro, we use to speak our mornings eating breakfast. This is one of the things I look forward to when I was still working.

Oh I miss you both of you. So how’s life? How’s work? How’s everything?

So have you decided who to vote this coming election? Oh I have my choice already and I am so excited to vote this year. My vote counts so make sure that you go out and vote.

So how’s work? How’s your health RJ? How’s your officemates?

Ro! I envy you because you’re really doing great in your calligraphy. I wish I have the source and materials to do it too. So hard to look for materials here. I have to order Zig pens from Japan via Amazon and waiting time is around a month.

You know what, Sofia cannot speak Tagalog anymore, when we ask her to speak Tagalog she will say ” It’s so hard and I can’t anymore”. She speaks English well, sometimes we are surprised with the things that she is saying. For sure her grandparents will have a hard time communicating with her.”

Weather is crazy here ( Canada )… in one day you can experience the 4 seasons. It’s suppose to be Spring now but in between there are days wherein it will snow. So I decided not yet to keep our winter coats and boots for now. Is it weird if I say that I miss Manila’s temperature? I cannot recall when was the last time I perspire a lot hahaha.

I miss working! I miss the corporate world so much. I miss motivating and encouraging people. I miss the interaction, I miss analyzing things and yes I miss wearing my corporate clothes and shoes. Crossing fingers that I will be able to find work soon. Sofia already agreed to attend after-school next school year. I want to go back to work, I think sometimes my brain is not working anymore…oh no!

I miss spending my mornings with both of you talking about anything. As the say, breakfast is the most important part of the day and I am glad that there was a time in my life  I get to spend it with both of you. Hopefully soon, we get to do it again.

Tata for now!

 ♥This post is in response to Part Time Monster’s #WeekendCoffeeShare.♥

Part 3: Ottawa, Capital of Canada

Day 3 – March 20, 2016

It’s our last day in Ottawa and Sofia was sad  because she wants to stay longer  I wish that too, but Monday is ” back to normal” day again for all of us.  Before going back to reality, Sam and the kids got up early to enjoy the indoor pool especially the jacuzzi. While they were there, I began packing our things making sure we don’t forget anything.

At 9:30am, they came back and started to prepare so we can check-out by 10:30 and go to Parliament before going back to Toronto. We cannot leave Ottawa without visiting the Parliament.

Off we go and look for a parking space near the Parliament, we were able to find a parking space in an office building wherein it’s free during the weekend. Lucky us, save us on having to pay parking fee…hooray!

Parliament Hill (http://www.parl.gc.ca)

1st stop is to go to 90 Wellington to get our pass, it’s just across the Parliament, it’s easy to find. Just inform the customer service that you want to have a guided tour of the parliament and they will ask if you want it in English or French and will offer you the available time slot for that day. Make sure you’re really because this is a first come, first serve basis. I guess during summer tickets runs out too fast.

We ar scheduled to attend the 11:20 guided tour and we were informed to be infront of the parliament by 11:00 for security check. So off we go and explore the grounds first.

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Centennial Flame at the Parliament , this flame commemorates Canada’s 100th anniversary as a Confederation.

 

 

The Centennial Flame is encompassed by a fountain into which many visitors to Parliament Hill throw coins for luck. Those coins are gathered, washed, dried and sorted by maintenance before it is put into a government bank account.From there the money is given to the winner of the Centennial Flame Research Award. The award, which was begun in 2005, is given “to a person with a disability to enable him or her to conduct research and prepare a report on the contributions of one or more Canadians with disabilities to the public life of Canada or the activities of Parliament. Isn’t the cool.

Of course we don’t want to miss the opportunity to have our picture taken in front of the Parliament, specifically the Queens Gate and the famous Peace Tower.

Off we go but first we need to go to a tight security check, Police will search your bags ( as in really search your bags ), then make you unbutton/ unzipped your  coats. After that, once inside there will be an airport type security check wherein your bag will be going thru the x-ray machine and all those stuffs. It’s understandable that they are doing this since the Parliament is a working building. During weekdays, MP ( Members of the Parliament ) and Senators hold their meetings in their respective rooms. Oh and not to forget, the Prime Minister too. Some important facts: MP’s are elected by the people so as the Prime Minister. For the Senate this is by appointment by the Queen herself.

We toured the Centre Block, wherein the House of Commons, the Senate , the magnificent Library, the Peace Tower and the Memorial is located. It was one awesome tour and would really go back if given a chance. Note that the tour is FREE!

 

It’s a must to visit the Parliament when you are in Ottawa, hope that one day I can bring my family and friends there.

So that’s it for our Ottawa adventure.  Till our next adventure….

 

 

 

Part 2 : Ottawa, Capital of Canada

Part 2 – March 19

Day two of our Ottawa Adventure started late because Sofia was having a fever, she was not able to sleep well and so am I ( have to check her frequently during the wee hours of the night/morning ). At first we decided that Sofia and I will stay at the hotel while Sam and Lauren will go with our relatives to explore Ottawa. After awhile, it has been decided we go on our separate ways, our relatives will explore the city by themselves.

Sofia really wanted to go out, thus we decided to bring the car and  drive around, this will be much convenient for  all of us wind chill is around -12 but good thing Mr. Sun is up giving us a warmer feeling.

National Gallery of Canada (www.gallery.ca)

An eye catching bronze spider will greet everyone before going inside the National Gallery of Canada. Called Maman,  created in 1999 and cast in 2003  by renowned Franco-American artist Louise Bourgeois as a tribute to her mother. The sculpture has 26 marbled eggs in it’s underbelly , standing 9.25meters tall and weighing 6,000 kilograms and according to NGC’s website this was the most expensive purchase of the gallery, worth  $3.25 million…wow!

 

There is a fee when you enter the gallery, for a family of four we availed of the family pack which is $24.00, which I think is pretty reasonable.

There was an exhibit entitled Human Scale, which I really like it shows a sculpture of a head of a  baby and a girl. Sofia was so excited to see it and I explained to her that when she was brought out to this world she looks like the sculpture of the baby girl ( with blood ) and that the umbilical cord is our connection and her means to get food and nutrients from me.

Sadly, we were not able to finish the whole gallery because we need to be in Rideau Hall by 1pm but here are some more pictures. I would definitely go back to NGC when we come back to  Ottawa.

 

Rideau Hall (www.gg.ca)

Rideau Hall is the residence  and workplace of the Governor General of Canada since it’s confederation in 1867. Visit to this place is  Free. There are months wherein visit needs reservations so before heading to this place check their website for more information.

The Governor General represents the Queen in Canada and exercises the responsibilities of head of State on behalf of the Queen. He is also the commander-in-chief of Canada. Governor General is appointed by Her Majesty from the listed that would be given by the Prime Minister.

Also, we have learned that when Her Majesty or any member of the Royal family comes to visit Canada they will stay in Rideau Hall and even head of states stays at Rideau Hall. When Pres. Obama visits Canada this June 2016, he will  be staying here.

Since this is an actual residence and a workplace we were told that at times (especially during weekdays ) you might bump into the Governor General or his family members. Isn’t that cool ?

Here are some pictures from Rideau Hall.

 

 

Our third museum visit is the Royal Mint of Canada ( www.mint.ca )

Established in 1908, the Royal Canadian Mint has become innovative, world-class provider of branded circulation coins, collectibles, acclaimed medals and bullion products.  There are 3 locations of the Royal Mint one in Ottawa- where they produce collectible and investment coins; Winnipeg – where they produce circulation coins  and one in  Vancouver.

You need to schedule you guided tour also, you there is a fee when entering the Royal Mint, check their website for the fee. Since this  place mint collectibles and investments coins and they use gold and silver taking pictures is not allowed inside ( except in the souvenir shop ).

The place is really nice, we were able to see the machines they use in minting coins and the raw materials use ( guess what that is ???? ). Also, there is a part there where the Royal Mint do mint coins for other countries, this happen if (1) the country is doesn’t have a capacity to mint coins (2) shortage of materials (3) other unforeseen reasons the country cannot mint coins. What happens is they enter into a contract with Royal Mint of Canada and that’s it. I was surprise to see the Philippines once had a contract with Mint in producing the 5 peso coin.

One awesome experience  is carrying a 24 cart gold bar and it weighs 28 pounds and it cost and estimate of $500,000,000.00 or more ( you know gold prices fluctuates ).

The day is about to end but before that we headed back to the hotel we decided to visit Notre Dame Basilica ( www.notredameottawa.com, we were just suppose to  go inside and take some pictures but luckily the Saturday anticipated mass is just about to start and they are celebrating the Palm Sunday mass.  For this time, mass is delivered both in English and French so we decided to stay and hear mass.

The Basilica is the oldest and largest church  in Ottawa and the seat of the city’s Roman Catholic archbishop. Will get the guided tour next time we go back to Ottawa.

 

It was a tiring but educational day 2 for us, we learned so many things and we are really in awe with the designs of the structures we visited. Sofia was feeling fine, weather was just right for us to explore the area. So off to our hotel for a well deserve rest.

to be continued…

 

Part 1 : Ottawa, Capital of Canada

Day 1 : March 18

Before March Break is over we decided to go to Ottawa. This is also a perfect opportunity to be with Family since Sam’s Aunt and Uncle is visiting from the Philippines.

First, we book our hotel via Expedia, Sam’s cousin help us to choose the hotel and  we chose Marriott Courtyard Ottawa East, this is located at Coventry Road which is not that accessible to Downtown Ottawa. You need to take the bus which is 36 mins away or drive there which is 10-15 mis away.  If you plan to spend most of your time in Downtown, stay at Marriott Courtyard Downtown Ottawa which is located at Dalhousie Street.

The hotel was nice,checking-in was hassle free, we just showed our confirmation and that’s it. The  room was spacious, bathroom was really nice (was not able to take a picture of it ) and clean.  Kids love it, first thing they did was jump on the bed and laid down the stuff animals they brought with them.

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View from our room

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Standard Room with 2 Queen Size Bed

We rested for awhile and decided around 5pm to go and grab some dinner and roam around. Wind chill was around -10 and I was worried because Sofia is not feeling that great.

We hopped on OC Transpo bus no. 9 going to Downtown. For a first timer it’s nice to take the public transpo because you get the chance to sight-see and plan where to go the following day. The bus took us to Rideau Centre, which I think is the main mall in Ottawa. We were planning to buy a Day Pass ( a pass that lets you have an unlimited bus ride for a day ) for tomorrow but we were told that we should purchase it tomorrow and we can purchase it on the bus.

We didn’t really stayed too long at the mall since we are all hungry, so we decided to walk around Byward Market.

Byward Market ( www.byward-market.com )

Established by Lt. Col. John By in 1862, it is one of Canada’s oldest and largest public markets, nestled in Ottawa’s historic neighbourhood of Lowertown. Colonel By himself laid out the street plan of the Market, making George Street and York Street extra wide so that horse drawn carriage bring food everyday can easily pass by.

Today, it is still an outdoor public market with lots of vendors, restaurants and shops all around. It would be really nice to stroll around if the weather permits.

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Map of Byword Market

Sofia was not feeling that well that night, she was having a fever thus we decided to eat dinner and headed back to the hotel.

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Sofia is not feeling well here 😦

to be continued…

 

 

 

Pride

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According to Merriam Webster , Pride is define as:

1:  the quality or state of being proud: as
a  :  inordinate self-esteem :  conceit
b  :  a reasonable or justifiable self-respect
c  :  delight or elation arising from some act, possession, or relationship

For me, one definition I can give is PRIDE is a 5 letter word that can ruin a relationship.

There are times, I have misunderstandings with my love ones and often they will say…
” It’s your pride that is killing you.” I would then say “PRIDE is all that I have and if I am right  I will stand by my principle.” ( at times this is true )

Then I realized that PRIDE can indeed ruin a relationship, the more you hold the grudge the more it becomes bad especially if you are having that feeling to people you care about. Thus I told myself that I value family and true friends, thus when I feel something bad I have to weigh things and if it’s worth it I would be humble and accept things since relationship means more than anything.

Am I right? Am I wrong?  I really don’t know but I know that Life needs to be enjoyed and  holding grudges to people who you know will be there when you need them is simply a waste of time.

 

 

 

 

 

Book :I Love You Forever

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“I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
as long as I’m living
my baby you’ll be.”

One of my favourite children book is I LOVE YOU FOREVER by Robert Munsch, it’s a Canadian picture book that was published in 1986. Our copy of the book was given to us by Sofia’s classmate last year and since them I myself find it reading repeatedly.

The story is so simple but so meaningful, it tells the story of a mother who loves his son so much. Mother’s love never fail, and each time before the day ends, regardless how old his son is  she will sneak up to his son’s room and sing the song. Until mommy grew old and died and the father made sure to continue the lullaby to his own daughter.

Like any mother, I can relate I have 2 girls ( one 13 and another 7 ) we have our disagreements but at the end of the day I can’t help it, I will still go to their room and make sure that they are sleeping comfortably.

I visited Robert’s website and found out that this book started with the ” I love you forever ” lullaby. Robert said  that he made that lullaby after they had two babies born dead. The song was his song to their dead babies. For a long time it in on his head and he couldn’t even sing it because every time he tried he will end up crying. More about the Robert on his website: Robert Munsch

So what’s your favourite book?

Canada’s Baby Panda

From March 8 – 11, Toronto Zoo will be having a Member Only viewing of the Baby Pandas. I am so excited to see them, thus after doing some morning errands off I went to take the bus to the zoo.

Meet the 5 months old panda cubs, Jia Pan Pan ( Canadian Hope ) and Jia Yue Yue ( Canadian Joy ).

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Photo grabbed from Toronto Star, Taken by Chris Young / Canadian Press

Here are some pictures that I took inside the indoor enclosure, Mommy Panda ( Er Sau ) is roaming around while her 2 cubs are sleeping soundly.

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Daddy Panda ( Da Mao ) is outside… relaxing

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Here are some cool information about  Er Sau and her babies:

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It was really an amazing experience seeing the panda cubs Jia PanPan and Jia YueYue.

Giant Pandas are now considered endangered species.