HELLO CANADA

2011. A year when our cousin and her family migrated to Canada for good. As we dropped them to the airport and saw walking away from us, we couldn’t help but to embrace the reality that we need to be independent now, to accept that our life in Dubai must go on without their guidance anymore, to think that it is just a temporary goodbye and someday we’ll see each other again. I can’t explain where I get the nerves to imagine the same scenario with her family, not to say goodbye but to welcome me in Canada airport. Oh..la..la…this is the starting point of unleashing the dreamer in me.

throwback...2011 (Dubai Airport)

throwback…2011 (Dubai Airport with my extended family)

2015-July is my target goal. A year before that, I faced the biggest challenge in my life leaving me with no choice but to set aside my personal dream temporarily. I’m still fine even if I didn’t make it the way I plan.

Fast forward to 2016, I pick up my dream again. I started to plan, ask, research and apply for visitor’s visa. Prayers work. Easter Sunday this year when I received my passport with a visa stamped on it. Thank you, Lord!

The scenes I visualized way back in 2011 happen exactly  last June 30. Again, they were in the airport to pick me up. It’s nice to see them after so many years. We created happy memories again but this time in their place in Canada.

Yehey....reunited...

                                         Yehey….reunited… (Canada Airport)

 

Thank you!

                                                                  Thank you!

 

They were excited to roam me around. Our first stop: Prince’s Island Park. They don’t know that I appreciate the nature more than any gorgeous building or malls so being in the park early in the morning is such a heavenly gift. I keep on saying “wow” to my cousin. She’s just laughing at me and said that the place, though it’s relaxing, might be ordinary if I will see the other tourist’s destination in Canada. Okay, let’s see those place in my next posts but for now walk with me as we start our stroll to Prince’s Island Park.

garden

 

Prince’s Island Park is an urban park located in north of Downtown Calgary. It is actually an island on the Bow River where many major festivals was held every year.

pisdaan

 

flowers

 

miniisland

The Park occupy 20 hectares land. So big enough to accommodate lot of visitors. There’s a lot of things you can do inside the park like:

Picnic under the green trees.

tables

Walking/running/biking in the pathways.

pisdaan3

Reading/ chit chatting while sitting in the wooden bench.

bench

 

Enjoying the Pond.

lake

Relaxing on wide green spaces.

flowgar

Best view of Office Hub inside the park.

bldg

Finding Squirrel.

squirrel

Simply do nothing and just enjoy the surrounding.

apartment

pinetree

Prince’s Island Park is connected to different footbridge making it easy for park lovers to visit anytime of the day. We walked to Peace Bridge on our way back to Downtown. This is one of the famous pedestrian bridge according to my cousin.

peacebridge

peacebridge2

The park is open daily and no admission fee. If you really love nature tripping then Prince’s Island Park is offering you the best place to relax within the city center.

 

 

GUILTY PLEASURE

“What is your guilty pleasure? I mean something you are willing to spend your money on without feeling guilty?”

That is the question asked by my officemate when we’re both heading home one evening. I’m always sleeping in the car (especially if its traffic) but that simple question awakes me and lead both of us  for engaging conversation. With a big smile on my face, I look at her and said, “Travel“. She thought my answer will be bags, clothes, gadget like what fascinates to other women she knew but hearing such word from me comes a bit surprise. For a girl who only visited Philippines and Singapore then how come my respond revolves on traveling? Well, at that time, I can’t consider it as guilty pleasure because I’m not spending my hard earned money on it. My expenditures on both countries is within my limited budget. No huge amount that I might felt guilty afterwards.

I don’t care if some establishment’s has 50% on sale. It will definitely take time before someone convinces me to buy something unless price reduction came from travel airlines. Surely, I’m in a hurry to check it anytime whether it falls on my leave application or not. Thinking of going to some places makes me happy and motivated. However, when the question asked last year, I’m  not actually into it. I know I want to travel but lack of action remain on my side. Hopefully someday.

After a series of discussion, I heard her said, ” What are you waiting for?”, from which I replied, ” right timing“. Yes, traveling is something I’m ready to pay at any cost but some priorities still on top of my list. I remember I gave her my reason why I’m not pursuing my guilty pleasure: 1. Management decision to approve my leave as per my requested date 2. Money 3. Travel companion as I’m not confident enough to do it solo.

Who would have thought that in a span of 1 year after such conversation, my guilty pleasure comes to life? My 3 reasons are not a question anymore because the “right timing” suddenly steps in. I look at 2016 as my guilty pleasure year. Who am I to say no when this is what I really wanted to do long time ago. Finally, my wishful thinking of traveling reveal a new chapter.

No more someday. The reason why I”m not active in blogging is because I’m working and in between those days I got the opportunity to discover Georgia last February, Canada in July to mid-August and Oman last month.

I am beyond thankful that I dream about it, I plan and now I can say…I did!

 

NO MORE WHY

Dear Blog,

I would like to apologize for not giving you spare time. Did I forgot you? Of course, NOT! You will always be part of me. So, you might asking me now what happen these past few months? It was month of May when I visit you and after that nothing follows. I was supposed to be committed to you but I failed. Sorry.

Don’t be sad If I didn’t update you or should I say our conversation become less this year. Not because I don’t have anything to share. There’s more actually and I am hoping I could give what you deserve.

If only you knew my willingness to share everything that happens to me right away but my to-do-list keeps on knocking in front of me. Who am I to say no to these opportunities if it was all for my personal fulfillment. Those days that you think I’m missing in action is the moment I used to achieve some of my dreams. Believe me, my blessings this year is undeniably pouring left and right. Big thanks to God!

Don’t worry I’m back on my regular programming. I just came from my recent travel and here I am ready to share what makes me busy during those ‘silent’ months.

Thank you for your understanding.

Sincerely yours,

Loidabestdiscovery

RE-VISIT: AL AIN ZOO

When holiday marks on our calendar it gave us an opportunity to visit other places other than Dubai. Afternoon of May 5, my DXB family explore Al Ain Zoo as our way of showing to our niece some real animals. It was our 2nd time already. I remember, our niece is still a baby when we chanced upon this place and now she’s a schoolgirl who can identify animals with 2 feet, can fly, lived in the water, etc. Our trip to Zoo is a great time to introduce her to other animals that she rarely heard or seen on tv. As for us, adults, we appreciate it more than what we experience before.

Our welcome banner!!!!!

                                                        Our welcome banner!!!!!

Here are the list of big improvement and changes why visiting Al Ain Zoo is must-try for every family:

  1. ANIMALS

This is the main reason or the top priority why we visit Al Ain Zoo. We can clearly see the animals from the clear glass/wire mesh surrounding them.

animals1

 

animals2

animals3

animals4animals5

animals6      2. AL AIN SAFARI & SHEIKH ZAYED DESERT LEARNING CENTRE

All guest can have a close encounter to animals and more level up adventure or educational tour if they will avail this package for AED 230 (group truck). There’s a different timing for both tour so you better book it in advance. Due to time constraint as we step in the zoo almost 5:30pm, we only take the zoo access and maximize our stay before we head back to Dubai.

3. EXHIBITS

Al Ain Zoo has various exhibit that visitors can enjoy while touring the zoo. Gladly we saw some part of it.

world desert

4. SPACIOUS WALKWAY

Since it is an official holiday when we went there, we already expect the number of people who pays a visit. Good thing to know that more expansive walkways and tarpaulins are good way of accommodating volume of visitors.

walkway

5. TRAIN

Walking for some hours is so tiring sometimes. If you still want to enjoy the zoo without getting pain in your foot then avail the free train ride.

train

6. REST AREAS

Still tired? Take a sit and enjoy the view of the surrounding.

kubo

7.  NATURE’S TRIPPING

I love to see green plants/trees on all my trip especially here in UAE. Kudos to Al Ain Zoo team for pursuing their effort of planting trees/grass amidst desert land.

trees

8. MOSQUE

Praying is part of UAE’s local/expat resident. Muslim visitors are definitely welcome here.

mosque

9.  SOUVENIR’S SHOP

Oh well for those who wanted to take home animals (sorry children, real animals is not allowed) then head to this store to purchase one.

stores

 

10. RESTAURANT

If you feel hungry, don’t worry as Zarafa Café is within your vicinity.

zarafa cafe

 

11. PARK

If you want to relax for a while after series of walk then sitting under the shade of tree is something you can do inside the Al Ain Zoo.

park

There are other areas that we didn’t see on this trip due to limited time but still, I can say that all improvement and changes done over the past years are for the benefit of all guests. As they said, Al Ain Zoo is getting bigger and better.

Zoo Access ticket: AED 30 (Adult) AED 10 (child)

NATIONAL BREAKFAST DAY

Another reason to be thankful today….my officemates and I celebrate the National Breakfast Day at Mc Donald’s. Yehey!!!!! Thank you McDo for giving us free Egg McMuffin.

mcdo

GLOBAL VILLAGE

If you’re in a budget and wish to travel the world then Global Village is the right place for you. For only Aed15 you will be delighted to see the partial beauty of each country as well as the product they represent. By a simple walk, you can hop from one country to another without much expenses involve.

Global Village is an outdoor park operated only during cold months started last November till April 9 this year. Though it is an annual celebration, you can witness some changes every year. Good thing we never let it pass without spending 1 weekend on this must-visit tourist destination.

GLOBAL ENTRANCE

We were there as early as the opening hours which is 4pm. We always prefer to see its basking beauty while sun is up till it was blanket with glamorous light at night. See, people lining up in the ticketing area as early as possible  because they know more and more visitor will surely come after.

Right after we enter the huge gate, our eyes are rolling to the beautiful façade surrounding us. Be ready with your camera as every spot is really a good keepsake. Here are 9 things you can do in Global Village:

  1. Traveling

No need for visa and ticket, just come here and you’ll see each country in a couple of hours.

C1C2C3C4C5C6

2. Shopping

Every country has something to offer. From wardrobe, food, small items and even product which they are proud of.

product1

product2
3.  Take a rest there’s a bench

Taking rest is a must in every journey. Good to see a few number of wooden bench in the area. I can sit while enjoying the moment. Some are lying on the grass and nobody will ask you why.

GROUND

4. Eating

Walking non stop will somehow get you tired. So for recharging your energy, indulge yourself into numerous food outlet. Some kiosks are scattered within the vicinity but if you want a truly dining experience then proceed in a respective area where you can choose from different restaurant.

RESTAURANT

5.  Watch shows

There’s a big stage in the central area where you can watch different performers for free. Most of the events/raffle announcements were done here. If you want to be  more specific to see the best artist coming from each country then step inside to each pavilion as they also provide great entertainment  every night.

STAGE2

6. Dancing fountain

I’m not sure if it 6pm or 6:30pm (start) but you will definitely feel relax watching the fountain. The water will dance accordingly when the music start to play on. That time it was Celine Dion’s “My heart will go on” playing in the background.

FOUNTAIN

7. Parade

A special procession of artists representing each country is also a show-stopper. Joint them as they roam the street.

PARADE

8. Fireworks display

Waiting for special occasion to watch fireworks? No need. You can see the marvellous display at Global Village upon closing time.

FIREWORKS

9. Games and rides

One area in Global Village is dedicated to those visitor who are games and rides fanatic. You can try your luck in playing some games and if it’s your advantage then a big stuff toys awaits as your prize or try any of available rides which suited to your competence.

RIDES

So before Global Village close its 20th season by April, please pay a visit and allow yourself to also experience what I mentioned above.

 

 

 

BLESSINGS IN THE RAIN

Exactly one week ago when Dubai and other emirates experience too much rain that caused work stoppage, early pack up, school closed and a bit stress for all residents. The incident headlines all news and became ‘talk of the town’ for the past few days. There is only 2 seasons here in UAE- summer and winter (not so cold) so rain is something we really don’t expect at all. Last March 9, like any normal day, I was in the office doing my routine. It’s past 8am but in my window it looks like sunset already as darkness engulfed the surrounding. Some part of UAE is raining already but on that day only it was forecast in Dubai. Okay, so we know it will rain but we didn’t expect the aftermath of it.

I know how challenging to be in that kind of situation. Lots of people were surprised and at the same time, worried of what will happen next. It rained continuously. We saw it. We experience it. We are also affected. We see a lot of negativity but that chaos help us to see the positive side of being trapped in that unexpected circumstance.

SCENE: Raining hard outside.
SEEN : Dirty glass windows have an automatic cleanup and trees were watered instantly.

SCENE: Computer/internet/telephone shutdown.
SEEN : I have time to file my papers properly.

SCENE: No service car.
SEEN : Our boss share his big car to us.

SCENE: Traffic start to build up and my officemate were still in Gasoline station. We need to pick her up.
SEEN : She manages to cross the street and be with us before rain pour non-stop.

SCENE: Too much flood in the roundabout.
SEEN : Our car passed it with flying colors.

SCENE: Another flooded area where we saw a stranded BMW car.
SEEN : A cue not to proceed, park the car somewhere and wait for the water to dwindle.

SCENE: My officemates and I want to ‘pee’ and we’re in front of other company.
SEEN : Thankful to the guard for allowing us to used their toilet.

SCENE: Around 4 to 5 cars park where we are and undecided if they will go or not.
SEEN : It’s an opportunity to chit chat with them while waiting.

SCENE: After passing time and flood half-subside, we’re ready to go. Only to find out, our car didn’t make it and we’re stuck in the middle.
SEEN : Our boss braved the water to know how deep it was and back to car calmly then try to call for help.

SCENE: We need to take the car out of the water at least. 1 boy + 4 girls. Who will push it by the way?
SEEN : 3 workers who walk in the area saw us and help to push our car.

SCENE: Car is out of danger but it’s not working.
SEEN : 1 of the 3 guys who help us instruct our boss of what has to be done. He listens attentively and after few minutes, he’s ready to drive again.

SCENE: Running out of fuel and there’s traffic ahead.
SEEN : We found an alternate route leading to nearest Gas station.

SCENE: Stranded for more than 4hrs and we’re hungry.
SEEN : There’s fast food chain in Gas station where we ate our super late lunch.

SCENE: Another congested traffic before reaching the national highway.
SEEN : Our tummy and gas is full.

SCENE: News that some station (Metro) need to close due to rain.
SEEN : We’re on the car most of the time and when we finally reach the metro station, it’s fully operational.

Imagine, we leave around 11:30am trying to get home early last Wednesday but with those unanticipated scenes above that comes along our way, we reach home almost 6pm. It’s not easy to face that challenges. Due to sudden turn of events, we might end up exhausted, frustrated and even hopeless but that never happen. Yes, we are disturbed but we eventually SURVIVED. We’ll charge it to experience. It’s a looooong day but what matter is we came home safe and sound. Still, there’s blessings in the rain.

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