Thursday, August 17, 2006

England Here We Come

To all my blogger friends and avid readers, there will be no updates here for the next two weeks as I am flying to England with my husband Rob tomorrow evening. This will be the last leg of our summer get-aways before getting back to 'serious business as usual' again . Stay tuned for our vacation photos, I hope to post them as soon as we get back.

Please pray for our safe trip, thanks. See you all soon .


Monday, August 14, 2006

A Weekend of Picnic and Camping

I had a pretty busy weekend last week, but it was a fun-filled one and I had a great time. On Saturday Rob and I attended a picnic with our close friends in Demarest Lloyd State Park in Dartmouth, MA. It was our 2nd time to hold a picnic like this and we agreed to make this an annual summer activity. Unlike last year where we only had a simple picnic - eating, chatting and walking on the beach; this year we also played bingo and badminton and some stayed through the night and camped at the O'Connors 'campground'. The group was also bigger this year with the addition of new friends like Lea, Joan, Khriss, Yen, Jason and Josie.

The weather was perfect, it was sunny but comfortable, with cool breeze. The children had fun playing on the sand and blowing bubbles in the air. We had a surprise birthday cake for Lea who celebrated her birthday on August 1st. However, we didn't know that our new friend Jason, husband of Josie who just moved to MA from Nova Scotia was actually celebrating his birthday on that exact date. It was their first time to join the group so they must be too shy to tell us about it but had they told us, we could have just added another candle on the cake. Click here to see the pics of our picnic.

Late in the afternoon we called it a day and proceeded to the O'Connors to start a yet another exciting night of camping, bonfire and smores. As soon as we arrived we started looking for a good spot and then began setting up our tents. Barb went home first to pick up their camping gears and ran some errands, when they arrived Tim immediately set up their tent just behind ours. At the far end of Michelle's property, Mike set up a pile of woods for bonfire later in the evening.

Michelle made a delicious dinner of baked scallops, spaghetti with meatballs and garlic bread, sinigang na buto-buto (pork bones stew) , salted eggs with tomatoes, fried rice and the most-hated-but-very-tasty danggit (dried fish) . I learned that when you hate your neighbors and you want to kick them out of the neighborhood, all you have to do is fry danggit on your deck everyday . Because as soon as I fry that danggit, all the americans dispersed and disappeared, ha ha, and I overheard Rob who wanted to use the bathroom on his way up to the deck remarked "Oh My God what is that smell?", and he immediately retreated back to the ground . Poor americans, they don't know what they're missing .

After dinner we proceeded to the bonfire area to make marshmallows and chocolate smores, they were yummy not only kids enjoyed them but the adults as well. Then Michelle took out glow sticks, glow sunglasses and sparkles and the children played with them in the dark. We also put a glow stick around Laddie's neck so we could better see him in the dark. Laddie was enjoying the cool and quiet night until Bryan lighted up firecrackers , immediately Laddie jumped up Rob's lap, shaking and wanted to climb all the way up. Poor doggie he just hates loud sounds such as that and thunder. Towards the night there were meteors showers but most of us didn't witness them only Rob and Mike. After they said they did see meteors, everybody slouched on their chairs and looked up till our necks hurt, then we finally quit and forget about it .

It was a lovely starry, cool and quiet night. We called it a night and went to sleep in our respective tents. Our tent became too cold as we tied the flap of the tent up for ventilation, but we slept good, till little Jay-jay screamed in his sleep apparently having some nightmares. Before the camping, Barb and I were teasing about our husbands' snoring, that we might not be able to sleep when the guys start snoring like an orchestra , little did we know that it was tiny Jay-jay who would keep us awake. Click here to see the pics of our camping.

Overall I had a real great time. I enjoyed the company of dear friends and its good to break away from the routine of everyday life.


Monday, August 07, 2006

More on Fishing and Clam Digging

Last Friday Barb, Lanie and I were invited to lunch at our girlfriend Michelle's house. She was the one who invited us to go fishing two weeks ago. We had fresh fish sinigang, fried fish, itlog na maalat (salted eggs with tomatoes) and ginataang bilo-bilo for dessert. The food was so great and we had a good time chatting and listening to Lanie's vacation stories. Barb had to leave early to make dinner for Tim before he goes to work. But Lanie and I decided to stick around, snack on Michelle's freshly picked blueberries and wait for her husband Mike who by the way went fishing again with another group of friends. I wanted to see if Mike could catch better fish now that we were not around, . Anyway Mike and company caught really big ones and I just want to show you how big they were. Remember our fishing escapade from my last post before this one? Had the waters been calm and flat then, these are the kind of fish we could have caught. Click here.

On Saturday, Rob and I went out clam digging again with our friends Yen and Michael at Westerly, RI together with new recruits Lea, Josie, Khriss and Corrine. Actually Rob was not even thinking of coming because he's preparing for a presentation of his project, but I talked him into it with a promise that we will go home as soon as it's over and not go anywhere else. On our way to Yen's place where we will start our convoy, we got screwed up again by Mapquest , we couldn't find our way and we had to call Michael who had a lot of patience to give directions. So we got to the clamming area quite late and we only had 3 hours or so to dig before the high tide comes in. Everybody was so engrossed digging and didn't mind getting wet. I didn't want to get soaked up because I have my 'monthly visitor' so I decided to go back to shore and just eat pancit and biko that Josie brought . Good thing Josie went with me because the gang requested that we bring some back to them. On our way back just about few feet from the shore the water was up to my crease already so I decided to just stay behind.

I sat on the rocks by the shore waiting and having conversation with some guys riding their jet skis. Then when I looked out to check on the clamming gang I noticed that the water was above Rob's waist already so I thought that he might have not noticed that his wallet and cellphone were soaked in the water too. So I tried calling him and Lea but couldn't get through. True enough his wallet and cellphone got soaked and so was Lea's cellphone, they're not working anymore so that explains why my calls couldn't get through . Poor Rob and Lea they have to get new cellphones again. Good thing Lea's was still under warranty as she just got a new one but Rob has to really buy another one.

Anyway, we had a fun time clamming. Mike the pro got 48 clams while Rob an amateur got 25, well that's including what Lea and Josie dug up . They didn't get their share anymore so I promised to cook a good dish and share the food later. I made Linguine with Red Clam Sauce on Sunday and shared it with the girls. Here are the pictures of our clamming escapade.


Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Fishing Experience

Last Sunday, we finally experienced fishing with the O'connors together with the Hunts. For over two weeks we've been looking forward to the day and couldn't wait to see how much fish we could catch. I've never experienced fishing at all though Rob fished a few times while still in Connecticut, so I was so excited like a little child. With Laddie in tow, it would even be a great experience because he loves water so much, he would dive in freezing ponds without any warning but it's too difficult to get him into the shower .

The weather was so lovely, according to Mike the water was so calm and perfect for fishing. So at around 10:30 a.m. we sailed into the ocean, boats were everywhere, people were waving at us and we waved back, everybody seemed to be enjoying the perfect day. Michelle invited me to move to the front of the boat to see the view much better. I was scared at first because the boat was moving fast, and you have to maneuver around the side to get to the front, but she held me tight and guided my way through. Then Rob and Amber followed after awhile. The front was the best part of the boat, the feeling of the breeze touching our faces was exhilirating. But after sometime, the waters became rough and we bounced up and down, and it got a little bit scary. Amber got so scared so we had to move back at the back of the boat.

We were sailing fast and away from the shore, only one or two boats were now in sight, then Mike decided to stop, lowered the anchor, and checked the depth of the water. Mike has a GPS and another gadget to check the location of the fish. While we were anchored, the boat was really bouncy, the waters very rough, and the movement of the boat was very intolerable. It really made me dizzy, Kiefer was the first one to go. I was trying hard to control my feeling of sickness, looking away to the waters to calm myself and divert my mind from puking. Then Mike decided to sail much farther because our location was not good enough. When the boat was moving again, I felt a little better, then Mike assured me that my sickness will come to past after awhile. Then when we anchored again to finally stay there to fish, I got really sea sick, I couldn't hold it any longer, and I finally puked, . Oh geez that was really hard and embarrassing, but very relieving. I didn't know Barb also went.

Mike caught a big sea bass just in less than a minute, so the location was really perfect for real good fish. Then he caught two more but just released them back to the water because they're too small. He kissed them first before finally letting them go . Tim and Rob were not very lucky. Rob felt a bite on the hook but the fish got off before even yanked up. But later Michelle was begging Mike to sail back to the shore because we're getting sick one after the other. Mike kidded that next time only men will go fishing, and the women just stay along the shore . Then we docked for awhile on the shore to eat our lunch and grill the one and only fish we caught, it was really good. Tim, Mike and the kids got off the boat to refresh themselves in the waters. Tyler enjoyed the water so much he cried no end when he was pulled out of it to eat lunch. Poor Laddie wasn't able to swim because the boat was too high for him to climb back, and he's too heavy to be carried on and off the boat.

Overall if not for the picnic on the boat, I'd say fishing was not fun . Maybe if we went initially on shallow waters it would have been more fun. But the farther you go the better fish you can catch. But for first time fisher like I am, it would not matter what kind of fish I caught as long as I get any fish bite my bait . Next time shallow waters will be good enough for me if not I would be smarter to take motion sickness medicine before sailing.

Here are the pictures we took of our fishing experience.