Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Quickie Trip Home

Some people would say I'm crazy but yes I have to make this trip. It took me so long to decide if I will make this trip but with a lot of prodding from my brother as well as my parents, I instantly made the decision on the "11th hour". I already went home last March for supposedly the kidney transplant of my brother. The transplant operation was successful and that's why this family event is so important for us also. My brother's Thanksgiving in time with my parent's 50th wedding anniversary made this so important once in a lifetime event not to miss it. Even if I don't have enough vacation leave credits to be able to stay there longer, I still opted to go home even for just 3 days. I'm sure it is worth it.

I'm at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas right now waiting for my flight to Manila and finally to Cebu City. Due to time difference, I'll lose 2 days as I will arrive in the Philippines by Thursday. The event will be on Saturday and my return flight will be the next day. Seems my time is fully loaded but again as I said, it is worth the efort and even the money.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Independence Day Road Trip Adventure

Last July 4th, American Independence Day was actually my second time that I'm off from work since year 2000 because it falls on a Sunday which is my day off. When you talk about Independence Day here in the USA, it equates to fireworks. New Year's Day and Independence Day are the only major 2 holidays that has fireworks display by the end of the day. Unfortunately, my plan of getting close to fireworks in order to photograph them was not realized. Before going to the planned venue for the fireworks show, I went with my friends to a birthday party. Unmindful of the time, we were actually late for the fireworks show. Although I captured some pictures but those were not worth sharing or even posting online. Our location was a big factor therefore I could not play around with my camera. Since we were partially disappointed with the fireworks, we decided to do something to compensate it. We immediately embarked on a road trip the following morning for a 4 hours drive to Sedona, AZ.

The main attraction of Sedona is its stunning array of red sandstone formations, commonly called the Red Rocks of Sedona. The Red Rocks form a breathtaking backdrop for everything from spiritual pursuits to hundreds of hiking and mountain biking trails. We were planning to spend a whole day at Sedona and looking at some resources online, we were attracted to the popular Pink Jeep Tours. They offer several off-road guided tours around the city and since our time was limited we opted for the most bumpy tour package, the Diamondback Gulch tour. It's a rugged outback adventure in a 4 x 4 pink jeep with extraordinary views. We all had a blast during the 2.5 hours of bumpy and thrilling ride through the authentic Diamondback trail. After the tour we roamed around the city and visited the Catholic Chapel of the Holy Cross which was perched on top of a red rock. We could have watched the famous sunset of Sedona which they said would make the red sandstones seem to glow in brilliant orange and red when illuminated by the rising or setting sun, but one of our friends will have to work early the following morning so we could not stay overnight. We therefore ventured for another 4 hours drive back to Las Vegas.