The Long Drive

Noelle and Marielle driving A lot of traveling is done in automobiles. Normally you only drive for an hour or two to reach your destination. (If it’s my sister driving, you’ll be there in an hour if it usually takes two. Ü) But if you’ve chosen to drive to some far-flung place because it’s cheaper than paying for plane fare, that butt-flattening ride had better be worth your time.

So how would you try to kill time on a trip that takes longer than one movie on your portable DVD player? (Put that Lord of the Rings Extended DVD box set away!)

One obvious answer is sleep. If you’re not the driver (Heaven forbid you take a nap on the job!), you’d try to get comfortable, reclining the passenger seat so you can lie back and take some Zzz’s. But of course there’s only so much sleep you can take on a bumpy ride, and take pity on your driver — he or she is bound to get bored stepping on gas and brake, gas and brake, gas and brake… Soon even your driver will be catching Zzz’s, and you wouldn’t want that!

passenger with the window down You can play some music. Not all of us are as lucky as Orlando Bloom’s character in Elizabethtown because Kirsten Dunst’s character recorded a timed road trip guide for him on several CD’s, but cars have sound systems for a reason, right? You could try tuning in to your favorite radio station (or the affiliate when you’ve driven too far to pick up the home station’s signal), or bring your own music on CD’s or iPods with FM transmitters or tape deck adaptors. What you do with that music is up to you, whether you prefer singing aloud to Kitchie Nadal or sit in reflective silence as you pretend to be serenaded by Richard Poon — or whatever your music preference is. Maybe you’d like to learn a language or have a book read out to you. Audiobooks are another way to while away your time on the road, and some can even be downloaded for free.

The best way to spend time on a long drive, however, is with worthwhile company. Nothing beats catching up with your friends on the latest in their lives, talking about other people, or just being silly during a game of “I Spy.” Personally there’s nothing I would rather take with me on a long road trip than good friends to share the time with.

How about you? How would you handle a long drive?

packed for a trip

Trippin’

If you’ve been following my Flickr photostream and have noticed a lot of travel photos uploaded within the last few hours, let me explain. Ü I’ve set up a travel blog on I.ph called Trippin’ with Noelle De Guzman. While I won’t stop posting here (because I’m more than just about travel), I’m putting all my travel posts in one place so that people who are interested in just that can find them easily. I will also be semi-mirroring those posts here, just to let you know I’ve updated the travel blog.

Vigan

The first time I went to Vigan, it was just a pitstop on my way home from Laoag. We were there for all of 30 minutes, during which we just took photographs of Calle Crisologo, the most well-preserved street in Vigan showcasing vintage building facades.

Laoag with LAC: Sidetrip to Vigan

Last March 21 I had the opportunity to enjoy Vigan better with friends from church during our Holy Week road trip (we stayed in Baguio and made a day trip to Vigan). We came on Good Friday, making the long drive from Baguio through La Union and the various towns of Ilocos Sur. It was lunch time when we got there. I thought the shops would be closed, but Holy Week means big business for this tourist spot. We had lunch at Cafe Leona, chowing down on bagnet and pinakbet before walking down Calle Crisologo.

Vigan: Calle Crisologo

We had a lot of laughs taking photos at the souvenir and curiosity shops, but I think in part I can credit this to the sense of self-deprecating humor within our group.

Vigan: Tambay

Vigan: Whip It GoodVigan: Shhh

Vigan: Oldskool Newskool

We even disovered a little treasure named Bernie, Vigan’s government dog. Such a cutie!

Vigan: Bernie the town dog

I would have been content to end there, but the group then decided to take kalesa rides to an old bell tower where scenes for the late Fernando Poe, Jr.’s Panday film had been shot.

Vigan: Kalesa Ride

As night began to fall, we savored our last photos and put our own spin on this landmark. Our only gripe about the road trip to Vigan is that it takes too long!

Vigan: Belltower

Vigan: Power Rangers?Vigan: Belltower at Night

Macau in March

March 12: Marielle, my dad, and I flew to Macau to meet up with my mom, who had gone there with a medical contingent at the start of the week. On our first day we went to the Hotel Venetian (MASSIVE!) then explored the streets around our Hotel, the Lisboa. We had an uber-late dinner at the Wynn (Il Teatro) before heading off to bed. 

Macau Day One: Skyline Macau Day One: Model of the Universe at the Venetian Macau Day One: Wannabe Gondolier Macau Day One: Lights at the Venetian Macau Day One: Street at Night Macau Day One: Near the Wynn Macau Day One: Prosperity Tree at the Wynn

March 13: Lost in Macau! No, not really. Spent the morning and early part of the afternoon at Senado Square (Largo do Senado/Sun Ma Lo) shopping and eating. Then we visited the Ruins of St. Paul church and the nearby Museum of Macau and Fortress Garden. Met up with Mico Aguilar (who works as a chef at the Wynn) for coffee, then walked about the city at night.

Macau Day Two: Trying Not to Get Lost Macau Day Two: Chinese Warrior Macau Day Two: Portuguese Warrior Macau Day Two: Mailbox Macau Day Two: Riding the Cannon Macau Day Two: A One-Gun Salute Macau Day Two: Food!Macau Day Two: Noodle Soup! Macau Day Two: Grand Lisboa

March 14: New Yao Han shopping center (and Angela’s Cafe). Hoofed it to the Grand Prix and Wine Museum, then just across the street to the Golden Lotus in Full Bloom. Fisherman’s Wharf, then laptop shopping. And more shopping.

Macau Day Three: Grand Prix Museum Macau Day Three: Fisherman's Wharf Macau Day Three: Preserved Meats Macau Day Three: Laptop Shopping

March 15: After a hearty breakfast in Macau, we took the ferry ride to Hong Kong and then took the MTR to HK Disneyland.

Disneyland Day: Breakfast in Macau at Cafe e Nata Disneyland Day: Buying MTR Tickets Disneyland Day: We're Here Disneyland Day: Belle Disneyland Day: Heavy! Disneyland Day: To the Rescue Disneyland Day: PopsiclesDisneyland Day: Hair Toss Disneyland Day: Grumpy Disneyland Day: Stitch!

LOLnoelle

I have loved LOLcats ever since I stumbled upon I Can Has Cheezburger last year while researching the O RLY? phenomenon.

Okay, backtracking a little if I haven’t lost you in the maze of Internet jargon… A LOLcat is a picture of an animal captioned with phrases written in a corrupted form of English called “LOLspeak” akin to baby talk (as if the animal were trying to speak English as a foreign language). Sometimes it doesn’t have to be a picture of an animal that gets captioned; in the case of LOLPilipinas, pictures of Filipino celebrities and famous personalities were captioned in reference to current events, to humorous effect.

Well, these days I find myself thinking in LOLspeak while going about everyday life…

pwease can i haz one LOL

LOL Luggage

My rabbit face. Lemme show u it.

Im in ur kitchun slicin ur wurmelon.

Krispy Kreme. This pleases me.

And now you know I spend too much time on the Internet. Ü

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