The Donut Man in Glendora, CA

Wow!

Our landing in America has triggered an annoying obsession that The Husband wants me to shake off. I am obsessed with American doughnuts, the ones I’ve seen the cops down with black coffee in a styrofoam cuts in the movies. No, I don’t eat a doughnut a day to keep the doctor away (or more likely close by), but I do hanker for the popular local doughnut whenever we travel across the US.

Our trip to SoCal warranted a visit to one of the most unique donut shops ever: The Donut Man.

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The Hoover Dam experience: A photo diary

THE Hoover Dam

Every time The Husband and I travel to visit the Grand Canyon, or rather attempt to travel to the great hole in the ground (Oh woe is the ever elusive Grand Canyon!), we somehow stumble upon something else and eventually not end up reaching the Grand Canyon. But our stumbles have not been disappointing at all. Who would have thought that we would even stumble upon THE Hoover Dam?

The Husband took a turn when we saw the “Hoover Dam” directional sign and I was blown away by the greatness of this gargantuan man made structure.

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The ultimate milestone for the Serious Eats super fan

The entrance to the office of food wonders!

When The Husband said he was going to New Jersey for a business trip, the first thing that tumbled out of my mouth was “ICANGOTONEWYORKANDVISITTHESERIOUSEATSOFFICE! Squuuueeeeeeeeee!!!”

“So you know someone from there? Will they even allow you in?”

“Uh…yes. I am Twitter friends with Robyn (of The Girl Who Ate Everything which I have been reading since 2006).”

With raised eyebrows, he asked “So you’ve met her in person?”

*crickets chirping*

But today, I can actually say that YES I have met Robyn and the rest of the Serious Eats gang in person.

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Washington DC’s National Cherry Blossom Festival

Sunshine + cherry blossoms = perfect Washington DC weekend

Rain again?

Weeks out of the sunny Southwest make me miss the bright blue skies. I really thought that spring time is all about sunshine, the green grass and cheery speckles of flowers. Maybe not in the East Coast. The past days have been all overcast skies and puddled potholed roads.

Washington monument in spring

Though I think God was on our side when it was all sunshine in our Washington DC visit for the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

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Porto’s Bakery & Cafe in SoCal

THE famous Porto’s Bakery

I honestly did not know much about what to eat when in Los Angeles, CA. Sadly, it was not one of those top of mind food destinations just because I was more focused in our neck of the Southwest, places which are, at the most, a 3-hour drive away (Remember that drive to Salt Lick BBQ?). Suggestions and recommendations from our family and friends who are based in or have frequented the area were certainly welcome then.

So when four different people prodded us to visit Porto’s and buy ourselves a box or two (or even three!) of cheese rolls, we took the hint (you really will!) and went there. Luckily for me and The Husband, my cousin actually had this as part of our itinerary for our short weekend stay in Los Angeles.

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Janet Echelman in Phoenix, AZ

Her Secret is Patience, Phoenix AZ

A few months ago, I stumbled upon this video on imagination on TED, one of my most favorite web channels for all things moving and inspiring. It was about this artist, Janet Echelman, who travelled to India for a painting exhibit and how she overcame the challenge of her missing paints. Yep, her paints went missing. Inspired by the fishermen and their nets, she instead created moving sculptures made from this humble material.

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How to renew your Philippine passport in the US

Mabuhay!

The Husband and I are still Philippine citizens, holding Philippine passports, which are valid for 5 years at a time. So six months before expiration date, we are still required to renew the passport’s validity.

Here in the US, Filipinos holding Philippine passports do need to make a personal appearance at the Philippine consulate to renew their passports. Good thing that The Husband was sent to Southern California on business (with me tagging along), which was relatively near the Los Angeles Philippine consulate.

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Seafood City: the Filipino Superstore in SoCal

Filipino food paradise!

I consider myself very lucky that we live in our neck of the Texas woods. The roads are wide. Wildlife: fuzzy squirrels, bunny wabbits, and the occasional possum freely roam the open spaces. The nights quiet. We’ve got amazing Texas BBQ. And we’ve got easy access to a number of Asian supermarkets that make the foundation of our very Filipino pantry. Though there are a couple of ingredients that are not available or are insanely expensive like the $4 bottle of spanish sardines, it is enough to keep us happy…until I actually came face to face with a Filipino supermarket.

Yep, its not an Asian grocery with just a sprinkle of Filipino ingredients, but a Filipino one through and through. How did I know? Well, here’s how…

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St Basil Catholic Church in Los Angeles, CA

Thank you Lord!

I seem to be stumbling into beautiful Catholic Churches / Chapels whenever we travel. Not that it is a bad thing, but I guess this is God’s way of reminding me on how blessed The Husband and I have been the past years abroad. It is just right that we always stop by to check in with the Lord and admire the beauty of the Church, which is just across the Philippine Consulate in Los Angeles.

See how beautiful this historical Catholic Church is…

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Fish Fridays of Lent in SoCal

Lenten season advertising?

In the Philippines, fast food chains start advertising their fish fares a month before the start of Ash Wednesday since majority of practicing Catholics do abstain from meat as part of the Lenten tradition. So I was quite surprised to stumble upon this particular billboard in SoCal when I tagged along with The Husband on a business trip.

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