• Travels

    Day 4 of 4 States in 4-Days: Virginia

    Day 4 of our adventure began with a little extra snooze time—I must’ve needed it! I woke up feeling refreshed from a great night’s sleep. Breakfast was our usual eggs, but this time with a bonus—bacon! I was craving sausage, but no luck there.

    It was bittersweet knowing that today marked the end of our journey, a mix of contentment from the experiences we’d had and a touch of sadness that it was all coming to a close.

    Newport News, VA

    We started our day by exploring Victory Landing Park, we found ourselves momentarily lost before finding our path. Eventually, we found a spot to park, soaked in the sun and cool breeze and enjoyed the tranquil beauty around us. We stayed for about an hour, simply soaking in the beauty of the place. The distant calls of seabirds, and the peaceful atmosphere made it easy to lose track of time.

    Virginia Beach, VA

    Next up was Virginia Beach. The sun blazed down. We strolled along the boardwalk, taking in the sights. I wish we’d booked a room at one of the beachside inn we passed, so we could’ve taken a dip before heading out.

    We ended up at Ocean Eddies Seafood Restaurant for snacks, enjoying delicious calamares and a refreshing sundae. The calamares were perfectly cooked, crispy on the outside and tender inside, while the sundae was a delightful treat, a perfect way to cool down on such a hot day.

    As the day unfolded, I made time to pick up some souvenirs. Though I found a few lovely items, I couldn’t shake the feeling that I should have ventured a bit further off to find something truly unique and special.

    Our adventure concluded with a grand buffet feast at Yukai Japanese & Seafood Buffet, where I indulged in sushi, salmon, oysters, shrimp, and more. As we savored each bite, I couldn’t help but reflect on the memories made and the bonds forged throughout our journey—a perfect ending to an unforgettable adventure, a day filled with joy, laughter, and a deep appreciation for the beauty and richness of our experiences.

  • Travels

    Day 3 of 4 States in 4-Days: Pennsylvania and D.C.

    Day 3 of the adventure started with a bit of a rough start—I ended up pulling an all-nighter thanks to the K-Drama “Queen of Tears.” Sleep finally caught up with me around 4am, only to be interrupted by my sister and my 4-year old nephew. Breakfast was a blur of sausage, eggs, and apple juice, the classic combo. I even attempted pancakes, but let’s just say they weren’t my finest culinary moment.

    But hey, today had something exciting in store.

    Hershey, PA

    Now, my relationship with chocolate is a bit like a rollercoaster—sometimes I am all in, other times it is a hard pass. But today was like a dream come true. You can imagine how happy I was. Every moment was delightful and filled with sweetness and joy. Stepping into Hershey’s Chocolate World, I expected a simple shopping spree, but my sister had other plans. We ended up on the adventure journey, though I suspect we weren’t on the same page about which tour to take. My nephew had a blast on the Candy Expedition.

    Despite the confusion, I managed to snag some adorable keychains, fridge magnets, and shot glasses, all carefully chosen with my workmates in mind. I can already picture their smiles when they see these souvenirs!

    Washington, DC

    As we drove into the capital, I couldn’t help but notice how scorching hot it was, despite the leafy canopy of trees lining the streets. I did feel hunger creeping up on me as we strolled along. All I wanted was to stay in the cool confines of the car, but duty called. Off we went, ready to explore the nation’s capital, even if it meant enduring a bit of heatstroke along the way. Waiting for the Circulator was bit of a drag. We waited nearly 45minutes for a dollar ride. Nothing beats exploring the city with good company. I was torn between wanting to soak in the sights and yearning for the sweet relief of air conditioning.

    Alexandria, VA

    Today’s adventure led us straight to Jollibee in Virginia. With 2-piece chicken and palabok on the table, we were ready for a taste of home. Despite missing out on my beloved sundae, the hearty portions of chicken made up for it, American-style! Every bite was a nostalgic journey, reminding us of the comforts of Filipino cuisine. Jollibee in Virginia isn’t just a restaurant—it’s a heartwarming reminder that home is wherever good food and good company come together.

    Sitting there with my uncle and mom, sharing stories and laughter over a delicious meal, I felt a deep sense of contentment. The familiar flavors and the warmth of the restaurant’s ambiance wrapped around us like a comforting hug. It was a beautiful reminder that, no matter how far we roam, the tastes and traditions of home are always there to bring us back to our roots.

    After a hearty meal at Jollibee, we made our way to Holiday Inn. Though the elevator felt a bit dated, the cozy atmosphere more than made up for it. I welcomed the comfort of our room and drifted off to sleep early, knowing that a good night’s rest awaited. Sometimes, the simple joys of a cozy inn are all you need to recharge for the adventures ahead.

    As I nestled into the soft, welcoming bed, I reflected on the day’s adventures, from the sweet delights of Hershey’s Chocolate World to the historical splendor of Washington, DC, and the comforting familiarity of Jollibee. It had been a day filled with little moments of joy and discovery, and now, with the promise of a peaceful night’s sleep, I felt ready to embrace whatever adventures tomorrow might bring.

  • Travels

    Day 2 of 4 States in 4-Days: New Jersey and Pennsylvania

    It’s Day 2 of our adventure through four states in four days, and it’s a day filled with surprises and unforgettable moments.

    Last night’s sleep was a bit of a struggle. The bed felt unfamiliar, and I found myself tossing and turning throughout the night. Luckily, Uncle refrained from cranking up the air conditioner, despite the freezing temperatures outside our cozy room.

    Morning greeted me with laziness, and I dragged myself out of bed later than planned. Breakfast at the neighborhood inn didn’t quite hit the spot. I was yearning for something comforting, like a warm bowl of rice porridge, but we were in the land of sausages and eggs. So, I settled for a simple meal of sausage, egg, and apple juice, and skipping the usual dose of caffeine.

    After fueling up, we decided to revisit the boardwalk in the broad daylight. I snagged a sweater from the souvenir shop to combat the chilly breeze, along with some keychains and fridge magnets to commemorate our journey. A quick walk to the beach followed before we hit the road again, bound for our next destination.

    Philadelphia, PA

    Parking proved to be a bit of a challenge upon our arrival in the city. After circling the streets in search of a parking spot, we eventually parked in a nearby building. Stepping out of the car, we were met with a wave of heat that made me regret wearing that sweater.

    Our exploration of Philly was a whirlwind affair. We wandered around, soaking in the sights, and indulging in a bit of souvenir shopping. The Liberty Bell was a highlight, though the tight security and my nephew’s tendency to bolt kept us on our toes.

    After a quick tour, we went to look for the famed cheesesteak joints.

    After our bustling day exploring Philly, we were all feeling a bit worn out, so we decided to call it a day and drive to Holiday Inn. But you know what? The Holiday Inn turned out to be a hidden gem—affordable and squeaky clean.

    Once we were settled in, the temptation to keep exploring tugged at us once more. The exhaustion had a tight grip on us, and even our designated driver couldn’t resist the siren song of sleep.

    Instead of going out, we opted for delivery and treated ourselves to a feast of Asian cuisine. With each dish that arrived, our order seemed enough. We surrendered to the embrace of sleep, dreaming of the adventures that awaited us on the next day.

  • Travels

    Day 1 of 4 States in 4-Days: New Jersey

    Thanks a lot to my Uncle for being the organizer of this trip. If it were up to just us, we’d probably still be debating where to go! As someone who’s used to planning trips back home, organizing adventures in US is a whole new challenge. With my Uncle and Rajha’s knack for planning, we were all set to roll. My Uncle had this whole itinerary mapped out, and all we had to do was nod along. I mean, it’s my first time venturing out of state, so I was game for wherever we go. Literally.

    So, when departure rolled around on Friday night and the return was set for Tuesday, I was like, “Four days and five nights of adventure, here we come!” Little did I know, it was gonna be quite the ride.

    We kicked things off by picking up our rental car. Yep, we needed a whole car because squeezing into ours wasn’t an option. Then, after 9 pm, we hit the road straight for New Jersey. Shoutout to my brother-in-law for pulling off that epic drive. Seriously, 11 hours including pit stops? That’s dedication right there.

    Jersey City, NJ

    Now, picture this – windy, chilly weather, and me without a jacket. Smart move, right? Long sleeves were all I had to brave the chilly wind. But hey, with the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island as the backdrop, I couldn’t complain. Snapping pics left and right at Liberty State Park, trying to capture the whole park with the stunning NYC skyline in the distance – unforgettable.

    As we strolled back to the car, my stomach was rumbling like a thunderstorm, reminding me that it was time for lunch. We skipped breakfast, so I was definitely overdue for a hearty meal. My Uncle mentioned White Castle burgers. I figured, why not? Well, let me tell you, those two-bite burger didn’t just fill me up but also knocked my taste buds. No wonder my uncle is such a fan! It’s a shame they’re nowhere to be found in North Carolina, let alone the Philippines.

    Atlantic City, NJ

    We checked into Eldorado Motor Inn around 3 pm and, boy, were we ready to stretch our legs. Well, except it was freezing outside, so we opted to cozy up indoors for a while. But eventually, we hit the boardwalk around 7pm. And let me tell you, it felt like we had the whole place to ourselves. My Uncle mentioned how it used to be bustling with people, but hey, I kind of liked the quiet vibe too.

    As for food, we stumbled upon this Mexican diner – a total jackpot. Wraps, sandwiches, chicken wings – you name it, we devoured it. And the portions? Huge! Definitely meant for sharing, but who’s got time for that when the food’s this good?

    Stay tuned for Day 2 of our adventure!