Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #219: Treasure Hunt


Tina from Travels and Trifles is the hostess for this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge and the theme of Treasure Hunt is chosen.

Continue reading “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #219: Treasure Hunt”

US-Canada Trip 2022 Day 9


For reference, day 9 is referring to September 28, 2022.

It’s day 2 in Philadelphia and I would say it felt more relaxed than normal. There wasn’t much rushing from place to place. I think the expectation has been lowered ever since we got sick, to not try to see the entire city but to focus on one place at a time. If there’s time, we’ll see more.

Mom seemed convinced she contracted COVID from the guy sitting next to her on the plane. He wore a mask and his wife next to him seemed to be on medication that made her sleepy and confused. She was listening to the symptoms of COVID all night long.

We stayed in a hotel in downtown Philadelphia the night after staying in the worst motel imaginable. The downtown hotel felt like heaven compare to the other motel. The first thing I did was take 2 showers to rid the smell of cigarettes from my body and hair. I washed and rinsed and washed and rinsed until I could no longer smell that dreadful scent.

We spent the morning visiting the National Constitution Center, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Once again, mom didn’t like it because of the so-called “skewed perspective.” I wanted to read every placard on display in that museum but each time I found something interesting, I’d get pulled away by mom.

The exhibits I enjoyed the most were the Civil War and Women’s suffrage exhibits. I find Civil War to be one of the most fascinating time in US history and I briefly listened to a podcast on women’s suffrage last month, so I was excited to learn more. Mom was uninterested to go to both exhibits but thankfully, she let me go alone while she waited outside.

I don’t know why I keep getting the feeling of being undermined. For example, I got hungry and wanted to make myself a bowl of noodle soup. Mom wanted me to wait until she got back but I figured I’m a grown-up and I can make it myself. I overheated the water and made a tiny mess in the microwave.

“I told you to wait for me.” She clicked her tongue. I hate it when she does that because that’s when I know I done something she thinks is wrong which has been often on this trip.

Anyway, it’s back to Jersey tonight because we couldn’t book an extra night in downtown Philly. We’re heading back to Trenton, NJ to see New Jersey State House before crossing over to Pennsylvania and head for Gettysburg where we’ll stay for the next 2 nights.

US-Canada Trip 2022 Day 8


For reference, day 8 is referring to September 27, 2022.

I have so many thoughts at the moment. I don’t know whether that’s due to sleep deprivation or the fact that I am now sick, too, caught whatever Mom got from sharing a bed and probably not covering her mouth when she coughed around me. I feel like shit. My nose is stuffy, my voice is hoarse and at times, gone, and I’m coughing like there’s no tomorrow.

I’ve also been getting next to no sleep with mom blasting YouTube all night long while unconsciously snatching the covers, leaving me with nothing, and snoring so loud and I mean loud. I think my sleep at night has been more like catnaps – waking up every so often like someone’s anticipating the alarm to ring.

This morning, I woke up in the worst motel room imaginable, my hair and body reek of cigarette smoke and marijuana. I felt a bit better, not coughing as much. Mom was quite the opposite. She looked like she’s going to cough out a lung. That’s the last time I will ever share a bed.

At 9:30 AM, we arrived in the heart of Philadelphia, PA – the city of Brotherly Love. The traffic felt absolutely chaotic. The moment we got off the Ben Franklin bridge, we saw people walking in the middle of the road, among cars!

Aren’t they afraid of being hit? It is a highway after all.

After parking the car in the lot next to the hotel, we made our way around the city – first to Chinatown and then to Independence Hall.

I have never been to Independence Hall nor seen the Liberty Bell in person, only in movies. So I was excited to expand my knowledge of U.S. History.

Or so I thought…

Mom rushed me from one display to the next without ever allowing me to read the text. I told her to hold on and wait for me a few times but her answer was always, “there’s nothing to see here.” She said Independence Hall has changed drastically since her last visit which was 24 years ago. She said the history placards have been rewritten by the recent presidents to make the history of the Founding Fathers skew toward the institution of slavery.

To be honest, from the texts I managed to read, I did not see any skewing and biases toward African American. Sure, history is always told from one perspective and that perspective isn’t always right but that’s just what history is, isn’t it?

US-Canada Trip 2022 Day 7


I’m writing this post on my phone as opposed to my laptop. I’m not sure how it’ll look, so bear with me.

I traveled to 3 states yesterday. That must be some kind of record or maybe that’s just me because I’m from Western U.S. and the states are huge compared to the east. Anyway, we crossed into the US early in the morning after we were grilled by the custom officer.

He asked why, of all the cities in the whole world, we chose to visit Toronto and Ottawa. I don’t remember being grilled like this when I returned to the US after visiting Canada 5 years ago or is that just typical manner of the people on the east coast? Mom said he was just doing his job but really?

It certainly left a sour taste in my mouth.

We drove through New York and Pennsylvania before getting to our destination – Washington Crossing State Park in New Jersey. It surprised me by how green it was. Perhaps, it’s because I’m from out west where there’s little to no rain.

I loved the greenery and seeing the autumn colors starting to peek through. It was one of my purposes of the trip.

I’ve always wanted to see the place where George Washington crossed the Delaware river as depicted by the famous painting but it turned out, the painting had exaggerated the event as often history does. It was certainly a good history lesson and I learned quite a bit from this little history tour.

Which brings me back to why I’m writing this post on my phone. I stayed at the worst motel in the history of worst motel last night in Bordentown, New Jersey. I requested for a non-smoking room and the moment I entered the room, the smell of pot and smoke hit me like a punch in the face. I told front desk and all he did was spritzed air freshener in the room.

After he left, I discovered not only could I not get wifi in the room but my cell signal was gone too. It was like being sucked into a black hole. Normally, I wouldn’t mind a night without internet but I happened to need to modify the itinerary which involved modifying a few hotel reservations and I can’t do that when I don’t have internet.

After complaining to the guy and showing him the room was a black hole, he switched me to another room. Still, the smell of pot and smoke hit me when I opened the door. I’ve stayed at plenty of bad motels before but this is by far the worst.

Well, I’ll reporting from Philadelphia for the next 2 days. Hopefully, my living accomodations improves.

CFFC: Photos in 50 steps or less


The garden is always less than 50 steps away.

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge

CMMC: July Pick a Topic


Garden after rain
Continue reading “CMMC: July Pick a Topic”

CMMC: June Week 5: Flowers


Continue reading “CMMC: June Week 5: Flowers”

CFFC: Wood


Fossilized wood
Continue reading “CFFC: Wood”

CMMC: March Close Up


My crocus has finally come up!
Continue reading “CMMC: March Close Up”

CMMC: January Pick a Topic


Cee’s Midweek Madness Challenge

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #165: Going Wide


This week, on Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #165, Patti invites everyone to go wide (in photos, not football).

Continue reading “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #165: Going Wide”

CFFC: Here Comes the Sun


First time trying to match a photo to song lyrics, the song given is Here Comes the Sun by the Beatles. I fear I might had botched the meaning but this is how I interpreted this section of the song:

Continue reading “CFFC: Here Comes the Sun”

Independence Day 2021


It has certainly been an interesting Independence Day this year. I spent this morning squeezing past crowds, trying to find a good spot to watch the annual parade. There was so much festivity in the park, something I didn’t think I’d ever see again after more than a year of masks and social-distancing.

The city started celebrating on July 2 and I got the feeling that this was a belated celebration of the city’s 100th birthday was supposed to be 2020 but…

This was my first time seeing this parade. I was an active participant last time, walking alongside my church’s float while tossing candies into the crowd. It is definitely a different experience. One, I get to see all the parade floats and two, I know now why there is a plastic bag tied to the little kids’ wrists. This is like a second Halloween for them.

If I get to go to this parade again next year, I would be better prepared. I would pack chairs, a tent, and lots of ice and water to keep cool and to prevent my arms from getting ten shades darker.

CMMC: Getting Close at Home


This week, Brian from Bushboys World is guest-hosting this challenge and the topic is Getting close at home.

Continue reading “CMMC: Getting Close at Home”

A Photo a Week Challenge: Unedited


View from motel in Torrey, Utah
Continue reading “A Photo a Week Challenge: Unedited”

A Photo a Week Challenge: Weathered


I was going over the photos on my phone and came across this photo which I took Mid-May when I went on my road trip. I think it fits the description of weathered since this landscape is crafted by millions of years of wind erosion.

Continue reading “A Photo a Week Challenge: Weathered”

Wordless Wednesday: Fueled by Coffee


Wordless Wednesday: Bunnies!


Wordless Wednesday: Surprise


Wordless Wednesday: Black and White


CFFC: Stuffed Animals


Last year, with the pandemic underway and a little too much time on my hands during the weekends, I decided to take up crocheting. Aside from sourdough baking, this was my second so-called “pandemic hobby.”

Continue reading “CFFC: Stuffed Animals”