Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Four Cities in Four Countries on Our Fourth Year As A Couple!

September 22, 2016 - September 21, 2017 is our Fourth (4th) pit stop in our Journey to Forever! This means that everything we do for the whole year has something to do with flowers, fruits, appliances and has to be counted up to FOUR times. All right, we know Albert Einstein's saying that "Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts", but we count nonetheless and that counts for us!!!

So for our four (4) years of marital bliss, we visited 4 cities in 4 countries together! Read on to see why these places made to the cut this year!!!

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica
December 10-19, 2016

SAN JOSE is the capital and the largest city of COSTA RICA, the country we love because we truly feel PURA VIDA ("pure life") - as life revolves slowly, peacefully (no army), eco-friendly, and healthily! 

Four Anniversary Finds 
(anything related to four, flowers, fruits, or Philippine flag colors)

Casados - which means "married" in English is Costa Rican' (or Ticos') traditional meal with four (4) essential ingredients - rice, beans, meat (i.e. chicken, pork or beef) and pasta (or greens). According to a local legend, casados would typically be served to newlyweds because the new couple does not know each other's taste in food yet so various foods are served in one plate so the couple could find their favorite dish!

Toucans - are the flashy, most colorful birds in Central America and we are lucky to spot the toucans in the picture above with our Philippine flag color motifs of white,red, yellow and blue! The toucans are easily the most recognizable birds because of its bills which the toucans use to reach fruits and berries from thin branches!

Flowers - are every where in Costa Rica! In fact, there are several species and they are so magnificent that others find it difficult to choose which one to love. For me, the choice was easy, because I will always fall in love with Red Ginger (four times over now) lol.

Nahua Chocolates - Red and I both love Chocolates and a tour of a chocolate factory is a must - travel tradition. In Costa Rica, it means a visit to its leading brand of fine artisan chocolate called Nahua (pronounced / na: wa:/). So my question, is cocoa a fruit? And this link said, "it is the fruit of a bean of a seed that comes from a nut"!All right, I get it!lol

BOGOTA, Colombia
June 9-16, 2017
BOGOTA is the capital and the largest city of COLOMBIA, where we chose to celebrate our fourth engagement anniversary last June 12, 2017

Four Must - Do Activities or Travel Traditions  
(from matching shirt to watching a movie to climbing the highest peak, etc.)

Wearing our matching couple shirt, we arrived at the El Dorado International Airport, the best airport in South America in 2016 and 2017 with a four-star certification from Skytrax. The welcome signage says that "Colombia is home to 20% of orchid species in the planet" and that's one big reason we chose Colombia for our flower -themed wedding anniversary

Cerro Monserrate, a mountain with an amazing view of the city is the venue for another must - travel tradition - i.e. climb the highest point in the country we are visiting! We went to Cerro de Monserrate by train (funicular) on our way up and by cable car (telesferico) on our way down! 

Centro Commercial Gran Estacion is a huge mall very near our accommodation and this is the venue for another must- travel tradition - i.e. watch a movie when visiting another country. And since it was our 4th engagement anniversary that day and I love Tom Cruise (who looks like hubby anyway !lol), we watched "La Momia" (The Mummy) in 4D

Bolivar Square (Plaza de Bolivar), a main tourist attraction in Bogota, as its name implies, has four sides surrounded by four historical buildings: the Palace of Justice on the northern edge and the National Capitol borders the square in the south. The Primary Cathedral of Bogota and the Lievano Palace, seat of the mayor of Bogota  are situated on the eastern and western side respectively.

July 22-24, 2017

TIJUANA is the largest city in Baja California and the border town between MEXICO and the United States. I feel I really belong in this city because I could see both of my surnames "Isidro" and "Ojeda" all over the place! In fact, we used the San Isidro Pedestrian Facility, the busiest land border crossing in the world for our first ever border crossing on foot! 
from Mexico side to US side through
San Isidro Pedestrian Crossing

Cinepolis Plaza Rio is a movie theater chain with 4DX state - of - the art sound and projection technology  where you can experience live effects in movements, sound and wind.  We watched Transformer to check off our travel tradition of watching a movie when visiting another country. 

California, USA
October 8, 2016 - September 21, 2017

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Our Top 4 Must-Have Items In 2017!

Mhe-Anne L. Ojeda - Isidro

Yay! We found  four multi-purpose items to complement our location independent lifestyle -  which for 2017 means being based in Costa Mesa, California near the BEACH, see the world and work just from anywhere! With super expensive rental in sunny and warm California, these beach or travel - inspired stuff not only represent our fourth wedding anniversary, but these also can save us vacation dollars  --

5-Position Backpack Beach Chair

For our frequent trip to the nearby Newport Beach and other beaches around the Southern California, this blue (to represent the color blue associated with a fourth wedding anniversary and our wedding motif color) Backpack Beach Chair will be our regular comp! The durable steel aluminum frame adjusts to five positions including lying flat and features a cup holder, cooler pouch and an adjustable pillow to rest our head. For easy carriage and storage, the Chair folds flat and has convenient straps for easy, hands free, backpack stylish walk to the beach.
Red Igloo Mini Retro Beverage Fridge

I can't drink anything not cold or chilled, so this Igloo Mini Retro Beverage Fridge
is exactly what we need while on the road! This retro-inspired cooler can keep 6 cans of soda or snacks and can easily fit or plugs into any wall socket; two-prong plug (like car charger). The volume is 4L and 4 plastic feet. I can't wait to use it! 

Personal Power Blender with Sport Bottle

This JML Personal Power Blender with Sport Bottle was a gift from my friend Jun & Elaine Igot during our  law school buddies get-together-post thanksgiving - early Christmas party exchange gift last November 27, 2016 in the Philippines. With its one-button operation and touch pulse mode, this blender is my go-to item for its quick, easy operation and great results so I brought it with me here in the US and in all our travels! With this in hand, I can always make a delicious and nutritious grab-and-go fruit smoothies for me and hubby. And we love it! 

Crock's Pot

We won this Crock's Pot Original Slow Cooker during a Christmas Game at my client's office last December 21, 2016. from Hamilton Beach has a gasket lid and canister-style clips to prevent spills. For a person like me who doesn't know how to cook or prefers to work on stuff, this slow cooker is a no brain-er eh because I just plug it then select the Dial Selector for Low, High and Warm settings and leave it and work on my stuff. This appliance is perfect for conveniently warming my canned soups and cooked food while at home and for bringing our favorite dish to the beach and while traveling as it comes with clips and gasket-sealed lid for spill-free transport. The removable oval, nonstick stoneware and glass lid are easy to clean too!

Monday, January 2, 2017

2017: The Year For Our 4th Wedding Anniversary!

We will be celebrating our 4 years of marital bliss this year (September 21) so we are planning and coordinating our travel destinations around the number "four",  "fruit or flower", being the traditional symbol of a fourth wedding anniversary and "appliances"  being our anniversary's modern symbol.

According to eternity rose website, "during the fourth year of marriage, flowers represent the growth and blossoming of the relationship, and subsequent ripening as symbolized by fruit. Flowers nurture the soul, and fruit nourishes the body, hence, the expanding commitment and nurturing love of the couple is signified.Appliances symbolize the everyday practicalities and the settled nature of the relationship."

To kick off the celebratory mood, we stayed in the Los Angeles (CA) area for the Pasadena Rose Parade  on January 2, 2017! We also decided to rent an unfurnished room (instead of AirBnB accommodation!) near the Newport Beach, so we will definitely be BIG on buying beach or travel - inspired, multi-purpose appliances fitted for our location independent lifestyle.  Earlier, after our 3rd Wedding anniversary celebration in Cottonwood, Arizona, we visited the Four Corners Monument in Flagstaff, Arizona. The Four Corners is the only point in the United States shared by the  four states  of Arizona, ColoradoNew Mexico and Utah

Do you have any must-do or must-see related to a fourth wedding anniversary symbols? Write away please!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Welcoming 2017 With Our BIG Take on Location Independence Lifestyle!

We bid adieu to 2016 with travels around 10 US States,Brazil,Peru and Costa Rica 

We came to the United States in mid- December 2015 for what was intended to be a six - week vacation that will allow us to find "leather" or "crystal" - inspired travel destinations for our advance 3rd-wedding anniversary celebration. Since all Philippine courts are on recess during the holiday and the whole month of January, Red and I envisioned ourselves of being in Utah to experience the Greatest Snow on Earth rush, the snow being like "crystal" the modern symbol of a 3 - year marital bliss; then in Arizona for the feel of the Old West since "leather" is the traditional symbol for our anniversary. Instead, we conquered the Americas - North (United States), South (Brazil and Peru) and Central (Costa Rica) and racked up our numbers in travels to an unprecedented record high -flown  38 flights, 4 round trip flights to the US from the Philippines, visited 10 US States, taken 11  road trips around the US West Coast, and now back in the US, still traveling.  

Achieving our 12 highs in 2016 (click the link for our best year in travels)-- certainly was unexpected, and unplanned. It just sort of happened. And without ever having meant to do it, we've began a location independent lifestyle last year - a lifestyle where we maintain a virtual law office and run the business online with a laptop in tow from anywhere in the world! And we LOVE it! 

So in 2017, we are continuing our location independent lifestyle! And we chose the BIG "O" for Orange County in California as our base. At exactly 1 o'clock in the morning of January 1, 2017 we moved to our rented place in Costa Mesa, California after welcoming the new year at Tony Ps Dockside Grill in Marina del ReyThat again is the beauty of being location independent - we get to move anytime to a place where the weather is nicer, the food is tastier, and the BEACH is closer. Yes, we live just 5 minutes from the Newport Beach!