Jasper National Park

We finally made the trip to Jasper National Park last weekend with my in-laws.

Ever since we first came to Canada, this is the one place that I've been wanting to see. Of course back then, I don't know where Alberta is. I even tried to google map this so I'll know the distance from Toronto and has been bugging hubby that we should make a road trip for this. But of course, driving for 4-5 days one way isn't practical especially with 2 kids in tow.

Calgary to Jasper is about 430km one way... our travel time was approximately 7 hours with all the stops at most of the lookout sign that we saw. Patricia was very happy to see that there's a Patricia Street in Jasper and a Patricia Lake! Sad to say, Patricia Lake was closed for the season already, so we didn't get to see it.

I have more than 500+ pictures and video combined and can't really decide which ones to share with you guys. Our first stop was Lake Louise [the mid point between Calgary and Jasper].

Here's a slideshow with 26 pictures from Athabasca Glacier Forefield Trail, Athabasca Falls, Sunwapta Falls and Jasper Townsite.

If you can't see the above slideshow, please click here. Enjoy the view!

Good and bad news

My brother-in-law [R] just proposed to his girlfriend last Friday [October 19]. And though we were not there, this is the story:

He proposed in the basement parking lot of Robinson's Galleria. D was supposed to pick him up in Makati City that night, but instead he showed up surprising D by reading "12 things I love about D" and her car's windshield covered with petals of roses. Isn't that romantic?

The same time he was proposing, tragedy struck Glorietta 2's parking lot where an explosion injured and killed a lot of people.

You know, when I was in Manila, I see all these walk-through metal detectors [WTMD] and hand-held metal detectors [HHMD], the same ones we use at the airport. I kwow how these machines work, and let me tell you that they are not being used properly by the mall's security guards. Honestly, the mall has spent so much to put these detectors in place yet they never bothered to 'educate' the security guards on how to use it properly.

For one, since 95% of the people have cellphones, they will set the WTMD and HHMD off! And yet what do they do when you beep? Nothing! Another thing is the WTMD needs to reset before the next person walks through, but I just see people go through one after the other with the beeping sound all over. And yet the guard just stands there put his hands around your waist in a patting motion and/or look inside your bag. But do they really know what they are looking for or why you were beeping?

Tragedy could be prevented, we just need to be pro-active about it. People [like the security guards] need to realize the importance of their job. And the public needs to respect that.

In search of a new home

This is our 4th home in Canada. And every time we move, hubby is in charge of looking for our new place while I was in charge of packing and disposing of unwanted stuff. Honestly, I don't know which is harder, apartment hunting or packing. What do you think?

Anyway, when hubby first came to Canada, he was commuting from one place to the next in search for our first home. And being new to Canada, we don't know which places to avoid. Imagine the pressure when we were supposed to arrive in 2 weeks time and he still hasn’t found one. That was 6 years ago.

When we decided to relocate to Calgary last year, apartments hunting has been made easier for him with ApartmentFinder.com and other similar sites. All you have to do is search online and if you see what you like, then just call and make an appointment. This is way too much easier than searching from one apartment to the next, wasting time commuting and travelling all over the city just to find your new home.

Online Tutoring now available

When we went home last summer, I noticed that my nieces, nephews and even my friends' children all have their private tutors after school. And I remember that I grew up without any tutors. I guess it's because we don't have much money then and I have a brother who is 8 years older than me to help me with my homework.

In North America though, I noticed that kids here either go to another school for one-on-one tutoring or they get help through online tutoring. What is good about this online tutoring is that it is available worldwide, 24/7, and students have a free access to this service as much as they want to. And you can do it at the convenience of your own home. Sounds good, right?

Subjects offered are English, Math, Algebra, Science, Economics, even History and more. They will also help you prepare for important exams like SAT, ACT, PSAT and more.

My Training Week

Wow! What a week! I just finished my Foundation 2 training course [October 15-19]. This course covers the x-ray machines, how to conduct the re-checking of bags and how to use the EDT [Explosive Detection Trace] machine and let me tell you that it is not an easy course. Pressure were everywhere... from our trainors to angry passengers [during our "live" training because it is taking us longer than normal to go through their bags] and to possibly being jobless [if we fail the course].

There were 9 of us in the class. Friday was the one-on-one exam day. And let me tell you that that day was the longest day of the week. The agony of waiting for your turn! Arrrgh. The first lady who took the exam is a bit slow in picking things up and she was really nervous about that day and was making some mistakes during our practice time. Later we heard that she was crying and we all thought she failed the course. But it is really tears of joy for passing the course. I am happy to say that we all made it!

Take this quiz [click on x-ray screener test]. You have 2 minutes to complete this exercise, and try to record/share your score on your first try. Turn up the volume of your computer so you can hear the instruction. Goodluck!

My score is --
Bag screeneed = 23
Bags with threat = 5
Threats correctly identified = 100%
False alarm = 0
Grade = A

So next time you go through airport security, do appreciate the importance of our job. I myself had the wrong impression about this job. That is, until I have to go through extensive training to move from one level to the next. We are also risking our lives on duty for possible bomb threat. If we do see one, we cannot leave our post until the police or bomb squad arrives.

Or the next time you were picked for random checkings or we need to search your bags and do test on your electronics, don't be mad, instead you should be glad that we are checking everything carefully. Remember, you are the one taking the flight and not us. Just remember what happened during the 9/11.

I just thought I'd share this since during our "live" training we did get a lot of angry and rude passengers.

Radium Hot Springs

After hearing the trip of my officemate to Radium Hot Springs in British Columbia {BC}, I immediately decided to take another road trip that same day right after my shift. It's a 3-hour drive and the drive was worth it! Hubby and the kids had fun swimming in the hot pool which was heated at 30 degrees of pure mineral but the outside temperature was at approximately 8 degrees.

We had been seeing the sign going to Radium Hot Springs every time we go to Banff, and I have been curious about the place for a long time. Radium Hot Springs is located at the south end of Kootenay National Park in BC. Now we can tell people that we've been to BC!

Truly a perfect gateway to "Adventure Valley of A Thousand Peaks".

A continental divide is a line of elevated terrain which forms a border between two watersheds such that water falling on one side of the line eventually travels to one ocean or body of water, and water on the other side travels to another, generally on the opposite side of the continent.

Canadian Rockies with Alberta and British Columbia flags

A baby bear

Radium Hot Springs is located just after
you drive through these rocky mountains

Radium Hot Springs
with rock cliffs of Sinclair Canyon in the background

Travel Guide

Ever since I was a kid, I always dream of travelling the world. I've been to a few cities and countries already but I still want to see more of the world. I wanted to see Eiffel Tower in France, the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt, Sydney Opera House in Australia and Holyland in Israel to name a few.

The internet is full of travel guide for us to pick the right package that falls within our budget. Travel guide site helps us discover places to go and things to do. It helps us plan our perfect trip and save money on travel deals. It's a one-stop shop for one perfect vacation package for a family holiday, for honeymooners or just to get away from our busy life.

Media Advertising

We all know how effective the internet is when it comes to advertising, gathering information, research, even selling and purchasing goods and merchandise and getting in touch with our love ones via blogging, chatting and emails. The internet also guarantees to reach a wide variety of people all around the world.

A lot of businesses are now registering their products and services in a new media advertising scheme which includes online advertising, radio, TV, billboard, magazines, newspaper, etc. Getting advertising space is the best way to promote one’s products and services.

So if you have your own business or planning to start your own business, consider getting an advertising space at MyAdBase.com, your online advertising marketplace. Choose from their variety of packages for the one that will suit you best. Registration is free of charge.

MyAdBase' Mission and Vision:
"To provide valuable solutions for buyers and sellers of advertising space across all types of media, and to offer a unique venue for advertising professionals. Our vision is to seamlessly integrate all aspects of the advertising media industry and to offer an opportunity for media related companies to get real value for money."

Tag #19: Santa Sentences

Ho! Ho! Ho! Everyone.

Here is something to keep you amused. Complete these sentences. Please tag and pass it on for someone else to do.

You can use single words or phrases:

  1. I wish I could see the real Santa.
  2. Santa is the guy in red suit with a beard and always greets you with a "ho ho ho!".
  3. If I were in a room with Santa, I would volunteer to help out the elves.
  4. I think Santa should be around all year round.
  5. Santa needs more volunteers.
  6. I want to kiss and hug Santa.
  7. Someday Santa will be thin enough to fit into the chimney.
  8. Santa reminds me of family gathering and gifts.
  9. Without Santa Christmas will be all about Jesus.
  10. My memories of Santa are full of question marks.
  11. Santa can be jolly.
  12. The worst thing about Santa is people forget the real reason for the season.
  13. The best thing about Santa is he makes all kids happy and excited about Christmas.
  14. I am wondering if I can deliver gifts with Santa.
  15. One thing I would like to know about Santa is if he is real.
  16. Santa should go and help the street children and bums.
  17. Santa loves my family and me.

Please be nice and kind now!! Ho! Ho! Ho! ☺

As always,
Santa ô¿ô

Thank you Bless for the tag... now, I am tagging Evi, Kai, Ann, Liz and Rach... this is a tag for your son to answer! I gave this list to my kids but up to now they are having a hard time completing it with their homeworks and all.

For the template please click here. You don't mind, do you? Ho! Ho! Ho!

Thursday Thirteen #31: Airport tips

Better to be ready than sorry. If you haven't travelled for a long time, you might want to check your airlines website for any changes in rules and regulations, what's allowed and not allowed in your carry-on and checked-in luggage.

In case you don't know yet, and if you need to bring a shampoo, hairspray, cologne, perfume, lotions, etc, make sure that your container is 100 ML. Remember its the container that counts and not the content left in the bottle. This means that no coffee, no water bottle, no juice in tetrapacks are allowed anymore. Remember that there are coffee shops and stores after you go through the security area.

These are just a few reminders and it might or might not be applicable in other airports.

13 No-No at the pre-board screening area
and small things that will make you beep

  1. Do not buy duty free items such as liquors or perfumes in more than 100 ml container if you still have connecting flights, or else these will be confiscated from you when you go through security again for your connecting flight.
  2. No toy guns, water guns or big belt buckles with any weapons [such as granade/guns/bullets] as design.
  3. No tools of any kind.
  4. Never wear socks with holes in them, you'll never know if you will be required to take them off.
  5. Bring socks for those wearing sandals and slippers. Again you'll never know if you will be required to take them off. You don't want to walk bare feet.
  6. If you're wearing boots and high heels, make sure you are willing to take them off too. 90% chance is that you will beep.
  7. Souvenirs like snow glow is a no-no in carry-on luggage as it contains water. Remember "no liquids" allowed!
  8. For men, you are allowed to keep your wallets with you as long as you don't have any keys, coins and access/key cards in it.
  9. Cigarettes, gums and candies wrap in foil will set the metal detector off.
  10. Big belts surrounded by metals and big solid buckles will set it off too.
  11. Big bungles and heavy jewelries too.
  12. Try to choose your clothing properly, lots of zippers, metal chains and big buttons is not a good choice to wear especially if you set off the metal detector. The screener will be patting you all over just to solve all beeping sound.
  13. Any food like jam, jelly, spread [like peanut butter], syrup, etc, are not allowed either.

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Wall Brackets

After 10 months of no TV at home, we finally bought one last month. My in-laws are coming for a visit in 2 weeks time and unlike their previous visit, this time they will be staying here for 3 weeks. And with the kids in school and hubby and I working, they need a TV to keep them company and updated with the world news/events. So after much deliberation, we finally bought a Samsung 32" LCD TV.

Since our living room is really small and the shape is such that it is kind of hard to place our sofa, table and TV stand, I am contemplating on mounting the TV on the wall to save us more space. In the process of researching, I came upon this Plasma Wall Brackets and am really keen on getting one. Hubby though didn't like the idea for now since we don't want to put holes into this house that we are renting.

Check out Dekomount.com, they offers quality wall mount brackets for Plasma and LCD screen.

Travel Insurance

My in-laws loved to travel and even after spending some quality time for one month last summer, they missed their grandkids so much that they are on their way here in 2 weeks time.

My MIL used to have a comprehensive medical coverage for her and my FIL provided by her employer. She was hospitalized years ago while visiting my SIL in New York, and her medical bills didn't come cheap as she was a foreigner in that country. The diagnosis requires a triple bypass. Yet, her employer's insurance company paid her back in full.

Now that she is retired she will still be covered by her employer's insurance company as part of her retirement package but it no longer includes medical expenses outside the Philippines. Yet, she loved to travel so I suggested that she get separate travel insurance for added protection. It is very expensive to get sick in a foreign land. Even with pre-existing conditions, Cover My Travels offers favorable travel insurance over 70 to senior citizens like my in-laws.

Photo Hunters: Curvy

The long and curvy road towards the City of Calgary

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How smart is your right foot?

I just had to post this [from my inbox]...

This is so funny that it will boggle your mind. And, you will keep trying it at least 50 more times to see if you can outsmart your foot. But you can't!!!

  1. While sitting at your desk, lift your right foot off the floor and make clockwise circles with it.
  2. Now, while doing this, draw the number "6" in the air with your right hand ... Your foot will change direction!!!
I told you so... And there is nothing you can do about it.

Thursday Thirteen #30: My Civic

Please pardon me if you think that it's a non-stop blogging about my new car... I promise this is the last of it.

13 reasons why we needed a second car

  1. I'm working full time now and needs a car to go to work.
  2. And with tax season fast approaching, I will be holding 2 jobs at the same time and mobility is a necessity.
  3. My shift starts at 5am, bus service in my area starts at 5:30am. Hence, commuting is out of the question for me.
  4. Hubby doesn't need to wake up at 4:30am anymore just to drop me off at work.
  5. For an additional $27/month to our current insurance, I get a comprehensive coverage for the second car. Cheap!
  6. No more commuting for hubby.
  7. No more waiting in the cold or rain or heat for the bus to arrive.
  8. Both our employers provide free parking space. His is covered parking, mine is open parking... so I am using his parking space and he is using mine... thank you hubby! :-)
  9. Gas consumption for a car is cheaper than our SUV.
  10. We can save on gas consumption too for our many road trips if we use the car.
  11. Promo rate of 2.9% for 60 months financing is hard to resist with no downpayment required. [I am just paying $1.06 a day in interest.]
  12. More flexibility in our schedule...
  13. Last but not the least, to make one of my dreams come true... a car registered to my name!

On its first road trip to Lake Louise last Sunday

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Online Storage System

I hear people cry over their blog about losing their files/data/pictures when their hard drive crushes on them. Or when their spouse accidentally re-formatted/re-install software into their pc without performing backup on their personal files. I, myself, had a bad experience when my wedding CD just shattered inside the CD player. It was really heart breaking.

Some resort to buying a portable hard drive as their back up. This is my next step. Hopefully I'd be able to get one before the year ends. But for those who can't afford it, is there an option for them to make sure their data files are safeguarded? Well, there is one option available. There is an online storage system available on the net to back up all the files you choose. be pro-active in protecting your data. Better to be safe than sorry.

Rest assure that your backup is safe and secure. No more theft and data corruption. No more losing data due to fire. And best of all it is stored on DELL's high quality server and supported by Ice Media technical team. Check out this online backup now. They are currently offering a 30-day free trial with 1,000 MB storage space.

3 Lakes and a Mountain

We can feel that Winter time is fast approaching, so last Sunday we decided to visit some Lakes before they get frozen again... so after my work, we drove back to Banff National Park.

We've been to Lake Louise once and Lake Minnewanka twice before, but this is the first time we've seen it without ice.

The picture posted here is my most favorite spot during this trip.

Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake

Lake Louise

Lake Minnewanka

City of Banff from Mount Norquay [a skiing resort]

Free Raleigh, NC Getaway

Ever heard of the city called Raleigh? It is located in North Carolina. Hubby's cousin relocated there last year. And they are enjoying the city immensely. If we were still living in Toronto, North Carolina would be in our list of places to visit because we will have free accommodation from hubby's cousin.

There are so many places/things to see and do at Raleigh... they have museums, festivals, concerts and some broadway shows. And this fall they have a lot of events lined up.

Do you love the Celtics? Do you love Halloween? Well, if you do, here's a double treat for you. The Celtic Halloween getaway. Truly an event the whole family can enjoy.

If you can't afford it, sign up for a Free Raleigh Getaway and win the following:

  • One night accommodations for two at the Courtyard by Marriott Raleigh Crabtree Valley
  • $25 gift certificate to Bloomsbury Bistro
  • Free VIP admission for two to Rum Runners
  • 2 tickets to the North Carolina Theatre
  • 2 tickets to the N.C. Museum of Art’s Landscapes from the Age of Impressionism
  • 2 tickets to Dinosaurs: Ancient Fossils, New Discoveries at the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences
So what are you waiting for? Sign up now for a chance to win a perfect Fall getaway. I just did! I hope I win.

Modern Technology

Remember my story at work about an old Caucasian lady hugging me as she walks through the metal detector and said [with a big hug] "are you from the Philippines? I just came from there and I love that you take care of your elderly." That's true. We do take care of our elderly no matter what our situation is.

Well, here in North America, it is very important to save up for one's retirement. Because once you pass the senior citizen age, you either live in a home for the aged or you still have to the option to live in an apartment by yourself provided you have money to pay for it. They will never depend on their children to take care of them. Though a small percentage still do.

With more and more seniors deciding to live by themselves, more and more technology is being invented to assist them. So what do you do if you can no longer climb the stairs to your bedroom? Don't worry stairlifts is here to help you. They have so many models to make sure that you got the right stairlift. They have straight, outdoor, reconditioned, curved and even standing stairlifts.

PMN Family Photo: Green

This picture was taken last Sunday on our way to Lake Louise [more photos to follow].

Banff National Park, Alberta

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