This week, summer officially started here in this part of the globe. Highest recorded temperature so far was 34.6 degrees Celsius. It is expected to be a scorching summer. So far, it rains occasionally in this neighborhood so the heat dissipates for a few hours then humidity sets in.
Certainly not my fave season but heck we only have 2 of them so I just drink plenty of water and try to grin and bear it sporting my 'wet' look as I shed buckets of sweat!
So while I'm perspiring, my dear sister is currently experiencing below zero temperatures with snow to boot. She is in Gdansk, Poland for a trade fair. I've never been to Eastern Europe because it was still under Communist rule when my father was assigned in Belgium, 3 decades ago.
As I sit here looking at these pictures she sent me through email, it makes this humidity somewhat bearable. Feasting my eyes on snow filled attractions in a far flung land eases my discomfort.
As a devout Catholic, I was really upset when Pope Benedict XVI resigned. I felt he simply gave up and abandoned his flock. But I'm sure he had valid reasons and he mulled over his painful decision several times before finally deciding to resign.
The period that followed was known as "sede vacante" which literally meant an empty or vacant seat. It felt strange that 1.2 billion Catholics were living without a Supreme Pontiff at the helm of the Church yet it continued to thrive and survive on its own merits.
The throngs of crowd waiting outside the Vatican brought back fond memories of my visits to the Holy See. In 2001, my sister and I were lucky enough to be there when the late Pope John Paul II appeared on the balcony to bless the crowd. It is quite a humbling experience, one that would cherish forever.
The days leading to the Conclave, several media organizations (both
local and international) were bombarding us with reports of the
Papabiles, which included our very own Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle. But once again I took a different view and believed that Cardinal Tagle who just assumed the position last November 2012 is better off tending to his flock in the Philippines first than to serve as our Supreme Pontiff. The Roman Catholic in our nation is suffering a crisis and it needs more reforms as it adapts to modern times. So while everyone was hoping and praying he would elected as Pope, I prayed that the Holy Spirit would pick someone else.
Once the Conclave started, I was practically glued to the telly eagerly anticipating the color of the smoke from the Sistine Chapel chimney. I found it really amusing that the chimney had his own twitter account and would tweet like a normal person. After the chimney released two black smoke, I desperately tried to stay awake. But it was already past midnight and my eyes were dozing off so I reluctantly switched off the TV.
I woke up at 9:30 am to find out that Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio of Argentina is now our 266th Pope. He takes on the name of Pope Francis and is the first Jesuit and Latin American Pope.
May God bless him as he embarks on a gargantuan task.
Mobility in Macau is quite easy. There are several shuttle buses of hotels which you can ride for free. So while my parents were resting in The Venetian, my sister and I went hotel hopping. Our first stop was the nearby Galaxy Hotel & Casino.
Then we headed to the Four Seasons hotel which has a link way connecting to The Venetian, Macau
City of Dreams is a massive complex that houses 3 hotels (Hard Rock Hotel, Grand Hyatt and Crown Towers) along with a shopping arcade, an entertainment center, row of restaurants and a casino.
A fantastic view of The Venetian taken from the food court of City of Dreams complex
The next day after checking out of The Venetian, we headed to Senado Square.
Of course no visit to Macau would be complete without laying your eyes on its iconic landmark - The Ruins of St Paul's Church
Sky 100 is an indoors observation deck located in the 100th floor of ICC, the tallest skyscraper in Hong Kong. The ICC (International Commerce Centre) is located in the Kowloon side of HK. To get there, we took the MTR from Hong Kong station and alighted at Kowloon station and walked the long linkway all the way to ICC.
Admission prices are bit expensive but they offer senior citizen discounts. I'd say the 360 degree panoramic view of Hong Kong from up there was totally worth the price.
I remember eating at a restaurant that had movie posters hung all over their walls. It had authentic posters of old movies as well as recently shown ones. The food wasn't really that good but the custom posters added a cozy and homey atmosphere to the whole dining experience.
Some custom posters are a good way to add some artistic flair to an otherwise blank wall. It doesn't have to be merely posters of movies. Nowadays, many people have developed a love for photography. Pictures of scenery, tourist attractions, historical landmarks can all be turned into beautiful posters. Important events like birthdays, anniversaries and milestones which capture family bonding moments are also poster worthy.
It is quite simple to do this online. First you create an account. Next you choose the size of the posters and different options like lamination, mounting and poster branding are also available. The next step would be to upload your file by adding it to the cart. A simple instructions dialogue will guide you through the process. Step 4 would be to pick your shipping options which includes packaging options and shipping methods. It will take several days or weeks depending on your location. If you Wanna see more, simply visit their website for more details or check out their FAQ page for more information.
My vision of my dream house is to adorn the master bedroom walls with different sized posters of my numerous travels. It would probably fill up all the four walls. Essentially, I tend to veer towards images of wide open spaces, panoramic scenery and historical landmarks which have stood the test of time to remind us of our rich past. I reckon it would be quite a difficult task to sort through tons of our pictures to pick the ones I'd like to be turned into posters. But it would be quite fun to relive the memories!