Live A Little

At an elevator door of a hotel we stayed on our long drive stop over to our March break destination, I saw a poster of a chubby man with snorkeling his way through a shallow bay. The poster had the title “Live A Little”.Β  I immediately thought of borrowing the phrase for the title of this post. This trip of ours is by no means extravagant so it fits the title to a T.Β  I chose a place where we could catch a fair bit of the sun with the least driving hours and all of us – myself, the wifey and the daughter can enjoy things we like to do. Williamsburg, Virginia was my choice because there is golf to be played, great colonial history, plenty of kiddie activities, has a large factory outlet strip mall where the wifey can spend quality time entertaining herself πŸ˜‰ and last but not least, it has an affiliate resort with our timeshare membership where we could stay. The leisurely 12 hour long drive was well worth it. Mornings were mine and afternoons were for the wifey and the daughter. I can spend it on the grass as long as I’m back at the resort by 12 noon.

Williamsburg is one unique place because it has restored and preserved a historic Β part of this colonial town and declared it off limits to commercial traffic. The buildings and houses are immaculately preserved and visitors can only visit the heritage site on foot. You can spend a couple of days seeing it all, including the shows and exhibits that go with the package. Local folk dress up in colonial attire and staff the buildings and stores that sell colonial memorabilia. It’s a treat for the photo enthusiast as long as he/she is willing to walk all day. Unfortunately for me, my movement was constrained by companions who weren’t too eager to check every nook and cranny of the complex. Most people park their cars at the visitor center, get dropped at specific locations by buses that circle around the colonial town until 10pm. The weather was in the low 20 deg Celsius which was perfect for us who have not had the luxury of walking around without second layer clothing. Sure there was a surprise drizzle every now and then but it was quite alright. After suffering a near overdose of my daughter’s Lady Gaga music on the car stereo, I thought the 250 bucks I spent for gas and the 2 rounds of golf I played let alone the buckets of balls I hit at the range was well worth the trip. Speaking for myself, my goal was met πŸ™‚ And yes, we ran across Mama Cita Sinigang mix in Williamsburg πŸ˜‰

Note : I invite you to click on View All Images, Β Original Images and Full Screen to view the larger version of the images.

Hurricane Hazel – 88 Years and Going Strong

I’ve been following the heated political debates behind the controversial Obama health care reform bill as well as the Philippine 2010 presidential election campaigns and boy, the rumblings and rhetorics I hear throw me into a state of quandary and I ask the question – ” mirror, mirror on the wall, can you tell me who is telling the truth here ? “ Perhaps no one is telling the truth and perhaps we won’t have the ability to separate the sheep from the goats but there is a way to find out if these politicians are putting money where their mouth is – their performance. Β Hazel McCallion, the venerable mayor of Mississauga, Ontario is a rare breed of politician, not only because she had been mayor for 31 years and re-elected 11 times, she is also 88 years of age! When you think that at 88 years people would be on their second childhood at the home for the aged, Hazel McCallion still skates, bowls, drives her own car and enjoys a 92% approval rating of her constituency ? And who would not, when you are mayor of Canada’s 6th largest city, neighbor to Toronto, the largest city in the country and enjoying a budget surplus of $700M πŸ™‚ Talk about performance ! If you think that Hazel is a pampered matriarch surrounded by maids, drivers and bodyguards and shuttling to office in a luxury car, you’re dead wrong. Hazel lives alone with her dog, drives her own car and one time got into a minor collision because she was emailing with her Blackberry while driving πŸ˜† The city council suggested that she be given an official driver πŸ˜‰ I’m sure Hazel McCallion will end up in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not one day but for now, when the world is full of self-serving, two-faced and corrupt politicians, Hazel McCallion is a breath of fresh air, an inspiration to many that yes, there are honest and unselfish politicians albeit a few who made it their lifelong vocation to serve the public well. I hope Hazel continues her hot streak and be mayor until she’s 100 !

29 Responses

  1. there should be a law that entitles the husband one free day to do whatever he wants without the wifey asking anything πŸ™‚

    glad u had a great time bw.

    • I’m afraid even if there is such law, it will damn hard to implement hehe πŸ™‚ Speaking for myself, I had a great time. It’s kinda hard to go on vacation being just a driver and baggage boy you know πŸ˜‰

    • i think this is a good idea as long as it goes both ways LOL

  2. Really nice pictures, BW. A lot of history in that place. 250 for gas – is that return trip ? Not bad at all.

    Hazel is one of a kind. Her secret I think is she doesn’t allow fellow politicians to mess around with her πŸ˜‰

    • Lots of history indeed. Great place to snap photos too. I played on a course 3 minutes away from this colonial town. It was really cool.

      You bet. She’s a pit bull so you won’t like to mess around with her πŸ˜‰

      • oh yeah, 250 bucks was for round trip, 12 hours one way. Newer cars eve with bigger engines are pretty fuel efficient these days believe it or not.

  3. I love to see historical places, even if I have to walk a lot. One of my dreams is to visit Greece. I love Greek mythology. Cute pics, especially the colonial people.

    Gosh, mayor Hazel is a grandma many times over. She’s so cute with the music video πŸ™‚

    • It is great to see such site being preserved for posterity. A non-profit organization is actually involved in managing it which is quite commendable.

      Can’t believe she can still skate and bowl πŸ˜†

  4. No offense, bro, but those images, especially the town square punishment device, reminds me of Puritans and witchhunts. : D

    I think the right description for Hazel McCallion is a statesman (statesperson?). “Honest and unselfish politician” is an oxy-moron. How I wish we have someone like her in the Philippines.

    • hehe.. I can tell you, I would hate to be a soldier during the colonial times bro. When you see a full flank of soldiers aiming their muzzloaders at you while you’re reloading it is suicidal , ugh 😯 I saw replicas of those round lead bullets being used in these rifles. Man, it could tear your body apart. 😦

      Well, at 88 years, one wonders what her motivation is. She doesn’t have billions stashed in the bank. She’s no robin hood going around feeding the hungry to get votes either. Just plain good old public service which in my book the highest form of patriotism and love of country one could ever display.

  5. How I wish I have time and money to spare for this upcoming holiday. But since there’s none, I’d rather spend my time at home and… just be productive in every simple thing I can find around the house.
    We’ll be having our company outing (actually, sister company outing) in Baguio but I simply can’t go when I have to leave home my wife and a mere one-month old daughter.
    I see you enjoy your holidays a lot. Amazing system they imposed on Williamsburg. And if only they could apply it to our own Intramuros… πŸ™‚

    • Staycation isn’t bad either. I guess you’d be baby sitting this time ha? πŸ˜†

      Well, we have Good Friday here too so it’s a long weekend and the forecast is between 20 to 23 deg C from Fri to Sun which is a bit of abnormal hehe πŸ™‚ I plan to hit the grass on Friday and go fishing on Sat and Sun with the family.

  6. Just finished watching the photos. OMG! They’re awesome!!!

    • Thank you. Still learning. Quite slow in fact and don’t have time to practice. I don’t have a neutral density (ND) filter yet for better landscape exposure but getting there. I’m thinking of doing nude photography. They say it’s cheap to hire nude models by the hour here πŸ˜‰ Now that’s another topic of discussion πŸ˜†

  7. you already took your spring break eh?

    always been curious to see williamsburg, but it’s all across the other side of the country so i don’t know if i will be able to visit. so thanks for sharing these images.

    • They call it March Break here but when you think of it , spring officially starts Mar 21st so technically it isn’t spring break yet . Your spring break there is in April and that’s consistent πŸ˜‰

      The hordes of people or either flying or driving south on March break are numerous. I guess the US and the Carribean are pretty pleased because there’s only one direction we could go this time of year and that it is SOUTH , where the weather is hotter . That means good business πŸ™‚

  8. 700M budget surplus, kung dito yan it would all be gone in an instant, hehe. Come to think of it, it’s only in these islands where you see mayors, and even lowly councilors go around with taxpayer-funded drivers and bodyguards, plus, a personalized license plate on their gas-guzzling SUVs.

    One thing that separates this third world country of ours (aside from being poor) from places like the US, and especially Europe, is their appreciation of the past. Here, old historic house and buildings are torn down (think, Lito Atienza) to “give way” to new structures. And that is sad because there is so much of those remnants of this country’s history rotting away in some corner. Binalewala na talaga…

    • Some sense of accountability is important in a government. The success of nations and societies is pegged on how their governments value and respect such accountability.

      It is sad when historical sites are torn down in favor of new development. Again , that speaks of how money talks, how powerful businessmen can twist the arms of politicians to attain their goals.

  9. a charming place, and unlike your company, i’d go to as many nook and cranny as my feet will allow. hahaha. πŸ˜€

    i plan to go up to Vigan this April to get my fair share of some colonial Philippines. it will be my first time so I’m excited πŸ™‚

    • One of our problems was that we couldn’t get to the horse drawn carriage ride. Darn, it was fully booked the whole day. That was one way to see the place other than walking. The place was quite big !

      Good luck on your trip to Vigan. Share us some pics πŸ™‚

  10. I checked the slideshow and photos are sooo nice!

    Happy Easter to you and your family!

  11. Inggit naman ako sa vacation ng family mo.

    Hope I can have one good out of town lakad this summer.

    Wish me luck BW, wish me luck. πŸ™‚

    • looks like you’re planning something really nice this summer. Well, all the best, good luck and hope you’ll have a blast ! πŸ˜†

  12. i saw the slides. what a very nice place. looked like you had a blast there.

    belated easter greetings to you and to your family. πŸ˜‰

  13. Glad you had a great time!

    I am so happy its election time… I discover only now how good our politicians are… so caring for the poor…. for the people in general… it is so uplifting to see all those idealistic politicians.

    Whoever will be elected we are sure they will invest in education, infrastructure, improve the investment climate…no more corruption… I can’t wait till the day after the election…
    It will be paradise! πŸ™‚

    • Yes, I had a great time .

      hehe… the rhetorics during political campaigns are so unbelievable. makes you think that after the elections things will be amazing… πŸ˜‰ hey, you will never know πŸ˜†

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