Saturday, December 31, 2011

The year that was

As I look back on this year, I bid it with a smile. It was a hard start. Reeling from 2010. The stark contrast was very evident. That is something that I know I share with a lot of people.

I remember being very exhausted at the end of 2010. That I was glad it was ending. I remember hoping and wishing and whispering to the wind that I really hoped 2011 would be a better one. And it was.

The bossa music is playing in my background, the scent of the apple wood candle distinct in every deep inhalation. I meditated for a few minutes. Closed my eyes and let it wander in the year that was.

Reeling from the end of what was a long relationship, I embraced 2011  with a promise of having a better quality of life. I told myself that there will be goals that would be reached before I end the third decade of my life. Maturity, patience and happiness in solitude would be some of the things I wanted to achieve.

The travel, seeing Europe, scuba diving, the great images and the people I've met are the pages to a chapter that would prove to be one of my favorites thus far. Wow, what a story.

I learned that I have great self control. I was just recently told that I embrace my age. That I love myself, which is good. I have gained respect and showed others that the big life goals can be achieved by little baby steps of little successful goals.

2011 will be hard to top. I feel like 2012 will have a few surprises. I sense that it will prove some of the feelings and fears I felt in this ending year were wrong. I feel that some of the wishes of the people I love around me will come true for me. I throw caution to the wind to make sure that I will not disappoint myself too much if certain things fail to come true.

I've found a balance in my life somewhat, but I feel like I am still reeling in from what could be described as the calm after the storm. I believe that the balance that I've found will from here in forward allow me to take in the future storms that will come my way.

Thanks 2011. Here's to a great New Year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

I screwed up my Getting Lost Blogs - my trips we're not published chronologically.

Here they are in proper order.

Getting lost 1.0 - Las Vegas to Paris via Charlotte and London
Getting lost 1.2 - London Saint Pancras to Paris Nord Paris at night
Getting lost 1.3 - First Full day in Paris
Getting lost 1.4 - Second Full day in Paris
Getting lost 1.5 - More Paris 
Getting lost 1.6 - Paris from a perspective

Getting lost 2.1- Rome 
Getting lost 2.2- Rome: The Coppola and an old friend 
Getting lost 2.3- Rome: Roommates and Piaza del Poppolo
Getting lost 2.4- Rome: Last day and a cancelled flight

PARIS - Getting Lost 1.4

28 November, 2011-Monday
Paris, France
Second full day in France

The hippo last night was out first decent meal since we left London, for me though, longer than that. At this point the task of trying to stay awake during the day and trying to stay asleep in the morning is beginning to take its toll.

I woke up a little bit earlier to take a walk down the street for a quick cafe creme and a visit to Le poste for stamps. I had observed the typical roaring in Clichy. The kids walling by themselves to school, as young as 4 years old. The proletariat having their morning coffee at the bistros. In France,for the most part, your barista for coffee is also your bartender for your alcohol.

Breakfast again at the hotel to get ready for our Montmarte visit. The bus took us in city to the north of Paris where the soucre couer church is. Along the way you will see the famous Moulan Rouge and a lot of sex shops along the way. The walk to Montmarte was faIrly quick.

When we got there, I was introduced to something that I will be seeing a lot around Europe. In this particular case, a man from northern Africa or somewhere in the Mediterranean walked up to me and offered to make me a bracelet. When I asked how much, he said it was free. His insistence allowed him to start wrapping the threads around my fingers... At this point I was tied to it, literally. As soon as he was done, and I started walking away, he started asking for money... I took out the coins I have and started giving him 1 euro. At this point he started asking for ten. Thats when I started walking away. Tip for the weary: just start walking away. Just say sorry and no.

The cathedral was very grand. And amazing sight. The view from its steps though was much more grand. If it weren't only for thE bad weather, the city view as I can imagine would have been amazing.

After debating what to do next, we all proceeded to the market below the Soucre Ceour and started buying gifts to take home. Shopping was a sin you don't want to always indulge on when traveling.

It was decided that we will jn the bus on the way back to the Sein. From there, make our way to the louvre. Honestly... On the map it looked quite close. It wasn't.

We were able to walk past the Alexander bridge, the grand palaise, the petit palaise, the place de la Concorde, the jardan de Tuilerie and into the entrance to the Louvre. As soon as we all regrouped inside the louvre we took a direct route to see the Mona Lisa. Mission accomplished. Now, we are hungry.

There was no avoiding getting lost in that museum. We did, later on after passing thru Etruscan antiquities towards the French painters wing we got message from Ross that he was at notre dame. So, off to notre dame we went.

Getting all touristy in notre dame was the only choice. I did know though that I needed to get to Shakespeare and company from there to procure a promised gift.

Later that night we all congregated at the champs élysées for the christmas market for some sausages and drinks. Vin Chaude was the odd favorite. Just like German warm beer. I just got contented with my hot chocolate.

A few things at this point:

- my feet started to hurt because the thick socks eventually contributed to blood flow constriction. (note to self: comfy shoes, always...)

- I've gotten Ross into the mission of mailing out post cards from the Eiffel so it would have that special stamp.

We got home and slept soundly that night.

ROME - Getting lost 2.2

1 December, 2011 - Thursday
Roma Italy
Second full day

I decided t head back to the Vatican, at the piaza, I sat down next to one of the columns to catch up on some writing. I sat next to a slender old man in a brown vest. After which I ended up meeting to elderly ladies from Manila who was there're for official visit with COA. We took pictures of each other.

I decided to take on the 500 plus hike up the Coppola of San Pietro. Man that was nuts. The steps kept on coming... I could have paid an extra 2 euros to use an elevator half way up the base of the coppola. Didn't. The view from the cage on the base of the Coppola was great. But then i saw mor steps going up which followed.

The steps took me higher and higher through narrowing corridors and halls and windows. You will realize that you are close to the to when the walls start bending to the right for you..

More steps and then a spiral staircase. Voila! Rome and everything else in front of you.

Upon coming down, I went into a chapel on the right side of the cathedral to pray more. I then after exiting, decided to do the trek to castel sant Angelo. There's wasnt much to see there. It was stepping into time though, looking through archer holes and imagining how it was like. From there I made my way to piazza novono. There was a Christmas market there. Along the way I walked through the pretty narrow streets of central Rome and stopped by different shops. When I got t the piazza, started looking for trinkets and saw some.

I then proceeded to walk to the Spanish steps after realizing that there was no metro between them. I got there and chaos. Lol there were people everywhere. Nice.

I met Niña at the cafe Greco. Apparently a very old shop. From there we went t the piazza del popolo to have dinner and drinks. Walked some more and talked about many things. We ended up finding our way to venneza and then the colosseum at night. When we realized that it was late and that we were tired, we then went back to the termini to get back home to our own places.


PARIS - Getting lost 1.2

Day 1
25 November, 2011
London Saint Pancras to Paris Nord

Arrived in Paris Nord via the euro star.

The density of civilization gave away the clues to getting close to Paris. From the train station we took a bus to our hotel. Michele, our guide was quite embarrassed when our first 30 minutes was spent in traffic. She said that arriving during rush hour was a great introduction to the real Paris.

Check in was quick. I insisted that i needed to shower first before heading out. At this point I've been up around 48 hours. We all met downstairs to proceed to the champs élysées. I had to peel off from the group to pick up my Paris pass from the hard rock cafe. As I emerged from the Metro station, I smiled and thought t myself that I was really in Paris. The scape was similar to the New York, San Francisco and Chicago. But it was in French, it was cosmopolitan. People dressed well walked by beggars, the miserables. I practiced my first French phrase at the hard rock... "excuse moi, vous parlez anglais?" this allowed me to procure my Paris pass.

I took the metro again to get to the Franklin Roosevelt station along the champs élysées. From the stop, through the thousands who were there I started looking for my friends.

I found them. I did! Near the arc de triomphe. They were there with tripods and cameras. I really wanted to go up the arc. But maybe next time. We then proceeded to get to see the tower. The metro took us to the trocadero station. As soon as we emerged from underground, we were given the poplar view of the tower. It was grand. A sight to see. I had lost my companions while we were taking photos. They went to meet chuck at the tower. From there I decided to head back on my own to the hotel to catch a well need rest. Called it a night.


ROME - Getting lost 2.1

30 November, 2011 Wednesday
Rome, Italy
The beehive hostel
First full day in Rome

Jean Luca was a tall slender man who see very softly but with clear English words and subtle hand movements. He was the cook in the basement cafe of the beehive. He prepared my meal and served it with care. After my meal, I called up Emanuel.

"jab, why you didn't tel me you were coming? I wanted to get everyone read and the whole city ready for you..." we agreed to meet for dinner that evening.

I went to pick u a Roma pass for 25€. I then proceeded to the Vatican. On the line A getting off the ottaviano station you will get immediately the sense of how crazy morning Rome is. The crowd moved in such a violent rush into the trains.

I found my sa eventually to the Vatican entrance - as soon as Saint Peters square opened up to me - all I could call on was God. I was able to absorb that moment fairly quickly. I then decided to follow the queue to the entrance.

What happened next was a feeling ive never ever felt before.

A few steps into the cathedral, an overwhelming sense of great power took over. The immerses structure was too much for my to take in. I started crying... I've been saying in the past Few weeks that "anything is attainable..." I was in the cathedral made by mans hand. However, all I can think about was that it was impossible for man to this this without the power of faith. I am in n way preaching... But I do believe that man alone cannot be capable of such a structure without a divine hand of guidance.

As soon as I found a place to kneel and pray, I dropped my things and started to pray. 20 minutes might have passed and was sniffling and crying as I prayed, praised and gave thanks.

I spent around 2 hours absorbing the great building was in.

After the Vatican, I picked up some stamps and post cards. I was writing on the cards in the middle of the piazza when I met about 8 teenag girls all shooting in film. All lovely girls who were very very Italian. I then walked down the street grab a pizza. I the shop I ordered my meal and it turned out that the guy I was speaking to the whole time was Filipino. Haha

Getting lost in the streets of Rome was a good habit. I ended up walking int commanding, a popular place for people to buy religious gifts and stuff. I went to town in comandini.

After a quick snack decided to go to the Vatican museum to get to the Sistine chapel. Breezing through the collections I was determined to go see the great chapel... Did and was able to take some photos.

I went back home to the hostel to relax and wait for the time to meet with Emanuel. They had picked me up at the termini and being a gracious guest and brought me to have dinner at an American restaurant... Haha

After dinner with Emanuel the Romano and lovely the napolitano they took me to an overlooking part of town to see Rome.


PARIS Getting Lost 1.6

En Route to Roma-fumiccino airport.
Vueling airlines
November 29, 2011 (Tuesday)

Seeing Paris is such an amazing experience. A piece of you is left there and it's replaced by a more enlightened spirit that appreciates more of life. Did i discover joie de vivre while I was there? I think I did. I think i saw a glimpse of it, was sure it was it and got close enough for an autograph.

Many things ran through my mind including how t create a lifestyle that will allow me to come visit again not ad a tourist but as a should that needs a refill of some Paris. I think I have an idea. Just need some divine intervention and lots of hard work.

The history-both good and bad is something that the French keep and showcase. Much as they acknowledge that they are rude sometimes, bad drivers (park everywhere and have that god awful twelve lane arc de triomphe roundabout) they proudly show it to the world and rightly so I think.

Its hairy balls out, but balls out nonetheless. The French had Voltaire, Renoir, Monet, Bonaparte, Hugo, Dumas and many others. Borrowed da Vinci at one point and had relations with the Russians, Egyptians, Spanish, war with the Prussians, Germans and their own proletariat (or bourgeoise depending on how you see it).

Visiting France requires that you bring with you a companion that appreciates it beyond the possibility of being able to post photos on Facebook standing in front of the many locations. One must be able to speak with that companion and dissect the history, correct each others errors on knowledge, disagree on many things, agree on others, has a good grasp of history and is both appreciative and critical of where you had both come from.

Paris is not just surface tourism. Like Las Vegas. It's more skin deep. It's more than just something to see - but something that you ingest and take in. It's a lot to take in too mind you.

Find someone who does not question why having cafe creme while watching the world go by you is a good experience. Someone who finds walking an exercise for the heart and soul not for the calves. A friend that is open to learning a few words and phrases and is not scared to speak to a local. Someone who drinks. Imbibes. Find someone who's not on a diet.

Paris has a lot of surprises in store - you don't just share photos online to people. One must encourage people to see it. You have 3 countries to visit before you die? Put Paris on that list.

This was my first non English speaking country to visit. I must say that it was quite nice to hear many conversations around you but could note eavesdrop since you can't understand them. Technically my second country in Europe, having passed through the UK. Would I want to see more of France? Of course, but still think I've not gotten enough of Paris yet.

PARIS - Getting Lost 1.5

29 november, 2011
Paris, France -
heading to Rome in the evening

Packed up and ready to go. The itinerary for today was to head to the Eiffel to send out some mail. After frolicking there and took photos, we decided to head the Latin quarter to see the pantheon and have lunch.

The pantheon housed the great dead French peeps. I was able to pay my respects to Voltaire, Marie Curie, Victor Hugo and Alexander Dumas.

We had lunch at a wonderful street side cafe with a wonderful garçon who entertained and charmed us. Steak for everybody!

We got back to Timhotel in time. I've split up from the group to take the train to the airport to catch my flight to Rome.


PARIS - Getting Lost 1.3

26, November 2011
Timhotel, Clichy, Paris, France
2nd day in France (first full day)

Sleep I thought, at this point will make or break me. My body has no idea of the time but knows that after a few hours without the sun, it ill soon fall into a sub-coma-tic state and I'll beg for a bed. However, the adrenalin, the excitement and just being away meant that sleep will be an a flyer thought.

Breakfast downstairs saves euros. However, somehow I that it would cost me the cafe creme at a bistro in france experience. Sometimes, convenience becomes inconvenient.

We hopped on our bus for our morning in Paris overview. This is pre-emotive to our hike out to Versailles. On the bus, Michel provided a mix of historical and "today" information. It is b the way, Paris. A very sheik and modern world nestled on a plush bed of history. We drove by the arc du triomph again, drove b the Ritz (noted as the place where princess dianna stayed before she died). We also were shown the riverside attractions -Sein, Alexander bridge, place de la concorde,musee d orsay,the louvre, grand palais,the petit palace and notre dame. To be able to see a general overview of the city is suggested. I would be easier to figure our logistics and itinerary after.

After a brief stop by the Eiffel, we then drove outside of Paris to the palace of Versailles. I will not provide the history of this since this is something that is available somewhere else.

Versailles. Pomp and extravagance. This place is beyond words. It really is. It rivals any modern architecture and logical thinking. I can't fathom how someone can think of a place like this and actually do it.

We had fun at Versailles. It was an introduction to the fact that wee will wear out our feet for the next few days. We also had time to go downtown to grab a bite to eat and see the local market and locals in action or interaction.

We went back to the hotel to regroup and re-arm. That evening, we went back to the Eiffel and took the Sein river boat tour. There wasn't that much that we haven't seen but from the river it was different. We saw the Parisians walk along the walls on the Sein, they were sitting, kissing, talking and drinking.

From the river tour, even though we knew we were all hungry and tired-we went up the montparnasse tower to see a different view of Paris. We then all enjoyed a nice dinner at this restaurant called the hippo.


ROME - Getting Lost 2.4

3 December 2011
Roma, italia
Last day

Packing got easier round this point. After figuring that part out, joined m roommates for breakfast, we exchAnged facebooks and told them they are welcome in las Vegas.

I then went to the Vatican again t meet up with Nina. This allowed melt catch up on some writing. Oddly, the man who was sitting there was there again and I think he noticed me.

Met with Nina, had lunch, bought some things and then went back to the termini area to finalize my packing. We had another round of coffee before making a buzzer beater run to catch my train to fumiccino. Nina packed me with so much stuff from cheeses to wine to chocolates. I'm really worried at how I'll be able to take ths back to the states.

My flight was cancelled.

But I still decided to go to the check in counter. The ground attendant said, we can rebook you on an earlier flight that leaves in an hour and will get you to heathrow... I was happy.

ROME Getting lost 2.3

2 December, 2011
Rome Italy
3rd full day in Rome.

At this point, I've come to be familiar with my roommates. Specifically Lindsey from Canada, jean from Australia, Alan from Manchester and max from Toronto, originally from Vancouver. We shared stories and tips in the morning and went on our separate ways.

That day I decided to start my morning at piazz spagns I grabbed a coffee at the mcdonalds, ate on the steps and started my walk. I went in the church on to of the piazza and found my way into the gardens past the spagns area towards piaza del popolo. I spent a good 2 hours at the piaza del popolo looking at people and taking photos.

I then took the metro to the Trevi. There, the weekend crowd started to become evident. Tons of people there. After mine Trevi, I started my way to the forum. My main goal was the coloseo. I grabbed a quick snack then spent the afternoon in and around the colosseum. I gave myself enough time to be able to head back t get some rest at the beehive before meeting with Nina to have dinner.

After dinner near the termini area, we went to the piazza novona to buy more trinkets many grab a drink at a local place. At this point, I was sold
I the fact that the bus was also a great way to see Rome...

We retired after catching up on stories and our past.


ROME Getting lost 1.5.2

29 November, 2011
Rome, Italy
First night in Rome

The arrival was uneventful. The luggage was ready in minutes. I followed the signs that said shuttle busses to the Termini.

I didn't realize how central the termini was to Rome. I also didn't realize how close the beehive was to the termini. On the bus, I heard a gentleman ask an Italian man about a hotel. The Italian obviously didn't speak English. I asked the man if he needed a hotel because I was staying at the hostel and he can go there with me.

His name was Richard, from Australia. He just came from the netherlands, couched surfed with cousins there for a few weeks. He explained to me that the next day he would be headed to a farm outside of work where he will be working there're in exchange for lodging. The man who owns the farm was the cousin of another man he met when he was in Mexico looking the crystal caves. He said that he met this man on the bus and offered him a place to stay. Richard offered to pay for the food and drinks while he was there.

My roommates where there in their beds when I got in. Max, Asian. Student from Toronto originally from Vancouver and this blonde girl from Colorado. I introduced myself and after gathering my self told max that I will go and grab a drink. We asked Colorado girl to join us.

At the tavern, we shared a pitcher of new castle. Our conversations were merely sweeping generalities of our past few days talking about the places we've visited. Colorado girl has been working in farms, had been studying sustainable farming and grows marijuana back home. Richard, is just one of those vagabonds who's been everywhere but is obviously hiding the reason as to how he can lead that bohemian life.

Colorad girl soon left after the first pitcher. Richard and I then ordered another full ne and started talKing about everything or from our past, our families and the quality of life and the people we meet.

Our conversation lasted another hour when we decided to call it a night. We went back to the beehive to call it a night.


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Las Vegas - London - Paris Getting Lost 1.1

Fight from Charlotte, NC to London-Gatwick
November 25, 2011 2000H PST

I worked at the chapel last night. It was very slow to say the least. I did make some good money, more that usual when it's that slow so I'm not really complaining.

As soon as I got off, I went to fetch my mom and aunt so we can go to the outlet malls for black Friday. When we got there, peeled off from them to go get the things that I needed. I went to see lyss, she was working at Adidas. Seeing hear makes me happy. I'm very proud of her. How she is right now.

At around 2am, I started feeling tired. I got back home to my apartment in time to watch an episode of House and New Girl. During which I repacked and see how my carry on would do. At first I really wanted to take with me my yashica tlr, but I decided against it due to space and weight.

At exactly 530, we were at the airport. I was checked in and passed security in 20 minutes. I had my Cinnabon and coffee and watched the sunrise from the gate.

They flight to Charlotte was pity uneventful. I was seat A and had to uncomfortably wait for the final 30 minutes before I told my neighbors I needed to go.

Charlotte was pleasant. The sky was clear, it was a cool fall afternoon. The airport was spacious and not really gigantic. The also had rocking chairs. I grabbed a Philly cheesesteak and proceeded to wait at the gates.

And now for the flight to London.

Saint Pancras international Station
November 26, 2011 1030H London time

I took several cat naps on the flight. Oddly enough, those were sufficient to keep me running since I woke up Thursday morning. I'm still in the same clothes, yeah-I won't shower till Paris but hey, backpacking right?

The flight was uncomfortable. Wait, I was uncomfortable. I should've taken knock out pills to get some decent sleep. My back is acting up again. Although its not annoying, what's upsetting me is that it's a sign of aging. I can only be stronger, I keep telling myself.

The flight landed right before sunrise. We waited for the luggage for about 45 minutes. I was able to get some local currency from the ATM. (note to self, eat your own food, don't buy too much).

I was given different instructions as to how to get to saint pancras. I kne that I needed to get a surface train. On the platform, I met a gentleman named Ralph, he said he's visited the US several times and enjoyed it, but not las vegas. He was probably an immigrant from somewhere in Africa but have lived here a long time given the accent. He works with web development, a topic we briefly talked about.

The train ride from Gatwick to the Victoria underground station reminded me of the long island express from JFK to manhattan.

I could not stand being underground. Even though could have followed the signs to saint pancras, decided to get out and see everything. It wasn't as cold as I thought or I was warned it would be. It's pleasant actually. Overcast of course, much like Seattle or Los Angeles during the rainy season. Damp. Humid.

I found the toilet and freshened up. I decided to pack my down jacket and stay with the shirt, tie and vest. As soon as I got connected to wifi, I was able to phone Ross and let him know I was here.

Saint Pancras is enormous. I have only my point and shoot to take pics with. This will do for now.

Now I wait for Ross and co. One more hour. Maybe I'll go out for a walk.


First 24 hours

I worked at the chapel last night. It was very slow to say the least. I did make some good money, more that usual when it's that slow so I'm not really complaining.

As soon as I got off, I went to fetch my mom and aunt so we can go to the outlet malls for black Friday. When we got there, peeled off from them to go get the things that I needed. I went to see lyss, she was working at Adidas. Seeing hear makes me happy. I'm very proud of her. How she is right now.

At around 2am, I started feeling tired. I got back home to my apartment in time to watch an episode of House and New Girl. During which I repacked and see how my carry on would do. At first I really wanted to take with me my yashica tlr, but I decided against it due to space and weight.

At exactly 530, we were at the airport. I was checked in and passed security in 20 minutes. I had my Cinnabon and coffee and watched the sunrise from the gate.

They flight to Charlotte was pity uneventful. I was seat A and had to uncomfortably wait for the final 30 minutes before I told my neighbors I needed to go.

Charlotte was pleasant. The sky was clear, it was a cool fall afternoon. The airport was spacious and not really gigantic. The also had rocking chairs. I grabbed a Philly cheesesteak and proceeded to wait at the gates.

And now for the flight t London.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Getting lost 1.0

November 23, 2011 - Thursday

Suppose you were given a chance at this point in your life to spend over a week in Europe, in cities like London, Paris and Rome? Would you go? If you couldn't, why?

Ive been lucky enough to have worked hard enough to get to a point where I could. Well, considering that this was planned over Facebook chat with my old college roommate while was supposed to be working, it turned out ok.

Tomorrow morning, black Friday I will get on a plane that will connect me via NC to London Gatwick airport. From there I'm supposed to find my way to saint pancras, the train station. I'm to meet my old friend Ross there. From there we shall take a train that will go under the English Channel and take us to Paris.

To say I'm excited is weak. I am tired yes, at this point because of the erratic schedule but I am excited nonetheless.

I am packed. Clothes that will last a few days, 2 pairs of comfortable shoes and of course my camera gear. Would I forget that?

Throughout the trip, I shall be sending dispatches about my situation and experiences. This starts the euro series for decaf. It would truly be a life changing and educational trip.

In this trip, plan to make friends with at least 10 new people and try 3 foods I've never had in my life.

It's thanksgiving day, I work tonight at the chapel. I am happy and thankful for everything I have right now and everything I don't, this chance and opportunity, this amazing trip.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Getting Married in Las Vegas checklist

So, you've seen it in the movies and TV shows and you probably thought, how hard can it be?

Well, it doesn't have to. As long as you don't get the facts mixed with the myths. I've seen many couples walk into the chapel and end up walking out after a few minutes because they didn't really think things through.

Here are a few things you might want to to remember when getting hitched in Vegas.

1. Unless you're renewing your vows, you still need to get a marriage license down at the court house, also know as the Marriage License Bureau (click for more info)
     A. You will need a valid  picture ID (Drivers License, Passport etc.)
     B. $60 to get the paperwork
     C. Applicants must be a biological male and a biological female, at least 18 years of age, and no nearer      of kin than second cousins or cousins of half-blood, and not having a husband or wife living.
(Save time - This is the link to get the license online)

2. You can not get married intoxicated (Thanks Brittney). Most wedding chapels will not even allow you to have alcohol on the premises, so don't even think about it. Drink all you want afterwards. If you have questions, call ahead.

3. Yes, you can bring guests with you. Save the embarrassment, make sure they are not drunk too.

4. The ministers at the chapels are real and actual ordained ministers. They have their own churches in town. So please, do not treat them like your buddies. Exercise some common sense and decency - do no be a potty mouth.

5. It's still very cheap to get married in Las Vegas($200-$500 compared to $20,000).
But please, don't skimp on the class. Tip everyone that has extended a personal level of service (Minister, Limo Driver, Photographer) - you are in Las Vegas - a tipping town.

6. Come in dressed. Please. It's your wedding. Not a freak show. There are kids sometimes in the chapel.

7. Don't forget your rings

8. You can have your own vows. Write them down or practice. It makes it special

9. Yes, you can have an Elvis at your wedding.

10. Have fun! Follow the rules and it will be a memorable day. 

Do's and Don'ts for getting married in Las Vegas

Las Vegas is still a classy town, where people can drive into town in a twenty thousand dollar Toyota and on the way back home can be in a $250,000 gray hound bus. So whether you want to just spend a relaxing weekend and get hitched with a simple ceremony in mind or come in with all your friends and family with a well thought out and planned out epic wedding, there are still certain things that one should remember.

Local's are tolerant of tourists behaving badly. It actually is a local past time, tourist watching and making fun of how tourists behave themselves. But locals are only tolerant to a certain point.

Do not assume you can be drunk all the time 24/7. You still can't drive if you are and there are certain business establishments that will not let you in - especially wedding chapels. No, you can't be drinking and getting married at the same time. That is a myth portrayed in Hollywood and many TV shows.

If you are with a friend who can't control themselves in public while intoxicated - dump them. Leave them in the hotel room where they will be safe, and so will be the rest of the city. You will also be doing your dignity a huge favor.

You need a marriage license. Yup! You can't just stumble into a chapel and expect to stumble out being Mr. Smith's Mrs. You still have to go to the wedding license bureau and present two forms of government issued picture ID - and pay the $60 (as of Mar. 2011)

Rent a car - Yup! Do rent a car. In the films, it seems as if the hotels are really next to each other. There are two parts of the strip, there's downtown (Freemont Street) and there the main Strip (Bellagio, MGM, Venetian, Paris, Ceasars etc.) It takes a few hours to see one side of this strip. It's still 4 miles from Mandalay Bay to the Stratosphere Hotel. There's always the bus, also known as The Deuce  ($7 a day, Mar. 2011), that saves your feet, gives you time to sight see and relax.

Oh, and did I tell you that parking at the hotels are free? Always look for the self parking areas. They are, except for the downtown hotels, they are free.

Valet parking in Las Vegas. Park in style! It's complimentary. But please, don't forget to tip your valet. It's Las Vegas, not Jersey City. 

Repost from:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bob Marley & Love

I grew up listening to Bob Marley - It's always been something that I enjoyed closing my eyes too. Till recently when I came across a post that had a ton of words from him that makes absolute sense. If only the right people will listen. Here's me plagiarizing the collection:

Bob Marley quotes (showing 1-50 of 87)

"One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain."
— Bob Marley
"Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life."
— Bob Marley
"You may not be her first, her last, or her only. She loved before she may love again. But if she loves you now, what else matters? She's not perfect - you aren't either, and the two of you may never be perfect together but if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold onto her and give her the most you can. She may not be thinking about you every second of the day, but she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break - her heart. So don't hurt her, don't change her, don't analyze and don't expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she's not there."
— Bob Marley
"Who are you to judge the life I live?
I know I'm not perfect
-and I don't live to be-
but before you start pointing fingers...
make sure you hands are clean!"
— Bob Marley
"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for."
— Bob Marley
"None but ourselves can free our minds."
— Bob Marley
"Some people feel the rain. Others just get wet."
— Bob Marley
"love the life you live.
live the life you love."
— Bob Marley
"One love, one heart, one destiny."
— Bob Marley
"The greatness of a man is not in how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and his ability to affect those around him positively"
— Bob Marley
"Don't Gain The World & Lose Your Soul, Wisdom Is Better Than Silver Or Gold."
— Bob Marley
"He’s not perfect. You aren’t either, and the two of you will never be perfect. But if he can make you laugh at least once, causes you to think twice, and if he admits to being human and making mistakes, hold onto him and give him the most you can. He isn’t going to quote poetry, he’s not thinking about you every moment, but he will give you a part of him that he knows you could break. Don’t hurt him, don’t change him, and don’t expect for more than he can give. Don’t analyze. Smile when he makes you happy, yell when he makes you mad, and miss him when he’s not there. Love hard when there is love to be had. Because perfect guys don’t exist, but there’s always one guy that is perfect for you."
— Bob Marley
"Life is one big road with lots of signs. So when you riding through the ruts, don't complicate your mind. Flee from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don't bury your thoughts, put your vision to reality. Wake Up and Live!"
— Bob Marley
"The good times of today are the sad thoughts of tomorrow."
— Bob Marley
"Don't worry about a thing, every little thing is gonna be alright"
— Bob Marley
"When one door is closed, don't you know that many more are open"
— Bob Marley
"Wake up and live "
— Bob Marley
"Live for yourself and you will live in vain;
Live for others, and you will live again."
— Bob Marley
"Judge not unless you judge yourself"
— Bob Marley
"Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery.
None but ourselves can free our minds."
— Bob Marley
"The people who were trying to make this world worse are not taking the day off. Why should I?"
— Bob Marley
"Herb is the healing of a nation, alcohol is the destruction."
— Bob Marley
"Love would never leave us alone"
— Bob Marley
"You have to be someone."
— Bob Marley
"I don't stand for black man's side, I don't stand for white man's side, I stand for God's side."
— Bob Marley
tags: black , god , men , music , side
"My fear is my only courage"
— Bob Marley
"Open your eyes, look within. Are you satisfied with the life you're living?"
— Bob Marley
"Though the road's been rocky it sure feels good to me."
— Bob Marley
"Better to die fighting for freedom then be a prisoner all the days of your life."
— Bob Marley
"Get up, stand up, Stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up, Don't give up the fight."
— Bob Marley (Bob Marley - Legend)
"One Love, One Heart, Let's get together and feel alright"
— Bob Marley (Bob Marley - Legend: The Best of Bob Marley and The Wailers)
"Overcome the devils with a thing called love. "
— Bob Marley
"Free speech carries with it some freedom to listen. "
— Bob Marley
"You can't find the right roads when the streets are paved."
— Bob Marley
"My music will go on forever. Maybe it's a fool say that, but when me know facts me can say facts. My music will go on forever."
— Bob Marley
"The winds that sometimes take something we love, are the same that bring us something we learn to love. Therefore we should not cry about something that was taken from us, but, yes, love what we have been given. Because what is really ours is never gone forever."
— Bob Marley
"There will never be no love at all."
— Bob Marley
"The best thing about music is that when it hits you, you feel no pain."
— Bob Marley
"You can fool some people some times but you cant fool all the people all the time"
— Bob Marley
"It's your own conscience
That is gonna remind you
That it's your heart and nobody else's
That is gonna judge."
— Bob Marley
"Me only have one ambition, y'know. I only have one thing I really like to see happen. I like to see mankind live together - black, white, Chinese, everyone - that's all."
— Bob Marley
"When you smoke the herb, it reveals you to yourself."
— Bob Marley
"In this bright future you can't forget your past."
— Bob Marley
"When the race gets hard to run. It means you just can't take the peace."
— Bob Marley
"Life and Jah are one in the same. Jah is the gift of existence. I am in some way eternal, I will never be duplicated. The singularity of every man and woman is Jah's gift. What we struggle to make of it is our sole gift to Jah. The process of what that struggle becomes, in time, the Truth."
— Bob Marley
"Herb is the unification of mankind."
— Bob Marley
"If you get down and you quarrel everyday, you're saying praises to the devil, I say."
— Bob Marley
"Don't give up the fight,
Stand up for your rights."
— Bob Marley
"Every man gotta right to decide his own destiny"
— Bob Marley
"Ziggy, when you go up bring me up and when you go down don't let me down. Stephen, Money can't buy you life." 
"Bob Marley isn't my name. I don't even know my name yet."
— Bob Marley
"Tell the children the truth."
— Bob Marley
"The stone that the builder refused shall be the head corner stone."
— Bob Marley
"until the end of the world,all whys will be answered,but now,you can only ask!"
— Bob Marley (Bob Marley: Talking)
"Until the philosophy which hold one race superior and another inferior is finally and permanently discredited and abandoned...
Everything is war. Me say war.
That until the're no longer 1st class and 2nd class citizens of any nation...
Until the color of a man's skin is of
no more significa...nce than the color of his eyes, me say war. That until the basic human rights are equally guaranteed to all without regard to race me say war!"
— Bob Marley
"Man is a universe within himself."
— Bob Marley
"My music fights against the system that teaches to live and die."
— Bob Marley
"tell me what you think it means."
— Bob Marley
"Your Worst Enemy Could Be Your Best Friend && Your Best Friend Your Worst Enemy"
— Bob Marley
"Some Will Hate You Pretend They Love You Now Then Behind They Try To Eliminate You"
— Bob Marley
"The day you stop racing, is the day you win the race."
— Bob Marley
"My future is righteousness."
— Bob Marley
"Lively Up Yourself"
— Bob Marley
"Live the life you love, love the life you live"
— Bob Marley
"Everytime I plant a seed,he say kill it before it grow, he say kill it before they grow."
— Bob Marley
"Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; You just gotta find the ones worth suffering for."
— Bob Marley
"I've been here before and will come again, but I'm not going this trip through."
— Bob Marley
"one love, one heart"
— Bob Marley
"I'n'I nah come to fight flesh and blood,
But spiritual wickedness in 'igh and low places.
So while they fight you down,
Stand firm and give Jah thanks and praises.
'Cos I'n'I no expect to be justified
by the laws of men - by the laws of men.
Oh, true they have found me guilty,
But through - through Jah proved my innocency."
— Bob Marley
"Don't forget your history nor your destiny"
— Bob Marley
"You just can't live that negative way.
You know what I mean. Make way for the positive day. Cause it's a new day..."
— Bob Marley
"good times of today, are the bad thoughts of tom."
— Bob Marley
"Puedes no ser su primero, su ultimo o su único. Ella amo antes y puede amar de nuevo. Pero si ella te ama ahora, Que otra cosa importa? Ella no es perfecta -tu tampoco lo eres, y los dos podrán nunca ser perfectos juntos, pero si ella te puede hacer reír, hacer que pienses las cosas dos veces, y puede admitir ser humana y cometer errores, Hazla tuya y dale lo mas que puedas. Puede que ella no piense en ti cada segundo del día, pero ella te dará una parte de su cuerpo que sabe es frágil - su corazón. Así que no la lastimes, no la cambies, no la analices y no esperes más de lo que ella pueda dar. Sonríe cuando te haga feliz, déjale saber cuándo te enfurezca y extráñala cuando no esté ahí."
— Bob Marley
"The Truth An Offense But Not A Sin"
— Bob Marley
"Reggae is my heart ♥
reggae is my soul"
— Bob Marley
"Os homens pensam que possuem uma mente, mas é a mente que os possui. Há pessoas que amam o poder, e outras que tem o poder de amar"
— Bob Marley
"Everyone is going to hurt you you just have to find the ones worth suffering for."
— Bob Marley
"a pot a cook but the food na kno"
— Bob Marley
"Who are you to judge the life I live?
I know I'm not perfect
-and I don't live to be-
but before you start pointing fingers...
make sure you hands are clean!"

"The truth is, everyone is going to hurt you. You just got to find the ones worth suffering for."

"love the life you live.
live the life you love."

"Live for yourself and you will live in vain;
Live for others, and you will live again."

"Judge not unless you judge yourself"
— Bob Marley (Bob Marley - Legend)
"I truly believe"
— Bob Marley
"Quando você acha q sabe todas as perguntas vem à vida e muda todas as respostas"
— Bob Marley
"So if you are the big tree, we are the small axe. Ready to cut you down, to cut you down."
— Bob Marley
"Истината е, че всеки един човек ще те нарани. Просто трябва да намериш тези хора, заради които си струва да страдаш."
— Bob Marley
"Love the life you live. Live the life you love."
— Bob Marley
"i don't have any"
— Bob Marley
"My feet is my only carriage."
— Bob Marley