Sunday, May 11, 2008

Destinations: Isabela and Playa Jobos

To all the moms out there... Happy Mother's Day! I wanted to take
my Mom out and break-out of our usual Sunday routine, and venture out of San Juan! So, I chose to head out to Isabela, which is located in the Northwestern part of Puerto Rico. We had lunch at a very low-key, casual beachside restaurant. The photo above was our view... Yes, that's why I enjoy the Caribbean so much! The name of this beach is called Playa Jobos, which is really pretty and well-known for surfing. It's about another 30 minutes or so from Isabela's plaza center.

After lunch, we just drove around and ended up taking a small road off the highway. It was completely unmarked but I saw a few cars entering, and it looked like there was a pretty beach towards that direction. Turns out that this area was filled with festivities, including a live salsa band! However, what interested my Mom most was the shack selling fresh fish! That's it on the left.

Isn't it great when you encounter something fabulous just out of the blue and completely unexpected? My Mom and I had a great time today. Sun, beach, fresh fish, what more can you ask for? Hmm... I did have something else on my mind... ice cream! Near the center of Isabela, I saw a Rex Cream, an ice cream chain established by a Chinese immigrant (who happens to be my Dad's friend!), and it just made me so happy! Most of all, I shared a lovely day with my Mom.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

The Joy of Running

Last year, I was fortunate enough to participate in my first ever 10K running event. I found the experience to be absolutely exhilirating. The energy of the crowd, and the hundreds of runners, just keeps you going. It truly is mind over matter. I vowed to do it again. Unfortunately, I was in New York on the day of the run this year and wasn't able to participate. So, I've been searching for another opportunity and found one! This time, it'll be actually in Germany, a country that I'll be visiting for the very first time. Perfect!

I have a passion for running, as well as traveling. So, why not combine the two? I actually came across this event while doing a random Google search. It also just so happened that I had plans to travel to Europe. This 10K run is taking place in Essen, Germany. I am really looking forward to it! My only regret is that I won't be able to do the half-marathon. By the time I found out about it, it was too late to train for it. In all honesty, I don't have time to train for it either.

For the past few weeks, in order to prepare for the 10K, I've been running more and it feels great. The reason why I enjoy this sport so much is because it keeps me sane. Running has helped me both in good times and bad. When I lived in New York, I would run across the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges almost every morning. It was fantastic. There are certain runs that will forever be etched in my memory. I once ran in the midst of a snowstorm, rainstorm, as well as a subway strike, where there were hundreds of pedestrians walking across the bridges. They were all very interesting experiences indeed, and I look forward to many more to come.