In follow-up to my most recent post, “The Runaways,” I now feature the “Watchers.”
(*photo taken during my morning run)
(*photo taken with and iPhone)
Huwag magmuk-mok sa dilim,
Araw ay ‘di dapat sayangin,
Pagkakatao’y huwag palampasin,
Ang mundo sa bintana’y dungawin.
Buksan mo ang mga tabing,
At liwanag ay papasukin,
Pag-iisip mo’y palayain,
Mga pangarap ay paliparin.
It’s mid August. In about 2 months it will be time for the Des Moines Marathon, in which I plan to participate in the half marathon run. I have not registered though, because I’m still feeling myself if I would be ready for it.
It has been a while since I posted progress of my training. As you already know, I even have a running app to track my pace and distance to aid me on my training. The farthest distance I covered so far is 6 miles in my current training period. I also was able to get my pace under 11 minutes.
But that was about a month ago. Since then, I am struggling. I even am sliding down on my distance and pace. So I was hopeful that today, I can steer my course in the right direction.
By the moment I went out this morning to run, I was captivated by the sunrise. For some reason it has a different hue or color. It’s orange-red. (Sorry, but the photos I have below do not give real justice to the striking splendor of the sunrise.)
Then I thought that it could be from the many ongoing wild fires from California that is giving the sky a different haze, even though Iowa is 1,500 miles away from California. My thoughts and prayers goes out to those who are directly affected by these wild fires.
Back to my run, I was able to complete a 3-mile run, but not to the pace I wanted.
What’s my excuse this time? Stopping and taking too many photos of the crazy sunrise!
Yet in life, sometimes we are so engrossed in the task at hand that we don’t appreciate the beauty around us. We don’t stop to smell the roses. Or stop and admire the sunrise.
In my case, I have no regrets of stopping and capturing the moment. Have a good week everyone!
(*photos taken with an iPhone)
Nestled between the upper and lower peninsula of Michigan is a place where time stood still. The Mackinac Island, located in Lake Huron, is a popular tourist attraction due to its certain appeal. This place has undergone extensive historical preservation and restoration and is considered a National Historic Landmark.
I have heard of this place from a partner of mine when we moved to the Midwest more than a decade ago, but it was only recently that we were able to check this place out.
Mackinac Island is only reachable by a ferry from either Mackinac City or St. Ignace. These are fast hydro-jet ferries and only takes less than 20 minutes to get into the island.
As winter can be brutal in this part of Michigan, most businesses on the island, hotels included, are only open from May to October. Though there are residents that stayed on the island even through the winter.
Visiting Mackinac Island is like walking back in time, as houses and buildings are mostly built from the glorious era of the past, or at least they are made to look that way.
The island is not only for history fans but also attract nature lovers. There are lots of beautiful sights to enjoy, either cultivated or natural.
Tourists who visit Mackinac Island are called “fudgies.” I believe the reason for this is that the island has several fudge stores, and all of them offer free samples. So the tourists definitely take advantage of this, us included. But we also brought some home, as we felt obliged to buy after sampling a lot of them.
One of the most unique feature of the island is that there are no cars here. All motorized vehicles are banned on the entire island since 1898. There are only three motorized vehicles in the island: an ambulance, 1 police car, and a fire truck. So to get around, you either walk, bike, or take a taxi. Of course the taxis are horse-drawn carriages.
When you’re on the island, time is not an essence. People here take their time leisurely. And even if you are in a rush, you cannot hurry the horses. The horses rarely trot, and most of the time they walk. They don’t gallop. If you’re a fast walker, it may be even faster than riding the carriage. As I said, time here stand still.
Horses rule the island. They have only one physician in the whole island, but they have three veterinarians available here. So you know where their priority lies in this place.
One of the down-side of having many horses walking the streets, is that the roads are littered with their manure.
The smell is undeniable and sometimes can be overwhelming. But there are many people employed here as a “pooper-scooper.” They even have a mechanized street sweeper or cleaner. Of course it is also horse-drawn (photo below).
Beside the horse-drawn carriage tour, another faster way than walking, to tour the island is to go biking. And that’s what my family and I did. The whole island is only 8 miles around, though there are some steep hills that may be challenging to ride up.
One of the most iconic place in the island is the Grand Hotel which opened its doors way back in 1887. As the name implies, it really is grand. It even has its signature horse-drawn carriages available for their patrons.
This hotel has hosted many presidents, dignitaries, and famous people in its existence. Even if you don’t stay in this hotel (as it is a little pricey) you can still tour it for a minimal fee. It remains one of the most visited place in the island.
The hotel is also known in the popular culture as this is where the classic movie “Somewhere in Time,” starring Christopher Reeves and Jane Seymour, was filmed. The film is about a time traveler who fell in love with someone in the past. They chose this location for the obvious reason that the hotel have not changed much even in the passing of time.
Overall, we really enjoyed our trip to Mackinac Island. Even though we are not time travelers, perhaps we can be considered as such, as we felt like we visited the “past.” And we definitely fell in love too from something in the “past.”
From Mackinac Island,
(*all photos taken with an iPhone)
Landas na tinatahak ay ‘di man malinaw,
At ang paroroonan ay ‘di ko matanaw,
Ngunit sigurado ako sa aking layunin,
Kaya’t patutunguha’y tiyak na mararating.
(*thoughts while running on this foggy morning; photo taken with an iPhone)
For my non-Filipino readers, here’s a loose translation, though I think it lost some of its poetic edginess:
The path I tread may be dreary,
Where I would go I cannot see,
Yet I’m certain where I want to be,
And there for sure, I would be.
I took these photos few days ago. Can you tell me where am I?
Somewhere in the tropics?
Perhaps in Asia?
Maybe Hong Kong?
Nah! I am still in Iowa. All photos were taken in downtown Des Moines.
Though a travel back to Asia would be nice. Maybe someday. Soon.
(*photos taken with an iPhone)
Here’s what I did last weekend:
1. Helped my wife cooked tuyo (dried fish) in our outdoor grill.
2. Chased a deer during one of my morning runs.
3. Scavenged for bargain art item in the streets downtown (Des Moines Art Festival was this weekend).
4. Got lost among the corn (visited a friend’s farm).
5. And lastly, summoned my indigenous spirit or maybe my hidden pyromaniac nature and did a fire dance.
(*all photos were taken by me with an iPhone, except the last photo which was taken by our friend)
Last week, my partners and I went to a fancy restaurant in town. We have a candidate who is applying to join our practice that we interviewed so we took him to a place, a little pricey, but reputable, especially when it comes to steak and chops. We don’t want to have an applicant think that we are cheap.
I am not really in to steak and chops, but after tasting their food, I would say that this restaurant have a valid reason to claim that their steak is the best in town.
Besides the entrée, some other small things are remarkable. The fresh sea food platter appetizer was nicely presented and decorated in a bucket full of ice. The drinks were cold and chilled. Those were expected, I suppose.
However, when I excuse myself from the group and went to the restroom, I found something else that was “cool.” This one I was not expecting.
Do you see it? I know their urinals are not really swanky nor high-tech, yet it is classy. Though, I’m pertaining to something else.
Yes, you got it. Those are ice cubes in the urinals! Why they put ice in there, I have no clue.
I guess they chill the appetizers, the drinks, and yes, even the pee. Cool!
After searching the web, I found out why restaurants and bars put ice on the urinals. No, it’s not to chill the pee. But ice is a cheaper alternative to the urinal cake. When the ice melts it flushes the urine, so no need of auto-flush. Plus, the restaurants have a lot of supply of ice anyway, and it is easier to toss the used ice, like those in their fresh sea food platter, in the urinal than tossing them outside. And lastly, it gives the men (sorry ladies, you may never understand this) something to aim for when they take a leak.
I really learned something from this post. I hope you did too.