Under a Glass Ceiling

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somewhere in Manila

Even though it was only less than 3 months since we have visited the Philippines, I am already missing my native land. I miss walking beneath the swaying palm trees and wandering around a tropical garden.

But the other day, we visited something similar.IMG_3638

We walked in the midst of lush vegetation, typical of a rain forest.IMG_3613

Took shelter from the sun under the broad banana leaves.

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And was greeted by familiar tropical fruits, though we did not pick them. First of all, they were not ripe yet. Second, we are not allowed to.

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We also found cool water falls in the midst of the thick flora.

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It was indeed a beautiful tropical garden.

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No, I am not back in the Philippines. In fact, I am not even in a tropical place. All of these were inside a huge glass dome, right here in Des Moines, Iowa, where winter is cold and harsh.

But inside this big greenhouse, the temperature is controlled, where it is warm and balmy all year round, just like the tropics.

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There was even a patch of desert plants in one corner.

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And of course, there were lots of beautiful tropical flowers for us to admire. Here are a few of them.

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Spending some time in the garden was a cool (or should I say hot!) experience.

It does not matter what the weather outside. Whether it is spring, summer, fall or even if it is the dead of winter. I don’t care even if there is a blizzard outside. For under this glass ceiling, I felt right at home.

I wonder if they would let me set up a bahay kubo (nipa hut) in here.

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(*photos taken inside the Des Moines Botanical Center)

On-a-Beach State of Mind

At the time of this writing, it is 10 degrees Fahrenheit (-12 C) outside here in Iowa, with patches of unmelted snow from a snowstorm three weeks ago. Typical condition here in our winter “wonder”land (like I “wonder” why I’m still living here?).

This is not your ideal beach weather you would say. But it is a perfect weather to escape to a tropical paradise, even for just a daydream. Please indulge me for posting these photos.

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Few weeks ago, my family and I spent a day in a beautiful beach in Ilocos Norte, Philippines. The place is named Playa Tropical Resort.

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my son jumping into the infinity swimming pool

During our visit, there was even a wedding being held that day at the resort. I should have crashed into the party and had a free drink and dinner.

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If I could just walk again in the sand barefoot, and wade into the warm ocean water….

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No, I can’t walk on the water.

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O well, time for reality now. I’ll bundle up and clear the snow.

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