Winter Road Trip with Tesla Model 3 Crater Lake Oregon

A brief winter get away, braving the wintry conditions in Oregon, dealing with three kids through  12 hours of one way travel with at least 4 stops of supercharging in between and 3 stops for supercharging on our way back. It was our first time to bring the Tesla on snowy conditions, we always brought the Pilot. After almost 2 years of owning the Tesla model 3  Vince was confident enough to bring it.  It survived and fared well  in the snowy conditions at the Crater Lake National Park. We did not even use our snow sock. The ‘slip start’ function helped a lot while driving through the snow covered roads. A little more route preplanning involved compared to gas, but it wasn’t too bad,

We usually take our little winter getaway in December around Christmas time, glad we took it on the first week of January as the majority of the tourists have left the park. It was serene, and the landscape which was almost blanketed in white was magical. The Rim Village visitor center in the above photo was surrounded by snow and we did not see the Crater Lake at all due to snow. Vince and the two older kids joined the free ranger-led snowshoeing while I helped  my daughter build a snowman outside the visitor center while we waited for them. Snowshoeing is a wonderful winter activity offered at Crater Lake National Park for free. Check the website for details as it has different schedules during the winter holidays.

We did not have definite plans for this trip, for sure we wanted lots of snow photos, so the next day we drove back to to Crater Lake National Park from Klamath Falls. There were no cars, we owned the road so  we stopped on a shoulder to take photos. I loved the birch trees on this part of the road so we did a  mini photoshoot here.

We got the US National Park annual pass which affords us entry to all US National parks for a year from date of purchase.

 

 

Our last and third night was spent at Crater Lake Resort . The cabin was equipped with a mini kitchen, private bathroom and 2 queen beds. It also had a Tesla charger which made it easy for us to leave fully charged early in the morning on our way back home.

That was four  days worth of travel and winter fun. Can’t wait to see it in spring or summer.

 

 

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Seven Days of Family Fun in Bali

Bali in Indonesia is one great southeast asian island to visit while vacationing in the Philippines . It is  only a 4 hour flight from Manila to Denpasar. A week in Bali spent  with my husband’s family is definitely one for the books. Traveling with kids, elderly and extended family is not without  some challenges; but it was special and unforgettable.

My sister in law did most of the arrangements: transportation, accommodation and activities. It is amazing how transportation can be pre-arranged via Whatsapp or Viber. It was easy. We rented a van/coaster for at least 10-12 people. The drivers were recommended by friends and  family who have previously availed of their services. It was nice to not worry at all about navigation and driving. We would message ahead of time if we needed it for the day. Taxi service like Grab is also a nice option for those short trips.

I love Bali. The people, most specially. Despite the traffic and the “busy-ness” , the Balinese people seem like calm and peace loving people; as if   they are not easily affected by the chaos around them and I mean that in a good way; not apathetic, but patient and  tolerant. I also  love how religious they are, offering food and prayers every day to their gods. Their dishes are tasty and the availability of tropical fruits reminded me so much of my province in the southern part of the Philippines.

Visiting Bali  mid- June is not a bad idea. Weather was great and it was not as humid as Manila this time of year.The   occasional rain showers  served to cool us down even more.

So here’s what we did in Bali for a week.

*First two days were spent in Kuppu Kuppu Jimbaran, a Hotel, Beach Club and Spa by L’ Occitane.  

Natural elements like bamboo and rattan were used to decorate some parts of the  hotel. The pool is gorgeous. It was close to the beach and a golf cart was always available to take us to and from the Jimbaran beach, for free! The free breakfast buffet  had decent  selections. I just wish coffee was unlimited.

Sunbathed and relaxed by the pool.

Enjoyed a Balinese massage treatment at The Bamboo Spa by L ‘Occitane

Frolicked and watched  the sunset by the beach

Ate fresh seafood al fresco, for dinner

Rented a  6 bedroom villa with a pool and a butler for a week.

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Philippines in 7 Days (or less)

 

It was a three week vacation, but because we had to  fit in  Hong kong and Indonesia, the time literally spent in the Philippines got  trimmed down to a week..

So here’s a list of activities that what we did in a week in Pinas.Next blog posts will be the time spent in Bali and Hongkong.

1. visited the Minor Basilica of the Black Nazarene known canonically as Parish of Saint John the Baptist, and also known as the Quiapo Church

We were warned not to visit it on a Friday or Quiapo Day. For lack of time, we had no choice but to visit it on a  Friday. The car trip from Parañaque to Quiapo, Manila took more than 2 hours because of heavy traffic along Roxas Blvd.  on a high noon, we braved the thick crowd, heat and humidity just to get to the church. Love the wonderful and colorful religious products sold by different vendors outside the church though. Great place to get religious articles  like rosary, and santo ninos,love the  fresh sampaguita and ylang ylang garlands which perfumed the car for at least a week , even fans, clothing and other household stuff. We lit a candle and offered prayers for some special intentions. Why Quiapo church? we thought it was quintessentially Filipino,  and we wanted the kids to see that.

2. next, we stopped at the Abbey of Our Lady of Montserrat

A nice follow up to our visit of the Our Lady Of Montserrat in Barcelona last April and because we said our I do’s here. This time we visited it with the kids. The ceiling is still amazing!

We bought a few of the St Benedict’s Medal to bring home to the US as pasalubongs to family. While we were waiting for our St Benedict medal  to be blessed, we chanced  upon Vince’s high school Principal , Father Narciso (and it became a  reunion of sorts) which    made  our visit more special . He showed us the special part of the monastery where Benedictine monks and priests  are buried.

3. passed by San Beda College

Vince’s high school alma mater. It used to be a high school for boys . Now it only offers college degree courses.

4. and because we were in the hood, we visited Vince’s old house in Sampaloc.

 

5. spent a weekend in the Southeastern part of the Philippines, Butuan City.

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