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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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Barcelona in Three Days

 

We will be back! for sure. A quick tour of this beautiful region in Spain and three days is never enough to explore this city. I lost my cellphone to a pickpocket in Barcelona, but even that is negligible compared to the wonderful experience we had there.

We took the late night flight from Marrakech, so we arrived Barcelona’s  El Prat  at around 2 in the morning. Utilizing the not so comfy airport benches, we tried to catch some zzz’s while we waited for the car rental to open at 6:00  in the morning. It was uncomfortable, but it was one of those money saving efforts we did for this trip. We rented a car via Costco for 2 days which cost us 27 euros per day, saved us a hotel cost for a night and allowed us to visit other places in the Catalunia region at our own pace.

First stop so early in the morning was the beautiful city of  Tarragona.

The Castle of Altafulla or Castell dels Montserrat is a castle palace of the Tarragonès dating from 1059 . It is not open for public viewing.

Esglesia de Sant Marti d’ Altafulia is built between 1701 to 1705

Clear skies with a few clouds,a gorgeous view of  the Mediterranean sea from the Tarragona amphitheater ruins, a plate of black seafood paella and just walking aimlessly in the the alleys of the city square was our idea of a good time.

Tarragona Amphitheater

Tarraco Arena Placa

Pont del Diable

After devouring that delicious black seafood paella, we headed back to Barcelona to prepare for our most awaited activity of the night. We really worked hard to get tickets for this game and even cancelled our booking in Cadaques just to watch Messi and the FC Barcelona play against Atletico de Madrid at Camp Nou. Every night we checked the website for ticket availability. Finally got a couple of tickets  2 days before the match. This is when I lost my cellphone in the train (we took the train from our hotel so we didn’t have to worry about parking, etc) and DSLR battery died! Photos here are from the Iphone but I’m glad we decided to watch them.  Just being in the crowd of passionate soccer fans, joining them sing and cheer for Barca, hearing the curses and praises; that was a great once in a lifetime experience.

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