Lake Michigan and Labor Day Weekend

Chicago emptied out some over Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Large rollerbags and their owners fill aisles of the Blue and Orange Lines. Some restaurants and independently-owned stores close for the long weekend or take a proper, well-deserved week away. The highways are even more congested than usual — to Rockford, to Wisconsin, to Indiana, to Iowa, to any place not-Chicago.

Those of us who remain, however, enjoy the last sweet breath of summertime — Labor Day Weekend. Continue reading

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Sun Bay and not another soul in sight, Vieques, Puerto Rico

Three Reasons to Stop at the Airport Tourist Information Desk. Travel Hack Thursday.

Many international airports have tourist and visitor information desk on its premises. I honestly never thought about stopping there until my recent trip to Puerto Rico showed me how helpful they can be. All for free.  Continue reading

Palawan, Philippines. Wish You Were Here Wednesday.

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On the way to the ferry, we stopped at a snorkel shop where we rented water shoes, fins, goggles, breathing tube thingy. Everything bright orange. At the shop, I still wasn’t sure if I actually would snorkel, but I figured, if I decided to do it, I’d need the equipment. And a bag of fresh pandesal, soft, semi-sweet bread rolls, to feed the fishies, too.

This is Pandan Island, Honda Bay, Palawan, Philippines. This is where I first tried to snorkel. That’s a big deal for me because I can’t swim. It’s sad to be a Filipino who can’t swim. But, snorkeling is different, right?  Continue reading

Lechon: Roasted Pig Magic in Guavate, Cayey, Puerto Rico. Food Porn Friday.

We stole away from Vieques as swiftly as possible that morning. In a short time, we’d grown to love it so much: the quiet, the mountains, the wild horses, the bioluminescent bay.

Vieques ferry pier view, Puerto Rico

Vieques ferry pier view, Puerto Rico

An hour’s ferry ride brought us back to our rented Charlie Car on the main island. My girlfriend’s iPad guided us south around El Yunque National Rainforest to Guavate in Cayey (same US mainland cellular carriers!). Mountains of roasted pig magic await! Lechon, ho! Where else would three Pinays visiting Puerto Rico for the first time go? Continue reading