DEBBIE’S HIDEAWAY

I recently shared with you guys, our amazing experience in Antelope Grand Canyon. Of course, staying in Page AZ for a few days meant we needed somewhere comfortable to rest and sleep. I did some research for hotels near our destination and I was fortunate to have chosen a bed and breakfast/Mini-suite type Motel. Our place of choice was Debbie’s Hideaway.




What you get here is hospitality and convenience. Don’t expect a high end mattress or automatic curtains and floor to ceiling windows. Our goal for our trip was to remain on a budget by cooking breakfast and dinner instead of dining out every day and take advantage of the fully stocked kitchen (we actually failed to cook as much as we expected since we decided to eat out more than we had planned). The room is very cozy and welcoming.  For extra guests a Sofa bed is available in the living room. The kitchen comes with a stove, microwave, fridge and coffee maker. Living area is equipped with cable TV and with the Motel has WIFI access.  A comfy master’s bedroom has a queen size bed, 20 inch TV and nothing beats a hot shower after a long day of hiking and exploring. Although Debbie’s is simple in its amenities, we couldn’t ask for more on a reduced budget. Sadly, I failed to take photos of the interior of our room (booh, I know) but the outside garden I did capture and made our stay extra special to enjoy a cup of coffee on a warm morning in the desert.

The garden has a zen feeling and decor. There are several garden areas which you can unwind in while you grill some bbq in the bbq pit. Big trees provided shade cover from the hot sun rays so it was a more comfortable temperature than we expected.

 

 

 

This garden reminds me of home in the Philippines. We didn’t have a clothes dryer so we would hang our clothes to naturally air dry it after washing. It’s so nice to see this back to basic design in a fast pace country once in a while.

Of course, gardens usually have flowers. Flowers make this place feels like more like home than a Motel.


I may not have met Debbie herself, but I did meet and talked quite a bit to her husband (Who introduced himself as Mr. Debbie..lol) who appears to manage the place on a day to day basis. When we originally inquired thru the phone, one thing that convinced us to stay here was how friendly and welcoming he was. He gave us tips where and when to go to Antelope and more tips like not to miss out on going to Horseshoe Bend. He gave us the best time to see the famous Horseshoe and he was certainly correct as proven by great photos. Mr. Debbie made us feel like personal guests and this birthday trip was amazing and unforgettable because of those tips. Keep an eye on my experience and photos on my next post about Horseshoebend.




Anyway, that’s it for today. If you plan to visit Page and need a place to stay, I will recommend Debbie’s Hideaway and you’ll see why.

ANTELOPE CANYON -ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACES IN THE WORLD

Ok, ok, I know! I am a little late on posting this, but, since my husband just gave me a new camera for my birthday, I still have to figure out how to use it and of course to check every photo and make sure they look awesome before I share with the world. So much for the excuses hahaha, yes, one thing on my bucket list has been to go to the many canyons in Arizona and Utah and especially Antelope Canyon. Seeing the photos on Google mesmerized me all the time and always left me with thoughts, “how can we have this kind of place and not everyone know about it?”, “Is it real or trick photography?”. “Do these rock formations really exist?”.  So as my 30-ish birthday getaway, the hubby, our friend and I planned a trip to Arizona and Utah to find out for ourselves.

 

Antelope Canyon is located near Page Arizona on Navajo Nation land, just outside Glen Canyon National Recreation Area and close to AZ HWY 98 a few miles east of Page.

 

 

No stretching, no preparations for me. I had only brought my sneakers and bottled water, dealing with the 100 degree desert weather was not that fun at all. As I got to the spot where we had to wait for our tour guide, I was a little bit disappointed and underwhelmed seeing the entire empty land filled with cactus and desert plants. I was like, “Where the heck are the canyons?!” I totally can’t find a clue where they can be as I was just seeing the entire open space. Was I about to be disappointed by 10 feet of a wall of rock?

 




As we walked toward the entry area for the canyon, the tour guide was talking about the history, how the Canyons started, yadi yadi yada, I admit I was no longer paying attention (oops, did I just say that?), I just wanted to know, “where are the darn canyons”? After about a 10-15 minutes walk from the parking lot and ticketing area, there was a pathway going down to where there was a big covered waiting area with groups of people with their tour guides lined up and waiting under the scorching summer heat.

 

 

Given how hot it was, I was thinking, this must be something special for all these people to be waiting in these temperatures with just a little bit of shade to shield us from the sun. It must have been 110 degrees in the shade! I was surprised at the diversity of age in the group, from Seniors to little toddlers. One couple even brought a baby who was maybe 9-10 months old. Later on, you will see why that might not have been the best idea.

Pretty long wait to enter the Canyon

 

 

We’re almost there! (The Stair down to the Canyons)

 

 

As we went closer to the front line, that’s the time I realized why we were stuck on the shade. There was a  steep staircase leading from the waiting area down below to the cave/canyon. My excitement started to level up as I started to see the rock formations and I had to face my fear of heights haha. The stairway is very steep leading down to the canyon and at points, turns into a ladder which required me to go down backwards as you would a ladder. The braver people ventured down facing forward. This tour turned out to be more of a hike than I expected. One thing I was very grateful for is that it’s much cooler down in the canyon which is below ground level and mostly shielded from direct sunlight.

 




Steep ladders, narrow pathways, sweat and muscle pain are all worth it. Just seeing these formations are overwhelming but honestly, I would love to do it again!

I’m just glad that our bed and breakfast, Debbie’s Hideaway, is so close from the Antelope Canyon.

 

Android Auto Review

As I covered in my last post about the Top 3 rules for purchasing a new car, we recently bought a new car ourselves. One of the great features that I love and the hubby is using almost daily now is the Android Auto app.

As I stated on their website, “Android Auto is a simpler way to use your phone in the car”. I am a Samsung Galaxy user and the App is designed to minimize distraction so you can stay focused on the road. Android Auto (AA) allows you to accept and make phone calls, receive and send text messages as well as doing searches for nearby locations with Google Maps displayed right on the cars Infotainment display screen. Simply click on the voice command button located right on the steering wheel and give commands just as you would to google on your phone.




If your cars Infotainment system is Android Auto compatible, all that is required is a blue tooth capable phone with the Android Auto App installed. You can then use many of the google search and map features using voice commands and have them appear on your cars screen. An additional safety feature is that not only can you send text messages by speaking to the voice command feature, Google will also read your new texts to you while you drive so that you don’t have to take your eyes off the road.

For anyone who has not yet used Google Play to stream their favorite music, this gives you the perfect opportunity. Using Google Play you now have access to over 40 Million songs! I venture to guess that even the most prolific music fan doesn’t have one tenth of that selection on their music player. Now its all at your finger tips, or in this case, as a simple voice request. A click of a button on your steering wheel and a quick voice command and you can listen to almost any song ever recorded.

It also gives you access to dozens of music and media Apps which you can access directly from your car. You wont have to ever miss an important message while on the road or miss out on staying in touch with your loved ones, even while you are on the road in your car. For a complete list of Apps that work with AA go to the Android Auto web page or use this link to take you directly to the available  Android Auto app.

I think you will see when you investigate what Android Auto can do for you, and the convenience and safety it offers, you will look for Android Auto to be an option on any new car you may purchase. If you have a current media system in your car and Android version 5.0 or higher, you too can enjoy these amazing features.

As always, I look forward to any comments or questions you may have on this topic. See you online Luvies!

SUNSET PARK, LAS VEGAS’ OWN OASIS

SAMSUNG GALAXY S8 IS COMING

photo credit from Samsung

 

That time of year is here again. The time when I have to decide do I want the latest phone from my favorite phone maker, Samsung.

 

April 21, 2017 is coming fast. And pre-orders are available now from most all providers. Samsung has worked hard to overcome the negative press from the Note 7 battery disaster and it looks like the work has even made the batteries safer and last longer. So, ultimately as consumers we seem to benefit from the battery snafu of last year.

 

In addition to the improved battery, there is the new AI system called Bixby and the awesome looking Infinity glass display and the phone is larger without looking too big. The S8 model measures at 5.8 inches and the S8 is an impressive 6.2 inches. The display looks even larger given the Infinity display on both phones.

The front facing camera is still a very strong 12 mega pixels and has been tweaked to be even better. The “selfie” cam has been improved from 5 MP to 8. Samsung remains one of the top phones for picture lovers. Still a popular feature is the water proof aspect of the phone. Rain and a spilled drink no longer have to stop your heart.

 

The prices are pretty much as expected these days for a top rated high end phone, but you still have to swallow hard at the $750 and $850 price for the S8 & S8 respectively.

 

Whether I order early, or wait a couple of months, it’s pretty much a forgone conclusion that I will be an owner of one of these phones soon. If you want to make up your mind, check out Samsung’s web page and decide for yourself.

Right now, if you pre-order with T-Mobile, you’ll get a free Samsung VR with the Controller!

 

 





FEATURES:

  • Form Factor

    Form Factor

    Touch Bar

  • OS

    OS

    Android N OS 7.0

  • Size

    Product Dimensions (inches)

    Galaxy S8: 68.1×148.9×8.00 mm
    Galaxy S8 : 73.4×159.5×8.1 mm

  • Camera

    Camera resolution (Front)

    8 MP AF

    Camera resolution (Rear)

    12 MP OIS AF

    Main Camera – Flash

    YES

  • Battery

    Battery, Standby

    Galaxy S8: Up to 3.38 days
    Galaxy S8 : Up to 4 days

    Battery, Talk Time

    Galaxy S8: Up to 29 hrs
    Galaxy S8 : Up to 33 hrs

    Battery Type and Size

    Galaxy S8: 3000 mAh
    Galaxy S8 : 3500 mAh, Non-Removable

  • Memory

    Internal Memory

    64 GB, RAM 4GB

    External Memory/microSD™ Capacity

    MicroSD up to 256GB

  • Connectivity

    Wi-Fi

    802.11 a/b/g/n/ac,
    NFC.

    Bluetooth

    v5.0

  • Processor

    Processor Speed, Type

    Octa Core 2.35Ghz (Quad Core) 1.9Ghz (Quad)

  • Display

    Main Display Size

    Galaxy S8: 5.8″
    Galaxy S8 : 6.2″

  • Key Features

    Premium Camera

    Larger screen, High photo quality camera, powerful MSM 8998

LAS VEGAS SPOT AWAY FROM THE CITY LIGHTS

 

So, where else can we go aside from the Strip in Las Vegas? If we hear Las Vegas, we always think of city lights, busy streets, drinking, party, casino and etc. Did you know that there are places you can go aside form Hotel/Casino hopping? Yes, we have some landmarks to visit away from those busy streets and city lights!  So to have an opportunity to view a landmark of the art variety was something I didn’t want to pass up. Although I had postponed my viewing, when the weather was perfect for a day out and a short drive from Vegas, I couldn’t think of a better time to check out the unique artwork.

 

About a dozen miles south of Las Vegas is not where you would expect a world renowned artist to set up his latest art exhibit for a 2 year engagement. The unique display is the brainchild of Ugo Rondinone. Ugo is a Swiss born Artist who was previously most well known for an exhibit called Human Nature. Seven Magic Mountains is produced by Art Production Fund, New York and Nevada Museum of Art, Reno.

 




 

 

The colorful stones reaching into the sky from the desert is a sharp contrast to the bleak, yet still beautiful surrounding desert. The bright colors and stack of stones seems to bring back that feeling we all had as kids by stacking building blocks as high as we could. Based upon the way people were flocking to the gigantic stone displays, taking photos and even selfies seems to show that everyone was feeling a level of nostalgia and fun as well. Maybe it is the bright colors or the unspoken unease that these stacks look like they could come tumbling down at any moment. However, everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves very much, and much more than what you would usually expect during an art exhibit.

 

This exhibit will be on display until May of 2018 and if you are in Vegas and want to take a couple hours away from the hustle and bustle of the usual Vegas offerings, I would highly recommend a short drive out to soak up some fun culture.

MT. ZION, UTAH

The Zion National Park is one of the places to visit when you go to Utah. It is covered with red, white, brow canyons, plants and wilderness. I actually found out about this from a friend and with her stories, I just asked my husband to go there over the weekend as I have learned that Zion National park has been an intrepid hikers’ and photographers bucket list. I have to see for myselfwhat’s with this park.

 

Utah is just at least 1 hour and 30 minutes away from Vegas. So it is really easy for us to go there compared to California which takes 4 hours usually to get to LA.  Can you imagine, we have been to 3 states in 1 hour and 30 minutes?! Amazing, isn’t it? Yes, from Las Vegas, we have entered Arizona and Utah.

 

So, ok, our impromptu trip has pushed through. As soon as we reached the border of Arizona-Utah, I had seen so much difference. More trees, canyons, red soil, river, cows and horses and more farm lands that I do not usually see here in Las Vegas.  We didn’t have any hotel reservation  since the husband’s cousin was staying overnight in nearby Cedar city. renting a house which I find it very convenient and better than a hotel.

 

Zion National park encompasses some of the most scenic canyon country. This is perfect for everyone who loves to travel, hike, bike, camp or even just unwind and take photos.We entered off of highway 9 thru the park’s south entrance where we had to pay $30 for the entire family’s entrance fee (upto maximum of 15 pax in 1 vehicle) and it is valid for 7 days. We had to leave the vehicle at the parking lot and ride the Zion Canyon Shuttle that goes to several stops.  We decided to go for the easy one since we are just beginners and we got 2 kids with us. As we looked at the map, we decided to go for Emerald pool trail. As they say, we shouldn’t be leaving Utah without seeing this. It is right across the road from Zion Lodge. Emerald Pool is a mix of trails and pools that provide easy to moderate hiking opportunities between each oasis.

 

We decided to go further and reach the next higher stop — The Grotto Trail.  As for no experience in hiking and with a fear of height, this trail is pretty strenuous and exposed. The cliff ledges are real serious! But it is all worth it with the amazing scenery that I can capture with my Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge.  I can’t wait to go back for more .

 

Since it was just a short vacay, it is indeed our plan to experience more of the trails that Zion has to offer. It is definitely a must visit place! One has been  crossed off my bucket list and can’t wait to X-off for more!