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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

What APPS I Have Used in 2013 and What Became my Favorites.

Most of these APPS were offered free at one time (watch out for those, specially on Kindle & Android).  I hope by sharing these you save TIME and anguish in sorting the best out of the many garbage Paid or Free apps out there.  

I use IOS (for my wife's iPhone 4S), Android, Kindle and Windows 8 and here are some of What Android / IOS Phone, PC and Tablet Applications I Used and My 2013 CHOICE on Best Phone and Computer APPS:

1.  MUSIC - Spotify, Pandora, Rdio, Songsa, TuneIn Radio, VEVO, SoundCloud, SoundHound, IHeart Radio:

SPOTIFY for my PC, IHeart for my Android, SONGSA for my Kindle & Pandora for my TV Living room PC. Rdio was cool until they start charging me after 1 month free trial (thumbs down).

2.  SOCIAL - Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumbler, Evernote, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Meetup, Vine:


3.  GAMES - Ruzzle, HeadsUp Charade, Wheel of Fortune, Angry Birds (all), Family Feud, Bitstrips, Candy Crush, Jewels Star, The Impossible Game:  

FAMILY FEUD - never get tired of this game with Sam.

4.  FINANCIAL - Credit Sesame, USAA, Capital One, Credit Karma, Mint.

CREDIT SESAME.  I still haven’t setup my MINT account (again) but it looks promising.

5.  COMMUNICATION - Viber, Skype, Gmail, Facebook messenger, Evernote, Current Caller ID, Viber.

EVERNOTE & SKYPE for efficiency and flow.  But Current Caller tells me all about who is calling me.

6.  TRAVEL - Travel Advisor,  Yelp, Hotel Tonight,, AirNB, Kayak:

TRAVEL ADVISOR for Guides & KAYAK for Flights & Hotels.  Use all of them depending on the occasion.

7.  NEWS & MAGAZINES- Flipboard, Newshog, News 360, Currents, New York Times, Washington Post, Zite, Pulse, USA Today, Feedly, Beyond PodCast

FLIPBOARD and PULSE for Magazine and NEWS360.  We don’t need to get a paid subscription to many magazines or newspaper, this is the new “reader’s digest” and it’s Free.

8.  READING - OverDrive Media, Kindle Reader, Readability, Zite, ESV Bible, Pulse, WebMD,

KINDLE App for my Android Phone & Tablet. OverDrive to download free bestseller Paid books.

9.  FILE ORGANIZER & DOWNLOAD - ES File Explorer, Box, FrostWire, BTorrent, Piratebay,

ES  FILE Explorer:  As I download free movies, latest music album and books via File sharing site Piratebay using Torrent, i can easily transfer all these files to our tablet and phones.

10.  DEALS & Shopping - Dealnews, Groupon,Craigslist, Amazon Prime, Black Friday Apps, Zillow, The Find Catalogue:

GROUPON, DEALNEWS and AMAZON.  Why go to different website to get the best deals, let DEALNEWS sort it out for you but most of the time, the AMAZON ends up matching alot of the prices as long as you are Prime member, don’t have to worry about the Shipping cost.  GROUPON gives me over 50% off on quality items - when I need in the future like dining and photobooks.

11.  SPIRITUALITY - Holy Bible, Relax Melodies, Daily Bread,

HOLY BIBLE APP.  Duh?  How else can we move on without the daily feeds not just on The Bible but hundreds of devotionals prepared by many of my favorite spiritual advisors around the world from Rick Warren to Dave Ramsey.

12.  CAREER & JOB HUNT - CareerBuilder, Indeed, Glass Door, Facebook Page,

GLASSDOOR.  Well documented of all major and minor companies before I submit my resume with inside scoop on employment.

13.  VIDEOS & FILMS - IMDB, Amazon Prime, TED, CNN, YouTube, Flixster, Google ChromeCast:

IMDB for Movie Advice.  TED for informative & educational videos.  CHROMECAST for TV Surfing (device must be purchased).  Before you watch and invest 2 to 3 hours on a movie, check IMDB and catalogue what you have watched so you can share them.  Linked to Amazon Prime makes it even more fun to watch free TV Series and movies.  

14. PRODUCTIVITY & SEARCH - Swiftkey, Everything Home, Google Voice Search, Google Calendar, Kindle’s Inbox, Gesture Search for Android,  Lookout, Norton, Chromecast,, Office Suite, App Cleaner, Android Speed, Kindle Apps, Clean Master:

GOOGLE for almost everything.  CLEAN MASTER for maintenance.  SWIFTKEY for my keyboard.  EVERYTHING HOME for my Display interface.  Swiftkey, is one of the few reasons I switch to Android from iPhone 4S.

15.  PHOTOS & Camera - Picassa, Shutterfly, FB, PicsArt Photo Studio, Instagram, Picsplay:

SHUTTERFLY for Photo DBase, Instagram for Camera, PicsArt for retouch, Picsplay for Kindle.

This list may get updated daily as I notice and apps changes.  Hope you can share what is your favorite APPS.  I hope this helps you sort throughout the garbage apps out there.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Top 13 Things That We Are Thankful For 2013 (or in the past 13 Months)

"I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ."- 1 Corinthians 1:4

We are foremost thankful that many Filipinos and our friends in the Philippines showed their usual best as the biggest disaster and strongest typhoon hit the land of the best people (I am bias) in the world.  Thank you to my kababayans.

There was a study that shows that expressing gratitude is healthy and keeps us motivated and inspiring.   I hope this serves a purpose for us and you as the reader.  Even though it will be self serving and self gratifying to write our 13 "Thank You" notes to our creator I hope some of you can also share what you are thankful for this year.  (Don't forget to join us in last year's memory lane in photos at the end).

It has been a great 13 months that we've been here in Virginia or 13 months that we left California.  (The gap was when we were on the road - a Navy family tradition).  Here are "13" that we are thankful for in 2013:

1.  My wonderful wife.  Without her constant devotion to God and constant reminder to me, I would have been in a different direction. I believe in divine intervention as well as spouse intervention.  Thank you to my lifetime partner.  If you don't have one, don't worry, see 1 Corinthians 1:4 (verse above)

2.  MVOSS Creations.  Our business have picked-up slightly and we think that after almost 7 years, we will be able to establish our niche  as a premier all service company as total printing, marketing, promotional product, social media and advertising consultant.  Watch out world.

3.  The Road Trips - last year we were grateful in exploring some of the best cities and National park as we left California in Halloween of 2012 (from Joshua Tree in Arizona to Burlington Alabama and so much undiscovered places in the south).  This year we explore so many other places  in most weekends, mostly living museum of American History and Geography lessons in Mid-Atlantic (DC, MD, NC, VA).  You've seen most of them in our timeline photos.  Thank you for creating this great playground.

4.  Grace Bible Church of Virginia Beach - after almost three months of "church window shopping" for the best community that we can grow, serve and be filled with guidance, we've found the place in GBC.  Every Sunday is a celebration.

5. Filipino Community of Virginia - we were surprised how close knit and how big the Filipino communities there are in this side of the coast.  To prove, never saw a big Philippine Cultural Center in the 16 years I lived in California and there is so much social gatherings, we are just too lazy to attend.

6.  Technology we can Follow & Like - we caught on and got over with fear of privacy and finally give in to the future and so we have arrived to Social Media.  Accept the fact we are more connected than detached actually - just trust your perspectives.  We google and youtube everything. Thanks to our Kindle, Phone Apps (Groupon, Airnb) Samsung S3, iPhone 5 & HDMI cable internet to all our monitor (Computer is our new TV), Roku, & other hi-techs ... we are connected and made our life a little easier.

7.  23 Years in the Navy - well almost.  By January I have reached the time not so many could endure, almost maximizing the time in the military.  Finally submitted my Retirement papers and excited to celebrate this with my friends next year.  Like anything that involves change, there is always fear and this is definitely scary.  But in know there is greater things for us out there.

8.  Sam Topnotch in School, Again - he already excel in the best school in the central coast of California moving to the East Coast known for high standard made us proud parents again for having another Honored student in Sewell's School.  He continues to excel in every sports as well.  Minus (or this could be a plus) is his addiction to computer game:  Minecraft.

9.  European vacation - this could be the best vacation trip we had after Hawaii two years ago.  Our time spent with our cousins and relatives in Switzerland and Italy is the best.  Our short trips to France and Germany was icing in the cake but definitely doing the Mac Flight again next year:  London & Spain perhaps - but definitely stopping over Auntie Lita, cousins Marites & Pedro in Geneva and cousin Tess in Rome for another overnight.

10.  Our parents are doing great past 80s.  Papa is in great health - who would believe my father Carlito gets stronger than ever.  I just wish he can attend my retirement ceremony next year.  We will continue to pray for him.  Mama is as beautiful and healthy - thanks to Filipino nurses that loves her back in California.  We first thought of bringing her to Virginia with us but we made a right choice of keeping her in the warmer and cozy nursing home in Camarillo.  Nanay is strong and doing well and always serving the Lord.  Still going strong in spite of Tatay left us almost two years ago.

11.  Hobbies that explore God's created playground:  photography, body surfing, fishing, golf, living museums and we all do this as family in so many places:  Sewells Golf Club, Sandy Bottom for fishing & boating, Williamsburg & other living museum, Botanical Garden for seasonal photography, magnificent beaches such as Dam Neck and Outerbanks and so much more.    Not only our chance to get closer to each other but close to beautiful mother nature.

12.  New Friends, new communities.  We develop new friendship that we cannot mention all because we may missed some of them from Grace Bible in Virginia Beach, Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, Meetup groups such as dog lovers, toastmasters, Knights of Columbus, Philippine Cultural Center and more.  The Military Community - this is our 2nd time to live in a military housing and we love the convenience and how much money and stress we have saved this year.  So thankful that we are finally out of the bondage of mortgages just this year also.  We will miss this community after our next transition to civilian life.

13.  Cultural adventures in historical Virginia.  We are now home to many landmarks and destination that we can appreciate the past everyday & every weekend.

Below are some of the few photos or highlights on where we've been and most importantly the human relationship we build and will continue to build and treasure.

THANK YOU Lord for everything.

"In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." - 1 Thessolonians 5:18

My Next blog:  Top 13 Christmas Wishes and Prayers on our Challenges.

Las Vegas is for kids too.  Fall 2012.

Thanks to $15 MAC Flight from US to Europe. 
We get to see Summer 2013 in France, Italy, Switzerland and Germany 

Summer at Outerbanks 2013.  Beats Malibu if you ask me.

New Friends and Party Company

More New Friends. 

Sam Top Honor Once Again 2013

Summer in France 2013

Working with my Staff.  Mostly Grrr-lss, I mean Girls.
Time to retire next year.  Thanks for the experience.

Summer in Rome (Spagna) 2013.

Great Water Resort in Rome.  Best 4 day Deal to Stay: 
Camp Favoloso Summer 2013 .

The Astro Family in Switzerland.  Summer 2013. 
Great after Dinner Photo at the Yard. 

More Friends:  Becky and Lalaine.  Chikahan.

Annecy France. Summer 2013.

Thanks for a great Italian host, cousin Tess. 
We still got the 2 bottles of wine unopened.

Hanging out with a Virginia local Filipino celebrity concert artist Enrico.

First Christmas at the Busch Gardens.
Our favorite day trip city:  Washington DC.  Here at Lincoln Memorial. 
January 2013.

First Christmas at our new home in Virginia 2012

One of our many National Park 12 Day 2012 Road Trip from Coast to Coast

Sanguano Cave National Park in New Mexico 2012.

Vatican City Summer 2013.
Colonial Williamsburg Virginia Fall 2013
Montecillo, Virginia.  Home of Thomas Jefferson.
Joey Albert & Enrico Benefit Concert
for Philippine Red Cross November 2013
Bible Study and Service Community Group
Humble Home in Norfolk

Plaza in Rome Italy Summer 2013.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Review: Diversity in the Workplace, a Case study on Jill by Tony Astro

u09d2 Intervention Strategies

After watching the Diversity in the Workplace video, this is how I would  respond to the client, keeping in mind ethical codes for working with clients who are gay.  I also described what resources I might suggest for this client and how I would address the concerns with the rest of the employees.

Case Study: Jill

Knock on door:
  • JILL: Mr. Peterson? Hi.
  • MANAGER: Jill.
  • JILL: Good morning Mr. Peterson.
  • MANAGER: Thank you for coming in.
  • JILL: Well it is always good to see you.
  • MANAGER: Well thank you. You too. You know Jill, in the time you have been with the company, I have not had any problems with your work. Typically, you are well organized and your projects come in on time.
  • JILL: Well thank you Mr. Peterson. I try really hard to be a good employee. I really care about this job. It means a lot to me.
  • MANAGER: However, lately we have noticed that you seem to be a bit distracted and depressed.(Manager's sentence interrupted by Jill’s insertion of an anxious comment.)
  • JILL: Well I...yes, I have been going through a rather hard time these last few weeks. And ah, yeah, so there, it has been a period of time where things have not been as they should be. I agree. As time goes by I am going to get a handle on this.
  • MANAGER: Yes, well I have noticed you have missed your last couple of deadlines the last couple of weeks and that is a concern for our department.
  • JILL: (sighs and looks down.) Well, it is true. I know what you are talking about - the projects. I know exactly what you mean, and you are right. I missed them, um, I put them on my schedule for this week however though Mr. Peterson and I know by the end of the week I will be up to date. Everything will be up to date by the end of the week...(manager interupts Jill).
  • MANAGER: The reason that I called you in here is that I have noticed that your productivity has decreased, and I may need to look at designing and implementing a correction plan for you.
  • JILL: Oh. Oh, Mr. Peterson. (sighs) Well look Mr. Peterson, I totally understand, and I want you to know that I am completely committed to this work, and I will do everything I can to meet whatever you put before me in a performance plan because I really love this job and I need this job to do this (manager interupts Jill).
  • MANAGER: Well, I notice that you been unhappy and distracted and we need to address how this is affecting your work product.
  • JILL: (heavy sigh). Well I have been distracted Mr. Peterson, and I guess I have been unhappy. I have also been afraid.
  • MANAGER: (looks shocked)
  • JILL: There is a co-worker in our department and about, oh, about ten days ago he found out that I am a lesbian. And it has really been ugly. He - at first he just talked to me about it, and humiliated me privately, but then he shared the news with other people and soon I started getting hateful comments and hateful notes from other people and it has escalated and it has gotten worse. And, it is to the point now Mr. Peterson where I really, in the morning I have a hard time even getting out of bed. I have been threatened. There was a threat. It was just a full blown threat Mr. Peterson and I, I have had such a hard time dealing with this on my own. It has affected my work and I do not know what to do. I do not know what to do Mr. Peterson.
  • (Looks to manager for response. Manager does not respond.)
  • MANAGER: Well, Jill, ….



Jill was obviously discriminated and harass in her workplace just by listening to her story.  As the manager in this case – it will not and never be tolerated.  The company maybe subject to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972

Though Title IX does not directly address discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender expectations linked with stereotypes of lesbians and gay men often are related. When gender stereotyping occurs in incidents of discrimination and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual students or students who are perceived to be lesbian, gay or bisexual, Title IX may provide legal grounds for challenging this discrimination (Title IX and Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation - Women's Sports Foundation).

The manager must be careful in protecting his company versus Jill.  Jill has all the right to complain and file discrimination based on her ability to continue her work efficiently.  Because she “has been going through a rather hard time these last few weeks” and the manager himself also noticed that Jill was “distracted and depressed”.

The manager must conduct an immediate training by making it mandatory to stop from work and attend a Sexual Orientation training using audio-visual aids, scenario, role-play and having the workers possibly signing a document that they have been trained and will subject for further reprimand if such behavior (discriminating sexual orientation) occurs again.

Times are changing, however, and a growing number of employers are finding themselves responsible for providing a workplace that's free of harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation (Sexual Orientation, 2009).

As much as the manager may not tolerate the harassment and discrimination that Jill experienced, the manager may have morality or prejudice issue with lesbians and so manager maybe partial towards reproving the person who humiliated her privately, then he shared the news with other people and soon because of that Jill started getting hateful comments and hateful notes from other people.

Although polls suggested that the majority of Americans accepted civil rights for gays, those same persons became uneasy with the morality of homosexuality (Malvasi and  Greene, 1990).


Counselor is responsible to assist Jill in giving her the resources and information on her rights as a citizen.  Many states prohibit sexual orientation discrimination and so the state office can give her further legal advice.

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have laws that currently prohibit sexual orientation discrimination in private employment: California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin. Some of these states also specifically prohibit discrimination based on gender identity. (In addition, six states have laws prohibiting sexual orientation discrimination in public workplaces only: Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, Michigan, Montana, and Pennsylvania.) (Sexual Orientation, 2009)

Malvasi, M. and Greene, G. (1990). Homosexuality (1990s). American Decades 1990-1999. Ed. McConnell. Detroit: Gale Group, 2001. Student Resource Center - Gold. Gale. Naval General Library Program. 31 May. 2009 .


Sexual Orientation Discrimination in the Workplace. (2009). Retrieved May 31, 2009, from

 Title IX and Discrimination Based on Sexual Orientation - Women's Sports Foundation. (n.d.). Retrieved May 31, 2009, from


Here are some of my responses from my colleague counselors: 


Toni, Good evening from USS Nimitz.
Jill’s self-esteem has suffered because she “has been going through a rather hard time these last few weeks” and the manager himself also noticed that Jill was “distracted and depressed”.  Your action of sending an email is definitely a start but I would go further than that by actually making a statement through stoppage of work for an hour of mandatory training.  The manager’s role is to put Jill back to a stronger confidence


Women who have not conformed throughout their life to this ideal may have suffered negative consequences, such as being labeled "incompetent," "unusual," or "less than" other employees. These difficulties arise from others being uncomfortable with this "alternative" gender expression, especially because sex role expectations have traditionally been deeply rooted in the majority culture of the United States (Rheineck, 2005).


Everyone must know that this kind of behavior towards co-worker has zero tolerance and the next time it happens, maximum reprimand will take place.  The manager will try to get the reaction from majority through the training because this may have a negative impact towards the morale of the company because many may still be prejudice towards Jill.


It is vital to address such issues as (a) low self-esteem, (b) fear of identity disclosure, (c) career advancement opportunities, (d) feelings of isolation, and (e) various types of harassment. The knowledge gained from this study can provide an impetus for change in how counselors work with diverse clients. The awareness that sexual orientation may have greatly affected the career development, career self-efficacy, and life satisfaction of clients may enable mental health professionals to more fully embrace the process of working with lesbian clients (Rheineck, 2005).


Rheineck, Jane E. (Fall 2005). Career decision self-efficacy of lesbians throughout the life span."Adultspan Journal 4.2 79(13). Academic OneFile. Gale. US Navy General Lib - Bremerton. Retrieved on 2 June 2009 at  .


Cheryl, Good evening from USS Nimitz.

Yes, there should never be a situation where an employee is ostracized in the workplace.  It is all a matter of training our workplace and giving them the right information:  Prejudice is not right and we must not impose our belief towards others.  Teamwork is the essence of a successful workplace and when they are not familiar or have negative information with other lifestyle such as gay and lesbian it must not be tolerated.

Living in communities that routinely discriminate against gay men and lesbian women makes it difficult if not virtually impossible to avoid internalizing negative stereotypes or attitudes about this sexual minority culture. Because misinformation or misunderstanding will quickly be evident to sexual minority clients, and may cause them to seek help elsewhere or not to get help at all, counselors must be familiar with gay and lesbian culture so they are credible and congruent in their attitudes (Pope, 1992, 1995c).


Pope, M. (1992). Bias in the interpretation of psychological tests. In S. Dworkin & F. Gutierrez (Eds.), Counseling gay men & lesbians: Journey to the end of the rainbow, (pp. 277-292). Alexandria, VA: American Counseling Association.

Pope, M. (1995c). The "salad bowl" is big enough for us all: An argument for the inclusion of lesbians and gays in any definition of multiculturalism. Journal of Counseling & Development, 73, 301-304.

Article Review on Gay Counseling: Legal and Ethical Implications of Refusing to Counsel Homosexual Clients by Tony Astro

Upon review of an article Legal and Ethical Implications of Refusing to Counsel Homosexual Clients by Hermann and Herlihy(2006), I imagine myself supervising a new counselor. The counselor says that she does not want to work with a client who has just stated he wants to come out as "gay" to his family. She has stated that she has religious concerns about working with the client ethically.

From a supervisor's role, this is how I would respond to the counselor using ethical and legal guidelines.  Use proper instructions specific to your state or use the court's mandate. The principle of beneficence is embodied in counselors’ commitment to keeping client welfare first and foremost (Hermann & Herlihy 2006). The text is straightforward of saying that counseling should not be our profession if we intend to classify our clients based on our moral principles or for example our belief that lesbian is wrong and should not be given the proper counseling.  To the contrary, the more we should counsel our clients, and our goal should be to treat everyone with dignity and respect whatever belief system or values they have.

The text depicts that our obligation is the welfare of our clients first and foremost.  Our ethical values or beliefs should not impede our decision of denying or sway our counseling towards the clients based on our principles or morals.  This will not only lead to the danger of our client’s safety or welfare but lawsuits and termination of our job as counselors. 

To avoid finding themselves in situations like Bruff’s, these counselors might choose to work in settings that are compatible with their values and advertise these values to potential consumers of counseling services. If it is not possible to work in a consistent environment, these counselors have an ethical duty to avoid harm to clients by ensuring that counselors’ informed consent procedures provide potential clients with adequate information about the counselor's values (Hermann & Herlihy 2006).

As the supervisor, my role will be to coach everyone about the equal handling of client’s issues, and never that sexual orientation will be considered unless it is the issue that the client wants counseling on.  My priority is to empower my counselors so that they can enablethe clients who need to overcome some of the pervasive coercion of the society.  To be biased with the client is double jeopardy and the unkindest attitude that a counselor can do to the client.

Applying social empowerment strategies when working with such clientele is one strategy that may prove successful in facilitating the reclamation of individual and community power, self-advocacy, and the ability to rise above those factors inhibiting a person's effort to control her or his life. Overcoming some of the more pervasive societal-level forms of oppression (e.g., heterosexism) poses, perhaps, a more daunting challenge for the lesbian and gay male community but may become more of a realistic possibility when empowerment and demarginalization occur at the level of the individual (Savage, Harley, and Nowak, 2005).


Imagine the amount of damage done when the client feels rejected by the one person they felt would be impartial and supportive of them. That is why many of the gay community would rather go to a gay counselor or someone they know for sure values their values.  Community, or collective, empowerment is one way for lesbians and gay males to support and help each other deal with distress politically as a group (R. E. Perkins, 1996).

We learn to open our minds to the difficulties and unkind treatment of societies especially to minorities like the lesbian community.  This field is the beginning of preventing another Bruff issue in the field of counseling.

Those interventions aimed at counselors themselves or the type of activities used with gay and lesbian career counseling clients must either be learned during graduate school education or through continuing professional development at conferences or workshops. Interventions directed at institutions or programs and at social/community action have implications for school-based career education programs, career planning texts used in colleges and universities, and occupational information (Pope, et. al., 2004)

All slides courtesy of: Verity Wilcox


Hermann, M., & Herlihy, B. (2006, Fall2006). Legal and Ethical Implications of Refusing to Counsel Homosexual Clients. Journal of Counseling & Development, 84(4), 414-418. Retrieved June 1, 2009, from Academic Search Premier database.

Perkins, D. D., & Zimmerman, M. A. (1995). Empowerment theory: Research and applications. American Journal of Community Psychology, 23, 569-579.

Pope, M., Barret, B., Szymanski, D.  Chung, B., Singaravelu, H., McLean, R. and Sanabria, S. (Dec. 2004). Culturally appropriate career counseling with gay and lesbian clients. Career Development Quarterly 53.2 (Dec 2004): 158(20). Academic OneFile. Gale. US Navy General Lib - Bremerton. 2 June 2009

Savage, T., Harley, D., and Nowak T.(2005). Applying social empowerment strategies as tools for self-advocacy in counseling lesbian and gay male clients" Journal of Counseling and Development 83.2 (Spring 2005): 131(7). Academic OneFile. Gale. US Navy General Lib - Bremerton. 1 June 2009 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

After One Year Moving to Virginia from California (Nostalgic about the West Coast) - October 2012-October 2013

It has been a great (some not so great) transition for us as family moving back to the East Coast (we moved from Oxnard to Connecticut in 2005 then back to California in 2008) and our journey was really an eye opening:  you cannot get used to changes how often you do it.

Nevertheless, we have seen so many places here in Virginia during the long day weekend trips (as usual) enjoying the beautiful places God has created for us to enjoy.

We can't help but to compare California and Virginia and what we missed in the West Coast during those long weekend day trips and even summer vacations.

Our highlights this year here was our 10 day trip to Europe (Italy, Switzerland, France and Germany) (using MACFLIGHT the same deal we did when we went almost 2 weeks in Hawaii), frequent trips to DC (The Capitol) and the amazing beaches of the Atlantic (my new favorite - The Outer Banks of North Carolina - no need for wet suit that I am used to in the cold water beaches of California).  Both coast or states are truly exciting for us.  But we are on the "right" coast now - live with it.

In between those trips, we did alot of short trips and week trip to many places in the West Coast which we missed here in the East Coast after 1 year of living here.

Here are some (I'll name 15 for now) of our favorite cities / visits last year (and some before) in the West Coast  that we wish we could go back and visit every weekend (Don't forget to check the photo-collages below):

1.  Bay Area: San Francisco, San Jose & Silicon Valley

2.  Hawaii (in 2010 with family & 2012 with RIMPAC)

3.  San Diego (Carlsbad-Legoland, North Island)

4. Orange County (Disneyland, Laguna Beach)

5.  Lake Tahoe

6.  Las Vegas

7.  Phoenix & Grand Canyon Arizona

8.  Los Angeles (Universal, Hollywood, Chinatown)

9.  Joshua Tree, Sequoia & Yosemite (Central Valley) National Park

10.  Los Angeles
11.  Santa Barbara

12.  Monterey

13.  Pismo Beach & Morro Beach

14.  Ventura County (Oxnard, Thousand Oaks, Point Mugu, Fillmore)

15.  Pacific Coast Highway Beaches (From San Diego to the Redwood & Oregon)