Pattaya Beach Walk (part1) Gratitude Attack 2018

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Its actually cheaper for me during the “high season” in Thailand and the Philippines to fly from the Philippines (traditionally, Manila (MNL) or Cebu (CEB) to Bangkok (BKK), then on to Los Angeles (LAX)

So during my return flight/commute back home, I went from Kalibo (KLO) to Manila (MNL) to Bangkok (BKK), laying over through Taipei (TPE), then on to LAX.
During the layover in BKK I decided to head down to Pattaya and hang out with one of my great buddies, Eddie.

If you’ve watched any of my other videos, you’ve seen me share about gratitude. Easily one of my Top 10, favorite topics.

Disneyland = Lousy Customer Experience: AMTRAK back to San Diego. Disneyland (2 of 2)

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After about 11 hours walking around Disneyland I realized that the amount of time spent standing in line and waiting while at a Disney part is at least 50% of the time there. There is not debate that ANY amusement park experience is made up of rides that are X minutes of adventure, preceded by 10X to 30X minutes standing in a maze-like line of people I normally would NOT hang out with.

In summary: the experience at Disney with was Totally Awesome, *BECAUSE* I was with Gracie. All Disney did was provide me with about 2 hours of entertainment (not concurrently) interlaced with 8+ hours of waiting in line and/or walking through a sea of people who also seemed disappointed at:
– the ridiculous prices of everything
– the closing of rides due to mechanical failures
– lack of items that were advertised (e.g. ice cream, water!!!!!)
– waiting in line

Afterward, it was so sweet to just plop ourselves down on two seats on the AMTRAK back to San Diego from Anaheim. Driving home on the I-5 would have been brutal and actually a bit unsafe given how tired we both were.
I *realllllly* wish Amtrak went straight to LAX. I guess I can understand why though – for the most part, train travel is no where near as popular as getting in a car and driving. So, to be fair, the financial cost of extended railway(s) to the Los Angeles International Airport would indeed be significant and the payback might take 40 years. In that time, self-driving cars will be taking me to LAX… shoot in 4 years I bet I’ll have taken at least ONE!

The other summary I touch on in this video is of the customer service provided by Disney. For years, I have heard and indeed experienced the Awesome that is synonymous with a Disney Park Experience. This day was not Disney-Awesome. Is was also not Six-Flags annoying, thank Gawd. BUT, it was definitely sub par and each time I had to pay $4 for water or $15 for chicken and rice or wait in a line for 45 minutes only to hear the PA system announce the ride was closed due to mechanical failures for an indefinite amount of time…
I find it offensive that there is no financial compensation for lack of service yet there is a financial demand for services rendered…. followed by a box car full of legaleeze that basically states that “We will not be held accountable for ANYTHING and you have NO RIGHTS once you enter our private property…” Its pretty lame when you think about it.. BUT, whatever, Gracie and I were there to have an experience together and as I realized, a bad experience WITH Gracie is infinitely better than a good experience without her. So – its a win!!! 🙂

I truly hope there is someone who responds with something fo the flavor of, “WOW – that was NOT my experience with Disney, EVER!!!!… ” Sadly, though, the few posts I did make during our adventure were only supported and even “one upped” by someone having an even worst time. Sad.

NOTE: stay tuned for many many more videos that are centered around Fun and Gratitude and Living the Dream!!!

thanks for watching!

Only 60 seconds at Immigration in Bangkok (BKK). APEC BTC is a HUGE win!

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This video is my check in before and after I get thru Thai Immigration at Suvarmnabhumi International Airport (BKK) in Bangkok, in less than 60 seconds because of my APEC BTC – the Asia Pacific Economic Community Business Travel Card.
If you have ever had to wait in the Immigration line at any airport really, then you have done just that: Waited. While I understand that queuing up and waiting my turn is simply a part of life in many scenarios, there ARE certain scenarios where with a little bit of research, and planning and paperwork and money, it is possible to have a much shorter wait.

I made it through Thai Immigration via the Priority Lane in less than 60 seconds with my APEC Business Travel Card (BTC). This time. I have indeed used some of the Priority Lane cards that you get from either buying them on line, or getting them as part of your business class or first class ticket, or your Fast Track service from the airport or Fast Track service provided through the taxi service you might use but, *this* “APEC Card” I can use at all of the APEC countries:

from WiKipedia, the TWENTY ONE (21) APEC countries are: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Peru, Philippines, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei (Taiwan), Thailand, United States, Vietnam.

Getting this card as a US citizen is accomplished by First, getting Global Entry. Global Entry is one of the ways to “fast track” your entry into the United States. Primarily for frequent travelers it is part of the larger program called Trusted Traveler. SENTRI is also one of the benefits of the Trusted Traveler program: allowing for a quicker entry into the US from Mexico, either via land (walking or car) or Air

Roxas Beach (part 2)

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After the typhoon near Jamindan and Roxas, the rain stopped, the clouds cleared and it was a pretty nice morning.

Clearly we were not the ONLY people who thought to head out to the beach early that morning. I had no idea how many shells could be on the beach AND how many people think that tiny little clams? muscles? will make for a good snack.
This little clam-like things apparently are good when boiled in butter and garlic. Personally, I think that people just like the taste of Butter and Garlic and this is simply their way of eating it. HA!

It was a nice change in the weather and as I have mentioned before, the warm sun, air and breeze ALWAYS seem to make me so happy. Seeing Gracie and her Mum happy while getting all of these little pieces of food from nature made me smile Big Time.

Thanks for watching and following our journey.

Live the Dream!
~mikes & Gracie

Jamindan, Philippines Check In Jan 2018

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Gracie and I stayed the night at the Other hotel in Jamindan on January 1st. So, on Jan 2, we got up, had some coffee and were getting ready to take our bus to Roxas so I thought I’d check in an share a little bit about how the temperature of the Philippines REALLY makes me happy! 🙂

Living on a Farm. “Fresh Pork” **CAUTION *** Pig Slaughtered

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This video is about an afternoon on Gracie’s Parent’s farm. The rain was pretty constant the whole time we were there, the “energetic rain” was sporadic but it was Warm and the graciousness of the Ocate’s exceeded my expectations. They spoke almost no english and i speak No Tagalog 🙁 BUT with some smiles and “thumbs up” and hugs we were able to communicate rather well. It was and will be probably one of the best New Year’s Eve celebrations of my lifetime. Family is such a gift. I am grateful Every Single Day for the Mum and Dad I’ve been blessed with and I know that Gracie feels the same way about her parents.
I know there are all these tips and rules and websites and courses and experts and text books and videos and blah blah blah about “how to pick a “good” woman. Well, in my experience, if you find one that has a healthy relationship with her Mum and Dad, that’s a Thumbs UP in my check list. Watching Gracie with her Mum and Dad I knew that I have been lucky enough to find a woman who has a soul dedicated to being a good person. She learned respect by watching her Father. She teaches respect by earning it. Its a blessed life when you can sit back and KNOW that you are safe and happy and lucky! regardless of the excess or lack of material items.
Happiness is a family of Filipinos… Indeed!

Thanks for watching a little bit of our day on the farm.
Live the Dream!

Landing in Kalibo, Philippines (KLO)

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After leaving Phuket (HKT) and our great AirBnB on Coconut ISland, Gracie and I head from there, through Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (KUL), and land in Kalibo, Philippines (KLO).
Kalibo International Airport was the main airport for people vacationing on the island of Boracay. From here, many people would take a bus or van or taxi up to Caticlan port where you take the little 20 person ferries over the Boracay.
NOW-a-days most people will land at the Caticlan Airport (MPH).
from Wikipedia: Godofredo P. Ramos Airport, also known as Caticlan Airport and recently, Boracay Airport by its developer Transaire, is an airport serving the general area of the municipality of Malay, located in the province of Aklan in the Philippines.
However, the majority of the traffic in and out of the Boracay Airport is simply that; the Airport for Boracay.
So, Kalibo, while still used by tourists and locals as a town with an airport to get you close to Boracay is much more of a Filipino town. There really are no “tourist”-type shops or things to do. Pretty much all of the things that are in Kalibo are designed to support the daily lives of the people living in Kalibo. There are very few tourists. There are very few foreigners (Gringos, Farrang, what have you…)
So, once we landed it was off to the market so we can get some (drum roll please) Chicken and Rice. HA! Welcome tot the Philippines!!!

Gracie has a 2 bedroom apartment there that we pay ~$900 a year for. It’s comfortable albeit a bit “third world” there is A/C and electric and water and Internet. In the past year, she probably spend about 75% of her time there. This coming year she will spend probabaly 40% of her time there as we plan on being in the US thru September.
So, this, and the next few videos are a little bit of a look into the daily life in Kalibo.
Hope you enjoy.
Thanks for watching!

Live the Dream!
~mikes & Gracie :–)