Monday, April 14, 2014

Aroma Thai Massage Spa

Before going on our trip to Tenerife, I was browsing online to find massage places. There is a massage place above our hotel gym, but it's impossible to have all three of us to have a massage there at the same time. At first I found a spa place in a four or five star hotel, but when I asked about their massage offers, they said that they only accepted hotel guests, so if we want to have a massage there, we have to pay the price for a hotel room (price includes breakfast and dinner), but then it'd cost way too much, so I kept on searching and found Aroma Thai Massage Spa.

I couldn't find any prices on their website, so I went to their Facebook page (the one that you can click above) and asked them about their list of massage and their prices via Facebook PM. They replied very quickly and any question asked were answered promptly. So I made the bookings for three of us for a 1,5 hour aromatherapy massage (€60/person). We had had traditional Thai massage before, but I didn't think my MIL could handle such a massage, so I chose aromatherapy instead he he...

Here's the front view of the massage place. It's very easy to find. 



We actually found it already the first day we went downtown. It didn't look big, but turned out it was very cozy inside. Plus they had two adjacent rooms that could be combined for me and my husband (they just needed to open the rolling door). Very convenient! I didn't expect that at all.

We arrived at the spa about 20 minutes earlier, then we were guided to the second floor to wait before our massage sessions started. They served us some fruits and tea right away and then they gave us forms to fill in. Here are some photos of the waiting room upstairs. 

After my MIL filled in the forms (actually we helped her because it was all in English), they took time to discuss it because she has had plenty of surgeries. 





Then we had our massage in dark and quiet rooms. It was very relaxing - a blend of strong and soft strokes. I actually assumed it'd be a bit more noisy because the place was in downtown, but it wasn't. I also liked the fact that they had a nice shower in each massage room (so my husband and I used different ones). Here's the photo of our adjoining rooms:



Here is a cozy corner outside the massage rooms:



After the massage, we were served more tea. :-) 



I'd rate the whole spa experience as 3.9/5 - the best massage experience is (unfortunately) still the one in Singapore years ago (even if the place was nothing as good as this one), followed closely by the one in Bali when we had our honeymoon. 

For those of you who'll ever visit Puerto de la Cruz, I recommend Aroma Thai Massage Spa for their massage, spa ambience, price range, hospitality, and the responsive marketing manager in Facebook. Thanks for helping us have this spa experience, Paola! :-)

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Sitio Litre Orchid Garden

One of the places we visited in Puerto de la Cruz was The Orchid Garden in Sitio Litre. The entrance fee costs € 4,75/person. It's not such a huge garden, but it's the oldest surviving garden in Tenerife. It's been owned continuously by British families since 1730 (according to the brochure). Funny thing is that the information in the brochure is also translated in Finnish. In fact, there are many restaurant menus in Finnish as well. I think there have been lots and lots of Finnish tourists going there for years. They even speak a little Finnish at the hotel where we stayed at.

Anyway, there have been plenty of famous guests in the parties thrown in this particular garden, including William Wilde (father of Oscar Wilde) and Agatha Christie.

Here are some photos of the garden.

The entrance:


The Koi pond near the entrance where guests could sit down and sunbathe ha ha...


The cute souvenir shop (at that time it was still closed). It sells some seeds as well (plant/flower seeds) at €1/bag. It also sells paintings as well as other stuff. Funnily enough, I noticed some used books/novels sold there, as well he he he...


Other parts of the garden...they have a separate section for the orchids.







Here is my hand as comparison (I know my hand is small, but still the red flowers are HUGE!). 



Agatha Christie and a character in one of her novels:


Here are the orchid section:





And at the back of the garden there's this 600-year-old tree.


There's also this funny-looking bare tree near the tree above.


There's a small cafe at the back of the garden, but we continued our journey and we found this tree with a HUGE trunk on our way back to the front of the garden. Again I'm aware that I'm small (only 145 cm) but still that tree trunk is huge he he he...


I took a photo from below to capture the upper side of the tree.


And after walking further away, I managed to capture (almost) the entire tree:


Had fun on R2's expense before going out...don't the papayas look like a hat? HA HA HA...Papaya Hat LOL!!!


Tuesday, April 08, 2014

After Holiday Cold

The reason I've been silent lately was because we went on our winter holiday and then I caught some cold when I got back. Plus I promised myself to stay away from the internet as much as possible during our holiday. 

We went for a week to Tenerife with my mother-in-law this time. It was the first time going there for us, though she had gone there before. We went to the north side, which was greener and less hot. Well, it wasn't that hot there yet because it's not high season yet, but still much warmer than here he he he...The temperature was probably around 16-23'C

I'm not going to write long here yet, because my head still feels weird, but here are some photos. We stayed in an area called Puerto de la Cruz on the northern side of Tenerife Island. I liked the fact that it was green there considering the fact that there's still piles of snow here and we still can't see any grass yet. Flowers were blooming so beautifully over there already. Here's a map of the island. Puerto de la Cruz is on the top middle part (click to view a bigger version).




Here's a pic of me with some HUGE flowers near our hotel.



Here's some pics of our hotel Apartamentos Casablanca. We stayed on the fourth floor. I must say it's a pretty good place to people watch from there he he...We were all always amazed at the fact that at 8 am in the morning when the pool was open, there were always a group of people swimming already, though it was still cool and the sun wasn't even shining on the pool area yet. Amazing! We didn't end up swimming at all - partly because it wasn't that hot yet and partly because R2 got sick there as well. He had a cold and fever and for one whole day he stayed up in the hotel room to get some rest. 

I ended up going to the supermarket to cook him some chicken soup for his resting day so that he didn't have to go anywhere. Luckily the hotel room was an apartment and it has a kitchen, so it was easy for me to cook.





The list of activities for guests. There's a green bowling competition every week as well as an aerobic session.





OK, I'm going to take it easy and rest some more. I'll blog-hop and blog some more about our holiday later on. I'm glad I still have some days off before going to work, so I have time to rest and try to get better.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Team Sport

I've never really been a sporty girl. Actually there was even a time when I didn't like sports at all ha ha ha ha ha ha...but I know the importance of exercising regularly and I do want to stay healthy as long as I can, so yesterday as usual hubby had his Wii exercise regime again, but this time at the end of it he played tennis, so I joined him and paired up with him against two other random players. It felt SO good to win and each time we won, we'd hug each other (sweaty bodies LOL!). 

Then I told him, "Now I know how good it feels to win a team sport!" 



I was never really that good at sports, either. I think the only thing I was good at was probably running, though I can't say that I do like running now. Back in Junior High School we had such a strict sports teacher that always always always told us to run lots of laps at the beginning of each sports lesson. It was so boring and I always had to be the leader (because I was the shortest, you see). They separated the guys from the girls. One time we were told to do a few more laps because the teacher thought that we were going too slow, so ever since then I always tried running a little faster because I didn't want us all to get punished, but ever since then the ones at the back kept on relaying messages to me to slow down ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...

In High School we didn't run as much as in Junior High and what was worse was that we didn't get any sports lesson at all during the last year, so I was in pretty bad shape at that time. I started becoming more interested in exercising again when I was at uni. I bought some used foreign sports magazines and I'd follow the exercises written there (remember that at that time the internet was still a new thing so it was still cheaper to buy used magazines) he he he...How time flies! Nowadays you can watch anything online and you can download so many things online. 



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Anyway, these days I'd exercise using some exercise videos and youtube videos (Taebo, Core Rythym, Belly Dancing, Zumba) and Wii. I'd choose different videos/programs according to my mood. In spring/summer I feel that I exercise more because there's more sunlight, but in winter I tend to get lazier and I really feel I need to push myself more to exercise in winter. However, I'm the type that prefers to exercise at home compared to going to the gym/running outside he he...

Are you good at sports? Are you the sporty type? Any fave type of sports? Do you like exercising outside/going to the gym?

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Hilarious Hubby

Last week hubby was exercising using Wii again. As usual, at the end of the exercise session, he would pick running. Whenever possible, I'd also do some exercise next to him as well. It felt good to be motivated while seeing someone else exercise he he...

Anyway, this time about halfway through, he said, "Uh oh...I need to pee."

So I told him, "Then just stop and go pee and continue later."

But no...he was so adamant in finishing the run before going to pee, so what did he do? Well, he would make the creator of the phrase "run for your life" proud because he was running like he was being chased by a rabid dog ha ha ha ha...

He ran sooooooo fast that on the TV screen it said something like, "You're running way too fast. Careful now or your Wii remote will be flying far away from you."

You should've seen his face! He was huffing and puffing and running as fast as he could, even though he was already pretty tired from the exercises he had done. PLUS his bladder was full. I couldn't help giggling near him, even though I kept on running as well he he he he he...

Once he was done, he had to catch his breath for about 10 seconds before he could finally empty his bladder he he he he he he...Oh hey, look, I found this animation that showed how hubby ran that day so perfectly he he he he he...

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Burnout Here and There

The theme of this week is burnout. This week I've heard of some people experiencing burnout, myself included. I've been taking time out from Facebook. I only check it at a glance to find out if someone has sent me a message or not and then browse through the newsfeed very quickly. This is the second time I've felt this way, but I guess it's perfectly normal to feel like this every now and then. I'm thinking of deactivating it again, but I feel it's not the right time yet. 

When I feel burnt out in Facebook, this is the best description I can give. It's like I'm entering a room filled with holograms of people in my friends list and each of them is saying something. Some speak more often than others each day, some are more silent. However, I can hear them all at once all the same. Politics, religion, cute stuff, sign this petition, hoaxes, oodles of photos, videos, random wall posts, quotes, links to articles, health, etc. It gets overwhelming after a while, especially if I hang around in the room every day. It's like there's a cacophony of voices in my head that just doesn't feel nice after a while. 

It's a totally different thing when I'm browsing for something or when I'm visiting blogs. It feels more "in my control" so to speak, because I only browse for things I want to know/read and naturally the blogs I visit are those that interest me. Because blogging is more lengthy and focused than Facebook, it satisfies me more because it's like having a regular conversation with my friends. However, it is true that in Facebook you can interact with many more people in a shorter amount of time due to its format. However, this introvert gets exhausted if she has to interact with so many people regularly.

I've already begun to feel the benefits of limiting my Facebook exposure, though it's not the same as going offline completely from there. I get more ideas to write and I feel more relaxed and composed and creative he he...I absolutely need a lot of time to hide in my cave ha ha...

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by Facebook?


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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Healing Step-by-Step

The other day I was talking to someone and at the end of our conversation online, she said that she hoped that me and my husband would stay heart-to-heart and hand-in-hand until we became grandma and grandpa. It's very common for people in Indo to say something like this.

I replied, "Thanks for your wish, but because we don't have kids, we'll never become grandma and grandpa. We'll just become old honeymooners HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA..." ;-D

She replied, "Oh dear goodnessss..." ;-D

Yep, I was in a naughty mood at that time ha ha ha...and no, I didn't feel any pain or grief at all when I wrote my reply he he...I LOVE these light-hearted moments! :-D

 

I think sense of humour is vital in life and I feel that I'm progressing more in my healing journey when I'm able to make jokes about our circumstances. Humour has definitely helped our marriage in so many ways. 

Speaking of humour, I'm reading a book called Bad Karma which is pretty funny he he he...The writer is a man and the main character is a woman who's been turned into an ant because of her bad karma. I bought the book in Finnish, so it's taking a bit more time to read it than reading an English book, but so far it's been pretty entertaining. I've just started reading about her adventures in being an ant he he he he he...

To be honest, I'm simultaneously reading several books at the moment ha ha ha...I'm such a sporadic reader indeed. :-D


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Thursday, March 06, 2014

3BT: Random Days

1. Having fun creating an imaginary world in my head. :-D

2. Getting my dose of cat photos or videos every day. Can't stop rewatching this one for example. The ginger cat Marmalade reminds me of our cat back in Indo. SO CUTE!!!!!


3. Watching this makes me feel so relaxed...



4. Reading this post: Ten Things I've Learned About Trauma.

5. Had my yearly work appraisal and it turned out well. The appraisal showed that I neither overestimate nor underestimate myself. Plus we got to discuss what other things I could do to improve myself, which was great! :-D

6. Ginger, herbal tea, Neti pot AKA "sarvikuono nenäkannu", and sauna. I've been feeling under the weather lately and they've all helped.

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Rethinking Miracles

When I was first realized that we were infertile, I went into research mode. I tried to find as many blogs and articles as possible to understand my options and how others had survived through it all. Many people ended up with children at the end of their infertility journeys (either through adoption, miracle pregnancies, both, or pregnancies through different treatments). A small percentage ended up without children and that fact haunted me at that time. When one is still hopeful, one doesn't really want to think of that option, but a realist side in myself couldn't let go of that option. My brain loves thinking of extremes, because it loves preparing myself mentally for what can happen. 

In the beginning of my infertility journey, I tried looking for Christian resources, as well, but to be honest I was rather disappointed because of the lack of resources AND the fact that among those that I could find, many of them seemed to mostly refer to the miracle pregnancy stories in the Bible. But what if that wasn't His plan for us? That was what a small voice in me was saying. Mind you, I did find one or two Christian resources that also realistically pointed out to the fact that "no children" may be one of infertility endings. 

When I shared some of my angry feelings and thoughts in the beginning of my journey, some well-meaning people responded, "Just relax, it'll happen someday" or "Just keep on praying and don't give up" or "You can adopt"...Over and over again whenever I heard those words, I couldn't help thinking, "But what if God says no? Have you ever thought of that? Have you ever thought about the complications of adoption?"

Probably because children have always been strongly emphasized in Christianity as God's blessing, it was all the more like a bitter pill to swallow when children were denied from you. As if you had done something wrong or you hadn't done enough to earn them. After all, having children is supposed to be "easy", unlike going up the career ladder for example or building a business empire or becoming a president. 

Throughout my journey now, I've been thinking about miracles and how many people tried to comfort me by letting me know of "so-and-so who tried to have kids for so many years and then finally they had children". Again I know they meant well, but I still went back to the initial thought of, "It's all good for them, but are you absolutely sure that's what God has planned for us?"

You know, we all love grand miracle stories, but I'm starting to think twice about miracles. The miracle in our infertility journey doesn't come in the form of a baby, but it's in the form of how the journey itself has molded me and has taught me so many things that I wouldn't have known otherwise. The miracle in our journey is that I'm learning to love myself and others in more ways than I could have ever done before. The miracle in our journey is that He has granted us peace beyond understanding and He has helped us walk hand-in-hand and I actually believe that He has helped strengthen our relationship and marriage as a result. The miracle in our journey is that I have found so many inspirational women out there who have helped me walk my journey. The miracle in our journey is that there is joy in and from Him - even when He says no.

So now I'm going to sing HALLELUJAH for all His miracles!!!!! All for Your glory, my Lord! :-D :-D :-D I still need to learn so many things throughout this journey, but these days I'm excited to learn more. Bring it on! :-D I know I'm not alone.


Monday, March 03, 2014

Language Troubles Again

Every now and then at work we have Russian customers/tourists. I assume they have their own business there because many of them buy so much stuff (good for my workplace, hey! :-D). However, it can also be challenging to communicate with them, especially if they're the older types because they don't speak any English. Sometimes some of them speak a little Finnish, but sometimes not. 

The other week I had these encounters.

I've finished serving a woman who bought tons of stuff. I remember that she bought 15 big packs of chocolate powder (to make chocolate drink). She started packing her stuff because she wanted to get tax refund, so my other coworker was dealing with that while I stayed behind the till. Once she had finished packing, my coworker asked me if I could refund some money to her. It was as if I had counted the chocolate powder packs wrongly. The customer had packed everything up in many bags except for 10 packs of chocolate powder. 

We tried to communicate in English, but to no avail. My coworker was confused and so was I, because I felt that I had counted them right. Mind you, all the bags were tied up, so it would have been too hard to open all of them up just to count the chocolate powder packs. Yet the customer kept on pointing towards the 10 packs of chocolate powder that she had left on next table. My coworker again asked me if I had counted the chocolate powder packs wrongly, but I said I remembered there were 15 of them and the customer must have put 5 of them in one of the bags.

Then it hit me!!!! She wanted to return the 10 packs of chocolate powder packs because she probably thought 5 would have been enough. So I said to her with big gestures, "So you don't want these 10 packs?" 

Then she replied, "Yes, yesss, don't wanttt..." (pointing to the 10 packs on the table).

HALLELUJAH!!!! Finally we were progressing. My coworker wasn't able to start processing the tax refund if this matter wasn't sorted, so I returned some money to her and then it was all settled. Phew!



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Anyway, that same day not long after the above incident, a Russian man came over to my friend who was behind the till. He had a tub of yoghurt in his hand and he asked my friend something in broken English. My friend didn't understand what he wanted, so I decided to follow him.

He pointed to the tub of yoghurt and asked, "Three?"

I thought he wanted to buy three tubs of yoghurt, but there was none left on the shelf, so I told him I'd come with him.

When I reached the spot, I realized that there were still plenty of yoghurt left. Then he asked again, "Three? Banana, vanilla?"

I thought he wanted me to read out loud the different kinds of flavors that was available in English, so I started naming them out loud.

He shook his head and said, "No, no, three...banana, vanilla...Do you have at the back?"

After we did this a few times, I finally realized what he wanted. He wanted three kinds of flavors in each tub of yohgurt, so I told him, "Ahhhh...you want three flavors for each of them. No, no, unfortunately we don't have it. These are the only options available."

He asked again, "You don't have at the back?" (he meant in the warehouse)

I replied, "No, no. Just these." 

Then the woman who was with him said something in Russian that I assumed meant, "It's OK. Just take some. These are fine, too."

It felt GOOD to finally be able to decipher what he wanted he he he he...