July 11, 2017

72 Hours

I took a quick trip back home for some familial business.  I decided to be mute with telling too many people I was coming because I had a schedule and I did not want to overwhelm myself, Sorry to those I did not tell, I'll catch you next time.  

My flight in was through American Airlines, $110 one way, one checked bag, $25.  I hopped on the earliest schedule, 5:55am CST, Why I torture myself, I don't know.  I went through the security check and for the first time I had to be thoroughly patted down.  I was not very pleased with this yet, I was too tired to argue or cause a scene and have to be escorted out of the airport by security.

I asked the TSA agent where she will be putting her hands, I am very particular about personal space, and since I was wearing a knee length dress, I wanted to make sure I, nor she, needed to pull it up a little. 😟 No, my clothes stayed as they were and she showed me the areas she needed to 'secure' and I was okay with it.  The pat down was not aggressive or even very long but, I did feel a bit uncomfortable during the process.

The flight arrived in PHL at 10:22am EST.  I shuttled over to Dollar Rental and was given a...I don't know, something tiny; much smaller than what I am used to but, to get the most of my coins, I elected to reserve the 'deal' price through Expedia.com, less than $100 for three days.

Side Note: Dollar Rental will hold $350 on your Master Card if you did not prepay BUT, they will only hold 15% of the estimated total on a Visa Card, so either pay for your reservation in advance or use a Visa when at the counter.

I then took to the highway towards Baltimore, MD to visit a cousin who just moved there to practice urology, Yay, Dr. Cleary!  He had a scheduled workout for 6pm at Equinox Gym near DC. I have to give my dear cousin some grace, he does not know my hatred for working out but, I decided not to to be bummer and play along.

To my surprise Equinox gym is very well equipped with EVERYTHING. It considers itself a luxury gym, if you couldn't already tell by their membership fees. They have a variety of cardio and weight machines, plus the types of workouts were separated by floor, you can guess which floor most of the women...and me, were on. There is an Equinox gym in Houston, I may attempt to get a membership but, let's not hold our breathes. After the workout, we headed to Lewis, DE to see my Aunt, this is what I love about the northeast, 1-2 hours in the car and you can be in a different state. The following morning, I drove back upstate to meet with my sister who was also arriving in Philadelphia.

First on the agenda for us was CHEESESTEAK!  Kevin Hart, who is native to Philadelphia once said, "I'll only get cheesesteaks in Philadelphia.  No one else does it right."  Oh, how accurate you are Mr. Hart...Houston, I love you but, you need to get your dough and chopped meat together.  For tourists, the places to go for hoagies is Geno's or Pat's but, I have always loved the mom and pop establishments hidden in the small neighborhoods.

After lunch, we spent the rest of the day acting like a tourists...

Adam, The Thinker, The Shade - Rodin Museum
George Washington Monument
I understand the history of America is not sensitive to everyone, nor is the history of the world; research both World Wars.  Even in my Asian culture, there were inhumane events that took place.  I can empathize the pain some people may feel when seeing certain images and not all history is great but, who are we today without history?  I am not going to debate my thoughts or am I trying to void anyone's passions about their views.  We all shed a tear for history. 

The Shade - Auguste Rodin
Swann Memorial Fountain
This was at Sister Cities Park. The "LOVE" statue at
Love Park was temporarily moved for construction.
The sister "running" up the steps at the Philadelphia Art Museum.
She tried to have a Rocky moment.
Up and down Ben Franklin Pkwy were flags from other countries.
I found mine.

At the end of the day, my sister and I separated, I got a nearby hotel using the Priceline App and snagged a deal on a 3 star hotel.  In the morning, I drove down to New Castle, DE to see if my favorite Thai Restaurant was still in business...YES IT WAS!

Tasti Thai, New Castle, DE

After my delicious lunch, I went to my other Aunt's house in Wilmington, DE who was hosting a baby shower for my other cousin....and there was more food.  My Aunt got several trays of hoagies, I did not take as many photos here.

When visiting Delaware, Capriotti's is one the best sub shops you must try!  It's actually on almost every traveler's guide as one of the top 10 places to eat.

My sister, leaving a note for the new parents. 

When the baby shower was over, the sis and I headed to Middletown, DE to see the old house.  She attempted to knock on the door to ask if we could come in, not creepy or weird in any way..."Hey stranger, you don't know us but, we used to live here and wanted to know if you'd let us in to look around." 
😜😊😇...but, no one answered the door.

Look at that lawn! My father and I planted those trees.
It was an adventure mowing the grass and this is only the front of the house!

After our nostalgic pit stop, we went our separate ways again.  I ventured further into Middletown to see my 3 godchildren.  Only one was home and he has gotten so tall and handsome!  His voice is different as well!  When he came up to me and said, "Hey Aunt Pooh," I almost cried but, I didn't!  I spent a little time there catching up, then I headed towards another friend.

On my last day, I ended up missing my 2:30pm flight due to the main highway being shut down and I had to purchase another flight for 6pm through United Airlines, less than $200.

 Before the flight, I made a stop at Wawa.  Anyone who has ever lived in the Delaware and South Pennsylvania regions know about Wawa!  It may not seem like much to visitors or anyone else foreign to the areas but, it is everything to the residents!  Wawa is a convenient store chain with great coffee, snacks, drinks, a deli counter, ATM, emergency supplies, and other necessities for your day; some of the locations have gas pumps and are usually priced lower than competitors.   The best part is they are open 24 hours.  "Wawa Runs" at 2am were common in my early twenties. 😝😏😆

My original flight back to Texas was through Spirit Airlines, $181 one way with one stop in Florida, one checked bag, $32.  This was supposed to be my second time flying Spirit, the first was earlier this year with a round trip travel to Las Vegas.  I have heard people complain about the pricing through the airline stating, "They charge for everything!"  This is true BUT, they are very upfront with their fees and do not have any 'hidden costs'.  Everything is outlined on their website, if you do not take the time to read the details, then who really is to blame??? 👀

Well, Penn, Del, and Maryland, until next time.


EMAIL: xoxo.rayal@gmail.com


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July 4, 2017

Do Men Settle?

When it comes to dating and relationships, women are always telling each other, "Never settle." Do men go through the same notions? 

The act of "settling" is best defined by the person who believes she has settled. It does not necessarily away from the man, he could still be a great guy, but ultimately, he was not her ideal man or first choice. Hence, he did not meet a certain criteria for her but, overall he was good enough and she just want a relationship. 

Do men settle for a woman who was not his ideal match but, instead a woman who is just good enough? A woman who he feels will always be present in his life, no matter the circumstances? Therefore, would he begin to condition his thoughts and feeling to adequately "accept" her?  And has the dating pool become so shallow that our best option is to settle?

Maybe men have settled into a lifestyle that has worked for them: those who have a way of talking a woman into doing what he wants by saying sweet affirmations and complimenting her in some form; those who have learned to disguise their ulterior motives very well; those who just have a way with women that can't be easily explained.  BUT, some women allow themselves to believe that if she does not appease a man, he will not consider her. Sighs to my fallen ladies whom are trapped in this way of thinking.

Honestly, men are simple beings, Fellas, I say that in the most loving way.  I believe men want different things at different times, and maybe from different people.  On Friday, he may just want sex.  On Saturday, he may just want to catch a movie.  On Sunday, he may just want to talk.  Each of these days may be with different people and the rest of the days, he may just want to be left alone.  The problem is, many men do not know how to articulate exactly what they want from a woman, and ladies, it's our fault.  We get too emotional and too wrapped up on the wrong details.  We always want to know the WHY of things.  

Here is something to keep in mind: MEN DO NOT LIKE TO EXPLAIN THEMSELVES, ESPECIALLY TO A WOMAN WHO HE IS NOT EXCLUSIVE WITH.  A woman's emotional state can cause a man to not be completely upfront with a her because she wants to harp on every fukcing minuscule detail that has nothing to do with the bigger picture and he does not want the headache.  The point is, if he wants to love you, he will love you and you will feel loved, not needing to question his every word or action.

Jumpsuit - Vanity Kloset

If it takes years for a man to chose you (not years of consistent dating, just years of going back and forth with you), then I am eager to wonder why his heart was absent for you when yours wasn't absent for him.  

So do men really settle or does it just take a long time for them to realize what's good for them?

EMAIL: xoxo.rayal@gmail.com


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June 21, 2017

She Did WHAT?!

Ladies, I don't want to judge but, I just cannot get my brain to wrap around the idea of it being "acceptable" for a woman to propose...

Image result for why gif

Let's just go ahead and emasculate a man completely and get down on one knee with a box from Jared's....

Image result for why gif

Let us women just take control of the relationship and weaken a man's dignity...

Image result for why gif

So, who is going to go dress shopping with him and make sure his figure looks great in a fitted gown?  Will he get french tips?  How high should his heels be?  Which bouquet will he pick out?  Will you cry when you see him walk towards you down the aisle with his hair and makeup all done?

Can you grasp my discontentment of this whole idea?

It is NOT MY PLACE to ask a man to be my husband.  I feel the same way about a woman proposing a relationship (if you've been reading my previous post, you already know this.)

Yes, I believe in a trusted and sacred union of two people but, I also believe a man's role is separate from a woman's role when it comes to being in this union.  We are equal in heart and can mentally balance each other but, a woman's position is not the same as a man's. 

I look to a man to lead us into a relationship further leading us into marriage.  However he decides to begin that path is on him, I either take the path with him or walk alone in another direction.  I will not, I repeat, I WILL NOT ASK A MAN FOR HIS HAND IN MARRIAGE!

And let me not start on the men who allow their women to drop down on one knee to propose to them!  Maybe I'm too old school, maybe I need to get with the times, maybe I should just go sit my single ass down somewhere and wait for a man to pop the question....

Insert the stare down.

I'll continue to sit on maybe with my stubborn self.

I have my principals.

EMAIL: xoxo.rayal@gmail.com

*PS: Any potential husband who wishes to propose....size 6, gold band, princess cut.  And you would need to have been consistently active in my life for at least 1 current year and we both need to have taken considerate interest in one another...this should eliminate pretty much 99.9% of the men in my peripheral life.
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June 12, 2017

I'll Just Meet You There

I've gotten flack from people when they ask such questions as...

If a man came to pick you up on a date in an old beat up car, would you still go on the date?

-Yes, but I'll meet him there.

Ribbed Dress - Nordstrom | Duster - Forever21 

Look, I've already went through the stage of struggling and working to get better.  I do not have the patience to do that again.  I appreciate and applaud those who are overcoming adversities or obstacles but, I have went through my biggest 'growth spurts' already.  The only challenges I face now is how to improve my skills to earn more money.

Although, if you are facing tough times, should you really be dating?  Why would you want to place your burdens that are yours on to someone else?

Jumper Set - VanityKloset.com

I am not opposed to going out and making a new friend but, if your first image to me as a man who wants to be serious in my life is an image of you coming to "date" me in Ole Unreliable...then, sir, I cannot.  The car does not have to be brand new but, it does have to get us from A to B without me praying for Traveling Grace.

Image result for jay z awkward gif

People have responded, "Maybe that's just who he is and he doesn't like fancy cars." That's fine but, it is still best to have a car that does not need to be in the shop every other weekend or he has to cancel on me because his car won't start or he has to back out on a trip because he has to pay for a new transmission.  This all goes back to being financially stable and making sure you can afford the things you have and/or want.

I am in my 30s looking forward to financial comfort and freedom.  Unless this old car is a classic that you are fixing up to have as a leisure car, then just save your money and get yourself a nice reliable vehicle.  If a man does not have this 'safety' in place then, I do not want to give time to someone who is okay with just being okay.  I cannot wait for someone to be better.  And I have no energy for someone who expects me to just go along with it

I cannot be serious with "potential" after a certain age.  I was involved with potential before.  Potential did not provide me what I wanted or needed.

EMAIL: xoxo.rayal@gmail.com

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May 24, 2017

Have a Strong Presence

A woman should never feel the need to be the "man" in the relationship.  Nor should a man be so inadequate that he allows a woman to dominate the relationship.

I have a strong personality but, I am not going to allow it to overshadow my partner and if there is a situation where I am too forthright in my opinions or actions without considering him, then I need him to call me out on it.  Don't disrespected me but, let me know that I overstepped my boundaries.

And if I am not hearing you, find a way to help me understand, because if you back away, avoid addressing it, or just give in, then who is the head of this relationship? And why should this relationship continue if you don't want to make an effort?

Be proud of me and step in if I drift of into doing, saying, or being someone who may cause more concern than comfort.  Don't just be with me...be present with me.  People can see cracks without them being pointed out.  I don't want cracks in my relationship.


As strong willed as I am, I am NOT the head of the relationship or household.  I will put aside bearings to allow a man to lead me...he may have to put me in my place a few times...respectfully...but, my place as a woman is not the same place of a man.

Even though I believe both people equally make a relationship work, I can empathize if a woman decides to be the one to make the adjustments to suit a man's life, ONLY IF she feels truly loved, protected, and provided for spiritually. 

A woman will do anything for a man when she feels loved...But ladies, let's not let the love blind us into making foolish decisions that leave us with egg on our faces.  Always remain smart about what you are willing and able to do.  If he loves you, he will understand and not put you in a position where you need balance what he wants and what you are not comfortable with.

Of course, I am not currently practicing this notion, so it is easier for me to say it that do it but, I know I am not so set in my ways that I can accommodate a man I love and who loves me back the same.

- Love Raya

EMAIL: xoxo.rayal@gmail.com

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