Tag Archive | Travel

Conan O’Brien Takes Assistant Sona Movsesian to Armenia

Dear Conan O’Brien, Sona Movsesian, Team Coco, and Crew,

I would just like to say thank you to you all for making the trip to my homeland Armenia and for taking Sona Movsesian who had never been to Armenia. That is such an incredible and beautiful gesture that you made for Sona and that flair was definitely felt throughout the Armenian community of the world. Not every boss in the world would do those beautiful and thoughtful things for their friends/workers and that there tells a lot about a person’s character and personality and Conan, I have a tremendous amount of respect for you and your crew, not only because you took Sona to Armenia, but you as a person who demonstrates quality, who is dedicated, and put your employees first. That is a rare occurrence.

You have no idea on how much we Armenians appreciate all that you have done and continue to do. Now, a lot more people know about us and that is something that I/We will forever be grateful for.

It is so awesome on how the #ConanArmenia show was presented to the world. Thank you for adding humor into the show, which made me laugh hysterically. I have watched the episode at least 10 times by now, if not more. I just cannot get enough of it. Sona is a beautiful person who is so full of life and I would love to meet you Conan and Sona someday and tell you in person.

As the show was airing, I was sending out live tweets and explaining to what was going on and I was so excited about it. I must have sent hundreds of #ConanArmenia hashtags throughout the world.

On behalf of all the Armenians in the world including myself, thank you for introducing Armenia our homeland to your viewers and fans, thank you for taking the time to travel thousands of miles to be with Armenians, getting to know and embrace our culture, language, heritage, making Armenian friends, putting us on the map and as well as addressing an important and integral part of our history about The Armenian Genocide, for saying the word Genocide, visiting the Genocide memorial with Sona in the end of the show really put a sweet and touching tribute and for recognizing what had happened to 1.5 Million Armenians who were displaced, massacred in 1915, and for letting people know about it.

When Sona was explaining about her family and what had happened in the village we lost of Sepastia which is now in Turkish lands, really made me all the more emotional as I am sure the Armenian community of the world. I started to cry too with Sona and I felt her feelings about it.

Again, we cannot thank you enough for doing this. We love you Conan, we love you Sona, and may you all have continued success with your show in Los Angeles or wherever life takes you.


Talin Orfali

A Day In The Life in Cuba – The Reality

In life, one of the most incredible experiences is travel. I believe that when you travel to see the world, different lifestyles, realities, different people, places is something that is such a great thing. You become more aware, educated, informed and get in touch with your personal self to get a better understanding than what you hear in the media and pictures, also to change your perspective on things of the way your life is and in your own backyard to appreciate, count our blessings, and to be grateful for everything you have in life where others are less fortunate and do not have much. For example, in Cuba.

I have traveled to Cuba 13 times in my lifetime. I have traveled almost all over the island and have seen cities, and towns along the way. I have spent time with the locals, and met families, and have seen the way people live their day to day lives with the bare minimum. Some people make about $12.00 – $30.00 a month. Maximum 35 if they are lucky. Most people work in the resorts and touristic parts, some who are teachers, doctors, room makers, cleaners, bartenders and more.

A lot of people nowadays are so picky about what they want to eat, some people have a fridge full of food, pantries full, stomachs full, and they still are trying to figure out what to make. I admit, I am one of them, but It is really an eye-opener when you see the world. Not only in pictures, but when you see it with your own eyes. That is a whole new ball game. Well, some people in this world unfortunately do not have that option. Cuban people get a certain amount of food per month or every 2 weeks and that they need to space out how much food to eat during the day, some have to struggle to make their own food.

As I was going through towns from Cayo Santa Maria, back to Santa Clara where the airport is to come back home, I saw some of the most saddest things I had ever seen, there are run down buildings that look like they will collapse any minute, people walking around the streets with heavy bags, people cutting grass with machetes or some sort of cutter, some people going somewhere with horses, busted up cars, and it just made me tear up and think to myself, how can people live like this day in and day out? I teared up and so did the person who was sitting next to me and I overheard 2 ladies behind me saying that, we shouldn’t complain anymore and be choosy about everything we have. This really opened up my eyes one of the ladies said, and the friend of hers or whoever it was said, yes that’s true, you are right.

I have been through towns and cities in Cuba, and some of the conditions of the homes the Cuban people live are terribly sad. It breaks my heart. They don’t have proper windows, the roofs of some of the houses are coming apart, a lot of the houses are the size of a 14 to 17 foot place and some of the houses are even smaller than that. Can you imagine a family of 5 living there? Well, I met this family of 5 and they live in such a small house and they have to go outside of the home to use the toilet and to shower they have buckets inside the house and there is running water outside, so they have to go out to get running water then come back to wash up inside where there is just a drain.

In Cienfuegos, Cuba when I went. I had met an entertainer and then he invited my family and I over to his house, so the next day we took the taxi over to his place. We met his family and I remember how hospitable they were with us and so friendly. So, we took them a few items we do not need anymore and they were so happy. So the mother of the entertainer made us a whole table full of food, and started preparing the day before when the entertainer told them we are coming over. The dinner we had was so delicious and it was probably their months worth of food for us for that night. It was done without our knowledge or else we would have refused and if we did, they would get offended, so we ended up eating all of it as we were hungry. They then served us coffee and then we went back to the hotel.

They were so incredibly friendly and we got to see how they lived the whole day. They struggle so much with the deplorable conditions they live in. Some places though are really nice. It depends on the monthly salary as well. Again, I came to my resort and I just thank my lucky stars. I showed a few Cubans my pictures from my Camera, and they have never even seen an airplane in their lives, they have never even seen a camera, let alone the type of clothing I was wearing. It absolutely broke my heart to pieces.

I will continue to visit Cuba. I really like the people there and they are so friendly, witty and energetic, but for some people you can see the sadness and depression in their faces and you can tell some of them don’t have much, and some show they are happy, but they are not. The desperation can be seen. They love it when you give them shoes, clothing and anything else. For these people I will donate and give them the shirt off my back. Put yourself in their shoes and see what its like, but some people don’t realize.

I see them working so hard at the resorts, non-stop and they have to travel long ways to make a Buck which is a Peso there. There are people who come to these resorts who travel there, and I see how rude the guests can be to them and waste so much food on their plates, demand things from them. I mean at the end of the day, they are human beings just like us and deserve to be treated with respect and to have patience. Those Cubans see it and they said, I wish I had this much food at my home and I can see the frustration and sadness in their eyes. I am very observant when I travel. Some of these tourists don’t realize that, however I do and I am compassionate and patient with them. I put myself in their shoes and I go from there.

Moral of the story is that you should always be thankful for what you have. You never know what someone else is going through and people in this world do not have anything, so we must stop begging for more, being desperate for buying the next newest and latest smartphones, or super expensive things that really suit no purpose in life. Some people are so spoiled to the fullest extent. It is unbelievable. We should always count our lucky stars because people in this world aren’t so lucky.

Have you been to Cuba or anywhere else and have seen the way people live?

Do you travel to other destinations to see other peoples reality and what it is like?

Would love to hear from you.

Is 2015 Really Almost Over? Can’t Believe it.

Yesterday, when I woke up, It was a brand new month in 2015. I can’t believe October is here already. To me, when October comes it means that the year is almost over. 3 Months to go until 2016. Where did this year go? It was an absolute busy year for me and so much more until December 31st. I already see Christmas merchandise in the stores, Halloween, Thanksgiving things. The only thing about these months until April is that it is the Fall, its cold, freezing and Winter that I absolutely despise.
What are your plans for Thanksgiving, Halloween and Christmas?
I am excited to go on my 13th trip to Cuba soon. I absolutely love Cuba a lot. I go all over the place. I don’t just go to one destination.
Was 2015 good to you? Mine was, and I ended up doing quite a bit of traveling to Los Angeles, California, Niagara Falls, Ottawa, and among many other places, but there were some unfortunate things that did happen in my year, but everything turned out well in the end. Well, lets see what the next 3 months of 2015 has in store for me.
I wish you all the best for the rest of 2015 and beyond.

Driving on Two-Lane Highways – It Feels Awesome

As you may or may not know, one of the most therapeutic things for me in life is to drive and I like it very much. I especially love to drive on major Highway/Freeway Arteries, big and small, long and short. When I drive, it is very relaxing to me. I remember when I got my G2 drivers licence, I began driving on highways in Ontario, Canada, especially the Highway 401 going back and forth to Montreal from Toronto, and when I used to go up to my cottage in Tweed, Ontario on Highway 37 which is a two-lane highway in some parts. Then after I got my full G licence, it felt awesome taking control and having that experience to drive all on my own from Montreal to Toronto, which is about a 5 hours drive. I loved it. Listening to the radio/cd’s, Myself, my car and the road. It was so peaceful and incredible.

With that being said, I absolutely love driving on two-lane highways as well. I feel like I am driving out in the country, different lifestyle, seeing farmers, pick-up trucks, old cars, overlooking trees, scenery, farmland, agriculture, fruit and veggie farms, animals, a house or 2 within a few km’s away from each other, followed by passing pick up trucks, big trucks/rigs on opposite side of the highway, then seeing solid lines, then broken lines for cars that are able to pass at that moment, say if there is a very slow moving vehicle in front of you, then quickly merging back into your lane, of course when it is safely to do so. I love road-trips like that, and I have to be the driver, but I am not the one who can stay in a car for more than 8-10 hours. That is my maximum limit. Anymore than that, I would rather fly somewhere.

I know sometimes driving in rural country/county township highways take longer to get to places, depends on where you are going, but it feels incredible to see greenery more and to get up close and personal with nature as you drive along.

Do you usually drive in the family or when you are amongst your friends? Or do you like being a passenger a lot more? I am in the mix between both, but I am the one who likes to usually drive. I cannot sit in a backseat of a car. I feel uncomfortable. I have to either drive or sit in the front.

Do you have a driving memory or story?

Advice for Connecting flight passengers.

Travel is such an incredible thing to experience when you go from one place to another and there are some pros and cons about connecting flights versus direct non-stop flights. Although its great to see different airport hubs and to fly with different aircraft, however there can be some stressful yet frustrating moments when it comes to layovers when it comes to delays and even worse, cancellations. It is something that we do not want to hear, but sometimes it is out of our control due to discrepancies with the weather, runway delays, an unruly passenger, late passengers, aircraft issues. Whatever the case maybe.

I am here to give you advice on what to do when you have a flight that is delayed and you have to make it to your next flight within the hour or 2. whatever duration it maybe that cuts very close to your departure time to your final destination. It can be a nerve-wrecking, panicky moment when you hear your flight is delayed for 2 hours and you have to make it to your next flight and you have about an hour or so time gap in between. It makes anybody nervous and anxious.

When you know you are going to be delayed, right away without waiting, go to the desk counter where you see staff from the airline and explain your situation to them that I have I connecting flight, I will not make it for that flight because of the delay. You must do something for me, reissue another boarding pass for a later flight from that Airport hub. When you do that, your flight is automatically protected and they will know you are connecting.

Always show the airline staff your travel itinerary and give them an understanding of your situation. It can save you hassle in the long run and you are secure to arrive to your final destination on the same day. It would be terrible to lose time during your travels due to connecting flight delays.

That is why I mostly recommend people taking direct non-stop flights rather than layovers. I have learned from experience twice and both times were so stressful and my palms were sweating. I know sometimes people have no choice but to have layovers whether or not its one stop, two stop, 3 stop connectors. It is absolutely exhausting to find terminals, gate numbers, and you have to literally run because you are on a tight schedule. I can definitely relate. It is not a pleasant thing to go through, especially when flights are so close with each other in time.

I remember once I had 50-55 minutes to make it to my next flight when I flew to USA. The airports in USA are so spread out and huge, I had to switch terminals because one was from international to domestic, took a shuttle which took about 5-10 minutes to get to, and then followed by a long hallway to my gate and then I had to stop for a bathroom break, then by the time I got to my gate to sit down, not even 1 minute later they started to board my flight. I was completely exhausted, hungry and frustrated. I was almost going to cry. I was by myself which stressed me out even more.

Since then, I have never taken connecting flights and always looked for itineraries which has direct. I don’t care. I will pay more for my airfare, I will not go through what I went through. It was absolutely crazy.

Have you been through nightmares and frustrations with Connecting flights?

Safe travels!

Our Ultimate 1308 Miles of California Getaway

A couple of weeks ago on May 21st, 2015 after a long wait and anticipation, Our ultimate California getaway had arrived when I went with my Family. We were so impatient and anxious to get to Toronto Pearson’s YYZ Airport to take our Air Canada Flight AC 789 to Los Angeles Airport LAX at 8am when it took off. As we submitted my boarding pass to the Air Canada attendant and as we made our way to the Aircraft and grabbed our seats, we were absolutely excited for the 5 and a half hour flight, which to us did not feel long at all, as we are used to flights. We arrived at 10:10am LA Time, so we had the full day ahead.

As soon as the aircraft attendants announced that we will be landing momentarily to LAX and as we saw the Los Angeles Buildings in Downtown while landing, the hills, valleys, and the beauty of LA, we began to get more excited then ever and then I said to myself, it is about to get real now. So much is waiting for me to discover, my family to see, my cousins wedding to attend to, Facebook Friends whom I met for the first time, and covering so much ground in so little time. 10-11 days went by like a dream.

It was an incredible time when we went through towns and cities, and firstly after getting our rental car, we made our way to Newport Coast, where we stood the night, taking the 405 Freeway, where then we began driving north to Fresno where my cousin got married, and reunited, and united with family and friends, then after Fresno, we made our way to San Francisco passing through San Jose, Oakland, and many other towns. After San Francisco, we ventured out to Highway 1 Freeway 101 which is the Pacific Coast Highway. It took over 8-9 hours to drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles. We made a stop in Santa Barbara for a night, Then we stood in Northridge Area, visited Santa Monica Pier and Beach after that we went back to Newport Coast where we ended our trip with more family time. On May 30th we returned our rental car, then at 10:20pm we departed Los Angeles LAX airport to arrive back to Toronto on May 31st, at 6am in the morning our time.

In Beverly Hills, we were on our way to Santa Monica, where I saw Actor Hugh Jackman driving a black Porsche when he was getting out and stopped on one of the streets in Beverly Hills close to Carmelita Ave with the tall Palm Trees around the homes. All the cars were either Range Rovers, Porsche, Mercedes, Ferrari, BMW, Maserati, Teslas and so many more crazily expensive cars around there, and then there were cleaners and maids coming out of some of the stars homes as I was driving and watching the streets. It was quite awesome to see a celebrity in LA… What is a trip to Los Angeles without seeing a celebrity?

With all that you hear from Movies, TV, Entertainment websites and all the hype of Los Angeles with the home of Celebrities, Music Performers, Directors, Producers and a huge Population that works in the entertainment industry somehow are scattered all over Los Angeles area’s. LA is just so huge that you need at least a month to comfortably go all around. 2 weeks is not enough. There is just too much to see, too much to do. If I lived in Los Angeles, I would definitely be in the entertainment industry.

Now Los Angeles is not just about Film, Entertainment and everything. There is far more to it than just film making, awards, studios, mansions, Malibu beach houses, movie sets, the glitz, glamour, vanity, fashion and everything is not just everything about it. There is so much more to do. If you have never been, you should make a trip there whenever convenient for you.

Now, they say that the Highway 401 here is jam packed and so much traffic. You haven’t seen and heard nothing yet. We took doses of the 405, 110, traffic and that is extremely brutal. I do not know how residents of California, LA area can handle that day in and day out. It takes patience, skill and guts to go through that almost everyday. Highway 401 traffic in Toronto is nothing compared to what they go through on the 405 and 110. I would go crazy with that everyday. People of LA are brave.

I love Los Angeles so much. I am excited to make a return next year. I have been back for a couple of days now and I miss it so much already, especially my family and my friends there. Next time I will be there longer to see my other Facebook friends that I didn’t have time to see. Cheers to LA!

There is so much more that I have to say about my trip, but this was just the bit of it.
Now to take off my bucket list:

– I saw the Painted Ladies and the Full House TV Show house, and Alamo Square in San Francisco,
– I saw the Fisherman’s Wharf, also the skyline of San Francisco, the Golden Gate Bridge.
– I saw the Santa Monica Pier
– I Drove on the Pacific Coast Highway
– I went close to the Hollywood Sign
– I saw Beverly Hills and glimpse of Celebrity Homes
– I saw a celebrity in LA – Hugh Jackman in his Black Porsche.

My Beautiful 30th Champagne Birthday Celebration

On April 30, 2015 I turned 30 years old. They say that the day you are born of the month and the age you turn becomes your champagne birthday. It was a big milestone I celebrated about a week or so ago. On May 1st, 2015 All my great friends who are like family to me came and celebrated my birthday with me. There were so many surprises for me one after the other and I was absolutely touched and from the bottom of my heart, I appreciate all the hard work, determination, dedication and everything that went to giving me the best birthday celebration of my life.

This week has just been incredibly overwhelming and the beautiful feelings I had and still do. I was so absolutely touched and surprised so beautifully, that even as a writer/blogger myself, I just didn’t know and have all the words to say how grateful I am for all the excellent incredible detailing that went into my beautiful party. I apologize deeply that it took me a while to put all my full feelings and input on my birthday celebration.

First and foremost, I want to acknowledge, and thank my sister/good friend Aline Rosy of many many years now, who is a ray of sunlight and brightness in my life and 2-3 months before my birthday, when we were discussing my birthday celebration details, and where I want to celebrate my birthday, it took a while for me to decide where and we finally decided to have the party at my house. So as the weeks and days got closer, Aline went to the ends of the earth to make sure my birthday will be a very memorable and special one and she sure demonstrated excellency from her caring heart, her beautiful soul into making everything so perfect. Not one thing was left out.

As my birthday week finally arrived, My Sisters Aline and Talar came and assisted with decorating my place to make it all ready. Now as the day on May 1st when I had my party arrived, I had one surprise come to me after the other. It was fantastic and absolutely beautiful.


She made this incredible bean dip with cheese, and other yummy ingredients, which was so delicious. I could not stop eating it and which was all finished the very next day with left overs.
– She also ordered and custom made a special yummy birthday cake which was the Facebook Like Thumbs up symbol made by Alice Lumsden Vee which represented me and my social media journey. I said in my mind, I have to cut this beautiful cake now?
– She also surprised me with delicious image cookies by Passion For Desserts with images from Bradley Cooper, Social Media, I love Montreal, Boston, Champagne Bottles, Armenia Flag, My Image, my 30th birthday, My Expertise in Cooking, also Travel, done by Alxiomir Portales.
– She then surprised me with a beautiful collage on a big board filled with all my great memories, and everyone who is in my circle, and my world with stickers and everything that represent me and my life and my moments from the past to the present.
– Also All the other detailing that was beautifully thought of and done.

Aline’s excellent efforts did not go unnoticed and everything went so well. That night will forever be embedded in my heart and it will spoken about for years to come. I am absolutely grateful for everything. I cannot thank her enough. I love you so much, so deeply. Not just for everything you did, but just for being you, and for being one of the greatest friends well more so part of my family, for being there for me, and loving me unconditionally. Hugs and kisses. I am truly blessed.

Thank you to everyone who contributed to my birthday, my best friend and sister Talar, My boyfriend Armen who surprised me with 24 red roses, who brought the food, the colourful 30th birthday decoration theme, the balloons and so much you also contributing to my birthday. I love you so much! My brother, my great friends who brought delicious desserts, food, drinks, and everything else. You all are part of my family and I love you all so deeply. Kisses and hugs… This was the best birthday ever.

To all those who could not be there to celebrate with me, but were there in spirit, thank you for being part of my life. I wouldn’t be where i am today without you all.

God bless everyone!