Perfect place to spend a quiet afternoon surrounded by the beautiful landscape. The botanical garden offers a unique opportunity to see trees from different parts of the world. You can always drive around the garden if you don’t have time to walk around.

Good to know:
Bring mosquito repellent
There is no food/beverages inside the garden
Bring water
Avoid touching the water
Entrance is free

Where is it?

Take a look!
Ho'omaluhia Botanical Garden

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Thanks to live and everything in it.

The oceans, the rivers, the butterflies, the trees, the rain, the wind, the mountains, the good moments, the lessons learned, the music, the laughs, the roads, the unpredictability.

The people around me, the friends, the family and the love of my life. A dog which reminds me to enjoy the little things. A good job that I enjoy and keeps my mind challenged.

The colors, the feelings, the flavors, the textures, the perfume of flowers.

Thanks to live and everything in it.

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Sunrise Waimanalo

A few months ago we’ve had the pleasure to visit Hawaii for the first time. After a 9 hours flight departing from Chicago we arrived in Oahu, the long trip did not matter when we saw the beauty this place has to offer.

A short drive along the coast was enough to understand why people love it here.  Green mountains, a deep blue ocean on the horizon, turquoise colors near the shore and waves crashing into the lava formations made it hard to keep our eyes on the road. Absolutely breathtaking!

We stayed in Waimanalo beach, a residential area with a beautiful stretch of sandy beach perfect to get some sun and swim without the crowds of other beaches. Our days began waiting for the sunrise on the beach with a cup of coffee, it was just perfect!

We did a few touristic things like Waikiki, Pearl Harbor, Luau party at Sea Life, Botanic garden and the lighthouse trail  but to me the best part of our trip were the drives along the coast and through the mountains  making stops at different beaches and lookout points, connecting with nature and simply enjoying the amazing landscapes.

Things I learned:

  • There are wild chicken walking freely everywhere
  • Waikiki beach has a rocky bottom
  • You can swim with turtles at Paradise Cove
  • The airport is surprisingly outdated and not very efficient

 

Around Oahu, Hawaii

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Nature Connects Art with Lego bricks by Sean Kenney is at the Morton Arboretum through November. Kenney and team spent more than 4,170 hours building 13 amazing displays using 464,770 lego bricks.

I grabbed my camera and spent the day walking through the beautiful paths of the Morton Arboretum admiring these impressive displays and taking some notes:

Bonsai: 9,143 LEGO bricks and 90 build hours

Bonsai: 9,143 LEGO bricks and 90 build hours

 

 Ant Hill: 12,990 LEGO bricks and 105 build hours

Ant Hill: 12,990 LEGO bricks and 105 build hours

Violet Pansy and Bee: 29,314 LEGO bricks and 240 build hours

Violet Pansy and Bee: 29,314 LEGO bricks and 240 build hours

Roseate Skimmer Dragonfly: 27,788 LEGO bricks and 515 build hours

Roseate Skimmer Dragonfly: 27,788 LEGO bricks and 515 build hours

Peacock: 68,827 LEGO bricks and 625 build hours

Peacock: 68,827 LEGO bricks and 625 build hours

Monarch on Milkweed: 39,708LEGO bricks and 425 build hours

Monarch on Milkweed: 39,708LEGO bricks and 425 build hours

Herd of Deer: 84,442 LEGO bricks and 540 build hours

Herd of Deer: 84,442 LEGO bricks and 540 build hours

Wheelbarrow

Wheelbarrow

Galapagos Tortoise and Finch: 23,317LEGO bricks and 290 build hours

Galapagos Tortoise and Finch: 23,317LEGO bricks and 290 build hours

Grandfather and Granddaughter Gardening: 46,940 LEGO bricks and 535 build hours

Grandfather and Granddaughter Gardening: 46,940 LEGO bricks and 535 build hours

Birdbath: 14,802LEGO bricks and 200 build hours

Birdbath: 14,802LEGO bricks and 200 build hours

Hummingbird: 31,565 LEGO bricks and 550 build hours

Hummingbird: 31,565 LEGO bricks and 550 build hours

Corn Spider: 16,492 LEGO bricks and 135 build hours

Corn Spider: 16,492 LEGO bricks and 135 build hours

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Carlos Santana – The Corazon Tour at Ravinia

The Corazon Tour - Ravinia

The Corazon Tour – Ravinia

I had the amazing opportunity to see Carlos Santana playing at Ravinia. The rain did not stop hundreds of people waiting to see him having a romance with his guitar on the stage. The show was unbelievable! he played over two hours with no intermissions showing why he is one of the greatest. Sharing the stage with his son Salvador Santana, playing the new, the classics and a little bit of blues creating an unforgettable night.

Santana said he plays from the heart and I witnessed just that. He made us feel his music! I left the venue with a few pictures and loving memories that will last forever. Thanks to a true artist!

Carlos Santana

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During my career as a Software Engineer I’ve had the opportunity to be part of the in-person interviewing team a few times. Going from interviewee to interviewer has given me an entire different perspective of how to approach this process.

Here is a list of things you may want to think about on your next in person interview. Disclaimer: the list is purely based on my experiences!

  • They want you! If you made it to the in-person interview chances are they really  like you,  for most companies the interview is the last step in the hiring process, so if you are sitting there you are already ahead of most. Use this info as a confidence boost but don’t let it get to your head. Be prepared.
  • They want you to succeed . Some people think the goal of the interview is to set you up for failure but in my experience it is not the case at all. Finding a good candidate is difficult: working with recruiters, going through resumes and screen interviews  takes a lot of time and effort. If you don’t do good during the interview it means starting the process all over again with a different candidate. Nobody wants you to fail, they want you to succeed!
  • Do your homework. Be prepared, know the company for which you are interviewing.
  • Be on time. There is no need to arrive to the interview super early, more often than not it’s kind of inconvenient. Never be late, if an emergency comes up be honest and communicate in a timely manner.
  • It’s ok to say you don’t know. Nobody knows it all, thanks ok! If you don’t know something simply be honest and talk about how much you would like to learn it.
  • Ask questions. If you are really interested in the job you have to have questions. Ask about company culture,  technology,  people, processes, software, hardware, industry and anything else you want to know about. Remember, you are also trying to determine if the company/culture/work are a good fit for you.
  • Show your passion. Are you passionate about what you do? Then, don’t be afraid to show it.
  • Avoid the uncomfortable silence. If you get stuck with a white board or coding exercise talk it through. It is important for the people who interview you to understand how you go about solving problems, listen to their feedback and don’t give up. Seeing you work through the problem and interacting with the team is sometimes more important than the answer itself.
  • Relax and enjoy. Regardless of the outcome, every interview offers a unique opportunity to learn something. The more you do it the more comfortable you will get so relax, ask questions and enjoy.
  • Ask for feedback.  If the company decides not to move forward don’t let it affect you too much.  Ask for feedback. Be willing and ready to offer feedback as well. Take the lessons learned, recharg and move on!
In person interviews can be fun!

In person interviews can be fun!

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I recently signed up for a Wine, Dine and Design class at Heritage House Florist just a few blocks down the road from my house.

The class was hosted in a local restaurant starting with a delicious dinner, glass of wine and fun conversation. After some more  wine we let our creativities out to make an Ikebana flower arrangement. Flowers were beautiful and we all had a great time but we had some “technical difficulties”, the base was a little too small and it was challenging to keep our our creations from falling apart.

I was very happy about the class but a tiny bit disappointed that I couldn’t keep my flowers together very long.

My flower arrangement

My flower arrangement

The following morning I received an email from the flower shop, they apologized for the technical difficulties and offered a FREE make over class. What a nice surprise!

A few weeks later we were at the shop making a new flower arrangement. Isn’t that great? As a first time customer I was very happy to know they really care about their customers and I simply want to say thanks for that!

The  next time I need flowers, I know where I’m going!

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I’ve been playing with the idea of a blog for a long time. A blog with no agenda, no theme, simply a place to capture experiences for my future self and anybody else who happens to read it.

So.. What will I write about? Not sure yet. I guess a little bit of everything. Maybe I’ll write about my experiences as a Software Engineer, or being born and raised in Mexico, or  the homeless guy with a jar asking people to smile or the amazing people who have touched my life in one way or another.

road-to-the-hills-1562250-1280x960

Every journey starts with a first single step.

Lao-Tzu

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