Thursday, 27 August 2015

4 Years and Counting...

          Marriage is tough. Both being admittedly stubborn, we can't avoid petty arguments every now and then. It can get silly as me moaning about him not folding the clothes the way I wanted him to, or him complaining about driving me to work, but still gets up and takes me anyway.  But despite all that, I don't want to change anything for the world! He's always been there for me and showed me so much love more than I deserve. Cheers to 4 years of endless banter, and for showing each other affection the way we know best.
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Photo credits to my good friend Aksela. See more of her beautiful works at Aksela Photography.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Guildford Castle

          Part of me wanted to achieve something before hitting the BIG 3.0. This could be childish, shallow, or whatever you may think of it, but I'm aiming to visit 30 castles all around the UK and I only got 6 months to achieve that! One of the castles that I've visited recently was Guildford Castle, the only royal castle ever to be built in Surrey.
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     In celebration of the 150th year of Alice in Wonderland, the castle grounds were transformed by getting inspiration from the book itself. My favourite would be the gorgeous flower garden, and even convinced hubby to stay there for a while just to enjoy the view.
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          Here's a little trivia for you... Does the name Charles Lutwidge Dodgson ring a bell? When this man went to Guildford looking for a house for his 6 unmarried sisters, none of the people he met recognized him as the author of "Alice in Wonderland", which was written under the name Lewis Carroll. Dodgson, aka Lewis Carroll, was regularly visiting Guildford, and has written the 2nd Alice book, "Through The Looking Glass", during his stay in town.      
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          I really have to mention that you should try the food at The March Hare, restaurant / pub located right outside the castle. Servings in pubs are generally massive so I ordered the children's size meal. Probably the best salmon and mashed potato I've ever tasted so far.
          I'm off to another castle this weekend and can't wait to see what it is like. Can you guess where I'm heading to next?

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Villa Lavaya -- Our Home in Cape Town

          This sunny weather made me think about our last holiday in South Africa a couple of years back. My brother-in-law and his then-fiancee (now wife) had their wedding there and it's a celebration the whole family shouldn't miss. Instead of booking a hotel, the couple arranged for us to stay in a villa and ahhhh, the house is just absolutely stunning!
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          Villa Lavaya was our home during our stay in Cape Town. It has 5 bedrooms, one of which can be converted into an extra living area.
 photo DSC_2665_zps13e05ae9.jpgHubby went sunbathing straight away the moment we arrived. We picked the room downstairs (behind him) so we are facing right in front of the garden and the pool area.
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     View of Lion's Head from our kitchen window. Wow, just wow!
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This open plan living area is perfect for chilling and lazing about. Open up the doors to the balcony for that fresh morning sea breeze.
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Downstairs is where the boys spent most of their time watching football, or play a game of pool.
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 photo DSC_2687_zps1ebce12f.jpgOne of the best things that I like about this villa is coming home to this amazing view after touring the whole day.

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Graffiti And Everything Quirky

     I can't count how many times I've traveled to London, but I've never seen this quirky side of the city before. Also known as "Banglatown", Brick Lane is home to graffiti covered walls, wacky street arts, and great vintage shopping finds. It was buzzing the weekend we went there and I'm enjoying not only the artsy atmosphere of the place, but also fascinated by how retro, bohemian and gothic fashion seems to blend in well nicely here. Shame we didn't have the chance to check every corner of the street but will definitely come back to see more next time.
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Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Swimming with the Whale Sharks

          It's been a while since my last trip to the Philippines, and it took me ages to recover from what I call a "holiday hangover" -- that phase where you keep reminiscing about your vacation that it takes a long time for you to move on. Yep, that feeling, and I don't like it sometimes.
          One of the unforgettable things I've done while I was there was to finally see the whale sharks. These gentle giants can be spotted in Oslob, a southern town in Cebu about 3-4 hour drive away from the city. Like many of my travels, this adventure was organized out of impulse. Tatay (dad) offered to drive us there, so we left the city the next day at agonizingly 3 in the morning! Glad we started our trip early as the place gets really packed.
          After being briefed about the whale sharks, and things we need to abide while out in the sea, they later provided us with life jackets / snorkeling gears, boarded on a bangka (small paddle boat), and the boatmen paddled our way towards the whale sharks not too far away from the shore. If you are not a confident swimmer like me, let one of the boatmen take the photos for you. Our guide took some amazing shots, and even choreographed us when to go underwater so he can include us in the video.
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Friday, 1 May 2015

May Vacay

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           In few days I'm off to sunny Philippines, and will be spending a month of sunshine (and few rain showers according to forecast), catching up with family & friends, and waking up to mornings without thinking about work for a change. It's been a long time since  I last visited my hometown Cebu that I can't imagine how the city would look like with all the new establishments opening recently. My in-laws and my parents are going to meet for the first time as well, now that is something to look forward to. Let me start this holiday spreading the good vibes, and share the things that made me feel blessed. A simple reminder that despite all the life's challenges, there are double more things to be thankful and grateful for.
  • My month long holiday starts today! And you can't believe the first thing I want to do... Lie in bed and do nothing. Haha! Getting enough sleep, or a well rested one, seems to be my huge struggle for me. So I make sure I get enough snooze while I can.
  • With extra days off before our scheduled flight, I finally have time to write even just one blog post and check other blogs that I missed.
  • Talking about extra days, I managed to squeeze in a night out with few of the girls at work this weekend. Never been on a girly night out for so long!
  • Hubby agreed to drop us off and pick us up later after the night out, as long as I have to watch Pacquaio and Mayweather's fight with him at his friend's house. It's a win-win arrangement for me. Woooo!
  • I've been doing this online course recently, and I'm proud to say that I already passed half of it in less than a month. So I don't have to be bothered about it when I'm away.
          Everything is going well so far. Now let me start writing my To-Do checklist before the excitement starts kicking right in, and things will just fly off my head. Have a great weekend everyone!

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Barcelona Postcards

      As much as I want to avoid crowded touristy destinations, I will always be drawn back to them. There's that satisfying feeling when I finally see the famous attractions everyone is talking about, then find out if it's really breathtaking or a bit overrated. Or experience the rush of pushing my way through a buzzing street, and thankful that my petite-ness sometimes makes it easier for me. My reasons are endless. So when this massive tourist in me found an amazing deal online, I immediately booked it, told hubby later that day to arrange his dates, and few weeks after we're in Barcelona. Yea I can be impulsive that way, if our savings permit.
     Barcelona is an amazing city, one of my favourites that I've visited so far. We chose to go on February for my post birthday celebration, and nothing more exciting too than to spend Valentine's Day exploring a new place. Sharing to you few (a lot!) random snaps of our Catalonian holiday.