Saturday, June 23, 2012

Firenze, Toscano

Today I'm going to share photos from our trip to Tuscany. Naks. Just saying the word makes me feel soshal already. Me already. In Tagalog, ako na!

Tuscany is a region in central Italy. It is composed of nine provinces, the more famous of which are Florence, Pisa, Siena and Lucca. The Tuscany that I know from postcards has fields of grass and brick houses with flowery vines crawling on the sides. I do not remember seeing fields of grass there but I did see brick houses as imagined and winding cobblestone streets.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Take me home

We are a few hours away from our flight home. I'm happy I took this vacation. It was a life enriching experience. I am also reminded how blessed we are to be able to go on these trips once in a while. We are far from well-off, but our parents worked hard enough to send us to good schools and we've been blessed enough to be able view our lives with fresh perspectives.

I am yet to write about the last two legs of our vacation. Will schedule posts on our stopover on the way home. In the meantime, let me just say, au revoir Paris. I am eager to return home to my predictable life and to pogiboy.

- posted via BlogPress for iPad

When in Rome

Rome does not particularly interest me. All the good memories I have of the place are traceable to our hostess with the mostest, Puy. 

Fellas, meet Puy (in her lovely apartment with our very filling last meal in Rome). 

Rome is too much of a city to spend a vacation in, in my opinion. History and architecture buffs will have a field day there, I'm sure. The Vatican and many magnificent cathedrals will also interest Catholics. But since I am none of these, I just went about taking photos of the must-see sights and anticipated moving on to the next city in our itinerary.

Anyway, here's a rundown of what you can see in the city.
(Warning: Too many photos after the jump)

Monday, June 18, 2012

This much I can say

I will be back, Amsterdam. I loved the city the moment we got there. Compared to Brussels, which is more for business than mindless travel, Amsterdam had more people on the streets, more babies on strollers, and actual rabbits (!) in the park.

In a nutshell, Amsterdam is both charming and bustling. There are just things there that I'm sure I won't experience anywhere else in the world.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sight seeing 101

Pao had business to attend to on my 2nd day in Belgium so I was left to explore (or more accurately, get lost in) Brussels by myself. I could have taken the metro, but the stops that I passed were dodgy so I decided to just go where my feet and non-existent sense of direction would take me.

Times like these, I have devised a fail-proof method of seeing sights without having to read a map. The method is: Follow the tourists. Of course I had to bring out the map once in a while to see if I was, in fact, still in Brussels. But generally, all I had to do was follow the throng of people with cameras on their necks and sun visors on their heads.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Duvel is in the details

We are now in Amsterdam, which is an amazeballs place in my opinion, but first we'll walk through Day 1. We went to Antwerpen - about an hour's drive from Brussels. On the bus, I had to redefine my idea of a 'packed lunch' -

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Touch down, Brussels

I am finally heeeeere, after 19 slow hours. Yey. The fact that I'm in a different continent started sinking in when I had
sausages for breakfast. Can you bilibit? Lamb. Not mystery meat vienna sausage. Lamb! There's also only one other Asian in the plane with me. Everyone else was speaking unfamiliar language involving occasional use of the word "les" and something that sounds like "chakra". Hmmm.

Aaand, we're off

I'm on my way to meet Pao in Brussels. I've been travelling for 12 hours and have 5 hours more to go. I had mixed feelings about this trip - excited because I'd be visiting Europe for the first time, anxious because I'd have to take leave from work and school for two weeks, and partly guilty because we're not taking Malik with us. I am admittedly suffering from separation anxiety. I'm missing Malik every minute I'm away, but it just had to be done.

Here's why Malik is staying at home with my in-laws. He's too young to remember anything even if he goes, and he's too young to be manageable. I expect us to run after trains and live off stale bread in the next couple of weeks. Running after a toddler with those in mind is just not workable. Meanwhile, it may be a long time until I get this chance again. Pao's work takes him places. My work generally has me tied to a desk.

Anyway, will blog often in the next 14 days. I want this trip to be remembered. Laters. :)

- posted via BlogPress for iPad

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Malik is 2 years old and some months in June. Most of our friends with children the same age have started enrolling their kids in classes. After much deliberation, we've decided not to send Malik to school yet.

Our decision is based, in part, on the ridiculous amounts that pre-schools charge for tuition. I began scouting for schools in late March and could not believe how much schooling costs. Anyway, the K12 scheme requires just 1 year of kindergarten but an additional 2 years of high school. Malik will have plenty of time to study...later.

Meantime, we signed Malik up for play and learn classes in Gymboree. We went to a trial class when Malik was a little over a year old and it looked interesting. Malik did not enjoy it though. He asked to be carried all the time -

- and when he was willing to go down, he'd just sit by himself. Here's Malik refusing to participate in the activities. Elitista lang ang peg.

We're hoping he was just too young then, so we're giving it another go in July. I'm excited for Malik. I hope he meets new friends.

- posted via BlogPress for iPad

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Canyon Cove

Pag-asa says that the rainy season in the Philippines officially started this week. Even then, we can still go the beach and pretend it's summer on weekends when the sun decides to show up. When you feel like it, try Canyon Cove in Nasugbu, Batangas.

It takes about a 4-hr. drive from Manila to get there via Tagaytay. That's more than the time it usually takes to get to most beaches from here, but it's still a plane-free ride to a white sand beach, which is just grand.

I liked the rooms, especially this alcove. When it's raining (and it likely will these days) you can read a good book here with a view of the beach.

Some parts of the resort are deserted and creepy.

There are unfinished hotel buildings in the compound, but you won't have to go there for anything. Just stick to your hotel room and the beach and you're good.

Hotel rooms like the one we stayed in are at P5,800/night. Last I heard, 50% off vouchers are avaiable at discount websites. And oh, bring mosquito repellant and a citronella diffuser, if possible. If there is anything I especially disliked about this resort, it would be the mosquitoes in the room. You'll find a lot of them in the bathroom. Kainis.

- posted via BlogPress for iPad

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Sing song

Tonight Malik sang the last line of the Happy Birthday song while stacking his usual canned goods. He sang without anyone asking him to. I think he just felt like singing.

Malik doesn't speak sentences yet, just incomplete phrases or words strung together. So this recent activity calls for a blog post. It was also the first time I heard him carry a tune. Although Malik hums random notes to himself a lot, tonight his song really sounded like the Happy Birhday song, down to the do-do-ti-sol-la-sol. Great job, pogiboy.

- posted via BlogPress for iPad

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