Weekend in Hatta- Hatta Fort Hotel

Well we had nothing else to do on a weekend but enjoy a nice swim near the mountains of Hatta. Tim’s colleague who lived in Dubai for quite a long time, recommended the Hatta Fort Hotel.

Hatta is pretty close to Oman. Ironically my GPS led me to a shortcut where we had to pass by Omani boarders and got asked to show ID’s. It was funny because we exited UAE then entered Oman and then drove for 10 minutes exiting the Omani boarders entering UAE again. Yup! that was a short travel. LOL

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Anyway we arrived to our destination and were amazed by the view. We booked a really nice chalet with an amazing view of the garden and mountains. ( I WANT THAT ROOM) After chit chatting for hours at the terrace, we both decided to check out the hotel activities. We ended up taking an archery class, OH I SUCKED BIG TIME.Not even aiming at the board LOL. Tim was pretty good and got bulls eyes several times; while myself, had no idea where my arrows disappeared to, maybe it hit someones bum.

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Later at night, Tim and I went for dinner at an Indian restaurant in the hotel and had a somewhat traumatic meal. There was an old couple sitting by the window and the husband unexpectedly fainted. Everyone just stayed quiet while the manager of the restaurant tried waking him up and eventually did. It was sad to see the old lady crying and trying to wake her husband up. Ultimately the hotel called a doctor to check on the old man and thankfully he was fine. The hotel emergency service was remarkable.

The night continued smoothly with a beautiful Filipina lady singing classical love songs. Tim and I decided to go for a walk outside the hotel. We later got back and enjoyed a peaceful night watching OSN movies.

Tim and I highly recommend the hotel because firstly it’s far away from the city life and is surrounded by nature and secondly the service is incredible.

Plan a trip there. It’s fun with friends too because they’ve got a good sized pool and outdoor activities.

 

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Philippines – Climbing Taal Volcano

Tagaytay is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the Philippines. We went on a road trip to visit the famous Taal Volcano, which is located in the middle of a huge lake. Our trip was accompanied by my cousin ‘Caesar’, his wife ‘Diala’, my aunt ‘Marina, her husband ‘Tony’ and my brother ‘Mohammad’.

*Below pictures are from our boat ride to the volcano. My aunt’s husbands is not in the picture because he decided to stay back to get some rest. 

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While booking our boat, we had to hide Tim in the car in order for us to bargain a good rate. If my fellow kabayans (country men) saw a foreigner, they’ll assume we have lots of money and they’d increase the price. My aunt even had to remove her jewellery.

Just so you know, we paid approx. PhP 1000 for the whole boat and for a round trip so don’t let them rip you off.

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As we got to Volcanic island, my aunt and Diala decided to wait for us at a coffee shop. We on the other hand continued our journey to the volcano. Little did we all know, it would be so tiring and HOT. I was wearing jeans so that didn’t help (WRONG OUTFIT). I was dying and kept getting bitten by insects. I also had an allergic reaction. FYI, I’m a desert girl but I’m allergic to heat. LOL.

I was at the verge of giving up several times and I kept crying all the way up to the top but honestly, it was all worth it. When we got to the top of the volcano, we drank lots and lots of coconut water. It was really HOT but as soon as we were able to stand on our feet, we walked towards the volcano and were amazed by the view. Before heading back, we shot some golf balls to the volcano pit and the view, oh the view was spectacular.

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When we got back, my aunt had to rush me to nearest pharmacy but the trip overall was worth it. We wouldn’t mind doing it again but probably I might need to wear the right outfit.

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Oman – Swimming in Musandam

When the government announced that we were having a public holiday, we immediately contacted a travel agency to book us a day tour to Oman. Tim invited my dad to join us on this trip.

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So at 5AM, Tim and I drove to my dad’s place since we agreed with the travel agency to pick us up from there. We got there and had breakfast and at around 7AM the driver picked us up and drove straight to a place called Musandam in Oman.

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Awaiting at our destination was a traditional Omani boat ready to cruise us around. It’s the perfect way to enjoy swimming and in addition to watch wild dolphins.

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It was hell of an experience to be able to do such adventurous activity in the GCC so if ever you visit UAE, dedicate a day for Musandam, it is really worth it.

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Wild Dolphins in Musandam

 

 

USA – A Trip to Universal Studios Los Angeles

Although we’ve been to Universal Studios in Singapore, Tim and I agreed to skip all the theme parks in LA and experience them in other states or countries. Since Universal Studios originated in LA, we decided to compare it with Singapore’s theme park.

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So we took a tour train and Tim sat next to a crazy lady who didn’t know how to fix her phone and asked Tim to do it for her and she was very aggressive and pushy. As soon as we stopped I ran out and left Tim with her, it was hilarious. Tim walked away and we kept trying to avoid her but we just kept bumping into her. Anyway before getting the tickets, we were called by Mario Lopez (the guy from Save by the Bell) to be extras on his show EXTRA.

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As we got in, we studied the map of the park and figured they had similar rides like the ones in Singapore and extra ones too. Anyway I got extremely excited and dragged Tim to the MINIONS RIDE…IT WAS SUPER FUNNN….. We also watched a live show about the history of animation and green screen. The theme park is huge compared to the one in Singapore and the Jurassic Park ride was AWESOME…

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Here’s my comparison:

Universal Studios Singapore: Has less rides than LA and finish the theme park quite quickly. HOWEVER has more live shows which makes it more entertaining.

Universal Studio Los Angeles: Has more rides and outlets outside the studio HOWEVER not as alive as Singapore.

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We really had a great time but next adventure will be in Disneyland

 

 

Maldives – Paradise Island

Our honeymoon package included 3 nights in the Maldives. The place is heaven on earth and the hotel we stayed at was called Paradise Island, it’s literally PARADISE. They chose the perfect name.

We booked a half board room which included a Jacuzzi on the terrace.

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The water is so clear and the place is just relaxing, it’s exactly what we needed before heading back to work.

The honeymoon package included breakfast and dinner buffet only.   Well the island is super expensive so we had a heavy breakfast and skipped lunch. A meal is approx. $50. Yup! Now you know why we skipped lunch lol. After relaxing for 2 days, we decided to try out any water sports activity so we picked the cheapest because EVERYTHING IS EXPENSIVE. The cheapest activity which we purchased was parasailing which costs $100 EACH but the view was WOOOWWW!!!

 

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Tim and I would love to go there again just to relax and not think of the world. Word of advice though, don’t stay more than 3 nights, it gets boring but that time of doing nothing and just relaxing is NEEDED and the Maldives is the perfect place for that.

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Lebanon – TOOT TOOT ALA BEIRUT

Tim, my uncle and I went for a stroll in downtown Beirut. Unfortunately the place was guarded because of the ‘rubbish crises’ and a riot against the government. The Lebanese parliament is located in the middle of downtown so Tim asked a soldier if he can grant us permission to walk around. The soldier agreed and advised me in Arabic to not do anything funny or any unusual movement or else we might get shot. So we said SIR YES SIR and continued walking.

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The area was empty and felt haunted. The most beautiful thing to see in downtown is the church right next to a mosque, it’s where Abrahamic religions collide. Downtown is historical and was rebuilt after the civil war but you will still see bits and pieces that were destroyed during the war.

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Lebanese should consider how blessed they are in so many ways, despite the corruption and internal conflicts. 15 years of war and the Lebanese heritage couldn’t be destroyed, it’s still historical, the culture is alive and the Lebanese people know how to enjoy life.

Personally, out favourite hangout areas so far in Beirut are Hamra St. and Raouche where the Pigeon Rock is located. Tim and I had breakfast, lunch and dinner with my family in Raouche and enjoyed our walk. Fact about Beirut is that it never ever sleeps, even when we arrived at 3AM, the city was AWAKE; loud music playing and people having fun AND SMOKING SHISHA.

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Despite all the issues when we visited, we simply LOVE Beirut and can’t wait to go back. Our stay was extremely short and there are still lots of things to do and discover in Beirut. And on our next visit, we are planning to tour the South of Lebaon.12027511_10153203679353233_6523549099742980311_n

Lebanon – Tim’s 27th Lebanese Birthday – The 3 J’s

Tim’s 27th birthday happened to be on a public holiday so we decided to fly to Lebanon for 4 days and meet my uncle Robert. My cousin who is based in Dubai, promised us that she will book a hotel apartment for 4 days and when we got there at 3AM, the guy at the reception said that there’s no confirmation or any available rooms so we used their wifi and booked at a 4 star hotel just 3 minutes away for a cheaper rate. The guy was nice to us and booked a last minute tour to the 3 J’s which are Jeita, Jebel and Jounieh.

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The next day at around 8AM a young boy named Ali picked us up and showed us those 3 destinations. Jeita – 1st J is one of the 7 wonders of the world. We were not allowed to take photos but we took some at the entrance of Jeita (cave). Ali later took us to a place where we wore the traditional Lebanese outfits and took pictures. It became part of our travel ritual to wear the traditional outfits of the country we visit.

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Ali then took us to the 2nd J – Jebeil a beautiful place near the sea. We visited an old castle and went for a walk around the old market. Lebanon is stunningly vintage, GOD!!!! it’s a beautiful country.

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Three of us got hungry and I recommended a restaurant called Manuela on the beach that serves unlimited desserts and fruits for free. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THE PLACE. The foods delicious and service is amazing. JUST LOOK AT THE PICTURE BELOW. We later continued our journey to the final J – Jounieh, Ali joined us and we three rode on a cable car that took us to the top of the mountain. It’s the best spot to take pictures of Beirut. WE LOVE BEIRUT. At the top of the mountain there’s a church with a huge statue of Mother Mary.

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Although I visited Beirut many times, my trip with Tim is by far the GREATEST

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Halloween Party -2015

This was my first time ever to carve a pumpkin and I decided to carve a minion. Yes, I’m pretty much obsessed. Tim’s skull looks awesome though, don’t cha agree?

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For Halloween we attended my friends ‘Christina’s Halloween party.  I went as a witch and Tim went as a lizard.

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We spent the night playing games and enjoying snacks. Mimi wore a cereal box around her neck with a knife (get it?? serial killer) LOL.

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Halloween is always fun around good company and good friends, we just spent the whole night mingling and playing the game MAFIA which made us laugh a lot.

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high light of the party, Tim’s mask lol

Halloween Party – 2016

Happy Halloween Ya’ll

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This year, Tim and I decided to skip the whole pumpkin carving and attended my uncle’s ‘Alpe’ friends Halloween Party. We never knew there was a costume competition and WE WON!!!! lol.

Tim and I won ‘best couple costumes’ and the prize was a free meal with drinks at an American Sports Bar. Awesome!! FREE BURGERS FOR US. WUHUUUU 🙂

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My uncle won ‘best costume’, when they announced that my uncle’s the winner, his friend shouted ‘EVERY ****ING YEAR. He really does put 200% effort on his costume and does it by himself. He’s great and talented.

Many people wore awesome costumes, a group of female friends went as ‘Female Avengers’. They were adorable.

We had fun mingling with people and enjoying the music and of course glad we WON.

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