Eurotrip 2014 Part 4: All aboard!

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This was our home for 7 days. Ladies & Gentlemen, welcome aboard the MSC Fantasia!

It was a 7 night Eastern Mediterranean cruise - we departed from Venice, Italy and visited ports in Greece and Croatia. I really loved every minute of this floating paradise. I’m not sure if it’s the 20 hour buffet in the L’Africana Cafeteria, the spectacular theater shows, the casino and the luxury shops, or the pool & fitness area that caught me off guard. I was blown away by the elegance and sophistication this vessel had to offer.

The main reason why we chose this cruise line was because it matched the itinerary that we wanted. One, it was departing from Italy and two, it included Santorini, Greece (which I cannot wait to share) as one of the destinations. 

Here’s our itinerary:

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(Adriatic, to Greece and Greek islands, round-trip)

7-day Mediterranean cruise from Venice to Bari  Katakolon Santorini , Athens ,Corfu ,and Dubrovnik.

If you haven’t been following my Eurotrip adventure you can see all the past posts below:

DAY 1- Milan

DAY 2- Milan

DAY 3- Venice

Eurotrip 2014 Part 2: More of Milano

A visit to Milan is all about shopping, wandering through the Duomo, seeing the Last Supper (which we missed since we had no reservation), exploring the Brera and eating all the pizza and pasta in the world.

Some tips from yours truly. I’m no local or expert in Milan, but these are some places that I recommend to see and enjoy.

  • From the Duomo, check out the adjacent mall called the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. There are upscale stores here as well as cafes & restaurants. 
  • Walk a little bit more, and you will find yourself in trendy Brera district where you will have famous art collections at the Pinacoteca.
  • If you have more time from here, walk by the Sforza Castle, and do a quick stroll of nearby Parco Sempione
  • Night out at the Navigli DistrictThis area of Milan is well known for its many Resturants, Bars and Cafes. It seems to be the area all the locals hang out in so for a real taste of the Milanese nightlife this is the place to come.

The next day, we took a train from the Milano Centrale to go to Venice. 

I’m very sad to leave Milan, I had an incredible time and being in the city reminds me once again how much I love traveling, discovering new places, and of course eating Italian food. 

If you haven’t been following my Eurotrip adventure you can see all the past posts below:

DAY 1- Milan

Farm House

I have been spending too much time in the city lately.

Not that I am complaining or what, but a change of scene would be a good idea especially if it’s away from the hustle bustle city streets and traffic.

How do you find this view? I personally think it is incredible. This is a home away from home. This is Rancho Cancio.

For my best friend’s birthday, she decided to celebrate it in a private farm house located in Adlaon, Busay which is about an hour drive from Asia Town I.T Park, Lahug, Cebu. People usually book this place for team-building activities, reunions, birthdays and the like. What’s good about this place is that they could prepare your meals too.

My boyfriend has been here several times, since his good childhood friend/cousin, Mike, owns the place. It was easy for us to find!

We couldn’t stop saying “WOW” when we arrived. We really loved the stunning view.

Nothing beats a scrumptious home made meal. The food in this rest-house is really delicious! I heard the pizza (which we haven’t tried) is to die for.

 

Since we were only 5 people in the house that night, we felt very comfortable and relaxed. We went night swimming and enjoyed each other’s company.

Amazing shot of my boyfriend and I. :)

The next day was filled with sunshine. We were excited for another day of fun.

The birthday girl and I.

Short break away from the city, but worth it. I wish we stayed longer though. 

Romance & Whalesharks

For Valentine’s Day, my boyfriend ditched the whole roses and chocolates tradition, and just decided to surprise me with a box of macarons (he knows me too well), cute little piglet toy & a romantic dinner of course.

Aside from that, he told me a week ago that he wanted to have an out of town trip. Either to Moalboal, Sumilon or to Oslob. I was really game for this since I wanted an adventure too. I checked Trip Advisor and other blogs for good resorts down south and the resort that won me the most was Seafari Resort in Oslob. I thought going to Oslob was a good idea since we can also go whaleshark watching.

We left Cebu City around 7 in the morning and arrived in Oslob at 10:30 am. 

The resort is built in the steep foot of a rock mountain, at a place where the mountain meets the sea. The first thing you’ll notice when you arrive at the resort is the stunning view on the entrance. Little did I know that you have to take around 250 steps going down to the resort. It was challenging for us, but definitely worth it.

Their pool was really clean and well-maintained. Good thing there were only about 6 guests during our visit and most of them just stayed in their room or went to the town - so practically, the pool was all ours.

The food was great and satisfying. They had good vegetarian options and the price was pretty affordable.

Our afternoon was spent in the pool, drinking some booze and blasting music. 

We got up early the next day for the whaleshark experience. The resort even looked better at this time of the day.

The staff arranged a free-of-charge boat to take us over to the Whale Shark watching centre, which is 15 minutes away via bangka.

As soon as we arrived, the place was flooded with tourist and locals. 

Whale shark watching in Cebu started last September 2011 and it became popular all over the world. It’s just 30 or 50 meters from the shore and you can see these lovely sea creatures.

Up, close and personal with the famous, Butanding.

That was truly a fun and exciting experience. It probably took us around 30 minutes to swim and snorkel in the area. 

We had the rest of the day free.. So we went back to the resort, eat our breakfast and swam more!

Till next time, Oslob <3 

Valentine’s weekend well spent. I couldn’t done it any other way.

North Bound

I spent the weekend with some old and new friends at my boyfriend’s friend, Allen’s beach house at Catmon. Catmon lies about 57.4 kms. Northeast of Cebu City. It is bounded by the municipalities of Sogod, Carmen, and Tuburan on the north, south, and west respectively. On the East is Camotes Sea.

His beach house is really beautiful! The best part about it.. Its just a 2 hour drive from the city. That’s the good thing about Cebu — everything is just close to each other! 

Infinity pool with the view of the sea

Incredibly beautiful house! The gang and I surely enjoyed our stay here.. Chilling by the pool, playing games, talking about life and enjoying the view. Thanks, Allen! :)

Started from the bottom | Griffith Park // La Diaries Part 9

Want to see a spectacular view of downtown LA? Want to hike to the Hollywood sign? I’m sure you do.. Griffith Park is indeed the place to be.

Comprising over 4,000 acres, Griffith Park is one of the largest urban parks in the world. It is filled with wonderful attractions — LA Zoo, Griffith Observatory, Hiking trails and more! 

It was my first time to visit Griffith Park and I mainly depended on my Google Map App to take me there. Sadly, I got lost a couple of times and it took me to a different place in Los Feliz. But after numerous turns and phone calls we’ve made, we finally found Griffith!

Park

A healthy picnic

We started the afternoon by a having a lovely picnic at the park. You can never go wrong with Nutella, Strawberries and Banana.

Wheat bread with Nutella topped with bananas and strawberries

Our next stop was the Griffith Observatory. Here you can witness a breathtaking view of the city. Tens of millions have come to walk the inside of the building, view the live planetarium shows, or simply gaze out towards the coast and the heavens. The observatory was built with funds from the wealthy mining speculator, Griffith J. Griffith. I guess we all owe it to this man for making astronomy and observation accessible to all. He wanted a great park for a great city.He donated 3,015 acres of Rancho Los Felis to the City of Los Angeles in order to create a public park in his name.

The observatory

In my hiking attire

Love the view

After appreciating the view and taking the tour at the Observatory, it was finally time to take a hike. 

Now we are here!!! It was a good hike. :)

I can’t wait to visit this place again. Definitely a must see in SoCal.

90210 // LA Diaries Part 2

I found myself walking around Rodeo Drive with my long time friend Christine. Of course, Beverly Hills was part of my must see places in Los Angeles. What to expect? Rows and rows of branded and designer boutiques. All the big fashion and high end firms have a presence here. 

Rodeo Drive has been known to be used as a filming location for countless movies and series. One of my favorite TV shows, 90210, obviously has some scenes filmed here. I felt like “Naomi” walking around and checking the designer boutiques out. 

After that lovely stroll, we decided to grab a bite at Urth Caffe. This was one of the cafes I’ve been wanting to try for the longest time! I've seen it over Instagram and Twitter since Kendall and Kylie Jenner have been expressing their cravings and love for Urth. We were so lucky that there was a branch nearby. They have one at Melrose, Downtown LA, Santa Monica, Pasadena and Beverly Hills. I love how this place serves organic coffee and tea, how cool is that?

Aside from their organic coffee and tea, they offer healthy and delicious salads, sandwiches and pizzas on the menu. I wanted to order everything on the menu since they all looked and sounded so good. If you want to go people watching and have a cup of coffee, then I suggest you take a visit to Urth. 

Irvine lovin’ // LA Diaries Part 1

I apologize once again for being on hiatus. 

I spent the summer of 2013 in Southern California. I was out of the country for 56 days, out of my comfort zone and out and about in my city of dreams. It was my first time to travel on a 13 hour flight alone and my first time to be away from my parents for that long. I didn’t know what to expect, but nonetheless I was hopeful and excited for a wonderful adventure ahead.

I spent a month planning what attractions to see, what to do, and of course, where to eat (foodie).

For my first installment of my LA Diaries post, I will be sharing with you all my day at Irvine in SoCal. My good friend Mia and I headed down to Irvine for Easter Sunday. She has been studying at UC Irvine for 4 years now and she’s very familiar with the place. I couldn’t have any better tour guide than her. 

Drivin’ down to the OC

The Ferris wheel at the Irvine Spectrum

The Irvine Spectrum is a must see when at Irvine. This mall has all my favorite shops, good restaurants and a cinema too. Perfect if you wanna ditch those indoor malls, and just have an afternoon stroll around with a friend or two. 

San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy

From Rome, we took a 6 hour bus ride and headed to San Giovanni Rotondo. This town is located in the Southeastern part of Italy and is in the province of Foggia. . San Giovanni Rotondo is perhaps best known as the longtime home of the famed priest Padre Pio. It was truly a wonderful experience since I was able to strengthen my relationship with God in my 3 day trip here. Indeed, a nice place to get away from the busy city life.

Monte Cassino, Italy