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Sunday, October 30, 2016

Day 1 in Doha, Qatar (City Souq, Qatar Islamic Culture Center, Pinoy Stores, Marriott Hotel, and Jollibee)


It seems that aside from spending major time with family, our stay in Qatar was also about eating, eating, and more eating. Fortunately for us, that's not a bad thing at all.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Going to Doha, Qata with Turkish Airlines

Photo taken from : https://vimeo.com/91953166

I am super excited to finally write about our recent trip to Doha, Qatar. For one, we discovered and explored a beautiful country. And two, we were able to spend time with family - my husband's father, older brother, and younger sister.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Hotel Les Messageries - Le Nautilus in Saint Flour, France


The final part of our summer trip turned out to be the toughest. Two hours and a half after leaving Albi (click here for the post), our car broke down. Oh great. :(

Friday, June 3, 2016

Albi, France


The next stop of our summer vacation last year was in Albi, France. So after driving about 3 hours from our lunch in Lourdes (click here for the post), we were finally at the home of my uncle, my father's only brother. It's a particular situation because unfortunately my father and his brother had a fall out many years ago completely ruining their relationship. Right before we left for the Philippines, my mother tried to reconcile them, but unfortunately it didn't work. But I got to meet my uncle for the first time. The next time my uncle saw my father was unfortunately on his death bed. I have no idea what happened between them, but I do think it's very unfortunate and such a pity! I'll never know if my father wanted to work things out, but I figured I had nothing to do with it. Considering I don't have lots of family members left, it was time to spend time with the ones I do have.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

L'Eveil in Metz, France


The search of the apartment is still on! Honestly, it's not as easy as I thought it would be. Either there is no parking, rooms are too small, the kitchen is not functional, and etc ... On this afternoon, we visited an apartment wherein the previous renters were packing their stuff in boxes. Gahhh, there were boxes everywhere! Plus there was an unpleasant smell in the air. Boo. It was hard. But it's harder when the owners look at us with hopeful faces and we have to turn them down. I've turned down 3 persons so far and it's not getting any easier. But I just have to do it - just like removing a band aid in one move.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Parc Animalier Sainte Croix in Rhodes, France


On one afternoon in May, we were lucky enough to have one day of good weather. It's been raining so much lately that I never thought we would see the sun shining anytime soon. But it finally did - on the long weekend of the Ascension day. Luckily for us, MR wasn't working this day so instead of staying home, we decided to get in our car and head to the Parc Animalier de Sainte-Croix in Rhodes, France (about 30 minutes from home).

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Beef & Co in Metz, France


MR and I have taken the decision to move out and move in a house or apartment closer to work (and the city). This was a particularly hard decision to make because we currently live surrounded by family members, but in the city, with the exemption of some friends, we know no one. But we made a pro and con list, and ultimately, moving out made more sense. We each spend an hour and a half - two hours per day driving to and from home and it's becoming tiring. Not to mention a waste of time and extra expenses for the car. We haven't told any of my family members yet. Actually, I'm not quite sure how the news will be taken, but we have officially started looking for a house or apartment for rent. We decided on a 1-year transition period before buying our own place.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Asian Delices - Filipino Food in Lourdes, France


A lot of French people ask me, "What is Filipino food like?"
"Delicious", I usually reply with eyes full of stars.

Truthfully, it's sometimes hard to say what Filipino cuisine is exactly. The Philippines, to me, is a melting pot of different cultures and identities and so is the food. Sometimes Spanish, sometimes Chinese, sometimes Indian, sometimes Malay.  Again - delicious.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Cafe Les Brancardiers in Lourdes, France


After the night procession (click here for the post), we finally noticed how hungry we actually were. We ate some bread earlier in the evening, but it just wasn't enough. Since we moved to France, I noticed that we've been following a lot of the French living guidelines, including not snacking between meals. But heck, we were on vacation and on vacation there are no rules. Nothing wrong with night snacking.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in Lourdes, France


We initially hesitated about going to Lourdes because it was out of our way. But then every time I removed it from our list, I went back to the promise my husband and I made to his mother. A few months before she got sick, we shared with my in-laws our plans of moving to France. My mother-in-law was particularly pleased and was excited to someday visiting us and going to Lourdes. Being a devout Catholic, visiting Lourdes was important to her. Unfortunately, months later she succumbed to cancer and MR and I promised ourselves we would go to Lourdes in honor of her. Which is why, I felt a particular tinge in my heart at the thought of not going ahead to Lourdes during our vacation. Budget-wise, we could just work harder as soon as we got home, and kilometers-wise, what was 300 kilometers more than originally planned?! So we went ahead with our plans and had absolutely no regrets.

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Grand Hotel Basilique in Lourdes, France


After Carcassonne, our next stop was Lourdes. At this point, driving long distances was becoming easier and the 3-hour drive went by easy. The hardest part was when we finally arrived in Lourdes and we were looking for the hotel. When I booked our hotel room, I knew there was no private parking and we would have to look for some elsewhere, but truthfully I didn't think it would be this complicated. We eventually found a parking, not so far from the hotel, but it's really difficult when you're not familiar with the area.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Pigs in a Blanket


Since our little evening together (click here for the post), my daughter, SO, has been asking me to make Pigs in a Blanket again. Not only does she love those little piggies in a blanket, but she especially loves being so hands-on in the preparation.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Les Terrasses de la Cité in Carcassonne, France


Like I mentioned in the first post I wrote about Carcassonne (click here for the post), we didn't have a specific restaurant in mind - just a particular dish. So after touring around by foot, we stopped at Les Terrasses de la Cité for lunch.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Petit Train de la Cité in Carcassonne, France


MR and I decided to take the tour of the fortress by the tourist train before actually going in. I looked online for reviews and not all were positive. Some people mentioned their disappointment; I personally thought it was a great idea.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Carcassonne, France



After our 1-week stay in Le Barcares (click here for the post), it was time to move somewhere else. We were determined to see as much as we could and we were definitely not done yet with our summer vacation. So our next stop was in the medieval city of Carcassonne in the Aude departement of France.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Marineland in Palafolls, Spain



Going to Marineland in Palafolls, Spain was our birthday gift to our daughter. I just noticed that unconsciously we've been bringing SO to different parks for her birthday. Crocolandia in the Philippines, Walygator in France (click here for the post), Disneyland Paris (click here for the post), and now Marineland in Spain. Truthfully, MR and I enjoy the parks as much as our daughter does. And I was particularly excited for this one.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Luna Park in Le Barcares, France


How was our night life in Le Barcares you might ask? Non-existent!
Which is pretty much understandable because we were travelling with our almost 7 year old daughter. So if you ask me what is there to do at night time, I'm not quite sure. I'm certain there must some activities for couples or group of friends, but our nights were pretty mellow. Watching the Top a la Vachette show (click here for the post), spending time with my cousin and her family, going to bed early after a looonng day, or even fooling around in Luna Park.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

A Hero Lies in You


It's been a while that I left home to go to work early morning with the sun shining. It's been a while that I could open my car window just a little bit. It's been a while that I haven't shivered from the cold when I get in my car. But most especially, it's been awhile since I last heard the song, "Hero" by Mariah Carey.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Poissonnerie Chez Elise in Le Barcares, France


Aside from going to the port to get our fresh fish, I also happily shopped at the Poissonnerie Elise (Elise's fish shop). A lot of people seemed to do that too as the place was packed all throughout the day. Its location was pretty convenient. It was right in the middle of the popular town square , Place de la Republique, surrounded by restaurants, gift shops, and ice cream parlors.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Fish Stall in Port Barcares, France



When I read online that it was possible to buy fresh fish straight from the fishermen, I quickly took note of the address and the hour schedule. In fact, the first place we went off to when we arrived at Le Barcares was the beach. We walked around and by surprise stumbled upon the fishermen's huts. I figured that it would be the area where we could buy fresh fish and made a mental note to come back the next morning when it was opened.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Street Markets in Le Barcares, France


Local Street Markets have always fascinated me. I love walking and looking around because there is always something interesting to find. Usually selling local products, you can be sure to find products that come from a nearby farm, orchard, or from a local artist. It is great to get souvenirs to give to friends, family, or even yourself. I am always for the look-out of something unique and that's why I love it. Plus, I also love buying fresh fruits and vegetables in street markets rather than in supermarkets.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

The Beach in Le Barcares, France


Our choice of spending our vacation at the beach this year was obvious. It had been 4 years since I last saw the beach. For someone who lived most of her life on an island, I was slowly losing my mind and getting impatient. So when we finally made it to Le Barcares, the first thing we did after checking in our accommodation was head to the beach. It was late afternoon and the skies were turning gray, so we vowed to come back the next day when the sun would be out. But I stood without moving for a minute, my feet in the sand, and breathed in the sea air and I swear I felt better.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Top à la Vachette - Labat in Le Barcares, France



On one of our first nights in Le Barcares, we decided to check out the show - Top à la Vachette. It was something I had read online, but I wasn't so sure about it. We finally decided to go for it when we saw an advertisement that afternoon. We were a bit hesitant because for a summer night, it was a bit chilly and thankfully I brought jackets with us. I'm not sure if it was the suspense of the show or the cold night, but we were shivering at times.

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