This year for myself and Mutay’s birthday trip we decided to head to Dubrovnik! Keep reading to find out all about our adventures.

Flying Out ✈️

I just need to point out that Monarch is stingy when it comes to their hand baggage allowance. You’re allowed 10kg, however, you can only have one small suitcase that measures 56 x 40 x 25cm or two bags that add up to that measurement. There’s no room for movement. Usually, with cheap airlines, you’re allowed your small suitcase and then a backpack. Also, the legroom is atrocious on their planes and I don’t need much cause I’m a short ass but man.

The flight was smooth, though, and we landed in Dubrovnik on time. It took us ages to leave the plane though because our bags had to be put somewhere else cause there was no space. Once we came out the airport, however, our driver was waiting for us to take us to the hotel.

We arrived at Hotel Adria and already were impressed with how nice the hotel smells. Check in was easy and we made our way to our room, which had a spectacular view from the balcony. The room itself was really nice! We ordered room service and decided to chill out on the balcony with our rose gold prosecco we bought at the airport. The view was amazing, the food was so-so but the company was perfect.

Dubrovnik Walls 🏛 Buggy Safari 🚜 and Pub Crawl 🍻

Continental breakfast always throws me off because 1. There are so many options and 2. Some of the options are a bit questionable. Par exemple, vegetables and pie? Anyway, the rest of the breakfast options were good and we managed to snag a table by the window so we could have breakfast with a view.

After breakfast, we headed to our first destination, Pile Gate which is the entrance to the Old Town. We explored the Old Town, which is really quaint. We stumbled across St. Blaise Church where they were holding a mass. I wasn’t expecting it though, so felt super awkward walking in mid prayer.

We also found a spot called Buža after spying a sign that said cold drinks with amazing views. They weren’t wrong, even though I initially thought it was click bait. The service was a bit slow but definitely worth a stop on a hot day!

We somehow ended up at the Ethnographic Museum where we bought a 1-day Dubrovnik Card which allowed us free entry to some museums and the Walls of Dubrovnik. We were more interested in seeing the Walls, so we headed there next.

The Walls are probably Dubrovnik’s most famous feature. They surround the city and overlook the sea – you will definitely need to visit here for some amazing views.

Honestly, it felt like I was climbing the Great Wall of China again and my heart felt like it was going to burst out my chest at any minute. It was so worth it, though! The views were spectacular and the weather was amazing. After the Walls, we decided to grab something to eat, at a restaurant called Dubravka where I had a delicious lasagna bolognese.

We had to rush at this point because we had to get all the way to Srđ Hill! The Uber we ordered took so long, we had to cancel it and order another one and then that Uber had to make a pit stop to fill up his gas and we ALMOST didn’t make it, but I’m so so glad we did because the buggy safari was THE best part of the day.

For about an hour you get to drive a buggy through the hills and fields of Dubrovnik! Honestly, it is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had despite it being a little scary as well. We got to see ex-mine fields, fortresses, and an amazing 360° view of Dubrovnik, including islands and mountains. Absolutely stunning views and I would definitely recommend this activity for all you adrenaline junkies.

After the safari, we headed back to our hotel to freshen up before heading out on a pub crawl.

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It all got a bit crazy, I can’t lie. With unlimited drinks for an hour in the first bar, I think you can guess what happened. Before I’d even finished one drink, I’d somehow appeared with more. Somebody needs to stop me. It was so much fun, though, from the bits I can remember and SOMEHOW we managed to make it to the final club – although, we didn’t stay long according to Mutay.

/Welp/.

We made it back to the hotel, though! That’s a plus, right?

Full Body Scrub 💆🏽 Candle Massage 🕯 & Rest 😴

So, the next day was a complete write-off.

We were in no fit state to do anything. Which was a shame, but nevertheless we still managed to drag ourselves to the hotel spa and indulge in a full body scrub and candle massage.

Definitely needed!

The full body scrub was so good – it felt like she was scrubbing my sins away. I also somehow sustained an injury on our night out (don’t ask me how) and so had these big scratches on my right foot, which did start stinging after everything.

The candle massage was really good, as well! They use a massage candle that melts into a warm massage oil. It smells amazing and left my skin feeling smooth like butter. The massage part was so relaxing and after the treatment, we shuffled back to our room to sleep.

We eventually left the hotel to find a pharmacy and grab some dinner. We stopped by Taverna Nostromo where I had a yummy beefsteak on a bed of arugula with potatoes, cheese sauce and BBQ sauce.

The rest of the evening was spent watching Let’s Eat on Netflix, which has made me want to eat all the Korean food.

Pebble Beaches 🏖 Kayaking 🚣🏾 & Game of Thrones Tour ⚔

This was our last full day in Dubrovnik so we were determined to make the most of it. Our first port of call was to find a company that offered kayak tours – you’ll find loads of them just outside Pile Gate. Most companies will offer you a 2.5-3 hour tour including snorkelling, food and an experienced guide.

Our tour wasn’t until 1 PM, so we had some time to kill. We were originally going to go to Banje Beach but the uber driver we had told us that basically everyone and their mum goes there, so he suggested Copacabana Beach as it is much quieter.

He was definitely right, and we got the chance to splash around in the sea and relax on the sun loungers (for a fee, of course). I was hoping there would be sand beaches, but it was mostly pebbles. Nevertheless, it was definitely nice to get some downtime and not feel like crap anymore.

We got an uber back to Pile Gate (after a whole lot of kerfuffle because the driver apparently couldn’t get down the road to the beach, although our driver going to the beach managed to…?) and we missed our kayak slot, but luckily we managed to catch the 1:30 PM slot.

Kayaking is HARD, guys. Honestly. I got some serious #armgainz after our tour. Initially, it was difficult to get into and we ended up being so behind from the rest of the group, but we eventually got into a rhythm in the end. The tour was so worth it, though, and the views were amazing and we were surrounded by beautiful, sparkling water. We stopped off at a beach where you can go snorkelling or cliff diving, of which I did neither because ya girl’s wig is new and I don’t want to ruin it!

After the tour, we headed back to the hotel for a quick shower before heading back out for the Game of Thrones tour. We left this until the end of the trip, as we felt it would be the perfect way to end our holiday. Our tour included a cruise on the Adriatic Sea in Karaka, which was a boat used on GoT (fangirl cries). We also had the opportunity to cosplay, so I got to dress up as Danaerys. It actually reignited my love of cosplay and I can’t wait until October for Comic Con as I’m planning to go as Gamora!

After the cruise, we were split into three groups and had a walking tour around Old Town. We got to see where Cersei had to do the walk of atonement, where Sansa escaped from the men that tried to rape her in season 2 and we also visited King’s Landing. It was a lot of walking, but it was SO good and very informative. We ended the tour at King’s Landing and after ending back into the Old Town we stopped off to buy a few souvenirs.

I also managed to find the burger spot we passed on our pub crawl and had a delicious burger, which was definitely needed after all that walking! Whilst walking back through Old Town, we spotted a display where they were giving out roses to everyone. It was super cute and apparently every year this artist gives out 100 roses to Dubrovnik. I tried to Google more about it, but couldn’t find anything, unfortunately.

Wrapping Up 👯

Our flight wasn’t until 12:30 PM but it still didn’t leave us time to do much. So we grabbed breakfast and basically chilled in our hotel room until our driver came to take us to the airport.

The driver was kind enough to stop halfway (even though he said he was running late) to let us take photos of the amazing views. Oh, to have sunny weather all the time is a dream.

I need to go back to Croatia, ASAP. It was honestly one of the best trips I’ve ever been on and there was so much to do whilst we were out there. I definitely want to do the island hopping that they offer as I’ve heard amazing things about the islands, especially Lokrum Island. I also want to visit other parts of Croatia, like Split because apparently, it’s not as expensive as Dubrovnik.

I had so much fun whilst I was out there and will forever treasure the experiences and memories I’ve created. ❤️

My hovercraft is full of eels.

Let’s get back into the swing of things with a new travel post. It has occurred to me several times that I haven’t been out of the country since November, which is very unusual for me. I don’t think I’ll be beating my record of 7 countries in a year, but that’s alright. I’ll be off to Croatia in August, so at least I’m getting out a bit. Not to mention, Mutay and I did visit Edinburgh in February!

For my mum’s 60th birthday I treated her to a trip to Venice because you only turn 60 once, right? To be honest, it was also an excuse for me to come along, and I managed to lock in a good price with my sister accompanying us as well.

We arrived in Venice pretty late on Monday night, so we didn’t do anything when we got to the hotel except unpack and fall asleep straight away. The real fun started on Tuesday.

I’m putting this photo here because I’m gassed and I love my outfit 😍

CA’ D’ORO, CHIESAS AND SO MANY BRIDGES 🌉

This day consisted of a lot of walking, which I was definitely not ready for. Our first stop was Ca’ d’Oro, “Golden House”, a palace overlooking the Grand Canal. Built between 1428 and 1430, it is one of the oldest palaces in the city. We didn’t stay long here but we did admire the mosaics that adorned the palace floor and the gallery on the upper floors. There were many busts, statues and paintings. We also got to witness a stunning view of the Grand Canal from the top floor! 

View from the top floor of Ca’ d’Oro

After Ca’ d’Oro we headed over Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Miracoli located in the city’s historic Jewish Ghetto. This church holds a portrait of the Madonna which many believe to be miraculous. You have to pay €3 to enter, but that’s mainly to help with the upkeep of the church. Fun fact, the painting is said to have brought someone back to life! The inside was beautiful with white, grey and pink marble decorating the walls. As with all churches, I found it really peaceful.

Inside of Chiesa di Santa Maria dei Miracoli

Our next stop was Ponte di Rialto, one of the oldest bridges to cross the Grand Canal. It was insanely busy, as expected, but I did manage to snap a few photos! It’s a huge bridge, and I would recommend trying to get here as early as possible because of how busy it gets. On either side of the bridge are rows of shops, which I think is pretty cool. Considering it started off as a wooden bridge, it has definitely come a long way.

Views from Ponte di Rialto

After the bridge, we popped into Chiesa di San Salvador – this church was free to get in. There are many, many churches around the city some of which you have to pay, but you if don’t wish to you can always admire the architecture from the outside. Venice boasts some beautiful architecture, and will definitely appeal to the architect junkies out there. Built in the Baroque and Renaissance style, legend has it that Bishop S. Magnus saw a vision of Jesus asking him to build a church on this site. The history behind many of the churches is so fascinating!

Finally, after much walking over many bridges, we reached Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square). This place was probably the most exciting area for us to visit and it is Venice’s most famed tourist attraction. A colleague I used to work with actually proposed to his girlfriend here! Hella cute. St. Mark’s Square holds the Basilica di San Marco (St. Mark’s Basilica), and if you don’t have Skip-The-Line tickets it is literally hours to get in. When we first arrived, the queue was snaking all the way around to the Doge’s Palace! Speaking of the Doge’s Palace, we decided not to go here only because they don’t do single entry tickets and you’d have to either buy a ticket for all the museums in St. Mark’s Square or all the museums in general.

St. Mark’s Square is actually the only ‘piazza’ in Venice, all the other squares are called ‘campi’. The square is surrounded by buildings on three sides and open on one side where you’ll find the gondola service. There are loads of stalls and restaurants where you can even catch some live bands! It was very busy in the square with everyone crowding around the Basilica trying to get that Instagram snap on point (me included) and there were so many bloody pigeons! Bleurgh!

We decided to leave the Basilica for the next day as the queue was way too long, and there was no way we would stand there for hours especially in that heat. The square also holds Campanile di San Marco (St. Mark’s Bell Tower), a huge tower which is right near the Basilica. Originally a lighthouse and watch tower, it has undergone several reconstructions and currently houses 5 bells: the Mezza Terza Bell announced the Senate; the Nona Bell announced midday; the biggest bell, the Marangona Bell, announced the beginning and end of the work day; the Trottiera announced council meetings and the smallest bell, the Renghiera Bell announced executions. It was nice to admire it from the outside, but we ended up not going up it.

After the square, we visited another one of Venice’s famous bridges, Ponte dei Sospiri (The Bridge of Sighs), the meaning behind the name has several stories. One is the sighs that the prisoners would make as they crossed the bridge from the Palace to the Old Prison and another is that of the sighs of lovers as they passed under the bridge on a gondola (cheese). The bridge itself is quite small and was hella crowded when we got there, and again, I would recommend coming here early if you can!

Views from Ponte dei Sospiri

Having exhausted ourselves with so much walking we went on a search for somewhere to eat and we ended up in Bar Oasi, purely because my sister and I thought the waiter was cute. I had one of many pasta dishes that I would have on this trip, starting with the spaghetti alla bolognese. Simple, yet so tasty – I had to post a picture of it along with a pasta pun 😜 We were thoroughly exhausted at this point, so we headed back to the hotel to relax. We ordered room service and I caught up on the latest episode of GoT.

What do you call a fake noodle? An impasta. 🍝

BASILICA DI SAN MARCO, ‘FLOWER’ WAITERS AND A GONDOLA RIDE 🚣🏾

We would start our mornings early, mainly because the breakfast buffet was between 6:30 – 9:30 AM. It’s definitely good to start off early when in Venice though because it can get insanely busy. Also, because we stayed in Mestre, rather than in the city centre it would have been harder for us to get back if we stayed out later.

So, Wednesday morning we started our day at Arsenale di Venezia (The Venetian Arsenal) which is a complex of former shipyards and armouries where you can see Porta Magna, the Arsenal’s land gate. It’s not that busy around the Arsenal, so I don’t think it’s on many tourists lists, but I would definitely recommend a visit because it’s nice and peaceful and there’s a really cute bridge. 

After the Arsenal, we headed over to Scuola Di S. Giorgio Degli Schiavoni which is one of the city’s most historic confraternity houses (a Christian voluntary association of lay people created for the purpose of promoting special works of Christian charity or piety). We found many scenes depicting St. George slaying the dragon, as well as panels featuring St. Jerome and St. Tryphone. The scuole is small, and you do have to pay to get in. If you’re lucky, the guy will mistake you for a student like he did with me and you’ll pay €3 instead €5 😜

The next stop was Riva Degli Schiavoni, which is a waterfront promenade located between Piazza San Marco and Arsenale di Venezia. It’s really nice to stroll along here and you’ll find many market stalls where you can pick up souvenirs. 

We were meant to pop into Punta della Dogana, an art museum, however, after finding out it cost €13 to get in and having already spent so much getting into places we decided to skip this. We did manage to view ‘Mermaid’ by Damien Hirst, which is at the back of the building overlooking the water and is one of the 180 works in his ‘Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable”. Stunning sculpture!

‘Mermaid’ by Damien Hirst

Before the Punta della Dogana, we did find a random exhibit for the illy Art Collection at the Magazzini del Sale which is in its 25th year. You can find out more about the exhibit here. It was a really interesting find and I enjoyed viewing the different cups on display – especially loved the alien one.

David Byrne – Alien cup (2001)

We found a random restaurant called Ai Fabbri Trattoria where I had the gnocchi alla bolognese, which again was simple but delicious. We were given sweets at the end of the meal and when we asked the waiter was kind of sweets they were he responded with, “They’re flower… like me” 😭 We think he meant sweet, bless him, but it did make us laugh. The other waiter looked like my ex, though, which stressed me out and I had to text Mutay about it who said it was probably him in disguise trying to make sure I got holiday anxiety 😂

You hold the gnocchi to my ❤️

After eating we headed to the Basilica! It’s free to get in, but in order to avoid waiting in the queue, we opted to get the €2 Skip-The-Line tickets. We actually got turned away the first time because you can’t bring backpacks inside and also because you need to cover your shoulders and legs when you go in. We all had to buy this dusty orange wrap for €1 before we were allowed in. The Basilica was absolutely stunning, though, albeit very dark inside! You also have to pay extra if you want to see St. Mark’s treasure, the museum or if you to climb to the top of the terrace. When I tell you Venice is expensive…

The most exciting part of the day was the gondola ride we took – we opted for the long ride and the gondolier was a really nice man who explained to us the sights along our journey. We passed under the Bridge of Sighs and the gondolier told us the next time we are there with a boyfriend, you have to kiss when you pass under the bridge 😂 We also passed Casanova’s house, which gave me David Tennant feels because he was brilliant in his role as Casanova, as well as Marco Polo’s house! The gentle rocking of the gondola nearly put me to sleep, haha. We didn’t get serenaded but there was plenty of music surrounding us and a few gondoliers we passed were singing, which was nice. It was just as nice quiet with just the gentle sounds of the river surrounding us.

After the gondola ride, we stopped by for some gelato which AH-MAY-ZING. I got a regular cone with three flavours: oreo, dulce latte and chocolate chips covered in caramel sauce 😍 It was a messy affair, but it was so delicious! I would recommend Gelato Fantasy as their scoops are massive, so you definitely get more for your money.  After gelato, we decided to head back to the hotel where we had dinner. I’m not even gonna write about the dinner we had because it was so disappointing 😢

GLASS BLOWING, COLOURFUL BUILDINGS AND MORE GELATO 🍨

We had had enough of churches and galleries at this point and all the ones on my guide for day 3 were indicating you had to pay to get in, which frankly we’d also had enough of. Instead, I researched free things to do in Venice and was surprised that Burano and Murano weren’t on my list anyway! Nevertheless, we took the water bus from Piazzale Roma to Murano.

Murano has many stops, but we got off Murano Faro where you can go to a glass blowing demonstration. Murano is famed for its glass making, so you will find many shops displaying glass wares. Murano is composed of seven islands which are all linked together by bridges – it’s super easy to get around, so it really doesn’t matter where you get off the water bus.

Murano

When you come out the station, you can turn left to visit the shops, etc. or turn right for the glass blowing demonstrations. We watched a demonstration at Vetreria Artistica Colleoni, where it is €10 per person, however, the €10 can then be used as credit in their gift shop, so a win/win really. The demonstration was amazing – we got to see the guy make a glass vase complete with decoration as well as make a horse in under a minute. To show how hot the glass gets, the speaker put a piece of paper near the horse and it burst into flames! It was very hot in there, though, I was literally sweating my balls off. We were lucky to catch the demonstration as well because the following day they would be closed for a month because it’s too hot to be doing glass making in the summer!

We explored Murano a bit more, before heading back to the station and catching the water bus to Burano. Burano is made up of four islands and is famed for its embroidery and colourful homes. I absolutely loved Burano! The colourful buildings honestly made me so happy and even though there were quite a few tourists it was still nice and quiet. If you want to get away from the noisiness of main Venice, then I would suggest taking a trip to Murano and Burano.

The colourful homes of Burano

My mum and I stopped by Museo Del Merletto, which is a lace museum and was once the lace school of Burano. The embroidery we saw were so delicate and my mum was certainly enamoured, being a seamstress and all. 

After the museum, we decided to grab lunch at Restaurant Galuppi where I opted for the tortelloni ai Funghi porcini – HMM. The tortelloni was stuffed with cheese and spinach, which made it extra delicious! We made a few stops at the lace stores and stalls before heading back to St. Mark’s Square to pick up even more souvenirs. I finally got a shot glass to add to my collection.

I am tortelloni in love with you

We then decided to get gelato because when in Venice and you can never have enough gelato, honestly. We got it from a different place and the scoops weren’t as big 😢 Still, it was very yummy and I opted for strawberry, cream cherry and vanilla flavours. It tasted liked bubble gum! After gelato, we headed back to the hotel before going to Roadhouse Grill for dinner where I had to fattest T-bone steak 😍 We then ended up going to bed early because we had a flight at 7:45 AM the next morning!

CONCLUSION

Venice is a stunning city. You’ll only really need to spend a few days here because it is very much a walking city, so everything is easily accessible. It is very expensive, which is not surprising because it is such a tourist attraction but when in Venice, amirite? Venice is the perfect getaway, whether you’re with your partner or with family, and it’s even better in the summer months because the weather is beautiful. Art, culture and architecture – there’s something for everyone in this city!

TIPS

  • I used visitacity.com to get an idea of what we were going to do whilst in Venice. You’ll find 1 to 3-day guides on the site, and you can even get the app and download the guide for offline use! It was definitely very useful. Thanks to Sharmayne for suggesting this site! I’ll be using it when I head off to Croatia ☺️
  • On our first day, we only took the bus which is €1.50 each way, which also ended up with us doing A LOT of walking (I guess that’s what I get for complaining about cardio all the time). I’d suggest going for the Vaporetto/Bus pass which will cut down the walking time. You can get: 24 hours: €20 / 48 hours: €30 / 72 hours: €40 / 7 days: €60
  • As I mentioned the Basilica is free, but if you can’t stand queues then head to this site and get the €2 skip-the-line tickets. Make sure your shoulders and legs are covered when you visit, and no backpacks. If you happen to have one then they do have a free locker service around the corner of the Basilica.
  • I opted for a hotel that included a full breakfast so that we could fill ourselves before lunch. I would suggest getting your big meal at lunchtime because it is pretty pricey eating out. For the three of us, prices ranged from €50 – 80.
  • Take a day for Murano and Burano as it is a fairly long journey on the water bus from the mainland of Venice. 
  • We actually didn’t stay in the centre of Venice and instead stayed in Mestre, mainly because it was much cheaper, and it was only a 25-minute bus journey to get to Piazzale Roma which is basically the entrance of the city centre.
  • If you go to the gondola service by St. Mark’s Square there are two options: a short ride is €80 and a long ride is €120. I know, I know – it is expensive but did you really visit Venice if you didn’t go on a gondola? Also, escape premium prices and take a ride before 7 PM 😉

Ending this post with these photos my sis took of me 😜

I was reading through some old posts earlier on this week, and I stumbled across a post from 2014 in which I listed the ‘Top 10 Places I’d Like to Visit‘. Whilst I’m far from completing even half of the list, I can proudly say that I have now visited Amsterdam and now, finally, after many years, I’ve visited Boracay. How do I even begin to explain Boracay? That magical little island famous for its white sand beaches and is honestly one of the most relaxing places on Earth. If you’re looking for paradise, well look no further…

Day 1

I realised that at this point I had been up early everyday since I arrived in the Philippines. I don’t ever remember actually having a lie-in. Nevertheless, it was probably a good thing because we managed to get more done during the day that way. Anyway, the morning we flew to Boracay my mother and I were up at 4AM. We were staying at my Tita’s in Manila, so we had to drop off my cousin and Tita to school before my Tito drove us to the airport. Traffic in Manila is something else, I tell ya. I remember when I was in the Philippines a few years back and the traffic then, but I swear it’s gotten worse. God forbid I ever use public transport there (I know I sound like a snob, heh). 

Our flight was at 10AM and we arrived at Ninoy Aquino International Airport with plenty of time to spare. We walked around a bit before deciding to head to Jollibee for breakfast because who denies fried chicken for breakfast? Not me, that’s for sure. I love how they have a special breakfast set, which is basically just Chickenjoy but with a fried egg and fried rice instead of normal rice. Ang sarap, though.

Because of course Filipinos are generally a late people (I try not to stereotype, but it’s true), our flight was delayed by an hour (or perhaps it was 2 hours) and it was ages before we arrived at Kalibo airport. Side note: We were standing near the conveyor belt waiting for our luggage when I overhead this guy mentioning that he’d been living in the Philippines for almost 5 years and that he had recently visited “Say-boo”. 5 years in the Philippines and you can’t even pronounce Cebu correctly? OKAY.

Heading to Kalibo was only the first part of our long journey to Boracay. My cousin had booked us transport to Caticlan Jetty Port, so it was a 2 hour bus journey to there in which I obviously fell asleep during the whole ride. Once we arrived at the port, it was a 15 minute boat ride to Boracay! We all got ferried onto this rickety little boat and I was holding on for dear life just trying to board. I genuinely thought I was gonna drop off the side, but thankfully I made it.

In the little rickety boat with our sexy life jackets on

Once we finally arrived on the island, it was another short journey to La Carmela de Boracay Resort Hotel. The hotel itself was lovely. Our package included breakfast, so that was a bonus and whilst you had to pay for wifi per day in your room there was free wifi in the lobby so it wasn’t too bad. Also, you get fresh juice drink upon arrival which was lovely.

Our first day was spent literally walking the most of the beach on the island. Like I mentioned previously Boracay is famous for its white sand beaches, and goddamn it is so fucking beautiful. No words to describe the sense of peace I felt whilst strolling alongside the ocean. I’ll mention briefly that before I went away, I wasn’t in a great place but that moment, on that beach, 1000 miles away from all my problems, I was at peace. It was what I needed to get myself out of my stupor.

So in love

It’s like a dream

We visited the activities area where we booked island hopping and scuba diving for the next day. The island hopping promised a delicious looking buffet, which I was looking forward to. We also witnessed a wedding, which made my icy heart melt ❤️

We were meant to go out to dinner that evening after we got back to the hotel, but it had honestly been such a long day that we slept all the way until the next morning. 😆

Day 2

We had breakfast at the hotel, which consisted of the usual: fried rice, spam, scrambled and fried egg, corned beef. They also had toast with butter, pancakes, fruit, mango and pineapple juice, and coffee and tea. It was quite a selection. I had enough to feed a small army (you think I’m joking). After breakfast, we on a morning beach walk, which is something I could do everyday to start my day. I know for sure that my days would definitely be better starting that way.

Morning beach walks, FTW

We then headed to the meeting point for the boat for island hopping. You know I said previously Filipinos are generally a late people… yeah, it showed again that morning. The boat was meant to arrive at 9… it did not arrive until 10.30 😒 We also basically had to swim in the ocean before we could even board the boat, so my playsuit was hella wet once I was seated. It was quite hot that day, anyway so I dried quickly. I was planning on wearing my swimsuit underneath but decided against it – had to wait until we got to Crystal Cove Island to change into it, so missed out on the snorkelling the first time around.

The boat was basically in the middle of the ocean 😆

Mummy’s bighead

Our first stop was Crystal Cove Island located about 10-15 minutes away from White Beach, Boracay. There are various pathways that will lead you all around the island – there is quite a lot to discover from museums to the sea coves. You have to climb down quite deep to get into the caves and I was the only one brave enough to do so, but it was so worth it. I didn’t want to risk my phone whilst down there because the waves were crashing pretty high, so I left it with my mum whilst I was exploring. It was spectacular, though! I did manage to get some other pictures, though, including one of me desperately looking for bae. 😆

Views from Crystal Cove

Living that mermaid life

After exploring Crystal Cove (which actually got pretty exhausting because there just SO much to explore. Great workout, though), we headed over to a different island for lunch. We had to wait fucking ages, though, because they only had one bus when we arrived so they took one batch over to the lunch area first and then we had to wait for it to come back and take us. The food wasn’t even anything to write home about, anyway, which sucked. We didn’t even get the prawns we wanted, which were advertised as part of the buffet 😒 Definitely wasn’t happy with that part of the island hopping.

✌🏾

Before heading to Puka Shell Beach, we stopped for some snorkelling. I had changed into my swimsuit at that point, so I happily donned a snorkelled and jumped into the clear blue sea. I’ve never snorkel before that, so it was an amazing experience and something I would not have passed up despite nearly ruining my wig 😆 It was so worth seeing all the corals and fish in the sea – made me wish I had a GoPro so I could have documented it all. Thankfully, some hair oil I bought in 7/11 saved my wig and it actually put some bounce back in it! Thank God.

Our last stop was Puka Shell Beach, also known as Yapak. This is definitely one of the quieter islands, as there are no hotels or anything on the beach. It seems so untouched and is probably the best place to be alone with your thoughts. You can walk for miles and not encounter anybody. It is so peaceful. We stumbled across a man offering to take our photo in front of his Puka Beach sandcastle in exchange for a few pesos. It was for his family, so we couldn’t resist. Also, the sandcastle was hella awesome! I can barely make a normal sandcastle let alone that amazing sculpture.

I was also totally feeling myself in my new red swimsuit from Pretty Little Thing and made my mum do an impromptu photoshoot on a secluded part of the beach 😆

I’ve officially become that person who takes picture like this ☝🏾

Cheesing

Unfortunately, the island hopping literally took the whole day and so by the time we got back, it was too late to do the scuba diving. We got our money back, but my cousin and my mum let the lady who sold us the activity HAVE IT. Naturally, the island hopping was great but the service was abysmal. Will definitely not be using D’Chosen Fun Tours again.

After heading back to the hotel for a quick shower and rest, we headed out for dinner. We ended up in Victory Divers Resto-Bar where there was a buffet, which was much better than the one we had on the tour! We also had a jug of iced tea, so refreshing. Just outside the restaurant, there was a coconut water seller. There are quite a few of them on the strip, but this is only one I saw that sold fresh coconut water mixed with THREE shots of rum. Yeah, that’s right THREE. You can view this video and hear my mother voice her obvious disgust, lol.

I, for obvious reasons, was feeling like a hot mess after finishing my drink. The coconut itself is actually really heavy! Also, there was tons of water in there. The urge to go toilet was strong after a while. Nevertheless, I carried this heavy ass coconut whilst we went around D’Talipapa Market. I managed to get a shot glass for my collection and a personalised keyring. My mum bought a shit ton of dried mango to bring back home, haha.

After exploring, we wondered back onto the main strip. We managed to catch the fire dancers that were actually dancing outside the hotel we were staying at. There were a few others at another restaurant. It was so cool! I also got henna done; I let the guy freestyle his design and it turned out so pretty. It’s been ages since I’ve had henna done on my hand. My cousin also got me to try Isaw ng Manok (grilled chicken intestine) and Inihaw na Isaw ng Baboy (BBQ pork intestine), which was actually tastier than I thought it would be! I mean intestines, amirite? I was feeling pretty tired at this point (also slightly drunk) and so we decided to head back to the hotel.

Day 3

My cousin had arranged for a bus to pick us up from our hotel to take us back to the port at 1PM, so we had some time to kill. After breakfast and check out, we decided to head back to D’Talipapa Market to pick a few more gifts for family and friends. We actually spent quite a bit of time there, so by the time we got back to the hotel we were hungry. We ended up at the Hangover Kitchen, which was located quite near the hotel, and I had some delicious chicken inasal. We also had sizzling pork sisig, which was equally delicious. I love Filipino food 😍 I also spotted this awesome sign which resonates so much with me. Tell ’em!

After eating we chilled out in the hotel lobby whilst we waited for our bus to come pick us up and to start the loooooong journey back to Manila. Once we arrived in Manila, we stayed at my cousins house and in the morning we took the coach back to Tarlac 😊

Overall, Boracay was an amazing experience and I am just dying to go back and experience it all over again. Everything from the beaches, sunshine, to the food and stunning views, everything about that island is freaking perfect. Boracay is breathtaking and I know I will be back. Fo’sho.

bye, boracay. you’ve been breathtaking; i’ll be back 💕

Did I really use that as a post title?

It’s been two weeks since I’ve been back in the UK, and I am still bummed about being back. Coupled with the fact that I was straight onto a late shift, the day after I got back, I definitely needed the three day weekend from last week and these two days that I just got off. Good food, good vibes and good friends. Check ✔

As you know, I spent two weeks in the US and I, honest to God, had the most amazing time. I cannot wait until I get the opportunity to visit again. Here a few highlights before I delve more into my travels:

  • Reuniting with my Filipino family – I can’t wait until I visit the Philippines in November!
  • Discovering new cities – Seattle, Vancouver and LA were all amazing in their own right
  • Visiting the Space Needle – honestly, the views are beyond breathtaking
  • Meeting Nancy for the first time – I was ecstatic when I we finally met and did my usual spiel of “I can’t believe it’s you!”
  • Going to Disneyland California – Disney is a magical place ❤

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