What I ate: Portugal

April 29, 2013

One of the reasons why I travel is to try new things and that includes trying local food. I love to eat..if you haven't already noticed on my instagram. I was beyond excited to try Portuguese cuisine.
Our first day in Lisbon was a bit of a blur due to jet lag but I had the best lunch of my life at a little restaurant in the city centre. I ordered a fish special and it was wet rice with fried sardines and it was to die for!!! It was really really yummy! And I regret not taking a picture of it but I was too hungry to pause. I had to just eat and eat!
We went back there a couple of times but I cannot remember the name for the life of me.
1. Pastel de nata - from a cafe in Lisbon sooo gooood!
2. Pastel de nata - from Belem is even better! 
3. Pork Sandwich from Porto - sooo amazing! Crispy pork that was chopped up to make this sandwich! Score! 
4. Vegetable soup - this was an every day staple and my fave soup! Super healthy!
5. Lunch in Belem - a little bit of everything

I wish I took more food photos but most of the time I was too hungry or too shy to whip out my camera in restaurants. I mostly used my iphone to be discreet. 

Douro river & Cais de Ribiera

April 26, 2013

After admiring the night view of the waterfront, it was time to see in daylight. Our hotel was up the hill so we walked down slowly admiring all the buildings and then, bam! Stunning waterfront views! Why can't we have this Toronto?? instead of condo buildings? 

I loved the boats adorning port barrels and the colourful ancient houses lined up near the river.  Most of the buildings are now restaurants, cafes, or bars with the best view of the Douro river and you can admire the port cellars on the other side of the river as well.

We walked across the Ponte Luis I bridge again but this time we used the lower deck instead.

Wishing all of you a happy weekend! Next week posts will be all about food :)

Next destination...Chicago

April 24, 2013


It's my first time to the windy city next month and I am soo excited!!!

If you have any recommendations on where to eat, what to visit, what to do, where to shop...anything at all, please comment or e-mail me.

Deep dish pizza here I come!!

P.S. Should I take that tour boat??!?

Capela das Almas Chapel

April 22, 2013

The Capela das Almas Chapel is located in a busy street of Rua de Santa Catarina. It's a very very beautiful building covered in azulejo tiles both in the exterior and interior of the chapel. I was glad to see that the church has been preserved and in a very good condition. 

Hope you all had a great weekend! Happy Monday!

Mercado do Bolhão

April 17, 2013

It's no secret that I love markets. I grew up accompanying my grandmother in her weekly groceries every Tuesday or Friday. Wet markets are the best! I love the hustle and bustle, the noise, the fresh seafood, the display of meats, fresh veggies, and the smell of spices.

We visited the Bolhao Market on busy saturday morning. I was very excited to poke around the market and see the different produce being offered for sale. I really wished we had rented an apartment in Porto so we could purchase the goods from the market and cook it. But alas, we walked around to get inspiration instead. I was surprised to see mostly women vendors at the market; it's usually the opposite most of the time. 

I was drooling over the different types of fish and the freshest vegetables. It was a feast for my eyes and wish I could have eaten everything I saw.

Oporto nightview

April 15, 2013

After spending a couple of days in Lisbon, it was time to spend a weekend in Oporto (or Porto). We took the train from Lisbon going North to Oporto and it took 3 hours for us to arrive in the city.
It was already dark by the time we get settled in our hotel and had dinner. We decided to take a walk and see Oporto at night.

We walked on the upper Ponte Luis I bridge to see the panoramic night view of the city. The upper deck has a tram railway as well as a pedestrian. I loved walking here. I was so excited to see the river and the stunning view of the city. I couldn't wait to explore more the next day.

Castle of São Jorge Part 2

April 11, 2013

peacocks casually hanging out

Hope you're all doing well! We've been having some unpredicted weather here in Toronto and it's a bit frustrating. I'm still hoping for spring weather instead of snow.

Here's part II of my visit to Castle de São Jorge. I got to explore the grounds more and saw stunning peacocks showing off the most beautiful feathers!

Also, I climbed up and down the fortress and it was thrilling to walk without hand rails in a very narrow walkway. I was living on the edge!

Castle of São Jorge Part 1

April 7, 2013

 Going up the castle and found this graffiti entertaining
 It seems it was laundry day
 A few more steps to the top
 The entrance to the castle
 View from the top
Park inside the castle walls
Panoramic views of the city

The perfect day to climb up and visit The Castle of São Jorge. A million steps and little side streets later, we reached the top. The castle overlooks the whole city and it's perfect for soaking the breathtaking panoramic views of the city.

My travel style

April 4, 2013

Since I work full time and I only have limited vacation time, it has been a challenge for me to maximize my time with each trip I take.

When I took my first trip to Europe, I was so eager to visit a lot of countries in such a limited time. I wanted to go to as much country as I could not knowing the distance and travel time. I bought my plane ticket and Eurail pass and set off to explore on my own for two weeks while visiting and meeting up with friends in Europe. I went and saw as many things as I could. A lot of churches, monuments, gardens, castles, etc. It was a very fast paced itinerary that left me breathless and quite frankly too tired to absorb everything. I was too eager to see everything all at once that I never bothered to just be in the moment.

I had it all envisioned inside my head that once I stepped foot in Europe, it was going to be magical. It was my dream to visit Paris. I remember getting off the TGV and feeling completely overwhelmed by the people and the language barrier. I was out of my elements and lugging my suitcase up and down the metro stairs. I wanted to go home at that moment but I had no choice but to keep going.

And once I settled in, I began to visit monuments I only saw on t.v. The Eiffel Tower was obviously magical but the biggest surprise for me was falling in love with Sacre Couer. I ended up visiting it twice.

Two weeks flew by. I visited 4 countries and 6 cities. I was ready to head home. I felt like I just had a European sampler in such a short period of time.
Now, things have changed a bit on how I pace out my trips. I definitely try to slow down more and not pack in as many sightseeing as I could. I leave room for a next visit and take breaks to enjoy each place I visit.
I try not to compare myself with other travel bloggers who go on 6 months or so trips. I do what I can with the limited time I have. Sometimes, I just want an all-inclusive one week vacation to unwind and never having to worry about itineraries and other times a weekend trip to a town or city. And when I do have more time, I take a couple of weeks off. Each trip, each city, each country, I visit are all special to me.
My travel style is always evolving. As I grow older, my preferences change. I no longer want to stay in hostels like I did when I was 22 but my hunger to explore remains the same. In the end, that's what matters. To learn, explore, and experience.
Paris 2007

Liebster Blog Award

April 1, 2013

Thank you Colleen for nominating me for the Liebster blog award. I am so honored that she chose me to participate and share random things about myself.

So, here goes the 11 random facts about me...

1. I was born in the Philippines and spent 13 years of my life living in a tropical paradise. 

2. and yet I cannot swim to save my life! I never learned how to swim and a lot of people I know who have lived in an island can't swim either..I don't know how to explain that. And yet, I love going on beach vacations. Not that I didn't try learning how to swim but after a course, I went to a family friend's pool party and I almost drowned. I have a phobia now..I cannot go to the deep end. My time at the pool ends when I cannot touch the floor.
4. I love painting and photography. 

5. I have 3 older sister's. It was a blast growing up together but also hell at times. Girls, go figure!

6. I was a tomboy growing up. I played with action figure's, watched G.I Joe, played outside with the boys all the time. I was always climbing trees and chasing dragonflies.

7. I speak Tagalog and a dialect called "buhinon" fluently.

8. I love to eat all kinds of foods except spicy. I love to try and eat local cuisine when I travel as much as possible.
9. I cannot live without eating rice. Life is not complete without it. Period. 

10. Most of my friends are guys who I have known since high school.

11.  I love watching action movies.

Colleen's Questions:

1. If you could choose a super hero power, what would it be?

The ability to fly so I wouldn't have to pay for expensive plane tickets ;)

2. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I wish I can be more sports oriented. I have no coordination whatsoever and I have no interest in playing sports so I wish that can be magically changed. 

3. What is your favourite thing about yourself?

I would have to say my ability to easily make friends. 
4. If you could go anywhere in the world for New Year’s Eve, where would you go?

Rio! I want to experience NYE not wearing bulky clothing and freezing my butt. I want to be in Rio partying it up, having warm weather, drinking caipirinha, and wearing a dress!

5. What is the stupidest thing you’ve done while traveling?

Staying in a mix dorm in Amsterdam and spending the night sleeping in a room full of drugged out Swiss boys. 

6. How would your friends describe you?

Passionate, silly, moody (when I'm hungry), and loyal.

7. What is your biggest weakness/vice?

My inability to focus. I get easily distracted and it's horrible. I blame it all on social media.

8. Frogs?

Legs? Yum!

9. If we are/were friends in real life, where should we travel together and why?

We would travel to Spain together because we both have a deep love for the country. Eat tapas and drink sangria all day ;)

10. Describe your last dream.

I always forget my dream when I wake up.

11. Truth or dare?

Always the truth!

Here are my nominations and I know it's supposed to be 11 people but I have 8. I hope my nominees will take the time to keep this going. 

1. Vivian - Lost in Translation

2. Krystal - Village

3. Nicole - La Mia Vita

4. Amanda - Marshall's Abroad

5. Ashley - Have Chasley, will travel

6. Brenna - This Battered Suitcase

7. Heather - Life Abroad

8. Sienna - Peace love wander

Here are my 11 questions:

1. If you could go back to 1 country that you visited, where would you go back to?

2. Winter or summer travel?

3. Describe the best food you've ever tasted?

4. Life is not complete without_______?

5. Where we're you born?

6.What is the one thing you can't live without?

7. Wine or beer?

8. How many languages do you speak?

9. Where is your next travel destination?

10. Describe your perfect day?

11. Your favourite animal?

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