A year in review: 2017

December 31, 2017

I hope you all had a great Christmas! and got all the good things that you wanted. 
I can't end the year without doing my year in review because it summaries my year and I love looking back to it. 

This year was full of weddings! Two to be exact. And also a lot of work. I didn't get to go to as many places as I wanted so now my list is getting longer and longer. 

I started off my travels in February where I spent my birthday in sunny Cayo Santa Maria in Cuba. I've been there before and I really enjoyed the quiet and white sand beach. I knew I wanted to have a relaxing birthday so that's where we booked our first trip. 
We swam, snorkelled, rode an old school convertible car, ate a lot, and drank mojitos. 

In July/August, I went to Greece for the first time. We went to Athens, Santorini, and Aegina. It was amazing but oh my god was it hot. We were melting every single day. Athens was full of character and I loved exploring this ancient city. 
The food was delicious and I could not get enough of eating spinach pies. I had one almost every day. 

We took a boat from Athens to Santorini. It was one of the best decisions we ever made. It was an amazing experience. I did not mind being inside a boat for 8 hours. We loved it! 

Santorini was amazing of course. We stayed in Fira but we also explored other parts of the island like Oia. I will have to post about my trip next year. It was love at first sight. It is a very beautiful island! Had the best seafood too and the nicest people! 
From there, we flew to Cyprus for a wedding. It was hotter there than Greece. Nicosia was very interesting. And the wedding was great! 

After the wedding, we flew back to Athens for a few days and we took a day trip to Aegina. It was a good call to go there last minute. We loved the island and it's famous for pistachio's. 

Flew home to Toronto and attended another wedding that very same weekend. It was wedding season last summer! 

In October, A and I took a road trip to the Adirondacks. It's only a 6 hour drive from Toronto to Lake Placid. It was very scenic. I loved it! 

We stayed in a cabin in the Upper Jay and it was very cosy. I want to come back there. It was very nice! 

2017 has been good to me. It obviously had its up's and down's but I can't complain. I had to go through those challenges for me to grow and believe in myself. I gained more confidence this year when I kept getting disappointed. I'm surprised at myself for not giving up. I kept going no matter how bad it got and I'm happy that I did because it finally paid off. I reached 2 of my top goals this year. And I intend to keep going. 

Happy New Year my friends! I am wishing you courage for 2018. Keep going no matter what. 

What I Ate: Zubuchon

December 24, 2017 One Mango Mall, General Maxilom Ave, Cebu City, 6000 Cebu, Philippines

I made sure we made a pit stop in Cebu before flying back to Hong Kong. I was not going to leave the Philippines without visiting the famous Zubuchon. I've been reading Market Manila for ages and when Joel opened Zubuchon, I knew it was going to be a hit! And Anthony Bourdain loves their lechon.
I already planned to have this on our first dinner. We walked to the Mango Mall location. My friend gave me the best hotel recommendation because we can walk to most places. Thanks Kat! 

I was so excited to eat but when we got there, they already ran out of lechon. My expression changed and I was so disappointed. I wanted to cry. I told A that we are not leaving Cebu until I eat here so we vowed to come earlier the next day. 

He consoled me by walking to a Larsian. See entry here.
We came back early the next night. The restaurant was still empty but I didn't care. I must eat my lechon before leaving Cebu. There was no other way! I was determined and I made sure when I walked in that they had lechon in stock.
The menu of Zubuchon..part of it anyway. I wanted to eat everything but I told myself the main purpose was lechon. The other items will have to wait when I visit next time.
The lechon came in a sizzling plate. It was really good and I love the crispy skin. My partner loved it as well. We kept on talking about it that we even purchased the frozen lechon to bring back to our friends in Hong Kong.
Fresh coconut juice! I really love island life :)
And to counteract the cholesterol, we ordered ensaladang talong (eggplant salad). We tried re-creating this several times at home and it just never tasted the same. 

We also ordered rice with this meal because you have to! 

We were so full after eating that we had no room for dessert. Or I had no room for dessert. 

The lechon was amazing! And the service was also great! 

We left happy and full.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas!!! And have a fantastic New Year :) 


December 12, 2017 Alona Beach, Bohol, Philippines

I took a break from doing touristy things in Bohol to relax on Alona beach. I wanted to relax and floating on the ocean is the best way to do that. This is probably my favourite thing to do aside from snorkeling.
Just floating and clearing my head. Concentrating on my breathing and letting it all go.
Thank you to my friend Jem for letting me borrow his go-pro. We took it everywhere with us. And for A for taking the photos above.

We have some snow on the ground now but my thoughts are still on island life. One day..

What I Ate: Larsian

December 4, 2017 Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines

Going to a Larsian was recommended to me by Dutched Pinay Travels. I would have never found this place without her. 

After my failed attempt in eating lechon in Zubuchon (they ran out early). We decided to walk to Fuente Osmena to experience Larsian.
Larsian is all about grilled and barbecue food (meat and seafood). It's a big outdoor square with different stalls selling meats/seafood. I didn't count how many stalls they have but i'm sure it's over 20. They all essentially sell the same items.
I didn't know how to pick a good stall so we just randomly picked one to order from. It was packed with people enjoying dinner. We loved it! It was mainly locals dining and enjoying grilled food.
You pick the stall that you want. You pick your meat/seafood and order it. And of course you can't forget to order rice. The grilling takes place at the center of the square. 
It smells wonderful here!
They bring you the food in plates covered in plastic so they won't have to wash the plates each time. We opted to eating with our hands so they gave us gloves to use.
Everything was delicious!
This is how the rice was packaged. Never seen this before. Only in Cebu?
We really wished we had more room in our tummies to fit more barbeque's but we gave up after ordering a few different types of meat. 

It was a fun experience. And the price was very cheap!

I highly recommend visiting a Larsian when you visit Cebu. 

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