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Travel Goals for 2018

Posted in family trip, lifestyle, personal, travel, vacation
on January 6, 2018

It’s quite ironic that even if there’s a VAT here in the UAE, I am still thinking of more travels to have this 2018 with my family.  2018 will be a year of new beginnings, new hopes, new chances, new plans, new goal-settings, and more memory-making, and definitely more travel.

I have been through a lot of painful stuff the past 2 years. I am more than happy to leave them in the past and focus on more important things that money can’t put a price tag, like spending more time with my family, learning new skills, be better in my blog posting, delve in my creativity, and definitely include more travels this year and onwards.

I know it will take a lot of money to be able to do all those travels but I believe in this quote and this year, it’s probably the one I am going to live by whether I have enough money or none. There are always opportunities to travel even locally.

(photo not mine, due credit to the owner/from http://www.picturequotes.com/)

Happy Traveling folks!

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My Bucket List of Things To Do In Colorado

 

I have been to several parts of the US but I have not visited Colorado yet. Colorado is one of the places I want to visit someday. If there is one thing in my  travel bucket list that I am most excited about, that is to have the opportunity to stay in any of the Colorado vacation rentals like those fancy chalets or log cabins in any of the famous ski resorts in Colorado. I will tell you why. Read on.

The state of Colorado is a mountainous region. It is part of the Western and Southern United States, and the Mountain States.

Colorado boasts so many majestic slopes that are perfect for winter activities. It is home to many rich and famous celebrities and prominent figures in society. And I am not surprised why. Colorado just screams opulent living, scenic winter vistas, beautiful ski resorts, and winter activities that will tingle your spine! And because of that, I created my own bucket list of things to do in Colorado.

 

Do Ice-climbing in Ouray Ice Park

The Ouray Ice Park is a man-made climbing attraction in a natural gorge in Ouray, Colorado.  If you are an avid ice climber then this place is a great recreational destination for you. I have not tried any ice climbing in my life, let alone rock-climbing but I added this place in my bucket list because I want the challenge. Maybe you need that kind of challenge too!

 

Check out the rock formations in the Garden of the Gods

A lot may not know this (unless you live in Colorado) but Colorado has an interesting and diverse geography.  Some parts are mountainous, while others have arid plains and deserts, big sand dunes, plenty of lakes and rivers, lush forests, and interesting rock formations like the ones you will find in the Garden of the Gods.

I enjoy looking at nature. While I may not be the best camper out there, I am willing to let go of my fussiness to be able to view this natural beauty with my own eyes. I have seen numerous photos of this natural park but I know, seeing the rock formation in person will still be a good choice than settling for photos in the magazines or travel sites.

The rock formations in the Garden of the Gods are sedimentary red, pink, and white sandstones, limestones, and conglomerate formations left in the park by the natural uplift of the Rocky Mountains, and Pike Peaks massif movements.

There is one very famous rock formation in the park that is worthy of a great photo-op – the Balanced Rock which is a fountain formation.

I want to see this particular one and a photo-op standing next to it will be the cherry on top of the icing in my Gardens of the Gods visit.

Photo credit: https://en.wikipedia.org

 

Experience a weekend in any of the luxurious villas, log cabins or chalets in any ski resort

I am a budget traveler. I try to stick to a rigid budget as much as I can but once in a while, I do splurge. Staying in any of the luxurious villas, log cabins or chalets in any of the ski resort in Colorado is definitely in my bucket list.

I would prefer a lodging for us with a panoramic window so I can see the view outside right away. Nothing beats the beauty of nature’s charm.

Photo credit: https://www.luxuryretreats.com/

 

I have seen plenty of photos of vacation rentals in Colorado, especially the ones at the mountain areas. I just love the idea of waking up in the middle of a lush vegetation with a view of the snow-capped mountain to complete my morning.

I also love winter time. I want to feel how it is to sit by the fireplace and sip a hot chocolate to cap my relaxation. And of course, a weekend in any of these types of accommodation with my family will be a perfect getaway for us.

 

Learn how to ski

I am not an extreme sports kind of person but every now and then, there is a dream that I want to fulfill and that is to learn how to ski. I am terrified of speed so a beginner’s lesson will suffice. I just want to be able to enjoy the snow’s powdery texture against my ski while I glide on a less challenging terrain in one of the many ski resorts in Colorado.

Colorado has plenty of ski resorts for the family to visit and enjoy. Vail is one of the famous ski resorts in the whole of Colorado. Many famous celebrities spend some of their quality time here to be away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Aside from being the magnet of the rich and famous, it is also known as the biggest mountain resort in the world. It is not as high as other mountain resorts but it boasts of good snowfall that will never disappoint the avid skier. It is also home to some of the best terrains in Colorado so you can expect an exhilarating ski experience whether you are a beginner or a skiing pro.

Another famous ski resort worthy of your time is the Breckenridge . It has well-groomed runs through the trees. It also has high alpine bowls that you can access with a ski lift. This place will make the advanced skier thrilled because of its elevation. There are also nice restaurants at the base of Peak 7 where you can dine after a long ski adventure.

 

Visit the Mesa Verde National Park

Photo credit: https://www.nps.gov

 

I have a thing for history. I like checking out ruins, and the Mesa Verde National Park is teeming with interesting finds like the Cliff Palace, the Balcony, Spruce Dwelling, and the Long House. All these are just few of the more than hundreds of cliff dwellings in the Mesa Verde National Park in Montezuma County, Colorado.

The Mesa Verde National Park has been named as one of the UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites due to its exceptional archaeological finds. You can drive through the park on certain period too.

 

There are many more things to do in my bucket list for Colorado. These are the top of the activities I want to fulfill while I am able. Do you have a bucket list too?

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Our US Summer Vacation 2017

Posted in personal, US trip, USA, vacation
on September 5, 2017

I told myself that I will not travel during summer time because it is very difficult to deal with the heat especially if I am already coming from a very hot and humid country. Last year, we also spent a brief summer vacation in the US, and this time again, we decided to stay in Riverside at my aunt’s place for almost two weeks. And yes, I travelled again this summer.

I am not sure why harsh weather conditions follow us. If you are following my blog, you’ll know we were stuck in New York for few days during Hurricane Sandy, and this time around, there was a heat wave during the whole time we were in LA. There was also Hurricane Katrina but it was in Texas. US is so big that you don’t feel the adverse weather conditions in Texas if you are in California because it was just hot, hot, hot! However, hubby and I still had fun with our relatives and friends in California. It was like a mini-reunion of sorts of family and friends from Dubai who are now in the US.

The vacation as a whole is really fun. We got to treat our dear Aunt to Las Vegas. It isn’t the first time for us to visit Las Vegas so there was certainly not walking along The Strip at night due to the very hot weather. We just stayed in the hotel most of the time, drove to Hoover Dam, played at the casino, and relaxed in the room.

The entire vacation was really what I wanted except for the weather. It would have been the perfect get-away it if wasn’t for the heat wave. I hope, the next vacation will be this Thanksgiving. It will be nice to celebrate it with family and friends.

Until next vacation!

 

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Few Days Until Budapest!

Posted in Budapest, Hungary, personal, travel
on August 27, 2016

Yes, this travel bug is so excited even if Hungary gave me a very short duration of Schengen visa and a single entry for this trip I have planned for so long. Yes, I am a tad disappointed, having travelled to numerous European countries in multiple visa entry and very long duration, I am still excited to visit Budapest.

I cannot guarantee though that I will not write the embassy here to ask what their criteria is for providing me a single entry with only FOUR days duration when I applied for a multiple entry; I will certainly make it a point to know so next time, I know what to do.

Budapest is in my bucket list. I have always dreamed of visiting the place even when I was a kid. It is in my top list to visit before I seriously get old and weak to even move around. I am so curious of their past history of Communism and the beautiful architectural edifice around the city.

Well, I will be off on 10 to 13 September with my colleague who is traveling for the first time in Europe. I am not sure if she is as excited as I am but I hope she is because I want our level of energy to be in the same page because I can get very, very excited looking around a place I have listed in my bucket list.

So, I am getting giddy checking the places we will visit in the city. We won’t be traveling to other nearby countries anymore considering the very tight duration Hungary gave us. The apartment I have booked is near St. Stephen’s Basilica which is a famous site in Budapest, having been the usual location for their Christmas Market and a nice focal point for tourists. It is within walking distance from where we will stay and from there, we will explore the Danube and check out the “shoes” monument positioned along the river bank. We will also walk around Nyugati Ter and check out some shops in the Central Market.

I am excited and I cannot stop talking about it. This is one of the shorted Euro trip I have ever done so I better make the most of it! Watch out for the pics!

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Next Stop, Budapest!

Posted in Budapest, Europe, Hungary, personal, Schengen states, travel, vacation
on August 19, 2016

Yes! My friend and I got our visas few days ago. It was rather fast, around 5 days tops only. This is the first time my friend is travelling with me and her first to to travel in Europe. So she’s excited.  I am too. Why, this is my first time to visit Central Europe and Hungary at that!

We both applied for a multiple entry visa but has been granted only single entry with a very short duration. I am too embarrassed to state the duration here. This is the very first time I have been granted a single entry ever since my family and I have been travelling to Europe. I am not sure what was the basis of their decision but who cares. We have our visas so the trip is on!

We are on a tight budget for this trip because I am in the process of applying for another visa for my husband and myself. I will tell you more about it next time when we also get that visa (wink!). For now, my budget is all allocated to travelling as much as I can because I want to enjoy it while I can and able.

I booked for an apartment for my friend and I and it is way cheaper than staying in a hotel. I got the good deal from Booking.com.  I also got a nice rate for return airport transfers with an add-on of Hop-on and Hop-off tour.

The apartment I booked is within walking distance to St. Stephen’s Basilica and other notable landmarks in the area. So, as soon as we settle ourselves in the apartment, we’ll head out the door and explore.

I am also excited with the souvenirs! I love collecting knicks and knacks from my travels abroad. I can’t wait to get my hands on the fridge magnets, snow globes, and shot glasses.

We are leaving for Budapest this September and will be back shortly. It’s just a short vacation during the Eid Holidays. It is a vacation that I have been dreaming about since I was little, to visit Budapest someday, and that someday is on Sept. 10, 2016.

Budapest, here we come!

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The Travel Bug Is Biting

Posted in Europe, European getaway, lifestyle, personal, travel, vacation
on August 10, 2016

People close to me know that I am a traveler and I love it! I enjoy going out of town even for just a day. I love seeing new places and it is my way of de-stressing. It’s a semblance of normality for me when I go somewhere and just soak in the beauty of a new place I haven’t seen yet.

Just last Monday, my colleague and I applied for a Schengen Visa. It is her first time and it’s my 5th time. I love visiting Europe because I love their culture, the beautiful architecture and old cobblestone streets. I just love the old feel of Europe. It’s something I always miss each time I fly back to Dubai from Europe. I just look forward to the next one.

I am not divulging the whereabouts of my next European sojourn. Let’s just say, it’s a very beautiful place and somewhat farther from the other European countries I have been to in the past. We will be visiting this place for just 4 days and 3 nights. We both can’t afford a longer vacation at this time since I am spending Christmas back home.

I am excited! I wish to get approved for multiple entry as I plan to visit the Christmas Market before flying to Manila for the Christmas holidays.

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Back To Homebase…Back To Reality

Posted in family vacation, personal, US
on July 11, 2016

And my vacation leave went so fast and it’s over! Why does enjoyable, family time always end soon? I barely felt my vacation leave and here I am, back to the grind.

My daughter just had few hours here in Dubai to freshen up and we flew to Los Angeles last July 4. We arrived there with so much time to prepare to be able to watch the fireworks. We only watched from afar so I didn’t get to see all the celebration in our relatives place in Upland, California. At least, a bucket list item has been ticked – to celebrate 4th of July in the US.

The vacation was brief but fun. We went shopping, meeting friends, and I met with my Aunt who lives in Moreno Valley in Riverside. We didn’t get to visit Disneyland because the hubby and daughter got sick. Besides, the temperature during noon time towards the afternoon were unrelenting and I didn’t want my hubby and daughter to relapse. They needed rest, so we all took a break from walking and driving around the town.

Our last day was spent in Glendale with my hubby’s cousin. We didn’t go out much, just had dinner at Cheesecake Factory in The Americanas.  I liked the place. It’s like a mini Europe in the middle of Glendale. It’s very inviting and cozy to stroll around. But again, time was not our ally. We had to head home in few hours so a decent sleep was required.

So, we all had to go back to reality. My daughter is back in Manila for her classes and hubby and I are back to reality. Reality bites…It bites hard.

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