London November 2019 Part 3

It’s already 2020 and I still haven’t been able to finish my London blog series. We’re already scheduled to go back there next week. =)) I skipped another week of blogging (yet again) but I’m back! I mentioned that this is gonna be a 4 part series but I realized that our day 4 was so short I won’t have to post a different blog for that. So here goes day 3 and 4 of our London trip last November šŸ™‚

Day 3 in London started out cloudy as we looked for Big Ben’s little brother. Little Ben is located at Westminister at the intersection of Vauxhall Bridge Road and Victoria street. It was a nice clock meant to have touristy photos with. šŸ˜€

A lot of direction debates and a few walks ahead led us to the Westminister Cathedral. By this time, rain was pouring down hard and we welcomed the roof over our heads. The Westminister Cathedral is of a Catholic denomination which has a lot of chapels inside. I can’t help but think how eerie everything was since it’s really gloomy outside. It must be because the ceiling is high up and pitch black. A guide in a red robe greeted us and I thought he was a priest and mistakenly called him father #facepalm. Also saw a donation machine were you can swipe cards which is awesome because even churches are going cashless.

After the cathedral, we decided to skip the Westminister Abbey and head towards the Queen’s residence, Buckingham Palace. We skipped the changing of the guards in the morning because we were too lazy to wake up early. Victoria Memorial was also under construction during that time.

Victoria Memorial
Buckingham Palace

After the palace, we crossed to Green Park (which was already brown) and did our photo shoot. LOL.

Sunset was fast approaching so we then traveled to the London Eye to capture it with lights. We took photos of the Big Ben still and obligatory photos with the old phone booth to cap off Day 3.

Day 4 meant going back to Malmesbury and before leaving London, I told my husband that we should visit Jollibee! Jollibee is a local fast food chain from the Philippines and right now, the only branch is at Earl’s Court. Chickenjoy and Jolly Spaghetti craving satisfied!

And that’s it! That’s the end of my 4-part-turned-3-part London blog series. We will see London again next week! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend ahead. šŸ™‚

London November 2019 Part 2

I’m greeting late but… Merry Christmas!

It was a good 4 weeks since I posted the part 1 of our London tour because December was really a busy month! Celebrated my birthday during the first week, had two parties the following two weeks, and I was moved to lunch time shift at work. I was catching up on episodes of Vagabond, a Korean series, and The Killer Bride, a Filipino series while doing my knitting project in between. Since Christmas has passed, I get to have more downtime so here I am!

Husband and I loved the parks and on our way to the train station, we passed by Brook Gren Park near our hotel. There were dogs playing in the area and they made us miss or dogs back in the Philippines šŸ˜¦

The second day’s first agenda was the Natural History Museum. We haven’t been able to enter yet but it’s facade already had me blown away. The architecture is absolutely beautiful!

The main lobby boasts of the Hope, the blue whale skeleton suspended from the ceiling. Interiors are beautiful as well. I can take pictures all day!

It’s my first time to see dinosaur fossils. There seems to be a field trip in the museum as well so we have kids observing and reading information about the installations. The difference is, they have questionnaires to answer and we have none. :p

The husband had fun doing videos with the dinos and posing with the mammals. I won’t flood you will all those outtakes though. šŸ˜€

We also found the Museum of the Moon Exhibit. It was a big round ball in the middle of a conference room with projected moon surface. The image was surreal. The room is actually open for hour based renting. Imagine hosting an event here with the big moon in the middle.

After spending two and a half hours in the museum, we traveled to Camden Town for our late lunch. The town is vibrant of colors in graffiti style with a lot of shops selling branded items, handmade ones, and souvenirs. I think it’s also where a lot of Londoners buy their street wear of rock, punk, goth, and everything black. Bought my newsboy cap in this area as well.

The market is the star of this town for us. Had our mouths watering for food and we wanted to order a lot. The problem for people who get cold easily (like me) is that they don’t have indoor dining and outdoor heating unlike Mercato Metropolitano which I blogged about on the first part of this blog series. The food kept me warm and full so I was still happy despite being cold. LOL.

After stuffing ourselves, we then rode the train to St. Pancras to watch the Dashboard Confessional concert with Cory Wells as the front act. It’s the best concert I’ve ever attended because the crowd is small and the venue is a church which gives a good reverb without using the sound system. Intimate concerts are the best!

After the concert, we went to King’s Cross station to take the obligatory Platform 9 and 3/4 photo. It was 11:30 PM and there weren’t any props anymore but it also meant no lines and fee. Pats our back for being cheap. =))

And that’s it for our second day! It was more jam packed than part 1 and hope I was able to virtually take you with us through this post. šŸ˜€

Next stop: Buckingham Palace and Green Park

London November 2019 Part 1

I know I flooded people with my Instagram posts of our London trip last week but I’m still here writing about it =)).

It’s our first travel as husband and wife! The last time we traveled was way back in 2013 for a winter in South Korea with friends. The rest were domestic travels around the Philippines along with friends as well. We did some travels on our own but those were to attend destination weddings of friends. So I was excited to go on tour again and test our touring laziness. LOL.

British weather is not always true to forecast and it can change at the last minute. Days before we leave, we were shown all tour days with rain which dampened our spirits because: one, we don’t like to bring an umbrella; and two, my canvas shoes are not ready for rain. I don’t have boots right now and I had no plans buying before the trip so I just told myself, “Manalig ka!” which means keep the faith… that it’s not going to rain =)) And it didn’t! Well not until the third day which wasn’t so bad. šŸ™‚

Our first destinations were the London bridges. It was a good call to go there at night and see them illuminated. We crossed the London Tower bridge, walked along the side of Tower of London and ate some caramelised peanuts, and then crossed the London Bridge to go back.

London Tower Bridge
Tower of London from the other side
London Bridge

The long walks left us cold and hungry that we had to find Mercato Metropolitano quickly. Travel tip: don’t buy bottled water before going there as they are not allowed.

The place has a roof (hooray because there was a light drizzle that night) and outside tables with some torch heating. We ended up sharing stuff to eat because cheese made us full šŸ˜€

Told you we were overloaded with cheese that night.

Enjoyed a little bit of live music as well. They have performers every Wednesday night starting at 7:30 pm. šŸ™‚

Hope you’re enjoying so far!

Next Stops: Natural History Museum and Camden Town

Malmesbury in Autumn

It’s the season of shedding! Green leaves are turning yellow to orange to brown. Although autumn means the “death” of leaves from a lot of trees, it’s still the most beautiful season to me with spring coming in second.

Back in the Philippines, we only see fire trees just before the rainy season starts. It’s the closest color of autumn that we get since we are a tropical country. The locations where fire trees stood are limited so I totally enjoyed taking a lot of photos here because of the accessible park and trees around. I love parks even though they make me miss our fur babies back home.

Autumn is nearly coming to a close and we are feeling colder than usual now. Although it means shedding dead leaves and leaving some trees barren, it also means that shedding them will help them grow new leaves again. Autumn reminds me of Ben & Ben. šŸ™‚

Leaves will soon grow from the bareness of trees and all will be alright in time.

One Day in Maidenhead

Earlier this month, we went to Maidenhead to attend to some paper works. It’s far from Malmesbury so we’ve decided to go through some landmarks during our trip to maximize our time there.

We went to Maidenhead by riding a bus to Swindon and a train through the Great Western Railway The bus ride to Swindon is about 45 minutes. The train ride is I think 50 minutes with a transfer at Reading station. We booked our GWR super off peak tickets online. Some photos from our train ride below.

We arrived there at noon and decided to eat at something familiar: KFC. šŸ˜€ The gravy was a side dish! I miss KFC gravy on tap back home šŸ˜¦

Since this isn’t a super planned trip, I just checked the vicinity of our destination for the landmarks that we can visit. Thanks Google Maps!

The Sounding Arch

This railway bridge was built in 1983 and its brick arches are the widest and flattest in the world. It was named that way because you can make echos under the bridge. We did for a couple of minutes, wanted to do a quick concert because the reverb was awesome but was too shy as it was a public road and anyone can pass through haha. Even birds’ quacks echo there!

Look at that frizzy hair =)) Mandatory tourist shot with the bridge. šŸ™‚
My husband with the gooz.
Ready for photo ops.

Maidenhead Bridge

The Maidenhead Bridge sits in parallel with The Sounding Arch which also cuts across the River Thames.

I noticed a depth gauge board in the river and found out that a flood happened in 1947 through the tablet installed in the bridge by the Borough of Maidenhead.

Ada Lewis Memorial Fountain

After crossing the Maidenhead Bridge is the Bridge Gardens where we found this memorial. It’s originally built in 1908 in memory of Ada Lewis who helped a lot of charities during her time.

Maidenhead Jubilee Clock

The clock is supposed to be the first thing to see when you get off Maidenhead Station but it wasn’t the case for us lol. Must be because there was construction going on site so we didn’t see it right away. Would have been nice to see it during noon or morning.

It was a nice town visit and if given the chance, I would love to explore more especially the fresh produce market at High Street. šŸ™‚

Walking Around Malmesbury

Two weeks in and I think I now know my way around the important places to note. We live along High Street which we think is the best location because of accessibility. Of course you’ll always hear cars driving along the main road but it isn’t much of a bother because all windows are closed given that we’re entering fall season. It’s so cold now that I sleep wearing socks. šŸ˜€ Streets are narrow, just two lanes, and locals drive fast and do right hand driving which is the opposite of what I’m used to in the Philippines. Until now I had to look both ways before crossing. šŸ˜€

While Iā€™m still organizing my photos, here are some snaps I did around town while doing errands.

Malmesbury Abbey

We pass by the Abbey towards the big supermarket during grocery days. The other side of this street is the Abbey House Gardens. The husband calls this the scenic route because you’ll go through nature instead of streets. It leads to a staircase where I took photos of beautiful flowers.

There are a lot of flowers around Malmesbury which I totally love because they’re vibrant and they don’t have a strong fragrance. My nose says thanks to that. šŸ˜€

Walking further leads to a lot of greenery and a small bridge that goes through the River Avon. There are some ducks and swans there but I wasn’t able to take a picture of them yet.

At the top of High Street is the Malmesbury Market Cross. Every Friday, fresh produce are sold there from 9:00 am until 3:00 pm. At it’s left is Thomas of Malmesbury, a butcher shop. Have yet to try their sausages.

Malmesbury Market Cross

I’m fascinated of bricks and I actually dreamed of having a brick wall in the bedroom when I was a kid. So when I got here, I can’t stop taking photos. šŸ˜€

View from our attic window
High Street at night
Still along High Street

A friend actually commented that it looks like a ghost town. The night photos were taken last Saturday at 8:30 PM and everyone’s in a pub except for us lol. It’s a quiet town which gets busy on weekdays. My husband and I were actually talking about how nice it is to live in the suburbs instead of the city because life is quiet and without pressure. I do believe we already live in the busiest part of Malmesbury but it doesn’t feel like the usual hustle and bustle of the city. We get to enjoy our Friday Netflix nights.

Malmesbury is a very unpretentious and friendly town, while absolutely steeped in history,” says Peter Sharvell of Strutt & Parker Cirencester

I totally agree with how Malmesbury was described, it was like putting words in my mouth. šŸ˜€

Hope I gave you enough glimpse of the town. šŸ™‚

Top View

I’m back! It’s been a whirlwind of two weeks because my dependent visa was granted and I was booked to leave immediately. I left Manila last August 24 and I’m now blogging from Malmesbury, Wiltshire.

It was a fairly uneventful travel with a bit of turbulence, nothing I can’t handle. šŸ˜‰ The good / bad part was it being a direct flight of 14 hours. It was good because i didn’t have to worry about losing my check-in baggage which didn’t have a bag tag with my contact details. I’ve been putting washi tape in the handles ever since I found that travel hack from Mansy Abesasmis of Hey Kessy. Makes it easier to find the luggage. The bad part was the hassle of going to the rest room and just sitting all throughout that flight. I had a hard time finding the best position to sleep. Thanks PAL for the sleeping eye mask! They gave us a kit that contains the sleeping mask, socks, toothbrush and toothpaste. I tried using the restroom water to brush my teeth but it was a disaster. I don’t know, it tasted like soap LOL. So I tried my best to spit all of it then brush my teeth dry then spit again. When I went out of the restroom, I asked the flight attendant for a glass of distilled water and used that to gargle. šŸ˜Ž

The view from above was awesome and I did post a video of it in my Instagram stories. Never not taking pictures when assigned a window seat. šŸ™‚ It was worth the hassle of standing up and trying to maneuver my way out with the reclined seats it front and two people to pass through to get to the aisle.

We were chasing the sun during that flight. I arrived 8:30 PM London time and was picked up by ze hubby at the airport. The travel to our flat was a good 1.5 to 2 hour drive. I am now officially on EMEA timezone. šŸ˜€

Limliwa Beach Resort, Zambales

Missing the beach! The weather’s a total pain in the ass for my allergic rhinitis because it’s the transition from summer to rainy season. I’ve been bitching about itchy eyes and nose for days now and I’m pulling out the final weapon I have in my stash: Antihistamine. šŸ˜¦ So since I wanted a pick-me-up post, I decided to share a beach trip we did last June in Zambales. The #coolkids are back! Missing my hubby but we are with a new recruit. šŸ˜€

We went there June 22 which was already nearing the end of summer. The weather forecast a few days back told us that there will thunderstorms that day. We bought stuff at the local market for our stay and did a quick drive thru at Jollibee for our lunch meals. We arrived at Limliwa Beach Resort around noon and ate in one of the kubos. We got a 6 pax room for 4,000 pesos with two beds and one extra mattress. The room was small but adequate. We were positive that the weather will cooperate because we were sweating while eating lunch. šŸ˜€ Since it was still too hot to swim, we decided to take our nap and get up at 3 or 4 pm. We woke up at 4-ish to an epic thunder =)) We changed to swim clothes quickly and went to the beach for a swim. There were thunderstorms at nearby mountains and there was static, I had to take a picture of my hair.

Excuse my eye bags =))
Photo by @janrosantos featuring our lifted toes

I was a bit scared to swim because few weeks ago, news of 5 tourists in Siargao, 4 injured and 1 dead, were struck by lightning while taking selfies on the beach after swimming. My husband was reminding me not swim as well because of this. Also stumbled upon this article way way back that’s why I was scared when I saw my hair stand up. The rest of the people in the beach weren’t that scared though and still went on swimming probably because their hair was already went and can’t them stand up. We also swam but we didn’t stayed long. I was hoping to get a bit of color but the sun was hiding and was followed by rain.

We went back to change clothes and decided to cook the ever famous sinigang by the beach. While that was cooking, we saw that the sky turned pink, purple, and orange. Summer solstice! We immediately went back to see the sun setting. My iPhone couldn’t do justice on how beautiful that sunset was.

Walked by the beach til the sun totally set and was able to catch lighting on video which I cannot upload because hello free WordPress. =)) We looked for cooked rice and bought because we were too lazy to do it and ate dinner. After that, we went stargazing back in the beach. There were lots of light from the resorts so it was bit hard to see but it was beautiful still. Ended the night super late because of endless kwentuhan.

The next day, I was determined to get some sun. LOL. So we woke up and swam around 8AM. It was a success this time. šŸ˜€ Last hurrah before leaving for the cloudy weather. I’ll surely miss the sun. =))

BITIN. I lack color on my neck and chest. Now my face is darker than them, LOL. I’d go back here and probably explore the other resorts. It was a nice, quiet weekend. Maybe because we stayed far from the night parties. šŸ˜€ On the way home, we ate at The Beanery, Dinalupihan. No food photos but it’s where the #coolkids at. šŸ˜Ž

See you next weekend šŸ™‚