Sunday, January 12, 2014

Bye 2013

How time flies.

It was a good 2013 for me. It was packed with travels and lots of very good memories.

I went back to the Philippines, for my second wedding, the church wedding at Fernbrook Gardens (first one was civil), which was 2 years in the making (started January 2011).

church wedding at fernbrook gardens/notre dame de vie,
theme: travel and paris,
motif: peach with yellow accent

Then I finally got to see the amazing El Nido, Palawan and I took my foreign guests with me. We stayed at Lagen (El Nido Resorts) for 4days/3 nights and booked three of their over the water huts (for us, the bestman, the sister-in-law)

el nido resorts - lagen & island hopping

I also got to flaunt the Philippines to my foreign guests . It was their first time in the Philipines and I took them to Intramuros (segway tour), Corregidor, we did the Manila sunset dinner cruise in Manila Bay, went to Tagaytay for lunch at my favorite Sonya's garden and snack at Leslie's to see the Taal volcano. They also saw Calaruega and El Nido. Our complete itinerary here.

top (left to right): segway tour in intramuros, our villa escudero river hut,
buffet lunch by the falls at villa escudero,  kayaking in El Nido's small lagoon
bottom (left to right): corregidor, tagaytay (taal volcano), sonyas garden, villa escudero

I got to experience eating by the waterfall and staying at one of the rustic huts by the river in Villa Escudero. Below is a video of us rowing a bamboo raft at Villa Escudero. The hut with the guy taking pictures at the balcony is two of the huts we booked. Our hut is the hut before that one.

bamboo rafting villaescudero GOPR0087 from bluemarlinfish on Vimeo.

I also tried skiing for the first time and have watched WWE (wrestling, which I won't do again. Sorry, not a fan.).

I learned how to make and decorate cupcakes.

In 2011, I got to see Keith Urban's concert in Philadelphia but in 2012 I wasn't able to see any concert. So in 2013 I made it a point I'll get to watch another concert. Who did I see? Another one of the artists I enjoy listening to, Bruno Mars.

Revisited Cape May and stayed there for a few nights to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. That's where we got married civilly.

I got to see the Riverwalk, went spelunking and ziplined in San Antonio, Texas. Saw the night life in Austin, Texas and got to try the southern bbq ribs.

ayeen ziplining in san antonio - day 2 from bluemarlinfish on Vimeo.

We went to Seattle and Portland and I was able to see Mt. St. Helens via my first helicopter ride in Oregon. Experienced the long line at the Voodoo donuts (also in Oregon) and finally saw Seattle's Space Needle. Below is a video of our helicopter ride.

GoPro version: Mt St Helens' Helicopter Tour from bluemarlinfish on Vimeo.

Our major trip for 2013 was for our honeymoon, the mediterranean cruise. We booked the Celebrity Silhoutte ship thru Celebrity Cruise (Aqua Class). Because of this cruise we were able to visit 3 new countries (Greece, Malta, Turkey) and have revisited Italy. We saw Rome and Venice again and visited new ones like Murano, Burano, Capri, Sorrento snd Pompeii.

left to right, top to bottom
mykonos, mykonos, santorini, santorini
athens, athens, crete, vatican,
venice, rome, rome, malta
left to right, top to bottom
sea day, hanging out at our cabin balcony (malta port), sea day, sea day
burano, turkey, pompei (with visuvius in the background), murano,
burano, athens, rhodes - greece, forbidden part of rome's colloseo (the stage)
In Greece I have seen Rhodes, Mykonos, Delos, Athens and my favorite, Santorini. In Malta, I have fallen inlove with Mdina and swore to come back and stay for a atleast a couple of nights. We have been to Ephesus in Turkey, which I find interesting too.

Below is a video in Santorini. I'm the one in pink.

santorini - go pro hero 3 black from bluemarlinfish on Vimeo.

I discovered a new passion,  the art of making cakepops! And it's addicting trying out different shapes and forms and getting creative with candies and sprinkles. Like, see that baby? I used a necklace candy for the pacifier, and see that clown? I used a roasted french peanuts for the hair.

cake pops by yours truly

Being the Harry Potter fan that I am, I have always wanted to go to Universal Studios in Florida to see the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. I finally did this for my birthday.
left to right, top to bottom
wizarding world of harry potter, drinking butterbeer with my travel gnome/pinky, hogwarts express, hogsmeade,
lorax, with an elf at 3 broomsticks (harry potter land), atlantis (kennedy space center), make-believe space shuttle
I also got to see the Kennedy Space Center as a bonus trip and got to see the retired Atlantis, assembly station for rockets, had lunch with an astronaut, saw what a space station looks like, and a lot other cool space stuff.

I also revisited North Carolina, the state I considered my first home in the U.S. It was a roadtrip and we drove suveesha (my Rav4)  from Philadelphia to North Carolina. We spent two nights in Chapel Hill, then three nights at the Biltmore Estate (Asheville) and attended their black tie gala party for New Year's eve, then day trip in Outer Banks (Kitty Hawk) to see the Wright Brother's Memorial (which is actually my second time there) and Cape Hatteras.

We also did a side trip to Tennessee to see the life size replica of Athen's Parthenon.

top to bottom, left to right
biltmore house, biltmore house, biltmore inn, our room
new year's eve gala invite, pass, program, new year's eve dinner,
gala, gala, life-size parthenon replica in tennessee, ginger bread
So yes, it was a good year.

We have a couple of trips lined up for 2014. I'm hoping to add 2 more but we'll see where our budget takes us, lol.

Bye 2013. Let's set some new goals for 2014!