Travel Bug.

The past year we have been traveling extensively from our US trip to Euro trip! It has been amazing! All those research, numbers, headaches and late night thoughts; no never regret any of it! I just love planning!

But i guess the aftermath of it all! I miss traveling heaps! I miss hopping on the plane and land in an airport I haven’t been before; discover something new, new places, new food, new sights and new vibes!

One thing for sure, i will never trade my travel experiences; the good and the bad and definitely i will always choose YOU to do it all over again! The best of all is when you are able to hold hands with your bestfriend, the love of your life and explore the world! For that i am so blessed to be able to experience it…

Soon, we will have a little one in tow! Ive always dreamt of exploring the world with my little family and always foresee the husband pulling the little one on his lil trunki through the airport.. ¬†InsyaAllah.. We shall continue to explore the future together! ūüėė

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A + A Eurotrip 2015 ~ Rome

Finally the last leg of our journey! Got early bird first class seats on our journey from Pisa to Rome. It took about 2.5 hours as our train departs at 9.30am and we got to Roma termini about 12pm. With our luggages we took the subway to Vatican where our Airbnb was. It was so cosy and nice! The weather was a tad too hot but it was great!

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We rested for awhile before heading out to Vatican Museum as we pre purchased/pre booked the tickets. Highly recommended for you to purchase prior and book the timing of your visit online before you get there. It was so crowded and we are so relieved that we have purchased it online. Its such a good experience, the wall murals and the architecture.  The Sistine chapel cannot be photographed but it was so surreal for us to be there.

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The sun was about to set, we didn’t want to queue just to enter the Chapel so we just walked around and take photos! We were so hungry as we only had Breakfast in the morning. So we decided to venture out to grab early dinner and the famous Gelato at Vatican! It was awesome! The Nutella gelato was super good! It was a highlight of our day! We decided to have an early night rest before another big long day the next day at the Colosseum and the Outlet Centre!

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Woke up early and made our way to the Colosseum via Subway! A bonus when your Airbnb is only about 3 minutes from the Vatican train Station! We wanted to cash out for the day and decided that we shall wait till we get to the Colosseum to do so. When everyone advise you to take care in Rome especially Pickpockets, you have to be alert at all times! We had the same advice in Paris too and thank god nothing happen! So it was so crowded in the train, and we are like a stop away when a group of local teenagers suddenly jumped into our carriage and crowded the entrance. I knew they are up to something as they were moving from one carriage to another. And i try to get Ali’s attention but he was blocked by another lady behind me.

So our stop came and i told myself, I’m just gonna hold on tight to my bag and phone in hand and just push¬†my way out! I’m glad i did, as soon as i got out, i was relieved and continue walking as Ali is usually behind me. So i turned around and he wasn’t there so i walked back quickly to the carriage and he was struggling to get out of the train! i was so pissed that i can see all these teenagers we blocking him intentionally and finally he pushed his way out and carried this girl by the waist to get out of his way. So as he got out i said what happened (by this time, the train already left!) He said that the group of teenagers were blocking him and he stopped and looked down and found his bag that was on his chest the whole time was opened. A kind Italian man came to us and said the kids took Ali’s Wallet! Omg that one time he switched off! It was just so incredible and fast how they did it. He had his wallet at the bottom of his pouch and heaps of items like sunglasses, cases, camera at the top of the pouch. This thieves grab his wallet! We gasped. I was more angry than ever but thank god there was no cash in the wallet but a pain as all his id and bank cards are in there.

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We had to go from one cop to another to report with none knowing how to speak English and at last we are at the Police Station! It took as an hour to report the case, even though we are the only one in there. With the language barrier and all, it was frustrating and at the end of it all, the policeman gave us a report to write! like seriously after all that questions and explanations! We didn’t have the mood to do anything at all, we even missed our Colosseum tour with the 3rd ring underground pass! I was quite devastated and pissed. but things happen! We try to be positive again and continue with our plans to the Colosseum we go!

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The colosseum was amazing! Such a shame that we didn’t get to go on the tour! But oh wells it was a good experience to be there and learning about heaps of amazing things! Even when the sun is scorching hot!

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The¬†Palatine Hill¬†is one of the seven¬†Hills¬†of Rome and is one of the most ancient parts of the city. It stands above the Roman Forum. We did a quick sightseeing as it was getting too hot and sweaty! Since we weren’t in the best of moods, we decided to have a perk me up shopping session so we head down to Roma Termini clutching our bags of course as we are just still shaken by the ordeal, We got bus shuttle tickets (15 Euros return) to¬†Castel Romano Designer Outlet! They say Florence is the place to go for Prada and Ferragamo Outlets! The outlet in Roma was okay but they don’t have Prada. So i finally got myself a pair of Ferragamo Varinas! Been dreaming of owning it for years! It wasn’t the best outlet we have ever been to but it can do as it was the only outlet in Italy we are able to visit! Ali tried to get out of taking subways after that but i managed to convince him otherwise! we hold on to each other tight and made sure theres no teenagers, we did saw a group at the platform as we are about to board but we quickly change carriages instead! What a day!

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Finally the finale, to be honest, we can’t wait to go home. Period. Our flight doesn’t leave until 10pm that night so we head down to Roma Termini with our luggage using Uber! It was such a fancy ride, we were surprised! Just like we did in Venice, we dropped off our bags at the Baggage Storage at Roma Termini for 6 hours. I must remind you, please set aside about 45mins to an hour for the whole process as the queue can be really really long!¬†Once our baggages are settled, we went up to Terravision to get Airport Shuttle tickets which costs us 4 Euros one way from Rome Termini to¬†Fiumicino Airport. This place is quite hard to find so you do need to ask around as Rome Termini is HUGE!

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Our first stop was Trevi Fountain! And to our disappointment, it was undergoing renovations! So upsetting we walked all the way only to see all these scaffoldings! What a day! Oh wells, we did had lunch at this amazing place along the Alley! Still can’t beat the pasta we had in Venice!

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Our next stop was the Spanish Steps! I’ve seen it in Postcards and always in awe! But….. it was just too crowded and people dipping their feet in the fountain! So disappointed again, so unlike the photos in the postcards! We end up sitting at an overpriced cafe having Gelato! ūüė¶

Spanish Steps

Spanish Steps

We decided to walked back to Roma Termini and of course we try to buy souvenirs along the way. We decided to shop around Roma Termini waiting for time before we depart as our Shuttle leaves at 7pm. Rome was great despite the disappointments and incidents! A journey for once in our life! Yes we love Rome so much we checked in 4 hours before! LOL Omg Tax Refund was so confusing, we were going from one terminal to another, it was just too tiring! We just felt so relieved to be on the way back to Melbourne. It is definitely going to be one hell of a long flight! So long Europe, thank you for the memories!

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A + A Eurotrip 2015 ~ Pisa

After a great morning discovering Ferrari world, we caught a cab back to Modena Train station before we got on to 2 sets of train rides to Pisa. It wasn’t that bad, we only had an hour to wait in between the train rides from Florence to Pisa. So here we go Modena¬†‚Üí Bologna¬†‚Üí Florence¬†‚Üí Pisa ūüôā The journey¬†takes us altogether about 2.5-3 hours. We caught the train at 3:30pm and got to Pisa at 6pm! It was indeed an experience and a good journey!¬†DSCN5602

Got a cab from Pisa to our hotel; Hotel Pisa Tower.¬†We chose this location due to the proximity of this hotel to the Tower of Pisa! The room was clean and amazing! With 2 large luggages in tow we were very delighted to have been allocated room in the main building and on the first level! Thank god! After a long day on the trains! We can’t be bothered to go up anymore staircases and what nots! The staff are friendly and very helpful too!
DSCN55781 thing to take note was that¬†we discovered, taking a cab to the hotel from Pisa Centrale station is ‚ā¨7.75 and the shuttle that the hotel provided to the station is ‚ā¨5 per person. So you work out the math if you’re traveling more than 2 persons ūüôā Ever since we reached Italy, i was just addicted with fresh bread dipped in Olive oil and Balsamic Vinegar! Its just awesome! Of course after the day we had, we are just famished! We got awesome shots before the Sunsets and off we set foot to have our dinner!

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Pisa was indeed awesome you know one of those places you just want to strike off your bucket list of travel places! And Alhamdulillah i am glad we did it. We had an early night before we set off another train ride the next morning to Rome!

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A + A Eurotrip 2015 ~ Venice & Maranello

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It was such a quick change of weather when we landed into Venice via EasyJet. It was super hot! Got a bus ticket from the Marco Polo Airport terminal. Since there is no land transport available direct to¬†Venice. The most affordable and easiest way is to¬†get the ATVO Airport Shuttle to Venice Piazzale Roma (express service). It will cost¬†you¬†‚ā¨5.50 one way per person.Our plan was to catch the shuttle to¬†Piazzale Roma, from there you have to cross the bridge and just a tip if you have more than one¬†luggage, you can either drag them over the bridge and mind you there are steps! Be warn! It can get pretty full on!¬†Or¬†there are Porters at the foot of the bridge and you can just pay them¬†‚ā¨10 Euros and they will carry them for you using a Trolley¬†to Venezia Santa Lucia railway station.

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As we are taking the evening train to Maranello, this was convenient for us and thereafter we deposit our luggage at the station so we are able to sightsee freely. Storing Luggage at St Lucia Station¬†will cost you 6,00 ‚ā¨¬†the first 5 hours! But please do expect a really long queue! That was the case for us in Rome Termini as well before we catch our night flight!

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After that whole hurrah, we’re off on foot in the beautiful Venice. First stop was food! Yes food! We shared a lobster pasta which tasted delicious! The best we had in Italy for sure! Having said that should make them during one of our weekly dinners! :)) Venice is like a maze, a wrong turn and you’re just lost in the little lanes. Every couple would want to ride the Gondola, but ‚ā¨90 is not really worth the price and in the hot scorching weather we decide to skip it! Its beautiful although I must say it was VERY VERY crowded. We walked around and sat on the steps because it was too hot and crowded.

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Even though we got lost at one point, it was great to explore and seeing little kids playing soccer and smell the delicious cooking of the locals through their kitchen windows. We had great smoothies and ice cream to cool us down.

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Caught the evening train to Maranello but first has to change at Bologna Station before we get to our destination which is Modena train station. It wasn’t too bad as a whole especially if you have a partner to help you carry up and down your luggage off the train steps. Maranello is a dream destination for the Husband as he is a big Ferrari fan and Kimi Raikkonen’s too! So got the hotel to arrange for us a pick up at Modena train station to the Hotel which cost us about 25 Euros and took us about 30-40minutes from Modena train¬†station to the Hotel!

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And boy were we in for a treat! The reception was so elaborate yup with the F1 vehicle above, thats the hotel reception desk! How remarkable! Everything was F1 Ferrari related from the name of the hotel buildings and rooms to the decor and design! It was pretty awesome i must say! Of course we woke up bright and early taking advantage of the free shuttle to the Ferrari Museum and also the Factory tour that we booked beforehand. And like a boy in a candy store, Ali was in awe and tried the stimulator and snapping endless photos although we are not allowed to during the Factory Tour.

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It was indeed a really good experience and never be forgotten!

A + A Eurotrip 2015 ~ Paris Disneyland

As you can tell, we hardly use¬†Taxis in our EuroTrip. We mostly Uber it through or use Mozio for any airport transfers! But I’ve heard some European countries are taking a stand on Uber so please do be careful. So we had a splendid Uber Ride from our Paris Hotel to our Kyriad Hotel in Disneyland. It takes about 40-45minutes from Paris. As we reached the Hotel, we knew that our room wasn’t ready as our check in time was at 3pm. So thankful that they have giant lockers for us to store our luggage and also for the free shuttle service to Disneyland too! As Disney lovers, we hopped on the free shuttle and began our day at the Walt Disney Studios Park.

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Unfortunately it was such a waste of time. There’s not much to do as most of the rides are closed or maintained. You can even¬†finish everything in less than a day, just make sure to fit in Animagic and Cinemagic in your itinerary for the day! As for Ali, he seems to think that the Studio’s Fish Burger is the best Fish burger he ever had!! So that was the highlight of his day! If you get the park hopper tickets, definitely recommend visitors to spend the other half of the day at Disneyland instead! We decided to do “some” retail therapy at La Vall√©e Village which is known to be filled with outlets of famous designers like, LV, Givency, Longchamp and etc… What a good bargain day, especially for your Longchamp needs!

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We got back to a double room that we booked for the weekend!¬†The rooms are clean and spacious and another¬†good thing is the free shuttle to Disneyland which was awesome! However, the walls are really thin that we can hear heaps of noises from the corridors. In addition,this is the first family Disneyland hotel that doesn’t offer laundry service or even a laundry room! Its really hard to find a Laundromat too! I find that European hotels never provide ironing facilities in the room. Just an observation I found. Maybe they think that tourists are equipped with crease free luggage bags! We stayed on the first floor and thank god the lifts was working. Was reading reviews from the week before that the lifts wasn’t working! Alhamdulillah lucky us!

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As you know anything and everything within Disneyland compounds are super expensive! Trying to scout for a good place to eat around Disney Village and finally after 45minutes wait we got into this American diner. The food was okay despite the high price we paid for the meal!
The next day we head to Disneyland Paris which was awesome. We love it! We were both like kids in an amusement park!¬†We finally manage to take a photo of the Castle! It was fantastic¬†Despite people smoking everywhere in the park and the fact that people actually stand up during the Parades! Which came¬†as a big Disney culture shock! We managed to enjoy ourselves! The highlight for me would be Disney Dreams Finale show with spectacular fireworks! It was such a magical day for me. 3 parks down 2 to go! Of course I can’t help myself buying all the Disney collectibles for Home! I can’t wait to use everything once we got our house in the future!DSCN5322
Everyone has been asking about the discounted Disneyland Paris tickets that I got. I signed up with Ce Multiadvantages and got great discounts! They even send the tickets straight to our Hotel in Paris! It was awesome but you do need to sign up with them. Last I heard Disneyland Paris clamped down on these tickets sadly. We got such¬†a bargain for 3 days 2 Park Hoppers Ticket (‚ā¨119)¬†, Arc De Triomphe (‚ā¨10) and Seine River (‚ā¨10)¬†tickets for less than ‚ā¨300¬†for the¬†2 of us! Bargain!

A + A Eurotrip 2015 ~ Paris

What a start to the morning! We missed our Eurostar Train! We didn’t even think that there was going to be Traffic! So we got Uber who was on time but Traffic was so bad! We had to get off half way and take the subway to Kingscross! By the time, we reached there, the counter is closed! Gahhhhh ended had to pay ¬£60 to get on the next train! Little did we know Hana & Kev surprised us with a pair of first class tickets! We were shocked when they served us food on the train! But it was such a good experience! Thanks again guys! =))

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It was about a couple of hours ride before we reach Gare Du Nord. Enough said, after reading countless reviews, we were extra careful with our bags and luggage. We walked all the way to Mercure Gare D’Lest¬†and took us like 15mins!¬†It wasn’t that¬†bad of a walk but with luggage in tow and¬†the uneven¬†pavement, it¬†can be tiresome!

So¬†finally we reached the¬†hotel in the laneway. The hotel is in such a great location. 10mins walk to Gare Du Nord and 3mins walk to Gare De Lest station.¬†There’s also restaurants and supermarket nearby. The rooms are worn out but very clean. I wonder though the walls might be really thin as we can hear every noise from the corridors like the slamming of doors even when our neighbours closed their toilet doors too!

After we settled in, we took the subway to Galleries La Fayette to see what’s the chaos all about. The moment we stepped in, all we saw are queues and crowds of Chinese tourists! As I don’t really have much to purchase, we were more like surveying the designs they have and how much the cost before we head into the boutiques. So here we are queuing to go into Longchamp and this female Chinese tourist jumped our queue as we were about to go in. I just held my hand up to her and ask her to stand back in line. Ridiculously annoying!¬†Head up to get some¬†Pierre Hermes Macaroons before eventually leaving for the Louvre since we are so over it!

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Louvre

It was nearly sunset when we got¬†to the Louvre. The crowd was¬†just nice¬†however as we were ushered in, there was a couple massive crowd of tourists, it was like a cat and mouse¬†game for us! We had to go over to the famous exhibits before the crowds gets in! And when they do the floor was flooded with little room to move. But indeed it was such a great experience! So surreal to be there, but do be careful there’s quite a number of people trying to sell you souvenirs and they can be really persistent too like following you around.

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Since it was already dinner time, we thought we would have dinner before heading back to the hotel and rest. It was getting colder too. As we scroll through the list of Restaurants around the area, we head on to Djakarta Bali which is about 5 minutes from the Louvre. Yes it is pricey. Yes it is fancy. My only regret is that i was seeking asian food in Paris and not look up the website of the restaurant first. The quality and taste wise was just okay. We get better Indonesian food in Melbourne even. I do think my Indomie goreng was so much better than the small serve of Mee Goreng that we were served. We did felt a pinch. Don’t think we will be returning.

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On our second day in Paris, we head down to Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris first thing in the morning.¬†Tourists always confused between the two lines into the Cathedral. One is in the middle which is to going into the Cathedral and there’s another at the side of the Cathedral that is going into the Tower.¬†¬†Both the queue is really long. We were more interested in the tower than the Cathedral and boy was the staircase narrow enough to only fit a person going up the tower! 387 steps to the South Tower, it can be quite claustrophobic for some. It does cost ‚ā¨8.50 per person. But the¬†view is awesome!
Jardin des Tuileries

Jardin des Tuileries

Rightafter, we catch the subway to Mus√©e d’Orsay and stroll through Jardin des Tuileries before we got to Angelina to have brunch! I only came here for the Mont Blanc and Hot chocolate! It was a delicious kind of experience but a tad too sweet for my liking! We then have a walk down Rue Saint Honor√© and Rue Cambon to see the famous Chanel boutique! Unfortunately, the Longchamp¬†bag that I was looking for wasn’t available at the Rue Saint Honor√©¬†boutique. So we began walking down Champs Elysees. It was beautiful how the roads are all connected to Arc De Triomphe! Managed to stop by Ladur√©e Le Bar to try some macaroons. I personally thought Pierre Hermes was better.

When we reached Arc De Triomphe, Ali looked at me and said “We are not climbing up that tower too. Are we?”. I slowly nodded and quickly said, “We’ve bought the tickets Already!” So we did painstakingly after walking around the whole day! It was such a good view of Paris. We did stop by for Crepes before heading to the Eiffel Tower. We were famished by then, ended up eating at this Kebab shop in more like a University neighbourhood. We nearly didn’t manage to get the¬†Seine River tour but we did! Alhamdulillah!

Arc De Triomphe

Arc De Triomphe

It was quite boring and crowded but definitely great to¬†experience in it if people¬†actually sit down and not block your views! Just my 2 cents worth!¬†The highlight of it was when we got off the boat, the Eiffel tower lights up! It was¬†breathtakingly beautiful! We¬†proceeded up to the Eiffel¬†Tower as¬†we were booked in at 10pm. I know it was late. Please remember to book your Eiffel tower viewing (Level 2 or Top of the Tower)¬†ASAP! We booked this like 2 months before and it was all gone except for the late night ones and for Level 2 only!¬†The Top of the tower got sold out really quick too! You might want to quickly get your hands on it and book it online. Don’t fall for tour traps which you’ll have to pay three times more!
That’s our days spent in Paris City! The City lights they call it. Headed off as we have an early ride to Paris Disneyland!

A + A Eurotrip 2015 ~ United Kingdom (London)

After a week being in Spain, we were quite relieved to be back in an English speaking country! Took the 9am bus from Manchester to London. Yes we took a bus! Megabus to be exact! After failing to purchase ¬£15 Virgin train tickets to London because it was all sold out due to the match weekend. it was frustrating when you are already at the checkout when there’s a screen that says it has been sold out already within two hours of the early bird release! And because paying for  ¬£80.60 train ride still doesn’t justify, we ended up booking Megabus which cost us  ¬£18 for 2 people! Yes and it only takes about an hour longer!

  
Me being me, I look through TripAdvisor and websites for Megabus to see how reliable they are, with poor reviews dated 3-5 years ago. I took a breather and was pleasantly surprised that the bus was clean and there was toilet underneath the bus too. Most importantly, it reaches London on time! That was excellent and highly recommend it to anyone, if you don’t want to pay for exorbitant train prices!

We booked our accommodation with Tunes Hotel prior to arriving. The hotels and Airbnbs in London are quite pricey. For us location was a factor. So there it was we entered Tunes Hotel Westminster which is about 8 minutes walk to the London Eye and Big Ben too! So it was pretty convenient. Lucky for us, we did have a $50 Expedia voucher to off set the accommodation cost so that was handy!

Of course, the room is indeed small. I had to even pray near to the entrance door and there’s not even area to put your luggage except for the windows’ ledge. But the bed was comfortable and location was great. We couldn’t complaint much! We did had a nightmare finding a laundromat. I think for a hotel that doesn’ts offer a laundry service or a laundry room. At least have an information ready for your guests for them to know where is the nearest one. I was send down to the dry cleaners at lower marsh only to find out that they are not open on public holidays. The reception could have told me that when i was asking her for directions to the dry cleaners that morning. So disappointed with the wrong info communicated.

Nonetheless London was pretty awesome! Although I keep doubling the currency in my mind to match AUD! After we settled in the hotel, we walked to Big Ben all the way through to Chinatown to find food! It was good and even bought cup noodles for our trip! Which only lasts for 2 days! Haha 

  

We finally got to meet lil Joseph! Omg Hana and i were childhood neighbours! It was so funny as she was pretty much younger than me and her sister! It has been god knows how many years! And finally we are welcome to her wonderful home and with a pleasant surprise that her family was in town too! It was such a wonderful evening! Catching up and updating each other about our lives!
  With the help of Tripomatic, we went to most London attractions which Includes Kensington Palace, Tower Bridge, Picadilly Circus, Change of guards ceremony, Abbey Road and a couple of others! Thought we didnt go to the whole Harry Potter tour since we are not big fans, we decided to go to Kings Cross station to take a photo at the 3/4 platforms which is great! Imagine working as the person that hold the scarf for you when youre taking a photo! Lol