A + A ~ Sydney

Finally i am on Maternity Leave and trying to sort out all the chores before bub arrives. So we had been toying for ideas to do for our Anniversary and most possibly our last trip before i pop. We had staycations in mind randomly. And then bam, Hubs got a memo that he had to go to Sydney for work!

Perfect.

So there i was tagging along! Got the Gynae letter signed which Virgin Airlines didnt even check! We were there from Thursday to Sunday. Hubs had to work on Thursday and Friday and we end up exploring on the weekend!

 Out and about at Hyde Park!


Walked everywhere with this bump of mine exploring what Sydney has to offer! Queen Victoria Building was my favorite in terms of Architecture!

 On weeknights after hubs finish work, we kickback at Darling Harbour. Soaking up the nice cool scenery and good food.

Quite surprised that they have Laduree in Australia. Remeniscing our times in Paris.


Of course we can’t leave Sydney, without heading to Bondi! Ribs & Burgers.. Ben & Jerrys!



  

  Happy Advanced Anniversary to us!

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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! 😘

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! 😦

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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 → Bologna → Florence → Pisa 🙂 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 €7.75 and the shuttle that the hotel provided to the station is €5 per person. So you work out the math if you’re traveling more than 2 persons 🙂 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 ~ 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

   

 

A + A Eurotrip 2015 ~ United Kingdom (Manchester)

Of course when you have a husband like mine who is a soccer fanatic and a Manchester United fan, definitely Manchester would be on your travel list!


We stepped out of the plane with me sneezing away! It was toooo darn cold! It was 7degrees in Manchester! It’s Spring they say! We rushed through the customs and finally got a cab! We had exactly an hour to check into our hotel and out for our Manchester United stadium tour!

So we finally made it! Just a tip, if you’re booking for the stadium tour, made sure if you chose any tour time slots after 3pm, please set aside 1.5hrs for the Museum prior to your tour time.

Dominic was the coolest guide ever! He’s very knowledgeable and hilarious! Don’t forget to get your Tour Certificates from the store, its free! Always has a long queue! Definitely do that and if you want to customise your jerseys, do that first! These two lines can be pretty long!

We booked the most affordable lodging nearest to the Stadium! Victoria Warehouse Hotel. If you searched them on TripAdvisor, you’ll get mixed reviews. Most of the rooms are without windows, unless you booked a double deluxe room.

Usually between the both of us, the husband is usually harder to please. But he was pretty impressed with the concept of the hotel. The space was adequate and the bathroom was nice,modern and clean! We are pleased with the room for the price we paid! 🙂

If you’re staying around Old Trafford, you are sure not to miss eating at Harry Ramsden! His fish and chips are beautiful! Definitely a must have! The waitresses are very friendly and accomodating. I did felt slightly embarrassed when she said 7 degrees was considered warm for them! Haha

We were in Manchester for a few days. And since the weather is freezing cold, we decided to spend the day just in the area and visit the Trafford Centre. It reminds us a lot like Chadstone Shopping Centre!

Although we didn’t win the match, the experience at Old Trafford was very memorable! And to be standing at the Stretford End was just amazing! We won’t be here if not for Hana and Kev! Thank you guys!