Wednesday, July 29, 2015

A Shangri-La Weekend

Before leaving for Turkey April of this year, I knew I just had to book a short trip to an island resort for some swim, sand, and sun scheduled before the summer officially ends and the classes start. True enough, we didn't have the chance to swim even we stayed at the Aegean region while in Turkey because it was spring during our visit. A few days after we came back to Manila, off we went to Shangri-La's Mactan Resort & Spa in Cebu for a real summer vacation.

It was our 3rd time in Shangri-La Mactan. My elder daughter knows how good is this place is so she's the most excited about this trip. The moment we checked in, she already wanted to change into her swimming suit and take a swim.

This was the beautiful view from our Ocean Wing room. It's a cropped photo but aside from the clear pool and the lush of greens, if you can look at the upper left, you can see the peeking ocean
where tourist would go kayaking, snorkeling or ride jet ski.

This is my favorite spot so much. It's like stairway to paradise.

I just had to have a photo taken there together with my girls.

Here's the view from the opposite side of the room. It's the garden and pathways leading to the Main Wing and Buko Bar.

One of the perks of staying in a fabulous hotel like Shangri-La Mactan is having breakfast buffet. This was my delicious dessert platter from the Tides filled with pastries and fresh fruits.

As usual, we opted for al fresco dining so the kids could chase the birds in case they try to eat our food. Haha!

They got free twisted balloons from the restaurant. How nice is that?

So, what to do after a sumptuous morning meal? Swim.

The girls has a favorite spot as well and this is it-- the Aqua Play. Next to that, the elder daughter also likes the Adventure Zone, while the baby daughter likes the Toddler's Zone (both not in photos).

A lavish wedding was held at the beach front on our 2nd day at the resort. How I wished I was able to witness the bride walking the aisle, but the girls got too tired from the activities of the day that we couldn't go out anymore; just called for in-room dining and retired to bed early.

Sleeping like a boss. :P

If there is one reasonably priced 5 star beach resort I would love to book every time, that would be nothing else but Shangri-La. My next goal is to book Shangri-La's Boracay Resort & Spa for our 10th year anniversary next year. Hubby told me to choose a getaway for us, book the tickets and the hotel so first one in mind is Boracay. We'll see next year.

Do you have a favorite island hotel? Please share.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Troy in Çanakkale

Hello there! I supposed you didn't expect me to update in less than a week after my last post. Well, surprise.. surprise!! I got motivated seeing that my followers continue to visit my page, plus I get new likes in my Facebook page, not everyday, but at least, every week. So, thank you, ladies, very much for your continued support. Any which way, this is just another installment for my Turkish vacation series. As continuation to my family's roadtrip to the Aegean Region, here is a short photo story of our visit to the ancient city of Troy or Troia in Turkish, an archaeological site and a very famous tourist spot in Çanakkale Province.

This huge replica of the Trojan horse greeted us right as we enter the premise. It was really hard to take a photo without anyone in the background since this area was always flocked by visitors for souvenir photos.

Once can actually go up the stairs, check the inner rooms of this wooden horse and peek in one of those windows just like what my baby daughter is doing in the photo. Don't worry, she's safe being held tight by my dear husband.

It's spring time when we went to Turkey this year so my kids and I enjoyed the stroll without so much to complain about. The weather was sunny but our cheeks were kissed by the cold wind. Just perfect.

I can't give a very clear background about this place. If you are familiar with Illiad and the Odyssey, heard names like Menelaus, Agamemnon, and Helen, then happened to watched Troy, a 2004 film of Brad Pitt, then I think you know a thing about it.

This site gives us an idea on how was the civilization of the old Greek people. Actually, I was amazed by the beautiful engineering done with these buildings. Those sturdy marble and bricks surely passed the time.

I imagine the common people and their leaders watching a performance in this theater. Some women and sitting in awe while some men are standing while cheering.

What this area could be? These pile and pile of stones appear to be a part of something huge. Whatever it is, I'm sure someone wealthy or influential lived in it.

This trip to the Aegean for the sight of Troy educated my elder daughter, refreshed me with my knowledge on Greek Mythology, and truly opened our minds of the possibility for the humankind to unfurl whatever existed for centuries but buried beneath the earth.

Till my next post! :)

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Roadtrip to the Aegean Region x Kofteci Yusuf

One of the highlights of our family's visit to Turkey this year is the trip from Istanbul to a certain municipality at the coast of north-eastern Aegean Region. The long hours of land travel plus boat transfer were all worth it. Besides, as much as I love Istanbul and its busy streets mainly because of food and shopping, it is really more than a treat to be able to escape the crowded city, the traffic and all that, then see the countryside where there are world-famous heritage sites, beaches, and other tourist spots.

The roads are long, sometimes lonely, most of the time alluring with its beauty. I wish I was able to take more pictures specially during boat transfer, but my baby daughter was too clingy. Thus, taking a decent photos was very hard. Most of the shots were blurry that I had to erase them.

I shared selected photos in my Instagram account. I bet you can recognize them if you follow both my IG and my blog at the same time. This one was taken somewhere along our way to Edremit in Balikesir Province.

We stopped by at this restaurant in Susurluk to have our late lunch. This place, Kofteci Yusuf, is famous for its mouth-watering grilled Turkish meatballs. You can tell by the full parking lot alone that they serve good food. I believe, they have branches spread all over Turkey. So, if you happen to be visiting Turkey, I suggest you guys put this restaurant in your itinerary.

Since Susurluk is known for frothy ayran, my elder daughter just had to try it. By the way, to those who are not familiar with Turkish cuisine, ayran is a cold yogurt drink made by combining water, yogurt and salt. It is commonly served in restaurants anywhere in Turkey.

Dyarann.. this is the meatballs I'm talking about. You probably noticed by now that it is not actually shaped like balls. Turkish meatballs are either elongated or flat patties. So far, this is the second best Turkish meatballs that I ever tasted. The first one was in a family restaurant somewhere in Manisa. I previously blogged about it HERE.

After some our lunch break, some chit chat and looking around, off we drove again to our last destination. Here in the collage is my elder daughter (with MIL peeking), my little one saying 'hi' to the camera while breastfeeding, and my camera-shy BIL covering his face while driving.

I know, I'm sorry it's been a while since my last update. Honestly, I have been planning to write a series about our Turkish trip. I just find it hard to squeeze some blogging time these days. Anyhow, I will try to manage my schedule and finish each draft then post it live. Till the next?