My first time in Paris

Paris is THE dream destination of every girl in this world.

The majestic Eiffel Tower

The majestic Eiffel Tower

For the obvious reason that it is the city of love. A city to celebrate love for your partner, love for the city’s rich history and culture, love for its breathtaking sights (including the hot French guys), love for the French language, love for French food, love for fashion and of course, love for the iconic Eiffel Tower!

Loved every bit of Paris. <3

Loved every bit of Paris. ❤

Ever since I was a little girl, Paris was definitely on top of my dream destination list. I promised myself that when I grow up, I will do whatever it takes for me to travel the world and hopefully get the chance to wander around the city of love.

Fast forward to my 20s, I couldn’t believe I had the opportunity to travel to Paris. Alone. I’ve always thought that when I visit this place, I will be with someone—perhaps with my new husband as we celebrate our honeymoon? I don’t know. I just never thought I’d go to Paris alone.

paris-is-always-good-idea-facebook-cover

As Audrey Hepburn once said, “Paris is always a good idea.” However, the thought of traveling alone, for the first time – I don’t think that’s always a welcoming idea! Of course, only a loser would pass up this opportunity.

My Paris trip was work-related and everything happened so fast. I was only given a little less than 2 months to process my visa, wait for the result and shop for Autumn/Winter clothes! (I promise to write more about the visa processing and preparations on a separate entry.)

Insight Guides’ Paris Step by Step

I did not have enough time to do some in-depth research about the city to be honest. But since I already had an idea of the famous places I’ve always wanted to go, I listed it down and started from there. (Yes, this would definitely be something I will write about.)

I bought a travel book about Paris to help me with my planning. It was very helpful because not only does it have a lot of photos, addresses and phone numbers of the places (restaurants, museums, tour busses, hotels, etc.), it also has a comprehensive city and metro map.

Here are some tips that may help you plan your Paris trip:

  • Prepare a list of places you want to visit, refer to the city map and decide your itinerary per day and how you’ll be able to reach the place.
  • Wander around. Don’t be afraid to walk alone even if deep down inside, you’re a bit paranoid. Haha.
  • It’s okay not to follow your itinerary. Get lost and you’ll end up having the best stories!
  • When you get lost, I am sure you will discover something amazing! Of course, be extra careful.
  • You will fall madly in love with the Eiffel Tower. You’ll find yourself coming back to see it at least twice before you leave. (I cried a bit when I saw it up close. And when it started to light up at night. Hahaha)
  • Try to devour a lot of French food, as much as you can. Even if some of their food may taste odd, try it for the sake of experience.
  • France offers a wide range of desserts! Make sure to try it out- from the expensive ones to the cheaper ones from local pâtisserie.

Disclaimer: I wrote this on 30 March 2013, a few months after my first Europe trip, with an attempt to publish my first blog entry. I didn’t have the courage to post it obviously. 😦 More than 2 years passed and it found its way on this blog. Hahaha. Being new to this blogging, I know I should always remind myself why we started this blog–to share the things we’ve learned from our amazing trips and hopefully help other travellers–so I shouldn’t be scared to do that, right?! 😛

xo,

D ❤

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Hello There! :)

Beautiful cities we've visited: Hong Kong, Paris, Maldives, Milan, Rome and Geneva

Beautiful cities we’ve visited: Hong Kong, Paris, Maldives, Milan, Rome and Geneva

Hey there! To start off, I have a confession to make: I had this blog for over 2 years now but obviously, I only had the time courage to start writing my very own first blog post.

You might be wondering why I’m saying “first” blog post when in fact there’s already an old entry here. He was actually the one who wrote to encourage me to start writing a post. Yes, unfortunately, it did not really work. Haha.

Well, the idea was for my boyfriend and I to work as a team to keep this blog running. My tasks involve photography, design and content conceptualization since those are my forte; while he, on the other hand, is the most amazing writer in the world and he’s an awesome (self-taught) graphics designer, so that’s his share!

Of course, since I’ve never had a blog before (not counting Multiply) and I feel kind of weird writing and addressing a post to random people (whom I know will not be reading this anyway haha), I just did not have the courage to do a follow-up post even when “C” (aka the boyfriend) had posted the first blog entry. I just couldn’t do it even if we had a lot of content and ideas for the blog – it scared me! Until another year passed, I asked him to revamp the blog design and make it “prettier”—I was not impressed with the first design template so I asked him to show me more photos. I was sort of procrastinating to the nth level. Haha. I then again asked him to write something to get the “energy” going. Another year had passed… still, na-dah!

We have traveled to a lot of beautiful countries and have seen breathtaking places; it’s a shame not to share our stories (through photos and write-ups), perhaps we can help others prepare their itineraries and give tips to other travelers like us.

C keeps on telling me not to be afraid and just write from my heart. I will try my best to do that. This will be a blog about our adventures and misadventures. Before 2015 ends, I hope I can publish this (done yay!) and post an entry about one of the best cities I’ve been to.

I hope we can keep it as active as possible and post as many helpful tips as we can. 🙂

Here it goes…

XO,

PS: If you’ve accidentally been redirected to this site, please bear with us. This is a blog where (hopefully) you can find some useful tips from our adventures. Of course, you are welcome to give suggestions or if you have questions, ask away!

The Henry: Cebu’s Hidden Gem

Cebu is a foodie’s dream destination.

The quality of the cuisine combined with the sheer amount of it is simply amazing. The city just does absolutely everything, in the best possible way imaginable. Looking for a place to stay while you’re there? There are a handful of places you can choose from, but we found one that truly stands out.

It’s a place where the highest levels of relaxation and chic, modern artistry meet comfortably in the middle.

Location

Situated near Banilad Town Center and just 5-10 minutes away from Cebu Business Park which harbours Ayala Center, The Henry sits comfortably just off the main road, hidden from the bustling streets and placed inconspicuously in a quiet corner of the metro. Beside it is arguably the best spa experience on the island, and since the hotel is located smack dab in the middle of the city, it’s easy to get to and from virtually anywhere.

Room Quality

Room quality is one of the most important things to consider when choosing accommodations. Staying in Cebu is no exception. The Henry boasts a distinct harmony between form and function. The room designs are both modern in its concept and comfortable to the core. They are huge (really huge) rooms with loads of space. We got to try out the Big Room (smallest one) and the Extra-Large Room.

The Henry's BIG Room. We were supposed to get the X-LARGE room but it wasn't ready yet and they were kind enough to let us take this room first so we could rest while waiting to be transferred.

The Henry’s BIG Room. We were supposed to get the X-LARGE room but it wasn’t ready yet and they were kind enough to let us take this room first so we could rest while waiting to be transferred.

This is the X-Large room! Notice the insane amount of space they give you to relax in. Complete with a comfy couch in front of a flat screen TV.

This is the X-Large room! Notice the insane amount of space they give you to relax in. Complete with a comfy couch in front of a flat screen TV.

The rooms are intricately designed with each element carefully thought out and turned into works of art. The walls are painted with murals, the lighting is unique and modern and there are a myriad of different trappings that all add to the feeling that you are being whisked away to another place.

Room Inclusions and Facilities

Even their most modest offering boasts a decent living space with an oversized king bed matched with pillows that feel like absolute heaven. Their much bigger Extra-Large Room is equipped with a 2-piece sofa set and a feathered rug placed right in front of the 32-inch flat screen LCD for some tube surfing.

The toilets are equipped with rainforest showers and hot water, and you get your typical set of towels (hand and body), toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, soap, shampoo and conditioner). Both rooms have a mini bar stocked with the usual cold beers and sodas.

This little red guy is the first thing you'll see when you enter the hotel. We arrived around 4 in the morning and had an early check-in.

This little red guy is the first thing you’ll see when you enter the hotel. We arrived around 4 in the morning and had an early check-in.

Works of art line the hotel corridors. It's like walking through an art gallery all the way to your room.

Works of art line the hotel corridors. It’s like walking through an art gallery all the way to your room.

The mini-library offers some interesting reads you can lose yourself in. Pick your poison.

The mini-library offers some interesting reads you can lose yourself in. Pick your poison.

A Work of Art

Everything about The Henry screams unconventional. Works of art line its walls. The end result is an experience quite like no other. It’s as if you are literally living inside an art museum. There’s a mini-library available for you to pick up a book you fancy and lose yourself in some obscure corner. Whatever the purpose of your visit to the hotel, The Henry makes sure you are absolutely comfortable, every step of the way.

There’s just no shortage of beauty within The Henry’s walls. It’s like a being awake inside a dream that you never want to end. Needless to say, our stay at The Henry was a memorable one.

Room Service

Much in line with The Henry’s top-notch service which we’re absolutely raving about, Room Service is just as equally satisfying. The entire staff is very responsive and kind in handling requests. They are prompt in their timing and make sure that your rooms are properly made up every day.

You won’t find the usual buffet line for breakfast however, as The Henry serves set meals for early morning grub – which has its advantages, not the least of which is higher quality food. Buffet breakfasts are usually in place for you to load up on bland and tasteless carbs getting ready for a big day of touring. The Henry’s breakfast boasts class cuisine, placing emphasis on quality versus quantity.

Crispy fried Bangus with spiced vinegar, scrambled eggs and garlic rice - a Filipino classic.

Crispy fried Bangus with spiced vinegar, scrambled eggs and garlic rice – a Filipino classic.

Americano. Slices of toasts with Strawberry jam and fresh butter. Strips of bacon with scrambled eggs.

Americano. Slices of toasts with Strawberry jam and fresh butter. Strips of bacon with scrambled eggs.

The Verdict

They say a hotel is only as good as the type of service it delivers – then this is where The Henry truly shines. Everyone – from the security guards, to the front desk, to the cleaners – all displayed genuine helpfulness and attentiveness. They did their jobs with smiles on their faces from as soon as we stepped into the lobby to when we checked out.

This type of service really goes a long way in making people feel welcome. The Henry, although already a beautiful hotel on its own, increased its value tenfold with the amazing top-notch service they provided. Whatever you need, the staff will be there to attend to it. If you need a cab, they’ll go get a cab; a bottle of water, just ask; if you need anything at all, they’ll do their absolute best to grant your wishes.

It’s befuddling why not all establishments strive to provide service the way The Henry does. For all its inherent beauty and grandeur, the way The Henry goes to great lengths to see to it that their guests are satisfied with their stay is the real beauty of the place.

Stamped by,

C