01

My first Winter in Canada is bittersweet, there are good days and there are bad days. For someone who is from a tropical country with a weather that doesn’t go down below 27 degree on normal days; experiencing the opposite is a really big challenge. I knew its not gonna be easy, and unlike other people who are very excited to see snow, I am the one who is very reluctant even from the start. This is the season where I felt the saddest. I didn’t believe it at first when they told me that people get depressed during winter because who would be depressed when all you see is white, right? It’s far from being a sad triggering color. But, just like what they said, wait until you try it yourself. The transition is rough, thus, I get too emotional from spending atleast 5-10 minutes just to put on my winter gear (e.g. coat, boots, gloves, bonnet and scarf) and removing them, walking on icy path with your heavy boots, shivering inside while feeling your hand getting stiff. Too many things to hate because the negative outweighs the positive. Then gradually I stopped hating winter because I knew that it is inevitable so I started adapting and started getting used to the feeling that it slowly become normal, that slowly I started getting the hang of it.

 

As what Vivian Greene said, “Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass… It’s about learning to dance in the rain.” I took this leap of faith so I might as well stand on my own feet while keeping my sanity intact. I started reading about Montreal’s winter activities and made sure that I have time for enjoyment.

 

So join me as I look back on my first Canadian Winter experience.

 

I remembered it crystal clear, the date of the first snow fall, it was November 20, 2016. It was almost midnight, I was looking outside our window thinking how am I gonna go to work the next day; as if the snow would immobilise me. I prepared my winter clothes the night before, feeling anxious as if I’m gonna be slaughtered the next day. Lol.

02

This was how it looked like outside, the day after the first snow fall. I thought it was bad, not thinking I would see worse on the coming days.

03

And this is how I looked like that day. I look like a new born baby wrapped perfectly to maintain normal body temperature.

 

Le Grand Marche de Noel de Montreal

04

Just before Christmas, Montreal have this great Christmas Market in Place des Arts where they turn streets into a fabulous outdoor illuminated village. This runs every December 2 to 24, which gave us time to procastinate if we will go this week or the following week.

 

It was one fine Sunday, first sign of snow has just melted and sun was out so me and my roomates (AJ and Claire) decided to visit Le Grand Marche de Noel for the firt time. This place is ideal for families with small kids because there are giant sculptures of magical toys and animals, fires that crackle, and a little train for children. I, on the other hand may not be a child but felt like a child that day.

05 06

Posed in front of the Traditional wooden store and there are a lot of them like this here, but I liked this one the most coz it’s red.

07 08

When Santa is away, little kids play. AJ and me inside the house of Santa Claus and the Santa Claus office.

IMG_0236

(Outfit Details: H&M bonnet and boots, Ivanka Trump coat, Forever 21 Cardigan, Light in a box leggings, Sfera backpack)

 

Christmas Day in Old Port

IMG_0308 (Edited)

My first Christmas in Montreal is very memorable, I may not have my family with me but I celebrated it with people who are very close to me, my roommates AJ and Claire and my 2 other friends Caryl and Olive. On Christmas day we decided to visit Old Port for a stroll and try ice skating.

IMG_0341 IMG_0346 IMG_0354

So the plan was for us all to go ice skating, but it turned out that only me and Caryl are the ones interested.

IMG_0374

I’ve always wanted to learn how to ice skate just like how badly I want to learn how to play the piano. I tried to play the piano at this age but my fingers are not in tuned, same as how my legs are not in coordination when I am wearing ice skating shoes. It took me a lot of effort trying to learn how to skate but stopped eventually because I really don’t have the balance, partly because I am scare to fall most of the time. Great that I tried it, but definitely my first and last try of ice skating.

IMG_0563

These girls right here are the sisters I never had. Felt so blessed because I have them.

IMG_0567 IMG_0570 IMG_0571 IMG_0572

Ended Christmas day with a visit to the church in St. Joseph. My life in Canada may be challenging but I still have so many things to be thankful for. I am still blessed in many ways.

 

(Outfit Details: H&M bonnet, Point Zero coat, Zighilli scarf, Forever 21 leggings, Aigle boots, Sfera backpack)

 

La Fete Des Neiges

IMG_0881 (Edited)

La Fete Des Neiges means Festival of Snow. Every late January to early February, Montreal’s Parc Jean-Drapeau turns into a winter wonderland, a childhood delight that features activities for kids as well as for adults. So me and my child-like friends, Olive and Ronna went there on the last day of the event.

IMG_0839 (Edited) IMG_0848 (Edited)

Behind me is the Biosphere, it is an Environment Museum. Based on my research this architectural masterpiece was designed by noted American architect Buckminster Fuller.

IMG_0866 (Edited) IMG_0875 IMG_0877 (Edited)

There are a lot of activities to try during La Fete Des Nieges such as tubing, sliding, skating, snowshoeing and zip lining, but we did not try any of it because the line is insanely long. So all we did is to have our photos taken with furry animal friends.

IMG_0895 (Edited) IMG_0897 (Edited) IMG_0944 (Edited)(Photo Credit to Patrick Uy)

IMG_1004

Before we went home, we dropped by the Montreal Olympic Stadium for a short photo op with this iconic landmark.

 

(Outfit Details: H&M bonnet and scarf, Ivanka Trump coat, Jag jeans, Aigle boots, Sfera backpack)

 

St. Patrick’s Day Parade

IMG_1481

My last winter activity is the St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

 

“Montréal’s St Patrick’s Parade is famous all over the world and widely considered one of the best. It is the highlight of the Irish Festival with all of Montréal’s Irish organizations taking part. The first parade was held in 1824 and has transformed into an event that all Montréaler’s look forward to regardless of their background. It uniquely celebrates not only all things Irish but all the communities that make up Montréal. After a very long winter it signals to all that spring has finally come.”

http://www.montrealirishparade.com/

 

Now we know! It was truly fun and festive. I enjoyed different floats and costumes of the people during the parade. Photos below are some of my favorites.

IMG_1467 (Edited) IMG_1469 (Edited) IMG_1474  IMG_1486 IMG_1507 (Edited) IMG_1533

(Outfit Details: Forever 21 scarf, Ivanka Trump coat, Sfera backpack)

 

 

Before winter finally ended, we were surprised by the sudden snow storm. My idea of snow storm is the same with the snow storms that I see on TV where people are being blown away by the strong wind and big snow flakes. In reality, there was no exaggerated wind, it just snowed the whole 3 days and when you step on snowy path, it reaches your knees and worse mid-thigh.

IMG_1537 IMG_1538 IMG_1534 IMG_1535 IMG_1536

It is officially Spring here in Canada, and I am more than ready to start this season feeling happier and lighter. Until next Winter Canada!

 

 

 

 

Share on Tumblr
No Comments

Last July, I visited Boracay with my Boyfriend for my late birthday travel. This will also be my last vacation here in the Philippines before I move to Canada. Last year we travelled to Manila, Tagaytay and Batangas for my birthday and I want to keep this tradition alive in the coming years.

DSC_0065

A lot of things has changed in Boracay since my last visit in 2009. There are more things to see and do nowadays. Aside from sun bathing by the beach, we also made sure that we will be able to do recreational activities to make it even more memorable. I am not fond of water activities to be honest, I am scared of water because I don’t know how to swim and I always fear for my life when I am close to the sea. That is also the reason why I don’t like going to beaches, but we all know it’s different with Boracay, right? I made sure to get the right tan and go for Parasailing and ATV.

DSC_0065b

 

Our first activity is ATV. We followed the trail going to Mt. Lujo where we lingered a bit to see the amazing view of the island. The secret to get a lower priced adventure is to haggle to an acceptable budget, but not to the point where agent is no longer getting commission. For the ATV activity that we did, we paid P700.00 each.

DSC_0066 DSC_0069 DSC_0073 DSC_0075 DSC_0086 DSC_0099 DSC_0108 DSC_0110 DSC_0112 DSC_0122

Outfit Details:

Top: Forever 21
Vest: Tout a Coup
Shorts: Ralph Lauren
Shades: First photo (Wear Vintage), succeeding photos (Topshop)
Earrings and Ring: Franck Herval Bijoux
Slippers: Ipanema
Bag: Sfera

DSC_0245 DSC_0248 DSC_0249

Our next adventure is Parasailing. This is what I am really excited about. I’ve been babbling about this to my boyfriend because this is included in my life bucket list of the things that I want to do. He has fear of heights but I was able to convince him to conquer his fears. Thank god he agreed. We paid P1,100 each for Parasailing.

DSC_0250 DSC_0251 DSC_0252 CAMERA CAMERA

 

Purely coincidence, my Aunt and her family also visited Boracay on the same date as ours and they invited us for dinner at Discovery Shores where they are staying. Here I am with my beautiful Aunt Socorro.

DSC_0340 DSC_0338

Outfit Details:

Dress: Divided by H&M
Earrings: Forever 21
Slippers: Rubi by Cotton On

 

IMG_20160719_182312_HDR

Your Boracay travel will not be complete if you will not see the stunning Boracay sunset. I love how the sky change its color come sunset and there are a lot of people by the beach waiting for it.

IMG_20160719_183122_HDR IMG_20160719_183124

Before I end this blog, let me show you how my breakfast looks like. On our first day I chose Filipino breakfast called Tocilog and on our second until our last days I decided to go for Continental Breakfast so I don’t have to eat a lot, plus it includes bacon which is my favorite in the whole wide world!

IMG_20160721_093451_HDR IMG_20160721_093450_HDR

That’s it for now, some of my Boracay photos are included in either my outfit posts or bikini posts in Boracay so stay tuned for that.

 

Share on Tumblr
No Comments

Tourists who visit Hong Kong also take the opportunity to go on a side trip to Macau for a day. That is exactly what we did so we can see this beautiful city popular for its extravagant hotels and casinos only people with lavish lifestyle get to enjoy. Surely, I do not have a lavish lifestyle as I can’t even afford a night in any of the hotels there. Lol.

 

For information of how we got there, we took a Ferry going to Macau for HK$600 each round trip thru TurboJet. Upon arrival, there are a lot of tour bus that will take you to different hotels for free. The choice is yours where you want to start. Us, we chose The Venetian Macau.

DSC_4400

Upon arrival we went straight to The Grand Canal Shoppes. It was in my bucket list to try the Gondola ride and have a gondolier serenade us. I’ve research for the price prior, but to my disappointment, the price that I’ve researched which I thought is for 1 gondola ride for two person turned out to be a fee per person and the ride is good for 4 person. So if we want an exclusive ride, we will pay for 4 person. We did not risk with our tight budget or we’ll end up broke on our third day. My Gondola dream ride down the drain, I’ll do it in Venice, Italy instead if I get rich. Lol. I am a dreamer and believer so it is not impossible for me.

DSC_4476 DSC_4482

Instead of trying out the Gondola ride, I just asked my boyfriend to take photos of me around the Grand Canal Shoppes. I was amazed by the architectural beauty of this Venetian-styled shopping mall, from the fake sky and clouds to the perfect details of the building to big lamp posts, this place is really photogenic.

 

Outfit Details:

Dress: Belle Jean Clothing
Bag: Evernew
Shoes: Forever 21
Necklace: Swarovski
Bracelet: Franck Herval Bijoux

DSC_4483 DSC_4485 DSC_4487 DSC_4488 DSC_4491 DSC_4502-001 DSC_4505 DSC_4541 DSC_4542 DSC_4543 DSC_4544 DSC_4545

 

DSC_4547

When in Macau never ever miss to try Lord Stow’s egg tart. It tastes soo good I regret not buying 1 box of it. Lord Stow’s store is also located inside the Grand Canal Shoppes.

DSC_4546

 

 

DSC_4548

Before we left The Venetian, I posed for photos at the entrance, this is very obligatory.

DSC_4549a DSC_4549

Amazing artwork. I’m wondering what would I feel is I see Michael Angelo’s painting at the Sistine Chapel since seeing this ceiling art already made me ashtonished.

DSC_4549b

 

DSC_4550

After our Venetian adventure, we travelled to the other island, passed by skyscraper hotels with grand design like this gold Grand Lisboa hotel and the hotels beside it.

DSC_4554

MGM’s lion statue.

DSC_4555 DSC_4558

Passed by Kun Iam Ecumeral Center and had to pose with this grand statue.

DSC_4568 DSC_4569 DSC_4581

Also passed by Lotus Square on our way to the Wine Museum.

 

Museu Do Vinho or Wine Museum

 

DSC_4600

The Wine Museum aimed to introduce the development of brewing culture of wine to visitors.

DSC_4601

The museum is divided into three main parts: the area of the history of wine-making, the area of the collection of wine and that of wine display. I did not take a lot of photos inside, I just took random photos of areas that I like.

DSC_4602 DSC_4603 DSC_4604

These set of mannequins was displayed with various regional dresses of different regions of Portugal. Why Portugal? Because Macau once become a colony of the Portuguese empire in 1557.

DSC_4605

Wine Museum Admission Fee: Free
Hours: 10:00-18:00 (Closed on Tuesday)

 

Museu Do Grande Premio or Grand Prix Museum

 

DSC_4606

The Grand Prix Museum contains exhibits that are related to Grand Prix worldwide. More than twenty formula cars and motorcycles once driven by world-renowned drivers such as Eduarfo de Carvalho, Michael Schumacher and David Coulthard, are on exhibition.

DSC_4607 DSC_4607a DSC_4608 DSC_4609 DSC_4613

Who would not be proud? The Pride of the Philippines, Arsenio “Dodjie” Laurel. A champion race car driver from my home country Philippines. He was the first two-time winner of the Macau Grand Prix, winning it consecutively in 1962 and 1963. He is also the son of the Former Philippine President, José P. Laurel.

DSC_4610

Grand Prix Museum Admission Fee: Free
Hours: 10:00-18:00 (Closed on Tuesday)

 

Senado Square

 

DSC_4633

Senado Square is a public square in Macau. I love Senado Square, there are a lot of stores and a lot of free food to taste, Burp! There are shopping centers and traditional Chinese restaurants around the square as well.

DSC_4636DSC_4637

 

This is the way going to the Ruins of St. Paul.

 

Ruins of St. Paul’s

 

IMG_20160421_174437_HDR

Viola! I’m here!

IMG_20160421_175630_HDR

St. Paul’s Church became the biggest Catholic Church in East Asia. It was once a magnificent church that survived calamities such as fire and typhoon. The third time the church caught fire, its glory was left as a history. The front façade and the grand stone stairs are the only remains of the greatest church.

 

IMG_20160421_185652_HDR IMG_20160421_185748_HDR

Macau at night.

IMG_20160421_190214_HDR IMG_20160421_190827_HDR

We decided to go to Wynn Macau to watch the Water Show but we missed it because we arrived late so we watched the Tree of Prosperity Show instead.

IMG_20160421_191758_HDR IMG_20160421_191759_HDR

Passed by a Prada store on our way out. This is my dream bag. #WishfulThinking

 

Thank you for reading my blog! Hope you enjoyed my short Macau Tour.

 

Share on Tumblr
No Comments