Travel: Weekend Farm Staycation

i’m still over the moon from our farm staycation experience last weekend. it was our first time and i’m so grateful to my husband for finding such a lovely accommodation for our short and sweet getaway in ashburton, a small town 80 km away from christchurch. my husband joined a mountain biking event yesterday thus we traveled a day earlier so we can explore the town and relax a bit. what a perfect time to escape my weekend work! ;-)

unfriendly dog

unfriendly dog

here in christchurch and i guess the rest of the south island, they don’t have big hotels like we have in manila or singapore. you will only see them in the major cities such as in auckland or wellington. most accommodations here are motels (clean and wholesome…if you know what i mean) or a bed and breakfast type. there’s no point of having a big hotel when all you can see around are vast swathes of countryside.

land...

land…

another land...

another land…

...and the countryside

…and the countryside

here are some of the photos of our b&b accommodation. indeed a very lovely place! my ultimate dream house – a quaint small house in a country side, filled with sunshine, rustic, charming and peaceful. a home where every one can see each other, not too hard to clean up and the entire place filled with aroma of brewed coffee and toasted bread. shux sana yumaman kami ng makabili ng farm! and of course, not being totally isolated from the world, mandatory ang may wifi. hahaha!

right view of the cottage

right view of the cottage

left view of the cottage

left view of the cottage

side view of the cottage

side view of the cottage

walk way towards the house

walk way towards the house

a swing where you can talk about your dreams

a swing with a nice view of the mountains

overlooking the countryside

overlooking the countryside

veranda for your tea time

veranda for your tea time

old and rusty stuff

old and rusty stuff

from a distance the world looks blue and green, and the snow-capped mountains white

this is what the cottage looks like from the inside. my house inspiration having white or bright painted walls, to brighten up the day.

bedroom

bedroom with simple furnitures

hallway

bright hallway

living room

cozy living room

kitchen

cute kitchen

toilet

immaculately clean toilet

the host, debbie, is nice. she showed us around her property and told us the places to go if we want to go cycling or stroll along the walking tracks. she also showed us her few animals, two small cows and a couple of hens. in the afternoon, she checked on us and offered to give a tour but we said we are very happy just staying in the cottage and do nothing. just like in the book Eat Pray Love, the italian phrase il dolce far niente means the art of doing nothing.

of course just like any vacation, it’s short and we wished we stayed longer like, forever. haha! but there’s a life awaiting for us in the city so until our next journey. thanks to my husband for joining the mtb challenge, we suddenly had an instant babymoon adventure. :)

taking a break from the city life

taking a break from the city life

thank you riverfields, we love your place and definitely had a great time. we will surely recommend your place to our friends. ;-)

Weekly Photo Challenge: From Above

in this age of facebook and instagram, everybody seems to be enjoying ‘foodtography’ as much as i do. most of the time, i’m guilty of not saying the graces before meals and instead…i take pictures of the food i eat. oh well. :-| so here’s a yummy photo entry for this week’s photo challengepenne al pesto and salmon, which i ate when i traveled to sydney, australia. i’m not good at cooking pasta and i wish i can cook something as delicious as this one.

above

Weekly Photo Challenge: Up

up, up and away…jumping out at 12000 feet. my bucket list turned reality…

skydiving

skydiving. :)

-=click here for this week’s photo challenge-=

Weekly Photo Challenge: Colors

it’s weekend again and it means, it’s weekly photo challenge time. thanks to wordpress dailypost community for the good ideas (^_^). and so, this week’s theme is about colors. here’s my photo entry for the week. (to be honest, i’m just lazy to blog and all i want to do is sleep, eat and relax in this cold weather…hihihi)

colorssouvenirs at asakusa 

this picture was taken at one of the souvenir shops at asakusa in tokyo, japan. as you can see, tourists are not allowed to take pictures of them (you should buy it!!!)…but i was able to sneak one shot. one.naughty.bad.ass.

i wish to be able to go back to japan again someday, perhaps in kyoto or osaka so i can see the beautiful sakura blossoms during the spring.next time, there’s always a next time. ;)

Travel: Queenstown Skydiving

yahoo!!! one major personal project ticked off from my bucket list. (^________^)

i was able to push through with my skydiving plan, finally! i’ve been thinking about this for some time now but no chance of doing it. i was supposed to do it during the sydney trip last year but was cancelled on the day due to the bad weather.

i traveled all the way down to queenstown for a long weekend and never did realize that i went to the adventure city. this was very unexpected. i woke up early yesterday to catch a glimpse of sunrise which is a very good time for photography. then as i was walking around the block, i passed by the nzone skydiving office. you know, that feeling when the office is luring you to go inside and pulling you like a magnet. hehe!

to make the story short, right then and there i booked my slot for the day. haha! i was lucky because there are few slots left for the first jump at 8am.

after reservation, i filled up the registration form and sign the waiver. haha! do it at your own risk. the staff gave us some orientation and let us watch a video so we know what to expect for the activity. after that, the driver picked us up and brought to the drop zone, which is 20 minutes away from the main office.

ok din talaga yung hindi pinaplano at least natutuloy. to be honest, i feel nervous and scared a bit which is NORMAL i guess. haha! i was in the 2nd batch of jumpers and i was introduced to my tandem partner and photographer/videographer. pogi ang mga staff wahahaha! ehem husband loyalty check. the weather was very good yesterday — no winds and the sky is clear. we were given jumpsuits, helmet, gloves and goggles to wear. after that, we boarded the  small cessna aircrat which can hold as much as 21 people.

i was more nervous waiting at the drop zone than boarding the plane itself. as soon as we started to ascend, i feel more relax and excited. no backing out! almost halfway, my tandem master showed me the altitude device signaling me we’re almost halfway so he started strapping me to himself and he put on my helmet, gloves and goggles. my tandem master and photographer were trying to make me feel relax by constantly talking to me and giving me high fives. syet mga kuya sige lang chikahin nyo ko nalulurkey na ako sa kaba pero di na ako maka atras. nyahaha!

1

i was the 3rd to jump and it all happened so fast. the free fall experience was different compared to my bungy jumping experience. bungy jumping was actually more scary because you can feel that ‘falling’ moment unlike in skydiving wherein you just feel like floating in a big vacuum of air and the wind blowing on your face is like that in a very fast-moving car with windows open.

2

at 6k feet, the tandem master opened the parachute and i felt the tug as we started to move up a bit. i enjoyed the 5-10 minutes of view from up there overlooking the beautiful queenstown. as we slowly descent, he instructed me to do a sitting position to prepare for landing. after i landed, we all had high fives and i had a last picture with my tandem master, signs of life photo from the jump. :)

3(^_________^)

in span of 3 hrs, i successfully survived my skydiving experience. no broken bones, no damage limbs, all perfect and still good for a next jump. hahaha! this is one of my most memorable and favorite life experience which i will never ever forget. jumping 12k feet was never a joke. happy is an understatement. :)

will i do it again? i know myself that i can do it again. but i guess one experience is already enough. i still have many other things in my bucket list which i need to do so i’ll concentrate on those. and besides, i have to think about my carefree lifestyle now that i’m tied up to someone. nyahaha! :)

[usapan as how i recall it]

me: uy beh mag skydive ako ah. kelangan ko sya gawin habang wala pa tayong anak. may mangyari man sa akin wala akong iiwanang anak.

beh: eh anong tingin mo sa akin, san ako pupulutin? pauuwiin ako sa pinas?

hahaha. ok, no more selfishness moments from now on.

Travel: Sydney Beach and Theme Park

i almost forgot to write a follow-up post on my 2nd day at sydney. it’s been a crazy busy week as usual — project release left and right and me working on a 1-man testing team. spell k-a-l-o-r-k-e-y!

anyhoo, as part of my oz ‘bucket list’ trip…can i miss out on the bondi beach trip? haha. you know that show ‘bondi rescue’ where they feature the yummy looking lifeguards? haha. so hayun, kelangan maka tour sa bondi beach para makapag sightings ng pogi!  <3 haha!

i rode the train (yes marunong na ako mag train on the 2nd day) bound for bondi junction then after that, rode a bus directly going to the beach.

sydney railway system

since sydney is 3-hrs advance compared to singapore, i always wake up late everyday. i normally wake up around 7-ish and so do the math…that’s almost 10am there. wala na tanghali na!

totoo nga ang “the early bird catches the worm” and since i’m late, i didn’t get to see much of the good-looking papeys and instead, i ended up seeing only thundercats. #fail

hi bondi!

it’s a happy experience strolling along the beach coast. the white sandy beach with blue crystal waters and surfer dudes pa, beach bumming sight-seeing was a success!

sun, sea and sand

…and walking along the streets in bikini is normal. :)

beach mode

after my bondi beach tour, i went back to circular quay area and had my late lunch while waiting for reg. i chose the place because of the wi-fi connection. hahaha!

creamy salmon pesto 

fast forward around 5pm, at last! reg finally arrived. our itinerary for that day is to go to luna park, which is an old school theme park. the sydney harbour bridge has a very nice view from that side. it’s late afternoon too, almost sunset time.

luna park

before sunset

hahaha! there’s this crazy ride called ‘wild mouse’ which we really enjoyed. sobrang exciting kasi parang matatapon ka sa tubigan any time! hehehe. tignan nyo naman, scaffolding lang ang support! LOL

wild mouse (-_-‘)

good night sydney! kapagod tumawa sa wild mouse, buwis buhay experience yung roller coaster! i super enjoyed the day with mader, feeling bagets sa rides. pati sa ferry’s wheel kabado pa. haha!  :)

good night! :)

Travel: Sydney City Adventure

my short and sweet 5-day vacation at sydney was a success. i enjoyed every single day of my stay there with my friends and even sometimes just walking around the city on my own. i always feel exhausted upon reaching the hostel every night because of the endless walks but then it’s all part of the traveling experience. most of the time, i prefer walking around than riding the train or bus since this allows me to explore more the hidden places. most days, i do my city tour-ing then just contact my friends by afternoon to meet them.

i stayed at alfred park budget hostel in surry hills area. it is very close to the city business district and just a walking distance to the central railway station. most of the houses in that area are old style houses just like the hostel where i stayed. i’m lucky because this place is located at central sydney which is close to the airport as well as the major tourist attractions.

everyday, i walk for almost 20 minutes from the hostel going to central railway station. then from central railway station, i find my way out going to george street, which is the main avenue for commercial and retail establishments. hmm, reminds me of makati’s ayala avenue.

central railway station

 george street

passing by queen victoria building, a romanesque styled shopping mall where i mostly hang out while waiting for reg. this is one of my favorite places because of the free wi-fi! hahaha.

queen victoria building

inside qvb

then walking again along main street passing through shops, buildings and offices.

stroll along downtown sydney

i walked the entire 3km stretch and finally ended up at circular quay. i spotted a rappelling activity at one of the buildings there. i also asked for a photo souvenir with one of the local guys there. haha. this guy knows manny pacquiao!

circular quay

…and finally i saw the sydney opera house and harbour bridge. my legs are so tired after walking all the way from the hostel to this part. 2-3 hours of 3km alay lakad lang naman.

sydney opera house

i walked up the stairs going to the opera house and from there, you will see the beautiful view of the sydney harbor bridge and the city skyline.

view from the opera house

walking for a few more minutes brought me to the royal botanic garden and entrance is free of charge. and since i’m very tired from the long walkathon, i rode the tourist shuttle along with the other oldie tourists. a few minutes of sitting inside the shuttle is just priceless. here you can see the beautiful view of the opera house and the city skyline. i could just sit here all day enjoying the view while listening to the sound of the waves…ahhhhhh perfect!

city business district

sydney harbor from macquarie’s point at royal botanic gardens

later in the afternoon, i met up with reg for our dinner date. i always look forward seeing her after work since that’s the only chika time we have. she also brought flaire along with her whom i met on a few lakwatsa trips back in the ph. we had dinner at pancakes on the rocks at the rocks. i had the best walking tour here at the rocks dahil best in lost and found lang kami ni mader. lamon mode after maligaw. hehehe. :)

the rocks (photo credits to mader)

despite getting lost and feeling very tired, i enjoyed every single moment of that day — sights, stories, friends and food. lastly, walking under the sydney harbour bridge on a sunset feeling the cool spring breeze on your face is just ❤. lakas maka senti ehhhhh. hahaha. tsarlot!

sunset is ❤

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