My husband surprised me with a fancy dinner at Auberge de l’Union in Arzier on my birthday. Well, we had been trying to come up with a surefire excuse to visit this restaurant for a long time, even though in fact, it is not so far from our place. So far for this year, we’ve already celebrated two special occasions somewhere else – his birthday at 2-star Michelin Nuance and our Valentine’s day at the top of Jungfrau. At the same time, whenever we go hiking around and pass by it, we’d sometimes start talking about this restaurant, which would leave me relentlessly curious about. Then come my birthday, and me, the celebrant got lazy to organize. It’s such the best timing for hubby to take me to this quaint, classy resto I had sought out for quite some time.
I have been lucky nonetheless for being able to visit more countries in 2013. To date, I’ve got a total of 19 countries and over a hundred cities and towns. In 2013, I was able to add 9 new countries and over 20 new cities on my list, which is quite a lot by the way, compared to previous years of my traveling spree. Lucky me.
Another too, I just found a new travel buddy – my husband. And lucky boy, he’s been to over 50 countries all throughout his life. So that perhaps explains why I’m more inspired to travel around and discover more new places. It might be also my competitive side that’s secretly wanting to beat his high travel score, too!
So yes, 2013 is the year that I finally got hitched, to the man I love who is apparently a genuine travel junkie. Truth is, our travels this year are comprised of events that somewhat led us to take our relationship to the next level – settling down to eventually start a family we’ll call our own. In most weekends, my husband and I would spend quality time together visiting nearby places such as Lyon and Interlaken. As we visited other places in Switzerland and France, I also started meeting his friends. Last August, we went to Belgium for me to meet his family and friends. By the following month, we got married in Denmark and went to Italy for our honeymoon. Then by December, we flew to the Philippines for him to meet my family and friends, and to get to know more about my home country as well.
Visiting traditional Christmas markets is one of the fascinating things to do in Europe during the Christmas holidays. Compared to the holiday shopping experience back home in the Philippines, here it can be less busy and crazy. Actually expect a bit more of rustic feel, as wooden houses line up beautifully along the streets that are selling unique goodies, which are quite ideal as Christmas gifts. Some even offer fresh and warm, traditional winter delicacies that entice visitors to stay despite the almost freezing temperature outside the streets.
All throughout December last year, my husband and I went out for a few road trips, passing by Christmas street markets on every town in every country we visit, hoping I can discover how unique one Christmas market is over the other. We visited the Christmas markets in Luzerne and Montreux in Switzerland, Bregenz in Austria, Vaduz in Liechtenstein and Brussels in Belgium.
Dheza Aguilar and I first met in Amsterdam, when I was attending a socio-religious event and she, as a journalist for a known local TV program back home, was on an assignment. She came to interview me, asking about my personal stand on the reproductive health bill, which was apparently a hot topic at that time in our home-country. “Oh boy, how strong-willed she was to get a scoop here to create an interesting build on the story,” I told myself. Well, it really should be the case and I liked it.
Dheza came for a visit together with her husband, Robin, in Geneva a few months back and from there we came to know more about each other. Over time I came to realize how much we have in common, given particularly our experiences living in Europe, outside the Philippines, being in an intercultural relationship, and our penchant for writing.
I’m definitely a Polaroid camera girl. For me, what I’m really excited about is bringing back the artistry and the nature of Polaroid. – Lady Gaga
From life’s simple stuff to grandiose pleasures, bring it on!
1. Logan, my new compact digital camera
12.1 megapixels | 3″ screen | 28 – 392 mm (14×)
GPS-enabled 12MP compact superzoom with manual controls, 3 inch LCD and 14x(28-392) zoom lens. Users have the option to shoot Super Slow 340 x 240 movies at 240fps and 1080p24 Full HD video. There is also a Movie Digest mode that records a short video clip right before shooting a still image and then combines one day’s worth of clips into a VGA-resolution video. Canon offers an optional waterproof case for this model.
I hope my memory serves me right. I think I told myself before that my presence at the UP Fair and at the Eraserheads reunion concert, which both occurred two years ago (in separate dates and venues, of course), would be the last straw for me to be sort of “teen–spirited” and ignite the punk rock in me (despite the girly outfits I was wearing at those times). But boy oh boy, was I wrong! Because just three months ago, I attended one of Europe’s most important musical events of the year.
It’s the Paléo Festival, baby.
Just seeing this massive crowd makes me want to faint. Seriously.
Since 1976 – and the «First Folk Festival» that drew an audience of some 1,800 people in the town assembly rooms in Nyon –, Paléo Festival is today one of Europe’s most important musical events. Since its creation, the Festival has been growing in a regular and managed way, gaining steadily in professionalism during this period of development. Each year, more than 200 concerts and shows are on offer to the 230,000 members of the public who fill the Festival’s 84-hectare Asse site (car parks included), situated above the town of Nyon. To this day, over 5 million people have contributed to this unwavering popular success. For more than ten years, the Festival has been sold out before it even started and enjoys an ever-growing reputation. In 2011, over 600 media representatives covered an edition marked by rain and mud but in an exceptional atmosphere.