Posts Tagged Wanderlust

Cotton House Barcelona

Fashion comes and goes, but style is eternal… This statement couldn’t be more visible when we stayed at the Cotton House Autograph Collection hotel in Barcelona.  Everything about it spoke of old-world wealth and beauty.  We loved that it was so central in the city, but at the same time you could find peace within its walls whenever you need a break from the outside world.  We loved every single detail the hotel team had put their attention to, down to the cotton blooms you’ll find in your room and even bathrooms.

Before it was a hotel, it used to house the Cotton Textile Foundation, until it started an intense refurbishment in 2015 that leads to the beauty that it is today.  It’s surprising and inspiring how the interior designers were able to keep and retain so many original elements from the 19th century neoclassical building.  If you want to know more about the history of the Cotton House Hotel, click here

Moments in Spain, Andorra, and Portugal in video

Just recently I’ve realized that taking photos sometimes doesn’t suffice anymore, for me.  Most of my memories from the places I’ve traveled to, are captured in still shots – and they don’t always show what I might have seen or felt at the time.  So I invested in a 4k GoPro camera just before going to Europe in springtime this year, and I loved that it was so easy to carry around with me.  Here’s the video diary I made from our trip to Spain, Andorra, and Portugal. Enjoy!

Driving through Napa and Sonoma

We’re not really big wine drinkers, or any kind of alcohol for that matter, but if you’re visiting San Francisco for a couple of days and you have enough time to go to Napa and/or Sonoma, you should definitely go.  Not only will you learn interesting information about different types of wine and how they’re made (plus taste all of them if you wish), but you’ll get to see the beautiful landscape too.

Believe it or not, the distance between Napa and Sonoma is just about 13 miles, 22 minutes away by driving, and yet the short distance creates a subtle difference in climate and soil – which in turn creates a huge difference in the taste the grapes produce for the wine.  We’re talking about 10-20 degrees fahrenheit difference between one place to another, on any given day.

Check out some of the pictures from our trip to the wine region…
Napa Valley Wine region Travel Wine Region Sonoma Wine Valley Wine Valley Rosé all day Stacked wine barrels

Chicago…not just another big city

Truth be told, I had no expectations of Chicago to begin with.  Under the radar – it’s not one of those places you’d see often in magazines or hear about in travel forums, but I was still surprised at how much you could do in this city.

People seem genuinely nice, which is apparently something common among people from the Midwest (although in the map it seems closer to the East).  Even when my good friend from the west coast, Sabrina, came to the city, she also found it surprising that the people were so nice.  Beyond what you’d normally expect in the US.

During my time in the city, I got the chance to experience attending some events I had never tried before.  First there was the Taste of Chicago, which is a big festival of food and music held in the park and attracts thousands of attendees. Other than that there was also mealsharing with a handful of people at someone’s house (mealsharing is a website that connects people and lets you host and attend meal gatherings).  And going to a full-moon fire jam near the beach where hundreds of people gather around a circle and firedancers dance to the beat of tribal music within the circle (it happens every month during the full moon and a lot of locals in the area didn’t even know about it).  Who would’ve thought random people could be so connected in such a huge city, right?

In case you didn’t already know, Chicago is said to be the main inspiration for Batman’s Gotham City.  The first film was even partly shot in this city, not just in New York.  I hope that gives you an idea of how big the city is, and how high the skyscrapers go. Check out the photos I took below and find out what Chicago is really like, if you’ve never been.

sunset skyline sunset city metropolis fun chicago travel Mahalo Chicago Shedd Aquarium aquarium chicago sardine fish travel photographer drone photo garden chicago Garfield Park Conservatory Peggy Notebaert Museum Cultural Center Chicago Chicago art museum Cinderella Dome Minimal Architecture beautiful Chicago skyline Trump Building Cool grafitti Chicago Grafitti street art chicago Chicago foodie traveler chicago travel photography chicago from above city travel photography

Tropical Paradise

Despite being born in the Philippines, I haven’t really had the chance to travel around my own country that much.  I guess its the same as most other nations, many of my friends haven’t even seen their own country’s landmarks.  So many travelers from around the globe travel thousands of miles just to see sea turtles in my country, while I fell into the trap of choosing destinations that allowed me to check off my list almost all of Southeast Asia.

So, after quitting my job recently in Shanghai, I decided that I will take a break and go back home to be with my family.  My boyfriend also wanted to come visit, so we made a plan to travel for a bit.  I chose Dumaguete because I had been to the Apo Island marine sanctuary ten years ago with my mom and fell in love with the corals there.  And on the map we saw that Bohol and Cebu are not too far either, so we flew in to Dumaguete and flew out from Cebu.  In between we took a 5 hour bus ride to get from Dumaguete to Cebu.

I must admit though, that the travel in this journey was indeed one of the most painful ever. Lol. We ended up enjoying snorkeling in Apo Island a bit too much and came home with a really bad burn.  The worst part was we didn’t realize how bad our skin was feeling only until evening, it was like a gradual roasting.  By the next day we could barely get out of bed – and this was also the day we had chosen to take the 5 hour bus ride to our next destination.  The bus arrived late, of course… and when it came, all passengers scrambled to save a seat – because reserved seating does not exist yet.  I was high-fiving myself in pain from the bad sunburn, hot humid weather, and all the other passengers pushing each other to get on the bus.  Luckily we were welcomed into Cebu with a very nice garden hotel, and we were able to book through the hotel a Bohol day tour for the next day which was very convenient.

Scroll down below to see some of the photos we took on our trip.

Twin Lakes Dumaguete Philippine scenery Philippine sunrise Philippine coast Philippine beaches Zamboangita Visayas sea turtle Dumaguete to Cebu Montebello Villa Baclayon Church Bohol Bohol Church Bohol Church 2 Travel Photographer Amanda See Photography Travel Diary janeamandasee Bohol on the road Butterfly sanctuary Garden Green Chocolate Hills Bohol hills Philippine Sea

Accommodations:

Dumaguete – Kav’s Beach Resort. Details here.

Cebu – Montebello Villa Hotel. Details here.