16 July 2012

Where To Next?

I just got back from my trip and I am already researching on of places to go to next. It has been a while since we travelled to Europe. I think a trip there will be a respite from the Asian and US vacations we have had in the past.

I am thinking of the budget now and where we could possible go to maximize our Schengen visas. We all know,  Schengen visa is not cheap and it is not issued on a long basis. So, you are lucky to get 60-days multiple-entry visa but you will have to cough out a big amount of cash to go back and forth in Europe.

My daughter is suddenly interested in Portugal and Spain. And I am relieved because our company just recently launched a non-stop service to Lisbon and Barcelona. We already have a Madrid flight last year so these 2 additional routes is really a good news. We can all use our sub-load tickets here. I just hope the flights don't get overbooked or we're in trouble.

So, our Tokyo plan may be moved again some other time when the situation is stable. I still feel queer about going to Japan now. It can wait.

I just hope we have an increment and a substantial bonus next year so I can treat my husband and daughter to another European tour.

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14 July 2012

Universal Studios Singapore July 2012

Yes, finally! My daughter and I had an amazing time in Universal Studios Singapore last July 5, 2012. It was just a mere 10 minutes walk away from our hotel in the Resorts World Sentosa so going there was a breeze.

I paid S$74 for each of us for an adult one-day peak pass because our date of visit fell during the peak season. I bought it online few weeks in advance to ensure that our entrance was covered because you just don't know if it would become too crowded.

We were there around 11:00 a.m. There was gray overcast but I didn't anticipate heavy rain on that day. Good thing we bought rain coats so even if it was raining like cats and dogs, we managed to go around wearing our rain coats. The rain stopped around 1:00 p.m. so it was cool to roam around again and ride the other attractions.

There are 7 areas in Universal Studios Singapore namely:

  • Hollywood - near the entrance, has souvenir shops and other food outlets like the Mel's Diner   and Hollywood China Bistro. We had lunch at the latter. It was quite pricey but it was delicious. Celebrity Cafe and Bakeshop is also in this place.
  • New York - you can find the Lights, Camera, Action attraction here. This is where I had a pose with Marilyn Monroe and watched the Sesame Street characters performed.
  • Sci-fi City - Transformers Ride and Battlestar Galactica Human vs. Cylon ride and the Accelerator are  in this area. 
  • Ancient Egypt - The very scary Revenge of the Mummy ride is right here. Treasure Hunt is another slow ride which is okay for kids and even myself with hypertension.
  • Lost World - Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure, Canopy Flyer, Dino-Soarin' rides are right here. Water World is also found in this area. 
  • Far, Far, Away - The very fun and exciting Shrek 4D ride is in this area. I had so much fun in this simulator ride. Magic Potion shop is also here which is a merchandise store. There are some food outlets here too.
  • Madagascar - The fun Madagascar: A Crate Adventure ride is found here. I love this ride so much although we all got wet because of Marty. No, I will not give any spoiler here :) You have to go to Universal Studios and enjoy the ride!

I managed to take pictures with Marilyn Monroe and Betty Boop. I was looking for the other characters but didn't catch them. Better luck next time!

The whole Universal Studios experience is so wonderful. My daughter  would like to go back and take her dad with her so she could try out the other rides we missed during our visit because of my condition. I wanted to take the rides but I was hyperventilating already just reading the description and looking at the other riders who got out of the rides. However, I know I missed so much on the other famous rides, I still look forward to go back and this time, with my hubby who is as adventurous as my princess.

I do recommend this place to everyone. It is a wholesome, family-oriented theme park in Singapore.

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09 July 2012

Weekend at Ibis Hotel in Deira

We love spending overnights in different hotels in UAE. We do not this every single week as this costly habit will definitely burn holes in our pockets. Our family makes it a point to spend a weekend in the nearby areas when time and budget permits at least once every 2 months. We take that opportunity to bond as a family and explore different places and hotels around the UAE.

I chose Ibis Hotel in Deira, Dubai this time. The last time we checked in a hotel was last quarter of 2011 in Hilton Ras Al Khaimah. I decided to book in Ibis because our company gets special rates and I will earn in my A/Club Loyalty Program which is under the Accor Hotels. Ibis Hotel is one of that famous chain.

Ibis Hotel is a 2-star property. However, I feel it can pass as 3-4 stars because it is clean, has modern amenities like other 3-4 stars hotel. It has a basement parking lot for free for guests and clients, restaurants, access for the handicap, free wi-fi at the lobby, internet access in the rooms, vending machines on every floor, ice machine in the 1st floor and is connected to the Novotel Hotel so guests can access the pool with a minimal fee.

I booked a standard room with a queen size bed. The room is actually spacious with very basic amenities and no mini-bar. The cabinet has no door which I find very chic for easy access and there is no safe box unlike other big hotels. The private bathroom has a shower and the body gel and liquid soap are attached to the wall. There were no other free toiletries. However, there is an installed hair-dryer which is okay.

I like this hotel because it is clean, smells good and is walking distance to the nearest metro station. It is situated right in front of Deira City Centre. So, business travellers in Dubai can enjoy this small but very chic hotel for a budget price. I give it my thumbs up!

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Back From Singapore

The Singapore vacation is over! I cannot believe it came and went so fast, right when we were having so much fun. I cannot believe I will say this but Singapore is starting to grow on me. I am not a big fan of Singapore and no offense meant. It is just that there are certain places in the world that I am more attracted to than this tiny Asian country. However, that changed on this recent trip. Singapore is simply amazing!

The city has changed a lot since we last visited the country last 2008. Now there are more attractions to visit like the Universal Studios Singapore, Resorts World Sentosa, The Flyer, Marina Bay Sands and the recently opened Gardens By The Bay. Back then, these were still being constructed and now that they are all finished, Singapore has become more interesting and a go-to place in Asia.

My daughter and I enjoyed the short vacation. It was refreshing and meeting with friends added more excitement and color to the vacation. Although the weather was not as cooperative as I would like it to be, we still had fun and enjoyed every minute of the stay in amazing Singapore. We will be back for sure!

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