Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015 New Year Countdown in Taiwan!

Here's the post that I've been wanting to blog for a long time. I know it's almost a year late but hey I got two kids leh! I know it's not a good excuse but late better than never right? This post is very special because it's my first time celebrating New Year countdown in a foreign country. Chose Taiwan because it's not too far from Malaysia and the whether was just perfect! It was a really great experience to be able to see how people in other countries celebrate their new year. It'll be great if I do this every year, with my husband and children when they grow older   For now, here's how my 1st time celebrating my new year outside my country goes.

On New Year Eve 2014, we got into the city early around 4pm before the all roads are closed for new year celebration. Traffic was already bad on our way into the city. Managed to get into the city and had a our lunch in one of their famous mall. Then did a little shopping while waiting for the countdown... 

Yup, was still a pregger back then!

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Headed to the countdown area of the city which is near Taipei 101.

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We booked a spot at La Farfalla and The Terrace @ Humble House Taipei (寒舍艾麗酒店) for their "Countdown Fireworks Party"! They have a full buffet including free flow champagne! But too bad I was pregnant that time else I would definitely drink like cray haha! The food was fantastic too! 

At around 11.45pm, guests started walking out to the sky garden and find a perfect spot for the firework and countdown to begin! Only a number of 100 of us I think, no need to squeeze on the streets with the crazy crowd and definitely better view of the Taipei 101 fireworks.

counting down . . .



We had such a great time celebrating our New Year in a different country and would love to do it every year if possible! If got money la! Haha.

How time flies, in a few days time we are going to say goodbye to 2015! It seems like just yesterday I've celebrate 2015's new year! But I definitely had an amazing year, welcoming my second son Ryan, did a lot of traveling too. Wanna thank my husband for loving me and giving me nothing but the best. And I am hoping the same and even better year next year! To a great year ahead! Here wishing everyone a very Happy New Year in advance! xx 

Monday, December 21, 2015

Exploring Rome, Day 1 & 2

Here is the that took me awhile to blog, because it is so long! So bare with me iite! Got up at 6am to get ready because I can't wait to explore Rome already! To smell the air in an Europe country! It's my first time in Europe actually! So you can tell how excited I am. Left the apartment at about 10am in the morning. Weather was perfect! Walked down the streets towards the Colosseum direction and half way we stopped by a restaurant to have our first breakfast in Rome 

♡ Our itinerary Day 1 & 2 in Rome 

Colosseum The Roman Forum  Palatine Hill  Piazza Navona  Altare della Patria  Pantheon  Piazza Di Spagna  The Trevi Fountain  Capitol (Campidoglio)

(managed to cover most of the main attractions)

The first picture I took was this artsy shot of my husband and the Rome's street. I liked it, he loved it.

Our neighborhood.

Breakfast venue.

When in Rome, do like the Roman do. Drink Cappuccino!

Risotto is one of the must order dish in Italy!

Very satisfying breakfast!

There is not specific or particular restaurant to visit in Rome, all restaurants serves pretty good food. Always go through their menu first before going in to the restaurant. If you see something you like, just go straight in enjoy the fantastic Italian food!

First stop, Colosseum !

One of the most famous attraction of Rome. It is also one of the most important building too! Built from 72 AD to 80 AD by the Roman emperors for entertainment purposes. Gladiators would battle their life against each other as well as with ferocious animals. Winner get the freedom while the loser faces nothing but death. Interesting history I can't wait to discover it already the moment I laid my eyes on this spectacular arena.

The feeling when I saw the Colosseum is indescribable, how it so magnificently built. And I finally got to witness it!

Took us about 15 minutes walk to reach the Colosseum.

Wanna take a picture with full Colosseum background?
Walk across the street and go up the stairs, there you can have the clearer view and picture perfect spot! 

We didn't want to queue to get the ticket because it will take about an hour. So got we got this "Skip The Line" ticket for 30€ for 3 attractions (Colosseum, Roman Forum and also Palatine Hill) with a English speaking tour guide included. You will see people selling it at the entrance of the Colosseum, just get it from them if you want to skip the hassle and line.

Our tour guide for Colosseum.

The distinctive interior of the Colosseum is even more fascinating!

The Colosseum was a freestanding structure made of stone and concrete. How incredible is that?

Kissed to mark our visit here!

I personally think that it is a must to enter and visit the Colosseum. Wish I could have more time there.

2nd stop, The Roman Forum.

Another popular tourist destination, The Roman Forum is where the ancient government located. The city’s main piazza where citizens of every social level met to exchange opinions, trade, have political meetings and other social activities. Basically one of the most popular place to hang out during the ancient time. It is so huge it took us more than an hour to actually covered some of the important areas of the Forum.

It is filled with majestic buildings covered in precious marble, mosaics and statuary.

"Builder of temples, holy rebuilder of temples"

From here you can see the Temple of Castor and Pollux or the "Dioscuri", only three columns survive. They recall one of the first legendary victories of the Romans over the Latins.

Took this panoramic picture of the entire Forum from magnificent terraces of Campidoglio.

The Roman Forum is definitely another must visit place in Rome.

Booked a Segway tour with https://www.getyourguide.com/. (56€ for 3 hours)
And it was the best decision ever! Because with this tour, it basically helped us covered almost the whole Rome city.

Eddie, our guide and instructor of the day. Fret not if you don't know how to use a segway, there will be a small lesson for everyone to make sure you can ride it before the tour. It was my very first attempt to ride a segway this big, took me just 3 minutes to get the hang of it and I am good to go!

First stop, the Piazza Navona.

This ornate square was for many centuries the site of the city's main market. It is still a popular place for street artists and hawkers to entertain tourists while they relax at a street cafe.

Me and my lover going on an amazing journey 

2nd stop, The Pantheon.

3rd stop, totally forgotten where this is lol.

4th stop, here we are at the shopping street near the Spanish steps!
(Spanish steps were unfortunately under reconstruction when we visit)

Was so lucky to be able to witness this street performance that started out of no where!

The Barcaccia, also known as the 'sinking boat' fountain.

5th stop, The Trevi Fountain

The most place that I hope to visit the most in Rome 

The reconstruction was already completed for the Trevi Fountain and we were so lucky to be able to visit it and throw my lucky 3 coins! There is a saying that if you throw your first coin over your left shoulder, you will visit Rome again very soon! I hope it will come true! 

6th stop, Palatine Hill

7th stop, Capitol (Campidoglio)

Lastly we are here at the Altare della Patria located at the Piazza Venezia.

It was such a fun and meaningful experience going on the Segway tour. Our tour guide was amazing trying to bring us to as many attractions as possible and explained all the history to us in 3 hours time. If you are not sure where to start to go in Rome, this is definitely the activity to join. Save time, save energy and it is nothing but great experience! 

Dinner time!

Our guide recommended us this restaurant with good spaghetti and pizza down the streets of his shop.

Called it a day after our dinner because I literally can't walk no more.

Day 2 in Rome

Day 2 in Rome was the launch of HMxBalmanition collection.  So I thought, why not join the fun?

Queue was of course, crazy!

Managed to get my self a piece of their collection!

Just chillaxin at Piazza Navona with a glass of red wine. That's what I love about traveling on our own. You can go where every you want and stop and eat at where ever you want.

The must have gelato in Italy!

Nutella crepes is one of the famous dessert they have!

Dinner time!

We had spaghetti and risotto almost every meal.
To be honest we were kinda sick of it already lol. I know, it's just day 2 haha.

Right after our dinner we headed back to The Trevi Fountain again because it is definitely more magical at night.

It was so crowded but I still managed to take a few good shot thanks to the hubby slash my all time favorite photographer. Gotta admit my hubby take pretty darn good pictures. Haha. The Fountain was so crowded because it was the 1st they reopen it to public after the reconstruction, and yes that's how lucky we were! To be able to to visit to magical place.

Met a cutie 

One last picture in Rome with the Altare della Patria

That's the end of my Rome journey, next up we will be going to Florence!

First night in Rome
♡ Exploring Rome, Day 1 & 2 - THIS POST!