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Why You Should Skip Manila – But Definitely See The Philippines Islands

  Skip Manila in the Philippines. It is a big, noisy, busy, dumpy, dirty city. Sorry to be so blunt, but that is the truth. Unless you like big, noisy, busy, dumpy cities, that is.     Leaving El Nido   Leaving the fantastic islands of El Nido, Philippines, was difficult, and as we flew over the Philippines towards Manilla, it was with a wistful goodbye. We will always remember these gorgeous plush lagoons and islands.   When we were told that El Nido was voted the best island in the world, we were a bit doubtful. We thought the … More…

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El Nido Videos: Above and Beyond To Cruel and Unusual

    Arrival El Nido Airport   The Philippines were gorgeous. We can never forget the amazing colours of the ocean or the sweet people, but something else pops into our heads as soon as someone mentions El Nido, Philippines. The lovely welcome and the not-so-lovely departure from El Nido Airport. We’ve mentioned this in earlier posts (Getting To The Best Island In The World), but we also want to share our videos of arrival and departure with you so you can truly feel a connection to these experiences, and just so you know what to expect if you go to El … More…

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El Nido, Philippines: Pompous Roosters, Leaping Geckos and a Heartbreaking Story

  As one of the most beautiful places on earth, El Nido was a week of pure indulgence. Relaxing in a hammock, staring out across an aquamarine bay studded with gorgeous islands, tucking into a good novel, eating great food, and with barely anyone else there, what could be better than that?    Really Fresh Chicken For Dinner Of course there were a few surprises. Like the day we were sitting in the restaurant of our resort, Garden Bay Beach Resort, wide shutters open to a soft breeze on a warm day, when we heard a fluttery noise nearby. Looking … More…

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5 Jaw-Droppingly Stunning Islands of Palawan, Philippines

    Dazzling Colours   5 of the most stunning islands in the world are off El Nido, on Palawan Island in the Philippines. Majestic and breath-taking views in every direction simply made this one of the most memorable tours (and we usually dislike tours) that we have ever taken. Simply jaw-dropping.   We hope our photos demonstrate the true beauty of El Nido, Palawan Island, and the stunning islands surrounding it. Palawan Island was named the best island in the world by Travel + Leisure Magazine, 2016.   We were skeptical, but now we have to agree.   The jaw-dropping and changing … More…

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Getting To The Best Island In The World: El Nido, Palawan Island, Philippines

  Cebu to El Nido   We were on our way to El Nido, Palawan Island, Philippines, voted as holding the #1 spot for the “best island in the world” (Travel + Leisure Magazine), 2016.    Arriving at Cebu Airport for our flight to El Nido, there were colourful shops with every kind of Filipino packaged foods and snacks. One shop even had the Filipino delicacy, Lechon, proudly displayed in an airport shop window. Lechon is a special dish where the entire pig is spit-roasted over coals, with the crisp, golden-brown skin served with liver sauce.   We had to take a … More…

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S. E. Asia: “99% Of What We Worry About Never Happens”

  Malaria   As many of us have said before,   “99% of what we worry about never happens, and the other 1% we can handle.”   And so it was with our fears of Malaria, and fears of the side-effects of the drugs to prevent Malaria. It’s a well-known fact that some of them make you feel really sick, and who wants that to ruin your trip.   First of all, I was given Doxycycline, an antibiotic that apparently is also effective against Malaria, but not with the adverse effects of Malarone or Choroquine or Mefloquine. It was great. … More…

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Philippines: DapDap, Lapu Lapu

  DapDap, Lapu Lapu has such a nice ring to it that I went around repeating it over and over again like a 7-year-old. It sounds like a child’s song. “DapDap, Lapu Lapu… DapDap, Lapu Lapu…DapDap, Lapu Lapu…”   The address of our hotel in Cebu, Philippines was Dap-Dap, Lapu Lapu City, Cebu, Mactan Island, Philippines.    Losing My Shoes On The Long-Haul Flight After a gruelling 25 hours of flying across Canada and across the vast Pacific Ocean to Cebu, Philippines, we had barely slept. It was strange with the time difference – we had left Monday night yet … More…

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ASIA Super Trip: Our Greatest Fear

S. E. Asia Super Trip - Our Greatest Fear

  Last Long-Haul Trip   We’re going on our very last long haul trip over the Pacific Ocean to S.E. Asia – our Asia Super Trip is what we’re calling it.   It’s our last long plane trip because it is just getting too hard to be on a plane for three-quarters of a day. Travel is not much fun when it becomes an endurance test, so a word of caution to all travellers – do the long distance 10-15 hour-flight travel while you are young, save the 2-6 hour flights for later.  Requesting Your Advice for Asia Super Trip   … More…

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A Land Where Big Women are the Most Beautiful

A Land Where Big Women Are Most Beautiful

  The Women of Tonga   The women in the Kingdom of Tonga are beautiful and large. Many are over six feet all and well over two hundred pounds.   In fact, the bigger you are in Tonga, the more respect you have.   That’s a hard concept for people in North America – a place where slim and skinny are preferred by both men and women –  to grasp. Fat people have little prestige in North America, the exact opposite of the cultural norm in Tonga.   Even in beauty contests in Tonga, slim women are not considered to possess … More…

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How to Overcome Your Fear of Spiders

  I have always been afraid of spiders – I’m not sure why, but they just seem creepy.    There are no dangerous wild animals in Tonga, and not many bugs, but they do have harmless spiders.     Ouleva Island, Tonga   We were on an uninhabited island, Ouleva, in the Haap’ai Group, an absolutely breathtaking island with white powder beaches and crystal clear turquoise water. We had this gorgeous Tongan island all to ourselves.  Tonga – Ouleva Island Tonga – Ouleva Island I had read that there is only a big centipede (“molokau”), that had a painful bite, and a few … More…

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Tonga: The Sexiest Men In The World

Sexy smiling Tongan man at Kava Ceremony

 <a href=”http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/14946963/?claim=p7xrnf7smrm”>Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>   First of all, there is something I need to explain. What you are about to discover is that in this country…. … the bigger and the broader you are, the more prestige you have!   Quite a reversal from the cultural expectations in North America! Every time I tell someone about the big men and women on this South Pacific Island nation, especially women, they say, “I want to move there!” And well anyone might want to just that.  It is jaw-dropping beautiful! This is Tonga.     People in Tonga are enormous, often … More…

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Panama: Fording Rivers To A Rain Forest Cabin

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  We were on our way to a cabin high in the cloud forest of Panama, but we still had a few days of driving to get there, and Panama offered more delightful surprises.     Playa Cambutal   Although there were only crude signs on the sides of shacks and fences, it wasn’t difficult to drive around the bottom of the Panama peninsula – at first.   Travelling through rolling hills and lush valleys, we came to the village of Cambutal where we saw signs to  the beach. Feeling adventurous, we bounced along to the end of a dirt … More…

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Best $5 We’ve Ever Spent: Off The Beaten Path Panama

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  The Rooster   It was 3 am in Panama: dogs were barking and a rooster was squawking. It wasn’t even a nice cock-a-doodle-doo but a whining half-squawk, over and over and over again. Good grief. We rolled over.   The Salamanders   At this hotel there were tiny green salamanders as cute as could be with the daintiest little feet you ever saw. This one was no more than three inches long.   The geckos were here and there all over the aptly-named Greco Hotel, a 3* hotel, with little cabins that had no hot water (it was hot … More…

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#1 Travel Cosmetics: Irresistible BOOM!

Photo Boom Sticks Trio

  Wow! I just love BOOM Sticks. Compact cosmetics sticks, perfect for purse and travel.   I don’t know about you, but when I travel, I rarely have time for make-up. We are anxious to get out and see the million things there are to see in a new country. Still, it would be nice to have something small, light and quick to soften and protect my skin and it’s finally here. BOOM cosmetics are perfect.    The Boom Sticks (which I call Boom-Sticka-Boom because they are amazing) will change your cosmetics routine. There are 3 small sticks, perfect for … More…

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Mississippi, Alabama and Florida

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  To get from New Orléans, Louisiana, to Destin, Florida, you need to go through the states of Mississippi, Alabama and Florida, over the Gulf of Mexico, and known as the Florida Panhandle. All the clichés about the South and blacks and prejudice were undeniable, but there was some surprisingly unique countryside.   Louisiana   Because we were driving from New Orléans on the Coastal Highway along the water on the Gulf of Mexico, many of the houses at the water’s edge were on stilts.   The longest bridge we’ve ever seen was over Lake Pontchartrain, a huge lake just North of … More…

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Audubon Zoo, New Orleans

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  The Audubon Zoo in New Orleans is ranked as one of the top zoos in the United States. We didn’t know this at all at the time.   In fact we had no idea how amazing it would be when we decided to take a break from Mardi Gras in Nawlins’, which of course, was fantastic fun, and in fact, when T suggested going to the zoo, I almost poo-pooed it. Who wants to go to a zoo when they’re in the middle of a place known for its fantastic music and parades and food? Now I am so … More…

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Best Kept Secret in New Orleans: Algiers

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  This might just be the best-kept secret in New Orléans. The Canal Street Ferry is FREE to go across the Mississippi River to the town of Algiers, a town that was annexed from New Orléans in 1870. Not only do  you get to cross the mighty Mississippi River, but you also have the opportunity for a spectacular view of the New Orléans skyline.   New Orléans Boardwalk   Start with a walk along the New Orléans boardwalk of the Mississippi River, admiring the bridge and the huge cargo ships from all over the world, and ending up at the Riverwalk Shopping … More…

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Disney World For Adults

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New Orléans: Disney World For Adults   Mardi Gras is an event which must be experienced in order to be understood. It is a mixture of traditions and high-tech. It is a Disney World for Adults!   New Orléans has experienced disaster after disaster. Hurricanes, yellow fever, floods, wars, and just plain tough living are a few of the reasons it became something to celebrate to be a “Survivor”.  Since New Orléans is an eclectic mix of cultures with a mix of those languages and traditions, their survival is a constant source of celebrations! There are all kinds of celebrations happening all … More…

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Alligator Sausage and Praline Bacon in New Orleans

P1100398 Crocodile Sausage Close Up 2

  You could go to New Orleans just to experience New Orleans food, never mind the world-famous musicians and bands, the friendly people, the wild parades, and the unique culture.    The food is that good! It is “fun food” too.   You cannot help but have a good time in New Orleans because it is always full of surprises of one kind or another.   What are the traditional foods of Nola? Red beans and rice, jambalaya, gumbo (creole stew with okra), collard greens, and seafood platters. All absolutely delicious to T, and mostly disgusting to me, with the exception … More…

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Getting a Ticket For Not Partying Hard Enough

P1100889 Getting A Ticket For Not Partying Hard Enough Crop

  We were trying to party hardy, really we were. Perhaps we are a little under-stated, but we were having fun, just like everyone else in New Orleans! The Ticket Officer wasn’t buying it. She gave T a ticket! A Ticket and a Scolding for not partying hard enough! Seriously. I mean T often looks serious, but just because he looks serious doesn’t mean he wasn’t having fun. No matter what excuses we gave, she still didn’t buy it. “I’m warning you. You will go to jail if I catch you again!”   And no  – this was not set up. … More…

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