i lost my password to this blog when I got back from vacation last year. its been almost 6 months! I tried starting a new blog at rachelscribbler.wordpress.com but ofcourse, as usual, I did not get to post much. I have ventured into deep motherhood mode with Aria starting nursery and a new bub on the way. My OB Gyne asked me if I was serious that I wanted four kids after watching Aria and Marcus trashing her office. I just laughed it out. But the chubhub gave me the serious talk about this being the last kid.
I don’t know. I still feel incomplete. I want four. But who knows? My heart might change after another year of sleepless nights and losing more of my sanity.
I know I am talking too much about this trip and not about anything else. Well, it’s just that I have been living the mundane life of a housewife that our recent trip was the most exciting thing that has happened to me. So I am apologizing for a few months worth of posts about nothing else but that trip (hopefully I find something else to talk about soon).
Anyway, looking back at that amazing (and exhausting 10 days), I do have some things I wished I had done differently. Here are my top 5 lessons learned that I am hoping never to repeat again. Maybe I realized them already when I went on my euro-trip in 2009 but forgot about it since I didn’t get to travel again until 2011. If I did, how I wished I had paid more attention to myself back then.
5. I should’ve bought that item I really really wanted to buy the first time I saw it.
I wanted that book from the museum at George Pompidou but didn’t buy because I thought I’d just come back for it before we leave but I didn’t get the chance to. And that pair of Dr Marten boots I saw on a Saturday that I thought I’d come back for the next day not knowing that Sunday is rest day for most of Paris. So many missed opportunities… We did buy one poster at the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam, but the Chubby Hubby left it on the train from to Belgium and we couldn’t get it back. Boo freaking Hoo!
4. I wished I joined a tour of the Louvre.
The Louvre is a massive place. There were so many things I wanted to see that I didn’t get to see because it would have taken an entire day. And I know there are things I didn’t get to see that I should’ve gone to see. If I had joined a tour, I could’ve seen the important things and got a comprehensive overview of the entire place in two or three hours. But at least I got to see the Mona Lisa.
3. We could use more family pictures
Yup, I only have that one picture of the four of us at the Eiffel tower. I volunteered to take a picture of a couple at the Eiffel and they in turn took our picture. There was also one on my phone when a passerby volunteered to take a picture of us. Just two family pictures in 10 days. Wow.
2. 2 cities was enough for 10 days.
Traveling with two kids 2 and below was the biggest adventure we had on this trip. Just hauling them both from one place to another was exhausting. We visited three cities and didn’t get to do enough in each city because we got too tired and the chubby hubby wanted to take things slow. If we were still a little younger, and there were no kids, we could have added a city and maximized our sight seeing. But with our added baggage (aka booger and bear) taking it slow and just seeing two cities would have been the best thing. We wouldn’t be in a hurry all the time and we wouldn’t be too tired.
1. Never compromise your must-see list.
So many places, so little time. I had a list of must visit places for each city. I wished I had followed them all.
Oh well, there will always be next time… Unless the chubby hubby has given up on traveling. I hope not.
Chubby hubby has decided to take me to Paris to celebrate our 5th year as husband and beautiful wife. I have always been vocal about my desire to travel but didn’t put too much hope on its possibility. You see, my husband, is an Ilocano, meaning he comes from an ethnic group in the Philippines who are known for their thriftiness. He is not that extreme, but he is thrifty. So something as extravagant as a trip to Europe was not something I thought he would really do for me.
But he got me to work on our visas and we finally applied and got it.
And now the plane tickets and hotels are finalized. We just need to get our train tickets booked.
Its hard to plan for someone thrifty. You have to look for everything cheap- bargain hotels, cheap travel alternatives, cheap flights. Chubby hubby once traveled on a round trip ticket to Manila for QAR 1200 (USD 330) on a very low cost plane. The route involved a 6 hour lay over at one of the worst airports in the world. The flight back was delayed by an ample amount of hours and when he noticed the check-in staff was directing everyone to check in at a nearby hotel he told them that he had to be back the next day so they got him straight flight back on another plane.
While trying to book for train tickets to Brussels and Amsterdam, he was surprised at the rates and asked me to check for alternate ways to get to the cities. Chubby hubby is the kind of guy who would rather take a 6 hour bus ride to save on money than spend more on the train ticket to save on time.
We are still arguing about that.
But I am so happy happy happy we are getting away. This is the first trip we are taking to celebrate our anniversary. Our previous anniversaries were usually spent sleeping and watching tv.
One more week to go and i will get to practice the very few french phrases I know. Yay!
We are finally here. After months of moving, packing, unpacking, repacking and throwing stuff out and giving some away, we are finally here as a complete family. The chubby hubby arrived almost two months before we did and we arrived less than a week ago. Our new home is missing a big number of things but I am just happy we are together. The weeks we were away from one another was not something I enjoyed, probably because of my pregnancy hormones, and the fact that Aria was pretty much getting sick of me. But now, balance is somewhat restored to our small but growing family.
Doha reminds me so much of Dubai when I was young- with the old buildings and stores that aren’t inside the malls. The room we are renting is in a really old villa with a 70’s vibe. Our actual room is bigger than most one bedroom flats and the walls have rounded corners. Why they are rounded, I don’t know, but it does post an interior design challenge. Aria is enjoying the really big space and spends a lot of her day running around the room because we don’t have much furniture yet and there really isn’t any shelf she can pull things out from.
We bought her a small table and a chair from Ikea (thank God they have IKEA here!) and she has added sitting at the table and pretending to read as part of her daily itinerary.
I miss Dubai… not the place but the people. I miss my brother and his family… The people I encounter everyday… The people I see every week… The people who made Dubai my home for the past 24 years… Only 3 people got to see me off at the airport when we left- my sister in law, my 1 year old nephew and a really good friend. I was actually relieved about that since it made leaving so much easier. I cried on the plane though. 24 years. There’s a lot of memories in there.
Here I am now- slightly settling in- thinking of the many possibilities that our stay here has to offer. Although a big chunk of me is missing so many people terribly, I am grateful that our family- the chubby hubby, Aria, and me are complete. That’s all that matters now.
It’s always fun to eat out. Especially when you’re not the one paying.
DH and I usually spend the weekends at my parents house. Just last Saturday, we went to Karachi Darbar in Karama and ate Pakistani food. Places like these remind me of my childhood when my dad use to take us to those small canteens to eat with laborers. It was DH’s first time to eat there.