AmsterDAMMMN

This blog post is majorly overdue but it’s here!

Starting 2019 as we mean to go on!

At the beginning of January we headed to Amsterdam for 4 days and were actual tourists for once. Usually when we do city breaks we don’t really do a lot because, honestly, were lazy. I’m going to share some of the highlights from our trip and recommendations for you guys to check out if you ever visit!

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Brunchin’

On the first morning that we woke up in the city we headed out for brunch at Bakers and Roasters. We initially thought it was a “hole in the wall” but after further research we realised it was part of  branch! Regardless, BEST FRENCH TOAST EVER! The place is very popular so expect to wait, we never waited more than 10 minutes to be seated. I ordered the banana nut french toast from the menu and it was amazing! They sell a lot of eggs and also milkshakes but the french toast was my favourite. We loved this place so much that we went back on our last morning and I ordered the same thing! Definitely give this place a visit, the atmosphere is so laid back and feels like your small local cafe that you’d head to on a Sunday morning while living in the city!

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Bike Hire

The hostel we were staying at had bikes you could hire for 12 euros a day. It was really useful for us to have access to them at the hostel as it meant we didn’t need to drop them off anywhere before coming back in the evening. We only rented them from a day and I almost died multiple times. Cycling on the side wrong side of the road is actually a very complicated process. However, cycling is definitely the best way to get around in Amsterdam! It gives you so much freedom and you really get to experience it like you live there. One of my favourite moments was waking up on the first morning and cycling to brunch, it’s so simple but I felt at home!

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Boat Tours

As you probably know, Amsterdam is built on a swamp with canals running through the streets. Over the time we went an event called the Amsterdam light show was taking place and I was very motivated to see it. It’s a series of light art instalments placed around the city! Instead of cycling or walking around we decided to take a night boat tour. I began googling different companies and one popped out at me: Those Damn Boat Guys. The only reason I headed to their website was because of their name and once I was there I was not disappointed. They had so many little jokes on their webpage and came across so laid back. You were able to bring your own food and drink to have on the trip and you were allowed to smoke. The tours are usually only about 10 people so we booked tickets for only 25 euros each and headed to the meeting place the next day. The meeting place is a small cafe not far from the Anne Frank House. Its a really nice place with a relaxed atmosphere and friendly staff. We sat and drank hot chocolate before the tour. There ended up only being four of us on the tour which was really nice. We went this couple from Chicago. The driver was so laid back and engaging and took us on a detour of the red light district. He shared so much knowledge with us about the city it was so interesting but also really informal which just makes you feel at ease. As for the light instalments, they were amazing. My favourite ones were the ones that hung over the canals such as the hanging lanterns. Angel was a bit dubious about the tour and wasn’t sure how good it would be but ended up really enjoying it. So, if you’re going on a boat tour please check out Those Damn Boat Guys!

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Coffee Shops

When in Amsterdam!!

We visited a few coffee shops while in the city and noticed that the type of atmosphere inside counts. One of the most famous coffee shops is the Bulldog with multiple shops in the city and even a hotel. Honestly, its loud and packed and not a nice environment to be in. It doesn’t make you want to spend time in there. However, we did visit a few that were, well, how they should feel: down to earth, relaxed and chilled. Our first favourite was Bas Jo a small coffee shop off one of the canals not far from the red light district. The first time visited we sat outside as it was too busy inside and a homeless man came up to us and started telling us jokes for money. The staff in the shop were really friendly and chatty and that immediately makes you feel at home.When we sat in it was a lot quieter making it feel more chilled out not intimidating at all.

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Our second favourite place we found was called internet cafe. We went in one morning as we were walking past. It goes underground and again was far from the hustle and bustle of the Bull Dog. We went back to this one too and played pool for ages (because were both rubbish). The guys in there were so friendly too, even when I left my water bottle behind!

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Our third favourite place was called Rookies. We went here to kill some time just before we headed to the airport for our flight home. Again, the atmosphere here was just right. Not too noisy or busy and just a nice environment to sit in.

It’s hard to really understand why we liked these coffeeshops the best, all I can say is the atmosphere and for me personally atmosphere is a big deal. If I don’t feel comfortable somewhere then it’s not a nice place to be. This can come from the staff or the noise or the temperature or even the other customers. Overall the above three were favourite so I would highly recommend checking them out and let me know what you like or don’t like about them!

I love Amsterdam and could definitely live there! Please let me know your favourite parts of the city below because I will definitely being going back and would love to check them out! If you’d like to see a few of the light art installations and other parts of our trip check out the video below!!

 

Peace out guys x

 

 

Photo Diary: San Fransisco

My lack of content lately has given me an idea to revisit old memories and share photos with you guys that I haven’t shared before. So it’s kind of going to be like a series however, i’m not sure how often i’l be doing them. As well as you guys getting to see more photos it’s going to help me practice my editing more because at the moment I don’t have many new photos to edit. This first post in the series is from San Fransisco, there is honestly no reason for it other than the fact that these were the ones I wanted to edit first! So without further ado..

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Painted Ladies, we spent a while sitting on the hill that overlooks the houses and I actually googled why they were so famous. It turns out that the phrase painted lady is used for any Edwardian house that is painted with three or more bright colours it just so happens that there are seven in a row here.

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Golden Gate Bridge!

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I was actually bummed out that this was the only sea lion we saw…

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Post In n Out pier tour!

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San Fransisco may well be one of my favourite cities!

Thank you for reading guys! Let me know in the comments if you’d be interested in seeing more post like this or even the before and after of my edits because i’m really trying to improve on my editing skills!

Peace out guys x

The Beautiful Beaches of Varadero

As mentioned in last weeks post, this week’s post is all about the time I spent in Varadero, Cuba with my family. This break was a “lay by the pool and not do much” sort of break but the location was beautiful!

We stayed in a Melia resort right on the beach with all inclusive food and included activities too. My brothers and I spent a lot of time kayaking and snorkelling around the turquoise blue, clear waters while my dad windsurfed around the bay. Whether we were sitting by the pool, eating in the Trinidad restaurant or having a relaxed drink in the lobby bar, the beautiful bright blue waters could be seen from all angles.

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This time of year is hurricane season in the Caribbean so when you’re visiting in the summer you are taking the risk of stormy whether. The storms usually take place in the afternoons however we hadn’t seen any rain until we got to Varadero. All of a sudden the wind picked up and these dark grey clouds were rolling over. We moved under shelter just in time for the heavens to open. Although it rained for most the evening the sunset was probably the best sunset I have ever seen! The rain also come with lightening and thunder and as the storm moved over us out to the ocean you could see the lightening strikes shooting down and across the horizon.

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All I can say about Varadero is how beautiful the beaches are and that if it’s not on your list of places to visit soon then you are missing out!

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Peace out guys x

Havana – A City Stuck in Time

I have just arrived home from spending ten days in Cuba in the Caribbean with my family. We began with 3 days in the city of Havana and then drove a few hours to Varadero. For this blog post I’m going to focus on our time in Havana but it will be followed up next week with a post about Varadero.

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Whilst in Havana we stayed in an Iberostar hotel that was right in the city centre. On the 9th floor there was a rooftop pool and bar that overlooked the whole city right out to the coast. Down below you can watch the hundreds of brightly coloured classic cars roam the streets like something out of a 1950’s movie. The hotel was taller than a lot of the surrounding residential buildings and one evening a group of kids were playing with a football on their roof amongst the bed sheets and clothes that were hanging out to dry as the sunset.

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One day we took a tour around the city in a bright pink classical car. Our first stop was to Plaza de la Revolucion. The plaza is surrounded by buildings such as Jose Marti memorial, the National Library and many government ministries with drawings of Fidel Castro and Camilo Cienfuegos. Our next stop was John Lennon park. Although John Lennon never visited Cuba they have a statue of him in the park sat on a bench because of what he stood for. A woman is in charge of supplying the glasses for the statue when tourist come to take photos because the original set were stolen. From here we drove to a forest which reminded me of the Caribbean I remember, green and lush. The tour guide described it as something out of the movie Avatar and it honestly was. As we drove through there were these ginormous trees with great big vines hanging off them. It’s strange to think of this luscious green forest being bang smack in the middle of a busy city.

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Most evenings we would wonder around the streets looking for places to eat in. Almost every restaurant you walk past had a band in playing loud cuban music. They were all so talented and it created such a lively atmosphere all over the city.

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If you haven’t visited Cuba you definitely should, and soon. Currently it’s not as commercialised as most places in the world however it is slowly becoming more commercialised so the best time to visit is as soon as you can to experience the most you can. Let me know in the comments if you guys have ever been to Cuba and what you thought of it!

Peace out guys x

Dear San Fransisco, I Love You

Last week Angel and I spent a few days in San Fransisco. Honestly, we didn’t get off the best start when we found at 5 pm the night before we were suppose to fly that our flight had been cancelled and they had put us on a flight to San Jose to “get us on our way as quickly as possible” and because it was the “closest available option to our itinerary”. In the end we got on a later flight to San Fransisco which was then delayed so we arrived at 6 pm instead of the original 10 am. Thank you Alaska Airlines.

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The hostel we stayed in was in Fishermans Wharf right on the waters edge with a view of Golden Gate Bridge. Our room had these gigantic windows and it was amazing to wake up and look across the trees over the bay as the sun rose. Although it was away from the hustle and bustle of the city, I still feel like the location was perfect as we could walk along the edge of the bay towards the bridge and still be able to see it.

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Golden gate bridge is a sight for sore eyes. You can look at photos of it and watch videos about it but it’s nothing compared to standing in front of it. The bright red metal stands out amongst the shrubbery and water that surrounds it. When you think about the architecture that went into it, it’s amazing. The bridge is specially designed to survive earthquakes because each section is separated so if the earthquake is happening one end of the bridge the other end isn’t affected to the same degree.

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Another key attraction in San Fransisco is the Painted Ladies. The name painted ladies isn’t actually special to this row of houses in San Fransisco. It is the name given to an Edwardian house that use three different colours to outline the architecture. The Painted Ladies are so famous because their are seven of them in a row! They are quite a sight to see, like something out of a tv show.

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We sat up on the hill admiring the houses eating snacks. It was a special moment of the trip for me. We were sitting up on the top of hill and everything felt right as if that was where I was suppose to be and it was good! There were a few moments like that for me in San Fransisco. The second being that evening while we sat on another hill watching the sunset over the Golden Gate Bridge. I think these moments have a lot to do with why I fell head over the heals for the city!

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There were a few other places we visited such as Haight street, Golden gate park, the University of San Fransisco (Angel’s school) and the wave organ. There’s so much to do and see! If you guys know of any secret places or places I didn’t mention that you love in San Fransisco, let me know in the comments!

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Peace Out Guys x

How to Survive Long Haul Flights

As a kid I never had a problem with flying, I was never afraid and never had trouble with sleeping. Sometimes the food was kind of terrible but other than that flying for long periods of time was easy. As i’ve got older and grown bigger, long haul flights are more of a task. Trying to get comfortable while sat in the middle seat is basically impossible and i tend to sit in the middle A LOT. However, on the most recent long haul flight i was on my luck turned and I had an entire row of three seats all to myself! Anyway, I thought i’d share some of my tips on how to survive those somewhat dreaded 11 hour flights!

1. Stay Hydrated

Aeroplanecabins have a bad habit of drying our skin out. This is because there is a lack of humidity in the cabin which means there’s a lack of moisture in the air causing the dip in hydration. It’s important to stay hydrated on a day to day basis but losing your daily routine by sitting in the same seat for 10 or so hours could throw you off from being concerned about hydration. Staying hydrated can help how you feel during and after the flight. I usually buy a bottle of water in the airport so I have an easy access as sometimes the air crew aren’t always on it with handing around drinks.

2. Snacks! Snacks! Snacks!

Sometimes aeroplane food isn’t always the best so it can be a good idea to bring some snacks that you know you like so you don’t go hungry. It’s a good idea to bring a mix of nutritional snacks and treats just to mix it up. Nutritional snacks are a good way to help you feel more energised when getting on the plane rather than the usual sluggish feeling while those treats can help you get through it psychologically! I usually try to buy some fresh fruit pots from the airport and a bar of chocolate.

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3. Suss out the Entertainment

Most, if not all, long haul flights have some sort of entertainment system with films, tv shows, music and games. You can usually check these out before you fly if you want to plan ahead but it can be a good idea to wait so you can waste more of the fight time figuring out what to see.

4. Comfort is Key

To people who wear jeans on long haul flights, we need to talk. Wearing something comfortable and warm on the plane is probably the most important tip on here. Even if you’re visiting the Caribbean you should still wear something warm because the cabin can get cold. It’s also good to wear something loose fitting thats not restrictive so you can move about easily. I usually wear sports leggings or tracksuit bottoms and I always bring a hoodie.

5. Moisturise

This kind of comes under hydration because moisturising your skin can help reduce the effects of low humidity in the cabin. All you need is a small tube of moisturiser that you can pack in your hand luggage and you’re all set. I usually reapply mine towards the end of the flight so I feel more awake for when I arrive.

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These are my tips for surviving long haul flights let me know what you guys do to make your flights more comfortable I’d love to try them out and see if they help me!

Peace out Guys x

Easter Adventures in Puerto Banus

 

Over Easter I spent a few days in Marbella Spain with my family. The flight to Spain is around two and a half hours so we landed in Spain at around 9:30 in the morning. We had a car hire and headed off out of the airport to our apartment courtesy of air bnb. The apartment was nice and modern with a shared pool and small garden. It was a short walk into Puerto Banus from the apartment and a short drive in the other direction to Marbella.

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Puerto Banus is popular for its yachts and sports cars. The main feature of the town is the marina that stretches right out onto the seafront. Down the road that runs along side the marina are countless restaurants, cafes and bars and lots of designer shops. Quite a few sports cars are parked down the marina and occasionally you’ll see one driving down the main street with it’s roaring engine trying not to run anyone over.

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The other town we headed to was Marbella which feels bigger than Puerto Banus. Theres a stretch of road that runs along the beach front where we sat and had brunch in front of the ocean. It was quite windy on the beach but I still managed to get sun burnt.

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Most of the time we spent in Spain involved laying on the beach and going out for meals, it was very chilled. On one of the days we headedto Gibraltar which is in an hour drive from where we were. If you want to read more about our day trip to Gibralatar check out my other blog post: Day Trip to Gibraltar

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For more on the Spanish adventures follow this link

I hope you enjoyed the small insight into Puerto Banus and Marbella, comment below your favourite places in Spain to visit so i can check them out! Peace out guys! x

Day Trip to Gibraltar

For the past few days I have been sunning it up in Puerto Banus, Spain. On Thursday we trekked a little further south crossing the border into Gibraltar. Gibraltar is a very small, very British country that is connected to Spain. When I say it’s very British, I mean it has the same bins, the same pavements, the same street signs. It’s weird to see honestly.

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Whilst we were in Gibraltar we went up the Rock of Gibraltar. It’s the first thing you can see when you’re driving across the boarder. A small cable cart runs up and down the rock. It takes six minutes to get to the top. At the top is a restaurant and we sat and had hot chocolate while looking over the coast of Gibraltar out on to the horizon. Theres also a whole load of monkeys up on the rock. They are fed by the staff but that doesn’t stop them scavenging for food. Whilst we were up there this guy got a tissue out of his pocket and the monkey followed him for ages.

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We wondered out the streets for a little bit. It was rainy and cloudy (just like in Britain). The cobbled streets are filled with gift shops and small cafes. When you get to the main streets there’s a costa coffee, a Tommy Hilfiger, Topshop and a Marks and Spencers. It’s so weird.

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I enjoyed Gibraltar, it’s another country to scratch of my scratch map however, I don’t think i’d go back. There’s not a lot there and what is there is very British anyway!

Peace out guys x