Tag Archives: water

Flee To Florida, And Escape The Rain!

It’s dull, drizzling, and the sky is really lacking inspiration. It no longer feels as if winter is around the corner… it’s here, and it’s here to stay! But, don’t fear. Some parts of the world are never really that cold, or miserable. One of the great examples, and a great holiday location is Florida. If you’ve never been, you’re really missing out. This post will go through the State of Florida, city by city, to inspire your next big trip!

Orlando

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You’ve probably heard of Disneyland in Paris, right? Well, Orlando is home to something a little bigger; Disneyworld. It’s also home to several other large theme parks, including Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. All in all, there are over a dozen theme parks in Orlando. And, some of them are the biggest in the world.

Like much of Florida, much of the Orlando area is filled with marshland and swamps. But, you’ll also find miles of white, sandy beaches to the east of the city. In areas like this, wildlife refuses to budge. This makes for a city that feels like it’s at the heart of nature, while still incorporating nightclubs and shopping into the mix.

Tampa

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For lovers of history and culture; look no further than Tampa. This city focuses more on intellectual pursuits than either of the others. The city has numerous zoos and aquariums, making it perfect for youngsters who don’t like rides! It also has several museums, and even plays host to the famous Busch Gardens; an African-themed amusement park.

Most of the cities nightlife and dining can be found in the Ybor City neighborhood. This area is steeped in history, having been established by Cuban and Spanish tobacco workers at the turn of the 20th Century.

Miami

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Miami is one of America’s hotspots for fashion and culture. For those who want to spend the nights on the town, Miami is the place for you. Much of Miami consists of art deco buildings and trendsetting diners. It truly is the best place to go to sample some of the finer things in life.

The city is famous worldwide for its beautiful white, sandy beaches and crystal clear ocean. Miami is a popular spot for surfers and other extreme water sports, adding, even more, culture to the already bustling city.

Getting yourself into a hotel in Florida is easy as pie. You have so many options available; the hardest part really is choosing. You can spend two weeks in a luxury hotel, or have a stint in vacation rentals in Florida. The world truly is your oyster. It’s best to avoid traveling to a place like this with food included in your trip. You’ll want to get out and try all of the different offerings these cities have for you.  Remember to take plenty of dollars with you, too!

All that’s left to do is get planning! Make sure that you plan well to avoid any unwanted issues on your journey. Good luck, and enjoy the trip!

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Car-Rant

Are you familiar with those days when you are extremely happy, like so happy, you could die? I have had a good number of those in a row. So much so that they freak me out. I believe that for every action there’s an opposite and equal reaction… Meaning, that for every day I am excessively happy, I have a pile of shit waiting for me around the corner.

Boy was I right.

It all started with a slow puncture. Then, my car key decided to stop working on the driver’s side (it still works on passenger’s door, so I have been able to make due until I figure out where I need to take my car to fix this). Yesterday I woke up feeling poorly, and my allergies so bad that I could barely see from one of my eyes, and it would not stop watering! It also was a rainy day; so much so that I do not recall hearing it stop at all during the day. This morning, since I am being ultra-paranoid about everything, I decided to go check on my car. Slow puncture again, and water inside my car. Lovely. As if that is not enough, I learned that the slow puncture is not due to the tyre’s fault but due to the car’s rim. So, 2 days – 3 mishaps.

If this was not my real-life story, I would laugh so much – I mean, this could turn out to be quite the comedy plot.

Dear God, I hope this is enough for now. I have to figure out how to sort all these things out, on top of being in work 9 hours a day. What makes it worse is that I have no clue on how to even begin! I guess, it would have made things easier if I had a man in my life…. Although the feminist in me wants me to chill and take it one step at a time… at least when it happens again (hopefully not), I’ll know what to do. >_>

PS. Why was I so eager to grow up?

Tintern Abbey

Tintern Abbey has been in my must-see list for years. The reason it took me this long to visit is because it is in the South of Wales, and I have mostly traveled to the North and Mid Wales as it is more accessible for me, due to Manchester and Liverpool airports being so close to my destination (also I have never driven in the UK, but I probably should…).

I would say that the Cistercian abbey of Tintern is one of the most beautiful monastic ruins, not just in Wales or the UK, but within Europe. The location of the abbey is very scenic, and the village of Tintern is tiny. In fact, after spending hours in this serene place, we walked to the village for a snack. We even watched River Wye which runs behind the abbey and through the village. The river has been an important source of water which sustained the villagers and monks, and is till useful at this day and age.

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The abbey was founded in 1131, by the lord of Chepstow and the building and its surroundings kept growing exponentially until its closing down around 400 years later. In the 13th century, Roger Bigod rebuilt the church, and as a thank you his coat of arms was put in the glass of the east window. This church forms the largest part of what is still remaining today, and is a great example of welsh architecture of the medieval period, even if in ruins.

Although it did not have much importance history wise, what is left of this abbey is a major tourist attracting in the South of Wales, as is Caerphilly Castle, Raglan Castle and Cardiff Castle in the capital city of Wales.

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Travel Bucket List: Luxury Destinations I’d Love To Visit

I think having a bucket list is a great idea. Setting and achieving goals is how we can all progress in life. So if you don’t have one already, then you should! I have set one in general, but I think there are a few other things that I would like to add.

As a couple, we love to travel, so I need to include some more places that we would like to visit. Being able to travel in style would be amazing too. I would love to fly first class to a long haul destination and stay in a luxury hotel. Having a chef to cook for us while we are there would be the icing on the cake; quite literally! That would be the plan to do some day, each time we travel. I just need to make my millions! So here a few ideas and dreams of mine. Have you ever been to any of them? Would love to hear about it if you have.

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Caribbean Cruise

I think a cruise is one of the ultimate ways to see the world in style. You can get to experience a variety of places, as you sail around several countries and islands. The Caribbean would be one of the top choices. As there are so many of the islands that I’d love to visit, a cruise would help you to see plenty of them. I like the idea of hopping off and on as seeing some lovely places in this world. There are so many luxe cruise liners out there too. So it makes the time on board fantastic, and they’d make sure you are treated like a guest. All inclusive activities and food would be a dream.

Asia

Having been to Asia once before, it would be fantastic to visit again. It isn’t a continent that is necessarily synonymous with luxury, but there are plenty of places that fit the bill. Staying in a luxury hotel in Bali or on the island of Phuket would be a dream come true. The beaches in those places are second to none. White sands and clear seas make it perfect for relaxing, as well as diving and snorkeling. Not to mention the fantastic weather that is pretty much all year round. Even in the ‘rainy’ months, the temperatures are high. Asian food is to die for, so having it made for you each day would be amazing.

Italian Amalfi Coast

Italy is such a gorgeous location. The Amalfi Coast, including places like Capri, can get a little bit forgotten about. When you think of Italy, most people think of Venice or Rome. But the Amalfi coast area is just stunning. There are plenty of exquisite restaurants to visit, to try the Italian cuisine in style. A lot of them are tucked away off the main areas, so feel like such a private getaway. It would be awesome to have a little road trip along the coast, and stop off at all of the towns along the way.

 

Of Tree Spirits and Fascinations

I think, that as a person, I hold a very strange obsession and fascination towards trees. It is not something that bothers me, in fact to the contrary, I love it. I find it very pleasant and relaxing to spend hours walking in the countryside and admiring all the gorgeous trees in the environment I am in.

I must admit, I have hundreds of photos portraying trees and close-ups of branches contrasting the sky. If you are curious, have a look at my Instagram profile, here.

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Sometimes I even wonder if in my past life I was a tree… Or a tree spirit….

Have you heard of Nymphs?
Nymphs are female spirits of nature in Greek mythology. They are protectors of all things nature; springs, mountains, grottoes, trees, the sea and rivers.

Depending of where they resided, the Nymphs are as follows: Dryads (forests), Naiads (springs and rivers),  Oceanids (the sea) and Oreads (mountains), Limoniads (meadows), Limniads (lakes, marshes and swamps), Meliads (ash-trees), Epimeliads (protectors of sheep) and Napaea (valleys and glens) etc.

Nymphs are not considered as eternal creatures; although they lead a long life they are fated to die eventually. The male version of a nymph is the Sat.

My top 3 Nymphs:

  • The Dryads are the female spirits of nature who take care of the forests. Once born, dryadeach one is born and destined to one particular tree, which she watches over all her life. In some cases a dryad lives within the tree and are not tree spirits. These type of dryads are called Hamdryads. In both cases if the tree perish, they will die with it. If a mortal kills the tree, it is said that the Gods will punish him for the said deed. The dryad, as the protector of her own tree, would also punish a mortal should they cruelly injure their tree.
  • The Oreads; from the Greed word oros, which translates to mountains, are the nymphs of the mountains and grottoes. It is said that these nymphs would come out in joyful and rather loud groups to hunt animals and birds of prey with their arrows.
  • The Naiads are fresh water nymphs. They are said to preside over streams, springs, fountains, lakes, ponds and rivers. The Naiads were considered to be very loyal to their body of water; to the extend that if it were to dry up, they will die. The water which is taken care of by the Naiads is believed to be endowed with powers; be it inspiration, medical or prophetic. So much so, that these nymphs were continuously worshipped by the ancient Greeks for fertility and growth.

 

 

 

 

The many sunsets of Fawwara

Some of the most beautiful areas for walks or hikes in Malta are situated in the limits of Siggiewi. One of the spots goes by the name of ‘Fawwara’. The word fawwara translates to spring in English, and this name was chosen for this stretch of land due to the fact that in the past it supplied a large amount of water.

The history of this area goes as far as when the Arabs took over Malta, it has seen the death of many christian women, and proof of this is two chapels within Fawwara which are still standing to this day. These were built in 1616 and 1575.  The latter even had a small village surrounding it (Hal Kbir) during the Medieval area. Needless to say, Siggiewi has existed on our little island for a very, very long time.

Below are some photos I have taken of the area, showing sunsets as well as some picturesque captures. Can’t wait to return back here in the next couple of days 🙂

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The Valletta Waterfront

The Valletta Waterfront is a promenade which you can get steffisays-upperbarrakkagardens-liftto easily either from the Upper Barrakka Gardens by using the elevator facilities at a price of around 2 Euro (you would get a return ticket when you purchase one), or  by walking through Valletta city center towards the sea, and keep walking to the direction of the Cruise and Ferry terminal. Funnily enough, although the area is known as Valletta Waterfront, it is located in Floriana.

One of the reasons I go to this area is the obvious fact that it is lovely, especially in the evenings for a pleasant walk by the sea. It is also frequented because of the fact that there are a variety of restaurants to go to for lunch, dinner, coffee or for a couple of drinks. Different cuisines such as Mediterranean, Italian and Chinese are available.

Plus how can you resist this view?

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The WaterFront View at night

Going there is a must, I tell you!

 

Cheese-Burger Pie

Today I will share with you a recipe I have conjured while experimenting in the kitchen. I have been sick the past few days, and I thought I needed an extra boost, so decided to make a meat pie. I also felt like eating something a bit more on the lines of junk food, so I came up with the idea of making a cheese-burger pie.

Here are the ingredients I made use of:

For the pastry:
– 250g plain flour
– 110g butter
– 90ml cold water (might not need it all)
– pinch of salt

Mix the flour and salt together in a bowl. Cut the butter into rather small pieces and add to the flour mix. Using the ‘rub-in method’, rub in the butter into the flour. Once this is done, start adding the cold water gradually until the mixture can hold together when pressed. Form the dough into a ball and let it chill.

For the filling:
– 300g ground beef
– beef stock
– 1 large onion, chopped
– cheddar cheese (you can use as much as you want)
–  few pickled gherkins
– mustard (I used german, but you can use your favourite)
– red sauce or ketchup
– salt and pepper

Put some butter in the pan, and once it warms up, put in the ground beef. While it is cooking, at some salt and pepper. When it is half way cooked, put in the chopped large onion and add the beef stock.steffisays-cheeseburgerpie1 Let this cook until the onion is slightly brown and soft. At this point, I added 3 table spoons of red sauce.Once the mixture is less watery, add the chopped picked gherkins and a few drizzles of mustard. You can add more, depending on how strong you like your mustard.
While I left the filling on low temperature, I greased the pie tin with butter, and started to prepare the crust.
Once this was done, I spooned the pie tin with the mixture and added 4 slices of cheddar on top and added some more pepper.
Finally I kneaded the top part of the crust, and added some sesame seeds for decoration.

I cooked the pie in a preheated oven at 180° for about 30 minutes.

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Raining Again

The last thing I heard before I fell asleep was, the rain.
The first thing I heard when I woke up today, was the rain.

The room, was still so dark at 7AM. I thought, I woke up in the middle of the night rather than a few minutes before my alarm went off.

I love the rain, when it’s not accompanied by wind… As such I was happy with a rainy Monday morning. I thought to myself, better the rain than a sweaty summer’s day.

Now, it’s almost bed time again, and I wonder if I will hear the rain again… or whether it was the last rain before summer hits our islands… I hope there will be more rain, even if not abundant.

I miss you already XOXO

Sliema Stroll

Yesterday I spent most of my day in Sliema. Due to the excessive amount of cars and traffic in the area, I did not manage to park in Sliema, but rather I parked in Gzira. Although I was not so happy at the time, as I worried I’d be late, it turned out to be quite a pleasant walk. The promenade was not full of people yet; I guess they were either lazy, or because it’s still May… (not summer yet!)

The sky was as blue as the sea. Thankfully, even though sunny, there was a pleasant breeze which I really appreciated throughout the walk.

Most of the people who know me, know that I am not someone who goes to Sliema so frequently; or voluntarily for that matter. The reason I was there, is because I had to meet with some friends for a bridesmaid shopping spree. Good news is it was successful, and we later celebrated with a few cocktails at Quisisana! Yay for the happy hour until 4pm! 🙂

Sliema Promenade
Sliema Promenade