27 June 2011

london on my mind.





london is always on my mind, not only because it is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, but also because my sister aissa lives there now. :)



imagine sharing the same room with your sister from birth, to adolescence, to adulthood, for a total of 27 years.. then all of a sudden, she moves not just out of the house, but half way across the globe. can you say separation anxiety? august last year, my sister left to study furniture design in london (she was the summa cum laude of her batch in the philippine school of interior design!) i planned my trip to visit her as soon as i could. i finally got to do so, october last year.

i had a total of only 3.5 days in london because i can't absent myself from work that long. so we had to make the most out of it!

i arrived friday night, and in the spirit of making the most out of it, we went straight to a london house party! and wow. i've never experienced a house party like this.




it was a small house, there was a dj blasting house music, the place was packed with guests in costumes, and smoking was allowed inside. i of course didn't know anyone except my sister and her friend james, so i gladly mingled and tried my best to understand the thick brit accents. later in the evening, a group of four geishas came out for a dance number! it was so odd but so trippy! i did get two super cool ideas from the party. first, all the drinks were in the bathtub, yes, in the bathroom. they fill the tub with ice, all guests who bring drinks drop it there, and everyone goes to the tub to choose their poison! neat, huh? second was the ice sculpture for shots. this was super cool. they had an ice sculpture of a tiger, with built in hallow tubes. so someone drops the drink from the top hole, and you stick your mouth by the bottom hole, and tadaa! an ice cold shot! doesn't sound so hygenic i know, but it was fun!

for saturday, my official day one, we decided to hit the city itself.



of course, my travels would not be complete without my tumbling shots! so, here is my tumbling shot by the london eye! as you can see there were so many tourists around, so it was quite embarrassing, but i've gotten used to the stares and chuckles by now. :p



and here's another tumbling shot by the house of parliament! good thing i wore a bright color, to contrast the neutrals shades of the city!

after more walking around, we arrived to what is now one of my favorite spots in london, borough market!





welcome to foodie heaven!!!! just the smell coming from the different food stalls as you walk by is enough to make your knees buckle! i loved the stalls for truffle oil, cheese, chocolates, and one of the most popular stalls in the whole market, the raclette sandwich stall! i loooove raclette! it was food stall, after food stall, after food stall. i love borough market.




in our quest to make the most out of exploring the city, my sister made it a point to bring me to have my photo taken at westminster abbey! :) this was taken months before the royal wedding of now duke william and duchess catherine, but during my trip, it had already been announced that this is the wedding venue! i really wanted to take a tumbling shot here, but it was church grounds, so i sort of got shy. hahaha! (note i was sporting the eco friendly borough market shopping bag. thinking green is the way to go!)




more walking around the city (yes, in my platform wedges, ang kapal ng mukha ko talaga :p) brought us to the famous trafalgar square. i love this photo that my sister took of me. yes, that's me in the red coat!




we also passed by what used to be a dream of mine, london film school. aaw, i remember when i was back in college, just another communication arts student, dreaming of studying film here. my life took another direction and i never got to study here, but hey, i still love film just as much. :)

time flies when you're having fun! sunday came quickly, my day two . we've already taken the underground during day one, so they decided to make me ride the famous double decker bus! of course we sat on the top deck.




welcome to portobello road! another one of my favorite areas in london! if you're the type who loves vintage shops and quirky one of a kind items, then portobello market is the place for you! walking around, i was secretly super hoping that i'd bump into british celebrities that i love! sienna miller, jude law, alexa chung.. i always see their paparazzi photos online taken in this area! sadly, no celebrity sighting. but! i did have my token photo taken at the famous blue bookstore in the movie notting hill. i'm sure so many people who go here have their photo taken there too. haha!

the rest of the day, we just relaxed and took our time going around, hopping from one cafe to another. both my sister and i love coffee!



here is beautiful london by night.

then came monday. my final full day in the city. my day three. my sister had school that day so i was all on my own. what's a girl to do all alone on her last day? why, go shopping of course! hahahahaha. a lot of people share the same sentiment as mine i'm sure, that its nice to shop for items abroad because for sure you'll have unique items when you get home!



after a whole day of shopping, on the train, my sister took this shot of me and all my newly acquired prized possessions! that is the look of one tired but happy woman. :p ironic how there i am with all my bags, and the man in the foreground of the photo is reading 'financial times'. uh, whoops.

as a final meal, as a thank you gift to my sister aissa and james, i treated them to a nice dinner. now, the british aren't exactly known for their cuisine. in fact, some people argue that they have bland tasting food. this is one place that proves that wrong. welcome to beach blanket babylon!





this restaurant has one of the most interestingly beautiful interiors i've ever seen. i'd say the theme is cave luxe. not kidding! it has cave-like walls, bridges, chains, juxtaposed with pretty chandeliers, beautiful vases, and floral arrangements. very, very nice. :) and most importantly, the food is delicious! we ordered the rack of lamb with aubergine, plum tomato, pine nuts and basil compote with aged balsamic.. the risotto with courgette, broad beans, fresh mint and parmesan.. and the seared tuna with chick pea puree, roasted peppers and chili oil dressing. such an unforgettable meal. :)

on the way home that night, i decided to do one last tumbling shot! huling hirit ika nga nila!



this is my tumbling shot at the earl's court train station. see how james looks on with a weirded out expression on his face. this is also a tumbling shot to celebrate my london shopping finds! :p

putting together my few hours during friday evening, and my few hours on tuesday morning, i get to my last .5 day to complete my 3.5 days in london. my sister really supported my making the most out of my trip so guess what! we went somewhere near. walking distance from her place was brompton cemetery, the cemetery where they shot that scene in the movie 'sherlock holmes'! see, pati cemetery, ginawa naming tourist spot? hahaha!

after that, i made my way to the airport.. it was a bittersweet goodbye, walking with all my luggage, complete with the gloomy, rainy london weather.. it may have been a short trip, but i did get to spend much missed quality time with my sister, and family quality time is really priceless. plus, i always say about traveling, better a short trip than no trip. :)

a few days after i got home, my sister uploaded this collage online..



miss you dee! we'll see each other soon!

40 comments:

xian said...

Uwaaaa!!! So nice to have that kind of trip! It was all fun fun fun!!! :D

avonetnomalc said...

I love all of your pictures. Sinulit mo talaga ang London. Pinakagusto ko ang tumbling shots. two thumbs up! Superlike :)

vivianleslie said...

luv this one,,,, na miss ko tuloy ung sister ko, nasa us na sya ngaun,,, i hope mabisita ko n din sya dis year :))))

Jen said...

let me be the first one to comment. It was awesome! if u only knew, I am so looking for your blogs and my faves are ur travel blogs coz I do that too...I love to travel and read other people's journey too. Sigh...I ao love the guts to do the tumblings shots. hehe keep it up Biancs! keep on inspiring people. Hope u could visit my blog too (asa! haha. im ur follower)-jen

maja murijin said...

It is one of my dreams to be able to visit London. I hope I can be able to go there someday. Thanks for sharing this. At least through stories/pictures of other people, I can be able to enjoy the places, and food of my dream destination. :)

Love,
talesofwanderingfootprints.blogspot.com

CAMILLA said...

that's a lot of fun. . .
and look at those shopping bag

Betchai Venancio said...

I just realize that I was actually smiling the whole time I was reading your london experiences.. I just remember london since I worked there as a Chef for a year after working in scotland!! I was really enjoying every detail of your experience.I remember the first time I arrived in Victoria Station, I literally shouted "I love London!!" and my friends left me because of embarrassment!!hahha!!I never imagined I would experienced that thing!!I just love London and scotland as well!! And the famous British Accents woohhooo!!! Thank you for sharing beautiful moments to us I am sure anyone reading your blog would like to visit london as well!!! Thanks Ms.B!! I wish to meet you personally one day!!

JASR said...

it's so cool that your sister is studying furniture design at london!

btw, as i was reading your post, it's as if you took me to london with you! =)

Kris Ablan said...

cool post. always nice to have a relative to visit and tour you around town.

Hail, Mary! said...

wow, just love London! hope to visit that city one day...what you sis for only 3 days...bilib na ako...nice pics!!!

Ralph Jayson Silang said...

London. One of my dream cities in the world. First, because people are obsessed in football. I have friends who are into to basketball, so it's rare to see people into football here even though the Azkals made an impact here. Still not enough club football talk. Anyway, gotta love that tumbling shot at the London Eye. Sayang, no Big Ben shot or sa Downing Street, you might get banned if you really do get in 10th Downing Street. Anyway, I wish I can go there someday but I want Manchester more. I wanna go to Old Trafford! Glory, glory, MANUnited! Also, to your Barcelona, they have a new shirt sponsor, not anymore with Unicef. LOL.

onlyvic said...

I can relate with the sibling relationship you have. My elder brother and I shared the same room since birth until highschool coz I was sent to Cebu City to finish my studies and I stayed in a ladies' dorm.

I guess it made my kuya more protective of me now that we are big girl and big boy. Even if he denies it, i know he's kinda sentimental of our childhood and sibling relationship now that I'm about to have my own family.

Nevertheless, I love him big time. And nothing will change that except, my new family to love him the way I love him. =)

Kiersten ♡ said...

Hi from California! wow!! I would LOVE to go to London one day!! also in Japan and Korea^^~

Charm said...

sweet. i wanna go to london too. :)

HiJABiFiED
HeyMiss!

the doodles said...

i love London, I love the British accent and I am so jealous of you!!!HAHAHAHA xoxo

Nica said...

London is such a lovely place! ♥ Happy to see that you really, really, really had FUN! :)

Btw, didn't know that you know how to tumbling. (I've always wanted to learn that since I was kid.) On second though, parang I already saw you on tv nqgtumbling ka..

J-Ann Bautista said...

Hi! I just went to London last April and stayed there for a month. Yeah, it may be long for some but for me, it just wasn't enough! London is such a beautiful city with lovely people! I had fun reading your blog :) I also blogged about my first Europe experience :)

Anonymous said...

I've been reading your blogs and I love them!
I also shared a room with my sister for 24 years until I moved 3000 miles away from home! It took me a while to get used to being away from her and that's what makes every trip home sweet and exciting!
I also love your blog about your trip to bilibid prison trip (I'm just gonna rant about everything in this comment :)). Back in college, our class had a fieldtrip there and it was one of the most memorable field experiences I've ever had. It certainly shaped what I currently do and want to pursue later on (I'm in grad school now studying adolescent development and juvenile delinquency).
Also, the social and political issues you've raised in your blogs are well put! The social causes you support are truly admirable!
It's such a pleasure to read your blog. Great job, Bianca and never stop inspiring people!

jvnelle said...

love it... thanks for the blog, never missed reading them...

computerangel8 said...

wow i wish i can travel anywhere in the worls like you do...:)

tim said...

Indeed that's the coolest vacation!

Crizyle Lariosa said...

super nice~! i really adored your travel blogs :)

gonkyouka said...

house party ideas are cool!!

Anonymous said...

Hi Bianca! I super love your blog entry. Only a few blogs can give this kind of awesome documentation. I like your shots, road/train/everything. It made me feel like I was able to see London too.

Great entry! You're an awesome traveler with that signature tumbling shot! :)

peenkfrik said...

You must miss her so much. London always interests me but I don't know if I'll ever be able to visit the place. I guess I just have one more blog to follow.... :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Ms. Bianca! :) Lovin' the shots! :) Although I would just like to say that you're not actually doing the "tumbling", you're actually doing a "cartwheel". hehe

- from a cheerdancer

katin said...

Wow London :) I will put that place in my wishlist.. ganda ng pictures

BeautyLilSecrets said...

super love ko tumbling shots mo! ang cute! :D

mymy said...

love it!!sister bonding..:) love ur tumbling shots..awesome..nice trip:)

A_R_power said...

..hi biancs!wow very nice place u choice..!soo london see you soon everytime i want coz u gonna be my neighbor..but b4 you PARIS firts hahahha..!!nice tumbling.-)

Eds Gonzales said...

i so so miss your blogspot. it so happened that I've been busy working and then when I got home, taking care of my baby. Ang dami ng post na di ko nababasa.
Hmn... Godbless you Ms. Bianca and more power. Just continue to inspire people.

Dienn said...

I can relate with your London post, as I also have sisters and yes, we also shared the same room (and the same huge bed) from birth to adulthood... we're also now living in different parts of the world. I am so happy that you saw your sister again. On the other hand, I am also sad because it made me missed my sisters again... oh, now I am crying.

Thanks for inspiring us, you're such a good model to everyone.

Dienn
www.isinneedofapen.blogspot.com

dapyang said...

wow I guess you have so much fun. .How I wish makapunta ako diyan but sad to say lol well I am so happy for you.<3<#

sofie morabe said...

I always love your blog! diary na diary! peg ko sa blog world :)

I love how sincere it is, hindi commercial!!! love love love. been reading this since college!

vanessacamilleafricano said...

Uh! OMG di ko akalain mgaling ka plang tumambling.. HAHA! Ang gaganda po ng mga pix mo.. love it :))

Anonymous said...

Your sister reminds me of Pippa Middleton! Kamukha! Hehehe! :)

ruthieconomist said...

you and your sissy looks so good together ♥ London was such a lovely place... and shopping too.
*recently discovered your blog...and im loving it. Im still procrastinating on my wordpress account.
*but I have my photoblog thou, you could take a look a it
ruthieconomist.tumblr.com
♥♥♥

addicted2love said...

Awesome!

Louie Ginn Respito said...

tumbling shots ;)

gelai said...

super likeeee! :)) isa sa mga gusto kong marating ang london! :)) particularly St. Paul's cathedral,westminster abbey and the london eye :) & right after I read this gusto ko na din po mapuntahan ang beach blanket babylon!:)) super nice sa pic nung interior design, what more kung nandun na tlaga ko sa place.haha'a short trip is indeed better than no trip :D <3 yey!buti na lang talaga i got your blogsite,:) thanks to the one who gave me the link when i ask your blogsite on your facebook official page. :))