Cotswolds Day 2: Bourton-on-the-Water

Sunday 27th August

The Beautiful Treasures (yes we are – giggle) awakened around 8 am, got ready and planned to eat breakfast at the hotel’s buffet… 
There wasn’t that much, but I had what I would usually have at work… There’s actually some sausages and hash browns underneath my toast, but was too lazy to take another picture. Blah.

Well nothing special about my breakfast. Didn’t go for seconds. I think the only person who had a bit more was Miss Money and Mr Games grabbed a couple of more muffins… and the only thing Mr Sensible enjoyed (and me too) was the strong coffee. >_<"" It was on a unanimous vote that we wouldn't be eating breakfast at the hotel's buffet again… 

It seemed I was the one who was the research and giving the others the links to decide on where to go. Miss Money said she wanted to go to the “most beautiful” town in the Cotswolds… Erm, there’s loads to choose from, and they’re all tiny villages so pick and choose it was!
The only decision was made by Miss Money who said we should go to Bourton-on-the-Water, and then do a hike around there. But we had to stop by another beautiful town… and that wasn’t really worth it… It was a very, very tiny town already filled with Chinese tourists. LOL!
We were actually making fun of the name of the town we evetually got to, because when you say Bourton-on-the-Water quite quickly, it sounds like you’re saying Bottom-of-the-Water! LOL! Or Bottle-on-the-Water. It gave us a few laughs along the way. ^_^

Who could these people in front of me be?

The boys needed more coffee. What! So we stopped by a coffee shop located near the post office. Coffee is basically like gold to us…

Time for a walk around. Apparently this town is the Venice of Gloucestershire and the Cotswold. ¬_¬”” Are they serious about that? But the water was clear, and lots of people were playing in it. Surprisingly it was hot on this day, so perfect for a sit and chill day.

We ended up in a tourist guide office, and we were trying to find a good route to hike. So the old lady in the shop highlighted it for us… She must know the area quite well to remember in detail which ways to walk! An extremely important local in the area! She gave us the true Cotwolds hike… a two to three hour walk (more like a four if you break at certain points).

Time to hit the road (after a toilet break)!

We started on a small road, crossed a busy road and climbed over a tiny boundary, then ended up in this field! ^_^ How exciting! Caught up with Mr Sensible… Haven’t spoken to him in general for a while!

We kept walking, and walking, even a family and a dog were following us. I was so hot and breathless at this point as we were going slightly uphill… Man! If Mr Games didn’t tell me, I thought I was really unfit for walking on a level road. ¬_¬” 

True farming look!

I think we ended up at Lower Slaughter at this point… Just be careful of the fast cars… Always walk where the cars are coming from a bend can see you!

The area have a lot of apple trees and raspberries growing in bushes. I’m not sure if we’re allowed to eat them… but these look like such a waste if no one picked them to be eaten… 😦 (There are really a lot of apple trees in the Gloucester area! Mostly wasted!)…

We reached Upper Slaughter!

At this point Mr Games decided to give me a scare… How dare he! ¬_¬”” :p

At this point we have reached the rural town of The Cotwolds…

And entered into a local church…

Next stop was another neighboring area… Stopped by a pub for a drink, but didn’t eat…

We had another 20 minutes of walking time… We almost got lost crossing this area. Miss Money had an obsession throughout the whole journey to go and ride some sheep… Really? Must she think this? Crazy woman!!

Finally ended up back in Bourton-on-the-Water. Thirsty, hot and tired!!!

Ended up in a little cafe and decided on food and drinks… This is a banana milkshare apparently… Hmmmm… I wished it was more slushy. 😦

But the sandwich looked amazing! Unfortunately I didn’t like the crust… was too tough.

I think this is Mr Games’s panini…

Erm, what’s this Mr Sensible? It had no crisps and salad on the side…

And Miss Money also had a panini…

It was time to head back. All of us were tired, apart from Miss Money…
We ended up at the hotel, and it seems I managed to take a nap for half an hour and the boys did too. Miss Money sat on the bed watching TV and going through her phone.
I think Miss Money just has too much energy, even Mr Games asked her why do you have so much energy?!
Now we had to go for the evening walk. We needed to search for the evening food… Miss Money always thought what we’re going to eat next at all times. ¬_¬

We ended up in a Wetherspoons. 
Miss Money has never had a jelly shot before, so we purchased four… one each… money went to charity.

I think I wasn’t extremely hungry, so I ordered a pizza, the cheese and tomato one. Yummy!

On our way back, Miss Money spotted a tiny, tiny frog… How did she spot that in the dark? Amazing… I would have missed this completely…

Time out. Time to sleep!

End of Day 2.

Cotswolds Day 1: Piggies in Gloucester

Saturday 26th August 

Time for another trip with the troupe. I need to name this troupe… Our Whatsapp group name is called “Beautiful Treasures” (don’t ask… just happens to be this name) so I think I will call this group The Beautiful Treasures whom consist of Miss Money, Mr Games and Mr Sensible. Plus me, The Geek! ^_^ As you may know already we travel together quite often… I actually don’t know why. Just seem to gel together quite well and get on each other’s nerves when we need to.

^_^ During one evening, whilst I was trying to study for the JLPT exam, we suddenly started talking about the Summer Bank Holiday. Where to go this summer??? I can’t remember who said Cotwolds but we ended up choosing this as our trip. I had a long look on AirBnB for a place to stay, but Mr Games ended up booking a hotel. ¬_¬”” All those hours of looking when I should have been studying… 
The Summer Bank Holiday came by really quickly! We all met up with Mr Games and Mr Sensible’s home… Mr Sensible drove us there as he now has a car!! ^_^ Yay… do I really need to start learning to drive? Hmmmm. Can’t put it off … or maybe I can, and then just resit the theory. Sorry Mr Sensible. We’ll rely on you driving for now…

We stopped off at one of those stops in the middle of our journey… I picked up this sushi set. ERK!!! Terrible stuff!! Stale rice and too much vinegar… BLEURGH. Should have had Burger King… 0/10. But I still ate it. 😦

Who had this sweet and sour chicken? Think it was Miss Money… Too watery. No taste! Do these peeps no how to cook?!

We arrived at the hotel we were staying at before 3 pm. Checked in. And thankfully we were on the ground floor as I was tired… Not sure about the others. But I’m sure they were too. I think Miss Money was ready to sprint out and go exploring in an instant. 
So off we went heading towards the city centre of Gloucester. We even got to go over the rail crossing… ^_^ Reminded me of being in Ireland.

Walk, walk, walk and we still hadn’t got there yet!

Finally! Got to the city centre. We went into a bunch of charity shops and took a lot of pictures of the Piggies… Something similar to the Fabergé Eggs and all those sheep in London. >_<"" Were we going to find them all? Maybe…
Went into more shops, and caught Mr Games trying to take a picture of me being extremely tired… I caught you Mr Games! So I gave him a big smile before he tried to take the pic… True tired self hidden! Car rides really make me tired since my trip to Hong Kong… :p

Entered further into Gloucester…

We explored the Cathedral…

And found more piggies…

This is not a piggie! What the heck is it?!!

Finally! Just finally we got to sit down and eat at a Wetherspoons? I didn’t even know the others had already found this place… Used the Wetherspoons app to get the food (don’t worry, the others paid me back…) My burger awaits! Scoff all of it down.

Then it was dessert time… Mr Games and Mr Sensible had this…

Miss Money and I shared this, but Miss Money took so long to go to the loo and back… so I ate some of it… :p

Time to head back…

More piggies!!!

Shopped at ASDA before we reached back to the hotel… And there was a beautiful sunset behind us… 

It was a frigging long day! But I guess it’s always like that on the first day of a trip. I think we all did around 21,000 steps each according to their pedometers. Hahahahahah!! 
Miss Money and I ended up in the boys room, chillaxing, instagramming, surfing the web, drinking and chatting a lot of nonsense… Heheheh.

End of Day 1.

Return to Whipsnade Park… a different route

Finally returned to Whipsnade Zoo, and with my ZSL yearly pass – so I went in without having to pay for a ticket since I’m a member… which reminds me I need to pop into London Zoo before the end of the year!
This summer, I decided to go to Whipsnade as it’s been a while since I’ve been. This time I took a different route… 
Took a train before 8 in the morning from Elephant and Castle Train Station all the way to St Alban’s Station. I forgot the cost of the train ticket, but it was less than £10.
Then took the Route 35 bus outside the station at Bus Stop D, which is a number 34 but switches to the number 35 upon arrival at St Alban’s station. It’s really a confusing matter!!

I suggest not to go on a Sunday as there are no buses heading towards Whipsnade… You would need to get a taxi.

The return ticket costs £6.80 from St Alban’s to Whipsnade and back again. The drivers take cash unlike the Londoners who just use Oyster. (They need to make Oyster universal around the UK, like what they do in Hong Kong!). It’s a very long journey by the way… I suggest you bring some headphones and a book. 

Entered just before opening time! The early morning journey was worth it, but definitely a killer if you don’t like getting up early.

So now you will see a whole of animal pictures… I walked around for a few hours before it started raining heavily! Sorry for all the elephant pictures too… It’s not my fault I like elephants!

On the return journey, the bus stop is opposite the one you got off (not like the time I had to wait at the same bus stop for my return). The bus will come from the opposite direction (the way you came) and it then turns around to return back to St Alban’s… Very confusing!

Well that’s the end of my small trip back to Whipsnade!!

Summary:

  • Train from Elephant and Castle to St Alban’s
  • Bus 35 (which changes from Bus 34 at St Alban’s) to Whipsnade Zoo – no buses are available on Sundays!!
  • Go to the opposite bus stop on your return to St Alban’s – the bus will turn around.
  • Train from St Alban’s to Elephant and Castle.

^_^ Safe journey!

Website: https://www.zsl.org/zsl-whipsnade-zoo

Remember1967.com Advert

Did this advert board get hacked? Erm no… 
I actually thought this was an act of a feminist warrior out there to destroy all men and their powers that be… I was giggling all the way home…
But actually it’s about equality between homosexuals and heterosexuals. Oh well, it would have been funny it this billboard was hacked! ^_^ Heheheheh.
Here’s a link to what this was all about: 


Zing Zing 调味 Chinese Food. Delivered – London Walworth Road

Ah… for some reason the blogging app and website don’t sync! Had to rewrite some of this…
A long awaited post for those who live in the area of Walworth Road (not Elephant and Castle). Not sure why restaurants in the area like to place their addresses in the vicinity of Elephant and Castle, when they are clearly in Walworth! Get your geography right peeps… Elephant and Castle is technically part of Walworth and Newington (confusing, I know) – Part of Lambeth and Southwark… Awkward!
Geography lesson over. Let’s get on with the food! 
So Zing Zing! Is not the actual pronunciation of those two Chinese characters that are displayed. 调味 (Mando: tiao wei; Canto: tiu mei) means “seasoning” which gives the “zing zing” on our food. All our food needs a bit of Zing Zing I guess.
Zing Zing! is slotted between some not so obvious shops so it’s easily missed with their black outer layer and shop sign saying “Chinese food. Delivered”. 😅

Inside the tiny takeaway serves the not so typical Chinese foods but actually a variety of Asian foods like Korean and Thai foods. It’s pretty much a Pan Asian takeaway. (Should they really be using the word “Chinese” for their foods? Controversial!).

Ordered a few dishes. 4 dishes to be exact. The nice thing about this place, although small, you can see the chefs cook. Took a little while to cook but I didn’t mind since it was raining heavily outside. 🌧
These are the free Thai prawn crackers I got… (actually got 2 boxes… Think the guy serving probably thought I didn’t get any). 😅 
This is the salt and pepper squid. The squid had enough zing zing on top, fried nicely and was not rubbery at all. Nice and soft.

I think this dish is quite popular. Sweet and sour chicken. It wasn’t too sweet and not too sour, had a nice texture… I would go for this dish again!

The Chilli beef strips were a little tough but it tasted amazing! A nice lot of zing zing here!!

The beef chow mein was really tasty!! It reminded me of the Chinese fried and dried beef with flat rice noodles… Woooow…!! 

The leftovers were taken to work. Couldn’t waste it!

Total cost came £28.80. Expensive for 4 dishes! I can actually buy more dishes in a normal Chinese takeaway for the same price.

My geeky rating: 4.5/5 (lost a 0.5 because of being expensive)

Good points:
– Very tasty dishes
– Customer service was somewhat ok (but I think arguments can be set aside… Even if they are minor)

Bad points:
– Expensive!

Address: 227 Walworth Rd, London SE171RL
Tel: 020 3745 8696

Website: https://www.zing-zing.co.uk/

British Museum – Hokusai: Beyond The Great Waves (and Walworth Festival)

Everything is Japanese themed for me this summer!
My Japanese teacher mentioned about this exhibition, Hokusai: Beyond The Great Waves, at the British Museum this summer just gone. So I booked a ticket in advance. When I looked at the bookings again, the tickets were all sold out fairly quickly!
The day I went was a wet day, and there was already a huge queue to enter the museum. I feared that I would miss my timing to go into the exhibition… But thankfully as I had a ticket, I was able to skip the massive queue.

As I was there about half-an-hour to 45 minutes early, I couldn’t go into the exhibition early, so I went around the museum…

A piece from Da Vinci… ^_^

Korean household…

Chinese pottery…

Well, it was time to enter, unfortunately there was a long queue just to read and go through Hokusai’s artworks! He did a lot in his lifetime!!! 

Since I couldn’t take any pictures, I decided to purchase the postcards, and give you a glimpse of the famouse artworks of Hokusai… the artist who drew and painted those famous waves! I never believed that the world of manga art existed for so many years either…

If you want to know about Hokusai’s life in 2 minutes (and if you understand Japanese), here’s a cartoon… Unfortunately there’s no subs. But it’s funny even if you don’t understand!

The exhibition has now finished… but look out for more Japanese exhibitions!

Address: Great Russell St, Bloomsbury, London WC1B 3DG

***

The Walworth Festival happened to be on the same day I went to the museum… I actually didn’t know this was happening… just stumbled upon it as I was heading to Argos! LOL!! ^_^

There were only a few stalls of interest, but apparently there were some dancing acts….

Hyper Japan 2017 @ Tobacco Docks

Trying to speed through my remaining posts from the past two months… Speedily I write… And apologies for writing a fairly short article!
Hyper Japan Summer 2017 was in Tobacco Docks between July 14th to 16th.
This year I went on a Saturday morning. And just for the morning session. It was amazingly a quiet entry compared to all the years I’ve been going to. This year, we went through the car park. Scandalous! LOL!!

Went to most of the stalls and had a look before I decided to purchase anything. I took fewer pictures of people in costumes this year… (I think I’ve outgrown the pretty costumes… 😦 sumimasen! )

I ended up in the live stage area…


… and I just missed the first band! Broken Doll.

Got to see The Sixth Lie, who practically deafened my ears with their modern Japanese rock music.

Then lots of people left and I got to see Fuka Mariwo and her dancer…

Moso Calibration came on, they were like a typical Japanese girl band…

I was quite thirsty, so I spent a bit on bubble tea!

And I couldn’t miss these peeps!! Hibiki Ichikawa, Akari Mochizuki and also a guitarist Hide Takemoko… plus the students! I’ve grown accustomed watching these peeps from almost all the Hyper Japan events they come to… ^_^

Then I did my final walk around the area… Spotted Farfetch’d which is Mr Games’s fave Pokémon at the moment… Haven’t been playing Pokémon Go for a month or so now… Got bored of it!

Some dancing classes going on here… ^_^

And Miss Pinky’s favourite alcohol… Prosecco!! ¬_¬”” This was outside… there were long queues for food…

In the end I went home early… More like I went early to avoid traffic, people and to find food!! I went to Wasabi opposite Liverpool Street Station and had some yakisoba… hungry!!
Here’s some of the miniatures (apart from the Hello Kitty) I bought for my pot plants… They’ve actually all moved to the cacti pot as Miss Vegan said she would take the mysterious tree plant for her friend…

Next Hyper Japan is at the end of November… I’m going to check the schedules before deciding on buying tickets… I might end up going…

Website: https://hyperjapan.co.uk/

Veramar Hotel – Costa del Sol, Spain

This is the hotel we stayed in. Veramer Hotel. It’s near the beach, a 5 minute walk. Very close to the supermarket. There’s a bakery and there’s a few restaurants to choose from.
Since Baby B is a fussy eater (not that fussy… but she likes chips, fish fingers and waffles at the moment), we chose a hotel where we were allowed to cook.

We were a bit surprised with the spacing… there was hardly any room to move. Two single beds and a cot… There is a balcony, aircon and a small TV on the wall…

Bathroom was ok! We loved the shower… It was very welcoming.

Toilet was in a strange place and they also provide a bidet! Wow. It’s the first time I’ve seen a hotel provide this. I guess some people have problems with their bottoms… Too much spicy food, huh.

Sorry for the messy kitchen… The main problems of the kitchen were… NO KETTLE and toaster… How does a kitchen cope without a kettle? The cups were quite small, but I’m so happy I brought my mug from Algarve… My trusty mug. Hehehehe. 

The cot… you may need to ask for extra bedding for the cot…

Well, we did have a nice stay, staff were friendly all over.
I think our only main complaint was the kettle situation… But everything was ok. The lift is a little awkward, but you can also use the stairs…
It’s close to everything, and close to the airport if you take the motorway to get there!
If you’re planning to use the sun chairs and swimming pool, make sure to bring your own towels instead of the hotel’s…plus get there early!

Address: Calle Burgos, 2, 29640 Fuengirola, Málaga, Spain
Tel: +34 952 58 05 00

Website: http://www.hotelveramar.com/en/

Baby B goes to Costa del Sol, Spain – Day 5 & 6: Being a Tourist

Sunday 9th July 

Finally, Miss Pinky, Baby B and I took a tour around the area we stayed in.

It was still hot at around 30 degrees ++, but we managed…

We ended up back at the hotel after walking around and a beer… Siesta came by quite quickly!

Had a smoothie for my lunch at the hotel…

Later on we went the bar/restaurant on the other side of the hotel… It was time to write some postcards to some friends… Miss Pinky chatted away whilst I was trying to write… I really can’t chat and write at the same time!! I really have to concentrate in what I’m writing… :p We think the postcards may have got lost in the post box because it was hard slot in… Or they still might be travelling to wherever via road… Postcards always get lost in the post!! I at least took pictures of them… so sorry to the families that are still waiting on them. Heheheheh.

As it was our last night in Spain, Miss Pinky suggested that we go out and eat (I was paying this time)… So we walked around first, then back to the hotel, then changed… Miss Pinky didn’t even bother to dress up and she had told me to!! ¬_¬”” Sometimes Miss Pinky does things on purpose… :p
We ended up eating Indian food that night with a jug of red wine sangria…

I think I felt deprived of carbs, mainly rice, on this holiday… So I enjoyed my meal but felt very bloated…

The night ended with us taking another walk to digest our food…

The moon looked so pretty coming up from the sea…

End of Day 5.


Monday 10th July

It was a hard night trying to sleep before the flight. I was so hot, that the next day I was bitten by a mosquito in a few more areas. Yes, there are mosquitoes in Spain too!
I think Baby B and I were the most restless that night as we kept moving around our beds… Miss Pinky had a few hours sleep, but apparently I ended up snoring my head off. The previous days I hadn’t snored much… ¬_¬”” … Oh well…
We woke up quite early to make breakfast, tidy up and to finish packing.
Checked out on time, weighed our luggage (thankfully I hardly bought much as Miss Pinky had overweight luggage AGAIN!), then walked swiftly to our transfer car to the airport… Our ride was there quite early. Yay!
We made it to the airport in half an hour compared to the day we got there… We took the motorway! Why didn’t that happen on our first day?!

Checking in at the airport was ok, easier than Stansted! Bags were slightly overweight, but that was fine… Going through security wasn’t bad either as Baby B was trapped in the baby area so she couldn’t get out. ^_^

After passing through the shops we wanted to go upstairs to eat at Burger King… Unfortunately there was no lift, so I made the risk with the pram like how MummyGeek used to take me up and down the escalator. You’re not supposed to use the prams on the escalator but if you’re confident just do it! We got there, Baby B was ok, and we queued for a very long time!

Once we got our food, ate and was almost about to go, a German boy came up to us, I was there was enough room for him to pass, but he actually wanted to give his toy away to Baby B… Awww… There must have been some kid connection in the queue, as we were actually queuing behind him and his father…

I took the risk again and took the elevator going back down. Baby B went down backwards… Did a bit of shopping, then found our gate… and we kind of jumped the queue when the announcers said families can go first! ^_^ I like family queues, they have their benefits!

Flight was ok. Baby B managed to sleep on our laps for the whole two hours. She didn’t scream but we did give her, her dummy.

Got off the plane (not as the last passengers thankfully), past passport control, Miss Pinky was shocked at the way they thought Miss Pinky wasn’t the mother… That’s how British passport control is… Got our luggage, waited forever for the pram… and then got our train tickets to Liverpool Street Station – £29 again with the dual pass and Miss Pinky’s travelcard pass.

Just so you know, I hate Liverpool Street Station at rush hour! Then we returned by taxi (plus bus on my way home)…

This is an adventure I won’t forget, but I hope we go to a slightly cooler destination on our next holiday. Hope Miss Pinky and Baby enjoyed their first international flight together. I’ve learnt so much about Baby B in such a small amount of time. Baby B must have been thinking “how comes Godma Geek is with us for so long”… Lol!

End of Day 6 and Holiday!