The Sweetest Escapes of 2016 | Lady & her Sweet Escapes

Dec 14, 2016

The Sweetest Escapes of 2016

So, 2016 is nearly over! What? Where did the time go? 

It has been a good year for this food and travel blog. I've been spontaneously productive, and honestly, I'm quite not ready to say goodbye to the magic 2016 has brought into my blogging routine. Magic or mojo or whatever you call it, I hope it's here to stay as I love doing this... blogging, sharing travel tips and making my readers happy!

Looking at my 2016 blog archive, I realize how this year was sprinkled with surprises. Most of the sweet escapes that we had were totally unexpected!

Join me in the memory trail, will you?    

sweetest escapes of 2016

2016 started with a bang! I won platinum tickets for Disney's Beauty and the Beast musical in Dubai World Trade Centre. It was my first time to watch a Broadway show and I felt really really blessed that it's a musical based on a movie that I know by heart! 

At the end of January, Ed and I tagged along with our friends who were driving to Jebel Jais in Ras Al Khaimah. It was, again, another first! We had a road trip at four in the morning and reached the tallest mountain in the UAE at sunrise. It was one of the best experiences I had this year, but sadly I didn't get to blog about it because of my 2015 back logs. :)   

Lady in Jebel Jais
Jebel Jais - The Tallest Mountain in the UAE

On February, I wrote an article for READ magazine and we traveled to the Philippines! We spent a few days in my hometown Silay before we ventured out to one of the best kept destinations in Negros Occidental, which was then followed with a family reunion in Cebu. 

The sweetest escape for the month of February is, hands down, our 3-day stay in Sipalay. The coastal town in Negros Occidental is slowly gaining popularity in the tourism scene. It has unspoiled white sand beaches and lush islets! It's an off-beat travel destination in the Philippines that truly deserves the spotlight.

Read: Resorts in Sipalay, Negros Occidental

Perth Paradise Resort Sipalay
Perth Paradise Resort, Sipalay

It was on the first week of March when I ticked off wish #8 in my 20 Before 2020 travel list. Ed and I, together with my parents, traveled to Phuket and sailed away to a beach cove that Leonardo DiCaprio made famous! It's none other than Maya Bay - the lagoon in Phi Phi where the movie The Beach was filmed!

After Phuket, we went to the bustling capital of Thailand. We had DIY Walking Tour in Old Town Bangkok and ate (and ate and ate) in Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Thankfully, my parents were sooo game with my plans! 

Maya Bay Thailand
Maya Bay, Thailand

Our beach getaway in Thailand was quickly followed by another on April. Ed and I were invited to stay in a 5-star resort in the Western Region. It was our first time to travel in Al Ruwais; hence despite spending almost half of our weekend on the road, we excitedly looked forward to our staycation at Danat Jebel Dhanna Resort.

The resort is 4 hours away from Dubai and I heard it's only an hour away from Saudi border. But the beauty of spending the weekend in a land far far away is that it is too far from everything else that matters in my daily grind. It is an ideal spot for rejuvenation!

Read: Danat Jebel Dhanna: A Hideaway in the UAE

white sand beach in Jebel Dhanna
pristine white sand beach in Jebel Dhanna

We attended a beachfront music festival in Al Marjan in Ras Al Khaimah last May. The festival was called Destination Dawn as it kicked off at 5pm and ended 5am the next day. The event featured international and local DJs, food trucks, water sports and fun vibes. It was the first of its kind in the UAE and we're so happy that we got to witness it.   

Ed and I weren't able to pull an allnighter, but we did enjoy our "Cinderella" time in the amazing music event. Wish there will be Destination Dawn 2017! 

Al Marjan Island Ras Al Khaimah
Al Marjan Island, Ras Al Khaimah

A week before Ramadan, Ed and I had a desert escape in Tilal Liwa Hotel. It's one of most amazing staycations we've had this year. The hotel is wrapped in intricate details showcasing the spirit of Arabia, and is nestled on the edge of Rub Al Khali desert. 

We flew a kite, rode a camel, quad biked, and ran freely through the sea of golden sand dunes. And while doing the latter, I was reminded of how beautiful my life has been in this desert country. I couldn't be more grateful!

Read: Desert Escape in Tilal Liwa

Tilal Liwa Hotel in Al Gharbia
Tilal Liwa Hotel in Al Gharbia

We managed to squeeze another staycation in Abu Dhabi on the first week of July. We stayed in Al Raha Beach Hotel for two nights. It is a decade-old hotel yet well-maintained from the elegant interior to the manicured garden. What I love most about this hotel is the infinity pool with a view of the circular skyscraper - Aldar HQ!

It was also on July when we rediscovered Downtown Dubai together with our blogger friends. We scouted for the best breakfasts in the area and found out that La Serre offers the most flawless omelette in the city! 

Al Raha Beach Hotel
Al Raha Beach Hotel, Abu Dhabi

The blog turned 4! We had a celebration for 2 in Fairmont Ajman's Friday Brunch. The brunch concept "Eat, Drink and Take a Journey" is just apt for the birthday of our little food and travel blog! Our palates were transported to South America, Southeast Asia, Europe, and back to the Middle East!

Also on this month, we were invited to a private tasting at Carnival by Tresind before it was launched to the public. The new post-modern Indian restaurant turned out to be one of Dubai's finests!  

Friday Brunch at Fairmont Ajman
Friday Brunch at Fairmont Ajman

It's Ed's birth month! My husband is a very simple guy. He wanted nothing for his birthday (no extreme adventure this time) other than a good Japanese dinner. So, we went to Fujiya in Oud Metha. It's a small authentic restaurant that I really should feature in this blog. But then again, back logs!

Before September ended, we received an invitation for a Friday Brunch at Palazzo Versace. The hotel lobby is lavishly decked with exclusive pieces from The House of Versace. The Friday Brunch at Giardino is festive and fashionably on point!  

Palazzo Versace Dubai
Palazzo Versace, Dubai

October has always been a month for a sweet escape outside the UAE. This year, we decided to celebrate my birthday and our wedding anniversary in the most romantic city in the world - PARIS! It was a dream come true for me. 

I couldn't hide my happiness, so I wrote a love letter for Paris and shared it on this blog along with Ed's photos. I didn't expect my random rambling would receive a positive overwhelming response! It became one of the most shared articles I have written to date.

Read: Dear Paris: A Photo Essay and a Love Letter for the City of Light  

Ed and Lady in Paris
Paris, France

The most unforeseen trip for 2016 happened on November. Ed and I were whisked to Armenia! We represented the community blog for OFWs in Dubai ( in a Familiarization Trip organized by Air Arabia airlines. 

It was unexpected. We only knew that we're traveling two weeks before our flight. So, you can imagine loads of excitement and a little bit of cramming. But then, the surprise Armenia trip turned to be EPIC! I had my first snow experience, visited lots of interesting historical sites and ate in some of the country's best restaurants!

Read: 7 kinds of People who will definitely LOVE Armenia

snow in Armenia
Tsaghkadzhor, Armenia

It's the most wonderful time of the year! We're spending the first half of December in the UAE and the second half in The Philippines! Yay! I'm looking forward to celebrate Christmas at home, but to tell you honestly, this was not included in our plans for 2016. 

Ed and I were supposed to spend the holidays somewhere else, but it was cancelled due to a circumstance that I'm not ready to blog yet. Hopefully, I can write about it in the future as I have some lessons worth-sharing.

Anyhow, days before our flight to the Philippines, we took a long stroll along the newly opened Dubai Water Canal. The area is not fully developed, but it's slowly shaping up to be one the city's amazing attractions!   

Dubai Water Canal
Dubai Water Canal

And that's how our 2016 went! 

The major lesson I have learned this year? Not all my plans will work out, but His plans for me will.

As for the blog, I'm super thrilled to share that it is continuously growing. We started the year with around 20k views per month, and now we're receiving more than 30k! And how can I forget the 1 Million Views' Milestone we have achieved mid-2016? Yay! THANKS TO YOU! 

Now, who's excited for 2017? :)

This is my entry to Pinoy Travel Bloggers' Blog Carnival 2016.

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