Sunday, April 27, 2014

3BT: Random Days

1. Playing "Poker Face" game with hubby while playing cards with MIL (it wasn't planned, just made up right then and there). The point of the game is to keep a poker face while the other party makes faces to make you smile or laugh. Dang it was SO hard to keep a poker face that we ended up laughing like crazy over and over again. SO MUCH FUN!!! :-D

2. A grandma gave me a bar of chocolate at work. BLESS HER! And it wasn't even the first time for her to do that. :-) I shared the chocolate with hubby at home he he he...

3. We've booked the tickets to go to Indo via Singapore on our summer holiday, so we're spending some days in Singapore as well in between flying to my hometown and flying back to Finland. And we've also booked the hotels in Singapore YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYY!!! :-D

4. I've contacted a few friends who live in Singapore and they've told me that they want to meet up, so I hope there's no hindrance for us to meet. EXCITING!!!!!!!! :-D

5. More feeling of freedom as I get less afraid of disappointing people when I feel that they have high expectations of me or when I feel that they expect something from me that I just can't give (something I just realized lately).

6. The sidewalk is now clear of sand and gravel. That means I can ride my bike at full speed again WOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

7. Having lovely and fun coworkers who treat me (the only expat in the group) like one of them. I hope we can work together for a LOOOONNNGGG time. :-D

8. Listening to this soothing and comforting song. Death is not the end. We will meet again in heaven...

9. Laughing so much at these photos ha ha ha ha...I'm trying to imagine the amount of time and effort it took to match the characters with the cats ha ha ha...As a cat lover and a fan of Game of Thrones, I think whoever it is has done a great job at it. :-D

Friday, April 25, 2014

Poco Loco Mexican Restaurant

R2 found a Mexican restaurant near our hotel after we arrived in Puerto de la Cruz, Tenerife. It's called Poco Loco (which means "a little crazy"). According to the article we found, the restaurant is supposed to be an excellent one. After all, hubby loves Mexican food. So one day we set up to go there in the evening because it's only open during certain times of the day. Here's their card:

We got there at 19.00 sharp and the place was still empty ha ha...The place is in a rather secluded area, rather close to the Orchid Garden in Sitio Litre. You have to walk along an alley in order to reach it. Here's R2 posing near the restaurant (to the left there was a slope going down towards the restaurant's parking lot). 

Anyway, because it was rather windy and the wind was cool, we decided to sit inside. When we entered the room, I saw many tables there reserved already, so we entered the other room and sat down to choose what to eat. The prices of the food are MUCH MUCH cheaper than that in Finland (2-3 times cheaper).

R2 ordered some fajitas, I ordered Aztec beef steak, whereas MIL ordered some chicken tinga. Not long after that, our food arrived. Unfortunately for MIL, her chicken turned out to be VERY spicy (she's not used to hot food), so she couldn't finish it. Fortunately R2 couldn't finish his, so MIL ate the rest of the fajitas (without the spicy sauce). My Aztec beef steak was HUGE (thick) and very tender, but it wasn't spicy at all, so I asked for some tabasco ha ha...

Here are some photos of our food...

Here are some photos of us going out of the restaurant...

If I remember correctly the fajitas cost around €11 and my food was about the same. MIL's chicken tinga was cheaper, about €8,50. So I'd highly recommend the place, even though you'd better ask first how hot/spicy the food is if you're not used to burning hot food ha ha ha...I think in general each time we went out to eat together, the total amount we spent for the food and drinks were around €25-40. Not bad at all! :-D

Monday, April 21, 2014

Santa Cruz

During our holiday in Puerto de la Cruz, we decided to go to Santa Cruz (about 40 km away). Asked the hotel receptionist which bus to take. Luckily, unlike our experience in Bulgaria, the buses came on time. We took the regular bus there, but on the way back we took the express buss (same fee, shorter route). Luckily for us, the express bus had a scenic route, so if you ever go there by bus, I suggest taking the express bus instead.

Here's a pic of me and MIL waiting for the bus at the bus stop and a photo of the bus tickets. The ticket price €15.75 is for three people.

Here's a photo I took from the bus. The scenic bus ride back to Puerto de la Cruz. There's the sea at the right side of this. I'll upload the short bus trip video later.

Santa Cruz is definitely a MUCH bigger place than Puerto de la Cruz. Here are some photos of downtown Santa Cruz. 

Here are some pics of the market. When I first saw the clock from afar, I thought it was some kind of church or something ha ha ha ha ha...This market reminds me of the market in Budapest. :-) There are also food sellers, butchers, etc.

Here's one photo of the inside of the market.

The other end of the market.

We didn't browse around in the market itself, but I found a top in one of the stores on the outer side of the market. Then we continued walking and walking and walking until we got thirsty, so we stopped by a coffee shop to have some snacks. I bought some croquettes, which tasted similar to those in Indo. Yummy!

Then we continued walking towards the high end shops and stores...
Interesting looking flowers high up on those trees...and some zoomed up pics of the flowers.

We kept on walking and walking until we found this...Some cafe/restaurants with interesting ceilings...the other side of the ceiling is covered with beautiful flowers.

Here's a video clip that I took in this area to give you a clearer view. The building with a sloping low roof across the pond is the restaurant with flowery roof.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Aroma Thai Massage Spa

Before going on our trip to Tenerife, I was browsing online to find massage places. There is a massage place above our hotel gym, but it's impossible to have all three of us to have a massage there at the same time. At first I found a spa place in a four or five star hotel, but when I asked about their massage offers, they said that they only accepted hotel guests, so if we want to have a massage there, we have to pay the price for a hotel room (price includes breakfast and dinner), but then it'd cost way too much, so I kept on searching and found Aroma Thai Massage Spa.

I couldn't find any prices on their website, so I went to their Facebook page (the one that you can click above) and asked them about their list of massage and their prices via Facebook PM. They replied very quickly and any question asked were answered promptly. So I made the bookings for three of us for a 1,5 hour aromatherapy massage (€60/person). We had had traditional Thai massage before, but I didn't think my MIL could handle such a massage, so I chose aromatherapy instead he he...

Here's the front view of the massage place. It's very easy to find. 

We actually found it already the first day we went downtown. It didn't look big, but turned out it was very cozy inside. Plus they had two adjacent rooms that could be combined for me and my husband (they just needed to open the rolling door). Very convenient! I didn't expect that at all.

We arrived at the spa about 20 minutes earlier, then we were guided to the second floor to wait before our massage sessions started. They served us some fruits and tea right away and then they gave us forms to fill in. Here are some photos of the waiting room upstairs. 

After my MIL filled in the forms (actually we helped her because it was all in English), they took time to discuss it because she has had plenty of surgeries. 

Then we had our massage in dark and quiet rooms. It was very relaxing - a blend of strong and soft strokes. I actually assumed it'd be a bit more noisy because the place was in downtown, but it wasn't. I also liked the fact that they had a nice shower in each massage room (so my husband and I used different ones). Here's the photo of our adjoining rooms:

Here is a cozy corner outside the massage rooms:

After the massage, we were served more tea. :-) 

I'd rate the whole spa experience as 3.9/5 - the best massage experience is (unfortunately) still the one in Singapore years ago (even if the place was nothing as good as this one), followed closely by the one in Bali when we had our honeymoon. 

For those of you who'll ever visit Puerto de la Cruz, I recommend Aroma Thai Massage Spa for their massage, spa ambience, price range, hospitality, and the responsive marketing manager in Facebook. Thanks for helping us have this spa experience, Paola! :-)

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

Sitio Litre Orchid Garden

One of the places we visited in Puerto de la Cruz was The Orchid Garden in Sitio Litre. The entrance fee costs € 4,75/person. It's not such a huge garden, but it's the oldest surviving garden in Tenerife. It's been owned continuously by British families since 1730 (according to the brochure). Funny thing is that the information in the brochure is also translated in Finnish. In fact, there are many restaurant menus in Finnish as well. I think there have been lots and lots of Finnish tourists going there for years. They even speak a little Finnish at the hotel where we stayed at.

Anyway, there have been plenty of famous guests in the parties thrown in this particular garden, including William Wilde (father of Oscar Wilde) and Agatha Christie.

Here are some photos of the garden.

The entrance:

The Koi pond near the entrance where guests could sit down and sunbathe ha ha...

The cute souvenir shop (at that time it was still closed). It sells some seeds as well (plant/flower seeds) at €1/bag. It also sells paintings as well as other stuff. Funnily enough, I noticed some used books/novels sold there, as well he he he...

Other parts of the garden...they have a separate section for the orchids.

Here is my hand as comparison (I know my hand is small, but still the red flowers are HUGE!). 

Agatha Christie and a character in one of her novels:

Here are the orchid section:

And at the back of the garden there's this 600-year-old tree.

There's also this funny-looking bare tree near the tree above.

There's a small cafe at the back of the garden, but we continued our journey and we found this tree with a HUGE trunk on our way back to the front of the garden. Again I'm aware that I'm small (only 145 cm) but still that tree trunk is huge he he he...

I took a photo from below to capture the upper side of the tree.

And after walking further away, I managed to capture (almost) the entire tree:

Had fun on R2's expense before going out...don't the papayas look like a hat? HA HA HA...Papaya Hat LOL!!!