Tropical World Leeds

 

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On Saturday the 27th of June we took a road trip to Leeds and decided to visit Tropical World in Leeds.  An amazing interactive Tropical world experience within the UK’s biggest greenhouse. As you explore different contents, species and plant life from across the planet. You can enter the rainforest, Mangroves and desert right within the heart of Leeds.  The experience was better than we anticipated and it was a lovely find with lots of cool things to see including Meerkat’s. We were apprehensive but the Greenhouses and its contents are truly bigger and more interesting than the first appear with an adult ticket only costing £6.20 it was truly worth the money. Its very family and visitor friendly with a gift shop, cafe and facilitates.  If you lover animals, Plant life and Instagram worthy snaps the  Tropical world is the place for you!.

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Lindisfarne Festival

 

Lindisfarne Festival is an annual music and creative arts festival which takes place in Northumberland. The festival is opposite Beal Farm, and is close to the coast, overlooking Lindisfarne Island, and Bamburgh Castle. Plenty of delicious food and drink venues surrounded the main area including Newcastle’s own Canny Coffees which helped me survive the camping experience! A selection of local talent attended and some more well known names entertained us throughout the weekend including the Levellers and happy Mondays.  The vibe at the festival  was relaxed and lots of fun, I loved the folk style atmosphere and friendliness of everyone there, i would certainly return and i recommend  this fun, local festival especially if you are from the North East.

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The Refuge – Manchester

 

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Amy- http://www.anchoredteapot.com
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FOR THE GRAM,

I cant be the only one who searches for photogenic locations, colourful back drops and unique places to document my gram/blog and lifestyle?. Well here in Manchester i got to do just that and finally check off The Refuge off my list, I mean can you blame me ?

So The refuge by Volta is a successful Bar and  restaurant hot spot when visiting Manchester its different themed rooms are photographers dream. The refuge is also situated in the Principal Hotel also stunning and a nice place to stay or have a staycation when in Manchester.  The Refuge is a elegant, modern and chic dinning experience and i loved the conservatory best as photographed from above for obvious reason such as the tiled floor, stunning plush velvet sofas and green foliage everywhere. We had some bar snacks and cocktails while we were waiting to see the one and only Britney Spears! as photographed above we ordered  ‘One Daisy’ and the ‘The Queen’s Peach’ both were scrumptious.

For the gram, for the cocktails, for the food get yourself to The Refuge as soon as possible.

Macara

Siena

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From our adventure in Rome we took the ItaliaRail Train from the city centre of Rome to Siena a city in the central of Italy’s Tuscany region.  Siena is a beautiful Italian city and well worth  visit with its medieval themed buildings and Gothic inspired churches its is a city soaked in 14th century history. Siena was the location for the iconic Jame’s Bond film Quantum of Solace and Twilight new Moon. You can see why directors would find Siena to be a incredible filming location from the pictures alone the people and hospitality was also another great reason this city was so wonderful to visit.   While spending days in Siena we stayed in a Villa known as ‘Country House Casa Cornacchi’ an incredible, traditional Italian villa with all the necessities including your own private Hot tub and swimming pool ! We were staying at the Casa Cornacchi as two of our friends were getting married which was stunning a day filled with Italian traditions, lace and the coming together of two families it was a  wonderful day  and something i will never forget.  As you can see from the above pictures the views, luxury and privacy of the villa was beautiful enough to say the least.  We had an incredible trip to Rome and Siena experiencing traditional Italian culture and Tuscan traditions. I cant wait to visit italy again and progress my travels to other areas such as Milan and Venice.

Would you ever visit Siena?

Macara

48 Hours in Rome

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I went for a mini stay-cation in Italy’s heart, Rome.

Rome is a lively and beautiful city with stunning architecture and historic buildings dating back to BC. The city welcomes modern culture in historic surroundings and every new street welcomed something new and unique.

I highly recommend a visit to St Peter’s Basilica for €8 you can climb 551 steps to reach the top and marvel the stunning panoramic views of Rome, embracing the magnificent art and architecture from above and below. St Peter’s Basilica is a  Late Renaissance church with architects including Michelangelo and can hold an impressive 20,000 worshippers, along with the art work, the chapel, you also get access the the Pope’s Tomb and other historic  artefact associated with the Churches longstanding history.

The Trevi fountain is an iconic and free location to visit. Which features a stunning water feature. This stunning fountain was completed 1762 and still stands beautifully intact. With the aqua blue water and mythological inspired sculptures surrounding the fountain. It is such a stunning and must see on the bucket list of many eager travellers. They say if you put a euro into the water and make a wish you will have good luck and good fortune for many years to come.

The Colosseum was a marvel to see visually incredible and vast in size it is only when you are up close can you really appreciate the grandeur and  scale of this well known building. If you are visiting Rome on the first Sunday of a new month then visitation is free otherwise you have to pay. We opted out and decided to appreciate it from the outside as the waiting line was HUGE, Plus if you have seen the movie Gladiator the inside inst hard to imagine. 

I highly recommend visiting the Vatican city it is very specific to Rome. This is where the headquarters to the catholic church resides and it is also home to Pope. Their are a couple of areas attached to visit within the Vatican city these include –  St Peter’s Basilica, Sistine Chapel and the gardens of the Vatican City.

Honorable visit recommendations when in Rome –

  • Pantheon
  • Castle Sant’ Angelo
  • Villa Borghese Gardens
  • Galleria Borghese

 

I adored Rome and i would love to travel around Italy more i already have Cinque Terre, Milan and Venice on my travel list.  I hope you enjoyed

Have you ever visited Italy ?

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Thing’s To do in Edinburgh

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When visiting Edinburgh their is lots to see,eat and do within this incredibly historic city. One of my favourite places to visit is the national museum of Scotland a beautiful building rich of history, fashion and technology. It is extremely family friendly with something to do for everyone’s taste and age. A lot of the museum is interactive allowing you touch and explore you way through different fragments of history and science. Not only is it interesting but the building and contents is extremely photogenic and makes for lovely photograph. The national museum of Scotland is FREE and is open 10-5 everyday.

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Camera obscura is a great place to visit for a variety of reason’s. It is one of Edinburgh’s tallest buildings and once you reach the top you are given the most spectacular views of the city below offering you a panoramic view. You can also see Edinburgh castle from here and it is 5 minute walk away from Camera Obscura. The illusions vary and are really obscure and hilarious, we had a good two hours within camera obscura and i really enjoyed the variations of illusions from images to interactive mazes. We paid £15.50 each but the exhibition did not disappoint and again this one is for all ages and interests.

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Princess Gardens and Edinburgh Castle

 

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Princess gardens has always been a special place for me. Growing up my dad worked in Edinburgh and i used to spend many weekends in princess gardens during the summer. Of course more active and scenic during the summer princess Gardens is  a beautiful walk through the city centre of Edinburgh and it provides you with scenic views of the castle and the hustle and bustle of Edinburgh city life.

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A lovely Market inside one of Edinburgh’s old churches providing a place for local sellers to sell their wares, art work and handy crafts. The market is very spectacular with stunning stained glass windows and original brick work giving a regal look to the venue. I purchased a fabulous print  from a stall called Diedododa which you can follow on instagram @diedododa. A unique place to visit with something a little different inside. Certainly a good place to visit if you enjoy supporting local businesses.

 

 

 

Honourable Mentions

 

Edinburgh Dungeons

Arthur’s seat

Mary’s king’s close

Dynamic Earth

Scotch Whiskey Experience

Edinburgh Zoo

I had a great time in Edinburgh but i know i will be back real soon. Until them Bye for noo.

Love from Macara

x x x

Hurricane Irma- My experience

When you decide to travel to foreign lands, i don’t think anyone anticipates the worst and sometimes we forget that mother nature is bigger than all of us and we shouldn’t under estimate the possibilities. Of course we were aware of hurricane season and understand the chances but i guess we didn’t expect the magnitude and category of Irma. During my time in Florida i was not fully aware of how big this hurricane was, not until family and friends from the UK began sending me worrying messages as the BBC was broadcasting this over 4,000 miles away,

Alex was confident and sure of the situation, me on the other hand… i was the polar opposite. I was terrified, I personally don’t think the news helped at times as they would hype the hurricane up to the point i would get so anxious.

where we taking a big risk staying in the central belt of Orlando?

should we go up north, Get a car and stay in a hotel ?

Should we get a flight before the chaos?

I have never experienced a hurricane and i had flash backs to when hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans and crying at the TV screen, i was asked by my teacher to write my own news report of the hurricane and i remember saying to my mum i hope one day i am never in the same situation, but here i am at 22 years old, in the eye of a hurricane currently at category 5, with storm surge, Active tornado’s and flash flood warnings. I was a tourist in every sense of the word.

The hurricane was delayed as it was only hitting 9 miles an hour in speed so we were not hit until Sunday/Monday. When Irma hit. Alex incredibly slept through the whole ordeal i was up all night watching and keeping an eye on the internet/news for updates. The weather was wild and nothing like i had ever experienced. The wind was ruthless leaving nothing in its path and the rain was lashing down as if it was monsoon season. But the hurricane was not as bad as anticipated and was surely an interesting and incredible experience. We lost 2 and half days of our holiday but talking to other Floridians some of them lost much more and you could not help but feel blessed, one woman was only concerned that her family survived, their roof was destroyed and upstairs flooded but all she could say was “All i care about is my family, they are here and healthy i can always re buy the roof, but i cant re buy them..” Literally left me stunned at the resilience and positivity within the sunshine state. Many that were severely affected seemed to look on the brighter side of the hurricane. It is an experience i will never forget. It certainly is a story for the next generation to hear about, it sounds like a fantasy tale but really it could not have been more real.

Any advice i could give is take all the advice and information you are provided during a Hurricane don’t play the hero and ride it out, without precautions in place and if your travelling to a more tropical climate with potential severe weather conditions do some research before hand.

Although Irma was scary it did teach me how i assess and evaluate things in life, as life is so unpredictable you should live everyday like its your last and not allow negativity to consume your life, I would certainly go back to Florida in a heartbeat, Hurricane or No Hurricane Florida has a special place in my memories and I simply had the best time.

until next time Florida!

Macara

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I am Home

Where’s Good to eat in Florida – A Helpful guide from my experience

Florida is HUGE, with some many options, so much choice and not a clue where to go for decent grub then follow my eatery guide, I never had a bad meal or bad experience even in McDonald’s so follow my guide for where to go in Foodie Florida

Olive Garden 

An Italian Franchise that offers fast, friendly Family dinning. Similar to Frankie and Benny’s in the UK. The portions were really well sized with complimentary salad and bread on each table prior to serving. Olive Garden provide a refillable drink service which is great for getting re-hydrated and ready for the day or night. Two starters, Salad, Bread, Two mains and two drinks $70.

Blaze Pizza – Blaze pizza is a great place to go for a tasty pizza, with prices starting at $10 you can customise your own pizza as it is cooked to order, blaze do refillable drinks which provides some really tasty iced teas and lemonades. $20 Dollars for two mains and two drinks.

D- luxe Burgers – Is the best place for an amazing burger in Disney springs, Lush location with delicious food, we got the ultimate package which meant two deluxe burgers, two sides and two drinks for $35 which was at a set price. Really loved the style of the eatery and the value of food for the money.

Raglan road Irish Pub–  Irish pub situated in Disney springs, we went for an evening for a few drinks they serve magners and other beers on draft, food is available but we never tried any. Drinks vary from $8-15

Flame Tree BBQ– Animal Kingdom Bean burgers with chips, really nice location surrounded by wildlife and nature, tasty food and great stop of point for lunch or dinner. $30 dollars.

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Flame Tree BBQ

Rain forest Cafe – Animal Kingdom steak and a platter of Caribbean meats. Highly recommend the rain forest  cafe for ambience and a cool dinning experience. The one in Animal Kingdom is the largest rain forest cafe and it is certainly impressive. Two drinks and Two mains $60/70 Dollars.

Resterauntosaurus– is a fun dinosaur themed eatery in Animal Kingdom, we had x2 chilli dogs and chips and two drinks came to $30.

Sci-Fi Dine in theatre– Hollywood studios, this is another themed dinning experience that allows you to eat the comfort of your own 1940’s car at the dine in theatre. We had  Traditional american burger and BBQ burger with a side of onion rings. $70 Dollars for one starter, two mains and two drinks.

Rosie’s all American Cafe– Found within Hollywood Studios 8 piece mcnuggets and chips was ideal for us to keep us going and you get plenty, as photographed below. $30 dollars for two mains and two drinks.

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Rosie’s All American Cafe

Coral Reef restaurant -Situated in Epcot this themed dinning experience lets you eat under the sea, we had Braised beef and Mahi Mahi fish was was splendid. We had a starter, two mains and a few alcoholic drinks, this was a fine dinning experience and cost over $100 dollars expensive but SO worth it.

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Glow in the dark Cocktail- Coral Reef restaurant

 

Ihop- lake buena vista All american sampler breakfast was incredible photographed below, lots of sausages, bacon, Ham, Eggs and Hash brown. YUM all for $10 including three buttermilk pancakes. $30 dollars for two coffees, two orange juices and two mains.21728142_10214842110752972_1809921219684650805_n

Dennys– I recommend the all day breakfast plus unlimited coffee, Really enjoyed the blueberry pancakes and our hostess even gave us a coffee to take away, 10 points for ultimate customer service to a coffee addict. $30 dollars for two coffees, two orange juices and two mains.

Shoneys–  Classic dinner offering breakfasts and all you can eat buffet options, I loved the chicken strips, gravy and mash certainly brought back a taste from home.  $30 Dollars for two mains and two drinks.

Mcdoanlds– I recommend  the Double bacon cheese burger and McNuggets with BBQ sauce. So many McDonald’s to choose from but also the biggest McDonald’s is situated in Florida, certainly worth a visit, plus slightly bigger portions. $15 dollars for two burgers, 10 Mcnuggets, fries and two drinks

Burger King-  I recommend the   BBQ bourbon burger chips, double whooper,cheese toots and pancakes with syrup. The breakfast and afternoon menu is very reasonable and tastes much better than the UK burger king, $20 dollars for two whopper meals.

Caseys– situated in the Magic Kingdom this eatery offers an ideal lunch menu of beef hot dogs, chips and corn dog nuggets. Perfect view of Cinderellas castle from and beautiful surroundings. $30 for two giant hot-dogs

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Monster cafe– Universal studios we got chilli hotdogs and milkshakes, interior is based on Universal and Hammer films. Love the vintage twist on modern dinning.  $30 for chilli dog and unlimited drink.

Hard rock cafe- Universal studios-  Amazing  rib eye steak and Texan burgers. I highly recommend the cocktails. $70 for a starter, two mains and two alcoholic beverages.

Joffrey’s coffee and tea co– Great place for a coffee or smoothie and they do speciality Minnie mouse Latte’s! certainly worth a visit $5-6

Subway– Foot-long Meatball Mariana had to be done even in the states.  $15 for two foot long subs and a drink.

Seadog-  Our local but a franchise pub, crafts beers and ales on site and offers an amazing happy hour deal. Really nice, modern pub style with an old fashioned twist. $5-15

Dominoes pizza–  We had to get take out delivered to our hotel room, although dominoes is great the BBQ pizza’s are far more superior in the UK than US.  $20 two large pizzas

Unos Pizza – Reasonably affordable with lots of deals to pick from, although i was not keen on my buffalo based pizza, i preferred their dough balls more.  $20 dollars for two large pizzas and dough balls.

Universal Studios- Island’s of Adventure

 

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21751809_10214842074792073_2754636621107344762_nUniversal has three main parks now, Universal studio’s, Islands of adventure and now their newest addition Volcano Bay. which i will share on its own dedicated post as their is lots to talk about there, now back to the movie magic of Universal studios and what a great time we had there, Hollywood rip, ride rockit was unbelievably epic and, i think possibly so far one of the best roller coasters i have experienced, with the option to pick your own music to accompany your fast trip journey along the tracks me and Alex rightfully chose Lim Bizkit Rollin which was an ace tune and suited the ride perfectly, I certainly had an adrenaline buzz afterwards.

The Incredible Hulk Roller coaster was awesome, simply from it being based on the Hulk. It certainly lived up to its name and the online hype. I loved exploring the wizarding world of harry potter and NGL.. i had tears in my eyes as i grew up with the franchise, owned every book and watched every film in the cinema (Tradition with the parents). The development of Diagon Alley, Hogwarts express and Hogsmeade was visually stunning and incredible.Of course i went to ollivanders and got my own WAND, unnecessary purchase to some people but very necessary to me !

Simpsons land was colourful and vibrant just like the cartoon series and the ride was pretty tripy, Americans love their motion and simulator rides A LOT, felt slightly dizzy and dazed coming out but it was truly interesting and fun experience, attached to the franchise. The little touches like Lard Lad doughnuts and their very own Moe’s tavern was fab and you could see how everyone interacting with it was truly in their element.

Another honourable mention is the return of the mummy which was an indoor built roller coaster ride filled with sharp twists and turns certainly one for the thrill seeker, filled with 4D stimulation’s, Pyrotechnics (Including an epic Fine Finale) and  funny ending from Brendan Fraser Himself… well a pre-recorded message but still it added more fun and excitement to the ride.

we ate at two places within Universal, The monster cafe and Orlando’s hard rock cafe situated near the entrance of universal studios. I 100% recommend the hard rock cafe’s although they come off slightly pricey the experience, the food and the beverages are enough to make it all worth it, plus if your a bit of rock n roll fanatic like myself then you will always love the interior design and collectables placed around the cafe itself.

Over all first time Universal Studios attendee, and i am truly impressed and want to re-visit this park again and others. i think universal studios has a special little place in my theme park loving heart.

 

Magic Kingdom

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The most magical place on earth is certainly an understatement, Seeing the castle appearing within my view, the adrenaline kicking in as i see, hear and take everything in, this may sound corny but as a little girl, i dreamed of visiting Disney and seeing all their was to see but unfortunately my parents weren’t Disney dreamers like me and i enjoyed it through the movies, the music, the stores and stage performances. FINALLY being at the Cinderella’s castle was overwhelming and magical and i loved every second. I had my Minnie Mouse ears and i was ready to go and explore everything i could, I even made Alex go on prince charming’s carousel with me and we had enjoyed Mickey’s ice creams next to castle as i embraced the sunshine. We only ate once at Magic Kingdom and that was at Casey’s which is like a Victorian styled baseball themed cafe where you get the biggest Hot-dogs i think i have ever seen and the most perfect view of the castle as you dine, a really nice place for some lunch or for an afternoon snack. We enjoyed various rides such as space mountain and big thunder mountain. This park is very special and the amount of mini details are visible throughout, the magic is certainly there and the love for the classic park will certainly be eternal. Magic Kingdom never disappoints and i know i will be right back here real soon.

 “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. Walt Disney”

 

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Cast me as a princess Walt ?
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Mickey Mouse Ice Creams
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Cinderella’s Castle
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Main Street
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It all started with a man and his mouse, Mickey Mouse
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Balloons for days
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Inside Cinderella’s castle