Ava Monique *Nikki* (avavoom) wrote,
Ava Monique *Nikki*

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December: Birmingham, Munich, Manila, Cebu, etc.

I flew to Birmingham, England with Ann in the second week of December. The one and only time we flew together was in 2007 when we did a Manila flight on Ann’s birthday, so we really got excited this time. It was freezing and we were tired when we arrived in Birmingham but we wasted no time. We already had an itinerary: dinner at Nando’s, check out Boots, Primark, Body Shop, New Look, do some major Christmas shopping in Marks and Spencer, then buy a dozen Millie’s Cookies. We had to rush since we didn’t have a lot of time before stores closed, but we managed to accomplish everything. We bought so much Christmas gifts and stuff that everything didn’t even fit inside the cabin suitcases that we brought with us to the mall!

Christmas shopping with Ann in Birmingham, England

No need to be shy since no one was taking our picture. Haha. I just put my camera and tiny tripod on top of our suitcases and set it on timer. :)

St. Martin’s Church in Birmingham, England

Birmingham Bullring Shopping Centre

After Birmingham, I was supposed to have a Manila flight. I had leave afterwards, so I didn’t exactly need Manila before my leave. Instead I swapped it for a flight to Munich, Germany so I can do more Christmas shopping and buy my favorite yogurt. The last German flight I’ve done was Munich last March, because they took me out of my Hamburg last September. Hmph. Anyway, we arrived in the evening in Munich and even though it was below freezing, we still went to the Christmas Market.

Michel (my friend from Munich) and me, putting up with the –2 degrees weather, at the outdoor Christmas Market in Theresienwiese, same place where the annual Oktoberfest is held.

Michel, me, my colleagues Stuart, Cat, Lilita with our delicious German sausages in Munich, Germany

When I arrived back in Dubai, I just went to my flat to hurriedly pack my things then went back to the airport to catch the flight to Manila. Finally going home on leave, yay! But I only had just a little over a week for my leave, boohoo. My mom also wanted me to visit my grandmother in Cebu since I haven’t seen her in ages, so I had to spare a few days of my short leave to go there.

No Manila leave would be complete without the usual bonding session with Angela. Hehe.

Tini, Jabi, me, Cheng met up for dinner in Burgos Circle at The Fort. (Umm, Kat, where were you?!) It was my first time there. It was nice to go someplace new for a change. Had lots of fun with Jabi’s new Polaroid. Haha.

Flew to Cebu to visit Lola, my grandmother from my mom’s side and the only grandparent I have left. It’s been about 7 years since I last saw her. I used to go to Cebu like every 2 years when I was younger.

Had no plans to do anything “touristy” in Cebu since I’ve been there many times before, but Magellan’s Cross was just nearby, so might as well drop by. :)

Outside Magellan’s Cross – and yes I feel like I’m on a layover in Cebu! Haha!

At the Basilica del Santo Niño in Cebu

We accompanied my godmother, Ninang Myrna, to visit this convent in Cebu where less fortunate kids have catechism classes every weekend. She brought Christmas gifts for all of them and gave it to them one by one, then we helped her distribute some snacks for the kids.

As a thank you, some of the kids performed some song and rap numbers for us. They were so lovely! I was really glad that Ninang Myrna brought us along. I wish I was also able to bring gifts for those kids. Their happy expressions when they received Ninang Myrna’s gifts were priceless.

After 2 days in Cebu, I went back to Manila. I must’ve eaten something bad because I got food poisoning when I arrived in Manila. Kept throwing up and couldn’t eat anything!:( Despite this, I still went out with Angela and Janis that night. Haha. I think the culprit was the fresh oyster I ate in Cebu.

The following day, I was still so weak, but I wouldn’t miss Aimee’s wedding for anything! Her wedding was the main reason why I took a leave this December! Just too bad I couldn’t eat much during the reception!

Groom Jose, me, Angge, Prissia, Corinne, Kamille, Bride Aimee, Mabel

At the reception with Aimee, Kamille, Angge

Souvenir photos with Aimee, Jose, Angge, Kamille

On Dec.24, I had to say goodbye to Manila and go back to Dubai! Wahh. My leave ended just before Christmas, but my next work was a Manila flight on Christmas Day, so I was back in Manila by Dec.25 in the afternoon for work. Haha. (Thank God I was able to swap my Moscow, Russia flight into a Manila flight!) At least I was still able to spend Christmas with my family in Manila, even if it was just for a short layover.

Me with my mom in Manila – Merry Christmas!!! I left Manila Dec. 24 and was back in Manila on Dec.25 on a layover. Haha!

Had Christmas dinner with relatives at my uncle’s place that evening of Dec.25. I noticed we hardly take pictures during family gatherings. We don’t have a complete picture with everybody, but here’s one with some of my aunties, uncles and cousins. My bro is in blue and my mom is in green on the left side, while my dad is in the red/white shirt in the middle, and is the only one among his brothers who refuses to dye his white hair. Hehe.

Here’s me at home on Christmas, by the Christmas tree and family portrait. We used to always have 7-foot tall Christmas trees, but my mom got lazy. Haha.

Flew back to Dubai as crew on Dec.26, did a turnaround to Riyadh the next day, then flew to Jakarta, Indonesia. I’ve done a 2-day Jakarta layover long ago, so I didn’t really have to go out anymore this time. Our roster for January just came out, so I spent my time in Jakarta sending swaps instead. I was so happy with my swaps for January! Managed to get a Milan flight for tomorrow, a Manila in the middle of January, then Rome towards the end of the month. The only thing I don’t like is my schedule around my birthday. Never mind. :(

Me and my sister in Dubai on New Year’s Eve – HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!:)
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