Beaches, bikinis and food, is all

So, I’m home from Mallorca, in front of my computer now, trying to claw my way back to the surface of reality.

Holidays always throw me into a dreamlike, soupy funk from which my ego refuses to emerge until I have unrelentingly walloped it in the face with a wooden spoon so that it has no choice but to come to its senses.

As you can tell by the way I am speaking in abstracts, I have not quite found surface. But I am sober enough to update my blog by now, even if I haven’t gained sufficient lucidity to write in a non-trippy way.

Therefore, I think it would be wise for me to write less and show more.

That means photos!

 

Sheylara in Mallorca

 

All photos were taken in Cala d’Or, Mallorca, a little beach town from which Piers and I didn’t venture an inch because we are lazy bums.

But there is really no need to go anywhere when you have sand, sea and sun (and, in my case, iPad) within reach.

 

 

Not so hot dog legs

My version of hot dog legs.

 

 

Cala d'Or beach

Cala d’Or beach is tiny at 40 metres wide, perfect for families with little ones because it will be really hard for you to lose your little ones here (unless you’re an iPad addict, then I can’t say for sure).

 

 

Sheylara in Black and White

The town centre has a great selection of cafés, restaurants and bars (and shops) for your hedonic pleasure.

 

 

Seafood Paella

Seafood Paella is a one such pleasure.

 

 

Sangria

Sangria is another.

 

 

Padron Peppers

And Padrón peppers, which are so very, very tasty and full of wholesome goodness, containing vitamins A, B1, B2, C and P, proteins, calcium and iron.

 

 

Garlic mushrooms

I love Spanish food because it is so generous with seasonings, herbs and flavours. This garlic mushroom dish had nearly as much garlic as mushrooms.

I ate up all the garlic.

Piers didn’t mind.

 

 

Bread and olives with ali oli sauce

Bread and olives with alioli (or aioli) sauce are a common starter in Spanish meals. I love the sauce. It’s a blend of garlic, olive oil, salt and egg yolk.

 

 

Dress-down weekend

The best thing about going on holiday is being able to buy new holiday clothes (without telling Piers).

 

 

Bikini

This is one of the bikinis that I bought two years ago and forgot to pack for my first Mallorca holiday. I never wore it until now.

 

 

White bikini

And another one.

I bought four in all. Which is quite stupid considering that I never go to the beach (or even swimming pool) if I can help it.

 

 

Just another

Cala d’Or beach is a couple minutes’ walk from the Marina de Cala d’Or, where you can find a good selection of restaurants and a few shops. And lots of boats, of course.

 

 

More peppers

More Padrón peppers, because I can.

 

 

Sirloin steak with Roquefort Sauce

We ate lunch at this restaurant called Zocalo, which offers a 3-course meal (with choices for each course) for only €15. Piers and I had the peppers for starters and sirloin steak with Roquefort Sauce for mains.

I didn’t know what Roquefort Sauce was so I asked the waiter, who said in halting English, “Uh… is… ahh… creme.”

It turned out to be a cheesy cream sauce which is really nice for vegetables but I don’t like it on my steak.

Also the steak looked a bit sad and pathetic, which made me a bit sad. But it explained the €15 price tag.

 

 

Right. That’s too much said, and two too many bikini photos shown.

Don’t you think?

Next time, I will talk about jellyfish.

What I do in Mallorca

I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to blog from Mallorca but it appears that I’m able to. The wifi is good and I have pockets of free alone time, which is when everyone’s at the beach. Except me.

I’m in Cala d’Or, Mallorca, for a 9-day holiday with Piers and his family. We’re staying in a villa just a minute’s walk away from the beach, and the family’s plan is to practically live on the beach the whole time.

 

Beach

 

My plan is to not live on the beach. I’m quite happy to lounge around in the airy villa all day, enjoying the full protection of a sturdy roof.

 

Villa

 

I did go to the beach in the morning. There was a section of shade I could hide under because the sun was still low and hiding behind a line of trees.

 

Sheylara

 

But, eventually, the sun got me and there was no hiding. So I got up and built little Emma a sand throne. At least, that was what I set out to do before Piers decided to help by turning it into a sand race car.

 

image

 

Emma got into it and was quite happy with it for a bit, but then half destroyed it when she tried crawling out via the hood.

By the way, if my photos and drawings are extra crappy, it’s because I didn’t bring my laptop and am blogging from my iPad.

Anyway, one morning of sun, sand and sea was quite enough for me, and I came back to the villa while the others stayed to enjoy the beach all day.

 

Sheylara

 

That’s all I’m going to say today! It’s taken me three hours to produce this silly post, mainly because I’ve got a stupid long-winded process to get photos onto my iPad and then into the blog.

Oh, Piers just came back to the villa and he’s gone all red, lol. He won’t admit it, though (he claims it’s a nice brown) so here’s a photo of His Redness.

 

Piers

 

Heh.

Holidays are ridiculously tiring

Holidays are ridiculously tiring, aren’t they?

People always say that they need a holiday to recover from their holiday. So it’s kind of nuts, isn’t it, that people continue to go on holidays to tire themselves out, cramming a billion activities and attractions into their itinerary?

So, when I planned this road trip, I tried to keep it as relaxing as possible while allowing for a reasonable amount of sightseeing.

And still I’m drop dead exhausted by the time evening rolls around.

Here are the things I did today that made me so very tired.

 

1. Take photos of myself on a little field of daisies.

 

Me

 

2. Take photos of myself on top of a castle.

 

Me 2

 

3. Take photos of myself in the car.

 

Me 3

 

4. Play with camera filters and take photos of myself in the car.

 

Me 4

 

Me 5

 

Ridiculous, isn’t it?

Now, it’s bed time and tomorrow I’m gonna do it all over again.

Crazy, just crazy.

Our holiday in Mallorca

Mallorca has about 80 beaches surrounding the small island which measures 3,640.11 km2 (but not as small as Singapore at 694km2).

That is basically the reason tourists flock to this Mediterranean island by the million (6 million in 2010).

 

S'Amarador
S’Amarador, voted Best Beach in Europe since 2008.

 

There are many other attractions in Mallorca: Historical sights, museums, golf, food and wine, sea cruises and water sports. But for the two weeks Piers and I were there, all we wanted to do was laze around to soak in the scenic views wherever we happened to be.

 

Cap de Formentor
View from a lookout point at Cap de Formentor.

 

Everywhere was sky, sea, clouds, mountain and sand. You can’t get enough of the scenery.

But you can get enough of the sun. Almost every day, the sun beat down at us mercilessly, making us wish we were back in England for the wonderfully cold English summer.

I stayed in the shade as much as I could. I bought a giant hat and we got a big beach umbrella. The air in Mallorca is quite dry so you won’t perspire unless you’re walking about under direct sunlight. It can be pleasant as long as you find yourself some shade and don’t go for long walks in the day.

 

Wearing a giant hat

 

Many shops and services in Mallorca are closed between 1 pm and 5 pm for siesta. It’s the hottest time of the day and no one wants to work or walk out to the shops. Beach and souvenir shops will usually be open for tourists, though. And supermarkets. There is no lack of mini marts where you can get supplies.

During our many long drives around Mallorca in the two weeks, we kept passing through “ghost towns”. They are small streets flanked by two-storey buildings, structured around a sort of grid pattern. And they are entirely deserted except for cars parked by the side.

If not for the cars, which look serviceable, you would totally think the towns are abandoned towns because you cannot see a single soul out and about. All doors and windows are shuttered. You can’t see anyone indoors or outdoors.

It was quite creepy to be honest.

 

Ghost town

 

The first time we drove through such a town, we had been on our way to our next hotel.

As we remarked on the absence of living souls apart from ourselves, Piers suddenly said with a smile, “Oh, here’s our hotel, darling.”

“Yeah, right,” I had retorted.

“Would you be happy if I had really booked us a hotel here?”

“No. This is the kind of place people get murdered in movies.”

 

Ghost town

 

Anyway, we basically spent two weeks being slugs at the pool or beach or, when it was too hot, indoors on the sofa. We did do a bit of sightseeing and also went on a sea adventure but it was just pure relaxation most of the time.

It was the most relaxing holiday I’d ever been on, in no small part due to the fact that I didn’t have wifi and therefore couldn’t blog. In my other holidays, I tended to spend like a third of my time blogging.

 

Sheylara and Piers

 

It was an amazing holiday for me, the only downside being that I got a tan.

I do not like being tanned because I had spent my entire childhood being teased for being a lot darker than the average Chinese. (Somehow, my skin gradually lightened as I grew up.)

This vacation, despite my obsessive use of sunblock, turned my skin many shades darker. It’s going to take me forever to reverse that because I tan quickly and recover slowly.

But it’s a small price to pay, even if I have to buy a new shade of makeup to match my new tan. I would do it all over again.

And, this time, I would remember to bring my bikinis.

 

Lying on the sand

 

England’s summer seems to have gone, with the temperature around 17°C tops this entire week. While I generally love this temperature (so much better than dreadful heat), I am a bit disappointed because I had wanted to go to nearby Sandbanks for a beach picnic. Piers had told me that Sandbanks beach is as nice as Mallorcan beaches.

And I desperately want to wear my new bikinis after having to tolerate two weeks of wearing that crappy replacement I bought in Mallorca.

But how are we supposed to have a beach picnic in 17°C temperature and no sun?

I guess this means I can now start on my de-tanning process. Staying home to blog all day is a good plan.

Today’s post is just an overview of our Mallorcan holiday. I’ll go into more detail in my next posts, highlighting the cool places you can check out in that spicy little island.

Bookmark Sheylara.com and come back!

Going to China to play with iPad

I’m so jumpy I can’t sit still.

Leaving for China in about 16 hours and making use of the remaining time to clear outstanding work and admin matters, prepare all my gadgets for the trip, pack and clean my room (I like coming home to a clean room).

I have five gadgets to charge. Two phones, iPad, laptop and camera.

Sheylara's gadgets

That should be enough to keep me entertained (and connected).

I may be away but I’ll still be “home” with my gadgets. I’m only sad I can’t bring my PC. It’s a lot more efficient to blog on my PC.

I have a list of “To do before flying”. But I keep flitting from task to task randomly. I can’t sit still.

You know what I’m most looking forward to for this trip? Lazing around in the hotel, watching Naruto and playing Plants vs. Zombies on my iPad.

Plants vs Zombies on iPad

I am freaking excited about it.

You probably think I’m nuts to fly all the way to China just to play on my iPad.

But I love lazing around in hotel beds because the sheets are so soft and the pillows are so big and fluffy. (I thought of buying hotel-quality sheets once, but then found they cost more than $1,000 for just the bedsheet and two pillow cases. T_T)

And, since you’re on a holiday, you don’t feel so guilty lazing around as opposed to lazing around at home on your not-so-soft-and-fluffy bedding.

We’re getting a nice big suite for three nights in Changping, Dongguan. At least that’s what the Goonfather said he booked.

Then another three nights in Zhuhai. Maybe not a suite because Zhuhai hotels are a little more expensive. But we’ll see, because we haven’t booked the Zhuhai one yet, lol.

I can’t wait to play Plants vs Zombies in China!!!

I just finished the adventure mode. Looking forward to checking out the mini games exclusive to the iPad version.

The iPad rocks!! The battery is so long-lasting it’s amazing.

The fingerprints are also amazing. I never knew I had such dirty fingers.

So, I bought these travel-size wet screen wipes for my iPad and iPhone 4 (which seems to attract more fingerprints than the iPhone 3). It’s like $22.90 for 20 pieces. So expensive. I think I got ripped off.

Screen wipes

(Update: I forgot that there’s also a micro-chamois polishing cloth and a micro-fiber polishing cloth inside the pack. So maybe it’s a reasonable price after all? I don’t know.)

Anyway, the main purpose of our coming trip is to eat peaches. It’s the peach season!

China peaches are unbelievably sweet and juicy. I’ve tried them in Singapore, so I want to try them there. Next year, I hope to visit Beijing because I hear the peaches are even better in Northen China.

Yum, peach! IT’S SO FLUFFY!!

China peaches
(Photo from here. Doesn’t it look amazing?)

I’ll also be visiting a few theme parks and doing a lot of eating all round. That’s about it. Won’t be doing too much shopping. Saving it for Korea next month!

I’ll still be blogging as usual. Nothing will really change, I think. I’ll still be doing the same things I do every day. Eat, sleep, get online, blog, have some fun. Haha.

My mind is a little flighty today. It’s always like that just before a trip. The stress of trying to finish everything on time combined with the excitement of going away shorts my internal wiring.

Ohmygosh I can watch Naruto on the plane on my iPad. I think I’m about to die of happiness.

Naruto

I would like to be a professional anime watcher.

I think I shall go kick the Goonfather’s butt a bit and make him become a billionaire so I can be a tai-tai and stay home and watch anime all day long! :D

Hmm, but do tai-tais watch anime?

Anyway, no tai-tai-ness for now. We’re taking budget air. But Naruto and PvZ should be sufficient to distract me from the cramped and claustrophobic sitting arrangements.

Yay!

Oh noes I can’t keep still. Okay I shall go clean my room now.

Byebyes!