Côte Vermeille—A Vacation to Remember!

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My wife and I love to travel. Our love for travelling started way back when we were still dating so, it’s hardly any surprise that she suggested we travel someplace new to celebrate our 15 yrs of marriage.  I won’t deny that the very idea excited me. We started checking for possible places to travel to. We decided we wanted to explore more of France. We had been to France in the early years of our marriage, but it was mostly to explore Paris. My sister, who is ever the wanderlust like me, had been to France’s Mediterranean coastline and suggested we check out Cote Vermeille.

I have heard of Cote d’Azur but I haven’t heard of Cote Vermeille before—and so did my wife. When we checked it up on google, we were greeted with images of a wonderful and quaint seaside hideaway. We fell in love and we decided it would be the destination for our 15th year anniversary adventure.

Cote Vermeille is located in the South of France. It boasts of unspoilt, charming sceneries and budget-friendly indulgences. If you want to go on a romantic getaway with your wife or lover, or if you’d want to go on an adventure with your friends, Cote Vermeille definitely should be on your list. It’s not crowded unlike most of the popular resorts (cough, cough Cote d’Azur) which is exactly why it appealed to me and my wife.

Cote Vermeille has its own countryside charm. We were awed by its beauty the moment we arrived. When my wife and I went for a swim in the beach, we noticed that the hills were lined with lush green vineyards. What a sight it was to behold! Did we mention that the beaches were a sight to behold as well?

After we had our swim, my wife and I decided to take a stroll along the harbor side. My wife commented on how the place has a very painterly atmosphere. You’d notice how the streets are lined with cobblestones and that there are Galleries and artist’s studios everywhere too—such a huge difference from the glitzier and crowded streets of Cote d’Azur further up the coastline.

Since Cote Vermeille is geographically close to the Spanish border, you’ll see manifestations of the Catalan influence on the people’s culture and food. Not only will your eyes feast on the beauty of the place, but you’ll be able to feast on delicious and affordable food to your heart’s delight.  With low-cost air fares offered these days, It won’t cost you an arm and leg to visit Cote Vermeille.

Cote Vermeille is a laid back town. However, there are villages that have been turned to resort-towns. We have seen tourists around here, too—mostly Europeans.

To cap it off, my wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our vacation. We would like to come back here again if time permits. If you plan on travelling someplace new anytime soon, consider Cote Vermeille. It’s one place you’ll want to come back over and over again.

Making your vacation unforgettable

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My wife and I are having the time of our lives at Cote Vermeille right now. We’ve been planning this vacation for months and we are just quite satisfied that everything –from the plane to the hotel booking—went fine. It helped that we did our research on this place before we proceeded with the rest of the arrangements.

As someone who enjoys travelling, abroad or just around town, I know that most people look forward to a relaxing vacation. However, vacation periods are always so limited so it’s really important that we make the most of it while we can. For those who are planning on a vacation soon and would want to make the best of it, let me share how we did it.

Both of us completely agree on planning ahead every time we decide to go on a vacation. It’s the only way for us to manage our expectations and understand the kind of place we will be heading out to. Prior to our Cote Vermeille trip, we came up with a list of things we needed to check before we could finally say “yes” to the trip. The tips below may not be complete, but can surely help you a lot. Here they are:

  • Expectations – What are our expectations? What did we expect from the trip? What places did we expect to go to? What activities did we expect to do? Did we want to try out extreme sports? Explore the city? If you’re travelling with your friends or children, it’s best to consult them first what their expectations from the trip are.
  • Requirements – It’s really important that you know the documentation and visa requirements for your trip. Make sure you have all the necessary documentation prepared for a hassle-free flight.
  • Hotel Options – Booking in advance is important. You wouldn’t want to arrive at your destination without knowing where to stay. If you’re travelling alone, a hostel will do just fine. But if you’re travelling with your family (with kids), it’s better to stay in a hotel.
  • Local transportation – Find out how the locals travel around. Are there taxis, buses or trains available? Find out which is more convenient (and affordable) and choose the transport system that fits your preference.
  • Sightseeing – My wife loves seeing all the tourist destinations but even she understands that it is not possible to see them all. My advice would be to choose and visit only the sights you want to see.

Once you’ve got everything planned out, all you need to do once you’ve arrived at the destination is to have fun, explore places and relax. In addition to the above tips, make sure your holiday experience turns out memorable. Meet the locals and make new friends. Try out new foods (even the exotic-sounding food); take time to learn the local culture. You might find these suggestions silly, but they’ll add spice to your experience to a foreign place.

My Own Taste of Texas Barbecue Party

Barbecue—ah, such a beautiful word! I love all kinds of barbecue, you name it, and I’ll eat it. Haha, seriously, everyone (family and friends) knows how much I love barbecue. In fact, I think I could live off nothing but BBQ for the rest of my life. However, even though I’m in this paradise right now, Texas BBQ will always have a special place in my heart—and tummy. It was in Austin, Texas where I had my first taste of authentic Texas BBQ and even to this day, I still remember the taste of that BBQ in my mouth.

Ever since I had my first taste of Texan BBQ, it started to occupy a huge part of my brain/heart/life. I keep daydreaming about it and even wish for it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  In case I’d go nuts and kill someone, I’d totally have Texan BBQ as my death row last meal without any hesitation.  Okay, so maybe I’m going overboard with my barbecue obsession but who can blame me??? Blame whoever invented barbecue…LOL!

My sister and her family arrived from London yesterday to visit us in here in Côte Vermeille, and what better way to celebrate it but by throwing a backyard barbecue party for them. Hooray! My barbecue dreams were all coming true!

Now as my wife knew I love barbecue too much, she let me take charge of preparing and cooking them. Now, that’s one task I wouldn’t say no to. Now, I said I had an obsession with barbecue and it didn’t stop with daydreaming about them. I also spent a fair amount of time researching on the best way to prepare them. I read some of the best BBQ recipes online and I tried out my own experiments as well. I don’t mean to brag but I can safely say that I have learnt the art of making the best BBQ. In fact, I think I could put up my own barbecue restaurant if I had the funds for it…haha!

Now part of what makes barbecue taste great is the quality of the BBQ grill you own. Having studied the art of Barbecue cooking (wow, I feel like a pro), I have discovered how cookers can affect the resulting taste of the BBQ you’re cooking. I used to own a barbecue grill but I found it a hassle to maintain. I’m not really good at cleaning it and stuff so when I found out that there are affordable electric smokers you can use for cooking barbecue, I decided to check them out at once.

Electric smokers can be used for a whole lot of things. You can use them for cooking traditional barbecues to cold smoking fish, jerky or cheese. Electric smokers have gotten quite popular in the past few years because they offer convenience to everyone. If, like me, you do not have the patience to light a fire on a BBQ grill, then an electric smoker is the best option for you. There are a lot of different brands of smokers out there but be sure to pick only one that is of the best quality. I got my smoker from eBay and before I bought it, I had to read tons of reviews before I was finally convinced to buy it. Remember, quality electric smokers will not only give you satisfactory results, but they last longer than the cheaper, low-quality models.

Now, how did our backyard barbeque party go? It was a smashing success! My sister and her family (and other friends we invited along) all enjoyed the barbecue I cooked. They kept asking for the recipe for my Oscar-winning barbecue, but as we all know, a true chef does not reveal his secrets.

Outdoor trampolines!?

Today I went to a local field where they had outdoor trampolines. In the ground. Literally.

These are the best outdoor trampolines I’ve ever jumped on. They weren’t some low quality, weak bounce trampolines. I was getting some serious air!

The first thing I did when I got back to my place was look online for trampoline reviews. The second thing I did was buy a freaking in ground trampoline! Come on!

The Vermillion Coast

I’m creating this site as a reference to my journey through Côte Vermeille, aka the vermilion Coast near the border of Spain. I’m here on a complete spur of the moment vacation because of my need to just “get away”. I’m sure you’ve all had that feeling yourselves.