Happy Chinese New Year!

 Yesterday, 16 February was the beginning of the celebration of the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Dog. It is a celebration of food and well wishes of joy, prosperity and excellent health to family and friends. Here at Holt Renfrew on Bloor St, Toronto, they celebrated with a display of the Banyan Tree wishing tree where guest can write on a paper their wish and hang it on the tree. Tradition stated that the wishing paper is usually tossed up onto the tree and if it successfully hangs onto the tree, the wishes will come true. May all of our wishes come true. 

Valentine's Day Treats

 Valentine's Day for some people may be a depressing day. Rather than gloat or retreat on this day, share the love and calories by visiting Nadege Patisserie to purchase their sweet and lovely Valentine's Day treats of macaron, chocolate teddy bears with heart and heart shaped chocolates. The macaron comes in pastel colours and different flavours like rose, champagne, hazelnut, pistachio, even exotic flavours like kalamansi, the Filipino lemon fruit. If sharing calories is not your forte, then visit the L'Occitane boutiques to pamper yourself or loved ones with the ever smooth shea butter lotions, soaps and other natural products from  Provence, the south of France. Whatever way you choose to celebrate Valentine's Day, remember to always look up, be more loving and be grateful. We never know, miracles can happen anytime. Just believe in love. Love conquers all. 

Happy Valentine's Day!

Weekend In Obidos

 One of the beautiful and medieval towns we visited was Obidos in Portugal. It is a walled city a few hours away from Lisbon, Portugal's capital. The charming town had white buildings painted with different colours and filled with fuchsia bougainvilleas. It's a small town to explore all over but there are charming shops inside to explore. We also tried their famous drink Ginjinha de Obidos, a sour cherry liquor that they pour over a cherry and a chocolate cup. After drinking a shot of the liquor from the chocolate cup, you eat the chocolate together with the cherry. It was a delicious sweet experience and definitely wishing to try more until you realise that your are quite drunk from it. Visiting Obidos was a truly a nice break from busy Lisbon. 

Enchanting Nazaré

 Enchanting Nazaré is one of the hidden gems of Portugal. I never heard of this city until we visited it during our tour of Portugal. Nazaré is one of the most popular seaside resort in Portugal, known for it's surfing. For me though, it was the majestic views of the Atlantic Ocean and the wide shoreline facing against the white buildings of the town that captivated me. Before we began our tour, we first had lunch at Restaurante Arimar, right on the cliff with spectacular views of the ocean and seaside town. We had the best of the Portuguese seafood there including their sardines. After lunch, we visited the main square where the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Nazaré  is the main attraction. There is a legend on the Lady of Nazaré which really is the main story of this town. Inside the magnificent church it was decorated with gold leaf and the traditional blue and white Portuguese tiles on the walls. Afterwards, we visited the old grotto by the cliff where the ancient wooden image of the Virgin Mary laid hidden since 714. Our overall visit at Nazaré was enchanting and enriching with its breathtaking views, delicious seafood and visiting the Our Lady of Nazare, whom we ask for her intercession for miracles in our lives. 
The legend of Our Lady of Nazaré told the story of the ancient wooden image of our Lady, believed to be carved in wood by St Joseph himself of  the Virgin Mary breastfeeding baby Jesus. This image was hidden in the grotto for 469 years since 714, after it was found by  D Fuas Roupinho in 1182. During a hunting trip, chasing after a deer, he almost fell on the cliff but invocating the name of the Virgin Mary, he was saved from the fall and escaped death. As thanksgiving in saving his life, he ordered to build the grotto. Finally, in 1377, by order of King Fernando of Portugal, the Virgin Mary was transferred to the Our Lady of Nazaré’s Sanctuary.  
The original Our Lady of Nazare is an ancient wooden image of the Virgin Mary breastfeeding baby Jesus. 
Image of the Virgin as it was found in the cliff. 


Weekend In The Yucatan Peninsula

 During our visit at the Riviera Maya, Mexico during the Christmas holiday, we joined a day tour to visit the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. This area is famous for the cenotes, underground water caves made of fresh spring water and the historical ancient pyramids built by the Mayans. Looking back now, this tour was not just a sightseeing tour of Mexico's best sights but told the story of Mexico's ancient history starting with the Mayans who built the pyramids 500 years AD at Chichen Itza based on their mathematical genius to predict days, nights, seasons, farming and harvest. The pyramid that they built is a national treasure. Then after the Mayans came the Spanish conquerors who colonised Mexico to Catholicism. Everywhere we visited around Mexico, there is always the statue of their patron, Our Lady of Guadalupe. Of course, visiting Mexico will not be complete without tasting their tequila at the Museo del Tequila inside the Hubiku. Our visit in Mexico exceeded our expectations. We did not expect to learn and see so much about the country, the people and their culture. We were able to enjoy their resort and beach at luxurious leisure but at the same time discover their country's history and meet local Mexicans who are welcoming and proud of their nation. 
Our Lady of Guadalupe.
Cenotes are underground fresh water caves. 
Tequila tasting inside the Museo del Tequila. Do you know that cocoa was discovered in Mexico which led to the development of the chocolate? Not surprising, they have a Chocolate Tequila that tasted so delicious. 
Ancient Mayan Pyramid at Chichen Itza. 
My niece, Isabella, was an expert iguana spotter. 
Cathedral of San Servacio in the heart of Valladolid. 
Devotion to  Our Lady of Guadalupe is all around Mexico. 

Pamela lives in Toronto, Canada, currently working in Banking in the field of Credit and Finance. The Chic Delights blog has evolved into an on-line magazine about my experiences and inspirations on style, travel, people, lifestyle and current events. My features are not sponsored posts. The photographs and stories featured here are all from my own resources and experiences. [Pamela RG] (