We FINALLY moved! A house tour!

Of course, not much of a chance to blog this week.  I’m still way behind on posting my Rio pictures (gosh, it’s been a month and a half since our trip!), I signed up for a 5k this weekend which I haven’t even blogged about, and I have no idea how I’ll have the energy to run it, and my attempts to get faster got curtailed by the fact I haven’t run once this week.

But we MOVED!  And it was worth all the stress, because after a month of living off suitcases in our temporary housing, we are finally in our PERMANENT home!  Or at least permanent for the next 2 years.  It’s more than I can say about the last 2 years of my life, so I’ll take it!

AND I HAVE INTERNET AT HOME!  (A month having to carry your laptop to the coffee place to get a signal makes you really appreciate just turning on the computer and having the internet right there!  All the time!)

And the new place?  I LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!  I already walked with Lily today and explored the neighborhood a bit.  Ha, I’ll be honest, I walked her to go buy some Kitten Milk Replacement at a local vet, who then didn’t have the feeding bottle, so I had to walk even further with her to another pet store, for a total of 3.2 miles in the sun, while Lily got tired and I had to carry her (she’s no longer 3 lbs…), but after finding water for both of us, the way back home wasn’t too bad.

Oh, why did I need kitten milk replacement?  Because Wednesday I found this little thing, by himself, crying, abandoned, on the park across the street:


And now he can finally eat proper nutritious food, and hopefully grow and get healthy.


He (she?) is the size of a mouse, but the vet estimated him to be 2 weeks old.  When I saw him, I couldn’t leave him behind to die.  I can’t keep him, so after getting him healthy, my goal will be to find a home for him.  Might not be so easy in Manila…  But if any of my future visitors are looking to adopt a cat…

Now on to the good stuff: a house tour!  Please ignore the embassy issued furniture (some that we will keep, like the couches in the living room, others that we’re replacing with the stuff coming in our move, like the dining table and bed).  And blame the lack of décor on the fact that it will be another month until we get our full move.  And the odd placement of items you can blame on the fact that we got part of our move (about a tenth of it) and I haven’t figured out a place for everything yet.


Check out those windows!  The view is AMAZING! (Just scroll down for pictures of it!)  And can you see how much LIGHT we get?  That was the one problem with our last place, lack of natural light.





It’s HUGE, specially for an apartment, but surprisingly not much counter space when you consider the size of it.  An island would have been nice!





The laundry room is right outside the kitchen, in an open air area.  You can see Lucas on top of the huge freezer (that will be taken away, as there is no outlet to plug it in!), he hasn’t left that spot all day.  I guess he prefers the warm air and listening to the city, instead of the air conditioner we have running all day.




Yep, we have an extra room that is the maids room.  It’s not uncommon here for people to have a live-in maid, specially if they have kids.  (To be honest, though now it’s not as common for people to have live-in maids in Brazil, it used to be when I was growing up, so we always had a maid.)

Oooh, that’s another piece of news:  we have hired a full-time helper (though not live-in though).  The only reason this place is decent is because of her!  She was quick at unpacking all our stuff when the movers arrived!  She is absolutely wonderful, will be cleaning and cooking for us, and we pay her what is considered the high end of the price range for Manila standards, but it’s still less than 15% of what we used to pay for rent in DC.  Totally affordable and 100% worth it!  (Her bed is made, because if we’re ever out of town, we’ll pay her extra to stay over with the pets.)



By far the best bedroom I’ve ever had, EVER!  So much natural light (I love all the windows), and a spectacular view!  I can’t wait to get our comforter, bed and side lamps!  And I really dislike the curtains.  They don’t block much more light than the blinds do, so I’m thinking of just taking them off.




Those amazing windows not only provide light, but look at the views we have from our master bedroom!





And if you look down, you can see the park I visited a few weeks ago (and I’m definitely going back there every Saturday morning at the market!)



We get a soaking tub, and a TON of counter space (but no cabinets, in any of the bathrooms, it can’t all be perfect, can it?).

And just look at the view from those windows!  We get a view from there too!




Also amazing views!  Ignore the odd dining chairs (we took a leaf off the dining table so we had extra chairs), they’ll be gone when our stuff gets here.  The plan is to put the bed currently in the master bedroom into the guest bedroom when our bed arrives (since we only got two beds in this place, a twin one, which is now in the maid’s room, and a queen size one – the guests will be getting the queen size).

It even has a little nook with a desk, which will be Karl’s office when we are guest-less.




Our guests will be enjoying this bathroom.  Right now is housing the kitten with the dog bed and blanket.  Since we don’t know if the kitten has any diseases, and the vet said he is too young to get tested for anything, we are keeping him separate from the other pets.



This room is bigger than the guest bedroom, which is the perfect place for the treadmill that’s coming (I know, I have not blogged about buying a treadmill, let’s leave that for when it arrives, since it got to DC 3 weeks late, so we never had a chance to open the box, because it got there the day the movers did.  I just hope it works…).

Our futon, seen in our old guest room here, will take the spot of that side table as well.  That way, if we get more guests, they will also have a place to sleep.  We’ll be putting our extra TV against the wall, so we can watch it from the treadmill, do workout videos (Karl has his P90X DVD’s coming), or use it as a TV room.

This is also Karl’s dressing room, since I pretty much took over all the closets in the bedroom (he knew this was coming), so he’s using the closets in here.


The treadmill is going against the window, so if I don’t want to watch TV, I will be looking at this view…



That’s right, we have three (3!!!) bathrooms!  Not even counting the small bathroom off the maid’s room.  That means that if we and our guests all eat some bad food and need to use the toilet NOW, we should all be ok, there’s a bathroom for each.

Plus it’s great when you’re pressed for time and more than one person needs to shower.  Karl is using this as his main bathroom now too (except for the shower), since it’s right next to where his clothes are, and when he wakes up in the morning for work, he doesn’t have to worry about being too loud.

At our old place we used to have only ONE bathroom.  This feels so lush, having all those extra bathrooms!  Can you tell that aside from the view, it’s what we’re most excited about?


And since both Lucas and the stray kitty made an appearance today, I can’t leave Lily out, who seems to have grown a lot in the last two weeks, looking more and more like a Westie…




Filed under Foreign Service, Manila, Philippines, Pictures

27 responses to “We FINALLY moved! A house tour!

  1. Wow, your home is huge and beautiful!!! The views and lighting are spectacular.

    I’m so glad you saved the poor little kitten! On a walk a long time ago, James and heard a weird noise. We searched and searched and eventually found a plastic bag full of newborn kittens! They didn’t even have fur yet! It was heartbreaking. We took them home and scrambled until we found a vet that would take them in. Even with our current cat… we weren’t in the market for one at all, but neighborhood boys were messing with her and had even cut her whiskers off with scissors. She lives a lavish life now to make up for it. 🙂

    • Tyly, isn’t this place great? It hasn’t hit me yet that WE LIVE HERE! Probably because it’s been two days. I think the whole “I moved to Manila, OMG” thing is only going to hit me when all our stuff gets here!

      And the kitty, poor thing. He is soooo tiny, the size of a mouse (except with longer legs). I heard he is too small and young that he might not make it despite my best efforts, but I’ve invested quite a bit of money in getting him healthy. (Luckily quite a bit of money with vet bills, medication, kitten milk, means about $50 here, as opposed to at least 10x more if we were still in the US.)

  2. Oh, my god, I am SO jealous. Wow. Amazing.

    Okay, so what does your late summer look like? And how bad would the weather be in, say, August? Any races on the calendar – when are the best races?

    • I mean for a visit, of course.

      • Hahaha, of course! Late summer here is supposed to be rainy season. I still don’t know what that means. Apparently it has already started, so we have gotten 3 days of some BAD ASS storms so far, in the last two weeks. Kind of cool watching the lighting from our place. I heard that rainy season is more like a big storm once or twice a day, as opposed to raining all day. The thing is that drainage here is bad, so sometimes these storms could cause a lot of flooding, which makes it hard to get around. (Said that, if you want to try it, we’ll be here! Karl asked for Aug 26-29 and Sept 3-6 off, where we’ll probably go on a trip, if you’re here, you’re welcome to tag along, of course!) Our stuff should be here by early July, if it doesn’t get stuck in customs for too long, s anytime after that, you’re good to come!

        Apparently there are races here almost every weekend. I’m not kidding: http://www.takbo.ph/index.php?option=com_eventlist&view=eventlist&Itemid=100049

  3. Cat

    OMG, that kitten is the cutest thing I ever saw. I know your post was about your new place (which is great, BTW), but I can’t get over the kitten! Thank for rescuing it. You are a good person!

    • Do you want him? I can try to send him your way after we have a guest over! I just want to find him a good home! He fits on the palm of my hand now, soooo tiny. I hope he makes it. Karl wanted to kill me when I showed up with him at home (an hour after we moved to our new place!) but there’s no way I could have left him alone, even after he told me “you can’t save them all, you know?” But he even helps feeding him, I think deep down, he would have done the same thing. I just hope he’s not sick with something like FIV. The vet said it’s too soon to test him, but to keep the pets, specially Lucas, away from him before we can check.

      • Cat

        I wish I could. He’s so cute! We have two cats already, and since hubby’s ex had what I’ll call “a little pet-collecting issue” I have promised to limit my pet parenting to two. 🙂

        I’d be happy to try to help you find it a home. Hopefully you’ll be able to find someone in Manila who would be a good kitty mommy or daddy. Do you think the Embassy could help put the word out once he get’s the all clear?

  4. That apartment looks amazing! Glad yall are settling well.

  5. OH MY WORD! Your new place is fabulous! Love the plans you have for the rooms too. I would love to have such great natural light too.
    Oh, and what a lucky kitty to be found by you. I hope you are able to find a loving home for him/her when the time comes.

    • I hope so too! I can’t just throw him back on the streets, but I’ve had no luck finding shelters here in Manila (if I did, he would be in the care of a shelter now, since they would be in a much better position to bring the kitty back to health than I am). I contacted a local rescue group (that has no shelter facilities) who provide vet care for a limited number of injured strays (then find them a home), but have not heard back even though I offered to pay for the costs. I heard it’s not uncommon for kittens this small to die after they are separated from their mothers. It would break my heart if I can’t save him, but at least I know I tried…

  6. What a gorgeous place, I love all the windows! And that kitten is so adorable, so glad you rescued it! 🙂

  7. Wow, it is awesome!! You guys have SO much space! I can’t wait to see it when you get fully settled!

    • Me too! I can’t wait to see it full of our own stuff, hang pictures on the walls, etc. I’m loving the space, and already am not looking forward to moving from here in 2 years. Between the huge apartment with the views, the maid, and all the cheap massages, I’m getting really spoiled in this place…

  8. Your place is GORGEOUS! When can I come visit? 😛

    And I am so happy you took that little kitten in. Lucas won’t mind a brother, right? 🙂

    • Of course you can, Kim! Come on over! (Seriously!)

      Actually Lucas has already hissed and smacked him once (I’ve been keeping them apart, but I was on the couch feeding him and Lucas came over). So yeah, keeping him is not an option 😦

  9. Pingback: Wish me luck… | I Run, You Run

  10. Pingback: Some progress… | I Run, You Run

  11. Pingback: Living/Dining Room: DONE! | I Run, You Run

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  15. Reka

    You have an amazing apartment!
    Would u share how much does it cost to rent such apartment like yours? I am Indonesian diplomat and will be posted to Manila soon. I hope I could get an apartment like that.

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