Here’s the scenario: we are two broke girls in England with nothing to do on days when there’s no school. So we look for people who are willing and able to “adopt” us over the weekend.

Last weekend’s Brad Pitt was Kuya Dhong from our hometown Cabiao. He was kind enough to send me an open invitation on Facebook the moment he found out I was in town. He lives with his wife Ate Jo and adorable kids Cheska, Chester, and Aaron in Portsmouth.


It was like we were back in Dubai! A famous landmark in Portsmouth is the Spinnaker Tower which somehow reminded us of the Burj Al Arab. The tower was designed like a spinnaker sail to reflect the rich maritime history of the place. At 170 m above sea level, it’s the tallest structure in England, outside of London.

Saturday in Portsmouth was spent with Kuya Dhong’s talented daughter Cheska who accompanied us to the outlet shops, the city centre, and the Guild Hall Square. We are so proud of Cheska! She’s one of the finalists in the singing competition called OpenMicUK. The grand finals will be this December. Can’t wait to cheer her on!


Sunday in Portsmouth was spent visiting dungeons, castles, and harbours.

And going hyper taking jump shots,

firing canons,

torturing Aaron

posing against huge lighthouses,

and firing more canons!

After a jam-packed morning, the Jolie-Pitts dined at Nando’s and drove to Portchester.

Portchester is on an elevated area that gave us a bird’s eye view of Portsmouth. It was so awe-inspiring that it made little Aaron ask such an innocent yet beautiful question: “Mum, is this how the rest of the world looks like?”

A few turns down the winding road from the hill led us to the spooky Portchester Castle. Unlike other castles turned museums, this one didn’t have lighted windows which made it look even more frightening.

The entire time we were sight-seeing, curious Aaron was writing in his “Memory Book”.

In one of his entries, he wrote something like this: “Today, we had visAtors. We saw the entire Portsmouth. We also saw a spooky castle and the harbour with lots of boats.”

Another one read: “We played Wii at home and one of our visAtors (referring to me, of course!) won 3 straight games in a row.” 

When he was done, he decided to write me a letter. I responded writing on the same paper he wrote on. We filled-up 3 pages back-to-back. It was like Facebook chat but more old school. I extremely enjoyed our silly correspondence.

One dialogue went:

Denise (me): Do you have a hobby?

Aaron: I don’t know what hobby means but I like your handwriting.

It made me smile.

This kid, Aaron, he hates taking a shower. That morning, because I told him I was gonna take a shower and he didn’t want our conversation to end, he timed me in the bathroom using his iPad. 20 minutes, he said. He was appalled coz it took me 49 seconds longer. So I asked him how long does it take him to shower? He said, only 5 minutes. He gets in and puts powder and he’s done. I reacted vehemently and joked that no wonder I was smelling something stinky! I think he got embarrassed as he immediately went inside the bathroom and took a shower, this time without his mum forcing him to! I really should have been a pre-school teacher. I have proven on so many occasions that I have a good effect on kids! 🙂

So on the note he gave me, I wrote:

Are you still going to take a bath by yourself tomorrow?

His reply:

Yes, because I don’t want to be stinky anymore.

Mission accomplished. 😉

Until the next entry in my “memory book”,


p.s. One of the photos I took and uploaded on Instagram taken in Portsmouth got more than 400 likes. To see IronMan carved in stone, add me: @denisecongco hashtag cooldetourdotcom.



Hi, I'm d. My blog, Cool Detour, is all about refreshing breaks from the usual. Follow me for travel, makeup, and lifestyle stories. :)

2 thoughts on “PORTSMOUTH

Thoughts on this one? I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s