Acacia Hotel

This is our last hurrah for this summer vacation courtesy of good ol’ Mama. Thank you Mama! Our requirements this time were simple: Mischa and Maxine have to swim, and the place mustn’t be too far because we didn’t want to drive all the way. So I chose from among nearby hotels (from our place), and we ended up at Acacia Hotel.

I didn’t get to take a picture of the lobby but it looks a lot of awesome to me. With its veeeerrry high ceilings and wide expanse, it shouts of elegance and class. We got connecting rooms, and from check in to check out, everything was a breeze. We loved their attentive and accommodating staff. And we absolutely loved our room! It has a great view of the Alabang business district.

Included in the room package are welcome drinks, in which case you have a choice of sparkling wine or pandan juice. We also had vouchers for tablea ensaymada and unlimited coffee, which we sadly weren’t able to avail of.

Then it was down to swimming business for that afternoon and the next morning.

It was so cold and windy, but nothing will stop the kids haha! Not even Maxine’s lips which keep on turning blue after a few minutes in the water that we had to get her off and warm her up for a bit before getting her back in the water.

We mostly ate inside the hotel. We were supposed to go out for dinner Saturday night but it rained so we stayed in. Their buffet selection was also quite good-enough choices so that you don’t get too umay. It was not too pricey which was the best thing hehe. Morning called for room service because we were too lazy. The best was getting upgraded from buffet breakfast (supposedly included in the package) to buffet lunch. Wheeee, we didn’t have to hurry and wake up early so we can catch up on breakfast.

We had one of the best vacations here. I like that everything was unhurried, we were taken cared of very very well by Southern hospitality, and we were home in about 10 minutes!

In the City of Pines

We tested the car’s mettle, tested the hubby’s endurance for driving, and basically had a blast during our trip to Baguio last month. In an earlier post, I already mentioned that we started that trip paying homage to the Lady before all else. Around lunch time, we checked in here.

Ma and Dad had their honeymoon here some five decades back, and the hubby and I had one of our office’s teambuilding here. Also, we had one of our rare childhood vacations when I was 10 in this city. So it was the kids who are first timers here, and we did all the touristy stuff. For about 80% of the time, it was raining but that didn’t dampen our moods and went go, go, go! Even if Maxine caught some bug and threw up one night and had a slight fever, it was all systems go for all of us.

First of course is the obligatory stop and pose at the Lion’s Head, the icon of tourism in Baguio City, which welcomes everyone to the city.

As soon as we’ve settled our stuff, we didn’t waste time and went to our first stop: Wright Park. Mischa saw in one TV show the horses people have painted pink so it was really one of the things in her bucket list.

We didn’t have the energy or the inclination to go up the famed steps to the reflecting pool and The Mansion. So we took off for Burnham Park where we went on a boat ride (when Maxine slept the whole time!) around the man-made lake. The gardens here at also something to look at. And capping our day was a family bike ride.

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The morning of Day 2 was spent going to nearby La Trinidad to visit the strawberry farm. Unfortunately there were no strawberries to pick much to the chagrin of Ate Mischa. We just went around and bought homemade food like jams and fresh vegetables being sold by the locals.

Cafe Volante (where there was a long line) beckoned us for lunch.

Then it was Mines View Park where we had so much and which drained all our energy hehe. We had to walk a long way back because there was too much traffic and too little cabs.

Before calling it a day, we heard mass at the Baguio Cathedral.

SM Baguio was a good idea for dinner as it affords a great view of the city.

The last day was spent lying in and enjoying our beds. Maxine wasn’t feeling well that night so we just took it easy and had a late breakfast at the hotel.

Thank you Baguio, we loved you!

Trek up north

Today, we go on vacation that isn’t the beach or Tagaytay, or our hometowns. Hooray! It’s also the first time the husband drove that long. I would have traded seats with him but I haven’t got the hang of driving the new car so it’s just him.

The first order of the day was a spur of the moment, but totally worth it visit to Our Lady of Manaoag. Wouldn’t pass up the chance to pay our respects and say our prayers. I know that many other religions or cults have bashed Catholics for praying in front of statues of the Blessed Virgin Mary or saints. We don’t actually pay homage to the physical things, but we believe deep in our hearts that we can pray anywhere with or without the representations in front of us. We believe in their intercession, and I for one, believe in living Christ’s teachings and emulating the godly life of saints. Ours is more of faith rather than literal interpretation of what is written in books.

House to house

It is a little exhausting moving from one house to another this summer. But after Dad’s surgery and all the “senior moments” complications it entails, we are forever an extended family, and a package deal. We all go where one goes (except to work of course). The truth of the matter is, it is hard to let the folks be alone now as Dad can’t (and I don’t think we would let him ever, but let’s see) drive anymore. What if there was an emergency? What if one of them faints, has an attack, trips and breaks a rib or hip, whatever. Such a paranoid daughter now. But really, it has come to that, that we now take care of our parents. They are by no means helpless, but of course, I would like to give them the comfortable life they deserve.

Cafe Creole

It is Mothers’ Day today but I had a flight to catch at noon so the family compromised on a quick brunch at the Newport Mall, which is right across the airport. Dad wasn’t able to come with us since we had some repairs going on back at the house so we just takeout food for him.

We opted for Cafe Creole from among the row of restaurants since we previously had cake and coffee there, and so wanted to try their breakfast fare. We had the fastest brunch ever, but I must say, one of the best I had. When I looked at their menu, I thought that most of their offerings were too expensive, but when the orders came in one by one, I was aghast at how big the servings were! The restaurant specializes in Creole or Southern Louisiana cuisine, which has French beginnings.

Caesar salad

Beef Tapa dirty rice (Mmmmm, beef sirloin and rice cooked in the same pan where the tapa was fried. Soooo good!)

Bourbon St. Hangover Breakfast (this is like the platter for those on death row. Eat like there’s no tomorrow! lol)

Bacon and Egg Omelet

Fresh grape juice

We are okay

It was a sabbatical again of sorts for our family. One after the other, my dad and I went under the knife in the name of health. While both of our conditions were not immediately life threatening, we both decided that prolonging keeping abnormal growths in our bodies would not do any of us any good.

I was the reluctant patient. I have had this myoma, or at least I have known about it, since I got pregnant with Mischa. And it’s not getting smaller, nor going away at all. Since it is beginning to affect other parts of my body, plus I haven’t lost the prego look because of my bulging tummy, we decided to bid it goodbye. The operation was even more painful, and even more expensive, but I am glad because I am now okay.

Dad, on the other hand, was kinda raring to have his brain surgery after we found out he has meningioma, a non-cancerous type of tumor in the brain. We were all afraid because, hello, it is the brain that’s affected, and we were majorly concerned about him undergoing the surgery and the recovery after. And as with mine, he is doing better, and is also now okay.

Thank you Lord.

Tuan Tuan Chinese Brasserie

In the Philippines, Christmas season, including the spillover days after New Year, is all about food. If I had been a diet fanatic or health buff, I would have committed suicide. lol. Kidding aside, since it is a time for various family gatherings and celebrations left and right (yeah because we have branches on all sides of the family, circle of friends, colleagues, etc.).

Tuan Tuan Chinese Brasserie is one of the restaurants we binged on this holiday. And we sort of celebrated in advance Ma and Dad’s 45th anniversary. I would say that the Chinese Hongkong style comfort food they is…comforting. Hehe. I had noodles of course. Noodles make the world go round for me.

Cantonese Seafood Pan Fried Noodles
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Laksa
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Baked almond fish fillet with pesto sauce
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Chao Chou Style Dried Fish and Minced Pork Soup
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