Okay, so this Christmas season, I am still all about making Ate happy. Despite my misgivings, and following our not so good experience at this cafe, I brought the whole family to another concept cafe. This time, it’s cats, and no sooner than I have set foot in the Miao Cat Cafe’s threshold that I want to back out.
You see, I am definitely not a cat lover. It must be the dog in me. For years and years before I started my own family, I have lived with dogs. At one time, I had nine of them (four or five were puppies). While I respect cat lovers and cats of all shapes and sizes, we definitely could not live under one roof. Maybe it’s because dogs make so much effort to please humans, that’s why humans are naturally drawn to them (at least this human does!). You kinda meet halfway whereas cats need to be wooed or something like that, and I don’t normally do that, even to fellow humans!
And so, only true, unconditional love could lead me to endure half an hour with these felines. A payment of Php300 per adult and Php 150 per child entitles interaction with the resident cats of the cafe for two hours, and includes a drink and pastry. There was a changing area for footwear, and they provide slippers. Unlucky day for me because I was not wearing socks, ugh! Both kids enjoyed that time spent, and time could not pass fast enough for the adults haha. This is a dream place for cat lovers who cannot have cats at home, and the owners are nice enough to share their pets to the paying public. They must have at least fifteen high breed felines there.
We had lunch on Christmas Day at Rainbow Dreams Cafe along the stretch of Maginhawa Street in Quezon, which is famous for being littered with rows of concept restaurants and specialty establishments. I came upon a post a couple of months before, and decided to delight Mischa with its cute concept of unicorns/my little ponies (up to now, it is still not clear what they are. lol).
Also ran into one of our colleagues who was spending Christmas there alone. Poor guy haha (seriously though, he doesn’t mind).
From the get-go, it was clear that the employees there were not happy to be on duty on Christmas day. Their Facebook page said the cafe was open at 12:00 noon, and it was half an hour past when we got there, and they weren’t ready yet. And their patrons could use some smile, but nada. There was also another family there, and just like us waited for them to get their acts together. It really seemed like they were dragging their feet. I would have thought that they would have some Christmas spirits left in them but it looks like they left these at home Oh well.
General review of food–zilch. Presentation was all they could boast of. But they were even serving it sloppy. Some of their plastic glasses had some cracks in them that water was spilling on the table. It took me at least three calls to their server to mop it up to no avail. We just decided to move on to the next empty table so they would deal with the mess later. I didn’t want to make a fuss so as not to spoil the day. So we just lapped up the tasteless dishes and took photos for posterity and that’s it.
Honey garlic wings
Crispy fish fillet
Chicken with sriracha
I was hard pressed not to cry as our whole family watched this beautiful animated film:
For most of us, family really comes first. But there are times when we want something so badly that we are willing to sacrifice them in order to reach our personal desires. And like me, sometimes love of family entails sacrifices so you can provide for them. No matter the circumstances, these challenges only make you love them even more because the sacrifices and the hardships make them even more meaningful after you’ve conquered them. Does this make sense? I know it does.
Oh, and this is Maxine’s first movie experience. She was so excited, and we had to keep her from going around. It’s a good thing we watched the first show and there was not a lot of people yet. Midway through the movie, we had to subdue her and she fell asleep! Haha. But I loved having her around. No more taking turns staying outside the cinema to keep her company.
One quiet afternoon in Naga City, I took my girls out for meryenda. We ventured into a place called Coffee Table in the lifestyle center of the city. It was nice haunt for meetings and quiet conversations. Located in the same building as a hotel, it fairly attracts students, professionals and anyone in the neighborhood looking for a place to unwind.
I was actually gunning for their specialty Bicol Express Pasta, but too bad that it was not available. So I settled for the seafood pasta and the super hot sili affogato. I almost didn’t make it the next day. lol. It was soooo spicy! I must have drunk 2 gallons of water in one sitting.
Matcha green tea
Seafood Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes
Cookies and cream crepe
Mischa loved books when she was little. However, as any normal kid nowadays, she got hooked on gadgets and of course, toys. So we’ve been kind of struggling between lessening screen time and pushing for more book time. And finally, finally, she seems to be getting the habit back, and I’ve found her nose in books more and more frequently now. I’m glad she’s into novels now, and I’m trying to read alongside her and checking out her books. Still want some parental authority and looking at appropriateness of materials hehe.
Keep it up, anak! Hooray for books!
To continue my German saga…after that whirlwind few days in Berlin, off we went to the city of Essen. The main purpose of our trip, which is to participate in a gathering of Filipinos, took place in Essen. We took the train from the central station, and the trip took about five hours. We enjoyed the scenic ride as Germany offers a picturesque countryside, but I have no great pictures to show because it was too fast for my phone to capture. It was not so bad at all that the train had wifi, yay!
We mostly kept to the city center, and then at the venue of the conference, which is uphill and kind of isolated, but very gorgeous. While the city is known as an industrial center of Germany, given the limited places I’ve been to, I could only describe it as quaint and charming. And autumn gave everything a burst of colors that, for somebody who comes from a tropical country, is a sight to behold. Fall is becoming a favorite season of mine.
I got lucky again because, despite the constant stress brought about by my work, I get to see travel and see the world. This time to Germany. More than ten years ago, I was able to set foot in the United Kingdom, but this is my first time to be in mainland Europe. Yay!
The weather was quite good the whole time we were there. It was smack in the middle of fall, and it wasn’t too cold. It rained for a couple of days in Essen but it was okay overall. I loved the crisp air, and savored the feeling of not sweating, which Manila does to me all the time. It was very nice walking the streets of Berlin and Essen mainly because of this. As always, my heart jumped at the new sights and smells of a foreign country. Thank goodness for some free time in between official duties.
Did all the touristy things in the capital, such as visits to the Berlin Wall, Holocaust Memorial, the Bundestag, Tiergarten, Branderburg Gate. Met up with a friend and his family, took the subway, took the bus, had curryworst, name it.