Summer Getaway 2016

Lent was more a month ago but I haven’t posted anything of our vacation due to being swamped at work (it’s kind of a happy busy). Anyway, we still went to the same resort we went to last year, but new memories were created! Maxine is bigger now and able to really enjoy her surroundings more.

But we vow to come back again because one, service is kinda getting slow; two, facilities are getting old and not improved, and three, there are only two options for dining: Max’s the lone concessionaire, or the not-so-sulit barbecue buffet. You probably wouldn’t mind if you are prepared to grow wings because of having fried chicken over a 3-day vacation. You have to go out of the resort and into town if you want to keep your food sanity.

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We also met up with my aunt’s family whose middle daughter, my cousin, and her family, including her American husband, were here on vacation.

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Lenten beach trip

As seen in my previous couple of posts, our family went on a summer getaway in Nasugbu, Batangas. The before and after (read: packing and unpacking) of the trip was tiring, but we had much fun so it was well worth it. This was also Maxine’s first outing, and while she would not remember any of it, I would be glad to show her photos, tell her stories, and let her read this blog in the future.

We stayed at Canyon Cove Hotel and Spa in the beach coast of Batangas. And I gotta tell you that the beach here is way better than those on other sides of Batangas, such as Laiya. What makes for a great beach? Fine, white sand and clear waters – Canyon Cove has it all. Unlike in Laiya where the sand is coarser and strewn with so much pebbles and small rocks, and the water is a little muddy.

The hotel itself is grand (with a price tag, too). We got discounts courtesy of an aunt but our stay was worth every centavo. It was a little uncomfortable at first upon our arrival for it was a holiday and I guess there were just so many guests checking in. It took us a while to get our rooms and we were made to wait in the lobby for a while. I wished they had welcome drinks so we can stave off our thirst whilst waiting. But all’s well that ends well.

I made Mischa wait for a bit after we freshened up a bit in our room. She was just darn excited to jump into the water the minute she saw the beach area and pool. But the hot was striking hard at 4:00 in the afternoon and I didn’t want her to get burned. But after that, we let her play to her heart’s content for the next two days. I was a little surprised with her, though, that she was afraid of going to the deep end of the water when she had swimming lessons last year. I think she must continue with those.

We divided our time between the large swimming pool and the beach for the next two days. The husband and I actually preferred to stay on the beach because the water was cleaner but the kid wanted to be in the pool all the time so we settled on a compromise.

We also had our meals in the hotel’s lone restaurant, which was served by the famous Max’s Restaurant. I hope they have more concessionaires in the future so guests could have more choices. They also have a bar, but with two kids in tow, we didn’t have the luxury, and personally, the inclination to visit and have drinks. Me, I was just too conked out at the end of the day.

The rooms were clean and huge. The one we stayed in had two double-sized beds and a daybed on the side. It was just perfect for our family including my parents who roomed in with us since the hotel had limited available rooms. The husband and I slept alternately with each kid. Mischa had a minor issue when I slept with her sister on the second night. At almost 6, she still prefers Mommy beside her. And I gently explained to her, and was firm (even though it broke my heart that she cried over it) that Maxine needs Mommy, too.

We went with my brother, my aunt’s family and some friends, and the whole trip was a lot fun. If only money was not issue, I would have always planned for family outings and bonding like these.

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Family fun day

As part of Mischa’s school’s Foundation Week, a Family Fun Day was held. Parents and the whole family were invited to join games and other fun activities. The husband and I again took the time off to be with our eldest, and we bought the bunso again in tow.

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We were part of the Yellow Tamaraws team. Mommies joined in the chanting of the cheer, while the daddies performed the “stunts”. lol. The yellow team won first place for this, yay!

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There were several games for the various year levels (Nursery, Kinder, etc.), and Mischa joined some of them.

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Daddy did, too.

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The day was fun. I am glad they have these activities where parents can interact with their kids and their classmates, and the school community. I am surely going to miss our AJV family since this will be Mischa’s last year with them.

Belated greetings from these Minnies

These cutie patooties are sending belated greetings of peace and joy as we welcomed the new year!

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They were lucky to spend that turn of the year with both sides of their families–the best of both worlds. New Year’s Eve dinner was with Ninong Mico, Mama and Lolo, while a rainy lunch was spent with Mama Old, Tita Vivien, and a handful of cousins from daddy’s side.

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Our families are awesome!

Sofia Meet and Greet

Going to the mall last Sunday was a bit of a bad idea considering it was Mother’s Day. It was jampacked! We were almost rubbing elbows and other body parts with complete strangers, and the summer heat did not help at all. The airconditioners inside the mall were almost rendered useless. We could have gone to somewhere quieter or where there were not a lot of people.

Anyway, notwithstanding the crowd, we were still happy to be celebrating the day for moms, my own mama’s birthday and my birthday! While my 35 years of existence has not been a smooth ride, I thank the Lord for the countless blessings He has given me. I have more than other people could only wish for. I am where I am supposed to be. I pray that He just blesses me with good health and a good mind to provide for my family.

This is what my Mischa gave me:

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Met up with my dear brother for lunch.

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The highlight of the day was the Sofia the First Meet and Greet. Although technically, Mischa was not able to actually meet and greet Sofia because of the loooooong lines much to her dismay, she had fun at the side activities. We had to buy Php1000 worth of Sofia merchandise at Toy Kingdom to be able to get access. I’m glad she had fun at the different booths for dressing up like Princess Sofia, make-up, coloring station and bead-making.

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Personally, I like the Sofia series on Disney Junior. She’s a really nice village girl who was suddenly thrown into the limelight and into a princess throne following the marriage of her commoner mother to the king of Enchancia. She has remained humble and friendly despite her newfound stature. She’s a good model for girls like Mischa as she stays simple and has not forgotten her beginnings in life.

Out of town anniversary

Hooray for another family milestone! We’re officially six years and counting, five of them official. And to celebrate, we decided to go out of town this time. Since we do not have a big budget to consume, the logical choice is Tagaytay City because it is just a little more than an hour’s drive from our place. Also, it gives you a sense of being away “from it all” because it has a totally relaxed, cool vibe as opposed to Manila. It has a year-round cool climate making it the quick getaway place, especially for those who do not have a lot of time to spare but want to escape the city.

We got ourselves a room at the Taal Vista Hotel, one of the oldest and classiest hotels in the city. There are a lot of new boutique hotels that have sprouted in the famous hangout in the last few years. They all seem inviting but I still found it best to have full service that hotels offer. Our room was a bit old but furnishings are still okay. Baby immediately found her place in the king-sized bed.

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Since we just drove around lunchtime in time for check in at 2:00 p.m., we had lunch first at Leslie’s at the Sky Ranch. By the way, we just walked from the hotel as the complex was just next door. We feasted on inihaw na tawilis, hubby’s favorite, and bulalo.

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Sky Ranch is another relatively new project of SM holdings. The theme park is quite new, and is home to the tallest ferris wheel in the Philippines. the Sky Eye. It has a variety of rides for kids and adults alike, a sizable area for horseback riding, restaurants, and other food stalls.

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The little has been insisting to ride a real horse even before we left the house. So happy she got her wish.

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And played and rode to her heart’s desires.

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Here she is while waiting for me to get dinner, which we had at our room. By the way, the Kenny Rogers restaurant there sucks big time. Took us more than thirty minutes to get our food.

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Winding down after an afternoon of fun.

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The hotel also boasts a sumptuous breakfast buffet ranging from healthy choices to tasty but cholesterol-full food. Guess who chose which. harhar.

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Mama and Lolo also followed and spent some time with us. We all wanted to go to church together but it was early for the three of us (hubby, Mischa and I) so we settled for mass held in the hotel premises (good thing they have these!).

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She happily ran around the wide expanse of grass. A good respite from always sitting around the house or in school. The only thing she wasn’t able to do was swim in the hotel pool. Unfortunately, it was brrrr-ery cold during our stay. We promised her we’ll come back a second time.

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After checking out, we drove a little further still to Sonya’s Garden in Alfonso for lunch. Will tell you more about it in my next post.

I wish we could always do this, steal time and hide from the world. So good to be with just family and nature. Thank you Lord God for giving us another year together, and looking forward to the next big things You will give our way.

Backyard swimming

Over the holiday, we spent an overnighter at Ninong Mico’s house. Mischa has been bugging me every hour, every day that we go to his place. She even talked to him on the phone, which is something she doesn’t normally do, just to tell him that she’s coming over.

And the doting uncle didn’t disappoint. He borrowed a huge inflatable pool for her to enjoy. Thank goodness for the large sprawl of his “estate”.

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Summer is definitely here! We had a hard time trying to get home, let alone out of the pool. I just promised another swimming activity as soon as she is done with summer school. Maybe we can hit the beach (I haven’t been to a beach in ages!!). I also hope Mico seriously consider putting in a real pool in that backyard of his.