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!

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.