Our Most Unique Vacation Ever (Day 1)

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

We usually plan for vacation, listing down things to do, places to visit and people to see.  But this particular vacation was really for us to relax.  It's not like it's our first time to visit the Philippines so minimal research and planning was required.  So our plan was basically to visit family and friends, spend a few days out of town, and taste the foods we absolutely missed.

We thought of trying to combine all into one plan. So we decided on spending a few days in Tagaytay, south of Manila with our relatives and join us in eating popular Pinoy dishes.  And so my dad, mother-in-law and cousin joined us in a weekend leisure drive to the chilly city.

Our first stop in Tagaytay was Gerry's Grill.  We wanted to order everything in the menu.  Good thing there's six of us so we could easily order different platters of food and taste a little bit of everything, a combination of seafood and grilled meat.  Too bad we didn't have our checklist of Pinoy foods to eat.  That would've made ordering easier.

Gerry's Grill had a breathtaking view of Taal Lake.  A break from hot weather (and some traffic since it was a weekend) was also very welcome.
This is my idea of relaxing.
Gerry's Grill view while you eat

While we were there though, there was a rescue team nearby.  We found out that someone had gone over the steep cliff and has been down there for hours.  There were about 15 men pulling a rope little by little in efforts to rescue the victim.

My dad, being the curious one, tried to come closer to the scene to find out what's going on.  I escorted my dad back to the parking lot as we were on to our next stop.  Little did I know that I would have a close encounter with these rescue people again in a few days (check my succeeding blog posts to find out how.)

We finally got to our destination: Casa Maria Y Martha.  It's one of the lesser known bed and breakfast accommodations in Tagaytay City, but surprisingly at the heart of many landmarks including Our Lady of Lourdes Church and Ayala Malls Serin which are both conveniently located across the street.  Casa Maria Y Martha, recommended to us by a family friend, was a homey place.  Past reception, the ground floor looked more like a living room than a hotel lobby, which is a good thing.  This also led to their dining area which had a serene view of the lake.
the Taal lake view from Casa Maria Y Martha

We had a few hours to relax before attending mass just across the street.  Since we attended sunset mass, you could feel the weather starting to feel chilly.  It was nice to attend mass in a non-airconditioned church and yet feel as if it was.
Our Lady of Lourdes Church
After mass, we just crossed the street to the mall where our family friends Tita Rose and Tito Henry joined us for dinner.  It wasn't your typical Pinoy food but still, we enjoyed the pasta and pizza from Carlos Pizza which I learned has been in Tagaytay for over a decade.  How I didn't know about this is beyond me but I'm glad I did get to try their Italian cuisine. I highly recommend it.
dinner with family and family friends.  Fruitcake not in the pic yet.

We brought a special treat too for everyone.  Aileen made a special fruitcake and it traveled more than 2,000 kilometers to it's destination, in all our stomachs in the form of dessert.  Tito Henry is a chef and Aileen was so happy that he approved immediately after taking his first bite.  Thanks to his sweet tooth and our special surprise, it made all the effort to prepare and bring this fruitcake to them worth it.

Around this time, the mountain weather was very apparent and also signalling us to head back to our hotel and call it a day.  Good food, quality time with family and a blessed day was a perfect way to end our official first day on vacation.

Next up. Day 2 and how I planned what to do for the day in less than 10 minutes.

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