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The Tagaytay Threesome: Joaquin's First Road Trip

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Last Saturday, we took Joaquin to his first out-of-Manila trip and drove up to Tagaytay. It was a fairly smooth drive, no traffic jams, which was unexpected for a weekend. I had booked our lodging a few days before and I was very satisfied with our home for the weekend. I'll tell you all about our accommodation in a while. We had no itinerary whatsoever, so it was a pretty basic Tagaytay trip - lunch at Dencio's for dining with a view, a visit to People's Park, and bulalo dinner. Cliche, I know.






Day 1

hotel facade - view from the parking area
We left Manila at about 10am and arrived at our hotel at 1pm. Hotel Kimberly was just a few kilometers away from the main restos, but even though we weren't in the immediate vicinity of the city happenings, I particularly liked that the surroundings were quiet. The 4-story building can be seen almost as soon as you turn at Amadeo Rd. because it's surrounded by residential subdivisions. Every hotel personnel, from the guard at the main parking area up to the front desk attendants, were very polite & accommodating - something I don't see too often in hotels below the 5-star calibre. The place still looked new, & it was only when I was writing my Tripadvisor review that I learned they've actually been open since 2008. I don't have a particular preference for 5-star hotels, but I am quite particular about hygiene - no creepy crawlies, flies or mosquitoes, and a very clean bathroom is a must. Because we had a 4-month old baby, I appreciated that our room was spic & span. Beddings were well made & no weird stains, no sticky floors, and everything about the bathroom was A++. It didn't hurt that our standard room had a balcony, too, with a view of the pool & garden area, plus really adequate air conditioning & ventilation. Super!
panoramic view of the superior room (w/ father & son nonchalantly lounging. LOL)
panoramic view of the bathroom

view from our balcony
As soon as lunch was done & we had our room settled, we headed out to visit People's Park. It had been as I remembered it during my last visit in 2006 - cold, foggy & damp. It had just finished drizzling when we arrived and the fog had almost caused zero visibility on our way. I was still a bit disappointed though, because the place was still poorly kept. Considering that a lot of visitors come by, it would be a good opportunity to improve the place. Nothing fancy needed, but they could start by fixing the signage & putting more trash bins to help maintain the cleanliness. The place was filled with lots of tourists and the supposed view was blocked by thick fog, so we didn't stay too long & drove back for coffee and a quick rest before dinner.
fog engulfing everything


Joaquin & Flynn at the top of
People's Park - minus the view
Joaquin took a nap & we went to chow down the famed bulalo at Leslie's. It was super sulit for me because P300+ gets you a big bowl of steamy, tasty, beefy goodness that can feed around 3 people. Not bad at all. I've been getting a lot of recommendations through the years & it's only now that I got to try it out for myself. It's the perfect dining experience especially if you're in a big group, like the entire family or your whole barkada, as the establishment has lots of space & seating, a mellow ambience with a live local band that plays good acoustic renditions per request, and you can even score a view of Taal if you come in during daytime. By the time bedtime rolled in after supper, were all pooped.
dining with a view of Taal

exhausted li'l chubster at the end of the day

Day 2

Early to bed, early to rise. We were up by 8ish am to grab our free breakfast buffet, which comprised of common Pinoy staples like egg, tocino, garlic rice, & daing na bangus. They also had the usual bread & spreads, bacon, ham & mixed fruits. I wasn't able to take pics anymore since I got preoccupied with gobbling down grub. Haha! We checked out early on account of the mister getting bored. To end the trip, we just had to drop by Rowena's for pasalubongs.
shopping for buko pie, tarts, ube jam, etc. :)

On a final note, it was super convenient, too, that I didn't experience any hassles packing Joaquin's stuff because there were no need for bottles, sterilizers, or containers of infant formula. Hooray to breastfeeding! First road trip: success! More to come!

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