Mayette and her family rented a 5-bedroom country house in Tagaytay for a month this holiday season.
Last Saturday, she asked me if I was well enough to join her and Jon, her husband, for the weekend. I told her I was on my last antibiotics and started packing after lunch.
The traffic was soooo bad I "landed" in Tagaytay at 7 p.m. We went to Summit Ridge Robinson's Supermarket and bought some supplies and snacks. Too tired to cook anything, we just fried Majestic ham slices with sugar. I was so amazed Mayette can cook rice without the aid of a rice cooker! We also had green mangoes and bagoong from Bataan.
The weather was perfectly cool! We were just lounging around.... eating snacks.... Pastillas de Leche and the cheese balls we bought in the supermarket.
The balls were not crunchy anymore, so we popped them inside the toaster oven!
Warm.... Crunchy.... Cheese balls!
Showertime..... I remembered the first thing I packed was the microfiber towel. I brought my knapsack inside the bathroom. I took a very quick "bath" because it was so chilly, the BIG window was open. I was about to dry myself.... shivering... when I started looking for my towel!
I knew it was the first thing I took out of my knapsack but I could not find it! Good thing I had a face towel, so I used it to dry my whole body! When I was putting back my things inside my knapsack, I saw the towel!!! GRRRRR!!!!
Sleeping time .... I told Mayette that I would sleep with them because I was afraid. She said, it was ok and that we would just drag a bed into their room. But I thought to myself.... Hey! I am a grown 43 year old woman, I should not be afraid to sleep all by myself.
So..... I decided to be brave! I brought an electric fan inside the room so there would be noise. It was really chilly, a fan was not needed but I wanted one in the room for the sound.
Then..... I brought out my Kantinko Stick! I do not leave home without it.
I applied on my temples and under the nose. I slept with the blanket over my head. I told myself that the next time I would "emerge" from the blanket would be in the morning when I wake up. So far ... so good! But then I had to use the bathroom at 5:00 a.m.! ARGGGHHH!!!!
I opened the light and just looked at the floor all the way to the bathroom, did my business very fast and went back to bed. It was really very cold, the fog was coming inside the room... I had to switch off the fan.
I re-applied Kantinko and went under the blanket again.
When I woke up, I could hear voices coming from the living room. Mon arrived at 7:30 in the morning!
I got up and helped them cook breakfast in the kitchen.
We toasted assorted bread....
Mon cooked omelette with onions, tomatoes and jalapeno peppers! Yum!
Mayette fried the danggit....
and ..... Tinapa from Bataan.
She said to just fry the fish quickly or else it will become tough and leathery.
She also made hot chocolate made with ground peanuts, another bounty from Bataan.
I sauteed the Delimondo Chili and Garlic Corned Beef I bought in the supermarket.
Mayette and Mon also taught me how to cook Garlic Fried Rice.
They said, I should cook it until the rice turns light brown because of the toasted garlic.
We ate our breakfast at the enclosed verandah....
Soooooo full from our meal .... we took a short nap after clearing the table and washing the dishes.
I forgot I was with Mr. and Mrs. AXN Adventure! They said, we would go for a short hike to show us a very nice property with a wonderful view. They are thinking of buying it in the near future.
A short hike for Lia means .... going somewhere nearby... like me walking to Rockwell only.
Have I mentioned already I was with Mr. and Mrs. Adventure?
Hahaha! I was not prepared for their kind of hike!
I was practically in my "nightgown"! Well.... it is a dress I would normally slip on when I have to rush to Rustan's Rockwell to buy "suka". I used it as a sleep and lounge wear in Tagaytay. Now, I have to call it my "hiking" dress.
And my footwear????? I was just using my pair of Bandals!!!! Good thing, they are one of the best flipflops in the market.
Hiking time ... I thought we would just go for a kilometer or two .... Not around a mountain!!!!
But oh.my...... The view while we were hiking was so beautiful!!!!
We heard the Selecta ice cream vendor's music. Seemed like it was coming from the other side of the mountain. We were all screaming, "Ice Scream!!!" "Ice Scream!!!".... hoping the vendor would hear us.
He did! Yay!
I split an orange-flavored twin pop with Mayette.
"Are we there yet?"
"Just one more bend and we will reach our destination.".... said Jon.
It turned out, there were lots and lots of bends. We even found a resting shed!
An unfinished chapel, maybe?
More beautiful scenery along the way.... and then....
Whew! After 2 hours of hiking.....
The scenery looked like we were not in the Philippines.
It is actually the view of Tagaytay Highlands.
We deserved a cool drink and some snacks after our long "trek". Jon bought several bottles of Pop Cola and Boy Bawang from the nearby "sari-sari" store.
We took a tricycle going up the main road. The driver charged us double!!!! He said the load was too heavy! Hahahaha! Actually .... there was a point that I thought his tricycle would break down because of our weight!
Everybody took a shower when we got back to the house but not I!
Hahaha! I just used the face towel and the bathroom sink. The water was too cold for me and if I used the water heater, it would have taken forever.
We went to Bawai's for dinner.
It is a Vietnamese restaurant .... you have to know where to look because the location is not on the main road.
They only open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Better make reservations because it is just a small place.
The wife of the owner who is a Vietnamese took up cooking lessons in Vietnam.
Bawai means Grandmother in English.
Bawai's Bestsellers according to Virgilio, the owner....
Bawai's House Salad (Fresh Coconut Sprout with Herbs, Glazed Pork & Steamed Shrimps)
Goi Rau Muong (Water Spinach, Onions & Seared Beef with house dressing)
Goi Cuon ( Glazed Pork & Shrimp With Vegetable Fresh Roll)
Chao Tom (Pounded Shrimps on Sugarcane Skewers)
Nem Nuong (Grilled Pork Sausage With Pickled Vegetables)
Com Suon Cha (Grilled Liempo with Mushroom Egg Pie, Greens & Steamed Rice)
Tom Rang Me (Spicy Tamarind Prawns on chives with Steamed Rice)
Ca Nuong Xa Ot (Grilled Lemongrass glazed Dory Fillet with julienned Mangoes, Cold Salad & Steamed Rice)
Bun Bo Hue (Spicy Beef & Deboned Pork Knuckle Soup)
Pho Bo (Traditional Beef Noodle Soup)
We also ordered a couple of items not on the bestseller's list:
Bo Kho (12 Spice, Slow cooked Beef Stew with Carrots & Steamed Rice)
Ban Da Lon (Pandan & Yellow Mung Bean Rice Cake)
I loved our dinner!
I never thought I would like Vietnamese food. Before my trip to Puerto Princesa last September, I would always tell people that Vietnamese cuisine was my least favorite. But not anymore!!!! I love Vietnamese food! As a matter of fact, I would like to start experimenting with different recipes soon.
I really had a nice weekend in Tagaytay. Even though I could hardly wake up this morning because of all my stiff joints. I lead a sedentary lifestyle... then all of a sudden I went up and down the mountain!
But ... it was worth it!
Thank you, Mayette and Jon!
As always .... Another memorable experience with you guys!