Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Tagaytay Tayo!

While driving to the office one morning, a thought popped in my mind.

"Why don't me and my girls (my wife Lilia and our daughter Hannah Louisse) escape our daily routine and go on a weekend escape somewhere."

The thought of spending the weekend in Caylabne, Baguio, Tagaytay, Batangas or even Makati suddenly came to view and images of spending the weekend on a different place without thinking of work made me drool while driving. I immediately texted my wife and in a few minutes we decided to stay in Tagaytay the coming weekend. Its not that far but we have not really explored it before. This will be part 1 of our Tagaytay exploration.

We packed our stuffs in a medium sized luggage and headed to Tagaytay on September 3, 2006. We reached Silang at 10:30AM and stopped by Gourmet’s Café for a break. The restaurant looked like an old house and the compound has a farm in its backyard where the greens in the salad bar comes from. In other words, they grow what they serve. Educational tour on the farm is accepted. There is also a shop along Aguinaldo Highway that sells their fresh produce, coffee beans and salad dressings.

The Gourmet BLT (157 PhP) is yummy. The bacon is crunchy and the salad fresh and crisp. My wife like my ice coffee with banana float better than the ice coffee she ordered (66 PhP each). We ordered mango shake for Hannah (51 PhP).
We had lunch in Yellow Cab Tagaytay - less than an hour after leaving Gourmet’s Café.
A box of Charlie Chan and a 10 inch meat lover’s pizza.
At 1:30PM we headed for Tagaytay Vista Hotel to check in. We want to see the change of Taal Vista for ourselves. Back when my wife and I were single, this place was called Taal Vista Lodge. The view deck to Taal Volcano was open to the public. But now it is strictly for hotel/restaurant guests or gate crashers willing to pay 100 pesos parking. In 2004 Fuego Hotels & Properties Management Corporation completed the face lift and transformed Taal Vista Lodge to Taal Vista Hotel. It’s a big change from the Taal Vista we knew before me and my wife married in 2001. Visit the web site of Tall Vista Hotel to see how it looks like now.

A ridge room costs more than 6,500 pesos per night so we opted for a Deluxe room worth 5,200 pesos with complementary buffet breakfast for 2. Kids below 5 years ald can come along without extra charge. We have two twin-sized beds and a sofa bed in our room. We rearranged the room and converted the three beds into one super duper king size bed hehe :) Hotel policy doesn’t allow this so we faithfully returned the original room’s arrangement before we checked out the next day.

We had dinner in Sanctuario, Tagaytay Rotonda. It is a three storey narrow restaurant. You should get a table at the basement where you will be transported to another place especially for night dining. If you have little kids, try not to go to the 2nd floor because the narrow and steep spiral staircase is scary and unsafe for kids.
This is how one end of the basement looks like.
We selected the other end of the basement with a window overlooking Taal volcano and near a piano where Hannah played her concerto. Thank goodness we were the only one in the basement that time. The room is dim, lit only by mood lights, we sat on cozy cushions, the floor covered with banig and walls decorated with lots of old looking wooden decors.
We had their famous raisin bread (30 pesos) that is crunchy on the outside and soft and moist on the inside. The bangus carbonara (180 pesos) is ok although I can’t taste the bangus on it. I should have ordered the pasta with tuyo (160 pesos). Notice that the table mat is not made of cloth to complement the theme.

I forgot what this is called but the longganisa and other fillings inside are good.

After dinner, we watched the lady dance performances wearing short shorts, gowns and tuxedo with cane in the lobby cafe of Taal Vista Hotel then called it a day.
I woke up early the next day to take early morning shots of Taal lake and take 360 degree panorama photos for later conversion to virtual reality QuickTime files similar to the virtual tours in Microsoft Encarta. This feature (stitch assist and 360 degrees panorama) is a must if you are to buy a digital camera.
We had a long and relaxing buffet breakfast. I like their fried tawilis (one of the world's rarest fish found only in Taal Lake) and hot chocolate where you can see bits of shredded chocolates floating in the pot. I’d come back for their buffet breakfast on our next escape to Tagaytay (or maybe try Breakfast @ Antonio’s).
We checked out at 12:00 noon then went to Picnic Groove to have lunch and spend the afternoon there. We were supposed to fly the kite we brought but the wind is not strong enough to carry our kite up. I remembered that Hannah had a great time when we first flew the kite last year.

On our way home, still inspired by our escape and Hannah’s repeated complaints that she doesn’t want to go home, we ended up in Our Home to buy two lamp shades and a full set of curtains and rods. The total cost is like staying in Tall Vista for another night. Anyway, we get to keep the ambiance at home every night - for free.

1 comment:

Sexy Nomad said...

Hi Hermie! It's so much fun reading this entry! It feels like we went there together! Hahaha! We've been to all those places before. Next time, try visiting Palace in the Sky for its view and tiangge, swim in the taal Lake and feel like you're submerged in the freaky waters in the movie Lord of the Rings(freaky...this is coz, instead of sand, there's a thick grass of moss underwater), check-in at Evercrest Golf Resort if u play the sport, they have a sister resort nearby which name I forgot. It has huge ponds, big swimming pool and pretty big and challenging playground for kids. Also, visit the Friendship Garden beside this cool miraculous church and try the expensive dishes at Ming's garden next time. As for us, we might go back for Nurture Spa. We've been there year 2004 and it was the first time I experienced having a massage without negative after effects like tired joints and muscles. it was really relaxing plus the package of around P1000+ already includes a set meal.:-)