It's been a while since I was able to enjoy the sea, given the pregnancy and all. So I was excited for this Anniversary Trip we planned. At the same time I was torn to leave the baby behind, I will miss the little monkey. But I realized, he won't really miss us at all, an my husband and I needed quality time -- you know with real quality, far from responsibilities... just for 3 days. Miguel is pretty independent and enjoys his time with yaya and his grandparents anyway,

It was the perfect time to go to La Union! This is the season where the sea swells perfectly for surfing. Joseph wanted to check out this nice hotel called Thunderbird Resort in Poro Point, the surfing plan just came after when we were thinking of what else we could do there. And everything just came together perfectly! What made it even more perfect is that we recently crossed paths with an old schoolmate of Joseph who now lives there. So we even had someone to point us to all the right places to maximize our stay. I really think we were able to succeed in that!

So, the 10 Things we did for our Anniversatrip:

1.) Left home at 4:30am - best time to go because we were flagged that there will be traffic because of the ongoing roadwork along Mc Arthur Highway. Right on decision this was! The trip took us 6 hours. With stop overs and getting lost already factored in there.

2.) Got lost. With this we now know how to get there the proper way (via car) next time. For readers here it is for you: take the NLEX to Pampanga- option to use McArthur Highway to Tarlac OR SCTEX (if SCTEX, exit Concepcion) - back to Mc Arthur Gerona- Paniqui - Moncada - Villasis - Urdaneta - Pozzorubio - Rosario - Agoo, Aringay - Caba - Bauang - San Fernando (destination)
If you plan to go there by buses tourism ph says you can ride Partas busesDominion Bus LinesFarinasMaria de LeonPhilippine Rabbit and Viron. I'll let you know if we're successful in doing that next time. :D Cool thing this online bus booking site that is already functioning. If you're anything like me who easily stress when you get to the bus station and find you need to wait for hours for the next available slot, then this is a good idea for you.

3.) Ate Lunch at Halo Halo De Iloko :D. This was a wonderful experience! Because of one, the fact that the place was filled with all these decorative details that's perfect for pic taking tourists like ourselves, and two, of course, great food! We had Vigan Longganisa (which is even better than the ones I've tasted from Vigan), Sinampalukang Manok in heart carved coconut (must try), bagnet, pinakbet and the highlight --> special halo halo with yema milk! 

We also treated by our friend, 2 bottles of their Okoy Suka as pasalubong. :9
4.) Enjoyed the company of a friend. Paula (Joseph's schoolmate) showed us around and ironically instead of the plan to go to the Macho Temple we had a different religious experience as she showed us their family business and the beautiful chapel that they built as thanksgiving for all God has done with their lives. It was really refreshing to hear someone share their faith with so much passion. If it so happens though that you haven't got friends there, look on the brighter side --> you can always make one. :)
5.) Checked in to Thunderbird Resort. It was beautiful there to understate. And the staff were nice and the food was good. It looked exactly the same live as it does in the website. So, no photography "enhancements" there (as some resorts tend do). They provide excellent service too. The beachside, well we never got there really, but I don't think they've quite developed it. The seashore there is really not swimming friendly. You could be content with the pool though, it's "infinity"! You might recognize the place if you care to look beyond Anne Curtis' swimsuit bod in No Other Woman.
6.) Ate a Romantic Dinner at Olives Restaurant. I  don't think there are other fancy places there, so we opted to officially celebrate our Anniversary at the hotel restau. It was pricey, as hotel restaurants go, but the serving was big enough and they have Greek food on the menu, so that was something new. You have the food and the ambiance, might as well use a little imagination and pretend you are in Greece. :D
7.) Went Surfing and Eating in San Juan. We contacted San Juan Surf Resort otherwise known as Billabong Surf School for lessons. It was a 15 min drive to their resort from Poro Point. We took a 1 hour session with instructors for P400/head. We scraped both knees, got slapped (hard) on the face by the South China Sea, bruised around places, swallowed some waves... but it was all worth it for the thrill! I really hope we could do it again next time. The one hour was almost bitin, but I already felt slightly sea sick (darn this sensitivity to motion sickness) while waiting for my wave so I had to give it a rest. Just when I was finally getting the surfer stance going. :P  
We were surfing there, might as well have lunch at the same place. Their platter meal was a surprise. It took a long time for them to prepare, but it was worth it! We had grilled tuna, ensalada and adobong baboy... on a bilao platter!
8.) Dinner at Midway Grill.  The restaurant serves a mix of American, Filipino and some other Asian dishes. Big serving, affordable price and yummmy! I had their baby back ribs and it was meaty and tender. <3
9.) Bought dried fish along Rosario as pasalubong. Try not to get stressed when you get harassed by the dozen or so Ale(s) who all want to sell you their daing. We particularly bought the "espada" which are the 10-12inch long dried fish. I wish we could have bought more, because I really enjoyed them with the Okoy suka. :)
10.) Coffee At Mc Cafe Rosales. We were only really able to appreciate Mc Cafe here. We never really had coffee from this place in Manila because of easier access to Starbucks and the like. But they serve surprisingly good cappuccino and mocha frap. It's a good place to stop over should you feel your lids slipping down south and you are in dire need for some caffeine (100 or so, kms more to go, ya know!) . Next good coffee place would be at Tarlac already, so if you really must stop, consider some twister fries at this place.
Other chow places which were originally on the itinerary which I'll just reserve for next time (no time, sadly)--> Mommy Lu's (near Midway Grill), and  Isdaan in Gerona Tarlac. 

I must admit I actually over ate on this trip and upset my stomach. But nothing could damper your fun if you really want to have it. Yes, I actually have a philosophy that you can plan as much as you want about your trip, but if the plan doesn't happen you leave it be and choose to enjoy whatever it is you have at the moment. Because we are here to enjoy life and not to be a critic of it, judging whether this one is good or bad... so to end this post I'll just leave you  with this quote:

                "Fun? Fun is what you bring with you!" -D. Barrymore as Bev in Riding in Cars with Boys

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