Exploring the universe: Staying in Chitose, Japan 2019

If not for the kind elderly man my dad was able to talk to in the bus, we probably would have been very lost in Chitose haha. From the airport, we rode a bus but had a challenging time communicating with the bus driver even if my dad had some Japanese lessons. We almost went down several stops before our real stop if not for the kind lolo stopping us each time, with our luggage and all lol.

When we reached the place, we had help from kind strangers because we couldn’t figure out how to open the locker containing the keys to the unit…or the keys to the entrance doors hahaha. We did enjoy exploring the area for the nearest convenience store though!

Tofu steak, yummy pork chop, lemon Sprite-like drink, potato soup, kelp onigiri and inari sushi. All for me LOL because I was starving:

p.s. I ate lots of ice cream afterwards too. No regrets!

Unattractive but yummy cheese curry cup noodle, which I deeply miss, for my midnight snack:

I acclimatise to a place by eating a ton of local ice cream HAHA. The frozen delight memories serve as my souvenirs and as expected, I was spoiled for choice in the dairy capital of Japan lol (don’t quote me on that, I have concluded that on my own, but my research tells me that the best milk is from Hokkaido because the nature-y setting makes the cows very zen-like and chill):

The best melon ice cream in the world for me:

The sky was dreary when we arrived but this sight made me happy:

True story: We had to buy water so my dad got the hugest bottle in the store. I was parched so I refilled my water bottle and took the hugest gulp and swallowed. And it burned my throat because guess what…

It wasn’t water at all.

Hand for scale. My Japanese-reading friends told me it was shochu, which is a Japanese distilled beverage with less than 45% (!!!) alcohol. I don’t drink nowadays so this was a complete shock to my innards and my state of mind hahaha.

So you can take it from me. The above is NOT water. My dad kept on lookong for random strangers he could donate it to. Because, sayang lol

I had to stop and smell the flowers because: lavender growing near the pavement deserves to be appreciated…

…and also, I wanted to blow on the random dandelions because I never see them here in Manila haha:

The deserted playground was a bit spooky though:

There weren’t a lot of people or cars outside when we were there and we heard loud booming sounds that was too industrial to be thunder but too loud to be machines (which crept us out). Also, it looked like this at night when the bus drops you off yiii:

But! It looked great and not scary at all during the morning:

Inside the compound:

Exploring the universe: Lime and Basil resto, Cavite

I think this might be my fave thai resto locally– Lime and Basil Thai restaurant in Alfonso, Cavite has yummy dishes at reasonable prices. Thankful we got to try it as a family.

I’ll leave the detailed foodie blog posts to the bloggers haha but here are my faves and other lovely things that caught my eye in the place:

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Loved this appetizer! Gourmet kwek kwek haha. Wish we could order this, would probably have eaten ten or fifty.

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Catfish rice and grilled pork

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Pad thai

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Sticky rice with mangoes. So pretty!

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Papaya salad. Loving all the edible flowers used as garnish! I noticed that they used various stoneware plates mixed with white ones which added a nice homey/rustic/swanky touch to the dishes.

The place was equally gorgeous:

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On our way home it poured and when the rain stopped we were treated to majestic skyscapes. I snapped these pics on the road:

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P.s. we munched on yummy kutsipan (pandan kutsinta) on the way home–you can buy this from bahay pastulan:

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P.s.s. It’s my first time to try a baked alaska! We ate this in Krazy garlik since it was my dad’s wish for father’s day:

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I LOVE IT.

Exploring the universe: Taal, Batangas

For holy week, my family and I visited Taal, Batangas. It reminds me of Vigan because of the old houses. Look at the beautiful door knockers:

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We ate at cafe G, walking distance from Taal Basilica (we were craving halo-halo) which had very beautiful interiors. Ambience: A++! I love the theme of the resto, which was love. πŸ™‚

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The service was warm and friendly, and prices are reasonable, but unfortunately, the food left a lot to be desired. We enjoyed the tuna salad and broccoli and cheese soup (which arrived after all the main dishes were finished). My pasta order arrived after everyone was already finished eating, (they apologized since they ran out of pasta but I wish they mentioned it earlier so I could have simply changed my order, no big deal) and my chicken and mushroom alfredo did not have any mushrooms at all. 😦 It tasted like canned cream of mushroom soup but I was expecting even some mushroom bits. The canned cream of mushroom soup base also made it taste too salty, sadly. I could not finish my order because of it. My mom’s order was rosemary chicken which was too dry to be eaten and when she complained to the server they served her a better-cooked chicken, which was really nice of them. Props to them for that.
The halo-halo looked gorgeous:

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It tasted just okay, a bit too sweet for my taste. It had nata de coco, macapuno, red kaong, ube halaya, whipped cream and a cherry and a thin crispy waffle on top. The other tables seemed to enjoy their cold drinks which was perfect for the hot summer weather. I really hope they improve on these shortcomings and I’m willing to give them another chance, maybe for merienda. πŸ™‚ 

I love the mural outside Tampuhan Cafe. We weren’t able to eat there but hopefully next time. πŸ™‚

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Bucket list item: Try Kracie popin cookin!

I first saw this eons ago and watched online vids obsessively, along with vids of people playing with re-ment.

I saw online sellers but they were beyond my budget, so I made a mental note to treat myself to a box or two on my birthday.

When I arrived at the office the other day, I almost cried in shock and delight when I saw several boxes of Kracie Popin Cookin waiting for me!!!! OMGGG

An officefriend from Japan apparently read my mind. Thank you! Bestest day!

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My morning routine

Good morning! I’m a morning person–I’m the first to wake up (even when there’s no work!), I feel more energetic during the day, I worship the sun, and I enjoy how the days are longer recently here, more daytime please!

I love reading about the morning routine of people and thought I’d share mine.

When I wake up, I check my instagram feed for a quick dose of good vibes. I understand that the photos are curated to give the impression of being the best, showing the highlights of that day and I enjoy it so. The beautiful photos set the tone for my day, and it’s a huge source of inspiration.

While I’m boiling water, I water my babies. Look at how big they are now! I’m a proud momma.

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I do some quick yoga on my mat, and then proceed to eat my breakfast there, sitting on the floor:

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We have a legit dining set now but I still prefer eating here, heh.

My usual breakfast is tea with oatmeal. Sometimes I add honey to it or peanut butter, sometimes fruit when I have some. Mangoes are perfect for oatmeal!

When I want a power breakfast, I cook two eggs, sunny side up, with two pieces of whole wheat toast and jam.

On my way to work, I buy a glass of taho and fresh buko juice so I can have it with my baon bread with pbjam because I love having more than one breakfast. Like a true hobbit.

A different kind of fete

Nayna and I have been friends for around ten years already! I was lucky enough to be invited for a feedathon the other day to celebrate her upcoming birthday. Happy birthday Nayna! πŸ™‚

Words aren’t enough to describe how delicious everything was! I was too excitable and failed to take decent photos of the yummy spread, but take my word for it: everything was YUM (That was all my mind processed once I started stuffing my face with noms.)

There was frittata, zucchini with mushrooms, wine, rice cooker pancake with lemon curd, s’mores in an iron skillet, wine, sausages, caramel and raspberry ice cream, and have I mentioned wine?

This photo does not do it justice, but pics or it didn’t happen!

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For our third breakfast we had bacon slab with poached eggs atop alfalfa sprouts, toasted honey with toasted cheese and more wine:

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I was supposed to go to the fete by my lonesome for Kalayo and Joey Ayala but I was so happy here that I decided not to. When I did reach home after the feastathon, I opened the door, spread out my yoga mat and promptly fell asleep near the door. Maybe I was drunk. Just a bit. YOLO! πŸ™‚

Thank you so much, Nayna and Kristine! Next time, I shall try to bring more food for the feastathon. If I’m feeling confident, maybe something I cooked! Hehe.

P.s. It’s so great finally meeting you Mabi! I shall research the titles of the movies I told you about and find a way to tell you the titles. πŸ™‚

Exploring the Universe: California- Santa Barbara

The night before our grand road trip to San Francisco from LA, we passed by Americana, which reminded me of our malls here, heh. Saw giant chandeliers and giant chinese lanterns in the middle of the street:
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Before heading to Santa Barbara, we passed by Porto’s first. I explored the area a bit and did touristy things:ImageImageImageImage:
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I always make it a point to eat ice cream in the places I visit, and I kinda regret not trying more exotic flavors, but this was what I was craving at the moment:ImageI also discovered the epic fabulousness of a penny press! THE STUFF OF MY DREAMSSSSS

ImageI wanted all the designs in the known world! But because this trip was an exercise in prudence (attempt lang hehe), this was what I got as a souvenir. I made it my life’s mission to collect penny press coins everywhere we went in this vacation.
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Artsycraftsy Exploration: Crescent Moon Cafe

Remember when we celebrated my birthdayΒ  with a trip to my new favorite local museum and pottery store/restaurant? Well, we were able to visit that place again, since it was my dad’s birthday! Joy!

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I’ll tell you more about the Pinto trip in my next post, but I’d like to share more about our lunch at Crescent Moon Cafe.

It’s my second time here, and I forgot if this was here before, but we saw the plant “buhok ni Ester” hanging in a line outside the cafe. I grew up with these plants, since my lola had a green thumb and our house was surrounded with flowers she lovingly tended. She would wake up early, and water each plant lovingly with the hose, talking to it sometimes. This particular plant looked weird to me, but it fascinated me when it changed color from white to green when wet:

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Pottery pieces you can buy by weight:

ImageI wish I made windchimes back in pottery class!

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Can you spot the bubbles? I bought bubbles from Booksale the day before since I got too excited. Gave it to the kids around Pinto before we left the art gallery.

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We were fed bulalo, alagao leaves salad, chili crabs, fish, pork binagoongan and ginataan and mangga’t suman for dessert. Yummy! I love the taste and the presentation. I became quite giddy when I saw the numerous handmade stoneware plates that we used for that lunch. I love their attention to detail and all the handmade touches.

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I was trying to save so I wasn’t able to shop this time, but I wanted these lovelies:

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