10th at The Gingerbread House

Had so many plans lined up for our 10th Wedding Anniversary last December but because of the unexpected turnaround of events, from high to low…lowest, we have to be more sensible. We have to consider many things this time, we have to be more cautious of our overheads, much as possible cut down all that we think are unnecessary.

 

During our anniversary weekend, we just went out with the family. We attended Sunday mass at Our Lady of Lourdes, our wedding church a decade ago. Because it’s almost Christmas time, there were too many church-goers; added fact was the nearby mall now so it was hard to find a seat so we were compelled to stay at the second floor.

 

Right after mass we hosted a dinner at Seafood Island at Ayala Serin {the mall beside the church}, it wasn’t really our first choice because we could have settled in a more private dining but changes happen in a snap and I was a bit under the weather.

 

Seafood Island is known for their eye-catching boodle feast and grills, so I thought it’d be perfect for big eaters like us besides we love doing boodle fight at home, at the old garage. We ordered two sets of Tali Beach, good for 5-7 each as described, but knowing us we could easily knock down both.

 

Tali Beach Boodle Feast P1345 {5-7 pax daw o}. Set includes plenty of steamed rice, 2 crabs, 1 big pork bbq, 1 stick chicken inasal, 1 grilled tilapia, abt 6pcs of medium-sized shrimps, 1 grilled squid, bowl of pakbet, grilled eggplant and tomato, seaweeds, slices of green mango with bagoong and watermelon.

 

The food wasn’t bad at all but ze husband was dissatisfied, it’s a Budol Feast he recounts because it’s pricey and yet we really felt it was not worth of what we paid for. Ah ‘ney let’s put it this way maganda naman ang presentation, may effort.  😀

The following day both of us took a leave from work to celebrate further tho there was no real itinerary on hand. I also took the time to buy some more gifts for special colleagues. Our first stop was Gourmet Café in Silang, I was eyeing their Christmas crates with coffee and teas however, I was told that I cannot buy right away; I have to place an order and pick it. What an inconvenience? Pano na lang kung ang bibili ay tourist lang who happen to pass by? I don’t know but the way people at the café handled my inquiry and concern, it was so lame. Customer na, ayaw nyo pa?

Anyhow, because I don’t want the incident to transform my temper to beast mode, we had sweets to kill the negative vibes. Besides I was really looking forward to try their Cheesecake. We also had Sansrival, chocolate bars and chocolate muffin for our little Miss.

The cheesecake was divine!

Next stop was at Carmela’s to sample their banana cakes; it was good but a bit pricey. I’d rather get one from Purple Oven given its price and taste.

Discovered these chocolate bars at Carmela’s, from the hometown.

Because we thought it was too early yet to head home, we drove to Alfonso to visit the famed The Gingerbread House. It was a bit far, off the road; my cousin who visited also hated the road because it’s narrow.

For somebody like me who loves Christmas this is one of the best places to go. I’d love to live in a house with Christmas ornaments and feel all year round. A lot of good vibes!

The Gingerbread House compound is big and spacious, there’s an activity area, bakeshop, souvenir shop, the main house that houses the restaurant, the garden is airy, there’s a fish spa at the back and soon to arise overnight rooms to visiting guest. We were fortunate to have chitchat with the owner, they were originally from Marikina acc to the patriarch and her daughter who owned and conceptualized the venue is based abroad, US if I remember it right. Tama ba Manong? He was so accommodating and I love hearing success stories of his family, a very proud father I may say, who wouldn’t be? I was thinking if Tatay was ever proud of me also, for my little triumphs?

Because of the staff’s persistence {following us at the 2nd floor area asking us to check their food} we were pushed to dine in and try their dishes, at least the staffs were not annoying.

Oh I love this dining!

We had this like Pica Pica Platter, Buffalo Wings, Carbonara, Mac n Cheese and their special GBH Pasta. Food wasn’t bad but not something that you’d go back again, I’d say at least they put effort in making the food looked presentable hence the price was a bit high.

During our visit the staffs were mostly preparing for the lights and snow fall, however this was delayed because of typhoon Nona. Anyhow, if you’re planning to visit I think they’re open until Jan 15. By the way, you pay P30 per head upon entry.

I just had to recount last year’s wedding anniversary date with fam also, I know it’s not a coincidence or something but our visit at Ted’s was so Christmassy also. And tho Ted’s is a quaint resto only, I love the vibes, its more countryside, warm and cozy. Well, I got another whole year to scout a Christmas themed café for next year; I’d love some warm cinnamon smells and fresh pines.

And because ze husband and I have come this far, a decade by now…I think it won’t hurt to splurge a little on our joint birthday next week. Wish us the bests’ this 2016!

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‘Ney, knowing that you’ll be in all my tomorrows may not be enough other than just the thought of it makes me so well today. Another marvelous year has flown by, rough times, happy times, we’ve been at rock bottom and yet I know we’ll going to be at high point again. Thank you for the nightly massages and morning coffee, for driving me to work and for making me feel young everyday. Happy Anniversary ‘ney, I love you dearly, it never fades a bit!

 

P.S. Photos to follow…

 

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a month after

Tatay’s death was so sudden, after that life changing episode of our lives I thought days and months would be lengthy, I thought everything would slow down to a year or so because that’s the expectation other than we need to keep going while still mourning because we have to. There were legal matters to clear up, issues to fulfill and a project to pick up again. And whether it’s a choice or not I have to involve myself this time, I’m expected to lead being the eldest. And this time there are too many things a lot easier said than done.

At a loss. At times I caught myself staring in blank, and then there were random things that will flashback and as if these recurrences weren’t enough there will be flash-forwards that would flicker. I wanted to stop so I’d lure myself to sleep, into a deep one, sometimes, never wanting to wake up. No, don’t get wrong I’m no suicidal by any mean.

Why I am so tired? I feel I have too many on my hands right now, the issues keep coming yet none has been nearing closure yet. There were too many issues back home and yet I was not spared from work, my patience is thinning and yet I have to behave while waiting for things to get better. Sometimes I’d like to believe that I’m made to battle many storms. I’m no immortal please.

Today, I pray for strength and guidance. I pray that during this difficult time the Lord will bless me extra strength to endure all pains and sufferings and to continue ahead. Please bless me with inner strength to find the blessings and all the lessons it contains. Likewise, please calm my heart and take away all my anxieties.

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A month after Tatay’s death we went out once again as a family to one of his favorite restaurants nearby, I was holding back my tears and tried to keep the mood light but it’s hurting because he’s no longer around to remind us not to indulge much on crispy pata. The food seems to be very cold that afternoon and I can’t help but be reminded of the last time we were together, it was Palm Sunday.

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Our little dollet seems so happy with her slice of chocolate cake; I envy her spirit and her cheerful smile. Ysabel would be our forever reminder of Tatay and her love for the patriarch that will never die.

 

P.S. Monday blues 😦

 

café carmencita

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Eating out became a routine, tho an expensive routine, everytime I’ll visit the parental house. The kid’s just love driving around, lounging in coffee shops, doing groceries and exploring new places nearby, so with that I can’t be caught off guard, Ninang’s wallet should always be ready to give in to their whim. Hay!

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We visited Café Carmencita last January during one of those random weekend drive to Tagaytay to gas up and do the supermarket thing at Summit. Since we’ll pass by the café on our way home, we thought it was a nice stop to have an early dinner before driving back to Manila.

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The place look like a family house converted to a café, a very homey one if I may add and every nook is functional including the outdoor seats and the cute powder room below the staircase. I would love to have a replica of this house because it’s too charming and neat and my photos don’t do justice to its overall appeal.

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The café offers soup and salad, pasta and sandwiches, and cakes and coffee. I was surprised that they have Tagaytay’s famed Bulalo, a little bit odd for the café’s old-fashioned, yet hip vibes. I’m just saying other than I think the café will rather make a good place to have breakfast. I really hope they serve breakfast food soon.

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Okay, down to our table we had the Tagaytay Barako Blend and Native Tsokolate in cute cup and saucer, the serving of the Tsokolate was literally “cute” especially for my size. My sister had their fresh Dalandan juice, which she assumes was extracted from the real fruit, not powdered so it was of good quality according to her.

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We also had Seafood Pasta P250 (Shrimp and squids with lots of freshly picked basil in olive oil), Lasagna P180 (Gratinated with local mozzarella), Club Sandwich P180 (Layers of shredded chicken, bacon, egg on wheat bread. And served with French fries) and Beer-Battered Fish and Chips P180 (Cream dory dipped in beer batter).

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At the end of our meal, can I just say that the dining experience was ordinary; I think you have to level down your expectation a bit when you dine at Café Carmencita. The place is a stunner, there’s no doubt to it but the food need to improve to impress locales and day-trippers. If I have a place as charming as this café I’ll definitely cook something hearty and fresh from the nearby Mahogany market and will definitely serve better looking sandwiches and pastas and drinks.

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By the way, we got a slice of Chocolate Cake for dessert, unfortunately the best-selling Salted Caramel Cheesecake was unavailable. 😦

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At any rate, if you just need a place to spend time minus the clamor of the city, try visiting this quaint café and tell me how it was. Lastly, better to go here during daytime to avoid the annoying mosquito attack.

 

 

Café Carmencita | Aguinaldo Highway Brgy. Kaybagal South, Tagaytay City | M. 0915 416 9159