Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Viaje Del Sol - Take Two

I enjoyed our 1st Viaje Del Sol weekend roadtrip so much that I had to do it again. This time, with my parents and brother in tow.

Taking the 2nd trip with my parents, we decided to take it a bit more slowly. We spent more time per stop and opted to spend the night in San Pablo, Laguna. My brother and I took a leave on June 8th, Friday. Ariel can't leave work so he just followed in the evening.

Just as in my first trip, we started with breakfast at Kusina Salud in San Pablo (call 0921-7726985 or 049-2466878 to reserve). Again, great location, though breakfast was just average. Took a lot of pictures and spent more time just relaxing in this pretty place.

My parents and younger brother

Daing na bangus for my dad

Adobo Flakes (not!) for my brother and mom

Longganisa for me

Familia Saavedra

We dropped by Pilar Plants and Novelties, still within the compound of Kusina Salud. We checked out their antique stuff. But what caught my attention were the previously owned books. I bought a few of them for a song! Mainly children's books that reminded me of my own childhood. Ha!

We headed off to Ugu Bigyan's pottery in Tiaong, Quezon (call Ugu at 0917-5605708 to reserve), a bit early for lunch but we wanted to hang out a bit before lunch.

Some ceramic pots waiting to be fired in the kiln

Lunch was superb as before. Oh, forgot to mention that Ugu serves lunch for a minimum of 5 persons at P400 each. Since there's only 4 of us, we had to pay P2000. Not bad actually given the serving size and the quality of the food. Really worth it.

Yummy Paco (Fern) Salad

Steaming hot fresh corn soup

Fork-tender grilled (or baked) ribs

Crisp and tangy fish with mango salsa

Crisp-tender calamares


We didn't have the mussels last time. This one was cooked with some veggies. A bit salty but nonetheless great. Sorry the picture does not do it justice. It got too cloudy by the time the mussels were served so I didn't get good natural light for this photo.


By the time dessert was served, we couldn't take a bite anymore. Instead of fresh mangoes, we were served a cup of fruit salad instead. Sorry, no pictures - too full to do anything at this point. LOL!

One of Ugu's wind chimes

Dad caught a bug - literally!

After lunch we hung out for a while, relaxing and taking in the lovely scenery. I lusted after one of Ugu's wall decors. It sells for P9000 which I thought was kinda steep. I actually saw it the last time I was here but opted not to get it then. It's still there beckoning me to take a closer look, touch it, imagine it on our wall. Since Ariel isn't with me, I decided not to get it at that time (I actually brought money in the off-chance I'd see it again - Haha!).

Off we went to Rockpoint Hotel in San Pablo where we reserved a family room for the night (0917-8505505). We got a room that accommodates five (5) people at P3,500. That includes welcome drinks and breakfast!!! I'm so glad Casa San Pablo is fully booked. Otherwise, we would have spent P1,500 per head excluding breakfast. Our room was adequately sized. There were five single beds, a small table, a TV, a few chairs. The bathroom has two shower enclosures and two toilet cubicles. There were two big dresser cabinets and a hanging rack for clothes. The room and amenities were basic but for the price, I thought it's real value for money. After all, we just needed a place to spend the night. We had dinner at the hotel restaurant - forgot what we ordered. By ten pm, Ariel arrived and we enjoyed an hour's massage at the spa. It was pretty good.

The next day, we dropped by Ugu again to get the wall decor which we got at a discount (P8000). Then we went to Earthkeeper's Garden and Restaurant (042-5457112) in Tiaong, Quezon for lunch and some plant shopping - my mom loves plants!!!

Torch plant - got a few of these for P35 each

Ariel and me in one of Earthkeeper's wooden gazebos

The menu

Ginataang Kalabaw - my first time to try the meat. Yummy!

Grilled liempo (one of the best I tasted) and Laing (a bit too salty but great with rice)

We also ordered tinola made of native chicken and sinaing na isda but I wasn't able to take pictures. We bought plants, suman, some pots, too. By 2pm, we were ready to head home.