Well, it was less than that actually. I left Manila at 4am on Saturday and was back home before 4am on Monday. It was a quick weekend getaway to the City of Pines!
It was really just a weekend getaway to one of my favorite places, my home for 5 years of my life – Baguio City! We didn’t really plan on doing a lot of things. It’s basically a staycation at Kamiseta Hotel and we really wanted to try the strawberry champorado at Le Monet Hotel. And a chance to use the Uniqlo sweater I bought a few months ago that I wanted to use for Armenia (and/or Georgia) that didn’t happen. LOL.
Irick and I took the same bus going to Baguio at 4am via Victory Liner. I had work until 6am but I asked to come in earlier so I can get off work at 3am, then travel to Cubao in time for the 4am trip. Surprisingly, Victory Liner’s bus was comfy so I was able to take a power nap for about 2.5 hours, and when I woke up, we were already in Pangasinan! That was fast! However, upon exiting TPLEX, it got a bit slow. What was supposedly another 1.5 hours took 3 hours. We were off the bus and at the terminal at around 9:30am. Irick had a dental appointment in the morning and luckily, Celine arrived the same time as us.
MAX’S SESSION ROAD
Ok, we really just wanted to have brunch because we arrived at 10am and we didn’t eat anything since we left Manila at 4am. Initially, we were planning to eat at Vizco’s but there was a queue and seeing the breakfast menu of Max’s on the way (it was right next to Vizco’s LOL), I suggested that we eat at Max’s. But then, we sat down literally less than 5 minutes after 10am and we missed the breakfast menu. We still had spicy tofu and some cake so that’s fine. We stayed a good 2 hours here, while waiting for Irick finish her dental appointment, before going taking a cab to Kamiseta Hotel.
KAMISETA HOTEL AND VANILLA CAFÉ
It all started with, “Punta tayong Kamiseta Hotel!” and ended up actually booking a room here. We were surprised that the rooms are not super expensive! I mean, it’s more expensive than what I typically the price is not super far from the Airbnb’s we’ve booked recently. We booked for one night and basically spent the whole weekend there. This is the prettiest, I have ever stayed in.
If you are not booked at the hotel, you have access to Vanilla Café but there’s a cordon at the entrance of the way to the hotel so you can’t really get in. But I guess you can say you’re inquiring and get in. The lobby is just so pretty, you have a luxurious chandelier and its glass ceiling! You can literally take a photo on every chair and post these photos on Instagram for weeks or even months. LOL. I also kept coming back here since this is where the WiFi is strongest. The signal was bad in the basement.
Our room was downstairs (there are 4 rooms upstairs and 2 downstairs) and we had our own receiving area. LOL, as if we have people to receive. We also have a fireplace wherein we took photos for our Christmas content. (LOL.)
And then there’s Vanilla Cafe… I have no words! High ceiling, glass windows and roof, charming chairs, amazing view… I spent a good 3.5 hours here on Sunday morning. I did a few rounds at the breakfast buffets and transferred tables three times.
LEMON AND OLIVES
We had early dinner here on Saturday night. Lemon and Olives is a Mediterranean restaurant located in Outlook Drive. It was my first time to have Greek food and I loved it! It was really just the perfect meal. We went out just before sunset but it was already super cold so we had tea and ordered some really good food. We had the souvlaki plate – chicken (this is my fave out of everything), I don’t know if we ordered pastitsio or moussaka (Sorry, I totally forgot!), zucchini chips (yum!) and baklava for dessert. The souvlaki plate is served with pita, sliced tomatoes and onions, and a variety of sauce: garlic and tzatziki. I was so full and it was one of the best meals ever! Since this is on Outlook Drive, you also have the best view of pine trees. We got a table at the balcony and it was just so nice out there. I’m so glad that Irick introduced us to this restaurant! I would definitely recommend this to anyone I bring to Baguio moving forward!
After having an early dinner, we are in food coma. We just wanted to relax and had a really nice cocktail. I forgot what place we initially wanted to go to but when we around the Teacher’s Camp area, where it was super traffic, we saw this 90s café (forgot the name) and thought we’d check it out. So we got down the cab and looked for it in the building. It didn’t turn out like what we were expecting so we walked back to The Camp, which is actually not so far from here. We saw it on the way as well so we knew it wasn’t that far and definitely within walking distance. Ok, so I have not been to Baguio in a long time so I don’t know what the current “happening place” is, but Irick said that this seems to be the place. We had two conditions, we just wanted a good cocktail and comfy seats. We ended up settling at HereX and didn’t really get the chance to check out the other place (I totally blame the person who was checking the bags at the entrance of The Camp! LOL!) Anyway, apparently, the perfect place to go would be Hardin, which is at the rooftop of this building. We are definitely going there this December! We spent about an hour at HereX, we just finished our cocktail pitcher and went our way. It’s a nice place, don’t get me wrong. We were just super sleepy was so full from our dinner. There we were, it was barely 8pm and we were out of there! We went home and had a good sleep afterwards.
We went here after checking out because we wanted to do a bit of ukay shopping. We were planning to go to the night market the previous night but we could no longer wait (and so sleepy!) as it starts at 9pm. Well, Celine and I really just wanted to find some good scarves and we found them on the second floor of that shopping area at Malcolm Square. I always go there for my ukay needs and they truly never disappoint! Too bad I left that wonderful scarf I bought in Dubai so I need to go back in December to buy a new one, also buy some really cute outfits for South Korea in March.
COLORS OF STOBOSA
After buying pasalubongs at the market, we walked to the jeepney terminal near city hall. It takes about 15mins to get there – it is really not that far and the jeepney will drop you off right at the entrance. There is no entrance fee, you just need to sign the guest book and take photos away. I’m so happy that I finally was able to visit this place! I wanted to visit the last time I was in Baguio back in 2018 but we went before Panagbenga and the traffic was crazy.
CAMP JOHN HAY + LE MONET HOTEL
We ended our day at Camp John Hay. One of the reasons we wanted to go to Baguio was the strawberry champorado at Le Monet Hotel. We took photos first at the garden and at the trees nearby for some Forks-inspired photos, before going to the hotel for merienda. In fair, the strawberry champorado did not disappoint! We shared a bowl cause I really didn’t think we’d finish a bowl each. We ordered some potato fries – which is so sulit! It was inexpensive but the serving was huge! We also ordered a cake, that we didn’t get to eat cause we were so full. I took it home cause I was leaving later than Celine and Irick and I even took it back to Manila with me. LOL.
We are going back in December cause we want to visit the Christmas Village at The Manor! I spoke about this briefly with MF and I would be so happy to show him around, take him to SM that I’m sure he’s going to love it because there is no AC. LOL.
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