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This wanderlust persona has been further “activated” by the summer season, much like a Ms. Hyde waiting to come out after months of toiling in work and (my kids’) school activities.  Our beloved city of Pines is not spared from scorching hot sunny weather at high noon, although we are now experiencing April showers in the afternoons.

Since we had our Bolinao trip in 2011, the whole family has been somewhat bitten by the travel bug.  Hubby and I since then promised our Tres Mikaelas that we will make it a point to go somewhere new at least once every year, and so far we have been faithfully complying with that promise.

Last year we had the privilege of travelling to Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, which is an 8-hour-plus drive from Baguio.  We have never been to Pagudpud, and it’s been a long time dream to go there so notwithstanding the long drive in the warmest of weather (it was April), we embarked on a dream journey.  Considering that I know our daughters (especially Nadine my diva) to be are-we-there-yet travelers, we decided to make the most of the trip by doing Visita Iglesia (church visits), and visit most of the beautiful or historical sights along the way, making our journey technically an Ilocos educational tour.  We booked at the Grandpa’s Inn at Vigan, which is an old house converted to a cozy, homey hotel.  Upon entering the inn we were transported back to the Spanish era and I immediately fell in love with the place.  Late in the afternoon we took a calesa ride to visit top tourist spots in the city, beginning with the Crisologo Museum, to the Secret Garden and the Baluarte Zoo.  We enjoyed the calesa ride, with the exception of Gelai, who was hesitant to ride at first because she felt sorry for the horse that would take us around.  She felt a little more at ease when I told her the horse was actually happy doing that which he does best, which is to gallop and carry the calesa around, that he is meant to do that and would die of boredom and idleness if he were to just sit around and “wilt” under the sun. (Whew!!!)  She felt unhappy again seeing animals caged at Baluarte, quite weak from the heat.  (My Gelai is the overly sensitive one, I tell you.)

The highlight of my Vigan visit was strolling at Calle Crisologo at night, shopping (!) and taking loads and loads of pictures at every corner.  Hubby felt frustrated not being able to taste the authentic Vigan empanada that time, because we were supposed to get a number (#43! At the time they were serving only #17!), that we had to get up really early to be first in line the next day.  But yes, that newly-cooked, oil-laden, tongue-burning Vigan empanada was worth waking up early for.

After bidding Grandpa’s Inn goodbye (with me whispering a promise to return soon…), we set out for Laoag City where we would be shown around by Hubby’s college buddy.  We had no idea we were in for a really great adventure.


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