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It usually takes eight to ten hours to travel from Baguio to Pagudpud.  Ours took two and a half days.  Since the kids are are-we-there-yet kind of travelers, I thought it wise to spend one night in Vigan.  It was a mistake (well, sort of…) because I think I left a piece of my heart in Calle Crisologo and now it aches to go back and experience yet another enchanted night travelling back through time.

The bumpy adventure at the La Paz Sand Dunes is likewise etched in our memories, and we cannot stop laughing at the recollection of how we girls all “re-touched” our makeup (powder for the kiddos) and lipstick (gloss for the kiddos), anticipating golden sunset by the sand dunes picture taking, only to have our hair and faces ruffled up because of the roller-coaster-like ride on a 4×4 rough rider pickup truck.  The sunset view there was breathtaking, its beauty heightened by the daredevil ride that we did not expect, but was really quite an experience we will never forget.  Even Nadine our youngest was at an all-time adrenaline high with the ride; it was such a surprise that given her diva and drama queen moments she enjoyed that rough ride.

Despite our original plan to go straight to Pagudpud that day, our gracious host Gay invited us to stay the night and promised yet another memorable experience.  She wasn’t kidding.  There under the bright moonlight and starry skies, we had candlelit dinner at the Padsan River, half our legs submerged in cool waters, sitting along mini bridges.  Dinner consisted of chicken pork adobo, fried fish, tomatoes and onions with bagoong and freshly picked indian mangoes. It is one of the best dinners we’ve ever had, given the ambience, the food and all the fun that went with it.  The “do not play at meal time” rule could not then be imposed on my kids, since they could not be stopped from wading in the river even as we were having dinner. We stayed till midnight, and I tell you, one of the sweetest things I have heard are my tres Mikaelas’ giggles and laughter against the flowing sound of the river in the background.

My Mama used to tell me that toys, trinkets, clothes, shoes and other things are great to give as gifts, but that memories of fun times together especially during family travels will definitely stay forever in their minds and hearts.  She was right, as always.







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