I'm so happy to be back home. Don't get me wrong. We stayed in a really nice hotel and the way going there was very smooth. The SCT-Expressway is as wonderful as they said it would be. However, one can only do so much in Subic, not to mention that Leo's cold was getting worse the longer we stayed there (odd considering that the air was very clear and it only rained once when we were there).
We left Manila, Sunday after we finished the 8AM mass. We had a stopover at Shell NLEX where we had brunch at KFC and I indulged on my craving for Cinnabon and Dairy Queen (of course, I just took out four buns of Cinnabon to eat when we got to Subic and had the Blizzard to go).
Guided that the map that we printed out, we managed to find the SCT (Subic-Clark-Tarlac) Expressyway entrance after the Dao exit. That expressway, though longer than taking the Dao exit was indeed a great thing. See some pictures of the SCTEx below:
Sorry, I'm such a lousy picture-taker.
Anyway, we left Alabang at 915AM and arrived in our hotel to check-in (including the stopover) almost 12noon. Not bad. Good thing the hotel allowed us to check-in even if it was pretty early.
We were booked at the Hotel Venezia in Subic. It's a nice and quite affordable hotel. The Superior room cost only 2K++ for a night. See a couple of pictures below:Yeah, that's me and my big tummy on the bed. Actually, the bed is very comfortable--and the pillows too! I really love the pillows. The bed, I think, is just double beds that were put together. It's ok as I couldn't go near Leo anyway. :) His sore throat became a cold and when we left this morning, it was slowly becoming a cough. Gosh, I can't catch whatever he has.
The room is L-shaped. The wall beside the desk is the bathroom. The thing about the bathroom is that it's segregated into 3 compartments and each compartment has doors. Too bad I wasn't able to take a picture of it. But the room's really nice. I can guarantee it.
After checking-in, we went out to look for a place to have lunch. We settled for Aristocrat where I had chicken barbecue and Leo had his usual salad.
We went back to the hotel afterwards to freshen up and at around 3 or 4PM, we went to Royal Subic Duty Free to do some preliminary shopping. We also visited the National Bookstore beside the Duty Free shops and browsed around. Then we went to the Waterfront Drive where we looked at the sea (with the very polluted beach). We settled for a place to eat which was Seafood by the Bay. Quite expensive but I love their Grilled Shrimp.
The next day, Leo finally persuaded me to visit Ocean Adventure. Didn't realize it was that far. The park opens at 10AM and we were the second group inside the place. It's smaller than a usual Ocean Park but it brought out the child in me.
We first saw the performing Seal and I couldn't help but smile the whole time and clap my hands. We were seated so close that I could smell the seal's fishy breath. Hehe.
The seal's name is Madison. :)
While waiting for the Dolphin show, we went to check out their small aquarium. Saw some stuff that I only saw at the Discovery Channel. We then went to their restaurant where we had a quick bite to eat. Then, we joined the other visitors at the El Capitan Theater to check out the Dolphin show.
I was once again a child when I saw the Dolphins frolicking around with their trainers. I was clapping my hands and squealing with the other children.I was feeling very hot after being out in the sun. We hurried back to the hotel and had merienda at Chow King at a Petron station. When we decided to go back to the hotel, we got caught by the SBMA police for "Lane Straddling". We immediately paid the Php200 fine at the nearby office and went back to the hotel where I cooled down and had a nap.
We ventured out at 630PM and had dinner at Gerry's at the Waterfront Drive. Food was cheap but nothing phenomenal. Had more seafood. We then went back to the hotel and slept at around 10PM.
I woke up early this morning after sleeping for 7 hours. I played with my Nintendo DS while waiting for Leo to wake up. He had a restless night because of his cold and I did not have the hear to disturb him. He finally got up at 7AM and we got ready for breakfast.
I wanted to have breakfast at Pancake House again but when we got there, it was still closed. We just went to Jollibee where I had an unsatisfying breakfast. We then went back to the hotel and started packing up. We waited for awhile as I wanted to pass by Duty Free again before going home.
I thought that the trip going home will only take 3 hours and we did make good time--until we got to EDSA. We left Duty Free at 1015AM and was at North EDSA by 115PM (that includes the stopver for lunch at Kenny Roger's at Shell NLEX). Not bad. However, we got caught in the infamous EDSA traffic gridlock that started all the way at West Avenue up to the Ortigas flyover and which took us an hour and a half to traverse. Seeing that it was a bus and the concrete barricades that caused all that traffic really stressed us further. It did not help that it started raining at 2PM.
We finally reached South Station Exit at Alabang at 3PM (and it was not raining when we reached South Superhighway). Thank God. My bladder was ready to burst and I wanted to buy medicine for Leo's colds and cough. We had merienda at Pancake House and we got home at 4PM.
By the way, going to Subic is not cheap in terms of toll fees. Breakdown of toll fees below:
Alabang to Nichols (if not skyway) = P65 (tama ba? Naka-epass kasi kami)
Balintawak to Bulacan = P36
Bulacan to NCTeX NLEX exit = P138
NCTeX NLEX entrance to Tipo Exit = P112
Tipo Exit to Subic = P18
Total = P369 x 2 = P738
That was how we spent our First Year Anniversary. It did help me unwind and I caught up with much needed sleep.