If life begins at 40, then Ariel just celebrated his first birthday last January 28th. We weren’t able to take time off from work on the day itself but we were able to take Friday off. So on Thursday night, we drove home to Cavite to start our weekend a day early.

We got up late the next day, and just enjoyed a quiet morning in bed – reading, catching up on facebook, and playing computer games. By the time we were ready to drive to Tagaytay, it was 11am and we were famished.

Our first stop was Antonio’s Grill. It was my first time here, Ariel’s second. It has a very casual, shabby chic ambiance. The restaurant was furnished with white tables and chairs, similar to Antonio’s but more mainstream. The screened windows were wide open, letting in the cool Tagaytay breeze.

Antonio's Grill

Ariel ordered the squid sisig.

Squid Sizig

I opted for the crispy vegetable omelette which I really enjoyed.

Crispy Vegetable Omelette

We also ordered fried hito with burong dalag, sago’t gulaman for Ariel and sugarfree calamansi shake for me.

After our filling lunch, we walked to Starbucks for coffee. Nowadays, I had to be content with decaf, non-fat latte with sugar free vanilla.

My coffee

Ariel went for his usual cafe mocha, this time with a shot of mint since he loved the seasonal Peppermint Mocha which is no longer available.

Enjoying his mocha

We checked in that the Nurture Spa by 2pm. Last time we were here was at least 5 years ago and we stayed in the Ifugao hut. This time, we booked the Forest View aircon room. Our room was deep into the Nurture Spa compound, past the pool and outdoor treatment area. The interior has an Asian minimalist look. It was furnished with queen-sized four-poster bed, side tables, and a solid wood armoire (not seen in the photo below).

Bedroom

There’s also a dresser table with mirror. A double door opens to reveal the “forest” of lush greens and trees right across the creek. To the left of the double door is the toilet and bath enclosed with capiz curtain.

Forest View

I would have preferred more privacy for the toilet, although the capiz shells add charm to the room.

Just Peeking

There’s a bay window by the tub that offers a gorgeous view of the forest.

Toilet and Bath

There was no TV in the room which was perfectly ok with me, but of course, Ariel would have preferred to have one. Good thing he brought his PSP and laptop to keep us entertained.

By 4 pm, we were ready for our first treatment – a 30-minute facial at the outdoor treatment area.

Our Facial treatment

It was a bit breezy and chilly in the outdoor area but the ambiance was very relaxing.

Outdoor Spa

Ariel and I enjoyed the facial. Our face was slathered with sweet honey (I had to keep myself from licking the honey!) and then gently massaged by the therapist. Our skin felt so smooth and supple afterwards.

Outdoor spa

After the facial, we decided to go around to take photos.

Ariel and I (again!)
Ariel and I
Another couple pic

I got a chance to play with my lensbaby.

Yellow Flowers

Ariel played while I took photos around the area.

Playtime

This is the pool, and above it is the main dining area.

Gazebo

We were blessed with a beautiful full moon that night. I later found out that it was called the Wolf Moon – which pertains to the first full moon of the year.

Wolf Moon (29Jan2010)

We had dinner at 6:30pm in the main dining area. It was very cold! Ariel started with a cup of mushroom soup while I opted for the Asian salad. Then Ariel had the lechon with rice for his main course. I opted for the cream dory fillet with steamed veggies.

Couple shot

Dessert, which I skipped, was banana cake with chocolate syrup.

Enjoying dessert

After dinner, we just rested until our scheduled massage at 8pm. Our package included one hour of Magsing-Irog Massage which we “upgraded” to 1.5 hours. Our therapists knocked on our door at 8pm and took us to the treatment area, right across our room.

Our Massage

There were two massage beds in the treatment room. Soft music was playing, and a minty scent lingered throughout the room. There was a separate shower and bath area for treatments that require soaking and/or rinsing (e.g. Body Scrub) or for those who want a shower prior to the massage.

The massage was very relaxing and before we knew it, Ariel and I dozed off. It was almost 10pm when we took the few steps from the treatment area to our room. I fell asleep right away, while Arie played with his PSP until the battery died.

We woke up at 8am and opted to have breakfast first before taking a shower and packing up. Ariel ordered a Filipino breakfast – tapsilog – while I chose my usual healthy, protein rich vegetable omelette. Ariel wasn’t so happy with his food, but I certainly enjoyed mine and made sure that I complimented the cook.

Just before we checked out, we took a few more souvenir photos in our room.

Roomies

We checked out at noon and decided to have lunch on the way. We stopped at Santi’s where I picked up some veggies and cheese, then at Gourmet’s where I bought some of their bottled laing, cherry tomatoes and a couple of potted herbs. Then we stopped in a plant nursery shop in Silang where I bought 3 sacks of garden soil for my herbs, and a pine tree which Ariel will plant in our yard.

Our last stop before lunch is Ilog Maria Honeybee Farm. I’ve been hearing about this place so we decided to check it out. We bought some oils, soaps, teapot, oil burners, lib balm, nail and cuticle balm, Royal Jelly and Honeybee Pollen.

Just me

We roamed around the area and saw the wooden boxes that house the honeybees.

Bee Houses

They have a nice toilet that is shaped like a bee hive.

The Loo

Inside, the toilet bowl is surrounded by a nicely arranged garden.

Communing with nature

After Ilog Maria, we had a quick lunch at Recuerdo’s. Ariel ordered Dinuguan, and crispy shrimps. I got the Chicken Inasal. It was a simple but very tasty fare.

Then it was time to relax back at home.

Written by Alby Laran

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