February 24, 2013

Quick Baguio Getaway

November 26-27, 2012. My memories of Baguio include watching in awe as my breath turns to fog, smelling the lovely scent of the pine trees and playing in the seesaw at Camp John Hay. Hubby had similar fond memories of the place when he was a kid and we decided it's about time our kids experience the City of Pines. We booked an overnight stay at The Manor and with a little help from Google Map a strong Smart 3G signal, drove five hours to our destination.

It was a chilly November and the 19C temperature is absolutely wonderful! The hotel is somewhat in a limbo of celebrations as the interiors were Halloween-themed while the lawn outside is so Christmasy.

Snowmen and snow-covered trees.

Halloween by the fireplace.

First on our list of things to do is to visit the Strawberry Farm in Benguet. None of us have tried strawberry picking yet and I heard it'll be loads of fun (for the kids at least). Again, we decided to let Google Map lead us to our destination but instead of a 30-minute trip, we ended up traveling for more than an hour on a steep and narrow cliff before we reached the farm.  

All green strawberry field.
I guess luck wasn't really on our side this time as we were greeted with a strawberry field, without the strawberries. Sigh. We were advised to come back after a week if we wan't to do the fruit picking. Apparently, strawberry picking season starts December and ends in May. I can't believe we were a week early!

After an epic failed attempt at the Farm, we went to Burnham Park to ride the boat. We let the kids do the paddling, screaming and fighting. The fun they had definitely made up for the earlier disappointment.

We headed back to Camp John Hay and went to Le Chef for dinner. Food was really good (I ordered steak and prawns) and the Baguio weather and the Manor's log cabin ambiance is just dreamy. The best part is the price tag that come's with it is just reasonable. I definitely would want to dine here again.

All lit up at night.

We always look forward to breakfast and we are all excited to try the menu at Cafe by the Ruins. It's just a quick drive to this restaurant near Session Road and it wasn't that busy yet when we arrived. 

All-time favorite food -- rice and egg.
I love the crepe! The mangoes are sweet and it's heavy enough to tide me through lunch. Their breads are also delicious. 

After a heavy breakfast, we went straight to Good Shepherd Convent and buy pasalubong. There were many people but there were many counters to accommodate them all. There was a line but it moved very quickly. Next stop, Mines View Park next door.

The first thing I noticed is the long line to have a picture taken with a St. Bernard dog. I was surprised to see more "booths" offering pictures with the same breed but they do not have the long line as the one near the entrance. No idea what's the story behind that particular dog though. As we walk along, we saw the stall where you can dress in native Cordillera costume and have your photo taken. I asked the kids if they want to try it but they said they'd only do it if they get to keep the costumes. Ok, I guess we'll pass this one. 

Chilly up here.

After taking some photos and buying some more souvenirs, we headed back to the car and started the long drive home.

The Manor at Camp John Hay
Loakan Road, Baguio City
Tel: 074-4240931 to 43 / 02-6876710
Website: http://www.campjohnhay.ph
Email: reservations@campjohnhay.ph