Vacation Happiness in Pictures

Happy New Year, dear friends!

To start this year filled with gratitude, I’m sharing some pictures from my latest stay in the Philippines. There are indeed the things that I am thankful for, the things that make any 21-hour plane ride worth it, the things I hold dearest in my heart.

I kept my vacation simple this year. I didn’t make a lot of plans, didn’t go out to a lot of restaurants, didn’t visit different cities or islands. I mostly stayed put at home with my family, met up with old friends, drank hot chocolate every morning, and caught up with my magazines and Kindle reading. I left Manila refreshed and happy, and looking forward to the next time I come home again.

fresh coconut juice, sunset, my baking assistant (my sister Monica), and double chocolate cookies with boozy cherries (I soaked them in brandy!)

queso de bola cheesecake, my little cousin Dylan and my best friend Lora’s son Liam not being able to tear themselves away from watching Gangnam Style on my laptop, palm trees, my parents

champorado (chocolate rice pudding) drenched in condensed milk, high school friends, eggs with double yolks, dinner date with my youngest sister Patty, my favorite breakfast of kesong puti and tsokolate

my travel buddy Fe, some of my best friends from college, Tita Ine who cooked some of my favorite dishes, including calves liver with onions (mmmm liver).

our peaceful living room at home, my sisters with the hotel Santa (whom Monica kept asking when he is going back to the North Pole), and local single-source chocolate bars infused with traditional Filipino flavors like siling labuyo (bird’s eye chili) and green mangoes

It was two weeks filled with happiness.

I hope your 2013 is off to a wonderful start. I’ll be back next week with a recipe that might fit in with New Year’s resolutions (hint: it involves tofu)!



22 Responses to “Vacation Happiness in Pictures”