Just like that and it’s almost summer! And we welcomed the season a little early this year. 🙂 It was just an overnight weekend stay at the Laiya Coco Grove in Batangas with my in laws but nonetheless something we looked forward to and enjoyed a lot for the following reasons: 1.) my husband and I love to travel and the last time we had an out-of-town trip was in 2012 in Clark-Subic when the Big Boy was just 1 year old and 2.) after almost 3 years since our last vacation, we were able to travel again this time with our 2 kids! And it was their first beach outing at the same time! 🙂
We started our journey to the South last Saturday at around 10:30am (original ETD: 8:00am. Please understand how difficult it is to pack for 2 kids and 2 adults even for just an overnight trip. 😀 ) and arrived in Laiya at 4:30pm. Whew, five long hours of travel I thought we were heading to Baguio. 😀 Blame it on the heavy traffic we encountered along Star Tollway because of a forest fire (?) and in downtown San Juan because of I don’t why. All of us were getting impatient especially our driver (aka husband). Thankfully, we stopped at Jollibee SLEX to grab some (heavy) snacks or else we would all starve on our way to our destination.
Upon arrival at the Laiya Coco Grove, we just had a super late heavy lunch, dropped our things in our room, changed into our swimwear and headed to the beach! 🙂 No extremely looonnnng travel could hinder our excitement to dip into the waters. 🙂
The beach right in front of Laiya Coco Grove was muddy and the ocean water not pleasant for swimming at all so the nice guard of the resort recommended that we swim instead at the Laiya Coco Grove-owned place at the White Beach where the water is clearer. We took a 5-minute ride at the resort’s free shuttle service and spent our late afternoon swimming in the water and building sand castles with the kids while the still-cold breeze of March touched our skin.
The Big Boy was a little scared to go to the water because of the waves while the Little Princess bravely paddled her feet while shouting “Miming! (Swimming)” as her daddy held her. 🙂
After almost an hour of beach time, we already started to pack our things because the kids were already chilling and the shuttle already arrived to pick us up. We just continued having fun and swimming at the resort’s warm swimming pool for another half an hour. The Big Boy loved the pool more than the ocean. Hehe!
We all had a shower and got ready for dinner at the resort’s restaurant. Btw, lunch, dinner and breakfast were included in the rates. There seemed to be no other options for food but to order from the resort. We then scheduled for a massage to end our day and by 10pm, we were all already dozing off. 😀
We woke up at 7:30am the following day and had our buffet breakfast. We rested for a while then put on our swimwear and headed off to the White Beach and spent the rest of the morning getting tanned while swimming and playing in the sand with the kids. The Big Boy was even more scared this time because the waves were a bit stronger he didn’t want to get off me. He kept on crying whenever I tried to release him in the water. He only got peace of mind when we went back to the shore and played with the sand. 😀 The Little Princess, on the other hand, loved being in the water though she also loved playing with the sand. So she would get her beach toys and stay at the shore for a while then tell us to go back to the water. “Poo-pool (Swimming pool)”, she would exclaim. 😀
By 11 o’clock, we already left the White Beach to pack our things up in our room and get ourselves ready for check out. Check out time was 10:00am but the admin was kind and accommodating enough to allow us to check out at 12 noon instead since there were no other guests booked right after us.
By the way, it no longer crossed my mind to take photos of the room that we stayed in because I was so busy attending to my 2 kids. The cottage that my SIL booked has 2 sleeping areas — the first room with 1 double bed and 1 single bed and the 2nd room with 2 queen size beds. Each sleeping area has separate bathrooms and cabinets. The cottage was pretty decent and clean with no unpleasant smell. The airconditioning was cool. There was no TV but it didn’t matter because we were all asleep by 10pm. 😀 However, there were mosquitoes but thankfully, the kids weren’t preyed. The bathrooms also lack some hooks or bars for hanging clothes. We had to put ours on the sink. There was also no rug to wipe the wet floor. But the experience was ok for an overnight stay. We would probably request for our room to be sprayed with anti-mosquito and for some rugs if we would stay longer.
The food served were plenty with a mix of dishes per mealtime. I can no longer remember all that was on our table but what stuck in my tastebud was their bulalo which we had for lunch. I liked how savory it was but not maanta with the meat being tender. I have a thing with beef and I’m presently in the process of accustomizing myself to it’s taste since I cursed it when I was in high school. 😀 Their sauted cabbage with mushroom was also good. The rest of the food were okay, nothing spectacular.
Moving on with our trip, we looked for a bulalo (again since Batangas is known for good bulalo!) restaurant after checking out at the Laiya Coco Grove to fill our growling tummies. We ended up at Marimar Gotohan and Bulalohan where we had bulalo and beef caldereta. Beef binging it was! 😀 Their bulalo had tender meat but was lacking in taste. Their beef caldereta tasted great, however the meat needed to be cooked some more to become more tender.
There was no traffic on our way back to Manila and we were already home by 4:30pm. The kids even had some more stored energy to play. 😀
Our short but sweet and enjoyable first family beach out-of-town trip made me miss traveling and exploring the country’s beautiful destinations. I suddenly imagined the kids enjoying the fine sand of Boracay or Bohol. 🙂 Hope we could bring them there in the future. 🙂