" The Splurge"

Trip Start Feb 20, 2014
Trip End Mar 14, 2014

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Flag of Philippines  , Metro Manila,
Thursday, March 6, 2014

On all my adventurous trips Ive been taking lately, after weeks of cold showers, sharing my accommodations with various insects and critters, waking up to pigs and roosters, and getting very dirty getting there... I go for a splurge one night in a nice hotel.
Manila is a big city, lots of people, lots of poverty, crime, and traffic...and the hotels are pretty pricey. Its not a place you want to stay in a low budget, backpacker hotel.
We were in Manila to do the exchange of travel buddies.. Christine was leaving and heading back to winter( still) in Chicago. She wasn't happy about this at all! And Carla, also from Chicago, was coming into replace her and travel with me to Boracay for my last week here. She was beyond thrilled about it.
Being close to the airport was important, since we would have a few trips, dropping off, picking up, and the city is about an hour away , and remember when i mentioned about the traffic.. Its horrendous.
Thanks to my awesome airline discount.. We choose the Sofitel, a 5 star property about 15 minutes away along the bay. You always know right away when you're somewhere with a great rating.. The service. We are greeted with smiles and hellos, and doors are opened for us everywhere . They greet you by name, and treat you like you are the most important guest, even if you do come in with backpacks and flip-flops.
With a smile, and really just asking nicely, we were to be "upgraded" to a VIP room with a view. We waiting in the lobby lounge, drinking our complimentary mango, cucumber smoothies.. Amazing.
Our room was on the top floor, the first thing you notice is the view! Overlooking their beautiful grounds and pool, and views of the bay. Time to shower and put on a fancy dress( i always bring one rolled up in my backpack ) and go explore and feel like i belong here. At least for one night. :)
Christine and I decided on dining on tapas out on the terrace, surrounded by water, candles, and tiki torches for ambiance. The food was pricier than our $4 meals we've been used to. But extremely reasonable for a 5 star hotel. We ordered a wonderful selection of Indian tiki, Japanese dim sum, fresh oysters, Italian flat bread pizza, and chocolate crack for dessert( it was really called that) and it was.. Delicious , and additive. It was Christine and my, last meal together. It was a great trip, and an amazing adventure together. Christine is a trooper, put up with alot of long journeys, and interesting guesthouse owners, and uninvited house guests, and smiled and laughed along the way. Thank you Christine for sharing all of my journey so far with me.
So with one goodbye, and then another hello, and a quick exchange at the airport. Carla actually brought in the plane from Guam that Christine was leaving on! The next day we had a wonderful breakfast by the pool, and a nice sauna and Jacuzzi before getting ready to head back to the airport and off to our final destination...the island of Boracay. When, I suddenly didn't feel very well. Hmmm, what could it be? I have been eating everything, on our remote island destinations, and have been feeling great. Here we are at a 5 star hotel, and I'm feeling like I ate something that's making me not feel so great.
 I went over my last nights meal with Carla. " You ate Oysters?"  aren't those from fresh water..is there any fresh water over here Elizabeth, or just salt water? Did you think that maybe they weren't so fresh?" Ahhh, I never really thought about that! They tasted really good! " Maybe not such a good idea, Elizabeth"
I will remember that for next time...hopefully this passes soon. Note to self. Stay away from the Oysters while over in the Philippines.
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Johanna on

Look amazing..enjoy:)))

maureen mason on

After how many years of eating oysters at The Fish Market??? Hope your gastrointestinal tract has rebounded by now. I dream of stating at a Sofitel one day. There was one in Tahiti that was spectacular. You sure deserved a luxury room. The culinary creativity sounds dee lish.

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