With the impending arrival of Stella, Jaime and I figured it would be years again before he and I could enjoy a proper “vacation.” And by proper, we mean a vacation which may or may not involve consuming copious amounts of alcohol and waking up at noon the following day. A vacation which may or may not involve renting a Vespa scooter and zipping around an ancient European city’s crowded highways, with not much thought for safety. A vacation where we can actually sit down and enjoy a proper meal.
And so it was that Jaime and I found ourselves at the Manila Hotel during the APEC holidays. He and I have never stayed at the Manila Hotel, ever. We’ve only seen its facade, and I’ve only had a meeting there once or twice. Jaime has never even stepped foot inside it. We wanted to stay in a place just in Manila, where we could walk around and not just vegetate in a hotel. We heard that the Korean and Chilean Presidents were booked at the same hotel. Not Canadian PM Trudueau though, but oh well. We did miss him by 5 minutes when we arrived, dammit.
There was no traffic either, hallelujah! We were even allowed to check in early. Upon dumping our bags, we set out for lunch at Ilustrado and some sightseeing at the San Agustin Church and Museum.
The next day, we had lunch at Chinatown and shopped around for hopia. It was Thursday then and all roads were closed for the big APEC dinner that night. Thankfully, a kind Manila police officer escorted us back to our hotel in exchange for a small tip. Parang Apec delegate lang.
We went swimming that night, with me clad in a bikini that I will probably never get to wear again in this lifetime. Not with the stretchmarks and the not-so-few pounds I acquired during the course of this pregnancy, both of which I predict will remain with me for the rest of my life. After room service dinner, we passed out before 10 pm, like the old fogeys that we are.
After another buffet breakfast that day, we went swimming again. Swimming in a pool when one resembles an inflatable whale has its perks. I loved feeling buoyant, and were it not for the fact that we had to check out, I could have stayed in the pool all day. Jaime would drag me around the pool by my arms, like a child who was learning how to swim.
I’ve never had a staycation before, but I think this was pretty much how I’d imagined a perfect staycation would be.