NGCP announced a 13-hour power interruption for April 15 (Saturday here in the Philippines). So, Francis and I thought it would be nice to bring Sprout to the ocean for the first time.

We left San Jose City at around 6. I fell asleep in the backseat as soon as I fastened Sprout in her car seat. When I woke up around 7:30, we were passing the huge billboard at Rosario, Pangasinan. Francis suggested that I sleep again, but I thought we were near San Juan already, so I didn’t. We had pancakes and hot chocolate from Jollibee Agoo because I didn’t get to prepare breakfast at home since I overslept. (As you can see in this photo, we didn’t even manage to change Sprout’s bed clothes.)

We arrived at the public beach in San Juan at exactly 9:30, and parked the car at Honu. The parking fee is still ₱100 ($2) for the whole day. Here, we changed Sprout into her rashguard. We’ve been getting her excited for her first beach trip, so she (thought) she was going to love the dagat (ocean).

But! She didn’t like it at all! She cried as soon as her feet touched the waters. This wasn’t surprising, since that was my niece Anne’s first reaction to the sea as well. (But Anne loves swimming now, so I have high hopes.) Sprout was also afraid of her turtle tub when we first let her try it and now loves it. Francis and I decided we need more beach trips.

Because the baby wasn’t exactly having fun, we decided to leave after less than an hour at the beach. We went to Seabuds for some popsicles. This was our go-to space pre-pandemic, and when we were still vegan. (We’re just vegetarians now.) Unfortunately, the popsicles are not in the menu anymore, so we just got an Azul smoothie bowl.

(In real life, this isn’t purple. It’s really blue from blue spirulina. It’s good and the ambience is still pretty, but the wait time is sooooo long. It was past eleven when we got our smoothie bowl, which I and Sprout finished in less than ten minutes.)

Actually, we were in a rush and not just because we wanted to go home early. Our second main agenda for the day was to eat at Buhay Gulay, the vegetarian eatery that inspired our now-defunct Veganderia. Buhay Gulay is found right at the boundary of San Fernando and San Juan. We arrived at exactly twelve for our lunch.

We had everything in the menu. Everything served was vegan, except for the dinakdakan, which had regular mayonnaise. We had igado (my favorite), pinapaitan, kinilaw na puso ng saging, barbecue and coconut water in the shell. Everything was good, but we weren’t able to finish everything – after all, we just had a smoothie – so we opted to take home the rest.

We started our drive back to San Jose City a little past one. Again, I fell asleep as soon as I fastened Sprout in her seat. Because of that, we weren’t able to buy vinegar I promised our parents as pasalubong. The next time I woke up, we were almost at Nueva Ecija. We made a short stop in Lupao to get some street food we could take home.

We safely made it back to San Jose City at five p.m.

And that’s it for Sprout’s first beach trip and our power interruption-induced Saturday getaway.

‘Til next time!

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