Category Archives: Friends

My Bestfriend’s Birthday Weekend

It’s been four years since he last came home. Even if I saw him last February and last July, it was still different having him back in the country. And I’m glad my bestfriend, Edward, decided to spend his birthday weekend in Manila with me. Yes, I made him fly on his birthday!

I almost did not recognize him when I went to pick him up at the airport – the longer than usual hair, the mustache, the goatee. But I forgot to take a picture!

Took Edward to F1 Hotel where we stayed overnight. Picked it because I wanted a place close to Bonifacio High Street where Edward has never been to before. I booked a deluxe room. When we checked in, was pleasantly surprised that they upgraded our room to a suite!

First thing we did was to find a barbershop for Edward’s haircut. Glad we bumped into one of my officemates, Paolo, who showed us where the nearest one was. (Yeah, don’t have any idea where to find one.

2nd’s

Took Edward to one of the best restaurants in the area, 2nd’s. Got one of their bestsellers, beef steak, and Edward’s choice, lamb shank caldereta.

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Because we were so full from our heavy meal, we walked around the area and went to Market Market to buy me some medicines for my colds. Bad decision because it was raining hard and we had a small umbrella. We got really wet. Worse, on our way back, I decided to buy cakes for to go so we can eat the cakes while watching tv back at the hotel. Well, while walking at the parking lot, the 2 boxes of cake fell, only one survived. Yay, we still got to eat one cake! Lol

Breakfast

Had buffet for breakfast

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And took pictures by the pool

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My sisters picked us up around 10am for a trip to Batangas.

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Acuaverde

We spent the weekend at Acuaverde in Laiya, San Juan, Batangas.

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We were joined later in the afternoon by my friend, Quennie, and her family.

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Morning fun

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Lunch in Tagaytay

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And a rainbow to cap the weekend

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Yogyakarta, Indonesia (July 26 – 28, 2013)

This is my first trip outside of Singapore with my bestfriend, Edward. Thanks to the invitation my college roomies who also live in Singapore.

First stop, we checked in at our hotel – Royal Ambarrukmo.

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Purawisata

Had dinner at Purawisata where they also showed Ramayana ballet in their open air theatre.

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Ramayana Ballet

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Prambanan

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Stopped for some fresh buko juice before heading out to our next destination.

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And got myself a hat from this lovely and friendly old lady

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Kesuma Restaurant

Thanks to the recommendation of one of our college friends, Kelvin, who visited Yogyakarta before, we tried this secret restaurant that serves delicious local cuisine.

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The French owner was very friendly and took the time to explain to us what’s on the menu. They apparently change the menu once a year and they have limited copies of it.

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Since we were the only guests at the restaurant, the Chef, who is also the wife of the owner, came out to chat with us. They even had pictures with us. Such great hosts!

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Borobudur

When we got to Borobudur, we tried to catch the sunset at the top of the temple. Unfortunately, it was too cloudy.

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We checked in at the Saraswati Hotel, an old but very pretty boutique hotel near the temple.

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We woke up at 4:00 AM the next day to catch the sunrise on top of Borobudur temple.

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There was probably over a hundred people eagerly waiting for the sunrise.

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From afar, we also caught a glimpse of Mt. Merapi which is one of the active volcanoes in Yogyakarta.

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We went back to Saraswati around 7:30 AM for a quick breakfast before going back to the city for some quick shopping before our flight back to Singapore.

Singapore

Back in Singapore, we had a quick seafood dinner in East Coast with my friends before I flew back to Manila.

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Washington Visit 2013 – Seattle (5/25/2013)

Ride The Ducks

Started the day with a tour via Ride The Ducks of Seattle, situated near the Seattle Center. It gave us a view and history of Seattle in a hilarious and entertaining manner. Was definitely a treat!

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Seattle Center / Space Needle

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Chihuly Glass Museum

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Experience Music Project

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Pike Place

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Kurt Cobain’s House

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A Beautiful Boracay Wedding (April 13, 2013)

Back in Boracay after 6 months!

Was blessed to be invited by my good friend, Bucky, at his wedding in Boracay this weekend. Bucky was my batchmate in college at the Ateneo de Manila University and we both stayed at the college dorm, Cervini Hall for the guys and Eliazo Hall for the girls. When he mentioned that the wedding will be in Boracay, didn’t think twice about it! I immediately booked my flight and hotel.

I arrived in Boracay last Friday night at 11:00 PM, two hours later than expected. The plane could not leave Manila because of some congestion in Kalibo. Apparently, flights to Caticlan were redirected to Kalibo because of some event. So, I did not get a chance to meet with dorm friends who were already in Boracay.

The wedding was not until 2:00 in the afternoon. So, I decided to have a relaxing morning by the beach. Got my simple breakfast at One Crescent Place before heading out to the beach. In my beach bag was a book, sunblock, my phones, phone charger and, of course, some money. I planned on having a massage at some point by the beach. Yes, massage by the beach. And it only costs PHP 400 at most (around US$ 10).

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When I got to the beach, this was the sight that welcomed me.

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While walking by the beach to look for a good spot to hang out, I accidentally saw Roldan, another dorm friend from Ateneo waiting for his breakfast at Jony’s. Then we were joined by Albert who was checked in at Jony’s along with his fiance, Cor. Albert is also from the dorm. We went to Jonah’s for some fruitshake. Their milkshake is a must-try. Albert got an avocado milkshake, I got a mango milkshake and I think Roldan got a banana-mango milkshake.

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At Jonah’s with Albert, Cor, and Roldan.

Since we still had time, we decided to get a massage by the beach. We went back to Jony’s and they helped get a masseuse for us.

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My view during the massage
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Roldan and Albert getting their massage. Look how close we were to the water.

By the time Roldan and Albert were done with their massage, the water has reached the table. It was high tide!

The Wedding

Got to the Holy Rosary Parish church a little bit before 2:00 PM. It was so cool to see these cool Cervini guys again. Back in college, there was a group of 15 guys in Cervini who called themselves the ‘Lonely Hearts Club’. Their goal was to make sure all of them find the one for them and get married someday. Bucky was the President. He is now officially resigned, the third to the last to get married :)

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Roldan, Me, Joseph, Bucky (the groom!), Wong, Albert, Cor

A few minutes later, we were all asked to take our seats. The doors were opened, and the radiant bride walked in.

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Kaye was so lovely and elegant in her bridal gown

Father Lito Mangulabnan, SJ, who was our Head Prefect for a period of time at the dorm, officiated the wedding. He knew Bucky well. During homily, he assured Kaye that she was marrying a really good man.

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You may now kiss the bride!
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All excited for the newly weds!
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Ride to the reception

Cocktails

The newly weds served cocktails at Sea Wind. Wong hosted the event along with one of Kaye’s lady friends. Wong was hilarious! I think he did a great job making the program fun for everyone.

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Veggies, oysters, lechon

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After cocktails, we were asked to join the newly weds for some pictures with the sunset in the background.

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Glorious sunset
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Sweet and beautiful…. hello, low tide

Dinner

A section by the beach was setup for dinner.

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Our table assignments

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Got this beautiful shot of the reception area and the bluish sky after the sun set and the little moon came out.

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We welcomed the newly weds to the party with sparklers!

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Kaye’s bestfriend opened the party with a heart-felt message to Kaye and Bucky. Then, he surprised them with a number from their friends – a dragon dance! According to Wong, the dragon dance was for prosperity and fertility! ;)

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I was just telling the guys at my table that I wanted to watch a fire dance by the beach. Then, these wonderful people came in! According to Wong, the fire dance was also for fertility! Lol

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During dinner, Kaye’s father asked if he could sit with us at our table. He was overwhelmed by the entire thing. But he was very happy for his daughter. He went on to share with us how they brought in the butchered cow that was roasted on the spot for the wedding. They hired a boat from Bacolod to Aklan. They brought all the stuff they needed to roast and the men who will do it.

Dancing ensued after the dinner and program. Fun times!

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With Albert and my best buddy in college, Joseph
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Nikki, Wong, Albert and Kaye’s friend
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Woohoo!
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Everyone on their feet dancing and drinking

It was so warm that night that the guys, led by Wong, took off their white shirts and danced the night away. Even the groom took off his shirt! Haha! By the way, Wong – as Bucky asked throughout the event, how did you get that physique? ;D

Unfortunately, I could not stay long at the party since my flight the next day was at 9:30 AM. I had to leave the hotel at around 6:00 AM. Boracay is about two hours away from Kalibo. I needed to take a 15-minute boat ride to Caticlan, then another an hour and a half land trip by van to Kalibo airport. There is also an airport in Caticlan but the flight I got was in Kalibo.

One Crescent Place

This boutique hotel was not on the beach front, but it was right behind the church and was only 3 minutes away from the beach on foot. Found it on Expedia. Why I picked it? The rates were reasonable, the reviews were good, and it was close to the church. I actually did not know where the church was except that it is in Station 1.

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Breakfast area outside

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It was a very neat place and the room was cozy. But, what I liked most was the service. When I told the guy during check-in that I will miss breakfast on Sunday, since it is normally served at 7:00 AM, he said they can serve my breakfast before 6:00 AM. And they did, and they made sure I was already awake to take my breakfast at 5:45 AM.

https://www.facebook.com/onecrescentplace/

http://www.onecrescentplace.com/

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Singapore Visit 2013 (Feb 22-25, 2013)

Had a quick visit to Singapore to get some ‘stuff’ from my good friend, Edward, and to meet up with good friends I have not seen in a while.

This time, I chose to stay with another good College friend, Hazel.

Since I was arriving on Friday noon, Edward decided to take the day off to accompany me during the day. Edward picked me up at the airport. We left my bags at Hazel’s place first then went to get late lunch at a Japanese place.

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We went around the mall to look for Singtel to inquire about their iphone 5. My sister’s been bugging me to goto Singapore to buy one for here. Edward offered to use his renewal plan to get the phone for free. My sister can pay him at a much lower rate.

Dinner with College Friends

At around 7pm, we went to look for Artichoke – Hazel’s pick for dinner.

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Gail wasn’t able to make it to dinner, but glad Aldhel made it.

While waiting for Gail, we decided to go get some dessert.

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Lunch with SVI Friends

The next day, met up with my girlfriends from SVI – Rege, Chris and Ela.

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Singapore Flyer Ride

After three hours of eating and sharing stories, went to ride the Singapore Flyer

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After the ride, we had some Authentic Singapore snacks.

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Marina Bay Sands

Then we went to Marina Bay Sands, my first time there as well.

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A few minutes after 8 PM, we went out to watch the light show.

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After walking around Marina Bay Sands dor hours, we decided to have a late dinner at Kraze Burger.

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At Hazel’s Place

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Supertrees Dining

Passed through this artsy tunnel on our way to Supertrees to have lunch with some College friends.

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These Supertrees generate natural electricity!

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Zoe’s Birthday Party

At around 2:00 PM, I got ready to meet up with Chris to attend Zoe’s birthday party at Hard Rock Hotel in Sentosa.

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Hello birthday girl

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Darwin was a schoolmate in College and his son is a classmate of Zoe’s. Small world!

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With Rege’s twins

Dinner at Dian Xiao Er

Met up with Edward for dinner at Vivo City before heading home.

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Lalaine and Russ: A Beautiful Wedding in Napa (Oct 2012)

Getting There

I arrived in Pleasanton the day before from my week-long trip in New York. As soon as Jazel arrived from Seattle, she picked me up at my hotel, we had a quick lunch at Stoneridge Mall, then headed out to Napa in time for the 4:00 PM wedding rehearsal. We can’t be late or else the beautiful bride will not be happy :) We had a fun ride catching up on things. Well, I did not have much to share, not much has happened to me. Jazel had more exciting things to share that I cannot share here (nor with anyone else… haha, nang-intriga pa) ;)

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The Venue

Beautiful, isn’t it?

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Mother and daughter walking down the aisle during rehearsal while Russ’ parents look on. Beautiful moment :)

Dinner with the family, close friends and entourage

After the rehearsal, the group went to this elegant Italian restaurant. Shared stories with old and new friends.

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Russ thanking family and friends. Sorry, Russ I missed the beginning of your speech.
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Jessica. Russ’ beautiful sister.
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Listening intently to Jessica.

Bridal Shower

After dinner, Elaine suggested that we give Lalaine a bridal shower since many of us are from far away places (Jasmine from LA, Jazel from Washington, Aileen from Virginia, and me from the Philippines) and could not get together  weeks before. We decided to meet at Crush (and we got lost going there, haha!)

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Hello, sexy ladies!
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The bride with her bling!
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Lalaine and her beautiful girls!!! Me, Marie, Lalaine, Grace, Jazel, Elaine, Jasmine

Pictorial before the Ceremony

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Beautiful gown!
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The beautiful bride and her flower girls
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Katelyn. Love her smile and beautiful curls!
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Hi Lalaine! Luv ya!
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With the mother of the bride. Kanino pa ba magmamana ng kagandahan!
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Love this! Miss you girls!

At the Ceremony

Could not take pictures, but snuck this one :)

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Aunt Elsa: Take care of Lalaine, Russ! Walang solian!

Married!

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Lalaine and Russ <3

Pictorial again after the Ceremony.

We tried to catch some of the light. Had a hard time going up and down the hill in my 3-inch heels. Well, Lalaine had a much harder time in her 4-inch heels! I should not be complaining.

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Jasmine did my curls, Aileen did Jazel’s, Jasmine did hers, Aileen did hers. I wish I can style my own hair!

Cocktails

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Hello!
Hello!

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Lalaine with brothers Ryan and Rommel
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Great idea, Lalaine! Keep the kids busy so they won’t get bored ;)
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Hey, Russ. I’m taking Jack’s picture.

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First dance as man and wife <3
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Cheers! I wish both of you lots of happiness and beautiful kids ;)

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Change in outfit. Love the dress!
Change in outfit. Love the dress!

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Outtakes

What we did before going to Meritage for the preparations for the wedding.

Jazel, Aileen and I took a walk around the area and took some silly pictures, haha! We decided we need some exercise!!!

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Hot air balloons in the distance

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My Weekend in Baguio (May 5-6, 2012)

A few weeks ago, I made a promise to a few friends, especially to Ariel, that I will meet with them in Baguio for dinner and drinks on May 5 to compensate for missing out on Ariel and Allen’s special day last February 4 (It was all because of this).

After a night at the movies with my archu-friends, I went directly to the bus station to get a ride to Baguio. Got on the 3:00 AM trip and arrived in Baguio at 10:30 AM. Ariel and Odo picked me up at the terminal and took me to Hale ‘Opua Bed and Breakfast where we spent the night (more on this later).

FOREST HOUSE

 I didn’t know a lot of good restaurants in Baguio. So, I turned to Foursquare to get an idea of popular restaurants around the area. As soon as I spotted Forest House in the list, I knew it was a place I wanted to visit. None of my friends have been there but I heard it was a must-try place. I went ahead and placed a reservation with them.

What a quaint place Forest House was! We were welcomed by this impressive fireplace.

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We were led to a corner table with a window. Nice!

That’s our table by the window

And look at what was on the table. Yes, this is definitely our table.

Thank you for getting my name right!

While waiting for my friends to arrive, I couldn’t help but walk around the picturesque place and take pictures!

Going to the deck

From the deck, I saw a yard below which got me curious. Apparently, below the restaurant was bed and breakfast.

Entrance to Bed and Breakfast

Artsy

By the time I got back to the restaurant, the place was already filled with diners. Dan, Ariel and Allen arrived as well. Immediately, we ordered food!

Inihaw feast!

While eating, we were treated to some wonderful music by this trio.

The band playing very good music for the diners

And, of course, here is the group

Dan, Ariel, Allen and I (Odo was behind the camera)

More information about the Forest House Bed and Breakfast, visit www.foresthousebedandbreakfast.com.

Part 2 on Hale ‘Opua Bed and Breakfast to follow :)