Monday, February 25, 2013

The (How Not To) Diet Diaries: Alba

We are a family that loves paella and lechon, so it was a no-brainer that our next food stop after Paseo Uno would be Alba.

The MWC bosses were always taking us to Alba in Eastwood. Now in my current office there's another nearby Alba branch, in Morato this time. It's memorable bcoz it's where M and C took me in the two times I was At The Height Of My Office Dramas. Hahaha.

I love that Alba just has three small tables, one each for appetizers, mains, and desserts, but each dish is so, so good. Not like other buffets that go for quantity rather than quality. I don't even like standard Spanish fare like lengua and callos, but I'm happy with just the paella, cochinillo, and canonigo.

Boots is Mr. Lechon Skin. He LOVES it. It's his favorite part of every Christmas party in Tarlac.

Yoshi is loyal to his lechon kawali and fried chicken. He's still at child rate in most buffets we go to. Now that's where the businesses lose out. Hahaha.

Ches was being annoying as usual and having a lot of healthy salad stuff. He's so misplaced in this family, I swear. He's like our adopted relative, or there must have been a switch in the nursery. Hahaha.

I remember a gimmick with QT friends in Rockwell back when we were still in Pacific Star. I ordered this huge slab of canonigo at Sugarhouse or somewhere, and the girls were shocked to see me finish it off in one sitting. They underestimated me, I guess. Hahaha. Ako na!

After Alba, we went to watch The Hobbit at Imax. Perfect lunch, perfect movie, and perfect weekend.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Hong Kong

Karen and I were invited to join some 170+ other people from these two companies where we serve as corporate secretaries. I actually gave Ann my slot, but her passport was expired and her elder son was in the hospital on the day we flew out.

This was the first sign that caught my attention on the bus:

Bummer, right? It's gotta be illegal for violating a very basic human right to food and water. Hahaha. I ignored it and promptly chewed on my baon cheese floss from Breadtalk.

We stayed at Royal View Hotel in the area called New Territories. Which might as well have been called Far From The Madding Crowd. Haha. It was a nice, new hotel with high ceilings and big rooms, a view of the hills and beach, but it was far from where all the action was. The food was also blah. There were a lot of choices in the breakfast buffet, but I just stocked up on the sausage, omelette, and prawns from the fried rice. The other dishes were too blah even for the piggy likes of me.

This was the first Hong Kong trip for most of the young employees (their first foreign trip, for that matter), and so it included the usual city tour. Avenue of Stars, Aberdeen Fishing Village, Victoria Peak, Mongkok, and all of that. I was just happy to get me the latest Hello Kitty Flik Flak watch at the mall in Victoria Peak. I was surprised that it was cheaper in HK than in Ate Josie's Gift Gate in Trinoma (haha), bcoz in Beijing Swatch is more expensive.

The trip also included Disneyland, of course. Ches dared me to ride Space Mountain, bcoz I was chicken the last time we were here. Yoshi was less than three years old then and he had already taken it. Haha. So that was the first thing Karen and I lined up for, and we were joined by no less than the President of the two companies, who also happens to be one of our favorite bosses in the office. He was our joint Disneyland date for the whole day. We LOVE him. He made us ride RC Racer in Toy Storyland, tho. Gasp. Never again. He also wanted us to try this parachute thing, but I told him I'd rather resign so he let it drop (pun intended). Hahaha.

Mom told me about all the little dolls in It's A Small World. (I think it was being put up the last time they were here with Ate, Vada, Yoshi, and Rino.) So we checked it out, and I LOVED it. I don't think I'll ever outgrow my love for dolls. And there's about 60 million of them singing and dancing, all decked out to go with an area's particular theme, and you watch them while riding this boat that floats slowly around. Why can't all Disney rides be as relaxing and stress-free like this? Haha.

We also watched The Golden Mickeys. Karen and I were crushing on Tarzan - he was not only super hot but was also quite the acrobat. Haha. My favorites are still Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid. I like Monsters, Inc. and Up, but for me, nothing still quite compares to Under The Sea, Kiss The Girl, Something There, Little Town. They don't make songs and cartoons like Ariel and Belle anymmore.

The Lion King is one of the newer shows so we also caught it. My favorites were the girls who played zebras. They looked so limber and graceful in their fabulous stripes. In my next life as an animal, I'm so going to be a zebra.

And since we were already in Adventureland, we took the river cruise as well. We went on the line for the English tour guide, and we were laughing bcoz we could hardly understand her, anyway. Haha. Sir Bodgit also bought us grilled giant squid here. Yes, pumunta pa sa Disneyland para lang kumain ng daing na pusit. So glamorous, Karen and I. Hahaha.

We watched the Disney parade, of course. It is always my favorite part of Disneyland. It's just TOO SCREAMING HAPPY. Hahaha. I got to see Eeyore up close, too. (I love you, Eeyore! Take me in and let's be miserable together!)

We stayed up till the fireworks. I love Main Street at night. It's great in the daytime as it is, but at night, it's just so much all the Main Streets we saw in the US - at Falmouth, Plymouth, Martha's Vineyard. (I miss the Main Streets, Ate.)

I got the boys watches and toys from one of the Disney stores. My favorite store display was this one of polka dot Minnie Mouse cuteness. She's the original polka dot girl, I think.

The best Disney buy would have been these D&B Mickey bags that I found in the Disney store in the airport. I wanted to get one for my Ate the D&B addict, but at the steep price these beauties go for, that would've meant the death of my credit card. Hahaha. (Next time, Ate, when I'm richer and more fabulous.)

The third day was shopping day. I've been to Hong Kong easily five times, but I've never been to Citygate, this mall of outlet shops in Tung Chung. What a winner! I got a Swatch for Ches, Crocs for the boys, Giordano as pasalubong, and Vans Kitties for Ate and me!

I'm not all that big on sneakers and only ever use them in the rare times Ches succeeds in dragging me out of my ass to go jogging with him. But if they're Hello Kitty and sell for more than half the price they go for at the Vans store in Trinoma - I'm so there! Hahaha.

I also couldn't resist this pair of Kate Spade sequined flats. Omg, will you look at this goddess? It's The Mother Of All Shining, Shimmering Ballerina Flats. I LOVE it. I have visions of myself growing old and being known as The Old Woman In The Kate Spade Flats. My Hong Kong trip is so perfect bcoz of it. HAHAHA.