Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Road Trip for Christmas 2013 Part 1

This Christmas, I will be going on a road trip up North.

With my blue Vios, I will take a week long journey with my family for a Christmas celebration and fellowship. My wife and the kids, my brother and a friend rides with us. We will be travelling with my sister-in-law who will travel with her family on their car and we will meet up other family members in Nueva Ecija to complete our three vehicle convoy.

Day One - We woke up early. Our call time was 3 AM. After meeting up in McDo, we were able to hit the road at around 3:30 AM. We left early to avoid the expected traffic build up in NLEX.

The travel was smooth. We took the newly opened TPEX. The kids and my rear passengers were asleep during the trip but my wife kept me company to make sure I won't fall asleep while driving. I love long travels because it allows for good chit chats on whatever topic that may pop up. I always believe that a good conversation builds relationships and strengthens old ones.  This is a good way to catch up after being away from my family for two weeks to assist in the rehab efforts in Tacloban.

Our first stop was in Guimba. We took some shortcuts which led us to wrong directions. Good for us we were with "Magta" who helped us ask for directions. We arrived at our first stop in Guimba before 7 AM. We had a hearty breakfast of steamed vegetable and lechon paksiw prepared by the Barrientos family. At around 9 AM, we were back on the road towards Tuguegarao.

Since it was daytime, there were not too many cargo trucks travelling along the highway. This allowed us to have a speedy travel. After racing to the top of Nueve Vizcaya in Sta Fe, we took a short break to enjoy the view in Dalton Pass. It has been quite some time since I took a moment to appreciate nature. For me, mountaintop experiences always gives the perfect setting for a communion with God. Being at the top of Sta Fe, NV, looking up to heaven, it seems that God is closer to us. It is Christmas indeed for it is the time where God came to earth not only to be closer with us but to be with us.

It was now past 11 AM and we decided to have lunch in Cordon. We got there at around 2 PM. This is my favorite pitstop whenever I travel to Tuguegarao. The ambience is so cozy and relaxing. For a moment it makes me forget that I have been taking a long travel. We ordered their specialty of seafood kare-kare, fish fillet, vegetable salad among others. It was a full lunch.

The last leg will be towards Tuguegarao. We took the road via Roxas to save some time. It was already 3 PM and we don't want to be travelling before the sun sets. But the day is shorter and the nights are longer in December. It was only 5 PM but the sky is already getting dusky and dark. I don't have my glasses and I don't want to drive in the dark. Good for me that I am sandwiched in between our convoy. This helped me be guided in the road. We finally arrived at Tuguagarao safely at 8 PM. We were welcomed by my In-Laws and we feasted on seafoods and vegetables they prepared for us.