22 January 2011

My Birthday Weekend

I've been having a really great year.  So far.  Yeah, I know we're only three weeks into the year.  But it's been a fucking great three weeks.  Especially last week, my birthday.  Paco finally got the chance to  use the frustrated romantic in him and planned the best birthday weekend ever.   To begin with he was actually HERE, he is usually on some work assignment  tens of thousands of kilometers away like Timbuktu or somewhere beyond any form of communication like the moon.   It doesn't really bug me, if you've been here before, you know that I'm not the sappy kind.  Along the same lines as it's the thought that counts, I don't think it's that important that a birthday be celebrated on the day itself.  Who really cares about the technicality of the dates?

Well apparently Paco does.  He was so excited to be here he planned a surprise weekend getaway for us.  NO KIDS.  The last time we took any time off just the two of us was in August 2004.  I felt like I won the lottery.  I didn't even care where the hell we were going.

No, I lie.  I did care when we got there.  We went to Sitio Remedios in Currimao, Ilocos Norte.  It was gorgeous! I really did win the lottery.  We spent the weekend eating, lounging, reading, napping, talking, walking along the beach.    We would have gone swimming but it was windy, the water was rough and the pool was freezing.  I couldn't have asked for more.

Sitio Remedios is unlike any resort I've been to.  It feels like you're at your lola's (grandmother's) house in the province.  From the old houses for the guests to the Ilocano meals served family style.   Our Balay Bacarra had a lanai with a little sala set and a day bed.  At lunch and dinner we had to pry each other off the day bed and we only left with thoughts of tomato salad, bagnet and pinakbet in our heads.  

 When the gracious owner found out it was my birthday he organized a cozy dinner for me.  He opened a lovely 10-year old bottle of wine and bought a carrot cake when he was in town earlier that afternoon.  Before blowing out the candle he gathered the staff, they crowned me with a calachuchi tiara and sang me an Ilocano birthday song.

You've definitely upped the bar, Paco.  I've already said it twice but I'll say it one more time.  I think I won the lottery.  Can't wait till next year.