|Team Travelife in Subic yesterday|
First, the Travelife Magazine team placed second in the Columbia Regatta in Subic yesterday -- which was certainly a happy surprise. We're used to being the #1 travel & lifestyle publication and also to getting a lot of firsts in travel and writing; but we're quite happy not to win any prizes in sports since this is not really our forte. However, it seems our hardworking team has talents in this arena as well.
A TEAM FULL OF FIRSTS
Then Travelife Magazine also got the grand prize in the Travel Writing Contest sponsored by the Department of Tourism (DOT) and Ogilvy, besting all other newspapers and magazines. The article that represented Travelife and won the prize was by our editor at large, Gabby Malvar.
So as you can see, we're quite used to being #1. And now we're very happy to come in second in sports.
XO46'S FULLY BOOKED
On Saturday night, I met up with two friends who are coming along with me to the Czech Republic next month. We were supposed to have dinner at XO 46 in Salcedo Village (as I was so craving more Filipino food) but XO 46 and it's sister restaurant The Visayan Room were both fully booked. You can't imagine how disappointed I was as in my mind I was already ordering their beef adobo and spicy squid and getting incredibly hungry doing so.
So instead I invited my two friends over to my house and then we ordered takeout from XO 46 -- the next best thing to eating there. We ordered the beef adobo and spicy squid that I'd already pre-ordered in my mind, of course, plus my all-time favorite bangus salpicao, a new chicken dish, and some ube puto. I also decided to make a lechon kawali with a spicy sauce and some alamang fried rice to go with everything.
ALL KINDS OF OPTIONS
What fun we had discussing our trip next month, which begins in Istanbul in June and then ends in the Czech Republic. I'd already made arrangements to be in Prague on a certain date, but we thought it would be nice to go somewhere else either before or after our Prague trip for more of a bit of fun.
"And this time we can have dinner at Reina," S said.
Yeah. The last time we were in Istanbul, we'd been so busy that we hadn't had time for dinner in Reina although we did eat at a restaurant that served an authentic a meal as possible from the 13th century, and at Istanbul's best kebab restaurant.
And June is just about the perfect time to be at Reina if the weather is fine, as that view of the Bosphorus from the restaurant is just amazing. The food is pretty good -- Reina serves a proper Turkish degustation meal -- but it's really the view that's the killer. You feel there's nothing wrong with the world when you're sitting on one of the lounge chairs on the open terrace by the dance floor, watching the people dancing on one side and the boats passing by on the other side, with a glass of raki and good company on a perfect night.
BLACK SEA OR GREECE?
|UNESCO World Heritage Site of Safranbolu|
Greece was an idea. I'd just bumped into the Ambassador of Greece at a party last week and this was exactly what we'd discussed: driving from Istanbul to the Greek border. Apparently it's relatively easy and it only takes a few hours.
BULGARIA, ROMANIA OR VIENNA?
The moment I suggested it, everyone said yes very quickly and we all were very happy. It has great hotels, very good food and even more delicious cakes, interesting museums; and, with some luck, my friend A can even rent this cool sportscar he's been wanting to get, so he can drive us from Vienna to Prague.
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