I am probably the last of the romantics to be in-the-know about setting up a romantic dinner or lunch at fancy restaurants, but take me to the great outdoors and I can say I know quite a few styles. But during this time, even though I've envisioned a meal by the sea with my girlfriend, the friendly staff Palo Alto Bed & Breakfast did the task of preparing what was a unanimously agreed 'hands down' the best meal we both shared together. Why wouldn't it be the case? a plateful of crab, grilled fish, pinakbet, pork liempo in a private beach spanning a long stretch of white sands all for ourselves.
Right after our Underground River tour, our boatman quickly took us aboard on a 20 minute boat ride to this place away from the hordes of tourists. With the strong winds gushing on our faces, I directed my gaze afar and saw the glistening white sands and the deep crystal clear waters, enveloped by the lush green forests waiting for us.
I remember during my previous trips to Coron and El Nido, Palawan one of the highlights are the lunches at the island hopping tour. But those were shared with other travelers which I don't mind. It becomes as the most opportune of time to bond with each other as we'll form a circle and feast on the sumptuous set of dishes prepared by our boatman. In between sucking shrimps conversations will ensued.
But on this particular instance, it was just me and my girlfriend Monnette while the staff or Palo Alto set up a sand blanket for us to sit and over it, a woven mat where they served our banquet for the day. Since we started seeing each other, Monnette and I had been going out a lot foodtripping in the city, in the foodie corners of Maginhawa Street in Quezon City in particular.
We've had our favorite places and moments of gastronomical pleasures but this one tops it all. While nibbling on a crab I asked her to rate this particular meal we are sharing together. Without blinking she tells me "this is the best" while she cracks open one of the crabs.
It took us more than an hour to finish our meal - well crab meat are always time consuming to chow down, but it inject unrivaled gluttonous appeasement to your appetite - so its very much worth the slow pace of devouring it. Given that the weather can't be more perfect and the sun just showers us with luminous glow, our skin screamed for contact with salt water and coupled by the inviting call of the waves, we waded through the ocean like we owned it.
Just the sight of the smile on Monnette's face, I told myself I will never tire of traveling with her. Might it be revisiting old favorites of mine or discovering new ones. This is just the start of our many journeys together. Be it literally and figuratively. :)