*So what’s summer without food and friends? Here are just some of the reasons why my clothes are tighter and some of the adventures that have made me happier—all in squares.
If I’m not at home attempting to bake something sweet for the people I love and trying to be more domesticated in the kitchen, I’m out having lunch with my family and grandparents in Japanese restaurants. When I’m with groups of friends, we usually try new places but these are rarely the best meals cause they’re usually really fancy places our college wallets can’t afford and something always goes wrong, like waiters don’t pay enough attention to us cause we look underage or we share food so we don’t get filled up. But when I’m out with my closest girl friends, as much as we talk about trying new places, we just stick to the ones we know.
There’s nothing like entering a restaurant and knowing where you always want to sit, not needing to look at the menu longer than two minutes, and knowing what food’s going to be served. Consistency in quality is important to me. Keyword: quality. I like surprises, but I don’t like getting surprised about how disappointing a meal is or worse, knowing it wasn’t going to be good all along. I’m adventurous with food in the sense that I’d try anything, but I won’t always go out of my way to try hipsterrific restaurants that care more about branding than flavor.
I crave comfort food and my idea of comfort food is simple. It’s not about the calories but it isn’t about the city’s hottest restaurants of the month either. If I’ve eaten in one restaurant for years, I’ll order the same thing again and again. I’m picky but it really is that simple. I don’t get sick of anything I find good. My orders are so predictable, the choices of my go-to-restaurants are just as predictable too. Even if they’re not the healthiest of choices (because there are worse), I like chocolate, I like cheese, I like bread, and I like midnight snacks.
In between everyone’s internships, on one early Saturday morning, my friends and I took a three hour drive to Pampanga. Direction: North & Destination: Sandbox.
The rides to and from were stories on their own. We had the weirdest and funnest pitstops in gas stations and fast foods. We also made new friends and ate the yummiest local food there. We made friends with Waze and got lost along the way while singing along to sleepover songs and a road trip playlist I picked out.
I’d recommend Sandbox to everyone. There’s nothing to dislike about a place with sprouting poles, bars, obstacle courses, and tight ropes, other than the grueling heat. If anything was bad about that day, it was just the weather. There’s no such thing as an amusement park without lines, so that I can deal with but the intense heat? Nope.
It was real fun though! I finally tried try zip-lining for the first time, as well as the giant swing, which is now one of my favorite rides. (Click here and here to check out the bigger version of the ride, which is now my now on my bucket list!!)
But I was really disappointed in myself when I couldn’t make the free fall jump from six or seven stories high. I just stood there frozen. Perhaps because as I was walking up, I had already been anticipating the fear. And the only thing I could think about on my walk of shame down the stairs, was how I’ll ever be able to conquer my number one dream of bungee jumping if I can’t even free fall off a few flights of stairs compared to bungee jumps…
I know though that I’ll be back to conquer the one thing I didn’t have the guts to do that day, so I’ll be a step closer to facing all my other fears. Till then, still on Ever Upwards.
Down and around
I’ve also had some spontaneous days out over the month with new friends that have taken me to new places or better yet, shown me the same everyday things in a new light. From running around and pigging out in S&R as though it was my first time to hanging around the village with my brother’s older friends.
And on one lovely afternoon, I got to live out my dream of driving blissfully on the skyway and head south. With U2 in the background, it was just like I imagined. At the same time, nothing like I imagined.
I saw new neighborhoods and took a peak into the community there; talk about southern hospitality. I saw the city skyline bathed in a blend of sunset hues, which I tried to capture in watercolor as soon as I got home.
But I’ve been home a lot since and I hope to get out more for days like these.