What’s the best thing to do during summer vacation when you’re not out on the beach? Reading, of course! Travel vicariously through books.
I just finished reading “Harriet Beamer Takes the Bus” on Kindle and it has stirred in me a longing to go out and travel once more. Harriet is a 70+ year old widow who lost a bet to her daughter-in-law. As a consequence, she had to sell her house, pack her bags, and live with her son and daughter-in-law. She decided, however, to take the long route going to their place. She wanted to see the world, and so she traveled from Philadelphia to California via land transportation. And traveling she did, while adding more salt and pepper shakers to her collection.
I had imagined the luxurious hotel rooms where Harriet stayed as well as the tourist spots she had visited. The story was beautifully written that I felt like I was with her all the way, hearing her conversations, feeling her emotions, seeing everything in her own eyes. But there is one place that I am longing to be in right now, which Harriet didn’t get to visit in any of her travels. It is a place that I had been to more than a decade ago. A place that is quiet, peaceful, and surrounded by nature, i.e., both the sea and mountains – the Caylabne Bay Resort in Ternate, Cavite City.
I remember working as an intern at a prestigious PR firm then. It was summer and like most companies, we also had our own company outing, which was held at that particular beach resort. I guess you could say I was lucky that they invited me along. Normally, interns and/or temporary employees do not enjoy such privilege, but my bosses were very gracious to me. We stayed there for two days and two nights, if I remember it right.
The beach wasn’t as lovely as Boracay, being world-famous for its pristine white sands and blue waters at that time, but it certainly wasn’t as crowded either. Our cabin was big and cozy, and we had access to both the swimming pools and the beach.
In the morning, we would go hiking at the nearby mountain, where I saw so many species of beautiful flowers, as well as birds and monkeys. Yes, monkeys! The air was simply different – unpolluted yet intoxicating. The view from the top was exhilarating, especially as we looked down to the sea. It was like one of the scenes in Leonardo Di Caprio’s movie “The Beach”. At that time, I was really into mountain hiking and camping, so I appreciated the whole experience, not to mention I was city-raised.
The foods we ate were also delectable; each meal was a feast! I suppose it pays to be part of the top PR firm in the country, not to mention to have a generous boss who’s also a major stockholder at such a beautiful exclusive resort. I wonder if I’ll ever get to visit that place again or when. If not, a place similar to that or much lovelier than that. I long to wake up once more in a serene place with a beautiful view of the mountains and the seas… Oh, yes, that was certainly a room with a view!
(This is part of our writing challenge at Blogging University 101, dubbed as “A Room with a View”. Any thoughts? I’m not sure if I did justice to the place or the challenge itself…)