(Don’t tell my mom) this weekend was probably the most nerve wracking road trip I’ve ever been on. The furthest for sure (Ilocos Sur), and certainly the most rain. At the heaviest point, with our wiper blades already quite out, we could only see the car in front of us. The drive was more than 400 kilometers and I could feel every single one as the rain pounded down. And it didn’t stop. It was raining the whole time we were in Vigan and Sinait, and it was a relief to be dry indoors so we spent a lot of it just staying in our hotel room the first day in.
It is a testament to how laid back/we actually like each other that we didn’t kill each other on this trip. We had our share of being lost, sick and hung over. There was trash talk over the card game we kept playing. We couldn’t find decent coffee. It was, a lot of time spent in a small space with not a lot to distract us, because even the internet was difficult to come by.
However I am grateful to have spent this time with friends, even through all this dampness. We had really good, inexpensive, local street food (I am currently obsessed with Chicken Pipian, this congee style dish w
ith toasted rice, epazote, chicken, squash and kamias). We got a little stir crazy. We went body surfing in the storm. We got pelted with storm level rain in weirdly lukewarm ocean water. It was great to see what we could of the city through the eyes of my friend whose mom grew up there, and meeting her relatives that were nothing but helpful and always smiling at us, even if they were a little weirded out that we went to the city in this much rain.
It was wonderful. When I wasn’t tearing up about Anthony Bourdain or eating extra pork in his memory, my warm and fuzzy heart was full. (And my heart isn’t usually warm and fuzzy, just ask my friends) The simple joy of spending time with people I loved, not necessarily doing anything in the same space. I know of very few people that can say this about the people around them, and I count myself lucky to have these folks in my life. Not to say I’m going to stop beating them at Organ Attack or trash talking them for the fun of it, because I’m still me you know.
Do you have people in your life you can just be with? Hug them today.