La Union with my High School Constants

by - June 01, 2019

The squad

Believe it or not but this is actually my first time in La Union. Been wanting to go for months now but I have no one to go with me. So when my best friend is coming home from her vacation, we immediately planned a weekend getaway. My high school friends are mostly into staycations so it's really something when we finally push a getaway like this. Baby steps. Haha! And also, this almost didn't realize because Atheena had a traumatic experience with beaches so we were looking for other places we could visit while she's on vacation. But fortunately, we got her blessing. Lol. The only condition is that she'll not go to the falls. 

Planning vacations is tedious especially when everyone's schedule is tight and packed. We planned this month before Atheena's arrival just to make sure it pushes through. Imagine planning this around March and almost all accommodation near the surfing area are all fully booked! Yup. I am not sure if it's because it's summer or everyone just wants to get away from the busy Manila life.

We had no choice so we looked for a decent accommodation via Airbnb. There are a lot of choices but the main problem is how far is it from surf central. We are all girls and one factor we take into consideration in booking accommodation is how clean the comfort room is. Is it decent? When we finally found our accommodation, next is to book bus rides going to and from San Juan La Union. The only bus companies I know that drives that way are Partas and Viron. Viron, as far as I know, doesn't have an online booking platform. Partas, on the other hand, have one. ( We wanted a super deluxe bus so we can recline our seats but unfortunately, almost all trips are full. The only one left is the 12:15AM trip and 11PM trip.

We didn't want to arrive super early so we took the 12:15pm. Our bus going back to Manila seemed to reserve the remaining the seats for us because when I booked, there are only 4 seats left in the 3PM trip while the next one is 10pm already. Imagine that.

Fast forward to the actual day and after some preparations, we are good to go! Our meet up location is at Partas Pasay. I was asleep the whole drive going to San Juan La Union because how can I not?! I go to the office 7AM to avoid traffic so I usually wake up at 5:30, I am now a semi-morning person. Haha!

Once we arrived, our first order of business is to look for a breakfast place by the beach. By the way, we arrived 7AM-ish. We found one restaurant that's serving breakfast but it is still close. It opens around 8AM to which is okay with us. The restaurant is called Barefoot at Le Point. I like how they present the food and the food is actually good! I would say most of the stuff we ate at La Union is so damn good. Except for Surf Shack -- we were disappointed with the food.

Breakfast at Barefoot

After breakfast, we decided to visit the famous the Flotsam & Jetsam and kinda chilled at their restaurant while waiting for our check-in time which by the way the host told it is okay to check in early but she did not clarify that it is case to case basis. We ordered shakes to beat the heat somehow but it was us who got beaten. Lol. It's just sooo hot. The shakes cost 160 each and to be honest, it is not worth the price. I like how chill the vibe at Flotsam & Jetsam is so maybe that's what we are paying, not the food. LOL. The vibes remind me of Luang Prabang and Bali. There are day beds and bean bags for customer use. Sockets are provided for people who need to charge and maybe for people who work remotely.

Avocado and Mango shake from Flotsam & Jetsam

We checked in at around 12-ish and girl we were not happy. The host doesn't give clear directions on how to go to their area. She told us to alight at Awesome Hotel but it is not the actual location. Remember this is noon time, with the heat on its peak, she told us to walk because the house is not beside Awesome Hotel. I mean, from my experience in Airbnb, most of the host would fetch you if you're lost or would give proper directions given that the house is not along main road.

The room is so-so. We got the clean bathroom we wanted. Lol. This is the most basic I've seen. 1 bed, 2 floor mattresses, AC, and bathroom. No bedside table or even a small closet.

Once we settled in, we decided to take a nap before going back to surf central. By the way, the cost of the tricycle per ride from our accommodation is 150 whilst if you take a jeepney, you pay the minimum fare. The difference is huge but that is how far our location is.

Quesadilla from Clean Beach

We ate merienda at Clean Beach because Atheena has a friend working as a barista there. And as usual, the food is good, the coffee is good, the lemon bar is good. Haha! One thing I like about La Union restos we tried is that they provide water for everyone for free. They discourage the use of plastics.

I went to La Union looking forward to surf and experience the waves. I even looked for goggles I can use because as per my LASIK doctor, I should wear goggles whenever I do water sports. But lo and behold, there are no waves. We just waited for the sunset and enjoyed the view at the beach. In fairness, beach trips really cure your soul. So deep. Not all beach trips though - maybe it depends on what beach and who are you with? Hmm..

And since we are in La Union, what's a beach trip with friends without a night out? We tried our luck in Flotsam & Jetsam and obviously, it's already full. Some of the people there suggested we go to Surf Shack. We managed to get a spot that won't soak in the rain. And as I mentioned earlier, we didn't enjoy the food except for the pizza we ordered. There's a nearby Moon Leaf milk tea shop so to compensate for the disappointing dinner we had, we decided to get milk tea to cap the day off - there are no more pearls but whatever.

Once we got back on our room, it suddenly blacked out. Lol. It lasted for maybe 10 minutes before the electricity went back. And yeah... That's it for the day. Took a bath and retired for the day.

 The next day, we had our breakfast at El Union, which have a very long line early in the morning, which after eating, we now understand why. The food is soooo damn good. Their grilled cheese is a must! Coffee is also good! So after eating, we got ready to depart La Union. Went to the room, fixed our stuff. My one last request is that we try Makai Bowl for lunch. Smoothie bowl for lunch because why not?! I got guilty with all the food we ate so I tried to eat healthily on my last meal in La Union. Haha! Actually, not last meal because Atheena and I shared hot soba at Chu's diner after tasting Berna's order which is ta-da! Cold Soba.

El Union Coffee

And that's it!

We arrived in Manila past 11 because well, traffic and long toll gate lines.

The short trip was fun because I was with my friends. La Union on the other hand is so crowded! There are lines everywhere, people everywhere. I don't know. Maybe going there on a weekday is better? Well at least I finally know why people are so in love with La Union. Good food and the beach. Plus yeah maybe the vibes - just exclude the crowd. 

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