For Sophia's 7th birthday, we opted to go on a family trip. I personally am hoping to throw a simple celebration for my daughter, but she did not seem bent on having one, so a trip it was. We left Manila at around 5am and the victory bus dropped us just a little way off from the city proper. We briefly waited for my friend Bullet to collect us. Sure enough, he was there in a huff, looking all gloriously wind-blown and properly wrapped up like a true northerner. A few minutes later, we were rolling out onto a pretty little village called Foggy Hill in Green Valley where Bullet resides. The townhouse next to his would be our home for the next three days and two nights. So here, aside from the usual snapshots that we took of the kids and ourselves, and of my friend, are some of the images I captured of the City of Pines. It was swinging around 12 to 14 degrees when we got up there, and we were lucky to be taken to some nice places by my friend on our first afternoon. The air was nippy and just the right kind of nice to make you engage in a long quiet conversation around a fire, or maybe seek warmth from an occasional bottle of good liquor, namely Bullet's cognac, after a simple dinner. Otherwise, you simply wait for the sun to go down and the moon to rise up; and hold your breath for the beautiful strange silhouettes that the mountains make in the dark, until the moon tires and wanes herself from view, and obscures everything into nothingness. Even the total darkness was comforting in such a place. Next thing you know, you're in bed sleeping soundly and snugly and waking up to the fresh smell of mountain dew and sunshine, marveling at another beautiful day. Aye goodness, it was wonderful to be up there.