On Friday 14th February I had a hot date for Valentine’s Day and I’d already booked a table for the special set menu at The Villas for that night. But first Captain Caveman and I cycled to Oxalis Home for breakfast – he had a bacon and egg sandwich and I had the traditional pho ga. Back at Ho Khanh’s I said goodbye to him and then was meant to get on with some work. Before I knew it the morning had gone by and I was joining the lads at Yummy’s for a lovely lunch. Three of us shared the veggie meal deal and I enjoyed the tomato and egg soup again, the veggie tofu dish was excellent, as was the cabbage. I had a couple of bowls of rice and a spring roll.

I had arranged to meet Tatas for cocktails at The Villas during happy hour and a half so I popped on a dress and cycled down there early. On my way I saw our housemate Veronika, walking, and stopped to say hello, she didn’t realise it was Valentine’s Day and decided she would join us. Tatas turned up looking very glam and then Ally arrived and asked if he could join. Those margaritas and free popcorn were going down a treat as we chatted away in a quiet inside table where the staff were most attentive and polite.
The food was just as good as usual and we got a free glass of wine with our dinner which was a great double date. After dinner Tatas insisted she and I went to Momma D’s where we met up with Josh and D-Dub. Tatas bought us a bottle of red wine, which we clearly didn’t need, and we had about half of it before cycling home to finish it off at Chez White’s Balcony Bar.

Tatas and I were woken up early on Saturday 15th February when her boss called to say she had to go on tour that day! We were both hungover, probably still drunk and there was no way I could have gone in to work. Just as she’d got dressed she got another call to say a colleague would go instead. We were both relieved and then decided to go to Coffee Station so Tatas could have breakfast and Coffee. At Coffee Station Tatas didn’t order any breakfast and I just had a pineapple juice as couldn’t face food.
On the way home I didn’t even make it back before needing another drink of juice so stopped at Oxalis Home where Josh and Tatas later joined me for lunch. I had chips which looked terrible but were quite tasty. We had arranged a second Valentine’s dinner with Ally, Tatas and me at Phong Nha Underground in the evening because they had their set meal on for the weekend (Veronika couldn’t make it unfortunately). It was also the 2nd birthday of Momma D’s so we had also promised to go to her party. We had a wonderful evening, the three of us, and we were so engrossed in conversation that I forgot to take photos.

The valentine’s weekend finished on Sunday 16th February with me going over to Ho Khanh’s homestay for a fruit salad breakfast and to see Josh off on his next trip to Son Doong. It just so happened that most people were in a cave on this day but I did manage a rare and impromptu lunch with Watto, Chrissy and Howard at Oxalis Home. I had chicken and cashew nuts with rice which was delicious, the others had egg & chips, chicken pasta, and steak & chips. In the afternoon I watched a bit of Netflix and then went to The Villas for happy hour and a half (4.30-6pm) and had a nice catch up with Bryce while munching on fresh popcorn.
With Tatas away for 4 days Ally and I rounded off the valentine’s weekend with a night out at Capture Cafe. We shared a good bottle of red wine, he ordered a Hawaiian pizza which smelled so good. I had my favourite plate there, the cheeseboard (no bread) which comes with olives, apple, walnuts, honey and fig jam. The 3 cheeses were brie, emmenthal and a stilton which were generously portioned – it’s not the cheapest item on the menu but it was great value and ideal for a gluten free, cheese and wine dinner. We also got to have a good laugh with Ben, the co-owner of the place, who happened to be having his favourite pizza too. I miss pizza a lot!
After dinner we were stuffed and so decided to cycle straight home for a rest – it had been a very good weekend in Phong Nha, with excellent company, but maybe I had eaten and drank far too much!

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