My Slight Detour With Samantha Sotto

I’ve written about my internationally-published author friend Samantha Sotto a few times on this blog.  It’s not because I’ve run out of material to write about (seriously!) but I can’t help be amazed and proud of her (and of myself that I know her)!  So to brag even further, I just want to tell you (all 12 of my readers, up from 7 the last time I checked) about the time I got re-acquainted with Sam 2 years ago.

Sam was one of our marketing bosses in that great multinational over in Bicutan.  I never worked with her but I did share a room in one of our team building sessions in Baguio.  We got along because we wanted to sleep the earliest despite everyone calling us killjoy.  After she retired into motherhood and her ice cream kingdom in 2003, I hardly saw her until 2009 when we coincidentally scheduled our NY trips around the same dates.

My husband and I were in the U.S. to attend an Aquasana training session in Dallas, and New York was the holiday part of our trip as I had never been there.  It was Sam’s and her husband’s first trip to NY as well and they were there to meet Sam’s agent, Stephanie Kip Rostan.  One of our good friends, Francine, had just moved to NY and she had taken the role of resident NY tour guide quite seriously.  There were 4 different groups (all of whom left corporate to be entrepreneurs, a student or a wife) who would be in NY and oddly, we would be there around the same dates.  Francine, the ultimate O.C., suggested common itineraries where everyone could meet up.  It was like our very own Slight Detour tour group in New York.

The first stop for any tour group (especially a Filipino tour group) — lunch!  The burger in Burger Joint was highly-recommended by Francine who liked it better than the famous Shake Shack burger.

The tour group (including people ordering behind us) enjoying lunch at Burger Joint, Le Parker Meridien Hotel.

After, we walked off our heavy meaty lunch on 5th Avenue where we took photos in front of The Plaza Hotel, the setting for movies like Brewster’s Millions, Princess Diaries (where Queen Julie Andrews lived), Bride Wars (another Anne Hathaway movie) and one of my daughter’s favorite books with naughty child character Eloise (who lives in tippy top floor of The Plaza Hotel).

The group still fresh and standing upright as our boots had just been used for a few blocks.

We walked to Columbus Circle and took the Subway from there, our first ride (well, for the NY newbies) in the NY subway.

The group waiting for the subway to take us to dessert.

Shelley, Sam’s main character in Before Ever After, would have stopped to admire these mosaics on the walls of the subway platform.

Dessert was at Cafe Lalo, the setting for the one way EB (ugh, hate this term) of Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks in You’ve Got Mail.

An animated conversation outside Cafe Lalo. What WERE we talking about?

The rest of the tour included more eating venues: dinner at the original Bon Chon (which we had no photo of because we were very hungry), sake at this Jap resto, and dessert at Chikalicious, which had the best red velvet cupcakes (Francine swears it’s better than Magnolia Bakery. I wouldn’t know because after Chikalicious, I didn’t want to try anything else.).

The group with high blood sugar around the cupcake graffiti right across Chikalicious.

The tour continued on the next few days but I won’t bore you with the details of shopping, shopping and more shopping.  New York was one of our best holidays because we spent it with great friends, Francine’s OC non-trad itinerary and the start of a renewed friendship with Sam and her husband.  My husband and I were really planning on going back this year to support Sam on her U.S. book launch but my unplanned due date wouldn’t let us.

It was a good thing that the Philippines had its own Before Ever After book launch last Wednesday and my mom blogger friends and I got “backstage passes” with Sam.  Thank you to ManilaMommy for the photo =)

samantha sotto - before ever after

At the risk of sounding showbiz, I really feel honored to have experienced a small part of the Before Ever After journey, particularly that trip to NY.  And I feel so touched that she put us in the acknowledgment section.  It was totally unexpected (and now, I feel like an international rock star!).  I don’t normally read the Acknowledgments of some books but you have to read this one.  It’s amazing! (Clearly an unbiased opinion.)

Congratulations Sam!  We’re so proud of you. =)  This is probably your craziest but happiest birthday ever!

P.S. If you haven’t bought the book yet (where have you been??), call your nearest National Book Store or Power Books and ask if they have stock.  If you live outside of the Philippines, pre-order from Amazon to get a big discount.
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22 Responses to My Slight Detour With Samantha Sotto

  1. manilamommy says:

    i love this post 😀 thank you so much kris for arranging that meet-up with sam. the #Moms are her groupies! yun na haha 😀

  2. sam says:

    This is an AMAZING birthday present, my friend (despite that god-awful pic of me chatting with you about something we both can’t remember!). The trip was incredible – and the two years since then have been even more memorable. Looking forward to the rest of our journey! Group hug! :)

    “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” – Martin Buber

  3. mymommyology says:

    Wait I have so many comments! :)
    1. Happy Birthday again Sam and Congrats!! Hope to meet you soon (as I feel that we will all get along in the “killjoy department” — how do you think Kris and I survived Reckitt?

    2. Your 12 readers, does that count FB and Twitter and blog subscription links?

    3. Your face outside Cafe Lalo is typical! Parang tagal na natin di nag-ichat!

    4. I miss Cibo.

    5. I’m excited to get my copy of the book on Tuesday!!!! Now both you and Sam have to sign it (yes, I am a groupie).

    sige yan na muna.

  4. Jenny says:

    Happy Birthday Sam and thanks Kris for inviting us to meet her (and to answer questions)! haha!! pop-quiz na during our next #moms meeting!

  5. CJ Roque says:

    I was also going to say… wow, you actually posted photos of you! LOL And really love the photo of Sam… all i can imagine is she is saying “nnnnnooooooo”…..

    • I am brave! Uh-oh, now, my hater/s will know who I am!! Or my haters in my real life will know I write this blog and expose my messy garage in a massive web scandal.

  6. Pingback: A Happily Ever After Story « Chronicles of a Nursing Mom

  7. Hey OC Mom! I love the pics. Majorly animated, which is the real you. Hahahahahahhahaa! And this is Sam before the fame. hAhahahahaha!

    And Toto Labrador, isn’t he like a director or something?

  8. I love this post + the pics! And I always love your candor in all your posts!

  9. Mom-Friday says:

    Thanks again Kris for introducing the book to me and for arranging the meet-up tomorrow with Sam! :) I have to admit I am not a reader but your video sealed the deal for me and the fact that Sam is Pinay made it all the more interesting for me to get the book and start reading.
    I’m sure you’re still on cloud 9 seeing your name in the acknowledgements — sikat!!!

    • Thanks Michelle. Yes, we are super grateful for being made international (No. 4 on Amazon’s Kindel Hot New Releases – haha) via the Acknowledgments page. Glad you had fun yesterday! Of course, we never really got to discuss the book. Haha

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