Friday, April 12, 2013

Planes, Boats and Vans

Some how I need to find motivation to post regularly on this here blog.  I read tons of blogs, love a lot of them and really like how it captures all the memories....and then somehow life just gets in the way.  So here we go with a February post in April!

R and the kids had a week off for Chinese New Year in February.  Most everyone tells you it is best to leave China during this time.  Who knows if that's just vacation wanting expats or if there is truth to that.  We have heard that fireworks go off each and every night for all hours continuously celebrating the new year.  Now that would get old and wear on my last nerve.  Patience is not my strong suit. Moving on....

So we decided to hop on the expat band wagon and go to Boracay, Philippines with 16 families.  That is a whole bunch of people in one spot at one resort!!! It felt like a scene out of planes, trains and automobiles.  You fly to Manila, then take a smaller plane to Boracay.  I think they have one of the smallest runways least that is what my brain was screaming as we landed (and when we left it felt like full throttle full brake with the pilot winding it up as much as possible and kicking off the brake.  We took off like a slingshot.  Not fun.).  After that they take you in a van to a marina. On the way to the marina this is the view out our front window.

Rain!  Of course you start wondering at this point what the weather will be like all week.  Our worry was pointless though.  This was all the rain we would see.  We did hear one rain shower during the night but that was it.

After we reached the marina, our luggage was carried onto the boats.  We then took a rode across the water to another marina.  Try and picture a 3 and 4 year old boys and a single file steep gangplank to get off the boat in small waves pushing the boat and ramp around a bit.  No fun, but luckily the guys working the boat helps them get down.  They just picked them up practically threw them over their shoulders and walked down.  Something to be said about experience. 

Now it was time for one last van ride.  This one was super quick and they dropped us off at our resort.  What I failed to mention at the start of this was that all of these wonderful transportation experiences happened throughout the night so by the time we got to the hotel we were in the "meltdown will occur at any minute" stage, both mine and the boys!  We went straight to our room.  I can't remember what time it was maybe 9am and proceeded to take a family nap.  Best! Decision! Ever!  

The rest of the week was a whole lot of doing nothing.  It was terrific and exactly what we needed.  Here is a picture from the property looking at the water.

 Our room had a balcony with a great hammock.  This hammock was used by all of us and at night we laid out all of our wet clothes.  Both boys loved using it as a swing.  Note the sand.  At the bottom of the stairs to our room was a bucket with a ladle so you could wash off your feet.  You can see we were not the most successful at this.  Needless to say sand was everywhere in our room even with the best intentions.

With two young boys that don't yet know how to swim, the beach was perfect!  It was shallow for such a long way out and didn't have any undercurrents where the boys played. The colors were amazing between the white sand and the blue water.  Vibrant!

I found myself fascinated with the color and texture of the sand.  The tides were fun to watch.  The day before where there had been shallow water, the next it would be a large sand box with formed ripples.

 Here's one more picture showing the clarity of the water and the crispness of colors.  So beautiful!

We played on the beach, sat on the lounge chairs, played in the pool, ate, drank, read and relaxed.  The boys took a nap almost everyday since they played so hard. We lived in bathing suits all week and tried to shower and get dressed in regular clothes for dinner, but we still stayed in flip flops.  We walked barefoot at our resort and would take shoes with us to go down the beach.  We did see the occasional piece of broken glass.  There were taco places to eat at and smoothie places to test out mango pineapple smoothies.  The guys walked down to get those and to buy "cheap" beer.  I ran three mornings (don't ask how many times I have since then...ugh) and decided running on sand is HARD!  I felt so out of shape, but glad I did it.

For some reason I love taking pictures of the boys from behind. I love that R loves his boys and is always happy to play with them.

 And this is my favorite picture I took from the trip.  I love it so much.

 Great time was had by all!  We took the obligatory picture with the sign at our resort.  I'm sure I will love to look back at this picture in the future and see the boys so small.

I don't want to leave out the sunsets that we saw on this trip.  Oh the sunsets, they were amazing and beautiful.  I think we were out on the beach every night taking it all in.  

Sadly we don't think we will go back to Boracay while we are over here.  We know our time is limited in China so we want to try and get to as many different places as possible.  Once we move home this side of the world most likely won't make our vacation short list and we want to take advantage of the opportunity while it exists.

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