Monday, August 31, 2009

Coco Beach

Here in the Philippines we are lucky enough to get both Philippine and American holidays off from work (by we, I of course mean Steve). The last month or so has been especially nice as we are now going into our third three day weekend in a row. We took advantage and headed out to a place near Puerto Galera called Coco Beach Resort. We took a two and half hour bus ride to Batangas and traveled another hour by boat. It was the greatest, most beautiful, most relaxing place we've been to so far. Just saying the name makes me sigh with contentment. The pictures say it all:

This was our twin boat that was traveling along beside us as we headed out from Batangas.

There it is!

We got right to work.

Henry enjoyed playing with the other little guys who were busy catching and racing Hermit Crabs. The people who worked at the resort lived on the island with their families and so there were lots of kids around to play with.

He also wanted to play with the guys who worked at the resort. They built a pool table out back, they played it with discs instead of balls. Henry was very interested.

Henry wearing more clothes than usual.

Henry and I were lounging on the beach enjoying some snacks when these local girls came parading down the beach looking for sea creatures.

This is one that they caught! It's a little Eel they just snatched right up in an old water bottle.

Truman helping the girls build a "home" for the creatures they captured.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Welcome to the Jungle

Steve had the big idea that we should head out for a jungle trek. He aired this idea out loud in front of the kids, so with three against one there was no getting out of it. It wasn't that I was against the idea of going on a little hike through the forest, er, I mean jungle, but Steve was convinced (and excited) there would be snakes and monkeys. Monkeys in the zoo are cute, but after hearing from a friend the monkeys can get aggressive and something about "puncture wounds" I was less than thrilled to face a possible encounter with my two young sons.

Luckily, the only snakes we saw were a handful of pythons a shirtless man on the side of the road (pictured above) was selling for two hundred pesos ($4) each. Much to the chagrin of our boys, not only did we not buy a snake, nor were there any monkey sightings.

We had a great time going on a short hike through the woods. Our guide, Rosario, was a member of the Aeta tribe. Only slightly taller than Truman, wearing flip flops and toting a large machete she led us down the trail explaining the medicinal uses of many of the plants and trees that have been used by her tribe for thousands of years. She was even kind enough to tear up some leaves and rub them all over Henry's legs to make him "strong and have lots of energy and run around fast". Pretty much how he is normally, so who knows if it worked.

The hike ended with a demonstration of the Aeta's traditional cooking methods, including how to make fire and cook an entire meal using only a machete and bamboo. The man giving us the demonstration taught us how to lure and trap a monkey so we could have a nice barbecue next time we're out that way camping which, according to Steve and the boys, will be in the near future.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Housekeeper's Hex?

Yesterday I woke up knowing it wouldn't be a great day. The night before our housekeeper "drunk-texted" us a weird message, the last straw after a couple of weeks of less than stellar performance. So we already knew we had to deal with firing her and having her come and get her things. Things took a turn for the strange, when I walked past one of the bedrooms and noticed one of the windows was shattered. We have no idea how this could have happened, as we live on the eleventh floor of a fifty four story building. My favorite response was from the maintenance guy when he came in to assess the situation, "The window is broken." Um, yeah thanks. When I asked him how he thought it happened, he said "Probably something sharp." Okay, that clears that up.

That night after dinner, I took the boys down to the pool for a swim while Steve did the dirty work of firing our unhappy housekeeper. When I brought them up I sent them straight to the shower. After a few minutes, I went in to get them out. Truman was already out by the time I got in there. As I'm standing there asking Henry to get out, all of the sudden, out of nowhere, the glass shower door shatters into a million pieces covering the boys with glass. I immediately see that Henry's toes is pouring out blood, and when Steve comes rushing in I frantically pass Henry to him. Then turn around and grab Truman with one arm and without thinking walk barefoot over the glass covered floor. Just call me Leather Foot. Henry probably needed stitches, but after the stories we've heard about the emergency rooms around here we opted to stay home and take care of it ourselves. Today he's feeling much better, and has told us many times he never wants to have that "crazy adventure" again. This time the maintenance guys told me it broke because the hinge was loose, but the other door just like it in the same room was "probably" fine.

What the door is supposed to look like.

The Aftermath.

Monday, July 6, 2009


This year we celebrated the fourth by heading to the beach in Cebu. No fireworks, or barbecue for us. Honestly, we didn't miss them. Okay, we actually missed them a lot but a fabulous mini beach vacation helped ease the pain. We soaked up the sun, snorkeled and played in the sand. Mother Nature even helped out with a stunning thunder storm the night of the fourth.

The view from our room.

This is a slide that was in the kids "Adventure Zone". It was actually even steeper than it looks, Truman was smart...there was no way he was going down. We were able to talk Steve into it though. He ended up getting a friction burn on his arm, which explains why the kids had to wear long sleeves to go down.

Sleepy face! The best way to wake up is a quick morning dip in the sea!

Truman availing of the outdoor shower.

The snorkeling was incredible. We saw hundreds of different kinds of fish. When the tide was out we were able to get up close views of the coral beds. The aquarium will never hold the same allure.

Forget the sand, the snorkeling even feeding the fish, shooting the water blaster was Henry's favorite.