Sunday, September 22, 2013

Malapascua. With twin toddlers.

One of the many reasons that we so thoroughly enjoy teaching overseas is that we get the unusual luxury of celebrating both major Korean holidays and major American holidays. So, while we didn't get to enjoy backyard barbecues on Labor Day as many of you did, we saw your Labor Day and raised you Chuseok. This is a lunar holiday that is similar to American Thanksgiving. Depending on when it falls, we get anywhere from a couple of days to a full week off of work. This year, we were lucky enough to have a full week and we took the opportunity to cross another country off of our "must-see" checklist: the Philippines.

As you may or may not be aware, the Philippines is a large country that offers various climate zones and myriad activities for tourists. We chose the always popular beach option and headed to a tiny island called Malapascua.

This location had come highly recommended to us because of its secluded nature and gorgeous beaches. And, let me tell you, it certainly did not disappoint on either account. The beaches certainly were spectacular. Exhibit A:
Our hotel offered numerous sun chairs and what I can only describe as beach multi-person lazyboys that allowed us to lounge and play to our hearts' content. Not only that, but our room was on the first floor so once the girls were asleep, we could carry our trusty baby monitor down to said lazyboys, order a cocktail, and live the dream.

Jealous yet? The next paragraph just might change your mind.

So, yes, the island was secluded and gorgeous. The problem with a secluded island? They are sometimes difficult to reach. We flew directly from Seoul to the city of Cebu in the Philippines, a 4 1/2 hour flight. Not too bad. The catch? It left at 8:30 PM putting us in Cebu at about 1:00 AM. With twin toddlers. We decided to splurge and have our hotel make arrangements to have a private van come and pick us up at the airport to drive us to the port. How far was the port? Three hours away. On Philippine roads. In the middle of the night. With twin toddlers. Once we safely reached the port, we had to wait for a boat to take us across the bay to our island. We speculated about what kind of boat would take us to our destination and were pleasantly surprised when it showed up and appeared to be quite seaworthy. So, we boarded the boat and made the final 30 minute leg of our journey across a choppy ocean to be escorted to our hotel room where we barely had time to take off our shoes before we fell into bed at 4:30 AM. With twin toddlers. Why did we do it? Let me remind you:
So, we took the week to relax and recover and to gear up for the journey back. Ah, yes. The journey back. This time, it wouldn't be so easy. Our flight back to Seoul left at 1:50 AM. So, doing the math backwards, we decided to leave our hotel at around 7:00 in the evening to give us a little slack time. However, around lunch time, we were informed that a typhoon was headed our way. Awesome. We needed to leave the island at 4:30 or else we wouldn't be leaving for the next couple of days. Presented with the options, we decided to throw everything in the suitcase and be ready for the 4:30 ferry. The 30 minute trip across the bay turned into an hour of roughing it through some of the choppiest water Chris or I had been in. With twin toddlers. Luckily, our van was there waiting to take us back to the airport where we would have ample time to wait for our flight. Which left at 2:00 AM. With twin toddlers.

As I watched the sunrise through the plane window, I had to laugh at our crazy journey and our crazy selves for knowingly putting ourselves through it all. I am also just going to tell you. Through all of the travel, the girls were absolute rock stars. They loved the boat rides, the van rides, and especially the airplane rides. When we landed in Seoul, Lily was upset that we weren't going on another plane. Her mom and dad were not as upset.

It was an incredible week and all four of us had a blast. Would I recommend Malapascua? Absolutely. Without twin toddlers.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Wow! What beautiful girls! Yes, even after all of your stories, that I all I can say, "What beautiful girls!" When will you be back in the US for a visit? I am here now, so am waiting! :)