Saturday, April 28, 2012

Calebs arm update

Caleb got his cast off last week. His arm was a mess! It was peeling and scabby. I would scratch it while washing it and he would roll his eyes back in his head and purr it felt so good. It was super funny. He is in a sling for another week but then he should be able to play soccer and baseball finally!

His skin had begun to grow over the pin and so it wasn't real fun to get out. They made me wait in the waiting room since I had the other boys with me. He was a champ. It healing good. I didn't realize they had cut his arm down when they put the pin in. He will have a pretty tough looking scar!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Bullets New Digs

John and I brought back a bunch of shells and coral for Bullets tank. Hes stylin!

Philippines Day 10 - Cebu City & Home

We packed up early in the morning and visited with some friends at the hotel and made sure we were all packed up. Then we checked out but left out bags at the hotel. We went and did a little more shopping. They make a bunch of guitars there and Caleb really wanted us to bring him home one. Then we visited a couple more people, picked up our bags, and then were off to the airport!

I couldn't leave without a picture of Julies :)

The trip was an amazing experience. I loved the Philippines - I loved the people! Most of all I loved being able to see John back with people he had served and loved so much. We already have our savings plan laid out so we can take our boys back in 5 years!

Philippines Day 9 - Lapu Lapu

We woke up on Sunday and got ready for Church and then took a walk to the beach and ended up chilling in the hammocks again, it had the best view!

One of the hotel employees was the Stake Relief Society President and John knew her and her son when he was here. He was without a missionary companion for a week due to Visa issues and her son filled in as Johns companion. She was nice enough to leave word that she would take us to church, which was a good thing because John didn't remember how to get there.

The ward members were so great and John still knew a lot of people! Its amazing how we can be on the other side of the world and feel so at home with people! I love how church brings us together and makes our differences, even the language barrier, seem to disappear.

We had some lunch after church and John had the BEST mango shake hes ever had. He had to get a second one.

Riding a trike with our second mango shake.

We took a taxi out to Minglanilla, one of his areas, that was about 45 minutes away. We were trying to find a few people that he had not been able to get a hold of by letter. It had a really weird feel to it, we just felt really uneasy. We still found people who were kind and helpful though. I did stop a basketball game mid-play and the players just stood there gawking at us :) 

We headed out to a really remote village next and he asked me if I was ready to really "stir things up." Sure enough the minute we hit the village people started pouring out to see us. The kids especially were taken with me. John was talking to the adults so I started trying to communicate with the kids. At first there were about 6 of them. As we walked around more started gathering and all of them just continued to follow. me. When I pulled the camera out they were so excited! Here is the last picture I took....can you find Lisa?

Our last night for Lechon Minok. The rice comes in the little woven palm leaves. The little green things are the calamansi.

SO YUMMY! Even though we were having the best time, we were getting homesick for our boys and were ready to be packing up to go home the next day!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Philippines Day 8 - Cebu City & Lapu Lapu

We headed into Cebu to do some souvenir shopping and also to go the Temple.

It was a wonderful experience to be able to worship there. After the Temple John was craving some McDonald's so we headed up the street to eat and since it was in a mall we walked around for a bit in the AC. There was one other place John wanted to go check for some souvenirs and as we were leaving the mall there were a couple of motorcycle drivers offering rides. We had rose them all over Moal Boal so after talking to them John told me to get on the back of one of them. The guy took off and we left John and the other guy behind. I had to pay for us to get out of the parking lot and then he was blazing through traffic on the wrong side of the road! I finally yelled, "where is my husband!?" He said we would find him and sure enough in a just a little bit I see John winding though traffic on the other side of the road. This was about the dumbest thing we have ever done. At least they had helmets for us, that was a first! I seriously thought my life was going to end about 100 times in 10 minutes!

The place we ended up was not safe. The city was quite a bit more sketchy than the rural areas we had been in. With the help from some Filipinos we were finally able to get a cab and get out of there! We did some more swimming and snorkeling when we got back to the hotel and decided to have dinner at the Cove restaurant at our Hotel. They had a big beach party going on.

This is the restaurant menu. You pick your fish, crab, or lobster and then they cook it up.

We had crab, garlic rice, salmon cakes, and veggies. It was yummy!

10 years ago from this night we were talking about getting married...we made the right choice!

How cool is the restaurant chandelier. Its all shells!

Philippines Day 7- Bais & Lapu Lapu

Today was a big travel day again. We headed out from the La Planta early in the morning and caught a bus down to the Santander Express and went back over to Cebu.

My fan - lifesaver!

Rice fields
From Santander we took a bus up to Cebu city. It was a long windy road on the coast and we both were feeling motion sick. We took some Dramamine and then we knocked out. This is one of my favorite pics from our trip.

It was so fun to be off on this adventure - just the two of us! In many ways it wasn't a really romantic trip, although there were definitely romantic moments. Rather it was a comfortable, fun, and relaxing trip. It was like a road trip with my best friend when I was in college. Maybe that's the reality of 10 years of marriage. Gone are the dramatic romantic dreams replaced with the peaceful comfort of true companionship. It was the best!

It took us 3 hours on that bus to get to Cebu City. Then another 30 minutes in a taxi to get over to Lapu Lapu Island. There are 2 bridges that connect Lapu Lapu and Cebu so it was easy to go from one island to the other. The city seemed much more dense and in many ways felt poorer than the rural parts of the Philippines. Maybe it was because it was contrasted against the new and modern, plus it was much more populated.

We checked into the Maribago Bluewater. It was a beautiful resort! Very comparable to what you would find in Hawaii. It was made for tourists (most come from Japan and Australia) so they spoke English and it was very modern and clean. The staff loved finding out that John could speak Visayan! He was the hotel darling for a couple of days!

The Lobby. No walls at all.

The shark pool. It was one of the many decorative ponds around the hotel.

Pool 1 - this was my favorite! It was a huge circle and I loved the big water platform around the whole thing you could sit on. John loved the slide! It was nice to swim in the ocean and then come jump in the pool!
The rest of pool 1

Pool 2 - This one had a big waterfall on the far side and the circle part on the left was a cool kids pool that was shaped like a bowl, only it didn't get very deep in the middle.

The hotel's private white sand beach. We did more snorkeling but this beach was really different since it had tons of huge crabs! I also saw a lobster here. It was in a cove so there wasn't coral.

Our room is the one lit up

Each area leading to rooms had a big pot of water to wash the sand off your feet

After we checked in we had a huge buffet for lunch and then did some snorkeling and relaxing. It was so nice to just rest in comfort and style! That night we found 2 hammocks on our walk by the beach so we relaxed by the water, listening to the sound of the water, slowly rocking. It was dreamy!

The we went and sat by the pool, sipping mango shakes and Pina Coladas for dinner while watching the fire dancers.

I think we were in bed by 8:00 and we were out!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Philippines Day 6 - Bais

This was an AMAZING day! It didn't start out so great. John had been a little sick the day before and I woke up a little sick to my stomach this morning. We first got breakfast at Julies, a little bakery we often went to for breakfast, bottled water, and to break our bigger bills into change.

Then we headed over to the boat harbor where we had chartered a private boat to take us and some of our friends out to go dolphin watching. The earlier you go out, the better your chances of seeing the dolphins, so we met at 6am at the docks.

Homes on the beach

Our boat

We saw the dolphins from far away and I expected that by the time we got there they would be gone. But this pod of dolphins had hundreds of dolphins in it. Danny and I both agreed that we thought it could be up to a thousand of them. You could see them jumping out of the water in both directions for a couple of football fields.

I thought they would swim away from the boat but when they drove our boat into them they swam with the boat!

It was so temping to jump in and swim with them! Seriously one of the coolest things Ive ever done. If you listen in the video you can tell we were so close (and there were so many) that you can hear them.

Alma and Danny are on the left in this picture. They made sure after our dolphin adventure that we went to the sandbar.

It really is just a huge bar of sand that comes out from the shore. Its huge! When the tide is out you can walk and play volleyball on it. The tide was in when we were there and so the water was about 1 1/2 ft deep.  Crystal blue water and perfect white sand!

When we started looking around with our masks on we saw that we were surrounded by starfish and sand dollars! The little kiddos with us were so cute and kept running up to me and saying, "sister, sister" and would hand me more. I had to cut them off when I had about 20 starfish in my hands. They were everywhere!

Then our boat took us over to the shore to the corals to do some more snorkeling.

It was amazing once again! We also spent some time swimming. John and I got fried despite putting sunscreen on twice!

We docked around noon and we headed back to the hotel to shower and I was so sunburned! The combination of that and feeling queasy in the morning and I didn't dare head back up into the mountains with how hot it was. Especially since we would also be hitchhiking and driving on windy roads. So John took off and left me in the hotel to be bored for 6 hours :) It actually was nice to relax, write in my journal, and watch some TV. This is also when I heard about the Tsunami warning in Asia - umm yeah I freaked out for a minute or two!

Check this out - the hotel had curtains made from the same materials my old drapes were made from. How random is that!

John had a good time up with Elmer. I think it was good I wasn't there so they could talk missionary to missionary.  Elmer was nice enough to come back to the hotel to meet me though!