Monday, May 31, 2010

we are getting spoiled with beach days like this

In all honesty, we are visiting some of the most beautiful beaches in the world while living in the Philippines. We are so incredibly lucky because it doesn't get any better than this. We recognize this and tried to spend as much time as we could at the beach on Sunday. It was our only full day in Cebu. Addie and I got beach ready while Justin took first nap duty. Initially, Addie wanted to check out the pools and I couldn't blame her since there were six of them all with different attractions. Many of the pools were shallow for kids. One even had a water slide and huge water gun stations. I hate sitting at the pool when there is a world class beautiful beach next door so I tried to steer Addie in that direction. We went down the water slide together which was totally fun but scared her a bit. Off to the beach we went.

Justin and Bella joined us at the beach when she woke from her nap. We ate lunch at the beach-side bar and Addie bopped to the R&B jams like a rock star. The sun was shining and it really was one of the most beautiful days I have ever experienced. A fantastically glorious day at the beach. The girls were so darn cute that everyone couldn't help but come say hi. Even the group of French singles (the type who are so cool you can't imagine them being bothered with every day things like the rest of us mortals) were smiling over at the girls. Seriously cute kiddos in the sand. Ouch, the stairs were too hot. Back down we go.Bella is awake!
I think Addie is picking a wedgie in this picture. Too bad, otherwise it would be cute. It's so tough to get a good one of them together both looking at the camera.Bella Bean hates hats but the sun was so hot and her little blonde head is so exposed to the sun I try to get her to wear mine for a bit.Bella's blonde hair turns white at the beach.Justin rented a snorkel and snorkeled right off the beach. There were so many beautiful fish swimming with us. He was in love with it.Rock star Addie waiting for lunch. She insisted on sitting at the bar."I'm hungry, is there anything back there for me?"Bella got her second nap and I had room duty. Justin and Addie took a short break and then went back to the beach. Just as we did in the morning we all met up after nap time.I'm not sure when was the last time we had a picture of the two of us at the beach. Decided to end that streak.Beyond hunky Dad. It's hard to be in paradise with my husband and not want to relive our honeymoon. I love being married to this amazing man. Look at those beautiful girls he gave me.We were strict that evening about getting showered and ready so the girls could eat at 5PM. This would definitely prevent any meltdowns of epic proportion like the night before. Turns out there isn't a single restaurant at the resort that opens before 6PM. Not even the buffet which we were counting on since the dinning area is super casual. We ended up having the order from the All-Day menu at the dinning are. Kind of like room service, but not in our room. We sat and watched as the staff arranged the buffet for the 6PM start time. We debated how we could wait 45 minutes and concluded that we just couldn't. The girls' schedule if anything, has saved our waistlines and wallets this vacation. The manager was sweet enough to treat the girls to a scoop of ice cream as we left. Bella proceeded to finish off the cone herself and become a lump of baby-in-heaven on Justin's lap outside. Addie was covered in chocolate.Justin and I decided that the parents won round 2 of dinner/bed time. There weren't any major screaming fits and they fell asleep nice and happy. Banished to our balcony we ordered room service dessert and enjoyed the gorgeous views. Bed time by 9:30PM. Ready for another day ahead of us.


I couldn't resist asking Justin to make the same face for a good mini-me shot. Bella was watching a cartoon.

Adelaide turns 3 in paradise

Adelaide Rose was the sweetest birthday girl on Saturday. She woke up early as usual and came to snuggle with me in bed before we got ready for the airport. I nestled my face in her hair on the back of her neck and told her Happy Birthday. She flipped over and wrapped her arms around my neck and told me she was giving me a birthday hug, then she planted a kiss on my cheek and said it was her birthday kiss. I told her the hugs and kisses usually go the other way around but I wasn't going to complain about a snuggle from her. She was happy and smiling the entire day after that. All day she told people it was her birthday and that she was three (holding up her three fingers). She was very polite and said thank you every time someone wished her a Happy Birthday. The resort brought cake to the room for her when we arrived and we sang to her and let her open a few gifts we had packed along with us. She received a special birthday song from the play zone ladies as well as balloons. I have never seen her more cheerful and excited as she was on her third birthday. She was jumping around posing for pictures on the beach. She was talkative with the other kids and families on the beach. She wasn't shy about making friends to play. It was as if turning 3 had suddenly given her some maturity and bravery. I was so proud of her all day. She was extremely polite and used her good manners when interacting with everyone around her. She seemed bigger and older to us that day. Three years ago she came into our lives and we will never be the same. She's a joy in every way.

We pushed the day a little too long for the girls and didn't get back to the hotel room, showered, and off to Chinese food dinner until 6:15 PM. Bella had turned the tired and hungry corner and Addie was on her way even before the food had arrived at the table. Bella scarfed some fried rice and then announced in her non-verbal way that there was no way she was going to be sitting at that table now that she had eaten her fill. The food was arriving, Justin was walking with Bella, dishes were getting dropped, Addie was laying on the booth benches, no one was sitting still, there was screaming and crying, and Justin and I were feeling embarrassed. I kindly asked the waiter to just wrap up all the food to-go so we could take it back to the room. I pushed back tears of regret. Here we were at this beautiful resort full of delicious food to eat and sights to see and we had asked for our food to-go. That's just what we did. He even threw in a piece of cake for the birthday girl. After a story the girls passed out and Justin and I headed to the ever-dreaded balcony. We have spent countless evenings on the balconies of our hotel rooms since having children. Our girls are asleep for the night by 7:00 PM and we are then limited to sitting on the balcony and watching the rest of the resort come to life just as our evening is coming to an end. I joked that we see most of the island paradises we visit through the bars of the balconies where we spend our evenings and nap times. The imprisonment of parenthood. That evening we sat and finished our Chinese food dinner and then read a bit. Exhausted ourselves we turned in (tiptoeing around our hotel room) at 8:30PM.

Justin and I definitely need the early bedtimes during our beach trips because Addie is always up early and Arabella has a hard time sleeping in a new place. Clearly, she hates the Pack-N-Play. Both nights she was up for a bottle at 10PM then up just to scream between midnight and 1 AM. Both nights I had to put her on my chest and let her sleep on me until I couldn't breath from the weight. She ended up sleeping next to me under the blankets. Being such a picky sleeper, I never thought Arabella would sleep in bed with Justin and I. The first night she woke herself up a few times and would giggle when she'd feel Justin next to her. The second night she just passed out in between us and I can't say I minded. I love snuggling with my girl when she lets us. Monday morning Justin and I couldn't help but smiling even after the interrupted sleep. Waking up to our smiling puffy-eyed daughters in bed with us is pretty sweet. We may not get to spend our evenings out enjoying the resort night life but we always have the first pick of umbrellas on the beach in the morning. Early mornings on vacation happen to be a nice way to enjoy resorts. I only realize this after lots of coffee and a good breakfast. Then everything looks brighter. We spend a full day playing!

Balloons at 6AM! This is the best day EVER!I know how you feel Bean. That sun is too bright this time of morning. Up and at 'em we had the breakfast buffet to ourselves that morning before the rest of the resort woke up. "More coffee please" was my mantra.

Shangri-La De Da

I'm not sure how we managed it, but we were up and out of the house with the girls fed and dressed and everything packed on-time Saturday morning for our flight to Cebu. Talk about feats of greatness. Arabella had a hard time sitting still on our laps for the flight so we had to keep her entertained. Luckily it was an hour flight which is like chump change when you've done around-the-world flights. Adelaide was so excited she could barely sit still herself. She asked what the infant flotation device was for when the flight attendant handed it to me for Bella. Justin made the mistake of explaining to her that it was in case we had to land on the water. When the plane banked over the water in Cebu as we landed, Addie was totally freaked out about us landing on the water. We had to explain that it wasn't happening and that we were definitely touching down on dry land. Poor girl thought a water landing was a real possibility.
The Shangri-La Mactan Resort in Cebu was everything people said it would be. Definitely a 5 star resort with no-Filipino character (great if you want to escape the Philippines for a bit). The pools and grounds were pristine. The beach was beautiful with crystal clear water, tropical fish to swim with, white sands to play in; everything we were hoping for. It really felt like we were a world away from Manila for the weekend. The view from our balconyThe first afternoon at the beach was a tad overcast, still hot and beautiful though. We all grabbed lunch at the grill next to the pools. After re-fueling Addie and Justin headed to the beach while I let Bella take a nap in the room. Bella and I joined soon after and we stayed at the beach until almost 5 PM. This, we would later realize was a big mistake... Yay for mango shakes! This time ginger orange was our favorite.Bella discovered how much she loves the sand. Eating it too. Family shots, a nice lady offered to take a few for us.There's always one picture of my Mama's girl with me, she doesn't stop wiggling.Bella trying out the water sports at the resort

Cebu in living color

We are back from our awesome weekend in Cebu and it's safe to say that Justin and I are exhausted. The girls are beyond exhausted as well. The resort and beach were gorgeous. It was another beautiful adventure in the Philippines for our little family. Here are a few pictures that I took. No doctoring here, life really looked more colorful and vibrant in Cebu. More blogging to come.