Friday, April 29, 2011

SB Day One Part Two – Exploring Boracay

So, we arrived at the hotel or at least that's what the driver told us. But, we didn't see it. They were right though as we walked down a crazy dumpy alleyway and found the "resort" tucked in amongst the other dwellings. It was a little bizarre, but it was ok.
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We checked into the room and refrained from crashing onto the beds. That 2:30 am wake up alarm was trying to catch up to us. Despite the desire to crash on this bed, I just snapped photos and headed out to the beach.
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Dev did crash for a moment.
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We were happy with the family suite because the extra space allowed us to spread out through the week.
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I dreamed of soaking for a bit in this tub, but the week was so busy, I never took the time to do it.
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We were on the third floor with no elevator. Oh sure, it was fine but my thighs screamed at me numerous times when I'd forget something and have to walk back up to the room. Three flights of stairs five or six times a day do a lot for a girl's shorts (warm weather wear) legs. ;-)
We did force ourselves outside and explored the beach. One of the first things we noticed when we got out on the beach were all the "sailing boats" They were catamarans but the locals called them sailing boats. So, of course, I started calling them that!
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We walked north on the beach and took in the views.
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And watched Fils children building sand sculptures along the beach.
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They were learning the pan handling business because they'd ask for donations for their work if you stopped long enough to take the photo or examine their work. Cute at first, but annoying as the week wore on.
More sights along the beach:
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G-Dub looks like he's ready for a relaxing week, doesn't he?
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We walked further and then stopped along the way to let DS2 take some time to play in the sand.
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The rest of us sat off to the side enjoying refreshments, the warmth and crowd watching.
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We tried not to look too tired. We almost forgot that we were zombies who'd gotten up at o'dark thirty. We were fine. Being on the beach made everything A-Ok.
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DS2 finished his building and we headed back to the hotel watching the sunset as we went.
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Not far from where we'd taken our break was Willy's Rock:
A curiously shaped volcanic formation, Willy's Rock is so closely identified with Boracay that you find it featured in practically every postcard and travel brochure on the island. The only rock formation along the entire four-kilometer length of White Beach , Willy's Rock stands out like a dark dot on the immaculately white shoreline, becoming an island at high tide. A shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary stands atop the rock.
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As you can see, many were flocking around to have their photo taken beside the statue. We opted out and just settled for the rock photos instead. And sunset photos.
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I liked playing with my camera settings trying out different things for different effects in the photos. I had taken m xti and my Sony point and shoot.
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You really do get beautiful light sunset no matter what the subject.
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Even if it's your shadow. Your very tall shadow!
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More sand art:
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These like this were pretty awesome!
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Dinner with two of our friends that had arrived earlier concluded our evening.

More from the trip with Day 2 and beyond coming soon! Telling you guys is helping me remember the trip!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Spring Break Day One Part One – From Incheon to Boracay

We woke early Friday morning to start our Spring Break vacation. Our plane was scheduled to leave Incheon just after 7:00am, so that meant an early rise time. I think 2:30 should be marked off the options for waking and starting a day. But alas, we did it and we survived! We were able to watch the sun rise above the planes at the airport.
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DS2 was really excited about our trip! He was ready to board the plane and didn't want to wait.
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It wasn't much longer and we were off, on our way over the Pacific heading for someplace warmer! At some point, I looked out my window at the ocean below and started thinking about Amelia Earhart. No idea why as we weren't really in the same part of the Pacific as where her plane went down. There was just something about being able to see nothing but water below us that led my thoughts to her.
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Not far from there, I had my first land sighting. Land Ho, the Philippines!
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And then a little further in flight, the first sight of Manila where we'd be landing shortly. I loved all the fishing huts and traffic along the water.
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We landed in Manila, retrieved our bags, and then checked into our domestic flight heading to Caticlan. This flight was where we were worried about our baggage allowances. We were allowed 20lbs each, 80 per family. And, they asked each of us to stand individually on a scale before boarding. That was a first. How small was this plane? LOL We then made our way to our gate, Gate 134. When we arrived at the bottom of that escalator, I can honestly say I was taken aback by the sheer amount of people in that terminal. It could have been chaos, but thankfully, it wasn't. It was just CROWDED!
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Not much longer and enough people cleared out in front of us that it was our turn to board our plane. The terminal was still packed behind us though! G-Dub said he'd wondered how Cebu Pacific was still in service as our flight from Incheon to Manila was half full. I think they make their money on domestic flights. ;)

We boarded our plane via a bus taking us from the terminal out to the bus. Once inside, I wasn't so sure about our seats. I didn't like the prop being just outside our window regardless of whether or not it made a cool photo. lol Krypto, our Webkinz Husky/World Traveler, had to get his picture made on the plane.
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When we landed in Caticlan, we were a little shocked by how quickly and how forcefully the pilot applied the brakes. We stopped FAST! And then the plane turned and we saw the end of the runway and the side of a hill. Ok, that explains it - very short runway! But, we'd arrived safely!
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The airport departure gates were all outdoors.
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I was a bit confused, but only because I was being greeted by people asking me about our bags while I was trying to make sure we didn't have to check in anywhere and while I was also trying to look for our name on a sign being held by the transportation outside the gate. I was secretly hoping for a BIG sign like in the movies. Didn't get that though. In fact, I almost missed our name on the sign with others. I just happened to see the name of people who would be joining us later and knew that my name should be on that list too. Fame another day, maybe. For this trip, we'd remain infamous. ;)

We were shuffled along to a van and then transported to the Caticlan Jetty Port.
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There were all sorts of boats at the Jetty Port. I was anxious to see what we'd get to ride in to the other island.
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We were escorted onto a larger boat with a nice spacious interior and air conditioning! The ride from Caticlan to Boracay was a short one, but being down below, we didn't see much of it. We did get to think about the islands though or I did as this banner reminded me.
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Then we were there!
To the left side of the dock:
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And, off to the right:
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Along the drive to the hotel, we saw many trikes. I looked forward to the ride we'd take in one while on our trip. Adventure waiting everywhere, right?
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