Friday, April 24, 2015

A picture a Week | 6/52

Just hanging out with his good friend Gymbo!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A Picture a Week | 5/52

There are a few pictures this week. I took Baby O for a little walk the other day and we stopped so he could get out a walk around a little bit. I was hoping to get a picture of him with a camera setting I had just learned about. It apparently slipped my mind that Baby O doesn't stand still! I also wasn't anticipating a large group of Chinese girls 'oohhhing and aahhhing' over him.

First these guys stopped to watch Baby O

Then Baby O interrupted this group.

As soon as the leader stopped talking they all ran over to Baby O.
At one point he started walk away from them, so they tried running in front of him to get a picture.

There was a lot of picture taking.

Friday, April 10, 2015

CNY 2015: Boracay, Philippines

You probably thought that I forgot to finish writing about out trip to the Philippines. Well I haven't forgotten I've just been procrastinating because I knew that this post would be long. I just couldn't narrow the pictures down any further, there were too many that I wanted to share.
Napping while we wait for out tiny plane.
We're almost to Boracay!
So here goes, the last stop on our Chinese New Year trip was to the island of Boracay. It is a small island, just over four miles (seven kilometers) long and half a mile (1 kilometer) wide at its narrowest spot. Since the island is so small you can't fly directly to Boracay Island. We arrived at Caticlan Airport on Panay island. This airport is small, like really small. The runway isn't long enough for larger plans so our quick flight from Cebu City was on a propeller plane. When we checked in to our flight we had to have everything weighed, including us! J had to stand on the scale holding Baby O since their tickets were together. Once we arrived in Caticlan we took a van to the jetty port (we probably could have walked as it was only a few blocks away) then we road a small ferry and another van once we were on Boracay to get to our hotel. There were a lot of steps involved, but the entire process only took about 45 minutes.
Waiting for the ferry
We really liked our hotel (Boracay Haven Resort). It didn't have direct beach access but it wasn't only a two minute walk away. We arrived in the early evening so we didn't get to do much that first day. Just check in, quick walk to the beach and dinner.
We could see a tiny bit of the beach from our room!
The first night we had just gotten back to the room from walking on the beach and the sun was setting and it was so pretty. I snapped a couple of pictures from our room and then hurried back to the beach to get a few there as well. These pictures don't show how pretty the colors were. I need to learn how to use my camera so I can get better pictures!
From our room

The next morning we headed down to the beach after Baby O's first nap. We all did a little swimming, although I enjoyed it the most. Baby O mostly liked to splash his is feet in the water at the beach. He also enjoyed "playing" (aka a little bit of picking up sand, but mostly trying to eat the sand) in the sand for a bit. We went in search of a Mexican restaurant for lunch. We ended up walking quite far in the wrong direction and then back tracking to find this place. It was pretty good, but J and I were both hangry by the time we arrived that we probably didn't enjoy it as much as we could have. After lunch I went swimming again while J and Baby O took a nap in the room.

View from our Mexican lunch.
At dinner
Dinner view.
The next day we headed to the beach after breakfast, we had hoped that Baby O would nap, but there was just too much going on. I took him back to the hotel and J stayed on the beach to enjoy some relaxing time alone. We all went to Don Vito's for lunch. Baby O loved our waitress! On our walk (to find the Mexican place) the day before we had seen a sign for an Oceanianium. We walked back down to the sign only to find out that it was at their other location (The Crown Regency, on the main road) which was much closer to our hotel. I forgot to take pictures, but it was neat! Our entrance fee included a tour, a snack (a tuna sandwich, Doritos and juice) and a mermaid show. The mermaid show is done every day at 4pm. We were there earlier in the day but could have gone back if Baby O hadn't been napping at that time. That evening we took a walk up to Willy's Rock (a volcanic rock formation). When the tide is low you can walk right out to it, we were there at high tide and didn't have our swimsuits on so we stayed on the beach. On our walk back toward our hotel to stopped at Parputri for dinner. This restaurant is a little bit hard to find but definitely worth it. We ordered way too much food!
At lunch
Willy's Rock
Willy's Rock
The entrance to Parputri
Our beverage of choice for our time in the Philippines.
After breakfast we went down to the beach again for our last morning on Boracay. Baby O loved it! We splashed in the water, he picked up the sand, he dropped the sand, he ate some sand, we smiled at everyone that walked past, he walked on a paddle board. Around 10am I took him back to the room for a nap while J relaxed at the beach. I got to relax at the beach that afternoon. I also did a little shopping and one last swim. That evening, we got enjoyed a couple of happy hour drinks. As the sun was setting we ordered a pizza and took some sunset photos while we waited. We ended up meeting a couple that is living in Beijing. They took a neat photo of Baby O sitting on J's shoulders. We ended up talking with them for about an hour. We exchanged information so we could meet up with them when we visit Beijing. They have a 22 month old that was back in China with his grandparents. I wish we had met them earlier in the trip.
We were not the only people with the great idea to take sunset photos :)
This is the photo our new friends took.
Our last morning was a very early one (up at 3:30am)!!! (Note to self: Don't book early morning flights when it takes a van, a boat and another van to get to the airport.) Our hotel provided a little breakfast for us which was really nice (it was a water, some rice, a sausage and scrambled eggs). They also helped us book our transportation back to the airport. We used a service (South West) that we also used on our way to Boracay. The service was good although I am sure we could have gotten it cheaper if we had done it on our own. We arrived in Manila mid-morning and had the rest of the day there before heading back to China the next morning. (I wrote about our time in Manila here.)
The boat we road from Boracay Island to Panay Island.
Walking out to our plane.
Good-Bye Boracay! I hope to visit you again some day!
Overall we had an amazing trip to the Philippines. The people were very nice, the beaches were beautiful, the weather amazing, I loved it! I would love to go back (hint hint - if anyone wants a travel buddy for the Philippines just let me know!) there are so many other islands, beaches and adventures to be had!

A Picture a Week | 4/52

I probably took about hundred photos trying to get a good picture of Baby O in this outfit! Most of the pictures looked like the two below. He is a moving target!

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Family Day

A couple of weekends ago there was a family day event at J's company. We were up early on Saturday morning to head to Changzhou (its a little over an hour away) where his work is located.
J had to be there early to help check everyone in. I believe he said there were supposed to be about 500 people there that day. Baby O and I just wondered around while we waited for J. Baby O was very popular, everyone wanted to say hello to him and hold him. He wasn't interested though he just wanted to walk around. We were asked many times if Baby O was our 'daughter'... J thinks this means that he needs a haircut ... I disagree.

After everyone was checked in our made our way to the stage for an opening message from J's boss. Then it was time to participate in the activities. There were many to choose from: a rock climbing wall, a bounce house for the kids, cotton candy, cactus planting, life size monopoly, sumo wrestling, riding in the lifts. There were also some people making little figurines out of a play dough looking clay or animals out of palm leaves and a guy making animals with a brown sugar mixture. 
J requested a chicken for me.
The artist at work. He is making a horse here.
The palm animal and also you can kind of see the cactus' in the top right.
I had a quick ride in the middle lift on the right. I was not a fan! J said I shouldn't
 be worried because he designed them and he wouldn't make anything that wasn't safe.
 I trust him, but I still didn't like it when it kind of swayed when we were at the top.
You could also ride up in these but you had to wear a harness because they go much higher.