Monday, February 28, 2011

Sick Little Buddy

Poor Soren is sick. He woke up saying his legs hurt. At first we thought it was from the skiing, but then I realized he had a fever. Poor guy. He laid on the couch and missed two days of school. I asked him if there was anything I could do to make him feel better. His response? "Mom, I really wish someone would make me a card." IMG_0647 Aw, how could anyone say no to that?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

SAHD vs SAHM

There are subtle differences in a house run by a stay-at-home dad versus one run by a stay-at-home mom.

Case in point, SAHD thinks the dishwasher is the perfect place to rinse off dirty shoes.

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I must admit that they came out looking pretty great!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Skiing at Hoo Doo

We had a blast skiing at Hoo Doo last weekend. The area finally received some much needed snow and we were all excited to get out in it. We signed Soren up for full day lessons, which he loved. And Peter and I skiied together while he took his lessons. hoodoo2 Peter has new AT (all terrain) skiis which are really fancy and can do all sorts of stuff (that I just don't understand.) But this weekend he worked on his telemarking sills. It was awesome because it meant that Peter doing his first day of telemarking and me just doing my regular skiing were the same level! This can't last long, but it is fun while it lasts! When I went to see Soren half way through the lesson he was bursting with pride shouting "I skiied by myself, mama!" Adorable. hoodoo1 At the end of the day Peter and I went to ski a few runs with him on the small hill. The small hill has a double chair lift, so Soren and rode together while Peter rode with the next mom in line. On the way up we could hear Peter and the lady chatting. Soren turned and looked at them, and then looked at me very tenderly and announced: "Mom, I think Dad just fell in love with someone else."

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Philippines: The End of the Trip

After the boat trip it was more diving, more relaxing, more beach frolicking, and more mango shakes in town. One one of our last trips to town, Soren asked me to take this photo so he could remember that this small bangka was his favorite.

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Jeepneys are ubiquitous whereever you go in the Philippines.

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Since most of our transportation was by boat or airplane, we never got the chance to ride in one.

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But that didn't stop us from marvelling at the elaborate paint jobs!

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We liked wandering around town looking for ways for Soren to spend his peso coins...

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And even in town, we never seemed to be far from someone's prize winning rooster.

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The trip did finally come to an end though. This is the Coron airport. Not just our gate, but the entire Coron airport.

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And here is our plane arriving for the first of many legs in our long journey home.

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Good bye beautiful Philippine islands! We'll miss you!

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We stopped in South Korea again on the return journey. We actually spent an entire day running around Seoul. But would you believe the only photos I took were of the lunch?

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It was an incredible lunch though (notice that from the first picture to the second all the quail eggs have disappeared - that is all Soren's doing!)

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Here's Soren in the San Francisco airport as we wait for our final flight home. Thank heaven for video games!

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And there ya have it! Our trip to the Philippines. What a great, great vacation.

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Philippines: Just Hanging Out

In addition to the beautiful sites, we loved this boat trip because we could just hang out and relax. Relax watching a beautiful sunset.

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Relax and play tossing sticks and logs into a fire...

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Sit in the warm water and look for shells...

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And enjoy yummy fresh fruits...

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...knowing that no matter how messy things got, we'd just jump in the water to rinse off!

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The Philippines: Coron, Which Must Be One of the Most Beautiful Islands in the World

Coron Island was one of the absolute highlights for us on the boat trip.

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Everywhere you turned it seemed to just be more beautiful.

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We cruised along the island and stopped at several of the interesting spots.

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Isn't that water color just amazing?!

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There were a few spots that made for interesting snorkeling. Some spots you could go swim through rock tunnels. Other spots had unusually warm water.


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Many of the islands in the area are managed by the local tribespeople. They collect a small entrance fee when you land on the island. But in exchange they build stairs, picnic shelters and other things to make the stop more comfortable. Win-win.

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They'd built stone steps over this small pass in the mountains...

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...so we could admire the view...

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...and get to the land-locked lake inside the island. Funny that I didn't get any shots of Soren snorkeling because he really got pretty good at it on this trip!

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Here we're with our Captain Betan, all ready to dive in.

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day. Meh. Kind of an over-rated holiday in my book. Feels silly to get over-priced flowers to let me know I'm loved. Peter and Soren do a great job of that 365 days of the year. No need to go crazy on one day. Soren, however, didn't agree. He went all out. He blew up balloons and when he and Peter went to the store he bought me cookies, flowers and the most awesome card ever. Be sure you read the text...

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To My Partner in Everything. Who helps out with the errands?

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Who gently rubs my back? And when I'm watching TV, who brings a little snack?

Who cares for me, is there for me? And always makes me laugh?

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The one I couldn't do without...it's YOU, my better half! Perfect. Love that kid!

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

The Philippines: The One Where I Post Some of the Less Awesome Realities of Boat life

So, we've established that we loved that boat trip, right? For us it was one of the big highlights of the trip. But one of the things we often do while on vacation is consider which of our friends and family would also love whatever activity we are doing at the moment? Who would we recommend this trip to?

And, for this boat trip, despite all its incredible beauty...the list actually was pretty short. Why, you may ask?

Well, I think most of my friends would probably approach the live chickens onboard with the same humor we did. (Although I do have quite a few compassionate friends who would have likely enquired about tofu options.)

I think the things that would likely limit the appeal of this adventure were a lack of some creature comforts. For starters, the sleeping accomodations. Remember our little tent (in blue, in the background here)?

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We came to think of this as our own personal sauna. Saunas are lovely and all...but not really for an 8 hour stint overnight. It wasn't so hot while we were there, but three bodies locked in nylon shelter can get pretty toasty. There weren't a lot of mosquitos around, but even a small number is too many when you are trying to sleep. So we kept the tent pretty well zipped up during the night.

We slept there for two nights (Soren slept just fine, thankyouverymuch!) and then bailed on the tent idea to move to the boat. Now, that was lovely. Watching the stars at night. Far fewer mosquitos because we were on the water.

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And waking up surrounded by lapping water and loveliness all around.

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Nothing better than snuggling up together.

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And then, there was the lack of shower. Not that big a deal, really. We were swimming during much of the day and could take care of rudimentary bathing that way. But salt water plus hair...well, not a great combo.

What makes me laugh is that my hair actually felt gorgeous during the whole trip. That saltiness makes it feel thick, luxurious and wild - in a good way. I actually snapped a photo of myself while we were out there just to check to see how I looked with my thick, luxurious, wild hair.

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Yeah, I'm guessing that thick or luxurious aren't the words that come to mind first for you? Wild, maybe, But more like savage probably.

We did actually have one great opportunity for a fresh water shower: a brief torrential downpour in the middle of day three. The crew, recognizing opportunity when it was knocking, immediately grabbed their shampoo and lathered up on deck. Me, well, the rain was freezing...and I was still under the illusion that I had a cool wild look going.

So, there you have it. The small details that would likely dissuade many of our friends from this particular adventure. But I do have to point out that there are ways to avoid the particular challenges presented above. So when you do decide to book your trip to the Philippines (because on the whole it is a destination that we can whole-heartedly recommend) let me know and I'll help you plan to avoid those shortcomings!

p.s. Would believe I'm still not finished posting about this trip? Sheesh. Will I ever be able to get through all these photos?!

Saturday, February 05, 2011

The Philippines: Christmas Day

We spent Christmas Day on our boat trip. Soren was quite concerned when I told him that we'd be in the Philippines for Christmas: "How will Santa find us?!"

I assured him that Santa would know where we are. And, I was right.

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This was no small undertaking. It meant packing stockings and stocking stuffers for Soren, Peter, me, and our crew (Soren knows Santa wouldn't leave anyone out!) We traipsed half-way around the world with one of our backpacks filled with Christmas gear. The verdict: totally worth it.

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For the most part, we didn't visit towns while we are the boat trip. But our crew did need to stop to refresh supplies that day and so we walked around the tiny town to see what was happening.

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We were all eager to see the life in a tiny remote island town.

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Since it was Christmas Day, there was no school and no one seemed to be working. Everyone was just out hanging out with their neighbors.

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We happened across a huge outside bingo game in the town square. I didn't snap a picture of that because having three white people show up in the middle of the game was enough of a disturbance as it was!

As usual, kids are the best ambassadors.

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They tagged along behind us as we walked around the village, shouting "Merry Christmas" everywhere we went.

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This sign caught my attention.

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We'd heard that cock-fighting was a popular event in the Philippines, so we shouldn't have been surprised to find it happening around the corner.

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This is as close as we got though.

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Cock fighting, not really our thing. Cock-fighting on Christmas Day? Nah, we'll pass.