Tag Archives: Trips


As I mentioned before, as we are getting ready to leave the Philippines (in 25 days!!!), I was sad that we had never been to Boracay, the most famous beach in the country.

Stories of crowds and the partying atmosphere might excite some, but actually kept us from going there. Personally, I hate crowded beaches – I like my space, my quiet, my peace. To add to that, tickets to Boracay are just as expensive as international tickets, so we chose to go to places like Hong Kong, Taipei, Jakarta, Shanghai, Brunei, Kota Kinabalu, Seoul, Bangkok, (etc, etc) instead.

But splurging for a 5-star stay at the Shangri-la in Boracay sounded like the perfect way to end our time in the Philippines, plus an easy first trip with a newborn!

Ellie did great on her first plane ride, I nursed her on the way up and down, as everyone recommended in order to keep her ears cleared, and she slept the rest of the time.


We got to the resort, and immediately fell in love…


The view from our room didn’t hurt…




We spent the next few days at the private beach in front of our room, the water and sand were gorgeous!











And as Karl and Ellie took a few naps at the beach, I was able to explore the grounds and check out the pool (which oddly enough, was heated, so it was super uncomfortable in this sunny weather…).



I also visited the other private beach, which was much smaller, but being next to the pool, also much busier…


But from there we could see amazing sunsets… (No filters needed – actually, for any of these pictures, everything looks exactly as it did on my camera!)




Traveling with Ellie was great too! I wore her on my Beco Gemini, which instantly makes her pass out, so we were able to go out to dinner every night, and she was completely oblivious to it! (I’m getting really good at eating above her head…)



And to add to my joy, Ellie loved being on the beach!







And she loved the water too!





(Except when Karl held her…)


We took advantage of the free shuttle and checked out the “real” Boracay as well…





But around the beach area, and specially the boardwalk, it was all so noisy and crowded, we were relieved we decided not to stay there!

The only hard part of the trip was leaving this behind…



I’m so happy we went to Boracay, and despite the extra expense for the flights and to stay at the Shangri-la, it was absolutely worth it! The place was paradise, and it was a super easy trip with a newborn too (after all, Ellie wasn’t even 8 weeks!).

We have one more trip scheduled before we leave, spending a weekend in Puerto Galera (which involves a drive + boat), and I ended up scheduling a trip with the girls from MADS back to Siquijor – 6 moms, 7 babies, 1 yaya. Now THAT should be interesting… Stay tuned… I’m also hoping procrastination to pack will give me a chance to finally catch up on all the trips I’ve taken in the last few months and failed to blog about!


Filed under Asia, Foreign Service, Philippines, Pictures, Travel, Travel Review, Traveling in Asia, Trips!


It feels like ages ago that we went to Shanghai, probably because it really was.  Who knew it would take me this long to share the pictures?  (Can I keep blaming this procrastination on pregnancy?)

I loved the city, it was great to be in a big city with lots of green space and parks (something we miss the most here in Manila). 

We stayed at the Pudi Boutique Hotel, and I highly recommend it!  It was amazingly comfortable and convenient to a lot of restaurants.


We pretty much walked everywhere from our hotel, Shanghai wasn’t nearly as crowded as I was expecting.  And seeing trees everywhere was quite the novelty after living so long in Manila.



Believe it or not, despite being pregnant and dying to pee, it’s amazing your body’s capacity to hold *just a little longer* so you can avoid a smelly squat toilet (I’m leaving Asia in a little over 3 months, and have been successful in avoiding them completely!  It helps that they’re not the norm here in the Philippines).









It was a short trip, but we had a great time!  I definitely hope to be able to visit again someday!

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Filed under Asia, Pictures, Travel, Traveling in Asia, Trips!

R&R Trip

So remember how way back at the end of July we went on our first R&R trip, taking a total of 9 flights in two weeks, before arriving back in Manila?  And how I never blogged about it, except for a very brief post where the wordpress app didn’t even post my pictures in a proper size?

So after dealing with flight cancelations (AFTER boarding the plane and hanging out for almost 2 hours on the tarmac) and an unexpected overnight stay in Detroit, we finally made our way to Charleston…

I got reunited with my engagement ring, the diamond had become loose, and we got it fixed, but it was waiting for me in Charleston (it had been over a year since I last worn it!).


We got to hang out with the cutest kids…



And go to the beach – we missed the beach!


DC was next on our itinerary, where somehow we rented one of the world’s smallest cars (that was surprisingly very fun to drive), and play tetris in order to fit all our luggage in… (And no, we didn’t get it on the first try).


We got to drive through GW Parkway on a beautiful day…


And say hello to DC traffic – but no jeepneys, so yay!


We chilled at my sister’s…


Sat in Obama’s chair…


Met my running group for a BBQ (where I failed to get a picture!), and admired some of the DC views I miss so much during my runs. (Gosh, I miss running outside…)


I caught up with my very-pregnant friend that still looked smaller than me at 9 months…


And gave my big grown-up nephew some hugs!


And met a bunch of my friends for drinks and dinner, and it was great catching up, even if I did have to stick with water.

You have no idea how much I miss running with these folks!


And chatting with one of my best friends, Nanubia!


Seattle was the next (and last!) stop in our itinerary, and we spent a gorgeous day on a boat, which also coincided to be my first day of pregnancy sickness and put a bummer in my time in Seattle.  But before I started feeling like death, I did take some good pictures!


Can you see the mountains?  Beautiful!




There was a lot of cuddling done with this dog while I dealt with nausea…


I still feel like I need a redo in Seattle.  I ended up spending most of the time in bed watching TV, which was a waste of a vacation.  But there was lots of nausea, headache (and some projectile vomiting) during that time, so at least I count myself lucky that it was only during the last bit of the trip – not during the whole thing!


Filed under Foreign Service, Pictures, Pregnancy, R&R, Travel, Trips!

Aaaand… I’m still in Manila

There are some refueling issue at the Majuro airport, and all United flights from Guam there this week got canceled. 

I found that out just a couple of hours before leaving for the airport, so I checked my flights online and it all said it was good to go.

Of course, this being United, I found out I was NOT flying to Majuro after arriving at the airport, despite having already checked in online.  I was rebooked on a flight on Sunday that may or may not leave.  We’ll see how it goes.  (Karl has no updates either, and said even the President of the Marshall Islands is currently stranded away from Majuro, so they’re looking to fix the problem ASAP.)

Flights from Hawaii are still landing in Majuro, but United refused to reroute me.

After lots of tears, I came back home, and out of curiosity checked the United site, and yep, it still said that the flight for Majuro was a-ok.  Why, oh why, they don’t update these things, saving me the one hour drive in traffic to NAIA 1 (not surprisingly, voted the worst airport in the world) only to find out I wasn’t going anywhere?  Then have to drive through traffic back home?

So here I am, a few hours before I was meant to land in Majuro, where I would get to see my husband after 2 weeks apart, and I would get to be spending my weekend at the beach…  The whole idea of me arriving before the weekend was so Karl could show me around, and now, nothing.  Here’s hoping I will finally go on Sunday.

At least Lily was ecstatic to see me back home.


Filed under Travel, Trips!