Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Philippines Vacation: Day Seven

The sunrise at the Peacock Garden
Finally, our time in the Philippines had come to an end. It had been relaxing, although occasionally frustrating. Still, I enjoyed the getaway.

After collecting our things, Jackie and I went to check out. I paid with my credit card (they had a machine that actually worked, a novel concept!). And then we sat down for breakfast in the indoor restaurant.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Philippines Vacation: Day Six

The ocean view from our room at the Peacock Garden
The time came for us to leave the Isola Bella Beach Resort. It had been pretty frustrating with very spotty service. It really shouldn't be so hard to find someone who is working anywhere. So we were not mad to leave at all. I knew the next place we were staying at was going to be fancy, that was my plan after all, but I had no idea what we would be in store from later that day...

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Philippines Vacation: Day Five

See those hills? Those are the famous Chocolate Hills of Bohol.
After a day of exploring the area near Doljo Beach where we were staying and meeting a strange man, we decided to book a tour of the Chocolate Hills of Bohol. Sadly, a horrible earthquake had caused a great deal of damage. Hundreds of people died and many buildings were demolished, including multiple famous churches. The strongest part of the earthquake happened very close to the Chocolate Hills. For months, we had been monitoring the safety of the island and almost considered changing our plans for the entire country, but we decided to go anyway. In November, following the big typhoon, another earthquake occurred...

Monday, February 3, 2014

Philippines Vacation: Day Four

Look at that nice hidden beach!
Coming off a long, albeit fun, day on New Year's Eve, we sought to have a more relaxing day to begin the year. Unfortunately, the staff at the Isola Beach Resort did not cooperate with that idea. In the morning, we wanted to get breakfast, but there was nobody at the front desk at 8 a.m. We checked again. Jackie went by herself. I went by myself. We checked again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

And again.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Philippines Vacation: Day Three

Sunrise at Alona Beach
It would be our last day at the Bohol Coco Farm, but we had booked an early morning tour to go dolphin watching and see some islands. Early in the morning, we met the group, Jackie, myself, two girls, the nice man who booked it for us, and his daughter, and piled into the van. The tour took off from Alona Beach.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Philippines Vacation: Day Two

A nice hidden beach in Panglao
The next day, we woke up and went to the restaurant at our "hotel" for breakfast. It took some time to get it, but while we waited, we chatted up the staff and some of the other travelers. We were given ube to eat before our food arrived. Ube is a purple root that tastes great by itself. I loved it.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Philippines Vacation: Day One

Sunset at Dumaluan Beach

For the New Year's break, we had a week. Last year we had gone to see family in the United States, but this year we wanted to explore more of Asia. We had heard great things about the Philippines, so we decided to go there. The planning for this trip was pretty easy. After we had our flights in order, I researched a few places to stay and booked those. You don't even need to get a visa beforehand if you are American. Super easy.

We settled on going to Panglao, an island south of Bohol.