In a throwback Thursday kind of way, I will tell you about our family trip to Anvaya Cove last November.
It was the weekend after Sam’s birthday, the original simple celebration we were supposed to have to celebrate her 5th. Of course, with the celebrations that had already happened, we just decided to make it a family outing anyway (since we’d booked the room months before that). Plus, Jamie needed a break from the polluted city life because her skin allergy was flaring up to no end.
Can I just say: I look forward to our family of four trips away. They’ve gotten extra precious now that we’re back in Manila, because I feel the four of us don’t have enough quality time alone (at least that’s how I feel). So I’ve required that we ensure we have at least one trip away each year where it’s “just us”.
The drive going was a bit long but it was fairly relaxing. We had to stop at one of the gas station complexes with food choices for lunch and coffee (Can someone PLEASE do something about the death-defying public bathrooms in these areas! I wanted to put both children in diapers!), and the kids took a much-needed nap in the car. When we got there the sky was overcast, a perfect time to hit the beach in the late afternoon.
The golf cart shuttle service was an immediate hit.
We had booked the a Lagoon terrace room, which overlooks a pond where the ducks swim, and they were enough of an attraction for Jamie as well.
And then of course, there were the fish.
The beach — at first was a bit of a strange concept to Sam who is pretty spoiled with the white powdery sand of Boracay, but that lasted for all of 15 seconds. She was fine with it after. There were some water rides, but the girls were a bit too young for it. The sandy playground though was one Sam was able to enjoy. Jamie preferred jumping on the beach.
We had our little picnic with Sonja’s Cupcakes and cookies, leftover from Sam’s birthday.
Even my husband decided to try out his luck and practice his VT-R poses. Who knows, someone may need a real estate model one day. 😉
Eventually the girls warmed up to the cool salt water and kept jumping and splashing in. Jamie even asked for her goggles because she wanted to scout for fish. She actually saw a couple of schools because they “liked mommy’s feet”.
Then as the sun went down we went on over to the pool complex. There are lifeguards on duty that insist children under 3 wear life-saving devices as a safety precaution. I totally appreciated their concern, but Jamie wouldn’t have it. She just wanted to do her swim exercises. I made friends with the lifeguard and assured him that my girls knew how to swim.
I suppose our energy over-all was very relaxed and easy-going, and it showed in the demeanor of the girls. They did not fight over dinner, not once. Usually we need two iPads to keep them calm and get our meal in; they happily entertained themselves with each other and occasionally with my one little iPhone. Even on our way back to our room, Jamie and Sam walked and explored on their own, without waiting for me. Just as well, since I was able to take this shot.
In the room after their baths, we had a series of firsts. The girls first wanted to dress in the bathrobes we found hanging in the bathroom.
And then… they wanted me to open the TV so they could watch something while “eating chips“. It totally threw us because we’d never injected that concept into them before. I suppose they saw the mini bar and thought the food was free. Amusing little minds.
All the swimming and fish-hunting exhausted them out after a few shows and the girls immediately went to sleep. The beauty of it all was that the salt water helped heal Jamie’s wounds and made her skin itch completely disappear. As such, she slept quite soundly through the night… another relief for me, as I’ve been waking up at least twice a night to re-apply ointments on her.
The terrace was quite useful to us too as my husband and I were able to unwind outside with the cool breeze and have ourselves some sort of date. 🙂
The next day, Sam was up early excited to get back into the swing of things.
Jamie on the other hand, took her time. She woke up refreshed from a sound evening of sleep, and didn’t complain about the sunblock application. She even wanted to walk so she could say hi to the ducks.
But all in all, it was the most easy-going enjoyable time we’ve had in a long long time… or so I felt.
We broke a few of our rules (like no chips on the bed after bath time!), but I also didn’t seem to mind. The kids were having too good a time, the whole time, it was such fun to watch.
The girls didn’t want to leave. They said they weren’t tired but immediately konked out in the car, pretty much the whole ride home. They’ve already requested for a trip back, and because it was so enjoyable for us, I’m quite tempted to book one already sooner. Maybe these family of four getaways should happen more than once every year. 🙂