Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Snorkel Trip

Somebody remind me that this child will--eventually--sleep through the night. I've already been through this twice before, and I'm already starting to lose sight of that. Reece has been sleeping through the night about once a week lately. He's had a cough that seems to wake him up, and he has now officially reached the age where he can lay in his crib and talk for an or hour in the middle of the night. Aye. The only problem with that is that if he starts crying, I have no problem going into his room swaddling him again and giving him the pacifier. If he's just talking, though, I feel like I should just let him go back to sleep on his own. Which means he talks and I lay in bed listening. From 1:00 am to 3:00 am. Fun times.

While we may not have been able to do all of the awesome things we would have liked to in Cebu with a 4-month-old in tow (no motorcycles, no jeepneys, not even a long walk into "town"), we did manage to do some fun stuff. Eric and I each took the big kids kayaking and fish feeding. We also rented a jet ski, and of course, lots of swimming. I think the highlight of our trip was our "island hopping" and snorkel trip.

Somehow I neglected to take a picture of our banca boat, so I borrowed that picture from here, but this is basically what ours looked like (minus all of the advertising...ours was owned and run by locals, though the resort set it up for us and sent their staff to help). Probably the most adventurous part of the day was getting on and off the boat at the resort. There was wind that day, and they basically just put a long plank from the front of the boat onto the rocky jetty that was at the resort. As the boat moved in the waves, of course the plank moved, as well. It was a little tricky trying to cross it with Reece in my arms or in the carrier.

The trip itself was pretty great, though. It was an expensive little excursion, but Eric thought it would be worth it, and I think he was right. It also didn't take us long to discover why it was a little pricey. It turned out that the entire boat was just for us, even though there was probably room for about 20 more. The resort was only about 70% full the week we were there, so maybe that's why we didn't have to share with anyone. The resort sent a lifeguard with us who swam with the kids and knew all of the good spots for snorkeling. He also carried backpacks and took pictures for us, so there is actual photographic evidence that I was present on this trip. He and Cade hit it off and had a great time together.

They also sent along one of the staff from the kids' center at the resort to help take care of the baby. Personally, I'd thought the trip was going to be a bit much. I was picturing a boat that looked a little more like the shrimp boats in Thailand that had no shade. I figured we'd also be "taking turns" snorkeling and holding other words, Eric would have fun and I would spend most of my time holding a hot, sweaty baby who didn't want to be stuck on a boat anymore. But, let me tell you, Crimson Resort knew how to make this momma's life a little easier!

Chalet, the woman that they sent along with us, was so helpful! Other than the ride out to the first spot that we snorkeled in, she held Reece for nearly the entire trip. Cade didn't want to get in the water at the first spot we went to, so she fed Reece and colored with Cade while Eric and Kennedy and I snorkeled. This spot had a ton of amazing fish and I think I would have been content to stay there all day, but the coral was dead, so we took off to head to another spot.

At our second stop, which was just off Nalusuan Island, pictured above, we managed to get Cade to get in the water with us. Even after three quarters of swim lessons, he's still not too keen on deep water. He likes to be able to touch the bottom, so he enjoyed 2 of the 3 pools at the resort, which made life much easier for us. Nonetheless, we managed to get him into the water. He had a float to hang onto, and our lifeguard, Ronald, stayed with him the whole time. As hard as we tried, we couldn't get him to put his face in the water, so that he could actually see the fish, but we were just glad to get him in the water. 

Kennedy really did an amazing job; we were so impressed. Of course, we wore life jackets, so that our main concern was not staying afloat, but she had no fear of going off on her own and would then come and report back on the fish that she'd seen. She's gotten to be a pretty good swimmer in the last almost 3 years of swim lessons, and she's pretty confident in the water now.

After snorkeling, we ate the picnic lunch that was included in the trip, complete with a bottle of wine. It was a little awkward because it felt like the staff was stuck watching and waiting for us to finish eating, but it was good, and I was relieved that we hadn't had to worry about food. We'd brought along extra water and some snacks, but pretty much everything we needed was included.

After lunch, we went to check out Nalusuan Island, which the kids really enjoyed. By putting together several maps, I think we were swimming in the Cebu Strait, but whatever it was was warm and beautiful! These last 2 pictures were taken with Eric's new sport camera, but he would like you to know that he considers these "amazing professional pictures of Cebu." Especially with that water droplet on the lens.

We all made it back in one piece, ready for showers to get the salt water off and a long nap! Eric and I were the only ones that got sunburned, and I think we will be getting rash guards for the two of us before we head to any more tropical locations. While it is now consistently in the upper 60s to low 70s here, I still think that a day or two at the beach sound pretty nice right now. One of the best parts was being able to breathe clean air for a week; I'm so sick of the haze here in Seoul!

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