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Tia turns 40

April 25th, 2019 No comments

When trying to decide what I really wanted to do for my 40th birthday, I couldn’t think of just one thing. So, I took a page out of my sister’s book of birthday celebrations and did something for myself everyday of the week!

Monday: People’s Palace lunch with friends
Tuesday: hike with friends and ended up at this dam
Wednesday: Mani/pedi at Dashing Divas
Thursday: after going to our temple, my friend took me out to lunch at La Creperie
Thursday: Matt took me to dinner at “Blackbird
My birthday dessert at the restaurant
Friday: Exercise at Jump Yard trampoline park
And now I’m 40
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2018 Year Review

April 24th, 2019 No comments
In January we celebrated 15 years of marriage
We went to the Bay Area and got to see Apple, Google & Facebook
We had brunch with other Chevron employees that were in the Philippines with us
Family got together in California for the funeral of Grandpa Farley
Matt bought a new car
Attended a wedding in Cebu, Philippines
We had an 8 hour layover in Taipei
Mason played Simba in the play “The Lion King”
Girls night to watch Hamilton
Cousins get together to play Dungeons & Dragons
Neighborhood block party that Tia arranges
Mason’s YMCA baseball team
Poulson Family Reunion in Utah
We put our dream home on the market and it sold in a few weeks
Exploring the Philippines and making new friends
We participated in #LightTheWorld in buying gifts for people in the Philippines
Spending Christmas in Phuket, Thailand with friends

Phuket, Thailand Vacation

April 23rd, 2019 No comments

We knew we were moving to the Philippines in August 2018. Towards the end of that month our friends (living in Indonesia) posted on Facebook that they would be spending Christmas in Phuket, Thailand and asked if anyone wanted to join them. Matt & I saw the post and quickly said, YES! We met Derek & Cathy in the Philippines in 2012 and became fast friends. Our kids got along well with each other and the parents too six years ago and still today. They booked the hotel, Horizon Karon Beach Resort, and once we got to Phuket we came up with an itinerary for our duration there.

We are so excited to travel to Phuket, Thailand to see our friends!

Day 1

We rented a “Party Van” to take us to and from church
Normally this small branch in Phuket has 40 people in attendance. But because of all of the visitors and tourists during the Christmas season, there were nearly 100 people at church. One couple visiting from the states actually knows my uncle!
If we are going to stay walking distance from a beach, you better believe we were going to visit
There is a three year difference between these girls, and they hadn’t seen each other in five years. But, they never ran out of things to say.
Double Date Night for the adults inside another “Party Van”. Using the Grab app in Phuket was fun because you never knew what type of car was going to pick you up!

Day 2

View of Phuket at the start of our Half-Day Island Tour + Elephant Trekking
Mason and Blake got to hold this Sea Eagle…but we liked to call it a “Seagull-Eagle”
We got to visit the Big Buddha. Mason was pouting and didn’t want to be in the photo.
We stopped to visit Chalong Temple
Our “white monkey” getting a photo with another monkey after a show
Elephant rides for everyone
Mason getting some elephant love after our ride with other elephants
The resort had a Christmas Eve party for all of the guests and the kids got their face painted

Day 3

Christmas morning with the gifts we brought from the Philippines
We got to spend Christmas evening at FantaSea together
The evening show at FantaSea was just behind us. They make everyone turn in their phones, so there are no photos from the show
A few more mannequins at this store

Day 4

Bathing an elephant…trying NOT to think about what’s in the water
Matt trying to get the monkey to climb on him outside of Wat Suwan Khuha (Cave Temple)
Inside Wat Suwan Khuha is Buddha laying down. To show respect, all women have to cover their legs
We had a quiet bamboo river raft ride
Cooling off at a small waterfall

Day 5

Island hopping tour to Phi Phi Island and others
The kids enjoyed each other company on the boat ride and did a good job of not getting sunburned
While on a short stay on Rang Yai Island we ran into some good friends of ours. They use to live in the Philippines with us (their daughter was in Mason’s kinder and 1st grade class) and now are in Hong Kong. We had no idea each other was in Phuket for Christmas

Day 6

The “Dab” kids saying good-bye
The oldest two were glad to reconnect in Phuket
The dads that work hard to make these fun vacations possible for us
The moms who had a great time catching up…maybe we will visit them on their next assignment

More photos from Phuket here.

Cebu Vacation – Plantation Bay

April 22nd, 2019 No comments

At the end of November we had plane tickets to fly to Cebu for the long weekend. But Blake started to seem sick and after taking him to the doctors we found out that he had the “mouth” part of Hand-Foot-Mouth virus. So, Matt & the oldest two went to Plantation Bay resort in Cebu, while Blake and Tia stayed in our empty condo resting.

They got to have a private cooking class at the resort
Waiting for the boat to arrive for their island hopping tour
Their dad takes them to the resort’s club
With no one else really in the club the kids could take center stage
Massage while in the jacuzzi
These three had a great time at Plantation Bay. Hopefully Blake and Tia will be able to join them on another stay there.

Philippines Vacation – Subic Bay

April 21st, 2019 No comments

During the three years that we lived in the Philippines the first time (2013-2015) we traveled to a lot of foreign countries. Now that we are back and planning on living here for a couple of decades, we want to explore more of the Philippines! Many people travel to Subic Bay as a get-away from Manila and we finally went to see what it’s all about. November 1 & 2 are holidays here, so we drove up to Subic for a long weekend.

Day 1 – Zoobic Safari

Since our driver had the day off, Matt and I drove our huge 11 passenger Super Grandia up to Subic Bay. Our first stop was at Zoobic Safari.

The drive to Subic is quiet and full of nature
Feeding a baby tiger from a bottle
We got inside a caged jeepney and drove around a secure area where adult tigers came up to the jeepney in search of meat. The guides then threw meat on the roof of the jeepney to entice the tigers to jump on top for a fun ride.
We got to go fishing for crocodiles

Day 2 – Ocean Adventure & Water Park

In the morning we spent time at Ocean Adventure. The best dolphin and sea lion shows we have every experienced were here. They were educational and very funny. Then in the late afternoon we went to the nearby Adventure Beach Water Park. (no photos since we were busy swimming and having fun)

Ready to discover what Ocean Adventure is all about
3-D art if always fun
Kalani getting ready to feed a sea lion
Blake is excited to feed the sea lion some fish
We paid for Mason to have a dolphin encounter (he is the shirtless kid)

Day 3 – Inflatable Island

We played in Subic Bay for an hour during the mid-morning
Our scheduled time to play on this floating island of inflatables was early afternoon

We had a great time being together as a family and exploring more of the Philippines.