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Farleys visit – Manila & Boracay

March 1st, 2015 1 comment

The beginning of September we finally got Matt’s parents out here to the Philippines to visit us and to meet their newest grandson, Blake. Matt’s brother Drew also came out to visit as well for a week during his school break. Then the second week his older sister Angela and her husband Peter joined the party. The first week we stayed in Manila and showed his parents around while Matt still had to work for a few days.

We ate at People's Palace a few times

We ate at People’s Palace a few times

We watched Matt play basketball

We watched Matt play basketball

Rosalyn found the grandmother of her co-worker selling vegetables at a local wet-market

Rosalyn found the grandmother of her co-worker selling vegetables at a local wet-market

We walked around the neighborhood of that local market and received many stares since foreigners aren't normally seen in that area

We walked around the neighborhood of that local market and received many stares since foreigners aren’t normally seen in that area

Matt and Drew spent some brother time wakeboarding

Matt and Drew spent some brother time wakeboarding

The boys also took their parents to Sky Ranch in Tagaytay so they can see life outside of Manila

The boys also took their parents to Sky Ranch in Tagaytay so they can see life outside of Manila

Grandpa magic with Blake to keep him happy

Grandpa magic with Blake to keep him happy

We waited to have Blake blessed until his grandparents arrived. 3 generations of Farleys in one photo.

We waited to have Blake blessed until his grandparents arrived. 3 generations of Farleys in one photo.

Drew convinced Peter to get a suit tailored made by the same tailor who made the 1980's James Bond suits

Drew convinced Peter to get a suit tailored made by the same tailor who made the 1980’s James Bond suits

Peter was able to do a presentation at The Medical City hospital that Angela and Matt were able to attend.

Peter was invited to do a presentation at The Medical City hospital that Angela and Matt were able to attend

After a week in Manila, we took a plane ride and then a boat ride and arrived in Boracay! We stayed at the Shangri-La in Boracay and rented 2 villas that connected. It was a perfect set-up for our families and we felt like royalty with our own personal butler on call. We have never been disappointed with any of the Shangri-La hotels, and our experience at Boracay was the best.

Our private pool at one of the villas which the kids really enjoyed.

Our private pool at one of the villas which the kids really enjoyed.

Beautiful ocean view as seen from the Shangi-La with wonderful weather while we were there.

Beautiful ocean view as seen from the Shangri-La with wonderful weather while we were there.

Farleys in the ocean and enjoying the white sand at the public beach.

Family in the ocean and enjoying the white powder sand at the public beach.

We had our own private dinner at our villa where enjoyed a 3 course meal and had some good conversations.

We had our own private dinner at our villa where enjoyed a 3 course meal and had some good conversations.

The whole Farley gang that went to Boracay!

Lost in paradise!

More photos of Boracay here.

Crescent Moon Cafe & Pottery

November 2nd, 2014 No comments

A few months back a friend told me about a place that she found that you can buy dishes and other pottery pieces called Crescent Moon. Then another friend went and I saw her dishes and wanted to go see for myself what they have. You have to make reservations for lunch. The lunch was tasty and filling and cost about 400 pesos. We were able to explore the grounds, see people making the pottery at different stages and then got to purchase either direct from the store, or in the back were there are pieces that are slightly damaged and you pay 220 pesos per kilo.  I think I may need to take another trip to Crescent Moon!

Warehouse area where the pottery is put into molds and inspected

Warehouse area where the pottery is put into molds and inspected

A bunch of pottery after it has been in the kiln and before painted

A bunch of pottery after it has been in the kiln and before painted

Hand painting each bowl

Hand painting each bowl

This bathroom pottery set I almost bought for just over $40, but it doesn't match my bathroom so I passed

This bathroom pottery set I almost bought for just over $40, but it doesn’t match my bathroom so I passed

We saw items being made for The Spa, Cafe France, Shangri-La Boracay, and other resorts. Maybe I’ll go back again and buy plates for the future…after we are out of the infant/toddler stage of life where things just get broken.

Categories: Philippines, Reviews Tags: ,

Lei visits the Philippines

October 21st, 2014 No comments

My sister Lei came out to visit us in June. Her husband and 2 year old twin boys stayed home so she was able to relax and just be a sister to me, an auntie to the kids, while pampering herself with regular visits to the spa. Of course we took her to our favorite restaurants and introduced her to our long lost cousins and other friends. She even attended my doctor appointments, but unfortunately missed Blake being born 10 minutes after she left for the airport.

We spent time doing puzzles at home since we both enjoy them

We spent time doing puzzles at home since we both enjoy them

Getting fake eyelashes

Getting fake eyelashes

Trying on jeans at Greenhills

Trying on jeans at Greenhills

Bowling with Mason

Bowling with Mason

Evening out with Kalani to watch the performance STOMP

Evening out with Kalani to watch the performance STOMP

Fabric shopping at the place where the stores come to get their fabric = cheap fabric

Fabric shopping at the place where stores come to get their fabric

Lei got to meet our cousin Marites in Manila

Meeting our cousin Marites in Manila

We went to the Mall of Asia to watch the fireworks

We went to the Mall of Asia to watch the fireworks

We got out of Manila and went to Tagaytay and rode the Ferris wheel at Sky Ranch

We got out of Manila and went to Tagaytay and rode the Ferris wheel at Sky Ranch

We took her to watch a PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) game with a friend who recently received her mission call to Temple Square

We took her to watch a PBA (Philippine Basketball Association) game with a friend who recently received her mission call to Temple Square

We watched Matt play basketball a coupe of times as well

We watched Matt play basketball a couple of times as well

The night before she left we watched the Transformer premier at the Director's Club movie theater

The night before she left we watched the Transformer premier at the Director’s Club movie theater

And she took me to the hospital before she left for her flight.  She missed Blake being born by 10 minutes!

And she took me to the hospital before she left for her flight. She missed Blake being born by 10 minutes!

We really loved having her visit with us. And I think she really liked having Mason ask her every day: “Do you like being a pretty married lady?”

Categories: Family Tags: , , , , , ,

Northern Luzon Roadtrip

October 11th, 2014 No comments

The kids had a 5-day weekend in August so we took advantage of that and went on a road-trip. I must confess that I was a bit apprehensive since Blake was only 8 weeks old and was colicky. But, Matt did a wonderful job planning this road-trip and all of the kids did great. I really like spending time with my little family and exploring more of this country.

The route we traveled in northern Luzon in 5 days. We discovered once again how beautiful this country is outside of the big city

The route we traveled in northern Luzon in 5 days. We discovered once again how beautiful this country is outside of the big city.

Our first stop was to Baler where we stayed at Coasta Pacifica. We stayed here for 2 nights and enjoyed the swimming pool, beach, having a tour of the area and getting out of the car. There were 2 routes to get to Baler and we took the route that goes through the mountain which tacked on 3 extra hours...thanks Google Maps for the recommendation

Our first stop was to Baler where we stayed at Coasta Pacifica. We stayed here for 2 nights and enjoyed the swimming pool, beach, having a tour of the area and getting out of the car. There were 2 routes to get to Baler and google maps recommended we take the route that goes through the mountain which tacked on 3 extra hours.

All of the kids on a surf board. This was Blake's first time in the ocean/pool & Kalani's first time back in the ocean after being stung by a jelly-fish

All of the kids on a surf board. This was Blake’s first time in the ocean/pool & Kalani’s first time back in the ocean after being stung by a jellyfish

Our "city tour" took us to Cunayan Falls. The kids were a bit disappointed that they didn't have their swimsuits, but we told them they could swim in their clothes like the locals and that made them happy

Our “city tour” took us to Cunayan Falls. The kids were a bit disappointed that they didn’t have their swimsuits, but we told them they could swim in their clothes like the locals and that made them happy

We got to explore the "Millennium Balete Tree" where you can walk through it since there is a path "carved out". And the kids could have stayed here for a couple of hours climbing all over it

We got to explore the “Millennium Balete Tree” where you can walk through it since there is a path “carved out”. And the kids could have stayed here for a couple of hours climbing all over it

We left Baler and the only road to get to Tuguegarao was a bit scary at times with it only being dirt roads and even some roads were washed away

We left Baler and the only road to get to Tuguegarao was a bit scary at times with it only being dirt roads, land slides and washed away in some places

On this road to Tuguegarao we saw some of the descendants of the very first people in the Philippines called "aeta"

On this road to Tuguegarao we saw some of the descendants of the very first people in the Philippines called “aeta

After a few hours in the car we made it to Tuguegarao and met up with our friend Mavis. She and our driver Juan joined us exploring the C caves

After a few hours in the car we made it to Tuguegarao and met up with our good friend Mavis. She and our driver Juan joined us exploring the Callao caves

There are 7 "openings" at Callao caves and in the 2nd opening is a "church" that holds services once or twice a month

There are 7 “openings” at Callao caves and in the 2nd opening is a “church” that holds services once or twice a month

We said our good-byes to Mavis and continued driving north to reach Cagayan Resort. This is the place that Survivor 2012 was located

We said our good-byes to Mavis and continued driving north to reach Cagayan Holiday & Leisure Resort. This is where the Survivor Cagayan crew stayed

Cagayan Holiday & Leisure Resort has a bunch of homes (5 bedrooms & private pool) to rent out, a casino & private airstrip...mostly caters to Chinese clients

Cagayan Holiday & Leisure Resort has a bunch of homes (our had 5 bedrooms & private pool) to rent out, a casino & private airstrip…mostly caters to Chinese clients who like to gamble

On our way to our next destination we came across the "Filipino Family Vehicle"

On our way to our next destination we came across the “Filipino Family Vehicle”

We stopped at Padgudpud beach and enjoyed the powder white sand and beautiful scenery

We stopped at Pagudpud beach and enjoyed the powder white sand and beautiful scenery. They call this place the Boracay of the north.

Our hotel on the north/west of Luzon was at Fort Ilocandia and it was wonderful. There was so much to do/see at the resort

Our hotel on the north/west of Luzon was at Fort Ilocandia and it was wonderful. There was so much to do/see at the resort that we will most likely go back since we didn’t get to do everything we wanted to

We got in this jeep and went on some sand dunes as a family

We got in this jeep and went on some sand dunes as a family

Mason really liked sliding down the sand dunes

Mason really liked sliding down the sand dunes

Kalani went horseback riding around the resort and on the beach

Kalani went horseback riding around the resort and on the beach

She also tried out archery for the first time

She also tried out archery for the first time

After staying at 3 wonderful hotels, our last hotel, in La Union, would be considered a dive. But, we enjoyed a walk on the beach and were now only 6-7 hours away from home

After staying at 3 wonderful resorts, our last hotel in La Union would be considered a dive in comparison. But, we enjoyed a walk on the beach and were now only 6-7 hours away from home.

We enjoyed the beautiful countryside on the north

We enjoyed the beautiful countryside of Norhern Luzon

More photos from our road trip here.

Hong Kong get-away

October 5th, 2014 1 comment

I have been to Hong Kong twice for a church conference, but wasn’t able to do a ton of sight-seeing. And since Matt had not been to Hong Kong yet, we decided to take a little “Baby-moon” to Hong Kong before I got too far along in my pregnancy and the airlines wouldn’t let me fly. We took advantage of the May 1st Labor Day holiday and spent a long weekend with just the two of us while Kalani and Mason stayed in the Philippines with Helen and Marilyn (our house help). As always, we booked a tour guide through Viator and found Frank Law. We felt like he showed us all of Hong Kong and gave us good information on the things and places that we were visiting. He was fun, enthusiastic, and tailored the tour to meet the needs of a very pregnant lady.

Day 1

We booked a room at the Intercontinental Hotel and had a spectacular view of the Victoria Harbor

This is our room at the Intercontinental Hotel, which had this spectacular view of Victoria Harbor

We took a tram up to Victoria Peak

We took a tram up to Victoria Peak

BIG groups of Filipinos were gathered at parks since they all had the day off

BIG groups of Filipinos were gathered at parks playing games since they all had the day off

A local market in Hong Kong

On our tour of Hong Kong Island we stopped at a local market

Over 1,000 people live in this apartment building. There are many of these apartment buildings all over Hong Kong

Over 1,000 people live in this apartment building. There are many of these apartment buildings all over Hong Kong

A nice quiet area on Hong Kong Island

A nice quiet area on Hong Kong Island

Heading back to our hotel, we passed this "ship" that is really a department store inside

Heading back to our hotel, we passed this “ship” that is really a department store inside

Day 2

We took the metro to head to Lantau Island. We were headed to the Big Buddha, but these girls were going to Hong Kong Disney

We took the metro to head to Lantau Island. We were headed to the Big Buddha, but these girls were going to Hong Kong Disney

Heading up to the Big Buddha by cable car

Heading up to the Big Buddha by cable car

Our tour guide arranged for us to have a glass bottom cable car going up to Big Buddha

Our tour guide arranged for us to have a glass bottom cable car going up to Big Buddha

From the cable car we could see construction of a bridge that will give another access to mainland China

From the cable car we could see construction of a bridge that will give another access to mainland China

Off the cable car and we see Buddha in the distance and a bunch of western type of shops for the tourists

Off the cable car and we see Buddha in the distance and western types of shops for the tourists

Buddha (34 meters high) is blessing us as we climbed the 268 steps to reach the statue

Buddha (34 meters high) is blessing us as we climbed the 268 steps to reach the statue

Across from the Big Buddha is the Po Lin Monastery. Here are statues of Buddha as Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

Across from the Big Buddha is the Po Lin Monastery. Here are statues of Buddha as Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

We hit up the "Ladies Market" to buy some cheap gifts for the kids

We hit up the “Ladies Market” to buy some cheap gifts for the kids

We also went to the Night Market to have a look, but they basically have the same things as the Ladies Market

We also went to the Night Market to have a look, but they basically have the same things as the Ladies Market

Day 3

Our last day we started out visiting the beautiful Nan Lian Garden

Our last day we started out visiting the beautiful Nan Lian Garden which is right in the middle of the city

Chi Lin Nunnery was just across the bridge of the Nan Lian Garden

Chi Lin Nunnery was just across the bridge of the Nan Lian Garden

Guardians of Buddha

Guardians of Buddha

People get fortune sticks at the temple and then go to these fortune tellers to find out their future.  There are at least 2 dozen of these fortune tellers on site

People get fortune sticks at the temple and then go to these fortune tellers to find out their future. There are at least 2 dozen of these fortune tellers on site

We had a wonderful time spending time together as a couple and really enjoyed our tour guide and driver

It was wonerful to spend time together as a couple and we really enjoyed our tour guide and driver

We actually saw and did more than I showed in this post, but the rest of our photos can be found here.

Categories: Family, Travel Tags: , , , ,