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USC graduation & Disneyland

May 21st, 2016 1 comment

My brother Robbie got his Master’s Degree from University of Southern California. He has been orchestrating a family reunion type weekend for his graduation and then a trip to Disneyland. So this past weekend it finally happened. Nine out of the ten Limary children were able to make it down to celebrate his graduation and spend a day together in Disneyland (one brother is serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Chicago right now). It was wonderful to see my siblings again and meet a few nieces that were born while we lived overseas.

Day 1

We made it to USC campus

We made it to USC campus

Sisters all together again

Sisters all together again

Blake would take handful of his cousins snacks and then feed her some one by one

Farley family with the graduate

Farley family with the graduate

Everyone who made it to USC gradutation

After graduation we all hung out together having a swim party, BBQ and game night

After graduation we all hung out together having a swim party, BBQ and game night.

We had a birthday cake for one of my brothers. Since the sun went down it was getting cold and Matt was trying to warm up by candle light.

We had a birthday cake for one of my brothers. Since the sun went down it was getting cold and Matt was trying to warm up by candle light.

Blake found his cousins stuffed animals and was content to play with them for a while

Blake found his cousin’s stuffed animals and was content to play with them for a while.

Day 2

This is the biggest group photo that we were able to capture. One family was still at the hotel and Kalani was off with her uncle and grandma already.

This is the biggest group photo that we were able to capture. One family was still at the hotel and Kalani was off with her uncle and grandma already.

Matt proposed to me in front of the castle. Trying to replace the memory of proposing to another girl in front of this castle

Matt proposed to me in front of the castle… Apparently he’s had some practice :)

We got to meet Kylo Ren.

We got to meet Kylo Ren.

One crazy group at the jungle safari

One crazy group at the jungle safari.

Mason is so good with his baby cousins.

Mason is so good with his baby cousins.

During lunch my sisters tongue started to swell after eating something. The restaurant took that very seriously and got a nurse to come check her out.

During lunch my sister’s tongue started to swell after eating something. The restaurant took that very seriously and got a nurse to come check her out (we all ate for free!).

This was the only photo that we have of Kalani at Disneyland. We didn’t see her again until after the night parade.

Mason was able to participate in the Jedi Training.

Mason was able to participate in the Jedi Training.

He got to fight Darth Vader!

We had a great time going on rides and making crazy faces.

We had a great time going on rides and making crazy faces.

We watched a few parades since that babies were sleeping and/or we wanted to sit down.

We watched a few parades since babies were sleeping and/or we wanted to sit down.

Day 3

We got to walk around the Newport Beach temple grounds.

We got to walk around the Newport Beach temple grounds.

We made a stop at the Reptile Zoo. A show that we watch is filmed here often.

We made a stop at the Reptile Zoo. A show that we watch is filmed here often.

Blake HAD to hold the ball python.

Blake HAD to hold the ball python.

My sisters and our family boarded a plane and headed back home after a fun weekend.

My sisters and our family boarded a plane and headed back home after a fun weekend.

 

More photo of Disneyland and USC graduation.

 

Scuba Diving in the island nation of Palau

February 29th, 2016 No comments

Matt and I got certified for scuba diving at the beginning of August. We had originally planned a trip to go to the island nation of Palau in November during the APEC conference (Tue-Wed-Thu were declared non-working days by the city of Manila to accommodate the conference).

However, due to the fact that several national Heads of State were arriving in Manila, our flight was cancelled. We knew that we were repatriating back to the states at the beginning of January, so we had a very small window to be able to make this trip happen. Flights to Palau from Manila are only a couple of times a week. So we rescheduled for the last Tuesday in December, leaving around midnight and returned home Friday evening (New Years Day).

We had six dives and saw first hand what has made Palau famous as a world-class diving destination. We also felt like we were still in a part of the Philippines since there are so many Filipinos that work there. It is a slow pace of living there (island style), but that was a nice change and a relaxing time just before the craziness of moving started for us.

Day 1

After getting only six hours of sleep, we were on the dive boat with about a dozen other divers. A dive boat is full of dive tanks and gear. The people were really nice, friendly and helpful as well.

After getting only six hours of sleep, we were on the dive boat with about ten other divers. A dive boat is full of dive tanks and gear. All of the divers and boatmen were really nice, friendly and helpful as well.

Siaes Corner was our first dive site. I had problems with my mask fogging up, but Matt said that this was the best diving ever. Lots of fish and coral.

Siaes Corner was our first dive site. I had problems with my mask fogging up, but Matt said that this was the best diving ever. Lots of fish and coral.

We hooked in and watched the marine life for a time at Siaes Corner.

We hooked in and watched the marine life for a time at Siaes Corner.

So many sharks were here. This trip exceeded expectations on the first dive.

So many sharks were here. Six are easily visible in this photo, but there were more. This trip exceeded expectations on the first dive.

Siaes Tunnel was our second dive.

Siaes Tunnel was our second dive. Can you see the shark?

Outside of the tunnel we saw a bunch of other marine life.

Outside of the tunnel we saw a bunch of other marine life.

We found this turtle who looked like he was trying to hide.

We found this turtle who looked like he was trying to hide.

Third dive of the day was at Chandelier Cave. No marine life, but cool stalactites.

Third dive of the day was at Chandelier Cave. No marine life, but cool stalactites.

Our couple photo inside Chandelier Cave

Our couple photo inside Chandelier Cave

Day 2

First dive of the day was to German Channel. We were lucky enough to see this manta ray that was near the surface while we were below.

First dive of the day was to German Channel. We were lucky enough to see this manta ray that was near the surface while we were below.

This shark was not scared of us as long as we kept our distance.

This shark was not scared of us as long as we kept our distance.

We didn't know why there were sucker fish on the sand until we realized that there was a stingray buried there as well.

We didn’t know why there were sucker fish on the sand until we realized that there was a stingray buried there as well.

Second dive of the day was to Blue Corner. We hooked in and watched the sharks and other fish swim around.

Second dive of the day was to Blue Corner. We hooked in and watched the sharks and other fish swim around.

We went to another area and hooked in and watched more marine life.

We went to another area and hooked in and watched more marine life.

As we were making our safety stop we saw this huge school of barracudas.

As we were making our safety stop we saw this huge school of barracudas.

Our last dive was at Helmet Wreck. This was our first wreck dive and it was pretty cool to see a ship from World War II.

Our last dive was at Helmet Wreck. This was our first wreck dive and it was pretty cool to see a ship from World War II.

On wreck dives you need to be careful not to kick up the silk/sand that has settled on the wreck or else you can't see anything.

On wreck dives you need to be careful not to kick up the silk/sand that has settled on the wreck or else you can’t see anything.

Items from World War II

Bottles from World War II

Day 3

Since we were flying out later this day, we couldn't dive. Instead we did an island tour and saw these sting-less jellyfish.

Since we were flying out later this day, we couldn’t dive. Instead we did an island tour and saw these stingless jellyfish in a land-locked saltwater lagoon.

It took us about 10 minutes to swim over to the area that they jellies were at, but it was pretty amazing once we got there.

It took us about 10 minutes to swim over to the area that they jellies were at, but it was pretty amazing once we got there.

Matt decided to do a dance with the jellies.

Matt decided to do a dance with the jellies.

Our next stop was to see some giant clams.

Our next stop was to see some giant clams.

Once that you touch the clams, they close up quickly.

Once that you touch the clams, they close up quickly.

Our last stop on the boat was to a place called "The Milky Way". The water is a gorgeous milky blue color because of the limestone sediment that has settled on the floor of the water cove.

Our last stop on the boat was to a place called “The Milky Way”. The water is a gorgeous milky blue color because of the limestone sediment that has settled on the floor of the water cove.

The milky sediment that was on the bottom of the cove floor.

The milky sediment that was on the bottom of the cove floor.

A natural sunscreen and moisturizer that makes you look like a swamp monster.

A natural sunscreen and moisturizer that makes you look like a swamp monster.

After lunch we went to the Eco Theme Park.

After lunch we went to the Eco Theme Park.

We saw people riding a monorail that didn't go very fast, but they didn't have to walk uphill either.

We saw people riding a monorail that didn’t go very fast, but they didn’t have to walk uphill either.

The main reason why we came here was to see the waterfall.

The main reason we did the hike was to see the waterfall.

Our driver turned into our tour guide and took us to see a Palau Bai home. These homes were used like a city hall to discuss all matters for the villagers.

Our driver turned into our tour guide and took us to see a Palau Bai home. These homes were used like a city hall to discuss all matters for the villagers.

We saw some World War II machinery that is still laying around the island.

We saw some World War II machinery that is still laying around the island.

A Japanese bomb from WWII.

A Japanese bomb from WWII.

We were looking for souviner items to take home on New Year's Day and many shops were closed. Our driver/tour guide took us to the jail to check out their gift shop.

We were looking for souviner items to take home on New Year’s Day and many shops were closed. Our driver/tour guide took us to the jail to check out their gift shop.

 

Palau is beautiful with hundreds of these small islands in the middle of the ocean.

Palau is beautiful with hundreds of these small islands in the middle of the ocean.

One day we were able to have lunch on the boat in this area that was secluded and peaceful.

One day we were able to have lunch on the boat in this area that was secluded and peaceful.

On our way back from a dive our boatman took us over by the famous Rock Arch of Palau.

On our way back from a dive our boatman took us over by the famous Rock Arch of Palau.

We had a great time doing six dives together and creating wonderful memories.

We had a great time doing six dives, seeing another beautiful country, and creating wonderful memories together.

More photo of Palau here.

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Christmas in Siquijor…4th time in a row

February 28th, 2016 No comments

Our long lost relatives live on the beautiful island of Siquijor, and we have been spending Christmas with them every year since 2012. So this year was no different. Again we stayed at our “home away from home”, Coco Grove Beach Resort. We love the staff there who know us by name. (Having a staff member be Blake’s nanny while we are there really means everyone knows Blake and we are just his family) And word has spread throughout the International School of Manila about Coco Grove Beach Resort, so our kids saw their friends and teachers at the resort. Our agenda is more or less the same thing every year with what we do around the island. This year was a little different in that we are now scuba certified, so we had a day trip to Apo island where we ate lunch, did some snorkeling with turtles, and had two dives around the island (Apo is one of the top dive sites in the country).

Our flight was delayed leaving Manila so we didn't get to see our Welcome sign until the next day. Being at Coco Grove Beach Resort really does feel like we are coming home.

Our flight was delayed leaving Manila so we didn’t get to see our welcome sign until the next day. Being at Coco Grove really does feel like we are coming home.

SIx year old Mason doing a flip off a rock at Cambugahay Falls

Six year old Mason doing a flip off a rock at Cambugahay Falls

Lugnason Falls got a major make-over from the last time we visited his place two years ago.

Lugnason Falls got a major make-over from the last time we visited two years ago.

Our kids love to ride on the motorcycle with their cousin Sherwin.

Our kids love to ride on the motorcycle with their cousin Sherwin.

We had lunch at our cousin's home and then sat around chatting and some people took naps.

We had lunch at our cousin’s home and then sat around chatting and some people took naps.

We had dinner at our other cousin's home.

We had dinner at another cousin’s home.

On the way back to the resort from our cousin's home we saw the moon shining over the ocean.

On the way back to the resort from our cousin’s home we saw the moon shining over the ocean.

Christmas Eve dinner party at Coco Grove we got to listen to these sisters sing.

Christmas Eve dinner party at Coco Grove we got to listen to these sisters sing.

Coco Grove fire dancers also performed.

Coco Grove fire dancers also performed.

Island Melody Band were the final number for the Christmas Eve party.

Island Melody Band were the final number for the Christmas Eve party. (we’ve seen them perform 4-5 times now and they’re always great)

Christmas Day we got on a boat and headed towards Apo Island. Our kids wanted to be in the front.

Christmas Day we got on a boat and headed towards Apo Island. Our kids wanted to be in the front.

Apo Island is in sight.

Apo Island is in sight after an hour boat ride from the resort.

We had lunch here and also went to the turtle sanctuary nearby to snorkel with some turtles.

We had lunch here and also went to the turtle sanctuary nearby to snorkel with some turtles.

Mason and Tia snorkeling while a turtle eats grass.

Mason and Tia snorkeling while a turtle eats grass.

Apo Island has some beautiful coral.

Apo Island has some beautiful coral.

We saw a sleeping turtle while scuba diving.

We saw a sleeping turtle while scuba diving.

Christmas dinner we had about 30 family members over and 4 missionaries from our LDS church. Dinner was delicious, the company was great and the entertainment was memorable.

Christmas dinner we had about 25 family members over and four missionaries from the LDS Church. Dinner was delicious, the company was great and the entertainment was memorable.

Missionaries shared a message about our Savior Jesus Christ to our family members on this Christmas night.

Missionaries shared a message about our Savior Jesus Christ to our family members on this Christmas night.

Nearly 30 decedents from grandpa Limary/Limatoc together for Christmas in Siquijor.

Nearly 30 descendents from grandpa Limary/Limatoc together for Christmas in Siquijor.

Wacky photo with everyone who was participating in our Christmas celebration...family members, missionaries, and resort staff.

Wacky photo with everyone who was participating in our Christmas celebration…family members, missionaries, and resort staff.

We love Siquijor and the beautiful people and scenery that fills our days there.

We love Siquijor and the beautiful people and scenery that fills our days there. (photo from our balcony at Coco Grove)

… and don’t miss this compilation video Matt put together!

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More photos of Siquijor here.

Bohol Island Get-a-Way at Eskaya Resort

February 27th, 2016 No comments

In October we had a date night to attend the American Women’s Club of the Philippines annual Hoedown. There we won a free two-night stay at the resort Eskaya. Since we knew that we were relocating the beginning of January, we only had one weekend when we could use this vacation. Our kids skipped the last day of school, which was just a half day, so we could catch a flight to head to the island of Bohol and use our voucher at the resort. The shuttle ride from the airport was about 20 minutes and the resort was nice. Each villa had it’s own private pool, plus the main pool and the beach front. This was the third time that we were at Bohol, so we didn’t do the normal tourist sight-seeing things. Instead we hung out at the resort one day and went scuba diving the second day. On the third day we went to Church and then flew home. We don’t have many photos of this vacation since we were using our GoPro…and on our last dive the GoPro broke off the stick and fell to the bottom of the ocean. Good times.

Boarding the plane looked like this since they had the AirCon blasting, but it was hot and humid outside.

Boarding the plane looked like this since they had the AirCon blasting, but it was hot and humid outside.

Getting ready to land in Bohol.

Getting ready to land in Bohol.

Eskaya Resort is on Panglao island of Bohol.

Eskaya Resort is on Panglao island of Bohol.

Blake liked the golf carts that we came across often and had to sit in them and "drive" for a while.

Blake liked the golf carts that we came across often and had to sit in them and “drive” for a while.

The main pool at Eskaya had a kiddie pool in front of the main pool. Basically our family was the only one using it during our stay.

The main pool at Eskaya had a kiddie pool in front of the main pool. Basically our family was the only one using it during our stay.

Our private pool that was just outside of our villa.

If we didn’t want to be in the main pool, we could use our private pool that was just outside of our villa.

Mosquitos were a problem at the resort. We all slept under mosquito nets and the resort burned mosquito coils for all of the villas.

Mosquitos were a problem at the resort. We all slept under mosquito nets and the resort burned mosquito coils for all of the villas.

Before leaving the island, we found a local LDS church and attended their sacrament meeting, which happened to be the Children's Primary Program, which was fantastic.

Before leaving the island, we found a local LDS church and attended their sacrament meeting, which happened to be the Children’s Primary Program, which was fantastic.

Dubai

December 1st, 2015 No comments

After spending two solid days in Abu Dhabi with our friends Kym and Will, we drove the 90 minutes or so to see our other friends in Dubai for three and a half days. We first met Carey and her family at church in the Philippines where they lived near us for a year and we became fast friends. Our kids were very excited to visit with them again and play with their toys and dog. Carey acted as our tour guide and babysitter when we needed one. It was wonderful to be able to reminisce about friends and the Philippines with their family. After spending a week in the UAE during the cool season I would be willing to move there.

Most of the ride from Abu Dhabi to Dubai looked like this...a lot of nothing but sand. After living in a concrete jungle for three years, I think this view is beautiful.

Most of the ride from Abu Dhabi to Dubai looked like this…a lot of nothing but sand. After living in a concrete jungle for three years, I think this view is beautiful.

Sometimes we came across these air conditioned bus stops.

Sometimes we came across these air conditioned bus stops.

Filling up your car in the UAE is time consuming. Since there aren't a lot of gas stations in the country, you wait in long lines to fill up your car.

Getting gas in the UAE is time consuming. Since there aren’t a lot of gas stations in the country, you wait in long lines to fill up your car.

We made it to our friend's home and it was great to to see them again and the kids couldn't wait for their kids to get home from school.

We made it to our friend’s home and it was great to to see them again and our kids couldn’t wait for their kids to get home from school.

We left the kids with our friends and Matt and I had another date night at the Mall of the Emirates. Matt tried snow boarding, and I watched the penguin show sinec I have only tried skiing once in the fourth grade and that wasn't a fun experience.

Our first evening in Dubai, we left the kids with our friends and Matt and I had another date night. This time at the Mall of the Emirates. Matt tried snow boarding at Ski Dubai, and I watched the penguin show since I have only tried skiing once in the fourth grade and that wasn’t a fun experience.

We had a delicious dinner at ? where we were also able to watch people who were at "Ski Dubai"

We had a delicious dinner at Karam Beirut where we were also able to watch people on the slopes at Ski Dubai.

Day 1

Our tour guide, Carey, had us walking a lot on our first morning.

Our friend and tour guide, Carey, had us walking a lot on our first morning.

Culture breakfast. We ate the traditional food that Emerati families would eat and then we were able to ask any question to our hosts about the country, culture, or anything else on our mind. Yummy food, very informative and fun.

First stop was to Al Bastakiya area to attend a culture breakfast at Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding. We ate the traditional food that Emerati families would eat and then we were able to ask any question to our hosts about their country, culture, or anything else on our mind. Yummy food, very informative and fun.

We walked to the water taxi area to rode the boat for a short ride to cross the water so we could see some souvenir shops.

We walked to the water taxi area and rode the boat for a short ride to cross the Dubai creek so we could see some spice souk & gold souk.

GOLD ring that is big enough for a giant!

GOLD ring that is big enough for a giant!

While the older kids stayed home to play with their friends and toys, Blake joined Matt & I at the Dubai Mall where we took him to his first aquarium.

While the older kids stayed home to play with their friends and toys, Blake joined Matt & I at the Dubai Mall where we took him to his first aquarium.

Blake wasn't sure about this glass flooring where there were large fish (maybe some sharks) underneath.

Blake wasn’t sure about this glass flooring where there were large fish (maybe some sharks) underneath. He was too scared to walk over the clear areas.

While waiting to watch the Dubai Mall fountain show, Blake was making friends.

While waiting to watch the Dubai Mall fountain show, Blake was making friends.

Duabi Mall fountain show is only about 7 minutes, but was fun to watch and to see Blake enjoy the lights, music and water.

Duabi Mall fountain show is only about three minutes, but was fun to watch and to see Blake enjoy the lights, music and water.

Night view of the Burj Kalifa after the water show.

Night view of the Burj Khalifa after the water show. We actually watched the water show twice before heading home.

Day 2

Our friends got us 9am tickets to go up the tallest building in the world, The Burj Kalifa.

Our friends got us 9am tickets to go up the tallest building in the world, The Burj Khalifa.

You don't actually go all the way to the top of the building, but still at 452 meters, we made the records books.

You don’t actually go all the way to the top of the building, but still at 452 meters (494 yards), we made the records books.

Our kids looking out at Dubai from the Burj Kalifa

Our kids looking out at Dubai from the Burj Khalifa

If the Burj Khalifa had a voice, this what it would say.

If the Burj Khalifa had a voice, this what it would say.

We had time to spare in the afternoon, so we went to the "Atlantis" hotel and walked around their aquarium.

We had time to spare in the afternoon, so we went to the “Atlantis The Palm” hotel and walked around their Lost Chambers Aquarium.

In the late afternoon we got picked up in a 4-runner and headed out to the desert to experience a desert safari. Blake stayed home with our friends for the evening since he was too young.

In the late afternoon we got picked up in a four-runner and headed out to the desert to experience a desert safari. Blake stayed home with our friends for the evening since he was too young.

There were so many cars there to do "dune bashing." It is like a roller coaster ride in the car and air is let out of the tires for this experience.

There were so many cars there to do “dune bashing.” It is like a roller coaster ride in the car.

We stopped and watched the sunset during our time of dune bashing.

We stopped and watched the sunset during our time of dune bashing.

We arrived at the "Arabian Nights Tour" dinner location where hundreds of people gather for a buffet dinner, entertainment and a fun experience. Mason quickly made friends with the majority of the kids there and they all played tag.

We arrived at the “Arabian Nights Tour” dinner location where hundreds of people gather for a buffet dinner, entertainment and a fun experience. Mason quickly made friends with the majority of the kids there and they all played tag.

Mom & daughter henna.

Mom & daughter henna.

Camel ride was short, but now we can say we rode a camel in the desert.

Camel ride was short, but now we can say we rode a camel in the desert.

Farley family as Emirates.

Farley family as Emiratis.

Day 3

In the Middle East, Fridays are the Sabbath day. So we got to attend church with our friends inside this villa that is their church building.

In the Middle East, Fridays are the Sabbath day. So we got to attend church with our friends inside this villa that is the LDS church building.

After dinner we drove about 15-20 minutes and pulled off on the side of the road and picked a "camp ground" area in the sand dunes. Matt caught this small lizard with his bare hands.

After dinner we drove about 15-20 minutes and pulled off on the side of the road and picked a “camp ground” area in the sand dunes. Matt caught this small lizard as it was zipping over the sand dunes.

After dinner we drove about 15-20 minutes and pulled off on the side of the road and picked a "camp ground" area in the sand dunes. We got to watch the sunset with friends.

We got to watch the sunset with friends.

We built a fire in the sand and made s'mores.

We built a fire in the sand and made s’mores.

To end our Friday Sabbath, we went home and decorated Halloween sugar cookies.

To end our Friday Sabbath, we went home and decorated Halloween sugar cookies.

Day 4

We woke up early and went to the JBR beach where they "mow" the sand. We spent a couple of hours there playing in the water and enjoying the company of friends.

We woke up early and went to the JBR beach where they “mow” the sand. 

We spent a couple of hours playing on these inflatables in water and enjoying the company of friends.

We spent a couple of hours playing on these inflatables in water and enjoying the company of friends.

Mason got to help carve a pumpkin since it was Halloween. Poor boy is 6 years old and that was his first time to "carve" a pumpkin.

Mason got to help carve a pumpkin since it was Halloween. Poor boy is six years old and that was his first time to “carve” a pumpkin.

We had such a fabulous time being with friends and exploring Dubai.

We had such a fabulous time being with friends and exploring Dubai.

More photos of Dubai here.