Permanent Vacasian

The traveller sees what he sees; the tripper sees what he has come to see. – G. K. Chesterton

Le Trip, Part Deux

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Boracay, Philippines – After returning from Florida and New York for the holidays we had three hectic days to make the final preparations for our trip. By the time we boarded our plane late on Saturday night we were exhausted and actually somewhat looking forward to the 14 hour flight to Hong Kong so that we could get some much needed down time. We had planned to start our trip in the Philippines and discovered that our friends, Vic & Courtney, and their family were planning a trip to Boracay at the same time for a family wedding, so we decided to make Boracay our first stop.

Sent from my iPod.

Sent from my iPod.

We all boarded the same flight at SFO, but we didn’t see our friends for another 48 hours. The flight had to make a stop in Taiwan to refuel – something about strong headwinds. When the plane landed in Hong Kong we had to race to catch our connection to Manila. We made it by the skin of our teeth – but our bags didn’t. We had to make a fast decision at the gate to either wait for our bags and take a later flight out of Hong Kong, therefore missing our flight to Boracay from Manila, or to get on the flight and hope our bags would follow shortly. We were told that the bags would be put on the next flight out and that it would be best to go to Manila to work out our travel plans. We got on the flight thinking that when we were in Manila we could wait for our bags there and rebook a later flight to Boracay.

Tina getting us some mango shakes next to our hotel.

Tina getting us some mango shakes next to our hotel.

Once in Manila we learned from the Cathay Pacific staff that they could not tell us when our bags would get there and that it could be a few days, ugh! Should have stayed with our bags. Now we just had to hope that the bags would get to us and that it wouldn’t take too many days.

Skimboarding has just caught on in Boracay. Welcome to the 80's.

Skimboarding has just caught on in Boracay. Welcome to the 80’s.

The airport in Manila is surprisingly a dump – at least the international terminal is. We had to take a shuttle bus through town to get to the terminal our next flight was leaving from. When we checked in at the counter we were informed that our flight to  Boracay at 3:30 was canceled and that we had been rebooked on a flight at 6pm for another airport two hours away. But we didn’t have to worry; the airline would pay for our two-hour bus ride to Boracay. What!? After the day we had, this was the last straw. We we begged, pleaded,  explained what a hard day we’ve had and the airline agent looked at the computer again, laughed and walked away to talk to someone else. Okay… What did that laugh mean? He came back and said he had two seats on the 3pm flight to Boracay (why didn’t he offer those in the first place!).

This would be a deal if your name was Cool Hand Luke.

This would be a deal if your name was Cool Hand Luke.

Worn out and mentally drained we arrived at our hotel (Nigi Nigi Nu Nuus) around 5pm. It was hard not to be excited. We took in the white sand beach, the lush landscaping around our cottage, had some dinner and crashed – trying not to think about how great it would be to have our toothbrushes and a change of clothes.

We met up with Vic and Courtney the next morning – they had just arrived that morning. They missed the connection in Hong Kong & ended up spending the night in Manila. It rained off and on for most of the day, so we weren’t too sad to be missing our swimsuits.

Aww...

Aww…

On our third day we were reunited with our bags & we threw on our swimsuits and spent the next three days swimming, lounging, hanging with Courtney’s family  and drinking obscene amounts of mango shakes. Boracay may be one of the nicest beaches I’ve been too – although it is certainly crowded and as Stuart pointed out – the water is warmer in Florida. The sand is soft and white, the water is calm and the beach is big enough to hold the throngs of people there, without feeling too crowded.

View of White Beach near where Courtney and Vic stayed.

View of White Beach near where Courtney and Vic stayed.

We contemplated spending our whole time in the Philippines there – it was pretty tempting. But we deiced that our ‘vacation’ had to come and end and the real traveling needed to begin.

The walk back to our hotel.

The walk back to our hotel.

8 Comments

  1. Glad to read the newest addition to your blog AND glad you were reunited with your luggage. Have fun!

  2. Mango shakes…mmm

  3. Hi Stuart and Tina! Sounds like a rocky start but, a fantastic ending. Glad you got your backpacks. So Stuart…. Speedo, or trunks?

  4. I would have thought that experienced travelers such as yourselves would know to have your toothbrushes and spare clothes in your carry-on to survive a few days w/o your checked luggage. Keep the updates coming! 😉

  5. Enjoying the blog. Will get some photos uploaded so you can add them to your collection. The lighting, angles, etc. may not satisfy your requirements though Stuart (your pics are awesome)! I have to add, Stuart didn’t drink that many Mango shakes, I think I had twice as many! Keep the blog updated, have it bookmarked!

  6. What a beautiful place! Miss you already.

  7. I’m living in this crazy Bizzaro world where I am working long hours in a thankless job and my super responsible older sister is living my dream life. I will have to settle for those “real fruit” juice shakes from Taco Bell instead of Mango shakes.

  8. When are we going to do our skyping thing with my students?