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Unexpected Relaxation

February 1, 2009

On “Stress-Free” Vacations with a 2 Year Old

Our little swimmer

Our little swimmer

When Husband Extraordinaire voiced an opinion about our Chinese New Year plans, I followed his request (“Let’s go somewhere warm and relaxing”).  After all, it makes sense to take advantage of the 3 public holidays, and we will have just returned from our trip to the States, which was fantastic but not exactly tranquil, what with the 24 hour door-to-door travel time back to Hong Kong, and so maybe we’ve earned some down time.  But secretly I was thinking, yeah, right, relaxing—with the Kid?  Sure, it would be nice to sit on the beach, but hasn’t he figured out by now that our days of sipping margaritas poolside are over?  Oh, wait—that would imply that we ever had those kinds of days in the first place…

Anyway, I’m pleased to report that, as far as it is possible to enjoy a stress-free vacation with a toddler, Cebu, Philippines, is just the place for it.  First of all, we took a direct flight!  That’s bliss right there, as far as I am concerned.  Secondly, the resort had a private beach and a beautiful pool, and since swimming is basically Simon’s favorite thing ever, we could do it in two different ways, every day.  And finally, the restaurant had a decent kids menu with reasonable prices.  What more do you need?

Looking out from the path to the beach

Looking out from the path to the beach

So each morning, we headed to the beach.  Usually Dave and I rented one set of snorkeling gear, and then we would take turns checking out the coral reefs while the on-duty parent monitored the Kid’s never-ending interest in moving one pile of sand to a new place and then back again.  (Side note: you know you’re parents when you come back from snorkeling and excitedly tell your spouse—not ever your child, mind you!—that you saw both Nemo and Dory, but this time Gill wasn’t in evidence).

Coming in from some successful snorkeling--a Nemo sighting!

Coming in from some successful snorkeling--a Nemo sighting!

Simon taking a snack break

Simon taking a snack break

Then we would have lunch in the open air restaurant, where our drink order was always the same: 2 ice-cold San Miguel beers.

beer-order1

The first time, we thought the glass discrepancy was just coincidental, but by the third time, we realized that in the Philippines, the “man” drinks from a properly sturdy, solid mug, while the “lady” can only consume her beer out of a dainty, more refined glass.  Obviously.

Back to the bungalow

Back to the bungalow

After Simon’s nap—and what could we really do, except take a snooze along with him?—we would reapply the sunscreen and trek off to the pool.  The Kid would demonstrate his timid, retiring nature by leaping with joyous screeches into the water over and over, whether there was a parent ready to catch him or not.  (That’s what the water wings are for, right?)    But the children’s pool was the perfect height, so he could just keep his head above the water and touch the ground but still feel like he was swimming.

The Kid in his element

The Kid in his element

We probably could have had our margaritas, after all!  In the evenings Simon would have an early dinner at the restaurant, and then once he was in bed, we would order room service delivered to us on our porch.  Our food would come, not always piping hot but usually quite yummy, and we could sit in the tropical twilight, watching the stars and listening to waves.

Looking out from our porch

Looking out from our porch

I know, it’s nauseating, isn’t it?  So to bring this little interlude back to reality, I should mention that Simon pooped not once, but twice, in his (non-disposable) swim diaper, and let me tell you, I’m not sure I’ve done anything grosser as a mom than changing and washing a soiled swim diaper.  Especially over a hotel sink.

"See"food

"See"food

As you can tell, it didn’t seem to bother the Kid too much.

So from our family to yours, Kung Hei Fat Choi, and may the Year of the Ox be the best one yet!

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Sarah Tarnovsky permalink
    March 31, 2009 1:05 am

    Love checking your updates – Simon is adorable and sounds like he keeps you guys busy and running, as all good children should! 🙂 Saw Becky this weekend, was great to see how happy she is about the upcoming wedding! Hope you all have a terrific spring!

    Sarah Tarnovsky

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