26 May 2011

Under the Sea...or something like it

(reposted from my old blog)

They couldn't wait to get there. (Sigh)

In the bus:  "Are we there yet?" 
"Are we getting off now?"

We got off and I hailed a taxi. "What! we still have to ride again?!"

Noah: "Can we get down now? Is it here?"

Me: "We're almost there. Konti na lang."

Finally, we arrived at the Manila Ocean Park. Caleb and Noah were all over the place..like it wasn't their first time. Running here and there. I had to call out to them that we had to get tickets first.

It was actually the monthly staff get-together of the company I work for. We were free to bring our kids. So I grabbed the opportunity to spend quality time with my sons. Nanee? Well I wanted to take her along too, but my husband said, "Next time na lang. She's too young and you'll have your hands full with the two boys..."  So Nanee stayed "home."

Although I would have to say that the place was dark, as in really dark (we were even told to disable our camera's flash), my two boys really had a blast. I guess they wanted the dark to highlight the smaller aquariums that housed the exotic fish species. 

At first Caleb and Noah were worried about losing sight of me in the dark. (What with all those people--it was a Saturday.) But I told them, "Just have a great time. Enjoy. Don't worry about getting lost. I won't let that happen. I have both my eyes on the two of you."  So hand in hand they went from aquarium to the next. Ooohing and aahing and wowing at each sight. They particularly enjoyed touching the starfish. I had to practically pry them from the starfish tank.

As much as I would want to give a really descriptive narration here, I doubt that at this time. This is kind of a rush entry. I just want to say my kids had fun. I hope whatever photos I uploaded tells the story. 

Anyway, on a scale of 10 I'd rate the watery park an 8. I found the glass tunnel that was supposed to make you feel like you were under the sea a bit overhyped. It was too short for me and the actual lighting was not the same as that on their webphotos (What did I expect?). For a mom, I found their "fishspa" too pricey (P120 per head!) even if I gave in to Caleb's request to try it out. 

The so-called FishSpa was simply an enclosure with two small square pools (about 6-7ft by 4ft) with fish in about 12 inches or more of water. You were supposed to take of your shoes and socks or whatever footwear you might have on, roll up your pants and sit at the edge of the pool with your feet in the water. If you sit still enough the fish will come and massage your feet and give you a really neat pedicure. Am joking of course. They just gathered around your feet and picked off the dust or grime or what-have-you on your feet. Ugh! if you ask me really.

The boatride was even more expensive! (P150 per head and you don't have the boat to yourself; you share it with 5 other people who paid the same price. What's supposed to be great about it? Well, you're supposed to row atop the humongous glass aquarium. But actually the boat floats on water that has a glass bottom. Parang virtual rowing out to sea or something. 

No! I did not get my kids tickets to the boatride. That was just too much. I just coaxed them towards the souvenir shop where they got to pick remembrances of their trip. We spent about an hour and a half for the whole tour of the oceanarium. The rest of the Ocean Park was still under construction. (Yes, they're not completely done with it.) 

We were famished. The boys were whining that they were hungry. When I learned that we were no longer going to have a meeting, I hailed a cab and took my boys to SM Mall of Asia. The food outlets at the Ocean Park were already full. Those that weren't were not serving rice--mostly pizza, cookies, noodles. We ended up at a really lunch-crowded McDonalds. The boys didn't want to walk any further to look for a better place to eat. So we bought our lunch and settled down. We took a brief stroll in the mall after lunch then headed home. 

I was smiling because they had really big smiles on their faces even when we were on the bus headed for home.


(reposted from my old blog)
The first time I let her down on the beach she took a careful look at the sand and cautiously put down on foot with the other slightly raised. "Dirty!" she cried. And I said, "No, Nanee. It isn't dirty. It's called sand." She wasn't convinced as she looked up at me with a grimace on her face.

So I took off my sneakers, dug my feet into the sand and wiggled out my toes. She smiled and said, "Take off shoes..." I did and she started feeling the sand with her bare feet. I suppose she loved the sensation because after that she was smiling and walking around, toeing the sand, picking it up in her stubby hands and flinging it around.

I brought out the beach toys I had brought along for the occasion: plastic spade, rake, small wheelbarrow, dinosaur mold and hippo mold. She began digging and raking and piling up sand. Pure fun.

Later, I changed her into her "wet suit" which were basically just a tanktop and girlie briefs. I put up her hair in a pony tail and off she went with her exploration of the beach. I took her out to the sea a couple of hours afterwards. We ran to meet the waves crashing in on the shore. She squealed then reached up her arms for me to carry her. I guess she found the breakers too much to deal with. But she was most certainly fearless for a two-year old at her first time at the beach.

09 April 2011

Paid Beach Bum

I seem to have this recurring career fantasy these days: getting paid to tryout beach resorts around the world. Talk about a whole new meaning to the phrase "paid vacations". I even have in my computer, a couple of folders with beach images and beachfront houses. Except on this blog, my profile pics on other social media are beach scenes.

The sea always leaves me enthralled and exhilarated. It can be angry and terrifying as well as tranquil and quiet.It is vast but has definite boundaries as it kisses the shore and grasps at it longingly. The beach is where sand and sea hold hands. That's why I also think it's romantic.The resorts and vacation places built on and around the beaches are simply accessories on a natural beauty.

I love the idea of swinging from a hammock between palms, feeling the sea breeze gently go through my hair while I listen to seashells whispering the secrets of the sea, all the while tapping on my laptop keys a review of the resort and its service. I email the review then hop on a plane to the next sun-and-sand place to be reviewed. (sigh) It's like a never-ending vacation. And the best part is I get paid for it! Not to mention the added perks of adventure and meeting new people at each place.

Plop! Time to burst the fantasy bubble. Reality is I have four kids that still need my undivided attention. Hying off to exotic beaches one after the other is so not possible unless I choose to abandon my kids or raise them via the internet or through my mobile phone.

Okay, maybe I should just try for another career fantasy. How about writing reviews of restaurants or food joints. I love to eat anyway. Who doesn't? But then if I think of all those calories and fats ending up on my ever widening and plumping middle, well, that kills the fantasy. I do have a fast metabolism rate but somehow everything gathers in the middle. 

Oh well, I think I'll stick with my reality for the moment. Who knows, I might make the beach obsession a reality after my youngest goes to college--which feels like some lightyears away. (groan)