Family, Marriage, Parenting, THE BRAINY BUNCH, TRAVEL

Fun Family Memories

I was looking at old family pictures this morning  and I had a good time seeing myself as a child, remembering all the trips we had as a family. I am so grateful to my parents for taking us to different places!

We went on more than one trip every single year — usually Batangas or Baguio on either of my parent’s birthdays, holy week, or on the All Saint’s Day weekend. We would go with many other relatives too, which made it so much more fun. It was usually either Iloilo or Cagayan de Oro for the summer, and my parents would put me in a ship with my nanny to get there! On few other summers, my parents would take us around the U.S. to visit relatives and popular tourist spots. Nothing like family trips to build wonderful childhood (and beyond) memories.

I was so excited to show the girls my pictures and share with them my experiences. They were equally excited and interested. It really inspired them, especially Danae, to want to visit the places I’ve been to. We prayed that God would take us to Disney World and Sea World! And for some reason, my girls have a thing for New York, which I’ve always loved as well. Wait till they see my Hawaii pictures! Oh, if only money were not an issue. We would have traveled the world by now!

 

We had a kick out of seeing how Danae looked a lot like I did, even in crying and pouting hahaha. She even commented “You’re brown like me!”

I am so thankful that we grew up with fun family traveling experiences. Even though I didn’t always appreciate them then, mainly during my long season of teenage (and early adulthood) angst, my brother and I carry in our own families this culture of traveling that my parents began. Being exposed to different places, people and experiences was truly a gift.

So to my late Dad & to my Mom, THANK YOU! Thank you for prioritizing traveling over the latest trends, toys or clothes when we were growing up. Thank you for making sure we stayed connected with cousins and relatives. And Mom, thank you for still being at it — for inviting us to go on trips with you and for encouraging us to take time to travel with family.

And so babe, to echo our daughters’ common question, where are we going next? 🙂

Family, TRAVEL

HONGKONG

The first time I went to Hongkong was the day I found out I was pregnant with Danae, sometime February 2005. King and I were married only 3 months then, our first time to be out of the country together. It was pretty memorable, especially that my Dad was still with us, that a random guy bumped me hard in the MTR station (I didn’t look pregnant at all, but I was pretty shaken), that we stayed in this hotel with tiny rooms, and that I started my “morning” sickness there, which included feeling nauseous around Chinese food hahaha. Weather was pretty cold. We went on the local tour, which included the awesome Victoria Peak. We went to Ocean Park too. I realized just the other day that maybe the reason why Danae is so fearless is that she was in my tummy while I was on that very high cable car.

The second time we went, we stayed at Shamrock Hotel in Kowloon for a night and then enjoyed Disneyland for 2 days, spending 2 nights in Disney Hollywood Hotel. That and the park itself were memorable enough! Many of you may not know that I used to love love love Mickey. I collected Mickey stuff. I even have Mickey’s hands, which I got from McDonald’s happy meals while I was single and they are now being enjoyed by the girls. That trip rekindled my love for Mickey haha. I was so giddy with excitement, not only for myself but for Danae who was 4 and Noelle who was 11 months old. That was December 2009. Weather was a bit cold too. My Dad wasn’t with us anymore, but my mom was with us (of course), including my brother, his wife and 23-month-old son. I was bummed then that we weren’t able to take a picture with Mickey, but we were able to get a nice family shot in front of Cinderella’s castle for our annual Christmas card.

Last week was our third time! Us, my mom, my brother, his wife and now 4-year-old son Gabby. Danae is 6, Noelle 3. We hit Disneyland first, and stayed in the same wonderful hotel for 2 nights. I was equipped with my awesome camera so I took a lot of shots. King’s parents, brother, nieces and nephew came on our second day.  We got to spend the afternoon with them in Disneyland. We’ve all never been out of the country together. The girls surely enjoyed their cousins being there. And we finally have a picture with Mickey, yes!!!!

It was cold, showering a lot and I was prepared! I brought Danae’s princess raincoat and I brought my 17-year-old Mickey raincoat for Noelle! My cousin gave me that raincoat when I was in college. I kept it all these years, and I’m glad I am able to pass it on to one of my kids.

The day my brother and his family went home, we proceeded to Kowloon and stayed in Shamrock again. We once again enjoyed street food and the night market on Temple Street. It was colder in Kowloon, and much much colder in Victoria Peak when we went up. We were supposed to go to Ocean park but we decided against it seeing that it was really cold and the girls were already developing cough and colds.

Like I said before, even though the stress is inevitable, it’s always worth it to travel with the kids. We would do it again and again and again. Danae & Noelle actually love it so much. Noelle even cried on the plane as she learned that we were going home. She said to me “I thought we’re going to Singapore!” She also thought Manila was not home hahaha.

We hope that we are building with our kids a culture of loving to learn & explore, not being afraid of new things, people & places. One day, they may end up becoming artists who tour the world, or being business or IT or fashion consultants for different countries. Or they may end up as missionaries. Now is the perfect time to prepare them for their future. 🙂

Family, My Kids, Parenting, TRAVEL

LET’S TRAVEL WITH OUR KIDS!

TRAVELING is very much a part of our family. Aside from it being a time for family bonding, for creating memories, for rest and recreation, it’s a GREAT OPPORTUNITY FOR TEACHING. Exposing our kids to different places and cultures teaches them so many things. From simple things as how sand feels like, how sea water tastes like, to more complicated matters as how to behave in certain places.

When we arrived Singapore and went through immigrations, Danae was so hyperactive! She couldn’t stay still because she was so excited. She just could not contain herself. The immigrations officer had to tell King to “tell your child to stay put” as she would move past the counter. How embarrassing! But at least we got to teach her that rules need to be strictly followed and that things may be different when you are in another country. They have different rules and different ways, which she must adjust to and comply with.

Danae also had a running commentary on everything! Like I said, super excited. She would point to an Indian woman and tell me that she’s Indian because she saw “that round thing on her forehead.” She would tell me that certain people were “ching chang chia,” trying to say that they’re Chinese or that they’re from another country. I had to remind her that it’s rude to point and blurt out anything that she notices. I had to remind her that people there (or anywhere) may respond differently than what she’s used to here in the Philippines.

I could go on and on about what we had to remind our girls about, but my point is this. LET’S TRAVEL WITH OUR KIDS! Whether it’s to another country, another city, another town or simply to a friend’s house or the supermarket! They can LEARN so much from the EXPERIENCE. Sometimes just thinking about taking our kids with us and all that it entails already stresses us out, but LET’S NOT ALLOW OUR FEAR OF BEING INCONVENIENCED TO DICTATE our decisions. It can be stressful and tiring, yes. That’s the reality that we need to learn to deal with. I’ve been doing this ever since Danae was 2 weeks old, but trust me, I’m still learning to this day. But I’ve also learned that we can actually ENJOY it and it’s almost always WORTH IT.

Tomorrow, another adventure awaits our family. All four of us are going on Danae’s field trip to Subic! It’s not our first time to go there as a family, but it’s our first time to ride a bus going there. It’s Noelle’s first time to ride to go on a field trip, and therefore Danae’s first time to bring her sister along. It’s our first time to travel on a bus, on a field trip as a complete family! Yes, it’s costly because there’s 4 of us, but the school gave us (and everybody else) terms to pay and time to save up. If you think about it, it’s a good deal because we’ll be going to Ocean Adventure, Zoobic Safari among other places, plus King doesn’t have to drive or pay toll. We couldn’t resist! More memories, more bonding, more recreation, and more teaching moments! 🙂