The first day of our last week in the Philippines started off by the pool, it was a bit too cloudy to tan though. After taking the couple to the airport for their honeymoon our friend Ralph took us out for pizza at S n’ R, its the equivalent to our Costco except they have the best pizza around!
Afterwards Ralph took us sightseeing, first we went to see the statue of Lapu Lapu.
Lapu Lapu was the man who killed Magellan, the Spanish invader’s leader in 1521.
After that we went to see Magellan’s cross in old Cebu.
We also explored this super old church that was right beside the cross.
We had a lot f fun getting out of the condo and doing some sightseeing.
We decided to go for coffee at ‘Off Roads’ and use their Wifi as it has out of order at the condo for a day. We tried to contact Paul and Pam to make plans for dinner, since we couldn’t get a hold of them we dropped in on them at their hotel, the Marco Polo. They were not interest in going out that night so Bobby, Natasha, Remy and my self took a cab to Mr. A’s all by our selves!
It was a beautiful full moon night.
On the way home the taxi driver took us to the wrong place but we eventually made it home, again all by our selves, we were so proud!
While we were out we found out that the couple’s honeymoon was cancelled! Due to the storms that were hitting Manila, the airport had so many backed up flights that they would not be able to fly to Thailand until Friday. By then it would be too late as the groom has to be back at work. So the couple would be coming home later that night : (
We didn’t do much on Thursday…we had made plans to go to plantation bay for the day but because the couple was coming home we had to cancel : ( We did end up making plans to have a farewell party on Saturday night at the condo so once the couple recovered from their disaster honeymoon we went to the gym to invite the boys and then shopping for much needed party supplies! You have no idea how excited I was to be having a farewell party and see all our new friends one last time before we have to leave!
Also, I have had to use my first responder skills since the wedding to wrap up Derek’s ankle every day, as it is still very swollen and bruised.
Friday we were invited to hang out with Paul and Pam by the pool at the Marco Polo.
Unfortunately Natasha was not feeling well so she stayed home, I had some very special plans with Ralph so I did not go either. Instead I got to go on my first ever motorcycle ride!
It was so much fun!! The experience was nothing like driving around in a car, there was the added risks of course, but it has made me want to learn how to drive one, maybe one day…
Afterwards… we went out for coffee, I had a really good time, then Ralph dropped me off at the hotel where I joined the gang. We had lunch at the buffet but we ended up eating mostly from the dessert bar…
Later in the night Paul and Pam came to the condo and stayed the night, generously giving their room at the hotel to the couple so that they could have a Plan B Honey Moon. We ended up watching some movies including some scary ones.
Waking up Saturday morning I had so much energy and excitement for our party…but we weren’t really doing any thing all day so I decided to go to the gym with Ralph. It felt SO good to be back in a gym! Even after being away from the gym for 2 months I was still able to get a really good jog in, it was also super hot in the gym so I sweated a lot! The boys were super nice to me and got me my very first boxing lesson!
I wasn’t really good at it but it was a lot of fun and its an incredibly good work out, I was completely drained after that. Back at home we relaxed for a bit before getting ready for the party…
We started off the good times with drinking and card games, there was some shenanigans of looking people out on the balcony, which led to some injuries…
And the hosts of the party (Bobby and my self) even put on a show of impersonations of all our new friends, which was a big hit! It was a great night, we had a lot of fun, and for some it was our last chance to hang out with these amazing people! I also found out that one of the bartenders had rescued my flip flops from Sugar Beach and he brought them back to me that night!
The couple stayed at the Marco Polo for most of Sunday so we decided to go on an adventure by our selves, we took a taxi to the Taoist Temple in Cebu, then we wandered the mall and did some shopping.
While we were out my flip flops broke! After our grand reunion… I guess it wasn’t meant to be…
Soon enough Monday rolled around, our last full day in Cebu. We spent the day packing up, we ended up having 5 carry on bags and 5 checked bags between 3 of us which totaled just under 80kg!!
For dinner we went to Mr. A’s one last time but this time with Paul and Pam. After dinner Bobby, Remy and my self went out for coffee with Ralph and Vard. We took our coffee up to Tops, a beautiful lookout point on a mountain, it was a bit cooler up there but nothing we couldn’t handle! As always we had a lot of fun and overall goofy-ness.
It was a great way to spend our last night, though some party poopers wanted to actually get sleep before our flight so we had to eventually go back to the condo, I really didn’t want that night to end…I really didn’t want any of it to end.
Tuesday was difficult, after breakfast Ralph picked us up from the condo to take us to the airport. There were a lot of tears and sad goodbyes, and one really nice goodbye…
Our first flight was to Manila and was an hour long, then we had a 2 hour layover in Manila. In Manila we quickly had some lunch and purchased food for our next flight which was to Osaka and 5 hours long, during that time our airline wont serve us food and drinks so we had to be prepared.
Once we landed in Osaka we converted our left over Pesos into Yen and had to figure out how we would get all our bags from one airport to the hotel. It turns out that there is a direct limousine bus from Kansaii Airport to Itami Airport (where our hotel was), and the best part was that because we had arrived in one airport and departed from the other we got to take the bus for free! This was such a relief as I though we would have to some how take the subway with all those bags…
I think the best idea I had while planning this trip was to stay at the Osaka Air terminal Hotel during our layover. We got there at about 10:30pm and our next flight wasn’t until 8am. It was sooo nice to sleep in a bed for one night between all our travel.
This hotel was super nice! It was really clean, had all the amenities, had all sorts of toiletries for us, the staff was fantastic and overall some where I would recommend!
The next morning our flight was at 8am, I thought we had gotten to the airport early enough but we almost missed our flight because check in took so long! We managed to skip some lines because I talked to security and they rushed us through, we jogged to our gate and ended up making it in time, there was a few people that got on after us but not many! This was a one hour flight to Tokyo. Once in Tokyo we had a 9 hour lay over. In that time we decided to leave the airport, take the train to Narita, the town 10mins outside the airport, and wander around. We wandered the area around the train station until we found a map of the city. Because every one was hungry we decided to skip the touristy temples, shrines and parks and instead go to the mall. The mall was on the other side of the city and a great deal to far to walk so we decided to take the bus. At first I didn’t think I would be able to navigate which bus to take, Narita being a small town did not have many signs in English but we managed to find a direct bus to the mall and it was only aprox 15 min ride. We wandered the mall until we found the food court, then had lunch.
We decided for our last meal in Japan it had to be some thing non-western. My curry udon was delicious! After wandering the mall to waste time we headed to the Starbucks right by the bus stop so we could enjoy coffee in a relaxing spot until we had to take the bus back to the train station, to take the train back to the airport. This was an awesome was to spend a long day-time layover, and it was good to get some exercise before having to sit on the airplane for so long.
Our next flight was to Vancouver and almost 9 hours long. The plane was completely full and I didn’t get to sit with my sisters. At first I kept my self entertained but near the end I got really restless.
In Vancouver we had a 4 hour layover but by the time we got our bags and went through immigration and customs we didnt have all that long to wait. The unfortunate part is that during the layover I washed my face and changed outfits, while I did this I took off my bracelet I had gotten in Japan and forgot it on the counter in the washroom! I was so focused on getting home…It makes me sad, but there isn’t much I can do about it now.
^ Remy and I in Vancouver airport (after I lost my bracelet)
Our last flight was to Winnipeg and took about 3 hours, when we arrived our friend Madison, my mom (biological), step dad and brother were all there to greet us!
It has been a fantastic adventure, even after all these blogs I cant find the words to convey how special and spectacular the summer of 2013 has been for me. I studied abroad in a country where I knew very little of the language, met some great people, made friends with even greater people, learned how to use a map and navigate on my own, lived the life of an actual college student, survived on my own (sort of), I learned a lot about what it means to be a community and a lot about my self (I know that sounds cliche), I had a great summer crush, lived the life of a party animal, and in general had a lot of ‘firsts’. I know I will never forget the adventures I went on, or the people I had them with. I am sad that this chapter has to end but I cherish it even more for that, I made the most out of every moment, stepped outside my comfort zone and I did things I would normally be to shy to do. I want to thank every one that was apart of this growth and those who supported me because with out you I wouldn’t have been able to do it!
There are as many kinds of journeys as there are people, and every trip is uniquely one’s own, this is why the conversation on travel is an interesting and never ending one.
Thank you and take care until the next of – Trivalent Risks