Friday, July 6, 2012

Iaine on an Airplane

I hate flying! You could say I was traumatized when I was a kid (my ears hurt really bad from the shift in pressure) but earlier this year I was more than excited for our pre-booked flight. For the first time, my entire family (and by family i mean with some extended family) went on an overseas vacation.

Pardon the vague storytelling and very few pictures, but this happened months ago and we took a gazillion photos so forgive the lack of detail. However, I'm still just as excited to share this with the world as ever!

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May 26th: I'm sure Jai was just as excited as I was for our daughter. It was Iaine's first trip abroad and actually the stuff that filled half of our luggage and most of the handcarry was mostly hers.

At NAIA3, Iaine was hyper as usual, even though we were all sleepless and tired from the van ride to MNL. We had a couple of hours to spare before the flight so after checking in, we had a quick early morning breakfast at the airport.

We were more excited than impatient, so even though the sun was already up when it was time for us to board the plane, we didn't mind waiting. For some reason, the aircraft-tube-rainbow connection wasn't possible, we were requested to get on the plane by stairs. That was kinda of a bummer actually cos my grandparents are too old to take the stairs (they were wheeled around the airport), but a couple of airport staff/escorts were kind enough to assist them so they were fine.

I can't forget that look on Iaine's face the moment we placed her in her seat and said, "Airplane na." When you translate that in English it kind of means "airplane already." My heart just melted at that cos I couldn't believe I was making one of my dreams come true for her. We always said we'll be taking her on an airplane ride, and at that very moment, my 2 year old actually knew what was happening. She was on a real aiplane and it was like she couldn't believe it either.

But surprisingly, Iaine dozed off as soon as the plane taxid. It was funny. We didn't realize she was that exhausted from playing and running around NAIA3. She was knocked out even before the plane took off, and asleep until we landed in...

Hong Kong International Airport!


This vacation was booked months before so you can just imagine the exciment that's built up all this time. They were so many of us, too. My husband and daughter, my immediate family, my aunt and her 4 kids, 2 of my cousins, and my maternal grandparents. It was also the first out of the country vacation that we've had altogether so it was pretty special.

Forgive me if I prefer to skip some of things we did and some places we went to (just too many!), so I'm just gonna fill you in on the highlights of our trip.

So after almost an hour of waiting for the service bus we finally got settled in the hotel. We had 5 rooms booked and Jai, Iaine, and I had 1 to ourselves. Our room was small but in Hong Kong almost all hotels are like that, and the important thing was the cleanliness and service. We had no problems whatsoever. The cleaning ladies were very polite and helpful, and the front desk personnel were friendly and approachable.

After unpacking and taking a 2-hour nap, the whole gang didn't waste time and got on the tour bus at around 4:30pm. After having dinner at this really fancy place, we went to the peak and enjoyed the view of the entire city of Hong Kong. We took pictures at the wax museum and at this really high balcony where we marveled at the tall dark beautiful lit-up buildings. It was so foggy but we could still see the incredible sight in front of us.


Madame Tussauds wax museum @ The Peak Galleria
Frozen public figures all in one place

Avenue of Stars
Weather was cool so we enjoyed taking pictures with the "stars"

Boat ride/ sightseeing around the Jumbo floating restaurant
A relaxing boat ride for an additional cost

Hong Kong Disneyland
Before we were headed to Disneyland, the tour bus took us to some other places so it was kind of a bummer. Definitely, half a day in the happiest place on earth wasn't enough! We only got to experience a few attractions: Flights of Fantasy Parade, Mickey's Philharmagic (starring Donald Duck), Space Mountain, the railroad train that goes around the park (I forgot what it's called), and It's a Small World. The park closes as early as 8pm but we had fun nevertheless. There's just this warm fuzzy feeling you get just being there. And my husband and I are just soooooooo happy that we were able to take our daughter to Disneyland. Both of us have never been to any Disneyland before so it was really a day to remember. And definitely, a dream come true!

Ocean Park Hong Kong - My mom bought us all the same I [heart] HK shirt!
Just like Disneyland, we only spent half a day in Ocean Park. Definitely not enough to get the full experience but we definitely enjoyed it! The aquariums were glorious. My grandfather enjoyed it especially, because he used to be a fisherman and then my grandmother would sell the fish he caught (proud granddaughter here!). Long story short-- we got to experience the Grand Aquarium, The Abyss, the dolfin show at the Ocean Theater, Wild West Mine Train, Flying Swings, the Cable Cars, and the super cool Ocean Express (a train that passes through a mountain and comes out the other side). There's so much more stuff to see and I really really want to go back!

May 29th: We return to the Philippines.

Hong Kong is beautiful. Crowded? Yes. Rude people? You betcha. But not everywhere/everyone in Hong Kong is like that. (Our tour guides were awesome!) You see, just like any other country/city, Hong Kong has its flaws. But it's still a great place to explore and make wonderful memories. I can't write all the good things about it in one single post like this. You  really have to be there to truly love it as well.

This vacation means a lot to me because it's the one that my daughter will always cherish. Yes she's only 2 years and 3 months old when it happened, and they could be right when they say that she might not even remember any of it. But who knows? She a very smart little lady. And not only that. It's not really about what she remembers. Someday she'll be looking at our photos and appreciate everything she sees. She'll find out that we took her to Hong Kong on a vacation, we had a blast with her, we bought her stuff, she loved loved loved everything she saw, she was running around and jumping and screaming and laughing... She had this experience at such a young age while some people, take my grandparents for example, haven't even been on a plane and left the country til their elder years. It's the experience that counts. It's love and family, now written in her history. And for us, her parents, we consider this as a great achievement.

The bonus?... I don't hate flying anymore!

Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

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