Happy and relaxed
Day 6, Friday
Friday we decided to kill 2 birds with one stone. We wanted to visit the fanciest resort on the island, Coco Grove, to try the food. And it's fun to go somewhere swanky for a change of pace now and again. We had also heard last night about the sport of pool-crashing and wanted to give it a shot.
Pool-crashing, like gate-crashing or party-crashing, is swimming in a pool you're technically not supposed to swim in because of silly rules. If you've been a frequent reader of mine, you'll know what I think of silly rules (no taking pictures of Michelangelo's David, no taking pictures in Versailles, etc).
So with these twin purposes, we stopped by for lunch. The food was ok, the dessert much better. The atmosphere was too ..... sterile for my tastes. It was a nice place but too uptight and overly fancy to suit me. The pool (which sternly read: Guests Only!) was nice though.
The Coco Grove pool
The rest of the day consisted of doing what should be done on a beach island; relaxing! Sunset, dinner, walk on the beach, laying in the hammock, you get the idea.
Stunning!!! And the beach is nice too.
This is my new happy place
Thank goodness for good cameras
Day 7, Saturday
Saturday was much the same as Friday night. With only one full day left before returning to our cold, cloudy island, we spent the day enjoying the warm air, cool water and blue skies. We also met the man who made and runs basically all the resort websites on the island. Interesting guy by the name of Gary. Lots of great stories to tell. Shockingly he didn't have a Philippine wife. Doesn't get paid for running the websites either. He just loves it there, tries to promote tourism to bring in more money to help the people of the island and lives there about half the year. Lucky stiff.
I believe I can fly!
Vicky in her hammock
Looking straight up from in my hammock
Our last sunset
Day 8, Sunday
Our last day started with a couple hours worth of great conversation with some of the people we'd met over the week. Then we packed up and headed for the ferry. Recalling my previous ferry experience, we opted for the much larger and faster ferry. It still wasn't much fun but it produced mere anxiety rather than actual sickness.
Much better than before
From there, we caught a quick flight up to Manila where we had about 5 hours to kill but were constrained by carrying our large travel backpacks. Given that restriction, we headed for the Mall of Asia, a huge mall near the airport. There we found excellent security (i felt safe even while carrying everything around), cool Chinese New Year decorations and best of all to a wayward Texan .... a DAIRY QUEEN!!!!!!!!! Which means one thing to me ........ BLIZZARDS!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you Lord moments = infinite.
Joy! Much Joy! We're talking Joy here!
I did a happy dance in front of DQ when we found it (literally. it resembled Gangnam Style). After feeling angels dancing upon my tongue with each bite, we wondered around and just took the place in. They even had a Wal-Mart clone called Hypermarket. It's a place I dearly wish existed on Jeju.
Before we left we had one last adventure/scare. I almost lost my wallet (major Why God why moment). As we got out of the taxi at the airport, I realized my wallet was gone. Fortunately the reason I knew it was gone is because I have a habit of checking my pockets when getting on and off all means of transportation. So i noticed it was gone while the taxi was still there. I also knew i'd had it in the taxi. We removed the back seat and found it nestled in the metal frame underneath. I don't even want to think about how bad it would have been if i'd lost my wallet in Manila. Thank you Lord moments = infinite + 1.
= Infinite + 2 because of Vicky
From there it was just a matter of getting home and readjusting to the cold (picture me getting off the airplane in Seoul in shorts and the polo from the picture above. It was 22F.) Now we've settled back into our normal routine, teaching, planning our next trip, etc. With one small change. Whenever we're cold or tired or angry, we just think back a little and let the memories of the warm Philippine sun melt our problems away.