Birthday Beach Party in Siquijor


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Birthday dinner at our pimped-out tropical table.

No sooner had Nikki and Paul settled in to our home and grabbed their first night of real sleep, we were up at the butt crack of dawn and hustling to get on a flight to Dumaguete, on the island of Negros.  From there it was a one hour hydrofoil trip over to Siquijor island to stay at the wonderful Coco Grove Beach Resort. The trip wasn’t dreadful but less than smooth. It was just one of the travel days where the pieces don’t come together: the lines are too long, your tray table won’t stay up, the ferry is late, and the terminal had no electricity.  We were very glad to arrive at Coco Beach.   Fortunately, the resort was totally worth the wait.  Just beautiful!  And big!  On the first day it felt enormous and we wondered around among the pretty cottages, palm trees and powder white sands.

It was also Robert’s birthday and it took a little hustling to organize the evening birthday dinner.  Its hard picking the right location when you don’t understand the restaurant layouts or dining options.  But I found a nice spot down on the beach and they did a fantastic job of glamming it up for the celebration with palm fronds, candles and bunting.

Then came the fire dancers.  I wish I could take credit for organizing them, but it was the resort’s Saturday night entertainment which took place right on the beach under the stars.  Drummers drummed, and the firedancers danced.  It was pretty entertaining.

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_COX4297_COX4298And, of course, no Birthday’s complete without a bit of cake. And these days one slice is just enough for both of us!  And this slice came with a singing troupe.  One of the more memorable birthdays, I think.

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Hammock Potato



Oh yes, Hammock Life!  October was really busy and the thought of three days away on a short beach trip at the end of the month really kept me going.  We booked a stay at Kookoos nest in Dumaguete on the island of Negros, a short flight away from Manila. It was a very small resort, consisting of half a dozen native huts directly on the beach. Apart from snorkeling and diving, there’s little to do except to hang around and read.  Enforced relaxation.  Exactly what we all needed.

View from said hammock…..

It was the perfect place to stay for us.  No air conditioning (but fans in the room), a private bathroom (cold water only…which I can tolerate for a couple of days) and private balcony (with spectacular sunsets), and it was surprisingly mosquito free.  There were plenty of bugs, though, if you chose to be bothered by them. I wasn’t — mostly — they didn’t bother me, and I didn’t bother them.  Except for the spider.  First night I head outside down the steps to the bathroom.  On the pathway, trying to negotiate the next step, is a very large, very hairy, black spider.  Or let’s just say it… the “t” word……tarantula.  Well, maybe not a tarantula – who’s knows, I don’t know spiders – but darn close anyway.  He looked something like this:

He moved very slowly.  I did a triple take to try and comprehend what I was looking at, then fled back upstairs.  Maybe I didn’t need to go that bad!  You can be sure I took extra precautions every evening, watching where I stepped.  Never saw him again!  Never wanted to!

After that excitement, the rest of the stay was very relaxing and uneventful.  I turned into a true hammock potato, reading 1.5 books in two days, taking four mini-naps a day.  The food was good and we ate three meals a day at their little restaurant, helping ourselves to the cooler bar whenever we wanted a drink.  I would definitely go back, despite my encounter with “Bertie” as I dubbed him.  You take the rough (and hairy) with the smooth, right?!