Nate was in Ireland for work for a week and right after he got back we had tickets to Malaysia. Malaysia is kind of far away and after his long trip and my week alone with the boys we were pretty much NOT in the mood for a long trip. Did I mention that Finnley due to his new trick of crib escaping had moved to the bottom bunk and made this transition by celebrations at 3 am every morning by making his way into my bedroom to invite me to join in his newly found freedom. So, yes, again we weren't in the mood for a long trip but Nate already had the time off and wanted to get away someplace near. Enter Cebu. It's just a short 45 minute flight away. There is a Shangrila. How bad can it be?
We had come from the dream beach vacation and this utopia we had come from made our new beach vacation look like Brooklyn. Yeah, Brooklyn is ok, but it's no Manhattan. There were bugs everywhere. You couldn't sit anywhere without having to swipe your arm constantly. Unless you were IN the pool, you were being bothered by the darn bugs. I know this sounds silly and kind of spoiled but seriously, the bugs! We had fly bites on us. Where do flies bite? Apparently in the Philippines. The food was ehh, the service not that swell but we could have made a go at having a good time if it weren't for those darn bugs!
Heading home, the flight was on time, everything was good and then we got to Manila. And circled and circled and circled. Almost 30 minutes of circling. Not a good sign. Due to a massive storm which had since cleared we were not cleared for landing because none of the flights from Manila had been able to leave and the airport had too much traffic. Running out of fuel we were diverted to Clark airport about and 2 hours away. This airport just happened to be where that massive storm was headed. I know this because we flew through it. The sky went from blue to black. Black, not grey. We were like a plastic toy plane in the hands of a 2 year old. Shocked to this day that the oxygen masks didn't fall from the compartment above us. Holden clearly shaken with phrases like, we are going to crash to the ground or be struck by lightening were encouraging for everyone.
As soon as we landed we called our driver who was waiting at the Manila airport and asked him to rush to Clark and pick us up as none of us were staying on that plane. His response: I have no money for gas or road tolls. UGH! Arrange for him to get cash from our saving grace friend Tarryn and he was on his way, mind you getting to Clark can take anywhere from and hour and a half to three hours depending on traffic and weather. Oh joy!
So we sat and sat and sat on the plane waiting to get off. The captain made no announcement. The crew made no announcement. No one gave us any indication of what was going on. By this time, we had left Cebu at 2:30. The kids had last eaten about noon and it was now 7:30 and we had been sitting in the plane on the runway for 3+ hours and guess what? There was no food. I hadn't packed food for the 45 minute flight minus a pack of mentos, the airline had sold out of food within 15 minutes of landing (Filipinos LOVE their food) and there was NO FOOD. Holden had a fever and the chills and was wrapped up in the only blanket like thing I had, a pink scarf, and we were all freezing and it was pouring outside. Sheets of rain, shaking the plane as it sat there on the runway among all of the other jumbo jets and small prop planes. You can picture this, right? The misery. The lack of announcements. The anxiety. The cranky children. It was like the 3 hour tour of Gilligan's island.
Finally they wheel the stairs over to our plane, bring on a representative to talk to those people who have requested to get off the plane. She explains to each of the 10 people that we won't have our luggage as the plan will eventually be going back to Manila and we can collect our baggage there. Fine fine fine, just get us off the plane! Still no announcement from the crew and no one on the plane has a clue what is going on except those wanting off the death trap. We head down the metal stairs in the middle of the rain and wind and into the back of a delivery truck and taken to the terminal. From there we grab a taxi to the nearest hotel with a restaurant as our driver has informed us he is still 3 hours away. Seriously, how? HOW? Luckily he had no idea where he was and showed up a mere hour later but wait, the nightmare isn't over. We pile into the car to find that there are NO car seats. He had taken them out to make room for our luggage. You know that ONE duffel bag we had taken to Cebu when he dropped us off a few short days earlier. Yes. Brilliant. In a 8 seater SUV he had made room for that one duffel bag. So the entire way back home I cling to Finnley like I have his life in my hands, because really, I do. Our nine hour journey ended as we made it home at midnight.
Holden made us promise we would never go back to "that place" (Cebu) because really how can the kid separate that beach vacation from that flight. And I say Amen to that kid, I'm never going back either.
Here are some photos of the good points, clearly there were a few! :)
Yep, I am totally that mom who puts her kids in matching swimmers. Matching SPEEDOS, because swim trunks are just so uncool here. :)
Chillin in the raft that someone left behind. Staying dry and bug free!
I see heisman here. You?