Saturday, January 31, 2015

Wonderfully Lovely Girls

These are actually quite out of order chronologically with the other posts but I just came across them in the camera. We had several Christmas celebrations this year as we were in lots of different situations. This was after we returned from India and opened presents that we had under our tree, mainly ones from relatives and those we could not stuff in suitcases to take to India. 

Here is Emmerson the day after this celebration dressed up for identity day. These are various things she identifies with - nice to see she opted for the ManU shirt and I love the beret - gift from Nana for Christmas.

The rest are of the girls enjoying the excitement of unwrapping gifts. 

Brekkie O'Champs #IV

 Girls are at girl scout camp for the weekend so I am freed up a bit. Last night we had a pre - Mansters at Heckel and Jekylls (this is just for posterity sake) gathering and then headed down to H and J for the evening. This a.m. Alicia headed off for yoga and meetings with friends in the Fort so I headed off to the market. Great to get up and on the bike - especially in the "winter weather" where it is just a bit chilly - actually its not ... but it is not quite as sweaty as the other times of the year. So I saddled up on my trusty Gary Fischer - now going on almost 20 years of off - and - on service - and headed down to Salcedo Saturday Market. I opted to go for the bbq this time around as I just felt like it. Philippinos can do some serious damage to skewers, especially pork, so it is always an easy choice (although I hardly ever have it - so this was a treat). Maybe next time I will dedicate my visit to things I have never had/curious foods type of thing.

Old school selfies coming up. Fresh back from the market. One of my favorite things to do on a Saturday a.m. that is free. 

Brekkie O' Champs. 

So we've got several 8" pork skewers, one long something or other skewer (I ate it already and it was really nice crunchy chicken cartilage), a splayed 1/4 chicken and pomelo wedges.  Really good stuff. The skewers come with a sauce of course, but it is quite different than the typical spicy SE Asian sauces. For various reason which I will explain at some point, the Philippines is a sugar vinegar cuisine - and yes I realize I am generalizing -  but I am focusing on the sauce which was vinegar and some sugar and bits of garlic, ginger, carrots and chili.  Pomelo is absolutely lovely, bit sweeter than grapefruit and the sections are quite a bit larger and more dense. It has become one of my favorites. And no, I didn't eat all of this - just being foody and displaying a nice array of market treats.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Coco Grove Ada and Whale Sharks

We just received photos from a lady we met on the whale shark excursion. She was born and raised in the Philippines but lives now in California. She was vacationing in Coco Grove with her family en route to a family reunion. Both her college age daughters came along and were attending school at Northwestern and Depaul - both in Chicago! She had a water camera and took these shots of Ada with the whale sharks. As I said before - she got one look of the whale shark with its mouth agape and was having none of the up close stuff.

Ada looking rather anxious and clinging securely to the pontoon - whale shark surfacing next to her.

Baby whale shark passing by our boat.

Ada managing a smile but still not looking all that sure about this "swim with the whale shark thing".

Under water shot - not sure why its black and white. 

And of Course - Way too Many Sunset Photos

That's a good one!

Brandon and Olga partake in a selfie.

Some good colors, purples emerging.

Alicia adding a bit more color and a lovely smile.

And my pants adding even a bit more color.

I think these might be in another post - just goofing around the Christmas tree at dinner.

And the "make a funny face photo"

This was an unexpected pleasantry. In the past we had to take the public ferry to the island and then take a van ride for a half hour or so to get to and from Coconut Grove. But they have recently purchase a nice new boat that they now use to shuttle visitors to and from the resort. It was quite comfy and enabled Ada and Bella to sleep thru their queazy sea sick feeling a bit more comfortably.  The waves are not large BUT the distance between the peaks and troughs is not all that big so instead of a gentle rolling motion it is a pitch side to side and a bit diagonal and back and forward which is not good for those inclined towards motion sickness.  

Happy kids.

Captain Ian at the helm - funny how this was even possible - no one manning the captains pilot room, none of the workers cared that I was in there posing ... 

Brandon displaying his guns and me giving a suave hat salute - actually I am trying to keep my hat from blowing away as it was rather windy on deck.

Very much enjoying the moment with Alicia, although it didn't look like I was enjoying it so had to take another photo ... 

Now appropriately showing that I am enjoying a moment with my wife, although I am actually not enjoying it quite as much as I was about 10 seconds earlier because whoever is taking this told me I had to smile in order to meet the societal constructs designed to demonstrate that yes indeed, I am having an enjoyable moment.

Coco Grove Water Stuff

Coco Grove Christmas Play

The girls planned a Christmas play to accompany the gingerbread house that Olga had dragged all the way from Manila. It was quite the production, the play too, and an evening to remember

The girls spent hours doing this, just frolicking in the shallows .... 

Horsing around on the beach. I am trying to think of something to write here that captures what I am feeling looking at this picture but can't put it in words other than this ... if I look at this any longer I am going to start to tear up - so am moving on.