For the first time in seven years, I’m at home today. It doesn’t mean Christmas is now a holiday in this region, it’s just that my new boss is kind enough to allow me to take a leave on Christmas and the day after. (Unfortunately, Alice is still at work… waiting for the semester break to arrive.)
There’s only about a week left in 2012. Last night, the family spent the Christmas eve get-together with the Pinoy Community here in our area. It was the usual gathering of Pinoys on Christmas Eve, this time made a little merrier by the fact that there are already quite a number of kids in the group. Time flies really fast… I remember spending our first few Christmas Eve gets-together with only a handful of us, adults, trying to be merry in the supposed merriest time of the year, while in reality thinking of our families back home.
Anyway, as I sit here waiting for the kids to wake up and waiting for wifey to finish her job so that I could fetch her back here, I thought, it’s time for some year-end reminiscing. I still have several topics in my blog list I wanted to write about, but I guess those will come later. In the meantime, let’s have a short review of what the family did in 2012 (I have to cheat by looking at our FB timeline).
The family spent our first winter holiday together in Prague. What a beautiful city! As I said before, this city made you feel like you’re in the middle ages (at least, in terms of structure and architecture). It was really an awesome experience for the family. It was not the “white” New Year that we expected, but it was still a winter wonderland, with patches of snow here and there, and regular dusting of snow whenever we went out. We loved it.
Then, Alice’s birthday came… and we decided we’ll splurge.
And so we did another first: spending a weekend in opulence. The Chedi is one of the poshest hotels in Muscat. And we decided to spend a weekend there. The kids loved the sunken bath in our rented villa. Alice loved the three pools, especially the longest infinity pool this side of Arabia… and the Bulgari toiletries. Me… I just loved to lay down and relax. It was a nice bonding time for the family… helped immensely by experiencing how the “rich and famous” do their getaways… even for just a weekend.
When summer came, we decided to spend a month on the road… backpacking throughout Southeast Asia.
Well, ’twas not really the whole of the region, we decided we’ll focus on Singapore, Bangkok and Hanoi this time. In Singapore, we revisited Jurong Bird Park, took a new experience at the Night Safari, viewed Singapore from the top of Marina Bay Sands, and stroll at Sentosa. And of course, we rode the luge (again!). We even got a bonus: we met Mima (my mother) and Manang (the kids’ nanny), and spent sometime with them in the Merlion City.
Then we moved to Bangkok. Temples, ruins, floating market. Elephant and tigers. Lots of delicious street foods. Bangkok was really intoxicating, especially for the kids, as this is their first time in this vibrant city. Alice and I got a very relaxing spa treatment. All members of the family were properly groomed in a salon.
Last stop, Hanoi. Pagodas, caves, temples, an hour ride on a sampan in the “Mirror River”. And of course, Ha Long Bay. It was nature experience at its best, with a touch of solemn spirituality.
Then suddenly, it’s again back to work. But not for long 🙂
We made our first (not very long) road trip in November. About 500 kilometres, 3 hours by car and 1.5 hours by ferry. We went to Oman’s biggest island, Masirah. If there are two words to describe that trip, those are nature and seafood. It was superb!
And then we discovered this oasis of a resort near our place. And we spent another weekend there.
And suddenly, it’s December all over again! Time to do our Advent activities.
Last night was the last day of our Advent readings. Today is Christmas, the kids are already awake and ready to open the gifts they received in our Christmas Eve get-together last night, and I’m here writing possibly my last post for 2012. Tomorrow, we’ll go to Istanbul to do our last activity for 2012 – the family winter getaway, and to set the tone for a better and more productive 2013.
We thank God for all these blessings.
teachers for most of the last 15 years... into educational technology, e-learning and quality assurance. builds scale models of cars and robots, and experiments in photography in spare time. loves to travel and explore new places with family.
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