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The Eightblack Family Holiday...

The Eightblack Family Holiday...

Old Jul 29, 11, 6:00 pm
  #1  
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The Eightblack Family Holiday...

There's a few things in life I don't understand. Like cous-cous. And pesto. And family holidays.

Let me ask you a simple question. Think back to the last time you actually saw a happy family in an airport? Think hard. Rattle your brain. Go on, try.

See, you cant - can you? Told you.

Most families I see in airports are frazzled. They're tired. Grumpy. Irritable in fact. They look like they need a good wash and are about 12-minutes away from killing each other. And this is before the holiday has even started. The parents stopped talking to each other as soon as they pulled out of the driveway. The older brother is trying to work out how he's going to explain to either parent how the piece of lego got stuck in his sisters ear. And the sister decides that she wants to go pee as soon as the gate agent calls for boarding.

Or something like this.

Travelling with a family is not for the faint hearted. So my own fragile heart skipped a beat when my wife advised me that it would be a good idea if "we did something these school holidays".

I don't know about you - but it took me about 6-years of marriage to decipher the words "it would be a good idea" to mean "get off your lazy butt and organize it".

Thankfully, I'd had a brain wave. Actually someone else had it. And I just stole it. A few months ago, I was in Sydney with a client. A nicer guy you could not meet. He'd just spent 8-years in Singapore with his wife and 2 kids. After 3 hours with the guy over dinner, (and several liquid refreshments), I had come to the conclusion that this human was probably a good candidate for Father Of The Year.

He'd taken his kids everywhere in the region. And beyond. To remote parts of Asia. To outback Australia. To the middle east. To places in India even the Indians refused to go. His family holidays sounded like a forward scouting party for Lonely Planet, with a touch of United Nations thrown in for good measure. I was jealous with envy.

But he did mention one place I thankfully tucked away in my alcohol infused brain. A place called Boracay. In the Philippines. More to the point, he insisted on a little hotel called Jony's Beach Resort. And that's exactly how you spell it. Jony's. Without the H. Or h. You know what I mean.

The next day, I sent the link to my wife. And waited.

Remarkably, she said that it sounded kind of fun and that we should book it. I politely told her that we had one final hurdle. Convincing our children that it would be a good idea.

My children, I'm assuming, are no different to yours. Both offspring view my wife and I as portable ATM machines. Nothing more. And the reason they both agreed to come away with us was because my son convinced his sister that "they should follow the money…"

Or something like that.

Now I know the Philippines well. I've spent many a night in Manila. Perhaps when they introduce an R rated version of FT, I'll regale you with some of my exploits in Makati. But given this is a family show, I will resist. For now. And besides. Actually, never mind.

Getting to Manila is the easy part. The cheap way, the family holiday way, is to book Jetstar. Which is what I did. Flights for 4 of us were around SGD$800. All in. So far so good. Its not a tough flight at all - 3 hours dead. Door to door. Well, airport to airport. But you get the picture.

I set Google to work and did a little more desktop research. Getting to Boracay also seemed simple enough. A one hour ride in a little puddle jumper from Manila to a tiny little airport called Caticlan. How hard could this be?

So I work out the Jetstar schedule. Work that into the puddle jumper schedule (in our case, I chose PAL, or Philippine Airlines) and in the blink of some ones and zeros, I had 2 separate flight confirmations. Easy peasy Japanesey.

I then book Jony's Resort. It made me laugh. Jony (or his bossy wife) are quite clever. You search for the dates you want, they tell you how much and if you do want to go ahead and confirm, you give them a 10% deposit. Which I did. I booked something called the "La Concha Suite". I have no idea who I sent the deposit to - as the booking engine looked like it was built by 2 stoned Jamaican college kids. To my amazement, I received an email stating quite emphatically that I was all good to go.

My wife doesn't yet trust our kids to be in a separate room - so we need a place big enough for all 4 of us. Which didn't thrill me to be honest. But I gave up long ago expecting to get lucky on holidays. Or anywhere else for that matter. In fact, I shouldn't really complain as my sex life is actually terrific. I just wish my wife was a part of it.

Anyway.

Departure day approaches. This is where things start to go pear shaped. When you travel a lot for work, you can pack in 5-minutes. I know I can. I reckon I could do it blindfolded. Or drunk. In fact, on many occasions, I probably have. But you've probably figured that part out already.

But when there's a family involved, it turns into a major logistical nightmare. I decided though to assert my patriarchal authority. Which borders on zero. I insisted that we would be traveling light and that we had to take "wheelies". No check in luggage at all.

My wife rolled her eyes. My daughter promptly ignored me. And my son couldn't really care less because his idea of packing is to grab his backpack - put every electronic console he owns inside it, one pair of underwear, and a toothbrush. Oh, and a screwdriver. I have no idea why. He reckons he never leaves home without it. It matters not a jot to him whether he's going for one night. Or twenty. He still takes the same amount.

My daughter on the other hand, has inherited a genetic disease from her Grandmother. It's called "horribilus hoardus everythingus". Or something like this. The Small Ones view of packing light is to quite simply empty the entire contents of her bedroom into every suitcase she can find. It gets worse though. She probably has the worlds largest collection of stuffed animals. We've got these freaking things up the wazoo. She actually needs to talk to someone about it. Addiction would be a polite term.

I try to reason with The Small One. That doesn't work. I then produce cash. That gets her attention. I say to her that if she can limit the quantity of toys to what will only fit in her bags, then I will buy her something in the Philippines. She reluctantly agrees.

So, at o'dark hundred, we wake the kids. One final check and we're off to the airport to catch our 6.20am Jetstar flight to Manila. I insist that the kids have to be responsible for their own bags. Son grunts and throws his backpack over his shoulder. Daughter on the other hand looks like a Nepalese sherpa about to scale Mt Everest. All we see is 2 skinny 8-year old legs, and a mountain of luggage. And a daisy chain of stuffed animals, linked together by string...

We get to Terminal One at Changi. Kids pile out of the cab and Number One Son heads for the Emirates counter - as they are virtually side by side to the counter Jetstar uses. Except for the fact that we're not flying EK. Not today. Which is one small detail I had forgotten to tell the small humans we created.

This is where the wheels fell right off the proverbial holiday chariot. And a lot of arm waving ensued. And the F word. Except that for once, it wasn't me doing the arm waving. Or cussing. It was our first born. Promptly joined in unison by his sister.

My wife simply turned to me and said "this is all your fault you know…" and attempted to calm our 2 children and to explain to them that yes, people do fly low cost carriers and end up surviving. And making it one piece to their destination. My son was outraged.

It gets ugly from this point, and I wasn't really going to write about this, but my therapist thinks it will be good for me to share…

More in a minute. I promise.
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Old Jul 29, 11, 6:08 pm
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This is a great start to your trip report! You had me laughing through the whole read. Looking for part 2 and more - keep it coming!
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Old Jul 29, 11, 6:50 pm
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I saw Trip Reports forum + Eightblack, and I knew I had to be here! Cannot wait for the rest of the report(s) - in case your therapist feels you need to get it all off your chest!
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Old Jul 29, 11, 6:57 pm
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Did they make it.... did they all come home safely?....... This is like Masterchef!
Looking forward to the next installment of weekend reading from Eightblack and family!
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Old Jul 29, 11, 7:16 pm
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Thanks be unto the heavens - I really needed another eightblack TR...

Greg
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Old Jul 29, 11, 7:21 pm
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Originally Posted by neuron View Post
I saw Trip Reports forum + Eightblack, and I knew I had to be here! Cannot wait for the rest of the report(s) - in case your therapist feels you need to get it all off your chest!
X2. Always a great laugh.
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Old Jul 29, 11, 10:45 pm
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Originally Posted by eightblack View Post

We get to Terminal One at Changi. Kids pile out of the cab and Number One Son heads for the Emirates counter - as they are virtually side by side to the counter Jetstar uses. Except for the fact that we're not flying EK. Not today. Which is one small detail I had forgotten to tell the small humans we created.

This is where the wheels fell right off the proverbial holiday chariot. And a lot of arm waving ensued. And the F word. Except that for once, it wasn't me doing the arm waving. Or cussing. It was our first born. Promptly joined in unison by his sister.
This reminds me of a flight to BKK on an LCC a few weeks back. I was up in arms and called it the worst flight ever. Because I was limited to my 31 in x 18 in of space, as opposed to exit rows, empty middle seats and the big seats.
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Old Jul 29, 11, 10:55 pm
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And it begins, what is destined to be another great installment of the Eightblack Lessons on Life....

More! More!
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Old Jul 30, 11, 12:00 am
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It's been a rough week. I signed in to Flyertalk, saw Eightblack in Trip Reports and immediately thought ...life immediately just got better... went and poured a seriously large G&T..... we're in for a bumpy ride.... can't wait!!!^
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Old Jul 30, 11, 6:25 am
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Boracay + Jony's.. I have done that combo and it was great! ^
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Old Jul 30, 11, 7:35 am
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Ohhhh.. Boracay's fine white sand beaches. Great start to your TR, can't wait for more!
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Old Jul 30, 11, 7:43 am
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I had to subscribe to this thead, just for my daily dose of comedy ( opps.. real life experiences )
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Old Jul 30, 11, 8:03 am
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hilarious introduction !!! ^
i want more :-:
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Old Jul 30, 11, 8:26 am
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Another great start! I can't wait to read more. You write the BEST trip reports.
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Old Jul 30, 11, 9:34 am
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Yet another great start to another great TR by eightback! ^
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