Family Vacation - Skillful Cook
Our recipes, your inbox. Sign up

Family Vacation

Woman looking at a wall.

Last week I told you we had been off the grid.

People near an ocean.

But this week, with Bjork's parents still visiting, we were REALLY off the grid. Like, take a ferry to a different island and brave a muddy pot-holed road over the ocean to get to another tiny island and finally land at a ma-and-pa beach resort out in the middle of nowhere.

It was a clean-air, blue skied, quiet ocean paradise.

Sunset over the ocean.

We explored at low tide with morning coffee in hand.

Man on an ocean shore.

We cruised on rivers.

River view.

We snorkeled, which for some of us meant hyperventilated/drowned. Could you guys hear my panicked breathing from the other side of the world? Because I am incapable of being relaxed while trying to breathe underwater. And the ocean creatures. Shudder.

I do kind of love it, but I almost die every time.

Two men in the water snorkeling.

We saw the sights of the island, including geckos...

Man on a ledge overlooking some trees.

and the oldest church in the Philippines, where I was given two lovely shawls to cover my bare arms and legs before entering the sanctuary. It was the real deal.

Woman smiling.

We ate heaping plates of calamares and drank Coke in a bottle. Always a highlight for us Minnesota folk.

Black and white photos of people sitting at a table.

We had late-night talks until, oh, I dunno, 9pm. Is that late-night? I loved the slow, easy conversations followed by an early bed time. I think I might be middle aged.

Black and white photo outside.

We had lots of great food (did I say that already?) and took lots of pictures.

People looking out at the ocean.

We experienced the Filipino countryside. Rice fields, free-wandering animals, and kids running around with wheels and sticks.

It was enchanting.

Young boy playing near a field.

And most importantly, my sweet and generous mother, father, and brother-in-law spent time getting to know the kids at the shelter.

Woman teaching children.

They were kind of a big deal around here.

Man holding a child.

Income report tomorrow (see more reports here), and then should we do chocolate or vegan lasagna next?

...Because apparently I'm both addicted to chocolate and an occasional vegan.  I don't know how you guys deal with all my nonsense.

Filed Under: Living Abroad

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    What a wonderful blessing to spend time with family and have them share in your work with the kids. Oh, and my vote is for CHOCOLATE! Sorry, I get excited when I hear that word. 🙂

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    Looks like you had a lot of fun! It’s good to fall off the grid and take some time to relax and explore 🙂

    BTW, totally had to reread that last section a few times. Thought you were suggesting you might have a chocolate lasagna recipe to share

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Pappardelle’s has chocolate pasta. Think you could find that over there? Oooo! Maybe try making your own? 🙂

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    Gorgeous pictures! Is that one of the Loboc River in Bohol? 🙂

    I must admit, I look forward to your posts about exploring the country as much as your food entries!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Yes! Have you been there? I’m impressed that you recognized it. I didn’t get any great pictures from the Chocolate Hills but we went there as well. Hopefully there will be more “Philippines” posts in the next few months as we start to have more time to get away to other islands on the weekends! 🙂

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Yes, my family is from there. 😀 I love how lush the river looks, it’s one of my favorite memories so I definitely can recognize it.

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    I do kind of love it, but I almost die every time.

    I panicked the first time I went snorkeling. Totally freaked. I was calmer the second time. The third time I went w/ a marine biologist. I’m an emotional chameleon; I tend to absorb whatever emotions the people I’m around are feeling. Since she was calm, I calmed down. Even when she started to swim after the shark. I was like “oh well, if she thinks it’s all right she must know what she’s talking about.”

    love reading your blogs.
    also, I say chocolate!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Sharks!?!?! That’s big time snorkeling right there! I so want to be brave enough to swim with the whale sharks here, but I have a bad feeling that I would completely pass out from fear before I even got in the water.

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    Glad y’all had so much fun on vacation! The picture of that boy running with the wheel is precious. My vote is for the vegan lasagna recipe next!! YUM.

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Oh, I loved this post, Lindsay! This brought back a flood of memories from the few weeks that I spent visiting the Philippines on a mission trip in high school. We went to Negros Occidental/Bacolod City/Isabella, and spent a day or two vacationing at this “off the grid” type resort that we had to ferry out to as well. I think it was called Costa Aguada?!? I don’t remember for sure. But it was SO lovely and peaceful. We enjoyed every bit of it. Can’t wait for your income report tomorrow!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I have never heard of Costa Aguada, but I do recognize the other places you mentioned. I’ll have to check it out for another relaxation spot! 🙂

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    What beautiful photos! I’m glad you had time to relax and spend time with family. I’m also glad your going to be back to posting delicious treats again! Chocolate. I’ll always vote for chocolate!

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    Hooray for vacation and hooray for another not-so-eager-snorkler. The few times I’ve gone, I psyched myself up ahead of time…”Liz, you’re from Minnesota…this is beautiful…take advantage of this moment.” And then I get in the water and freak out if anything (including plant matter) comes within 2 feet of touching me. I start backpedaling…which is really hard to do in water. Glad to know I’m not alone!

    I’m so happy you got to explore that beautiful place and pretend to be middle-aged for a week!

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    Beautiful…looks like you two had fun! You both deserve it!! CHOCOLATE please….yummy….

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’m definitely jealous of such a relaxing-sounding vacation! As for chocolate and lasagna–I think as long as you aren’t actually making a chocolate lasagna, you’re good. 🙂