Saturday, January 3, 2009

12/19 – 12/21 Gota Village

Early Friday morning we were on our way to the dock. Our family, the Hagens, and their assistant, Megan were all going for a weekend getaway at Gota Village Resort. Our family had decided that rather than exchanging gifts, we would use the opportunity of being near the beach as our family Christmas present.

When we reached the dock, the boat was waiting. Steve had made arrangements for a boat to take our families. You can drive to the resort, but it is over 5 hours through the mountains. The boat that follows the coast takes about 1.5 hours.

The boat ride was nice. At first, we were all getting soaked as we hit the waves and the spray splashed us all. But after a while, our direction changed and put the wind at a different angle and it became more comfortable.

Annalise was so funny. For a while, she was standing with one hand on Zach’s shoulder and the other on Ben’s head. If it wasn’t for the fact that she was singing for all she was worth, you would have thought she was praying a solemn blessing over them.

Ready to sail

One of the crew

Arriving in Guialo Port

The resort was terrific. Each family had our own log cabin. There were western bathrooms. (Yeah!) In fact, one of my favorite things about the whole trip was the shower. There was plenty of flow, pressure, and it was hot – all at the same time. Lisa and I had a bedroom and the girls shared the couch, a mat, and a plush rug on the floor. Thankfully there was a TV and DVD player, too. Saturday it rained all day so we checked out a video from the resort and played some games Lisa had thought to pack. (We finally gave up on waiting and headed for the beach in the rain.)
Waiting for the rain to stop

There were two beaches you could choose from. The first one you came to had lots of rocks, shells, and exploring potential. The other one was sandy and great for swimming. We spent a lot of time on both of them.

Alexie at the end of a boogie board run

Christmas sandman - no snow available
Lisa was really happy about our vacation plans because it also worked as a field trip for Garden of Grace Girls Academy. We often use the phrase, Life is school and school is life. This whole trip exemplified that principle. But it was especially true for the girls as they spent time on the beach. The girls are studying ocean life in science. So it was the perfect trip. During the day, as we played, we explored the rocks for shells or other discoveries. We ended up taking two boxes of shells home to investigate further and decorate our home. There were no exciting tide pools, but we did take note of the tides. At night we looked for hermit crabs and other crabs by flashlight. We had really been looking forward to snorkeling, but the weather had the water all stirred up. Once the water was calm enough, the clarity was still poor.
Annalise and Alayna exploring

A sample of the bounty
But the calmer water did give us another opportunity for adventure. Our entire group made our way across to a nearby island. Some of us swam, some lay on surf boards pushed by swimmers, and others kayaked. One very beautiful lady was kayaking a couple of her children across when a Filipino who worked at the resort paddled up on his surfboard and kindly asked, "Would it be okay if I was the one to paddle?" I guess he didn’t think that she was getting quite enough help from Alayna. She said thanks and he assisted her in paddling the rest of the way to the island. If that wasn't enough he went on to ask, "Is this your first time?" She answered, "Yes, this is my first time paddling a kayak although I have canoed." He wanted to know the difference so she explained that the way you paddle is different as the paddle is only on one end.

While the kids played on the small beach, I took that beautiful gal for a kayak trip around the island. It was really pretty. Although the sea was much calmer, the swells surged as they pushed between the islands and made entering that space a little exciting.


  1. What fun in a beautiful place! You are blessed with pretty ladies!

    Holly Wallace

  2. Like one big, ugly thorn among the roses!