I turned 35 in April. The night of my birthday, we flew out on a red-eye to explore the Philippines for 10 days. We were off to a rough start with little sleep and a grumpy toddler, but we survived the short flights and arrived pretty early in the morning to our hotel, Princesa Garden Island Resort & Spa on the island of Palawan. You can read my full review on TripAdvisor if you're considering a visit to Puerto Princesa. The primary transportation in the small town was by "tricycle" taxi (essentially a tuk tuk or auto rickshaw) and while not the most comfortable way to get around, it was cheap and easy. We spent our 6 nights in Puerto Princesa exploring the town's best eats, and enjoyed lots of time in the pool. The hotel was on the water, but not so much "beachfront". It offered instead an expansive dock that took about 25 minutes or so to walk along to get to a sandbar in the Sulu Sea. It seemed like anytime we ventured out there, it was just the three of us surrounded by beautiful teal waters and lots of fish and even a few starfish sharing our private beach of sorts! We booked a day trip to Honda Bay - a boat tour originating from Santa Lourdes Wharf visiting three small islands for swimming, snorkeling and a picnic lunch. Unfortunately, it was box jellyfish season and I walked away with some nasty stings on both ankles. We also made a stop to the emergency room of the local hospital. I injured my knee pretty badly on day 2...x-rays were negative, but we'd later find out I tore my ACL. Oh, the adventures!
A little over halfway through our vacation, we said goodbye to Palawan and headed to Cebu. We actually stayed on the small island of Mactan at the Crimson Resort & Spa. The hotel was 5-stars and we indulged for the remainder of our trip enjoying all the resort had to offer...fun in the sand and surf, long mornings at the pool, leisurely meals, and plenty of cocktails. It was a great way to end our family vacation!