We went on a cruise that was very near Typhoon Phanfone, which hit the Philippines. We also rode lifeboats in the Philippines. However, these two events did not occur at the same time and were two days apart, so we were safe.

On Christmas, we went to a Christmas service where Papa (grandpa) and Naomi both read a scripture from the Bible. We also got presents from Santa.

The cruise stopped at Okinawa, Japan for a day. The girls – Ama (grandma), Gigi, and Naomi – did Okinawa Coral Dyeing while the boys – Papa, Kyle, and Timothy – went to Shuri Castle, which burned down six months ago so we couldn’t see all of it. We had lunch at a delicious traditional Japanese lunch where we had to take off our shoes (and were asked to not “mistake your footwear”). We also went to an underground cave where we saw many stalactites and stalagmites (rock growing from ceiling and floor based on dripping water).

We stopped at the Philippines for two days. Upon arrival, we were greeted by a nice song played on the marimbas (see video). On the first day, we went to a beach. We got there by riding on rickshaws, but these were really motorcycles with a small sitting area connected. Timothy was fascinated by the wind on the ride (see video). Naomi wants to make sure we say that we had chips for lunch that day. On the second day, Naomi and Gigi went to a hot spring where they swam and were buried in warm volcano sand. To get there, they had a very bumpy (and fun) ride in jeeps that went offroad and through rivers.

The time on the boat was fun. We went rock climbing (Naomi says it was very easy), played laser tag, bumper cars, and ate a lot of delicious food. (Timothy got spoiled and demanded cruise-quality food after we returned.) We also went on something called iFly, which is a wind tunnel that simulates sky diving. The girls made sushi. Nearly all of us got seasick on the last day because we were sailing close to a typhoon. Our waitstaff was fantastic including the robotic ones (see video below). The kissing picture was taken on Ama and Papa’s wedding anniversary – note Naomi’s excited look about them kissing.