Sunday, October 07, 2007

Hainan Island: double the fun with two sets of twins and one big sister!

We are back from a fun weekend on the road with another family of twins, the Pelayos. While we might be a little prejudiced, we now think that travel with twin families is the only way to travel! All the kids were laughing or making us laugh the entire time. Questions from hotel staff regarding sitting and sleeping arrangements were fairly humorous too. At various points, other travelers would look at Royce and Ally, the daughter of our friends, and ask “are they twins?” Well, while they are not sisters, they are both twins. The easiest answer in Chinese was definitely yes! Things became a little clearer when both families bought matching island outfits, in keeping with a local tradition for Chinese visitors. Thus color coded we were discernable into two families but then more clearly getting attention for the very lucky boy-girl twin combination.

We all hit Hainan Island, China’s recently made tourist island destination. At the same latitude as Hawaii, Hainan has great weather year round, nice beaches and a desire to please. The new airport terminal we flew into looked like a lodge with high wooden ceilings, pineapple shaped lights and a large aquarium. The airport was so nice our kids asked if this was the hotel as we stood in the customs line.

We stayed in the northern part of Hainan called Sanya, home to China’s “end of the world,” a big rock marking the end of China. We picked our hotel (many many thanks to our friends!) over the usual line-up of Marriots and Sheratons primarily based on their water park and their extensive use of Chinese language. Neither of these categories disappointed us. The water park was huge. Many pools, a river, water slides, a rope swing. And the limited English was a bit of a shock after Hong Kong. The kids definitely got to practice their language skills, often helping out with ordering food.

Beyond the hotel pools was the beach. Our beach was lovely and clean. Just swimming and seeing fish was a treat for all of us. Last year in Hong Kong, the Pelayos got our family onto a banana boat, an inflatable raft pulled behind a jet ski. Once again, their wild ways rubbed off on us and we were bouncing along in the South China Sea and loving it. This time the jet ski driver did not show much caution with all the kids on board and tried to flip us, eventually succeeding. Everyone was fine, though fairly far out from shore. As I pulled Royce’s face out of the water, she quickly said “Mom, I am fine. How is Adam?” That pretty much summed up the weekend. A lot of laughs, a lot of playing around, but really a lot of caring. Adam asked me if we were related to the Pelayos. I couldn’t quite figure out what he meant. He elaborated a bit more about their family having twins and our family having twins. It is a fun connection and definitely a fun weekend.


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