Penang 2007

October 25, 2007 at 12:48 pm

Yes, we went to Penang! Most people got it right. ūüôā Why so soon after the previous? We had to do it before the girls’ birthdays, and I didn’t want to wait till school holiday starts.

We make a trip to Penang yearly before Zara’s birthday. In 2003, I was really worried about history repeating itself when I was pregnant with Zara; my dad suggested that we asked for St Anne’s blessing and protection, and since 2003, we’d been going to St Anne to give thanks yearly.

First stop was of course St Anne. It’s really a nice and tranquil church. Zara had so much fun splashing water from the water tap (St Anne’s water)¬†and fountain, and running around. Girls in St Anne

We had the bestest dinner in Bukit Tambun. Daddy wasn’t convinced when I showed him Michelle’s post. After much persuation (another Penang colleague also highly recommended this place), he drove us there after our visit to St Anne. For RM70+, we had baked crabs (just seasoned with salt, but so delicious, fragrant¬†or¬†‘hiong’), fried ‘red lion’¬†fish, poached ‘spikey clams’, honey baby octupus and a vege. Seriously, that was the best crabs we’d eaten in our lives!

We brought along Tuyam this round. Booked a big family room (1 super King + 2 single beds) in Bayview Beach Resort.¬†A hotel with worn out furniture, and stained toilet! I didn’t dare to have Zaria crawled on the carpet; and when I bathed her, I let her sit on my lap instead of the tub. Blech! We chose this hotel for¬†the price, the¬†pool, and the big L shaped room; another reason¬†was for the beach where Zara could do horse riding. Zara even remembered the name of the horse she rode on last year(Ima), and asked to ride on the same horse.

Girls with horses

My girls just love horses!

Everyday, we spent 1st part of the day in the hotel, have long breakfast, let the girls do a bit of horse riding and swimming; and then it was off finding a good place for lunch (we arrrived town at 2pm daily, good food was all sold out!! Hmmph!), and exploring Penang.
Girls in Hotel

Zara befriended an older Australian girl in the hotel, and spent quite a while chatting to the girl. I wonder if they understood each other. Zaria happy to be eating fruits from the breakfast buffet and playing with things on the table

We went to Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion¬†on the 2nd day, but too bad we missed the 2nd tour by 1 hour, so we couldn’t visit the mansion but could only see from the outside. Then it was off to Penang Botanic Gardens.
Girls around Penang

Zaria dozing at Cheong Fatt Tze; Girls love the monkeys, the stream, the trees and the stroll in the Botanic Gardens

On the 3rd day, we were off to Penang Hill.¬†It was raining cats and dogs once we boarded the tram. Dang! They allowed too many passangers in, so it was very crammed, and most people had to stand. 2 nice local young men gave up their seats to the girls. Half an hour later, we were up the hill, but since it was pouring,¬†we couldn’t walk about and just waited for the next tram down. What a waste of time.

We met¬†3 Arab men¬†who were really male chauvinists. They pushed passed us to get into the tram first, sat on the seat, and even though¬†I was carrying Zaria who was sleeping in my arms, they didn’t offer me¬†their seat.¬†What more,¬†1 of them suddenly grabbed Zara, and placed her seated next to him with his arms around her. Zara was in shock, and Daddy quickly picked Zara up and carried her in his arms for almost the whole 30mins journey down.

Girls in Penang Hill

A glimpse of us in Penang Hill; the girls waiting for the next tram down.

Dining in Penag was really good.¬†We were in Pang Hainanese Seafood Restaurant, along Tanjung Bunga, on the 2nd night. The food was cheaper and¬†better quality than KL restaurants.¬†3rd night,¬†with DR‘s map, we managed to find the relocated¬†Nonya Breeze and had a good dinner there. This place never dissapointed us, 3 years in a row in Penang, they served us the best nonya food which is value for money. But the best is still the crabs in Bukit Tambun! *drool*

Crazy Parents Crazy Trip

March 27, 2007 at 3:35 pm

I married a man who’s very ‘spontanous’. When we were dating,¬†we would meet up with no plans in mind, and then suddenly¬†he would be¬†heading to¬†Genting Highlands, with me in shorts and a sleeveless top. He has not changed even now that we have kids.

We wanted to take the kids for a holiday before I started work. So, on Saturday 1am, still surfing on the net, wanting to know where we should go for the w/end. Port Dickson? Cameron Highlands? Penang?

On Saturday morning, when the kids are all bathed and dressed up, I still didn’t know if we were going anywhere.
Me : Are we going any where or not?
Daddy: I thought we’re going to Fraser’s Hill?
Me : *Were we?* So? Confirmed?
Daddy said: Let’s pack first, we can always decide later

We packed a few pieces of clothings, and started our journey. The 2 kids, Daddy and I (NO MAID, crazy enough). In the car, we had to stop at the toll gate, still considering where to go.

At 5pm, we were at Fraser’s Hill. I was feeling queezy from the journey up hill, and hastily booked the first hotel that we came across, Shahzan Inn Resort. We realised, with 2 kids now, we actually need bigger room. We got a family room with 1 queen bed and 1 single. The room is basic, and very worn out, with smelly pillow and musky carpet.

There’s really not much Fraser’s Hill can offer to family with young kids. We went out for a walk, and stopped at a play ground for Zara to play. The air was cooling and fresh, but because we had to walk along roads meant for cars (since we have Zaria in a pram), inhaling some exhaust fumes was unavoidable. Kids were good during dinner, and we managed to eat without much problem.

On Sunday, we went to the Paddock in the morning, a place where Zara could ride a horse; and then headed to The Smoke House for a bite. Daddy shared a cheese sandwich with Zara, and I had the famous Dorset Tea (2 scones and a cup of tea). Scones was creamy and nice, but they actually used frozen whipped cream instead of fresh clotted cream. Sigh.

Fraser's Hill - The Paddock

(Clockwise) : Zara at the play ground; Zaria sleeping (most of the time) in the pram; Ocassionally, Zaria wakes up to take in the view; Zara chasing chickens in the Paddock

Fraser's Hill - The Paddock

(Clockwise) : With Zara on the horse; The sisters; Zara playing in the fields (and falling down, staining her t)

Fraser's Hill - The Smokehouse

(Clockwise) : Zara on The Smokehouse swing; The famous Dorset Tea; Zare enjoying the garden in The Smokehouse; Zara being loving

Since there isn’t much else we can do at Fraser’s, we headed down hill after our meal. While driving towards home, Daddy asked if we should stop by Bukit Tinggi. However, it seems Genting Highlands is on the way, instead of Bukit Tinggi.
Me : So Genting Highlands then?
Daddy: Yeah, why not?
Me : Staying over?
Daddy: The kids have enough clothes?
(they did, but I didn’t prepare them for the cold)

So by 6pm on Sunday, we were checking into the newly refurbished Resort Hotel in Genting Highlands.

I don’t know why we never brought Zara to Genting Highlands before, this was really an over due trip. With its theme parks available, Zara really had a wonderful time; and best of all, for the Outdoor Theme Park, she got in for free because she’s still not 90cm tall yet. We tried to go on most of the family rides together, I have Zaria on the carrier, and Daddy handled Zara. It was a lot of fun.

Genting Indoor Theme Park

Genting Indoor Theme Park at night : Fun for Zara

Genting Outdoor Theme Park

Genting Outdoor Theme Park in the day : More fun for Zara, but I didn’t want Zaria to miss out the fun too

The worst bit – for dinner on Sunday, Zaria cried the whole 1hr we were dining. I had to rock her on 1 arm, and tried to scoop slippery kuey-teow (flat rice noodle) into my mounth with the other hand. Luckily Zara was behaving, with Daddy helping her to some chicken wings.

Ok ok, now since we didn’t really get ourselves prepared for the cold weather in Genting Highlands, and Zaria is too young to handle the cold like Zara, I have to improvise. For day, I put on Zaria’s long sleeve overall over her short sleeve romper, and for night, even without the fan on and the window all closed up, it’s still freezing cold in the room, Zaria hands were cold and she wasn’t able to sleep until I dressed her up like this.

Zaria's funny pajamas

On top of her long sleeve overall, she had her socks as gloves, Zara’s socks as added warmth for her feet and my t-shirt became her sleeping bag

What a fun trip it was!

~~~~~~~~~~ . ~~~~~~~~~~

Answer for previous post :
Top Left and Bottom right Zaria, Top Right and Bottom Left Zara.

Penang – II

August 3, 2006 at 1:30 pm

We spent most of Sunday in the resort itself.

After a sumptuous breakfast, when we brought Zara to the beach, we saw horses available for hire. Zara was very interested, and said, “Want to sit horsey!” When I asked if she was going to ride on her own, she said, “Mummy sit with you (me).” So I went with Zara. It was just a stroll on the beach, with the horse handler guiding the horse on the leash.

She really enjoyed herself, patting the horse on and off, and kept saying, “Zara so happy.” When we got back, she thanked the horse and patted it. The horse handler mentioned she’s very brave because most young kids would have been quite fearful of the height while being on the horse, and the size of the horse.

Zara and mummy on the horse; Zara patting the horse to thank it; Zara running about and playing in the resort compound.

For late lunch, headed to town for Sisters’ char kuey teow in Macalister Road. Zara was tired and dopey, and only had some prawn fritters from the lobak stall. Then it was a wasted trip to Komtar. Our intention was to get more DVDs (as we got some really good quality foreign film there on our last trip), but because of the raid, the shops were closed, so we left empty handed.

Late in the evening, we brought Zara for a swim. The water was icy cold and even though she was shivering, she refused to get out. She didn’t want to leave until she was able to lie in the water and float, and got some applause from two Middle Eastern men watching. She was so proud, and kept telling us later, “Zara so clever to swim. Uncle Bravo Zara.”

For dinner, it was again to Nonya Breeze. This time, it was 4 dishes (fish, prawns, vege, egg), 1 duck soup, 1 nasi kerabu, 3 drinks, and the bill was less than RM50.

On Monday morning, Zara wanted horsey ride again. This time, the handler told us he would bring us further, but when we were heading back, Zara asked to get down, she was complaining, “Bum bum pain pain.” from the long ride.

Zara patting the horse while on it; Happy to be on the ground again because her bum was hurting; Back up the horse alone for a photo shoot; Thanking the horse and saying good bye.

We then had to check out and move to Equatorial Hotel (as it was nearer for Daddy to get to Prai for work). Daddy headed off to work after dropping us off. Zara and I had a slow leisurely buffet lunch, all she had was some almond flakes and a scoop of ice cream when mummy pigged out.

Back in the room, I had the TV on for her (Tom & Jerry was on) while I washed her bottle in the toilet. Suddenly, I heard her crying outside, I rushed out to check on her, “what happened?”. She just pointed to the TV and said, “Cat cat so naughty. Make puppy cry!” And tears started pouring down again. My gosh, she was crying over the scene where Tom woke up a puppy from its sleep (and it started yelping) while chasing after Jerry. No more Tom & Jerry, since it got her so emotional.

Evening was swimming again, and this time, another achievement from her, she could actually let go off my hand, and paddle on her own (with arm floats of course) for a few seconds.

That night, we just had dinner in the hotel as we were too lazy to go out (and don’t know where to go).

My morning sunshine.

Tuesday, Daddy left early in the morning. I brought Zara for breakfast, then a swim, and then we had to check out (bloody hotel wouldn’t let us have late check out!). Spent the next few hours loitering in the hotel, and also in Bukit Jambul mall while we waited for Daddy to pick us up after work.

To get to Bukit Jambul mall, we had to take a cab there, and Zara refused to get on the cab. She actually pushed the door shut while I tried to get her in, she said, “Want to sit only mummy’s car. Don’t want this car.” Such a fussy girl.

Even though it’s a bit tiring for me to handle her alone (esp lugging the bag containing her water, biscuit, Mr Blue, and our gigantic camera etc; and sometimes having to carry her to walk up and down stairs, with the stroller strapped around my shoulder), Zara was a good girl, and it was very easy to take care of her. Most of the time, she just let me push her about in the stroller, and she kept occupied by singing and reciting nursery rhymes to herself.

Daddy came to pick us up from the mall at about 5pm (since no cab wanted to take us back to the hotel or asked for exorbitant price. I heard cabbies were on strike that day because they were supposed to start to run on meter that week), and we headed back to KL.

Penang – I

August 2, 2006 at 1:17 pm

Daddy had to go up North for a work trip last 2 days. Since I am going to do my amnio test next Monday, I thought I’d followed him so we could stop by at St Anne’s to say a prayer before the test.

We arrived in Bukit Mertajam at about 3:30pm on Saturday, the feast day itself. The road leading to the church was closed so we have to walk. There were lots of hawkers lining the street, taking the opportunity to make some money from the event. Some were blasting loud music and songs which I thought was very disrespectful.

We said our prayer in the old church, and then spent some time showing Zara around although it was a terribly hot day. Zara was very interested in the various statues of Jesus and the Saints available, especially the scene of the crucifixion. We tried to explain to her what was happening in each scene in ways she could understand. After that, whenever she see her book on Jesus (which we brought along for the trip), she kept saying, “Jesus pain pain”. “Bad people beat beat Jesus”. “Put Jesus on the stick”.

Zara receiving flowers in the old church; Around the church; an ice cream treat for her.

We then headed to Penang island. We stopped by at Nonya Breeze, a restaurant we discovered on our last trip to Penang a year before, for an early dinner. The food at the restaurant was still very good and authentic, and for a dinner with fish, prawns, chicken, vege, dessert, 4 drinks, it only came out to RM41. Rosie, the restaurant owner, even threw in Zara’s dinner (which consist of a small fish fillet and a bowl of soup) for free. No way we can get this kind of deal and hospitality in KL.

We let her have some fun at the beech before dinner.

We stayed in Bayview Resort as our favourite hotel Lonepine was fully booked. The resort was filled holiday goers from the Middle East. Our room got upgraded, and we got a very big and comfortable sea view room. Zara just felt so right at home in the resort, she even walked about among the fully robed Middle Eastern ladies without a hint of curiosity or fear.

After taking a shower, we went out to the night market to get ourselves some DVDs. With the police on their toes, the shop that we visited (which was recommended by Domestic Rat) was pulling down the shutters to close up, and then reopening after they got the all clear sign, a few times. Daddy and Zara got ‘shut in’ on one occasion and Zara wailed when she couldn’t spot me around. Poor girl.

During bed time, since Daddy had to share a bed with Zara, Zara warned Daddy by waving her finger, “Daddy, cannot snore snore.”

Tanjung Jara Moments

February 4, 2006 at 2:12 pm

Zara had a great time in Tanjung Jara. This is the 2nd time she went on a beach holiday, when we went to Penang in August 2005, she was much younger and wasn’t talking and walking yet. This time round, I think she enjoyed it more since she’s more aware of her surrounding. Daddy and myself could also enjoy ourselves as we have so many people taking turns to keep an eye on Zara who’s constantly on the move especially during meal times.

Some moments with photos.

Fish Feeding
There were lots of ponds with fishes surrounding the main restaurant. Fish food was given by the resort, and kids can help to feed the fishes. After letting her feed the fish once, at every meal time, Zara would walk to the reception area shouting, “Wis! Mum mum! Wis!” Her way of asking fish food from the hotel staff. She would then sit at the side of the pond, happily throwing fish pellets to the fishes, sometimes submerging her hand into the pond to feel the fish nibbling her.

Sea and Sand
Initially she was very uncomfortable walking at the beach. She didn’t like the feel of the sand and was very afraid of the fierce east coast waves. However, on the last day of our stay, while we were walking at the beach, she actually dragged us out to the shore, and enjoyed the waves lapping at her feet.

Dinner time entertainment
We were entertained by a trio of musicians every night while dining. Zara really enjoyed their presence. She would go near the cello and try to strum the string, or she would join in by dancing. It was like she was part of the team.

Daddy took the girls for a trishaw ride, and then we rented some bicycles. We cycled around the resort, with Zara taking a ride in Daddy’s (it came with a child seat). It was really nice, especially when we rode on the path next to the beach, where we got lots of cool breeze. Zara very soon fell asleep, still clinging on to the child seat, on the moving bicycle.

She really liked the pool. She was either in her neck float or was just playing in the jacuzzi or the baby pool assisted. Even on a gloomy day, she still wanted to stay in the pool despite the chill.

Nothing beats checking out a new environment. The unfamiliar feel of the bed sheet, the height of the bed, the steps and walls around, a fallen leave or coconut, the canopy of trees, the bridges and the ponds. There was so much to explore for Zara. Of course, there’s so much chasing to do as well for the adults.

The Finale
We had this special steam boat dinner arranged at the pool side on our last day, very romantic setting, although the food sucked! You could hear waves lapping, and get lots of sea breeze. Too bad it was a cloudy day and no stars can be spotted. (Can you spot King’s Wife in this photo)

Our next holiday?? Bali probably. Oh, I just can’t wait!

Penang, here we come!

August 28, 2005 at 12:51 pm

After stuffing the whole car with Zara’s things (1 bag of toys and books for the journey, another bag for the stay; 1 bag of baby food; half a suit case full of diapers, clothes, bibs, wash cloth etc.; the gigantic pram; her survival bag; her infant carrier), and the little space left with our bags of clothes, we were finally leaving KL for Penang.

Zara sat in the infant carrier and was with me at the back seat. The drive was a long one, with me playing some of her toys with her, singing to her, reading to her and she napped a bit here and there. We took her to Kuantan when she was 1 month +, and back then she slept more, so the journey was not so bad.

In the beginning, she was quite happy to be in her seat, but after more than 2 hours, she started getting a bit restless. When we reached Ipoh, she was raising her arms, and shouting “UP!”, “UP!”. Her very first word, spoken out of frustration!! She repeated this until she was picked up from her seat.

We broke for late lunch in Ipoh and then spent some time walking about there. When we were about to leave Ipoh, Zara protested and refused to be strapped back to her seat. I have to almost force her down, while explaining to her the car is going to move soon, so she must be in her seat. She was very upset, and after strapping her up, she sucked her thumb, and closed her face with the other hand, and went to sleep.

Bukit Mertajam was our next destination. We didn’t have problem getting to St Anne’s Church as we got very good directions given to us by a patrol station attendant.

Zara was glad it was another stop. She was so happy when we got down the car. In St Anne’s Church, I gave my thanks. Zara was standing next to me, looking around, attracted by the flickering light of the candles, calmed by the serenity of the church surrounding.

Daddy too gave his thanks, and then we left the old church building, and walked about in the big compound. There was the chiming of the church bell (indicating a sunset mass was about to begin), followed by singing of the choir from the church. It was such a nice setting but it was time for us to leave for Penang.

It was another 1hr drive, to get us to Penang and to our hotel. I booked the Lone Pine Hotel in Batu Feringi from the internet. It’s a charming small hotel.

I booked the cheapest room and was surprised that we got such a beautiful room. We actually have a little private garden all to ourselves (see pic). The room was spacious with dark wood furniture. I also got the hotel to send in a little cot for Zara, but it will just be used as a play pan, as the bed is large enough to fit all 3 of us. My only complain is that there was a lot of sand on the floor, I have to sweep the place myself, before I was willing to let Zara walk or crawl on it.

The rest of the evening, we spent having a stroll at the beach, have a very nice nonya dinner, and then because Zara slept so much in the car and was still very energetic when we got back after dinner (and also because of the lure for cheap DVDs), we went DVD shopping just outside of the hotel. RM10 for 4 DVDs, where else can you get such a great deal?

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