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Bible Verse of the Day

Vacation

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I’m still behind on my blog posts (*hangs head in shame*), notably the ones on the kids’ birthdays, so I have three in the back burner, but I thought I would post one on our recent getaway first.

We decided to surprise the kids with a very impromptu vacation to Sunway Lagoon.  Since the kids enjoy theme parks, this would be perfect, plus we had all not been there before.  Initially we had wanted to book a room at the hotel right next to the theme park but there were no more rooms available, so we decided on a nearby AirBnb condo.  It was definitely a more reasonable option, and it was only a 10-15-minute walk to Sunway Lagoon and Sunway Pyramid.

Bring it on.

I’ll let the photos do the talking, since it is best done that way anyway.

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It was a well-deserved break for us all, a surefire way of destressing and we had a glorious wonderful time, just us.  Kids are looking forward to our next holiday…..where shall we go? Hmmmmm…..

“An idle mind is the devil’s workshop.”  Therefore, I try my best to get the kids out and about during these school holidays instead of being home all day in front of the TV or computer.  We made an impromptu visit to the rather newly-opened Tech Dome in Komtar about two weeks or so back.  I remember the location of Tech Dome as previously being the venue of computer exhibitions like the PC Fair years ago, back then the dome was called the Geodesic Dome.

Ethan and Hannah had already visited the Tech Dome last month during their school field trips, but they were rather disappointed that they didn’t get to participate in the activities like the wall-climbing and the G-force spin.  These activities required parental approval and additional purchase of tickets, so perhaps that was why the school trip did not include that.

Here they are, doing the Speed Climb, where they had to scale up a vertical wall and hit the buzzer right at the top.

Here, the kids find out what astronauts go through with the G-Force simulator:

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Kids had so much fun:

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Emma enjoyed herself at a small play area pretending to be Bob the Builder:

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Afterward, we visited The Top, which had some fun and colorful rides for kids.

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In September (yeah, I know this is an extremely delayed post…so sorry about that, but hopefully the pictures will be more than enough to make up for that! The kids and hubby have been very good at pushing and encouraging me to finish this post!), we took a highly-overdued family vacation and headed down south to the kids-absolutely-love-the-place-but-it-is-so-freaking-HOT LEGOLAND in Nusajaya, Johor.  We had been to Legoland in Carlsbad, CA seven years ago, but back then it was just with Ethan and I was heavily pregnant with Hannah.  I doubt Ethan remembers much of Legoland Carlsbad apart from what I have recorded in this blog, so the visit to Johor’s Legoland could be considered a fresh experience for the kids.

We decided to stay in the Legoland Hotel whilst we were there, which would make it so much more convenient for us, especially with kids along.  No complaints there and the room we had was spectacular.  More on that later.

On the day we were to start our vacation, everyone woke up super early.  Our flight from Penang to Johor was at 7:15a.m. so I had arranged for a cab to pick us up at 5:30a.m. that morning.  It was pouring!  But everyone was in a happy mood and we got on the plane, which departed and arrived on schedule.

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We arrived in Legoland Hotel at about 10:00a.m. and because it was still early, our room was not ready yet.  We decided to put our luggage with the concierge and go right in to Legoland.

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Yes, we were all raring to go. Hahaha.  And here are the pictures to prove it.

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It’s the Year of the Monkey – reason enough to monkey around?  Well, definitely reason enough to eat loads of yummy yummy food (not just bananas) and have lots of great fun!

Traditional Reunion Dinner and 1st Day Chinese Lunar New Year in Ah Mah and Ah Kong’s house in Ipoh:

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A simple dinner gathering back home in Penang:

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Wishing everyone a happy, blessed and prosperous year ahead full of health and love in abundance!

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We are Stage Pass Members of the Hard Rock Hotel, and although our primary reason for becoming members was to utilize the pool, we are also given a complimentary night’s stay in the hotel, as one of the benefits of membership.  Our deadline for redemption is in July, so we finally decided to “move” to the hotel for a night last weekend, before the benefit expires.

We only told the kids about it the day before we were to check in, and boy, were they excited!  I was worried they would not be able to sleep that night!

Ethan still had school activities until 4:00p.m., so when we checked in, it was already 5:00p.m.!

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Dinner Shots

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We spent our morning at the pool after a scrumptious buffet breakfast (which included chocolate milk for the kids!!).

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It was a fun and enjoyable holiday away from home, although a short one and not really that far from home… LOL!  Ethan left a little thank you souvenir for the housekeeping staff too!

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I still have a back rub to redeem as part of the membership benefits though…need to make an appointment soon!

Our third (and final) day in Anaheim was supposed to be a short one, because our flight out from LAX to HKG was at about midnight that day.  However, our plan of waking up extra early to get a headstart on all those Fast Passes with our Magic Morning entry went up in smoke when we all slept in.  Fatigue and exhaustion from the previous days and all that jazz.

Nevertheless, we made do with the time we had and since the kids placed priority on the Radiator Springs Racers ride (at California Adventure Park) they had missed the day before, we headed straight for that one.  Unfortunately the Fast Passes for that ride were all taken up and the wait in line (without a Fast Pass) would be about 1.5 hours.

I suggested that they just go for it, since we had no choice anyway.  The queue would definitely get longer and longer as time wore on anyhow.  So Pete, Ethan and Hannah proceeded to wait their turn, while I took Emma for a walk.  Good thing they did too, because the queue became longer and longer as time wore on…in fact, it was more than 2 hours when they were done!

Anyway, my time alone with Emma wasn’t too bad.  There was a very comfortable child care center, complete with nursing room, changing tables, child potties and sinks not too far away.  There was also a similar-styled baby room in Disneyland.

I loved that:

  • Each individual diaper-changing station had a fresh stack of paper liners for the diaper changing table.  Very hygienic!
  • Each diaper-changing station was also padded along all four sides, and the place where baby would be laid down was on a lower level than the edges.  I thought this was a very useful and preventative measure to ensure baby does not roll over and fall over.
  • The room was tastefully decorated in baby prints.
  • There was a sink and soap provided, together with paper towels.
  • They also had little potties for smaller kids.  Definitely cozier than the adult restrooms!  Only Hannah *qualified* to use these little potties though.
The nursing room in Disneyland had at least 5-6 comfortable chairs for nursing, and there were 4 chairs at the center in California Adventure Park.  There were also magazines and reading material, and also a table and power outlet for moms who wanted to use the electrical breast pump.

On hindsight, there should have been a few of these rooms in the park, not just ONE for each of Disneyland and California Adventure.  But I digress.

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You didn’t think we’d leave California Adventure Park out of the vacation while we were there, did you?  Well, we didn’t!

We had gotten ourselves 3-day park hopper tickets and Day 2 saw us make our way to California Adventure Park.  The queues to get in were unbelievably long and following Murphy’s Law, our line was the slowest-moving of the lot!  We also arrived somewhat later than the first day, though….haha.

Our first stop was at the newest section of the park: Cars Land.  I had been to California Adventure Park twice before, but this is the first time I stepped foot in Cars Land!

Modeled after the hit movie Cars, this was Radiator Springs in the flesh!!  How awesome is that!?

Can you just tell that the kids were getting so impatient to get moving into Cars Land?

Ethan and Hannah had wanted to get on the Radiator Springs Racers ride where they would ride in cars around a race track, like what you see in the movie Cars.  Unfortunately, the Fast Pass for this ever-so-popular ride was all taken up for the day, and the wait time was like 2 hours!  So Ethan was contented with just a picture (for now).

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When I mentioned that we were heading back to Malaysia from Massachusetts, I just *might* have left out one eenie-weenie detail about our trip. 😀

You see, our first flight was a 5-hour-or-so one from Boston to Los Angeles, and we decided to give the kids a treat by taking them to Disneyland for a few days while we were there.

Believe you me, it was a decision Pete and I had been discussing back and forth several months before.  We weighed the pros and cons, taking into consideration the transportation aspect, as well as the commute and accommodation.  Finally we relented, and decided that this short holiday at the Happiest Place on Earth would truly be a memorable one for the kids.  It would be worth every hassle and every obstacle we might face.

After a one-hour shuttle ride from LAX to Anaheim, we checked into our hotel at about 10p.m. that night, had a really quick dinner/supper and called it a night.  Everyone was tired but excited about the following day.

Hannah woke up super early and whispered eagerly, “Today we are going to DISNEYLAND!”

She flashed me the widest, biggest smile EVER.  It was the most rewarding thing.  And it wasn’t even 6a.m. yet!

Here are some of our pictures taken at Mickey Mouse Land…. :)

We had a room on the 7th floor in Fairfield Inn, Anaheim.  It was quite a high floor and a great location.  We could see the nightly fireworks from Disneyland from our room if we’d wanted to (we saw a bit of it the night we arrived), and the walkway on our hotel floor’s balcony overlooked this:

 

Ain’t that festive?

We had booked a room at this hotel because it was one of those that was just walking distance from the entrance of Disneyland.  It took us about 15 minutes just to get to the park, and we loved the location and convenience!

Plus…we managed to get a complimentary upgrade to a Disney-themed room!  They had rooms with Disney Princesses themes, Cars themes, Toy Story themes, you get the idea….What we got was the Mickey Mouse themed room!  Complete with Mickey Mouse wall decals, and Mickey Mouse framed pictures, down to Mickey Mouse bed runners, it really helped set the mood!

For our first day at Disneyland, we all wore Disneyland-themed shirts, even baby Emma.  All of us, in fact, had Mickey-themed shirts except Daddy.  We couldn’t find anything Mickey in his size, so he wore a Goofy shirt instead!

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We had fun on all the rides!  The waiting in line wasn’t too much fun though, but somehow the waiting time wasn’t too bad.  Most of the time, we managed to get on after about 20 minutes or so of waiting time.  I could only ride with the kids when Emma was fast asleep.

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What can we say?  It’s a near impossible task but we did it!  It’s not easy though, but we persevered and overcame all obstacles, and we’re now back in Penang, having traveled across the globe with two kids and one baby.

We had a total of three flights to take: Boston to Los Angeles, Los Angeles to Hong Kong and then Hong Kong to Penang.  The shippers had arrived in our apartment in Marlborough, MA the day before we were to leave and took almost everything away.  I had forgotten to leave a couple of bed linens for our last night too, so that night we slept on our mattress with just our blanket.  Not even with pillows.  It was kinda okay because I guess we were all tired out anyway.

The next day, we almost missed our flight.  All the last-minute packing and rushing resulted in us reaching the airport in less than an hour before the plane was set to depart.  Thankfully, in true Amazing Race style, we managed to get priority check-ins and got on the plane in the nick of time.

On this domestic flight, Emma had a seat to herself.  We carried her in the infant carrier and I strapped her in rear-facing using the lap seat belt.  She seemed happy throughout the 5 hour plus flight and slept most of the time. Had to change her and clean her up a couple of times too, and let me just say that the restroom on this flight is not exactly spacious!  As for the seating arrangements, there were three seats on either side of the plane and so Hannah, Emma and I sat together, with Pete and Ethan across the aisle.

On the international LA to HK flight, Emma had to be placed in a bassinet, so Hannah and I occupied 2 of the 3 middle seats, with Emma in a bassinet, and Pete and Ethan were seated diagonally across the aisle behind us.  The kids missed their inflight supper that night too because when we boarded, it was already way past midnight.

We arrived in Hong Kong before 6a.m. in the morning, and had many hours to relax and chill because our next flight to Penang was at 3:00p.m.  Look at how red and rosy Emma’s cheeks were when we were in HK:

We spent our time in the Cathay Pacific lounge , taking our showers and having breakfast and lunch there.  The kids slept through most of the flight from HK to Penang, and after a quick dinner at the airport, we left for home in two taxicabs!

After that it was cleaning up the house and getting it ready to be lived in.  It was really an adventure and one that we will not forget for a long time.

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