Friday, December 30, 2016

To the Rainforest Again and More

So, we are down to one more trip back to the nature to journal down before we close the year. Mommy is giving herself a pat on the back for clearing the backlog logs this year, such a big accomplishment to achieve :D   

We are not the type of holidaymakers that will explore new destinations each time we plan for a holiday. We are OK to revisit places that we have been to before if they warrant a second trip. So when the guys were in the mood for water rafting last month, Adeline Villa came into mind again. We did consider Sungai Sedim but will save that for next round : )

The resort was fully booked during the holiday season resulting in a momentarily panicky situation for Mommy.
’Ya see, Mommy had mixed-up the dates and  booked our stay on a weekday instead of a Saturday last month. And when Mommy realized the blunder and wanted to change our booking, there ain’t no rooms available no more :O
But all was cool at the end, the Monday 2 weekends ago was a public holiday. Phew… crisis dodged!

It was drizzling a bit when we reached the villa but that was not a showstopper.
Rain or shine, we'd raft.....:O 

After a great lunch (the villa always serves good food), we promptly check-in. 

The guys went for the safety briefing 

The girls …

just hung around acting cool : )

Alaina has yet to reach the minimum height required for the white water rafting, thus not allowed onboard. She did not want to either as she is still afraid of water, so to speak.

So, while Daddy and Kor Kor were away, we leisured around and rested in our chalet. We did not go for the afternoon jungle trek as Alaina has already tried the it last round. We wanna save our energy for something different later in the night.

We sent the guys off

Shots taken by the rafting crew.
This year, they are charging 20 bucks per CD, a 100% increase from last year :O

There were around 6-7 rafts in a session

Some of the shots are pretty good.

Mommy remembers last year, the guide did ask us if we wanna experience the raft turning turtle. We declined then as we had 2 kids with us.
The guide offered the 4 gentlemen again this year, and all of them bravely accepted the challenge. The guide was skillful of course, he turned the raft just enough for the 3 older guys to ‘fall’ into the water but for Samuel to still hold on dearly onto the raft. Good good times!

Perhaps Samuel should start a collection of these certs.

The much awaited sumptuous dinner came (love the escargots) after that and with full tummies, we continued with our next programme; the Night Walk to see the glowing mushroom.

Only 4 of us signed up for the walk. Our guide, En. Halim was very polite and generous with his commentaries. We walked leisurely through the plantation to see many interesting stuff. We came upon; 

  • fireflies :O;this species does not blink, it is big and its bright green light is always on
  • local blueberries 
  • water pipe from the old British days 
  • and many more but no glowing mushroom …There were only glowing spores and dust on twigs. The mushrooms have yet to grow out. : (
And then on our way back

We saw this (cue to the top)

A close-up

The spider was not as big as the spider we saw at Jalan Kota Bahru but huge enough. The kids were very excited with their finds. And oh, they got to use their torch lights, it was pitch dark inside the plantation.

We are the Night Walkers…. errr….
that doesn’t sound right :p

It was not a daily programme but the resort will stage a fire show if the crowd is big. They had one the night we were there. It was a solo act but amusing enough for the kids. The performer swallowed fire :O

Siaran tergendala sebentar to let this ‘lil fella crossed the road on our way to the cafe

And then we had a cuppa at the café

We did not sign-up for anymore of the resort activities the next day as we planned to visit Kellie’s Castle. All of us have not been inside the castle before. The closest Mommy had been was a glimpse from far during one of the school trip years ago. All of us secondary school students couldn’t afford the entrance fee then :(

We started the morning with a walk in the nature

Samuel continued to work on his clicking skill.

Pretty lights

Managed to shoot the damselfly after several tries

Another good experience
We have a feeling that we’ll be back again when the gal is ready to try-out rafting.

And then on to our next destination,
Kellie’s Castle

Just like a castle in the medieval times, mortals are to cross a bridge to get to the other side :p

The roof top is not barricaded

Only greens surrounding the building. Nothing else

This is the type places with mysterious beauty and interesting architecture that the guys enjoy to explore. Daddy and Samuel tried a few of their ‘secret’ paths while Mommy and the gal walk though their main walkways. Not that we are not adventurous, but the crowd was too big that day for us to move around. There must be thousands of visitors there, hardly any pocket of free space for us to catch our breath!

And  ....... one more photo to close this post.

Leech bite! 
Samuel is very proud of his 'war wound', jolly showing it off : )

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

A Queen for Children Day, A Demoiselle for Christmas Bash

Now that Samuel has grown-up, he doesn’t fancy dressing-up no more….
Not that he likes to before, it’s just that he doesn’t mind costuming up for parties then. Now, he feels odd simply because his peers do not. The last he donned a costume was probably his Star-Wars wrap last year,

and as Barney 2 years ago for a Children Day party.

For Christmas parties, he is contented with red, green and white color shirt-pants. No fancy cutesy suit…. Ah well, less one thing for Mommy to busy with.

For Alaina though, she is still very much in her pretty princesses’ phase. She loves to dress-up but only if she has a say in her costumes selection.

It was Alice in Wonderland for her Kindy Children Day party just passed… But Alaina ain’t wanna be Alice, not if it’s a blue dress. Mommy suggested Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum; not too complicated for Mommy to tackle and more importantly, Mommy can prepare a pair for both the gal and the boy. Samuel shot down the idea almost immediately :p

So, the googling for the costume continued, but not for long. The gal made up her mind on Queen of Hearts as soon as she saw the long flowy red maxi, very pretty. The dress might be a bit complicated to DIY but nothing that Mommy couldn’t handle.
Our plan was to improvise her readily available dresses. But as usual, Mommy got carried away…. Mommy ‘accidentally’ found a Red Riding Hood costume from the Balloon Wonderland. How accidental, is open for interpretation as there is nothing accidental about walking into a party supplies store :p
With a little touch up, the dress could totally be remade into a Queen of Hearts costume.

We just need little heart cutouts

And a hand-sewn DIY red hip wrap

And a charming little Alaina, with crown and sceptre

All her teachers sported costumes too 

Seeing double!

The kids’ Kindy always throw great parties for ‘em kids.

And oh, for Alaina’s Christmas party,

She went full gear as the super happy Red Riding Hood!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Taman Negara Penang: Teluk Duyung and Muka Head Lighthouse

It must have been the busyness, without us realizing, there’s only a week or so left before the new school year returns. And we still have hundreds of things left to be done…. Ok, a bit exaggerated there but we are not too far off. By our count, close to 99 unfinished businesses :p

So, what have we been doing lately?

Mommy is making another move in her job resulting in very little time-off left for the year. Making use of the little time we have, we planned a few light activities for the kids.

First up, a day camp at Penang National Park. The kids have been there before but not deep into the park. For this trip, we tried something different for ‘em; a day camp at Teluk Duyung (Monkey Beach) and trekking up to Mukahead light house.

Samuel has invited his close buddy along and has initially suggested to trek all the way into Monkey Beach and on to the light house. He was all work-up having completed the Broga Hill hike earlier. Not that we think Samuel couldn’t take on Monkey Beach but could you imagine the gruesomeness if we were to have to trek 3 hours with kids along and then setup the tent and picnic later at the beach?
… Yup, we don’t think so.

All geared up with a full box packed supplies and a picnic bag and tents, we were all set to rock.

Reached the Teluk Bahang at about 930am.
Side question, is it Teluk Bahang or Teluk Pahang?

Booked ourselves a return boat trip to Teluk Duyung
…. Yup, that’s our brilliant plan :p

Gorgeous morning

Here we are.The beach looks narrower now from what Mommy remembers

Found ourselves a great camp spot, organized a bit, set-up our tents

And then, on with our trekking to the light house

All smiley

It’s climbing up the stairs all the way up

Paused to admire nature’s beauty

Mommy was prepared to u-turn back when we started the trek, but our gal was tough. She kept marching on and on and on

Yay, we reached the top.

Not too sure what is the point of reference, we’ve trekked 1233M and aras of 226M to reach the lighthouse

Built in 1883, the light house is preserved well

The top most where visitors are allowed

Very British design

Took us an hour to reach the top but only a half hour to descend.

Our question earlier, Teluk Bahang or Teluk Pahang
?Hint: Zoom in the back

Teluk Duyung must have been commercialized since the last time Mommy visited. Then, we trekked hours and had our team building event with all our pots and woks, now the beach is equipped with water supply, picnic tables and raised platform. Food and drinks are available for sale…. Chilled beer too :O.

But we came prepared, we ta pau our food and cook our own food : )
And ya, we also have to ta pau out our own trash. No trash are to be left behind.

Our beautiful pit

Some of the food we cooked

Small Jiu Jiu kneaded the dough fresh

Sweet potatoes sweet porridge. 
Very ol’ favor. We likey

Getting some pointers from Mommy as the kids wanna make their own fire too

Built on the foundation of paper and hay :p

We made a move when the sky turned cloudy

The tide was high then and couldn’t make it near to the beach, so we alighted here

The crew let us used their trolley to transport our stuff. 
We were pretty loaded ….. we are referring to the camping gear, not moolah :p

It was a very fulfilling outing.
The kids learnt a thing or two about survival skill..... 
how to make fire with fire starter! :p