HAS IT BEEN A WEEK ALREADY??
ugh, nothing more i hate than a blog entry backlog.
ok ok, let’s summarise, chop chop, before the juices run out.
so we went to kota kinabalu, which is like, in sabah, malaysia, right? no idea why we decided on this place, all i knew was, i needed a quick getaway, the budget was family-friendly enough, and it was NOT a roadtrip. (i miss airplanes, can?)
1) it was the kids’ virgin flight, and they did well enough, considering how it goes against the grain of nature to force two irrepressible, wriggly little beings to stay put in a cramped space for more than two hours. were they impressed with the view and the fact that they were being propelled through the air at an incredible speed in a metallic vessel? not really. then again, neither was i when i was their age and my parents hauled me on our annual vacations. wait till they have to pay for their own fares.
2) we stayed at the shangri-la tanjung aru, and it was worth every damn hard-earned dollar converted to ringgit. the kids loved the bathtub – they made a beeline for it the moment they stepped into the room, and every morning when they woke up. in fact, every time we returned to the room, they’d climb into it first and demand to be soaked. they have never been cleaner in their lives. and because the rest of the KK clan came as couples, we were also given the same honeymoon-ish treatment of rose petal-covered sheets. sorry auni and aniq, for downgrading you to a baby cot and a sofa bed respectively. wait till you have to pay for your own hotel rooms.
3) there’s a nearby tanjung aru food centre a walk away from the resort where we discovered the most exquisite, heavenly, orgasmic mango juice in a large pint mug that cost a mere RM6. one sip and your eyes POSITIVELY roll upwards, it’s that good. they must’ve used a whole lotta mangoes coz it was really thick and sweet. (but i guess it depends how lucky you are with the batch of mangoes they use coz on the last day when we bought it again, it wasn’t as sweet. that’s the thing with fresh fruit juice, the inconsistency.) plates and plates of hot keropok lekor just kept coming to our tables (coz someone kept ordering more and more). and of course, the much-talked-about bbq chicken parts, in particular the, erm, rear end. proper name: pope’s nose. crude name: jubor ayam, in short, “jubs”. it brought finger-lickin’ to a new level. of course, it was a favourite with the guys, and only the guys, while the girls demurred. i mean, ge-rosss.
and by guys, i mean ALL of them, aniq included. does he know which part of the chicken it came from? does he care? of course not.
4) i wouldn’t say the filipino market was exactly a highlight, but someone’s got to contribute to the sabah people’s economy. this was a place full of traditional handicrafts and knicknacks, and pretty much looked like the inside of geylang market, actually. oh look, i found a sarong wrap.
the girls had two packed cartons of dried salted fish and… i don’t know, other dried stuff from the sea, to bring home to cook. (seeing as cooking is a foreign concept to me, i did not partake in this particular ‘group buy’.)
5) the island-hopping was, as unanimously agreed, the MOST thrilling part of the whole trip! OMG. throughout the entire trip on the bumpy speedboat, you can hear, over the roaring motor and crazy splashing waves, screaming laughters (guess whose was the loudest??) to match a pack of wild hyenas on a daredevil roller-coaster. we just kept howling and howling non-stop, it was ridiculous, and worse, WE COULDN’T STOP THE HYSTERIA.
see the deceptive sun at the jetty? well, soon after we reached manukan island, the skies on the horizon turned grey and heavy clouds started rolling swiftly towards us. the passing shower played peek-a-boo with us a few times, so the gang stole every opportunity to splash around at the beach (auni was more than happy to be passed around) and do some snorkeling. with the waters looking choppier and choppier, we decided to skip the other islands and headed back to the main shore. with such choppy conditions, the ride back was EVEN MORE THRILLING. the waves kept crashing down on us, soaking us all thoroughly to the bones. i had to keep my mouth closed coz everytime i opened it, super salty sea water kept splashing in. great, if one had ulcers! and at the end of the ride, we ALL APPLAUDED at the (very skillful) speedboat driver for bringing us back in individual pieces. even the kids came out unscathed.
i wanna go again. LOL.
6) one thing we also agreed that we didn’t get enough of, was the swimming pool! since we were all soaked from the speedboat saga, we headed to the resort’s pool for a dip. was reminded of my swimming lessons as a child. note: seriously need to send aniq for swimming lessons. gah!
7) one thing we noticed was, the day seemed to move by pretty slowly, especially in the evening. this may have to do with the fact that, as izad mentioned earlier, the sun rises earlier than we’re used to, so it sets earlier as well, and whenever we check our watches, we’re always surprised that the night seemed to crawl. which is good! coz holidays are about time moving at a slower pace and all.
and here’s izad’s favourite part – the FOOD. heh. well, seafood, to be exact. that’s the specialty after all. rows and rows of seafood, fresh and barbequed or grilled to mouth-watering perfection.
there were sea bass, tuna, crabs, squids, prawns, lobster (this was the prized crustacean, placed in the center and attacked last!), and other fishes of which species i wasn’t acquainted with, topped with more bbq chicken and corn, and free flow of rice. i think each couple ended up only paying something like
SG$30 RM$30 in the end. group buy! very good!
and after all that rustic ambience, we headed to a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf in town to chill. here’s to modern life.
8 ) we managed to hire a van with a local driver to bring us up to the kinabalu national park, which was where the Poring hot springs and the Canopy Walkway were, a scenic 2hr+ ride up the mountain. while entry was cheap, bringing in mobile phones and videocams was not! it cost esah&fadz RM30 to bring in their videocam. why eh? why?? hmm. so anyway, it was quite a trek up the rainforest, and i was practically gasping for air midway, the anti-outdoorsy princess that i am. YES, i am after all, allergic to exercise in any forms. i stopped at the little hut just before hitting the canopy walkway with auni and lydia, none too keen on the idea of someone carrying the lil one (auni, not lydia hehe) up the precarious-looking bridge, but aniq on the other hand, apparently turned into spiderman as soon as he was let loose up there. why am i not surprised that he actually enjoyed the height and the adventure of it all. really, bertuah punya anak.
there were these really ol’ skool kinda bathing pools for us to soak our feet in the hot spring water. hot is an understatement. it was HOT. but bearable hot after a while. even the kids didn’t think the water was too hot. apparently you can boil an egg in there. i don’t care about the egg, just don’t boil any auni or aniq! horrorssss.
the driver took us to this beautiful lodge called The Pines, with lots of, duh, pine trees surrounding it. the air was crisp and cool, you forget that you’re in malaysia, or anywhere in southeast asia for that matters.
so here’s where all the most romantic, scenic pictures happened, lol!
and the perfect group shot happened at the most opportune moment. GUESS WHO FARTED OUT LOUD LAH.
9) another thing we miss (other than the bathtub) is: the morning breakfast spread. sigh.
and finally (seriously, i need to sleep. this entry took me all of 5 freaking hours!)…
10) the company. i think THAT was the ultimate highlight of the trip.
(our neighbour! and my bosom sister. ;))
thank you all, my brudders and sistas, for the memorable moments we shared, for lending a helping hand or ten with our kids, for the laughter and experiences. :)
till our next trip. here’s to, err… hawaii 2010?? (HAH!)
*cue hawaii 5-O theme song*