Saturday, February 16, 2013

Chinese New Year

This year Lyndon was home for Chinese New Year (CNY) and he made a last minute booking for us at a hotel in Penang.  Then we thought about the traffic and THEN we heard that Psy was going to be performing over the CNY period!  I asked for advice from some of our local friends and we decided that it would be best if we left at 3am on Saturday morning to miss the traffic!  Good planning right!  :-)  Lyndon set his alarm and at 3am woke me up and said "it's 3am".  I mumbled "yeah" and promptly went straight back to sleep! (I will add that he did too!)  Fast forward to 5.20am and I woke suddenly, looked at the clock, leapt out of bed, woke Lyndon and said "look at the time, we are soooooo late"!  We got dressed, I finished packing the last case, made some sandwiches for the kids to eat in the car and Lyndon loaded the car while I woke the kids and got them dressed.  We left home about 6.30am.  10 minutes down the road and through the first toll we met the traffic ... and for 2 hours we did about 20-30kms an hour ... in traffic!  Unbelievable!  

You can even see the cars behind us in this pic!

Sometimes it would thin out a bit and we could do 80kms, but it wasn't for long.
Samuel had a snooze for a while.  Lyndon was having trouble keeping his eyes open, so he asked if I could drive for a bit.

Then the trouble really started!!  He was trying to sleep, the kids were all awake and were fighting and throwing toys, one landed in the front down by my feet, so I turned to tell them off and when I turned back ... oh my!!  The traffic had stopped!  Good job we weren't going fast ... but I did some damage to our car and the one I stopped on!  "Oh Bother said Pooh!!"

I exchanged details with the lady - Lyndon couldn't get out of the car because of the traffic, took some pics and off we went again.  Thankfully no-one was hurt.  I drove till the kids needed a toilet stop.  Lyndon took some photos of the brilliant blue sky and scenery.

Heading over the Penang Bridge.
We arrived at our hotel around 2pm.  Seven and a half hours wasn't too bad going I suppose (pity about the accident though!).

After we had checked in, unpacked a bit, we went down to the restaurant for lunch.  Lyndon and I shared these two dishes (satay combo, and a roast vege salad).

After a late lunch we headed to the police station to make a police report about the accident.  That took some time (as I am sure my local friends can imagine!), for a start we weren't in the same state that I had the accident in, so by the time they figured out which state and which station we needed to lodge the report with, nearly an hour had gone by!  They were very nice though and let us make the report there, but we had to go to the other station on our return journey to get the official sign-off and have a photo taken of the damage.

So with all that done we headed back to the hotel, got changed and headed to the beach.  :-)  Nice stress reliever! 

After the beach we showered the kids off and they jumped in the pool.

Had to laugh and Aaron kicking the ball and falling backwards into the water :-)

Aaron amazes me ... at home during the week he struggles to eat his breakfast.  But on holiday ... he ate 3 times more than me!  It was like he had hollow legs!  He'd have eggs, then cereal and then head to the pancake station!!!  

Yum Yum!

Sunday around midday we got back to the hotel and there was a lion dance being performed.  We caught the last of it.

We were lucky though because these two young boys (men) did another dance and they were so awesome.  I videoed it all - you can watch it here if you are interested.

That afternoon Aaron and Maddison got started with making valentine's cards for their school friends.  They did a great job ... although I did find it hard to step back and not tell them how to do things an easier (less messier) way!  ;-)

Samuel was "supposed" to be having a snooze, but was watching something on the i-Pad with Daddy!

The view from our balcony windows.
Monday we spent at the hotel, enjoying the beach and pool again.

My view of the pool and restaurant in the background :-)

There were also these little tents along one side of the pool which were quite neat.

For lunch we walked 5 minutes down the road to this little restaurant.

Very typical scene of the kids while waiting for meals!!  :-)
Hot dogs for Maddison and Samuel.
Although Samuel only ate the sausage!
Burger for Aaron.
I had chicken and cashew nuts and Lyndon had sweet and sour chicken.
Down an alley at the back of the restaurant was this shop.  The sign said "Bicycle for hire"!!  The amount of dust on the pushbikes implied the shop wasn't very popular!  hahaa

The afternoon was spent back in the pool and we had dinner at the hotel restaurant.  The kids coloured in a page each the restaurant had, of different things to see in the area.  I asked them to colour it real neat because I would put it in my scrapbook.  Maddison must have asked Aaron why, because I heard him telling her "Mum needs us to help her, because if we didn't colour this neat then she wouldn't have any details about our holiday in Penang"!!!  :-)

Tuesday morning after breakfast Lyndon took Aaron and Maddison swimming and Samuel played on the i-Pad (he had a very nasty cold) while I cleaned up and packed up. At 11am I went looking for the others as I had been hoping to be on the road well before then!  Samuel and I found them on the beach!

Talking about the beach - Saturday it wasn't so bad, but Sunday, Monday and Tuesday it was just covered in rubbish.  It was terrible.  I couldn't believe that people just left their bottles and plastic bags etc. where they were sitting.  You can see a little bit of the rubbish in the photo below.  Aaron even said it was very bad for the sea animals!

So ... after showering the big kids, loading the car, we got happy meals from McDonalds for the kids and headed off home.

And yep ... you guessed it ... straight into the traffic!  Sigh ... I just knew it was doing to be a LOOOOOONG trip back!

I must tell you about the rest areas!  I should have taken a photo, but I had other things on my mind! hahaa

About 4.5 hours into our trip Maddison said she needed to go to the toilet.  So we stopped at the next rest area (along with every other man and his car and bus!!).  It was packed.  At the rest areas, there's toilets, food outlets and a petrol station - usually about 1-2kms before there's a real jam in the left hand lane due to cars waiting to go in.  Cars park on the roadside and walk in before and after the rest area - so it really slows the traffic down.  Anyway we got in, Lyndon parked near the exit and Maddison and I headed off to the loo.  There were 6 porta-loos lined up at the end of the parking area, so we waited in line (3 men and 3 lady loos).  The men's loos had no queues, the ladies had 5 in each line!!  Then it started to rain ... and it wasn't a gentle rain, it was a down pour!  Maddison looked at me and I just said ... sorry we are waiting right here, we'll get wet, but that's okay!!  Several ladies left to get out of the rain :-)  So we were able to move up the line real quick heheheee ;-)  (I won't go into detail about the disgusting toilets... just that it was gross, gross and grosser).  We ran back to the car and then Lyndon and Aaron went off (with an umbrella!)  And of course the men's loos had no queues so they were lucky!  (That probably took us 45 minutes.)

We had to stop at the police station at Tapah.  It took us 6 hours to get there!  The Officer we needed to see was out at another accident (thankfully not by me this time!) so while we waited for him we walked down to KFC and had dinner.  Samuel enjoyed checking the traffic on the street from the restaurant!

We got back to the police station at 7pm just as the Officer was parking his car.  So it was good timing.  We left there to continue home around 7.15pm and pulled into the carpark at home at 9.50pm!  What a trip!!!

A CNY we won't forget in a hurry!

It's nice to be back home and in our own little routines again.  Aaron has started back with soccer this morning, so Lyndon and he are off doing that and Maddison and Samuel are playing "lions" hehee

Hope your CNY was a safe one!  :-)

Thanks for visiting.

1 comment:

Penny said...

hmmm! I think you need a holiday after that holiday!