Good bye to the Kids

So lucky we are . . . to have such wonderful children. Three of our kids were able visit us and stayed for 10 days. Not nearly enough but it filled our “buckets” for a bit. We asked the kids before they left what they liked the best about their visit.

Jeremy – It was Jalan Alor. Part of the reason is at first there was this uncomfortableness with the entire area, but little by little it grew on me until it became amazing. Loved the Chicken Fish, the cold Tiger Beer, the “craziness” of the place, trying Durian, the energy. Simply amazing.

Amanda – The drive across Malaysia to Tanjong Jara resort. Seeing the sights, being crammed into a car with loved ones to talk and talk, to laugh at the monkeys, to laugh at finding the right “power station”, to watch Bob run three red lights, to ignore “tired butt”, to drive down the Genting Highlands in the dark not knowing what we would find around the next corner, eating at the “Black McDonalds”.

Jamie – Two things
1. The food – all the dishes that Chef Anne kept throwing at us, trying Durian and actually liking it, purple Dragon Fruit, mangos, La Mexicana, fries and bacon at Brussels, and numerous alcoholic beverages.
2. Feeling different – so many cultures, different ethnicities, VERY few Americans. It felt nice to just blend in with everyone from all over the world

And for Heidi and Bob . . . well, that is easy. Having time with our kids, sharing this corner of the world, hugs, laughter, talks, making memories. PRICELESS !!!!

Tanjong Jara

Each day for the past few months Heidi and I would wake up and say, “Only x more days til the kids come.” So far away it didn’t feel real . . . but as the numbers crept into single digits the excitement grew, and then the last week time seemed to slow down. Why is it that happens???

We got to the airport a good hour early and just waited at the arrival hall . . . tears of happiness filled our eyes when they finally crossed into view. We were so proud of them . . . they fearlessly navigated all the international airports, the changes of planes, finding their way, sitting on those “luxurious” airline seats for 20 plus hours. They were exhausted but we still peppered them with questions, caught up on news and grabbed a bunch of laughs on our hour long drive to our home.

Tanjong Jara Resort
Woke the kids up bright and early the next morning, grabbed a quick bite to eat, piled into the Waga (sardine-like) and took off on our five hour drive across Malaysia and up the Eastern Coastline to Tanjon Jara Resort. (see here for website: )

Driving across Malaysia was a hoot. So fun to hear the kids reactions to the acres and acres of palm orchards, to the wonderful well maintained highways (surprise, surprise), the crazy drivers, the beautiful scenery. When the E-8 cross-country highway ended in construction, we decided to ignore Daniel, our British GPS voice. Of course we got a bit “disoriented” but in doing so the kids got their first view of monkeys. “Look!!! Look!!! A family of monkeys!!! Oh, the little one is riding on the momma monkey’s back. Look how they hop about . . . so cute. Oh, look at those monkeys . . . they are, uh, they are, uh, fornicating”. Oh those monkeys, you never know what they will do next!!!!

Made our way back to the highway and about two hours later, our backsides all but numb, we pulled into Tanjong Jara Resort. We were welcomed with a GONG and brought into the reception area, served delicious, ice-cold rose infused tea. Our bags were taken to room 401 and 402 . . . a cottage with two adjoining rooms with an amazing view of the South China Sea. Tanjong Jara is a YTL resort, a sister resort to the one Heidi and I stayed in last July, Pangkor Laut. This one is smaller and has a more Malaysian feel. For the next four days we ate too much, rested, slept in, swam in the pool, and just made memories. Heidi, Jamie and Amanda all had a relaxing Malaysian massage. Jamie’s first ever!!!! Jeremy and I went for a snorkel trip to Tengol Island. It is a good 45 minute motor boat ride to the island and we snorkeled to our heart’s content. Wonderful coral, black tip reef sharks, clown fish, porcupine fish, barracuda . . . Tengol is that perfect little island you dream about. Back at Tanjong Jara we also took a batik lesson, a LOT harder than it looks. And I don’t care how many laughs we get, I’m framing them and placing them on the wall !!!

The food was spectacular. Chef Ann took us under her wings and brought out dish after dish for us to sample. Jeremy commented, “This was the best meal I have ever had in my life.” (What does that say about Heidi’s cooking all those years????)

Five people crammed into a Waja, Four days at Tanjong Jara Resort, three kids in Malaysia all the way from the states, two parents in heaven, one happy family.