We did successfully consume mountains of delicious food (my family found my reaction to delicious homemade fresh popcorn highly amusing), and even got to check out a few shops, museums, and artwork around town that are new since I moved away.
I have to say, I think my best memory from the trip is the afternoon that the whole family spent sitting around the dining room table, playing the card game Golf while listening to sad songs. It turns out that playing sad music can be an effective strategy for card sharks, as we found throughout the game that certain players made some very poor plays when distracted by their own tears, so we took turns suggesting the saddest songs we could think of in an attempt to make the other players cry to give ourselves a chance at winning. Maybe it's only a coincidence that Rebekah, generally known as the most heartless of us all, managed to win and not be distracted by songs that had most at the table weeping. And dad just rolled his eyes at the weirdness of his house full of women.
"It's your turn!"
"But he lost his job and now he's going to lose his home and how are they going to pay the medical bills...."
"Play the card!!"
It's a long standing joke that my Dad doesn't exist in photos since he always takes them. Angel captured this rare shot!
When hiking, it is necessary to carry sticks to threaten monkeys with. Seriously, there are monkeys everywhere and it's true, we might laugh when we see tourists carrying open food containers get attacked but we take no risks ourselves. Always walk with a stick and don't get too close to monkeys.
Steamboat BBQ wasn't on the list of must-eats but it was our final dinner in Malaysia and worth every delicious bite. We definitely get our money's worth at the buffet. Besides dinner, I believe Angel had three ice cream cones and a popsicle from the dessert table. Everyone else opted for ais kacang, while I ate a couple pounds worth of honey chicken and called that 'dessert'.
We hiked up a little mountain but morning haze obscured the view of the city. This hike isn't a particularly easy one, at least not for me--but I can tell I'm healthier and stronger than I used to be, as I finally made it to the infamous "Level 5" stopping point--for the first time in 10 years! Hurray!!
A little bit of trick photography at one of the new museums downtown.
New since I left for college are little piece of street art like this one, popping up on pre-war buildings in the downtown area. Dad, Angel, and I went out scouting for paintings....during a torrential downpour so we just drove past, didn't even get out of the car.
We tested out the water at the forest park--a little cold, actually, for my taste.
My sister Anna has a mini-Anna glued to her side at all times, so baby Anna joined us on a number of adventures.
And we decided we needed a truly "special" family photo. Let's just say cousin Shannon and baby Anna are temporary placeholders for my two missing siblings, until the next time we're all together again!
It's always hard to leave--but leaving this time wasn't quite so bad--possibly because we do love our little home in China and it doesn't require a 36 hour transit time from our home to theirs.
What's your favorite thing to do when it rains on vacation?