10 October 2014

A Rainy Vacation

Our few days in Malaysia happened to coincide with early October, historically the rainiest time of the year in my hometown, which meant that we had a much more laid-back trip than it is in our nature to have, simply because our plans got rained out on several consecutive days. But that's okay-- perhaps a little relaxing at home on vacation is not such a bad thing.

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'.

Penang Hill Hike
 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!!

Made in Penang Museum
 A little bit of trick photography at one of the new museums downtown.

Penang Street Art
 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.

Teluk Bahang Forest Eco Park

 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?
Moonofsilver said...

So many cute pictures and WOW. your family looks like so much fun!!

Bethany Carson said...

Looks like a fun vacation (the hike sounds great)! Awesome family photo, and very nice photo with your dad. The street art is beautiful!

Patty said...

Sounds like a great trip...that family photo is awesome...Christmas card 2014? ;)

Anonymous said...

Such a wonderful post, made me happy just reading it. LOOOOOVE the last photo!!!!!!

Julia said...

This looks like a blast! That family photo is perfect!

AwesomelyOZ said...

I LOVE your last family photo and FYI Your dad looks YOUNG! Is that seriously your dad? LOL I'm shocked! Congrats on reaching level 5 - it's the little-BIG things right? :) I'll still wander outside if it's raining - I'll just 'suit up' :D My son and bf LOVE the rain anyway I'm the only one with reservations. Also, how far is it to Malaysia from China? Have a great one Rachel! -Iva

Tina @ Girl-Meets-Globe said...

Looks like you had time well spent with family, even if it was raining! Love that bicycle street art! So cute!

Angela said...

Love that last picture especially! What a great trip! And baby Anna? So cute!

V. Nino said...

So the fountain of youth resides in Malaysia, then? :) I thought your dad was your big bro or young uncle!

One of my old co-workers and his big brother once took a three month vacation to Indonesia. He told me that they got hounded by some monkeys and LITERALLY had to play a game of "Monkey in the Middle" with a camera (or something or the other) that one of the monkeys was trying to snatch. I thought it was the funniest story.

How fun and adventurous you and your family are. It's inspiring :)

Anonymous said...

Love the pictures! OMG, you and your sister look so similar! lol

Jen Lud said...

Awww your pictures made me smile! Awesome! My favorite thing to do when it's raining, ever, is to read books under blankets. I suppose if I had a big family (or any extended family) and we were all somehow on vacation together, we'd play cards. If I went on vacation with friends and it rained we'd prolly drink and play board games. I love the rain! Best inspiration ever!

Unknown said...

Your family sounds like a load of fun!

Lovely pictures. Thanks for the card playing strategy... I'm going to put that one in my back pocket!

Wishing you a lovely weekend.

Saxon @ Lets Drink Coffee, Darling said...

It looks like you had a great time visiting your family! I don't think I've ever seen a picture with your dad, you got a bunch of great family pictures this time! The Steamboat BBQ looks really tasty!

It has only rained on one vacation that I can remember (when we dug for Quartz in Arkansas earlier this year) and we didn't let the rain stop us from our plans! I'd like to think I'd not really let the rain inhibit my plans, but I do think sometimes it gives you an extra reason to spend more quiet time with family than you might otherwise if it weren't raining. :)

Tami Marie said...

Love that last picture!

My favourite thing to do while on vacation is run and play in the when we were kids. :)

Camila said...

Such a cool family vacation! And love the picture with your dad - I have the same with my mom she's always taking the photos so it's fun when we actually get photos with them!

Jessi (Two Feet, One World) said...

Sounds like a great visit home, and I love the group shot at the end!

The Lady Okie said...

I am seriously cracking up over picturing this game and you all just weeping and making terrible decisions. It sounds awesome.

Anonymous said...

Haha! I looked at the picture of you with your dad before reading the caption and I was thinking, "Does Rachel have an older brother she's never shown/mentioned? Did I miss his introduction? Oh that's her dad! Awesome!"