8 June 2012, by Tan Yi Lin
It’s been almost two weeks since we returned from our vacation to the Maldives.
It took me so long to start writing about it, mainly because I couldn’t find the energy to sift through the HUNDREDS of photos that we took of you and select just a few for this entry. (Okay, fine, the delay is also because Dad and I took a night off parenting duties for Lady Gaga’s concert last week — and another day to recover from it.)
Seriously, WHY DID WE TAKE SO MANY PHOTOS OF YOU?!
After much deliberation, I’ve selected 33 photos from the trip. That’s still a lot for a blog entry on a little tyke like you. It must be some debilitating parents’ disease — this inability to apply discretion and quality control when selecting the best photos of their offspring. Because every photo is a good photo. In the end, we just give up and subject poor people to the torture of looking through an endless stream of baby photos.
It’s a good thing that your Godpa hasn’t passed us the photos that he took of you using his camera. Otherwise I’ll probably never get down to writing this entry.
The flight to the Maldives took 4.5 hours — almost 2 hours longer than your inaugural flight to Bali in March. Coupled with the fact that you are a lot more mobile now at 9 months than you were just 2 months ago, we had to expend more effort in keeping you entertained and well-behaved throughout the flight.
Entertaining you wasn’t too difficult, although you chose to ignore the BAGLOAD of toys that we lugged onboard for you and were content to play with the remote control for the in-flight entertainment system, the seat belt, daddy’s headphones and the utensils from mummy’s meal tray. Watching Disney cartoons and waving at the busy cabin crew were also a big part of your flight experience.
You turned up your nose at your in-flight meal — ready-to-eat baby food in jars — and instead, munched happily on MY Khong Guan crackers and MY Kit Kat ice-cream.
WE HAVE ARRIVED!
Upon arrival at Male, we hopped onto a speedboat and sped towards our resort, Holiday Inn Kandooma, 45 minutes away by sea. The whirr of the engine, splashing waves and bouncing motion of the boat sent you into slumber, with the ocean breeze in your hair.
You probably wouldn’t remember, but this wasn’t your first visit to the Maldives. You were there exactly one year ago — in mummy’s tummy. You didn’t even get a tiniest glimpse of the gorgeous ocean views then (thank goodness), so I’m pretty sure you enjoyed yourself more this time around.
Presenting…. OUR OCEAN VILLA! *applause* (yes, you know how to clap your hands now — mostly for the purposes of self-praise.)
We chose to stay at Holiday Inn Kandooma for a few reasons: relatively affordable room rates, proximity to the airport and it’s wonderfully refreshing blue and white themed decor. We decided to splurge on an overwater villa and it was worth it — look at all that space for you to roll around (safely) in!
It had two showers and a big bathtub (you LOVE baths….)
In fact, you had an expansive watery paradise right at your doorstep. We found great joy in introducing you to the vast ocean and the crashing waves (but we didn’t know how NOT to confuse you with “ocean waves” versus “hand waves” — which you kept doing whenever we said “Look, Coco! Waves!” )
You thought the overwater hammock was an interesting concept….
… but very much preferred to get into the ocean, rather than hover in a net over it.
You are SUCH a water baby. If we walked right past the swimming pool without going in, you would show signs of distress and disappointment.
You didn’t particularly like sitting on the beach. Not even your new sand toys could distract you from the feeling of sand on your bum. You still clung onto your beloved frog float in hope of a nice cool swim in the pool.
In addition to snorkelling right outside our water villa, mummy and daddy signed up for the daily snorkelling trips offered by the resort free of charge. You came along, of course, and according to the instructors, were the resort’s youngest participant in a snorkelling trip.
However, you looked extremely glum when you saw EVERYBODY else leap off the boat, into the water. Your eyes longingly followed the string of bobbing humans until they became tiny specks in the sea.
One day, my baby, we will reveal to you the wonders of the ocean when you are old enough to don a mask and snorkel. Soon, baby, soon.
In the meantime, it’s FOOD to the rescue, to distract you from your forlorn situation. That cheered you up a little!
It rained a couple of times during our trip. We had expected that, given that May is the “shoulder” season, as the Maldives transits from the “high” tourist season into the “low” rainy season. We couldn’t bring you to the pool when it rained, but that didn’t stop you from playing with water.
When the rain stopped, we would head to the pool. You seemed to know what was in store by the way you sat so still and so quietly as you let me apply sunblock to your face.
Once in the water, you were on a HIIIIGGGHHHH! You were fearless. You didn’t mind if we poured water over your head. In fact, you kept trying to put your face into the water, although I suspect you were trying to drink it. During an early morning swim, you stoically soldiered right into the cold pool till you were chest-deep in water, with nary a flinch, while daddy clung desperately to the pool side, shivering from the cold.
Even when out of the water, you seemed to have grasped the concept of CHILLAXING by the pool.
Well done, our little Padawan.
THE COCO MONSTER (NOM NOM NOM!)
You absolutely love eating and are especially thrilled when you get to eat “adult” food, just like mummy and daddy.
You took quickly to the concept of variety and unlimited quantities at the breakfast buffet.
You, my dear, can REALLY eat….
All that sun, sea, swimming and eating really knocked you out flat!
It’s a good thing that we remembered to pack the baby monitor this time, something that we didn’t do for the Bali trip.
With that, we could relax outdoors while you slept peacefully in the room….
…. and spend some much needed couple-time without you around!
It was a fabulous trip, little one. It’s such a joy to see you discover new things and new experiences. You grabbed at hermit crabs (until one poor desperate inhabitant launched himself out of his shell and abandoned home and ran for safety from your sticky hands) and laughed yourself hysterical on the baby hammock at the kids’ corner. You watched intently as fellow guests played volleyball matches and even cackled (evilly) when they missed the ball.
While we love your baby-ness and will miss it as you transform into a little girl, we take silent pleasure in knowing that you are learning to — and able to — enjoy the activities that your parents so love. Swimming, snorkelling, diving… and everything about the Maldives.
Well, till next year. Maybe you’ll be able to find a life vest to fit you then.
Mum (& Dad – for the photos; and for paying for the trip!)
(Readers who want a detailed description of Holiday Inn Kandooma can read my review on TripAdvisor by MrsCho79)