17 November 2014, by Mandy Loh
Hooray! Caris finally got to go for her very first overseas trip! It was part of our annual family pilgrimage to Ipoh for All Souls’ Day. 3 years ago, Cristan had his inaugural trip to Ipoh for the exact same reason too.
This time round, we decided to extend the trip a little bit, by going a little further up north to Penang as well. Georgetown seems to be quite a popular holiday destination for quite a few of my friends recently, judging from their Facebook updates, so I thought we should go check it out!
The road trip started splendidly, with both kiddos falling fast asleep soon after crossing the causeway. (Thanks to our excellent planning – timing the drive around their afternoon naps.)
We stopped to rest for the night in Kuala Lumpur. The next morning, after breakfast, we took a leisurely drive to Ipoh to meet up with the in-laws for lunch, before continuing the trip to Penang, arriving in the evening.
It was all part of our plan to take it easy, with plenty of rest stops built into the long road trip (split over 2 days), so that the kids would not be overly tired. Taking it slow and keeping each day’s itinerary as light as possible are the two best traveling tips I can provide to any newbie parents out there! Trust me, it makes everything more enjoyable!
Penang is famous for its yummy food, so the first thing we did after settling into the hotel was to fill our tummies at Gurney Drive!
This being our first trip with two little kids, it was honestly quite challenging during mealtimes. I’m so thankful that it was a family trip, as we had lots of hands on deck to help out!
The next day, we headed to the Old Town to check out the whimsical street art that has made Penang such an attractive destination for visitors.
Poor Caris was stuck in her stroller most of the time because of the blistering heat, so we didn’t manage to take many photos of her.
But I insisted on including her in AT LEAST one family photo!
We took a break for lunch at a quaint little cafe cum antique store, mostly because it was AIR-CONDITIONED!
The thing about traveling with young kids is that you should expect to only do one main activity in a day, usually in the morning. Soon, we had to head back to the hotel for both kids to bathe and nap, while Tim’s brothers + girlfriends, and my mom-in-law continued exploring the town.
The next day, we visited Penang Hill, primarily because we had read that the weather is cooler at the top, and indeed it was!
Now, I’m sure every parent of young children would know this: trying to take a nice group photo is next to impossible when your 3-year old insists on covering his face with his hat. On top of that, at least one person in the group – the photographer- will be missing.
So the only way to get a good photo of all of us was to pay a freakin’ exorbitant RM 35 (about SGD 13.50) for a souvenir photo by a professional photographer, complete with cheesy photoshopped background! Oh well…
Anyway, we had a pretty enjoyable outing at Penang Hill, and here are some more photos of the day:
Cristan had quite a ball of a time at Penang Hill…
…while Caris was her usual, demure little darling self, sitting quietly in her stroller.
Here’s a family picture that was ruined by Cristan’s contrarian behaviour, as he decided that he REALLY didn’t want to take a picture right now…
…but he was perfectly happy photo-bombing Sok Sok + his girlfriend’s romantic selfie!
Poor Caris was so tired out by mid-afternoon that she fell asleep, just as we reached a spectacular look-out point.
So we decided to leave and let the kiddos nap in the car while we drove back to Ipoh for All Souls’ Day.
The next day, we headed to the cemetery to pay our respects to Cristan’s & Caris’ Tai Po and Tai Gong. Cristan is now old enough to light the candles at the grave!
Caris, on the other hand, was blissfully unaware of everything that went on!
And before we knew it, our trip had more or less come to an end. I’ll wrap up this long, photo-heavy entry with a family selfie, taken the next morning as we lazed in bed! Because holidays should be all about taking it easy and having fun!