Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What a Wild Month We've Had!

Good-Bye Arizona and Hello to Malaysia!

It's been exactly one month since, with a ton of help from treasured friends, we packed up our house and car and left Phoenix, Arionza. Our hearts were heavy for all our friends we were leaving as we pulled out of town and headed up to Salt Lake City for some much needed time with our families. Here are a few things we did before we headed off on our new Adventure! Craig got lots of time with his cousins, grandparents, aunts and uncles! We got to spend a day at Lagoon with Grandma Julene and Cousin Deuce! Those boys sure do love their rides! I wonder where they got that from? Our time just flew by, Craig was just in heaven surrounded by his family. We got to go to Dadpa's house and have a bar-b-que and even roasted marshmellows for smores!

It seemed like as soon as we got to Salt Lake we were packing up yet again! This time we were headed to Sun Valley Idaho for the 4th of July Weekend with the Jessop Clan! We got to enjoy my Dad's concert with the American Festival Chorus and Orchestra as well as their Special Guest Artist, Peter Cetera! I think that of the conductor and the soloist that my dad is by far and away the cuter of the two!
We had an amazing weekend in Sun Valley! It was the perfect setting for the fourth of July, one of the most beautiful places I've been. We got to ride the gondola all the up the mountain for a lunch - it was pretty chilly at the top (and bottom for me, since I'm used to Phoenix temperatures!)
The cousins had the time of their lives! After breakfast Grandpa would take all the boys to the Candy Store and let them each pick out a candy. A few hours later Grandma would buy the half eaten candy from the boys for a dollar! The boys couldn't believe their luck at each getting a dollar! They'd grab grandma and take her to buy some more candy! Nice System.

Aside from their bi-daily trips to the candy store Uncle Russ was the most requested activity! Russ put on elaborate Kung Fu fights, straight from Kung Fu Panda! Several times a day their were Kung Fu matches on the lawns of Sun Valley. He really worked hard! Little Did we know how thankful we would be that Uncle Russ inspired such a reference for all things Kung Fu Panda! Way to go Uncle Russ! You had no idea at the time how much help you were giving us!

This was an incredible weekend and we got back to Salt Lake just in time to pack up our bags and head out to our next and longest adventure! We were so glad to be able to spend time with our families before we took off for Malaysia! Part Two of our Malaysian adventure is right under this entry! Keep Reading!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What a Wild Month We've Had - Part 2

Welcome to Malaysia!
With 9 pieces of checked luggage and 6 carry-on's, 30 hours of travel time and 3 plane changes we arrived in Penang on Friday, July 9th! But here we are - isn't Malaysia beautiful? We'll tell you more about this gorgeous waterfall in Bukit Hijau in another post.Lucky for us, Uncle Russ ignited a love of anything Kung Fu Panda - and so Craig's first meal here was a real treat! He sat down at the restaurant around the corner from our building and knew just what to order: Secret Ingredient Soup! My normally fussy eater was only too delighted to eat something straight from Kung Fu Panda. There certainly were some secret ingredients, mainly squid and shrimp that he gobbled up like they were his favorite foods! He eventually switched to using a fork instead of the chopsticks, but isn't he cute for trying?

Here's a picture of the front of the building, "Gurney Beach," that we're now living in. We're on the 17th floor. We live on Gurney Drive (or Persiaran Gurney in Malay) - it's well known for it's restaurants that line one side of the Drive. We've had a lot of fun exploring the restaurants - it's actually much less expensive to eat out than to cook! I was given a nice suprise one day of a whole octopus in my otherwise nice breakfast. I couldn't stand to look at it, so I ate it. Brent thinks I'm crazy and I maintain that I made the right decision. But I will not order that dish again! Here is the other side of Gurney Drive, we're right up against the ocean! We watch people fish right from the rocks all the time - and even see restaurant owners go out and catch fish to be served!Here is one of my favorite parts of our apartment! I love the Chinese metal grate that opens up to our new home! We've adopted the custom of removing our shoes before entering the apartment.

And here's the best thing about our apartment - the view! I'd show a little more of our living space, but it's currently a work-in-progress! I'm hoping to make a few changes to it and to shift the little furniture we have into a comfortable living space.
Here we are! We're happy to be here and having such a great time! We've already done and seen so much that I can't believe what has happened in this last month, but we'll get to blogging about it little by little. Hopefully one day I can show you how our feet were all literally eaten by fish!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Batu Ferringhi Beach

Okay, so this post is out of chronological order. This actually took place on July 17th. It was our second weekend in Malaysia, so we decided to explore a bit. Jennifer wanted to try driving, so she drove us to the north end of the island called Batu Ferringhi. There is a bunch of really nice resorts, including a Hard Rock Cafe, and a nice sandy beach. The beach is really pretty and we really like hanging out there.

We found a little snack bar on the beach. They serve coconut milk right from the coconut. They just take a big machete and cut the top off and then give you a straw. It's pretty good - but needs a little sugar. Craig got an ice cream bar.

Malaysian Fruit

Hello Everyone!!

Well, I'm sure you're all anxious to hear about everything we've seen and done. We've done a ton of stuff. We've seen a ton of stuff. But, today we ate local fruit. So, while not in chronological order, it's what I'm blogging about.

Malaysia is home to the world's oldest tropical rainforest. We're talking millions of years old - much older than rainforests in Africa or South America. It is also home to some wonderfully delicious fruit. Below is what we ate for a Sunday afternoon snack. The large pink one is dragonfruit, the purple round ones are mangosteens, and the spiny red ones are rambutans.

First, let's talk about the dragonfruit. It is large and pink with a thin skin. On the inside it is bright purple or fuscia with lots of little black seeds. It is really good. Craig liked a piece, but wouldn't eat more than one. I think the closest thing to a dragonfruit is a kiwi.

Below is the rambutan. It has a spiny skin, although the spines aren't sturdy enough or sharp enough to hurt you. The fruit itself is kind of like a grape, but much sweeter. It has an almond-sized pit. We just eat the grape part. Craig ate as many of these as he could.

Finally, we have the mangosteen. These are covered in a purple colored husk that permanently stains clothing if it drips on you. The fruit is unlike anything I've ever had. It is sweet and tangy, and absolutely wonderful. I could eat these all day long. Craig ate a bunch, but only after Jennifer and I had some too.

So, we're all doing well. We are having fun experimenting with the different foods. Jennifer ate a whole octopus the other day for breakfast as part of "curry mee". I wouldn't have done it. She says it looked worse than it tasted - but I still wouldn't have tried it. Craig loves "kung fu panda dumplings", or spring rolls to the rest of us. We love the Indian food and have found some really fun restaurants. But the mangosteens are awesome.
We love you all and we'll post more soon!