Monday, September 23, 2013

Kuala Lumpur--got our Malaysia Passport Stamp!

The company Matt works for has a project in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. They are wrapping up pretty soon so they invited everyone from the Laos project to come and celebrate with them. So, they flew all of the Laos project employees and families to KL for the weekend. Very cool. They even sent us some ideas of how we could spend our time while we were there for a long weekend. (Monday was Malaysia Day, so they had the day off.) The first day we settled into our hotel across the street from the KL Sentral train station and then went to the Project Manager's house for dinner. She hired caterers from Oregon, so we had a very American meal, which was fun. Barbeque chicken or beef sandwiches, baked beans, cole slaw, etc. There were a few other kids at the party, too, so Scott and Bobby had a good time. Then we went back to our room and slept very well and very late! The kids slept in! It was amazing! I think it must have had something to do with the curtains at the hotel--blocking out ALL light. Very impressive. We had breakfast at the hotel and then got on the train to Batu Caves.

Here we are at the train station.
The view from the train when we got off at the Batu Cave stop

"Bobby, take a picture!"
The steps up to the cave...
A very large golden statue... There were a lot of people who came there to worship. I don't know if it was for something specific or if there are always worshipers coming to the caves.

 The view of the city from the cave
 More stairs inside the caves.
 Looking up!

 Bobby taking another picture. He was too cute.
 Unfortunately our visit to the caves ended badly. The stairs were quite slippery, so we were being very careful helping the kids get down the stairs. Matt got all the way to the bottom step and his food landed in a hole in the concrete and since he was holding Scott's hand when he lost his balance, Scott's face hit the pavement. It was really sad. Lots of crying. Not a lot of blood, but a nice goose egg and a scratched nose. :(

Later, we too the monorail (yet another train system in the city) to Berjaya Times Square Mall. It's 10 floors. They have an indoor amusement park, so we took the kids. This is Scott and Bobby on the car ride--kind of like Autopia at Disney. They loved. I think they went on 3 times.

We found Spider-Man costumes at the mall and the kids had a fun time playing when we got back to the hotel.

 And Matt had fun trying to capture Scott in the air between the beds...

The hotel also had Just Dance 4 set up for anyone to play in the lobby by the elevators, so the kids always begged to play. Matt and I rocked out to the One Direction song, "You Don't Know You're Beautiful" several times. It was so fun. And for once in my life, I didn't really care if anyone was watching because it was fun enough that I didn't care! Scott asked to go back and do it several times, so we did that song probably 4 times during our stay. Good times!

Then, it was Matt's birthday. If he had his way, he would have spent the day in his pajamas on the couch, playing video games. (He's always jealous when he comes home from work and we're still in our pajamas.) So, there was no way to make that happen :( Poor Matt. So, he sucked it up and took us to KL Bird Park, the largest aviary in the world. It was pretty cool to get so close to the birds--most of them roam free.

 This sign cracked me up... it's a BIRD park...

 Scott got pretty excited.

 Also, lots of beautiful landscaping.

 Ooh, and there were some fish!
 We got to feed some birds, and they just sat right on our hands and shoulders while they ate.

 Scott liked it.
 Bobby, not so much.

 Bobby and me behind the waterfall!

At the end there was a playground, so the kids got to play for a little while. Then we went to Outback Steakhouse for lunch and I was able to surprise Matt with a brownie sundae with a candle and a song from the staff. It was fun. Then we went swimming in the rooftop pool at the hotel. It was crazy to be up so high and see the city while swimming. There are some very tall buildings in Kuala Lumpur. The kids had a great time and were, of course, totally exhausted by the end of it. Unfortunately we were not able to sleep late again. We woke up at 4am to get on a bus to the airport and then on a plane to get back to Vientiane. Then we took a taxi home, and Matt went to work for half a day :( so that was sad. Scott and Bobby took turns napping on the couch and still went to bed at a decent time. So tired... but it was a fun trip.

Lao Zoo

On Saturday, September 7, we decided to go to the Lao Zoo. It is about an hour north of where we live, so we settled in and brought the iPad for the kids. About 40 minutes in to our drive Scott said, "Where are Bobby's shoes?" Uh oh. Bobby was, indeed, shoeless. I had sent him outside to get in the car and had neglected to check for shoes. He's usually quite fastidious about putting his shoes on before he goes outside. We had brought the double stroller with us, so I thought we'd be fine. When we got to the dirt parking lot, though, my confidence waned. We walked in, sans stroller, with Matt carrying Bobby on his shoulders. The terrain was quite varied and not very conducive to pushing a stroller, so I went across the street to see if I could find kids shoes at one of many markets near the zoo. I found some small slip-on sandals, but they were too slippery for either of the boys to wear, so it was a complete bust. The boys took turns wearing the one pair of kids' shoes we had and Matt carried the shoeless child for the whole time we were at the zoo. And it was really hot. And Scott got some ant bites. Other than that, we had a great trip...
Sabaidee means hello, or literally, "Good comfort."
They had a raised walkway for some of it so we could get pretty close to some of the animals.
The turning radius on that head...
German geese

Can you see the crocodile in the goo? Serious algal bloom going on in that lake...
More crocodiles--there were 4 crocodile habitats. They have a lot of those here, I guess. They also had crocodile babies, but my pictures weren't very good.

Don't tell Matt how many pictures of him are in this post... They were so good, though!
Awesome tree and the boys trudging to see the elephant.
No trip in Laos would be complete without a photo opp with locals. She was smart to bribe Bobby with a Japanese Seaweed flavored potato chip...

The sign said, "binthurong."
The elephant was just chained up by one leg...

This spider was not in a cage, but I thought it was cool.
Some kind of hog...
And that was our trip to the Zoo. I don't really feel like I have to go back...