Friday, July 15, 2016


From Singapore, we flew through the Phillipines where we had a 6 hour layover, then onto Guam (for a few days).  In Guam, we were so exhausted that we decided to not do any touristy things.  Instead we went to the movies, played at Chuck-e-Cheese's, ate Froyo and other restaurant food, and shopped at the mall! We happened to have friends en route to Kwaj from China, so we rented a house together and were able to do all our laundry and enjoy all the above activities with said friends.

Soft play space at the mall

Outrigger at the Guam airport

Before our flight back to Kwaj, Aaron and Oliver enjoyed a little massage in the chair!

From Guam we flew through the Micronesian Islands.  From the airplane we saw lots of these kinds of views as we stopped on 2 islands before returning to Kwaj.

From outside our plane window: Lots of coolers loaded with fish.  Many Micronesians and Marshallese fish, then carry coolers of the fish to Hawaii to make money selling the fish.

What better way to stay preoccupied on the plane than to watch a movie with your bestie!

This is the last of our trip photos!  I am very excited to finally get all of these photos and blog posts up!  Until the next fun activity!

Jahor Bahru and Singapore

After our time in Melaka, we jumped on yet another bus to Jahor Bahru, Malaysia. This was the shortest of our bus rides. Here we are at the bus terminal, waiting for our ride.

The ride from Melaka to Jahor Bahru was beautiful.  Lots of green lushness to see!

Once we arrived in Jahor Bahru, we had to walk a little to our hotel.  That was only interesting because some sidewalks were closed down due to construction.  So we ended up walking on at least one street keeping an eye open for cars.  After we arrived safely at our hotel though, we were pleasantly surprised that due to our membership status that we were upgraded to the club level. Our room had a lovely view of Jahor Bahru and Singapore.  It also had a great view of the roof top pool!

The view from our hotel room. Singapore is across the river in the next 2 photos. 
Jahor Bahru is closest to the camera.

Another perk of a club room level room is the treats they give you for free.  In our case that was dragon fruit!  It was super sweet and juicy!

Both boys enjoyed the button controlled sliding screen that separated the bathroom from the bedroom!

Had to enjoy some time on the roof top deck!

After a good nights rest, we headed out the next day via bus to Singapore. 
Here we arrived at the Singapore bus terminal which was super busy!

At the bus terminal, Oliver decided that he needed to use the restroom.  We were pleasantly surprised to find these child friendly toilets!  It was almost comical how cute these little toilets were!

Finally we made it to the iconic area of Singapore! 
We spent the majority of our time down here in the Bayfront area.

The boys enjoyed some unique play structures.  This one was made of rubber bands and ropes.

Any trip to Singapore wouldn't be complete without a Merlion sighting!

Standing under Marina Bay Sands.  An amazing hotel with a rooftop deck shaped like a surfboard. 

Although this was taken at the Merlion, you can see Marina Bay Sands and the Art/Science museum in the background.

There were many things to see and do along the boardwalk.

There were all these artistic sculptures that were interactive.  This one was about hearing yourself.

There was also a nighttime laser show on planets and energy conservation.  
Behind Carson is a large inflated moon!

After spending the day in Singapore, we found a mall and ate some dinner then took the train to the airport for our midnight flight to the Philippines. At the airport we found this moving lighted sculpture of rain drops.  This was fascinating and a place we could have sat all day!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016


For housing, Melaka was probably the most unique place we stayed.  The family who owns the house (a townhouse in the picture below) rents the rooms from this house out to guests.  They live at a separate property. The family takes a personal interest in all their guests and offers refreshments upon your arrival and advice for getting to local attractions.

Here is our hosts.  The wife is Malay and the husband is Indian.  So everything they do in life is a blend of the 2 cultures.

Right across the street (from where the above picture was taken), there was a supermarket and little mall.  This was Oliver's favorite as they had a play structure inside.

Then they had these ride on toys that were free!  The kids just hop on, push a button, and ride for as long as they want. Oliver just wanted to live here!

The 1st full day of our stay in Melaka, we were able to watch the solar eclipse!

This was the first point that I photographed this, but this bathroom was very typical of bathrooms throughout Thailand and Malaysia.  There was a sink to the right and the shower was right in the middle with a drain off to the side. I understand the function of this but the floor was always wet!

We arranged with our guesthouse owner to take us to a traditional working Malay village. Here is a typical Malay house. This specific house is set up as a tour house and showcases special events that a house would have been decorated for.

This is the receiving area on the porch where a bride and groom would greet their guests.

This would be the bridal chamber all decorated for the bride and groom.

Once outside we ventured into the areas where Malay families still live. They had chicken coops and fish ponds with supplies for food. 

Here, behind the laundry is a little fish pond where they raise fish for food.

This is a glimpse into a real Malay home.  On this particular day there was a wedding in the village so everyone was hard at work in preparation for the big celebration.

In the evening, we ventured down to the historic part of Melaka.

The city was very charming but because we made it down close to 4 or 5 pm, many things were closed.  So this made our adventure into the city a little less exciting.

The old fort walls are really cool.  Carson was double checking that things were unloaded and safe for tourists.

Here is a replica of an old water wheel which would have been on this waterway hundreds of years ago.

As the sun went down, we hopped on a boat tour that runs along the river.  Although the river is very polluted and stinks pretty bad, it was a very informative tour.  We were happy to see that it was open!

The highlight/adventure of our trip down town was that we walked a decent ways to the bus stop and sat waiting for the bus stop for quite a while before a local came by and told us the bus wasn't running any more!  This was close to 9 pm! But it helped that we stopped along the way to grab some ice cream and then were able to locate a taxi to take us home.

Full day 2 in Melaka, we figured out how to use the bus system and went to a stingless bee farm.

Here we are sampling fresh honey both from stingless bees (honey is very sour!) and stinging bees (super sweet honey).

We also sampled honey comb from the stinging bees.  Again the honey comb was very sweet.

Inside was a small museum on bees.

Here is a sampling station of different mixtures of honey.  Some had ginger or vinegar among other things to help with health benefits.

Right around the corner was a nature park.  There were several fun things to do here including playground equipment.

These monkeys were also within the park and were so cute.  But moments after we captured the below cute photos, they turned territorial and chased us out of the park!

At the front of the park there was a waterfall and some tanks with fish in them.  As we calmed our nerves from being chased by monkeys, we enjoyed the beautiful scenery.

Outside the park we were able to rent bikes to stroll around the park.  This was a great way to get around although the bikes were not as nice as our Kwaj bikes!

Our last day in Melaka, we took cooking lessons from our hosts.  
This was also a blend of Malay and Indian style foods.

I think I had tried some fresh tamarind paste here.  It was super sour!

After we stuffed our bellies full of the yummy food we helped prepare, it was time to return to our homestay, read, and relax!