Letter to Sebastian Jaya – The Malaysia Holiday Edition

To my dear Sebastian Jaya,

I’ve finally found some time to sit down and write a letter to you. I have so much to tell you! It has been quite the roller-coaster ride over the last few months and time has flown by yet again, it seems faster than ever this time round. I’m not quite sure where to start with this letter; so I’ll go back to the start of the year when your Dada and I first talked about a family holiday for 2018.

Your Dada was all keen to go back to Indonesia again but I had a bad feeling about it, I’d also heard a voice {call it intuition or a message from a guardian angel or whatever} but that voice told me that I wouldn’t be going to Indonesia this year. I remember I even suggested to your Dada; that we could go to Malaysia or somewhere else in Asia for somewhere different but the idea was pushed aside and we continued to plan a holiday in Indonesia. And although I didn’t listen to that voice, I was guided anyway. I kept putting off booking the flights to Indonesia so rather than our usual June/July holiday, we booked for late August. I decided to cancel our plans to go to Lombok and the Gili Islands for some unexplained reason and I still had a bad feeling in my gut about going to Indonesia. I didn’t realise why until July-August when a series of major earthquakes hit Lombok, this is when I realised that we could have been on Lombok or the Gili islands during July when the first earthquake hit. I trully feel like we were guided and protected by some higher force and I’m so grateful.

So, after the third major earthquake in Lombok, we made the big decision to cancel our trip to Indonesia. We were so disappointed but we didn’t feel safe taking you to Indonesia, Seb, and it was as simple as that. I also felt that we wouldn’t/couldn’t enjoy a holiday in Indonesia when so many people on Lombok and the Gili Islands had just lost everything. How on earth could we sit in a fancy hotel drinking cocktails when on neighbouring Lombok, they were living with total devastation? It just didn’t sit right with me. But, rather than cancel our whole family holiday, I woke up one morning and rang Garuda and asked to change our flights to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We had a two week turn around of trying to re-organise our flights and accommodation, which was all pre-booked. Long story and quite stressful but we did it, we made new plans for a holiday in Malaysia.

Aside from the stress of rearranging our whole holiday, I was pretty excited to be heading back to Malaysia, I hadn’t been to KL for eight years and Penang over twenty years! I was also excited for you and your Dada to travel to another country and get a new stamp in your passports. We left home in the dark at 3am, waking you in the early hours of a cold morning in Melbourne, taking off ready for a new adventure.

After a very long day of travelling, upon arriving in KL and driving into the city, I slowly felt all the stress and anxiety drift away…we were finally in Malaysia on holidays! We spent five nights in KL at the Grand Millennium Hotel right in the centre of Bukit Bintang, where we had an amazing view of KL. I think you liked KL Sebastian, all that traffic; cars, trucks, buses and overhead there was the monorail – all this transport keeping you pretty entertained. We explored the city by foot, train and monorail. You, of course, enjoyed getting the trains all over the city.

River of Life – Kuala Lumpur

We wandered and got lost so many times. A good lost. This for me is what holidays and travelling are about, wandering and getting lost and discovering places that you may or may not have planned to visit. We explored Kampung Baru in search of satay at a night market, we wandered through Jalan Petaling and couldn’t resist buying a huge bunch of rambutan, we visited Central Market {Pasar Seni} a fav shopping spot that also had the best mango and passionfruit drink {that we just happened to go back for several times!}, we caught up with long-time family friends of mine and had a lovely lunch with the family, we walked the KLCC – Bukit Bintang Pedestrian Walkway – over 1 km pedestrian bridge to the Petronis Twin Towers many times and we discovered the River of Life with the prettiest afternoon sunlight. And our very favourite place to be; Jalan Alor, we ate there almost every night; wanting to eat ALL THE FOOD! {Well, your Mama and Dada did, not you! You were happy with your fav cheese bread from Bread Talk!}

You and Dada – Jalan Alor, Bukit Bintang – Kuala Lumpur

We flew to Penang Island where we spent four nights at the Eastern and Oriental Hotel in Georgetown – oh my goodness, such luxury! An amazing hotel on the waterfront; established in 1885 by the Sarkies brothers who are renowned for establishing some of the greatest hotels in the world, including The Raffles in Singapore. Yep, very happy we booked the E&O! The breakfast was one of the best! Your Dada was very happy; not only did they have an egg station and a roti station, they also had a noodle station where fresh noodles were cooked to order so it was Char Kway Teow every morning for your Dada! We explored Georgetown as much as we could, the heat was out of control but we managed to wander the small streets and alleys {and get lost several times!}, see lots of street art, visit a few of the temples and eat lots of good hawker food. Our stay in Georgetown was great, I wish we had of stayed a little longer now, just so much to explore.

E&O – Georgetown, Penang
Dhammikarama Burmese Temple

We then headed down the coast and stayed at the Bayview Beach Resort in Batu Ferringhi for six nights. This was possibly the highlight for you Sebastian, the Bayview Beach Resort had several kids pools, huge gardens and grounds and also an indoor and outdoor playground – so many things for you to do. This was time to chill out at the beach, away from the hustle and bustle of Georgetown. Although much to our disappointment we didn’t have the best weather whilst we were there, we had quite a bit of rain, which meant more time shopping, eating, resting and taking in some local soapies on TV. Ha! We chilled out during the days and most evenings we headed out for a walk to explore the hawker markets. We ended up doing quite a bit of shopping at the markets. One morning we ventured out to the Tropical Spice Garden which was nearby, the gardens were pretty but the humidity was out of control thus we ended up spending more time in the gift shop than in the actual garden! So, more shopping and you were very happy running around the air-conditioned shop. 😉

Checking out the mosaic – Tropical Spice Garden

We flew back to KL for the last leg of our journey. We were pretty excited to be heading back to the craziness of KL and we’d booked ourselves into the Park Royal Kuala Lumpur for six nights and what a great decision that was! It was THE BEST! The best service in a stunning hotel with an AMAZING breakfast, which we never missed once. I have to make mention of THE BEST chicken rendang I have ever had! Our room was on the 20th floor with an amazing view over the city. You loved looking out the window at the view, especially all the lights of KL at night. We were yet again back in central Bukit Bintang feeling at home this time round with everything on our doorstep; metro train station just around the corner, Pavillion and all the other shopping malls right there and best of all, Jalan Alor not too far away, this meant dinner was easily sorted every night.

We wandered the city and we shopped lots. Funnily, the only shop you really liked and let us spend a lot of time in was Beryl’s Chocolate shop where the free chocolate samples kept on coming! Ha! We tried to eat ALL the foods with not nearly enough time to do it in.  We spent a Sunday morning at the Botanical Gardens, you absolutely loved it! They had a huge playground, which you explored and loved while we sweated profusely in the crazy humidity. Haha. All worth it to see you truly happy and smiling.

Time went pretty fast for our last days in KL, and sadly our holiday had come to an end. We were tired and ready for home, you especially, my little man. Three weeks in Malaysia and it had been one big adventure with so much to see and explore. You sang to taxi drivers, you waved hello and bye-bye to many friendly locals, you walked miles across KL, you ran around temples in Penang, you played in playgrounds, ran along the beach and played in the sand, you laughed a lot and took all the different sights and smells and sounds in your stride as we travelled around.

You were such a good little traveller throughout the whole journey, Sebastian, but I know you were ready for home and ready for a normal routine again and all the comforts of home, mainly your trains that I know you must have missed terribly. The long journey home was an absolute killer and you and I picked up a flu for our return home. This meant that returning home and returning to reality was a slow process for you and probably more so for me. I didn’t really want our holiday to end as that meant time together with your Dada was also ending.

Again, it’s not until we have returned from a holiday overseas that I can see how good it was, how needed that holiday was for all of us. It really is such a special time for us to just be us three – our little family. It doesn’t really matter where we are, just as long as we are together. I love to see you spending valuable time with your Dada. I love the extra time spent with your Dada too and I love us three together, just time to create memories to hold onto always.

Before I sign off, there’s one last thing I want to tell you, Sebastian. On our last night in KL, when you were fast asleep on the big Park Royal bed in the dark, your Dada got down on one knee and proposed to me. Tears of joy fell down my cheeks and, of course, I said yes. I couldn’t imagine life without your Dada or you, Sebby. You both fill my heart with so much happiness and I have so much gratitude everyday that I have you both in my life.

So, we returned from holidays in Malaysia with very happy hearts.

We’re now counting down to your 3rd birthday. One week to go! I really can’t believe that you are almost three, my little baby, my cute little Sebby…almost three years old!

I love you my little Sebby and I will try to hold on just that little bit tighter and that little bit longer to my little baby before he grows into a big 3 year old boy.

I love you to the moon and back Sebastian Jaya.

Love always, Mama xxx

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