Wednesday, March 17, 2010

School holiday

This week sees C at home with me for the one-week school holiday. We spent three days visiting Kuantan, Cherating and Chukai last weekend, returning on Monday evening. C enjoyed herself totally on the beach 'jumping' waves, playing with sand, and swimming in the pool at the resort we stayed in. She also decided she didn't need arm band floats while swimming in the adult pool because I had taught her how to tread water and she felt she had sort of gotten it right. It was good exercise for her three days in a row with all the hours of swimming and treading water attempts and jumping up and down over the waves in the sea.

We took a drive to visit the Turtle Conservation Centre in Cherating. It was located outside the entrance of Club Med. It's a small place with an exhibit room providing posters, and replicas about the life cycle of turtles, threats to their survival, conservation efforts etc. There were also small ponds where some turtles were kept. The place does not collect any entrance fee. You just need to register upon arrival and if you wish, make a donation.

After the short visit, we drove on to Chukai (in Kemaman, Trengganu) for lunch. We had Chukai's famous stuffed crabs at one of the popular restaurants which had stuffed crabs as their specialty. After a satisfying lunch of stuffed crabs, steamed fish, stir fried kailan and rice plus drinks, we headed back to Kuantan. On the way, we stopped at one of the numerous 'keropok' stalls to buy some for family back home.

Kuantan and Trengganu are known for their seafood,seafood produce like salted fish, dried squid, and fish, prawn, sotong keropok. You can buy the pre-packed ones or loose ones by weight. Most of the keropok sold are those that you have to fry yourself. I was actually looking for those that are ready-to-eat but not all stalls or shops have those. There's also the keropok lekor and satar that east coast is famous for. You can get the normal keropok and keropok lekor in KL but I've yet to come across satar here. We bought some satar to try. I like it. It's fish paste mixed with coconut and spices, wrapped in banana leaf into a triangular shape, skewered and cooked over a grill.

Thanks to the GPS, we didn't have problems finding our way to places that we wanted to go. It also brought us to some popular food places, making our visit (and our tummies!) more satisfying. We didn't have to depend on hotel fare to feed our tummies although breakfast was the usual buffet fare that came with the hotel package and one 'free' Chinese dinner thrown in.

The food places we visited were Tong Juan Restaurant in Chukai, East Grill Steak House in Kuantan and Hoi Yin (good curry mee) in Telok Cempedak, Kuantan.

C's favourite part of the trip was the pool and beach. She had protested continuously throughout the one-hour drive to Cherating as she wanted to stay in the hotel to swim. My favourite part of the trip was seeing Caitlin enjoy herself at the pool and beach and learning to tread water and try breast stroke moves with her arms, getting a two-hour treatment at the resort's spa and eating the tasty stuffed crabs and curry mee (yummy!).

The drive back home was faster and nicer compared to the journey there. It was smoother compared to the initial traffic jam we faced getting on to the Karak Highway and the heavy rain on one stretch towards Kuantan. Caitlin entertained herself during the four-hour journey there and back with her books and some Pokemon figurines E packed for her as a surprise.

As for pictures of this trip, it'll have to wait. It's a busy week this week with Caitlin at home, having to prepare her for her school test next week and her music mini-concert end of this month.I'm also behind with one write-up that's due in a couple of days...

Rusty spent the weekend boarding at the vet's. He got a proper 'haircut' from the groomer there and looks more handsome than cute now. He was very happy and excited to see us when we went to collect him. Among the three of us ACE, I think I'm the one who missed him the most when we went on our short holiday.

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