Friday, February 22, 2013

Checking Out Cameron Highlands with Family

When I visited Cameron Highlands with my husband two years ago, I pledged to myself that I would not go to this place again in the next few years, unless I bring my family from Indonesia and introduce the beauty of Cameron Highlands to them. Reason being is because Cameron Highlands is more suitable and fun for family trip than a dating place. Also, visiting the same fresh markets, flower farms or tea plantations in Cameron Highlands several times in a short period of time is not too alluring.

Last week, right after the Chinese New Year celebrations, my parents from Indonesia visited us. While they were here, my Parents-in-Law had an idea to have a weekend's 2D1N trip to Cameron Highlands together. I said, "Yeah sure, why not?" It was a really good idea to bring my parents to Cameron Highlands for sightseeing and enjoying its fresh mountain air while they were in Malaysia.

Without much planning (except booking the apartment for us to overnight in short notice), off we went to Cameron Highlands together with my Brother-in-Law's family as well. It was our first time having a long road trip and overnight stay out of town with Baby Naomi. Previously, I dreaded the possibilities that Baby Naomi was not going to 'behave' in a new place but everything went pretty smoothly. She kept throwing us her biggest sweetest smiles when we took photos of her and 80% of the time she was not fussy. My Mom was really a great help during the entire trip in taking turn with me in looking after Baby Naomi. Honestly, I didn't know what would happen to us without her during this trip. The real challenge we faced was actually when we were in the car during the road trip. Baby Naomi was just pretty hard to handle when she's sleepy in the car and at many points, she made us think, "Why can't you just close your eyes and go to dreamland when you're sleepy? Why is it so necessary to cry, shriek, scream and drive us crazy when you're sleepy?" A bottle of warm milk, pacifier, patting and soft kiddie songs often times didn't really work on her. *pulling-my-hair*

Anyway, the first place we visited once we arrived in Cameron Highlands was the Cameron Valley Tea House. We had some afternoon tea time at this place while giving a sneak peek of the massive tea plantations surrounding Cameron Highlands to my parents at the same time.

The green background is pretty amazing, huh?

 My parents, baby and I in front of Cameron Valley Tea House.

Baby Naomi trying to pluck the flowers.

Later in the evening, all of us checked in the Crown Imperial Court Apartment. There were 8 adults, 2 kids, 1 toddler and 1 baby in our gang so it made more sense to overnight in a 3-room apartment than staying in a hotel as it was cheaper this way.

 Sharing the bed room with my parents in the apartment.

My Parents-in-Law chilling out with the girls in the apartment's living room.

After we put our luggage in the apartment and rested for a couple hours, we had a steamboat dinner in Brinchang. While we're in a cold place like Cameron Highlands, nothing beats a boiling hot steamboat dinner. Too bad, that night I had irritating gastric pains that literally killed my appetite for the whole night. Duh!

Steamboat dinner: Before the mess began.

Moving on, we took turn with my Parents-in-Law and Brother-in-Law's family in checking out the night market opposite our apartment. When they're back from shopping some goodies and sweet corns at the night market, they helped us look after Baby Naomi in the apartment so my parents, husband and I could have some good time browsing souvenirs, fresh veggies and local food at the night market. God, it was the best arrangement not to carry the baby along when taking a stroll at the night market. It was a drizzly night, many people sold grilled food in the market (imagine the smell!) and the slope in front of our apartment made going down to the market such a really tricky journey (it was so steep!) and going back to the apartment almost felt like climbing a small mountain without a stick.

In the next morning, we had breakfast at BOH Tea Plantation's cafe. The tea plantation's view from the cafe was just surreal. My parents could not stop talking about this place which is actually Malaysia's biggest tea plantation.

Strawberry baby: Ready to beat the cold weather in Cameron Highlands.

Speaking about breakfast, their Nasi Lemak and warm Butter Bread were not bad, although they were a bit pricey. Sorry, forgot to take proper pictures of the food we ate. All of us immediately gorged the food when they're on our table. Very cold morning literally turned every one of us into a hungry bear.

The view from the cafe at BOH Tea Plantation.

Family picture minus Brother-in-Law.

After breakfast, Brother-in-Law took us to take a look at Kea Farm in Brinchang where local farmers and traders sell their crops, house plants and fresh flowers. My Mom and I had some 'aunty' time in sweeping mini plants and cactus in pots and fresh veggies there.

Can't get enough of buying the mini plants and cactus in the market.

See the size of the white radish that my MIL holds in this pic?

Once we're done with shopping at Kea Farm, we checked out from the apartment and continued our sightseeing trip to Big Red Strawberry Farm, which I've gone before. My parents really admired all the beautiful flowers and orchids that this farm sells and grows.

 Who is not tempted bringing home these pretty flowers?

They also had a really good time in exploring the strawberry and lettuce plantations. Who doesn't?

 The strawberry and carrot farms.

 The beautiful lettuce farms.

In the end, my Mom-in-Law, Mom and I went home with several new potted flower plants and orchids that we could not resist buying from this farm. Now and then, young and old - flowers are still every woman's real deal, yes?

 Shopping orchids: Our favourites.

My new orchids from my Mom.

Big Red Strawberry Farm marked the end of our Cameron Highlands trip with my husband's family and my parents before we finally hit the road to go home.

In summary, it was one meaningful short trip with family.

P/S: After 10 days stay in Malaysia, my parents went back to Indonesia this afternoon and I miss them already. Earlier today, I casually told my Dad that I felt a tad of sadness as they're going back to Indonesia today and I wanted to follow them. He responded "Why so sad? You got a cute company (re: Baby Naomi) already here." Fair enough. Can't wait to see them again in end of April.

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