WARNING: BANYAK GAMBAR.
The second half of March was such a stressful time for me, so I really looked forward to March ending and I was really determined to make sure that April began on the right foot.
Lucky for me, my leave application was approved and my husband had an outstation assignment, so I was all set to tag along, even if it was just for one day.
And 'til today, when I get all stressed out at work, I remember those 2 days with much fondness and count my blessings for having had the chance to be so happy, despite it all.
I was honestly very nervous about the trip. The only long-haul trip we've taken with Luqman before was to attend my cousin's wedding in Kuantan. We only managed to convince Luqman to sit in the carseat up until Genting Sempah and thereafter, he insisted to sit on my lap. And honestly, at the time, it wasn't so bad; he wasn't 12kgs then and when we arrived in Kuantan, my parents were around as well, so we had extra pairs of hands and eyes.
This time though, I was alone with him. Well, not technically alone, since my husband was around, but while he was at work, I was alone. So, I was really nervous about the trip.
Surprisingly, Luqman behaved EXTREMELY well. He sat in his carseat for like the longest time, soaking in the sun and marveling at the things we were passing by. He pointed to the objects he knew and named them, and kept telling us how "cantik" everything is. It was in Kemaman when he finally got restless and demanded that I hold him. And by then, since we were so close to Kerteh, I decided it was not worth putting up a fight with him and let him stand at the back so that he could continue admiring the beautiful night lights.
I obviously underestimated his ability to enjoy the simplest things in life.
All this happened on 1st of April.
It was about 8 p.m. when we finally arrived. We dropped our bags in the room and someone decided that it was nice to "deposit" some "fertilizers" on Terengganu soil, so we had to clean him up and bathe him first before we searched for dinner.
So much for wanting to try local delicacies, we ended up in Mesra Mall because we're such Terengganu Noobs! Gah! Couldn't find the shops that I've been googling plus we needed some things from the supermarket, so yeah. That's where we had our dinner.
Managed to get Luqman some floats for the swimming session I had planned for him the next day and got some things to munch before we called it a night.
The next day was Luqman's birthday. We woke up singing "Happy Birthday" to him and though he was familiar with the song and seemed happy, he was still pretty clueless about what the day was all about. My husband left for work and we went down to have some breakfast.
After that, I brought Luqman to the pool and guess who was more excited? Yes, ME! Luqman hated the pool and I didn't understand it at all! He used to love the pool, so what was up with him! Sebenarnya hangin sebab melayang RM18 for the float. Haha. And at the time, I was grateful I wasn't impulsive enough to get him some fancy swimming suit I saw. All that extra money is going to your education fund, son. Hehe.
Of course, I couldn't enjoy the pool on my own, after all, it was Luqman's birthday, not mine, hehehe so I brought him to the beach instead. He told me it was "cantik" but he clearly hated the sand! Gah, this boy! But of course, because I'm so full of tough love, I made him walk a few meters in the sand for him to get to the playground just to get him used to it. He probably didn't appreciate that very much, but it's okay. We spent just a few minutes at the playground and Luqman got bored when he couldn't find a slide (I found that to be odd as well) so I let him play with the plants and do whatever he liked.
After we got back to our room, Luqman got all excited about the bathtub and had more fun in it than he had in the pool.
Sigh. Anak siapa lah ni.
After such an eventful morning, the boy slept like a log and wouldn't wake up, so we extended our check-out time. I was really sad to leave Terengganu and I wished that we could stay for just another day, at least. But alas, I had to go back to the office the next day and so did my husband, so the moment Luqman woke up, we checked out, paid the bills and left.
If time and work permits, I would definitely love to tag along again. And next time, I'm so not going to repeat my "Terengganu Noob" mistakes and come prepared! Hehe.
We were all hungry by then but we couldn't get any recommendations on where to eat in Kerteh. (if you do have recommendations, please let me know, okay!) so we drove on and on and on until Kuantan, where many suggested Sara Thai and Ana Ikan Bakar (they're so famous, they're on Waze)!
We decided on Sara Thai and we ordered whatever (well not everything of course) that the waiter suggested.
Do you want to know how lovely the lemon steamed fish is? (1) I didn't bother to take a photo of it when it arrived and digged right in; and (2) at this moment, as I am writing this, I am salivating at the thought of the taste of the fish in my mouth! Gahhh.
Ya Allah, it was so delicious! And the portion was so big (as there was only the 2 of us and Luqman only ate omelette), so big that I didn't eat the whole day after that because I was still so full. Haha.
Our journey ended with us having some cake at Secret Recipe that night just to commemorate Luqman's birthday.
Technically, all of this happened in the span of 36 hours but tell you what, those 36 hours were among the best hours I've had this year.
And I always want to remember us that way.