Penang, Malaysia

We were recently in Penang, Malaysia for a whirlwind trip, due to some family events.  Usually for Asia trips, we try to have at least a week of actual downtime, just so we have the time to get over the jetlag, but this time we could only manage three full days on the ground.  One less layover, but weirdly, I think I preferred the two-layover flight, since sitting for fifteen straight hours makes you end up with cramps in places you didn’t even know you had joints.  Taking advantage of the airline’s little sleeping cubicles (full bed! not a scrawny twin!) was surprisingly small mitigation.

Still, landing in warm, humid heat was a nice change of pace from the dry cold winter back home.  The humidity was also merely sticky as opposed to a slap in the face, which helped ease the constant wooziness from the jetlag.  We took it pretty easy as well, going light on the tourist activities and concentrating on food.

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Family Trip 2016: Seattle & Pike Place

Now that we are all in separate states–me in NJ, Justtwomorethings in NY and our parents in OH–it takes a great deal more effort to get together. While we still spend Thanksgiving and Xmas together, we also have been trying to do 1 family trip somewhere for a week during the other 75% of the year.

Last year was Hawaii–this year, we decided to try Seattle.

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July 4th Weekend

So my work actually gave us the Friday before the 4th as well as the actual 4th off so…4-day weekend! Since I’ve been here for 2 years but never gone to the beach, we decided to fix that. Justtwomorethings had a good experience with airbnb on her roadtrip–and there was an added plus of finding people that wouldn’t mind a 3rd, fuzzy house guest.

Justtwomorethings: Finding a place that is okay with cats is definitely easier on Airbnb, but the selection is still pretty limited (although dogs seem to be welcomed in many, many places).

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Christmas Walks & A Kitty

We went home for Xmas again. Mango was quite excited about it…

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Though less so for the plane ride to get there. I didn’t quite luck out as much as for Thanksgiving, but there weren’t many people on the plane again so the flight attendant let me keep him on the seat next to me at least.

He did settle in quite quickly once we got home, though.

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Holiday Shopping in NYC


Since Justtwomorethings moved to the east coast, the Holiday Markets in NYC have been a favorite of hers to go gift shopping before the holidays. The past couple of years, she has taken me along too, since I’ve been in the area (alas, we always seem to go when Santacon is going on).

The Union Square Market, in my opinion, it still the best, but this year we went to Bryant Park Market as well. Its a bit smaller, but the vendors seem a little more upscale (probably owing to the fact they are housed in little glass huts instead of tents). There’s also a big ole Xmas tree right in the middle that’s decorated up quite prettily.

Trip: Newport, RI

Entropyenator and our mom were up to visit me recently.  We’re not really beach people, but it does seem a shame to go an entire summer without at least seeing the ocean (Atlantic, since I did the Pacific in June).  So I drove them up to Newport, RI.

We’d been there before, years ago, to tour the gigantic turn of the century summer houses of the rich and extremely rich.  This time, we went a little more lowkey and walked the Cliff Walk.  It’s a public path that cuts through the backyards of the aforementioned summer houses, giving you both views of the mansion backsides and of the seaside.  At the Forty Steps location, you can even walk all the way down to the water, if you want.  We didn’t want, but the blast of wind on the steps was a nice breather from the hot, muggy day.

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After the Cliff Walk, we strolled around the shopping areas looking for, since it’s New England, lobster rolls.  While we did find one, I have to say it was a disappointment compared to the fantastic rolls I’ve had elsewhere.  I know it looks great in the photo, but the lobster was slightly overcooked and tasted oddly stale, even though we were literally eating next to the lobster boats.

Home for the Fourth

I went home for the Fourth, packing up the melon for a ride on Ultimate Air Shuttle again (and they are running a BOGO special this summer, so I get a free flight in 2 months, score!). Mango was, to say the least, not a great fan of the experience, but to me it sure beat paying extra for parking, going through the terrible security lines, and having to get up 3 hours earlier than the actual flight time.

Its been about 6 months since I’ve been home, and I think that’s the limit of the kitty memory. Save for Mia. Mango had almost forgotten everything else, but he instantly recognized his little auntie and made a beeline for her furry face–much to Mia’s vocal dismay.

But I did do other stuff besides watch live kitty TV in the house. Every year our hometown shuts down the main road to put on a street fair. Most of it is what you expect from a Midwestern street fair, but its fun and there were some newcomers this year. Also, the fair food–where else are you going to get chips on a stick? Dad also did his awesomely yummy grilling–with an Asian spin, which means thin slices of beef and pork are marinated in soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, oyster sauce, jam and other secret goodness that Dad makes new everytime. This year we also grilled corn and peaches, which took in the smokiness of the meat cooking at the same time to add an extra dimension of deliciousness.

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