Category Archives: Chiang Mai, Thialand , restaurants in Chiang Mai

Bahamas with 6 young grandchildren and their parents, 4/19/19

Spring break and we rented a house in Nassau and flew on Alaska Airline for an adventure in the Bahamas. I found a great house on VRBO in Nassau, getting there from Seattle during Easter week creates many challenges. We arrived on Friday at 10:30 at night and checked into The Grand Hyatt, BAHA MAR. there was no place to eat with 6 young kids under the age of 9 so we ordered room service waited an hour. Next day we headed to the pool to find no chairs at 10am, all reserved by 9am.

That night we discovered that all the restaurants were reserved several weeks in advance so put our names on a wait list for a 8pm seating in an Asian restaurant in the hotel. We were beginning to wonder what we had gotten into. Sunday, Easter and hundreds of kids running all over the grounds looking for a plastic egg, some crying since their baskets were empty. Check out at noon, sit by the pool waiting to leave for our own private house for the week. We loaded in our rented van, Carl did a great job driving on the wrong side of the road and following the hired car that was carrying our luggage to our house for the week. CherylfoxFerguson@live.com was the company and they were there to get us and all our luggage to our house.

The house was in a private area called PALM CAY, we rented a house called “WHITE HOUSE” and it did not disappoint. We were greeted by the owner, Guy, and he made sure we knew every detail about our beautiful house. The house had a great kitchen commercial range, good laundry room and 4 large bedrooms with private baths, plus a large room the kids loved sleeping in on couches with a large tv.

The grocery store, Solomon’s, was less than a mile down the road and while Carl and I headed to the store to stock the house with food and drinks, the parents unpacked and hid Easter Eggs for the kids to find.

Palm Key has a perfect sandy beach in front of the house, calm bay for everyone to swim and play in the water. Just down the beach there is a small beach club, ice cream store and coffee shop. There is a large charge to use their pool or beach so we enjoyed the pool a couple of houses down the beach. This pool is open to all the home owners with no charge.

The next day we just played on the beach and I hired a wonderful chef to come in and cook us a very nice dinner. Chef Everton, chefevertonsmith@gmail.com, +12425359596, chef offered a great selection of menus and was very professional.

The next day we hired a speed boat and captain Braydon Enpata gave us the grand tour. The kids got a chance to swim with turtles, walk on a private island and enjoy the warm water with no one else around, +1242-803-3849, $950 for half day. Worth it!

Dinner at home and roasting marshmallows around the nice fire pit at the house. Was an evening activity that everyone looked forward to.

The sunsets on the beach were wonderful and the bay offered a calm gentle sea for every age. The next day we loaded Everyone in our van and headed to the straw market in downtown Nassau and a fun lunch at LUKKA KAIRI, be sure to try the conch fritters, plus they have free parking under the restaurant. The kids all found a special treasure to take home at the straw market and a good look at all the cruise ships lined up in the port across the street.

The next day was spent at the pool, on the beach looking for shells and Carl took the kids to the ice cream store for late afternoon treats. We cooked dinner at home that night and planned for Everton to come cook for us again the next evening.

Each morning we had CHARMAINE LEE, +1- 242-810-2252, come in to clean for a couple of hours. Then when when we decided to take the bigger kids out to dinner on Friday Charmaine came to babysit the babies. She did a great job and even came by to braid the two bigger girls hair before we left on Saturday. For our big adventure we went out to dinner in town, about 25 minutes away. We ventured back into the port and had a good dinner at LUCIANO’S OF CHICAGO, lucianos@restaurantsbs.com. It was a good place to take the kids because they could get up and wander along the pier and side garden, plus our server made sure the kids were served quickly and everyone had a good time.

It was a great week and I would recommend The White House to anyone needing room for kids and adults to share time. Nassau is a small island and we flew through Atlanta going to and from the island.

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Penang, Malaysia

I had never spent much time in Malaysia, but after spending time in Chiang Mai with my friend Yu Sian, she suggested we fly to Penang and visit one of her friends who was born and raised there.

Yu Sian met SUAN Ee TOH at boarding school when they were both young and they have kept in touch. Suan Ee is a real food lover and is involved in several restaurants in Hong Kong. It’s that being said I was interested to experience the local food scene through her eyes. I believe Penang is today what Singapore was 50 years ago. Not many American tourists, however the Chinese and English have found this lovely city.

We checked into THE E & O hotel, this older hotel is located on the water and under renovation. They have torn down the old original building and are now redoing the entire property. The rooms were lovely, large and well appointed. The view from my room over the ocean was perfect to watch the pink sunsets.

SUAN Ee took us to a very local place to eat fresh fish and crabs. JIA SIANG CAFE is not a place a tourist would find, located a half hour drive across the mountains to the water front where the fishing boats bring in their catch every morning. Because we ate such a big lunch we went to a very local noodle house close to the hotel. The HON KEI CAMPBELL, is a long well lit room with a simple menu of local noodle dishes all around $3.00 each.

The next morning we did a tour of local residential neighborhoods to see how the city lives. Then headed to visit a well organized spice plantation for tourist to understand what grows in the country, how the spices are used and the vegetation. We had a simple lunch at their restaurant, THE MONKEY TREE, not the best. Since we were in the area we stopped at the Butterfly reserve, beautiful project and worth the stop.

Back in town we headed to another 3 hour spa service at SIAM PARADISE, http://www.siamparadise.com. This spa was not as upscale as what we had experienced in Chiang Mai, but the services we top notch. My 3 hour service was about $45 US dollars and their reflexology foot treatments we first class.

Simple dinner at a traditional Malay house called WINN’S Cafe, no beer or wine, but you could bring your own. The food is clean and nice service all for about $8 a person for fresh local food.

The next morning after an amazing breakfast at the hotel we headed to the local hawker stalls for their traditional breakfast of noodles.After eating a second breakfast we went to tour the Peranakan Mansion. In history the families of this era were Chinese immigrants that married Malaya in both Singapore and Malaysia. Some became very wealthy and their life style is depicted in every room of this grand house. The history is worth the tour!

We had lunch next to the hotel at THE MANSION, sitting outside on the water under lovely trees and sharing fresh fruit and shrimp salads. It was hot and humid and so a retreat to our rooms for a rest before our last meal at MAPLE PALACE, this beautiful Chinese restaurant is a must see if you go to Penang. The food is top and they welcome you to bring your own wine. Everything we ordered was perfect and the service was to match.

Our visit to Penang was fast but interesting and a real step back in time. Not sure I will be back anytime soon, but with the help of Yu Sian and her friend SUAN Ee I loved every minute of the adventure.

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