We stuck pretty close to home for our final months in Penang.  After our last home leave, Tim had to make two trips to the US, I was in the first trimester of pregnancy (never an ambitious time), and we had a lot of Penang to enjoy.  But we needed something…one trip to hallmark the epic journeying we had been doing around Southeast Asia the past 5 years.  Domestic, gorgeous, and easy to do on a long weekend, Perhentian Islands were a perfect choice.

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We planned the trip with our friends, and started as these cross-peninsula trips do, at 5am in a van.  But we headed to the airport this time, and had a relaxing morning going from flight to car to ferry and arriving at our resort before noon.  It was a great spot, recommended by friends, and the clear turquoise water and soft white sand were just what we wanted.  The food was good, happy hour drinks were complimentary (we got 2 per person, with me knocked up and kids not drinking much, Tim had a lot of work to do!), and the skies were clear.  We settled in for a good weekend.

Unfortunately, our friends got a call of an emergency back in Penang and had to leave early the next morning.  We enjoyed one day at the beach before saying goodbye.  Then we were four, and really took advantage of family time after a summer of travel and illness.  We blew up our paddleboard and swam and snorkeled right off our beach.  Tim was training for his half ironman in a few weeks, and Miles showed an endurance for looking at little fish, clocking in hours each day in his mask.  Hazel and I floated along, paddled out to explore and enjoyed being out on the flat expanse of sea.

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There was another young family who we noticed taking turns watching their baby while the other ran on the beach, went for long swims with goggles and swim paddles and we thought – these guys are just like us, we need to meet them!  We arranged to hire a boat and explore the other snorkeling spots, which were mostly disappointing, until we went into deep water and our captain started looking for sea turtles.  He spotted a huge female, and Miles and Tim jumped in and swam after it until she surfaced.  Miles was close enough to touch her, she was maybe 2.5ft across.  Definitely a highlight.

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Friends will be hard to leave!

The trip home was as smooth as coming over, and we landed in Penang complete with our traveling life for a while at least.

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