Last night whilst uploading photos for this post I got carried away reading my best written travelog to date. Yes.. not other than NZ (psstt..! you may want yo read here). I'm so glad I put our vacation into words & made it vivid with photos... it was beautifully written with love. (Ahak! Angkat bakul kak...?)
Now the question is.... Do I still have the mojo to mesmerise my readers? We shall see for our recent (is 9 months considered recent? ;-)) holiday is now at day 2.
That morning I was the first to wake up. My morning shift as a cook to prepare breakfast. That was our mutual arrangement... HB was the chef for dinner & me the cook for breakfast. Humbly I chose to be the cook because my meal was merely tossed, stir-fried & reheated. Unlike HB's... fancy meal he made for us.
This was our breakfast. Pasta with sauce & stir-fried leftovers grilled potatoes with mushrooms.
The instant sauce was a failure though I put some shrimps for taste.. it wasn't a hit to my girls. They simply munched on the pasta with the shrimps. That stir-fry though was my favourite ;-)
I woke the girls up when I was almost done with breakfast. After brushing their teeth, they helped themselves with the pasta. Over breakfast they told us about this hissing sound they heard late at night. Apparently it was the wind... not used to sleeping near the beach my girls... ;-)
Right after breakfast the elder girls helped their sisters to shower & me being me.... the attires to be worn were all ready the night before. So no " Mama... where's my panty?" nor "Mama.... I can't find a matching T-shirt!".
|Showered & ready for adventure|
|A pose with the park in the background|
|Yippeee!! Papa's taking us to the beach....|
Once everyone had showered HB took the girls to the beach. Not for a dip though... just to check it out. It was already sunset the night before when we reached the cabin after shopping for foods (you can read here ). That morning was their first encounter of the Coogee Beach.
|Coogee Beach, Fremantle, Perth|
|Yasmin was back on Oz's soil after 12 years...|
|Wardah striking a pose|
|Cam-whoring in their bedroom while waiting for mama & papa to get ready|
|Ready for Mandurah Bay|
|Snacking on peaches & some other fruits in the car|
Thanks for lending your shades kak Wardah :-)
The traffic was smooth
Care for some salt? ;-)
During this trip I was so much fascinated with the trees. Huge, small & dead... just loved each one of them!
We reached Mandurah Bay very early, thanks to the GPS we rented. Since we bought our cruise tickets online, we just had to be punctual. Better early than late. Parked the car as instructed on the tickets but we really were not sure whether it was the right place.
Parked the car at a parking lot across this Sailing Museum
Walked on towards the water. At first the place looked totally empty. Nobody seemed visible for me to make an inquiry. Continued walking & I thought I heard some noises behind us.. yes, a family was heading towards our way. Looked like tourists. That was a good sign. We continued walking & saw this boat cruising... Yes! This is the place!!
For a verbal confirmation I found a skipper on an boat. He was kind enough to give us the simple direction to the main office. We eventually came from the opposite direction!
Ours was at noon, 1 & a half hour instead
The time was 10am. We were way too early. Decided to check out the area. Found this shady spot & the girls tired of walking were happy to rest their legs & enjoyed the view of the canal.
Well, some overdid it !
Saw this tree & of course a pose was a must!
We might stay longer if it were not for the flies. Yes... our first encounter with those summer flies in Oz. But according to HB it was not so bad. He had encountered worst! Perhaps it was not yet the peak of summer & moreover we were near the water... those flies don't like wind much.
HB attracted the younger girls with something more interesting but of course the elder ones prefer a stroll by the water. Enjoying the breeze & scenery.
Yasmin with Wardah
Balqis & Nadeen raced themselves to the playground. How on earth HB knew of it... I had no idea. Bluntly he said it was his instinct ;-)
Nadeen.... swinging away.
Monkeying around Balqis?
They even found themselves some local friends
Nadeen in no time got close to Abigail. Told Yasmin to monitor this 2 coz they were the youngest & enjoyed each other company too much that they tried to sneak from the others. At one point, Yasmin was laughing away alone. Wardah & I in puzzle asked her to share the joke. She said she overheard Abigail asking Nadeen "Do you live in Bali?"( I assume she had been there & we kind of look like the locals.) Nadeen energetically answered..."Nooo! We live in a hotel!" Hahahaha!
Nadeen with her new friend Abigail
Even HB found himself a company...
HB later announced that it was time to go. The younger girls anyhow discovered these seagulls & had a wonderful time running after them.
A stop for water after the seagulls episode
We were still early as were approaching the pier. Hence a stop at a nearby cafe... Father with his daughters marched towards the counter & I chose to search for a bench, carefully avoiding the bright sunlight.
I was amused browsing through the shots we took from my cam when the same troop marched back towards me.. Tea time was early that morning!
|That piece of cake was really delicious....|
|... and the tartlet was superlicious!|
|This one got away with a cone of ice cream that morning!|
|We had a couple of uninvited guests... they were pretty annoying.|
It was at last time for the cruise. I thought we were early... but others were earlier than us! Knowing me.. I must have the best seats. For my girls especially!
|A few reached the pier before us! Now, where did they come from...?|
|A pose before boarded|
|Balqis & Nadeen with the skipper|
|Got ourselves this great view from the upper deck|
We were enjoying the view from the upper deck when we heard a chaos downstairs. There was a group of school kids heading towards our boat... & soon the upper deck would be cramped.
|But they remained at the lower deck... fuhh!|
|The ride began|
|This tree is over a century years old!|
|Some of the apartments near the marina|
|Some of the yachts & house boats|
|The boat stopped at this restaurant to collect some foods for those who ordered the lunch package.. we didn't|
That day on Dec 21st, I was very alert with the time. No.. not that out of habit! It was our special day. Exactly at 1223pm, I made one of the girls to shoot a photo of me with HB... it was our wedding anniversary!
|15 years together & more to come insyaAllah...|
|A family portrait on our 15th wedding anniversary|
We are not blessed with even a son but the four girls complete us all. I would never change them for anyone nor anything. Their dad is for keep! He is not merely my spouse... he's my better half. A friend to turn to & a sparring partner to brush up my debating skill... hehehe!
The cruise continued. We passed more residential area but this time the houses were getting bigger & looked pretty luxury. As it was put... the multimillion homes. Enjoy the pics...
|A yacht is a necessity for these marina homes|
|Interested to buy a land?|
|Amongst the early settler|
|Mandurah War Memorial|
We were almost reaching the end of the cruise but the main reason for driving to Mandurah & booked the cruise was to view the dolphins... Couldn't really blame anyone if the dolphins didn't appear. They live in the wild. It was a water safari but we were not inside the water. Only hoping for them to emerge out of the sea.
|These eager faces were looking forward to see those dolphins... my heart would ache if it did't happen|
Softly I pray for my girls. Let the dolphins appear please & make the smiles on those faces became brighter. Alhamdulillah... not long after HB spotted the first glimpse of a dolphin.
|Thanks to this family for fishing... the dolphins were somehow attracted to the bait.|
The skipper made the announcement of the arrival of our guests & everyone was pointing, shouting, shooting... you name it! Then the skipper told us to get out cameras ready for he was going to show us something magnificent...
He started the engine & started leaving those dolphins! That was nothing to admire really Mr. Skipper but to everyone's surprise... the dolphins swam very close by & made an appearance for us. Apparently it was like a game to them. These were the best shots of our 2 cams combined ;-)
I was so thankful to see those happy faces telling me this & that about them dolphins. OK... I won't lie! I too was very excited. Alhamdulillah... Allah answered my prayers....
|The smile said it all|
|Simply awesome mama!!|
The time was almost noon & HB herded us to the pier but wait....! I saw a fountain & thought it was a great background for a photo... hence this mother with her girls pic.
As were walking towards the parking space some artistic sculptures attracted our attention. Hence these photos...
|Yasmin insisted on this pose since it was our anniversary ;-)|
|.....and what we had achieved after 15 years! :-)|
|A family portrait in Mandurah|
The journey back to our beach cabin was of course full with our experience of the cruise. We were most of the time entertained by Nadeen. She was in her witty mood that afternoon.
We didn't head straight to Cooge Beach but had a detour to Westfield to get halal meat. Someone was preparing our anniversary dinner that night. But it won't be his date with me alone like usual... A date with 5 girls!! How lucky could you get ?? :-)
|Seafood for appetizer|
|Bumped into a proton|
The weather as we reached the cabin was lovely. Quickly the girls freshened themselves & HB started making something for snacks. There was only one bathroom available for us to share but we did okay. Wardah & the younger girls were ready in no time hence this photography sessions whilst babysitting at the park next to our cabin.
|Pics were all shot by this girl & I bet the poses were also her idea!|
This time around Wardah was the family photographer. Her pics came out pretty good. Something I'm amazed with this girl is her skill camwhoring with a dslr!
|Showing off her skill... but not to perfection. Nadeen was missing her forehead & an eye ;-)|
Then came snacking time. HB called out the models plus their stylist cum photographer for some fries, ketchup & orange juice ;-)
At last it was time to explore the beach. The younger girls wanted to change to their swimming attire but I disallowed. They asked why... I told them that they would get the answer when we reached the water. Well, that didn't put any sour face to their faces. With or without they had made up their mind to play in the water... we shall see girls!
|The last 2 to get themselves ready for the beach. Hehehe... Wardah was already in front but I made her come to us for this shot ;-)|
The trail right in front of our cabin to the beach
|Wardah showing off her skill vaining!|
|The farthest they went ;-)|
|Nadeen sure enjoyed the sand|
|Her sisters too|
|Having way too much fun with HB. Balqis in the other hand had sand in her eyes...|
|The wind beneath my wings :-)|
|The lovey dovey on their anniversary|
|Then was so much easier lifting her now the extra happiness made it quite weighty ... ahak!|
|Family portrait at Coogee Beach, Fremantle|
HB had to retire early since he was the chef for dinner. We stayed back & decided to explore a pier nearby whilst waiting for sunset. It was breezy & we were freezing!! But for the cam we posed... ;-)
Finally came sunset... These were amongst the best shots I made. Subhanallah.. such a picturesque moment. How grateful was I to share it with my loved ones..
|The jump & we called it a day|
Herded my troop to our camp & the smell that welcomed us was definitely very inviting! But we needed our shower first then only could we surrender ourselves to the aromatic temptation.
|A close up of the cabin at dawn|
If you look much closer you could see a glimpse of someone who was really busy in the kitchen... hehehe. HB loves cooking & I'm so glad that he prefers to cook more whenever we travel. A holiday is a holiday for me... I prefer not much cooking done on my part. You know what I mean? ;-)
|Busy busy chef ;-)|
|Our appetizer... yumms!|
|How they came from the kitchen... :-)|
|The vege that followed :-)|
|Here you go... our 15th anniversary dinner!|
*to be continued