Monday, September 1, 2014

SG Retreat 2014 - Avani Resort, Sepang

After a 5 year hiatus (due to baby bearing and toddler rearing), we decided to kick start the bie/a-nnual SG Retreat again! There were 6 couples and 13 kids - with only one kiddo about to turn 2, one into her 2nd year of teenager-hood and one 2 full years more to reach teens! So, in actual fact we had 10 mad kids to deal with!

We did intend to convoy to Avani but it being a Saturday, there were some chores and classes for the kids to attend and so we all decided to just meet there. The reception staff were really accommodating considering we didn't bring the check in registration slips. We could even check in for the others who had not yet arrived. We got all the room cards and proceeded to our rooms in a buggy. It was a good thing that the buggy service from the lobby always started empty else checking in would have been a pain! Checking out is a down right pain, I have to say at this point! So, make sure you are UP FOR A WALK if you don't want to wait for an empty buggy.

Anyways, as soon as we were checked in, as usual, the kids were itching to go to the pool. As to not tear the room apart, I decided to bring them. And as time passed, more and more of the families arrived and soon we were taking over the entire kids pool! I pity the people sitting near the pool cause we had perhaps 12 water guns capable of shooting piercing sprays of up to 5 feet!

About 2 hours in the pool, and we had to get out and be ready for dinner. Between 4 cars, we headed to Sg Pelek for dinner. The poor community of Sg Pelek were bombarded with endless chatter and some shouts from our 10 mad kids. And I bet those Sg Pelek kiddos never ever realized they could harass their parents for the phone if they finished their dinner quick enough. Their parent's lives will never be the same again!

Anyways, after dinner, it was beach time. Not a good time for my daughter who absolutely hates going to the beach dressed up! So, hubby and I took her back to the room, which really suited us fine. Christopher after all, had many a capable aunts and uncles to take care of him. I learnt they played lanterns at the beach. They returned at 10:40 pm and I put him straight to bed.

Now, the room. I don't really like it. Reason being the extra bed costs a bomb. Secondly, they suggested the use of the sofa bed as an alternative bed but we didn't come prepared so we had no sheets or blanket to use. In the end we ended up 4 people in a king sized bed. Kicks and bruises and no good night sleep. I tried using the sofa bed the 2nd night and ended up having the sniffles the next day! Avillion PD's water chalets were better in this aspect. I also don't really fancy the bathroom as it was too small. The water from the shower kept escaping and so our floor mat was literally always wet! When the bathroom door was open and the cupboard door was open, it was also a tight squeeze to walk out of the bathroom. And I have this bad habit of needing the clothes in the wardrobe to have some air! Well, anyways.....

Day 2 we were up by 8 and down for breakfast at 8:30 am. The spread was pretty extensive and well stocked. I reckon the F&B staff did a great job!

Beach for 2+ hours. Near the beach there were many interesting things. They had a pool, kiddie air structure for play, mini put, a trampoline and a court space. They also had canoe's for rent and swings made out of netting. It would seem there were sufficient deck chairs, some shade and beach towels. In this aspect Avani was excellent!!!

Pool time next for another 2 hours. By the time we were dressed and ready for lunch, it was almost 2. We went back to Sg Pelek for lunch with another family, Patrick and the girls. My boy was not really into food since his best buddy did not come. Surrounded by 3 girls, he grouching-ly ate something and couldn't wait to get back to the hotel. At least we got to try the famous rojak noodle and the pau kosong. Being out, we were sent on an errand to get some cold drinks for the people at the hotel.

Back from lunch, I was sent to deliver the drinks. Oh what fear for me to get on the bike with my son. It was my first time after my bike accident and these hotel bikes were too high! Thankfully along came Mrs Recipient and she took the drinks AND my son on a ride. So, I could attempt riding my bicycle with only a few adults and kids encouraging me on! I think I gripped the handle so tight (the bike was not aligned well either) that I could feel relieve in my arms when I at last came down. Back from his bicycle ride, the boy was in the room 15 min and then instigated the sister to go back to the pool! Even though they only had 1 hour of swimming/playing/war-ing (thank to Uncle John) time, they made full use of it. Darling little Alycia and Caylee kept me busy throwing them in the water. I had achy arms later lasting me till now, 2 days later!

We went to Lovers Bridge Restaurant Tanjung Sepat for dinner. Darn it...even with a booking it took 1 hour for the food to be served. It was a good thing we went early enough so that the ordering could be made and then the rest of us with the kids could walk out to the bridge. Some minutes later Caylee wanted to go back to the restaurant and I was soooo glad. Holding on to the kids on a cement platform with no barriers is not for the fainthearted. We had 10 mad kids, if you remember!

Bought our share of kuih bahulu and some keropok, we headed back to the hotel. Some crazy parents were still up to beach time. I thank Caylee for my escape. Went back with Isabel to play lanterns in the room. By 10, the peace of 2 adults and 3 kids were disrupted by the beach gang. Felt so sorry for Sin Loong and Mei Yin who had to accommodate 7 sandy children sitting on their bed! But all was good. We chased everyone down and got everyone back to their own rooms.

3rd and final day, breakfast at 8 am....NOT ! I woke up to Whatsapp message sounds and we pushed each other out of the bed. Lack of sleep, I watched as the kids played in the pool. Even out of the pool, I was a target of the water guns! At around 12, we checked out and went to Tg Sepat for lunch and to buy fishballs, pau and coffee.

How was my weekend? Tiring, I would say. Without other families to determine the activities, we would have woken up later and perhaps the kids would have had lessor swim and beach time. After all hubby is not really a beach person. So, even though it was tiring for me, I am glad my kids have this other bunch of adults and 8 other mad kids to play with. It takes the mothering out of this mummy and I was able to have some decent adult conversation with almost every single other mummy in the group. I love the bonds created and I love the bonds my kids create. Having a holiday group is not an easy thing to find or maintain and I hope even to our older days, we (and the kids) would still enjoy each others company enough to be 'overlook-ers' of small misdemeanors and still be charitable.

No comments: