Sometimes, when all else fails, you just have to stop, look up, and enjoy the moment
We spent our weekend in Kota Kinabalu in East Malaysia, the fourth trip we’ve taken in as many months. I have to admit up front that this getaway isn’t going to go down in the books as one of our most successful, but that had nothing to do with the quaint locale or the gusto with which we’d started out.
We’d planned this short weekend jaunt as an opportunity to see some of the crystal-clear blue waters of Borneo, and we wanted to take a speedboat out to some of the islands off of Kota Kinabalul’s coastline to introduce the Gravy Baby to his first beach experience. What we hadn’t planned was that we’d end up spending most of the night before awake as the Gravy Baby cut his first tooth, which, as we’ve now learned, is a pretty miserable experience for everyone involved. Not one of the Gravy Three managed to roll out of bed until well past 8:30 AM (which is downright slovenly for us these days), and so we missed our boat, both literally and figuratively.
After a leisurely breakfast in which all three of us convalesced over new foods (me: discovering a silken tofu and smoked salmon bite garnished with sliver of hot chile pepper, which I enjoyed so thoroughly that I forgot to take a photo; the Gravy Baby: bananas), the hubby and I decided that we couldn’t let the day go to waste, and so we’d try heading to The Green Connection, an aquarium/nature park that billed itself as housing a wide range of local tropical fish. We figured that since we weren’t going to make it to the islands, the next best thing would be to at least try to see what lives around them.
The exterior of the contraption at The Green Connection, a nature park we visited. You stand in the middle, stick your head inside the plastic bubble and voila! Virtual snorkeling. I stood on the risers around the outside to document everything with my camera.
It turns out that The Green Connection wasn’t exactly the beacon of Bornean sea life that we’d hoped it would be. Honestly, it sort of felt like someone with a big backyard and a bunch of fish tanks decided to let people come over and check out his coral collection. That’s not to say it was all disappointing — one display at the park was basically an aquarium on stilts with a huge bubble built into it so that visitors could stand inside the bubble and “feel” like they were snorkeling. We must’ve scared every single fish in the joint howling with laughter over how ridiculous we looked standing inside the contraption.
This is the closest the Gravy Baby is getting to snorkeling for a few years
The Gravy Baby loved being inside that bubble, and despite it all, it seemed like the day couldn’t have gone any better. Over lunch later on, the hubby observed that we’ve been jetting off on all of these trips with the idea that we’ve been “training” the Gravy Baby for our big move back to the United States this summer, when in fact it’s probably the other way around. He giggled and flapped his arms at just about everyone and everything all weekend, no matter where we were or how awry our plans went. And boy, did the downward slide continue: my computer died, our second attempt to visit the islands failed, and the Gravy Baby came home with his first-ever illness, the stomach flu. But through it all, he smiled and giggled. And honestly, in the end, it didn’t matter where we were.