I couldn’t close the door.
It was 11:30 PM and the house was asleep – except for the husband and I, tiptoeing out the front door, suitcase in tow. Suitcase. Singular. One bag for two people. This hasn’t happened in four years: were were going on a kid-free vacation. And with the keys left inside, closing the door meant there was no return.
I had jitters as we climbed into the taxi.
Nerves on edge as we walked into the airport.
Started to relax as we were ushered into the business class lounge.
And perfectly zen as I snuggled into my lay-flat bed, adjusted the noise-cancelling headphones set to Miles Davis, and slept for five solid hours of our 7-hour flight to Malaysia.
We landed in Kuala Lumpur and spent three hours wandering the airport before our connection to Langkawi. True to form, I made note of all the asian skin care brands available at the duty free stores so I could do some research and be armed with a shopping list for the return trip. Because who just buys a product without knowing anything about it?
We arrive at the Andaman resort on the stunning Datai Bay a bit later than scheduled, but that didn’t stop us making 9:30 PM reservations at the shoes-optional seafood restaurant. And we promptly stayed up way past our bedtime.
Arriving at night has one fantastic benefit – waking up and seeing your oceanfront view for the first time. So, as there was an actual point to the trip – a cousin’s wedding – there was a slight schedule to our time there.
First on the schedule after our 11:30 AM breakfast – sit on the beach…well, in the shade safely slathered in sunscreen…because wrinkles. Read for a few hours. Ensure there’s always some fancy schmancy iced jasmine ginger lemongrass tea thing within arm’s reach. Check.
Next was lunch, where I optioned for the only Malaysian dish I know – Nasi Goreng. Which is like taking a little bit of everything they’re currently cooking in the kitchen, and putting it on one plate. It works deliciously. I may have ordered this twice.
Then a bit more beach sitting and a bit more beach reading, followed by a nap. And the best part of a beach event? The fact that you can go from drooling into your pillow to party-ready in about an hour. Try pulling that in Abu Dhabi.
Disclaimer: not saying I looked fantastic, but damn, I was happy.
The rest of the evening was spent eating BBQ by the water, and it may have been punctuated by some of the guests taking an impromptu midnight dip which resulted in two lost phones and one lost pair of Ray-Bans. The guy who went full skinny-dip had the right idea.
One thing that I was unable to capture without a DSLR camera were the bioluminescent dinoflagellate in the bay that would light up once they hit the beach leaving tiny sparkles of neon blue light dotting the shoreline. Saying it was “magical” sounds cheesy so I’ll just leave it at OMG GLOW IN THE DARK PLANKTON.
We missed the 11 AM cut-off for breakfast again – aw shucks. Never mind, today was the big event! And I may have put a little more effort into getting ready, like probably a full hour. I swear, every wedding needs to be on the beach because it removes the biggest complaint women have at the end of the night.
You know what I’m talking about. You spend weeks selecting the perfect pair and it always ends the same way.
My feeeeeet hurt.
Problem. Solved. So we danced. And danced. And danced. The party lasted 11 hours. Let me repeat: eleven hours. And I guarantee that couldn’t have happened if half the guests were in four-inch heels.
Because all weddings should have a pair of flame-breathing fire dancers while you cut the cake. Talk about epic.
Recovery day, and the only time I had to set the alarm because we had an 11:30 AM date with the V Wellness Spa. Yep, every second of kid-free time was spent very wisely.
After a completely perfect 80-minute couple’s massage in the treetops (for real, there were monkeys swinging by our little hut), we decided to start our day. Which meant more sitting by the beach, but this time with a few passing rainshowers. Something the Abu Dhabians in the group really appreciated. Water. From the sky. Novelty!
We enjoyed one last Langkawi sunset at the beach bar before moving to the Malaysian restaurant for one last group dinner. Everything felt epic, but perfectly relaxed.
We actually managed to make it to the breakfast buffet – 15 minutes before it closed. The sadness of checking out was a bit tempered by actual excitement at seeing our kids again. That’s right. All it took was four days and we were ready for 6 AM cuddles and bath time tantrums.
The Andaman was beyond perfect. From the beating drums that announce your arrival, to the amazing service – no matter what, we never heard the word “no”. Re-open the lobby bar after closing time? OK! Serve your latte in the pool? Sure! 4 AM run into the ocean? Go ahead!
In fact, we plan on returning with the kids – they had a great kid’s club, a family pool and slides, and an on-site babysitter. I’m sure we wouldn’t get as much sleep, but letting them experience monkeys on the balcony, or run up and down the surf to catch a glowing little dinoflagellate, or watching a modern day dinosaur (aka monitor lizard) cross the footpath in front of them…it’d be well worth it.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, of course I did my research and spent every last ringgit on a mini skincare haul.
Clockwise from left: Hada Labo Gokujyn Hyaluronic Acid Lotion, Hado Labo Perfect UV Gel sunscreen, Biore UV Aqua Rich sunscreen, Clarins Beauty Flash Balm, Laneige Water Sleeping Mask, and Benefit’s Roller Lash. I only know half of those words.
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