A Great Week in KL

We have had an amazing week in Kuala Lampur, Malaysia.

We stayed at the Sunway Putra Hotel in Kuala Lampur. It was a great location, fairly close to downtown. Fabulous international buffet breakfast. I ate Indian every morning while Vince and the kids had noodle soups. The concierge desk was also exceptional. Our favorite friend there was able to give us advice on where to find the best crab at the street market, how to get our laundry done on a budget and how to get a family of 4 plus LOTS of luggage to the airport. 

Here is a quick recap of our week. There will also be a smilebox at the bottom if you want to see it all.



















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Arriving safe in Kuala Lampur


Love how cute Malaysian money is


Delicious first meal. roti, curry and Kopi- the cat coffee that I first learned about through the movie THE BUCKET LIST… appropriate as this will be a once in a lifetime holiday.


We were upgraded to joint rooms… walked in and was taken in by the size…. this is only one side.


Phone in the bathroom just in case we need to call anyone.

The Sunway Putra is a gorgeous hotel

A pianist was playing in the lobby as we checked in.

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Saying Good-bye to Tarui

After a wonderful year, we have said our final goodbye to Tarui.
We were truly touched by all our wonderful friends who stopped by for our last hour to say farewell.


A few members of my adult English class stopped by… Koba brought his grandson.



Thank to Yoshi who brought us some snacks and drinks for the road.


Halleluah, Yui, Leena, Alica and Zen


Tomomi, Yoko and the gang.



Thanks Tets for bringing your kids by.


Forever friends… Nori and I not only taught together at Kita, but also went to Calgary together…. lets not wait 20 years to meet again.


Forever Friends Jr…. Just as Nori and I connected, so did our boys. Rinto and Arden, same class, same age, same hearts


Joice- my Japanese mother


Mike and Vince… Calgary boys with similar senses of humor


Tomomi and Kataoka-san, thank you for being the ones to both start and end my Japanese adventure.

Although we may be a world apart… we will never forget you.

Forever Friends

Traveling with children can be a lot of fun… they provide openings into opportunities and friendships which you may never have discovered without their spontaneous positve natures and desires to go to the park.

It was great having another English speaking family a few blocks away. Especially one that looks so similar to ours. Often times people would mistake Leena and I for Sam and Alicia or vice versa…. It was particularly fun to go to a festival or the park together and have people realize that there were actually two families instead of just one.


Love this photo as is shows the unified chaos of our friendship.

Thank you for sharing so much with us this year: picnics, advice,  bikes, clothes, fireworks, baby sitting swaps, birthday parties, conversations, laughs and life in general.

I know that we will see you again….. the kids have told me that the four of them were planning it out over the weekend…

Until we meet again.




My Haha (Japanese Mother)


I am coming to the end of my Japanese adventure. This year has been a year of new experiences, life lessons and cultural experiences like no other. I think that a lucky star has been shining down on my all year, especially since it led me to Joice my Japanese mother.


Joice at the buffet of the Suitopia center- August 2013.

I met Joice on my first weekend in Japan. I wanted to sign up for Japanese lessons and I was too impatient to wait until Monday for Tomomi to show me how to get there. I struck out by myself on a Saturday with a map printed out from the computer and hope in my heart…. not only did I find the building that day, but I found something even better, my own Japanese mother.

I walked into the office to fill in the forms. I could only speak English so the supervisor asked Joice to come over and help me. I explained I was the new ALT from Tarui, she explained that she was also from Tarui and in that instant a bond was formed.

We joke around that Joice has been my Japanese Mother- something I needed with my own so far away.

That morning she helped me fill in a form.

Throughout this year Joice has helped me with EVERYTHING.

How do you express enough thanks for the person who has:

– taught you Portuguese (yes I know I moved to Japan)


Portuguese Class



-got up almost every morning to drive you to and from work.

– always made sure your family knew what the latest Japanese festival was helped your prepare the proper food and decorations.


Setsubun- Feb 2014

– translated every school note home.

– took  sewing classes, so that you would have something new to wear.


Hand made shirts are like long distance hugs.

– took my whole family to the grocery store… and didn`t get frustrated when the kids were bickering in the back seat


Vince, Joice and Papa during a picnic at the park.

– helped to book a hotel room for our Canadian visitors

– listened to every celebration and heartache

– goes to the drug store with you, translates every label and helps you ask the pharmacists for advice.


Delivering a birthday cake for Leena

-made amazing soup and turned her home into your personal restaurant

-came to the school on family gardening day and helped us weed.


Strawberry picking

-took your daughter to grandparents day so she is not the only child on her own.

-made you feel so special and loved.

Thanks to the wonders of Skype we will be able to stay connected.

Even though we may be a world apart…. you will always be my Haha

I love you