Two and half days in Kuala Lumpur where I did not win a Nuffnang blog award, but I did get so much more…

and that more was a chance to really get to know some amazing people, come away with a whole new group of fascinating and brilliant friends plus experience a fantastic city that I had only ever seen pictures of in travel magazines.

Air Asia X was our official travel sponsor for this trip and flew us from Melbourne to Kuala Lumpur and back again. I have never flown a budget airline for a long haul flight before and I have learned from this trip that there are a few things one must do to make the journey comfortable. If you are planning on flying Air Asia X (or any other budget airline, I suppose) take note. Fork out some cash for the pre-booked meal, the comfort pack (aka: a blanket, pillow and mask), extra baggage allowance (because they even weigh your carry on) and if you are feeling spendy, book the “hot seat”. Those are the ones with extra leg room. Make sure your own personal entertainment is sorted or bring cash money to rent one of theirs. All in all, do as much of what you can online at least 4 hours ahead of your flight (including check-in) or it will cost you extra on top of the extra it is already costing you. If you really want my advice, unless you are a 19 year old back packer on a super tight budget, consider keeping your budget airline flights 4 hours and under. While I am grateful for the flights they gave me, I have to be honest, I think my joints are a bit too old at this point to be shoved into those tiny budget seats for a 9 hour red eye flight ever again.

After the flights arrived, we were met by someone from Nuffnang Malaysia and taken to the Marriott with enough time to kill in the spa (heaven!) having some wonderful tea and getting my nails done.

Followed by a quick bite to eat with a cute and tasty lunch companion.

Back up to the room with a great view over the killer pool. That is what I want my back yard to look like, ok?

Since we flew the red eye and were there first thing in the morning, I had time for a nap before our big night. I love naps and luckily my darling roommate for this trip is halfway into her pregnancy and was more than delighted to have a nap too!

I woke up to a thunderstorm that signaled the arrival of late afternoon in the tropics. It was time to get gussied up in my Hen’s Night dress of 8!! years ago (it was touch and go for a minute there) and head down for pre-awards show drinks with the team from Nuffnang Australia. I had not yet had a chance to ever meet any of them in person before so it was great fun. They are all great fun, and gorgeous and young…so freaking YOUNG. I digress.

Insert the Nuffnang Asian Pacific Blog Awards night here. I did not take my real camera down with me and just enjoyed being one of the five finalists for Best Photography Blog! While I did get one shot of the category board in the lobby with my phone camera, I will have to hunt down a picture of the GIANT panel photo they projected on the stage during the category announcement. That was cool. Also, I think I may have to borrow some wording from the sign as I have decided my new blog tagline should be “gorgeous photos of the mundane.”
Fitting, don’t you think?

The following day we were treated to a bus tour of Kuala Lumpur by Tourism Malaysia. What a gorgeous city and there was so much to see and do that I know I could easily have spent a week just beginning to scratch the surface. I also know for sure that I will be back. I think the kids would love it.

Some of the dedicated were a bit tired still from the previous evening’s protracted festivities.

but everyone rallied in the end. Beyond the monuments and palaces, there was shopping to be had…

That shot of my feet is for Sarah.

These Petronas Towers at night are something else…they look like they are made of sparkling crystal.

Right on cue, the late afternoon showers started to roll in and we headed back to the hotel.

All too soon, the day was over and it was time again to get ready for an evening out. Let me just say that Nuffnang knows how to throw a fantastic party. What a wonderful trip it was.

So there it is, my first ever blogging awards trip recap in pictures (and just a few words) because that is what I do…I am a photoblogger. And after this weekend, I am even more proud to be able to say that. Thank you for coming back week after week to celebrate the mundane (yours and mine) with me. Sometimes it is just a simple change of angle that makes something so little like moments from our daily lives seem grand. Often you just need to come back when the light is better to capture the diamond sparkling in the dirt. I have a feeling that 2012 is going to be a great year…after all it is only how I look at it that matters.
It is a wonderful thing to be able to appreciate the ordinary as extraordinary through photographs and I am grateful for your support. I look forward to following the beauty you find in your daily lives as well, so make sure you link up your blogs in the comments so we can all find our way. I will be joining a great little blog round-robin of like minded lifestyle photobloggers who, once a month, pick a day and then shoot pictures of their life every hour for 10 hours and post the resulting photos on the 10th of that month. Look for my 10 on 10 starting in January!

Photo information: I only took my D3 and the manual focus 35mm f/2 lens. I was hoping to pick up some new camera gear while I was there, but I just did not have the time I wanted to make my choice. I take that as a sign that it is just not the right time to add/change equipment and maybe one of the rumored new Nikon bodies due in 2012 is actually what I have been waiting for. Once again, I enjoyed the challenge of having to shoot all manual (including focus) and in the end the plenty that I already have is well…plenty.


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  • Stephanie - so excited for the 10 on 10! (:December 19, 2011 – 8:15 pmReplyCancel

  • DawnK - It does look like a lovely place. The pool area was gorgeous! What a fun trip!December 19, 2011 – 9:02 pmReplyCancel

  • Rano Iskandar - So you were the one with the D3…. We talked outside the bus at KLCC where u were the first to be at the bus *lol* did you managed to get the D7000? Love your shots and photography..December 19, 2011 – 10:24 pmReplyCancel

    • sesame - Rano, Glad you found me! I never did go back. I just was not ready to make my choice even if they did have great prices!December 20, 2011 – 12:56 amReplyCancel

  • Sarah - oh! delightful photos! you are so very talented!

    so buying your book

    thank you for the feet shot, I have taken more today and now realise what a problemo I have since the weekend haha

    so lovely to meet you and hope to again

    xoDecember 20, 2011 – 2:14 amReplyCancel

    • sesame - my pleasure!December 20, 2011 – 2:41 amReplyCancel

  • Caz Makepeace - i so need to spend more time travelling with you to pick your photography brain! These shots are amazing.
    It was so great meeting you!December 20, 2011 – 3:29 amReplyCancel

    • sesame - Thanks Caz, I would be happy to catch up and travel with you again someday! It was great fun!December 20, 2011 – 4:01 amReplyCancel

  • Sassi Sam - Rachel, these photos are amazing, you’ve created a unique version of our trip! The pink dragonfly is insane!
    xxDecember 20, 2011 – 3:34 amReplyCancel

    • sesame - Thanks Sam! It was great to meet you!December 20, 2011 – 4:00 amReplyCancel

  • Natasya - Glad you enjoyed KL! Come back again, there’s so many things to explore — especially the food.
    and er, don’t ever fly AirAsiaX again! heheDecember 20, 2011 – 4:05 amReplyCancel

    • sesame - I got a tiny taste of the food and from what I had it was delicious! Perfect amount of spice for me.December 20, 2011 – 4:27 amReplyCancel

  • Kat - The Organised Housewife - Wow, those photo’s are just gorgeous. I agree, the dragonfly photo is amazing. I had such a wonderful time and was so happy to meet you. I just loved your toes so much so I brought a bottle at Sephora, thankyou for introducing me to such an amazing shop!!!December 20, 2011 – 4:24 amReplyCancel

    • sesame - I love that my legacy will be Sephora to at least one person! Great to meet you as well!December 20, 2011 – 4:26 amReplyCancel

      • Christie-Childhood 101 - Time for truth – I bought the sparkly nail polish too 🙂 Your legacy lives on! LOLDecember 20, 2011 – 7:00 amReplyCancel

        • sesame - Spreading OPI nail polish like it is holiday cheer!December 20, 2011 – 4:06 pmReplyCancel

  • Nikki @ Styling You - AND that is why you were the Australian finalist in that category. ABSOLUTELY incredible. Was amazing to meet you and I’ll now be a regular stalker!December 20, 2011 – 5:52 amReplyCancel

    • sesame - Thank you so much, Nikki, you are so kind!December 20, 2011 – 4:07 pmReplyCancel

  • PlanningQueen - So gorgeous Rachel – really needed to see these this evening. Such a great time and so very happy to see your feet shot – made me LOL! xDecember 20, 2011 – 6:22 amReplyCancel

    • sesame - Thank you! It was such a great trip. I look forward to chatting with you in the new year!December 20, 2011 – 4:06 pmReplyCancel

  • Christie-Childhood 101 - Grinning like a goon!!! That’s what a good time we had 🙂December 20, 2011 – 6:59 amReplyCancel

  • Valentina - wow beautiful post blog!!!
    KL is an amazing place 🙂
    so beautiful…!
    your photos are so fantastic 🙂
    Have a great day!December 20, 2011 – 8:24 amReplyCancel

  • Cass - You are really very wonderful. Thank you for being just as you are.December 20, 2011 – 9:47 amReplyCancel

  • Jasmin - loooooove the dragonfly photo!December 20, 2011 – 5:41 pmReplyCancel

    • sesame - even more so that it was manual focus and shallow depth of field taken while basically trying not to fall into a fountain!December 20, 2011 – 11:13 pmReplyCancel

  • Xinxian - hey! i’m Xinxian, one of the NAPBAS organisers from Nuffnang MY 🙂

    stumbled upon your post and just wanted to say thank you for coming, glad to hear you had a good time and your photos of KL are really stunning 😀December 20, 2011 – 9:38 pmReplyCancel

    • sesame - it was a great event and great city! thanks so much for having me!December 20, 2011 – 11:13 pmReplyCancel

  • Dawn @What's Around the Next Bend? - Really excited about the 10 on 10! Upgrading to a “newer” camera and can’t wait to start shooting manual again!December 21, 2011 – 8:28 pmReplyCancel

  • Joan Caballero - Your phototography is so amazing! Simple yet vibrant. You make it look all too easy.

    I’m a budding photographer and last year bought my first camera and lens, canon 50D with a 17-55mm f2.8 lens, but I’m so afraid to use it. I rarely take it out and when I do, my photos come out dull. No where near as rich in color as your photography. I’d love to be able to shoot like you one day. Do you have any advice on how to get great colour on your shots (other than post processing)?December 22, 2011 – 8:00 amReplyCancel

    • sesame - Thanks, Joan! You have to take that camera out and use it…practice makes perfect! Also, the more you shoot, the more you learn about not just your camera settings, but light and the right exposure choices for the setting and images you want to produce. Then there is processing…it should not be to rescue bad images, but to enhance what is already there. Hope that helps. If you are shooting jpeg especially, you can adjust some picture controls to enhance the SOOC results that you are getting. Lots to learn, but it will take the first step of you actually using the camera!December 22, 2011 – 4:35 pmReplyCancel