Yesterday I went by the Malaysian Tourism office and told them the dates we'd like to go -- between March 10 and April 1. I also explained we'd like to spend an extra four days on the islands. The woman suggested that as the hotels they put us up in are all five and six star that perhaps we might like a cheaper (but very nice) hotel elsewhere for a change of scenery. So she'll do the research for us and then we can choose. She also told me we can get to Penang easily from Langkawi so that's another option.
I feel it isn't just a 'dream' now, but closer to a 'reality'. I picked up a stack of brochures including walking tours of K.L., tips on shopping (she said to sharpen your bargaining skills as that's part of the custom). There's lots to see and do on the islands too besides the gorgeous pristine beaches!
Now one little surprise: I was told to make sure our passports are in order, and valid for at least six months after our stay there. Good job I checked today because mine expires April 16/06 which means I will have to apply for a new one soon! I had this problem a couple of years ago when I was heading for Greece and almost got turned back at the check-in desk because of the same reason. And I'd left my British passport at home because it also was almost expired. However, they informed me that the British passports were honoured past the expiry date. So I made a frantic call to my girlfriend who rushed over to my apartment to meet my son who had the keys and she got my British passport and raced all the way across town to the airport, arriving just a few minutes before I had to go to the boarding gate. I was so stressed out after that fiasco I was in a state and had a headache all the way to England. Then when I got there, they didn't even check anyhow and especially at the Greek customs. They just glanced at the passport and waved me through. I don't want to take any chances this time, however. So now the wheels are in motion I have to make sure everything is in order!