Book Bugs

Brought the boy to the library yesterday to borrow some Chinese books.. with my card, we borrowed 14 books.. he told me he needed to scan 8 books in one receipt so that he could redeem book bugs cards.. however, he couldn’t redeem yesterday since they could only do the redemption on weekends.. we brought him to the library again and there was a self-service redemption corner where the kids can redeem their book bugs cards on their own..

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He’s very motivated to borrow more books but I told him he has to read the books we borrowed first..

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Hobart June 2016 Part 3

img_4087We drove about close to 2 hours before we reached Port Arthur.. It started raining before we reached and was still raining when we reached..

We had lunch at the cafe before we decided which tour to join.. They have ghost tours which I think would not be suitable for the kids..

The general tour includes a cruise and a guided tour plus entry to all the buildings so we settled for that..

It was still raining when it was time for our harbour cruise and as we had to walk a long way to board the ship, we had to put on our ponchos..

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The rain made it impossible to see where the guide was pointing to so we didn’t see much.. We took it as a leisure ride to shelter ourselves from the rain.. Haha.. Dennis even suggested that we should just stay on the boat and not leave until it stopped raining.. Of course, we didn’t do that!

When we returned to shore, it was still raining.. We joined the guided tour but had to take cover while the guide gave us some brief history about Port Arthur.. Port Arthur was set up as a prison for convicts to undergo training to become useful people again.. The prison was for adults and boys to be educated and trained in skills that would be useful for them to find employment..

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It was a beautiful place that would be nice to live in if it were not a prison.. We spent the rest of the day exploring the various buildings in the area..

We learnt that the convicts grew to love the place and settled there even after their term was over.. I guess I would too..

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After the tour, we brought the kids to the indoor discovery area where they had to find the convicts that matched the cards they were given..

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There were still people streaming in and I guess they were all there for the ghost tours.. We snacked and relaxed a bit before we made our long journey back.. It was an informative trip..

Tomorrow, we are going to explore the Salamanca Market.. Again, we’re praying for good weather!

Hobart June 2016 Part 2

We started our day early and headed to Ida Bay Bush Railway.. It was a 2-hour train ride and there were 2 timings – 10am and 12.30pm.

We reached our destination at about 11 plus and decided to get our tickets first.. We got the tickets from the little cafe where we had our lunch.. We saw a book which they placed outside the cafe.. They were petitioning to get state funds to help maintain the railway..

It started drizzling as we were eating but the rain stopped when we were done.. We walked around to explore the area while waiting for the train..

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We soon boarded the tram and started on our journey after the driver gave us a briefing of what to expect.. There were fleece blankets in the train in case we felt cold along the journey..

We saw a rainbow as soon as we were on the way! Seems like we see rainbows more easily in Australia than in Singapore as we also saw one when we went to Perth last June..


We stopped for a while near the tombs of the original owners of the railway.. I didn’t pay much attention actually.. 😁

We explored the beach for a while..


We also took a group photo before we continued on the train ride..


The rest of the journey made us drowsy.. The rocking and noise of the train as well as the cool breeze made me doze off a few times.. But it’s a relaxing ride..


It was close to 3pm when we were done so we decided to explore the Hastings Caves which was nearby.. It was supposed to be closed at 4pm..

We took a short drive over and were lucky that we managed to catch the last tour which would start at 3.15pm..

The Newdegate Cave which we went to seemed smaller than the one we went to in Perth.. I’m impressed by how the Australians take care of the caves.. We were told not to touch any of the formations as the natural oil secretion from our hands would ‘kill’ the formations..


The only one we could touch was a quarter of a century years old..



After exploring the cave, we made our way back to our house.. Along the way, we bought some groceries and had porridge for dinner..

Tomorrow, we would be exploring Port Arthur..

Hobart June 2016

We arrived in Hobart on a rainy day after bidding Sydney goodbye.. We rented a Kia Carnival which was enough for us and our 5 pieces of luggage..


We collected the keys to the apartment from a real estate staff before we had our lunch.. The owner of the house we rented via Airbnb was based in Hong Kong..

We had Japanese food at an eatery before we made our way to Coles to get some groceries before we drove to the apartment.. It was huge and the kids were immediately playing at the play area the moment the found it at the basement..


We prepared a simple meal of porridge, vegetables, chicken kebab and omelette..

Then we planned what we wanted to do the next day..

We woke up to a beautiful view from the balcony..


We then drove about 2 hours to Tahune Airwalk.. Along the way, we stopped by Petty Sessons Jetty for a toilet break.. 


We continued on the windy road and reached Tahune Airwalk at about 11.30am..


We joined the guided tour at 12pm..


The tour lasted about 1.5h and the kids were all complaining of hunger towards the end.. We had our lunch at the cafe before we went to try out the Cable Eagle Hang Glider.. We paid $99 for the 4 of us for both the walk and the hang gliding.. It was a fun and cold experience and we all enjoyed it! Jovan was the only kid to try it as the minimum weight of each glider is 25kg..

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After that, we rushed to the Swinging Bridge as the journey to and fro was about 1 hour and it was already 3.10pm, 50min to closing time.. I’m glad we managed to make it and it was a great workout for all! The bridge was shaky as we crossed it but the kids were not afraid.. They were even jumping on it to shake it! πŸ˜…


We had dinner at a Chinese restaurant and the damage was about a hundred dollars.. The plain omelette was $18 and we couldn’t bear to order it! Haha.. A packet of 12 eggs was only $4.80!

After that, we went back and planned for our activities the following day.. Praying for good weather!

Sydney June 2016 Part 2

The weather was great today and we kind of regretted not booking for a tour to Blue Mountains.. 

We had no choice but to return to Darling Harbour again as we thought of visiting the Sea Life Aquarium there.. 

Since the weather was good, we thought we should do some outdoor activities 1st so we checked out the water taxis..


The cruise lasted about an hour and at the end of it, we were all very cold..


After the cruise, we headed to the Sea Life Aquarium.. We checked out the website and bought tickets to both the Sea Life Aquarium and the Sydney Wildlife Zoo at AUD$165 as it was cheaper than if we were to buy the tickets off the counter (AUD$40/adult and AUD$28/child for each attraction). It was about 3.30pm when we got our tickets..

We went to the zoo first as it closes at 5pm.. We thought the aquarium closes at 7pm.. We also thought the zoo would be small and that we could finish going around in an hour or so.. 


Sigh.. We left the zoo at about 5.10pm after Jocelle did her business and realized that the aquarium would be closed at 6pm that day and the last entry was at 5pm! We were so close! Sigh.. We tried to talked to the staff to let us just go in since we were leaving the next day.. They spoke to their superior but was told they could only extend our tickets for one more day.. We had to catch a flight to Hobart the next day at 11.10am so it’s impossible for us to utilize the tickets.. I guess we shouldn’t have been so ambitious.. Anyway, lesson learnt.. We need to check the opening hours more carefully… πŸ˜‘

We then waited for the Vivid Sydney light show to begin.. But as it was too cold, we didn’t stay for too long.. We went back to finish our food and packed up as much as we could as we had to set off early the next day.. I guess that’s all for Sydney this time.. πŸ˜”

Getting Wet in Sydney

It’s been 2 days of wet weather in Sydney.. We had been hoping for the best but it seems like the weather will be wet throughout our stay here.. 

Last night, we went to Darling Harbour after lunch.. We wanted to wait for the rain to stop but we decided to just brave the rain and leave the apartment.. We took the train and walked a bit before we reached around 4 plus.. 

We hung around there for a while and waited for the Vivid Sydney light show to begin at 6pm..

While waiting, the kids asked to try the Ferris Wheel.. The 7 of us squeezed into one capsule..

After our ride, we walked a bit more but found out that the light show had been cancelled due to the bad weather.. Most locals told us this extended period of rain was unexpected.. Sigh.. Guess our luck wasn’t so good.. We decided to call it a day and made our way back..


Today, it was still raining when we set off.. We wanted to check out Sydney Opera House and The Rocks.. The rain was very heavy when we reached Martin Place Station..  We had to use ponchos to prevent ourselves from getting drenched.. Because of the heavy rain, we decided to have our lunch at McDonalds..We then booked a Sydney Opera House tour at an agency but realized we could have gotten a cheaper package if we bought a family package at $95 for 2A2C instead of paying $37/adult and $20/child.. Think that lady could have suggested this option for us..πŸ˜‘

Along the way, we took some photos with the Harbour Bridge and Opera House in our background..


Anyway, we started our tour at 3pm and it lasted for an hour.. Quite an insightful tour, I think..


After the tour, we walked over to The Rocks to check out the shops.. The rain was relentless.. Sigh.. We took a break at an eatery where the kids had some pasta while we enjoyed a slice of cake and some hot drinks..


We walked around and waited for the light show which we were told had been delayed due to some technical issues.. After waiting for a while, we finally caught the show which was supposed to be on from 6-11pm daily.. 

As the rain was getting heavier, we decided to make our way back..

We saw the light show at Customs House.. 


We wanted to take the train back but was told that the we had to take a Train Replacement Bus to Bondi Junction where our apartment is due to a fallen tree on the train tracks.. The lady who informed us about this also told us this heavy storm was unexpected..

We then took a free bus service back and I’m glad the kids were still chirpy..


Sigh.. It’s been too wet and disappointing.. We most probably can’t make it to the Blue Mountains.. Let’s pray for better weather tomorrow! 

Forest Adventure @ Bedok Reservoir

Brought the kids to try out the obstacle course at the Forest Adventure at Bedok reservoir today..

We thought we could only let the kids try the Mini course since we didn’t prebook online before we went.. The mini course cost $15/child and the child can go through 3 rounds of the course.. It looks really mini and the obstacles were like the Wet Maze we tried at Adventure Cove last week..

Hubby asked for the Kids Course which cost $34/child for an hour. Luckily for us, the kids could go for the 4.30pm slot.. It was about 4pm when we reached.. We observed how other kids went through the courses while waiting for our turn..

When it’s almost time, the kids went to the starting point for a briefing.. Look how attentive they were..

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Then, they put on their harnesses and were raring to go!

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img_3385img_3376img_3370img_3358img_3354img_3367At the end of the course, they got to try the zip line which I think is their favourite of all!


They took about half an hour for the first round, mainly because of fear and unfamiliarity.. The second round was faster but Jovan who was the first in the line was still not as agile as Jocelle.. He said he had to focus! Haha.. Before they tried their third round, we asked Jovan to let Jocelle go first, which was a good move cos Jocelle was practically ‘racing’ through the course.. She even managed to go for a fourth round! Although there was time for Jovan to go for another half round, he decided to stop.. Guess he was tired.. Haha..

For $34, they got to try 3-4 rounds.. I think it’s quite worth it.. The kids enjoyed themselves thoroughly.. They were even energetic enough to cycle around the park for about half an hour..

I guess it’s a good place to go to if you want to build your kid’s confidence.. We saw a few crying and holding up the line but the instructors were ready to give assistance to those kids..

Do bring some insect repellent or patches along as the mosquitoes were practically feasting on my blood!Β 

March Holiday Activities Part 4

Today, Jocelle had to go to the ccc again as we signed her up for Batik Painting from 9.30-11.30am.. 

I bought tickets to the Disney on Ice in the evening at 7pm and thought of bringing them to the ice skating rink.. However, I was lazy so just spent the day doing some work.. Jovan wanted porridge for lunch so we ate at home.. We picked the girl at 4 plus so she could change at home.. We then left home at about 5pm so we could have enough time to eat and maybe shop around.. The kids were excited about the show and of course kept badgering me to buy the toys and stuff there.. Sigh, the merchandise were all very expensive so I didn’t get them anything.. I don’t think it’s worth it at all.. 

We saw many girls in their princess dresses and I was glad I didn’t dress the girl up like a princess.. Hee.. No princess dream for her.. Anyway, we found our seat quite easily and I’m glad I got the Cat 2 tix.. Our seats were actually not bad..  

 I bought popcorn for them at $7 to keep their mouths occupied! Haha.. The show started at 7pm sharp although there were people who started walking to their seats way past 7pm.. Hmm.. 

It was really quite a nice show with 4 stories presented, namely The Little Mermaid, Rapunzel, Beauty and the Beast and finally, Frozen.

There was an intermission after Rapunzel and I let the kids go to the washroom on their own.. I’m glad they knew the way back to our seats! Frozen was the highlight and when Elsa was singing Let it Go, I saw many girls in their Elsa gown dancing to the music.. Jocelle was singing along loudly too! Didn’t take many photos cos I didn’t bring my camera along.. Only zoomed in with my iPhone 6 at times cos some of the characters were so cute.. Haha.. I’ll just share some lousy shots of the show here..  

   
    
 

March Holiday Activities Part 3

On Thursday, I brought the boy to the library to read some Chinese books so he could complete his Chinese Book Record Worksheet.. While he was reading, I marked.. Quite a good way to spend our time.. When it’s lunch time, the boy again asked for Subway so we went to Vivo again. After that, we went home to rest for a while.. I’ve actually purchased tickets for the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum at NUS for entry after 4pm.. We got a 20% discount by paying with MasterCard so it was about $27 for the three of us..

We picked the girl at 3plus and proceeded to the museum.. Parking was ok.. Not too crowded.. We parked at Carpark 3A which was just behind the museum.. It was not a big place but the kids were excited to see the exhibits..  

    

  


Ok, the kids were posing with the sweets I bought for them, which was very rare as they were usually deprived of sweets and candies.. Haha..

I didn’t know there was an activity sheet the kids could complete but the kids were meaningfully occupied by the exhibits.. We found out that Jubi Lee, the sperm whale, was washed ashore our beach last year on Jovan’s birthday! I shared with them what were found in Jubi Lee’s stomach, how it was injured and how people kill whales for food.. It was a good opportunity to teach them not to litter to prevent the litter from ending up in the stomach of marine animals and killing them.. 

Of course, the skeletons of the dinosaurs were impressive although when compared to the Natural History Museum in London, they did not seem as big.. Hee.. But hey, we have one in our own backyard!

We spent about 1.5h in the museum and we didn’t read everything about every specimen.. There’s just too much information to digest! Maybe we can visit again when there’s a new exhibit?

After the museum visit, the kids asked to skate scoot.. When I asked them what they wanted for dinner, they requested for porridge.. I let them play for a while while I prepared dinner.. They had good fun playing at the playground too! They also enjoyed the dinner of simple porridge, broccoli, egg tofu and olive veggie.. Both were glad daddy wasn’t around to force them to eat chicken! Haha  

March Holiday Activities Part 2

It’s midweek of the holidays and the last day we can have fun as a family.. The kids went for an art class at Heart Studio in the morning.. The Chews and Tans also sent their kids for the same classes.. Brenda brought Stephanie’s kid, Sarah, along as Stephanie has just delivered her 2nd princess!  

    
 While the kids painted, we adults went to the Toast Box at Heartland Mall to chitchat.. It was so nice to catch up after the crazy term..

We went back to pick the kids and we’re happy to see the cheery kids with their beautiful products.. All of them looked proud of their work! 

 Hubby had to send his mum for a medical appointment so we joined the rest for lunch at Aston’s at Safra Toa Payoh.. We then took Harold’s car back as the kids had piano lessons.. 

For dinner, I made some glutinous dumplings from scratch! I even made them with peanut and sesame fillings! I’m so proud of myself! Hee.. The kids were happy to have them for dinner instead of proper food! πŸ˜…

For myself, I had an instant cup noodle for dinner.. That’s all for today! Tmr, I’ll be left with the kids on my own..