Road Trip and Post X’mas Family Gathering

We met up with the usual gang – Chews, Laus, Tohs and Tans – on the Saturday after Christmas at about 12.30pm to drive to Senai for Korean food.. Johnson had been telling us about this Korean restaurant that he had tried and recommended that we make a trip there..

We checked the traffic camera before we decided to take the 2nd link as the traffic seemed light.. Sigh.. we were so wrong! We cleared the Singapore customs fairly quickly but were stuck for about 2 hours over at the Malaysia customs.. It was a long and tiring wait.. The kids didn’t want to take a nap and were making lots of noise along the way..

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By the time we reached the restaurant, it was after 3pm! The kids didn’t complain though, probably because their friends were with them.. The restaurant only had 3 customers when we arrived so we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves.. We served the kids their food before we started eating and chatting.. The kids took one table and the ladies sat together while the gentlemen occupied another table.. haha.. I’m so glad the restaurant was quite empty.. It could be due to the location of the restaurant or that we were there way past the lunch hour.. haha..

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After lunch, the kids treated themselves to an ice cream cone each although some had a second helping.. haha.. We split the cost and each family had to pay about $50..

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After that, we had to make our way back to my sister’s place for our post Christmas gathering with our relatives.. The traffic was equally bad at the Malaysia customs but my man “accidentally took the left-most lane which was meant for lorries and “overtook” many cars by “cutting the queue”. Even then, we took about an hour and 45min to clear the customs.. by the time we reached Emily’s place, it was close to 8pm…

We ate again and the kids were blessed with more gifts from their cousins, aunts and uncles.. We celebrated the birthday of Zach (my nephew) with a log cake and before everyone left, we lined the gifts behind each kid and allowed them to unwrap their gifts… The kids were of course very happy to receive so many gifts!

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We had 2 big bags of gifts to lug back and I warned them not to sleep in the car or we would throw away their gifts since we would not be able to carry them and their gifts.. It was a very successful warning as both tried hard to keep themselves awake until we reached home.. haha..

Oh yes, we also took a wefie with everyone present that night! Love my family!!

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Malacca Aug 2013 Day 1

We decided end June that we should go on a trip together this super long weekend.. with my mum and siblings… wanted to go to Bali but couldn’t get any air tickets.. no rooms at Genting Highlands.. Finally, we decided on Malacca..

We were warned about the possible jam but we had to set off after 2 as Emily had to attend a wedding function.. we wanted to set off earlier and maybe bring the kids to Legoland first while waiting for the rest.. However, after the trip to USS on Wednesday, we decided that we should let the Shum rest more before the long drive…

We set off close to 3pm from Audry’s place and when we reached the second link, I was still quite optimistic about the traffic.. We cleared the Singapore customs pretty quickly but when we neared the Malaysia customs, we saw the jam.. we crawled our way slowly and it took about 2.5h for us to clear the customs! The drivers were all willing the traffic to move faster as all were experiencing high tides! Haha..

We didn’t know where to meet the rest actually as there was no prior arrangement.. haha.. we almost missed them but we managed to contact them and reversed into the petrol kiosk.. Em and Audry were getting Malaysia prepaid SIM cards for ease of communication.. I got one for myself too… RM30 for one and we can use the Internet at RM3/day.. quite affordable..

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After we got the telco guy to set up the phones for us, we moved off again..

We made another pit stop for a stretch and a bite as well as a toilet break.. very tempted to buy the durians at RM8/kg.. hee.. but we resisted..

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Filling up the second time...

Then the final lap to the hotel! We reached the hotel at about 9pm and quickly checked in to drop off our luggage..

We didn’t get the bigger premier room this time but it’s good enough.. the kids were excited about the bath tub and my boy couldn’t wait to strip to play in the tub!! Haha..

They couldn’t control themselves and quickly jumped onto the day bed, as expected…

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We love the day bed!

We actually saw fireworks along the way and even out of the window of the hotel room!

We then went out for a late dinner.. most of the restaurants are closed but we managed to get some pizzas and burgers from McDonald’s..

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Late dinner

We’ll find Peranakan food tomorrow!

Road Trip to KL-Malacca (Part 4-Malacca)

We’re into day 4 of our trip..

We went to the Old Town White Coffee at Mahkota to have breakfast in the morning… We were quite glad that there’s free wifi there as we seemed to be disconnected with the world without Internet access.. Hee..

After a hearty breakfast, we checked out the mall for playgrounds for the kids.. There was one beside the food court but it didn’t look very interesting.. We then decided to move on to the nearby mall and found the indoor playground that Brenda brought her kids to previously.. She told us it was very cheap.. It was really cheap indeed! RM10 per child unlimited playtime! We happily paid up and the kids went in in a flash! They didn’t even have to wear socks!

The adults then took turns to explore the area and shop around… We considered bringing the kids to watch Wreck-it Ralph and took note of the timing.. We even contemplated karaoke! Brenda suggested river cruise too.. There were several options.. Some of us still wanted to bring the kids for a swim in the pool since the weather seemed warm..

I managed to get Jovan another gun which cost RM24.90.. I sure hope this gun would make it back to Singapore!

After the kids got tired of playing in the playground, they came out and drove around in the battery-operated cars.. Then, they got attracted by Oppa Gangnam Style! We saw Cephas near the stage and thought he was the one who asked for the song! We later realized that he only signed up for a jigzaw puzzle competition.. Soon, a man in Santa costume started dancing to the music.. We realized he was performing some magic.. Cephas raised his hand readily when the magician asked for volunteers… Apparently, the magician wanted the 2 volunteers to hold a balloon on their heads while he tried to blow a dart at the balloons to burst them.. Not a difficult task except that he was blindfolded! OMG! I was about to go and shop in Mr DIY when I stopped in my tracks.. From the side of the stage, I could see Brenda hiding behind someone.. She couldn’t bear to watch! I wouldn’t be able to if Jovan were up on stage! Fortunately, Cephas got off the stage in one piece… Phew!

After that, Soot Mei and hubby also got picked to help the magician in his performance.. Their experience was not as hair-raising as Cephas’ though, thankfully..

We decided to go for lunch cos it was already close to 2pm and we were worried about the kids although most of us were not hungry..

We went to Station Kopitiam as we were misled by the Free Wifi sign.. Apparently, the connection was super slow and Brenda couldn’t do her research on the Desaru Fruit Farm which she suggested we visit the following day..

While we were waiting for the food, Soot Mei and I went to collect the cake we ordered earlier.. We wanted to give Brenda a surprise birthday celebration! It was a small chocolate cake but it was delicious! The kids enjoyed singing the birthday song and blowing out the candle.. Happy Birthday, Brenda!

After lunch, we went back to the hotel and brought the kids to the pool again.. There were quite a number of people in the pool so we thought it was not too cold.. But alas, the water was cold! The kids didn’t feel that way though as they were all splashing about in the pool.. We didn’t let them play there for too long as we didn’t want them to fall sick.. Think they spent about half an hour in the pool..

The kids went back to the room for a quick shower before we met up with the rest.. We wanted to go for the river cruise but the weather was not very encouraging.. We stopped by at a large field where the kids were let loose..

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It started to drizzle so we decided that we should proceed for dinner instead.. We went to a Taiwanese Japanese restaurant for dinner and we had a filling meal! After that, we went to the supermarket to get some milk powder and breakfast for the following day.. The milk powder was really cheap! A 900g tin of Friso 3 cost $19 plus there while a similar tin costs $30 here! We bought only 4 tins but we were very happy with our savings.. Maybe we should go to Malaysia more frequently to get milk for Jocelle…

Road Trip to KL-Malacca ( Part 3-Malacca)

On day 3 of our trip, we decided to set off for Malacca after breakfast.. We met at the lobby at about 10am to make our way to our 2nd destination – Malacca..

We reached the hotel at about 2.30pm and by then, this was what happened to the swords we bought the kids.. Haha…

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Jovan was very upset but I tried to pacify him and tell him that we’ll try to get him another sword.. The rooms were not ready so we all left our stuff at Johnson’s room cos he was the only one who had a room..

We then went to the Mong Kok Cafe at the nearby mall for lunch.. As we were walking to the restaurant, Jovan was holding hands with Ashley so I took a few photos of them..

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It was about 4pm after we had lunch.. After that, we decided to split up and shop around at the mall before we meet up at the hotel lobby at 5pm.

We walked around a bit but I was not in the mood to shop with the two kids tagging along.. There were some events happening where in atrium but they were not very suitable for my kids so I suggested to hubby that we could bring the kids for a swim in the hotel pool…

As we were making our way back to the hotel, we realized that all our stuff are in Johnson’s room! Haha.. We had no choice but to stop by some kiddy rides for the kids to entertain themselves.. After a while, we saw Abbie and family.. And finally, Soot Mei and family joined us.. We then made our way back to the hotel to get our rooms so the kids could have a dip in the pool..

And when we got our room, we realized that our room was bigger than the others again! Lucky us again! Hee.. Look at how spacious the room was!
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The kids got ready at lightning speed cos they were very eager to swim! However, when we reached the pool together with Soot Mei, Shannon and Kayden, we realized that the water was freezing cold! Within 10min, we got the kids out of the pool,and told them they could continue their ‘swim’ back in the hotel room bathtub.. Haha.. It was warm and comfy for them!

We rested in the hotel room until it was about dinner time.. Then we met up with the rest and proceeded to Jonker Walk.. We had our dinner at Peranakan Restaurant and decided we should have some group photos taken..

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It was so difficult to take photos with 8 kids! There would be at least one of them who seemed to be looking everywhere but the camera! Haha..

Some background info: We 4 ladies have been friends since 1999 and our hubbies were all born in the year of the Dragon.. We all have a prince and a princess each and this is the first time we’re travelling together!

Love the group photos!

After dinner, we brought them to Hotel Puri to see the swallows and their nests… I’ve stayed at this hotel in my previous trips to Malacca.. Very authentic Peranakan feel..

We then took a walk in Jonker Walk.. Johnson bought Kayden a gun and Jovan kept asking for one.. We eventually got one for him at RM10..

Finally, we ended our walk and decided to head back to the hotel.. As we were all too tired to take the long walk back with kids in tow, we decided to take the trishaw.. They quoted us RM15 for the trip but we ended up paying RM20 as we did not have the exact amount.. Actually, it’s quite tiring job for the cyclist so we didn’t mind paying more…

We let the kids bathe in the bathtub again and called it a day..

Oh.. Before we could do that, the gun we bought stopped working.. It didn’t last an hour.. Hubby tried to pull the trigger and the gun became ‘soundless’ and ‘lightless’… Sigh.. Took me a long time to pacify Jovan that we’d get new batteries the next day to get the gun working again.. Sigh.. Hubby should be banned from holding anything that requires electricity to work!

Road Trip to KL-Malacca (Part 2-Kidzania)

This was actually the highlight of the trip – A trip to Kidzania, an indoor theme park where kids role play in different occupations and earn some ‘money’..

We purchased the tickets online as we heard that there’s a quota for each session.. Being kiasu parents, we decided to play safe.. Haha.. We thought we could cut down on the time spent on queueing but we were wrong.. We bought tickets for the first session which was from 10am to 3pm.. We thought they kids could try out many occupations in that 5 hours.. We were wrong again.. Sigh..

We gathered at the hotel lobby at 9.30am after we had our breakfast and set off to Kidzania.. We were definitely not the earliest.. The Q for those who had purchased the tickets was longer than the walk-in Q.. The locals pay less than foreigners.. Sometimes I really wonder why our government does not take care of us like those in other countries.. Many countries actually sell theme park tickets at a cheaper rate for the locals..

Anyway, we were told to cash out the 50 Kidzos cheques at the CIMB bank inside after they put on an electronic tag for each of us.. The tags were useful in case the kids were separated from us.. They were supposed to help us pick out the photos taken but that didn’t work for us…

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There was an opening performance but we didn’t concentrate on that cos I wanted Jovan to try out the Flight Simulator.. However, by the time we located the place, the queue was already very long.. We then decided to let the kids try out any of the occupations in the hospital.. The wait was definitely more than 40min long! It was a really long wait and Jocelle was too young to be a nurse so I had to bring her to the school to while away some time while her brother became a nurse at the Nursery and learnt to bathe a ‘baby’…

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After that, we wanted to bring Jovan to the Fire Station but the queue was too long! We went to the Police Station to queue but after queueing for a while, we decided to move on to something which had a shorter queue.. We also wanted to find something that both Jocelle and Ayden (the youngest ones in the group) could do.. We went to the construction site where the kids could lay bricks and paint.. The queue looked short but still, the kids had to queue for more than 40min for their turn to lay bricks… The staff there really took his own sweet time….. Sigh.. The kids couldn’t paint as the site was under maintenance.. Sigh..

Anyway, the kids looked so cute in the helmets.. One of their hands was always holding their helmet as they struggled to lay the bricks.. It was a funny sight…

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Meanwhile, Abbie was queueing at the supermarket so that Ashley could try out being a cashier.. By the time the kids were done at the construction site, we went to the supermarket as it was almost our turn.. The kids could choose to be a cashier or a shopper but there could only be 2 cashiers each time.. There was a girl queueing before Ashley so Jovan couldn’t be a cashier.. However, Jovan wanted to be a cashier so Ashley sweetly gave up her chance for Jovan… But we still had to wait…. Jocelle started whining and asking for milk while we were waiting and Harold kindly volunteered to bring her and Ayden to the playground.. The Tans are just so nice!! I then went to buy some fish balls for Jovan and hubby.. By the time, it was Jovan’s turn, he was eating his first fish ball and he didn’t want to enter the supermarket.. Sigh.. Look at his grouchy face…

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Anyway, he still had fun, I think.. Thankfully, there was an older boy who was assigned to help him scan the items..

Jovan then asked to be a policeman so we went to queue at the Police Station.. Again, we waited for quite long.. I went to check on Jocelle while Abbie helped me queue with Jovan.. Ashley was not well so she didn’t join Jovan this time..

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The kids didn’t have time to try out any other occupations so we counted the Kidzos they earned and went to the shop to ‘purchase’ whatever we could with the 142 Kidzos they had.. They could only afford to buy some paste-on tattoos at 100 Kidzos! This was the only thing we could buy and the kids could share.. We then made our way back to the hotel after we stopped by a cafe to have our very late lunch..

Jovan kept asking for the blue sword he saw the previous day so we decided to buy it for him.. Jocelle got to choose one too! We then went back to the hotel room to rest for a while before dinner..

We went to the mall opposite the hotel to shop and Brenda spotted something interesting.. We just had to spend RM80 for our princesses to have a makeover photoshoot! I was rather keen until I realized that Jocelle was too short for the makeover.. The gowns were too long for her.. She started crying in disappointment when she realized that she couldn’t be a princess.. Poor thing.. I had to buy a packet of marshmallows to pacify her..

Celestiel and Shannon went for the makeover after their mummies made the minimum purchases.. Both looked gorgeous!! The process was very elaborate and long.. Think they spend about an hour each at the makeover.. I think it’s very worth it.. Too bad my princess couldn’t try it… But I’m sure there’ll be plenty of opportunities in future!

We were all very tired cos of the long waiting time and Jocelle kept asking to be carried.. Harold had to carry Ayden most of the time too so I think we badly needed a massage!

We wanted to go for a massage session after our dinner and Johnson kindly volunteered to mind the kids while we go for our massage session… But too bad, all the slots at the spa centre in the hotel were fully booked for the night so I had to settle for a warm bath in the bathtub… Better than nothing…

Road trip to KL-Malacca (Part 1)

Went on a short trip to Malaysia with the Chew family, Lau family and Tan family from 13-17 Dec..

4 families, 4 cars, 8 adults, 8 kids, a wonderful road trip!

We met at about 9.30am at the Bird Park before we made our way to KL… Mr Chew led the way with the help of his GPS and 4 walkie talkies.. We had a lunch break at Ayer Keroh KFC before we carried on with our journey..

When we finally reached the hotel, we realized that we were at the wrong place.. Fortunately, the correct hotel is just a short distance away.. The names of the hotels were very similar..

Anyway, after we checked in, we went to our respective rooms to take a breather before we met up with the other families for a short walk in the mall before our dinner..

I commented to hubby that our room was quite nice.. There was a bathtub as well as a shower area.. The bedroom was also separated from the living area by a sliding door and there were 2 TV sets.. There was also a small dining area near the door..

It was only when I met up with the rest did I realize that our room seemed different from the rest as there were no bathtubs in the other room.. So I decided that I would check if I had booked a different room from the rest later…

We shopped around and a blue sword caught Jovan’s eyes.. We tried to distract him and managed to carry on with our window shopping..

We went on to have dinner at Bubba Gump which was having a promotion – Kids dine free with every main dish ordered! The kids had a spaghetti kids meal each while hubby and I had fish and chips and a vegetarian mushroom burger respectively.. It was a very filling dinner… burp!

The Chews went back soon after dinner as the Chew kids sleep very early, around 8.30pm?

The rest of us brought the kids to a small playground in the mall for them to exercise.. They also spent some time driving some battery-operated cars and motorcycles.. It cost RM10 for a 5min ride..

We decided to call it a day at about 9 plus although we let the kids ‘swim’ in the bathtub for a while before we made them sleep.. They need to be up early for Kidzania the next day!

Oh yes, and we realised that we had been upgraded from Studio Deluxe-King to an Executive Suite! Lucky us!