Thursday, May 29, 2008

New Patio Furniture?

I bought my first set of patio furniture when we lived in Bangkok. It was a 1.2 m diameter round teak table complete with four foldable chairs. We had this set up on our rooftop patio which overlook miles and miles of Bangkok skyline on a clear day. Boys were rather small then, and the 1.2 m diameter table was adequate. Now....with the boys bigger, the table seems rather small. When four of us sit around the table, it does feel a bit of a squeeze. I am thinking of getting a new set. Perhaps a 8-seater rectangular table. Then at least when we have a BBQ gathering, our guests can sit comfortably and not have to make do on rickety stools!

H's Life Insurance

Both H and I purchased our first life insurance in our early twenties, i.e. when we started our first jobs. The coverage amount was quite measly then. However, when I quit my job to follow H around for his international assignments, we decided that he should up his life insurance coverage. We obtained the appropriate term life insurance quote and signed-up for the new coverage. Now, I am wondering if we should also get life insurance for the kids.

Gummy S@% !!!

One weekend afternoon (some moons ago), we decided to make some gummy animals from a Gummy-Making Kit that I bought from a baking shop in Section 14, PJ last December. It's complete with mould and flavourings...everything to make the Gummy sweets.

So far, so good... concoction in the mould.

Well, instead of the animals that were supposed to take shape, ours somehow turned out to be Gummy Sai! All like yatt-peck-yia!!!

Do you think it's because I've kept the Kit in the cupboard for too long? I couldn't find the expiry date on the box. Anyway, they looked so yucky that I ended throwing out the whole lot after a week. Even the boys were a little put-off by the looks despite of these being sweeties....

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Driving Cattle!

When we were flying home from Bali the other day, I read in the inflight magazine that one can go on a three week "driving cattle holiday" Down Under. The first thing that came to my mind was the movie "City Slickers", starring Billy Crystal. I wondered if H would ever be interested to do that, i.e. drive cattle and learning everything about cattle supplies to keep the herd strong and healthy for the long journey. Would you be interested?

Swim or Play?

Do your children swim or play in the swimming pool?
Mine would just play and fool around in the pool. No real swimming involved unless I FORCED them to. :-D
They would grab their pool floats and pool toys and dump them all into the water. It's a joy watching my boys having fun, frolicking in the water....without a care in the world.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Bali - Part 4

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Waaaa... I am like soooo cheong-hei like that. Go for few days only and got 4 parts summore!!!

Anyway, this will be the final one. :-)

Friday (23 May) the day that we don't go anywhere..don't do anything. However, being the kiasu one that I am, Accor was offering free gifts if you attend their 90-minute marketing talk for their new vacation club (Time-Share lah...) at the 5 * Novotel Nusa Dua. So.... after breakfast, H and the boys were dragged along with me. The boys were put in the Kids Club over there while H and I listened to the marketing guy.....
Did we buy??

No. We did not.

It doesn't suit our travelling lifestyle....PLUS...they only have ONE resort in Asia at the moment, which is the Novotel Nusa Dua. They do have quite a number in Australia, and also members are able to stay in other properties worldwide...But like I said, the overall scheme does not really suit our last-minute type of travelling. These time-share schemes somehow requires many months of ADVANCE booking.

What did we get out of this talk?

About USD 88 worth of hotel vouchers that we could use at our hotel which is pretty
potent cocktails, lunch and beachside massage all FREE!!!!

We hung out at the pool and beach for a fair bit... Actually, I must prefer this Novotel in Tanjung Benoa than the one in Nusa Dua. It's much cosier and with a village feel. Somehow, these days...I very takut of BIG BIG hotels leh. Why I donno...

Photos taken in the hotel

Boys took part in A SandCastle Contest

No prizes for winners...All the participants got a free Cornetto. When S2 didn't win, he was winching as usual...and mumbled a "I don't want any stupid ice-cream!"....Did he eat the free ice-cream?

Of course he did!!

S1's Masterpiece
S2's Masterpiece

For dinner, we went to Kafe Warisan....also very romantic....

I had the very yummy Hot Foie Gras (now you know why my cholestrol is going uphill!!), Pan-fried Duck Breast and Hot Chocolate Cake!!

It was a delectable dinner...and a romatic one if H was not on the phone all night!!!

The next day,....we took the first flight out of Bali for home. The first thing we did was to head to Penang Bistro for an early lunch. Yup! More eating!!! to LOSE all the WEIGHT that was gained over the last few days!!!!!

Bali - Part 3

Continuation from here and here.
Thursday (22 May) was another early morning start. We were at the lobby by 8 AM to wait for the Bali Sobek people.... We've made a booking with them for white-water rafting, and our package includes pick-up from hotel to River Ayung departure point, near Ubud.

However, being the ultra-spoilt people that we are, H did not want to ride in their van. Instead, we took our own car and driver (which was also good as it gave us some flexibility). Ride to our departure point was also pretty long... 1 1/2 hours? Or was it 2 hours? We passed by quite a number of exclusive resorts like The Four Seasons at Sayan, The KayuManis....our departure point was just next to the Como Shambala.
We changed and geared up with life-jackets, helmet and our paddle...and head on down the steep cliff to the River Ayung. I was told that the gradient is 120 meters! H kept on saying "it's not the going down. It's the climbing up later that is the problem!!! We'll see how fit your mother is!!"

The white-water rafting here is quite mild. That's why kids from 7 years old can come along. We did collide with some huge rocks twice, which we had to move to one side of the raft to avoid it from over-turning. That kept the adrenalin-pumping a quite bit. Otherwise, it was a tranquil float down the river.

The River Ayung

Waterfall @ The River Ayung

After approximately two hour, our rafting came to an end. It was then that I understood why the price for this rafting was so expensive. Look at the pics below:
Every raft have to be dismantled after each ride
Folded and Carried Uphill!
I was told that each of these rafts weighs 60 kg!!!
Plus the helmets, life-jackets, paddles etc...need to be carried up too!

This company also charges a premium as compared to the others.
Think their safety standards are quite stringent (Boys' school also Okay-ed this company). They've got proper changing facilities etc at both the departure and exit points of the river. And I mean quite nicely built ones.... Our package also includes lunch, which was served by the river. But again, we didn't wanna eat. We decided to go on to Ubud for lunch. That's where the flexibility of having our own transport comes in. :-) Otherwise, we would have to hop onto their van to head back to the hotel.

Our exit point is just next to the famed Amandari.
So...naturally, I had to take a picture..... I've been to Amandari!!!!

Old Lady Amandari

Now...where did we go for lunch???

At IBU OKA told that it's the best Babi Guling in Bali!

Babi Guling

Quite Scary, hor??

I have to admit that when I saw the plates of babi guling and vege over rice, I was a bit so messed up like that. So we ordered the meats to be separately served. Turns out... the pork was pretty tender and yummy.

This ornate door was found inside Ibu Oka...which is NOT a fancy place. So this door is kinda out of place lor.

After lunch, we jalan-jalan in Ubud abit. I was NOT allowed to go into Pasar Ubud.... know the 3 boys lah. Grumble Grumble Grumble.

Did stop by at the Cafe Lotus for a drink and a pee before we head on back to the hotel.

We arrived back at the hotel with another 2 hours to kill before dinner , so again...boys played at the pool and beach. Me? Had another potent cocktail. Happy hour maaaa...

We had dinner reservations at Ku De Ta @ Seminyak. Was quite impressed with the shops in Seminyak. Not the usual tourist bric-a-brac type of shops...but quite hip and stylish type of shops and merchandise. Ku De Ta is located just next to The Oberoi.
So romantic, yeah?? Unfortunately, we had our 2 monsters with us....who were talking d@mn loud in this fine dining establishment. Ku De Ta does have a kids menu (Thank God!) and S1 had a Chicken Snitzel roll and S2 fish and chips.

What did I have?
Seared Scallops for starter, and a veal something for main and creme brulee for dessert.


Sunday, May 25, 2008

Bali - Part 2

Continuation from here...

After lickin' our fingers, we head on back from Denpasar to our hotel...arriving back at about 5 pm. Since we had some time to kill before dinner, the boys head out to the beach and pool. H and I just sat by the beach bar to enjoy the sea breeze over a potent cocktail for me, and a Bintang beer for him.

Boys naturally wanted to EAT-IN again. But with H around, we got to EAT-OUT.
Yay!!!! H had already decided where he wanted to go for dinner....and it's in Kuta.

Where did we go for dinner?

Give you a guess...


Can guess??
We ate at.....BUBBA GUMP!

It's a restaurant chain inspired by the movie "FORREST GUMP"

These signs are used to call the wait staff. RUN FORREST RUN means that all is A-O-K.The other sign, that's in RED, reads STOP FORREST STOP. And this calls out for the wait staff's attention.

Personally, I think these signs are pretty troublesome. You got to flip-up, flip-down etc. My LOUD voice can already what!!!

Some pics inside the restaurant

We had some shrimp thingy for starter and two HUGE slabs of baby pork ribs for dinner. A little weird to come to a shrimp place for ribs. But the ribs were kinda good. :-) Also had a key lime pie for dessert. No photos of food as we attacked our food as soon as it came!