Thursday, February 28, 2013

Last day of our KL trip

A quick post today, with lots of photos.

Our last day in KL was Sunday, 17 February 2013. We spent our morning packing our bags and then we headed into KL city for lunch with our Singaporean friends at Oversea Restaurant. There are five Oversea Restaurant outlets in the Klang Valley and two more outlets in Ipoh. The one in Jalan Imbi is the most famous and our out-of-town guests were keen to dine at this well-known Cantonese restaurant before they left for Singapore, so that's where we went.

We were the first to arrive so we used the time to snap some photos...

After lunch and after the children had given each other their heartfelt goodbyes, we rendezvous-ed with Margaret and the rest to go for Chinese New Year visiting at Mary's place. The adults played some "Big 2", I fed Rachel her lunch and Ryan tested Jerica's headphones while the older boys went swimming.

I asked him for a photo, this was the pose he gave me.

Mary recently bought a second condo for rental income so we all trooped over to the new condo to ooh and ahh over it. Here's little babydoll, admiring the view.

We had dinner nearby with the family. We left from the restaurant and arrived in Singapore just before midnight. And that was the end of our trip.

This round, we had quite a long trip. Next trip back to KL will be in April. Kidzania again? Any Malaysian mummies out there with kids around Ryan's age who wanna meet up at Kidzania??

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Kidzania again!

Ryan had a sweet treat when we were in KL over Chinese New Year - his friends came to visit! Three families - Rou Ern's, Brayden's and Victoria's - drove up on Friday and stayed till Sunday.

For the children, the highlight of the trip must have been their outing to Kidzania on Saturday! This was Ryan's second time there (read about his first time here).

First stop was the easy one - arts and crafts at Stabilo. Ryan did this the last time he was in Kidzania.

Next stop, shopping at Z-Mart. It was the boys vs the girls. The boys bought bananas, a carrot, some Vitagen, some fish and a doughnut. The girls bought mainly chips and cookies!

Then, it was time to earn some money! They went off to work in construction. That's where the big bucks are! Ryan enjoyed this station a lot - he kept telling me that he got to "work with tools". At home, he's very much into building blocks and making sure things are nice and neat, so this was right up his alley.

Cooking school - learning to make a tuna sandwich! Ryan is second from the right.

It's supposed to look like a happy face...

Upstairs - Vitagen factory and water bottling plant. They each got a bottle of Vitagen and a bottle of mineral water.

The children also went to AirAsia to learn how to be pilots. Didn't get any photos of that though.

Then back downstairs again. I was really keen for Ryan to go for this one - the dentist!

It was a fantastic station because at the briefing, the staff explained how to brush teeth, what happens if they don't brush their teeth, and what the dentist does. A few days after this, I needed to floss Ryan's teeth, and he let me do it without any fuss at all, because I told him it was just like the dentist at Kidzania!

Next stop - the firestation! Ryan tried to get on this one the last time he was in Kidzania but could never catch enough of a crowd. This time, there was a perpetual queue so we left it till our last, and we actually were on the firestation's very last round.

These are the official photographs. RM50 for 3. We were lucky - we got photos of stations that were different from the ones on Ryan's first trip to Kidzania. This round we got dentist, bottling plant, and firefighter.

Here's babydoll, she slept most of the time. Richard was not with us because he had to return Margaret's car and he also went to fetch my phone from the repair shop. The microphone on the phone had died the day before - a person on the line with me would not have been able to hear me at all. It took Richard a fair bit of time because he had to drive all the way into KL and back to PJ. We were at Kidzania for about four hours and he only managed to join us at the very end.

It was a really fun outing for the children. Ryan enjoyed himself so much, he's still talking about it even now that we're back in Singapore.

Kidzania, we'll be back again!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

4th and 5th days of Chinese New Year

The 4th day of Chinese New Year - time to say bye bye to Ipoh!

We checked out of the hotel and proceeded to an early lunch with my relatives at the food stalls near the Perak Stadium. Everytime we come here (which is during the Chinese New Year period), my uncle and aunt will tell the rest (non-Ipohites) that the food is not as good as it normally is, because the popular stalls are not open for business yet. Nevertheless, we still yum-yum'd it all.

We left directly from there. The drive back to KL was smooth and pleasant and when we got in, we headed for Pelita in SS2 for some roti canai (in Singapore, this is called roti prata). Here's Rachel with a little bit of it. She is very adventurous with food and will try anything. She may eventually decide she doesn't like the taste of it, but she's open-minded and curious enough to give it a go before deciding. In contrast, Ryan makes his decision based on how the food looks. If it doesn't pass the looks test, he won't proceed further. He won't try it at all. Maybe this is a indication of his approach to women in future!

We sent Margaret's BMW X1 for a good bath and polish, while we went for dinner in Subang with Richard's side of the family. After dinner, it was back to the house for the lighting of the Kuomintang lantern. You are supposed to write your wishes on the lantern but we didn't. We just made sure that everyone put their hands on it for a while before it got too hot and lifted off into the night.

We launched fireworks after that and Terri and Vincent popped over for a short visit as well. Richard's parents love Terri and Vincent so they were pleased to see them.

We had quite a late night, left about 2 am, so we were really tired by the time we got home.

The next day was Valentine's Day! I must say that I had quite a crummy Valentine's Day this year. Oh, nothing bad happened. There was just very little Valentine's Day in our Valentine's Day. I didn't get any flowers and I didn't get a present. I could blame it on the fact that we were in the midst of Chinese New Year or that we were travelling but I didn't even get a "Happy Valentine's Day" from my hubby. I'm not happy! It's bad enough that I don't get any acknowledgment on Mother's Day, I should not have to give up my Valentine's Day too! It was so insignificant that it doesn't deserve a post of its own, hence the combined post today. Hmmph.

You know those people who tell you, oh we don't celebrate Valentine's Day "because everyday should be Valentine's Day". Yeah, ok. I don't subscribe to that. Valentine's Day, and any couple-thingy or lovey-dovey thingamajig, is significant to me because it is so difficult to squeeze out time for each other in our usual routine. On Valentine's Day, you have a legitimate reason to prioritise yourself and your other half over your children. Just one day a year. So, yes, I want my Valentine's Day, I want my flowers and everything else. All of it.


Anyway, here's what we did. After our late night, we woke up late. Drove over to Margaret's place because Richard's mum had cooked lunch for everyone.

We did have a vague plan of leaving Ryan with his cousins at Margaret's place so that we could spend some couple time in the afternoon. Ok ok, couple-plus-one-babydoll time. Anyway, that didn't work because Ryan didn't want to stay there. So our whole family ventured out together after lunch.

We felt a little sorry for Ryan, since the darling boy gave up his time with his cousins to stick with us, so we wanted to find something that he would enjoy. We decided on 1 Utama because there is an indoor playground there. After half an hour of rounding the carpark hunting for a lot, we gave up and went to J Kids at Paradigm Mall instead. We got in with zero problems.

J Kids at Paradigm Mall uses the same system as the one in Singkids in Singapore. It was unlimited play for RM20 on weekdays. We took turns accompanying Ryan in the playground (while the other shopped). We rounded off the trip to the mall with a quick meal for Ryan at Old Town White Coffee.

On the way home in the car, Richard and I tried seeing how we could salvage the rest of Valentine's Day. We could at least have a nice restaurant dinner? That thought lasted maybe about three minutes or until we turned around and saw Ryan fast asleep in his car seat. Oh joy. We ended up buying a packet of maggi mee goreng and a packet of nasi lemak and watching "Life of Pi" on DVD at home, while the two littles slept. Cheapest Valentine's Day date ever.

Ryan and babydoll woke up after the movie and so we drove over to Margaret's house, just to sit around and chat for a while.

And that was our Valentine's Day. Pooi.

Day 3 was a heavy family day. It began with the greetings of the season!

In the video, you can see little Rachel standing in the background, peeking at what Richard is doing. Richard was trying to get the kettle going in our hotel room.

You know it's going to be a good year when this fellow shows up!

We ambitiously aimed for dim sum at Foh San in Jalan Leong Sin Nam, the oldest and most famous dim sum establishment in Ipoh. We tried to get in when we were last in Ipoh, in July, but we weren't successful then. It was not meant to be, I guess, because it was just as packed this time. We ended up where we ended up last time - next door! Which was good enough for us. The amazing thing about Ipoh is that good food is more or less the default.

Here's Ryan having the roast pork bun (just the bread, not the pork). He's hanging on to a packet of sponge-y letters and numbers which we bought from the "pasar malam" outside Lou Wong the night before. They were selling 3 packets for RM10, so we picked up 3. Ryan was overjoyed. Later down in this post, you can see what he did with all those pieces!

After that, we gathered over at Uncle Daniel's house. My mother and brother were putting up there for the week. It is also the usual Chinese New Year gathering place for all in the family and when the rest had arrived, we all drove over to Uncle Peter's place in Tambun, at the foot of the limestone hills.

As usual, there was good food, mahjong for the experts and cards for the rest. My brother took the banker's seat for blackjack and drew double aces three times, so he cleaned up the table.

My mum is holding Rachel in the photo above. In the photo below, you can see that everyone's mouth is full of food! Except for my brother - he is busy "eating on the table".

Ryan and the non-gamblers found more innovative ways to entertain themselves.

Later that evening, we all congregated at a Chinese restaurant for our reunion dinner. We were three tables full and the mood was merry and happy.

Ryan brought his purple Angry Bird balloon to show everyone. He said he wanted to play hide and seek with me so I told him, sure, as long as he stayed inside the room and as long as he kept his balloon with him. He chose to hide in plain sight.

Well, maybe he thought that, as long as he closed his eyes, I might not be able to see him?

We had some karaoke action going on, with my uncles chipping in here and there. Ryan sang his first karaoke song too! It was Christina Perri's "A Thousand Years". I don't think he knows the melody but he was able to read the lyrics on the screen, so everyone gave him the thumbs up.

Rachel was very much in demand and was passed around from table to table.

It was a good day. Although we come back only once a year to Ipoh, it is an opportunity which we cherish deeply and which we never take for granted. To know that wherever we go, however far we venture, however long we stay away, we can always come home to our loved ones - that's the kind of fuel that keeps us going.

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