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Monday, December 28, 2009

Splashing Fun Time

Why is this cheh-cheh so happy?

"Mebbe I should try also"

"Water, Water Everywhere"

"This is fun!"

"Mummy, can we come her every day pls???"

Photos taken at Vivo City, Singapore during our Christmas holiday :)

Monday, December 21, 2009

New York , New York !

*final part of my US trip*

After shopping at San Marcos, the next part of my trip was to New York to visit a very good friend of mine from school.

I almost didn't make it to New York though. When I was in Houston, I was half thinking of flying back directly after the work week, cos the NY flight tickets were more expensive that I budgeted (darn the 7 day window!!) and mainly cos I was missing Elyssa so much. I called up MAS but was told that every flight was fully booked for that week. In hindsight, that turned out to be a blessing as I really enjoyed shopping at San Marcos and my New York trip :)

Excluding travel time, I had 4 full days in New York. I didn't visit any of the famous museums like Guggenheim Museum, American Museum of Natural History, Metropolitan Museum of Art. Ha hah..... I guess I wasn't feeling particularly "cultured" and preferred to spend my time just leisurely walking around or stopping for coffee when I felt like it. But of course, I did spend some of my time doing some of the pre-requisite touristy stuff like Statue of Liberty and Ground Zero ;)

Overview of where I went -

Day 1
- Statue of Liberty
- Ellis Island Immigration Museum
- Famous "Bull" at the Financial District
- Ground Zero
- Twin Towers Memorial Centre

Day 2
- 5th Avenue
- Chrysler Building
- Empire State Building
- Rockerfeller Centre
- Radio City
- Macy's
- Times Square (this place is just amazing at night)

Day 3
- Macy's (yes, again)
- Central Park (an absolutely lovely park - how I wish there's something like that in KL)
- Flatiron Building

Day 4
- Breakfast at Williamsburg, Brooklyn
- 5th Avenue
- China Town (didn't really like it. People were rude and place was dirty)
- High Line at the Meatpacking District

Some photos -
Statue of Liberty
The Bull
Times Square

One of the many subway performances (but this was good!)

Central Park

Some Random comments:
1. New Yorkers walk super fast!!!! Once I was walking down the street around the peak after work 5+ pm time. Somehow followed the walking-like-my-pants-on-fire speed of people around me. Then I realised - eh, I'm on holiday what.... why am I rushing like them??

2. New York subway system is really confusing. I keep getting on the wrong train and if it's the right train, then it's the wrong direction !! I never had this problem even when I travelled alone in Beijing or London. I only figured the "correct method" on my last few days there!

3. I took the budget Southwest airlines from Houston to New York. Unique thing about Southwest is the announcement style of the flight attendants. I normally tune out of flight announcements as it's usually very standard and monotonous. But at Southwest, it's done in a very lighthearted manner. After the standard wording on flight safety, the air hostess said "hey, just look at our Tom here (pointing to the flight attendant). Doesn't he just look dashing in his jacket??" and then when Tom took over later, he sarcastically said " With an attitude like that, no wonder she's still single!!". There's something you would never hear in an Asian airline !!

But talking about flight announcements, I still did miss something - cos on the way to New York, I got down from the plane when I wasn't supposed to !!!! I got the fright of my life when I noticed that I was in the wrong city and I thought I took the wrong flight. Luckily I asked the flight attendant and was asked to reboard the plane. Phew !! And after that, there was an announcement again - about who was new to Southwest. I sheepishly took up my hand. And then the announcement went something like - "Now we know why this lady got off the plane. But everyone, pls welcome her to Southwest, give her a big round of applause to welcome her" Everyone clapped while I blushed red and tried to sink down my chair!! ;)

4. Surprisingly, I felt safer in New York at night compared to Houston Downtown.

I enjoyed my time in New York. The main downside was the timing of my trip - my friend was particularly busy that week so I couldn't spend much time with her especially on the first few days. Up to Day 3, I had actually spend more time talking to her mum, boyfriend and brother !! Luckily we managed to catch up during breakfast and dinner on my last day there :)

After New York, I spent another night in Houston before starting the 20+ hour journey back home. Because of the time difference, the journey felt awfully long - I left Houston on Saturday evening but only arrived in KL on Monday afternoon. But despite having a great time in US, I was happy when I boarded the plane cos I couldn't wait to see my little princess again. Indeed no place is sweeter then home with my loved ones :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Cooking for Elyssa

Question : How does Elyssa show that she likes your cooking?

Answer : In 3 ways.

No. 1 - She says "NICE" after almost every other mouthful.

No. 2 - She says "MORE?" when she's almost done.

No. 3 - (i) She licks the bowl clean -

(ii) Checks that the bowl is empty -

(iii) Repeats step until the bowl is REALLY empty -

Ha hahhh..... my mum is always glad that Elyssa loves her porridge or homemade yoghurt so much :) And it's still porridge without any seasoning!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Weekend trip - Pangkor Island

Phew...I finally have time to write again, after neglecting this blog for a while. The past few weeks since I came back from US have been terribly busy and stressful for me - with multiple discussion and presentation sessions with both the local and regional leadership teams. I am just so glad that it's over now!

It didn't help that we had a pre-planned trip to Pangkor Island on the first weekend (it was a long weekend) I was back. Honestly, I would have preferred to just stay at home, sleep and get some work done. But hubby was really looking forward to the trip, so I said yes in the end.

Some pics from the trip :

Elyssa walking along the beach with her spade & bucket set -

Playing with sand for the first time in her life! She was happy as long as she didn't have direct contact with the sand. Similar to the previous time, she cried when I tried to remove her shoes.

Enjoying nen-nen session on the day bed -

Enjoying nen-nen session by the beach :)

I love the view from the room -

Another photo of the view -

As usual Elyssa enjoyed herself during the holiday. She was excited with the boat ride too and kept saying "boat" "boat" ! :)

As for me, hmm.... I had some good times, but would have enjoyed it a lot more if I wasn't so tired and if I didn't have to spend my time drafting out my presentation slides. It didn't help either that our detour to Ipoh on the way back caused us to be stuck in a horrible traffic jam and we reached home exhausted around 9pm on Sunday night...

So in hindsight, hubby we should have postpone our trip hor?? ;)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Daddy's Singing

Whenever hubby starts to sing to Elyssa or hum her a lullaby, what does she say???
" No Need"

Ha hahh hahhh hahh !!! She says that every single time! Hubby can't help thinking - my voice that bad meh??

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Houston - Part 3

The Saturday after the work week was the day I was really looking forward to - SHOPPING !!!!

We drove (well, my colleagues drove. I just sat in the car) almost 3 hours to get to the outlet mall in San Marcos. Was it worth the drive?? Definately!

I headed straight to the Coach outlet. Before I entered the store, I needed to pee and I was a little hungry. But then I saw the price tags on the bags.....there was an original printed price, then a slashed-down price (about 15% off) handwritten in red ink and then the best part -another 40% or 50% off from the price handwritten in red ink. Wah..... I could feel my heart pumping when I saw that!! I happily pulled out bags from the shelves to try them on. The sales attendants were pretty friendly and helpful too. My friend was chatting with one of them and mentioned that she recognised her from another visit about a year ago. Then suddenly, the sales attendant gave her a coupon for 20% discount on top of all the other discounts, saying that she can give the coupon to one customer per day. We felt like we were in heaven !!!!

As I happily walked out of the shop with my loot (pics below) 2 hours later, I suddenly felt that my bladder was about to burst and I was starving. Ha hahh..... it's funny how I managed to "forget" about my body needs when I was shopping!

The 3 of us proceeded to have lunch at Johnny Rockets. Long wait for a table + long wait for food = less shopping time :( But the yummy Oreo milk-shake did partially make up for the long wait.

Continued shopping after that but without the adrenalin rush in the Coach store :)

Will let pictures tell the rest of the story.

Prime Outlets in San Marcos -

Coach Store -

We filled up the whole car boot!

My bags. I loved the colourful totes - couldn't decide which size to buy so I got both in the end :)

Osh Kosh clothes for Elyssa (yes - I'm going through a pink phase!)

Corelle set for MIL -

Bought other stuff like Nike t-shirts and GAP sweaters too. (no pics)
After shopping, it was the long 3 hour drive back to Houston again. Dinner was at a Texas BBQ place - Goode & Co. Beef brisket and Czech Sausage which were really, really good.

Dinner -

Bison in Goode & Co -

A fantastic end to a fantastic day of shopping :)

*next post - New York !!*

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I'm HOME !

I'm so glad to be back home! I enjoyed my US trip but there's just no place like home. The biggest thing that I was looking forward to was of course to be with my little princess again. I was a little worried about how she would respond to me after being away for 2.5 weeks.

I called out her name when I reached my parent's place yesterday evening. She ran to the door, and for the very first time ever, she ran AWAY from me and went back to the toys she was playing. How my heart sank !!!

Luckily she warmed up pretty quick after that and by night time, she was back to being my little magnet. :)

I know it can't possibly be true, but she seemed to have grown so much bigger (in height and in behaviour) since the last I saw her. Oh, how I love to be able to hold her and smell her again!

Will continue with my US posts soon....

Monday, November 16, 2009

Houston - Part 2

Part 2 of my Houston trip was the "official work" part where I was practically stuck in this windowless conference room for 5 whole days.....

Tiring as it was, I think it was a really productive team meeting. Even with modern technology such as video-conferencing and tele-conferencing, nothing beats an old fashion face-to-face session.

It wasn't just work, work, work all the time. We managed to catch the Veterans Day Parade on the second work day there. It was a beautiful day (clear skies, nice wind but not too cold) and there was such a nice festive atmosphere in the air. I was quite impressed at how Americans appreciate their ex-soldiers. Whenever the older ones parade out (especially those in wheelchairs), the whole crowd just spontaneously clapped and cheered - and you could just see the pride in the faces of the veterans! I couldn't help thinking about how we treat ex-Malaysian soldiers... but then again, I supposed they never had a real war.

Some pics of the parade -

There were school marching bands, army tanks, veteren march-past, army vehicles, police on horseback, old fashioned horse carriages etc.

Other pics taken that working week-

Free newspapers by the roadside

I was thinking - if they have this in M'sia, maybe some people will just take the whole stack and sell to the recycling guys? ;)

Some of the yummy food I had -

Barbequed pork ribs with 2 side dishes and cantaloupe juice. Ok, I know the ribs don't look that good in this picture, but there were absolutely amazing !!

Jambalaya and Jalapeno Corn Bread -
TexMex food - tacos, enchiladas, beans and rice

Finally, a picture of my little team. The guy standing up is my American boss (Leonard) while the guy sitting down next to me is my German counterpart (Oliver).

- to be continued-
Part 3 is on SHOPPING !!!! *wink*

Friday, November 13, 2009

Houston - Part 1

I finally have time to sit down and blog..

It has been 5 days since I arrived in Houston, Texas. The whole journey was awfully long - 4 hours from KL to Taipei, stopover in Taipei for 1.5 hours, 11 hours to LA, stopover in LA for 5 hours then finally 3 hours to Houston. I was exhausted when I finally reached the hotel room at 11pm on Saturday !!! The worst part was during the 5 hour transit in LA airport. As I was sitting down at Starbucks sipping an Eggnog Latte and trying to read my book, tears started streaming down my face as I thought of my little princess. :(

On Saturday, Ken (a friend who's a M'sian expat in Houston) brought me around. We went for lunch at The Galleria (had the most fantastic crab cakes !!!) , took a drive around Houston for me to see the place, made a short visit to the Nasa Space Centre, did some grocery shopping, went back to his apartment to rest, picked up another friend (my ex-school friend who's also a M'sian expat in Houston) then went out for dinner at a fantastic steak place. A nice day indeed!

Some photos taken on the first day -

View from the car. (Ken, if you're reading this - YES, your windscreen was dirty !!)

NASA Space Centre -

Inside NASA Centre (it was almost closing time. I didn't want to pay USD25, so I just took a photo from the outside!)

Where else can you see an astonout on top of McD??

Grocery Shopping @ Central Market (the veges look so good and fresh! I wanted to take more photos but was asked by the security guard not to)

As usual, I like to take photos of the hotel room -

Bathroom -

I love having a coffee maker in the hotel room!

-to be continued -

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

First Professional Haircut

We took Elyssa for her very first "professional" haircut last weekend. We chose the XCut Saloon at The Curve as they have a dedicated kids corner - complete with a doggie car (with steering wheel!) chair, a brightly coloured wall and a huge mirror.

I wasn't sure how she would react to a stranger cutting her hair. Her normal "hair stylist" is none other than her grandma and she normally gives grandma a hard time by refusing to stay still.
Anyway, the haircut session turned out better than expected. She didn't fuss when the hairstylist draped on the black protective sheet and started cutting her hair. But a few minutes later, she kept on saying "uok uok" (for walk-walk) and wanted to climb down the chair. Ke ke...... luckily I had some biscuits in my bag. As usual, she stopped fussing when she had food in her mouth! A couple of biscuits later, the haircut was complete.
Some photos taken -

"What is this auntie doing to me? "

I wasn't too keen on the end result though. Her hair was too short and too boyish for my liking. *sigh* So much for a "professional" haircut. :(