Category Archives: vacation

The trip alone

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i actually managed to survive the journey to Penang with the 2 lil ones alone!! thank God!

Arielle was still down with diarrhoea and she was so weak she couldn’t walk so i had to take the stroller. Air Asia delayed our flight for half an hour and during the wait, we had to visit the loo a few times coz this lil girl of mine just had to. poor thing… but she was a good girl, no tears or meltdowns.

i had to ask the crew to help since i have a baby (2months old) strapped on me, a stroller with a 2year old and a big hand carry bag. it was also raining that night. they were very helpful seeing that i was in a difficult condition; they helped carry the stroller down the stairs and kept it in the cabin for me while Arielle walked the short distance to the plane (since she refused to be carried by a stranger). another crew came to carry her up into the plane when we reached the stairs. so, from the waiting area to the plane inside, i only had Ashton to take care of as the rest of the things that was with me was taken care of by the crew members. if you have young kids and you don’t know yet, you can actually use the stroller with you so that you don’t have to always carry baby around. it will later be passed to the crew when you reach the landing area before you board and will be kept inside where the luggages are, and when you reach, the crew will pass the stroller back to you so you can use it along the way back inside the airport. but the only setback is that with AA, there are staircases so you might need some help carrying the stroller if you’re alone.

inside the plane, Arielle was already tired coz it was already late so she slept soundly – such a good thing!! Ashton pulak woke up to ang-gu ang-gu and smile for a while … he charmed the lady beside me and she carried him for a while till he wanted to nurse. that was when the tragedy started. as he was nearly finished he suddenly burped and all the milk he took came gushing out of his mouth and both of us got all wet. i didn’t bring an extra change for him so i had to make do with a napkin cloth that i brought instead. what was worse was he had also made a big poo poo and it had stained his pants!!  the lady beside me was an angel as she helped me clean and change him, got her hands dirty and all and i felt quite embarrassed about it all. i was so grateful to her (a mother of 2 young adult children) and profusely thanked her. i suppose it must be due to the cabin pressure and the bumpy ride due to bad weather that he was feeling unwell. there was also a bout of crying and fussing.

when we reached penang, it was already over midnight. it was dark, most people are tired and everyone just wanted to go back home. we waited quite a while for our luggage, a whole lot of ppl crowded around the belt to get their stuff. i waited patiently far from the crowd, and then as more ppl left with theirs i finally got nearer and saw my big bag. i tried to lift the 29kg bag with 2 hands (baby on the sling) but a big lady beside me helped to take it off the belt. 🙂  i’ve help everywhere, not to mention stares as well.

all in all, the journey which i thought at first as impossible had become possible. thank God for strength and for kind ppl who have willingly offered their hand. because of that, i’, now happily in my hometown enjoying my one month stay here… the longest period of time here since i started work in kl in 2003.

Hot, Humid, Haze & H1N1

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wow… so much for the anticipated homecoming. the weather condition here is really bad, everyone at home here in Kuching was down with stomach flu and Ayl is down with flu (no, not H1N1 thank God!) come to think of it, nearly everyone we know has fallen sick – our neighbour, Ayl’s friends and their baby whom MIL is babysitting, Rachel & Ryan (the siblings MIL babysat for also), even the lady at the watchshop i went to was eating plain porridge with a huge bottle of 100plus (isotonic drink) by her side which indicates a high probability she’s also suffering from an upset stomach. and the haze is not getting any better.

HONG KONG

Arielle got sick with diarrhoea when we were in Hong Kong and today, she just got better but has developed a very wet cough, caught from Ayl. i fell sick too with stomach flu (or was it also in HK come to think of it), but thank God it wasn’t serious and it lasted just for a few days. so, because Arielle was sick, our Hong Kong trip was uneventful. we practically stayed in the apartment and ate at home at the Welch’s expense 😛 (thanks so much guys); didn’t get to go anywhere except our first day at Disneyland which was uber hot!! we had HK Dim Sum – yes it was superly nice but expensive (everything in HK is expensive!), HK’s charsiu, HK’s milk tart and breathed in HK’s very humid and polluted air… hahaha. but though the city’s packed with people, it’s clean like Singapore and due to the recent flu outbreak, a lot of public places have the automatic-waterless-sanitary-handwash machines at our disposal. good thinking there.

family pic at HK Disneyland

family pic at HK Disneyland

HK Dim Sum - yummy!!

HK Dim Sum - yummy!!

our wonderful hosts

our wonderful hosts

another thing we learnt about HK is that accommodation can get crazily expensive and SMALL!! super culture shock for us to see ‘pigeon holes’ everywhere; with apartments’ average height at 60+ levels; living space at 30 – 40 sq ft. a friend of mine said that she can actually read the subtitles off her neighbour’s tv as she sits in her own living room. i can’t even begin to imagine how it’s like in Japan. coming back to Msia made me appreciate how luxurious we actually are, where space is not as confined.

PENANG

we had Ayl’s parents join us for a week in Penang, and although i had a few things in mind planned on where to bring my in-laws (being their first ever trip to my beloved pig-land), it was too hot to bring Arielle around. so at least we covered Penang Hill, B. Ferringhi beach and most of the makan-makan; did i mention it was also the durian season? mmmmm-mmm… right time to be home.

going up the Hill in the tram

going up the Hill in the tram

the lovely couple up in Pg Hill

the lovely couple up in Pg Hill

sandy beaches and blue skies

sandy beaches and blue skies

building sand castles with grandma

building sand castles with grandma

pig out sessions

pig out sessions

missed out meeting a few friends i wanted to meet but had a nice surprise when some unexpected friends turned up for our small gathering over lunch/dinner. all in all, pigland is still and will always be my homeland no matter what. it was goodbye again all too soon for me.

KL

didn’t really get to do much in KL coz we stopped by only for such a short time – should really have stayed longer so that i get to shop for some things before heading off to Kuching (esp maternity clothes!!) it was all so rushed and we didn’t really get to have the time to meet up with people. esp so when we got back from HK and Arielle was sick and it was best not to tire her out too much by going out the whole day. so, mostly we got together with whoever we thought were significant to us over lunch/dinner and that was about it. we can always rely on facebook right?

lunch with the Wangs

lunch with the Wangs; regret didn't have banana leaf rice instead 😛

dinner with the gang

dinner with the gang

so, as of current, i’ll be here in Kuching till i deliver in End Oct – and have i mentioned it’s a BOY!!; so meantime, i’ll live with Ayl’s family and hang around with baby and Arielle till Ayl comes back again from Slovakia for his winter break in End Dec (2 weeks). we will see if baby is fit enough to fly (hopefully) and if he is then all of us will fly back to Slovakia together Beg Jan – which will be in the dead of Winter, aaaahhhhhh!!! talk about from one extreme to another.

more photos uploaded on facebook, check it out.

Homecoming

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ok, here is our itinerary.

flight from Vienna: 17/July
transit in Bangkok and arrival in PENANG!!: 18/July
– we’ll be in land of the good food till 25/July; then flying to KL at night.

in KL: 26/July, 27/July (morning only), 31/July & 1/Aug (till noon only)

in HK: 27/July (night), 28/July, 29/July, 30/July

– flying to KUCHING 1/Aug; and will be in KUCHING till 7/Aug.
– flying back to Slovakia 8/Aug

detail itinerary in KL:
26/July
– family photo shoot in the morning with Jesse&Eric
– Sunday church service
– lunch with Dave & Peich
– REST!
– dinner with gang

27/July
– breakfast with Ps Chan & family
– official errands like passport & banking stuff
– noon leaving for airport to HK

31/July
– lunch with SSCSM
– dinner with ex-IPO

1/Aug
– Free time in the morning (hope to see Goon’s new baby girl)

as you can see… fully packed!

Budapest-Easter

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Heroes' Square - Budapest

Heroes' Square - Budapest

last Friday we got the chance to go visit Budapest, which is 21/2hours away from here. we made the trip with Annette/Kevin and family and had a great time. we were especially happy with our accommodation although at first, we had a bit of trouble looking for it. 

we booked over the internet on Homelidays  and Annette helped us to communicate with the owner of the apartment on  the dates. we were concerned mostly about the parking since the place is so near town but as it turned out, we had no problem with it as the owner saved 2 spaces for us right in front of the apartment itself! overall on the stay, it was more than what we expected (we had eggs, jam, coffee & coffee machine, tea, mineral water, milk, fruits, butter, even mayonaise, etc, prepared for us and all FOC), it was comfortable and we’re so satisfied and happy with it, we’re sure to rent from them again whenever/if ever we go back for another visit. the apartment came with a TV in each room, a computer with access to the internet, DVD player with DVDs, towels, soap, facial cotton! all the kitchen appliances for cooking and eating at home, a washing machine, etc… let’s just say you only need to bring your clothes and you can move right in if you’d like to stay temporarily if not just to visit. when we were returning the keys, we inquired if they have any similar places for rent in Paris or London *wink*.

although we had a bad first encounter with a local Hungarian, but that incident was overshadowed by the many friendly & helpful people we met immediately after. if i were to compare, i think Hungarians are friendlier than Slovaks. aylwin tells me from what he hears from the office, these 2 nations have a mutual dislike with each other. not sure why though.

 

like Slovakia, Easter Sunday and Monday were public holidays – and this means, EVERYTHING’S CLOSED!! again the same thing like our Christmas eve in Slovakia, all shops are closed and only selected restaurants are open. *stress man* it’s a good thing this time we were warned first hand by Annette and we bought a few things back to cook. 

our 4 day tour with baby wasn’t the best one coz Arielle was teething and she was upset a lot of times (crying and whining; not her usual jolly self) – she didn’t have enough sleep at night coz of the pain, and needless to say, neither did her parents. we covered only a few places (Budapest is a big city ok) mainly:

1. Margaret Island

2. Heroes’ Square

3. Budapest Zoo & Botanical Gardens

4. Dohany Street Synagogue & bits of the Jewish settlements

5. Gyor (a small town near Slovakia on our way back; ayl relates it to Taiping town; small & a bit kampung.)

we would have done more, but coz 3 of us were all tired out coz of arielle, we decided to cut the trip short and head home for her sake. it was disappointing to have to leave so early when we could have gone to other places to see more stuff, but what to do… hopefully we could make another trip there again and see the things we’ve missed out (wonder when that will be…hmmm).

Family Fun – long outdated post

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last month when it was still freezing and snowing, Annette brought us to a place in Austria. it’s an indoor playground for kids of all ages. it’s called Family Fun. (check out the website for more info)

the first thing that hit me was the sound from which the place was emitting and the energy it was releasing. squeals, screams, cries, kids pushing, running, jumping, climbing… for a moment there as i stood with Arielle while Aylwin cleared the registration counter, i was overwhelmed with all of it. there are lockers for you to put your shoes/coats; the whole place is ‘shoeless’ for everyone; and while we were trying to find an empty locker, i thought i would just sit quietly at a corner before i moved. hahaha… 

if you’re like me; one who is not particularly in love with children (other than your own of course), i strongly encourage you to either go on weekdays so there’s less people or have your partner to do the chaperoning OR if there’s no other choice, grab a bottle of energy drink before you enter. the place is huge and it’s all for the kids; you’ll sure love it if you’re a kid-at-heart yourself. i had some little fun too with the area full of balls, and Kevin (Annette’s husband) sure looked like he was having more fun than the rest of us. 

some blur pics from my hp, again forgot to bring me camera! ish! 

one thing i can guarantee you, your kid is sure to collapse after a trip to this place – that is, if you don’t collapse first yourself 🙂

Thermal Pool – Aquapark

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we brought Arielle out for a swim in a nice bubbly hot pool – in the middle of winter, that’s about the best thing ever!

the place is about 20mins drive away from Bratislava, in a small town call Senec. the pool was warm and oh-so-nice; we could stay in there the whole day. the only setback is your body might get so crinkled up, it might not return to it’s normal shape. 😛

they also have an indoor slide, so there was something a little bit more exciting than just the jacuzzi, water fountain, etc. the park outside is closed coz it’s dead cold; there is a restaurant upstairs if you get hungry and there is also a spa.

the 3 of us were so thrilled especially Arielle; which reminds me i’ll need to get a float for her. she’s too active and independent for us to be holding her all the time in the pool, she just wants to go and do her own thing. and yea, of course in the midst of that she also drank some of the water. what to do… this girl can’t be stopped! and after that trip to the pool, she’s not afraid of water anymore like she usually was whenever we bathe her in the big tub at home. now, she lies down, face up in the water all by herself – brave little girl.

here are some pics i took with my phone again – and it’s not the best of quality as usual. i just snapped as fast as i can – wasn’t sure any camera was allowed.

at the reception for payment before entering. Annette & Aylwin

at the reception for payment before entering. Annette & Aylwin

the reception area; Kevin's back, Arielle & Chantal

the reception area; Kevin's back, Arielle & Chantal

directory - also in English (GOOD!!)

directory - also in English (GOOD!!)

lockers - for both men and women

lockers - for both men and women

touchpad keylock for the lockers

touchpad keylock for the lockers

this 'watch' beside my watch is an entrance pass, locker key, and a 'credit card' for buying things while in the park. coolness right!

this 'watch' beside my watch is an entrance pass, locker key, and a 'credit card' for buying things while in the park. coolness right!

shower area - seperates for men and women but not the lockers. so if you need to change in a dry place after showering, it's at the locker area. hint*hint*

shower area - seperates for men and women but not the lockers. so if you need to change in a dry place after showering, it's at the locker area. hint*hint*

Arielle still too young for this though the water level is only above ankle

Arielle still too young for this though the water level is only above ankle

Aylwin & Arielle with Annette & Chantal

Aylwin & Arielle with Annette & Chantal

Kevin & Hannan

Kevin & Hannan

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Arielle got thirsty ... 😛

always baby-friendly

always baby-friendly

we had such a nice time with Kevin & Annette & the 2 sweet girls (THANKS GUYS!!), and both Arielle and Chantal were so tired after the swim. After changing Arielle; she was already crying while i was changing her, then we gave her her milk immediately; coz sure hungry after so much exercise – she totally KO after that. how great is that! *super grins*