Tag Archives: vacation

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 🙂

First trip to Vienna

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we made our first trip to Vienna on Saturday, by train. it’s only an hour’s (or for some 45mins) drive away from here. Vienna is also known to be cheaper for shopping than in Bratislava, so we went there with the thought of getting a gps for the car.
unfortunately, the only place we know is the city centre which is also the hottest spot for tourist, so rationally the prices there will be much higher. we walked one part of the town, but only found ONE shop selling electronics. we didn’t get it tho, thought we better ask our korean friends where would be the best place to buy it.

Vienna is beautiful! the most magnificent building in the city center is St. Stephen’s Cathedral; the architecture of the building is out of this world! the building is so big, one pic couldn’t fit. but it was bloomin hot, and there were so many ppl. i think it was 32deg and we were walking under the hot sun; which the angmohs luurrve so much to be under. oh man…

there are a lot of things to see there other than the buildings. one of the main attractions also were street performers, well i’m not sure what else to call them. ahhaa… if you’re like me, first time there and sakai, you would definitely like to take pics with them. they’re ‘still’ performers, so most of them either stand/sit on a box until you throw them some money in their hat and they move and you can take pictures with them. otherwise they just stand still; a bit kesian right but also a bit amazing how they can stand so still and not move. what happens if they got itchy somewhere? :P~


as we walk along the paved streets we also see some really nice statues/fountains. there was one with angels which was coated with gold paint… really nice. suddenly both of us were in awe that we’re actually here in Europe and sight-seeing in Vienna! we’re so thankful to God that He has made all these possible, His favour and His love is indeed beyond our imagination. never in our minds have we thought we would be able to do this as a family.

stepping into Austria, signs, posts, everything is in German; which is really good because it is a bit more familiar compared to Slovak. both of us did a beginner’s course in German back in uni so at least a little bit of understanding here.
we went into a boutique called H&M and omgosh the stuff there is cheap! i think you girls will go ga-ga there coz the clothes/accessories are nice and cheap. e.g. a pair of khaki shorts is only 9.90 (earning and paying in euro of course), jeans 39.90. bleh! oh no!! *must control*

just for info’s sake, here’s my opinion of the fastest way to Vienna city centre from where we are at Kramare, Bratislava.




bus no#32 to HLAVNA STACNIKA -> train ride for 1 hour directly to WIEN (Vienna); it’s like our Msian commuter train but faster so it stops at all the stations in between -> get off at SUEDBAHNHOF, which is already Vienna -> go down one floor to buy the ticket for the underground train -> take U3 SIMMERING station -> get down at STEPHENSPLATZ and you’re at the city centre!! yay!!

since it’s so near, we’ll prolly make vienna our shopping place, coz that’s what the ppl we know here do!!

more pics here -> http://www.new.facebook.com/editphoto.php?aid=56498&#/album.php?aid=56498&id=695437994&page=3