Thursday, June 23, 2016

YQ Turns 9

It was a fabulous Saturday and the kids were very pleased with that day's arrangement as the birthday girl wanted to go rock climbing on her birthday. We spent about 8.5hrs (including 1hr of lunch break) at Kallang Wave Mall *gulp*. After that we went to have a sumptuous dinner and followed by cake cutting at home.

All the happy faces at Climb Central.

The kids got the chance to use their chalk bag and looking more confident to tackle more challenging climbing routes.

The birthday girl requested for DC Marvels cartoon cake.

Happy kids + birthday kiss :)

A surprised present for her!

Dear YQ,

Time flies, you have turned 9 this year. We can see that you have become slightly more mature in some ways and you are always the most helpful one at home too.

I still remember vividly a few months ago, you were so upset with one of your classmates because he accidentally caused you to fall down and one side of your diamond earrings went missing. You were so angry with him because he did not feel apologetic at all and said some nasty thing to you. When your teacher wanted to find out the cost of the earring so that your classmate had to pay for it, we told you to forgive and forget. My heart ached when I saw you cried so hard and long that night!

When you told me you were so happy that you almost cried that night, we were glad to know that we got you the right present :)

I hope you will continue to shine like a diamond in the sky and stay healthy and happy always!


Thursday, June 9, 2016

Family Trip to Hong Kong 2016

If I'm not wrong, the last family overseas trip was 3.5 years ago and the kids anticipated for this trip for a long long time. Going to Hong Kong Disneyland is one of their must go destination since they heard so much about it from their friends who had been there before.

Since June is summer in Hong Kong, we tried to travel light without bringing too many bulky items this time.

We bought tickets from the airport and took the train and shuttle bus to the nearest hotel near where we were staying.

If you were following my IG account, you might realised that I took quite a few pictures (#followmeto) with the help of my "model" to indicate where we were going (just for the fun of it) :P

Hong Kong still look exactly the same, no major changes to the streets and buildings.

On the 1st day, we wanted to go to The Peak to see the night view of Hong Kong. However, the plan was cancelled due to the overwhelming queue. I think there was some promotion going on, the length of the queue looked never ending. We decided not to tire the kids too much so that they could have ample of rest before we embarked to our next destination the next day.

In the end, we roamed the street in Yau Ma Tei area to do some shopping.

The children woke up super early on the 2nd day and took the special train to reach Disneyland. It's like a dream came true for them since they have been requesting to go there for so long.

Luckily the weather was not too bad, only rained slightly during lunch time and we continued to venture every part of the place after the rain stopped. We spent the whole day from opening till closing time. There was a tinge of sadness when the kids were told to go back to the hotel.

The next day, we took the cable car ride to Lantau Island. 

While walking towards to the cable car, we were stopped by someone along the street who was selling cable car tickets. We were told the price of the tickets were cheaper and the queue was faster. We took the risk and bought tickets from him. True enough, we queued up at the express lane and changed our tickets at the ticketing counter. 

We got on the cable car and was mesmerised by the scenery. The distance of the cable car ride was about 5.7km long which took about 25 minutes to reach the island. We spent about half a day there and by the time we were almost done with the sightseeing, the weather started to rain again. When we came back, we had our dinner at citygate outlets and never did I know that it was a place full of factory outlets. Which meant shopping time again for me right? hahaha!

We prayed for good health and good luck for the family.

The weather was very cooling that day and we felt like we were in air-conditioned place (a bit like Genting Highland). We climbed a total of 536 steps (to & fro) to reach The Big Buddha.

This is one of my favourite photos so far coz my family members (#followusto) were so spontaneous to play along with me during photo taking.

Along the way, people were selling soya beancurd cooked with mountain water. Of course we got to try to know right? so that we would know what's so different from those soya beancurd cooked with normal water right. I could not tell much difference, the only difference was it was very smooth......yums! Also, do expect to see a few cows roaming around the streets too :)

As for the food in Hong Kong, we tried to eat what the Hong Kong people were eating. We passed by this shop selling steamed milk and there were many different flavours of steamed milk. I ordered their original double boiled steam milk, similar to beancurd texture and the aroma of the milk was really strong and yummy. 

Yee Shun Milk Company
513 Nathan Road
Yau Ma Tei
Hong Kong

Breakfast was so so only, we dined at their local eateries and let the kids experienced what local Hong Kong was like.

We wanted to look for local dim sum place, no fancy restaurant, no Tim Ho Wan too. Using my half past six Cantonese, we managed to find this local seafood restaurant recommended by the locals that served dim sums that was patronised by mostly locals. Of course, do not expect tip top service there. Their waitresses (mostly seniors) are mostly loud speaking cantonese people and they do not serve the food gently on your table as well.

Ho Choi Seafood Restaurant

Of course, I was very touched by my family members who had planned a suprised birthday celebration in advance for me in Hong Kong. It was a very fruitful trip. The kids enjoyed themselves and they hope to go for another vacation next year. I pray that their wish will come true and we will work extra hard to save up more for our next overseas trip next time.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Climb their way up to confidence

The June school holiday finally started for the older kids. After the Parent-Teacher meeting, we finally had some idea what the kids are strong at and what they need to improve on. As parents, we need to do our own self reflection and try to see if there is anything we can help them to excel even further besides focusing on academic area. Sometimes we are so cope up with catching up in the rat race that we often neglect to nurture them in other areas.

We have been wanting to bring them for rock climbing and that plan has been shelved off many times. Hence, hb decided to give them a nice surprise after the PTM session. He secretly packed our clothing and socks without their knowledge. They were so happy when they found out we were going to bring then to the Climb Central located at Kallang Wave Mall. 

We reached there slightly earlier than their opening hours and took our own sweet time to do our registration at their self-registration kiosks. 

Registration was a breeze and we were ushered to their counter to make payment before the collection of safety harnesses and climbing shoes. After the registration, we were each given a plastic key chain tag (with bar code). Next time, they just need to scan on the bar code to skip the registration process for subsequent visits.

We were given the time to change into suitable clothing and waited for their staff to give us a 15 minutes briefing on safety issues and usage of climbing gears for first timers.

Climb Central is air-conditioned coz they are located within the Kallang Wave Mall compound. The place is spacious and different sites are allocated for beginners and advanced climbers.

We were unable to try this block (shown above) as it was meant for advanced climbers.

There was no time constraint on the number of hours spent at the place. We spend around 5 hours there and we will take short breaks in between if we felt tired. The staff told us that they allowed us to leave the premise if we decided to go and take our lunch or dinner breaks, all we have to do was to return our harnesses and shoes to them temporarily. So you can imagine lah..those super on climbers will climb from the opening to the closing time, lol!

We spent most of our time mainly on this wall which was meant for beginner and intermediate. I would say rock climbing is able to train our mind to be more focus and the endurance level of our body.

While I was there, I saw so many young girls and women who were practising their climbing skills there. I felt young once again doing the same thing as they did.

Hb was doing even much better than me, he proved to me that age has no barrier to sports. I know that he is trying to lead a healthier lifestyle now and he often spurs me to do with him so that both of us can be fitter than now.

I haven't reach to the top yet but one day I will attain to do that. I want to know what it feels like to be on top of the world.

The kids started to have a liking for this sport after they managed to reach the top. They started to challenge themselves on the different climbing routes.

Their confidence level increased gradually after they managed to climb to the top again and again.

Seeing how much they enjoyed previously, we decided to bring them to try another rock climbing venue. Climb Asia is not totally air-conditioned and the area is slightly smaller. They have 7 auto-belays available for beginner climbers. There is an air-conditioned shop selling stuff related to rock climbing and futher inside is a training area for people who are taking up the climbing course.

We need to fill up a form for registration process. The pricing is slightly cheaper and opening hours is slightly shorter as compared to Climb Central. To be honest, we still prefer the facilities at Climb Central because the place is bigger (although can be quite crowded during peak hours), the shoes and equipments are newer and cleaner.

We felt it's good to expose them to different venues so that we are able to compare and know which place they prefer.

They were no longer scared of heights and more familiar on what to do during rock climbing.

I did not join them this time because my arms were feeling so sore from the previous climbs. Soon enough, they were climbing at ease by themselves and climbed their way to the top soon after.

This time, hb introduced the sport to the littlest one hoping that he will start to like this activity together with his siblings. Although he haven't reach the top yet but he is halfway there.

I can foresee, hb will bring them more often for rock climbing activities. He even bought the chalk bag for each of them so that they can use it for their next climb. I think the kids are fortunate to have a dad who is willing to spend time and money on them and so supportive by encouraging them to do what he thinks is beneficial for them in the long run.