Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Side trip 2013: Snow

side trip collage

So... did you manage to guess our destination? How about with the added info above?

Well... to cut the story short, we went to Singapore. You might recall this post from two years back when Mama casually mentioned our trip to meet Eyang Kakung and Eyang Putri that week. Eyang Kakung made the trip annually to attend a work-related conference. You might also observed a change in the quality of images from that point onward, because that was when Mama got the Big Camera from Eyang.
We did go again last year, but since somehow the pics were just dumped aside instead of being processes (it was a transition period to a new computer), the story simply did not make it here.

This year, on the other hand......

This year is slightly different, because Daddy decided that he would join us as well. It totally changes the dynamics as instead of going with the slow flow, enjoying a few things locally in Singapore itself, suddenly there were a long list of things to do. Such as snow, yes.

Secret of the Wings cover
Via Wikipedia
So, you already know that Kecil is a fan of Tinkerbell. Some time back, Mama got hold of the latest in the series, pictured above. Let's just say the movie included lots of things to do in snowy winter. So... of course Kecil's interest was piqued.
Daddy was of no help. When approached with Kecil's request to see snow, Daddy was the one who came up with the reminder that there's a place in Singapore called "Snow City".
And that was the story of how we ended up with 'Snow' on our list.
But of course, that was not the end of the story.

Kecil is one talkative kid. So... of course she has to tell the world about her plans to see snow. 
Just picture that.
No, actually, THIS MAMA will give you a picture to that:

Kecil going to Singapore to see snow

Ahem. I hope I am not the only one who feels that the statement is a wee bit .... strange. No?

But ow well... see some snow we did.

Daddy, Mama & Kecil in front of LOVE and christmas tree

There was no personal cameras allowed in the snow chamber, so we had to rely on the services of the official photographers. The prints cost you an arm and a leg, which was why we only ended up with four (FOUR!) pics in the snow.

Kecil & Daddy sliding on snow using the tube

Well... at least you can so tell that all of us had great fun, right?

Kecil sliding on ice slide

Especially Kecil, indeed. Despite some initial hesitation (I blame the ugly, fake polar bear standing next to the entrance for that!), she soon warmed up, especially after we went for the big slide (pictured with Daddy above).
I believe we used up our whole hour inside the chamber. Good thing we did not take the longer package too, because by then, all of us had started to shiver. We all wore jackets, of course, but our pants were not water proof. Plus, some snow did manage to get into the boots.

It was with great relief we went back into the sun outside. I guess although we had great fun, it was good that our (ahem... Mama & Kecil's) first experience of snow was on the sunny island of Singapore where we can quickly escape into the sun. Hopefully at least now we are better prepared for the 'real thing'.

So... stay tuned for the rest of Kecil's adventures in her little 'sidetrip'. Next, we'll go to the zoo! Cheers!

Kecil smiling in front of the penguins

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Side trip 2013

Kecil's side trip collage

Did Mama mentioned we went for a little trip earlier?
Indeed. Which kind of explained the absence of posts for a couple of days.
As with most of our travels, it's bordering on epic, with so many goals and long to-do lists, as you can see from the collage above.
We'll definitely cover the trip in the following posts.
But before that, any guesses as to where we went?

For hints, let's start by saying that the pictures in the collage above are taken during the trip. For more hints, you can also check out Mama's photoblog. Unfortunately, as of the moment, Kecil's photoblog has not been updated so as to provide any additional hints.

Have fun guessing! And be sure to check out this space again tomorrow to find out the answer! Cheers!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Homecoming Finale & another trip!

This is part of the Homecoming series, in which this Mama covered our last homecoming trip to Indonesia. The rest of the trip can be found in the list of links at the end of the post. Cheers!

Daddy pushing Kecil on the airport trolley at KLIA

Well, so all good things must come to an end.
(Actually, that's Mama's roundabout way for saying that she ran out of share-worthy pics from the Homecoming trip. Ha!)
So... we took the very same route back home, with just a little wee bit side trip to the main (non-budget) airport at our stop in KL. Suffice to say, we managed to get better food, which is always a good thing, no?

In any case, this post shall be the finale of the Homecoming series. This Mama hopes you enjoy Kecil's epic escapades so far.
Moving on, if you notice our few days of absence here... well... that was because we took yet another trip overseas! Details will soon follow (hopefully!) once Mama finished wading through the stack of pictures and laundry. (Seriously! We came back with mountains of laundry!)

So... just wish us luck, or, rather, Mama, since Kecil had already fallen asleep, tired from all the globe-trotting and friends-a-making and .... whatever a thing she did during the trip.

Daddy & Kecil looking out the window at KLIA

For the rest of the Homecoming 2012 series, in roughly chronological order:
MIA announcement featuring our family photo at the mountainthe beginningoutbound ports, mountain trip part 1part 2part 3baaSurabayaOpa Oma's houseOpa & Oma and Puncak.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Lighthouses & Tea

Among other things, as part of a busy week, last week we accompanied Daddy doing some hosting legwork for his office. We did not get paid, but hey.... we should never decline a chance to have a peek into 'finer things in life', yes? Besides, for the Mamarazzi, such an event always has a potential for a photo-op, and that was how Kecil got to pose beside all the lighthouses she spotted around the Lobby.

Oh, and of course, accompanying a potential client has its perks. Just some simple refreshment, a simple glass of ice tea, but one that Kecil totally approved of.
Unfortunately Daddy was too much in a hurry to wait for the said ice tea. Fortunately, Mama was free (and we got the car!), so we were able to stay around just so Kecil can enjoy "her" refreshments.
She's very happy, that's obvious.

It was a lovely, well-spent afternoon helping and accompanying Daddy. We definitely look forward to more of such opportunities. Until next time!

Kecil @ the Lighthouse lobby

Monday, January 21, 2013

Homecoming: Puncak

This is part of the Homecoming series, in which this Mama covered our last homecoming trip to Indonesia. The rest of the trip can be found in the list of links at the end of the post. Cheers!

Kecil looking out of the car window, Taman Safari Cisarua

Our time in Bogor  was not spent only in Opa Oma's house. Two times (that is also read as two 'whole days'), we also 'borrowed' Oma's car to take a day trip to nearby tourist attraction, namely the Puncak area.
Puncak (peak in Indonesian) is basically a highland area nearby, about half an hour drive away from Bogor without traffic, where you can find quite a few interesting things such as rolling hills of tea plantation, a safari, holiday villas, etc. A few years ago, before the current tollway was built, the road through the area was also the only thoroughfare connecting Jakarta to Bandung, the capital of the province.
Anyway, for us, with Kecil in tow, the main objective was to see the Safari AND the tea plantation. The Safari, because well... a little kid and animals... you know? I am sure you all still remember how Kecil enjoyed last year's Safari trip.
As for the tea plantation, given that Kecil LOVES her teas (cold, warm, with milk, with no milk, flavoured, just sweet), this Mama thinks it's only right that she should know where her beverage of choice comes from.

The plan was to hit the Safari first, then continue to the tea plantations. Alas, sleepy heads as we were, we had a bit of a late start, got stuck in slow moving traffic, and only arrived at the Safari only an hour before lunch time.
Not only that, in all our haste, Mama forgot to bring the big camera, and we were only left with the 'barely charged' small camera. Doh. I hope that explained the dearth of pics with regards to THIS Safari trip. Rest assured that we all had a great time there. Why, the battery even held up enough to produce the following EPIC picture:

Family with elephants in the background

Whoa! What a great sight!
Of course, Mama seized the great teaching opportunity and told Kecil, "That's how your teeth would look like if you don't brush your teeth regularly. EEeeks!"

This was the last picture we took before the camera battery 'died'. Sigh.
Which still did not mean that we left the Safari then. Oh no! The safari part (where you ride your car/ the provided bus to see the animals roaming around in their enclosures) was done, but there was still the amusement park, the animal shows... why, they even have a swimming area!
We actually stayed on the park all the way until closing time, when the rain started and the fog came in. And since it was really getting dark, we decided not to go further up to the tea plantation that day, so we called it a day, and joined the slow moving traffic down back to Oma's house.

Now for the following trip....

Mama brought the big camera. Ha! But guess what, after the slow moving traffic (again!) up the mountain, Kecil was actually sleeping when we hit the plantations.
Those who ever thought the picture above was the tea plantation, please whack yourselves. Tea plants are green, all right? And they don't look like Christmas trees in the background either. Not to mention, nobody in their right mind would build a gigantic bird-like topiary in the middle of a tea plantation.

Well... since we did not quite 'go' to the plantations so much as we 'pass' through the plantations (the road wounds through rolling hills of tree plants), we simply moved on, and somehow found our way to this garden: Taman Bunga Nusantara, Cipanas.

Nestled somewhere in the valleys, quite a bit from the main road, Taman Bunga Nusantara still benefit from the cool mountain air, which I believe beneficial to all the plants and flowers there. Greeting us in was the giant peacock topiary, plus a few more interesting one. Such as these:

Well... OK. That last one wasn't quite a topiary. More of a gigantic statue of .... not sure. A mythical figure? Might be. The lake was also home to a few swans, both the white and the black variety.

The whole park contained a few gardens, each with their own theme. There was a labyrinth in the middle, which we tried. We got kind of lost, at which point Kecil got a bit distressed. So, Daddy hoisted Kecil up and made her the navigator. We did manage to get out.

Another garden that we visited was the Formal Garden, modelled after the formal gardens of the European palaces (mainly French, I would think).

Then there was also the amusement park area, with some rides and the likes. Kecil found it on the map.

Unfortunately, before we managed to get to that part of the Park, it started to rain. I mean, like really heavy rain. Duh. This is why it is always better to use early part of the morning to do your activities. The weather around Bogor and Jakarta is such that it tends to rain throughout the year, usually in the late afternoons.
We managed to make it to a shelter in time before we got totally soaked, where we waited in the hope that the rain will subside.
It did not. Subside, I mean. So... we did not get to explore the rest of the park. Good thing at least we did not quite get stuck for too long, for rescue did come, in the form of ....

Cute yellow tram! Haha... I wish. The tram's route took it around the gardens, but you have to pay at the entrance to get on, and it did not stop to pick us up. However, a similar (but less cute) pick ups followed not long after the tram. Apparently they were deployed by the park management to pick up stranded visitors such as yours truly. Ha!

So ended our trip to Puncak? Well... we were at least done with the park. We encountered more traffic on our way down, so... we did show Kecil the tree plants, but we did not stop to take pictures and all (Mama was also navigating for Daddy, who was not familiar with the area). We did make one last stop for pictures (and dinner). We thought the cow looked so cute and we couldn't resist:

Cimory Riverside is a huge sprawling complex of a restaurant. Well.. there's only one restaurant there actually, the Cimory, but there is also a shop selling some of their goods and local delights. I couldn't find any official website, but supposedly Cimory started with selling their own milk products (milk and yoghurts) before they came up with the idea of building the restaurant.

Apart from the happy cow, we were very happy to visit the place because the location is well... to die for. Check out the view:

Unbelievable. There's that garden right next to the river, with beautiful pathway. The river itself was amazing, because we were still in the highland area, so.. it was all big rocks, rapidly moving water and lush greeneries. A very far cry from rivers we usually see in urban settings. So cool.

So... the restaurant is basically an open-air concept. Interestingly enough, most of the restaurant was smoking-friendly, with only a small area dedicated to the non-smoking crowd. Still, since that particular corner comes with a GREAT view, we so did not mind. The restaurant offered a mix of local and Western food. We tried their specialty sausages, which turned out great. They also offered a great selection of warm beverages (like warm strawberry milk for Kecil!), perfect for the slightly chilly weather.

Here's a view of the restaurant from the river walk:

Do you see the dustbin near left bottom corner? Ain't it adorable? Hahaha...

So... that concludes our trips to Puncak. Both trips involved a pretty arduous driving up and down in slow moving traffic, but I guess like everyone who made the traffic jam, it was pretty worth it. We are very happy we went and (this Mama) hopes we can come back there some other day, preferably when it's not raining. Less traffic would be a bonus. Ha! Cheers!

For the rest of the Homecoming 2012 series:
MIA announcement featuring our family photo at the mountainthe beginningoutbound ports, mountain trip part 1part 2part 3baa, Surabaya, Opa Oma's house, and Opa & Oma.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Mop mop mop...

Ever since Mama bought this new mop, every time Mama tried to mop the house, a little someone kept on getting excited to 'help'.
Not that I can really blame her. The tornado mop, as it is called around here, is easy enough for her to operate. Just by moving the stick up and down, the mop head would spin in the bucket. I guess it can't get any cooler than that.

Furthermore, although the mop wielded by Kecil is somewhat wetter than Mama's, well.. she still did her part of the room.

Not to forget the inspection after mopping, dragging the mop stick back to the bucket for Mama's turn.
Ha! I'm just waiting for her to grow big enough to do the whole work, from getting the water, cleaning up the bucket after, etc. In the meantime, this Mama will continue taking pics. Cheers!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Active Childhood

Just as I thought Kecil was getting a bit distant from her friend, Ami, last week happened.
That was when Kecil already started school, but not Ami. So... after a whole day just at home, come afternoon (once Kecil came home from Skool), she would come looking for Kecil.
Which was how Mama ended up spending the whole afternoon ... taking pictures. Ahem.

Well... why not? Especially when the subject in question happens to be two very cute, pink, little athletes?

And what athletes they made! The jumped, splashed, laughed and giggled semi-histerically, shouted, played, and repeated the whole cycle all over again.

The best part? After all that swimming, they actually still have more energy to do this:

Oh yeah. They were still game enough to follow Mama for walkies with Penny. Ahem... Well... more like Mama and Penny following them, actually.

You see what I meant? And on the big road!
I was only hoping that I did train my kid (and her friend!) enough on road safety to stick to the side of the road.
Apparently I did, because we did arrive safely at our destination for more play.

Quite unbelievable, these kids. Oh well, but this Mama is not going to argue. If nothing else, Kecil's (and her friends') active childhood will keep this Mama from going even larger. Haha...

Here's for more active days ahead!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Riding. Solo edition

Anyone remember the site above?
Some time, more than a year back, this Mama also took a similar picture, with slight differences.
Prizes for those who can tell me ONE BIG difference!

Well, you can find the picture here and here.
So... if you had guessed correctly (or clicked on the links above), you might be able to tell that ....
Kecil went horse-riding again!!!

Indeed, Kecil had wanted to ride for a while, but somehow we just kept on forgetting until last weekend. Unfortunately, Daddy had to work then, so it was just Mama and Kecil.
All dressed in pink and wearing her own pink bicycle helmet, Kecil was rearing to go when we got to the equestrian field.

Well, a horse was soon brought in and readied, and after just a wee bit of hesitation, Kecil went off.
On her own!

Well, I mean, of course, that she rode the horse alone, but there was someone leading the horse.

They went off into the woods, and past the pastures...

... near the stables and finally back...

My own little jockey, I am one very proud Mama (Daddy was very proud too, I'd say!),
Of course, Kecil still needed a little help getting down:

Once the ride was over, Kecil still took time to thank the horse:

She's very proud about touching the horse, especially since she still remembered how she was afraid to do so the last time we came here.

So... we took the car home. That was the big difference in the first picture, by the way. Last year, a similar picture was taking from horseback. This time, it was from inside the car.

T'was a good weekend. We so looking forward to more good weekends spent in picturesque places such as these, hopefully as a whole family.
How about you? Any plans for the weekend yet?

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