Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ocean Adventure

Most weekends would see us lazing around at home, enjoying takeaway food and the peace and quiet in general. After all, isn't that the beauty of living in a tourist destination? But there are times when we do feel 'obligated' to visit one of those touristy trap spots just so we do not miss out that much. We've been to the zoo before, we've been to the mall MANY times, even if we mostly do not record those trips here. This time round, it was visiting the beach, or to be precise, the Ocean Adventure.

Set up right next to the sea, the 'park' offers a couple of shows through the day: one focused on the wild animals of the forest surrounding the area and the people of the forest, another on this acrobatic group from Kenya, and the two main ones on the gentler creatures of the sea: the sea lion and the dolphins.

The shows were good and engaging. They were, however, not enough to get this Mama clicking the camera. Until we got to the dolphins, that was.
Of course, this was not our first time seeing a dolphin show. We saw one when we went to the zoo in Indonesia as well (no dolphin picture in the post, you've got to take my word for it). However, this one was different. Not only the dolphins were at sea, the handlers actually went into the water to 'play' as well!

And of course, there was the other factor of us waiting for quite a bit before the show started as well. The dolphins were really the star of the park, you see, so the seats for their show filled up fast. We got front seats, only because it was not under the shade and nobody wanted to get tanned. Bahahhaha.... Still... the view was gorgeous. And the show? Simply awesome. I think Kecil redoubled her resolve to really learn to swim well just so she can swim with the dolphins next time.

There were the obligatory photo boards, which Kecil was glad to use, dragging Daddy along. All in all, it was a good weekend, a deal sweetened by the fact that as residents of the area, we were entitled to 50% discount off the entrance fee. Hehe... Discount or not, it was fun, and we were glad that we left our hermitage of a house for the weekend to check out the spot. We'll see what else we can do next weekend in this part of the globe we call home. Cheers!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Walkies duo

After all the excitement of walking with 3, 4 and even 5(!) kids, it was kind of nice for this Mama to find herself walking just with the Dog and 2 kids. Two very well behaved little girls, to boot. Oh, and the Dog, of course.

The girls, of course, in their cute hats and walking outfits.

It was a very relaxing walk (compared to the ones with more participants. Duh!), and we went back to an old favourite: the playground across the minimart, where Kecil & Ami quickly got busy climbing around ...

... and posing, of course, for the snap-happy Mama. Even the Dog got her turn while she was chilling on top of the slide station:

I think the Dog got a bit confused with all the picture taking.

It was a good walk for all parties involved, especially Mama. Haha.... Here's to more relaxed walkies with manageable crowds. Cheers!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Summer Indo Trip: Order & the remaining postcards

The Summer Indonesian Trip was such a long holiday that this Mama actually managed to churn out no less than 14 posts so far, not necessarily in chronological order, and all of them spread all over the place. So. If you do want to follow the order, you can always start from:
Kecil's Oma passed away shortly after this Mama completed the itinerary post, which might explain both the prolonged absence following that post, not to mention the fact the post that followed then jumped to Oma's story. But chronologically speaking, the posts that should have followed were:
From Bali, we flew straight to Jakarta, then drove to Bogor where we spent quite a couple of days lazing around. These two posts covers those days, as well as the postcard below them.

Basically, we spent a lot of time around the house, with Kecil enjoying the odd crafts or using Oma's iPad (or bothering Opa to yield the iPad to her). In addition, we also visited the botanical garden in town:

... followed with lunch at the Hoka Hoka Bento (an Indonesian fast food chain serving Japanese food), and a ride home on the becak. As you can see from the pic, Kecil seems pretty psyched with the new (to her) mode of transport. 

Unfortunately, not long after, Oma got sick, and well... you know the rest.

While we were quite 'complete' as a family there, we took the chance to take a few pictures together, especially with Daddy. Actually that picture was taken right before we went on our adventure trying to send Daddy (on time) to the airport, because there was some strike that day involving the public transport. We did arrive on time for his flight that day, thank goodness.

Thankfully, the strike only affected us that day, because Mama and Kecil did have to go to and fro on the public transport to the airport. Not much of a hardship, because it was a direct bus. Why... at certain times, there were even the premium bus! Kecil was so enjoying the ride, and also Tante Lia. All those airport buses came with free wifi. What was there not to enjoy? Ah ya... traffic jams, especially when you are hungry and you forgot to pack food into the bus. Of course, we did not make the same mistake twice. So for our second trip, we actually brought along a whole pizza with us. Ha! Eat that, traffic jam!

When we got to the Jakarta Airport, usually we had time to chill at the waiting lounge. Now, when Mama said 'chill', she really meant it. Look at Kecil and her fascination with the aircon blower unit at the waiting lounge! Chillin' indeed!

We started our Indo trip via Surabaya, so when we left Indonesia, that was again our port of call, along with Singapore. Somehow, apparently due to some changes in the flight schedule (the notice of which never reached Mama), we got stranded for one night in Singapore. It was quite a hassle, oh well.. but we did fine.

Kecil got a bit stressed up at the airport while Mama went to and fro between the service counter, the lost luggage counter, the food hall (to feed the Hungry and Stressed One). Thankfully, she calmed down once she had lunch. We stayed in an inexpensive hotel around Mama's old neighbourhood, from whence we actually managed to walk to the very library Mama used to frequent to borrow books in the olden days. We also had a good dinner although Kecil did not quite like the fact that the eatery of Mama's choice was not air-conditioned. Damn, the holidays had spoiled the Little One.

The following morning, we made our way back to the airport, and from there, back home.

It's been one hell of an adventure (that took waaaaaaay long to tell as well!), but it was fun, and this Mama likes to think that Kecil had grown from the whole thing. See the pic above? The pic on the right was our final pic for the trip. Don't you think she's all grown up after all that adventure already?

This has to be the longest series so far, and this Mama is very glad indeed that it goes all the way to the end. Here's hoping for more series in the future. Cheers!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Water babies

The good weather continued to hold last week. So, when it got really hot, we went swimming.

We, as in Kecil, her Mama and her Gang.

And since Mama got the waterproof camera, we took turn posing and taking pictures. We posed above water:

Then we posed underwater:

Oh ya, except for Mama and this Mr. Spiderman over here. I guess water is not for spiders, or Spidermen.

Still, the girls seemed to have fun in the water:

This Mama does hope that along with all the fun, everyone would benefit from some learning how to swim. After all, I firmly believe that kids should know how to swim, especially those who live in the vicinity of the sea! Here's hoping for more sunny days for more swimming fun!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Back to Walkies

As the sun slowly made its way back into our routine, Kecil had started taking (occasional) walkies with Mama and the Dog.
Occasional, because sometimes she would prefer just playing with her 'gang', leaving Mama to take solitary walkies with the (sometimes reluctant) Doggie.
Of course, with the Gang playing just outside the house, aka in our way out for walkies, sometimes we do end up with a whole big group taking walkies.

Like that time when we ended up at the playground with hmm.... 5 kids.

Yah... thankfully, I was not the only adult, as 1 kid was accompanied by his Ate. Still.... 5 noisy, active, happy kids. Thank God I know very well that at least 3 of them are "road-trained" (read: they know the basic traffic rules such as no walking in the middle of the road), and can be quite depended on to follow my instruction, even shouted from afar.

Also, thankfully, 5 kids are more of an exception rather than the norm. Fiuh *wiping sweat off my forehead. Other times, there are solitary walks, 2 kids only, 3 kids.... the norm, you know.

Sometimes, we met other dogs on the way, much to the delight of mostly the girls, like the other day at the playground:

Sometimes, WE are the one responsible for the extra DOG, like the other few occasion:

A Golden Retriever puppy! And Kids! What was I thinking?

And I know what you all are thinking. No, the Dog did not just get a puppy. Rather, Jessica got a new neighbour who brought along this cute little Puppy, much to the kids' delight. They actually noticed the Pup, and they proceeded to knock on the stranger's new neighbour's door to play with the Puppy.

I do not think that this is something that Kecil or any of the kids would do on individual basis. But let them play together as a gang and they become triple, quadruple daring. Let's just say this Mama is vastly relieved that the kids are essentially good kids. I guess that's also why I do TRY to get them to walk with me at least once in a while, to get to know them better, and hopefully, monitor them a bit.

Back to our outdoor agenda, we've also started swimming again:

It was just a quick swim, squeezed within a bout of sunny afternoon and cut short with the arrival of thunders. Sigh...
But as I said earlier, the sun is back, and slowly we are progressing to more sunny days as compared to the rainy one. So... at least we have more hope for future walkies and outdoor activities, be them solitary, 2 kids, 3 kids, 1 dog, 2 dogs.... whatever combination that works.

Until then!

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