Thursday, 21 December 2017

Taiwan + Okinawa 2017

There was a first for us in 2017- first time having a family trip with Dear's family. And also Dear's parents' first overseas trip.

So for such a milestone, what is the best place to go? Of cos Taiwan!

We visited Taipei and made days trips to Jinguashi, Shifen and Wulai which Dear and I didn't visit on our previous trips. So there was also something new for us. But actually what I learnt most from the trip is that what is most important is the time spent with each other and not squeezing in visits. Aww~~


I finally got to try sieving for gold at Jinguashi, though i think cheating one lah- how can really have gold dust. It was raining that day and we had lunch at their restuarant which offered a bento set imitating the tradional lunch that mine workers would eat- pork chop, egg, pickles. Best thing is can bring back the bento boz and scarf- souvenirs!

As it was raining, we were wondering if we should proceed to our last stop Shifen. We decided to drive there and hope the rain will stop by then! Really stopped! So we managed to see the small (really small) town and release sky lanterns. Another Taiwan experience checked!
 
We also had a day trip to Wulai, but was raining again! Sigh. We had a very nice aboriginal lunch at one of the restaurants and walked up to the hot springs to look see. There is a free hot spring by the open stream that you can soak but no toilet or towel.  Despite the challenging (aka dirty and wet), we still sat down and soak our legs. I'm quite impressed with myself for being willing to do it, and thank you dear for allowing me to wipe my legs on your jeans cos we had no towels.

So another Taiwan experience unchecked!

While planning for the trip, I came up with the idea to combine this trip with visiting Okinawa as it is cheap and near to visit from Taiwan. Okinawa has always seem like a cool place to visit but it is expensive and far from Singapore. There are no direct flights and I don't wanna fly 7 hrs just for a few days trip in Okinawa.

So we said good bye to the rest of the troops and took a short flight (1hr plus only) to Okinawa. We drove around (of cos we must have a driving trip!) and while Okinawa was different from what we imagined, the trip was still rather pleasant I guess.

Must dos: Eating fresh sashimi don and visiting the aquarium for the whale sharks.

 We also visited the American Village and had cheap good sushi there.

We queued for 1hr plus for the so called famous ramen at the prime shopping street. Not that the noodles were bad, but seriously need to queue so long anot.

The main shopping streets felt like the Patong of Okinawa but nonetheless still good for tourist shopping hahaha.

This was our main trip of the year actually, cos after we adopted our Buddy and life took over. We did visit Bkk in Oct but that was becos we booked the trip before Buddy came along. And luckily we did book the trip cos it forced us to take a break!

Ok lah, don't say until so cham. We somehow also got to Batam cos we saw a cheap promo for the ferry tickets (again, before Buddy came along).

So we had some short breaks but we really need to go on a long break and we are working towards that after successfully finding Buddy a caretaker when we are not around! 

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Hong Kong 22-26 Jan 2016

"I want to eat HK style breakfast."

Dear dear 一句话, 我们就订机票去香港。 One of our most spontaneous trips ever!

Since we have been to HK a few times already, there wasn't really new places that we want to go. Honestly, besides the food and night markets, ok maybe the toys also, nothing much for us liao hahaha. 

We did explore one new place though: PMQ 元創方. This a new arty farty place in the refurbished Police Living Quaters for young designers to showcase their stuff.


We went to Bo Innovation for lunch. Lunch is pretty worth it to experience this three-Michelin starred restaurant.

And we also went to Disneyland, again. hahah.



2016 was a fruitful year in traveling. We went to HK, Bangkok, Japan, and Europe. Very blessed with having the time and money to just go crazy to visit the places we want. Take leave from work until a little bit paiseh haha. We booked all these trips early on in the year because we knew where we wanted to go and for some places, like HK and BKK, we just booked because there was an air ticket sale. Wahaha.

We starred 2017 with a trip to Taiwan and Okinawa (coming up soon)! And we squeezed in a Bkk trip after that, but otherwise travelling in 2017 was scaled back because we were focused on settling our doggie in the house!

Europe Honeymoon- 27 Aug to 12 Sept

And now we are finally at our honeymoon! Talk about delayed gratification. We waited for 8 months before we embark on our official honeymoon because we wanted to watch the BPL!

Our trip details:
Best Western Cromwell Hotel:  $921.64 for 4 nights
Airbnb in Paris: $589 for 4 nights
Urban Sea Hotel Atocha 113 in Madrid: $551.88 for 4 nights

London

Our first stop was London! We took Qatar because we got it at good price but the service not very good leh. Qatar wasn't as good as we thought since many were praising how much superior it was to SQ. We still prefer SQ and our SQ girls! 

Dear has been to London multiple times but it is his first time here with me and also first time watching Chelsea live in the BPL. So it was something for him to look forward to. But sadly, we really dun seem to have much luck when we try to watch Chelsea live- always not a good performance one. :(

This time, we caught them in a bad season, on a bad day. So not so fun to watch, sigh.

To be honest, London was pretty boring. The highlight for me was the day trip to Stonehenge and Bath. At least got to see something. And, the tour operator that I found ended its trip right at the door step of our hotel! How awesome! #cheapthrill


Paris

A lot of people said that Paris is actually a dark and smelly city. Yes, at times But we liked the city. There is a certain vibe about it that made people feel special in the city. I think the fact that we had access to yummy macaroons helped too haha.

And we love the other French food too- foie gras (we had a big foie gras meal!) and everything was so good. The French are excellent with sauces that pair very well with the food.

I enjoyed going to the Versailles Palace and I wished I was the Queen. Sigh. I also want to live in this kind of decadence *wink*


Lyon

Because Dear is traveling with me, he gets to eat well. When in France, you gotta visit the food capital of this nation of people who eats well. So I squeezed in a night in Lyon just to eat. The food was really not bad, but rich. Richer than the ones we ate in Paris.

We learnt that we do not really enjoy tripes. A bit too strong for us. But Dear forgot and ordered it again in our recent Europe trip. *sad*


Barcelona

Our next stop was Spain!  Hola! We were in a part of Europe with a very warm and vibrant vibe and we love it. Everyone was in sandals and shorts. Can't imagine how it is like during the summer, lol.

I think I belong to the camp that Gaudi was an artist. The quirky architecture gives the city so much character. Dare to be different mah right. The Sagrada Familia is still my fav church in Europe because I like the way it is bright and airy inside.


One of the best things about are the side trips. We made a day trip to Montserrat Monastery up in the mountains to listen to the famed choir boys.


And also to Segovia to see the castle that supposedly inspired Disney. The shops really close for afternoon nap time :( we decided to sightsee first before doing the shopping and when we were done, most of the shops closed for afternoon nap already! Pfft.


Our last stop of this trip was Madrid city, which was really quite boring. Really nothing much one. So ya, can skip Madrid if you don't have enough time.



Japan Trip- Nagoya

Hello guys, catching up on our past trips. Lazy liao, so we use pictorial stye okie.

This was one of the best trips I ever had, cos of the highlight in Takayama and Shirakawago. We decided to visit Shirakawago cos Dear saw how pretty the huts are in snow. So this was a trip in making for some time as we had to wait for the right season (for snow!) and really planned it.

We did a road trip and drove in snow (highlight of the trip for Dear). Dear was a good driver and it was all well!

We also skied for the first time! Lots of achievements unlocked in this trip. We had a coach to teach both of us at the ski resort. As expected, I wasn't really good at it. On the other hand, Dear was unexpectedly good and the coach trained him more instead of me. #giveuponme

One downside of the trip was, it was raining almost everyday in Nagoya city when we were there. First time that we had such persistant rainy weather when we are overseas!

Day 1 and 2- Nagoya


Day 3- Shirakawago

Day 4- Takayama




Day 5- Okuhira



Day 6- Shirakawago Part 2



Day 7- Ski resort


Day 8- Mitsui Outlet Park Jazz Dream Nagashima


Day 9- Inuyama town


Day 10- Back to Sg


Yes, we took Business Class on the way back! Dear exchanged miles to upgrade us! But sadly, we had to sit apart because the Japanese counter staff allowed other passengers to book single seats and refused to change them. ARGH.

One of the those things that we dun like about the one-track minded Japanese. So I spent a lot of my time taking photos. Heh. #dunknowwhenisthenexttime





Sunday, 11 June 2017

We got a dog!

We have been quiet on this space, largely because we took the plunge and welcomed a dog into our lives!

We adopted an ex-breeding dog from Voices of Animals and it has been a pretty happy journey.

Dear and I have always wanted a dog when we were young but our mothers didn't allow (boo). When we got our own place, we talked on and off about getting a dog. But I was worried about leaving the dog alone in the house when we are working (oh the pee and poop) and it's probably not that nice to let the dog spend so much time alone right.

After research and talking to the VFA guys, they assured us that it was not that bad to leave the dog alone at home in the days as dogs spend a lot of time sleeping. And we can also consider the option of day care.

So one day, we just felt ready to get a dog and we saw HIM at one of the adoption drives. I saw this white Maltese that just looked so cute walking around and he so right when we carried him. So we just brought our new friend home without any dog supplies and we had to quickly buy whatever we needed.

We named the dog Buddy, because he was the friend we always wanted to have and we hope to be the friend he needs to enjoy this second stage of this life.

The initial week was filled with vomit, literally. Buddy kept vomiting and we had to travel to the vet a few times to get him sorted out, this included a 2 night stay at the vet. Very worrying experience.

He got much better and the next few weeks was full of pee and poop as we tried to toilet train him. We initially kept him in a play pen, but he didn't like it and eventually learn to somersault out of it.

Luckily, he was more or less house trained and toilet trained by now- so we let him out in the living room when we go out to work. We trusted him with our house. It took a few weeks of scolding before he learned to go to his designated pee spot even when we are not around. And his accuracy rate has been going up up up!

I personally think it is a sign he is more secured now in the house, even though we are out. After three months, I think he has really adopted us as his family :)

Dear and I adore him. And Dear has been a great dog daddy cos he is usually the first one to come home after work to clean up any mess in the house and teach Buddy toilet etiquette. 

I feel so happy looking at him- right now he is lying stomach side up with legs in the air on his fav beanie chair.