Happy 2018 and our first guest of the year

Happy 2018

We have a friend from Singapore, staying with us for one night. Our first house guest for 2018! Yay! It’s been awhile since we have people staying over with us. Looking forward to host more people!

I got to know about Ginger Farm from the Ladies Christmas Dinner and want to bring the family. The golden hour there is really gorgeous, cascading over the paddy fields.

This time we went during noon, which wasn’t too hot since it’s ‘winter’ months. It was cloudy enough to give a good shade for outdoor seating.

This would surely be one of the places I would love to bring more visitors, especially those with kids and who live in the city. There are various activities for kids and parents to participate in, like rice planting, mudslides, etc.

what a lovely day !

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Review on L’ Hotel Island South (Hongkong)

We did not have a big budget on our hotel stay in HK. It was getting depressing finding something decent within our budget. I was so thrilled when L’Hotel showed up in my search, because I went onto their official website and it was way beyond my budget. But I managed to snag a good deal on Agoda.

L’Hotel Island South is on Aberdeen, 香港仔。We were told (after we arrived) that the hotel is in an industrial district and if not because of the opening of the new MTR Line, people would wonder why we want to stay there.

It was super convenient to get around. 5 mins walk to Wong Chuk Hang MTR, 1 stop away from Ocean Park, 3-4 stops away to Central MTR (though you have to change line). Most importantly, lifts at the MTR so we need not carry the stroller up and down stairs. There were also some really atas restaurants nearby which we did not have time to check out (the outside). We were also told by the driver who drove us from Shenzhen To HK that the local neighborhood has lots of local products which we can get at a cheaper price compared to touristy places. I would have loved to explore if we had more time in HK. It was a 30 mins walk or 15 mins bus ride.

We got upgraded to high floor and hill view. So we have a lovely sight!! It looks like we’ve paid a lot for it but didn’t.

There was also a bathtub which Judah has fun playing in it twice. He also exclaimed to his papa “look papa, a real bathtub!!”

We would definitely come back to stay in L’Hotel next time we are in Hongkong and if we are still able to get a good deal! And explore more of the south side of Hongkong like the southern island and Kennedy town areas.

Tips we learnt from Hongkong Disneyland

Our time in Hongkong Disneyland deserves a post on its own.

We had the most amazing and magical time in Disneyland!!! Such that after our time there, whenever Judah sees the mickey logo on the MTR ticket machine, he will press it and says he wants to go there.

We learnt quite a few things to do and not to do there.

We went on a Saturday so it was crazy lots of people. Well, to be begin, First tip: BUY PROMO TICKETS ONLINE BEFORE REACHING HK. I should have bought the tickets online before reaching HK grounds. There was a promo of HKD598 and merchandise vouchers and popcorn 1-for-1 deals. But I kept procrastinating till we reached HK and realized that the promo doesn’t show up when you’re in HK!! Bummer! So we paid full price and no additional deal!!

Second tip: DON’T GO ON WEEKENDS!! Duh!! The whole world would be there. Mondays look like a good day to go according to the times guide, there are special shows on Monday, Saturday and Sunday.

Third tip: BRING LOTS OF WARM CLOTHING if you’re going during winter months. We were there on a 12°C evening!! Oh my world!!! It was freezing!!!! The wind chills!!! Perfect weather though if you want to experience real winter in wonderland. We love it but at times it was abit too cold and we wished we were better prepared. Don’t be fooled by the sunny day in the daytime though.

Fourth tip: YOUR LITTLE CHILDREN CAN GO TOO. We heard from others that Disneyland might not be suitable for little kids like Judah’s age. Because he might not be able to go on the rides. While there were some rides that he definitely missed the height limit like the Ironman One. But he managed to go on 3 rides!!! There were rides that didn’t have any height restrictions and it really depended if the child is adventurous or not. I was surprised how daring he was! He went on the Mad Hatter Tea Party and Slinky Dog rides and loved it! I was actually getting a little giddy from them!

The entire family went onto the It’s a small world ride! That was so fun! David was so amazed by the moving dolls and objects. Though of coz he would not be able to remember them, but I would remember the look of wonder on his face!

If it was not for the long waiting times, Judah would probably have gotten onto more rides. So, we have to go back again one day soon!

We were able to stay all the way but Judah fell asleep when the night parade was about to start and wouldn’t wake up for it. He managed to catch the fireworks though, we heard that there would be no more fireworks come 2018. 😥

Fifth tip: Buy the return MTR tickets before entering Disneyland!! To beat the crowd of course!! I thought about that when we were queuing to buy tickets to go back. Duh, too late!

Sixth tip: Try to schedule 2 days for Disneyland if you can afford it. There is just too many things to do and watch!! Don’t plan to fly back the day after Disneyland too! Give yourself the next day to sleep in and take a slow morning, you’re on vacation.

Seventh tip: We only planned to have one meal in Disneyland as we thought the food would be very expensive! So we tried to smuggle food and snacks in. Well, the security gave us a hard time when she discovered char siew baos in our bags. But I told her we will eat them now and she let us go. Did we? If you have extra moolahs, then buy the experience of food there. Noodles were HKD109!!

Eighth tip: Use the stroller rental system. I’m not sure if it’s free but it was super tiring for me to babywear David the whole day!!! If the next time we are there and we have 2 kids who want to sit on the stroller then I’ll definitely rent one from Disneyland!

I’m trying to see if I can reach 10 tips, so bear with me

Nineth tip: Merchandise from Disneyland. Twice I’ve been to Disneyland and I DID NOT get anything from there to remember of. It was too overwhelming and expensive to decide what to buy. From the wise words of my husband: “You already spent a lot to buy the experience of Disneyland, why still spend so much on junk?”

Tenth Tip: Breathe when you enter Disneyland. It was overwhelming for me as an adult, so many people and sounds or noises and things to do and see. Where do we go first? What do we do first ? FOMO mentality. Breathe and decide what you want to see first – parades or rides or go one round according to the map.

There, I have it! 10 tips to Hongkong Disneyland!

Our first family trip (that is not Singapore/Thailand)

Although we looked like we’ve travelled quite a bit but the places that we’ve been traveling to these last 3 years have been just Singapore and Thailand.

We finally have an opportunity to visit Shenzhen and Hongkong, as a family of 4. It’s my maiden trip to China, for the record. Papa Tee is extremely proud that I’ve finally stepped into China grounds (“how can you be Chinese when you’ve not been to China?” – why not? Singapore is not in China, fyi).

Tee has an uncle and his 4 children and 10 grandchildren in Shenzhen. They asked if we wanted to go over to visit them earlier this year. His uncle last saw him when he was 12 and since Tee’s father died, he has not seen any of his brother’s family and has been worried for all of them.

It was a pleasant time meeting them. While we were there, we had lots of comfort home-cooked food – soups and many homely dishes. The person who gained the most would be me, I mean weight.

Shenzhen is pretty much like Singapore, easy to get around with the subways, lots of tall buildings and malls, but with wider roads.

In the first few days, I’ve got a little culture shock. Everyone, ok, most people we saw were dressed super nicely! Like jackets with iron-pressed shirts and pants, nice coats etc. I felt like I was a country bumpkin. The malls were all big brands name.

Later I realized it was probably the area that we were in most of the time there. We were in Futian area which is the city center now, the financial district is there, the government is there. The most expensive apartment is there.

Hah, but no matter how developed or atas looking everything is, you can still find the squatty potty!!

Reflections for the season

For the last few years, I would think about a One-Word as a focus of the year. This year was “Finding (Peace, Joy, Anything in the world)”. To be honest, I am not intentional about making that as my focus.

I’ve been thinking a lot about how, what, I do as a mum, wife etc. And in picking The Peaceful Preschool curriculum for Judah, that is what I desire for my home.

PEACE

It’s difficult and challenging to exhibit peace in everyday life, when tantrums, tiredness, whines, discipline kicks in.

I find that peace is so hard to achieve when the kids are not napping, or sleeping early, and right now we are potty training Judah who for some reason often refuses to go and end up messing the floors. That drives me real mad and peace is flown out of the window very quickly.

So, in my everyday life, mundane life, I wish for peace, a peaceful heart and mind, exhibiting a deep peace that transcends all understanding.