Friday, 30 May 2008

Aidan's 1st Cut

Last Tuesday, he came back from school with a cut. they told me he'd fell, but didnt cry - and i smiled from ear to ear. he's now officially no longer a baby.. he's a boy!! more bruisers and cuts coming i'm pretty sure!

We're off packing again. this time in search of a good seafood paella. Hardy will be off to Spain next week and we're tagging along (he insisted). to be honest, i'm quite nervous. this is going to be Aidan's 2nd time on an aero. i dont know how he'll be in the plane. the first time went well (read it here). oh well, i worry over nothing sometimes. but anyway... wish me luck this time!

Aidan's at school, i'm off to do some washing and ironing in a tick. have a fantastic weekend everyone! i will try to reply most comments..

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Our Photos of Munchen

I have been very busy for the past week. and i've forgotten to post pictures of Munich on our last leg of spring vacation. driving in europe's simply excellent! you can rely on the signs and you'll be safe. but you might need a little bit of help from your tomtom, if you have one! makes the entire journey more pleasant. but even without one, you can still survive! we had a pleasant drive, a beautiful journey alltogether. here are some of our shots from Munich to share.

The last leg of our Spring Vacation - from the Italian Lakes to the Swiss Alps to Munich!

Aidan enjoying Munich, and his biskot!
We saw a bunch of people wearing some costumes, we werent sure what was going on. it was beautiful though! apperently it was one of those days in a year that Munich celebrated something (sorry guys, i tried asking a couple of people but most germans cant speak english that well. from what i understood, it was the start of spring for the farmers around munich) and most locals get to wear their traditional costume and march in the centre.

Beautiful German girls, in their traditional costumes. nice hats girls!

The parade

Aidan enjoying the parade. he gets the best view!

A line of mercedes taxis, the whole stretch of the road!

Ok... dah... jom balik...

Friday, 23 May 2008

Switzerland - Big and Small!

You can see all of Switzerland from one place - in miniature! situated just outskirts of Lugano, this is like an open-air museum with winding pathways and more than 120 models of famous landmakrs of Switzerland. from castles, cathedrals and other notable swiss buildings.

They are build on a scale of 1:25 and just the right size for Aidan to catch the whole view. you might see St. Peter's cathedral in Geneva, House of Federal Parliament in Bern, Zurich Airport and some scenes you might see in the countryside. oh, and cable cars! this is trully amazing, as they are very well kept, very well maintained and well functioned! yes, they move, almost just like the real ones!

There are lots to see, lots of activities for the kids, a cafe to rest your legs, and facilities are good, and clean. beautiful painted buildings, trains and all other swiss transportation will leave you amazed. the landscape is trully something.

Tiny model trains, hellicopters, busses and cars with all its buzzing sounds makes this place a little bit more real for the kids!

We might be away from home, but we still carry our culture! Malaysia or Swiss Miniature, cium tangan tetap cium tangan! haha. or is it just another way for you to catch girls Aidan? (that girl was so smitten and just couldnt let go of him!)

Aidan's turn on the train around the village grounds!

We had a fantastic time here, (although i was rather grumpy at first for being hungry). but it turned out to be fun! kan Aidan?

After almost 3 hours later at the swiss miniature, we then pushed off to Munich on the most beautiful strech of road i've ever been on. and this was the view..

As i was snapping away, admiring the view from the car, little did we know that we're going to travel up the mountains, and the road will lead us right to the top. we got closer and closer to the hills and honestly, i didnt know where to turn! i was practically stunned, and at last, i just gave up on taking photos, and decided to just take them all in, and embrace the moment. i strongly recommend you to take that that stretch of road, if you're travelling by car. (remember i mentioned in my mother's day post about that feeling i have when i see my mum with my son, just like i'm on top of those snow-capped swiss mountains? well.. this is what i'm talking about!)

It was simply breathtakingly gorgeous, the view was just simply spactacular. out of this world! these pictures dont do justice at all but this is my best fair of sharing my experience with you guys! My family and i toured parts of Switzerland in the 80s, but that was in winter. i was way too cold (and young) to witness such beauty. second time was last summer last year, but we only visited Zurich. but this time, it was spring. and to have the sun shining, the blue skies, the green grass and snow on the mountains... you cant help it but to feel very, very small and humbled.

Having passed through probably close to a hundred of tunnels, i am totally in love with this country. i certainly dont mind going again. somehow i cant help it but to think - what have i done do deserve all this. trully am thankful to be witnessing all God's beauty. in those period of hardship, you often hear people say, there's a light at the end of the tunnel. but in Switzerland's case, not only there's a light at the end of the tunnel, but you will come out of the dark to a spactacular view where the grass is always greener on the other side! (how's that for combining the two together?! haha). surely applies in my case!

Have a fantastic weekend everybody! enjoy it!


Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Dutch in numbers : Wake up call....

"Some 40% of the Dutch get up at 8am, according to research by TNS Nipo reported on Tuesday by news service ANP.

Just over one fifth of the population rise at 9am and one fifth at 7am. Of the 1,000 people questioned, 43% cannot wait to start the day while 9% are grumpy.

Once awake, 61% go to the bathroom, 13% kiss their partner and 7% immediately make coffee, says ANP."

I categorically fit in nicely as my alarm clock is set at 7am but has a tolerance of up to +2 hours......


Sunday, 18 May 2008

Italian Dream Part 3 - Lugano


So, ok.. back to our Italy/Swiss vacation. sorry for the delay (i had a little bit of a 'scare' last week!) and now, as promised, part 3. Lugano is right on the south of Switzerland in the italian speaking region of Tocino. we drove west from where we stayed - Porlezza (Italy), it was a good half an hour drive, having to go through the butt clenching stretch again *phew!*

What i can say about this town is it is simply buzzing with people. situated on the edge of Lake Lugano, it offers good shopping if you're into branded goods (to which i am not). Lugano has been described as the Monte Carlo of Switzerland (if only i had been to Monte Carlo, perhaps i can confirm with you on that). but really, the town is so chic and stylish, with good bars and restaurants, lots of cafes, lots of eating places, you'll have no problem filling up your tummies, but in this weather, you might find a problem getting yourselves a seat before you could actually fill up your tummies! we were so smitten by the warmth of the town, we choose not to sit down but to have a slize of pizza whilst we walk and discover the sights instead.

You know, we had to queue for a slice of pizza at this shop! it was so popular and packed! what you do is, you tell them how big of a slice you want, and then they'll cut it. they then weigh the pizza and then you pay according to the weight! i've never heard nor come across any other places that sells pizza this way! have you? it was hot from the oven, fresh and cheezy. a simple cheese and tomato pizza that pulls the crowd in!

Lots to see at Lugano, Aidan liked the fountain the best!

Swiss watches, anyone?

We had a good stroll along the river back to our car. it was breathtakingly beautiful. you feel you'd want to snap each and every inch of that view, with the snow-capped apls, with the lake, with the clouds, with the green grass.... beautiful!

If there was a drawback to Lugano, it would be the traffic coming into the town. with heavy traffic most of the time along the lakefront, and to add to the madness of traffic and traffic lights, some italian-style driving! there you have it! you'd almost feel that you're not in Switzerland! but without that traffic, i wouldnt be able to catch this photo....

My favourite photo of Lugano. captured from the car. doesnt describe the place, but still a good photo! dont you think so? (what do you think dad?)

We then took a drive to Lugano's neighbouring towns - Muralto, Minusio and drove to Ascona (on Lake Maggiore). i am embarrased to say this, but as soon as we arrived at to those places, i told Hardy, "you know what, i think we've seen enough lakes and mountains!" haha! quite honestly, they all look the same! all beautiful, breathtakingly beautiful, in their own special way!

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

The Dutch Way on Mother's Day

I know i'm suppose to continue writing on our Italy/Swiss trip. but since we're in the topic of Mother's day, i just had to write about what we did over the weekend. i've just had a wonderful weekend! yesterday was Pinkstermaandag, a public holiday, so we had an extra day. I got Hardy a bike for his birthday last year, so this year, my dear husband thought i'd be nice for the 3 of us to cycle together, and so he got me a bike for Mother's Day. it's a shame not to have one in this weather, and besides, i've always loved riding a bike. i used to cycle quite a lot when i was younger.

I must say back then bicycles were different.... i dont remember struggling hopping on the bike! i dont remember struggling stopping! i havent been on one since i was probably 10 or 12 years old! and what a laugh we had! they could probably hear me shouting "maaakkkk!!", if not "aaaarrhhh!!" a mile away!
After our breakfast, we then check if the bikes are fit to go. first hurdle, put Aidan in his seat. (no problem), second, put his helmet on since we're not going to use the inner roads (a slight problem), third, get Zaza on her seat (huge problem! hahahah!). Hardy had packed us a picnic bag for us filled with snacks, fruits, water and sandwiches, and off we went on our bicycle practice trial ride - a TEN kilometers ride! 10!!! yes 10km for a practice ride thanks to Hardy!

We cycled for about an hour before we reached Berg. i was lucky with the traffic lights, slowed down when i saw the lights turned red, sprint away when it's green, avoiding having to stop! clever huh? Berg is a small village on the famous River Maas. and just across the river was Belgium. there we found ourselves a spot to sit and sigh in relief!

There was a small ferry shuttling mostly cyclists, bikers and cars to the other side. its just a short and slow 2 minute ferry ride across the Maas. across the river were ice cream vans, a small snack bar/cafe, some rent-a-canoe spot and a good long stretch of bicycle lane along the river. we decided to give it a miss this time. i had to remind the ever so enthusiastic Hardy to save some energy to cycle back home!

This is dutch. everyone cycles. everyone has a bike. i now have more respect for cyclists, and the dutch people for cycling everywhere! honestly, they are a bunch of fit people. there are rules for cyclists too, and not to mention car drivers when you drive in the country full with cyclists. but it is so safe to cycle, in or out of town. and in this kind of weather, it's so beautiful to be on a bike and see the country!

We rested our legs, knees and butts for about an hour. just enjoing the day, and the view, together with some elderlies who sat next to us. Aidan was brilliant throughout! i'd definitely want to try another ten on a less hilly road soon!

We ended the day with a very delicious dinner my husband cooked - Nasi Ayam! (i know a few wifeys who are privillaged to have husbands who cook... you guys are really really lucky! make sure you cook on Father's Day!)

I am one happy mama! before i was one, i felt that Mother's Day's just a day where people would make extra money and make a big hype over something we should celebrate and appreciate everyday. now after being one, i have a different view on Mother's Day. its a day to just not do anything and let the fathers do it! hehe. how i wish everyday is Mother's Day!

And who says Holland is flat?!?! Holland is definitely NOT flat when you're on a bicycle! i take my word back.. Holland's NOT flat! hahaha...

Thank you boys, i had a brilliant time. i love you both to pieces!