Holiday In Auckland – 18 December 2014

Today was museum touring day for us.  But we wasted quite a bit of time on the road as hubs lost data connection with the  Google Maps on his mobile phone half way along the drive to Auckland War Memorial Museum.  He stopped the car at a service area along the motorway to ask for directions.  Google Maps has not been very stable here and we kept losing data connection each time we are on the road.   Anyway, after over an hour, we finally reached our destination.  The kids cheered!  We were all famished!

We quickly headed to Columbus Coffee cafe inside the museum and ordered lunch for the kids.  Food was great!

 

 

The first activity was a Maori cultural show inside a theater.  Cass fell asleep in the theater haha!

 

Then we took pix with the Maori performers.

 

 

 

We watched how a volcano erupts in a specially designed room– everyone was startled when the room suddenly shook and trembled with lights turned off and on during the ‘volcano eruption’

 

 

 

The kids inserting coins into a vending machine to buy souvenirs.

Beautiful scenery overlooking the sea, outside the museum.

 

The kids ran round the park located just opposite the museum…

 

They even climbed up a tree…

 

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Visit to Orakei Bay & Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium – 16 December 2014

After we picked up the girls’ visiting grand uncle and grand aunt from Christchurch at the airport, we had dim sum lunch at a Chinese restaurant.  Then we adjourned to Okahu Bay for sightseeing.  It was frrrrreakkkkking COLD at the bay with strong winds.  Now, what kinda of freezing cold summer is this in Auckland?!  We will definitely need 2 large luggage bags to lug some really thick winter wear along if we go to Auckland during the winter next!

See, the drama queen had 5 layers of clothing on!  I told you she is melodramatic!

 

 

From the Bay, we crossed the road over to the park for the girls to play at the playground.

 

 

 

Next, we headed to Kelly Tarlton’s Sea Life Aquarium.

The highlight of the aquarium for the girls were the super adorable and majestic penguins.   We spent a good 20 minutes filming the penguins and oohing and aahing over them.

 

 

 

Cass trying to kiss a baby penguin.

 

 

 

 

The girls touching some star fish and jelly fish.

 

From Okahu Bay, hubs set  his Google Maps for direction to drive home but half way along the way, the GPS was disconnected and we lost our way.  We spent over an hour on the road, resetting the Google Maps and finally reached home.  We had dinner at a Chinese eatery and then headed home.

 

 

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Random Pictures In Auckland

On the third day  in Auckland, the kids went to JUMP to jump on gigantic trampolines, indoor.  This is similar to Malaysia’s very own  Jump Street.

 

 

 

 

 

We played Dodge Ball with the locals. Yes, even I joined in!! :D

 

 

 

See the tarzan girl!  She did countless rounds on it.

 

At Howick Village Market on Saturday morning…

Avocados are selling very cheaply everywhere (between 50 cents to a dollar each) and we have been buying and eating them by the kgs everyday! YUMS :)

 

 

 

Orange, yellow and purple carrots…

 

 

 

 

 

 

We bought some Amaize gourmet popcorns for the kids at NZD5 a punnet.

 

Strawberries are in season now and we have been munching on them as snacks everyday!  Oh BLISS!! :D

 

 

 

Aunt Krystle from HK gave the kids each some money and they could buy anything that they want except for food from a bookstore. Here they are reading their books while waiting for the adults to shop at the market.

 

With aunt Krystle and aunt Sarah…

 

 

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Holiday In Auckland – Day 4, 13 December 2014

For the first time in our lives, we experienced a mega Christmas In The Park  party yesterday. The event was held at One Tree Hill Domain, adjacent to Cornwall Park.

We had to take a 15-minute hike up a hill to the park from the car park.  That was not a problem as the weather was cold but what dampened the mood a little was the drizzle.  Throughout the evening, it drizzled.   Everyone had to put on their hoodies.   For the kids, it was a real jungle trekking adventure, made even more adventurous with the drizzle and freaking cold weather.  Temperature was about 11-12C.

 

The kids posing with a unique looking gigantic tree at the park.   It was drizzling and the tree branches were wet and slippery but the kids were not at all perturbed by the wet weather. They wanted to climb up the tree!  Kids, they just wanna have fun!

 

Can you spot us?  We were seated next to an orange tent.

Lesson learnt : buy a tent and bring really warm clothing if we ever attend such events again in a cold country.

 

 

It was also the girls’ first experience (mine too) using mobile loos and gawd, they were really narrow and squeezy inside!

The hubs bought hotdogs, nuggets, hot chocolate, coffee, fries, candy floss and a whole bunch of junk food for the kids!  I just had to close both eyes and let it go since it’s a HOLIDAY and I am not supposed to pour cold water on everyone. :D

While waiting for the show to begin, we brought the girls and their twin cousins to play at the funfair.

 

Going up the haunted house.  In less than 2 minutes, the supposedly scary tour was over and they said “not scared at all!!  It was only dark inside there!”  There goes our NZD18!

Kids on the Dragon Boat ride.

We left the event early as the drizzle did not stop and boy was it freezing cold!  The wind was strong and the rain water made it worst.  We were all damp over all and had to hike down the hill to the car park, carrying our backpacks and 2 portable chairs.  What an experience was it for all of us.

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Day 2 and 3 in Auckland (10 & 11 Dec 2014)

After our jog back from the park on day 2, we had a lovely lunch of beef brisket noodles with radish soup cooked by the MIL.

Later we followed the girls’ cousin, A to her aerobic gymnastics class to watch her train for a while.

Then we had coffee and cakes at a nearby shopping mall cafe.   That night, we traveled to Bombay to have a sumptuous dinner at Bracu, a fine dine countryside restaurant in the Simunovich Olive Estate.  Let me settle down later and get hold of the pix of the food that we had that night and I will post them here.

Day 3 – A & S followed their twin cuzs to school and attended class for a day.

While the 4 cousins were in school, hubs, MIL, youngest SIL, Cass and I had breakfast at Little And Friday.

Then we went to Cornwall Park to have a nice stroll in the cool weather.  For the first time, we saw fig trees with figs on them, sakura trees and sakura flowers.  Cass saw fresh mushrooms on the ground, cows and sheep grazing grass in the meadow.  It was an eye-opening experience for my city girl :D

We saw ducks and ducklings by the pond and Cass was so excited!

 

Cass climbed trees for the first time in her life!

Cass picked up some cones, figs and unique flowers for her  2 che ches to see when they get back from school later.

We had homecooked dinner at home on day 3.  SIL grilled lamb and made fennel salad.

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Greetings From New Zealand!

It was a smooth-cruising of 11 hours on the plane for everyone.  When we touched down Auckland airport at 12:15am, everyone on the plane clapped their hands! LOL!

Here is Cass enjoying her dinner  37,000 feet in the air, somewhere above the Tasman Sea while enjoying the sunset view outside. The beautiful sunset colors of red, orange, grey, blue along with grey was just splendid!

We arrived Auckland past midnight Auckland time.

Cass enjoying her breakfast of fresh cherries and playing Minion Rush on the iPad, while her 2 che ches have gone out to the market with grandma and aunt Sarah.

Later I jogged to the park (while hubs cycled and Cass and Sherilyn rode on the skooter) in the 12 noon sun. But the wind was chilly, just perfect for moi! :)

Admiring the Mandarin ducks in the pond at the park that we jogged to.

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Shopping At Pavillion – 6 December 2014

To cheer up Cass who has been feeling really broody ever since her 2 che ches and grandma left for NZ, hubs brought us to Pavillion for shopping today.

We saw a ‘guai lo’ Santa Claus and I quickly asked Cass to pose next to him for a pic and then Whatsapp-ed the picture to her che ches in NZ.

Such Christmassy feel in Pavillion – great Xmas decor and lovely Xmas songs.  This is truly the best time of the year!

 

We had lunch at Kampachi.  Cass ordered her favorite Chawan Mushi and soba noodles.

My plate of raw protein, which I shared with hubs.

Then we spent over an hour at the Nike shop.  The basketball freak hubs shopped like crazy at the shop!  Since he was so in the mood to shop, I quickly grabbed a Nike tee and Nike dri-fit skorts for myself, kekeke…

 

While finding the loo, Cass’ sharp eyes saw something from a far.  Oh no, she saw toys! She pestered me to bring her there.  She filtered all the dolls and baby toys and then something caught her eyes – GUNS!  Oh NO!!  She was hooked on some Boom Co. Blasters toy guns that shoot our darts onto a sticker target!  And you know what?  I enjoyed playing with the gun too!  Soon, she bugged her daddy to buy her the Blasters toy guns and his ever indulgent daddy bought 3 of them!  2 for her cousins in NZ and 1 for Cass… complete with protective eye gear too!

 

You seeeeee, the little boy in him!!

And they spent almost an hour playing with BoomCo. Blasters while I went in to Parkson to do more shopping :D

Since it has been yonks since we last went overseas (Singapore not included la), we found out that we do not have enough luggage bags!  So we hunted for trolley luggage bags too.

Tomorrow, we will be doing shopping again.  This time to buy  a jacket for myself and hubs will probably get another hand-carry trolley luggage bag.  I told hubs that luggage bags are a good investment since they can last for many years.  Very soon, Alycia would be needing them when she goes overseas for further studies, I told him.  I am that forward thinking like that, haha!

 

 

 

 

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Lovesick Cass

Cass is lovesick ever since her 2 sisters and grandma left for Auckland yesterday morning.  She  was down and broody the whole day and kept asking me whether her che ches have reached NZ.

I made her favorite grilled herbs and turmeric drumsticks for dinner but even when she savored the drumstick, she put one hand on the side of her face and appeared dreamy.

While at the dining table, she kept telling me this: “why does it feel so different without che che and er che?”

I asked her if she is happy that her sisters are not around since there was now no one to fight with her over the iPad, laptop, TV and food but she shook her head and said that she is not happy.  I asked her if she misses her che ches and she said yes, very much.  Oh dear, that really put a lump in my throat!

Cass gave me an A++ for the chicken drumsticks and commented that they tasted even better than KFC, wah!!! :D

The both of us shared this plate of 2 drumsticks, a butter bun, baby tomatoes, avocado and veggies (there was a big plate of veggie though).  Cass is not a rice lover and so am I, so yay, no need to cook rice!!  Yup, we are that small an eater, thus our size.

And I must say that cooking for only 1 child is SOOOOO easy peasy!!    So little to cook, and so little to wash up and clean up!  Even boiling the radish soup was SO easy!

 

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Preserving Health

A lot of people are suffering from medical problems that are largely preventative. Even when you have a good insurance program, regular visits to the hospital can be expensive and emergencies can incite a great deal of stress when it comes to paying for medical bills at a later date. This is why practicing preventative measures can help you save money, as well as your overall health in the long run.

Diet is one of the most important determiners of a person’s health. Heart disease is one of the leading causes of death in the United States, and it is largely attributed to a diet that is high in saturated fat. Over time, this fat hardens in the arteries, keeping blood from circulating as it should. Blood can also thicken and the heart can become covered in fat.

To counteract this phenomenon, it’s important to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in the diet while incorporating a variety of fruits and vegetables. A healthy diet coupled with an active lifestyle can reverse many of the negative effects associated with type-2 diabetes, as well as other health abnormalities.

Of course, even the most positive lifestyle cannot prevent every health defect. When people have trouble accessing proper health care in their area, a telemedicine program can be of great benefit. If your family is low income, you may also qualify for a variety of financial aid programs that will allow you to afford the medical care you need to thrive.

 

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Arrived in Auckland!

Here’s a picture of A & S with their mama upon arrival at the airport in Auckland about 3.5 hours ago.

Thanks to my bil who waited patiently at the airport.  The flight was delayed by 1.5 hours and by the time they were out, it was already close to 2am Auckland time.  Thank you also to him for keeping us all updated with pictures sent via our group chat in Whatsapp.

As usual, the drama queen must have some drama on the plane la.  She messaged me in Facebook just a moment ago, telling me that her lips were burning when she was eating her dinner on the plane.   Here’s our Facebook chat.  She also sent me a voice message…

 

 

To be continued with more pix of A & S in Auckland tomorrow… I really need to get my sleep now. It’s been a very tiring day for me today.  I also had a major heart-attack  when I could not find our passports anywhere just now!

 

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