Friday, January 30, 2015

Last Quarter of 2014

The final three months of 2014 were hectic. My schedule was packed with loads of exciting and fun activities. Among these three months, October was labeled the most looking forward month. In fact, it is the most looking forward month in the year. I should name is as The Month of the Year!

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Unlike last year, we had a Halloween themed meeting. Most of us dressed up for the meeting and not forgetting, we decorated the room with the decorations we made last year.

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Of course not leaving out Octoberfest! I had a simple drinking session with my friends. Since there was this famous humongous mug invaded Auto City, we decided to hit Auto City.

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Finally, I ended my October with my trip to Melbourne! Aforementioned, October was The Month of the Year 2014! I had already posted about my trip here, here, here, here, here, here and finally, here. Been looking forward to this trip for a year! Yeah, I bought the flight ticket one year ago.

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Then it came my favourite month, November. There was a Semi Annual Convention for District 51 and I thought I would not join the team to Petaling Jaya for it. However, since I had two close friends who were the finalists in Division Contests, I wanted to be there to give them a morale support! I did not regret attending the convention though.

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November was my favourite because I was born in November! Unlike the previous year, I had a simple birthday celebration. In fact, I did not plan anything for myself. I let the nature took its own course, just to see what it had for me.

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I thought May would be the only month I had a family activity but, guess what? We had another spontaneous activity in December! All of us from different locations gathered together again to spend time and have fun together! This time we invaded Sunway Lagoon. It was really a fun and memorable day.

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Since I had a spontaneous family activity in December, I had another spontaneous trip to Bangkok. It was my very first last minute booked trip. How last minute? I booked the flight ticket two days before I left Malaysia! Probably the last time to do such thing. I am not a rich woman.

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Instead of having a crazy Christmas party like back in Year 2013, I had simple and meaningful Christmas celebrations. I had one be-early Christmas celebration with Penang Toastmasters Club and one Christmas Day celebration with MEF Toastmasters Club. Both had gift exchange session. The only difference was that, I had Christmas Day celebration with the MEF-ians at my place. The feeling of having great people around you during a beautiful celebration is indeed indescribable.

Since I had the time of my life in Year 2014, I wish for the same, or even better, in Year 2015!

Friday, January 16, 2015

Five In One!

One in Kuala Lumpur itself. One flew from Sibu. One came from Singapore. One came from Kuantan. Last but not least, one flew from Penang.

Five people came from five different places to meet in one place – Sunway Lagoon.

Now that is five in one.

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I really had the time of my life that day. The last time we did something like that was when all of us went to Singapore back in May.

I do hope we can all travel together again. Else, another four in one.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Melbourne: Day 7

Finally day seven, the last day of mine in Melbourne.

Though it was my last day, I had to wake up really early.

Why?

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To get to Chadstone to buy my new toy. The only mall I went to shop and I spent less than ten minutes for the purchase. Crazy, huh? Well, I knew what I want and therefore, it was fast. The store was quite crowded and my oh my, it must have been crazy when iPhone 6 and 6+ just launched.

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After I bought my new toy, we went to have our brunch. I ordered hot chocolate, again, and yes, I am going to miss it a lot!

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Since I had not had big breakfast throughout that one week in Melbourne, I ordered big breakfast, all to myself! Those around us must have thought I was mad. The portion was meant f or two but I had it all to myself.

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That afternoon, I had a lovely nap before we headed out to pick up Beat’s friends for dinner. I cannot recall where we had our dinner but their pasta was good. We ordered three different types of pasta and the one in the middle is my favourite.

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After dinner, we went to Jauja to grab some gelato. Since I had their Durian gelato, I tried their Peanut Butter with Nutella. A bit regret not getting Durian gelato though. I am missing it a lot now.

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We chilled at Brunetti before Beat sent me to the airport. Fortunately I was there really early because the queue to drop baggage and Australia VAT Refund for Visitors were long! I ran into one of the families I met during my second tour group. What a small world indeed.

I know this trip had been a short one but I really enjoyed myself. Hope to go back there again but, first, let me visit other parts of the world. Then only I re-visit Melbourne.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Melbourne: Day 6

It was the last day for me to tour in Melbourne. As planned, Beat brought me to the Central Business District that Friday. We were going to spend one whole day in the city! We drove to the city and parked our car at Crown.

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This is the City Circle which goes around the city and the best part is, it is free! Therefore, you can save quite a bunch with it. Alternatively, you can just walk around the city as it is walkable. Anyway, since we had not had anything in the morning, we decided to go get our brunch first before we started our tour. Beat gave me a list of cafes to choose from and in the end I chose Seven Seeds.

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My House Made Sparkling Ice Tea and believe me, it is good.

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And since I missed French Toast, I ordered their Brioche french toast with blood plum curd, white peaches and vanilla labne anddddd I did not like it. Too sweet for me.

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Beat ordered her favourite Chai Latte.

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And her medley mushrooms and rainbow chard on ciabatta with poached eggs and carmalised
onion purée. However, she regretted for not ordering their green eggs and ham on English muffins with hollandaise because it seems most of the people in the house were ordering it.

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After we filled our stomach, we went to Victoria Street Market for me to get some souvenirs back to Malaysia. You can get a lot of things there. I bought keychains, postcards, fridge magnet and plush toys at the market.

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After shopping spree, we went to Melbourne Central to have cupcakes at Cupcake Central. Melbourne Central has really cool architecture. I was really amazed by its interior. Wish I could have stayed longer so I could linger around there and indulged myself with its architecture.

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Anyway, back to Cupcake Central. Beat told me that they have really good cupcakes. We had red velvet and devil’s food chocolate. She was right, the cupcakes were really good! They are not as sweet as I thought they would be. That’s what cupcakes are. Really sweet.

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Next was the State Library. I love books and I keep them. However, since I move around, I could not buy a lot of books. That was why I bought Kindle. Anyhow, back to the State Library. The interior was amazing! It is located opposite of RMIT and therefore, there were many students. How I wish I was studying at MIT. This awesome library is just opposite it!

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One sad thing about Melbourne is that there was not much of Christmas decorations inside the malls. However, the ornaments sold here were pretty! You cannot find most of it in Malaysia! Malaysia’s malls have beautiful decorations but they do not sell beautiful ornaments.

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Now, one thing I love about Melbourne is its streets! The streets were always so happening with live bands and some awareness or campaigns.

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Finally one of the places that I wanted to go in Melbourne – St. Patrick’s Cathedral! Trust me, its architecture is astounding! Its interior will blow your mind! Not literally, of course. Glad I made it here.

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Beat later brought me to check out the street arts by the local here. Really interesting. Very different from the ones you can find in Penang. These are more funky!

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We decided to head back to our car to put our stuff before heading for dinner. As we were crossing a bridge, I came across this. I was surprised to find this here though.

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As we were walking past many bars and restaurants, guess what? They were all crowded! It was only half past five in the evening and they were having happy hour already. What a good life in Melbourne, huh? After we put down our stuff inside the car, we rested for a bit before we headed out again.

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We had our dinner at Rare Steakhouse. Beat gave me two choices to have dinner though. I chose this as she told me that her fiance claimed that their steaks were the best he had so far. And it was true! Now I am missing it dearly, dang!

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As we stepped out of the restaurant, guess what? It was freezing! We did not have our sweaters with us! Okay, actually we had our sweaters the whole morning and afternoon but it was really hot that we did not use it at all. When we got back to our car to put our stuff, we left our sweaters there. I thought it would not be cold since it was really hot during daytime. Have you heard people saying that Melbourne’s weather is unpredictable? It is true! It can be really hot during day time and then really cold at night. Of course we headed back to our car, again, to get our sweaters.

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Crown is famous for its ‘fire show’ and therefore, we waited for the show before we called it a day. I managed to catch its 8pm show though but, I was at the same bank as the pillars and therefore, I could not watch the show as a whole. Therefore, we decided to wait for another hour to catch its next show. We walked along the bank before we crossed the bridge to the other side of the riverbank just so we could watch the fire show as a whole.  Beat was mentioning about running into a street performer that dressed up as a Super Mario and there he was, he appeared as we crossed the bridge! She told me that she had not seen him for a very long time. I guess I was lucky.

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It was only 8.30pm when we reached the other side of the river bank. We had to wait for another half an hour before the next fire show. It was ridiculous. Why? It was because the wind was so strong and we were freezing! Both of us were wearing shorts some more. So much for this fire show. And when the show finally started, it was done within two minutes! Two freaking minutes! Seriously?

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Anyhow, we walked back to the other side of the riverbank after the show was over. Before we walked back to our car, I indulged myself in another round of gelato. Hmmmm yummy! Yes, I had a lot of rounds of gelato and guess what? I am not guilty about it.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Melbourne: Day 5

I joined another tour on my fifth day in Melbourne – Philip Island. The main purpose is to see the penguins, live! Been really excited for this day as well. Penguins are adorable, okay? Since the penguins will only be back nightfall, we had one whole day to visit other places.

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First of all, we went to a wharf to see some pelicans before we went to have our lunch. It seems these pelicans are protected by the community in the area.

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After lunch, we went to Chocolate Factory. We helped ourselves with some games to win ourselves some chocolates. I won myself one chocolate only. Well, I was not being greedy so I did not put a lot of effort to win each game.

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Next was Churchill Island Heritage Farm. There were a few shows to entertain us. There were cow milking (only children were allowed to milk the cow at the end of the demonstration), sheep shearing (again, only children were allowed to try it), whips (now the adults’ time and I tried to play with the whip to make that really cool sound but failed – it was not easy) and last but not least, my favourite show, working dog. Billy was the name, I think. He is an intelligent one. He reminds me of my monsters back in Sibu.

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Where to next? Amaze’n Things. I indulged myself with all the mind blogging games that blew my mind! I even took the challenge to fall from a cliff that was three-storey height. I had to let go my hands myself and frankly speaking, that step to remove my hands from the bar was not easy! I hesitated ‘cos it’s really high, alright? However, I am glad that I made it.

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Before we went to have our dinner, we visited Koala Conservation Centre. I did not enjoy myself much though. We could not get close to the koalas at all (unlike the trip I had in Brisbane). When we were done with our dinner, that’s when the highlight of the trip came – penguin parade!

We were seated at the VIP corner where the penguins will mostly appear at. The temperature was not low but the wind was strong. Therefore, it was really shivering.  Though I wore long sleeve top, it did not help. No wonder some of the tourists brought a blanket along. They knew it is going to be that cold! For those who are going to Philip Island for the penguins parade, remember to bring a blanket, alright?

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It was already late night by the time I was back in Glen Waverley. Since Beat was still working at that time (her shift ended at midnight), I went to The Pancake Parlour to try out their pancakes. Beat told me that their pancakes are really good. Since the place closed at 11pm, I had to change location to The China Bar (if I am not mistaken) to wait for Beat to come and pick me up. It was a long and tiring day but, I really had a great time.