Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Come, take a drive.
You know you’re there when you see the pink dinosaur.
Welcome to the Australian Reptile Park!


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gangsa is a type of metallophone which is used mainly in Balinese and Javanese Gamelan music. It consists of several tuned metal bars each placed over an individual resonator. The bars are hit with a mallet, each producing a different pitch. Duration of sound intensity and sound quality factors are generally accomplished by damping the vibration of the bar with the fingers of the free hand.


During our visit to Bali, we stayed at The Gangsa in Sanur. It was a truly lovely experience staying there. The place is very serene and the staff were really wonderful. The Gangsa is an exclusive private villa with just 11 villas in total. It is part of the Kayumanis group but is known as the ‘family friendly’ private villa as guests below the age of 17 are allowed to stay there.

The villas range from 1, 2 to 3 bedrooms and the one we stayed at was a 3 bedroom villa called Villa Ceng Ceng (also named after a musical instrument). Each villa contains an outdoor kitchen, dining and living area plus your very own private swimming pool.

Our very own private pool

Outdoor kitchen and dining area

The Gong Restaurant

Welcome cocktails on a Tuesday evening

Jayden enjoying his cocktail

The food cooked by Chef Sonder and his team, was always so delicious and beautifully presented. We had the option of dining at the award winning restaurant, The Gong or eating back in the comfort of our own villa. The chef was great at both the Western and local dishes so without fail, whatever we decided to eat was always a fantastic choice.

We were extremely spoilt at The Gangsa. The staff knew all of us by name and were committed to ensure that we had the best time there. It is definitely a place I would recommend everyone to visit. You get to see a more peaceful and tranquil side of Bali and you won’t ever want to leave!

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When we were in Singapore, we took the kids to Jacob Ballas children’s garden.  It iss a beautiful garden, that is dedicated for children up to 12 years of age.  And ta-da… admission is FREE!

The garden, is divided into loads of different sections.  When we were there, it started to rain, so we were playing hide and seek a little bit and unfortunately didn’t stay as long as we would love to.

Check out their website to view the map of the garden.

Both Stella and Charmaine had a great time there, these are a few snippets of what they did.  Unfortunately, the waterplay area was being renovated.

the magic of photosynthesis

Cotton plant : you are wearing my hair!

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Fun day at Singapore Zoo

In the beginning of October we went for a trip to Singapore for my father in law 60th birthday reunion, then to Jakarta and Surabaya.  The kids, well let say Stella was so excited about the trip.  Stella and Jake met up with their cousins Charmaine, Nathan and Brian for the first time.  We took the kids to the Singapore Zoo, which they absolutely loved.  The only thing was, the weather was hot and extremely humid.  I bought a small fan for the kids, and that didn’t help…

The kids loves looking at the animals and the shows.  But I think the highlight of the Zoo trip was the waterplay.  The zoo dedicated a huge area for kids, there were merry-go-round, farm animals and the waterplay where they have slides, huge buckets, small buckets, sprinkles, all sort of things that spray water… it was a huge hit with the kids and the adults too.  We went to the water play at the end of our tour of the zoo, so it was a great cool down time, especially in such hot and sticky wheather.  This is a must go place when you go to Singapore with kids.  The zoo itself is really clean, they have restaurants, baby change area, is stroller friendly and most importantly the animals are happy.  (I said this, because I’ve seen zoo where the animals looked really sad and their living conditions were sigh… unbelievable)  And remember to bring towels and swimsuits.

Family reunion in Singapore

Nathan, Charmaine, Stella and Bryan (Jake was having a nap)

Jake loves watching the elephants!

Charmaine & Stella




For some reason, Jake was very upset at the end of the waterplay…

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This is the first time I’ve been to the Sculptures at Bondi. It was a really beautiful day, the sun was blaring but the wind was just as strong which made the heat quite bearable. We spent about 2 hours walking around, hoping to see as much as we could. There are over 100 sculptures and let me tell you that a couple of hours is definitely not enough! Here is a tiny snippet of the sculptures we saw during our walk yesterday afternoon.

Big Drink by Justin Drape / Simone Brandse

big drink by Justin Drape / Simone Brandse

cement truck by Jimmy Rix

cement truck by Jimmy Rix

the shoppers by Jie Qian

the shoppers by Jie Qian

chaos and order by Barbara Licha

chaos and order by Barbara Licha

fractal columns by Alan Rose

fractal columns by Alan Rose

dream home by Jane Gillings

dream home by Jane Gillings

tribute to a workhorse by Belinda Villani

tribute to a workhorse by Belinda Villani

Unfortunately, today is the last day to see the sculptures so head down to Bondi if you can. However if you can’t, Sculpture by the Sea is an annual event so be ready to see it next year! In the mean time, check out the website to see more amazing art.

Have a great Sunday!

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3rd stop – 15 days in Surabaya

The last time I went back was in mid 2004, right after our wedding and just before we moved to Sydney – so I’ve been looking forward for this leg of the trip for awhile!

We went back to the same cozy house, same driver (since 30 years ago!), a semi new house keeper and lots of new buildings and shopping centres. It seemed to be a lot more congested than before, motorbikes everywhere. It’s super hot and humid in Surabaya, almost unbearable. Poor Jayden was always drenched in sweat and his face was always red from the heat. Jayden really enjoyed his time there though, he loved chatting with Uncle Buadi (our driver) and loved to find Mbak (our helper). He managed to communicate with them somehow, even though they don’t speak the same language! He was fascinated with the ants, flies and mosquitos, well I guess because he doesn’t see them very often here. haha

From day 2 onwards, Jayden attended the Twaddler Class at Tutor Time International Preschool. I was happy to send him there so that he could continue to play and mingle with other kids and not get destructively bored for the next 2 weeks. We knew about the centre through one of my cousin’s friend who also sent her daughter, Sakura to the same centre. So 5 days a week, 2 hours a day, both of us were in school 😉 I decided to stay in the class with him for the whole 2 weeks (sat in the corner most of the time). I tried leaving him on the first day, but he was really upset, he cried and cried and was even more worried the next day that he kept looking for me, even though I told him that I would stay. After that I decided that I’d prefer that he enjoyed his time there for now, rather than try to discipline him and only to break the cycle when we leave 2 weeks later.

Jayden enjoyed most of the activities, especially singing, story time and play time on the big playground. Overall it was such a great experience for both of us. I got to see different teaching tools and methods and I met some lovely teachers who were really friendly and enthusiastic.


Jayden loved the playground and that's his favourite car!


Meal Time


Miss Dyta and kids doing some painting


The main reason for this trip was actually to attend my cousin Sanny’s wedding. I love weddings, especially a family wedding! So many events, so many traditions, so many people and so much food! Hmmm, yummmm!


Caroline, Stella & Jake

Caroline, Stella & Jake



Lastly, we had a small pre-birthday celebration for Jayden and Anton at the Angus Steak House with all the family and some of my dad’s friends. Jayden loved all his presents, because they all have wheels… Happy Birthday Jay-Den!


Happy 2nd Birthday, Jayden!

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From the 9th to 12th October 2009. We were there particularly for my cousin Rina’s wedding but also had a chance to catch up with some old friends. This was Jayden’s first meeting with most of my cousins and some aunts and uncles. By the end of the first night, he’s already picked his favourites (well, this would be anyone and everyone who would take him out of the restaurant and see the cars outside). Akong & Uncle Yang Yang were the chosen ones.


Uncle Yang Yang, Jayden & Akong

It was a beautiful wedding, great food, great company and best of all – Jayden slept from 6pm till 10pm (just before everyone left). So I didn’t have to play catch all night with him in my heels! I also thank God for the earmuffs which took up space in our luggage but worth it at the end 😉


Sleeping so peacefully


my prince charming just woke up from his sleep

We also visited my friend Steven’s newly opened KindyRoo at Kemang Square. Jayden had such a great time there! If you live in Jakarta, you should really give it a try. Great stimulation for the kids, it’s fun and it’s the same as Gymbaroo in Australia. I promise to tell everyone about it, so here it is, Li!!



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