Thursday, January 29, 2009

Happy 牛 Year

Once again, we’re giving farewell to another year, & ushering in a NEW (牛) year! Time really flies, so fast another year gone n it’s 2009, year of the OX!! This year, we had a super long weekend as the 1st 2 days of CNY fell on Mon & Tues, making it a 4-day break (Sat to Tues)! So how did u guys out there spend the long weekend? How did I (& my family) spend? This year, we did something we couldn't do last year, we rented a car over the 5-day period & went on a ‘Discover Singapore’ expedition (sorta, a smaller scale). Of cos, not to forget the mandatory visit to JB (Ah ma’s house) for the CNY eve reunion dinner. Long story to tell, here goes!

We talked about renting a car last year for the CNY period but alas, all cars were rented & we cldnt find a good deal so it was off. This year, we decided to start searching early & got a really good & cheap deal for a 1.6l ford car at $80/day! Of cos, the catch is u have to rent for 5 days cos of the long weekend, so it turned out to be $400 for the whole period (still cheap deal) + $20/day for entry into M’sia. So the expedition started on Friday (23 Jan) with my bro picking the car & driving my parents around to do some new year shopping (while I was slogging away in office as Friday is no half day). I was picked up for dinner at Hol V famous fish head soup stall. & after a rest of >1year, I finally drove again, 1st time in Singapore! Started abit shaky & rusty (that’s why the phrase ‘Practice makes perfect!’) but I think I did alright, & progressed as time went by.

The rented car plate.. GO buy 4D!!! haha i didnt

Me with the car!! Yes i did drive!

Later at night, we (bro, little sis & I) went for a drink at ‘Gone Fishing’ cafe, but alas! When we reached, the owner really ‘Gone Fishing’ cafe was closed. So sad. Heard they have a really fantastic Hot Chocolate drink (MY Favourite drink) Damn, I must go back again to try. Ok any volunteers or kakis to go? I dono the way to there cos I was driven there haha. Ended up we went to Railway mall for coffee bean.

Sat was more of a quiet affair. Started off late afternoon with a dessert stop at Red Hill hawker center. Then dinner was at ABC food market (Alexander area). After which we made a short stop at Alexander food center for the avocado drink (My favourite drink as well!!) It was nice, but abit too sweet for my liking. Think they put too much Gula Melaka. Ended the night with a full stomach, & the urge to exercise off the excess intake.

Then came Sunday, CNY eve when we had to prepare to head off to JB to visit our Ah Ma & relatives. We set off house after 3pm via Tuas (2nd link). It was a smooth easy ride via 2nd link cos there were no cars, no traffic, no Q! Passed through the customs in record time! Then we hit the Malaysian highway, with a sloppy map. Thanks to our (or my bro) instinct we made all the right moves & cut into the right lanes! If not, we would have ended somewhere else cos the road signs in M’sia only appear when u have to make the decision & not b4 to give u a heads-up on what’s ahead! Moral of the story – Never trust road signs in M’sia. Either they give the wrong direction or they come too late, which end up being NOT helpful at all.

Anyway, the whole journey took abt 1hr (super fast) & we ended up spending 2hrs shopping at Giant Hypermart near my AH Ma’s house, stocking up on biscuits (my standard purchase of McVite’s & Sunsweet prunes) & snacks, before heading to the house for the dinner.

Ah ma with her proud aloe vera tree with blossoming flower!
Having steamboat

Ah ma looking so happy
My little cousin who looks so much like me!

Dinner as usual was steamboat! Everyone gathered at the tables & started eating & ‘steaming’. Atmosphere was nice! My Ah Ma was so happy to see e’ryone gathering ard & eating the food! The night went by peacefully with fireworks outside the house set by other families. Before u know it, it was 26th Jan, Chinese New Year had arrived!!!

As usual, we set off back to Singapore the next day (Monday) late afternoon. The return journey was alright, met with a slight traffic at the Singapore side but nothing serious. After a break & wash up when we reach home, we headed off to Bugis for our own reunion steamboat dinner!
FOC yusheng by the owner of the steamboat place
Steamboat of chicken soup & tom yum
Sis using chopsticks & spoon to deshell prawn..Duh!!
After 1.5hr of eating....

Let’s just say, after this steamboat dinner, I need to go for extra exercise & detox to lose the calories. So damn full were we that we decided to go for a long long walk along Henderson waves & Mt Faber to aid the digestion.

At Henderson Bridge

Along the 'waves'

It was a nice walk, & a 1st for me & my family (except my bro). The Henderson bridge was fantastic & beautiful. Made of only 1 layer of wood, walking along the bridge with wave-like structure was a great experience. We walked along & up to Mt Faber for a fantastic view of the night lights.

View of the night lights from atop

Arrow signs on top of Mt Faber

The last day of holiday (Tuesday) was another all out excursion. After my gym session (had to after all those ingestion of calories), I was picked up to head off to Casuarina for the famous prata! Yes, makes me guilty again after gym. At least now, I can say I have tried the famous prata in Singapore!! 1st time eating the famous prata & well it’s not bad at all!

Casuarina Curry, the famous prata shop

Eating the famous prata

After devouring 2 plains, 4 paper, 2 egg onions, 1 floss egg, 1 beehoon goreng & 1 chicken masala

After the calorie-laden & guilty pleasure of eating prata, time to walk off the guilt abit along lower pierce reservoir! It was a bloody HOT HOT HOT that day but the reservoir was nice!!

Lower Peirce Reservoir

Moi with the backgrd of the beautiful reservoir!!!

The pier...

My sis, trying to act modelly, or maybe it's my skill that makes her look so...

After reservoir, it was off to Marina Barrage! Hehe yea another exploration of famous sights in Singapore! I had a minor incident while trying to park the car (as I said, driving the car I’m ok, but parking ehhhh I SUCK ok!!) cos confusion arose due to multiple voices instructing me on how to park, which way to turn which led me to turn the wheel the wrong way n ‘BUMP’ hit the kerb. Damn paiseh hahah but heck la, there’s alwz a 1st time! Ok, I need more practice on my parking, so any kind soul to lend me the car?? I promise to treat it well & not hit the kerb hahah…

Marina Barrage – Nice place for some R&R. Strong winds at the top though, so take care of ur hats!! U get a great view of the Singapore flyer (FYI, it opened finally on the 1st day of CNY), & a great place to fly kite (literally)!

View of the Singapore Flyer from the Barrage

Marina Barrage

Vast amt of green grass!!!

Sail like cover

Mum & my sis

Me & my sis

Flushing out salt water to balance out...

My sis, looking so in real

After Marina Barrage, it was time for a light dinner somewhere in downtown east. It’s hard to find makan place during the CNY holidays cos a lot of stores were closed!! Wana go hawker center also cannot cos u’re likely to face empty stores. Then at night, another walk it all out excursion to Alexander Arch!

Alexander Arch in violet!!

In Pinkish violet!!

Orangey red!! I like

PHoto taking time with the Arch at the back

The view of the metallic bridge walkway nice!

View of the walkway...lit by lamps along the way

It’s part of the nature walk that starts from Harbourfront, but we only visited parts of the whole walk. Alexander Arch is a metal bridge, unlike the wood-laden Henderson Waves. The design of the Arch is nice & futuristic & it changes colour e’ry so often!! I prefer the violet & fiery red colours. We took a 1hr walk across & back & off home we went. It was a nice walk & i think it would be nice to walk in the morning along the forest trail below.. I think I really worked my legs that day. A 1hr gym workout on the legs in the morning, followed by loads of walking in the afternoon.. Good job!

I should do the whole walk from Harbourfront someday.. Joiners??

It was a good CNY. Better than last year. At least we did some meaningful stuff this year. At least we had a car this year. At least... Haha no asking of 'got bf or not', 'when getting one', 'when getting married' etc...

Next year what will happen... No one knows... Maybe....

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