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building memories…

For our 10th anniversary, CS had wanted to buy me what I’d been eying on since I started seriously baking last year – Kitchenaid Mixer. I’d found that out only because he didn’t want to spend a bomb and buy me one in a colour I didn’t like so he decided to let me know earlier. To his surprise, I suggested why don’t we go camping to celebrate it.

Frankly, that camping suggestion was inspired by what Donald Miller wrote in his book, ‘A thousand miles in a thousand years’:

“A good movie has memorable scenes, and so does a good life.”

What he said really resonated with me. Not wanting to sound unappreciative, but if you asked me what CS had bought me in all our years together, I’d fail the test miserably. Life, as I’ve slowly come to realize, is not about the things we owned or bought or were given. It is about memories and shared moments.

So I am glad we went camping to celebrate our 10th anniversary because that will be remembered in many years to come. But just for the records, here’s our ‘memorable scenes’ from the trip:

His:

* 1st meal @campsite: Mee pok dry with mum’s chilli and vinegar, along with a sunny-side up;

* Awesome seafood platter lunch on anniversary, with a panoramic view as backdrop;

* Received excellent service from an Indonesian lady at a local supermaket while buying cheeses and olives;

* Champagne, olives, cheeses, roasted almonds and biscuits for dinner;

* Brekkie @Bay Merchant cafe;

* Sunday market @ Albany Boatshed, buying live yabbies for dinner;

* Taking afternoon naps in the tent;

* Watching dvds with wifey in the tent.

Hers:

* Waking up to the sound of raindrops and rustling of the kangaroos while sleeping at night;

* Singing together to the music from our IPOD while driving;

* Lazy afternoons – watching movies and having a picnic just outside our tent;

* Climbing Mt. Clarence to the ANZAC war memorial in Albany – I thought the weather that day was befitting the occasion – overcast skies with drizzling rain;

* Looking out of the restaurant where we had our anniversary lunch – literally, it was a ‘top of the world’ moment;

* The conversation with the owner of Oranje Tractor vineyard and learning more about their story – I find that smaller vineyards are often better this way because they are more personable;

* All the meals we cooked at our campsite;

* Setting up camp and giving it as much a ‘homely’ feel as possible.

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going on an adventure!

Tomorrow, we celebrate our 10th anniversary. Yes, it was 5 March 2001 that we took the huge leap, big plunge or whatever you called it, into the then unknown world of ‘marriage’. To mark this milestone, we are going on an adventure! A surprise bouquet from our church this week.

Christmas camping trip

Over the Christmas period, we went on a mini roadtrip to a seaside town with some friends. And it was memorable for many reasons:

1) It was my maiden camping trip – that’s right, I’ve never done camping ever. The closest experience to that would be those campus crusade camps I’d attended during uni days where we would sleep in classrooms.

2) I don’t survive well under heat so thankfully the extreme heat only happened during the first afternoon we were there. All it does is make me want to drink Coke, Coke and more Coke…

3) Travelling with a dog. The story of how Missy was adopted by Jay was a touching one and the bond between them is definitely noticeable.

4) Eating freshly cooked fish that we caught from the sea ourselves.

5) Sunset fishing – for a non-fisherman like me, the gorgeous sunset is enough to take my breath away.

6) Going for an ‘off-road’ driving – since we drove up in two four-wheel drive vehicles, we decided to venture into a national park for a little adventure. And it was certainly well-worth it. We saw many wild kangaroos (in fact, they were known as the Big Red cos of their massive size).

This camping trip had whetted my appetite for more. And I definitely look forward to the next one!

a tale of two cars

Remember the hailstorm that hit Western Australia recently? On March 22, we were holidaying in Phuket when we heard the news on CNN but didn’t really think much of it then. After all, Western Australia is a big state and Perth is just a city within it. The reality only hit us when we were trying to confirm our pick up arrangement with Mish when we fly home from Singapore and received this message from her on Facebook:

“We had a MAJOR hail storm last night. Golf-ball sized hail for 15 minutes. The front windscreen on your car is damaged–not broken–luckily. There are dents on your bonnet and damage to the plastic trimming on the outside of your car.

I will keep you posted. Hope that you’re having a good vacation. Further, at this point, there’s no way that I can pick you up from the airport with your current car. So, you’ll need to get a taxi or have another friend pick you up. I could see if I could borrow someone’s car. Let me know what you’d like me to do.”

Here’s how my car looked like after the hailstorm:


And so we had the windscreen replaced last Saturday. Most car repair companies have a long queue after the storm as there were literally heaps of cars waiting to be fixed in one way or another. Thankfully, I knew a student whose father owned a car repair shop and managed to get a good deal and prompt service.

On a brighter note, here’s CS with his brand new nifty Hyundai Getz he’d bought to embark on his new career as a driving instructor. It’s going to be exciting!




Cairns trip highlights

off to Cairns tonight…

[Photo taken at a community festival last Sunday.]

And during the trip, I’ll be:

1) writing Christmas cards and sending them out as I go along;

2) reading these books;

3) setting new games record on the Nintendo DS player;

4) starting on my December daily album, a tradition I started since Christmas last year…

“See you in a week’s time!”

two more sleeps to go and

we are looking forward to:

  • local breakfast – E’s craving: chee cheong fun, vegetarian beehoon and soya bean milk. CS’ craving: yong tau foo, kway chap and fish ball noodle.
  • church retreat;
  • cheap-er shopping (all right, this is probably more of E talking);
  • eating at anytime of the day or night;
  • catching up with YOU, YOU, YOU!

but we are not looking forward to:

  • the infamous heat and humidity, arrrrgh…
  • bathing twice a day and still feel like we need to take another shower;
  • the massive throngs of people everywhere: at public transport, in the malls, at makan places (don’t people have to work?!).

Shanghai highlights

good to be back…

We arrived back home yesterday afternoon. So it’s back to work and the usual daily routines. Yet words fail to describe how glad we are to be back to our little nest. (Yes, the lawn needs a little bit of “tender loving care” since we were away for 2 weeks. And there are still unpacked boxes of stuff since we moved in only a month ago…) Still, it’s good to come home.

off for a holiday…

to Shanghai from 4 – 15 April. If things get lucky, we hope to post some photos throughout our trip. Otherwise, hang in there till we are back!

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