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FLASH (PAY)!

Goodness.

When was the last time I went public?

I just did so like a few days back and I actually made a fool out of myself.

Wanted to take a bus to Whitesands from my place, and I decided to use my bank card with NETS FlashPay (for the first time ever) for my bus fare.

So when I boarded the bus, I confidently tapped my bank card only to see this.

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So I asked the bus driver and he said, “Eh Ah Gerl, you must top up your card la! So now you pay cash first.”

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The bus fare was $1.40. (So expensive, used to be only 70 cents!) I only had a $2 note with me. No choice but to pay $2 for my bus trip to Whitesands.

Then I just sat down quietly in the bus. 

But once I reached Whitesands, I walked excitedly to the MRT station.

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Hahah I planned to take the train all the way to town.

But before I tapped the Bank card with NETS FLASHPAY again, I asked the MRT personnel how to go about using the card.

NETS FlashPay is a contactless card that can be used for payments at:

  • food courts
  • convenience stores
  • supermarkets
  • MRT/LRT
  • public buses
  • Comfort, CityCab and SMRT taxis
  • ERP and CEPAS-compliant car park charges
  • and at more than 85,000 acceptance points island-wide.

So yeah! I used my bank card with NETS FlashPay for my MRT trip, and I think I behaved like a girl going on her first school trip! LOL.

The best thing is, NETS FlashPay  now gives me rebates for using my bank card to travel!

3 Easy Steps to get Free Rides –

Top up

Travel

Redeem

 

Step 1 : Top up

First, look for the NETS FlashPay logo at the back of your bank card.

(Sorry cannot let you see my CVV number so I covered it with macaroons.)

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Here’s how you can top up your bank card with NETS FlashPay

Via NETS Card:

  • Local bank ATMs (DBS/POSB, OCBC & UOB)
  • NETS self-service top-up machines
  • Add Value Machine Plus(AVM+)

 

Step 2 :Travel using your bank card with NETS FlashPay

This is my most used POSB ATM card, by the way.

(Sorry again cannot let you see my car number so I covered it with mushrooms).

So convenient, no need to have so many cards already.

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But seriously, this NETS FLASHPAY is so convenient, can just use this card for everything!

Step 3 : Redeem your Rebates!

Get 10% rebate when you use your bank card with NETS FlashPay to travel on the MRT, LRT, bus and taxi.

For every $10 top-up  (up to $30 a month) you will enjoy 10% rebate.

Just go to any Add Value Machine Plus (AVM+) located at MRT stations, bus interchanges and major bus stops, then place your bank card with NETS FlashPay on the card reader.

Choose Redeem Voucher > FlashPay Rebates and your rebates are in!

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posted by admin in Advertorials,Education,Life,Share & Support,Travel & Trips and have Comments Off on FLASH (PAY)!

That Batam Trip.

The last time I took the ferry was a few years back, to Tanjong Pinang. To sum it up, I had a nightmare which lasted for almost a day! Had nausea and sea sickness throughout the ride, and vomitted several times. I swear I saw the ferry bouncing off the waters! The horrible feeling lingered for almost half a day. By the time I was feeling almost normal, it was time to take the ferry back home again. Wah piang! Such agony. Total misery. I told myself never to take the ferry to anywhere anymore, not even if someone bribed me with one million dollars…or Pandora.

(Actually I might have reconsidered if it was Pandora. Did they already have Pandora back then?)

That said, you cannot exactly blame me for being super anxious for our Batam trip.

Yes, the whole lot of us (except for Ili and Shafiq) went to Batam for a 2D/1N trip over the weekend. 

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Before I proceed even further, if you are looking for recommendations for your upcoming trip to Batam, sorry to disappoint but this blog post is not exactly for you. I mean, I will recommend the good stuff if they are really good. But do not expect to see too much of them here. So yeah. You can continue reading on if you need to find out the places you need to avoid going to.

LOL. 

And if you are reading for entertainment purposes, by all means read! Let’s go back in time for a bit here; my parents and Nurul had been bugging me to go Batam because I kept saying no for all the times they asked me. Frankly speaking, I did not want to go because I had the impression that it was just a place for dirty old men to seek pleasure. I also thought that it was something like JB – just dirt cheap shopping. But then I kept seeing pictures of online acquaintances going to Batam for the JCo donut and the A&W. Some friends keep coming back to Batam monthly for the spa. Some say the seafood there is really cheap and good!

WAHHHH! THAT GOOD, HUH?

So I figured that I had to just put aside my ego and just give Batam a chance, right? There were voices in my head telling me to just goooooooooooo and enjoyyyyyyyyyy myself at Batam. After all, how bad could it be, right?

SO OKAY, GO BATAM LOH!

But before that, a selfie with the husband.

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And a photo of the ‘rombongan’ (read: tour group) to Batam. LOL.

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If you follow me in FB, you would have read my ramblings and preparations for the Batam trip. I was behaving like a maniac, asking everyone for tips on how best to not suffer from nausea or sea sickness during the ferry ride.

IT WAS NO LAUGHING MATTER. I WAS MAD SERIOUS.

And I have to really thank all my super awesome Facebook followers for their wonderful tips and help! If you are planning to take the ferry anytime soon, then you might want to refer to the following! 🙂


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I read every single suggestion and tip given by my FB followers and prepared the stuff for the ferry ride!

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Tatek thought I was mad. Nurul assured me that the ferry ride would be okay, just as long as I did not think too much. On the day of the trip, I was pretty cool about everything. Not so anxious. I somehow felt confident that I would be not vomit or feel sick. I set the alarm just to remind myself to take the Novomin pill half an hour before the ferry ride, though.

“Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.”

LOL.

Our ferry ride was at 10.20 am. We arrived at Singapore Cruise Centre at 9 am to do the necessary – checking in, collection of boarding passes and whatnots. I then instructed all the kids to suck on the Kid Travel lollipops twenty minutes before the ferry ride too. Since the lollipop was red and looked really tempting.

Sharleez: “Mummy, it is not that nice actually la.”

Me: “It is not meant to be nice. It is meant to not give you a headache during the ferry ride.”

Minutes later.

Myreen: “Must we finish the lollipop?”

Sharleez: “Yes, remember what Mummy told us? It is not supposed to be nice.”

Mysha: “But it is nice, what!”

Apparently everything edible is nice to Mysha. :/

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The moment we boarded the ferry, all eyes were practically on me. Nurul was like studying my expression throughout, just to check whether I was feeling okay.

She was like, “If you still vomit despite your ridiculous preparations, I will announce in Instagram sia!”

The pressure was on me, needless to say.

I asked Aton for my orange right away. Peeled it and started sniffing the orange skin like an addict. The ferry started to move.

Eh, nothing at all lah. No nausea. No sea sickness. No motion sickness. No headache. No  nothing.

I could take another selfie even! LOL.

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I felt really normal, and I was able to look out to enjoy the view, just like a normal person.

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But minutes later, I started to feel a bit sleepy. And then I slept all the way till we reached Batam forty-five minutes later!

PHEWWWWWWWW MAN. 

And since my preparations did pay off, I can mention the following quote proudly. “Organize, don’t agonize.”

Some people just love to make so much noise without even making the effort to try to find a solution, or organizing everything beforehand. And then when things go wrong, they play the blaming game – blame everyone except themselves.

By the way, the Novomin pills can be purchased from any leading pharmacy like Guardian and Unity! They do have it in syrup form too so you can get that and share it with your little ones.

Alternatively, you can get the Kid Travel lollipops from Kiddy Palace!

The moment we reached Batam, I saw the weekend crowd there and I was like telling that same voice in my head,

“PLEASE MAKE IT WORTH THE TRIP. PLEASE”

So we took the cab to the hotel. Three cabs in call. My brother Sofian, was in charge of everything related to money. He is just so good and efficient when it comes to bargaining and getting the best deals for everything without being too demanding or annoying. And he will somehow always succeed in getting the best deal for us. So if you need to go on a vacation, you might want to bring Sofian along. LOL. You know how some people can bargain until the seller has to just give in to them without making much profit? Cannot like that lah, must be fair to the sellers too. They too are trying to earn a living. So yeah, Sofian was the one who settled the cab rides, hotel bookings, ferry bookings and basically everything else related to money. The Nadyas were already pretty sleepy and tired the moment we got into the taxi. They were so quiet throughout the cab ride.

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They must be pretty anxious about what to expect in Batam too. They kept looking at their surroundings, hoping to see something nice and exciting like Disneyland, maybe. They fell asleep shortly after. Reached the hotel in about ten minutes. Where at?

BCC HOTEL & RESIDENCES!

Jalan Bunga Mawar, Riau Islands Province 29444 Indonesia We panicked for a bit because my parents’ cab was nowhere to be found when we reached the hotel. We waited for more than thirty minutes for them. We really thought they had lost their way. Finally their cab made its appearance. Mak excitedly showed us this.

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She went shopping for her turtle eggs. And to think that we were so worried for her and Daddy. LOL. Just what is so nice about turtle eggs? It’s like you are sucking your own phlegm, no?

Anyway, back to the hotel.

The moment I got hold of the free wifi, I put up the following post. Of course must be a bit proud la since I did not vomit and all. BIG ACHIEVEMENT, OKAY.

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We booked the 3 bedroom executive suite apartment, and got a free upgrade to the 3 + 1 bedroom suite apartment! The apartment was really clean and super spacious when we checked in! There are four rooms in all, two bathrooms, a living room, dining area, and a kitchen even! Perfect choice if you are traveling in a big group.

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Want to know how much we paid?

SGD285 per night. 

OKAY, WHAT? 

So we kept our bags at the hotel before proceeding to lunch at the nearby mall, Batam City Square (‘BCS’), which is right next to the hotel.

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We were initially told that there was A&W at BCS. I really could not wait to get to A&W because I had been dreaming of the Root Beer Float for so many nights prior to the trip. But once we were at Batam City Square, there was no sign of A&W. We double checked and true enough, there is no A&W at BCS. And since we were all already so hungry, we decided to have lunch at one of the restaurants there. At this point, I have to apologize for not taking note of the name of the restaurant. But then again, why bother? Read on to find out why. Tatek and I ordered Nasi Ayam Penyet because I wanted to see if it would taste better than the ones in Singapore. The moment our orders came, my eyes felt like they were about to pop out of my head.

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Tatek and I were like complaining to each other like we had not eaten for a month!

“Are these chicken, chicks or birds?”

“Aiyoh why so tiny the chicken?”

“This chicken will be gone the moment it goes inside my mouth.”

No kidding. Really so small the chicken.  

THANK GOD THE TASTE WAS QUITE OKAY. BUT I STILL PREFER NASI AYAM PENYET RIA IN SINGAPORE LOR. 

We then ordered three bottles of The Sosro, or Teh Botol, as they call it.

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Eh no. Let me count again.

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We ordered six bottles in total. Why the bottle so small one? Just one sip, and the bottle was empty! Beggars cannot choose, they say. I dare not try the plain water or anything with ice over Batam because I was told that the tap water is not exactly that safe to drink. Hence, I decided to order anything chilled without any ice throughout my stay in Batam. But one thing for sure, food in Batam is really cheap. Like really really REALLY cheap. We paid SGD1.50 for one set of Nasi Ayam Penyet, mind you. After lunch, we went window shopping for a bit at BCS mall. Apparently, there was really nothing for the us or the kids, except for a lot of imitation goods. Want to cover your food with an ‘LV’? :S

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I spotted someone sitting down and staring into space. He must be so bored.

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His sister on the hand, was standing at one corner, and entertaining herself silly.

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And since the kids were too bored, they even made a new friend. But the new friend just would not smile. 🙁 (You do know that the friend is actually a mannequin, right?)

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Forget about shopping! Really cannot make it.

Sofian booked the spa session for us instead at First Choice Spa , Massage and Reflexology. It was about five minutes walk from our hotel.

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The kids went back to the hotel with my parents and the helpers to take their shower and rest for a bit while waiting for us. They were really so tired from all the walking and traveling. Now, let me tell you something about myself. I have never enjoyed massages or spas because I just do not like the idea of strangers touching me and exerting pressure on my body. Nurul however, convinced me to try it because according to her, it is just so relaxing and she will often fall asleep during the spa session.

FALL ASLEEP? 

Wah, must be that good, I thought to myself.

SO OKAY LOR, WE GO SPA LOH!

My god, they didn’t forewarn me that a really big sized masseuse would be stepping on me. Like really stand on top of my back and walk on my back while I lay flat on the mattress. Her entire body weight was on me. I felt it. My god, at that point of time, I really felt like the world was going to end. Tatek who was having his massage next to me, looked at me in disbelief. Save me lah, at the very least. LOL. The masseuse commented that my bones are not that strong because they kept making the “Krak Kruk” sound. I almost wanted to reply to her, “Ya and you almost broke them into pieces, woman.” So okay, other than that, the spa session was quite alright. I am not saying that I truly enjoyed it, but it was okay. I think I am just not that used to the whole idea of people performing karate chops on me and marinating me like BBQ chicken wings before walking on me like I am some kind of a London bridge. Right after the spa session was over, I told Nurul and Sofian about my experience and they were like, “But our masseuses were not big sized at all. It’s just your fat luck!” Nurul did fall asleep yet again. Nice. The Aromatherapy session lasted for about 1.5 hours, and we paid SGD19 per pax for that.

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First Choice Spa , Massage and Reflexology 

Komplek Ruko Penuin Centre Blok OA No. 12 – 12A Batam Island – Indonesia +62 778 700 2012 +62 778 431 506 Right after spa, we went back to the hotel to fetch the folks and the kids.

AND WHILE WE WERE GONE, THE GIRLS CAME UP WITH THESE BEAUTIFUL DRAWINGS. 


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THEY MUST BE THAT BORED, HUH?

Luckily I told them to bring their drawing materials and their Lego too to Batam.

We called for the cab and proceeded to Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall for dinner at A&W and some shopping. Apparently, Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall is a must visit if you visit Batam.

SO OKAY, WE VISIT LOH. 

Saw A&W and we practically squealed in excitement. I quickly forced Sharleez to take a picture with the The Great Root Bear.

She was like, “Who is this, Mummy?”

LOL.

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But the first disappointment came when I saw the menu and I did not see any signs of Coney Dog or any other kinds of (hot)dogs. So okay, I ordered the chicken with the curly fries and the root beer float of course.

YUM YUM. LOOKS GOOD RIGHT?

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The moment of truth everyone because looks can deceive. (Didn’t your mummy tell you that?) I could not even begin to describe how utterly disappointed I was with everything that I ordered. The root beer float tasted weird, like it was preserved in a PVC pipe or something! The curly fries were not curly enough. The chicken tasted like it was coated with curry powder or something. The chili sauce was just too sour.

WHAT IN THE WORLD DID I EAT?

How come some Singaporeans can just keep coming back to Batam for that? I am sorry to say this to all the people and lovers of Batam, but the A&W in Batam really sucks big time! The whole lot of us could not even finish our drinks and food. Everything was barely touched.

Dinner was a major disappointment, simply put.

After dinner was done (or barely done), we walked around the entire shopping mall. Nagoya Hill really reminded me of Platinum Fashion Mall in BKK, except that Platinum Fashion Mall has more trendy clothes for everyone. Nagoya Hill has clothes with lots of blink blink, though.

OKAY ANYWAY, WHAT IS UP WITH THE AIRCON IN BATAM? WE WERE PERSPIRING IN ALL THE SHOPPING MALLS WE WENT TO BECAUSE WE COULD BARELY FEEL THE AIRCON. AND OH, YOU ARE EVEN ALLOWED TO SMOKE IN THE SHOPPING MALL LIKE NOBODY’S BUSINESS. 

Where are the safety measures, people? While we were window shopping, the entire shopping mall blacked out for about ten seconds. But lucky it was only for ten seconds. I did not even have the chance to open my mouth to scream. LOL. I could not find anything to shop for myself, so I ended up getting distracted by the names of the stores instead.

TELL ME IF YOU FIND THE NAMES FAMILIAR.

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Funny how they use almost the same fonts and colours as well! We then went to this souvenir shop called ‘Put Name’ (what else could they possibly name their shop, right?) where you can personalize key chains because Sharleez wanted to get a little souvenir for her classmate. The girls ended up getting personalized keychains for themselves too.

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Cost of keychain: SGD 1.50 each

The expression on the girls’ faces: Priceless

We saw JCo Donuts, and decided to take away some donuts for breakfast the following morning.

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Again I was told that the donuts there are much nicer and cheaper than the ones in Singapore. There must be some truth in what I heard, judging from the long queue.

SORRY BUT I STILL PREFER THE DONUTS IN SINGAPORE. 

Anyway, let me talk to you about the straw issues I had in Batam.

First scenario:

Nurul and I decided to buy drinks at JCo Donuts, but we were not given straws for our drinks. We could not find any straw either. When we asked the donut guy for straws, he had to leave the counter and take the straws out from some locked drawer.

WAH. THAT SECRETIVE AH?

Second scenario:

Earlier on at the restaurant, I asked for three straws for my drinks. And I had to keep asking for about five times from five different waiters before I finally got hold of the straws.

Third scenario:

When we were at the supermarket and shopping for packet drinks for the kids, I noticed that all the packet drinks did not come with straws. I asked Aton and she explained that the straws would only be given to me once I pay for the packet drinks at the cashier.

SO OKAY, I CONCLUDED THAT IT IS A PRIVILEGE TO OWN A STRAW IN BATAM. HOLD ON TIGHT TO YOUR STRAWS, PEOPLE. NEVER LET THEM GO.

Lesson learnt. Bring your own straws the next time you come to Batam.

I AM NOT KIDDING, OKAY.  

By then, it was already close to 10 pm. You would have thought that we would call it a night and make our way back to the hotel right? We did not. Instead, we decided to take the cab to Golden Prawn Restaurant for supper.

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Again, I  was told that Golden Prawn Restaurant is a must visit if you are a seafood lover.

SO OKAY, WE GO EAT THERE LOH.

The moment we reached Golden Prawn, I was actually looking for…a golden prawn. Sorry but I was just intrigued by the name. Found none, so we decided to find a table for all of us instead. Golden Prawn Restaurant is really huge, and surrounded by a pond. While waiting for the food to arrive, we were entertained (not!) by some random people with screeching voices karaoke-ing at the stage. They must be the appetizers, I thought. We ordered quite a number of dishes since the food there is so cheap anyway.

Are you ready for our verdict?

The coconut drink arrived first, but we were disappointed by how sour it tasted. The coconut must be really old.

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The first dish to arrive was the scallops with pineapple sauce. The first thing I saw on the shells were the pineapple cubes. I had to dig and dig before I could finally find three scallops.

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Now, I actually wanted to take pictures of all the dishes that we ordered, but after tasting the scallop pineapple cubes with pineapple sauce, I  decided to not take pictures of the rest of the dishes. I thought the taste was really mediocre. True enough, we were only further disappointed when the rest of the dishes arrived. Everything was pretty much tasteless and lacked the kick. Nothing to be wow about. Not even close to being tasty enough. We left the restaurant swearing and cursing like grumpy old uncles and aunties. LOL. If you were to ask my dad about his experience at Golden Prawn Restaurant, he would gladly give it 2 stars out of 10 stars. To quote him,

“This is the worst seafood I have ever tasted in my entire life.”

LOL. Don’t play play ok, this dad of mine takes his food seriously. So okay, it was back to the hotel right after the disappointing supper. We had our shower and we spent the rest of the night whatsapping each other at our family group chat, and laughing like hyenas. The best thing was, we were all at the living room! Why talk when we can whatsapp? Why waste our breath when we can save it for karaoke? Dang. We did not get to go for karaoke though. (I was really saving my voice for karaoke.) The next morning, it was breakfast at the hotel itself. Frankly speaking, I was not expecting much for the breakfast, after the series of disappointing food the day before.

True enough, the food at the hotel was just as bad. 

The mee rebus tasted like playdoh. The sausages tasted like rubber. The mee goreng tasted like I don’t know what. And my god, even the honey stars cereal tasted totally different!

HOW TO EAT?

Luckily the chicken porridge was not that bad. That was the only consolation for the lack of good food, I guess. Check out their bored faces.

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SUPER BORED KIDS ALERT!

 

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Right after breakfast, it was hair spa time! I thought I just needed a good hair massage and at the same time, pamper my hair a bit. Hair spa is basically hair care treatment that provides moisture to dry and damaged hair. It protects your hair from split ends, dryness and dullness and also improves the texture, apparently. :/

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I enjoyed the hair spa a lot. It was truly a relaxing experience for me. So I do not mind coming back to Batam during the fasting month (so that I do not have to eat) just for a hair spa session. LOL. We paid SGD 12 per pax for an hour of hair spa at Hair Perfect Salon.

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Hair Perfect Salon

Batam City Square (BCS) Mall (Jalan Bunga Raya, Baloi) Batam, Kepulauan Riau 29432

Look at us, right after our hair spa session! How? Do I look like an Indon tai tai? LOL.

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Once hair spa was done, we went back to the hotel to check out, and then proceeded to Nagoya Business to buy some chips. Mak insisted on going to Nagoya Business. There are basically a lot of roadside stands at Nagoya business selling homemade chips. local fruits and preserved fruits.

This fruit below is my number one enemy. It always makes me cough each time I eat it.

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In my mind, I was thinking, “What is the biggie about them chips? Singapore also have, what.”

BUT OMG THE CHIPS ARE REALLY REALLY GOOD!  

SGD3 for half a kilo, and they were very generous with the testers too. The guy selling the chips gave me this big bag of chips, FOC!

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And he kept asking me whether I wanted more. Of course I did not ask him for more. Cannot be so greedy. May Allah bless his kind heart, and may his chips business prosper even more. To Batam Centre we went thereafter for our ferry ride back to Singapore.

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I couldn’t have been more happier to go home, despite the long queue of people that I had to endure and tolerate. There is really no queueing up system over there, so that pretty much explains the reason why the place is forever overcrowded with people. Tatek had a picture taken with our very nice cab driver, Mister Nur Cahaya!

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What’s a ferry ride without a picture overlooking the sea, right?

NAH!

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And there you have it.

I have just blogged about our Batam trip.

And here is a little note for my fellow friends and acquaintances who are big lovers of Batam.

I am sorry that my family and I did not enjoy Batam as much as we wanted or tried to. I am sorry that I failed to see the reason(s) why we should make a return to Batam. I am sorry that I did not go to the better restaurants or spas. I am sorry I did not quite appreciate what Batam has to offer. But that should not stop you from continuing to enjoy or frequent Batam. To each, his own (merriment).

The purpose of this post is not to grumble or whine. It was never my intention to sound so ungrateful or rotten either.

But if there was one thing that I appreciated, then it was the opportunity to see the different side of the world where life is pretty much simpler (though more chaotic). The Batam trip was an eye opener for me and it made me realize how fortunate I really am to be living in Singapore. (And I hope my girls realized that too.) The living conditions/situations such as the ones we see in Singapore do pale in comparison to what most of the people in Batam live with every single day.

But they make do with what they have.

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Thank goodness that I had good company in the form of my family throughout the trip. No matter the place, as long as there is good company, it will result in good time spent together, somehow. <3

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posted by admin in Activities,Entertainment,Family,Life,M&Ms,Myreen Nadya,Mysha Nadya,Nadyas Say The Darndest Thing,Parenting,Share & Support,Sharleez Nadya,The Nadyas,Travel & Trips,Uncategorized and have Comments Off on That Batam Trip.

Get Your Sparkle On.

I grew up to Barbie™.

And I am so pretty sure almost every girl grew up to her too. Don’t lie.

So when I got the tickets to watch Barbie™ Live! yesterday, of course I was one happy girl.

YUP, GIRL.

DID I SAY ANYTHING WRONG THERE? 

 

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Actually, I was informed about the free tickets like two weeks ago. I excitedly told everyone around me like Tatek and Nurul. In fact, I told almost everybody..all except for The Nadyas! I figured I would surprise them on the day of the show itself.

Oh believe me, it was pretty hard for me to keep secrets from my girls, especially if the secret involves something which I know for sure they will like. All I told them was,

“Mummy has a secret for you girls. You will know what it is on Tuesday, 10 September!”

Of course they tested their luck almost every single day prior to the big show. You know how super curious kids are. Oh let’s not even mention kids here because even I am one super curious person. I will not feel at ease until I know what the secret is. So do not ever EVER try to tell me a secret halfway. It’s either you tell me all, or you do not tell me at all. My curiosity will not only kill me, but you as well. Just saying. LOL.

And so they went…

“Mummy, please just whisper to me what the secret is all about.”

“Mummy, is the secret Universal Studios?”

“I know what the secret is! But I cannot tell you!”

“Is it already Tuesday? What day is it today?”

CANNOT TELL. CANNOT TELL.

CANNOT TELL!!

I thought I had it all nicely planned. I THOUGHT.

Yesterday, hours before the show, I put this up in my Instagram.

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And right after I put it up, I placed my handphone on the table and forgot all about it. Suddenly, I noticed that Sharleez had that super shocked expression on her face. Oh-oh.

“MUMMY, OH MY GOD I AM SO SORRY I READ YOUR INSTAGRAM. I KNOW THE SURPRISE ALREADY. SORRY MUMMY.”

URGHHHHHHH. SO MUCH FOR THE SECRET AND THE PLANNING.

Believe me, Sharleez felt so bad about finding out because she knew just how excited I was about revealing the surprise to them. Great. What’s next, right?

“SHARLEEZ, JUST KEEP QUIET AND DON’T REVEAL IT TO YOUR SISTERS. OR ELSE, WE WILL GO STRAIGHT HOME.”

Yup, I whispered that to her. I was actually sort of threatening her. No way would she spoil it for me. LOL.

Finally, it was time to reveal when we went to MBS BOX OFFICE to collect the tickets. Imagine how exhilarated my twins were. They were so pleased with me. My ego got higher. I kept asking them to thank me. Such a great feeling of satisfaction, man. LOL.

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So anyway, it’s still the September holidays, and Barbie™ Live! is still showing until 14 September 2013.

How to get them tickets? CLICK HERE! 

Tickets are selling at :

VIP – S$125 (includes photo opportunity with cast) A Reserve – S$95  B Reserve – S$75  C Reserve – S$55  D Reserve – S$35

We truly enjoyed the entire show. Barbie™ teaches her best friend Teresa™ to be brave, believe in herself, and embrace the power of true friendship through lesson learned from her Princess movies like Swan Lake, Princess & the Popstar, and Mariposa & The Fairy Princess. So if you and your girl(s) have been following all of Barbie™ Princess DVDs, then you will feel really connected watching Barbie™ Live!

And no, I totally did not feel like a bimbo watching Barbie™ Live!

It’s not just about the good looks in this so-called perfect world because according to Barbie™, nobody is perfect.

NOT EVEN Barbie™.

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posted by admin in Activities,Art & Music,Celebrations,Education,Entertainment,Fashion,Life,Makeup,Memory Lane: My favourite past,Sharleez Nadya,The Nadyas,Travel & Trips and have Comments Off on Get Your Sparkle On.

#Goldcoast2012: Day 5 to 7

Hello!

I am back with part II of #Goldcoast2012 post.
If you have yet to read Part I, it is HERE.

The remaining three days in Gold Coast were just as exciting as the first four days. If only we had more time. Yup, we did not have enough time to really explore Gold Coast. We were initially pretty confident that we would have more than enough time prior to the trip because we had after all, SEVEN LONG DAYS!

Gold Coast is really a beautiful place to spend your vacation at. I just love the lifestyle of the Gold Coast – everyone is so relaxed and down to earth. It’s like when you are there, you do not see people parading around with their luxury bags or cars. Not a single Louis Vuitton, Prada or Chanel spotted in fact when I was there. There’s more to life than just branded bags and never-ending competition when you are there.

DAY 5:

It was time to get wet day…at SEA WORLD!
But first, we must dress up.

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Once again, it was very fortunate that we had pre-paid passes. So no queues at all for us! We went straight through the gates while those who had to buy their tickets on the day itself queued and waited. Tatek checked the daily show guide first as usual, and we planned which of the shows we wanted to see first and later.

I cannot stress enough already on this- always plan your itinerary around the shows first, and where you want to go after the shows so that you do not have to walk up and down the very big park.

We watched the Dora’s Best Friend Adventure show first.

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It was actually pretty draggy, if truth be told. No matter how much my girls adore Dora The Explorer, they started being restless after barely ten minutes.

JUST LOOK AT THIS NYONYA!

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The show was about twenty minutes long, by the way! We did not wait for the show to end but instead made our way to the next show – The Imagine Dolphin Show. It was quite a long walk, what more with the hot sun! But the thing about summer in Australia is this – you will not exactly feel the heat and you will definitely not perspire buckets. But when you look at yourself in the mirror, you will see a darker version of yourself. That’s about all. 😀

And oh, let’s not forget the dry skin too despite lots and lots of moisturizing.

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I was super amazed by the dolphins and their impressive jumps, flips, dives, walking on top of their flukes on the surface of the water, synchronized leaps, and their occasional waving to the crowd. Dolphins are indeed intelligent and friendly animals. How is it that they can be trained to delight audiences with their feats? There is hardly any reason for anyone to not love them! Oh do you know that training dolphins keeps them alert and mentally flexible, and prevents them from becoming bored in captivity? So they actually enjoy performing for everyone.

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Once the dolphin show was over, we headed to the Shark Bay to see…

THE SHARKS!

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We did not stay long here because the girls were like screaming in fear. Sharleez went,“Mummy, I don’t want. Later the shark will eat us up.” So we did not go to the underwater viewing deck as a result. I would have loved to watch the sharks but it is just too bad that my guniangs did not want to do likewise.

Do you how much it took us to persuade the girls to touch the starfish?

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And then, it was time to get ourselves really wet at Castaway Bay’s Battle Boats. When I told the girls that we would be sitting on a battle boat and shoot water cannons at each other, they cringed. In fact, they really cringed. But too bad too late, we were already queuing for it. I told them this, “It’s okay to get wet because we will have the sun later to get us all dried up again. You will feel like there’s aircon stuck to your body.”

See this super cute girl?

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Well, we shot water cannons at her minutes later.

So yes, we sat on the battle boat. We shot water cannons. Others shot water cannons at us.

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We ended up like this. Check out Sharleez’s very unhappy face. Lol.

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To seek revenge for all of us, Tatek shot the water cannons at those on the battle boats. Haha very childish but very fun indeed!

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For lunch, it was just fish burger for us. Given the strictly no outside food policy imposed by Sea World and basically all the theme parks, I found the choices available a little disappointing. Never mind the fact that there are no Halal certified food joints there.

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After lunch, we went for the Fish Detectives Sea Lion Show. If you visit Sea World, you must not miss this show. It is very hilarious and will definitely tickle both the young and older audience. We were definitely entertained especially by the very smart sea lion.

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We saw the penguins too! I like how so cool and composed they always are. Do you know a very interesting fact about the penguins? The Emperor male penguins will incubate their eggs for two months in the winter without eating while the females are at sea. During that period, they will live off their fat reserves and may even lose half of their body weight. When the females return shortly after the chicks hatch, they will switch their parental duties.

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This cute little penguin here came very near to the lady who offered it a drink. Too bad they were both separated by the glass pane.

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And then it was time for some rides. Kiddy rides for us parents too, all for the girls’ sake. Bleargh.

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And a bit of shopping for the girls.

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And that was our Sea World adventure. Despite us getting drenched and all, I actually enjoyed Sea World more than Movie World.

It was Surfers’ Paradise next. Sharleez and Mysha fell asleep on our way there so they were in the twin stroller. Myreen got to enjoy the waves with us.

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She was curious as to why people were lying down on the sand under the super hot sun.

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“Mummy, why they sleep on the sand like that?”
“Why they never wear their clothes?”
“Why their swimming costume like bra and panties?”
“Why they never wake up?”

Dear Myreen, that is what we call, suntanning. Some people suntan to make themselves more tan and feel better about themselves. Suntanning in the sun brings a psychological feeling of well being and relation. But of course, we do not need to suntan as we are already sun-tanned naturally. 😀

I really love this shot of Myreen. She is really photogenic, I think. Don’t mind the hands behind her. We were just super scared she would lose balance.

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Before we went back to the apartment, guess where we went again.

You are absolutely right. COLES!

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DAY 6:

Finally, it was time for Dream World. Farha from ROAM  was telling me prior to the trip that no matter what, we must visit Dream World. But before that, I had to buy my morning fix so that the journey would not keep us hungry.

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As usual, the girls were super excited at the beginning…

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And they fell asleep minutes later.

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See that thrill ride behind us? My goodness, my jaw dropped when I saw how ‘thrilling’ it was. The people on the ride were practically screaming their lungs out!

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Dream World is where Dorothy The Dinosaur and The Wiggles are.

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Dorothy the Dinosaur and her friends took the stage and basically got all the young audience to sing and dance along to their songs like:

  • I’m Dorothy the Dinosaur
  • Come on let’s jump
  • We’re dancing with Wags the Dog
  • Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
  • Dorothy’s Party

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I am sorry to reveal that it was only then that I found out that Dorothy the Dinosaur loves to eat roses. Yes, she loves to eat roses. No wonder I saw roses everywhere! It was just too bad that we did not get to see the Wiggles.

Dream World is also where the tigers are. ROAAAARRRRRR.

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We missed the tiger show but at least we managed to see the tigers in action for a bit.
And this little cub here too. Hehehe.

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At the Australian Wildlife Experience, we got to see all the iconic animals of Australia like the kangaroo and koala bear, which also happen to be the girls’ favourite animals.

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We even saw Tazmanian Devil! Sadly we could get a proper shot of it because it was forever hiding.

So we made do with this.

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We had to pay about AUS39.90 for a family picture with the koala bear. A bit pricey but then again, it was worth it since it was definitely not an everyday experience.

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We even went for the Australian Sheep Sheering show. The genuine shearers will demonstrate life on an Australian farm to the audience. They will even sheer a sheep. Frankly speaking, I did not enjoy the show because I was so distracted by my itching nose. I knew that I was about to get my sinus, no thanks at all to the raw wool and my super sensitive nose. True enough, by the time the show was over, I was already sneezing all the way. No pictures of the shearing because I was busy sneezing. Thank goodness, we brought along our medicine for the trip.

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Lunch was at Billabong Buffet Restaurant.

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It is HALAL CERTIFIED! It is air-conditioned. It is all-you-can-eat style buffet. It has a wide variety of modern cuisine to mouth-watering desserts. So without a doubt, lunch was super good and filling.

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Tatek was so full that he fell asleep..NOT!

He was just pretending! Hahahaha.

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Expect to see a lot of thrill rides when you visit Dream World. Tatek and I were so tempted to try out at least one thrill ride but I chickened out with the excuse that there would be nobody to attend to the girls. But then again, that was such a valid excuse because there was *really* nobody to attend to the girls.

Well, at least we took the Thunder River Rapid Ride.

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And ended up really wet yet again.

But then again, we were holding on tight to each other’s hands throughout the ride because well, the girls were really scared. Again!

Rides like that do not appeal to the girls.

Rides like Dorothy’s Rosy Teacup Ride does.

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I ended up with a massive headache right after the ride as a result. I hate it when that happens. I therefore conclude that as far as rides in theme parks are concerned, it is always better to end up wet than with a headache. Who’s with me?

There are a lot more kid friendly rides over there like:

  • Big Red Car Ride
  • Kite Flyer
  • Avalanche
  • Sky Rocket
  • Mighty Go Round
  • Rainforest Rampage

You can find out more about their rides HERE.

The girls basically went crazy at the Fairytale Treasures shop.

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How not to when they have all these inside?

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Before calling it a day at Dream World, we bought a big box of Krispy Kreme donuts because I have been told that they are halal. Too sweet for my liking though because they use icing on top of the donuts . I prefer our very own J.Co donuts anytime.

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We decided to explore the pool at the apartment for a bit the moment we got back. Just for your information, Meriton Serviced Apartment has both an indoor and outdoor pool.

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Sharleez and Mysha insisted on giving Myreen a full body massage.

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DAY 7:

It was finally closer to reality – WE WERE GOING BACK TO SINGAPORE. We had to check out from the apartment at 10 a.m and make our way to Novotel Hotel Brisbane airport to check in. Frankly speaking, the girls did not want to leave the apartment because they were just so in love with it. Reality bites. If we were to ever go back to Gold Coast, Meriton Serviced Apartment Broadbeach will still be our first choice.

We decided to buy some more souvenirs at Surfers’ Paradise. They have a whole stretch of souvenir shops over there, if you must know.

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Just look at these! Super cute or what? But quite pricey too, so we did not end up buying no matter how tempting they were!

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There is even Beach Road over there.

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But instead of the usual sup tulang fix at Beach Road Singapore, we had fish and chips at Beach Road Surfers Paradise…in a kebab joint.

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We initially ordered just a plate to share but because it was so good (or we were so hungry), we ordered another plate!

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With our tummies full, it was time to drive back to Brisbane. That was a good one hour journey because traffic was once again, clear. I got distracted once again by the clouds. I spent the journey cloud watching as a result.

So let me present to you…

MY CLOUD PICTURES!

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Believe it or not, there are a lot of benefits of cloud watching. Hahaha! The very silly me googled it and found out that cloud watching helps one to relax and exploit one’s imagination. When you try to figure out what the clouds look like, you are definitely exploiting your imagination. But most importantly, it is a hobby that costs nothing!  Well, I am glad to have found this hobby then. It is not just an obsession anymore. My girls should therefore follow my footsteps and start to cloud watch too. 😀

So anyway, we basically spent the rest of our day at Novotel Hotel Brisbane Airport while waiting for our flight later at night.

This is the beautiful hotel guest room.

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Souvenirs from Novotel hotel.

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Finally, it was time to check in and come back home to Singapore with our very heavy hearts and luggage. 🙁

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We managed to grab several books too at the airport because Scholastic books were having this promotion. Buy 2 Get 1 Free, you know?

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The chilled out atmosphere and weather in Gold Coast kept us inspired to spend time outdoors despite it being summer. We enjoyed going to Surfers Paradise to just enjoy the breeze, big waves, and the feeling of unbounded space.

So if it is not obvious enough already by now, let me say this once again – we absolutely enjoyed our #goldcoast2012 vacation. We could not have possibly chosen a better spot. Okay wait, of course there is Disneyland, but we have been there too. Haha! Gold Coast is possibly the only place where you can let loose and most importantly, feel free from the stresses of life.

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Thank you ROAM once again for making #goldcoast2012 a reality and a dream come true for not only me and my husband, but my three girls as well. We can never thank you enough, Farha because let’s face it, the trip happened because of you. And since thank you is free and nice to give, let me thank you again for planning this entire trip with me, and for giving us nothing but the best. I might have overseen certain things throughout the making of #goldcoast2012 blog posts, and I sincerely apologize for that on my part.

“In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than what we give, and it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.”

Therefore, we will forever be filled with gratitude.

When I saw how extremely happy my girls were throughout the trip and how super reluctant they were to go back to Singapore, it just made me smile. Nothing makes me happier than to see them that happy.

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With salt in our hair, smiles on our lips and sunshine on our cheeks, Gold Coast could not have been better.

But for now, I have to deal with the same question from Mysha and Myreen almost every single day.

When are we going Movie World again?”

Come on girls, we need to think of another place for our next vacation.

Disneyland Australia, maybe?

Meanwhile, you girls keep on wishing and just keep the faith going. 😀

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“There can be miracles, when you believe.”

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posted by admin in Advertorials,Family,Life,M&Ms,Myreen Nadya,Mysha Nadya,Parenting,Sharleez Nadya,The Nadyas,Travel & Trips and have Comments Off on #Goldcoast2012: Day 5 to 7

#Goldcoast2012: Day 1 to 4

So what entry is this going to be?

Click HERE.

Yup, I am talking about that much talked about #goldcoast2012 trip. Much talked about because I just could not stop raving about it like a broken record. Right? But who wouldn’t be as excited as I was? It was a vacation for all of us to Gold Coast Australia, not Tanjong Pinang! HELLOOOOO??! As usual, I prepared the girls for the trip as soon as it was confirmed. Made them sit on their respective stools next to the computer while I showed them the different theme parks that we would be visiting. I even had to seek their approval with regards to the choice of apartment, okay? No matter their age, I think it is important to get them involved in the decision-making process. Life is after all, all about making choices. So when they saw pictures of the apartment, they immediately went, “WAHHHHH!” That was an obvious yes, wasn’t it? 🙂 Thank you for making it easier for me, Nadyas.

Actually I still cannot believe that we managed to plan everything together with Farha & her cool gang Awal & Farhi from ROAM within the span of like, two months? Much thanks to their efficiency, I must say. Farha especially, was really helpful, patient and obliging throughout the entire planning process. I liked how she would always update me on the progress of the trip and bookings, so I did not have to constantly check on the status and all. She understood that the trip was not just a trip, but a bonding period for me and my family – it needed to be perfect. She made it a point to seek my opinion before arranging the trip any further or making the reservations for us.

Here they are – Farhi, Farha & Awal who went the extra mile for us for this #goldcoast2012 trip! So proud of young and very promising entrepreneurs like them, really.

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(Sorry Farha, I went to your FB and borrowed this picture. Will return it to you in due time. Hahahaha!)

What I really like about ROAM is their flexibility and their willingness to listen and accommodate. I think the reason why some of us would usually hesitate to approach a travel agency to plan for our vacation is because we think they are only interested in their commissions and nothing else. Some of you even fear that you will end up paying more than you should. Well, that’s where you are wrong, my friends. I strongly believe that ROAM is more interested in building a long-term relationship with every client – it’s not just about the sales! What a professional and trusted travel agency like ROAM does is this – they will help you plan your holiday and make it as cost-saving as possible based on the budget you have.

So the benefits of approaching ROAM for your vacations are:

  • They know when is the best time for you to travel.
  • You save on all types of reservations.
  • You relax while the travel agent does the work.
  • You do not have to wonder about your destination – where to stay, modes of transport, what to eat, etc.

But hey, you can always choose to go free & easy too. Australia is an example of a free & easy country, and our trip was therefore, FREE & EASY. ROAM left it to our discretion to decide and plan where we wanted to go for the seven days we were there. Everything else was already booked beforehand by ROAM for us – the flight tickets, the apartment and the car. The only thing we had to worry about was whether the amount of money we brought for our shopping there was enough! Hehehe.

Do you like promotions?

Okay, for a limited time period only, quote ‘ETRANGLE’ to enjoy the following:

  1. 10% off their tour packages.
  2. 20% off if you are traveling in groups of 6 or more.

Do not forget to LIKE their Facebook here HERE too! Or just get straight to the point and give the friendly team a call at +65 6336 2677.

If ROAM was able to please me, my husband, and my three girls with their awesome planning throughout our seven days in Gold Coast, then they will definitely be able to please you too. My husband especially is very particular when it comes to planning, you know? He is such a detailed person, so to have everything fall into place during our Gold Coast trip made him one happy man! Read on and you will find out why. 🙂

Packing wise, we only did it like a day before the trip. Of course, we had a list to rely on just so that we would not miss out on anything. A Holiday Checklist looks something like THIS. We did not have to worry so much about what to bring and wear because it was summer during that period, so it was more or less just like Singapore.

So okay, I bet you are already raring to know about the actual Gold Coast trip right? Just like my previous vacation blog posts, I will try to be as detailed as I can okay so that it makes it easy for those of you who are planning your vacation to Gold Coast Australia!

Let’s go day by day, shall we? Seven days in all.

Or simply…’Tujuh Hari’, like how Sharleez would sing it.

Hahaha!

Okay maybe I will not cover all seven days in just one entry. I can foresee several problems if I were to do this:

  1. Pictures in my blog would not load because there are just too many pictures.
  2. Readers would email me and ask why they cannot view the pictures.
  3. I have to keep explaining that that’s usually the case if there are too many pictures.

NO WAY!

Therefore, I have decided that…

THIS ENTRY WILL ONLY COVER DAY 1 TO 4.

Don’t you just love the suspense and wait? Hahahaha.

Okay moving on.

Everyone was there to send us off at the airport, including Shan Ehan! Hahahaha.

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I know my parents were especially emotional about us going away for 7 days. They were saying something like the house feels so empty each time we are away because there are no kids around to shout, sing, and squabble over trivial things. Why, they felt lonely even when we went for staycations..IN SINGAPORE!  And the Gold Coast trip was our first ever family trip without any help from anyone else, so I could sense how worried my parents were. If you could recall, we went to Perth the other time with my parents-in-law, and then Hongkong Disneyland with my previous helper Yani. So Daddy kept reminding us to stay close to one another. He even tweeted the following right after we bid our goodbyes at the airport. To think that he actually already reminded me like minutes ago before this tweet. Hahahaha!

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Yes Daddy, we stayed so extremely close throughout the trip. And we survived it all, alright? 😀

THE PLANE RIDE?

Honestly speaking, I was mostly worried about the plane ride because a flight to Brisbane airport is normally about 8 hours long, and that’s considered very long to me. In fact, that was my longest flight ever in my entire life! In my mind hours before the plane ride, I was already wondering whether the girls and I would be alright and whether we would get restless. But thankfully, ours was a midnight flight so by the time we were in the plane, the Nadyas were actually already very groggy. Their bedtime is at 9 pm on normal days, you see? They spent about half an hour being super excited over the fact that they were in the plane, and that the plane was high up in the sky, and another half an hour watching movies before they finally gave in to their heavy eyes. And especially after they had eaten their meals, they immediately went to sleep.

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We super love the kid’s meal provided by SIA, by the way!

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Need I mention that I was always checking out the flight attendants too? They are just so well-groomed, our SIA flight attendants. I kept telling the girls this each time a flight attendant walked past us – “This is how Mama E and Uncle Bert work in the plane, you know?” Proud sister moment at that point of time. Hahaha I could not help it and kept repeating the same thing over and over again. The next thing I knew, the girls were already sleeping. So yeah, I was basically talking to myself. I managed to wake them up for breakfast and right after just a bit of breakfast, they went back to sleep and continued sleeping till it was close to landing time.

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Okay just for your information, Singapore Airline and most airlines do not fly directly to Gold Coast because it is not a city but a region – it is part of Brisbane, and Brisbane is a city. So from Singapore, you have to fly to Brisbane first. Once you are at Brisbane airport, you have the following options to get to Gold Coast:

  1. Take a train to Gold Coast.
  2. Take a bus to Gold Coast.
  3. Take a cab.
  4. Rent a car (choose those car rental companies that are located at Brisbane airport) & collect it straight from Brisbane airport once you arrive, and drive yourself to Gold Coast.
  5. Rent a car but get a driver to drive you to Gold Coast and around Gold Coast throughout your trip.

Initially, we wanted to choose Option 5 but after much consideration, we thought it would not give us much freedom. It was after all, a free and easy trip! Imagine having a driver to drive us around 24/7? Want to go to the supermarket? Call the driver. Nah!

Which option did we choose eventually? Suspense once again, just for you!

Let’s go to Day 1 first, okay?

DAY 1:

We reached Brisbane at about 10.20 am in the morning (Australian time). So ROAM’s instruction was for us to collect our car from Redspot which is located inside Brisbane Airport itself. Very convenient, I must say!

So yeah, we chose OPTION  4:

Rent a car (choose those car rental companies that are located at Brisbane airport) & collect it straight from Brisbane airport once you arrive, and drive yourself to Gold Coast.

We proceeded straight to Redspot counter (the car rental company) located at the far right of the Arrival Hall, provided Redspot with our booking details, & and that was it. The officer gave us the keys to the car plus TomTom, and told us to collect the car from carpark at the ground level of the airport. Do you know what/who is TomTom? It is a portable GPS car navigation system to enhance your driving experience. So do make sure that your rented car is equipped with it because roads are always changing, and the only way to stay up to date is to use TomTom! Trust me, life in a foreign country just gets so much easier with it. Suddenly, the country is not so foreign anymore, if you get what I mean. 🙂

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Want to see our ride or not throughout our seven days in Gold Coast?

Here it is!
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Very practical for a family with kids, I must say! We actually would be contented with a car that could accommodate the five of us, the twin stroller and our three pieces of luggage, but this Hyundai Luminax left us speechless.

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It was definitely MORE than we asked for. So big, so spacious, so perfect. Thank you ROAM for this! We can never thank you guys enough. 🙂

Time to dump our luggage and the stroller (and three sleepy girls) into the car!

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You know, right after our trip, both Tatek & I mutually agreed that we needed a change of car. Since the girls are bigger and take up more space now, the car needs to be able to accommodate to that. Insya’allah, if it is God’s will, we might just do that soon enough – get a new ride, that is. 😀

I forgot to mention that the moment we reached the airport, the first thing I did was to proceed to Vodafone shop on the same level as Arrival Hall to purchase a prepaid Sim Card. After getting the advice from several friends in Twitter and Fb, we decided to purchase a Vodafone prepaid card instead of activating our auto roaming services. Best choice ever! You can choose to get either a $20 or $50 prepaid card. We chose the $50 of course and mind you, despite me always updating pictures on Instagram, FB and Twitter, and making several calls to Singapore during our trip, the card lasted till our last day in Gold Coast! So you should really consider getting a prepaid card each time you go traveling to save the hassle of worrying about your handphone bill after the trip/fun is over. You know how vacations always make you broke, right? Tatek used his auto roaming services for less than five mins to check on football updates. His bill came and it amounted to $100 plus for that less than five minutes usage. Tsk tsk.

Anywayyyy….

The moment the Nadyas got in the car, they fell asleep, one after another.

Okay lah, I lied a bit. They did not fall asleep exactly one after another.

Mysha took a while to fall asleep because she was singing ‘Tujuh Hari’ on repeated mode.

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It was only after she got tired of singing did this happen.

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It was a smooth ride all the way to Gold Coast, all thanks to GPS! Traffic was relatively smooth, and let me tell you, the vehicles really speed on the expressway over there. You know, we were like traveling at 100 km/hr and we could still see the big trucks overtaking us all the time! So can you imagine the speed they were travelling at?

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I was truly, madly, deeply in love with the clear blue skies there. Out of say 1000 pictures in my camera, maybe 100 pictures are of the skies.

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It took about an hour to reach our apartment – our super duper super duper super duper super duper super duper super duper SUPER DUPER awesome apartment, may I add.

Here it is, Meriton Serviced Apartment Broadbeach! Yes, the super duper awesome apartment.

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Okay, I am super particular about cleanliness, it’s almost like a disease. I cannot tolerate it a bit even if the place we are staying in is not 100% clean. ROAM left it to our discretion to choose the hotel or apartment we wanted based on our needs and wants and believe me, I spent like about a week choosing the perfect accommodation for our stay. The reason why I decided on an apartment instead of a hotel was because I thought we could not possibly survive on just outside food for the seven days we were there. Besides, I know my husband and Sharleez especially cannot survive a day without rice and homecooked meals. Our main priorities when choosing the accommodation were:

  1. A super clean apartment for us with lots of space for girls to play & run wild.
  2. Having a full kitchen for me to whip out decent enough dishes for my husband and girls.
  3. A fully air-conditioned apartment bearing in mind the hot weather in Gold Coast during our stay.

There are just so many apartments in Gold Coast, I tell you! SO MANY. It all depends on the location, size of apartment, and how particular you are about cleanliness at the end of the day, I think. The moment I chanced upon Meriton Serviced Apartment, I was already in love and I knew I wanted no other apartment. I depended on these pictures, their website, and also the feedback from Trip Advisor.

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I was praying so hard that the apartment would look as nice or even better than the pictures. And boy was I not even 0.01% disappointed! Super duper clean, super duper nice, super duper spacious, and super duper accessible to places like Coles Supermarket, Target, Kmart, Pacific Fair Shopping Centre, Starbucks, Nandos, Woolworths, and the kebab outlets! In fact, it was like only a 3 mins drive from our apartment to all the places I just mentioned.

My favorite word in this entry has got to be SUPER DUPER, if you have not already noticed and counted already. But I cannot help it, everything was just…SUPER DUPER AWESOME.

Here are the pictures of our actual apartment.

The living area!

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The dining area!

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The balcony!

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We could see these breathtaking views from our apartment!

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One of the 2 bedrooms. You can choose from 1 to 3 bedrooms when making your booking! 🙂

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One of the 2 bathrooms. SUPER CLEAN! I could not even find anything not close to clean actually!

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The kitchen! SUPER CLEAN TOO!

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And oh, want to see what comes together with the kitchen? You will be so impressed, I tell you!

A fridge & cooking stove!

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An oven.

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A microwave oven.

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Complete set of utensils!

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Complete set of cutlery!

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The laundry room!

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Believe me now when I said the apartment was SUPER DUPER AWESOME? You know, my girls were so in love with the apartment that they kept asking when we would go back to the apartment each time we were out from the apartment for barely five minutes. There’s just something about them and hotels/apartments lah. Maybe we should renovate our house and make it look like a hotel or something. Hahaha! We were very exhausted the moment we reached the apartment so we all took a nap for a while before heading to Coles Supermarket for some grocery shopping!

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Coles has quite a wide range of Asian food for us to choose from as compared to Woolworths. This is the Asian food section!

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Not bad right? And most of them are Halal.

Our saviour during our stay there had to be ABC Sweet Sauce! Hahaha. It tastes good with almost everything – fried egg, fried chicken, rice, you name it.  I also bought different types of fried rice paste like Nasi Goreng Kampung paste, Oriental Fried Rice paste, and Cantonese Fried Rice paste. So on days when we did not feel like eating plain rice, we had the fried rice paste to save us! And although they do have Halal butchery, we did not take the extra mile to find them. Instead, we just relied on Nandos & the Kebab outlets there! Hahaha. For instance, we bought the whole chicken with lime & herb (not spicy, so girls could eat too), cooked rice once back at the apartment , and ate the chicken with hot rice, sweet sauce, and fried egg! So so nice, I tell you. The leftover chicken I used to fry with fried rice for next day’s menu. So yeah, we survived and most importantly, we enjoyed the food! Nothing beats comfort (& Halal) food, right? It made us feel so much closer to home throughout the seven days, definitely. You should see the state of my hand okay – blistered  and all from the cooking. Poor me. So that was our Day 1 basically. We watched TV for a while after dinner while girls played with their Barbie dolls. Oh yeah, we bought Barbie Dolls for them over there! When you have girls, you can never escape from Barbie Dolls no matter how far you are from Singapore.

We were in bed by about 10 pm Australian time. The bed was just too tempting!

DAY 2:

We decided to do a little bit of shopping on Day 2 because I kept thinking of Harbour Town Shopping Outlet the night before. I even dreamt about it…NOT! Hahaha!

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And besides, we wanted to try out Nandos for the first time ever. Since there is Nandos at Harbour Town, might as well we killed two birds with one stone. It was basically just a straight drive to Harbour Town, about 15 mins away from our apartment. Again, I cannot emphasize enough on the importance of GPS! So easy to find our way around, really.

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So we had our lunch at Nandos – spicy for us, and lime & herb for the girls! My verdict? Pretty alright, not bad! I still cannot understand the hype about it though. I think it is a bit overrated? But then again, that’s just me. Your tastebud and mine – NOT THE SAME! 😀 It would have tasted better with chili sauce but in Australia, they do not provide that. Therefore, do not expect to eat your fast food with chili sauce there. It’s either tomato ketchup or if you are lucky, sweet chili sauce.

We did not exactly do our shopping that day because we wanted to just explore Harbour Town and save the shopping for another day once we already figured out what exactly we wanted to get. Besides, the shopping centers there close at 5 pm! So we figured we would do our massive shopping on Thursday as they close at 7 pm on Thursdays. But trust me, you will go crazy at Harbour Town! It is almost impossible to not spend when you are there. But I was actually quite disappointed to see the Cotton On Kids collection this time round – not much variety and sizes available were limited. In fact, I ended up not shopping a lot for the Nadyas when I had actually anticipated that most of our money would be spent on their clothes and all. From Harbour Town, we decided to drop by the beach which was actually just a three minutes walk from our apartment. Girls had some fun at the playground but my camera battery was already so flat by then, so no pictures of fun at the playground.

Just look at the strong waves!

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The Nadya in green was super scared of the sand, and kept tripping and falling as a result of her fear. She just does not like the tingling feeling of  sand. Hahaha I will not embarrass her by mentioning her name here so you can keep on guessing who.

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Before calling it a day, we decided to make a trip once again to Coles because girls just wanted more snacks for their TV time later that night! We kept snacking while we were there so our snacks went out of stock pretty fast. We had to keep stocking like almost every single day!

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Once back at the apartment, again it was homecooked dinner & comfort food for us. End of Day 2.

DAY 3:

We started Day 3 bright and early because it was Movie World day! Woke up at 7.30 am and planned to reach Movie World at 10 am exactly. But well, we only managed to leave the apartment close to 10 am due to the girls wanting different kinds of breakfast. But it was not that bad, we reached Movie World at about 10.30 a.m. I am just so glad that I decided to purchase the tickets for the theme parks online prior to the trip. Two advantages of doing so:

  1. You save $ when you purchase online because there are always like 10% discounts for online purchases.
  2. You avoid the terribly long queue once you are at the theme parks & have more time to explore the theme parks.

Got it? So do purchase your tickets beforehand too, okay?

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I wish they had something like what the girls were wearing in my size so that I could be a bit shameless and pretend that everyone loves my blog, you know? Hahahaha! Such a shameless confession. But never mind, I am sure you all know by now that my Nadyas take turns to be my alter-ego.

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Myreen was gritting her teeth here because she did not want to pose for the camera. She was already too excited to leave for Movie World! Mysha on the other hand, was plain honest. She did not want to even try to look happy for the camera. You can obviously see the boredom in her face. She was like, “When are we going to Movie World? Urghhh.”

Super impatient. Throughout the journey to Movie World, they took turns to ask, “Are we there yet?”

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Ssshhh Nadyas!

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I super love how super considerate Australians are!

Finally, after surviving a massive traffic, we finally reached Movie World!

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Pretty surreal at that moment, I must say. Prior to our trip, I had only seen pictures of Gold Coast from the internet. So to be able to finally be there physically was really beyond my wildest belief. So we did what any overly excited person would do  – we took a picture at the entrance of Movie World. If not, nobody would believe that we did go to Movie World. How typical, right? I am sure you do that all the time too. Hehehehe.

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Now, when you are at any theme park, always refer to the map/directory given. Always target the shows first, because showtimes are always pretty limited. Once you have watched the shows, then it is basically free & easy till the theme park closes for the day.

So who did we ‘bump into’ at Movie World?
We saw Marilyn Monroe. She must have gone for a face job because she looked so different from the Marilyn Monroe we all used to know. 😀

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Catwoman. A super sexy and pretty Catwoman, may I add. It was literally a jawdropping moment when we saw her.

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Austin Powers. I really pitied him because he was just standing there waiting for anyone or someone to take a picture with him. So Tatek was like, “B, poor thing. I take picture with him la, never mind.” Thank you for your sacrifice, Tatek. I am sure Austin Powers appreciated that.

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Wonder Woman and gang. She was running around prior to this photoshoot and practically everyone there was just checking out and snapping pictures of her ermmm…rear. I accidentally snapped a picture of that too! But of course I will not put up the picture here. 😀

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The Looney Tunes cast. You know, it was our first time seeing the girl bunny. Nadyas told me that she is Bugs Bunny’s girlfriend but none of them knew what her name was at that point of time. So they kept pestering me to find out. Of course I did what I will always do in times of doubt – I GOOGLED IT. Her name is Lola okay, ladies and gentlemen? L O L A.

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Scooby Doo Disco Detectives. I grew up watching Scooby Doo. Did you?

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Batman. What do I say here? Batman is really just.. Batman. Okay fine, he was so hunky and all. Were those real muscles by the way, Mr Batman? 😀

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It was really that easy to have our pictures taken with the costumed characters at Movie World actually. They were practically everywhere. Just as long as you remember to be civilized, queue, and wait for your turn, you will definitely get a picture with everyone of them.

We truly enjoyed the All-Star Parade because while we were expecting just a showcase of the costumed character performers, the Looney Tunes cast surprised us with a shuffle to ‘Party Rock Anthem’. Super hilarious yet cool, I tell you. And unlike the All-Star Parade at HK Disneyland where you cannot really interact or get close to the characters, the costumed character performers at Movie World will actually come to you to give you a high five or hug during the parade itself. The Nadyas had a little squabble thereafter because some of them did not get a high five from some of the characters. They went “I am so sad because Tweety Bird never give me a high five.” and “How come Bugs Bunny’s girlfriend never come to me?” Oh, and a couple of “Hmpfff!” and “Urghhh!” along the way too. Girls will be girls, really.

This is proof of how close Daffy Duck was to me. Seriously, what was he trying to do?

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After the All-Star Parade, it was time for rides and games!

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Tatek tried his luck.

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And won this jester hat! Wow. Hahahaha!

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And just as we were walking out of Movie World, we saw Tweety Bird plush toys going at only $10, so we decided to buy a Tweety Bird each for the Nadyas.

Their Tweety Birds were with them almost everywhere they went ever since then for the rest of the trip.

They posed with Tweety Bird and errr.. BIG BIRD?


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They slept with Tweety Bird.

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They put on shoes with Tweety Bird.

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Why, the Tweety Birds even sat on the sofa and watched TV!

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That’s how it is like when you have guniangs. So since we already had pretty long day at Movie World, Nadyas fell asleep on our way back to the apartment yet again…but this time with Tweety Bird. Tatek on the other hand, had TomTom as a companion to lead us back.

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Since Woolworths supermarket was very near to our apartment, we thought we might as well do our grocery shopping there and check out the Asian food section there. I think Coles is like so many times better in terms of the Asian food section – more variety definitely. So we ended up buying chocolates only.

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And was pretty amused by this.

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Everybody now LOL! That’s laugh out loud, to those of you who are still clueless.

Day 4:

Day 4 was a Thursday, and the shopping centres close slightly later on Thursdays; 7 pm instead of the usual 5.30 pm. So we figured we should do our major shopping during that day. And we did just that! We went to Target first and spent the rest of the day at Harbour Town. Target has pretty awesome stuff and great deals too! And it was super near to our apartment!

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We reached Harbour Town at about noon, and we spent like 6 hours there! Hahahaha. The one thing about going on a holiday is, you will end up shopping for others instead of yourself most of the time. Who’s with me? 🙂 I actually prepared a list of names prior to our shopping trip. So yeah, I did not exactly shop for myself over there. I was pretty disappointed actually with the Cotton On Kids over there because they did not have that much variety for my girls during our period of visit. As a result, I did not get to shop that much for the Nadyas too. Tatek was the most luckiest person I would say because he got to shop the most.  U N F A I R.
Look at the very happy shopper!

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It was a good decision to bring the twin stroller during our shopping day because we knew the girls would not last that long.They were pretty restless and tired after some time, so the stroller was their resting bay. Phew! We did not have to handle three whiny girls as a result. Oh, treats like lollipops did the trick too. You know how kids are, right?

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Thank goodness we already visited Harbour Town prior to this so we actually knew where to get what, and what to get for who. It’s all about strategy, my friends. 🙂

As usual, we were all very exhausted by the time we were done. So it was straight back to the apartment and homecooked dinner for all. I was actually always excited to cook during our stay there because “If Yan can cook, so can I.” And so can you. Or anybody. I love this catchphrase because I grew up watching Martin Yan’s cooking shows.  I was always so amazed by how he could chop food especially onion frantically while smiling at the camera. And I thought to myself, “I must learn to chop onions like him.”

So that was it. End of Day 4.

Oh my god! Something extremely funny happened on Day 5. Clue: MACADAMINAH.

But my post has to end here for now, you see?

WHAT? THIS CANNOT BE!

Hehehe okay just kidding! Let’s click HERE for Day 5 to 7 of #Goldcoast2012 post! 🙂

😀

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posted by admin in Advertorials,Family,Life,M&Ms,Myreen Nadya,Mysha Nadya,Parenting,Sharleez Nadya,The Nadyas,Travel & Trips and have Comments Off on #Goldcoast2012: Day 1 to 4
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