Memory.. Little threads that hold life's patches of meaning together. ~ Mark Twain

Thursday, November 30, 2006

November Babes

My department organized the monthly birthday celebration and as usual, yours truly had to make the arrangements, i.e. what cake to buy, where/who to buy it from, cost, when to have it; then have to gather everyone, place the candles and light them up, and then cut them to smaller slices for distribution after the sing-song session.

Since this is my birthday month, along with 4 other colleagues (November is the month with the most birthdays in my department!), of course have to choose the nicest cake, right. Last year, we got the Haagen-Dazs ice-cream cake which we eventually got 'sounded' by Dexter coz it exceeded his budget. *lol* So this year, we went for Flaky Chocolate Cake from Baker's Cottage. The boss of course happily approved this choice. *Grin*

My Department's November Birthday Babes
Looks damn yummy, right?

What a nice way to end the week long birthday celebration. Tee hee hee..

Monday, November 27, 2006

Patchee Is 27 Today

Another year older today. Hopefully another year wiser and another year prettier. *lol*

It was a quiet celebration, nevertheless I am very glad that I celebrated it with my family and close friends. On Saturday, it was with Inspector and his friends. Last night, it was dinner with both our families together. Today, I got to spend the second half of the afternoon with Mum and Dad (it's his first day after retirement) at home, given a red egg to eat and helped put up the Christmas tree. Later in the evening, had a lovely Thai dinner with Inspector, Mighty Dan, Moorish and Sue. Wan Nei, almost 5 hours older than me, were not able to meet up due to work commitments but I am still glad that we managed to hang out on Friday while attending our other halves' common friend's wedding. And wishing each other "Happy Birthday" simultaneously the moment I gave her a call this morning, both without even saying "Hello" in the first place. Tee hee hee..

I was also touched when I received so many birthday greetings and phone calls from friends - old, older still and new, and from several countries too. I'm writing them all down here not because I want to boast, but because they have played a part in my life one way or another and I never, ever want to forget their thoughts nor their friendship many years down the road.

The birthday phone calls from Aneh, Bubble (who would have taken the day off had she knew I took leave, just to celebrate with me. *Awwww*), Pa, Labu and Virgin Boy (all the way from Melbourne).

The birthday SMS-es...

"Jie, Happy Birthday! May all ur wishes come true, including havin' a nephew/niece 4 me!" - Sis

"Happy Birthday! Have a good one! ;)" - Telco Boy

"Happy birthday and many happy returns of the day" - Ma

"Happy birthday! All the best wishes from me, and let the day roll!" - FRG in Bangladesh

"Happy birthday 2 u, happy birthday 2 u, happy birthday 2 patchee, happy birthday 2 u! Muah muah muah!" - Gummy

"Wishing u many happy returns on this special day. Happy Birthday!" - Blur Sotong

"Happy birthday, patchee! Wishes from Shanghai! Hehehe" - Spike

"Happy birthday!! Sheng ri kuai le!" - Nutty from Bintulu

"Wishing u happy birthday and hope ur dreams come true ;)" - Suwee

"Happy bday! Still on time! Heh heh" - Soo Soo Monster, now in Brazil

"Hi Patchee! How are u? Just want to wish u a Happy Birthday! Have a great day." - Cuz Li in Melbourne

"Happy happy birthday patchee.." - Xiao Ping

"Hi patchee, happy birthday! It's Jovi girl n i remembered! :)" - Jovi girl in Melbourne

"Happy birthday patchee. :) Hope you have a wonderful year ahead" - Freckles

The presents...

Inspector: A cool car audio system, an "I Love U" seed and for spending the whole day with me even though he had to work

Moorish & Sue: Cute little Tiramisu cake from BreadTalk

Chef, Footitie, Freckles, Xiao Ping, Blur Sotong and the ad couple: Lovely lavender Crabtree & Evelyn gift set

Princess & Eskimo: Kenzo creamy body milk

27th Birthday Prezzies
Prezzies from very wonderful people *Hugz*

Most of all, Dad & Mum for bringing me into the world and the neverending love they have given me throughout all these years. Of course, not forgetting to so many friends out there who had dropped me plentiful of birthday wishes online. I really had a wonderful birthday. Thank you so much, everyone. *Hugz*

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Burfday Ka-La-OK

[updated on 26th Nov. 2006]

Inspector and his friends (Chef, Footitie and gang) gave me and another friend (hers is 2 days after mine) a pre-birthday celebration by having dinner in Sentul and then proceeded to The Curve for karaoke session, since our birthdays fall during the coming weekdays.

Red Box has a birthday package promotion which is only valid if anyone's birthday in the group falls within 3 days. I qualified for it, so we got the Diamond Party Package. It was worth the money, but because we were too full from dinner earlier on, we ended up 'ta pau'-ing the sparkling juices, party platter leftovers and the cake.

Red Box Birthday Bash
Look at the amount of food provided to us!

We had 3 full hours of singing, munching, drinking and laughing. It's really nice to be accepted amongst Inspector's friends. They even bought me a Crabtree & Evelyn gift set! Show you the picture later. *Grin*

Friday, November 24, 2006

Pre-Birthday Prezzie

How fun it is when your birthday is still a few days away yet you've already gotten a birthday present. As a matter of fact, a present from the hubby! Look what he got me!

Pioneer DEH-2850MP
Pioneer DEH-2850MP to call my own!!

A new audio system for my Little Kelisa! YES!!!

For the past year or so, the previous system had been seriously wonk-y. The radio could not work anymore. I'd have trouble playing CDs, either they can't be read or there's no output from the speakers. The volume control was just as bad, it can sometimes sound like level 8 when I had only put it to level 1.

Hubby thought this poor little girl needs to get her audio system fixed. Tee hee hee. So here it is, my new system. Sooooo niceeee!!! I get to listen to the radio already! I can play CDs and adjust the volume! Oohhh.. I can even play mp3/wma cds! YES! I know.. So outdated, right? *lol*

What a lovely birthday present!! I'm sooooooo gonna compile an mp3 cd with all my favourite songs in it. YES!!!!!!!

Millions of *muakz* for Inspector!!!! Tee hee hee.. Well, I'm gonna be off from work in 10 minutes time. I'm off on my birthday as well. *Grin* So, be good and have a wonderful weekend, yeah!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Joint Birthday Lunch Dana

Dad organized a Lunch Dana at home, just amongst close relatives as well as my in-laws. He managed to invite Ven K. Dhammaratana from the Maha Vihara Brickfields temple over to the house again for the chant session. It was a very short session coz one of his assistants had to rush to somewhere else.

Lunch Dana
Food, food and food

But anyhow, my relatives got us a birthday cake, in conjunction with Dad's, Sis' and my birthdays (all 3 of us are November babies. Mum's the odd one out. Tee hee hee). They set 3 candles in a row for us, and Sis had to do the honour to blow a candle first (without blowing off the other two candles) coz her birthday comes first. Followed by Dad whose birthday was yesterday, then last but not least, yours truly (the easiest!).

It was a short but sweet celebration, and yes, lots of laughter and smiles. That's more important, don't you think so? *Grin*

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Sis Turns 24

It's Sis' birthday today. Like any other years, Mum made 2 red-dyed hard boiled eggs for her, as well as longevity noodles for dinner. We got her a small pandan cake from Baker's Cottage. It's funny how as we grow up, the size of the cakes that we get shrinks. I remember that when we were 1 or 2 years old, our blackforest cakes were huge! 12 pieces of cherries on them! And only, what, 4 of us consuming the cake. They would last us a few breakfasts and tea breaks. Tee hee hee..

Sis' 24th Birthday Celebration
Happy Birthday to Sis!

It was just a short, private celebration within the family but I could feel so much of love surrounding us as we sang the birthday song for Sis. Even though she's now 24, she's still so much like a little sister to me. No matter how much we'd argue or probably at some point of time, hate each other's guts, no one else will ever replace her as my younger sister. And for that, I pray that she'll have a very blessed life ahead of her and that she'll always know that I love her very much.

Happy Birthday, Sis!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Final Day - The Flight Back To Malaysia

[updated on 11th Nov. 2006]

It was time to leave Gold Coast... Time to go home...

We checked out at 10.30am, and waited for the Door2Door bus to fetch us to Brisbane International Airport. By the time we arrived there, we had to check in our luggages, rushed to buy a bottle of Glenlivet Archive (21 years old, single malt scotch whisky) for Daddy and a springy koala bear soft toy for Bumblebee, and boarded the plane for 2pm departure.

Brisbane International Airport
Bye bye, Gold Coast!

I'd so wished that we did not have to return, but we have to. Back to the reality. Back to our daily routine. Sounds quite sad, no? But that's life, isn't it? We work, and we play, then we go back to work, and the cycle continues. Besides, no work, how to earn money to go play, right?

One thing's for sure is that, we had a lovely weather while there. Sunny all the way, yet not so hot until you can sweat that kind of thing. It was forecasted that there would be thunderstorms and showers yesterday and today. But it had only poured terribly AFTER we left Brisbane. So lucky, yah? Someone up there sure loves us (at least that's what I hope!). And also, thank you to our families and friends who prayed for our safety and a wonderful honeymoon.

Hopefully we'll have another chance to go back to Gold Coast coz we sure do want to go back there. Some day soon. Until the time comes, we both had a really fantastic time there and it is definitely already a honeymoon cum holiday to remember. *Grin*

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Day 4 - Shoppers Paradise

[updated on 11th Nov. 2006]

It was our final full day in Gold Coast. We decided to take the Surfside Busline to Harbour Town, where many of the brand direct traders are located in. It's a pretty huge shopping centre. There's Adidas, Nike, Esprit, David Jones, Essential Man, Mambo, Polo Ralph Lauren, Pumpkin Patch, Fila, Calvin Klein, Diesel, Table Eight, Tommy Hilfiger, Rip Curl, Converse, Nine West and so many more. The goods there weren't to say very, very dirt cheap but I guess they should be cheaper than the usual retail prices. Ladies' purses were sold between $9 - $12 in David Jones, and they were given a further 40% slash. Damn 'dai', right? Of course I grabbed a few, to give away to family. *lol* Inspector bought a couple pair of Essential Man pants, which initially was $49, discounted to $39, and then a further discount to $29. I squealed with happiness when I found Me To You Bear products in Hallmark. I'm actually looking for a furry Me To You Bear keychain to replace my current one, which I think should be 5-6 years old by now and the fur are almost flat. Was quite disappointed when I found out that it had been sold out... Not very easy to find those anymore. But I made do with a metal keychain of the bear holding my initial. *Grin*

But it wasn't enough. I wanted to go to Target, so I dragged Inspector to Pacific Fair Shopping Centre in Broadbeach (which was another half an hour journey by bus). Managed to buy a couple of dresses there, but as embarassing as it can be, they were all children sizes age 7-16 and the size I took was 12. I am not kidding! I'm used to it though, I used to shop for clothes at the children's departments while studying in Sheffield years ago. Tee hee hee..

Shoppers Paradise
Harbour Town (the mother of all famous factory outlets) and Pacific Fair

During our bus rides, we passed by a couple of places like Conrad Jupiters Casino and Dracula's Cabaret Restaurant. The next time when we go to Gold Coast again, we'll make a point to enter these places. We had also passed through Paradise Resort, the 3 star rated hotel that we were initially supposed to be staying at. One look at the place and we knew Courtyard Marriott was soooooooo much better than that, and for that we were absolutely happy. *Smile*

Places We Passed By in Gold Coast
The famous Casino and Dracula's, and Paradise Resort

We got back to the hotel at about 4pm, took a short rest in the hotel, and then headed straight to the beach again. We couldn't get enough of it, especially since it was our last day there! We also decided to eat as much as we could at Rish Cafe & Restaurant. Inspector ordered Moroccan Chicken and a bottle of VB beer. I took Seafood Penne and Hot Chocolate with Marshmallows (yes, again!). I particularly prefer the dinner we had at Billy Baxter's.

Rish Cafe Restaurant
Hearty dinner at Rish

If that wasn't enough of indulgence the past few days, we had also gotten all these..

More Food & Drinks!

The XXXX Gold (pronounced as Four X), a value meal from Oporto (1/4 flame-grilled chicken with lemon and herbs), and lots of nougats for families and colleagues. We also stopped by at Woolworth's to buy more biscuits and chocolates that we can hardly find in Malaysia. We even bought instant noodles to try. The carbonara pasta was errr... Quite yucky actually. Hehe.. We also stopped by at Royal Copenhagen Ice Cream. We could have gotten the Single Cone, but because my backside itchy, I got each of us a Regular Cone (2 scoops of ice-cream). Inspector chose Rum & Raisin and Vanilla Chip flavours, where as I chose the Cookies & Cream and Wildberry Ripple flavours. It was soooo huge that I had a hard time finishing mine, what's more it was freezing cold at that time. I really shivered a lot! *lol*

Oh by the way, while at Rish, I was a couple of Meter Maids passed by. If only I was quick enough to fish out my camera.. Darn!

I dread going home tomorrow.... *sobs*

Monday, November 06, 2006

Day 3 - Movie World

[updated on 11th Nov. 2006]

Gua sungguh the kiasu. It was already bright at 6am yesterday, so I forced myself to wake up an hour earlier this time.

Gold Coast Sky
Ooohhhhh... Niceeeeeeee!

Just like yesterday, the bus picked us up at 8.55am and then dropped us off at Warner Bros. Movie World. It was really nice going back to the childhood memories, watching cartoon characters walking around and hearing all those theme songs being played on air. We took pictures with Batman & Robin as well as The Justice League. We did not go for the rides again but we visited the Looney Tunes Village, Wild West Falls and The Official Matrix Exhibit. We managed to watch almost all the shows like The Police Academy Stunt Show (Oh, this is a MUST!), Looney Tunes Musical Revue, All-Star Parade (featuring Looney Tunes, Willy Wonka, Scooby Do, Shrek, Batman and Catwoman, Police Academy and Austin Powers), Marilyn Monroe Tribute and Bonnie & Clyde. We bought lots of souvenirs from Warner Bros., Superman and Batman shops. We even collected our "Take One" photo frames (which came with our travel package.. Nice!).

Warner Bros. Movie World
Movie World, where movie magic happens everyday

The weather was oh so lovely, too lovely that we got really tanned by the time we took the bus back to the hotel at around 3.30pm. Left our souvenirs in the hotel room and went for a stroll by the beach again. We saw lots of blue coloured jellyfishes and corals washed up to the shores.

Surfers Paradise beach
Fantabulous time at the beach

After a good long walk, we stopped at Billy Baxter's for a scrumplicious dinner. I was tempted to ask for the kids' menu again even though it was stated that the menu is only applicable to children age 12 and below. But I asked anyway. The waiter looked at me from top to bottom, asked a fellow waitress who also looked at me, and then asked a supervisor who had also looked at me, they finally agreed to let me have the kids menu. It was so funny! Inspector ordered Snitzel Paragiana (basically chicken with lots of cheese and fries), iced lemon tea and VB beer. I got the Mini Pizza with Fries and hot chocolate with marshmallows. It was just nice for me. *Grin*

Dinner at Billy Baxter's
Yum yum!

On our way back to the hotel, we saw an 'Elvis Presley' singing on the sidewalk (with a basket near him to collect donations.. Hehe..) in front of Hard Rock Cafe. He looked and sounded so much like the real person! He was really entertaining, singing those top hits like (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear (it is now my fav song), All Shook Up, The Wonder of You, Love Me Tender, It's Now Or Never and so many more, got us all dancing or tapping our feet along. There was this moment when a guy walked towards him, took a picture of him and left without donating, so 'Elvis' sang a line or two and added the word "cheapskate" while looking at the guy. Hehe..

Elvis Presley in the Streets
Elvis in the streets!

The story behind the picture of 'Elvis', the girl and her father was that there was this other girl who accidentally let go of her balloon and she was pretty upset watching the balloon fly into the sky. This girl was so generous, she had 3 balloons with her dad, she took 1 of them and handed to the other girl. All of us went "Aaawwwwwwwwww....". It was really touching. See how naive and innocent children are. If only adults are like that too, the world could be a much better place to live in.

It was yet another lovely and enjoyable day. It will be shopping spree for us tomorrow!

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Day 2 - Sea World

[updated on 11th Nov. 2006]

Apparently the sun rises around 4.53am, but I managed to wake up at 6am (it's 4am in Malaysia!) just to peep at the sky. And this was what I saw..

Gold Coast Sky
The sky at 6am

Went back to dreamland and woke up an hour later for a hearty hotel breakfast. By 8.55am, we were already waiting at the lobby for our 'royal' Door2Door airbus to fetch us to Sea World. We were allowed to choose between 4 different times for the driver to fetch us back to the hotel. If at all we decide to change the pick up time, we'd just need to give them a ring. So nice, yah? Hence, macam royalty treatment. Tee hee hee..

Door 2 Door Airbus
The royalty transportation mode

We spent half the day at Sea World. We did not go for any of the rides, but we went to the World of the Sea Aquarium, Dugong Discovery, Polar Bear Shores, Penguins on Paradise, Sea Lions at Play and The Shark Bay. We also managed to watch almost all the shows like The Dolphin Cove Show, Quest for the Golden Seal and Waterski WipeOut. We both (well, particularly me!) loved the dolphin show, so much that I went "wah!" so many times and clapped furiously like a kid. *Grin* We also had the privilege to indulge in the International Buffet Lunch at Paradise Room (it comes with the package!) and watched the Waterski WipeOut show from there. Niceeeeeeeeeeee!

Sea World Gold Coast Australia
We went to Sea World and we saw sharks, dugongs, dolphins, polar bears, seals and penguins!

After having a good 20 minutes shopping for souvenirs, we left Sea World and went back to the hotel. Immediately after leaving all the souvenirs in the room, we went out again. We shopped a lot for tee shirts, tops. Inspector even bought a couple of tees from Hard Rock Cafe, which is located behind our hotel. I couldn't resist not buying a cross stitch magazine that came along with a free Tatty Teddy pattern chart, irregardless of how much the magazine costs, which I usually refrain myself from buying them in Malaysia. *Grin*

Surfers Paradise Goodies Part 1
Lots of tops, and the Patchee mag!

We spent the rest of the late afternoon walking along the beach barefooted and enjoyed listening to the sound of the waves crashing upon the shores. The water was soooooooo chilling, we loved it so much but I think by the time we walked back to the streets, my feet were already numb!

We stopped by at Beach Burger Cafe in Chevron Renaissance for dinner. Inspector ordered this huge ass All Day Breakfast which consist of 2 slices of bacons, 2 pieces of hash browns, baked beans, 2 slices of toasts, 1/2 piece of tomato, 2 sunny side ups, and 1 piece of marinated rib eye steak. I struggled with my Kids Menu Chicken Fingers with fries. Hehe.. Both of us were too full that we took a longer walk back to the hotel. Too bad my camera ran out of battery (from taking soooo many pictures at Sea World!) otherwise I could show you pictures of our meals.

Tomorrow, Movie World!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Day 1 - Arrival at Gold Coast

[updated on 11th Nov. 2006]

After 8 hours of brunch, refreshment, lots of orange juices, and watching movies like The Break Up, The Click, The Devil Wears Prada and Nacho Libre, we had finally arrived at Brisbane International Airport slightly before 8pm their time.

We were given instructions that a representative from Door 2 Door would be waiting for us at the Arrival Hall, holding a signage with my name on it. Cheh wah, macam superstar la. Hehe... We looked high and low, yet couldn't find the signage. In the end, we realized that they used my last Chinese name instead. So there were 2 of us, along with 3 others boarding the airbus, and dropped us off at our respective residences which in our case was Courtyard Marriott Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast.

Initially we opted for a 3 star rated Paradise Resort through a travel agent, but because they couldn't confirm our reservations, we got upgraded to the 4 star rated Courtyard Marriott for free. So lucky, yah? We tried to ask for a room upgrade, after telling them that we were on our honeymoon. Hehehe.. Too bad, all the rooms were booked. They offered to let us change rooms tomorrow if we want to, though. But a 2 double bed room with ocean view and a complimentary sparkling wine is good enough, isn't it? What's more we've already had the free hotel upgrade. So we checked into our room and quickly met up with Inspector's old friend and her husband. They're both residing in Brisbane but purposely booked a night at Courtyard Marriott as well just to meet up with us. So nice of them, right? They accompanied us for dinner, brought us around and to the beach. We must be mad to go to the beach at nearly midnight when it's freezing cold then!

Courtyard Marriott Surfers Paradise Resort
Courtyard Marriott Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast

Although we had merely few hours to spend and catch up on life with them, it was an enjoyable evening. They would be coming back to Malaysia next month, so we're all very excited to meet up again. *Grin* Need a good rest for tomorrow's gonna be an eventful day with the sea animals!!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Pre-Holiday Entry

In less than 14 hours time, I will be at the airport, waiting to fly off to Gold Coast. I CAN'T WAIT!

Feeling very touched to know that Inspector's old-time friend and her hubby are taking the time to come from Brisbane to meet us tomorrow and they even booked a room in the same hotel as ours so that we can give them a buzz upon checking-in and spend the rest of the evening with them. So 'kam tung'!

Well, I'm going off from work now. Till then, be good and have a great weekend! Will return in a week's time! Ta!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Gold Coast - Advice Needed

Inspector and I will be jetting off to Gold Coast for our honeymoon cum my well-deserved long service award (partially subsidized by my company. Tee hee hee..) this coming Saturday.. Which means in 2 days time. Whooopeeeeeeee!

We're all going on a summer holiday
No more working for a week or two
Fun and laughter on a summer holiday
No more worries for me and you
For a week or two

Well, it's not exactly summer coz it's still spring there and we'll be there for 5 days but still, my service award comes together with free 5 days leave. So technically it's still "no more worries for a week!" Muahahahaha...

We're going where the sun shine brightly
We're going where the sea is blue
We've seen it in the movies
Now let's see if it's true

Now here's where I need your advice. We're definitely going to SeaWorld and MovieWorld, and then plan to make a trip up to Harbour Town (but how to go there from Surfers Paradise?). Where else should we go? Any recommendation on places to eat and drink? So far we've got Pancakes in Paradise in our list. We were also told to try out seafood platter and XXXX beer. What else? What should we pack? We plan to pack as little clothes as we can and then go for shopping spree there. Hehehe.. Yes, we plan to splurge! Buy lots of things for ourselves, for families and friends! And oh, do you think a 1Gb memory stick is enough to last for 5 days? Only 2 days in Cameron Highlands and I had already taken around 150 photos. How ahhhh??

Everybody has a summer holiday
Doing things they always wanted to
So we're going on a summer holiday
To make our dreams come true
For me and you.

Please pray that we will have a lovely honeymoon trip - plenty of sunshine heading our way.. Zip a dee doo dah! *Grin*