Saturday, May 31, 2008

BBQ at the Beach

Today, the Seri Malaysia Club (SMC) and Singapore Raffles Club (SRC) are hosting a BBQ at the beach. Mak Long and Nenek left for Malaysia three nights ago, and so it’s just our small family again. Mommy has to work again this weekend, so Melur, Arman and I made our way to the beach for some awesome BBQ.

On the Trail

I felt a little adventurous today. So after our usual swimming class this morning, we made our way to Jericho Beach by bike. Yeah, that’s right! We made our way to the beach on our bikes. I know it’s seems a little out there, but I think the kids can handle it. And so we used the local trails and rode past Melur’s school down a trail that headed to the beach.

Not Quite There Yet

After about 30-40 minutes of riding, we made it to the beach, Acadia Beach. But Jericho beach is a ways west of where we are, and so we made our way along beach towards the BBQ.

Final Stretch

We made it to the beach after about an hour and 15 minutes of riding. The other guests at the BBQ were very impressed with what the kids did. Personally, I was very proud of them. I wonder where else I can take them by bike. They were such troopers. I hope the food will be a good pay-off after such a ride.

We're there... Finally!

There wasn’t any food available when we arrived, so Kak Ina took the kids to the sandy beach while we got some fresh food on the fire. That was really nice of her. We took some pictures and videos on the beach.

Hello, Kak Ina

I guess we got tired of waiting for the food and headed back to the BBQ. Everybody knows that people who wait by the food get the food first. The kids were able to participate in the cooking. Arman was the first to start fanning the flames, on his own initiative. He was really into it. I started calling him the Natural Chef. Check it out! And of course, craving all the attention that Arman was getting, Melur just had to step into the limelight.

BBQ Chicken

Natural Chef

The food was pretty good. The clubs were nice enough to provide Halal food for the Muslims – very thoughtful of them. The new SRC president is none other that daddy’s lead vocalist from Gardenburst – Lionel Leong. Thanks Lionel for the awesome food. After spending over an hour at the BBQ, it was time to head home.

The trip to the beach was pretty easy actually, since it was mostly down hill. The trip back on the other hand… Well that’s another story. We walked our bikes up this really steep hill. But the steeper the hill, the shorter the distance. Don’t get me wrong. It’s still a big hill. But at least it was a relatively short walk up, rather than a long drawn out and slow walk up a hill we could really ride up anyway. The kids were such troopers. We took some pictures and videos mid-way up the hill. Arman needed to pee (had to pee in public).

On The Hill

We made it up the hill in one piece. We stopped by Safeway to do some groceries, and then made our way back home. I was certainly tired, but the kids were again quite energetic.

On The Way Home

When we got home, I checked the trip odometer on my bike. The kids and I traveled 8 km today. That’s quite a feat, if I do say so myself. Though most of it was down hill, and we walked our bikes up hill part way, it was still a pretty good distance.

Unfortunately, Daddy got in a little trouble later, because Melur complained of “sakit kaki” (leg pains) at night. I say it’s growing pains, but who knows. We had fun today… But I’ll think twice about taking the kids on long bike rides next time. Sorry Melur (for “sakit kaki”) and Sorry Mommy (for having to wake up and helping Melur in the middle of the night).

Bike ride, anyone?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Last Outing with Mak Long

It’s Sunday, and the last weekend before Mak Long and Nenek leave for Malaysia later this week. And so, we decided to make the best of this day. Since we have the zipcar at our disposal this morning (leftover from yesterday’s trip), we decided to head to Granville Island, just so that Mak Long could say she was there. Nenek has been to Granville Island several times before, so she stayed home (well, we couldn’t really fit so many people in the car – Sorry, Nenek).

Shops at Granville Island

We did a fair bit of exploring, and looking around. Granville Island has a lot of shops selling souvenirs and the like. There were many street performers too – very quaint. We stopped for some pastries and enjoyed the nice weather outside.

Pastry at Granville Island

I had to return the zipcar before our 24 hour “lease” expired, and so we hurried home and had lunch. Later in the afternoon, we made our way on foot to the UBC Botanical Gardens. Again, since Nenek has been there before, she decided to stay at home (really, she wanted to stay home).

Enroute to the UBC Botanical Gardens

The botanical garden was quite different this time around. It’s probably because it’s a different season from when we went last time. We also wandered significantly farther and explored more of the grounds than before. We took a few pictures.

We came across a supposedly famous tree, at least famous for this place – the Hollow Tree. The kids had fun walking through it. I think I’ve seen bigger trees back in the US, but for Melur and Arman, it was fun and exciting. What do you guys think?

Hollow Tree at Botanical Gardens

We were already on our way back when we passed the Hollow Tree. But the kids were quite tired already. And tired equals cranky, at least for our kids. Look how Melur and Arman handle it.

Do the LOOK Tired?

Well, we made it out of the botanical gardens in one piece. We bribed the kids with ice cream (We couldn’t help it). And that was that. The kids were more accommodating as we made our way back on foot.

Heading Home with Ice-Cream

Since this is probably our last entry with Mak Long and Nenek, we thank you (you meaning Mak Long and Nenek) for coming over and hope you had a nice time. Do come visit us again if you have the time (and money). We certainly enjoyed your company, and look forward to having you around again.

Goodbye Nenek and Mak Long

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Briyani, Beach and Blizzard

Today, Nenek wants to treat us for lunch at Seri Malaysia. And so we took out the Zipcar and made our way to Hastings and Nanaimo. When we got there, we saw a garage sale just around the corner from Seri Malaysia and decided to check it out for a little bit. As it turns out, we met someone with roots from Malaysia. What an interesting place to meet a Malaysian, and one who’s never been to the Seri Malaysia restaurant just around the corner. I recommended the Briyani to him. The kids bought a magnifying glass for a loonie.

All done with the Food

When we got to Seri Malaysia, we all ordered the Briyani - 3 Lamb Briyani and 2 Chicken Briyani. Very Yummy! If you haven’t tried it here, you should. And it’s Halal. Unfortunately, the owner wasn’t here like our last trip. But it was a good trip nonetheless. After lunch, we did our customary stop at the local Asian stores (much cheaper than in our neighbourhood), and headed home.

Since it was another nice day today, and we had a car for the day, we decided to go to Jericho beach. Mommy and Nenek stayed at home. We stopped by the dollar store at the University Village to buy new kites. This is our second attempt this summer at flying kites by the beach.

It was quite sunny out. The quality of the kites wasn’t so great (it was only 2 bucks a kite, really!), but we managed to get one up in the air. Melur had lots of fun flying her kite. Arman was off somewhere else with Mak Long.

Melur Flies a Kite

After some kite flying, Melur played some Frisbee with Mak Long. And Arman was off somewhere else by himself. He likes to wander off on his own. I went out looking for him.

Playing the Frisbee

Where's Arman

What a nice afternoon. We didn’t want it to end. Listen to what the kids have to say at the end of our trip.

Wrapping up the Day

Ooh… before heading home, we decided to make one last trip to Dairy Queen. Our last trip there left an impression. We thought it’d be the perfect ending to a perfect day – a Blizzard from Dairy Queen. Well, Mak Long got the Blizzard. The kids like their DQ Dipped Cones. I had an Arctic Rush… a slushy / slurpee DQ-style.

Dairy Queen, again?

And that was our Saturday of Briyani at Seri Malaysia, Fun at Jericho Beach, and Blizzards and Ice Cream from Dairy Queen. Wished you were here, Mommy and Nenek!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Metrotown with Mak Long

It’s raining today, such a big change from yesterday’s warm weather. And when it rains in Vancouver, it just drizzles all day long (unlike in Malaysia - torrential rain). And so we decided to do something “indoors” today, namely, shopping at Metrotown. Mommy and Nenek are staying home, while Melur, Arman, Mak Long and Daddy brave the weather for some shopping.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get to take too many pictures at the mall – too busy shopping. But one of the first things we did when we arrived was to take Mak Long to try one of our favourites – New York Fries. Mmm… Yummy!

Eating NY Fries at Metrotown

Mak Long managed to get some items to bring home to Malaysia. Nenek asked Daddy to replace the battery to her Swatch. When we visited the Swatch store, Melur looked through some watches. She wants a watch for her birthday. But Mommy says Melur needs to learn how to read a watch first before we’ll get her one. And that’s a promise. Oh, and Daddy replaced the strap to his old watch from Denver. Arman is wearing Daddy’s watch, and Melur is wearing Nenek’s watch… just for today.

And that was pretty much our trip to Metrotown on this gloomy afternoon. Before heading home, we packed some Timbits from Tim Horton’s. She so hard at work, she could use some sweets for a break.

Heading Home from Metrotown

You go, Mommy!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

English Bay with Mak Long

Mak Long arrived the day before yesterday, and today is the start of Mak Long’s first weekend with us in Vancouver. Seeing as it’s such a nice day outside (quite warm actually, the warmest this year), we decided to take a bus to the English Bay.

We had to take 3 buses there – the 99, the 22, and finally the 6. It took us a little over an hour to get there. It was SOOO hot outside, but the kids were in good spirits. A passer by laughed when the minute we stepped out the bus, Melur said, “Where’s the beach?” It was just down the street, maybe 100 yards.

We made our way down the street, along a colourful row of shops. English Bay is a little on the posh side, a nice neighbourhood, with touristy type shops and hangouts. We passed by this really interesting looking ice cream parlour, which caught our eye. Today was looking like a really good day for ice cream.

The beach was packed! I think there was a memo going around that said “Go to English Bay today”. We brought our kites. We thought it’d be nice to fly it for the first time this year, by the beach. But with all the people hanging around, and the wind being somewhat unsteady, we decided to put the kites away and have lunch.

Lunch at English Bay

After lunch, we made our way towards Stanley Park. Stanley Park is really big, so we made it to the edge of the park, and stopped to take pictures. Wish you were here Mommy!

Walking to Stanley Park

After hanging out for about an hour, we decided to make our way back. We headed to that ice cream parlour, but the line was so long, it extended right to the main road. We didn’t feel like waiting in the scorching sun, so we took the bus back. But we managed to call Mommy and decided to rendezvous at our current favourite ice cream place – Dairy Queen.

Ice Cream at Dairy Queen

We arrived before Mommy, and right before the crowd came in. When Mommy arrived, the line here was also extending outside. Fuh! Everyone wants ice cream on a hot day. We ended up buying seconds.

Ready to Go Home

And that was pretty much our first Saturday with Mak Long visiting us from Malaysia. We took the bus back home. The kids were pretty tired, especially Melur. I wonder what else we’ll do now that Mak Long is around…

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Bike Ride to Safeway

Arman and I biked to Safeway today. I was pretty amazed. Safeway is probably about 1 km away with a slight gradient going both ways, and we made it there in about a half hour. Arman is such a trooper when it comes to biking.

We made our usual stops at the Asian grocery store, and then to Safeway. Arman was so good, I couldn`t resist getting him some candy. We made it back in about an hour and a half. I look forward to biking with him some more this summer.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

First Summer Swim Lesson

It’s the first swim lesson for the kids this summer. Arman and Melur have different sessions, so it’s just the guys out today. Melur and Mommy have a 10 am session, while Arman and I have an 11:30 am session. We usually see Melur and Arman as they leave the Aquatic Centre.

Arman’s excited as usual. The pictures are a little blur, since I only had my camera phone with me. Arman has so much fun during these things, and we hope to have him and Melur enrolled in a few more of these all summer long.

Swim Arman, Swim!

Friday, May 9, 2008

No Parking

Today, Arman did an amazing thing. He drew a "No Parking" sign! I thought it was so hilarious, and of course, seeing my reaction, he started making a whole lot more. And Melur (seeking attention herself) started making signs too. It was a "No Parking" sign fest. Check it out!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Mother`s Day 2008

This Sunday is a special day... 11th May...Mother's Day. So today (the Friday before Mother’s Day), Mommy is invited to Arman's pre-school for lunch and a special presentation. Mommy arrived at 12:30pm, and all the kids were outside playing in the nearby park. Arman seems to be having so much fun playing with sand. After 10 minutes, we were all called inside... the kids washed up, and got ready for lunch.

Mommy was presented with chocolate shortbread layered with whipped cream and strawberries...yummy! What a surprise... Mommy was told that all the kids prepared the plates themselves.

Another BIG surprise was that Arman made a watercolor painting on canvas for Mommy. It is a nice gift... Mommy was so surprised and proud of him. He copied a picture of a flower and painted it all by himself. His teachers said that it took them about two weeks to get the gifts ready because they had to do it one-on-one with each little boy and girl... But it was definitely worth it. Mommy and all the other Mommies love the paintings very much... Thanks so much to all of Arman's teachers - Julie, Maria, Christine and Skylar!

Not to forget, Melur also made a special gift to Mommy at KinderClub. A book that describes Mommy very well.

My Mom by Melur

Page 1: My Mom is special
Page 2: My Mom can bake
Page 3: My Mom likes flowers
Page 4: My Mom loves me

Thanks Arman and Melur. This is the best Mother's Day yet...

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Acadia Preschool BBQ

It’s Sunday, and what a busy Sunday it is. We begin the afternoon with a BBQ lunch hosted by the Acadia Park Preschool. Other than the BBQ itself (we had vegetarian hot dogs), there were lots of activities to enjoy.

Water Balloons

One of the first activities was with water balloons. Thank God nobody actually got wet, at least not too wet. Kids take turns playing catch with the water balloons until someone drops it and breaks it.

Inflatable Play Pen

Kids also got balloon toys. There was quite a line. Melur got a flower, while Arman got a sword. Girls will be girls, and boys will be boys.

Balloon Toys

When Arman’s sword got unravelled, the kids started playing at the playground. Melur is already a master as the monkey bars. Arman joined soon after, climbing and climbing. The look like they’re having so much fun.

Climbing like Monkeys

Soon, the food was ready. But even then, the kids couldn’t stop playing. Arman made soap bubbles, and Melur got some face paint. Here are some random pictures for your viewing pleasure.

I borrowed a zip car today, and headed to Granville Island Public Market to buy some fresh fish. Nenek came long to make the selection, and the kids came too of course. The kids are always excited to see live crab in the aquarium. I wonder when we’ll get a taste of that fresh seafood.

Picking Fish at Granville Island

Anyway, after Granville Island, we rushed over to the Consulate General’s house for choir practice. This is our second practice. And I decided to do a full video recording of one of our pieces. Check out Arman! He’s bouncing around. He always gets so excited.

Choir Practice

And this is how we spent this particular Sunday – Acadia Park BBQ, Granville Island, and Choir Practice at the Consulate General’s House. Well done!