Monday, June 21, 2010

Ep. 8: ISK Graduation Party

Okay, so this is yet another entry from the Melur and Arman show. We recently went to a graduation party for Evening School students studying Quran at the Islamic Society of Kingston (ISK), just this past Friday actually. Food was great, kids had fun, and we generally had a good time. Melur and Arman couldn't wait to put the video together, and they dressed up for it too. Without further ado...

That's all folks. Still need to put together videos of our trip to Lake Placid. Will do that soon.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Ep. 7: Toronto for Chess

This is a recent entry from the Melur and Arman show, but the trip itself is from 2 months ago, when we went to Toronto for Arman's chess challenge. There's a separate blog entry that describes the chess event. This entry describes the trip itself: where we stayed, went and ate. Couldn't quite fit it into one youtube video, so here it is in two:

In part 1, Melur and Arman talk about the hotel where we stayed, the Yorkland Hotel in Toronto:

In part 2, we continue on with dinner at a halal Malaysia restaurant called "Restoran Malaysia", followed by breakfast the next day at the hotel, and finally dinner at Red Lobster once back in Kingston:

It was a pretty short trip... only 1 night. But we had lots of fun. And it was our first trip to Toronto, although we weren't really able to explore much of the area. Maybe next time we're in Toronto, we'll be able to see more.

Episode 5 & 6: Ottawa (Half) Marathon

Here's a more recent entry from the Melur and Arman show, taken from our trip to Ottawa for Mommy's Half Marathon. We separated the entire trip into 2 episodes, one for each day.

Here is Episode 5 from Day 1. Melur and Arman describe our first day at Ottawa, which includes lunch at Nando's, a quick stop to pick up Mommy's race kit, a swim at the Hampton Inn hotel where we were staying, followed by dinner at a Malaysian restaurant called Chahaya Malaysia:

On the second day (Episode 6), we dropped Mommy off at the race venue bright and early. When we got back, The kids and I had breakfast at the hotel, followed by a short swim, and then we checked out. We headed straight for the race to cheer her on. We picked Mommy up after the race, and had lunch at a shish kebab place.

And that was pretty much it. There was a big jam on our way back to Kingston - Bummer! Our next race will be at Lake Placid where I will run my second half marathon for the year (4th ever). Mommy already put in a blog entry for Lake Placid, but we'll put together something for the Melur and Arman show as well.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lake Placid Mini-Vacation

Have you ever tried miniature golf? Well, we did and we (especially Mommy) like it a lot!

Day 1 (Saturday, June 12)

We left the house at 1:30pm. Half of the drive was a bit confusing, since the road wasn't actually a interstate highway. It was quite an uneventful
drive though... except for seeing Amish people on their horses and carriages. Mommy and Papa were really excited about seeing them. But, Melur and Arman were more excited to see cows and horses... It was green all the way to Lake Placid, since the area that we went through was for farming.

Arrived at Spruce Lodge at 5:30pm. Checked in, and the room is decent for 2 adults and 2 kids. Went out again for dinner. We initially tried to go to the Downtown Diner, but it was closed. A passer-by recommended two places - Lisa G's and The Cottage for dinner, and the diner for breakfast and lunch.

We tried Lisa G's. It was awesome!

Day 2 (Sunday, June 13)

Papa went running with 2500 other runners in the Lake Placid half-marathon. Mommy, Melur and Arman cheered for him.

Papa proudly showing his finisher medal in front of Spruce Lodge

After the run we decided to do something touristy. We went out after noon, and spent two hours window shopping. We are proud to report that the financial damage was very minimal... Mommy spent $27 on a tea pot (planning to start a collection... have always liked the decoration of "The Teapot" at PJ... hope that the restaurant is still around when she gets to go back to Malaysia again), $15 each for Melur and Arman for Lake Placid t-shirts, and $16 for Papa for his Lake Placid t-shirt and cap combo. We simply walked along Main Street in the middle of town, and went inside most of the stores... at least those that look quaint. One store demonstrated glass blowing. We bought some home-made chocolates and popcorn too. Stopped by the small lake at the center of the town (called Lake Mirror). Melur was begging us to go canoeing/kayaking... but Mommy actually did a lot of canoeing/kayaking during her MRSM years... and the thought of paddling for the kids at 2pm right under the sun didn't sound like a lot of fun. We went back to room and decided to watch a movie (The Mummy Returns) on the computer with popcorn*

Later after googling "family fun Lake Placid"... we got two results... one was Pirate's Cove miniature golf and the other was a local museum. Miniature golf sounded interesting. We went there, paid for a game, and started playing. Everything was fine until Arman had a tantrum** Had to bar him from hole 15-18. Oh well... was still an overall good day.

The Pirate's Cove: Offering 18 mini-golf courses

Mommy and Melur in front of the entrance to Pirate's Cove

The final score - Papa won - Arman didn't get to golf on 15-18

Ended the day with dinner at The Cottage. Another great place with great desserts!

Day 3 (Monday, June 14)

Checked out at 11am sharp. Dropped by the diner for brunch. Excellent pancakes and omelletes here. Our whole trip is complete. It was definitely a great mini-vacation, and we are planning for mini-vacations around road races in the future.

*Arman spilt the popcorn.., we ended up watching the movie without popcorn and taking an afternoon nap.

**This boy is getting to be a handful nowadays...:(

*** More pictures of the kids...

We let the kids play at the park... they seem to be having a lot of fun

Arman with his own unique style of posing in front of the camera... first you look down

Then you look up...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Episode 4: Kingston K&P Trail

So here's another entry from the Melur and Arman show, taken from our first trip to the K&P Trail on April 4, 2010. We had just gotten our new bikes for the spring, and we also got a new bike rack from the car - pretty awesome. We had to split the video into 2 parts due to youtube constraints.

So the first part of the video shows us getting ready for the trip, as Melur and Arman explain, as well as the first leg of the bike ride:

This second video shows us riding back to the car after taking a break at the mid point of our trip.

I think the kids had fun. We'll definitely do this again, maybe take a different section of the trail. The trail itself isn't too long, but after going a few times, I'm sure we'll have a favorite stretch. Check it in our next episode perhaps....

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Episode 3: Ottawa Winter Wonderland

I'm not sure if people are following Melur's new youtube channel, so I just thought I'd post them here as well. We ended up not posting some of our news/events, because Melur puts it into one of her shows. So I guess we should re-post her episodes here and provide more context. Anyway, here is goes:

On Valentine's Day weekend, which is a 3 day holiday here in Ontario due to the Ontario Family Day, we headed up to Ottawa with some friends for the Winter Wonderland. Ottawa was hosting a winter wonderland of sorts, with shows and activities for the entire family. We made the 2-hour drive up in 2 cars. You'll see Santiago sitting in the back with Melur and Arman, while Mommy and Papa are in the front. In the other car is Santiago's mom, Paula, and Farnoosh. Check out Melur and Arman's commentary:

We had to split the video into 2, since youtube only allows 10 minutes per video. This is the second half of our trip.

Anyway, thanks for watching. I'll be posting more of Melur's shows here. Till next time...

Saturday, June 5, 2010

2010 Ontario Chess Challenge

This is kinda old news, but I thought I'd blog about it anyway, just so there's a record of it. Last April, Arman qualified for the 2010 Ontario Chess Challenge by winning first place at the Eastern Ontario Youth Chess Tournament (for First Grade). Here's a video of his adventures at the 2010 Eastern Ontario Youth Tournament in Kingston on April 11:

So the following weekend (April 18th), we headed to Toronto for the 2010 Ontario Chess Challenge. Arman got 5th place (for 1st grade). Here's a short video:

Arman was a little disappointed he didn't win the whole thing. But he did really well. Fifth place is not bad at all, for ALL of Ontario. Maybe he'll do even better next year.

Keep it up, Arman. You'll do well!