Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Tulip Festival at Araluen Botanical Gardens

Last weekend we visited Araluen Botanical Gardens for the annual Tulip Festival. This is the first time seeing tulips in Perth! Brought back those memories of the time when I visited Tulip Festival back in Melbourne with Wai Ying.


We saw a special pair of tulips loving and caring for each other. Tee hee hee.

 I don't think tulips have any fragrance because I couldn't smell anything. Haha.


The entrance fees was actually very expensive, costing AUD 15 per adult but luckily we bought the Perth Entertainment Book which entitles us to a free ticket. It is only especially expensive because of the Tulip Festival. After mid-October, the price drops to AUD 6. 

Not surprisingly, the garden was full of people, especially since it was Father's Day in Australia. There were many families all geared up with picnic baskets, chairs and ball. Everyone was having a good time.

Tonnes of people in the background


The theme for this Tulip Festival is the Dutch and Turkish theme. I wasn't sure if it was because it was Father's Day but that there was entertainment going on with a group of people dressed up in their fancy costumes dancing and singing. There were some ladies dressed up in the traditional Dutch costumes in their clogged shoes walking around too but we did not take pictures with them.



Unfortunately, the weather wasn't really very good. It had been raining the past few days before the visit. In fact, on the day that we went to Araluen, there was intermittent showers. At times, we had to put on our sunnies and remove our jackets and at times we had to pull out our brollies and zip up our jackets. Oh it was so hard. One minute it was cold, rainy and windy and another minute it was perfect for a photoshoot!

 Among the sea of colourful tulips


Since we were there and since we had already paid so much, we walked around the park again, revisiting the places that we went years ago.


Honestly, we felt that the festival wasn't worth that entrance fee, even though the money may be going to maintaining the park. Even though the Tulip Festival only began 2 weeks ago, the majority of the tulips had already bloomed or withered. :( I couldn't imagine if we visited Araluen a week later.



 Yet, it was still a wonderful trip to get out from the city and have a good breath of fresh air.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Chin Fei's 29th birthday

Last weekend, we celebrated Chin Fei's last of his 20s at our home. The idea of celebrating his birthday just popped up during one of our daily jogs to the Kings Park. We thought that it has been a while since we last had a big party at our house, so what better way to bring the happiness, luck, vibe and mood into the "stale" house than having a birthday party? Moreover, it was a fantastic idea that he celebrated this year considering that his birthday falls on 2nd September (2-9) and he is 29! We even initially wanted to organise the party on 29th August so that there will bet triple 29s! LOL Unfortunately, 29th August was a Friday so it was difficult asking our friends coming to our place in the city when it is hard to find parking on a Friday night. So we invited them over on Saturday 30th. So happen, it was also Malaysia's Independence Day the next day on 31st and we had the grandest idea of having Merdeka (Independence) Trivia night! Double celebration! Hehe.

We started buying all the food days before the big day and even prepared the marinating/cooking the day before the big day. Then early in the morning, we, or rather, Chin Fei (since he is the Master Chef in the house), started cooking, one meal at a time, turning raw ingredients to perfect, tasty meals, while I did the last minute house clean up and decorations. Hehehe.

Sambal prawns, stew pork, fried bee hoon and noodles, sweet and sour fish, 2 x mixed vegetables, nuggets, springrolls and samosas, honey chicken and Korean marinade chicken

Not surprisingly, everyone loved the food. The chicken wings were the sell-out! We also prepared Hainanese chicken rice.

At 6 pm, friends started turning up one by one. Since not everyone invited knew each other, we thought it was good to have name tags so that it was easier for them to talk to each other without having the embarrassment of forgetting the person's name. After dinner, we played our wedding photo slideshows as not everyone there came to our wedding last year. Then after mingling around, we started the Merdeka trivia night. Hehe. And since everyone who turned up were either a Malaysian, ex-Malaysian, born in Malaysia or dating/married a Malaysian, having the Merdeka trivia quiz was a good test to see how many of us know Malaysia well. :)

As Chin Fei and I were the organisers, we would be the ones asking questions. The split the group into two teams, each led by the youngest guests - 5 year old Isaac and 3 year old Timmy who are brothers. We told the boys to select their team members, but the members could not be from the same couple/family. Somehow, Isaac's group was all men and Timmy chose all the women to join his team. We told them that they were "fighting" for a toy that we bought earlier - characters from the Halo computer game which both Chin Fei and I aren't familiar with at all. 

The first question we asked the boys was to write down "Malaysia" and they could get the help from their team members and the fastest to hand me the paper with the correct spelling will win. The youngest, Timmy, was I think, struggling with his ABCs so he was really upset when his elder brother scored the first point and he got a 0 instead. Then, we asked the boys to pick one team member to come to the front to answer the next questions. The rule was that no member can be repeated so that everyone had a go on answering the questions and the team leaders will have to pick their respective member first before we ask them the questions. No help can be sought from the other team members too.

Timmy spelling out "Malaysia"

It was indeed quite fun, watching how the adults struggle to answer some questions. Thanks to my family who helped prepared the questions. Hehe. Some of the questions we asked were like "How many times did Tunku Abdul Rahman shout "Merdeka?", Name the capital of the states - Perlis, Perak Selangor, Pahang" etc. There were some funny moments too like when we asked "What animal is on our Malaysia national emblem?", we got answers like "Sang Kancil" and "Orang Utan" and when we asked what our Malaysia national motto is, we had one friend playfully answered "Cuti-cuti Malaysia". We didn't want the young kids to feel missed out in the games, so we prepared another challenge for them; that was to draw the Malaysia flag with the help of the team members and Isaac drew vertical stripes instead of horizontal stripes, much to the amusement of his father. Hehehe.

Isaac drawing the Malaysia flag

Timmy's team was leading by a lot but soon Isaac's team of men caught up and in the end, both teams draw! What a nice way to end the game! The boys (both winners) received their prize and we also asked them to distribute chocolates to the adults. The prize consisted of soldiers and creatures characters which Chin Fei said depicted the soldiers who fought for our independence. I think there were at least 4 characters in the pack so the two boys could share equally (which was what we planned initially).

The boys happy with their prize

After that we cut sang song and Chin Fei cut his birthday cakes. We only bought fruit cheesecake and durian cake (his favourite) for those who don't like durian and Justine and Jonathan also brought a cake over too so Chin Fei was so pampered with 3 birthday cakes to cut, each with a candle, which also signified his 30th Chinese birthday! What a coincidence! Haha.

We ended the day with Chin Fei opening gifts from our friends, which include mooncakes, gift cards, cordless drill, box of chocolate and a potted plant.

Birthday card made by the young boys

I think the party was a huge success and I hoped everyone went home remembering/knowing a bit more about Malaysia. Hehe. The next day, we received emails from our friends again thanking us for the home-cooked food takeaways and the Trivia game plan. Oh what a night!

Happy birthday to my husband!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Good old memories penned down

Reading through my blog of previous posts: Amsterdam, London etc. Read out some excerpts of what I wrote to Chin Fei and we both have a jolly good laughter. Ah, good old memories. Lucky I penned them down because now I get to see the pictures and also read the things that happen at that time. It's good to blog. As I grow older, I will have many more cherished memories to share with my family and friends. :)
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