Thursday, January 22, 2009

The River Ride

It was the X-mas holidays recently.

Therefore as usual, Mr S and I were desperate to create 'entertainment' for the kids. The thing about London is, there are plenty of tourist attractions but they are mostly pretty pricey.

The museums of course, are free...but we've been to almost all of those...
And the kids, being kids, got to run around in those museums looking at paintings and statues and bones and mummies...but let's face it, that's not much of an entertainment to them..

And for us parents, running around after the kids in these places - where they're certainly not supposed to
run or scream or play hide and seek behind the exhibits - is definitely not what we would call a jolly time either.

And so we had to look into other things to do...

That's our boat coming! Note that you can see through the middle of the boat.

View inside the boat.

Going on a cruise on the river Thames have always been one of those things that I had wanted to do with Mr S.
I've always imagined though, when we actually did it, it would be a hot summer's day and it would be just us...cruising together, the wind and sun in our faces...looking at all those historical sites and buildings around us from the perspective of the river...

But fate determined that on the day we went a sailing along the Thames, it would be just a boat, instead of a cruise, we were with the children - not just us having a romantic time together, and the weather was f.r.e.e.z.i.n.g. cold.

View behind us from the QE2 pier - The O2

But surprisingly, I had a really, really good time.
(As usual..I think I am quite easy to please lah!)

It was a surprise, really... We actually took the boat from the O2 pier which is the nearest pier to us (the pier is called the QE2). I thought I would be cold and uncomfortable (water sickness and what not) and I just thought it would be slow and boring and probably another session of running after the kids (this time to make sure that they don't fall over the boat)...but let me tell you, it was none of those things!

View of the David Beckham Academy next to the O2

First of all, it was because we didn't go on the actual 'tourist cruise' thingy. This one was basically a commuter. Thus, it was cheaper, which is always a plus point of course, and because of the fact that some people actually use this thing to go to work, it was quite fast!

The kids went in free and the adults only had to pay 5 pounds each and we didn't even need to queue up beforehand in order to buy the tickets - they have a conductor on board and we just pay when we're seated! Hassle free!

Just passed underneath the Tower Bridge

It was absolutely warm in the boat too and thus absolutely relaxing. And the kids were quiet -
somehow they weren't running around as much - maybe they were a little amazed (just like their mum) by the fact that we were on a boat on the river Thames. Towards the end of our ride though, Little H did ask me if he could 'run about'...

Well, at least he asked for permission and of course, the answer to his question was NO.

We went pass Canary Wharf, and saw Mr S's old office building there...and then we went under the Tower Bridge, The London Bridge and the Millennium Bridge and passed the Big Ben, The Parliament Building at Westminster and The London Eye etc. of course Mr S took out the camera and we were snapping away....

I tell you, I would have thought that going on that red double decker tourist bus would be enough for tourists in London but I think now I've changed my mind.

Big Ben and the Parliament Building in the background.

I definitely recommend going on a boat (especially a commuter boat) on the river Thames if anyone of my readers come over to London. I think you'll enjoy viewing the normal sights
with a twist - from the water.

For more info on the river commuters: Thames Clippers

Friday, January 16, 2009

Birthday Lunch

Oh yes..

I forgot to tell you that Mr S also belanja makan for my birthday at the recently opened (well...not THAT recent) Jom Makan restaurant. For those who don't know, the restaurant is a Malaysian fast food restaurant, located just at the corner of the National Gallery, just across from Trafalgar Square.

Here are some of the pics we took:

It was zero degree that day so as we arrived at Trafalgar Square, it was literally freezing and the water in the fountain pools in the square had frozen over!

The kids horsing around in front of the restaurant.

Big H ordered nasi lemak. Although Mr S and I tried to dissuade him - as I just cooked nasi lemak at home a few days before that - he was adamant. Favourite food lah katakan...As you can see, the kids portion was pretty huge and the sambal and rendang tak pedas langsung!

Little H wanted roti canai - which, as you can see, was a disappointment. Not fresh and flat gitu...

And can you see that tall teh tarik glass? We wanted hot chocolate or milo for the kids but they didn't serve them and the only other hot drink (if I'm not mistaken) was Nescafe Tarik. Yang lain semua juice and since it was freezing outside, we gambled on the teh tarik for the kids. Every one of us had one tall glass each and I wasn't surprised when Little H couldn't sleep until 2am that night!

And that satay...Mr S ordered them as a 'main meal' but guess how many cucuk satay he got??


And there wasn't even nasi himpit included! What kind of a meal is that? And it cost £8+ too!

I myself had mee kari (no pic, sorry!). The portion was big but Mr S thought the kari tasted like kari semalam....a bit harsh huh??

Hehehe..kesian chef dia...

These were our desserts.
Puding sagu gula melaka and creme caramel which they made using coconut milk (I think).
They were sweet and these were good!

Oh..I forgot to tell you...During weekends the restaurant is offering free kids meals - we found this out while we were there, actually.

So, the kids' nasi lemak and roti canai were FOC! **BIG grin**

A little bit of help promoting the restaurant there...when we were at the restaurant, there were only 2 other customers...honestly, I would be surprised if the restaurant can stay open for long..

Overall I have to say the food was biasa je lah...nothing special.

I would say Malaysia Hall provides better tasting food and better value too.

But it was an experience and thanks to Mr S for the treat.

We had a great time anyway!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Double Three

It was my birthday last Thursday.

Didn't do anything special - just cooked some nasi lemak..which is something I always cook anyway as the boys love it.

Got a card and a box of chocolates from Mr S...

Inside, among other stuff, Mr S wrote "Happy 33! - You look 23!" (kih kih...Bagi chance la, huh?..)

Oh a few handbags too...but that was given to me earlier...bought during the Xmas sale ;)

Not really one for handbags - been using a 50p canvas one that I bought from a car boot sale all this while..

I guess it was high time that someone got me a proper handbag, huh?

Thank you Mr you!

Big H gave me a lovely card...

It was nice and colourful and I absolutely love it! And I know he put a lot of work into it because he's not a fan of drawing and colouring...

Thank you my lovely... :) Love you so much!

Little H also gave me a card.. he was soooo sweet about it!

Woke up in the morning, went downstairs, suddenly remembered it was my birthday and rushed back upstairs to get his card without saying anything to me. Came back downstairs with the card behind his back and surprised me with a very loud 'Happy Birthday, Mama!'

I was sooo touched.

Don't know if you can read what's written inside - there's a powim (poem) that goes like this...

Lad Glad
Mad Wum Bum

Don't ask me what it means...!!

The little darling gave me two cards actually...the second one (below) has a robot and a big heart in it (no doubt after looking at Big H's card he decided to draw the heart too...)

Thank you so much my dearest! Absolutely lovely!

No cake, though.

Mr S called me before he returned home from work and asked whether I wanted anything 'yummy' to eat that night...I told him to get some dessert (I cannot resist sweet food, you know..) and he got me a...(drum roll...)...

Strawberry Trifle...

Kuang Kuang Kuang.. (the sound effect for an anti-climatic ending..heheh)


Another year of my life inshaAllah. I pray that this next year will be a blessed one for me and my family, amin.