January 14, 2011

The 330 Km Road Trip

A friend of Es, Carol, arrived from KK last Wednesday visiting her for a couple of weeks. I have mentioned her here in 2009, during her first visit to CC, back when I was still pregnant with Alva.  At that time, Es  who was also pregnant could not take her sightseeing so inadvertently, I became her tour guide.

This time around, Carol who has since become my friend, wants to see more of New Zealand by going further into the country side. She mentioned Mount Cook, Dunedin and Kaikoura but I figured it was quite impossible to cover all three places in one weekend (this was last week). After much thought, hubby and I decided to organise two different activities for Carol.

Saturday afternoon, we brought her to Prebbleton Farm Trent Road for a berry-picking spree. The great thing about this farm is you get to pick your own berries and eat them fresh. Before  we could start picking, we had to get an ice cream container at the counter. Once we got that sorted out, the owner  brought us the  to a lovely strawberry patch behind the office. There were rows and rows of strawberry plants, all ready to be picked. A staff came over  and showed us a demo on how to cut the strawberries. She told us to pick only the ones that are fully red, not the orangy-red or pale red. Unripe berries will not ripen once picked, so they won't taste good.

To pick the strawberries, we needed to sit on little stools with wheels that were kept across a plant row. I gave it a go and had some of my photos taken but after that, I decided to pass. It was scorching hot, promising lots of sun damage to my skin, so I just let Carol do all the hard work. She was more than happy to oblige. She sat on the little stool and worked her way upwards filling up the containers with strawberry. I could see that she was having fun so I left her at the patch and waited at the shed.

Carol in action

After 45 minutes, Carol finished the task. These were the strawberries she picked.

Yeah. That was a lot fun. The eating part especially. Moving on.

The next trip was Mount Cook. We started our journey on Sunday at 8.30 in the morning and headed straight to Scenic Route 72. I have blogged about our first trip to the great mountain last year, so I won't get into the geographical details this time. FYI, I hate Geography.

We'd only decided to go to Mount Cook two days before the journey, so the trip was kind of a last-minute thing. We tried booking a nice lodge at Lake Tekapo, which is on the way to the mountain, but most of the motels were fully booked. This isn't surprising at all. Lake Tekapo is really packed during the summer holiday and most bookings are made at least one month in advance. The only ones available were the expensive suites and luxury apartments. In the end, we decided to make it a one day trip.

I thought how bad can it be going on a one-day trip? I was optimistic because 1. Alden loves going on a road trip. 2. Alva's a little angel who only cries when she's hungry so all we needed to do was feed her regularly. 3. Carol was sitting at the back with the kids, playing nanny. Theoretically, everything was under control right?


The first 150 km was a breeze but after that, things started to get a little crazy. Alden got restless and started taking it out on Alva; pinching her legs, poking her eyes and being annoying. I threatened to kick him out of the car but this only worked for half an hour. After that, he went back to being a bully. That's not all. The kids only wanted to listen to Barney songs and the Jollyphonics nursery rhymes. They love dancing to these tunes and it was the only way we could occupy them. That meant, 8 torturous hours of listening to the same Barney songs. Over and over and over again. At one point, I wanted to break the CD and throw it out of the window.

What else? Oh. There was also that incident where Alden handed his booger to Carol. He said "aunty, nah...". Carol thought he was giving her one of his toy cars so she leaned forward and gave him her hand. Imagine her disgust when she saw the sticky, green booger on her palm. "Eeeeee Liz!!!! anak ko bagi sia taik idung!!!" she shrieked.

Let's take a moment for a communal guffaw. 

Now I know what he did was rude and disgusting but I couldn't help laughing. Hubby didn't even hide his amusement. I started scolding Alden, warning him not to do it again but when I heard Carol said "Sia ingat apala dia mau bagi sia..tau tau taik idung pula.." I burst into laughter again. I told Carol the reason for his action was because she's special. Alden has never, ever done it to any of our friends so I think my theory is right :P

After a few hours of chaos in the car we finally made it to Lake Tekapo and Mount Cook. These are some of the photos we took.

Church of the Good Shepherd, Lake Tekapo
Lake Tekapo

A view of Mount Cook

The nanny and the mommy :)

Alden throwing pebbles

Tasman Valley - the starting point to the Tasman Glacier

We spent about 2 hours taking photos and then at 5.00, we called it a day. On the way back, I got Alden to sit next to Carol cos I figured he wanted the attention. That's why he was misbehaving and all. So we swapped baby seats and started our journey back to CC. Even Carol said that Alden behaved better when he's seated beside her. Phew! At last he's behaving!

We finally reached Christchurch at 9.30 p.m. It was really a long drive but it was worth the effort. Yes, Alden almost drive me nuts but it was nice to fulfill Carol's dream of seeing Mount Cook. Of course, the dream came with a high price la. She had to endure 8 hours of Barney songs, entertain two loud tots and hold Alden's nose booger. Oh ya, she was also harassed by Alden. He pinched her breast three times during the journey back to CC. Don't worry, she's alright. We have punished Alden for doing that and he has since apologised to Carol. They're cool with each other.

We are going for another road trip with Carol tomorrow. I think this time, she knows what to expect.

January 1, 2011

Iron Anniversary: No frying pan please

Six years ago today I married this guy called Alex. 

Huguon Siou wannabe :)

Our love story goes like this. We met in school (where we were both teaching), he made the move, we dated and then he proposed. The End.  I've talked about the moment we fell for each other here and here so I won't mention it again. It's overly corny but if you think you can take it, go ahead and read.

We got engaged after seven months of dating....

That's the vintage me :)

and tied the knot a year later.

1.1.2005...Kasian kan my hubby's make up?

After marriage, we got busy working on a special project. It took nine months to establish and another nine to complete. Here's the finished product.

Three years later, we got busy again. This time God gifted us with an adorable baby girl named Alva. 

And that's how we ended up being a family of four.

I have really enjoyed our six years of partnership and I'm looking forward to many many many more years to come.

Happy Anniversary dear. Thank you for teaching me the definition of love and putting up with my crap.