Saturday, January 24, 2015

The more we get "to-gather", the merrier we'll be.

Le BFF flew back to SG from Aussie so once again without fail every year, we met up for Christmas again! Yes, this is an overdue post, LOL This year we left out the gift exchange since we ran out of ideas on what to get for each other. Was tasked to find a place for our dinner so i chose To-gather Cafe at Bedok since 2/3 of us stays in the east, HAHHAHA Since it was a weekday, i didn't thought we need to make reservation but i was wrong. In the end we queued up for about 15 mins, not too bad actually. Always wanted to visit this relatively new cafe after seeing photos of the cafe popping up on instagram recently. Never thought one would open a cafe in Bedok, not really accessible i would say but i think they are doing quite well. That day was a weekday and it was almost full throughout the night! I really like the design of the cafe with all the inspirational and happy quotes all over the walls . You can even add on your own quote on a piece of colored post-it and paste it on a particular wall. Hmm, quite an interesting concept although i don't see people writing..
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Ordering and payment was via the counter. While waiting for our food, we decided to take photo and yah see commented that me and Nurul was not enthusiastic enough which explains the above photo, LOLOLOL Super enthu okay!
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Ordered a main dish each and a platter to share. From the top: To-gather sample platter ($8.90) Grilled Pandan Chicken Chop ($8.90) Pork Cordon Bleu ($10.90) To-gather Big Breakfast ($8.90) Chocolate Lava cake w/ vanilla gelato ($5.90) The prices are relatively cheap and affordable and the taste is also pretty average. Apparently their lava cake is the highlight of the cafe which i can see why because it's quite good. Ours didn't flow out though but it's still delicious.
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Went over to Teo Heng for K session just like always to end our night 

To-gather Cafe
84 Bedok North Street 4 
# 01-25 / 27 
Singapore 460084

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Wanderlust: 4D3N Phuket Travelogue - Day 1

It's been 1 month since i returned from Phuket for my 2014 year end beach getaway trip! The initial plan was actually to go to Bali since none of us have been there before but the year end air fares are super expensive regardless of which country you fly to. After all the hard work and stress, i really felt like i need a beach getaway and was counting day by day to the day we depart. Somewhere relaxing with no one to bother, away from everything. The main objective of this trip was  to go with no itinerary planned for and simply relax throughout the 4 days.  I regularly checked and compared the prices on the various airlines websites for about a week and finally decided to fly to Phuket instead since it's much cheaper than flying to Bali. We then decided to fork out more and choose a better accommodation for our 3 nights stay!
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Bought a "pro" selfie stick (china brand but not the lousy cheap kind) from JB the week before just for this trip! Met up at the airport early in the morning and we are so ready to depart to Phuket! Can't wait to see our accommodation, the beach and the waters! I keep emphasizing on the accommodation because i think we paid quite a lot for it and we were really excited to see if the room is gonna be like the photos we saw on their website. The highlight of the room is definitely the attached Jacuzzi at the balcony - something that all the 3 of us are really looking forward to, LOLOLOLOL
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Met up at the airport early in the morning and we are all ready for our Phuket getaway! I even brought along my straw hat and finally got to wear the floral berms that i bought from Volta but have no idea when to wear, LOL Apparently we were almost late for check in and Jiaqi went into panic mode. Changi airport is like one of my favorite place to visit even when i'm not traveling out of the country. The flight to Phuket took about 2 hours. I got the window seat! Hehe :D
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Arrived in Phuket and the immigration queue was ohmytians. By the way, we got stopped by one of the officers after taking the above photo. "No photo-taking allowed" While queuing, we noticed some officers going up to some Ang mos and the next thing you know, the whole group of them got out of the queue and to this "express" queue to exit the immigration area. We then realized the officers were secretly going around to check passports but offering "express queue" at 700 baht ($28.50) We weren't sure if the 700 baht was for per person or per group so in the end we queued up as per normal for about 40 mins just to clear immigration... If it's for a group of people then i think it's quite worth it...

After clearing immigration, we headed out of the airport and took a shared mini van to Patong where our hotel is located. We each paid about 180 baht? ($7) got into a mini van with about 6 other tourist and the journey from the airport to our hotel took another 35 mins. Reached the hotel at about 1 pm which was too early because the earliest we can check into our room is at 2 pm so we decided to leave our luggage at the lobby and head out to grab a quick lunch.
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The streets of Patong is pretty much the same as a few year back when i visited this place. In fact, it's pretty much like Bangkok too, with all the random street food along the road. Passed by this mobile banana pancake and i just had to order one and munch along the way while we look for a place to have our lunch. Did you notice my pineapple bag? LOL
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Had our lunch at this place called "Rosco's" I don't know why but i had a strong craving for prawns so i ordered the stir fried prawns and mushroom dish along with white rice. Forgot what did Jing Long and Jiaqi order. I think it's Pad Thai and this glass noodle dish, had a couple of smoothies too. You have no idea throughout the 4 days in Phuket, how many cups of juice/ smoothies we had! We lost count ourselves. In such a hot weather, watermelon smoothie is like the best!

Went back to our hotel at about 2 pm and was brought to our room and was quite surprised when we first enter:
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Deevana Patong Resort & Spa - Deluxe Room with Jacuzzi.
43/2 Raj-U-Thid 200pee Road., Patong Beach, Kathu, Phuket 83150 Thailand, Thailand

The room was bigger than expected and there is a living area, a dining area, a huge toilet with bath tub and standing shower and an additional bed that we added on since we have 3 people. Not forgetting the balcony with our very own private Jacuzzi! Overlooking the balcony is the swimming pool with a bar in it. The three of us were so happy with our room and we ended up spending about half the time of this trip in our room, and enjoying our private Jacuzzi. HAHAHA
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Look at how happy we are! HAHHAHAH Wished the Jacuzzi was heated though.

Totally nua-ed in the room till evening since none of us feel like moving and the objective of this trip is to relax and not follow any itinerary. In case you were wondering how much the room is, it cost about $180 per night. Pretty worth it! :D
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Walked over to Jungceylon, the main shopping mall in Patong to have our dinner and i intro-ed this place called "Urban Food" because i remember the Cordon Bleu i had few years back here and it was pretty good. It's like a restaurant that serves a mix of asian and western food. Slightly pricey but everywhere else in the mall is pretty much around the same.
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Spent the rest of night shopping at Big C supermarket. Getting all the essentials and snacks to last us for the next 3 days! Also bought a couple of ciders to enjoy in our Jacuzzi at night, so AYG! HAHAHHAHA Got a lot of snacks and cheap goggles so we can take underwater shots in the swimming pool. Apparently none of us can open our eyes in the water. LOL Oh ya, during the day we past by those tour booths and we wanted to find a nice place off shore that we can relax for the day so we booked a boat trip to "Raya island". Never heard of it before but the photos on the brochure looks nice (lol!) and we felt that it was much better than those island hopping tour that we have rush here and there. That's all! 

Wanderlust,                                  

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Last Christmas, i gave you my heart // Countdown 2015

I was looking through my "yet to edit" photos folder on my desktop and realized i still have quite a few 2014 events that i have yet to blog about (especially the 4D3N Phuket travelogue that i have yet to start!) Not that i purposely want to bring it over to 2015, but it's also because these events/ meetups are during the X' mas period which leaves me with only a few days before 2015. Obviously i would partying outside instead of staying at home and edit my photos right, LOLOL But at least i still managed to find time to do up a 2014 consolidation blog post *givc myself a pat on the back* hehe :D
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If you have been following my blog/ social media for the past few years, you would have know that every year my bunch of close friends (affectionately known as the Cousins* - i still have people asking me if they are my real cousins, LOL) Anyway, every year we celebrate Christmas by booking a staycation and spend the night together having gift exchanges and such. 2014 was the 5th year consecutive that we have this staycation and we decided to combine both the X'mas celebration and countdown together, thus having it on 31st December! It's like killing 2 birds with one stone. Every year we would end up thinking where to go or what to do for countdown, this time we don't have to join the crazy crowd and then think of means of transport home but instead, we get to countdown at the comfort of our hotel room :)
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After last year's staycation at Capri, i guess our expectation for hotel got higher and we decided to book a room at Park Avenue Rochester! The concept of the room is around the same with the standard living room, 1 bedroom, 1 toilet and a mini kitchenette! Our room was significantly smaller compared to Capri though and Park Avenue is located in the west - at Buona Vista. So those that stayed in west checked into the hotel first and proceeded to the nearby mall to get food to prepare our "home cooked" Christmas dinner! Must fully utilize the kitchen. There's even a washing machine in the room!
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Our Christmas "menu" spread like not bad hor! Even got ham to add on to the Christmas atmosphere, LOLOLOL They are mainly microwavable food items so we don't have to spend so much time and effort trying to come up with our masterchef creation, HAHAHHA We had spaghetti with choice of 2 sauces, cocktail sausages, spicy drumlets  2 ways - fried or barbecued, seaweed chicken, fried chicken chunks and lastly the ham and bacon! Set the food in the middle of the living room and sat around for our dinner, it might not be the most sumptuous dinner but it was heart warming to have all of us come together to celebrate this festive season and countdown to the new year. Happy to see everyone! 
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Initially when we checked in, we were assigned to the 10th floor which had totally no view because of the building blocking but apparently the fridge wasn't working very well so we shifted to another room on the 19th floor and suddenly everything was clear! During the day we were still wondering if we could spot any fireworks from our room. At midnight when we counted down, we spotted 2 fireworks from 2 different locations! We derive from Channel 5 on TV that one is from Marina Bay and the other from Sentosa! So lucky to be able to see both even though it's quite far! YAY
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Thank god everyone arrived before midnight and we did the countdown together and we can finally do our x'mas gift exchange - in year 2015! We did the same secret santa concept so that we can get what each other want instead of getting some random stuff which we might not need. We also standardized the wrapping to be using magazine so we won't know who our secret santa is. Not only that, we also hid our presents all over the room so we have to comb the whole place to look for our presents! As you can see in the photo above, the photo was taken in the toilet where we gathered so one by one of us can go out and hide our presents, HAHAHA Literally flipped the whole room upside down!!!
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Happy us with our presents! With this secret santa, everyone got what they wanted from their wishlist! 
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One of my wishlist items is a remote control helicopter and my secret santa really got it for me! So happy!!! Spent the rest of the night chatting and playing this "truth or truth" game (because there is nothing much we can do for dares, lol) until about 3 or 4 am before we started washing up and find somewhere to sleep for the night. Obviously there isn't even beds since we have more than 10 people. Every year it's like privilege to be able to sleep on the bed, HAHAHA Last last year i heng heng managed to sleep on the bed because i got drunk and dozed off, This year ah... on the floor again lor.
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Everyone slept for a few hours and those early birds woke up to prepare breakfast with the stuff they got from the supermarket the previous day. The typical american with the hash brown, baked beans, waffles (so AYG, lol), scrambled eggs and bacon. This Joyce was supposed to wake up and do the scrambled eggs one lor but she sleeping like a log, in the end i confidently say i will do the scrambled egg. Then i secretly went to google "how to make scrambled eggs" and went ahead to make it. Heng it came out well and some of them say taste like mcdonalds one leh, MUAHAHA

This is how i spent my last day of 2014, and it was a good end to the year and definitely a good start to 2015. Not intending to make any resolutions this year but i do have a couple of goals for myself. That's it for this post! :)


             Happy New Year,