February 28, 2011

And the award goes to...

Had a mini Oscar party at Membina today, I stayed over with the girls last night. Stupid Ch5 was not screening it and Swana subscribed to Star Movies especially for this. Kavi and Rachel came over for breakfast and Kavi's friend Vadi joined in later.

It was hard to concentrate though with 3 excitable kids in the house but we packed them off to the room for the key awards...bad mothers!

Watched the red carpet arrivals on E!, loved Anne Hathaway's red Valentino gown, which I was recently eyeing at the exhibition. Mila Kunis also looked good and Cate Blanchett had an interesting gown.

Papa came over to babysit in the afternoon and as soon as we put the kids to nap, Swana, Rachel and I headed to Dempsey for a late lunch at Jones the Grocer. Another F&B outlet I can check off my list.



Had a porcini mushroom and chicken pie that was yums, some wedges and an apple crumble. We shared a bottle of rosé wine and toasted to Colin Firth picking up Best Actor for The King's Speech. Although am not entirely convinced it was deserving of Best Picture!




February 25, 2011

Jeanette's Night Out

Am so zombified...got home at 3.30 am and slept past 4 earlier this morning, but it was worth it! Had a girls' night with the cousins, Jeanette's been dying to get out so we met for drinks at CMPB at Dempsey. My first time there, decent drinks and food and the wait staff were pretty friendly. Plus they have 'live' music so a good place to chill.

There was Kavi, Jeanette, Premila, Swana plus Manju. We cam-whored and chatted the night away, me and Jeanette commiserating about the lack of romance and attention from the husbands, which led Swana to deem us high maintenance! Maybe it's a Leo thing, ha ha. Plus we married very practical men, phooey.




We stayed till the restaurant closed at 2am, then squeezed into Pam's car and headed for supper at Newton. A bee-hived aunty took our orders, we had stingray, kangkong, calamari, mee goreng etc. The mee goreng was quite power.


Earlier in the evening we had a little birthday celebration for Lita at Thai Express, followed by cake at Membina. Nat and Gigi hijacked the candle-blowing bit as usual!



I tried a new place for lunch today, near China Square. It's called Rotisserie and for $9 you get a quarter chicken with some sides. Pretty good value compared to Kenny Rogers and Nando's and felt healthier too! Will definitely eat there again.

February 23, 2011

E is for...

...Eagles.

The legendary band just ended a 3hr performance at the Indoor Stadium, as part of their Long Road Out of Eden World Tour. Have to say, it was one of the most value for money concerts I've attended. No wonder they started quite on time at about 8.15pm because they had so many songs to go through, catching many people off guard...you know how Singaporeans like to stroll in late.


We almost missed the opening number because Nick parked far far away at the netball centre - he was so hungry so at the first sight of food, he parked to be near the McDonalds and KFC. There had been traffic delays en route and he didn't want to fight over lots nearer the stadium.

We gobbled down KFC meals, and I tried to walk as fast as my blistered feet would let me. Had to stop along the way to buy plasters...why is it so hard to find a comfortable black heel?

The lights were already dim when we entered the Indoor Stadium and the band struck up before we had reached our seats. I was pretty pleased with our seats, to the side of the stage. The block next to us separated by one aisle paid double!



Hit after hit was churned out, Nick was a happy camper, singing and clapping along. This concert was part of his Christmas present last year, he loves their music, it's constantly playing in the car.


There was a long trumpet intro to Hotel California which was played early on in the set. It was followed by Peaceful Easy Feeling, I Can't Tell You Why, Witchy Woman, Lyin' Eyes etc.

We tracked down the lovely Pereiras during intermission, sitting 2 blocks away!


After the intermission they played some newer songs which I didn't know but they soon picked up the momentum with Love Will Keep Us Alive, Best of My Love, Take It to The Limit (which their wives call the credit card song, LOL!), One of These Nights, Heartache Tonight, Life in the Fast Lane, Take It Easy before ending with Desperado in their encore.

The guitar playing was excellent, although I lost count of the number of times they switched guitars, practically after every song! They were occasionally funny, Glenn Frey changed his shirts a couple of times, Don Henley came out from behind the drums a lot, they sang in perfect harmony, honed by years of performing together. I thoroughly enjoyed myself and have a new appreciation for them, looking forward to other concerts this year!

Aside from the concert, today was a busy day. Met Rena and Jane for lunch at Skinny Pizza, for Jane's belated birthday celebration. Again we over-ordered, getting 2 pizzas, a fish and chips which came with 3 generous strips and vegetarian risotto.




It was lovely to catch up, Germs you were missed.

Before the concert, I went to view Nick's new office. Insight and Contiki have shifted from China Square Central to Park View Square, that art deco building at Bugis. It is quite imposing, big courtyard, fancy fountains and a gorgeous salon in the lobby of which I was not allowed to take any pictures. Phooey!



Nick has his own room, my photo is conspicuously missing from his desk, will need to rectify that! Nat would love the fountains, will have to bring her soon.


February 20, 2011

D is for ....

...Dynasty wedding dinner.

I did have something else lined up for D, but since we were attending this wedding as a couple, we agreed to make a date of it. Helped that the bridal couple both work for Dynasty Travel!


Clifford is the owner's son and manages the agency now, he met Evon on the job. Nick has known them for a while from the industry and also plays football with Clifford regularly so we sat at the football table.

Wore a new BCBG dress I purchased on eBay that was 80% off the retail price. The dress code was formal and the wedding was at Shangri-La, I think this was my first time attending a wedding there. Was honoured and surprised that we had a pretty prime table, along the aisle and so near the VIP table.





Food was good, I especially enjoyed the roast chicken dish that came topped with stir fried almonds, dried chilli and curry leaves, ate so much of the garnish! The cod was also generous and the wasabi mayo prawn dish went straight to my nose! Normally the wasabi in this dish is more subtle but this was strong, felt like a dragon with a fire-breathing nose!




I think the table group photo will turn out really funny, Brent from Tourism Australia managed to get the hotel to cut up red cardboard and make red cards, a reference to Clifford getting sent off in a tournament once.


Clifford's dad kept asking if the food was alright, I sat in between two Nicks. The other Nick works at Finnair and says their Europe direct flight launching soon takes only 10 hrs to Helsinki via the polar route. Must keep this lobang in mind next time I want to see the Northern Lights!

Earlier in the day, I brought the girls to Reagan's baptism at OLPS. It was a mass infant baptism and we missed half because we were late. The Spicy Girls played for a bit, Ananya was dressed in a tulle dress and I called her 'Black Swan'!





Bobo's getting chubby! So cute lah!

February 14, 2011

Reunited with the bubs

We arrived back at 7.30 am this morning and I went straight to bed for a couple of hours, whereas Nick went to see the kids before heading to work.



Worked from home in the afternoon then headed to Membina to be reunited with my bubs. Found the house empty and went to look for them at the playground. Nat spotted me from afar and came running with her hands outstretched and Sasha gave a big smile though she took longer to warm up.




Aww, it's good to be home!

February 13, 2011

In the blink of an eye (Day 5, 13 Feb)

In the blink of an eye, our holiday has come to an end.

I woke up just before 6am and as much as I tried to go back to sleep, I couldn’t so I made use of the opportunity to watch the sunrise which happens around 6.30am local time. It was a nice one so I’m glad I got to do it.


We went in to breakfast a little later than usual and the Malaysian intern Wendy showed us to a table customised with a farewell greeting. It said ‘Hope to see you again soon Nicholas and Susmita’. It wasn’t really a surprise because we had seen some of these tables on our earlier breakfast rounds and knew what to expect but still a nice touch nonetheless.



I decided on a waffle today and told Probir, the cook from India that what was missing from the spread of toppings and sauces was bananas. Bananas and chocolate go so well together and immediately he offered to get me one from the kitchen.

I thought he might forget because subsequently he was inundated by a bunch of orders for waffles, pancakes and crepes but I was pleasantly surprised when a waiter brought me a banana, peeled and sliced.

We spent some time in the morning using our laptops to check mail (Facebook for me!) and then chilled in the room, pondering what to do next. We watched some MTV show called Plain Jane and then I dragged him snorkelling.

Well, I snorkelled and he stayed in the shade and kept an eye out to make sure I didn’t wander too far off. The currents were still strong and the minute I stop paddling or just floated, I could feel myself being swiftly carried by the tide.

At least I managed to see some new fish!



Thereafter it was shower and pack, and have the second of our cup noodles. Before we knew it, 6pm rolled around and we proceeded to check out. Killed the subsequent hour just sitting at the poolside bar Dhoni and watching the sunset before we headed to Dhigu for the speedboat transfer.



As the winds were still strong, they had assigned the largest of the speedboats. There a rush to board the boat, mainly because everyone else was from China and they always cut queues! Still we managed to get seats at the back, which are supposedly better going over bumps because all the Chinese folks rushed for the front!

Nick had taken a seasick pill and therefore did not feel the effects of the choppy waters and ultra bumpy ride. I felt every hump and bump but didn’t get queasy, just had my hand on his thigh in a death grip for some of the more tense moments as we navigated through the waves.

There was some soft screaming, gasping and shouting at points from the other passengers as we went over a couple of big waves, I could see the horizon bobbing wildly as the boat tilted left to right, and up and down. I was extremely grateful once we reached the airport and could have kissed the ground!

Nick couldn’t stand people crowding around the boat trying to retrieve their luggage and the moment he saw our bag, he rushed to get it, almost tripping in the process. It could have been a nasty fall because there was a ledge of sorts on the pavement but thankfully his reflexes were quick.

We checked in early and spent almost 3 hours killing time at one of the airport lounges. Had a cream of chicken soup, some pasta and rice with fish curry that was pretty tasty.



The lounge was empty when we arrived but filled up pretty quick. A German couple on wheelchairs entered and when there were no available seats for them, I told Nick to share our space by moving our bags since we were nearest to the entrance.

Somehow Nick struck up a conversation with them or vice versa and we found out that the man was connected to the Schwan Stabilo group, either chairman or ex-chairman of the board, a Mr and Mrs Schwanhausser. I told the Mrs I used their colour pencils as a kid!


And that brings us to the end of 5 days in paradise. We couldn’t help but compare it to our first trip in 2003 at Angsana Ihuru and Nick preferred Angsana over Anantara. They both have their pros and cons I guess.

Angsana was more exclusive, there wasn’t an influx of PRCs then to disturb the peace. Their lagoon snorkelling was limited but I think the food was better, you feel less of a pinch with a full-board plan.

Anantara was a bit rough around the edges, the finishings and quality less refined and it was less secluded. F&B was expensive but at least with the regular shuttles to the sister island Dhigu, we had more options for activities and dining.

I would love to go to the Maldives again, but probably try a different resort. Also, I would prefer to take speedboats during the day, especially if we bring the kids next time. But other destinations await and now I can start looking forward to my next holiday in June.