Travel

now browsing by category

 

Ashley’s Preschool Graduation Holiday in Western US (SFO-LA-SAN)

Time is always best spent with your loved ones and this has been a year forged with many of these beautiful moments. This Halloween season, we fulfilled our promise to our little princess and brought her to Disneyland LA (together with baby Kingsley) before she officially graduates from preschool.

Flight decisions have never been as difficult given that we are now traveling with not 1 but 2 kids for a long haul flight. After several months of consideration and search, we decided to dive straight into a non red eye 15 hour direct flight to San Francisco. The weeks that followed up to the trip was filled with uncertainty on how the kids would fare on the trip and luckily for us, this was just overthinking on our part and we survived the 15 hour flight with no drama.

Knowing that we would be probably be zombified upon arrival in the early morning, I planned a leisurely day in which we did a quick drop by the Golden Gate Bridge before we head to our first accommodation of the trip, Hilton Garden Inn Fairfield. Fairfield is a half an hour’s drive to Napa Valley which made it a good location for families with young kids given that there are more food outlets and stores in the vicinity. On our second day, we travelled to Napa Valley and visited Castello di Amarosa, Old Geyser of California, Napa Premium Outlets. There are several wineries in Napa but most of them close at 5pm hence waking up late that morning did cause quite a bit of limitation in the places we could visit.

Read the rest of this page »

Ashley’s 1st Overseas Performance with Jody Marshall Dance Company in Hong Kong

It has been ages since I have updated about Ashley’s dance curriculum and this makes an excellent opportunity for me to share on her dance journey thus far. Since mid last year, we have switched Ashley to Jody Marshall Dance Company (JMDC) as we realised that she was not learning much from her previous dance school which operated more like a multi-chain school which does not demonstrate dedication to individual students’ need. In May this year, she joined the JMDC 6 and under dance troupe upon completion of her TTA exam and the first item that caught our eye for their events in 2018 was he year end performance in Hong Kong Disneyland. Of no surprise, Ashley showed no hesitation in wanting to participate in the event when we asked her and went through months of training with her fellow JMDC dance mates for this Hong Kong trip.

After months of hard work from all the kids in JMDC, we finally set off on 6th December 2018 for their Hong Kong dance journey. Despite an early flight out at 7.40am, the kids were all bright and cheery on the day of departure (Daddy Colin is absent from the group photos as he readily stepped up to the role of the official photographer to capture the beautiful moments of the trip).

Departing early morning for HK

Read the rest of this page »

First Downunder Holiday for Baby Kingsley – Brisbane Gold Coast

Although it has been less than a year since our last holiday to Australia, Ashley has been asking us when would we be able to bring her for another holiday to Australia. I must be honest that I would not be that enthusiastic in planning yet another holiday to Australia that soon upon considering the long 8 hour flight with a baby and a child in tow. However, such thoughts do not taunt us for long as Colin and I quickly got down to plan a week long holiday to Brisbane and Gold Coast as the thought of spending quality time with the little ones outweighs all hesitation and uncertainty. From our past experiences travelling with Ashley, we noticed that red eye flights were the best for the little ones as the timing would coincide with their bedtime and hopefully, they would be able to sleep through the bulk of the flight time. This holiday was no exception as we selected the 8.45pm outbound flight and boy were we glad that Kingsley slept through at least half of the journey in the bassinet or in our arms.

As I was planning the itinerary for the trip, I decided against accommodation hopping given that (1) the holiday was only going to be 7 days and (2) majority of the attractions being nested within an hour’s ride from Gold Coast. Next question that might pop up in one’s mind is, “Where is the best place to stay in Gold Coast then?” I believe Surfers Paradise is no stranger to many and some may reply, “Where better to stay in Gold Coast other than Surfers Paradise?” I would definitely agree to that statement as F&B outlets are aplenty in that area. However, budget wise, accommodation in Surfers Paradise are generally pricier given the prime location and since I needed a 2-bedroom apartment with proper laundry and kitchen facilities, it made sense for me to source outside of Surfers Paradise. If you have chanced upon our earlier post on our holiday to Sydney 2 years ago, you might have heard the name Meriton Suites. Given our good experience staying with them, it was no hesitation for us to return to another Meriton Suites for our holiday. There are 2 Meriton Suites located along the Indian Ocean in Gold Coast, of which they are situated at Broadbeach and Southport. As we were planning to drive around as usual, we decided on the Meriton Suites Southport for our week long stay for the following reasons; (1) there is a Woolsworth located in the same building which makes it convenient for marketing and (2) competitive pricing as compared to Meriton Suites Broadbeach while still offering a beautiful view of the Indian Ocean. Even if you do not rent a car in Gold Coast, it is relatively easy to commute around the Gold Coast city street scape with the G:link Gold Coast Light Rail network.

Here are some photos of our 2 bedroom ocean suite at Meriton Suites Southport.

Read the rest of this page »

Heat Escapade to Perth

It is time of the year for us to escape the hot weather in Singapore and this year, we have decided to venture to Perth (somewhere I have not been in decades). As usual, planning a road trip with a little one is never easy especially with the need to have toilet breaks and leg stretches (for a 6 month preggie mum and a 4 yo girl off diapers) at appropriate intervals.

Given Ashley’s traveling habits, it always seemed wise to take the night flight out in which she can sleep through the journey. Bearing in mind that Colin is the only licensed driver of the family, I planned for a weekend stayover in Fremantle so that little driving is required on arrival. Fremantle can be a little tad boring for the adventurous individual but for families with young kids, it can be leisurely to just travel around town on the free CAT bus and visit the Fremantle Market, Round House, WA Shipwreck Museum and Fremantle Prison. Alternatively, one can choose to travel down an hour to John Forrest National Park to visit the National Park Falls and Hovea Falls for a nice breezy walk.

Our second accommodation of the trip was Ferguson Farmstay which was about 2 hours drive away from Fremantle. Ferguson Farmstay is a working farm managed by a friendly family. We stayed two nights in Chalet 1 (double room can be a little squeezy if your little one is bunking in with you). At 8.30am every morning, farm activities commence which includes animal feeding (goats, kangaroo, emu, Lenny the sheep, pigs, rabbits, chickens), a pony ride for the kids (Fred is a real gentle pony) and a tractor ride to the cows for feeding. Ashley repeated the farm activities over both mornings and she enjoyed every moment of it. However, there are little attractions around Ferguson Valley on weekdays (wineries are closed between Mon-Wed) except Gnomesville, Wellington Dam and St. Aidan Winery.

After 2 nights at Ferguson Farmstay, we headed south towards Margaret River to our third accommodation, Ramada Resort Dunsborough located right next to the sea. Given the short 1 hour plus drive, you will have ample time to visit the wineries, farm gates and providores in the vincinity such as Bettany Wines and Margaret River Nougat Co (not to be missed, the nougats and sparkling non-alcoholic and alcoholic wines are just yummy), Margaret River Chocolate Co, Margaret River Nuts and Cereal, Margaret River Dairy Company and Gabriel’s Chocolates (for a hot chocolate drink) on the same day. 

Read the rest of this page »

Toddler Friendly Road Trip Around Sydney

Planning for a road trip with a toddler is never easy and requires many thoughts and considerations. This year, we planned yet another 2 weeks long road trip around Sydney to escape the 365-day long summer in Singapore.

Upon arriving in Sydney Airport on the first day, we drove on to our first pit stop of the trip, Martys at Little Beach located at Nelson Bay which took around 2 hours 45 minutes. This was not a very wise choice as we realized that (1) there is nothing much at Nelson Bay for a toddler to do and (2) accommodations around Port Stephens and Newcastle have strict regulations that children between 2-12 of age are required to have a bed of their own (most other hotels/motels typically allow children of the same age to stay for free if they are sharing the existing bedding). Fortunately, we only had to spend one night before we proceed on to Port Macquarie the next morning.

Port Macquarie is a beautiful place to visit for families with young children with its local attractions such as Koala Hospital and Roto House. There is a big grass area around Roto House that the little one can run around freely. Another place in Port Macquarie that shouldn’t be missed by young children is the Pancake Place. There is a nice corner set up for children with stuffed toys and story books during their time there.

Fun time at Roto House

Kids Corner at Pancake Place

Pancakes with ice cream at Pancake Place

Read the rest of this page »