Monday, December 04, 2017

Happy Birthday, Daddy

Bought this small cake after gym today, as requested by Ko-ko. Although you did complain that it was too small. But daddy said it was good enough. 

Found candles but could not find the "Happy Birthday" wordings. So Mei-mei added the Baby Mickey as decoration:

 All smiles with the birthday boy:

Daddy quickly covered both your mouths when it was time to blow out the candle. But Ko-ko finally managed to blow it out:

Of course, we had to light the candle again so that Mei-mei can have another round.

 Happy Birthday to the King of our Hearts. 

Our 2017 Christmas Tree

This year, we decided not to go with any theme. So you were both given a free reign on what you wanted on the tree. So what did we have on the tree? Almost every decoration we had collected over the years and from several places found a place on the tree. 

It was a good choice. This year would be the last time we use this set of lights. It has served us well for almost (or maybe even more) 10 years!! This year daddy helped to check and ensure that they are all working before I put them up. Wouldn't want to risk them not working after all the hard work to put them up on the tree. 

Phew.. so happy that our tree is finally up. It's later than usual as we were away for most of late November. Maybe we should leave this tree a little longer past the new year... 

Friday, November 17, 2017

Day 7: Cherries, burgers, hail storm and steaks (Perfect day)

Woke up to a nice, sunny day. Perfect for cherry picking. Denise Kor-kor said that she'd noticed several orchards which siad they had cherries for picking. 

So we hopped into our 3 cars and headed to the first farm, which was just nearby. And voila.. we were lucky. There was cherries available for picking. Lourdes Ah Mm treated us all to the entrance fee. 

We sure had loads of fun. It was rather hot but the low tress gave us some shade. Look at the both of you so busy picking (and testing) cherries. 

See? Didn't I say we tested the cherries too?

Mei-mei spotted this just as we were leaving:

Our haul. Cherries were not the sweetest. But we had lots of fun.

Then we were so hungry. Problem is that we are a large group of 13. Called in advance to check for tables, but many restaurants seem to be hosting functions. Finally we went to Red Hill Brewery. Menu was burgers and more burgers. So.. we opted for.. burgers. As Mei-mei would not really eat burgers, daddy ordered extra sides.. bacon. So everyone was happy that day at lunch. 

The brewery next to the restaurant

The beer selection

Mei-mei and her drink

Evan and his drink

The interior of the restaurant (it smelled of fertilizers..)

The clan occupying most of the inside seating

Our burger

Do you think he enjoyed lunch?

How about her?

While we were waiting for lunch to be served (it took quite a while, the same man was waiter, cashier and cook!), the sky darkened and daddy quickly rushed to get an umbrella. Then it hailed! Yup! We all got to witness the hail.

Headed back to leave the kids to rest while the rest of us headed out for wine tasting. First stop, Paringa Estate:

Second stop was Foxeys Hangout. It started to rain again while we were there, but by the time we were done, it drizzled and we quickly hopped back into the car (with our loot!!)

One last stop was Trofeo Estate which was also down the road from our farmhouse. The place also had a "beautiful" aroma!

One thing unique about the wine made here is that the wine is aged in terracotta amphorae instead of oak barrels.

We all went back for a quick nap and then headed out for dinner. Denise Kor-kor managed to find a restaurant (which is actually a chain restaurant) called Squires Loft. The food was superb.

We went home for a good night's rest. The next day would be a busy one. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Day 6: Next Stop - Mornington Peninsula

Woke up to a (still) rainy day. We had a lazy slow breakfast and packed up. Luckily the rain reduced to a drizzle as we were getting ready to load the car. 

Then it started to rain and drizzle most of the ride to our next location:

First stop: Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie which we could not make the first time to due the controlled fires on our way to GOR. It was still raining, but that did not stop us from going to the chocolaterie. 

Mei-mei loved the place (obviously..) and asked for her pictures to be taken:

After buying (a lot of) chocolates, we headed to Belle's Beach for another round of the scrumptious pies. 

.. and coffee..

As we ate at the diner, we did not have enough time to catch the ferry on the hour. If we waited for the ferry, we'd have to wait for too long. So daddy opted to drive straight to Mornington. 

On the way to the farmhouse, we stopped at "Crittenden Estate" which was on the same road as our farmhouse. 

Unlike other wineries where wine tasting were held at the bar, here we were seated at tables. And there were packs to keep children occupied. 
All smiles to play the game

Ko-ko cracking his head for the clues.. 

While daddy and Ah Kong decide which wines to try, we walked out to enjoy the view. Wow!!

Soon it was time to load into the car and head to our next "home". It was a beautiful, large farmhouse. This is "our area" which had it's own dining, living and bathroom:
Dining + Living room


Our bedroom which actually had its own exit to from the house

We even had a kookaburra which came to visit most days when we were there (sometimes bringing a friend):

This is the main living room (next to the main dining room and kitchen):

That evening, we headed to the other farm (Red Hill Lavender Farm) where the rest of the Ban clan were staying. Here is daddy trying to light the woodfire oven for the breads:

While Jack Chek-chek got busy with the barbecue grill (which daddy had already washed up earlier on):

The kids just had fun running around and playing with each other:

Yup, daddy was still struggling with it late into the night

Mei-mei took this picture of the Ban ladies:

Soon it was time to call it a night. It was a looonggg day!