Saturday, December 09, 2006

A new blog has been born

Head right on over to Ian 'n Chunnie.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Its Done!

The trip is planned!

There's also a new blog to go with it. :-)

http://www.christmas-in-north-america.blogspot.com

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Rumours of a new trip!

I have been hearing rumours of a new Christmas skiing trip! Participants such as The Hengster, The Chunster, JayDee, BUG and Mr.U have been suggested though i think Mr.U is more doubtful than the rest. Possible destinations include Tahoe and Whistler have been suggested in a new 'Christmas-in-the-Rockies' episode of this blog.

As the excitement continues to mount i will keep all the avid readers of this blog updated.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

See all about it!

Finally got the photos up.
Enjoy! :)

Monday, December 27, 2004

Bye Sister!

We drove to Milan today to just roam around, and drop sister off at the airport as she heads back to London. Oh how sad i am to see her go... ;-)

Yesterday, i forgot to mention that we had dinner with dad's friend Simone (pronounced seh-moan-eh). He is strangely similar similar to Chunnie on the edible-food-list front. He apparently only eats about 10% of vegetables, so we had to cook a little separate portion of lentils for him that didn't have any onions. Though at the same time we left in the carrots since those are part of the small set of edible vegetables. Though to our dismay, we noticed that he did not eat them and his reason for not doing so is that they were over-cooked. I find it strange that he managed to find an excuse not to eat them at the same time it is heart-warming since it reminds me of Chunnie. :-)

Well, My holiday trip in Europe is over soon since tomorrow i'm going to be flying back to Singapore. It was fun while it lasted...

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Television day

So Chistmas is over, the snow had turned into rain and there isn't much to do here, so... I have resumed watching television... There's no sports to watch so i have 'The Practise', 'The West Wing', 'er', 'Sex and The City', 'Friends', 'Ally Mcbeal' and a few others... and most of them are on DVD because dad seems to be collecting series... it is really awesome not having to wait one week to watch the next episodes.

And so my relaxing holiday in the italian countryside continues...

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Merry (White) Christmas!!!


CIMG1123s
Originally uploaded by ianhall.
It's Christmas!! And despite there being no sign of snow yesterday, we woke up to find a dusting of snow. Yay!

No time to blog now, must open prezzies...

Friday, December 24, 2004

Twas the night before christmas...


CIMG1115s
Originally uploaded by ianhall.
So i arrived in Santa Christina (Italy) yesterday. Took a train to Stresa where i was met by both the father and the sister :-)

Here in the town they had a 'living nativity' meaning all the towns people dressed up pretending to be the way it was in ancient times when baby jesus was born, quite cute looking if you ask me.

For dinner, since we were up in the mountains, far from the sea, we ate dinner at a seafood restaurant. (Makes perfect sense right?)

The looooong journey home...

We got up really early and did the 20 min walk in the cold to the train station, where I left ian behind and took the 3 hr journey to Zurich to catch my flight. What's interesting is that at the beginning of the journey in Geneva, all the main signs and announcements were made in French...then gradually along the way near Bern, they changed to German, and by the time I arrived at Zurich, I hadnt yet gotten used to not saying "pardon" or "merci" (after a week of trying to speak french) and so I kept getting these strange looks and German ramblings.

Anyway, I managed to navigate the train ride, the Zurich airport (bought 200 CHF worth of chocolates), the looooooong flight home, the transit in bangkok (sat with my coffee reading my book for too long and had to RUN like crazy to board the flight with 15 mins to spare), till i finally reached sunny singapore...to be greated by mommy and sister, and the sweltering heat!

But it's christmas eve, all's jolly, and I'm quite glad to be back home with family and friends...although, i wonder how ian's getting along??

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Leaving La Plagne

So after half a day of skiing, we packed our bags and left la plagne for the 4 hr drive to Geneva.
Ian and i just had fondue for dinner, and now we're back at the hotel sitting and blogging..
Hmmm, well this is the end of the trip i guess as he leaves for milan and me for singapore early tomorrow. :(

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Day 3 of Skiing


CIMG1079
Originally uploaded by ianhall.
Our 3rd day of skiing was also blessed with great sunny weather.
Besides whizzing down the usual blue runs(and a few times when we weren't paying attention and ian tricked us down the reds!), we also had a taste of off-piste skiing when we had to cross over to other runs. First mishap was JD who unexplicably suddenly turned off the piste into powder thinking it was a shortcut. I saw his poles go up in the air before he disappeared into the snow. The funniest, though, was Ian's misadventure. We were trying to change pistes but had to cut across this huge field of powder, and JD and I had already made it to the end. Ian was trying to assure Sarah that she could make it across, and volunteered to show her the easiest route. So off he went, with everyone watching...then suddenly he slowed to a stop, kinda floated in mid-air, then flopped rather gracefully into the snow. He was lying there for awhile before making an attempt to get up (we saw his head pop up and a bit of his hands before he flopped down again). Hee hee, we were all laughing so hard, and it took him forever to struggle to get back up on his skis again to join us. Oh, and Sarah made it across perfectly.

Monday, December 20, 2004

I See The Sun :-D


CIMG1061
Originally uploaded by ianhall.
We woke up this morning and were pleasantly surprised to see that the blizzard had passed us by. The sun was blaring down and we again hit the slopes.

Funny how yesterday Chunnie kept saying, "its too steep, i'm scared" but today, in the sunlight, it was "i'm okay *smile*". It was a picture perfect day of sun and ski, with many stops for photos and just to admire the view. We went all over the mountain, only stopping for a sandwich at lunch.

As the shadows got longer we decided to make one last run up the mountain and so we took a cable car to the very top (2700m) and proceeded to ski down...

Little did we know that we had skied down the opposite side of the mountain to our resort, and when we reached the bottom we were told that the lifts were all closed and the we would have to take a 100 euro taxi ride back. But luckily Chunnie's smile charmed a frenchie to letting us ride the closed lifts back up and ski back to our resort in the dark. Lifts close at 4.30 but we got back at 5.30... Though a benefit of the dark was that i finally saw Chunnie "burn up the slopes" since as she was skiing along, she went over a stone that sent sparks into the night.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

SKIING!!!!!!

YAHOOOOOOOOOOOooooooo......... *thud*

We finally HIT the slopes today ;-)

We picked up our skis and checked into our hostel. (We stayed the first night in a hotel) We ran through the check-in procedures with the cute french girl and only got lost and had to walk the long way around the building while lugging way too much baggage once!

As soon as we possibly could, we got to skiing. Our happy faces were met with frigid cold, violent wind and a blizzard of snow. Not what you could call excellent skiing conditions, but we tried.

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Onward to France

Today the journey to our ski adventure begins. (Only after having eaten the sausages and other goodies that we bought from the market yesterday)

With our bellies full of fatty sausages (and some extras in our bags) we set off for London Luton airport with more than 2 hours spare time even after giving more than an hour for travel time. But yes, you guessed it. We met some lovely british traffic. It was so slow people were getting out to get refreshments from the boot of their cars. After spending almost the entire 2 hours allocated in the jam and posutlating about what it could be, it magically cleared... traffic (like women) will always confuse me. We ran like mad men/women through the airport and actually managed to get onto the plane on time.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Borough Market


CIMG1027
Originally uploaded by ianhall.
Went to Borough Market for lunch today with Sarah and JD. It appears that the two of them like many of the same things, including the exact same pork and stuffing sandwich. We ate some delicious burgers that are grilled... err fried in about a centimetre of oil, though that's probably what makes them taste so good. :-)

The evening consisted of more, (you guessed it) shopping. You know how Chunnie gets scared that she hasn't bought enough before we leave the country. We ARE leaving for La Plagne (the plank) tomorrow, and hopefully there is actually some snow to ski on.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Back in London


Back in London
Originally uploaded by chunniebaby.

Today was quite an adventure. I decided to go for a walk around London alone coz Ian wanted to stay home and play PS2 with JD. Just to spice things up a lil, I decided to go without a map and see where i'd end up.


So I walked down Kingsway, Aldwych, past Somerset House, crossed the Thames at Waterloo Bridge, walked along the river (once i decided to abandon the river for awhile and wander further inshore)... Stopped at Tate Modern for a break (had a hot chocolate at the cafe on the top floor and the view of the thames was quite pretty coz it was a sunny day) and to see the galleries. One of the things that amused me was seeing Rodin's The Kiss, coz I had seen his other sculpture The Thinker on my last winter vacation last year in DC. Maybe I should plan my next trip to see another of his works. Spent 2 hours wandering around...some exhibits were lost on me *shrug* but all in all still entertaining.

After Tate, I walked along the river again, and met Ian at the Tower Bridge. We went to this place called Bluepint Cafe @ the design museum for lunch - great view, okay food , bad service. Ian went home again while i walked to Covent Garden, soaked in the atmosphere, did a lil shopping before walking back home.



CIMG1016
Originally uploaded by chunniebaby.
We then met Marisa for dinner at the Island Restaurant & Bar. Dinner was great!! Started at the bar (I had champagne for the first time in a while heehee)...Continued to dinner where I had foie gras & mallard, ian had carpaccio and beef...we opened bottle of wine, and ended the evening back at the bar with a round of champagne on the house! perfect. =)




Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Chunnie's kitchen escapades


CIMG0978
Originally uploaded by chunniebaby.
Marisa's minion?
I thought i was a whiz in the kitchen!
Chopping stuff, frying beef, washing dishes... hehe, admitedly i'm not in the kitchen very often but hey i think i'm pretty good at it when i try!

and what was ian doing? watching yet another soccer game on tv.



The day after


CIMG0983
Originally uploaded by ianhall.
The 5 hour trek back to London on a megabus.com bus was made interesting only by the fact that the bus was just a regular double-decker bus. Since when are long-distance buses double decker?

However, once we arrived in London, we were greeted by my friendly sister Marisa (and her offer of nourishment). I'm quite shocked to say that it was a lovely dinner that was entirely (or so i am told) prepared by Marisa, together with some help from her kitchen minion Chunnie. The food was good and i can now safely say that Marisa is fully equipped to become a housewife. Sorry, is the more kosher term 'home-maker'? :-P

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Anfield, Liverpool


CIMG0957
Originally uploaded by ianhall.
Our tickets were for section 202 in the Kop. From what seemed to originate from just behind us was some very loud signing that continued throughout the match. From "You'll Never Walk Alone" at the beginning of the first half to individual players names when they did something of note (like a shot on goal, or standing up to warm-up) there was quite an array of songs that were sung.

After a first half with not much to see (since liverpool were attacking the anfield road end at the other end of the pitch which is very small in the distance), the second half was a much more exciting affair. Liverpool were laying seige to the Portsmouth goal and with each chance the Kop rose in anticipation of a goal.

CIMG0962
Originally uploaded by ianhall.
In the 70th minute Steven Gerrard finally broke the deadlock from a freekick with an unstoppable drive into the top corner of the net. YAY! After that, liverpool continued to create chances, coming close but failing to score again. It was a perfect 90 minutes.

But alas... A football match consists of 90 minutes of regular time and a few minutes of stoppage time. And in the couple minutes Jerzy Dudek flapped at a cross and Lua Lua graciously accepted the pass and nodded the ball into the net for Portsmouth's 92nd minute equalizer. Boohoo.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Chunnie's version of Day 2

yesterday we watched arsenal-chelsea at this pub near JD's place.

today we watched man u - fulham at this pub near JD's place. (i proved that it is possible to fall asleep in a pub full of rowdy soccer fans)

tomorrow we're travelling to anfield to watch liverpool-portsmouth.

i would have watched more soccer (i hate calling it football!) this week than the entire season. *yawn*

thankfully, ian indulged me and volunteered to accompany me shopping this afternoon.
we started the day early, going to starbucks for bfast - i had a white chocolate mocha (my fave) and a huge cookie. unfortunately, in a nation of tea-drinkers, they couldnt get the coffee right - i tasted no coffee, no chocolate. :(
then we went to met marisa and went to this gourmet burger place near queensway for lunch. and then the shopping began. it was quite disappointing ... i didnt really buy much, it was crowded, expensive, and such a chore trying to try clothes wearing a coat and sweater! i guess that means we need to go for Round 2.

anyway, ian forgot our train tickets at marisa's place so we had to get to lancaster gate to pick them up but instead of taking the tube (4 stops) we actually lost our way taking the bus, ended up in some unknown residential area in Zone 2, had to hike to the nearest tube station (changed trains twice) argh. :(

Day 2...

Today, we went to Oxford Street to go shopping... *yawn*

Sunday, December 12, 2004

A walking tour of London


IMG_0564
Originally uploaded by ianhall.
Today was spent walking around London visiting different places and viewing most of them from the outside. Our gracious tourguide was a certain Mr. Jonathan David Wong (JD) who's apartment we are staying at. We started from the apartment and headed to LSE, whose building's were marked with only a small black sign with "LSE", which if you weren't looking for it would be easily missed. From there we went to Covent Garden to be entertained by some buskers and attempt to browse the stalls through the throng of people. After this activity we stopped for lunch which happened to a huge potato smothered with melted cheese.

Feeling rejuvenate, we continued our stroll to The Thames across a certain cold and windy footbridge to the London Eye. From there we went to Big Ben and the parliament, Westminster Abby and St. James Park. The trek continued to Trafalgar square at which point we felt it necessary to stop for tea (2 hours of walking is a lot).

IMG_0569
Originally uploaded by ianhall.


In the afternoon, we headed to a pub to catch the Arsenal Vs Chelsea match on television. Something interesting to note is that despite Highbury being only about 5 miles away, the match (on TV) feels just the same as being 5000 miles away. Some other lessons learnt include the proper usage of the British term for referee: f***ing w***er. The match ended 2-2 and from the crowd reaction at goals, its evident that in Holborn, Arsenal fans outnumber Chelsea 10 to 1. But who likes those rich b***ards anyway?

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Arrived in London

After a combined 17 hours of travelling from Singapore to Bangkok to London, we have finally touched down. It was a long and boring journey with the pathetic movies barely holding my attention. But once we arrived in London, we did what any self-respecting chinese traveller would do. We went to a chinese restaurant to eat cantonese roast duck for dinner. :-P Though i have to admit it WAS good.

Traveling with chunnie to cold climates, it is to be expected that you will get a few, "Ian i'm cold"s now and again. However, when it happened this time, i was truly shocked. Not only had we not left the airport yet, but we hadn't even left Bangkok yet. When she told me she was cold i looked over and saw her shivering because of the air conditioning. I looked around for a solution and suggested we sit by the window since there was some sun shining in that was sure to warm her up. But the shivering girl said that that was not an acceptable solution because, "I will get hot". Will anybody ever understand women?

Friday, December 10, 2004

And so it begins


And so it begins
Originally uploaded by ianhall.
It is the wee hours of saturday morning and i have finally finished
packing, a few minutes before i have to leave for the airport. As i
survey the bags, it is with a heavy heart that i say good buy to
Singapore. HEY! wait a minute. I'm not sad to leave!

ITS VACATION TIME! PAR-TAY!!!!

The next time you hear from me i'll be in London! Yay!

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Chunnie starting to pack

Hmm, ian is only allowing me a SMALL bag...
*looks at the amount of clothes strewed over the floor*

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

T-minus 2 days to departure

Here it comes... THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY! :-D

The bags are not packed. I'm not ready to go. In fact i'm just taking the bags out of the cupboard and onto the floor.

*phew* that was tiring, i suppose i'll finish packing tomorrow.