November 28, 2011

breakfast at kong heng

We've frequented Kopitiam for breakfast for the longest time so hubby decided it was time we went back to the original kopitiam for breakfast - Kong Heng in Ipoh's old town.

Hubby's usual breakfast drink ... iced white coffee.

Kong Heng's signature custard, although I have to admit ... it tastes a tad different.

Bubs wanted her "brown noodles" so brown noodles she got. Literally.
At least she finished them.

Admittedly, I only come to Kong Heng for this. Satay!

Yummy thick satay sauce, although it's not as good as when it was cooked by the original chef - the dad who no longer mends the stall anymore.

"Kai See Hor Fun" or a direct translation of chicken strip noodled.
Just try not to see look at the chopping board and you'll be fine

Bubs enjoying her fishball - she's in a fishball phase at the moment. Papa tried to get her to eat some tofu and some fried lobak but to no avail ... tofu it shall be then, and her brown noodles.

What's breakfast without a little drama; something that happens frequently according to a friend of mine who frequents the place ... employer and employee in a heated argument only this time over order queues. Quite enjoyable although I wish we weren't seated so near - we were right next to them. Luckily there were no waving of cleavers and such or kung fu moves.

November 20, 2011

27th - 29th oct: anaheim to williams

After Disneyland, I felt like anywhere else we went just could not compare but we did have a schedule and we were going to some of the most beautiful places on earth that many could only see on the telly while we on the other hand was going to see it with our very own eyes.

So after literally building a bear for Adrianna at the two-storey furry frenzy that is Downtown Disney's Build-A-Bear Workshop, all of us piled into our trusty Toyota Sienna and made a bee line for the Grand Canyon National Park. The drive again was unevently because yours truly was still jet-lagged and after the two-day high at Disneyland, exhaustion has caught up with me so I slept most of the way and so did my poor baby girl who's internal clock was definately still in Malaysian time.

We got into Williams, Arizona quite late in the evening and checked into the Fairfield Inn by Marriot straightaway because it was getting really, really cold but not before getting a photo of the historic Route 66 sign.

The next day, it was off to the Grand Canyon National Park after breakfast. It was freezing but the view was definately breath-taking. I'd have to say not as breath-taking as Yosemite National Park, but it's just of a different sort.

My little baby girl all bundled up because it was really, really cold; she's enjoying her favourite butter animal cracker from Marks & Spencer and behind her is my gigantic diaper bag with a little bit of Disneyland sticking out of it.

November 18, 2011

25th - 27th oct: disneyland!

25th October: Los Angeles to Anaheim

Finally! The one leg of the entire trip I was looking forward to ... Disneyland! I cannot believe I am finally going to Disneyland and the original one at that. The drive from Los Angeles to Anaheim was quite uneventful. Uneventful meaning other than my hubby and FIL who was wide awake, everyone else in the backseat was snoozing away ... hubby blames that on the Toyota Sienna entirely.

We were booked for 2 nights at the Grand Californian Resort & Spa. I splurged for this and so splurged I did ... it's Disneyland!! The drive to the guarded entrance was nothing extraordinary ... was asked for our name and resort confirmation number. No more than a minute later, we were handed a green piece of paper with my name on it which we could place in our car for complimentary parking. Coolness #1.

Then we drove up to the main entrance of the resort. Nothing extraordinary there too and no, I'm not being difficult but it truly was nothing extraordinary. Perhaps I was half expecting life sizes statues of Mickey and his pals but all I got was some valets and a revolving door into the resort. OK. I'm expecting too much with the life size status ... cheesy even. Fine. 

Anyhow, I jumped out of our comfortable minivan to check-us in while MIL got the baby out, FIL got the luggage out and hubby went to park our minivan.

The main entrance into the Grand Californian Resort & Spa.

Then when I walked through the revolving doors ... this hit me.

The check-in counters at the lobby ... coolness #2. Checking-in was an absolutely breeze! The staff was super, super nice and accomodating. Each adult guest was given our very own room key/charge card, "First Time at Disneyland" badges and a welcoming envelope with everything we would want to know about Disneyland. Coolness #3.

The huge fireplace in front of the check-in counters ... coolness #4.

How our room looked like, minus the teddy bear.
I "borrowed" this off Google.

The view of the rest of the hotel from the balcony of our room. I was asked what view I'd like to have and was recommended I take this much more subdued view because we had baby with us. Any other views was facing the Disney California Adventure Park, and baby would have a tough time sleeping. No need to reconvince me there since most of us (with the exception of hubby since he had a two week head start) was still suffering from jetlag.

November 15, 2011

24th - 25th oct: los angeles

Personally, I think Los Angeles as a tourist destination is a tad hyped up. It's more of a playground for the super rich and famous and for poor tourists like me, I think I could skip this destination all together and not really feel a pinch, but that's just me.

We arrived quite late in Los Angeles and got a little lost locating the Hollywood sign. Then it was off to the hotel and the night passed by rather uneventfully.

The next morning, we woke up early and checked-out because we only planned to spend half a day on the city tour busses before driving about an hour and a half away to Anaheim ... Disneyland! The highlight of my entire trip but I'll leave that to the next post.

Here are some photos I took when in Los Angeles. Like I said, it was ok.

Introducing the lil' munchking to Louis Vuitton early.

An early taste of Disney in Los Angeles.

Of course we had to pose in front of the Kodak Theater.

... And in front of Mann's Chinese Theater.

On the city tour bus.

Got some lunch and posed with some Halloween decorations at a farmer's market.

Got some hotsauce for FIL since he's claiming bragging rights in the family to being able to take spiciness.

And some retail therapy at Baby Gap before heading back to the car and off to meet ...

At the happiest place on planet earth *grin!*

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November 13, 2011

22nd - 24th oct: pacific coast highway roadtrip

22nd October: Fremont to Monterey Bay

When I first starting planning our trip schedule, I spent a lot of time on Google. In fact, every single free minute I had was spent Googling how best to see the West Coast in the time we had - about three weeks. It was not easy but I think with a lot of help from Wikipedia and reading tons of review from travel sites, I managed to come up with a schedule hubby was comfortable driving on and we could still see the best of what the West Coast had to offer; from one of the most scenic coastal drives ... the most expensive golf resorts to fairytale themed townships; Danish themed village and loads of ooh's and aah's along the way.

We started our journey from Fremont and drove towards Monterey Bay about 8am in the morning. I was totally looking forward to the much hyped about scenic beauty of the Pacific Coast Drive. I initially planned to stop by a few places but hubby said he didn't want to chance getting lost and driving in the dark especially with Adrianna in the car. So, we decided to give up seeing the Monarch Butterfly migration at its prime and tidal wave pools. But hubby promised he'll make it up to me and my efforts of so much research the next time we make a trip to US again.

So, first stop - the Monterey Bay Aquarium. It was drizzling when we got in to Monterey Bay. It wasn't freezing but it sure was windy. We got our bearings straight at the visitor's center and since hubby wanted to take my little one to the aquarium, the inlaws weren't so keen on seeing fish when there were other things to look at, so we parted our ways for about three hours.

Here's Adrianna and I in front of the Monterey Bay Aquarium where we saw ...

... crustaceans ...

... little fish ...

... medium sized fish ...

... ugly big fish ...

... and more fish ...

... Adrianna decided she had enough of fishies and headed for this instead ...

... the birdies!

Then it was off to the general view of the place .. a view of the bay from inside the aquarium. Hubby's on the right of the photo looking out of a telescope, probably trying to spot a babe but got an eyeful of seals lounging on rocks around the bay.

And naturally, my curious little girl would have to check out what her papa was doing.

So we decided to tire out our little curious girl by taking her to the play area which had her favourite thing to play in ... water. Thank goodness for waterproof aprons!

After tiring out Adrianna at the aquarium and catching up with in the in-laws, we decided to check into our lodging for the night at the Hyatt Regency Monterey Hotel and Spa on the Old Golf Course Road; the first nice hotels we decided to splurge on in the next few weeks to come. Hubby was also quite diligent stalking the rates and booked us a room at a nice rate though I forget through which website now.

Unfortunately as with most rooms in US unless we paid a ransom, there were only two twin sized beds so the inlaws occupied one while hubby occupied another and since it wasn't big enough to fit both me and baby so we girls had to slept on the floor. Hubby had quite a drive ahead in the next few days so naturally the bed was given to him as priority.

Needless to say, I was not a happy camper sleeping on the hard floor while everyone else got to sleep on super comfortable warm beds but I got to hug my little girl to sleep and to the sound of seals calling in the distance, which wasn't too bad. Baby was still jet-lagged so she slept through the night.

Anyhow, after spending a few hours running around the aquarium, Adrianna was wiped out by the time we got to the hotel and fell sleep within seconds her little noggin' touched the bed.

We were rushed for time when walking around Monterey Bay especially with baby in tow and missed lunch. The inlaws however went their own way so they had time for lunch so hubby and I took a quick drive out while the baby was sleeping in the hotel with granmps and headed straight for McDonalds because I was curious how different the burgers there it would be compared to Malaysia.

Yup, this crazy tourist wanted to compare McDonalds sizes. I was not disappointed. The portions were huge and when they print Angus on the box, they truly meant meaty angus on the inside. Yummy!

November 11, 2011

19th - 21st oct: yosemite national park

19th October 2010.

Today is the day we take a slow drive to one of the most beautiful places on planet earth and I was super excited about it because I've read nothing but rave reviews about Yosemite National Park.

We arrived a little after 1pm at the park entrance and paid USD $20 for our one week per vehicle pass. From there onwards, it was an experience I'd never ever forget in my entire life time because the sheer beauty of the park just hits you that hard at every single turn.

The Yosemite National Park entrance.

Our one week pass.