01 January 2009

So long 2008 and Welcome to 2009

I'm writing this on the first day of January 2009 and want to put on record my activities during the last week of 2008.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008
Went to work for half a day and then to the Peruvian Residence for a toast and lunch.
The christmas tree there was lovely and we had a bottle of champagne. The table setting and plates were so pretty. The hosts were gracious and the guests were so comfortable and relaxed. Not only was it a picture perfect afternoon, it was a really enjoyable way to end the working year.
We had an interesting salad, a corn and meat pie, some nougat ice-cream and fruits. What a sumptuous meal!!!! All home-made.
After the long lunch, we exchanged gifts and wishes and happily said goodbye until 2009.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008
I took the first coach (also the best coach!) at 7.30 am from Bangsar, KL to Novena Square, Singapore. Watched 5 episodes of Bones Season 2 and reached my destination at about 12.45 pm. Had lunch at Hans. Went home, rested a bit then spent the rest of the afternoon with my mother-in-law. Had dinner at Bali Thai (all you can eat buffet). Forgot to take pictures of the delicious food.

Ushered in Christmas at home with my dearly beloved significant Singapore half! Bliss!

Thursday, 25 December 2008
Stephen and I woke up late. We spent more time with mother-in-law and after that, browsed around Toa Payoh Central.

We had tea at Delifrance. I'm in love with the fruit tarts (millions of calories!).

After a light dinner, we took the 8.30 pm bus, headed for Kuala Lumpur. Nice ride and I watched another 5 episodes of Bones Season 2. Arrived to Bangsar at close to 1.00 am. Jared picked us up. Home sweet home.

Friday, 26 December 2008
Went to the office for awhile to clear some unfinished business. Had lunch at NZ Cafe. Went to Suria KLCC - did some banking. Toyed around with the idea of going to Penang. Went to KL Sentral to check if there were tickets and did find the last two tickets for a private cabin on the train for Penang. Impromptu decision materialised! Rushed home. Decided to travel light and so we took only backpacks, one for each of us. We picked Jared from work so he could leave us at KL Sentral and we boarded the train, ready for some light sleep on the bunks. I slept deeply almost all of the way but Stephen was wakeful and watchful throughout, even with the door bolted. Cabin is air-conditioned and rather comfy with two soft pillows and clean white sheets. Picture only shows one pillow but we had two each. :)
Saturday, 27 December 2008
Woke up at about 5.00 am as arrival time to Butterworth is supposedly 5.45 am. There is a wash basin in the cabin, so it was convenient for us to wash our faces and brush our teeth. Arrived in Butterworth, disembarked, took the walk to the ferry, caught the 6.00am to Penang Island. It was rather deserted at that hour. Got a taxi to Dorsett to have a hearty breakfast and at a more decent hour of the morning, we rang my nieces (Shakunthala and Vayshnavee) to alert them that we were on our way to see them. My elder sister, Esmeralda was all ready for us when we arrived. They took us to visit another sister, Lourdez Faridah, who stays on the other side of Penang, along Tanjung Bungah. Surprised her as she did not know of our trip and spent a bit of time there. Then we went to Swatow Lane for lunch. Went back to Esmeralda's place to chit chat and catch up on news.

Later in the evening, we went to Armenia Street for an exhibition by Ricardo Tovar which was officially opened by the inimitable Antares. It was a real treat meeting him and he didn't disappoint us with his lively and thoroughly interesting ideas. Even in that short time, we already felt like old friends reconnecting after a long break. Or at least I did. We really have to visit him in Magickriver soon.
We left soon after the inauguration of the Exhibition and as we turned out of that street, we saw the loveliest rainbow. I took the picture, with my HP, from the car. Thank God for that "red" light!
After that, we went to see Esmeralda at her "makan" shop in Farlim to have a teh-tarik and to say good-bye.
Shakun and Vayshna dropped us off at the Ferry Terminal and we took the 10.00 pm Ferry back to Butterworth. After which we boarded the "supposed to leave at" 11.00 pm train (finally departed at 12.oo midnight) back to KL.

Sunday, 28 December 2008
Slept all the way back, reached KL Sentral at about 5.15 am. Had breakfast at McDonalds, got a taxi and back home again. Spent a quiet day at home till evening. Got ready for mass, dinner at Strawberry Fields and then for the vigil. See here for that story.

Monday, 29 December 2008
Got up late again. Didn't do much, just enjoyed doing everything and nothing. The three of us (Stephen, Jared and me) had a very late lunch at Genesis. Then we all visited my mom, dad and aunt. From there we went to Ikea to look for a dining table. All three of us chose a different one. No consensus reached so it's still a pending matter. Browsed around Harvey Norman. Each of us chose something for our needs. Jared picked a headphone for his Ipod, Stephen a USB Port adapter and for me, a normal plug adapter. While I was paying for these items, Stephen browsed the flat screen TVs. He's been doing that a lot lately but always waiting for the right moment to get one. That must have been the right moment because before we knew it, we were hauling back a Sharp Flat Screen! It's our New Year Gift to ourselves!
Needless to say, we spent that night watching TV and marvelling at technology.

Tuesday, 30th December
Sent Jared to work in the morning. Had lunch, did some errands. Sent our former 29" TV to my mom/dad/aunt. They were surprised but very happy to receive it. We said our goodbyes to them and went home to pack again. We picked Jared from his office, went straight to Bangsar, had a quick dinner. Our train was scheduled for 8.30 pm from Bangsar to Novena Square . Almost a week since I started my holiday and I am again repeating the journey but this time with Stephen. I watched the last episode of Bones Season 2 and Transformers. I know it's an old show but I never got to see it earlier. So now I know these words: Megatron, Optimus Prime and Decepticons!

Wednesday, 31st December
Arrived at Novena Square at nearly 1.00 am. No more MRTs at this hour. We took a taxi home to Toa Payoh. Checked our mails, read our news and then to bed at nearly 4 am. Such is life during vacation. Routines go flying out the window and all normal times for eating, sleeping, etc is forgotten. Anything goes. We love it.

Lunch was with a wonderful neighbour who made Hawaian chicken and Beef Smore with Sambal Belacan. We ate with our fingers so definitely we can say it was "finger-lickin' good!". How blessed are our lives that we only have to think of food and someone invites us for a lovely spread!!

After that lovely lunch, we went to visit mom-in-law again. She was surprised. She had not expected us at all. We were happy we made it back to Singapore to see her on the last day of 2008. :) Feel good moment there!

We had tea at Delifrance again. I think I'm addicted to those fruit tarts!

We had intended to spend a quiet evening at home but on our way back, we saw a huge tent and heard loud music at a Community Centre just 3 minutes from our flat. There was a Line Dancing/Kickit Countdown and across the street, was another show in conjuction with the New Year Countdown. We just decided to join the fun. We made friends with strangers. It was really entertaining. Most important of all is just spending time together as that seems to be a precious commodity for both of us. Although we were among strangers, it mattered not one bit. We were together and that's what counts most of all.Finally, some pictures of Orchard Road to end this post.
So ended 2008 for us and now we begin 2009 with loads of love, hope and peace in our hearts. For as long as we are together - everyday is Christmas and every night is New Year's eve.


Antares said...

Golly Gee, Lita... La Dolce Vita all the way with you & Stephen eh? But you guys totally deserve the sweetest & finest that life can offer! I can state for the record that the moment I laid eyes on Stephen & you I knew you were truly superb human beings overflowing with friendliness, goodwill & love. Thank you so much for enlivening Ricardo's opening with your elegant & most lovable presence (it was such a joy to meet your fantastic nieces too! ;-) Every good wish for 2009 - and do swing by real soon for a cool dip & a hot coffee on my scenic veranda!

Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

Antares: Of all the people we've met in our lifetime, you'd be the one to appreciate our lifestyle the most! Ribuan terima-kasih for the lovely and loving comments.

What a great start to 2009! It foretells many other wonderful moments for the rest of the year.

We'll hold you to that cool dip and hot coffee real soon!

All the best for 2009 is wished for you!

Shakun said...

I like the fruit tarts too but they're a bit too sweet!! Haha...

And you got a flat screen!!! *Jealous*

Patricia said...

Hi Lita,

What a lovely way to end 2008 - with a bang! It sounds like you had the best-est of time :)

I am so jealous that you've met Antares - he's just 2-D to me still, and it's all my fault I'm sure :(

It's gonna be a good 2009 for you - I just know it!


TheWhisperer said...

Lita, I am back. Great news all the way from you. Glad that you have had a marvelous time.

All the best wishes to you for 2009 and many thanks for the memorable 2008.

Estrelita Soliano Grosse said...

Shakun: Next time we meet, we'll go get those tarts together okay!

Come over for a holiday to check out my flat screen lah! ;)

Patricia: I did have the best-est time. :) :) :)

Antares in 2-D or 3-D is unforgettable! Haven't had enough of him yet! Stephen can't wait to get to MagickRiver when the next break is available for him. :)

TheWhisperer: Welcome back and Happy 2009!

See you soon okay!

Meanwhile, take care and be good! :)