A wedding to remember, A lifetime to cherish

It was my cousin, Desmond’s wedding on this beautiful Saturday… The day dawned bright and beautiful and sunny…

We(our whole family) drove up to KL for the wedding and I would say this is one wedding that I enjoyed myself and would remember for the years to come. If I do have a choice and well, want to get married again 😛 (hey, I don’t want to get married again ok… I am truly in a happy marriage)… well, let’s just say a big IF (imagine back when I was still single la), this would be the sort of wedding that I would like. Hmmm… maybe plus a few modifications like having it in a church with a full mass(because I am a Catholic).

The reason why I liked this type of wedding is because it is formal and yet informal and it allows guests to mingle and the atmosphere is relaxed. So, basically everyone enjoyed themselves without the hassle of sitting down to a 3 hour banquet dinner with some mediocre food and torturous karaoke. Haha… for those of you who did not attend the wedding you must have no idea what I am talking about.

It was a Christian wedding and I have to admit this was my first… So, I did not know what to expect other than what I see during movies. We were about 20 minutes late and the wedding service started with some praise and worship songs, which lasted about half an hour. Thereafter came the formal part where there are scripture reading, sharing and the “I do” ceremony, proclaiming of vows and finally a song dedicated to the lovely couple by one of their friends. It was a beautiful ceremony. The bride looks ravishing and the groom… well, let’s say I have never seen him look so dashing before!

I love the decorations… simple and elegant.

And the food is definitely NOT the typical Chinese wedding dinner food. It was a buffet and the food was glorious. It was simply delicious and perfectly cooked :) I enjoyed it though I did not join the buffet lines. I was taking care of the young ones while hubby served us with the deliciously cooked food. Aiyah… no photos on the food though… but I liked their pineapple fried rice, bubur cha-cha, the nyonya kuih, mee jawa, kapitan chicken etc etc…

And I also liked the fact that only close friends and relatives are invited. So, there was basically no “sam ku lok por” (parents aunties/uncles/friends that you never meet before and will never meet again). After all, it is the couple’s wedding and not the parents 😛 And for me, I really support that!

So, yeah… if I really had the chance to organise a perfect wedding, I would do it this way :) Everything, all done in just under 2 hours… 2 relaxed happy hours :) Well, those who would like to hang back to lepak can do so, I guess. But with little ones in tow, we bid adieu after lunch… BURP!

Oh, and here are some photos of my little ones that I managed to snap! Joel did ask me though… why no yam seng one? Haha!

To Desmond and Rachel, this post is dedicated to both of you… May you both have a Wonderful, Blessed Marriage in the years to come!

**Note to hubby, if you are reading this… I love you very much so don’t you dare to suggest anything else.. 😛

Vacation in Austria!!! – Hotel Evido, Salzburg

This will just be a short post of our hotel in Austria… Hotel Evido… hmmm… It is not actually a hotel building by itself but rather it takes up the whole first floor of an apartment building and convert it to a budget hotel of 20 rooms.

Entrance to Hotel Evido… looks a bit shady, rite? But it is OK after you get to the first floor into the hotel area….

We booked a double room but when we checked in, we were given a triple room… for the price of a double room. Sweet!

Our small room… it comes with a fan during summer… no air-cond…
The sofa and writing table…
Shower… it’s clean and that is the most important thing to me!
A narrow cupboard and a place to put our luggage…

Breakfast was very basic.. but sufficient.. The only complaint is that the breakfast area is very small and thus could not accommodate all the guests at one time… So, get to breakfast early or you need to wait for someone to finish before you can sit down and eat.

The distance from Hotel Evido to the train/bus station is very near… about 300m away…. so it was very convenient for us to go visiting. Plus, if you have cravings for some Chinese food after having sandwiches practically every meal, there is a Chinese restaurant nearby ran by a Hongkie couple…

All in all, Hotel Evido works well for our needs… :)

 

Vacation in Austria!!! – Villach -> Salzburg

Off we go to Mozart land… Salzburg!!!

That was hubby in the train…. I forgot to take photos of the interior of the train… and so I googled for some… Google is so convenient nowadays :)

That’s not us!

That is, of course not any of us… photo courtesy from Scott & Scott’s Travels … just to show how the train compartment looks like. In the trains there, you could book and pay for your seats online (so convenient!) and there are mainly 2 different type of seats. One is the normal coach seats and another is a compartment. The compartment is just like shown in the picture… six seats in a “room” and there is a sliding door that can be closed (like shown below). And it is clean, comfortable and it even have electric sockets for you to plug in your laptop/charger/iPod/iPad etc etc… you get it…

Hmm… if we are able to get the whole compartment to ourselves, then I would actually love the compartment seating better… but during this trip, we shared our compartment with another lovely Austrian family…. errr… I cannot remember their names! Maybe hubby can help out when he reads this post :)

Do you know, people actually leave their apples on the trees to just rot away as they could not finish them! And we are paying RM2 for an apple here… Arrrggghhh! Anyway, this lovely family gave us some apples… and they are YELLOW!!! Hehe.. according to the mother (the family that we share the compartment with…), this species of apples are the most suitable to make pies and strudels as they are soft. And it spoils quickly, so we need to eat them fast!

The red apple is just there for comparison :)

The scenery along the way is just really incredible. It was lovely, just like the postcards pictures… and my cranky camera don’t do it justice! Plus, the windows don’t open so there are reflections of a partial ear, or some obscure detail from the compartment… haiiiizzz…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And lastly, a picture of a castle that we past by in the train… shown to us by the family sharing the same compartment as us…

Castle….

So, what did we do in the land of Mozart? Well, that’s another story… :)

 

Vacation in Austria!!! – First time up a mountain…. errr… almost :)

And so…. here we are back at the hotel, getting ready to go out to the mountains with hubby’s friend. But then, the weather is not cooperating :( When hubby’s friend arrive with their car, we got on and headed out. I was surprised that we did not get very high and we stopped. OK, apparently we are stopping to have a look at the SUMMER ski jump… Yes, you read that right! They also have ski jumps in SUMMER! No snow, but still got skiing… on the grass! And this is how the ski jump looks like in summer…

And here is the chairlift that brings the skiers up the ski jump…

Oh well, I was actually trying to take a picture of someone skiing down… but then, I guess my camera acted up again…. and I was not fast enough… so I ended up with this picture… with no skier :( And since not many people are skiing, and the weather looks like it is going to rain anytime soon, we did not hand around waiting…

And so, we continued on our way…. and then hubby told me that they need to pay to go up to mountain! So, since weather is not looking good, and most likely we are not going to be able to see anything up the mountain but clouds, and more clouds, we did not go up the mountain… We went to a castle… err the ruins of one anyhow…

 

And I did not get the name of the castle… but this castle houses a restaurant and also a performance area…

The restaurant…
The performance area…. when we were there there was this Shaolin show that was supposed to be on the next day… imagine Shaolin in Austria… hehe…
View of parts of the castle…



View from the castle… or what you can see through the cloudy skies…




Another part of the view…




And our hosts! Hubby’s friend, Anthony and Crystal :)

We enjoyed ourselves during the short ride up and around Villach and since hubby knows that Crystal likes to eat curries, we bought some premix curry paste for them! I think they liked it because they asked hubby to bring some more when he is next there! Malaysian curry premix all the way to Austria!

 

Vacation in Austria!!! – Minimundus in Klagenfurt

It’s been a long long time since I updated this blog… Due to the Christmas rush(yes, sales has been good due to the holiday season….) and various other reasons.. (oh well, some might say excuses.. and they might just be right!) Anyhow, here I am back again! At least for now till I disappear(hopefully not!)

So I still have not finished with my posts for my Austria trip… which is now 3 months ago (Time flies!)….

And this for this post I am going to wax lyrical on Minimundus… Mini-what? Minimundus lah… the small mini world! All houses, buildings, trains, boats, ships etc etc are super small and built to scale.

OK OK… I am getting ahead of myself… First we are staying in Villach and Minimundus is in Klagenfurt, which is actually not very far away… all we need to do is to take a train there (not long… a few minutes only.. can’t remember how many minutes liao… LOL) and then take a bus which will stop directly opposite Minimundus.

And their train station looks like the airport with these big screens…

And this is the train station at the small village… Just imagine the ones at the big cities like Salzburg, Munich etc etc… Just wondering when our transportation system here in Malaysia will be that canggih… hmmm…

And their trains are very comfortable too! Unlike the LRT/Komuter that we have here….

Believe it or not, they even have sockets where you can plug in your laptop/charger so that you can actually get some work done. Wish that we have that here too!

And their buses are clean and comfortable too… and most importantly, they are on time! Well, with a variance of 1-2 minutes… but what is 1-2 minutes????

And then, we arrive at Minimundus…. the small world…

Errr… Ok, I gotto confess here… I took a whole lot of pictures of the small buildings but I can’t remember their names! Some are well known so you can recognise them on sight… but some, oh well, I find it interesting so took some pictures and now I don’t think I know them loh…

 



Oh.. there were also mini trains….



And yes, they are working perfectly… see the steam???



Here’s to show you more clearly on it!



And more buildings…..





There’s also a mini satelite too!





We had trains above…. now here’s a boat!



 

 



There is even a rocket… which is automated to “fly”… well, take off anyway… then it returns to its base..




This one I recognise :) The Eiffel Tower!



 

 

 

 

 

 



Windmills…



 

 



And now… some pictures of the family! We rather enjoyed our trip to Minimundus… it was the first place we visited in Austria. So we are still fresh and looking forward to the whole trip!




Happy Happy Family :) with I cannot-remember-what building

 


Father and Son!



That’s me! … and I think that is the famous Opera House?
Joel pretending to be Godzilla terrorising the mini farm house….
And the ever loving couple :) hehe….

Halfway through Minimundus came lunch time…. and we had pizza over there… see that little area with huge, white umbrellas??? Well, that’s where we ate lunch. It was near the playground and Joel had a terrific time there… in fact, I think he enjoyed the playground most in the whole Minimundus! Compared to the playgrounds in Malaysia, this playground is really well-maintained! I also love the fact that they have water fountain everywhere for you to refill your water… and the water there is really really clear, fresh and nice! Well, unlike the teh tarik water that we sometimes have here… I heard that their water source is from the mountains surrounding the area… and perhaps that is why water tastes so nice and fresh…. right from the tap! No need to spend the extra few thousand ringgit on water filter…


See how Joel enjoys the playground…..




And here is he again, fascinated by the water feature in Minimundus!

Altogether, we spent about 2-3 hours there… it was enough for us… and we headed back to Villach mid-afternoon as we have another appointment to go up the mountains with hubby’s friend/colleague! They have kindly invited us on a drive up some mountain and we accepted as we(well, at least me and my boy) have never been up one before (errr… don’t count Genting, Cameron or Fraser la… you know what I mean….). And what did we do there? That will be another post that I hope will not be too long from now…..

 

Vacation in Austria!!! – Villach

OK.. I have been thinking how to organize the blogs for our vacation and finally decided to blog by place… so 1 blog, 1 place… and this blog will be on Villach, a charming small town in Austria….

We were in Villach for a week when hubby had to work. So, Joel and myself spend some time exploring Villach. The town center is about 10 minutes walk away and we had to pass through a park… with a little playground and fountain..

The park is just so peaceful and I just love walking through it ever day..

 

 

And the playground is so well maintained too… See how Joel enjoys himself…

 

 

 

And like any European town, the main attractions are churches… lots of them…

This is one of them that is near the hotel we were staying. We could hear the tolling of bells!
This is a Protestant Church also near our hotel…. about 10 minutes walk away..
St. Nikolai… along the Main Street in town
St Jakob… at the main square along the main street… it has a clock tower where we climbed up it!

 

The inside of the church.. which is beautiful…
as all European churches are….
and Joel and myself climbed up all 239 steps… to reach the observation deck…
where we are able to view the town of Villach….
another view…
and another view….
and here is the main square where we spent many happy, relaxing moments…. see the white awning….
a closer look of the square….
with fountains and pigeons…
… and here is my boy relaxing on one of the chairs… eating his lunch….
… sharing it with the pigeons!

I was also fascinated by Austria’s national costume… you could actually see people wearing it around… especially in Salzburg… oh… but that will be another blog post :)

Introducing the Dirndl (I had to google for the name :) )
Look at the price.. it does not come cheap… there goes my hope of buying one back as a souvenir…
And the boy’s version is called Tracht (I also need to google for the name :) )
Too bad it is really very expensive…

And so, we walked around Villach quite a bit…

Some old buildings in Villach
and more of them here…
And as we walk along, there are statues like this along the street… Joel pretending to be their “son”..
And we walk, and we walk along the Main Street… people like to dine al fresco here…

We also visited the Villach museum… it is small.. and well, most of the stuff is in German and we did not really understand it… we visited it just because we are there and might as well take a look at it…

The museum
They have a courtyard in the museum…
And the steps lead to part of the old wall that surrounds Villach in the olden days…
and here is the old wall…
and some huge bullets?? LOL, I did not know what are these!

Besides that, we also visited a place near the park called Relief Von Karnten which is basically a huge relief model(3D map) of the whole of Carinthia.

 

Well, now you must think that Villach is really small town with no shopping complex… hehe… you are wrong! They do have one – ATRIO… We took the bus there… about 5 minutes bus ride away…

… and the inside is just like another mall…
…except that they have another map here! Like the Karnten… only that it is not 3D

And they got a playground here.. named Lollipop….

They even got a cafe for parents to sit and wait while the kids play….
And so, I ordered a mug of hot chocolate for myself…
While I wait for Joel to enjoy himself….

After that, we headed off to Toys R Us… which is just a few minutes walk away from ATRIO…

Besides toys, they also sell child size guitars!
And here is Joel sitting on one of the motorbikes… LOL… see the sign? I bet it says “Please do not sit” in German… but then we do not understand.. so not our fault right?

 

And here, I bought Joel his new toy! can you guess what is it???? Costs EUR30…
It’s a Kiddy Cam!!! A video camera for kids!!
See how it measures against my lip balm… small and cute.. just the size for a kid’s small hands..
See the professional at work….

So, what about food? Generally in Europe, their main diet is bread with ham, vege, cheese… for breakfast, lunch and dinner… after a few days, I start to miss Curry Chicken, Char Kuay Teow, Bak Kut Teh, Nasi Lemak, Roti Canai… you get the picture…

But during our stay there, we did manage to eat some other food other than bread… for example, we ordered Chinese takeout quite a number of times for dinner… Ah.. the hot fried rice is heaven sent!! And no, the Chinese takeout did not come in a paper carton box.. like in the movies… It uses those clear microwaveable, disposable plastic containers that we have here…

But, we did have some dinner out… and one of the more interesting places we ate was Brauhof, where they serve traditional Austrian food… and traditional Austrian food is not bread with ham, vege, cheese etc…

We dined al fresco…
See the cheeky little boy…
and his dinner…
This was what we, the adults had… a meat platter served with bread on a chopping board.. It’s for one person but it’s not as small as it looks… we shared and was really full… wonder how the Europeans eat this… and still manage dessert after…

Another outlet that is worth mentioning here is Trastevere. It serves Italian food and judging from the crowd, I would say it is pretty good… though I am no food critic/food fan when it comes to Italian food. But I must admit that it tastes pretty nice although we did not understand and hubby ting tong tiang the menu when ordering. Oh… definitely nicer than Pizza Hut back home….

Here is what we ordered….

Some type of Pizza… the size is like the medium size of our Pizza back home.. and it is meant for one person… naturally, we shared
…and pasta for Joel… he ate those at the side without the sauce.. picky eater…
and yeah… that’s us!

Now, guess what place it this???

I am pretty sure that you did not get it right… It’s Mc Donalds!!! Yes.. you read it right… Mc Donalds!!! They have this yummy selection of cakes and doughnuts in Mc D… and yes, they are yummy… wish we have this back at home too…

Oh… also, the place to give it a miss is Sakura…. it is a Chinese/Japanese restaurant ran by Chinese nationals… their food sucks… and it is expensive… so give it a miss… thumbs down all the way….

Lastly… can you guess what is this? We bought this at Billa (their supermarket chain) and it only costs EUR0.20… yes.. you got it right… do you think we are able to get this for RM0.20 in Malaysia(bar the conversion rate… if you look at it at dollar to dollar)???

It’s yoghurt with choco balls!!!
and yes… not bluffing… EUR0.20 nia….

Can’t resist it… and so we bought it! Yummy!