Missing this crew a little more today! It was a great trip for the family last December! Next up, End of Year Retreat!
Missing this crew a little more today! It was a great trip for the family last December! Next up, End of Year Retreat!
First and foremost, to the mummies or daddies who have travelled with your toddlers on long haul flights by yourselves.
Come I clap for you!👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼*salutes*
This post is just going to touch on the most struggles I have traveling with Ayden which are mainly the flights. Everything else was manageable!
Since the hubs couldn’t take leave, I thought it would be a great adventure for Ayden and I to go back to Singapore and visit the fambam! I was looking at flight tickets and the cheapest direct flights was $1300 for Ayden and I. Maybe it was due to the Easter Holidays. Then, an idea struck maybe I can have a stopover in Seoul shop and see the cherry blossoms (since the husband is not a big fan!), well when else can I go to Seoul right? To my surprise, it only costed us $1100 from MEL – SIN(transit) – ICN – SIN – MEL on Singapore Airlines. I thought it was a great deal! So we booked it right away!
Weeks leading up to the travel date, I’ve become super nervous. I kept googling and pinteresting how parents deal with a toddler on long haul flights. Then I found out about a Quiet Book from a fellow mummy in my FB group. And I tried searching for it and realised how expensive it was. But I took it to the last minute, i cant even make it myself as we were running out of time and me working full time didn’t help either. So i went into Kidstuff at Westfield and ask if they sells them. Lucky me (i guess!) they have the last one in stock. My heart sank as the cashier kept my shiny $50 note into the register. 💸💸💸
None of the major stores like Toys R Us, Target or KMart sells them! Booo. And i strongly urge mums to put together a Quiet book if you have time. There are even mother groups that creates quiet book together.
I found a great no sew Quiet book if any mums are interested! Well, in all honesty do we even have time to sew?
Spoke to a handful of mums from various groups, many packed a whole cabin bag of toys and whatnots and snacks for their lil tots. But traveling on my own, I don’t even have the capacity to carry so many bags on top of this “heavy” and active toddler of mine!
Instead, I packed his Toddler Pack with heaps of snacks (yes Ayden is a big eater. If you have food, he’ll be right behind you!), a couple of play dough packs, an unused wallet with heaps of cards and zips, The Quiet Book, several sticker sheets and his favourite Peek A Boo book.”Boy that will suffice won’t it”, how wrong I was! You’ll read about it soon hehe
The Melissa And Doug book was given by a friend while we were in Singapore and it was super awesome! Ayden spends heaps of time on it on the flight back! You can find the whole range at Officeworks!
This Melissa & Doug On the Go Water Wow Book allows you to colour by painting with water. It features 4 reusable pages and a refillable water pen so you can continue drawing over and over again.
Additionally, Instead of bringing our BabyJogger, I bought a $20 Kmart stroller for the trip. I can’t risk them destroying my favourite stroller 😣! This umbrella stroller is super easy to fold and very light indeed. My mistake was not using this stroller all the way to the gate and instead I checked it in with our luggage. It could have saved me the energy of carrying Ayden all the way to the gate! As the day arrived, my packed Herschel backpack was filled with milk powder, bottles. wet wipes, diapers essentials, sweater, extra clothes and Ayden’s toddler pack and off we go to the airport!
As we got to the airport, we were given an aisle seat and we have a seat blocked for Ayden as all bassinet seats were taken. Yay! Although I must admit we knew this before hand as a kind soul Mama from our SG Mothers a Group pulled strings for us to get extra seats where bassinet is unavailable. I thought i was being the smart mama and booked the evening flight to coincide with Ayden’s bedtime! Oh no no no! As we sat buckled in our seats praying that the third seat will be vacant, I looked around and prayed so hard that Ayden will be on his best behaviour. As the door shuts, I squealed knowing that we had the whole 2nd last row to ourselves!
Ayden was just very curious with the lights; with the people around him, the remote, the screen, EVERYTHING! And nope he did not sleep until the last three hours to the flight! It was the hardest! I gave him toys, I let him watch videos of himself on my phone, snacks after snacks, played his play dough , flip his peekaboo books like a zillion times and even his quiet book didn’t last him at all.
Then I muster up the courage to let him walk down the aisle, this was about 10PM AEST. Lights were dimmed and passengers were trying to tucked themselves to sleep. And this tiny little fingers decided it was fun to poke everyone sitting on the aisle as he happily strut down the aisle 😧 I scoop him up with such struggle and walked towards the back so he can walk around the galley which is a bad idea since it was busy! I was drained by this time!
He was overtired and overstimulated. He kept hitting the monitor hence the person in front of us got annoyed. Then finally an air stewardess came to assist and entertained him while I dash to the bathroom! He played with the crew for a while and then I decided yes it’s enough for him a warm bottle of milk and tucked him to bed! This was 3 hours before we landed!
2AM SGT, it was a 2hour transit before our flight to Seoul. I let him walk around and made sure he exhausted himself! True as it is as we board our Singapore to Seoul Flight, he just slept through almost till we landed in Seoul! 👏🏼
Our flight from Seoul to Singapore was at 9am in the Morning. We were seated at the Bassinet Seat right in front of the Galley which is a horror! It was super noisy with chattering, laughters, slamming of trays and trolley! I knew right then it was going to be a very bad flight! So Ayden had trouble sleeping due to the noises so he played, eat and watch TV. And finally asleep on me almost 1/2 of the flight. But it was a tiring flight to have him on my for 3.5hours! But I rather that than him walking around. He even played with his friend in the next bassinet!
And finally our last sector back to Melbourne was a breeze. We were on the 7:45am flight. He slept as soon as breakfast were served and woke up playing with an older gentleman beside us. He was partially well behaved on the flight. And nap again. It was great when we found out we actually landed 45mins earlier than expected! I wonder how we did that!
Not all flights were horrible but it was very unpredictable how Ayden turns out in every flight and circumstance. Distractions and patience are the key! Personally, I won’t travel by myself with a 15mth old toddler again. Maybe I’ll distract him with an iPad next time which we are not used to since he doesn’t get screen time at home. Maybe in the future I will when Ayden can talk and we both can understand each other. It’ll be heaps easier!
In the midst of finishing up these Tasmania trip entries, i am trying to juggle planning Ayden’s birthday party, his DIY cake smash photo session and of course our finances all in one go. And at the same time all these blog entry ideas like me trying to go on the #projectpan with all my skincare and make up items and also all these crazy motherhood entries is flowing through again!
Please bear with me.
AND… We set off the next morning exploring the surrounding areas of Bicheno and got some groceries at the local IGA store as well for our stay. First stop was Pasini’s Cafe to fill our tummies with the delicious array of food eastern Tasmania got to offer! Of course, i had to order the Seafood Chowder and the Scallop Pie! Indeed, it was delish!
Then we set off to St Helens and the Bay of Fires! So we drove 45minutes to Scamander then another 20minutes to St Helens, which is the gateway to Binalong Bay and the Bay of fires. On the way to Scamander, we stopped by the four mile creek. It was such a beautiful, serene beach! It was just amazing!
After a lung full of fresh air, an ankle dip in the waters, Ayden ecstatic fun with the sand and of course full of family snaps; we continued our road trip to St Helens. We were almost famished then as we drove past Captain’s Catch Seafood Restaurant! So we ended up going back to the restaurant after stopping by at the St Helens Information Centre to grab the maps and places to visit around the area. Unfortunately it was 3pm then and the restaurant will only be serving dinner from 4pm onwards. So we decided to book a table and off we go to Binalong Bay and Bay of Fires.
After dinner, we drove back to the cabin and have a rest before heading out to find Penguins in Bicheno. Yes! Free Penguins viewing instead of paying for those tours. So everyone layered up and once the sunsets we set off with two infants in tow braving the cold sea breeze! Unfortunately, since my previous phone was flushed down the toilet bowl. Every photo and videos in the phone are now gone. And sadly i did not back up any of them which has been such a deep regret! If you need to know the exact location, just email me i will be able to draw you a map! 🙂
So the last and final part of our trip will be in the next entry! Till then…
Tasmania. An underrated destination but full of fresh goodness and sceneries. Although its just an hour flight from Melbourne, we never had plans to visit until recently, a group of friends went as a getaway and could not stop raving about how beautiful Tasmania (to be specific Hobart is!) This will be our first time traveling with another young family (which happens to be my cousin, Khai; his wife Ana and lil 5 month old K). We didn’t know what to expect and although we have travelled with Ayden earlier in the year to Singapore and Malaysia, he’s 3 months young then. An interesting road trip adventure we hoped it would be!
After weeks of researching, we decided to embark on the Great Eastern Drive – 4 hours road trip on the East of Hobart. Stretches of beaches, great seafood and a good road trip all around! With two infants in tow, we decided to base ourselves in the middle of the Great Eastern Drive; Bicheno! Which is roughly about 2-2.5 hours from Hobart Airport. Hence we would be about 2hours apart to the both ends of the great eastern drive and back down to the start.
It was a long anticipated trip for us. On the day we met at the departure lounge of Melbourne Airport since the cousin flew in from Singapore to Gold Coast, while transiting in Melbourne to Hobart.So it was a coincidence that we were on the same flight to Hobart. The flight was good for Ayden as it was his nap time, hence, he slept while i fed him in the plane. Once we arrived, Cramped with 4 adults, 2 infants and heaps of luggages in our white Mitsubishi Pajero that we rented from Thrifty; we set out on our drive.
I must say through experiences, most of our guests who comes from Malaysia or Singapore where their children were not used to being restraint in car seats have quite a hard time adapting to the Australian Road Safety laws whereby infants and children needs to be in a car seat at all times. But i completely understand since they are just not used to it. No-one likes to be restraint when they never had to previously.
Back to our drive. We reached Hobart about 6:30pm, got our luggages and crammed everything and everyone into the rental vehicle, and by the time we left the airport it was almost 7:30pm! I must say i didn’t realised how small Hobart Airport was! As we set on our 2.5 hour drive,i must admit it was quite a scenic drive as the sunsets and through the lushes green. Yes 2.5hours with two infants can be a horror especially towards the end. Thank god K was asleep since its her nap time while Ayden was enjoying the ride until the last half an hour when he start to get restless and since i wasn’t sitting next to him, it was hard to calm him down. Thank god his snacks and nursery rhymes work a treat with Ayden.
Finally, (with a sore butt and cramped body!)we reached our lodging, Bicheno East Coast Holiday Park. As most of the Airbnbs were all taken up, i was actually very happy that we got to book this accomodation as it was very much affordable and conveniently located. We’ve got the two bedroom cabin. I never expected the cabin to be as clean, modern and nice as it is. Definitely, recommend this place to anyone who are traveling to Bicheno and looking for affordable lodging.
Next posts will be more of our road trips to the surrounding areas!
During this vacation trip we shuttled between Singapore and KL twice! Hence, I see the need to write a separate post on our KL food escapades so that I could definitely remember some of these places as they are just too awesome.
As stated in my previous post, we didn’t really end up going anywhere much except for Pavilion for our main meals! Of course we can’t escape Tony Romas and the Teppanyaki place at Pavilion! It’s like our ritual to go to these two places each time we are at Bukit Bintang. But eventually we got bored.
We spent the day with Ali’s Aunt and Cousin at Bangsar. Had a pre Mother’s Day lunch at WonderMama. Although there are good reviews on TripAdvisor, unfortunately it didn’t cut it for me. Hmmm However I must say I absolutely love the 3 Layer Pandan drink they have on the menu! The Durian Krep was alright but I won’t order the Tom Yam Fried Rice again.
In the evening, it starts to rain heavily and we couldn’t be bothered going to the Pavilion with Ayden in the carrier and crossing the wet roads and what nots. Thank God! Hariz called to ask if we are free! Yay! So that was the start of my amazing Satay experience! We had Satay at Jalan Keramat and I reckon that it was just AMAZEBALLS! Hariz brought us here yup in the pouring rain and it was so good. The satay was meaty and the meat was marinated incredibly! We love it! We did want to go again on our second trip but our trip was packed with itinerary (mainly shopping for me!)
Sate Zainah Ismail
3437 Jalan Keramat, 54000 Kuala Lumpur
GPS Coordinates: N3 09.953 E101 43.403 Google maps location: http://bit.ly/bKpEWz
We did drive around Hariz’s neighbourhood visiting the local night market and coffee shop for a late night Ramli Burger supper!
On our second KL trip, Instead of staying at Bukit Bintang we’ve decided to go for a change. We have never stayed anywhere else in KL except Bukit Bintang! So i suggested to stay at Qliq Hotel Damansara. Its a lil out of the way but its so close to most of the restaurants we would like eat in and boutiques that we want to shop at!
Our first dinner, we went to Kopi & XOXO for dinner. Yes the Husband was hoping to catch a glimpse of his favorite, Nora Danish! Haha of course she wasn’t there. The food was not bad but so overpriced! We were hoping to have some GORPIS (Banana fritters with cheese and chocolate!) Unfortunately, they are not available! 😔 sad faces on the table boo!
Such an honor to be invited to attend Hariz & Eka’s wedding! It was a beautiful reception and indeed very memorable! Of course our gang got to be one of the loudest there. So kecoh! Thank you for having us at your wedding! The food is sooo good! So lunch was settled! Whats next?
Shell Out! Heard rave reviews about it! And because i am such a Seafood fanatic! I thoroughly enjoyed myself! I love it! It was delicious! Dont care that Ayden was sleeping in the Ergobaby and me being a “great” mummy, i lay a napkin on his head while i devour all the seafood in the Shell Out signature Shell Bang sauce! Ohhh sooo good! Lol Bookings are Mandatory! You wont want to wait in this heat. I am pretty sure!
We did have a quick stint at the Kulcats Barrio. We just had desserts since we were still full from our seafood Fiesta! By the time we got there it was close to closing time as well! The Chocolate Pavlova was good, if only i still have a lil bit more space in the tummy to squeeze in more.
Before our flight back to Singapore, conveniently just beneath our hotel, theres the Thai Boat Noodles restaurant that everyone has been talking about! It was alright, not bad but i wouldn’t really rave about it. I love noodles and this, i guess you just got to try once. It’s enough for us. Portions are small, thats why people have been stacking up bowls of them as one is never enough. You can choose between two types of noodles and two types of meats too. It does come in array of ala carte side dishes! If you don’t fancy noodles, they have rice dishes too!
Shopping was a bit disappointing at Vendville and GardrobeHaus. Too much hype about it! End up getting heaps of stuff from ShopTwentyTwo at Bangsar! Now we know where to shop and what to eat!
At 18weeks, Ayden took his first flight out! A 7.5hours flight to KL was the start of our vacation! Indeed it was quite nerve wrecking for us both not knowing how he’ll be on the flight. We’ve got a corner two seater seat with a bassinet on our Emirates flight. Slightly after take off, we fed him and luckily he dozed straight after! Well indeed it was a 2:40am flight which coincides with his bedtime.
Thinking that it would be a breeze with the use of a bassinet, we were so wrong. Flying across the Timor and Java sea, where the turbulence were a regular occurrence, we had to keep carrying, unbuckling Ayden out of his bassinet and strapped him on my lap during each episode. After the 4th, we were exhausted and end up having Ayden on our laps throughout the flight!
As we were about to descend, Ayden woke up. Tried to feed him but he was restless and fidgeting! He was a bit fussy but that didn’t last very long! Thank god! Of course the weather in KL was very hot and humid! It bothered us more than Ayden did. He was happily sleeping in his Ergobaby carrier through the heat and noise! The Ergobaby was indeed a saviour and a must for our future travels. Highly recommended!
It was a weekend of a beautiful wedding of Yanna & Amir at the Royale Chulan where we stayed during our trip and savoured heaps of awesome food!
Thank you guys for inviting us to your beautiful wedding! Definitely an honour and we miss you heaps Yanna! Hope to catch up when you’re down under! Will definitely blog more on this wedding soon!
We did celebrate my first Mother’s Day that weekend too with Teppanyaki lunch! It was a great start to the homecoming vacation. Even though Pavillion was our go to place that whole weekend since it’s nice and close and we just want to relax without venturing too far out!
Then, it was time for Singapore. Meaning constant meet ups, stuffing our faces with food 24/7, endless family time, shopping and being tourists ourselves! Of course no matter how much time we have, there’s bound to be people we just didn’t have the time to meet, places to see and food to eat! There’s just not enough time! But this trip is all about Ayden bonding with his grandparents and spending as much quality time with the family!
Finally i am on Maternity Leave and trying to sort out all the chores before bub arrives. So we had been toying for ideas to do for our Anniversary and most possibly our last trip before i pop. We had staycations in mind randomly. And then bam, Hubs got a memo that he had to go to Sydney for work!
So there i was tagging along! Got the Gynae letter signed which Virgin Airlines didnt even check! We were there from Thursday to Sunday. Hubs had to work on Thursday and Friday and we end up exploring on the weekend!
Out and about at Hyde Park!
On weeknights after hubs finish work, we kickback at Darling Harbour. Soaking up the nice cool scenery and good food.
Quite surprised that they have Laduree in Australia. Remeniscing our times in Paris.
Happy Advanced Anniversary to us!