Monday, 27 April 2009

SF Tram & Ghirardelli Square

This was our first day in San Francisco on our own - it was a Monday. Look at Isaac in the thick winter jacket - many thanks to Wenli who lent us Dorcas' coat! :) It was nice and thick and comfy and fitted Isaac just fine - but other than this day, he refused to wear the coat anymore! hahaha... think he found it too thick and cumbersome. We decided to take the famous San Francisco Tram down to the piers to walk around. Due to our hostel's fantastic location, we could walk to the tram stop in less than 10 minutes. Was fun to walk as we could look around - plus the weather was nice and cool :)
Look! Here's the tram 'turning around' :p hehehe... still manual turning - see the men pushing the tram?!
We took a seat inside the tram, instead of like sitting at the side, exposed. Coz I was scared lah. Not scared of myself dropping off, more like I was scared that Isaac would fidget and I would drop him! Then he fall off and bang his head and DIE how??!?!? Ahhhhhhhh!!!!! hahahhaa... as you can see, I'm a little paranoid. Dunno if all mothers are like that. hahahaha... More on this paranoia thingy another time.
Look at Isaac with his kuai lan face!!! hahahhahaa... so fierce!!!
Ah! This was the view from the tram when it was at the top of the crookedest street or something - nice view of the city, but pity is was a bit misty/hazy.
We got down the train and walked to the place below Ghirardelli Square! We saw a restaurant there and decided to head there for lunch. If you find that the word Ghirardelli looks familiar... yes, it's that San Francisco chocolate brand! This is widely sold in Singapore and you would recognise the packaging if you see it. But we didn't realise there and then that there was a chocloate museum/factory we could visit. It was kinda quiet when we were there, given that it was a Monday afternoon.
Here we are in the american restaurant. Here, for the first time, Isaac ate his first pasta (penne) and tasted his first french fry - we were desperate!!! He hadn't really been eating since we left Singapore. But luckily think he was hungry by then, so he ate quite a fair bit of the pasta.
These are the grounds in the Ghirardelli Square... quite nice, really. Very 'overseas' look and feel... hahaha... Not exactly very exciting, but we en

Ah! this is the chocolate store down by the wharfs! Look at all that chocolate!!! :p
pictures taken on 3 Dec 2009 thereabouts

Friday, 17 April 2009

San Francisco's Pier 39

This is San Francisco's Pier 39! We went there after Golden Gate Park, to have our dinner. The weather was nice and cool, and not too cold that it was uncomfortable. We had our jackets and all, so were nice and warm. Isaac in particular, took to the cold pretty well.
Oh and thanks to Anne Than for lending Isaac her son jackets and longs! :) Was a great help! Kept Isaac nice and warm - and looked very nice too! ;p Thanks gal!
Look at the super tall Christmas Tree! Yeah, we were there in December, so the Xmas decorations had started to come out already. Good! Nice and cheery and colourful for us.
Here's a nice pic of me and Isaac! :) *beam*
*DUH* look from Isaac hahahhaa...
pix taken on 1st Dec 2008 thereabouts

Thursday, 16 April 2009

We meet the girls!

Ain't this a pretty picture? I love it! :) hahaha... Isabelle's a big girl already, huh. So is Becca and Natalie! We were mighty pleased to see them, and so was Isaac!
Below is Natalie in her winter jacket, in the stroller. Being 3 months younger than Isaac, Natalie had only just started to walk. So, for going out, she still sat in the stroller most of the time, as she wasn't strong enough to walk long distances for a long time yet.

Then again, Isabelle certainly is strong enough, but she wants to sit in the stroller too! In fact, my sister says that it is usually Isabelle in the stroller, while they carry Natalie. Hahaha... but since Isaac was walking, we managed to convince Isabelle to walk too! We'd say:"Isabelle, you see, Isaac also walking, why don't you walk too?" And she would! But she'd INSIST that Isaac walks as well, so when Isaac got tired and wanted us to carry him, Isabelle would exclaim immediately:"How come Isaac never walk!? Then I also don't walk?!" Or she would try to drag him down to walk as well... hahaha... well, as you can tell, the two of them hit off immediately.

Isaac and Isabelle were like long lost best friends. They really enjoy playing with one another. Isabelle would be very curious with everything about Isaac, and would enjoy teasing him and making funny faces and funny noises and silly actions which would make him laugh. I guess Becca and Natalie were all very used to Isabelle's nonsense and wouldn't react as much, so now with a captive audience, Isabelle was most pleased.
Isaac too was very pleased that his Isabelle cheh cheh was playing with him all the time. Greatly amusing to him! But as all things go, there are limits... hahaha... Isabelle can be very pushy and insist that things are done her way. So, as you can see in these 3 similar pix - Isabelle is insisting that Isaac stands at a certain position and she is 'forcing' him into position... And Isabelle is one strong gal... so as you can see, Isaac is already feeling uncomfortable... hahaha... But by and large, the two of them had a great time playing with one another. In fact, by the end of the trip, Isabelle was exclaiming that Isaac was her best friend! When my sister asked :"Oh? I thought Natalie was your best friend?" She replied:"Both Isaac AND Natalie are my BEST FRIENDS!!!" hahaha...
Anyway, we're mighty pleased the kids got along with Isaac very well. So we're looking forward to them coming home soon - in June I think! :)
At the time of this trip in December 2008, Chris' mum - my sis's mum-in-law (above) was there to help them out, as my mum had just returned to Singapore in November. Currently, my mum is there, she went up straight after Chinese New Year, and will be back in Singapore in May this year. In fact, my dad is also currently there! He went up late March, and is coming back this Sunday.
Here's Isabelle climbing on the tree. Kinda reminds me of the scene in Sound of Music when the kids were climbing trees hahaha...
There was something we noticed though, when we were spending time with my sister and family. We noticed that they are now not as uptight about the kids getting dirty. I mean, not that they were very uptight before, but as in, you know how most of us Singaporean parents would like: not really let the kids roll on the grass, climb trees, play with sand with bare hands, sit and crawl in the sand etc - coz it's DIRTY??? Well, it seems like my sister's family is not as uptight about that now - it's like - "Dirty, then wash lor." kind of attitude. Hubbs and I discussed it, and we think it is quite good really. Why be so uptight, right? "Isaac!!! Dirty!!! Stop it!" hahahaha...
Oh I forgot to mention - these pix here - are all at the Golden Gate Parks. Very nice, got museums and all. I know you guys are all looking forward to our usa pix right? Don't know if you'd be disappointed though - coz I realised that actually, most of the pix we took, are more of Isaac and the girls, than of the scenery etc. Also, actually, we didn't take as many pix as we used to. Coz more than half the time, I was busy looking after Isaac to take pix. Also, I was still sulking that I don't have as much nice pix with Isaac as hubbs does - so hubbs was trying his darnest to prove me wrong. It was sweet of him - he kept it up quite a bit, but it died off too. So in the end, we didn't have that much pix from this trip. Kinda regretting it now. hahaha... sighz! Can't be lazy! once the moments have past - they're gone!!! I'm a Chronic Chronicler!!! HAHAHA!
What can I say, another fairly excellent picture (trying to be modest here by using the word "fairly") of hubbs with Isaac - with BOTH smiling and looking good. sob sob sob. Well at least I always have nice pix in my wallet... *self*consolation* (is better than no consolation) hahahhaa...

Ah... two very good tries. Above, hubbs nicely catches me with Isaac, and my sister, Becca and Isabelle in the background. And below, it's Isaac's fault that he's not looking and smiling right? Not hubbs' fault what... *wink* :p *grinz*
Ah! Found a picture of the grounds outside the museum. Nice huh! :) We came back again on our own another day, so maybe a later post would have more pix here. Stay tuned! :)
pix above taken on 1st Dec 2008 thereabouts
Isaac @ five days to 16 months
Natalie @ two days to 13 months
Isabelle @ 3 years plus
Rebecca @ 5 years plus

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

We arrive at San Francisco!

After a long flight, we finally arrived at San Francisco! Not the prettiest picture, but a must-take eh. hahaha...

My bro-in-law Chris came to pick us at the airport and send us to where we were staying in San Francisco (SF) itself. Was very nice of him to do so considering he was studying for his exams coming up very soon, and he was staying in Stanford which was at least half an hour from the airport, and he sent us to downtown SF itself, before driving home to Stanford on his own! Phew! What a lot of driving for him that night!

We were kinda disappointed that the girls didn't come along to pick us - it was kinda late at night, and there wouldn't have been space for all our luggages if they'd come. But anyway, we were to meet them the next day for a day out, so it was alright. Really looked forward to seeing them! :)

We were staying in town coz it was nearer to the tourist attractions - we wanted to do a bit of sight-seeing during this trip, in addition to seeing the girls, my sis and Chris.

We were staying at Hostelling International - San Francisco Downtown. It's fantastic! Well, it's not the Ritz, and actually, it's a Hostel - but it's clean, cosy, cheap, and right in town! It's a block away from Union Square! Fantastic location!

The rates are very value for money. You see the pic above and below - that was where we put up in on the first night, coz hubbs made a mistake with the booking - he'd booked a twin bedder instead of a private en-suite room. So no matter, we saved money on that first night :) Think that was $49USD for the twin bedder - but it's private, so that was alright.

But the pix below - this is where we stayed in from the 2nd night onwards - our own private room, with attached bathroom, queen sized bed - all for $89USD a night! And a block away from Union Square! It's fantastic! Even a 3 star hotel in that area would set one back by a few hundred bucks at least, but ours was below $100USD!?
Clean, with fresh sheets, and towels too. The lounge had free wifi too, if you brought your own laptop. Oh and did I mention free breakfast? Kekeke... well the complimentary breakfast was a very simple: bread & bagels with jam, peanut butter, cream cheese, and orange juice - free flow - eat as much as you want!

pictures taken on 1st Dec 2008 thereabouts
Isaac @ five days to 16 months

Well, we were reallllly very pleased with the place :) and we'd highly reccommend people who visit San Francisco to stay there. Book early though! The private en-suite rooms are very popular! :)

Thursday, 9 April 2009

On the plane

So guess what? here we are on the plane - Isaac that is! kekeke... We couldn't resist taking pictures of Isaac in the thingy - sh*t, I can't recall what they call it. And basically, we were either too busy or otherwise occupied at any other time to really bother with the camera. Kinda regret it though - I love airline food - should have taken pix of the spread SIA had for us. I think I've had better, but it's been a long time since I sat long hual, so it was good.

Oh it's also hubbs' longest trip away from Singapore yet. So he was pretty excited too. And Isaac - I think he was just plain happy coz he was with his Papa and Mama all the time :)
Anyway, Isaac was well behaved most of the flight to San Francisco. It helped that we had an evening flight. So he was amused with the plane, with flying, with the tv etc on his way to Hong Kong, and after HK, he was kinda tired and fell asleep pretty easily.

SIA has this belt thingy for kids sitting on parents' laps, it's kinda like attached to the adult belt. Pretty nifty - simple but effective. Isaac wore it alright - if he didn't know he was wearing it. if he knew, he easily wriggled outta it. But for all intents and purposes, I thought it was a good contraption and would serve its purpose well in times of turbulence.
pix taken ~ 29 November 2008
Isaac @ a week to 16 months

When Isaac fell asleep, we tried putting him in this crib thingy. He could JUST fit in it - he was actually taller than its length, but with his knees bent a little, he could jusst fit in it. He was all cosy in it too, was good for him when he is sound asleep.

BUT when the Seatbelt Light goes on, the rules are that we'd to take him outta it and hold him. So, it got so tiring to keep doing that, wake up, take him out, put him back, wake up, take him out, put him back, that I just kinda gave up, and decided to sleep with him on me.

I put the infant seatbelt on for him so it was pretty safe, and kinda had to balance him on me the whole trip. Thus, it was quite a tiring trip for me coz I had to be kinda mindful of Isaac. Still, I can't complain coz Isaac was generally very well behaved on the flight, so was glad for that already! :)

When he woke, sometime before we landed, he would play with the little milk cups and butter portions - he would stack them up - stacking being one of his favourite activities. I would also collect the plastic cups so that he could play with them, that kept him entertained for awhile too.

Then I tried surfing to the menu pages of the kids programmes, and he actually recognised Barney, and signaled that he wanted to watch Barney! hahaha... So he caught a lil inflight entertainment as well :)

All in all, it was a good flight. Oh! Isaac didn't take to the food though - so I was on tap again - the 24 hour moo moo mummy! :) He didn't even take the ice-cream we offered him - paediatrician had told us to try ice cream as a last resort, coz at that time, Isaac wasn't taking any other milk at all. But even ice cream was a no go. Ah well, hubbs was pretty pleased with that. haha...

Overall, good flight :)

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

uber cute!!!

Sorry, couldn't help it - uber cute pix of my Isaac! :) This cap was actually from his infant days, but then it could still fit so I thought it was good to bring it along, coz it was supposed to be cold cold cold in winter in the usa...Ain't he a sweetie... *swoooon*...
Yes, this is Changi airport, before our gazillion-houred flight to San Francisco...
Cheeky Isacky!
Don't you think Isaac looks kinda different in these pix? Don't look like him, hor?
Look! My Matthew actually shaved! In anticipation of all the pix we'd be taking, I told him - "So you better shave!" kekeke...
And here's my Isaac on the trolley, with all the hand carry... hahaha...pix taken on 29th November 2009
Isaac @ a week to 16 months


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