Thursday, June 21, 2012

Natural History Museum, London

For Queen's Jubilee Day, most of the school in the United Kingdom was given a week break. It was from the 2nd of June until 10th of June. For this holiday, we only planned to take kids to visit a museum and we chose Natural History Museum.

Since we went there by car during weekdays, we had to pay for a congestion charge GBP10. It worth the money compare if we took the underground train because the kids got comfortably seated all the time and i could also nurse my baby anytime he demands. ;) We thought going on Friday we could avoid the massive traffic and crowds during the weekend but we were wrong. The traffic was still slow moving.

Anyway, we arrived safely around 4PM. Natural History Museum is located at Exhibition Road, London with other two large museum such as British Science Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum and it was near hubby's university, Imperial College London. This museum is famous with the largest dinosaur skeleton called Diplodocus which we have always seen in the movie. So Zahin was very curious and excited to meet him and she kept reminding us by saying ' Umi kata nak bawak Zahin tengok Dinosaur' :D

Actually, all of us were down with flu and fever as soon as the school break started on the first day which was Saturday. We just lazing around the house that weekend. We also had some guest through this month from Malaysia...(kt Malaysia pon cuti sekolah ;)) therefore we thought we just stayed home and attended the guests as best as we can.

But when the last guest returned to Malaysia on Thursday, then we started thinking to go out for the sake of Zahin though Iris and Zafri were still not fully recovered. But poor Zahin if not going anywhere during the school break. At least by going to the museum she would have something to tell like seeing the dinosaur skeleton if her teacher asks. ;)

The unique and creative escalator viewed from Level 1.

unwell lil missy who had a bad running nose that day

The first place that we explored was the Earth Treasury From Beginning Zone. There were about how the earth climate from icehouse phases change to the warm greenhouse phases.

There were telescopes provided and put suitable for adults and kids height. ;)

The second place that we discovered was called the Restless Surface at Level 2. It was all about volcanoes. The story about the Pinatubo volcano which erupted in 1991 at Philipines were everywhere. the photo above was a car that being covered by volcano ashes.

In this photo, the Eins especially Zahin enjoyed jotting down things that she saw. She's eager and did not show any sign of boredom. The list of things that she wrote was full on one page! Sorry i forgot to take the photo of it..

Lil hero was already calm down. When we arrived, he was a lil bit cranky due to the fever. He cried loudly and he did not want to stay in his buggy. So Mr. Babah had to carry him instead..

Took picture with Dinosaur skeleton but that was small, not the one that we're looking for..

A lot of skeletons in this museum. LOL.

AND this dinosaur skeletons that we've been searching for..yeay finally!
It's the largest and longest Dinosaur called as Diplodocus.

Love the Roman style architecture in the central hall. The beautiful tiles are called Terracotta. Credit to Alfred Waterhouse, the Planner aka Architect (Wikepedia). BTW, can you spot me and my daughters? Hehe.

If you see, there was a Charles Darwin statue in white colour at the top of the staircase. He was famous with his theory which was Darwin's Theory. People lined to take a photo with it.

Diplodocus front view in the main hall. Amazing creature. Subhanallah. But what if it is still alive and exist today? haha. Anyway, i just knew that some of Dinosaurs were Herbivores..not all of them were Carnivores apparently. But this one was Carnivore ;)

Iris the Sleepy head with her mommy. That's the pre-sign :D

Zafri also started to be cranky again. Hehe it's the second sign So we called it the day!

Before leaving we took picture at the main entrance which is at Cromwell Road. Yup, this museum has few entrances.

Behind Hubby and our precious gems was some view of the Natural History Museum building from the outside. Gradeur and beautiful!

And this one was Victoria & Albert Museum which the architecture was not bad too!

All in all, the Natural History Museum was indeed large. We did not cover all the departments in each of zone, we just managed to cover only some of the sections like Earth in the Red zone, touch and go and also 'drive-through' at Birds section in the Green Zone and Dinosaur in the BLue Zone. huhu. The museum actually is divided into four zones and another zone which i still have not mention here is the Orange Zone. In this zone, there is the Darwin Center which we did not manage to visit. Hopefully, we will come again next time if God willing. But the most important thing was we met Mr. Diplodocus which matters most to Zahin. Hehe.

Alhamdulillah, the mission was accomplished. Zahin was satisfied and has gained some knowlege, more or less. hehe and we glad that we went though we all were not feeling well but the kids were still considered as at their good behaviour. Well done dearies! =)

Ok Wassalam and till next post insya Allah! ;)

Monday, June 18, 2012

Europe Trip: Sweet Brussels


The trip was one month ago but i still remember it clearly. Hubby and I thought that the trip to Brussels city is the second best after the Keukenhof trip. Reasons being are because we had covered most of the city attractions and we had indulged ourselves with its a must try waffle and chocolate!! I tell you the Belgian waffles and chocolates were so indulging, delicious and irresistible hence i didn't mind to be a sweet tooth at all. So unlike me ;D

We also managed to visit one of the chocolate factory called Neuhaus. Since we were rushing we did not bother about any factory tour but we just went to its shop to buy some chocolates. Luckily, there was a free chocolate tasting in the shop therefore we did not want to miss the once in a lifetime opportunity! Rezeki jangan ditolak ye tak :P so heaven eating all the chocolates except the non-Halal of course..Hmm yum yummm. While tasting all the super yummilicious chocolates, i also took the pictures of the chocolates in the shop. I was in love with its beautiful and creative packaging! Then we bought some chocolates..two shoe box sized to be exact! ;) Each box contained 4 layers of chocos!! Tapi tak sampai seminggu dah licin Uolll..dasyat betul and i'm still craving for it until today :P

Lastly, it's true that Brussels city has a quite number architectures and historical building. We had tried our best to take as many pictures as we can during the trip. Hope you will enjoy some of the pics below. ;) We also adore their pretty and fine laces, rugs and carpets but unfortunately we still cant afford them yet. Issokay, not that we urgently need it though. By the way, our friend still took us to a flea market hoping so that we could find and buy the cheaper ones but still no luck then. WE WERE ALREADY LATE. The flea market closed early that day. I guessed they were not meant for us yet..We'll try next time. Kalau panjang umur dan murah rezeki...kenelah pegi pagi-pagi ;) Nway, thank you Nora and Lokman for your kindness took us there..Susah-susah aje. :)

Hot waffle with chocolate and strawberry toppings. You can get it as low as 4.5o euro or 5euro depend on the shop you choose. But the cheapest waffle you can get is only 1 euro but it's plain waffle without any toppings.

While everyone got excited devouring the yummilicious waffles, Iris asked for an ice cream instead! so uncle Lokman had kindly treated the kids with vanilla ice creams. Well kids...

After the waffle and ice cream treat, we went looking for a souvenir. Among the souvenirs that have being a trend now is the fridge magnet! Wee honestly we were having a hard time in choosing them. Just take a look at above picture!! Don't u want to take all of them home? hehehehe.

Impressive building with a great architecture which i do not know the name. My bad. Frankly to say, I did not research deeply about this trip. I was too busy with assignments to do so and i just wanted to depend to others to bring me anywhere. But i hope, i will do my research thoroughly for the next trip. If God willing.

Our group photo at Grand Place. Aha i did some research about Brussels city when i wanted to update here. Hehe. But still forgive me if i got it wrong. I might confuse myself with other place because sometimes you can really tell the picture you see in the net compared when you saw it in the reality. But anyway, this place i just called it a grand square. Most of the building there were grandeur and great. I just cant take my eyes away from them and i took many pics there. It so worth it. If you come to Brussels, do not forget to take a lot of pictures at this square because i guarantee that you can get the perfect picture! I wonder what will it be during night time..

The Old England building. Very unique and outstanding among other buildings.

Yours truly cheekily posed for her darling hubby. Looking a bit uncomfortable though after several shots by her personal photographer. actually she already felt so shy to the others :P

Then, Zahin with her natural pose! I thought it's a dog but hubby said it's a fox. hahahaa...silly me. I am always be the one who cannot tell animals even fish! Even Zahin is better than me. ;) Tu la sape suruh tak suka tengok Discovery Channels dr kecik kann! :P

Another group photo exclude the photographer. Love the leafless trees. They contributed as the beautiful landscape of the city. It was best viewed from the higher point and it was a priceless viewing the city from the level.

Yours truly again with the green knight at the back. Again i don't know what it is. I will definitely update it when i research about it ok.

Again, at the Grand Place. The building is so grandeur and great, isn't it?. Do you believe me now? Unfortunately, we do not have a nice family photo with this building as the background T_T

The city and the view of the city taken at the higher point. So breathtaking..

to be continued..

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Europe Trip: The Unfortunate Night in Paris.

Well, here the story begins.

It's actually off scheduled because we planned to depart as early as 8am but we had departed near to lunch time from Lokman's place in Leuven, Belgium. Hence, we packed things super fast. The father busily loaded all the things into the car while the mothers get dressed after cooking and get the children dressed and ready for the journey. Suddenly, there was an incident! From inside the house, I saw hubby was lying on the ground and i nervously ran out to him and hoped he's alright at the same time. hubby had strained his ankle when he slipped off the uneven ground to load the strollers into the car. Hubby sat on a chair after Fathullah and Lokman helped him on his legs. Yes, he cannot walk at that time! Lokman took out the First Aid Kit and Fathullah bandaged his ankle instantly to prevent the wind came in. After relaxing for a while, hubby practiced walking and then he convinced everyone that he could drive. Though deep in my heart, i know he's still in pain but i can't do much. The trip has to be continued for the sake of our friends..and i was relieved he made it. ;)

But As you know that kids get bored quickly so they cant stand being buckled on their carseats for too long even there were tonnes of food. We adults cant stand it too but we can control from being cranky, can't we? So we did stop to eat, pray, rest and let the kids stretch their legs out but unfortunately it took about 1 to 2 hours before we started continue the journey. Hehe we simply took time at our leisure. Of course the husbands aka drivers cannot leave anyone behind. ;p But if you follow any other travel agency, they will not hesitate to leave you if you do not follow the given time. Believe me, the owner from one of the travel agency told us himself. He told the unlucky passenger have to find other transport or alternative to meet them at the next stop point. Huhu. That's why hubby refused to join any travel agency because he knows his wife best! Haha.

Lunch break at the border between France and Belgium.

us enjoyed our lunch and the wind.

Iris and Adam, seronok dpt keluar dpd carseat. hihi

Zahin happy too, being cheeky with Irdina ;)

Anyway, we safely arrived at Sovereign hotel at St. Denis, Paris at evening. Before that, we were kinda lost few times when the signal from iPhone lost in the middle of the journey. Yup, we don't have a proper Sat Nav device like Garmin or Tom Tom since our beloved Garmin had been stolen since last year at our previous neighborhood. And since then hubby just used my iPhone as a navigator. It works excellent in the UK but not in the Europe. We kept loosing the internet signal there..! It's such a wasting time waiting for a signal at the roadside in Paris and had quite numbers of U-Turns. Aiyak!

Since we were on a student budget, we cannot afford more than a 60euro per night room and the hotel was located outskirt Paris. Yea, it's not cheap though but that's the disadvantage from the late booking. (Blame me, because i cant decide early as i was scared if i had a group meeting during the Easter Break) Unfortunately, we did not know this area until we had witnessed in front of our eyes and alive that a man was trying to snatch a japanese tourist's camera bag at one of the bus stop! It was scary especially the japannese was lying on the road next to our car! The man trying to save his bag which was pulled by the bad and maniac man! Even he's shouting and asking for help at the same time BUT no one's coming to help him!!! In fact, there were so many people at the bus stop! Tension ok..they were so coward! Poor the japanese man..;( We did not know what's the ending because we just drove through, did not want to cause a traffic jam. Hope he's fine.

However no matter how uneasy we felt of the area, we still went out for sightseeing that night. This sounds crazy too, i know but we didnt have a choice because Lokman and family really wish to see the Eiffel tower before going back to Malaysia. So we still went out. I think it's already near to 9pm. We prayed so hard so everything will be fine. I admitted i was scared when walking to the underground station. Aihhh it's quite a distance too you know..another disadvantage here. Please take this into account too when you want to book hotel k because in Paris, the underground train or Metro is the best transportation to use. So it is much better to find a hotel which is very near to the train station as well especially when you bring kids.

After buying the tickets at the counter, we went down to the train platform. When the train arrived, lokman's and my family managed to get on it on time BUT unfortunately our friends, Fathullah and family didnt get board on the same train as us!!! Omg, our hearts stopped beating, it happened so fast! The train has a lock, you need to unlock it first to make its door open. Nak jadikan cerita, the lock failed to be unlocked so the door didnt open for them to get into..;( so what we did, we stopped at the next station and waited for them there since we failed to contact them as there was no signal underground. We hoped they did not return to hotel but catch the next train and they did alhamdulillah. So when the train arrived at the next station where we waited, we all got into that train to be reunited with them. Fuh, what a relieved!!

Then to go to the Eiffel tower, we had to change train for three times. It's an hour journey so you can imagine how far it was. Finally we arrived there at around 11 ish pm. and We knew straight away that Eiffel tower will be the only one and last attraction that we could managed to see that night. Huhu.. But whatever it was, we still had fun to see the famous tower blinked beautifully at 12 midnight. It was still the same beautiful feeling i had since my two previous visit! And the most important thing, we were glad that Lokman's wish had been fulfilled. And all of us had taken nice photos with the Eiffel tower as the background! ;)

Bonjour Eiffel

at Invalides station. tgu next train to go to the Eiffel Tower

Mia familia with Eiffel! Mercy boucoupe Fath!! Love this photo! :)

But dear me, the beautiful feeling ended as soon as we knew that the train operation has stopped as we arrived at the Bir Hakim station. Our smiles stopped right away and we had to think of other alternatives. We followed a girl to the exit. She said we gotta wait for a bus or hail a taxi. 0mg, it's already 1am and there were us in the middle of Paris wandering and looking for a bus stop. Without we realized, we already walked until Trocadero where one can view the Eiffel tower best at. I told myself, i might had a glimpse of the tower as i wished but Unfortunately, the tower was standing still in the dark of midnight. There was no more lights on it, like an hour before. It was looking all dark and sorrow as what we felt during that time. Anyway, there was a souvenier stall still half opened to cheer us a bit! So we quickly begged to the seller not to close his stall yet and managed to buy some souvenirs there! haha Sempat lagik! hehehe..

The souvenir seller pity us but he's convinced that taking a bus was the best solution for all of us. He said not that the taxi charge will be damn expensive since our hotel was faraway but we might have to rent more than three taxis!! Ye la kami kan terlebih muatan! So we didnt have other choice, but to wait for a midnight bus at the nearest bus stop after asked him the direction. Huhu so sad..macam pelarian je rasa! Unfortunately, when we arrived at the bus stop, we knew that bus only came every 1 hour, sad sad sad! So while waiting, we were praying non stop! I prayed so hard and somehow i know Allah will send a help in anyways. It's just the matter of time. So we patiently waited and our kids also fallen asleep on our lap n strollers..mujurla heret jgk stroller.

at the same time, ada few orang kulit hitam kt situ. Ya Allah mmg takut sgt ok! Makin lama makin ramai. Aisey hubby kata takut ktrg kene mug so kami perlahan2 pergi dok kt Lokman n Ftahullah's family at the bus stop. Before that kami dok kt bangku jauh sket dpd bus stop tu. at least tak cukup tpt utk duduk which was some of us kene berdiri but yg ptg dekat dgn diorang sume kan klu something bad happen. I told hubby and myself, let's bersangka baik. Masa tu tiba2 diorang tu dlm 10 org ada kot mmg dah kepung n block ktrg tau kt bus stop tu. astaghfirullah mmg takut sangat.

Sekali tup2 one of them tegur kami siap bagi salam! Kami pon jawab la salam..his friend also asked if we were Malaysian..ya Allah sgt sgt peramah dan baik sgt diorang rupanya. Tengok2 diorang yg tunjuk jalan mcm torist guide gitu siap tolong angkat kan stroller bila bas sampai, sbb nak ke hotel kami, kami kene tukar bas lg sekali. So dioranglah yg guide from the next bus stop to the next, kami ikut aje. Dlm hati rupanya diorang ni lah yang Allah hantar utk menolong kami. Alhamdulillah syukur sgt2! Diorang ni muslim Senegal, tp dah dok kt France lama so dioranglah yg tlg communicate kan utk kami dlm French kt pmandu bas dan ticket attendant. At last we separated at the next bus stop becoz of our different path. Aihh baik kan..klu tiada diorang, tataulah apa jadi. Rasa berjuta kali ucap terima kasih pada diorang pon mcm tak cukup. ;(. May Allah reward and bless them always. Amin!

Alhamdulilllah, We arrived back at sovereign hotel almost at 3am. Itupon takut2 jalan kaki cari jalan ke hotel. We skipped the dark, narrow and deserted alleys. Just using iPhone hubby managed to find the way back to our hotel. ;) but as soon as we reached the receptionist entrance, no one's there! Puas tekan bell tp tade sorg yg dtg. Hampeh. So kami tpaksa guna laluan basement carpark. Itupon after few trials of password (room no kot) then the basement door finally opened for us. Phewww, what a relief but what a night! Huhu..the unfortunate one! it's like a nightmare and i will not forget it for the rest of my life! What an experience.

walking silently through the silence night

So here are some of the tips from our own experience that may be useful for whoever wants to go to Paris:

1. Plan thoroughly. Book hotel 6 months in advance so that you can get a good hotel room at a very low rate and within the city itself. If possible, find one which is near to all the place of attractions. Please consider a near underground train station to your hotel too. ;)

2. Arrange your schedule, plan tentative and stick to it as possible as you can. Travel early in the morning may prevent any difficulties.

3. If you want to sight-see the city by car, buy a good and reliable Sat Nav device which includes the Paris map to make your life easier and smooth journey. ;)

4. Stay longer in the city so that you can cover many place of attractions. 3D2N or more will be fine. One night is a BIG NO. :D

5. Avoid sightseeing over 8pm especially if you bring kids. 8pm kids should go to bed not go sightseeing. Night in Paris might be beautiful but can be quite daunting. Lesson learnt!

6. Take hop on and off sightseeing bus if you can afford, especially if you bring kids or parents. Underground train station can be hassled for them and strollers because there is not many elevator.

7. Always prepare for Plan B or C.

8. Always and always bring your tripod. You will have so much regrets if you dont. :D

Ok that's all. Hope anyone would not repeat the same mistakes like us. Hehe. If i have a free time, I will continue our trip story to Germany next time if God's willing. So much to share, but so lil time for me to do so but i will try my best. :)


Sent from my iPhone4

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Our Family Room


Lamanya tak update blog ni sebab agak busy sedikit bulan ni. Huhu. Macam tak tahu nak update apa pon ye padahal banyak je benda nak dicatatkan sebagai kenangan pada masa akan datang..Sekarang ni tengah cuti sekolah jadi boleh relax sket pagi-pagi kalau tidak sibuk nak siapkan Zahin ke sekolah..

Harini nak update pasal family room kami. Rasanya sejak berpindah ke rumah baru, saya tak pernah update lagi apa-apa secara detail pasal rumah ni kan. ;) Oleh kerana rumah ni besar berbanding rumah lama, saya update pasal satu bilik je dulu ok..;)

Family room ni sebelum di make over kan pada asalnya ialah dine room. Kami paling suka bilik ni sebab dia menghadap garden atau backyard. Sambil lepak minum petang boleh menikmati pemandangan kat luar rasa release sangat tension. Oleh kerana bilik ni mempunyai sliding door jadi lighting bilik ni adalah yang terbaik berbanding bilik lain. So sebab tu kami jadikan bilik ni as our family room. Itupon lepas saya dah habis kelas baru ada mood nak buat make over tapi biasa-biasa je. As long as it is neat and cosy, i'll be more than happy. :)

Inilah family room kami. Agak besar, terang dan cosy after the make over. Bolehlaa kan..;) OK, cuma klu ada rezeki lebih nanti, hubby nak tukar tv tu kepada tv baru..hihi.

Family room view vertical. For me plain table cloth tu membuatkan bilik ni jadi lebih luas manakala rak tu lebih kemas klu fitted to the wall kan..Klu ni rumah kami, mungkin kami buat cabinet kt situ ;)

Ok meja makan ni look so sweet for me dgn adanya flower vase tu. Klu dapat fresh flower everyday lagi sweet. cuma maintenance je la tinggi ;D

Before this, kami cuma ada single seated sofa aje. Just last month baru kami dapat beli double seated sofa tu. Since then bilik ni jadi lebih cosy untuk lepak-lepak. Sebelum tu asyik berebut je nak duduk ats single sofa. hihi.

Breakfast table. Like my plain white colour canister. Matching dengan toaster kan. hihi. Sesuai jgk letak atas table cloth strawberry tu..;)

Mantel tempat deco2. Sebelum ni cluttered but not now. I put my mini teapot collection. 2 biji lagi kt dlm bilik tidur. All i got at the very cheap price. 12 biji dlm 10pound je kt carboot sales.

My collection in zoom in mode. Jam tu hubby minat betul. Bila dah gantung, saya tengok cantik plak. Mata hubby ni boleh tahan jgk taste dia. ;)

Ok tu je..yg penting family room ni cosy bagi kami anak beranak. :)