December 31, 2011
Looking back at 2011, it seemed we had a blast as we went for many outings and short holidays :-)
• Revisited KL Bird Park with the kids.
• Took the girls to Sunway Lagoon, courtesy of Citibank.
• Visited FGS Dong Zhen after a hiatus of several years.
• Organized a Cuti-cuti Pahang with mum, younger sis, and the kids.
• Took the girls for a short holiday at Impiana Cherating.
• Rounded up the year with a fantastic family trip to Sri Lanka.
I travel quite a bit for work, but this year, the travelling seemed more than usual.
• Finally got the chance to step foot in Jakarta, not once, not twice, but three times within the same year, for work.
• Revisited Prague and Amsterdam.
• And while in Amsterdam, got a chance to visit Keukenhoff, on its very first day of opening in 2011.
• Went for a short working trip to Hong Kong.
• For the first time in my life, I saw dolphins and whales in the wild.
On the domestic front,
• Mum appeared on an Astro CNY promotional ad.
• Had the scare of my life when Yiu Yiu bumped her head and suffered a deep gash on her forehead.
• Yiu Yiu attended quite a few of her classmates’ birthday parties. I suppose many parents took the trouble to organize the parties as this is the last year the children are together in kindergarten.
• I took the effort to organize some token of appreciation for Yiu Yiu’s kindy teachers during Teacher’s Day and year end party, the first and last time I did so in her kindergarten years.
• Enrolled Yiu Yiu into a hip hop dance class at her request.
• Had my first ever (I think) mother daughter outing with Yiu Yiu on her birthday.
• And the event of the year is definitely Yiu Yiu’s graduating from kindy. In a few days time, my (not so little) girl will begin a new chapter in her life as a primary school student. There’ll be new routines and new challenges, and I hope we will take these changes into our stride.
And this is what the man of the house got for the three ladies in his life as a New Year gift :-)
Wishing everyone a Blessed 2012.
December 30, 2011
We were also well prepared with lots of snacks, Milo and a portable DVD player (and hubby's iPhone) to keep them entertained.
December 29, 2011
We spent the rest of the afternoon by the beach.
Our last sunset in Sri Lanka...till we meet again!
December 28, 2011
Our last stop was the elegant Lotus Pond. It was built in the 12th century in the shape of an eight petal lotus flower with four parallel tiers, probably to provide seating to the monks while bathing.
December 26, 2011
Foremost among the numerous historical monuments in Anuradhapura is the Sacred Bo Tree – Sri Maha Bodhi, grown from a branch of the Bodhi tree under which the Buddha attained enlightenment. It was brought to Sri Lanka in the 3rd century BC, and is the oldest recorded tree in the world of which the exact age is known.
Ruwanweli dagoba was built in the 2nd century BC, and was regarded as one of the greatest dagobas in the world, measuring 103m in height with a circumference of 287m. The dagoba was in a state of disrepair when discovered in the early 20th century and was restored in its present form according to earlier dimensions. Within the dome in a closed chamber are enshrined sacred relics of Buddha, valuable gems, statues made of gold & various valuable objects.
There may have been four Buddha images on the four sides of this Bodhi Tree Shrine, but all that’s left is the serene image of the Samadhi Buddha in the meditation posture hewn from a solid rock.
This temple may have been the first to house the sacred Buddha's tooth relic which now resides at The Holy Temple of the Tooth in Kandy.
The picturesque rock temple of Isurumuniya dates back to the 3rd century BC. The stone sculptures seen at the temple are considered the most beautiful works of art in Anuradhapura, the most famous being The Lovers, believed to be that of a prince and a low caste maiden whom he loved. As she was not of royal blood, he was obliged to give up his claim to the throne.
December 24, 2011
The UNESCO World Heritage Site signage (top left), the tiring climb (top centre), view along the climb (bottom left), Yiu Yiu helping mah-mah who has bad knees (right)
Luckily the little one is happy to be carried by our guide, Shakeer on the ascent and descent, otherwise it would be an even more tiring climb for me.
About two-thirds of the way up sits the Lion's Paws, all that is left of a giant brick lion which once sat here. Mum and I commenced our ascent to the top with a stairway leading between the paws into its mouth, thus deriving its name ("Lion Rock").
On the summit of the Sigiriya rock are the remains of a large palace sprawled over 1.5 hectares with several chambers, a bathing pond and a rock-cut throne.
We descended the summit at about 6pm, to be greeted by this wonderful orange ball of fire.
It was a short drive back to the hotel and we ended our day with a buffet dinner.