Tuesday, December 26, 2017


A 70km section of the highway, State Route 64, was closed for about a day in both directions, according to tweets from the Arizona Department of Transportation.  Hubby told me this in the morning, on our checkout day. Although we do not know the family, our thoughts are with them. 

That was the same road we travelled into and out of GC. It's a straight road with rocks formations, trees, shrubs and seeing patches of brown can make one drowsy. So it's always good to talk to the driver; be the driver's second eyes. Driver's well-being is very important. For our trip, a usual 4 hours drive can take us 8 hours coz we take few breaks in between. Supermarket trips and makan. 

Fellow Singaporeans, please be safe when you're driving in foreign countries. Don't act smart and slow down your speed. 

extracted from The Straits Times :
US holiday turns tragic for Singaporean family as 3 die, 1 hurt in Arizona highway accident

A 70km section of the highway, State Route 64, was closed for about a day in both directions, according to tweets from the Arizona Department of Transportation.  PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM GOOGLE MAPS 
SINGAPORE - A holiday in the United States turned tragic for a Singaporean family of four on Friday (Dec 22) when three of them diedand one was injured in a traffic accident. 
They had been travelling north towards the Grand Canyon in a silver Hyundai when their car crossed the painted median and collided head-on with green Dodge van, Trooper Kameron Lee, a spokesman for the Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS), told The Straits Times.
The car then crashed into a third vehicle, while the van plunged into a ravine, he added.
"The driver of the Hyundai and two passengers were pronounced deceased at the scene. One additional passenger of the Hyundai was transported to Flagstaff Medical Center," said Mr Lee. 
It was reported by Today newspaper that the survivor is Ms Justlyn Yeo Jing Hui, a first-year student at the Nanyang Technological University. Ms Yeo, who is from the university's Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information, was reported to be in stable condition.
The accident, which occurred at about 2.21pm local time, closed the highway for seven hours, said Mr Lee.
The driver of the van, who is from Spain, also died at the scene. Earlier news reports suggested that the family had been travelling in the van. 
Five people were injured in total, said Mr Lee.
The Straits Times understands that the Singapore Consulate-General in San Francisco is assisting the family's relatives, who have flown to the US.
On Dec 11, a Singaporean died in a traffic accident in New Zealand that occurred on the State Highway 6, Ruatapu Road, on the west coast of the South Island. Shin Min Daily News identified him as Mr Seow Kai Yuan.
Earlier in May also in New Zealand, a Singaporean couple died in a crash on State Highway 1, about 40km south of Christchurch.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

It snowed!

It snowed the night before in Grand Canyon. On 21st Dec's wee hours. So, I'm only half right with my prediction. I was expecting snow in Yosemite but it snowed in GC. 
This time I didn't catch the snow falls, surprisingly I slept quite early.

The girls jumped out of the bed and changed at the fastest speed. They brushed their teeth that quickly I never knew they are able to do so. Not expecting snow, so I had to make sure they wear waterproof pants before going out to play. 

But it means that we had to wait out a little later before departing GC for DV. Of course it's good news to the girls but bad news to hubby - had to play extra caution. 

Pictures taken by che-che as they played outside. So carefree hor...... while I had to start packing their stuffs as it's checkout day
 Wefie and pic of her sister's back
 I took of them as they stood near our rooms. I was still in home shirt and shorts so was feeling cold. She wore my coat and then said she likes it, if she can have this coat instead of her Columbia jacket

 She took this as we drove out

Thursday, December 14, 2017


I feel there’s a misconception that flight crew knows how to pack clothes better since they’re used to living their lives out of suitcase. It was easy to pack then. Why? Because I was only packing for myself. But now I find that my luggage is usually heavy and packed EX-SIN.

So, I was told about layering. Packing means layering. I mean, isn't that what I do since 1995? But some people may refer layering as layering with thin clothes which I'm not risking my life or my childrens' lives just for this or for vanity. Anyway, my tops are relatively thin except for 2 which I had to buy in Winter Time (local winter wear shop). Those thin ones are bought overseas, can you believe if I told you that I am still wearing the thin wool tops I have since flying days? It keeps me warm and though I've put on pounds, I'm glad it still fits. Hee! As for the girls, their merino tops are purchased in Winter Time coz' they grow up quickly esp che-che. Also, when you're with a tour group - there's no time. When we're not with tour group, we're in China and the designs are ...@@... So, what do they mean by layering? Layering with 2 thermals and then wear 1 summer top? Isn't that more clothes than what I pack?
When it comes to clothings, I'm very simple when it comes to travelling. I've seen friends who go on fashion show, exposed legs, short skirts etc.. When I asked them if they're cold, they said yes. There's a dialect phrase to this "ai gnia mai mia".  And perhaps to some, travelling means eat eat shop shop, so they're able to 'hide out'?. For us, we're the sightseeing type so we can be out the whole day. Warmth and comfort is very important to me. 
I was told about using mini bottles toiletries. I do that since 1995. When my toiletries bag is small and nice coz' I only have my stuffs. I was told that rolling clothes is the best. I do that since 2000. But it's difficult to roll when it's winter clothings coz I vacuumn pack them in. Will explain this later.

And so why is our (our as in the luggage bag for the 3 girls. The man always carry his own luggage) bag always so heavy?? Just a day before departure, hubby tried carrying the luggage and said it's too heavy and told me to load off stuffs. What the? What can I load off?
I packed for each person:
1) 1 thermal set
2) 1 coat
3) 3 sweaters
4) 2 pants -one waterproof n one non-waterproof. (Final packing - 1 waterproof pant)
5) 2 home clothes
6) 2 home shorts
7) disposable panties and 2 bras (Final packing - 3 panties and 2 bras)
8) 2 pair of socks, 1 pair of winter thick sock
9)  Misc : First aid / medicine box + herbal sachets + toiletries + umbrellas + mini torchlight + heatpads + folded plastic bags + thermal flask (which I did use twice when temp was cold and I needed a hot 葛根汤 throughout the day) . My luggage has almost everything that we need and hubby always ask me if got plastic bag. When raining, umbrellas don't just appear out of nowhere. When sick, I have medicines on hand - although some will claim that they can go to the pharmacist if they need.)
For clothings, this is considered very little for a 16-day trip coz' regardless of winter or summer, I do laundry overseas. Wash socks and undergarments every night. I wash home clothes and shorts (which is also our sleeping attire considering that we're only back in the night) every 3 days. Then of course if we're travelling F&E, we can always drop by laundromat. I know some travellers don't even do laundry overseas, they bring everything back to Singapore. So they pack alot of clothes for fashion show and extra shoes... but I believe if they combine whole family's possessions into one bag, they definitely do not carry any other things except their clothings and shoes. But if they have one bag each person, maybe.. maybe they're able to pack other misc stuffs? 
When I look into hubby's luggage, he packed more clothings but why is his bag not overweight?? Or in the case of our travel companion this time, they had one bag the same size as mine (the one I put mine and the girls stuffs) and another small bag for 2 person. We are really packing very little and using only 2 bags is considered 'light travellers'.  
Just out of Singapore, my bag exceeded the 23kg limit by 2kg, but the staff said she'll close her eyes for this time. And I get the snub from hubby "told you already' which pissed me off. His bag weighs 12kg with his clothings; adaptors; toiletries and a small kettle. By right we have 3 pax's possession in our bag, which means each person's load is less than 8kg coz I have alot more misc stuffs with me. His luggage bag is 2 or 3cm shorter than ours, he definitely has space inside while ours is packed to the brim. For winter holiday, I am considered a light traveller.

The disadvantage of combining our stuffs into one bag is organising it. Since flying days, I've always organised my packing into bags. As for vacumn packing, I've only done in recent years before I quit. That's because I had to pack in my textbooks and cassette tapes into my luggage as well. 
With the girls' clothings, I spend my time each night while they shower to take out their undergarments and home clothes to wear. At the same time, hang up the clothes for the next day, pack up the day's clothes. Gotta struggle with the vacumn bags while everyone else are lazying around after their shower. Haiz! 
Each of us should have our own bags right? But then it means I'll have to help them pack their bags too!! Duh! Best is to travel alone! I'm looking forward to this... I really need a holiday on my own. I miss Amsterdam; Switzerland; London; Germany. I've never been to Sweden or Norway or Denmark or Canada... dreaming .....  

Wednesday, December 6, 2017


Update my post. It's unlikely for us to have white christmas where we are, but with the elevation - there might be snow in the night while everyone else is snoozing away. 

Maybe I'll be the only person to witness the snow flakes dropping to the ground? Maybe the floor would be wet the next day everyone wakes up? As always, I always look out the windows when they're sleeping after packing up the stuffs. 

Over the years, I've witnessed snow blizzard in Hokkaido. I saw how the trees swayed vigourously in the dim lights. I saw how hotel staffs came out of the building and scrapping fresh snow off their window and starting their car engine for a while before driving off. 

I've witnessed the big waves hit the wall boundary between the water and road in Japan. (Can't remember which part) thus sea water spilling onto the road. Occasionally cars would drive past and I'm worried if there was going to be a tsunami. We will be dead coz we were on the 4th floor!

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Can somebody give that asshole DT a big kick down ....

...a canyon and let him die there and perhaps drill him (since that's what he wanted to do there) . 

extracted from :

I haven't been to that many National Parks in US but every park is so special. What more, Utah has vast expanses of desert. Awed by the beauty of Grand Canyon, Utah has even more canyons one can ever imagined. While the geographical aspect is the same, not one piece is identical to another. 

I don't think I can feel the anger of native american tribes. As an outsider, I would feel two sights are cut. I will not have the opportunity to see every 'stone' every canyon in the US ever but all these should be kept as what they are for my grandchildren and great great grandchildren to see. 

# Complain post# #Travel journal#

* taking a break from ...* 

Goash! This is taking me longer than usual! Which is why I had to spend sleepless nights years ago when doing planning for holidays. Ahh...... long long time ago when I had to plan to coincide with mom's dialysis. I had the help from my sister who faxed them. Hahaha! So ancient time! It's so much easier now with emails but .... still I wouldn't be able to get some work done without her help.  

There are a few types of travellers.
1) Shopaholic. Sleep & Shop : Be it they're in the nearby countries or some distant galaxy far away. I mean.... what's the big fuss over shopping right? (You'll be surprise to know that I don't really like shopping overseas. Firstly, I need to shop without people around me. I have impatient children and hubby, I won't even have the mood. Secondly, unless it's some kind of to-die-for one in a million dress, I won't cast a second look. Most times, the other 3 are the shoppers! I spend my time squatting in changing room and fuss over them like princesses helping them with their corsets etc... Okay, but luckily my family are not the 200% shopaholics. I bet this trip hubby will buy more jeans. I will secretly throw his old clothings away when he does that. Serious! He has more clothes than me!!) .....  what more most items are .. MADE in CHINA

2) Just walk around the place they are going to be for the next one week. Relaxing type. Gasp! Seriously? I would have train-ed out to goodness know where to venture more places. Unless they're been to the place donkey times so they just want a good hangout. I think my hangout place would be Hong Kong, I'll go there just for the food. 3 days is good enough. 

3) Sightseeing freak : This is so me. As if there's no tomorrow, so must take opportunity to sightsee as much as possible. I scared the shit out of then-boyfriend who realised that I had the guts to take a domestic plane to Ephesus from Istanbul myself. I'd train-ed to various small towns in Europe when I was flying. Brought che-che (then very young) alone to Augusta Raurica from Basel. And when he had to work much later, I brought her to Freiburg (Germany). All for the sake of seeing new places. 
No matter how daring I am towards sightseeing, I still do play caution in some cities where crime rates are high and will forgo the idea. No matter how daring I am towards learning new places, I will not dare to ski. 

4) Sporty types : I know of a family who would go skiing every December. So much so that they are pros. To them, skiing in the Alps is more important than immersing into the Swiss city lifestyle. 

Planning for holidays was more difficult then. Had to flip through books in the library, get the map and plan the routes. There was no such thing called GPS when we did road trips then, so I was like some engineering freak who would scruntinise the small cities, routes, running my fingers through the routes (also ensuring the roads are not closed at that time) and getting the estimated time of travel by using the metric table. It's a good thing I'm good in Math. The man totally relied on me. “How long more?” And I had to use my cutesy calculator cum world alarm clock to help me with quick calculation. Plus I had to help him see which lane to go. ????? He literally just step on accelerator and drive. 

My itineries was then bounded in a book with all the information including hotel bookings. It meant that I had everything all carefully thought of. And everything will ‘fall in place’.

This time round, I'm shocked that hubby merely booked the accomodations (he booked the same ones as I did for two national parks) and air tickets without plan anything at all after that. For the past few F&E travels (no road trips) I left it to him coz' I was so busy with the children and household. He did print some sights off the website and we went, train-ed to the destinations. 
But he didn't do anything this time, is he waiting for me to do so? But anyway..... it's our second trip to the almost same destinations so maybe he's laxed? But it's winter!! Ok, we're just so different! He's the "relax...... things will fall into places when time comes...." whereas I'm the worried freak, worried if it's going to be snowing and then maybe cannot go here/there etc.. 

Without his planning, it is difficult for me to do a travel journal for lil' one. End up, I will have to do some planning with a "maybe we're going there. Maybe we're not going there." mindset. For eg. I have no idea if he is going on Route 66. End up I decided to do up a journal section on this, give that girl some activity to do. Well..... if we're there - good for her. If we didn't go, too bad that I had wasted my time for nothing.    

So why am I wasting my time on this journal you might think. Over the years, I have always tasked the girls to write travel journals whenever we travel. Their journals lack the oomph, reading them is so boring. Che-che would be the smarter one and asked to borrow the itinery I had typed out and copy word for word. Once when she was crazy over Geronimo Stilton, she had her journal written in that same way. Lil' one would be so lazy and write it halfway, then all her journals include her personal feelings. Too personal. Haha! Out of 10 entries, 9 would be on "I saw .... , I begged daddy to buy for me but he didn't so I got so angry with him blah blah blah.." It's really hilarious whenever I read their journals. 
Lil' one don't observe much too. She'll just hold daddy's hands and walk through quickly from one point to the next. Honestly, I have no idea why they are rushing when we're not in any tour group tours. Whereas I'd like to point out and tell che-che's things that we saw.. most time we can't stay longer coz' they would have walked so fast and disappear from sight and we have to start chasing them or shouting at them to stop. Damn irritating! (which is also why I really dare not ask any of my family members to go on holiday with us. It happens all the time in Singapore when we're out for lunch and then he starts walking off without waiting. And my family ..... they're slow.... most times I end up getting caught in between coz I had to be the lookout for the front and the back. I don't have the energy to do this overseas. Sigh..) With the journal, she'll have to start doing some observations and writing for me. Really pitiful, she's been to a few countries but still so ignorant. 

As she's growing older, I realised that it seems so much easier to travel with her. She's curious and will observe things around her. (lil' one is the bimbo)  She is excited over the ability of seeing the beautiful sky in national parks (even before I told her).During her school camp in Sec 1 or 2? She sat outside the hut observing the moon and sky and even told my friend about it.Now, she's old and strong (stronger than me) enough to help me. She asked to bring my DSLR (for the first time I had to pack tripod) to "take nice pics". Ahh..... this is the girl that is at loggerheads with me, the girl who had to deal with so much of my scoldings and beatings.  

Lil' one
I really gotta do something with this lil' bimbo. So ignorant over every thing. And she has no patience to listen (just like her dad) 

Okay, bye! Back to planning.  

Some post I was checking :    http://photographyroundtable.com/the-best-time-of-the-year-to-photograph-the-milky-way/