Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Apple Core Quilt Progress Report

I spent the weekend working on the Apple Core quilt. I am quite pleased with the progress though it is kind of slow.

Sorry for the blurry photo. *blush*

I had to do a running stitch first to sew the curves together. Initially I just pinned the pieces together and sew, but I spent a lot of time unpicking when the curves did not match.

When I started doing running stitches, I spent a lot of time on the preparation, but at least I spent less time unpicking. Once I have done the running stitches, sewing on the sewing machine was a lot faster.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Cruise to Thailand – Day 3 – Island Hopping in Krabi

On our 3rd day of the cruise, we woke up very early as we were scheduled to arrive in Krabi at about 9.30am. After breakfast, we explored the ship further as we waited for the ship to reach the port in Krabi.

After going around the ship for a while, we realised that the ship had stopped sailing but we were still in the middle of nowhere, well, sort of. *grin*

We saw many small boats coming in and out of the ship, and it was that time that my hubby realised that in order to get to Krabi, we would have to take one of these small boats that would take us to Krabi. Duh!

So, we made our way to the Star Dust Lounge where we took our queue number and waited for our turn to get on the boat. Things were very systematic and before long, we were on our way to Krabi.

When we got to Krabi, our first intention was to go to town to see the town and to get some souvenirs. I also wanted to get a local sim card for my Tab so that I may be able to go online while on the ship.

It never crossed our mind to go island hopping because the day before, in Phuket, Charlie, our taxi driver, had said that we would not have the time to go island hopping as time would be too short. We arrived in Krabi at almost 12.00 noon and we had to get back to the jetty by 5.30pm when the last boat that will take us back to the ship leaves.

We were never prepared to go island hopping. I wasn’t dressed to go island hopping (I even brought along a leather handbag which definitely wasn’t suitable for island hopping! LOL!), and we did not bring any change of clothes like shorts and towels, what more sun tan lotion.

However, as we were contemplating to go to town or not, one of the boatman, Ibrahim, introduced us to a Malaysian couple who was looking for someone to share a boat with them to go island hopping. They too were not exactly prepared to go island hopping but thought that island hopping would be a better option than going to town, since we had already visited the town of Phuket the day before. It seems that the 2 towns aren’t that much different.

But, how do you go island hopping when you come unprepared? Well, no problem. The jetty had everything provided for those who came unprepared like us! LOL!

We bought 2 pair of shorts for my hubby and son and a big straw hat for me. The boatman helped us to get the snorkelling gear, and we were all set and ready to go.

See the leather bag I brought? Definitely we were not prepared to go island hopping! LOL!

We took the package to go to 4 islands, and as we headed on to our first island, we were greeted with many scenes of beautiful small islands, and the sea was so clear, clean and blue.

I just love the shape of this island.

Initially, when we wanted to buy the shorts, Aiman was adamant that he did not want to go island hopping and that he isn’t going to do any swimming. He was in one of those sulking mood again. He sulks every time things don’t go his way, as he wanted to go to town again so that he can go to the Go-Kart and the shooting range again, just like what we did in Phuket. But, we reasoned with him that we should do something different today. But, he was adamant at being stubborn and pulled a long face. So, when my hubby asked him if he should buy the shorts for him, he kept insisting that he wasn’t going to go swimming.

My hubby bought the shorts anyways and told the boatman to get us two snorkelling gears.

I am glad that we did not listen to him and went ahead to buy the shorts and the snorkelling gear, because, as soon as we arrived at the first island, Aiman was already very eager to go swimming. Gone was the sulking mood he was in earlier. LOL!

We spent 40 minutes at the first island.

As hubby and Aiman went swimming, I managed to go online on my HTC phone using the DiGi automatic international roaming service just to check my Facebook and get connected with my crafting friends at NNC.

As I waited for them to come back from swimming, I got hungry. Luckily I grabbed this pre-packed breakfast of glutinous rice and honey chicken at the stall where we took the boat to go island hopping.

It looked simple, but it was really yummy! Wish I had bought more!

At the next island, the main activity was snorkelling. Aiman had never snorkelled before and was initially quite apprehensive.

But, after a while, he got excited to the extent that it was hard trying to get him to come back to the boat! LOL!

Seen here is hubby giving him instructions on how to breathe under water.

When he first got into the water, he held on tight to the ladder....

After a while, when he was more confident, he slowly ventured further and further from the boat.

There goes father and son.....

Sights on our way to the 3rd island...

At the next island, Tup Island, it was another round of snorkelling.

By now, Aiman was more confident of going snorkelling without much assistance from hubby.

More scenes on our way to the 4th island....

By the time we left the 3rd island, everyone was already hungry. Fortunately, our 4th and last island had something unique to offer in terms of lunch, and a late lunch at that, since it was already close to 3.00pm by then.

At this island, we were greeted by this unique boat selling food,

.....and not just a simple food that is pre-packed. Rather, it was like a real kitchen equipped with stoves, blenders etc.

We were able to order burgers, friend chicken and Pad Thai.

They even had ice bended drinks!

We made our orders....

......and headed on to the boat to have our lunch.

After lunch, everyone was tired and all we wanted to do was head on back to the jetty to catch a boat back to our ship.

Seen here is me with Mrs Looi, the couple who shared the boat with us.

Waiting for our  turn to board the ship....

After a good shower and a good rest, we headed on to Mariner’s Buffet for our last dinner on the ship.

To me, it was the best dinner since we started on the cruise when there were lots of seafood offered and plenty of vegetable dishes that did not include meat inside the dish. Even the pizza was vegetarian.

I ate to my heart’s content.

After dinner, we proceeded to the Star Dust Lounge to catch the last performance for the night, a magic show by Charles Bach.

Unfortunately, no photography was allowed during the show. It was a great show, none the less.

After the show, hubby wanted to go to the gym. So, I decided to take Aiman with me for a wash and haircut at the beauty salon at Deck 4. After all the island hopping, I think our hair really needed shampooing. LOL! *grin*

Yeah! I know, I am just making excuses to go to the beauty salon. *grin*

Oh, did I tell you that I also went for a manicure and pedicure at the beauty salon the first day we were on the cruise? *grin*

After the trip to the beauty salon, we went back to the cabin for a short nap as hubby and Aiman wanted to catch a midnight movie, “Battleship”.

We got up at about 11.30pm and tried to wake Aiman up but he was simple too tired and sleepy, so we let him sleep while we went for supper.

Just by luck, the crew was having a performance and they were dancing to Gangnam Style!

I am definitely not a fan of the Gangnam Style song, but I took a video of the show for Aiman as he kept humming this song all day that day.

I wanted to upload the video here, but it was taking ages to upload. :(
After a quick supper, we went back to the cabin to wake up Aiman for the movie.

While hubby and Aiman went for the movie, I spent the last night on the ship packing up our things as we needed to have our luggage out by 9.30am the next day to be picked up by the crew as our luggage was considered oversized.

I slept at 2.00am that night but woke up as hubby and Aiman came back from the movie at 2.45pm.

End of Day 3

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Cruise to Thailand – Day 2 – A fun filled day in Phuket

On our second day on board the ship, I woke up early to get a head start on the day. I want to try to catch the step aerobics session at 8.30am.

We had breakfast at 7.30am. There wasn’t much that we could eat for breakfast as mostly meat was served. Even the noodles had meat in it. *sigh*

I guess it’s a blessing in disguise as then I won’t eat much, right? LOL!

Anyway, after a 20 minutes rest after breakfast, I head on to the pool deck to join in the step aerobics.

Boy! It was about 13 years ago that I last did any step aerobics, and if not for the pain to my knee, I could have done more, but still, I did as much as I could without aggravating further the pain to my knee and I think I worked out a lot of sweat and I had fun!

I think I am going to sign up for a step aerobics class when I get back to KL if I can find one that suits my time. *grin*

After the good workout, I had another good warm shower, and I wanted to work a bit on my hexies while waiting for us to arrive in Phuket, but I had to lie down and take a short nap when suddenly I had a splitting headache.

Initially I thought that I was experiencing motion sickness, but I have taken boat rides many times before this when I was doing projects for the Marine Department some years ago. I brought some motion sickness medicine and decided to take a dose, but when the headache did not quite go away, I realised that the headache wasn’t due to motion sickness, but rather that I was experiencing gastric problems as in the morning, I had taken some medication for my cold. The doctor did say that it could give me gastric attack and had actually prescribed to me some gastric medicine but I had not taken it when I took the medication as I had forgotten to bring it along with me. *sigh*

Luckily when we arrived in Phuket at about 11.30am, the headache had somewhat subsided. As lunch was served at 11.30am, we decided to take our lunch on the ship first before making our way to Phuket.

Before departing for the cruise, my mum had recommended that we make arrangements with this taxi guy, Charlie, who had taken her and my niece and nephew around while they were in Phuket , since he is such a nice guy.

Taking the arranged tour with the other tourist aboard the ship would mean that we would have no control of where we would be going and the time to go from place to place. So, the night before the cruise, I called up Charlie and made the arrangements for him to meet us at the port.

Charlie was indeed a nice guy, and he took us all over Phuket to wherever that we wanted to go.

Our first stop was to take an elephant ride.

We had to take 2 elephants, so, hubby took one elephant.....

........and I and Aiman shared another elephant.

Aiman kept pinching his nose during the ride as the elephant that we took kept pooing as he walked along! LOL!

The next stop was to the Go-Kart.

I think both the boys (yes, the other boy being my hubby! LOL!) had fun at the Go-Kart. I just stayed by the side and took photos.

Another adventure for the boys, our next stop was to the shooting range or the Phuket Rifle Shooting Association.

Don’t ask me what type of guns or rifles they used. I just know that they are guns and rifles! Heheheh...

All set and ready now......

It's Aiman's turn to shoot.

Aim and shoot!

Want to see how the boys scored? *wink*

Here’s Azman’s score...

Here’s Aiman’s first attempt at shooting. Not bad, huh.... *wink*

Our next stop was a visit to the Bee Farm.

Seen here are hubby and Aiman listening to the product talk.

This guy is 76 years old and still strong and able to work. He claims it’s the honey that he takes. He’s a Malaysian, by the way, but had married a Siamese and settled down in Thailand for God knows how many years. He gave the product talk in Bahasa Melayu.

We made a stop to the jewellery factory. 

Except for the photo above, no other photos were allowed and everything was so expensive, so we did not buy anything except for some small souvenirs.

Our next stop was to a shop called Pornthip selling all things preserved and dried.

We spent some time here buying lots of dried squids, anchovies, and prawns processed in different ways with different flavourings.

In the shop is showcased a township built solely from boxes of biscuits.

I think it's neat!

Our last stop before making our way for dinner was to a shop selling T-shirts, shorts and other types of souvenirs. The shop owner speaks Malay and payments can be made in Ringgit, Baht and USD.

When you get into the shop, the first thing they do is make you listen to a short briefing on shopping at their shop. I can’t remember exactly what he said, but that their T-shirts are of high quality, that they don’t have many shop assistants, and so, running cost is kept low in order to keep their prices low. And, yes, I do agree that their T-shirts are reasonably priced but are of good quality.

Our last stop for the day was for dinner, but not before we stopped awhile and snapped this photo in front of this big Nike shop.

We had to go to town to find a shop selling halal food, but it was worth the trouble and time it took us to get there, including the traffic jam that we had to go through.

It was a great meal of Tom Yam Seafood, Fried Prawns and Chicken (yes! chicken!) and Mixed Veggies. The Tom Yam was really nice, albeit very spicy. We ate to our hearts content. *grin*

When dinner was done with, it was time to make our way back to the ship. It was close to 8.00pm. Our ship was to depart at 11.45pm, but we were very tired already from all the activities for the day.

We also wanted to catch the show for that night, a performance by the ship’s staff and crew, which starts at 10.30pm.

Seen here are hubby and Aiman with Charlie, our taxi driver for the day.

If anyone is interested to get in touch with him on your next trip to Phuket, let me know. He will make sure you enjoy yourself by taking to places you want to go.

Another photo in front of the ship.

After taking a warm shower and a short rest, we headed on to the Star Dust Lounge for the performance by the crew.

It was a good show where there were of lots of fun and laughter .

As we departed late from Phuket, I managed to catch a view from the ship at close to midnight - very serene and quiet.

The tents that you can see are like our Pasar Malam where they sell all types of souvenirs in case you forget to buy something from town to bring back home before boarding the ship.

End of Day 2.