Sunday, 28 December 2008

Dockland Cup 2008

This is a long overdue post... ;P I have been wanting to blog Stephen's first competitive dragon boat race held early December. So here it is. :D

On 7 December 2008 was our first competitive dragon boat race as compared to the one we had in Albert Park. We were all very excited the night before and tried our very best to have sufficient rest and carbs. Even thought I did not participate this time but I was there to cheer the team - it was just as tiring! =)

Luck was on our side that the weather was really good. Based on the weather forecast it was suppose to rain a bit in the morning, instead the sun was out the whole time. The race started at 9 in the morning and lasted till 4.30 in the evening. CYSM participated in over 20 races,, i.e. heats, quarter-final, semi-final and finals, winning some of it and came second for the rest. It was pretty good result and a massive improvement considering we only reached quarter-finals in prior year (i think) :D

Overall, CYSM came second and everyone in the team was thrilled! I think we were more ecstatic than the team that won!

Below are some of the photos to highlight the race event.

CYSM getting in position in the boat

All on board and moving out to the starting position

All paddling slowly to the start position

All in the starting position and ready for the horn to go off

This was one of our good heat. As you can see we won first position. It was a good start for our team. Great job guys!!!

Another series of photos showing we were giving all we've got in the race.

The tropes that we were racing for

Here is a video clip of one of the semi final races. (Of course it's showing CYSM winning. ;) )

CYSM 2008

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Christmas lights in Melbourne

Back in year 2001, my family's friend brought us to experience the spirit of Christmas in Melbourne. They brought us to a suburb where the houses along the entire road were fully decorated with fantastic moving displays, some even with musical.

From then on, every Christmas, I always wanted to relive the experiences again. And that's what we did 2 weeks back. We went to a few suburbs, some near and some an hour drive away just to get the best Christmas lights. We might seem enthusiastic but compared to some home owners that have been decorating their homes for years, we don't come close. :D

Some of the decorations were so good that there was a long queue of cars, all waiting their turn to drive up to the front of the house for a good view of the decorations. Some home owners even offered candy canes to all children.

Below are some of the photos that turn out alright.

Christmas lights - 1

Christmas lights - 2

Christmas lights - 3

Christmas lights - 4

Christmas lights - 5

Christmas lights - 6

Christmas lights - 7

Christmas lights - 8

There were 2 houses (Doncaster East & Frankston) that we both find most impressive, all the lights were synced to music. The lights were on every night and the music were broadcast on the local FM. There's over 20,000 lights, lots of colour and action! :) Our personal favourite is the Frankston house (photo #10). The music is more powerful and lively. We managed to capture the light presentations but it's not an award winning quality. :D

Christmas lights (Doncaster East) - 9

Doncaster East lights presentation (be sure to turn on the speakers)

Christmas lights (Frankston) - 10

Frankston lights presentation (be sure to turn on the speakers)

Thursday, 25 December 2008

Luck or no luck??!!

I was feeling rather ecstatic after I got a call from the marketing department that I have just won 2 tickets to the special screening of The Tale of Despereaux! That means we get to watch the movie 1 week before everyone else. Something both my missus and I have not tried before. I was brought back down to earth when I collected the tickets. The date of the screening coincides with my other commitments! :( A real bummer! No choice but to give away the tickets.

Few days later, another call from marketing department, I won another 2 tickets to the Australian Open! Something I would never guessed in a million years! Twice in a week!!! 2 tickets to the first of the 4 Grand Slams tennis tournament! Sensational!!! To top it off, its the main match of the day! We are over the moon again! :D

Monday, 8 December 2008

Christmas in Melbourne

It's the time of the year again where individuals from various background get together to celebrate one festival, i.e. Christmas!

As usual Myer in Bourke Street will always have their yearly window display for Christmas. This year, it is based on a book by Alan Snow called "How Santa Really Works". It shows the process of how Santa gets his helpers and the different stages he has to go through in order for the presents to be delivered.

The first window start with "Who actually helps Santa?"

There are 3 parts to this window. The first part shows the elves has to study to do a specific job.

Then there is training for the specific job.

After the elves has gone through the training, they were graduated.

The 2nd window display goes on to: "How does Santa know what you want?"

It shows lots of speech bubble by the elves and letters from the children.

The 3rd window display shows "Where are all the toys made?"

This one you can see the stages of making toys. If you look closely, you can see how they make a teddy bear, starting with sowing the shape of the hand, leg and body. Then putting in the cotton, follow by sowing all the parts together. Lastly, sowing the head to the body.

The 4th window display shows "Where are all the toys kept?"

The 5th window display shows "Who organises all the presents?"

The last window display asked "Surely Santa can't get all the presents in his sleigh?"

Since we were in the city, we went for a walk down Swanson Street to see the Christmas Tree which was beautifully light up in red and green.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

Japan - Day 8 (Disneyland)

We woke up early on day 8, hoping that we could reach Disneyland early and beat the crowd. Got our good spread of hearty breakfast at Hilton and reached Disneyland approximately 9 in the morning. What we did not expect was the crowd was already there before us. Again, we were lucky to pre-purchase our Disneyland tickets and saved a lot of time queuing up at the ticket counter.

When we were at the front courtyard, we found ourselves being a kid again. :D We were chasing the Mickey & Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, etc, trying to take a photo with them. After a while, we sort of gave up, there were just too many children surrounding them! Understandably, they are the most well-known Disney characters. Lily made a good call, in taking photographs with the lesser known Disney characters and spending more time in Disneyland rather than chasing after Mickey & Minnie Mouse, etc.

Disneyland crowd - 1

Disney crowd - 2

Disney crowd - 3

Jiminy cricket from Pinocchio

Panchito from Panchito Pistoles

Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh

Lily with Eeyore

Disneyland front courtyard - celebrating 25th anniversary

Us at the front courtyard

A happy couple in Disneyland

The first parade was Lets Go, Villains! and it runs once a day. There was no way we were going to miss it. We found the parade route and got ourselves a nice front spot along the route. Waited for a couple of minutes and when the music started playing, we parade was approaching!

Let's Go, Villains parade - 1

Let's Go, Villains parade - 2

Let's Go, Villains parade - 3

Let's Go, Villains parade - 4

Let's Go, Villains parade - 5

Let's Go, Villains parade - 6

The crowd leaving Let's Go, Villains parade

After Let's Go, Villains, we went off to a number of live outdoor theater entertainment and explore Disneyland by themed land. There are 7 different themed lands and each offers a very unique experience. We were having so much fun with all the entertainments and rides that time passed really quickly.

Disneyland castle

Us with Disneyland castle at the back

Halloween decoration

Us with Halloween decors - 1

Us with Halloween decors - 2

Lily with Halloween decors

Us with Mickey ghost

Us with Minnie ghost

Us with Halloween decors - 3

We both find this just amusing!

Us mimicking our pass holder (if you haven't realise that already!)

There was another parade in the afternoon entitled Jubilation. It's similar to Let's Go, Villains, it only runs once a day. It goes through the same route as Let's Go, Villains as well, around Disneyland and by the time we reached there, music has just started playing. We were just in time!

Jubilation Parade - 1

Jubilation Parade - 2

Jubilation Parade - 3

Jubilation Parade - 4

Jubilation Parade - 5

Jubilation Parade - 6

Jubilation Parade - 7

Jubilation Parade - 8

Jubilation Parade - 9

Jubilation Parade - 10

Jubilation Parade - 11

Jubilation Parade - 12

Jubilation Parade - 13

Jubilation Parade - 14

Jubilation Parade - 15

Jubilation Parade - 16

Jubilation Parade - 17

Jubilation Parade - 18

Not long after the Jubilation parade, it started raining! It was not heavy but good enough to get the whole place wet. Most of the live outdoor entertainments were canceled. We and the rest of the Disneyland enthusiasts were lining up for the rides. The queue was so long that each one takes approximately 45 minutes. Thank goodness the rides were all worth the wait!

It rained through the whole evening and into the night. Both of us were looking forward for the Dreamlights Parade, with millions of dazzling lights lighting up the night and the 25th anniversary fireworks. We were quite dissapointed that it was cancelled but understandably, there's nothing much can be done. That gives Lily another excuse to visit Japan for the second time. :D

The rain got a little bit heavier at night and most of the enthusiasts went indoor to do some shopping at World Bazaar. We didn't lose out and got outselves a couple of souvenirs. :)

Wet Disneyland - 1

Wet Disneyland - 2

Wet Toon Town - 1

Wet Disneyland - 4

Even Daisy Duck's fridge needs an umbrella

Wet Toon Town - 2

Lamp post in Toon Town - 1

Lamp post in Toon Town - 2

Wet Toon Town - 3

Chaotic World Bazaar - 1

Chaotic World Bazaar - 2

Before we headed back to our hotel, we wanted to take a good photo with Mickey Mouse. We were looking at the entertainment schedule and to our surprise, there was a Meet Mickey session in Mickey's House. We headed there without second thought! Thankfully, the queue was not very long but still, we waited almost 45 minutes. We didn't know why it took so long until we went into Mickey's House, we understood why. We were exploring his house and had a tour at Mickey's backyard Movie Barn. It was a showcase of Mickey's cartoon from when it first started up to now. We then asked to go into his studio where the Mickey himself was there waiting for us. We were DELIGHTED!

A very joyful Mickey welcoming us

A happy couple with a joyful Mickey!