Saturday, 21 March 2009

Dragon Boat End of Season Dinner

After the Melbourne International Dragon Boat Race, the season has comes to an end with a dinner celebration on 14th March 2009.

The celebration was held in Pepper Chilli (85 Little Bourke St, corner of Exhibition and Little Bourke) with a great attendance of 41 people! When we first heard the name of the restaurant, we were hoping that not all the food served were spicy. It turn out to be a Sze Chuan Restaurant. Thank god that it was a set menu where we were given a choice of some of the dishes.

The Dragon Boaters on our table

Overall it was a great night with good company, speeches from the Captains and there was also award presentations.

It started off with the CERTIFICATE of achievements:
  • Best Race Day Performance Docklands Cup: Kevin Wong
  • Best Race Day Performance Falls Creek Mile High Championship: Miki Ishikawa
  • Best Race Day Performance Victorian Titles: Karsten Arnold
  • Best Drummer: Melissa Ong
  • Best Sweep: Chris Walters
Then followed by the 2008/09 TROPHIES:
  • Most Valuable Paddler: Joel Chua
  • Best Male Paddler: Jay Sadler
  • Best Female Paddler: Eva Bui
  • Best Rookie: Nadja Wiedemann
  • Best Team Spirit Male: Stephen Soo
  • Best Team Spirit Female: Hennley Sah
Stephen with his trophy!

Close up of Stephen's trophy

Stephen with me and his trophy

A very Happy Hennley with her trophy with me and Ivy

Both Stephen and I were very surprise that he would get an award, as we didn't know what the award categories were. Anyhow, it is an excellent idea to give out all these certificates and awards to give motivation as well as recognition of every one's hard work and determination to the team. Great Work CYSM!!!

Ryan and Stephen enjoying the night

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

St. Ali

A day after our successful race at IMDBF, Devin and Hennley brought us and Ryan to a local coffee joint called St. Ali. My colleague told me before that this place serves excellent strong coffee but I never get the chance to try it and after a while, it sort of slipped my mind.

Finally tried it and am loving every bit of it. The coffee is strong, so good that I had to order another cup. The food is delicious as well, especially Lily's french toast. :)

A good morning dose of medication

Just by looking at it, you know this is one delicious coffee

Lily's brekkie - very tasty french toast topped with bacon and peach
(by far the best we have had)

My brekkie - scrambled eggs topped with smoked salmon with chili jam
(highly recommended)

St. Ali in South Melbourne

St. Ali - industrial interior

It was a relaxing way to start our day with tasty breakfast, delicious coffees, good companies and plenty of laughter. Our lives are truly blessed.

Melbourne International Dragon Boat Festival

5 months of training to live for a single minute!

That's what my team's vice captain said before the race. last Sunday, i.e. 8 March 09. I could not agree more. All the sacrifices everyone made to attend tough trainings 3 times a week, enduring sore muscles the very next day, it all came down to this race.

We were up against the national and state champion and we were pushing them all the way. I must say, we did really well by coming third. There were a couple of races that we only lost by a fraction of a second!!!

Even the champions themselves were amazed how far we have come in 1 year. :D

Overall, it was a very good experience, the excitement and adrenaline burst before the race were just sensational and knowing we crossed the finish line far better than our training best time, it was pure "awesomeness". And to be in a team that shares the same commitment and determination to win, it's out of this world!

I am already looking forward to the next major race!

Below are some of the race videos (My team in red, in case you are wondering).

Heats - Open 20s

Heats - Men's Power 10

Finals - Mixed 20s

Finals - Men's Power 10

Lily and myself during race break

The 3 "stooges"

No idea what we were trying to do

Yuin was in town, was supposed to be our cheerleader but forgot her pom poms!

The whole team that made it all possible

Our rewards! :D

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Transformer 2 Trailer

It was raining so heavily this morning that while waiting for the rain to subside, was watching a couple of videos and came across this. Nice! :) Could not stop laughing after that.

Mei Lee found a couple funnier videos.


Now the official Transformer 2 trailer.

Can't wait!

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Short getaway

Lily joined me at Sydney last week for a short getaway. We were both looking forward to it but the weather forecast was not too encouraging. Outer Sydney were flooding (ironically Melbourne is not getting a drop of rain), the city itself were supposedly having thunder storm. We were very cautious of the weather. I should know better the prediction is never accurate, there were only some light drizzles on Saturday morning!

Checked-in time usually at 2pm but when we drop off our luggage at the hotel, we were told that our room was not occupied and we could check in there and then, at 9am! SWEET! We were surprised as well the room number they gave us. - '1818.' Very "ong" :D A good start to our short getaway!

Our room number

View from our room

Walked around the city shortly afterward, looking for a place for some good breakfast. Exploring all the lanes along the way and we found this small restaurant selling good old Irish scones. It was not packed unlike other restaurants but we gave it a try, cautiously. When we sat down, we were instantly taken aback by the atmosphere, Irish songs with wonderful Irish decors all around. Could not set the "scene" any better. To top if off, our scones were fresh from oven, still warm and soft on the inside. All the carbs we needed to get us through the day! :)

Scones with Irish tea

Us at Harbor Bridge

Us at Circular Quay

Us with Opera House and Harbour Bridge

When I was at Sydney last time, a friend of ours brought me to this Japanese restaurant to try out their hotpot a.k.a steamboat. Instead of using normal broth, they use soy milk and sweet miso paste soup. It was sensational, especially the soup, with all the meat juices. Loved it last time and was dying to bring Lily to try it out. She loved it as well!

Dish 1 - Our starter

Dish 2 - Teriyaki wagyu beef

Dish 3 - Sapporo Hot Pot

After such a heavy meal, we needed some exercise to digest the food a little. :D Walked around the harbour and managed to capture some beautiful shots of it.

Sydney Harbour at night

Us with Sydney Harbour

Before we flew back to Melbourne on Sunday evening, we went to a french bakery at The Rocks to finish off our wonderful weekend with some good coffee and cakes. To rate the cakes as good is an understatement. It just melts in your mouth. I am not a cake person and I loved it! We will definitely come back for more when we visit Sydney next. :)