Wednesday, 27 December 2017

My Boy's London Bus 4th Birthday

The year 2017 did not start out well for my boy in terms of school. He just turned 3 on 27 December but was fully expected to behave as a 4 year old would, like the rest of his N2 class.

I feel bad for him that he always needs to play catch up. However, I'm thankful to God that he has been coping very well.

He was able to read a lot earlier than his sister, recognise the spelled words of numbers and spell simple words. I was amazed that with help, he was able to read a simple book by himself independently! This has really helped him to catch up with his peers in class.

On the other hand, my boy has a long way to go to master the Chinese language! He does not like it as much as English. He also has his moods and would refuse to write or colour if he doesn't want to! *sigh*

Nevertheless, there's still so much to celebrate and be thankful to God for. He recently started to pee in the toilet and we therefore don't have to buy as many diapers (hooray!).

Since my boy loves buses, especially the iconic red London buses, we decided to have a London Bus themed mini party to celebrate his 4th birthday =)

This year I decided to relax and engage the help of my very talented BFF from D'Cor-d to help me with the party.

Party gifts for the kids in his class
Gifts for the kids in the other classes
I really love the wooden vehicles she got! The kids loved it!!
Very simple party for his friends in school

I gotta say, my BFF is really a genius in decorating cakes... Much better than me!

Really love the cake! So pretty!
Singing "Happy Birthday" and getting him to blow out the candle light
Left: The sister and I wanted to help but the boy was like, "noooooo";
Right: Helping him to cut the cake. 

Enjoying his chocolate hazelnut cake
(and I know this because he willingly looked at the camera and took this photo with a smile!) 

In case you are wondering, the kids are wearing matching customised t-shirts that the girl and I designed in London's Primark Oxford Street!

Matching brother-sister t-shirts

After the party, we brought the kids to sit the Sentosa cable car because the boy really loves riding the cable car. This is his 4th time on the cable car because we got the Faber License Membership (which gives us unlimited cable car rides), yet he is still just as excited!

Super excited to ride the cable car again!
With the daddy, who is really only doing this for the kids *laughs*

My dear boy,

I'm so thankful to God for you. You are fiercely independent, insist to do things on your own and can play happily on your own. On the other hand, you also love to cuddle and shower us with lots of kisses. Your delightful, loud and unreserved laughter, which I know you definitely got from me, gives me great joy everyday. I pray that you will continue to be happy, loving and a well-rounded child as you grow up. Mummy and daddy love you very, very much! 😘

Happy 4th Birthday!


Past Birthday Parties:

Sunday, 3 December 2017

UK-Paris Day 9: Nevis Ranges, Apex City of Edinburgh & Mussels Inn

We had breakfast this morning at Brown's Restaurant at Nevis Bank Inn.

Brown's Restaurant
The free flow buffet section
Choice of main course for each of us.
As usual we got Eggs Benedict and Full Scottish.

After breakfast, we checked out of the hotel and drove to Nevis Ranges Mountain Resort located on the mountain Aonach Mor, next to Ben Nevis.

Nevis Ranges
Nevis Range Mountain Resort

There is a Gondola (cable car) that usually brings you to the top of the mountain but unfortunately it was not in operation when we visited. I knew this when I checked the website but was harbouring some hope nevertheless. Ah well.. We decided to take some pictures in the area anyway since we were there.

Bicycle courses for cycling enthusiasts
Some photos of us in Nevis Ranges

Since it was going to be a long drive back to Edinburgh, we decided to start heading back early.

The long drive back to Edinburgh through the mountains
A herd of sheep that we passed along the way

After travelling for about 2 hours, we got hungry and made an impromptu stop at Taste Perthshire because the hubby had a good feeling about the place (and he is hardly wrong when it comes to good food!).

Taste Perthshire
(Address: Perth Road, Bankfoot, Perth PH1 4EB, United Kingdom
In one of the booths in the restaurant
We ordered Thai fish cakes, which look and taste nothing like Thai fish cakes, and some side dishes.
We also ordered, yes you guessed it, Macaroni and Cheese because my girl loves it! (She ate it almost everyday in Scotland!) 
There was a real small playground next to the building, which the girl insisted to play even though she has really outgrown it!

Taste Perthshire seems to cater mostly to retirees. The food was ok, with hits and some misses. It was still a good place to stop over for a rest.

We continued our journey for another 1.5 hours before arriving at our accommodation in Edinburgh, Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel.

The hotel has very limited parking so we had to resort to parking at the public car park lots that line the street outside the hotel. Thankfully it was Sunday and free to park till 8am the next morning.

Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel
(Address: 61 Grassmarket, Edinburgh EH1 2HJ, UK)
Nicely decoraded for Christmas

We booked 2 City Double Rooms this time as they didn't have the family-friendly option. We booked the rooms via Agoda and it cost us £84 per room per night, without breakfast.

Good size double bed
Study table and gigantic sofa
Bathroom with toiletries and even a rubber ducky for the kids to bring home!
Shower and good size bathtub

We quite enjoyed our accommodation as it was spacious and comfortable.

We later decided to drive to Edinburgh Old Town for dinner, a decision that we would soon regret. It was a Saturday so the roads were very crowded with pedestrians and vehicles. Some roads also only allowed public transportation such as buses and taxis while other roads that allowed cars looked like pedestrian walkways. We were turning in circles around the town because we were new to it and took some time to understand how it works. To add to the frustration, we had a lot of difficulty trying to find a parking lot.

By the time we managed to find a parking space in some back alley near our dinner place, we were exhausted and so ready to have a feast!

"This Mussels Inn better be freakin' worth the effort!" I said. And thankfully, it was SOOOO worth the effort!!

Mussels Inn
(Address: 61-65 Rose St, Edinburgh EH2 2NH, UK)

The hubby is automatically drawn to this restaurant, as their 'Passionate about Seafood' tagline is the same as his life motto!

Although mussels are their speciality, they also serve other kinds of seafood such as oysters and fish
Yummy mussels soaked in white wine! 
Yummy fish and mussels!
Look at how juicy and succulent they are! *drools*

Highly recommended if you're visiting Edinburgh and love mussels!

We drove back to our hotel with very satisfied stomachs, excited for our day in Edinburgh tomorrow 😁

Continue to >> UK-Paris Day 10: Edinburgh Castle & Scottish National Gallery
<< Back to UK-Paris Day 8: Mealt Falls, Fairy Pools & Nevis Bank Inn


Download our London, Scotland & Paris Itinerary 2017 Printable 
(PDF to be added when this series has been completed)
Visit MADPSYCHMUM TRAVELS for the rest of my posts on UK and Paris, France
as well as other travel itineraries!

You can also follow my travel adventures on Instagram via the hashtag #madpsychmumtravels! =)

Saturday, 2 December 2017

UK-Paris Day 8: Mealt Falls, Fairy Pools & Nevis Bank Inn

As usual, we woke up early at 6am and had breakfast at The Bosville Hotel's Dulse & Brose Restaurant.

Window seat at Dulse & Brose, overlooking Loch Portree and Portree Harbour
Morning breakfast is served! I had Scottish Breakfast while the hubby had salmon

As usual, breakfast was tasty but maybe not as impressive as the breakfast we had yesterday at Loch Ness Inn.

We checked out of the hotel after breakfast and headed out to do some sightseeing I'm Isle of Skye.

Although Old Man of Storr was one of the main attractions in Isle of Skye, we decided to give it a miss because it required a lot of hiking.

Instead, we headed to Mealt Falls, located just 25 minutes away from Portree.

Mealt Falls
(Address: Portree IV51 9JE, UK)
The wind was blowing so strong that we couldn't stay there for long even if we wanted to
The history of the area and how the rocks were formed
This site was also where many dinosaur fossils were discovered

We left after 5 minutes because we couldn't stand the freezing cold winds! Our next stop was the very famous The Fairy Pools, approximately 1 hour away from Mealt Falls.

Passed a highland cow, who was finally close enough for me to take a picture
Lots of sheep found along the roads in Scotland so watch out for them when driving

You would need to park at the Fairy Pools Car Park and hike for about 45 minutes (one way) to The Fairy Pools.

Look out for this Fairy Pools signboard
Fairy Pools Car Park
(Address: Glenbrittle, Isle of Skye IV47 8TA, UK)
Fairy Pools is located somewhere within the smaller mountain on the left

The start of our 45-minute hike to Fairy Pools
(you can sort of see the winding pathway that leads to the mountains)
You'd need to hop over slippery rocks along the way so be sure the folks in your travelling party can handle this before deciding whether or not to hike.
My mum and girl had no issues with assistance from the hubby and I 😊
Enjoying River Brittle along the way as we hiked

We had hiked for almost 40 minutes before it started raining and made the path too slippery for the mum and girl to hike any further. The hubby went ahead to see how far we still had to hike and realised that it was still a distance away (although I'm quite sure that it should be at most 10 minutes away). We were so disappointed that we came so close but could not reach our destination 😣

Thankfully, we got to see a snippet of the emerald green waters that The Fairy Pools was famous for! It looked just like the smaller version of The Fairy Pools! Too bad it was winter otherwise I would have been tempted to jump in! *laughs*

This was the furthest we hiked to
(you can see the hubby's figure at the top trying to scout the road ahead)
Not as big as The Fairy Pools but looked just as serene and beautiful!
So proud of the mum and girl for making it so far!

Although we didn't make it to The Fairy Pools, we had no regrets. It was a nice hike where we got to admire the beautiful world that God has created 😄

We decided to head straight to our accommodation for the night, located approximately 2.5 hours.

Along the way, we stopped at Cafe Sia for a late lunch. We didn't realise it but Cafe Sia is one of the food places highly rated by Trip Advisor! The hubby is really good at choosing good food without even planning to!

Cafe Sia
(Address: Ford Road, Isle of Skye IV49 9AB, UK)
We enjoyed their beef and brownie
My girl just loves macaroni and cheese so we ordered it yet again!

We continued on our journey to Ben Nevis, Britain's tallest mountain. By now, the sun was already low on the ground and we spent most of the journey with no light except for the light of our own car! The winding road through the mountains without light at high speeds of more than 100km/h was a challenge! Don't attempt this if you've never driven with no light or winding roads before. It's really not for the faint of heart!

Thankfully, the hubby is a pro at driving on such roads, having driven so many times in Malaysia and Australia =D

We finally saw the light from the town and  arrived safely at Nevis Bank Inn.

Nevis Bank Inn
(taken in the day)
(Address: Belford Rd, Fort William PH33 6PF, UK)

We booked the Double Double Room via the hotel's website at £125 per room per night. The room accommodates 4 persons and comes with breakfast (more details in the next post, link at the end of this post).

Two double beds
Very spacious bathroom with a large bathtub
Spacious living space
As mentioned, there are no fridges in most hotels in Scotland so we had to make do with the windowsill to keep our perishables cool

We retired to bed early after a long day on the road!

Continue to >> UK-Paris Day 9: Nevis Ranges, Apex City of Edinburgh Hotel & Mussels Inn
<< Back to UK-Paris Day 7: Urquhart & Eilean Donan Castle, Portree, Bosville Hotel


Download our London, Scotland & Paris Itinerary 2017 Printable 
(PDF to be added when this series has been completed)
Visit MADPSYCHMUM TRAVELS for the rest of my posts on UK and Paris, France
as well as other travel itineraries!

You can also follow my travel adventures on Instagram via the hashtag #madpsychmumtravels! =)
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