Sunday 23 November 2014

Girl's Concert and the Hubby's 35th Birthday

It was a 3-day birthday celebration for the hubby again this year, just like it was the year before.

However this year, he'll be starting the celebrations with his girl's annual year end concert! We were told that she'll be leading the class in singing the national anthem and taking the pledge in both English and Chinese (I don't even know the whole pledge in Chinese) so we were excited to see her in action!

Leading the rest of her class in saying the pledge

I was really nervous that she will be scared but she performed like a pro. I am very proud of her!

The finale pose!
Her brother slept for most of it, only waking when the concert was going to end
Good job girl!

After the concert, we had dim sum at Imperial Treasure at Great World City.

You must try the porridge and noodles here; delicious! 

The mum-in-law and I love this restaurant, which in our opinion is better than Crystal Jade.

After lunch, we headed to Volvo to pick up the XC90 7-Seater SUV. The hubby and I tend to have different ideas of our dream car (mine is the Mini Cooper or Volkswagan and his is a Ferrari or BMW) but owning an SUV was something we both always wanted! Therefore we were more than thrilled that we got a chance to experience it before deciding whether to own one in future or not.

Volvo XC90 at the Volvo showroom
It's so nice that Volvo has their own kids play room to entertain the kids while we do the adult stuff!

Both the hubby and I love how high up and sturdy the car was.

Hubby absolutely enjoying his drive

I also love the enormous boot, which is already large enough even without the seats down but if you lay the back seats down, it is huge!

The back door is split into two parts so that the lower part can be used as a stand (to put your stuff on the roof) or even a seat (to sit and enjoy the sea breeze) as it can hold the weight of up to 100kg
With the seat down, see how much room there is for me to put our Baby Jogger double stroller. Easy peasy!

According to my know-everything-about-airplanes-and-vehicles brother, the Volvo XC90 was designed by a family guy, whose objective was to have a parent carrying a baby in one hand still be able to operate the car with only the other hand. I tried exactly that, carrying my baby in one hand while loading the boot, opening the doors, and pushing the middle seats to the front and back. Well what do you know, my know-it-all brother was right!

There's also the added bonus of a built-in booster seat and more than enough seats for everyone, which makes it a really great family car =)

This car fits our family perfectly

We drove the car to pick my mum, sister and brother for dinner and for once, we were able to squeeze everyone into the car and still managed to find space for our double stroller in the boot.

More than enough space in the boot for our double stroller
Selfie of the whole family
(although you can't see baby boy who's in his car seat)

The sister and brother were really happy that they don't have to take the bus for once!

We had dinner at Jang Shou Korean Charcoal BBQ located at Esplanade because the last time I was there I enjoyed the food. The food was awesome and quite authentic albeit a bit pricey.

Kimchi soup and BBQ beef at Jang Shou Korean Charcoal BBQ

As the XC90 has a sunroof, we thought it'll be fun to take a joyride down Orchard Road to see the Christmas lights!

Christmas lights along Orchard Road

My girl was thrilled. The sunroof was possibly her favourite part of the car! =)

The next day, we went for our free staycation that came with the hubby's membership, just as we did last year. This year however, we decided to stay at Grand Copthorne Hotel rather than Orchard Hotel.

Sitting on the steps of the hotel lobby
Our Room
Beautiful view of the Singapore River and Clarke Quay
(You can even spot the Singapore Flyer and MBS)
A boat along the Singapore River
(Captured using the minature function of my Olympus OMD)
Chilling in the pool

Good as the hotel was, I personally did not like it as it was just too close to our house. It didn't feel special you know.

In any case, our friends joined us for dinner later that evening and we had a nice drive to The Grandstand in our borrowed Volvo. It was big enough to accommodate all of us, including both of our boys' almost identical Ferarri car seats.

Two car seats? No problem.
Parked at the Grandstand

We decided to have dinner at the Treehouse Cafe because I knew they had toys to occupy my girl while we had dinner.

Climbing up to the "treehouse"
I have no idea what this is but I think it's stewed pork knuckle; surprisingly delicious!

After dinner, we continued our journey to Punggol Settlement as our family had never visited it before.

Baby Boy's buddy (born just 7 days earlier) riding our double stroller with him. Felt like I have twins for a minute there.. really can't imagine taking care of two babies at once.
A group photo at the pier

There're two playgrounds and a huge turtle pond there! My girl was really happy. I quite liked the place for hanging out. Think we'll be back again =)

The next morning, we checked out of our our hotel and had lunch at Grand Shanghai, one of Grand Copthorne's restaurants.

Fulfilling my girl's request to take photos by the river
Cantonese dim sum (again!) and cuisine

And with that, our 3 days of birthday celebration (looks like it's going to be a 3 day affair every year!) came to an end. It was also time to return the Volvo, which made my girl very sad =(

After driving the XC90 for 3 days we're quite convinced that perhaps one day we'll own it. No offence to MPV owners but we prefer SUVs and the Volvo XC90 is one of the few SUVs in the market that can sit 7 people!

Do note though that there are few of the current model left because a new model is going to be launched next year. That's ok with us because I like the old model and can't afford a new car anyway (crazy COE prices!) We'll just see if we can get a 2nd hand one as our weekend car =)

Happy birthday dear!

Disclosure: Complimentary 3-day loan of a Volvo XC90 (inclusive of fuel and parking) was received from Volvo Cars Singapore for the purposes of fulfilling the hubby's dream of driving the whole family in a luxury car on his birthday. No monetary compensation was received; all opinions are my own.
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