Friday, July 25, 2014

Warrook Cattle Farm

September 2, 2013 
Melbourne - Phillip Island

We woke up early today, excited about traveling to Phillip Island to see the Penguin Parade that night (finally!) But first, we had to make a stop at Warrook Cattle Farm, which is just on the way from Melbourne to Phillip Island. It takes about 1 hour by car from Melbourne to WCF, and another 45 mins from WCF to Phillip Island.

Along the way it was miles and miles of clear blue skies, white clouds and green rolling hills with black cows and wooly white sheep grazing on the grass. A perfect Australian countryside picture. One house to the next was so far, separated by so much farmland, you had to drive. We got a little bit lost using the GPS, but soon we arrived at Warrook Cattle Farm.  

Moo moo cow at entrance to gift shop
Dining area inside the homestead

Warrook Cattle Farm

Warrook Cattle Farm is a cattle and sheep farm on the highway from Melbourne to Phillip Island. The historic homestead was originally settled by the Lyall family in 1857. Visitors can choose to visit the fauna park, or take the farm tour where you can experience farm life activities eg. shearing sheep, milking cows, cracking the stockwhip etc.! Visitors can also opt to have a traditional Australian lunch inside the beautiful homestead.  

We chose to just visit the fauna park, it only cost us a few dollars each.


My first time seeing a real-life, hopping kangaroo! Although to be frank, hubby and I were a little disappointed to see that the kangaroos actually looked like dogs. I was expecting this giant, red-haired creature leaping majestically across the field like in the Tourism Australia logo lol. The kangaroos here were small-sized and pale-colored and they were crawling around on all fours limply like they were in lack of food. :-P We got the chance to feed them some kangaroo food from a bucket. Although they may look tame, their nails are actually quite long and I got scratched by one of the kangaroos. 

While writing this post, it suddenly crossed my mind that if nobody condemns Australians when they eat kangaroos, nobody should condemn Koreans for eating dogs cos actually they are just about the same. Well, just a thought. :-P
  
Stuart the Wombat

We also met Stuart the Wombat! Wombat is also another marsupial which I had never seen before. It looks like a black baby pig actually minus the snout. We got to feed Stuart some carrots. The keeper cautioned us to be careful while feeding in case Stuart bites our hand. It was scary. I couldn't expect it to be ferocious as it looks so cuddly!  


We took a little time to walk around the fauna park and snap some photos. There was a pond and some waterbirds, and some other animals such as emu, peacock, etc. We didn't greet all of them as we were more excited to see the kangaroos and wombats. 

More of the farm...

Do we look like a farm couple?
The homestead is very beautiful, as well as its surroundings of green, green grass.


Warrook Cattle Farm:
4150 S Gippsland Hwy, Monomeith VIC 3984, Australia
+61 3 5997 1321

 

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Week 28 - Maternity Photoshoot

#throwback #week28 simple maternity photoshoot in our garden *^_^*

Couple shot taken using camera timer :-P

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Week 37, 3rd Trimester - Stuff for Baby Pt. 2

Updates about baby! 

We have just started our weekly checkup routine at the doctor's. At Week 36, doctor measured baby's heartbeat using Doppler. Doctor said since baby does not change much from week to week, there'd be no ultrasound picture for us this week. *Sob*... I was so looking forward to seeing baby's face again... now that I can't see her for another week, I miss her... ;-(

Guess we'll have to make do with a one week backdated picture then!

Baby at Week 35

That's our baby! Isn't she cute? Hubby says her face looks tembam... very geram wanna cubit her. At Week 37, she is considered term and is now layering on fat. However doctor said she is still very small size, she is 1.7kg @Week35, where normally it is expected to be around 2.3kg. I hope she layers on more fat... I want a cute chubby baby! Can't wait to cubit her cheek and bite her!

Updates about Mommy...

Doctor has been regularly checking my urine content for protein. For two weeks now my urine contained protein. Plus gestational hypertension this may mean signs of pre-eclampsia, where if serious the mom may go into seizure during childbirth. Hmm for now the signs look mild... hopefully it won't happen to me la... Doctor kept reminding me to go to hospital right away if I show any signs like bad headache, nausea etc. So far so good la... I'm keeping my emotions positive and going about my daily routines and taking a lot of rest. I'm thankful that my boss is also understanding and everything at work is going okay. Also thanks to my good friend that pinjam me her BP machine so I can check my BP everyday at home. :-)

Photoshoot @Week 36

Finally my tummy looks big enough for a photoshoot! Asked our good friend to come help us take some pictures in the garden and in our home with his DSLR. Maybe cos he is our good friend we felt comfortable and at ease in front of the camera. Our pictures turned out smiley and happy, and reminded us of the "feel" when my good friends took our portraits during our ROM, years back. One funny thing was me and hubby were quite amazed by his skill, he even asked us to show teeth when we smile, open eyes wider, angle our bodies here and there... lol... it was a very enjoyable session.


Actually I also 'forced' hubby to take some pictures of me during Week 28. Will post the pictures up soon hahah.

Stuff for baby

Our baby's cot is up! Can't wait to room-in with her... our little angel. *love* 

Hensvik cot from IKEA

We bought the Hensvik cot from IKEA cos I like the design and it comes in a set so later we can add-on the wardrobe and little table etc. in her room when she gets bigger. The little Astro horse (马力全开!) is a present from my mom, she bought it during CNY when we found out we gonna have a 小马力 hehe. The colorful wrap-around softtoy I bought on Groupon. I also washed her bedsheets and pillow sheets and aired the coconut fiber mattress already. 

Now the wooden thing on the top of the cot is a diaper changing station... her papa insisted to custom-make it at the carpenter shop! I said, no need to buy IKEA changing station... after a few months when baby becomes squirmish we won't be using it anymore... but he insisted to get one made cos he said he'll be the one changing the smelly diapers... *faint* 

Papa also bought a 2nd-hand Sharp air-filter machine from an expat couple that were moving back to Europe. The first day we brought it home and turned it on, both of us fell sick. Then he washed the carbon filter and changed the HEPA filter inside, so far it's working better. The air-filter is to filter off papa's odor when baby is rooming-in with us. *loveeeeee*


 The Papa hard at work setting up the IKEA cot... 2 months ago. :-P

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Melbourne - Dinner at Southbank & Yarra River Night Scene

September 1, 2013 
Melbourne CBD

Southbank is the area of Melbourne along the southern bank of the Yarra River. The big accounting firms, Crown Casino and many cafes, shops and restaurants are located here. We took a leisurely stroll around this area, had dinner and walked back to our hotel at night. The weather was just perfect for a night stroll, not too chilly for our hoodies and light jackets.

Yarra River in the evening, on the left is Southbank


Southbank - Crown Casino at the back

There is a line of columns that blow out fire from the top one-by-one at random intervals. When I stood close to the column I could smell the kerosene and feel the hot air blowing from it... perfect for the cold weather. This picture is so funny... looks like someone set his hair on fire!



Along the Crown promenade there is some artificial grass, we sat down there for a while and looked at the lights on the Yarra River till it turned dark.


 
For dinner we popped into one of the many restaurants lining the promenade. It was also Father's Day in Australia and they were giving a free Corona to dads at the table. We ordered red wine, a selection of cured meats (sausages, bacon, kangaroo jamon!!, cheese) for our appetizer and steak! Yum!


After that we strolled a bit more taking in the beautiful night scene at Yarra River, drank some hot chocolate at the Lindt shop, and walked back to our hotel.

Yarra River night scene
Flinder's Station all lighted up at night

So this post concludes my series around Melbourne CBD. Here is a list of places we visited in Melbourne CBD:

-Flinder's Street Station
-Federation Square
-Parliament House
-Old Treasury Building
-Fitzroy Gardens
-Captain Cook's Cottage
-Conservatory
-Queen Victoria Market
-Digital Harbour/ Waterfront City
-Southbank

Next, on to the Great Ocean Road!

Our hotel:
Ibis Budget Melbourne CBD
97-103 Elizabeth St, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

+61 3 9642 0064

Monday, July 21, 2014

Melbourne - Queen Victoria Market

September 1, 2013 
Melbourne CBD


After sightseeing around the Melbourne CBD, we went to Queen Victoria Market to do some souvenir shopping and lunch. Near QVM we saw this really tall copper statue which looked amazing at first sight, but looked super geli when we took a nearer glance. :-P

I think my gay friends would love a miniature of this

Queen Victoria Market - The market is a must-visit Melbourne tourist destination, offering a variety of produce - seafood, fruits and vegetables, gourmet and deli foods, as well as souvenirs, art and crafts.

The souvenirs here are pretty cheap, we got some keychains, magnets, stuffed toys from here... but didn't dare to buy too many cos we would still be traveling around. Many of the stall owners are actually not local, there was this souvenir stall playing Indonesian music from the radio, at first I thought they were Malay and I said I was from Malaysia, then the owner said they're actually from Indonesia... but they gave us a discount for the things we bought anyway, probably knowing our currency exchange rate. :-P 

Queen Victoria Market




Souvenirs
Taking a break after souvenir shopping

There were also a lot of food stalls at QVM! We bought freshly cooked mussels in white wine sauce, strawberries, fruits etc to fill our stomach.


For lunch, don't go too late as the QVM lunch shops close around 2pm. We had the quintessential fish & chips, mom was craving for Malaysian food so I think she ordered curry mee or zhap fan, and we bought freshly shucked oysters from the seafood section! There was also an interesting selection of gourmet food at the deli section like cured meat and cheese with holes in it... too bad we didn't try them.

Fish & chips

Freshly shucked oysters
Deli selling sausages, ham and bacon

Friday, July 18, 2014

#PrayforMH17

Just wanna say a bit about today. 

Woke up this morning to use the bathroom at 6.45am. Then checked my handphone and saw a series of notifications from Flipboard about Malaysian Airlines plane crash in Ukraine. Yes, Flipboard, not Facebook... and yes, MH17 not MH370... I rubbed my eyes to make sure I was fully awake... but as I flipped through the news the headlines still wouldn't go away. My hubby shifted on his side with sleepy eyes and as I told him the terrible news his eyes grew big right away and he woke up. 

Truly tragic, and what are the odds of this bad fate befalling Malaysian Airlines twice, just a few months apart? Truly sad... and I believe in what my friend said, at this moment there is nothing we can do, just #prayformh17 . Prayer is powerful in times of tragedy, and I hope that God will comfort those under his care, the souls of the innocent deceased and friends and family of MH317.

Melbourne - Fitzroy Gardens & Captain Cook's Cottage

September 1, 2013 
Melbourne CBD 

It is easy being a tourist in this well-planned and picturesque city. We took the free Melbourne city circle tram and hopped-on-and-off at destinations we wanted to visit. One of our stops was at Spring Street. We got off at the Parliament Building, visited the Old Treasury Building and walked to Fitzroy Gardens. There is a beautiful little flower conservatory inside the Fitzroy Gardens, also FOC.

We walked to this picturesque little cottage on the edge of the gardens and found out that it is Captain Cook's Cottage. Actually the cottage belongs to Captain Cook's parents to be exact, and it was actually built in England and shipped over to Australia to be re-constructed piece-by-piece. Again, the entrance ticket was too pricey... so we just skipped going in and took some pictures from outside. Really wonder what the interior looks like!!

Cook's Cottage

Love the creepers growing on the brick wall... with some trimming it could look like a heart-shape!

Post my *love*
Big tree beside Cook's Cottage

Fitzroy Gardens is really a lovely, open green space for the whole family to spend time together... even a family of geese! This cute little family was walking around the gardens, the parents so protective of their young. We actually stalked them around until they jumped into the pond one-by-one and swam away... hehe.
 
Lovely family of geese
Lovely family of geese

Breakfast in Melbourne

September 1, 2013 
Melbourne CBD


Me with the bright orange Vespa

Wonder whether I'll be able to finish blogging about my travels before baby comes... by that time I'll be too busy/tired to do anything at all. :-P

Resuming my post about Melbourne. In the morning, we decided to take a stroll around Melbourne CBD to see the architecture and also to get a feel of the city. I wish we had more leisure time strolling around, exploring the shops one-by-one, and really take some days to live like a true Melburnian.

Alley with nice shops
"Breakfast Alley", graffiti and the "soup kitchen"

I think one of the key points to Melbourne life is its dining, after all, isn't Melbourne known as the food capital of Australia? After wandering around near Federation Square area searching for some place to ease our hunger, we chanced upon this alley that looked like Diagon Alley in Harry Potter. To put it in local terms it looked like those hawker stalls in Penang where the locals congregate for breakfast... but of course in a more atas and clean manner. I think another key point in Melbourne is its artsy side, we saw the back lanes filled with street art and graffiti and a guy strumming on his guitar (early in the morning)!

Posters for the Australian Federal Election, 2013

We were in Australia during the midst of the Australian Federal Elections. Saw some pop art illustrations in the alley calling people to vote, but the comic ironically says that "vote whichever side also the same"... so... should people still vote or not? :-P Leonard also commented on the lack of party flags and posters hanging around the city... I think so far we only saw one line of party flags while we were there. So different compared to the elections here where the party flags and propaganda were strewn haphazardly all around Penang... :-S

Our breakfast

We were salivating at the big breakfast (egg Benedict, bacon, bagel, coffee) being served in the alleyway. However since everything is sooo expensive and we were only on our 1st day there, being cheapo, of course we prefer to spend our money elsewhere... *haha, next time*... that being said, actually there are a few quality breakfast spots serving the same type of food in Penang also but we have never bothered to wake up early in the morning to try them... :-P

So in the end we went to have our breakfast at fast-food Pie Face *look at those smiley pies!*... cutesy but the taste so-so... but it's a chain shop only found in Australia so quite an "authentic" experience also... Also discovered the existence of "flat white" and "long black" coffee in Australia... next time should really take our time to savour the food and good coffee in Melbourne!

After eating at Pie Face we went back to the breakfast alley cos I was intrigued by the huge soup pots in the "soup kitchen" (a shop... not for the homeless mind you...). Bought some soups to takeaway and Leonard, being the friendly guy that he is, stroke up a conversation with the soup-seller, a Middle-Eastern guy (forgot which country he is from). The guy asked where we were from and when we said Malaysia, he said that he had been to Malaysia twice and asked why were we in Melbourne for vacation for Melbourne is such a boring place compared to Kuala Lumpur! =_=||| Well... to each his own is what I can say... hahaha...