Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Walking around Shanghai - Pt 2

Not quite sure how many parts I have to my Shanghai posts 😂😂, because I have lost track of the timeline, and the schedules of my postings. HEHE

Anyway, I combined these posts of the two days that I had the pleasure to walk around Shanghai. First day, after the wedding together with the whole gang. Second when we were going back home.

The weather was perfect 😉😉 Aaaaaand I almost broke my neck looking at the buildings. Am I the only one that's appreciating these buildings?? I wanted to lay down face up on the floor looking at these buildings and make stories out of it. Imagining them come alive when everyone else is sleeping.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

That day we saw the Pope by chance

So mum wanted to go to Rome and Vatican since the longest time. You know, being Catholic and stuff. So like all of our itineraries, I planned everything myself. I would usually ask mum for her feedback, like what she'd really like to see, or Jessy what she'd really like to experience. Mum said Rome and Vatican and Jessy said food and also Vatican.

While I was sorting out our itinerary, we don't usually follow the itinerary through and through, there are days when we completely skip the entire thing, and because I am usually the ONLY person who knows exactly what we've planned - both of them wouldn't be able to tell if we had missed anything 🙊🙈🙉

So anyway, we were trying to decide when to go to Vatican, which was supposed to be after Venice. Look, this is crucial because we're buying the tickets online, tip: you should always buy the tickets online, the queue can be a bitch, so any purchases made online are non-refundable and just a matter of claiming it via the kiosk/ counter. So long as you don't change your mind or any shitty things happen on that day you're supposed to go - all should be good.

So we were like, should we go Thursday? or Friday? Or maybe Wednesday, the day after? I usually like to go to all the must see sights the earliest or soonest because I try not to jinx anything that might. So bla bla bla, after a heated but quick discussion, we decided to go to Vatican on that week's Wednesday.

When the day finally came, we looked at the weather and was told to expect light drizzles. There were some clouds, but not drizzles really. Mum is always with her scarves so all good.

Took the bus to the train station, la di da. Beautiful day quite frankly. I'm always with my map, for someone as blur as me, when it comes to travels, I'm quite savvy with my map, soooooo you can give me the benefit of the doubt yes.

By the time we arrive at the train station though...................................................................


We were shocked, I mean I didn't know what to expect, by armies of people going in and out of the station and trains like ants on missions. Our eyes were roving everywhere, looking at everyone, in shocked. Most of them are tourists I reckon, they've got cameras, jackets, scarves. I was busy figuring out the ways to reach Vatican via the terminal, reading the map and stuff, but people kept pushing and shoving me everywhere I couldn't focus and stand still!! Okay *EXHALE* NEVERMIND, going to a holy place, HOLY MIND THEN. Told mum to stay put at one place.

Mum already is having shifty crazy anxiety panic eyes by now. Jessy by her side.

Mum's anxiety is like +100% by now. She kept raising her voice, ISN'T IT THIS ROAD? WHY SO MANY PEOPLE GO THERE? MUST BE THAT WAY? FLINCH FLINCH.

As usual, to keep myself sane, I HAD to ignore mum.

After putting my foot down, and asking mum and Jessy to follow MY LEAD we eventually queued up............................

I mean, that's what we basically did. We were so shocked looking at the crowd, we basically just stood the queue. We couldn't move. We don't know how to move. Watching everyone ran into the trains, PUSHED EVERYONE INTO THE TRAIN. I'm like, how THE F am I gonna bring my 61 year old mum in to this?!

By this time, no Hail Mary could calm me down. I even contemplate taking a cab from Rome to Vatican, like it didn't matter anymore.

But the reality was, it's expensive and we have go through this crowd whether we like it or not. After possibly the 5th train that we let go, we finally had the balls to barge in. Myself and Jessy had to start pushing people in so that mum would be able to slide in and follow our lead.

By this time, mum had already closed her eyes to calm her down 😅😅

Once in, we just slide into the empty cracks of the area, which barely fit 3 stumps like us, and stood like some piece of puzzles in a jigsaw. We couldn't move. There were no other options, I mean we were sandwiched by really tall people or by really bulky windbreakers.

Most people's stop is the Vatican... which is Roma San Pietro.

It's almost 9am by the time we arrive with the sandwich of other people. I could finally exhale. Again. I told mum and Jessy to stay calm and follow my lead... I couldn't believe we couldn't figure out the ways to the St Peter Basilica (the most famous holy place in Vatican) despite the throngs of people.. It felt like people were walking on all sorts of direction for me to figure out exactly where people were going.

WTF not that easy ka. Okay never mind, holy place, holy mind. After finally figuring out where most of the bulk were actually going, we finally got the jive to head to the direction of St Peter Basilica. Walk, walk, walk.

By the time arrive, there was a MASSIVE queue. Was it always like this, I wondered. By the time we finally manage to get into St Peter.... we were already sorted into barricades, it's like people were queueing to see something...

What's going on, clueless. How come most photos show an empty piazza?? And this is full??

We wandered around trying to find ways to go into the Basilica, without truly knowing.


Whaaaaat. Knowing absolutely nothing about it, and had no intentions to during our planning it was super luck that we chose to come to Vatican on Pope's day out! 💘💘

Mum couldn't believe our wild guess / luck that she kept asking me, really ah? Got Pope?

I told her yea 😄, and to settle down at one corner to finally catch Pope Francis and go through his service. AWESOME

Eventually Pope Francis came out waving hands to the crowd, saw him kissed some children, and then took centre stage to run through the service. The theme of his sermon was humility. Great stuff, and I loved it truly.

I must say it was pretty awesome. To accidentally choose a day date to go to Vatican to have the Pope come out! So learn from us, every Wednesday by 8.30am onwards!

*waves* Hi Pope! 🙌🙏😀
Thank you for always being nice!!

Read more of my Italy Posts: 
A day's out in Venice in Spring / Venice 
Dining in Rome and Venice 
Rome by Foot 
Airbnb at Venice 
Cost of Self planned 10 days / 9 nights - Venice & Rome
That day we saw the Pope by chance 

Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

A day's out in Venice in Spring Summer

I have hundreds of photos of Venice but very few make it to daylight...............


Anyway, while I was updating my 2016 in pictures and seeing the photos of Venice reminded me of that lovely day out in town with Allesandro, our airbnb's owner's friend. Minus the fact that there were three of us ladies trailing him around, it would probably be a romantic walk for any for that matter. 

Venice in, spring / summer is so beautiful.... 😍😍

We went out sometime around 10am, a habit we cultivated over the years of appreciating what a good holiday meant. Some sleep in. It took us about 20 minutes from the countryside to reach town, and was then welcomed by the young kindred. 

He promised to bring us into the heart of Venice, into the alleys and cobblestones of this small but beautiful canal city. From the main piazza, to the hidden gems of old settlements. Which we did. To the canals, the ever so famous canals, to the esplanade off we went. With the singing gondolas or rather Italian radio (modern now) filling up the air. 

That day's weather was PERFECT. I mean look at it. 

Blue skies, sun out, fresh seas. Just enough breeze and sun, for hats and scarves. For gelatos, or ice creams. For wines or seafood. For skirts and shirts. 

I don't know who needs a cheese cake gelato, but now I do

After about an hour or so walk, we decided to have lunch in one of the small restaurants in the city. So tastefully done, so typical Italian in its ways. Allesandro ordered bolognese, while each of us tried different things separately. Fish, meat, pizza. 

This piece of meat of a 3 course lunch which I forgot what

How do people live in such a touristic city? I feel weird sitting in a restaurant people snapping everything away.. Including you as their subject matter in their pictures. 😒😒 I'll probably know soon, since KK is becoming one. 

We walked into galleries. And walked back out. 

We saw lots of masquerade shops. Had to buy one. Knowing me and my random choices in life. 

We went into the fresh market, and bought lots of prepacked risottos (because mum😂). I bought some fresh tomatoes and asparagus for dinner. I WAS SO HAPPY SHOPPING IN THE FRESH MARKET. I think it's the psychology of being in a holiday. Versus having to grocery shop when you're at home.......... Always rushing.  

Allesandro telling mum about their fresh produce yum

Stumbled upon a corner where all the painters would sit there for hours to paint on Venice ❤️❤️❤️ Some people are so talented. I just stared from behind. 

And then we ended the half day trip with a cruise ride back to where we started. The amount of mental pictures I took. Can't erase them from me, they're mine 😛😛😛

Nearby our stop was a supermarket, and I continued my search. We bought bacon, some butter. The meats in Italy are so awesome I'm just thinking of reasons to try them. Strip bacon, back, belly. Omg. 

By the time we were done for the day, it was already 4pm. Just in time for me to rest in, and start whipping out dinner. 

Except, sunset at that time was 9pm and we were wondering between to eat when hungry or dark 😂

Friday, January 06, 2017

Highlights of 2016 in Pictures

Hey guys,

I wanted to do a travel video like the cool person I am but our computer are not in talking terms with the keyboard, so the plan failed 😭😭

So now, I'm just posting photos as below.

When I skipped my brother’s engagement for a much earlier planned friend’s wedding in KL
(😭😭😭😭 Yes I am a terrible sister)

So out of extreme guilt I helped did their engagement decoration 😭😭😭

And then eventually celebrated the Chinese New Year over a SLUMBER PARTY! 

Went for a high school reunion, look! Sisters!

Company outing with these guys

Sorry, I meant these guys ^

Read our trip here >>

Went to Bangkok with BFF for Stephie’s Bachelorette PARTAYYYYY 🎉
(Got conned, free unlimited alcohol in the process and lots of food court)

Read our adventures here (Shopping in Bangkok) 
Read our adventures here ("Temple Running" in Bangkok)

Continued the trip with my little girl, Jessy to Pattaya (They were FREE stays!) 💅💅

Read our free stay at Intercontinental Pattaya Resort >> 

Learned how to cook from the Thais yayyy

Read about our cooking class in Pattaya >>

Visited Italy, Venice (!!!) Everything I dreamed it to beeee 😍😍😍😍

Learned how to make Tiramisu, Pizzas and Carbonara from real Italians (omg can’t believe I’m saying this) And DRANK SO MUCH while I was at it

Ate way too much gelato^

Stayed in the countryside

Read about staying in countryside Venice via Airbnb >>

Ate the whole of Italy up. Okay fine, just Rome

Clearly at this point I don't care about anything else anymore ^

Read about my food adventures in Rome & Venice >>

Best friend Stephie got hitched, FINALLY

And the rest of the gang followed and partied in the kampong

*a moment of silence. It was also the day I found out about my uncle's passing. Loved him so much. I believe he's in a better place*

Took the best family photo EVER

Visited the family at Tenom (Missed them so much) 

Read about my Kampong trip >>

Became aunties!!

Visited Chee Hang and his beautiful Jane in Shanghai for their wedding.
Ate too many things, thanks to Chee Hang Love

And formed a comradeship *peace out

Company’s annual party, my 4th year 

Worked hard but partied harder

Picked up a hobby………… that pays

Best friend Swee Wei got married!!!!!!! Flew to KL for her special day of course
No long distance can stop me

Finally gone on that Vietnamese foodcation I’ve been dreaming!!!!! 😍😍😍😍

Read about my Hanoi adventures, barely done >>

Celebrated my 2*th birthday (HAHA I just realised, I wore the same thing)
Don't care if it's a taboo (and mum's and sis' jokes of drawing portraits of me and disgust)

Night run (the only run in the year for us really 😜) + neon party with the little girl

Living between two cities ……. And two families ✈✈✈
(Idk wtf I'm doing with my finger, maybe it represented three of us siblings) 

Year End Family Gathering ……. Which got me REALLY sick.
Like high fever and nauseous sick, sick


Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.