Friday, March 26, 2010

Last Day of School

Hormones and the last day of anything don't mix. I dropped both kids off school this morning and got really emotional and teary eyed. Both kids seemed fine, so why am I so lame?

I have been overwhelmed by the response Boy Wonder's school and classmates have given him this last week at school. On Wednesday during morning assembly, 10 of his classmates went to the front of the Prep to Year 5 boys to tell everyone something about Boy Wonder. I was able to record it. Then the head of Junior school asked Boy Wonder to come in front while he asked everyone questions about what was presented. I was in tears at the end.

Then yesterday all the boys brought a treat to school and they had a going away party for Boy Wonder. He came home with a huge card with everyone's picture on it and they all signed it as well.

Last night I baked a bunch of mini cupcakes and brought it to school with Nachos this morning so she can also have a mini going away party with her classmates. Since she had only been in school for one term, I'm hoping the impact of her leaving will be tiny.

But after I got into the car to go home, I was filled with sadness. I hate goodbyes. I hate forging friendships and relationships and have to let it go. I know us moving should have the most impact for Boy Wonder, but maybe I'm feeling this way hoping deep down it'll take away from him feeling it instead. Because I know when we leave Hong Kong again someday I'll feel the same way, or even worse!

Both schools have informed us that Boy Wonder and Nachos will have a place waiting for them when we come back in the future. I will do my best to keep in touch with their classmates' mums each time we come back. I picture the day both kids walk back into their classrooms here with a big smile on their faces and a welcome back sign greeting them.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Trains and More Trains

While Hubby was here, there was an open day at the Newport Rail Workshop. Pop used to work there, so we weren't missing the opportunity to see a bit of family history and see some trains up close!

Pop showed us where he used to work. He used to be a boiler maker and do all sorts of other stuff. There is part of a train engine in the background in the pictures. You can also see Pop's old locker in the background.

They didn't just make and fix trains here. In the next picture you'll see 2 entrances wherein one not in its original state. Pop said once there was a ship that had to be worked on and they had to removed the bricks to get it in and out. That is why you see this particular entry way is different from the rest.

Here is Pop standing in front of dock number 10. That is where his father used to work from around 1921-1971. So much history!

One of the old trains

A before and after look at trains being worked on.

Train controller Boy Wonder.

Watching trains go by.

Workmen shoveling coal.

It was a fun afternoon looking all the trains and having some family time. Boy Wonder enjoyed walking through the trains and looking at where everything was. He got to touch the controls, hear the engines going and watch trains go by. Its things like that that we won't get to do once we're back in Hong Kong.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

A Surprise Visit

Last weekend Hubby made an unscheduled visit home to surprise the kids. It was wonderful having him home because over a month of absence would not have been good!

I told the kids what was going to happen the night before he was arriving. I said there's a surprise for them and when I told them it's that Baba was coming home the next morning, they looked at me blankly and said: No, really, what is the surprise? They're such clowns.

After we picked Hubby up at the airport early the next morning, all the fun and games began.

It was raining so the kids had a blast walking in the rain water.

Here they are playing with more drain water.

A sight I will miss after we move to HK. Its wonderful just watching the kids look out into our backyard while its raining.

I have no idea what came over them.

In addition to playing in the rain and just being silly in general, we also went to the railroad crossing again and watched trains go by.

Although Hubby was only home for 2 days, it was well worth the trip. Its almost like one of those credit card commercials:

Plane ticket: $1000
Chocolates for the kids: $30
Time spent with the family: Priceless

Monday, March 08, 2010

My Third And Hopefully Not Final Date with George Michael

On March 3, 2010, I went to the Etihad Stadium here in Melbourne to watch my third George Michael concert. I've been calling them dates with George because just like the other 2 concerts I attended, it has just been me and George.

I got to Etihad Stadium by tram after a quick dinner with the kids and Grandma and Pop. I was nervous as usual on the way there because I wasn't sure where I was getting off. But good thing as the crowd got bigger in the tram, I could hear who were the others going to the concert as well. I simply followed the group of people and there I was at the stadium! It was easy enough to get in and security check was so lenient. I guess they didn't even care if you brought a camera with you! I saw people with heavy duty equipment even. The only weird thing that happened while I was working my way through the crowd to find my seat was that someone touched my butt! How messed up was that??? Maybe if I wasn't pregnant it would be fine, but who touches a pregnant woman's but??? Too bad I didn't see who did it or else I would have punched him, or even her!
View of the stadium as people were trickling in.

View of the stadium filled up.

As usual George started the concert late. It was 8:30pm by the time the lights dimmed and all the magic began. It was Texas and Sydney all over again. This time I made sure I took in everything just in case this would be the last time George will ever be in concert. Because the Sydney concert made me feel weird that there was no one on my row, I jumped the gun this time and just went up to as close to the front as I possibly could in my section and enjoyed the concert dancing with the rest of the crowd that had gathered there.

Everything I felt during the last 2 concerts I felt again this time. I am and always will be in awe of George Michael. And thank you again Hubby, for 3 magnificent presents. I only wish George Michael will decide to have more concerts again in the future.

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Tuesday, March 02, 2010

My Second Date with George Michael

I went to see George Michael in action over the weekend in Sydney. Meels was kind enough to go with me which made the trip more interesting. In addition to the concert, there were a few extra surprises which made our trip all the more worthwhile.

Although our flight was delayed (surprise, surprise) in taking off, we still got there with plenty of time to get to Sheraton On The Park. Good thing we decided to take the train which got us there in less than 20 minutes, instead of getting stuck in the Friday rush hour traffic. Our room was on the fifth floor with literally NO view. We had the view of a wall outside our window. It was hard to tell whether it was a sunny day or not.

After we freshened up a bit, I went off to catch the bus to the Sydney Football Stadium and Meels went off to the Sydney Opera House.

I got to the stadium with heaps of time to spare since George doesn't start his concerts on time. The venue was breath taking! I only wished I had brought my camera! Security was close to none compared to the Texas venue and no one checked my bag! Since it was an outdoor stadium, it was a beautiful sight looking up into the sky from the arena. My senses were on overdrive as I watched the thousands of people slowly trickle into the stadium, with the hum of the crowd and the adrenalin starting to kick in. The only odd thing was that my row was completely EMPTY! I tried not to let that bother me and just put on really thick skin as people can easily see I was at the concert by myself =(.

As it neared 8:15 pm, you could almost smell the excitement. The lights dimmed and just like what he did in Texas, George started singing Waiting. All you could hear was his voice. All you could take in were the words as he sang. Oh that voice. All my memories of listening to him growing up started to flood back. I was on the verge of tears. The lyrics were perfect for the opening, for someone coming back again. The last phrase of the song was almost haunting.

After the song, George Michael finally appeared on stage. The crowd went wild and all the rest was a blur of Wham! hits and George Michael hits. It was amazing listening to the crowd sing along to almost every single song. It was reaffirming hearing people in front of me and behind me say how much they love a certain song and how they loved which song growing up. It was obvious which age group most of us were in.

It was difficult for me to fully get into the groove of things at first because I felt really self conscious being the only person in my row. But after a few minutes, I thought to myself to bugger it and just enjoy myself. Although a lady did finally sit next to me and was also by herself since her husband couldn't make it, she disappeared half way through the concert. An asian couple showed up after the intermission and sat a seat away from me. But they just stood there, not singing, dancing or even tapping their toes or fingers to the music! Sheesh, how can you be that stiff at a concert???

After the concert was over, I followed the crowd as we herded ourselves to the exit and then unto our respective buses. What a night! And as expected I felt down that it was over.

The next morning, we went to have breakfast. At least we had the consolation of an awesome breakfast buffet spread to ease the disappointment of a viewless room. While at the buffet line, I over heard someone complement a group of black guys, saying it was a great show and that he saw them in Canada too. I didn't think much of it, then when I sat down, I noticed a black lady with blond hair sitting at the next table which looked a lot like one of George Michael's back up singers. I put 2 and 2 together and almost wet myself with the thought that these are his band and singers and that George himself must be staying at the hotel too. I told Meels and was kicking myself again that I didn't have a camera on me. At least if I didn't get a picture of him, maybe his posse would suffice. Then I thought he is suppose to make an appearance at the Mardi Gras, so that would give me another opportunity to go up to them tomorrow morning to take a picture with Meels' camera. There was hope yet. And also enough time to ask the concierge if they truly were George Michael's band.

That day we did some shopping, went back to the hotel to have a rest and then headed off to Billy Kwong for an early dinner. I didn't even know Kylie Kwong's restaurant was in Sydney! Thank goodness Meels is also a bit of a foodie, so we were both excited to try out the restaurant. Since they don't take reservations, we made sure we were there right before opening at 6pm. We were the 3rd group to go in. We ordered pork belly, crispy skin duck and a veggie. It was all really good!

Eagerly waiting for the restaurant to open

Pork Belly

Crispy Skin Duck

Just proof that Kylie does own the place

After dinner we walked towards the parade route and found ourselves a nice spot to wait. After about an hour of waiting, the Mardi Gras began! It was sensory over load again! There were people from all walks of life. Even though it was a Gay and Lesbian parade, there were straights, parents, politicians, public servants, kids and even topless men and women! I didn't believe them when they said it was going to be a 2 hour parade, but crap, we ended up standing there for way over 2 hours more until the parade finally ended. I can't imagine how I survived with the extra weight I was carrying. I was just thankful I wasn't further along my pregnancy or I might have had the baby there!

George Michael look alikes following behind his empty float =(

A partial shot of George Michael's empty float =(

Underwear that were thrown into the crowd from the parade people

One of the main reasons I stuck through the whole thing was in hopes of seeing George Michael make an appearance. But I wasn't surprised when his float came along empty. It was only after I got back that I found out where he was that night. Darn!

Oh! But before we left for dinner that night, I did get confirmation that George Michael was staying at our hotel!!! I was breathing the same air as he! We were probably in the same elevator, just different times. =) Oh well, I must not loose hope that someday I will finally get to meet him face to face. I was not fortunate enough to bump into his band and back up singers the next day at breakfast.

My third and possibly last date with George will be tomorrow night. I've found my camera and PRAY I'll be able to bring it in with me. Can't wait!
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