The First Game

2 Dec

After close to a month of travels and no golf, I played my first game yesterday. So how did I fare?

Well, I have to admit the night before, I watched some tutorial videos on YouTube as a refresher to remind me what to do! And it did help, but only for a bit.

The first tee-off was such a beautiful shot. I was impressed that I could strike the ball well. Even the second and third shots were good. I thought my golfing touch was still intact. But it was downhill after that!

The shot game and the putting threw the momentum off. The shot game was off, and my putting was horrible. I could not feel the weight of my Scotty Cameron putter, causing a lot of two- and three-putts. Sigh.

After the disastrous welcome-back game, it’s back to the drawing board to regain the golf mojo and muscle memory. The Scotty putter will make way for the Peanut Putter, and I need to work on my shot game to be more accurate. Essentially, practice makes perfect is what this game is all about. I will be going all out to play as much as possible from here on.

In Denial

29 Nov

You know it’s back to reality when the alarm rings, and there’s so much to clear and unpack upon waking up. I was in denial over the weekend upon returning from Bali, even going for a movie, before I tackled the things left in the bags or scattered in the house.

Well, no more trips for the time being. I need to get back to my routine. Speaking of it, I’m not too sure about my golf game as I have gone a month without playing. We will see when I tee off on Thursday morning. Perhaps I better prepare with more golf balls in the bag.

Extended Holiday

28 Nov

It seems like the holiday is never-ending! It has been extended with a public holiday today. Unexpected but anticipated (because of the General Election results) and appreciated nonetheless.

From Ku De Ta to local delights, we tried everything!
The must-eat dish when in Bali

Bali was fun, and I was doing things, not up my alley, which was nice for a change. I got to know my high school friends better, and we did things together.

Throughout the week, we indulged, ate, drank, laughed, shopped, swam, and luxuriated in our private apartment and villa (we stayed at two different places) together. We also pampered ourselves with not one but two three-and-a-half-hour and four-hour spa sessions.

Our private villa

There was no golf, no playing tourist but merely enjoying the presence of each other and having a good bonding time to catch up. I am thankful that, at this age, I still have such friends. It was as if we were never part despite all these years.

After this trip, we understood each other better, with our friendship forged to a deeper degree. I look forward to the next trip with this bunch of besties.

Last local delight before we left
Goodbye Bali!

A Break Again

21 Nov

Sometimes when we return from a hectic vacation, we need to go off on another one to recover from the trip. And I did just that!

We reached home almost midnight after touching down in KLIA. The eight-hour layover in Doha was too long. And when we got home, everyone was so tired. But I wasn’t jet lagged, or I couldn’t feel it, even though I did not sleep much for the last 20 hours of traveling.

I was like an Energizer bunny, unpacking and clearing stuff away. But on Saturday, I flew off again with my girlfriends to Bali for a break to recuperate from the UK/Ireland trip.

Although Saturday was a big day for Malaysia, being Election Day, I did my part and then left. So this break is a break from writing and sharing and will return to routine after a week.

End of the Adventure

16 Nov

It has been a whirlwind trip for us, with the big city lights, attractions, crowds, sights, cold, smells, food, wind, graduation, colder temperatures, sceneries, and smells.

We took it all in stride. When we see what the other side of the world faces daily, I think it makes us appreciate our home more.

The cold weather and the wind were a challenge. And wearing four to five layers is not something we enjoy doing, but we have to do it to stay warm. The wind is the killer factor, and that makes it unbearable at times.

The graduation ceremony was the highlight of the trip. It is hard to describe our pride and joy in seeing our baby receive her degree. A new exciting chapter awaits her life.

As much as we enjoy going on an extended holiday, I’m glad our adventure is coming to an end. We now have to prepare for hot and humid conditions back home. It will be uncomfortable to readjust, but we have had enough of the cold and wind.

Goodbye Ireland, we leave with good memories.

Almost a Washout

15 Nov

It was a cold and windy morning. The winds howled at 38km, rattling the roof and canopy. It was more comfortable staying warm in bed than going out. But we should not be doing this and waited out the weather a little.

Wet morning and after the rain, visibility was low

When it let up a little, we ran to our car and drove out. Cork feels like Dublin, slow and chilled. We spent the afternoon in the city center, in and out of shops and shopping centers, the city center art gallery, and eateries, to avoid the chill and rain.

Lunch at Fellini’s

Sometimes being out in the cold too long can be tiring. After dinner, we were done being tourists and headed back to the apartment to call it a day.

The Cliffs of Moher

13 Nov

We left Galway at 10.30 am yesterday and drove on to the Cliffs of Moher. Along the way, we detoured to see Aillwee Cave but didn’t do any trail walks or tours. It was too cold. Instead, we bought freshly made cheese and hot coffee at the Farmshop.

The journey continued and had us crossing farmlands, moors, little towns, and an occasional castle ruin. It was windy when we arrived at the Cliffs.

The short walk from the parking area to the Cliffs of Moher was cold and windy. Even my five layers were not enough, so we had to walk faster. The Cliffs of Moher experience would have been even nicer if it wasn’t for the wind. But breathtaking nonetheless, we dutifully snapped our selfies to capture the moment.

The Cliffs of Moher

We left the place, driving through narrow one-way roads in between farmlands. The sun was setting, and we decided to skip Limerick and head for Cork instead.

Narrow one car width road

We made it an hour after sunset. What a day it has been!

Moving Around

12 Nov

Car rental in Dublin is so easy, unlike in the US. There is less paperwork required. Our spanking Ironman red hybrid SUV is comfortable, spacious, and easy to handle. With a built-in navigation system, finding our way out of the city was easy. The weather was good, and hubby drove along the non-toll roads toward Galway.

I am Ironman (hahaha) with this car!

When it drizzled, we stopped at a pub for lunch. I think we ordered too much. But then again, with the cold, we were famished. The portions always have a lot of chips (or mash) that we cannot finish, unfortunately, famish or not.

Lunch at this pub

We arrived at Galway by 3.30 pm, and just nice to check into our hotel. After a short rest, we headed into the town center. We were delighted to discover a Christmas fair at Eyre Square with things to see, buy, and food to savor.

Heading towards the Christmas fair

We had a good time browsing despite the large crowd and weather. For a change, dinner was at a tapas bar, with drinks, of course, to celebrate M2’s graduation.

The streets of Galway
We tried the Chimney Cake
Christmas atmosphere at the fair
Satisfying dinner

It was a long day, and we decided to call it a night earlier than usual.

The Big Day

11 Nov

Thursday was a chill day without any sight-seeing activities because it was the big day for everyone, M2’s graduation ceremony! After three years of hard work, determination, and dedication, it has come down to this moment!

The proud moment

The ceremony was very different from the one we experienced when we attended M1’s graduation in the US. Held in the campus auditorium instead of an open stadium, it was a cozy and personal affair. Both graduation ceremonies are moving for us nonetheless.

We could not be more proud as she had graduated with First Class Honors in her Bachelor’s Honors degree program. Our responsibility as parents to ensure both girls are well-equipped for the world is complete with this latest milestone in the family.

Day Trip to Belfast

10 Nov

We decided to take the train to Belfast for a day trip yesterday. The Weather app showed the temperature to be nine degrees Celsius, but actually, it felt like six degrees! Hmm, how to have more layers when I have five already?

The two-hour journey was pleasant. We had designated seats with our names showing on the little screen above. The landscape was a lovely mix of buildings, farmland, and seascapes. Very picturesque!

Picturesque journey

We arrived in Belfast on time, and when we walked out of the station, the whiff of cold air welcomed us. Brr. We had no choice but to make our way to the city center quickly.

In the spur of the moment, we decided to do the Hop On Hop Off city tour and bought our tickets from the bus conductor. It was an ideal way to cover more sights of the city without walking so much. But we sat in the open area of the double-decker, which made no difference from being exposed to the cold.

The city tour ended after an hour and 20 minutes. Famished, we ate the first thing we saw, Tim Hortons, a Canadian fast food chain.

I think Belfast is too cold for us. We decided to stay indoors, shopping at Primark instead. By four, we were tired and decided to head toward the train station because there was not much else to see. While it was nice to visit a new city, we all concluded Belfast was not quite the city for us.