Tag Archives: Plus highway

A Joyous Time

2 May

The announcement caught us all by surprise. Hari Raya was assumed to be tomorrow, but last night, the news broke that the first day of Hari Raya is today. It is a long stretch of holiday for this festive occasion regardless of this. Given that May 1st is Labor Day, but as it fell on Sunday, the next day is the replacement holiday.

This year is a meaningful Hari Raya because Covid-19 SOPs are now relaxed, and people are traveling again. Due to the pandemic for the past two years, interstate travel was very restricted, so this is a welcome change.

As for us, we are staying put because we don’t want to get caught in the traffic snarl. To those celebrating the festive occasion, here’s wishing you Selamat Hari Raya and happy holidays! Have a joyous time together with your loved ones.

Forest City Golf Resort

28 Mar

Forest City Golf Resort is a lovely golf resort. But I have to say there aren’t many choices within the resort as far as dining is concerned. Nonetheless, food is not the main highlight of this trip, as there is much to share of the two golf courses – the Legacy Course and Classic Course.

Each course has its characteristics, appeal, and challenge. Being there for the first time, we were unaware of the layout at times, as we did not have a caddy to guide us. But since buggies are allowed on the course, this predicament was not a big issue. We had all the time in the world, and at times, a short drive up to see the layout was necessary before hitting our shots.

Both courses had very pristine fairways, even the roughs along the way. The ball floats nicely on top, and it is not difficult to get out from the rough. The tee boxes were a joy as they were even and had carpet-like quality grass. As for the greens, it wasn’t as fast as touted. But all in all, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

There is hardly a blade of grass out of place on the fairways. The only thing messing up the perfect condition was an unexpected bird poop I spotted on our second day. It was indeed jarring to the overall greenery of the golf course. Even the wasteland features were immaculate.

The eye-sore bird poop on the fairway!

The only thing we did not enjoy was the annoying crows. They were very aggressive, following us throughout each game and coming in packs to hoover in our buggy, looking for food, which we did not have. I suspect they have honed their senses to zero in for grub. After all, the resort is four years old, and the crows have been around since its inception. I was glad for the sanitizer provided by the resort, and I used it on the buggy each time after shooing the crows away.

The golf course is as good, if not better, as some of the golf courses in Thailand without the price tag and long journeys that include flying and taxi rides. For us, it’s only a four-hour drive with allowance to detour for a meal and time to spare to settle down before the allotted afternoon tee-off slot on the first day.

We will make another trip down south again soon, very soon.

A Getaway!

25 Mar

It is nice when we can have a getaway after staying put for so long. When M1 had to clear her work-leave days, we jumped at the opportunity. But the trip had to include golf for us.

So here we are, at Forest City Golf Resort in Johor, for our golfing fun and her, a relaxing escape from work stress to enjoy the other activities.

The lobby area of Forest City Golf Resort

The drive down south was pleasant, and we arrived at the resort ahead of schedule yesterday. The golf course was not busy at all, and being buggy-on-course, we thoroughly enjoyed this.

The fairways were in superb condition, likewise the greens. Even the tee boxes were excellent, level all the time, unlike our club where we find the ground not even to stand when we tee up.

We play our second game today.

Holiday No More

7 Feb

Somehow I don’t feel the holiday spirits of the Lunar New Year even though we are at Day Seven of the 15 days-long celebrations. We are not visiting anyone, nor are we having guests over.

Better to stay safe at this point because yesterday, the Covid-19 cases spiked up to 10,089, a five digits figure again after a few months below this threshold. Not a good sign.

It is back to work today for all three of us, although I have to admit it’s slow for us. I most likely will spend time working on my miniatures to pass the time.

What a Journey! Part 2

4 Feb

We came home on the second day of the Lunar New Year. And what a journey it was. So unlike the trip when we went, this return trip was so much more pleasant and unexpected.

There was hardly any traffic build-up along the way and smooth sailing all the way home. Another record of sorts as we made it home in five and a half hours with just two stops only. As far as I can remember, we never made it home in this time frame. Usually, it would take between seven to nine hours. And there was once we did it in ten hours.

It is nice to be back and chill at home. I’m not even working on my miniatures. For once, doing nothing at home feels great! Visits to family or friends are minimal, if not none. There’s now the Omicron, and we are being extra careful not to go out unnecessarily.

What a Journey!

31 Jan

On Saturday, we left town to head North to hubby’s hometown. What a journey we had! The highway authorities had advised travelers heading that way to begin their journeys before 10 am to avoid congestion. So we did, albeit a little bit late, at precisely 9.51 am.

Heavy traffic in both directions

And dang, we drove smack into the worst snarl ever! Our past pre-Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner journeys were typically a six-hour drive from our home to hubby’s parents’ home.

This time, it took us 6.5 hours to reach Ipoh! Not even halfway to our final stop. This stretch is usually a 2.5 hours drive, but not on Saturday. It was a terrible drive. I wouldn’t even call it a drive but a crawl.

All in all, it took us ten hours to arrive, a record drive for a journey that would usually take 4.5 hours during the non-festive time.

But we were in good spirits as we had packed all the comforts in the car for the trip. And we knew there would be traffic woes, however, we didn’t expect it to be this bad.

It’s okay, this trip is for a good reason and that is to have the Reunion Dinner with the old folks, an occasion that we have missed out on the last two years because of the pandemic, lockdowns, and travel restrictions.

A Symbolic Growth

28 Jan

The preparations to usher in the Lunar New Year are almost complete! We finally put up the red cloth for the entrance this morning. And we got it right this time, having measured the hanging points and having two ladders to put up both sides in one go.

I had a pleasant surprise this morning when I was in the garden. There was a new pineapple fruit growing! How fortunate as a pineapple signifies prosperity and its timely growth is symbolic of welcoming the Year of the Tiger on a good note!

With two days left to the Reunion Dinner, I’d like to take this opportunity to wish all travelers a safe journey, and to everyone, a happy and prosperous Lunar New Year!

Indulgent Shopping

25 Jan

The Lunar New Year is next week, my goodness! There are a lot of last-minute preparations to usher in the Year of the Tiger. Like shopping for new clothes, for instance!

The last two years, with the pandemic and lockdowns, we were homebound and did not venture out to the malls at all. There were grocery runs to our local grocer nearby, and basically, essentials but not indulgent shopping.

During the MCO phases, online shopping was my go-to if I wanted to buy non-essential things. And even then, it was mostly to buy my miniature sets and carving tools. But no clothes.

So over the weekend, we took the opportunity to go on a shopping spree to buy new clothes as it is the last weekend to shop. With no more restrictions on interstate travel, it will be a traffic nightmare next weekend when city-dwellers begin the exodus for Reunion Dinners with the family and loved ones afar.

I, for one, who usually buy golf clothes, suddenly find myself buying Chinese New Year clothes. I bought not one but two Cheong Sam outfits! It must be the festivity in the air or the sudden freedom to be able to go out and try clothes on.

My two lovely and elegant outfits

For someone who does not wear or buy dresses often, the purchases were an incredible feat by my standards. Well, lockdowns change people and their outlook in life, I suppose. I look forward to wearing the outfits to welcome the Year of the Tiger with good vibes and have a roaring celebration, pun intended.

Lion Dance at the mall

A Short Getaway

15 Nov

After almost two years (since March 2020) of staying put, we finally had the chance to travel again. Over the weekend, we drove up North to visit hubby’s parents. It was July last year that I last saw them when there was a window for interstate travel during the pandemic.

Gudetama is car sick from the long journey!

The past two years, the furthest I have left the house was to the city center to run some office errands. Moreover, it was only when interstate travel was allowed, and even then, it was not frequent. So this trip to visit the folks was such a welcome.

I must say, they are fine, and we had a good but short getaway. I managed to catch up on my sleep and rest. We did not play golf, which was just as well because it rained every day. So instead, we spent quality time together. Although it was a short getaway, it was a good one.

What Version MCO Now?

9 Feb

There have been several extensions to this year’s MCO, originally termed MCO 2.0. How do we categorize these extensions? Typically it’s a two-week duration, but the second nine-day one threw things out of order. Do we say version 2.3, 2.2.1, or part three for the latest extension for 14 days until 18 February? Sigh. Whatever it is, one thing is for sure, the coming Chinese New Year or Lunar New Year on 12 February will be very different with the latest MCO enforced.

No interstate travel back to hubby’s hometown up North to see his folks, no Reunion Dinner even with my Mom, my brother, and his family because we are well beyond the 10km distance allowed for in-state travel. Other secondary no-nos include the customary New Year golf game with hubby. The list can go on. A very muted celebration, if one can even call it a celebration.

Despite the bleak outlook, we have put up the customary red cloth at the house entrance to brighten the situation. And we will have to find a balance to keep well for the remaining MCO days until further notice.