Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Day 2 - Drive to St Helens

Woke up real early to check out.

(Yes, 10am is REALLY early for us.)

Went for an aimless drive in town, and eventually stopped at the tourist information center. I needed a more detailed map than the one provided by Hertz. It ain't easy being a navigator, ya know? :p

I had just started sipping my hot cocoa at a cafe nearby when Allan rang me. He needed us to take him to submit his girlfriend's (yes, you read it right, his girlfriend's) assignment because they were running late. It ain't easy being a good sister too huh? :/

So we picked up my stupidly-in-love brother and his girlfriend, gave them a lift to their faculty, and waited in the car ever-so-patiently while they went MIA for nearly an hour.

Bee liked the building

I liked the path more

We got bored

Took Allan and his girlfriend grocery shopping for a bit before we had to leave to drive up to St Helens. It'd be nice to spend more time in Launie with Allan if it wasn't such a short trip for us. Though he's (kinda) all grown up now, to me he's still that annoying little brother who likes to follow me everywhere I go.

It's no wonder that parents always refuse to acknowledge the fact that their kids are adults now. This must be how it feels like huh?

Leaving Launceston

Bee and I stopped at a tiny town called Lilydale to grab a quick bite. We both have this particular interest in small town cuisine, believing that they tend to be more authentic and less commercialised.

Well, in this case, not true.

My overly-salty chunky beef pie

The food wasn't great, but I guess the walk at Lilydale Falls made up for it a little. That's the reason we made a detour from Tasman Highway in the first place anyway.

Actually, the two small falls were nothing too impressive, so don't get your hopes up. But Bee loved the fresh air and the walk. Me? I was just glad that it was only a short walk. Forests creep me out. x_x

The first fall at Lilydale Falls

There were actually many pit stops planned for the road trip, but we couldn't stop for any of them. By the time we left Lilydale Falls, it was nearly 4pm and starting to get dark.

From there on, we pretty much didn't have the mood or time to even appreciate the lovely countryside sceneries along the way because we were racing to get to St Helens before the night fell. That's the downside about traveling in winter, I guess.

The night caught up to us sooner than we thought. Before we knew it, we were driving in complete darkness on extremely narrow and winding roads, uphill and downhill! We had very limited visibility and hell-a-lot of sharp curves. To make the matter worse, we were the only car on the road!

It felt like a rally race in a horror show, if that makes sense.

Bee got a kick outta scaring me though. When there was no other car, he asked if I remembered "Dead End", the first movie we watched together, which also turned out to be a lame thriller. When a car started trailing us, he begun telling me about The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and serial killers. I nearly had to stuff a sock in his mouth to shut him up.

We breathed a sigh of relief when we finally reached St Helens just before 7pm because, well, I didn't booked our accommodation for the night. Haha.

Now don't shoot! It was only because I wanted this cozy little place that I stayed at when I visited St Helens in 2001, but I couldn't find it online. So, I thought we'd try our luck when we got in town. I couldn't remember the motel's name, but I vaguely remembered the directions.

After making a few rounds, we found the place, but only to realise that it's nothing like what I remembered it to be. I guess a lot of things could change in 7 years huh? Memories can be very deceiving sometimes.

We changed our minds and settled for this little villa on the hill that comes with a stunning water view. In the day, of course.

Upon checking in, the manager warned us that if we wanted anything to eat, we better hurried up. All restaurants were closing in an hour, and everything else in town, including supermarkets, had already closed for the day.

The view we were supposed to get from our deck

So we rushed into town and had dinner at the first decent looking restaurant we came across on the main road. The pasta and pizza were nothing to shout about, Bee and I were just glad that we got fed. Terrified at the mere thought of starving, we even ordered an extra pizza to takeaway. Just in case, huh?

Back at our villa, we quickly jumped into the hot shower and turned our heater to full blast. The rest of the night was spent lying on the couch, watching Austar on TV.

With no internet and no reception on my mobile, I suddenly felt like I've been cut off from the outside world. Have we become that reliant on modern technology without even realising it? Have I?

"Sweetie, do you feel like we're kinda disconnected from civilisation?" I asked Bee.

He nodded repeatedly.

"Could you see yourself living here?" I asked again. "It's kinda nice."

"Hell no!"

I guessed as much. -_-

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Day 1 - Launceston

Waiting to take off in departure hall

We touched down at Launceston just before 5pm.

Made a dash for the Hertz counter because, you see, we're really spontaneous travelers and we didn't bother making a reservation. :P

After we collected the keys for our rented car, I suddenly sensed that something was missing. Where were our luggages?! We had completely forgotten to collect our baggages!

Another mad dash back to the arrival hall, and there they were - the last two uncollected suitcases looking oh-so-sad. Yes yes yes, we're the two irresponsible owners who conveniently forgot all about you. *Hides head in shame*

By the time we loaded our luggages into the rented car, the sun had gone down and it was dark all around. Damn winter!

In Tassie, there's no comprehensive street directory like Melway, or at least we weren't provided with one. Instead, we were given this pathetic piece of paper with an amateurish map as directions to our hotel. -_-"

But thanks to yours truly, the genius navigator, and her vague memory of Launie, we managed to find our way to the hotel and check in before their reception was closed for the day. Phew!

Went to pick up Allan and his girlfriend for dinner at the only Chinese restaurant I know of in town - Dynasty. I had missed Allan, we've always been close since young and it's weird that I won't be seeing him at home when I go back to Swan City this time.

Missed a turn on the way to dinner and we ended up on the highway which took us all the way back to the airport again. @_@ Why is there no u-turns and street lights in Launie?

The latter, Allan said it's to prevent "light pollution" (whatever that means). I can understand if it's to minimise power consumption, but "light pollution"? Well, forgive my ignorance, but what is a little "light pollution" compared to increased risk of road accidents? :|

Bee and I unloaded a full suitcase of Asian groceries and sweets at Allan's place after dinner. It's a general rule that those who head down South to the woop woop land, must bear Oriental gifts. Haha.

By the time we left Allan's place, all the shops were closed, including the Subway around the corner. With no other choices, Bee and I had to pick up some croissants, salad, ham and milk from the nearest Coles for our supper. We're becoming rather fond of our home made croissant sandwiches. Haha.

After a quick shower, we hopped right into bed and watched Hell's Kitchen on TV. It felt real late when in truth, it was only 10pm.

Ahh, the simple and quiet small town life. How could I forget?

Jetting Off to Tasmania

Our flight to Launceston is at 3:50pm today and I'm only booking our accommodation now. All hail the queen of procrastinators! -_-"

Bee and I only started sketching out our tentative itinerary last night, hence the last minute bookings. He's looking at our accommodation options for tonight as we speak. Haha.

Luckily we're only going for a short trip, otherwise we're seriously screwed.

Day 1: Arriving Launceston

Day 2: Launceston --> Drive up to St Helens

Day 3: Bays of Fires --> Drive to Hobart

Day 4: Hobart

Day 5: Departing Hobart

I haven't been back to Hobart for more than 2 years now. Wonder if it has changed at all?

And the last time Bee and I went on a trip around Tassie with my mum and Allan, was after my graduation 3 1/2 years ago. Geez, time sure flies huh?

Alrighty, I better pluck myself outta nostalgic thoughts and start packing our luggages before we miss our flights. Off to print out our hotel reservations now! :D

Later, fellas!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Trip to Ballarat

We drove to Ballarat today.

As usual, Bee and I started the day late. People like us really shouldn't travel in winter, it gets dark way too early and the days are ridiculously short.

By the time we reached Ballarat and had our lunch at Beechworth Bakery (whose pies are seriously overrated, I must say), it was 3pm and suddenly started raining really heavily. To think it was so sunny just 15 minutes ago. Well, that's Melbourne for ya. *Shrugs*

While Bee and I were contemplating whether or not to just call it a day and drive back to Melbourne straightaway, the sun came out shining ever so brightly. It was as if it had never rained just moments ago. And throughout the whole afternoon, it kept on playing this "now it's sunny, now it rains" game with us, which REALLY was annoying. Not funny, Melbourne!

We popped by Sovereign Hill and the Gold Museum for a bit. Is it just me or does Sovereign Hill really give out this eerily vibe in a sad way?

It was no doubt both educational and interesting to see the (recreated) 19th century goldfields township, but time sure was hard back then and it's difficult to watch. Especially when I saw the Golden Point Chinese Camp which was set up for the protection of Chinese miners. I was nearly reduced to tears listening to the presentation about how the Chinese migrants had to stick together and helped each other out because their presence was not welcomed by the locals.

Sometimes it does take a lil reminding to remember how lucky we are these days huh?

Pleasant weather on our way there

New York Bakery

The main street

Horse carriage

Silly Bee taking pictures of our silhouettes

Ticketing office for coaches to Melbourne

Kids in costume (what a cool extra-curricular activity huh?)

We befriended a horse with gentle eyes

Beware! Swamp water for horses only (Beware?)

Giant gold nugget

Dr. Wakefield's freaky examination room

The drug store

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Cheap Pillows and Shopping

Today, we had lovely weather for a change.

Bee's observation #1: Sundays are mostly sunny.

As stupid as that sounded to me at first, I now realise that there is, in fact, some truth in it.

After a late brunch at Tai Pan, I was in a fairly good mood to shop. A good night's sleep and a nice meal can do that to me sometimes. Plus we needed to get more pillows to accommodate my guest's fussy needs. Hehe.

We stopped by my place to leave our takeaway dim sums in the fridge before we headed out to DFO in Cheltenham. The cheapos in us (read: Bee) didn't wanna spend too much on the pillows since we'll only be using them for another week or so.

By the time we reached DFO, it was nearly closing time. I immediately put the shopaholic in me to work, and in the span of 30 minutes, I managed to snap up a white flowy top and a belt from Witchery, 2 polo tees from Tommy Hilfiger, and 2 pillows from Adairs.

All for under AUD400! *Self pats on back*

The victorious feeling only lasted until we got home and I started to realise how unnecessary these purchases were. The clothes will only take up more space in my luggage, and the pillows, well, they're crap! Not only were they not comfortable, they nearly distorted our necks and backbones after a night's sleep.

Lesson of the day: Do not buy cheap pillows, you'll only end up regretting it with a sore neck. x_x

Saturday, April 26, 2008

An Uneventful Saturday

We woke up incredibly early this morning because we had to get to Hertz in the city by 8.30am.

The service was surprisingly efficient given the crowd, we got our new contract fixed up in less than 30 minutes.

Now you've got two sleepy Bees all dressed up and nowhere to go.

I texted Wen to see if she wanted to have breakfast.

No reply. Fair enough, who else would wake up so early on a chilly Saturday?

Come to think of it, for the whole time we know each other, Wen and I have never even had breakfast together on a weekend before 2pm.

With no reply from Wen, Bee and I drove down to St Kilda Beach because, "theoretically", I thought it would be fun to go for a walk on the beach.

What I didn't take into consideration was - Bee didn't have his jacket with him, and I was wearing a little black dress on a gloomy autumn day. And honey, nobody goes for a walk on the beach in heels! -_-"

True enough, Bee and I retreated back to the car almost immediately after being tackled head on by strong wind from the ocean. Haha. Thank goodness Wen had replied by then and agreed to go to breakfast.

After much miscommunication and indecisiveness, we finally met up with Wen in Lygon and had a hearty breakfast. Nothing feels better on such a cold morning than a full big breakky and a pot of hot earl grey tea. Oh, plus lots of gossiping and giggling with your girlfriends (and the boyfriend, who was amazed by how much/fast girls can talk).

With a full and satiated tummy, I was ready to hit the shops. But first, I needed to change outta my stupid dress into something warmer.

The tentative plan was to send Wen back, go home to get my jacket, and head over to Chaddy. But the moment we got back to my very warm room with my very comfy bed, I knew that the plan was out the window.

"You wanna go back to sleep, don't you?" Bee teased when he saw me picking up my smelly pillow.

In order to not let the day go by completely wasted and unproductive, I got online and booked us tickets to Tasmania. We're leaving on Tuesday, 29 April 2008.

Now that I've got something ticked off my to-do list, I guess I'm allowed to go cuddle up in bed with my cute boyfriend and enjoy a very lazy Saturday.

Later, peeps!

Friday, April 25, 2008

The Story of A Snappy Princess

Once upon a time, there was a bad tempered princess, who threw tantrums at her boyfriend on the day after he flew thousands of miles to visit her.

Tsk tsk tsk.

All because I wanted to watch a stupid movie and Bee woke up late.

By the time we got to Chaddy and finished lunch, we had missed the movie and the next session was 2 hours away. It was really no biggie, but outta nowhere, I snapped.

"We can always watch the next one, baby." Bee tried to ease the tension.

"All the shops are closing, what are we bloody gonna do for 2 hours?" I yelled back.


"I wanna go home." I cut him off.

"But we just got here."


So he had no choice but to drive me home.

On the way back, the poor boy helplessly tried to explain that he only overslept because he hadn't slept well for the past few nights. He then offered to take me to another cinema.

As my unexplainable anger started to subside, I realised what a bitch I had been and how unreasonable I was.

I don't know what got into me. PMS, maybe. Or being annoyed by my brother earlier that day. Whatever it was, I started feeling really bad for taking it out on him like that.

"I'm sorry for being so snappy, sweetie. I didn't mean to flare up like that. Could you forgive me, please?" I put up my best impression of a guilty face.

"It's alright, princess. I wasn't even mad. Do you feel better now?" He rubbed my back and kissed my forehead.

Aww, and that made me felt worse of a person than I already did.

So the good-natured prince and bratty princess made up and went Chinese grocery shopping in Box Hill.

And they lived happily ever after.

Or at least, until her next crazy mood swing. -_-

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Bee's Here

To be more precise, he's sleeping like a piggy on my bed now.

The poor guy is exhausted since we've had a long day running around town and he didn't get much sleep on the plane last night.

After we got home from the airport, he barely napped for 15 minutes before I had to wake him up for lunch. We had an appointment scheduled to meet with my accountant in the afternoon, to evaluate this business we were interested in buying.

After going though some documents, we were advised against it. The business isn't doing as well as it seems on the paper, and my accountant is not optimistic about the outlook.

Despite being disappointed, we're glad that the accountant pointed us in the right direction. His advice certainly helped to clear up our indecisiveness for the past few weeks.

I guess now we can finally put everything aside and concentrate on enjoying our holiday!

But first, let me go wake my boyfriend up so he can take me out for supper.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Santa Bee is Coming to Town

It's my first day being unemployed.

It feels rather empty, to wake up knowing that you don't have to be anywhere specific that day and the world goes on just fine without you. Now I understand why most retirees experience depression at some point after they stop working.

Luckily Bee is coming over tomorrow to keep me company. AND to make sure that I go back to Malaysia as promised. :D

I only gave him the green light to travel over the weekend after my mum's checkup results came back to be normal. So for the past few days, the obliging boyfriend's been busy booking tickets, packing luggages, and doing some last minute shopping for his unemployed girlfriend.

On my end, I've fulfilled my duty as a good girlfriend by spending the whole day cleaning up my room. Can't have my Bee sleeping in a pig sty, can I? *Snorts snorts*

My room's been like a war zone for the past few weeks when I put all my focus on finishing up things at work. I didn't know how dusty it was until I started vacuuming. It was absolutely filthy!

I've done as much as I can, and I'm calling it a day. My bottom is hurting, coz I fell from the chair while trying to stuff things into my closet. x_x

Enough rambling. I better hurry up, take a shower and go to bed. Gotta wake up real early tomorrow morning to pick Bee up from the airport.

Goodnight, sweetie. See ya tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Last Day at Work

I can't believe that I'm leaving.

Or maybe I should say, left. It was my last day at work today.

4 weeks had flown by, but I still can't be sure whether it was the right decision to resign.

Many think I'm crazy to give up such high paying job, especially one that I get to dictate almost everything.

For me, I'm finding it hard to let go because I've pretty much built this place from scratch. Along the way, I've grown emotionally attached to the things and people around here. It's SO hard to walk away when things are finally looking up, it's so hard to say goodbye.

Oh well, it's a done deal now, so maybe I shouldn't look back.

From tomorrow onwards, I don't have to wake up at 6.50am every morning. No more paperwork and emails to answer, no more being sandwiched between unreasonable customers and inefficient admin staff at head office, no more working 7 days a week.

But why don't I feel relieved?