Saturday, December 31, 2011

Liza on the map ~ the overdue US working trip

I never imagined myself given the opportunity to represent my company for overseas assignment, let alone to be given the chance to go around US for work. It was indeed a tiring trip touring from one state to another, having to take flight every other day, and deprived from real food. The schedule was very tight simply because I don't want to leave my family for too long.

The cities visited goes like this :

New York - Chicago - San Fransisco - Los Angeles - Chicago - Boston - New York

In this trip, I visited about 9 universities, attended 6 engagement sessions with Malaysians and 4 sessions with Malaysian scholars. I also met up with few old friends who have been residing in US for quite sometime. I must say this experience was really valuable. If given the chance to come again, I would want to go to San Fransisco and New York with my family. I love this 2 places and had an awesome time there. The fact that I have 10 years Visa will make this dream easier Insyallah. Talking about Visa, please apply way in advance. It can be a long unpleasant experience for some, Alhamdulilah, in my case, somehow di permudahkan. However, while I was at the US embassy I can hear some interviews which can be intimidating.

Some info based on my limited experience, given the fact that it was a working trip :

Must Go
  • Woodbury Premium Outlet, New York
  • Golden Gate Bridge, San Fransisco
  • Silicon Valley where Google, Yahoo, Youtube, LinkedIn and Facebook offices are
  • Times Square, New York
  • Kodak Center, LA
Must Do
  • Any live games, I got to go to baseball match
  • Ride of San Fransisco Cable Car or better known as tram
  • Broadway Theatre, something I wanted to do but did not have the time. Insyallah, next visit
  • Walk at Central Park, this was really an awesome experience
  • Try our the subway. Can be an interesting experience, smelly and scary as well :)
Must Eat (Can't really comment on this, did not get the opportunity to explore due to tight schedule, practically survived on hot chocolate and bread most of the time)
  • Halal Guys, New York. Awesome kebab and beriani
  • Seafood at Fisherman's Wharf, San Fransisco
Must shop
  • US branded stuff like Coach, Cole Hanns, Fossil - Super cheap!!
  • Electronic stuff. Got myself Garmin GPS and Kindle. Super cheap as well
Must see
  • Empire State building, New York
  • Rockefeller Center, New York
  • Statue of Liberty, New York
  • Hollywood Hill, Los Angeles
Enjoy this photos, managed to snap some in between meetings :)

Signing off,

Friday, December 30, 2011

Liza on the map ~ the overdue Bandung trip

My sincere forgiveness for abadoning this blog of mine for quite some time. Only today, I have the mood to update this blog. Yes, I update my blog when I want to. I don't want to force myself to do something I don't feel like doing. Have been doing that for the longest time in other areas of my life *kan dah emo lagik*. Will try to blog as frequent as I can starting with updating the places I got the chance to visit in 2011.

Anyway, 2011 has been a year where I get to visit many interesting places in the world. One of them was Bandung. Yes, Bandung may be a place where many people visits but not me. I have not been to Bandung, never in my life. I know many have told me it's a shopping heaven, but whether you want to believe it or not, I am not someone who enjoy shopping though I have an uncureable weakness for shoes and kids clothing!

The idea to go to Bandung was quite random. I realised MBH and I have never been on a holiday alone, yup, alone...just the 2 of us, without the kids. No, we did not go for any honeymoon ever since we got married. We couldn't afford it before, so when I saw this AirAsia promo to Bandung, I went ahead booked the tickets and send a calendar invite to MBH. As if he can say no to my request kan?

So, we went a day before our wedding anniversary and celebrated the anniversary there. We went to many interesting places. But, what I enjoyed the most was the food. Not only it's delicious, it was super cheap! Of course I enjoyed the shopping, the kids clothing there were super cheap!!! I bought like loads of it that MBH told me "Sayang, the kids will grow up eventually, I don't think they can wear this supply of clothing for years!"

And I went crazy at Pasar Bharu. I went there 4 times!! Yes, you heard me, 4 times. I wanted to go for the 5th time but MBH told me, "Sudahlah Sayang, orang lain pun nak beli jugak". I ended up buying 12 kain for myself. Of course, some for the kids and my mom and mom in law.

Enough talk about shopping, though MBH was convinced he has been conned to come to this holiday which has been camouflaged like a honeymoon when the real agenda was to accommodate my shopping needs *mana ada bang*

Some recommendations based on our experience :

Must eat
  • Kg Daun - I love this place! We spent 4 hours there. The food was awesome, the ambiance was really peaceful. The air was so fresh. Love eating surrounded by waterfall.
  • Sapu Lidi - not too bad. Eating right smack in the middle of a paddy field. Food was good. Turn off was mosquitos
  • Sierra at the hilltop - we had our anniversary dinner there. Enjoyed the sunset and the steak was awesome! The view was really supporting the the romantic feel.
Must shop
  • Pasar Baru - the kain there were super cheap. Like 80% cheaper than Jakel! I bought this lace pair which normally cost RM700-RM800 per pair and I got it for RM170 after conversion!!
  • Factory Outlet - a lot over here, the biggest would be Rumah Mode. Prices are about the same, feel free to explore (I went to nearly 20 of them!)
  • Leather street - Jalan Cibaduyut, where else can you get a pair of pure leather shoes for RM40!! Got a pair each for my dad and dad in law
  • Toko Tiga Jeans Street - I can never afford Levi's and here I got myself 4 pairs of Levi's. Got few pairs for MBH and the kids as well
Must See
  • Tangkuban Perahu - this is a semi active volcano area. The view was really awesome and there were alot of handmade crafts sold there. But careful, avoid buying from sellers who are not from the stalls there. The prices may be double to even tripled the normal price
Must Do
  • Go to the spa, have a full body massage. In fact, do this every day while you are there. Super super cheap!!! Imagine less than RM100 for nearly 3 hours treatment. And the service seriously tip top!
Let's end this entry with some photos of during trip, and we promised we will come again Insyallah (if only I get to convinced MBH to come here againlah)

Signing off,

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Liza on the map ~ the overdue UK trip

2011 has been a year full of travelling thus far. One of the working trips I was privileged to be part of was the one to UK. Why this trip was special cause it's not only in London, but I got to visits other part of UK. The trip was quite sudden as I was really new in that role. Anyhow, was really honoured.....This entry is very much overdue cause the trip was in March :)

I get to visit Oxford, Cambridge, London, Manchester, Liverpool and Warwick. I enjoyed Oxford the best, until today I can say...I can totally imagine living there, raising my kids. I know that is just a dream, cause I don't think I am smart enough to even apply for the prestigious university. Yup, I visited many many top universities namely Oxford, Cambridge, University of Central London, Imperial College, London School of Economics, Manchester University and Warwick University.

Let me just share with you the photos from the trips........Let the pictures speaks a thousand words.......

Signing off,

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Liza on the map ~ Langkawi, we will come back for more!

*This trip was back in March and only managed to blog about it 4 months after that. Better late than never!*

I love traveling. When I was younger (not too long ago), I used to travel to many places with my family. I love visiting other countries, learning their culture and of course, enjoying their food!

When I got married and started to have kids, traveling was never an option. With very limited budget, we did not get to go anywhere. However, the job scope given by my previous company involved traveling. This was the reason why the kids get to stay at hotels and enjoy the pool while Mama has to work. Of course, work travel is never fun!

When we know we can afford to travel, typically we will start planning for the year's travel by the 3rd quarter of the previous year. Eg, traveling plans for 2011 were made back in September 2010. Tickets were usually purchased during Matta fair or some crazy deals offered by MAS or AirAsia. So for 2011, we have marked Langkawi, Bandung, Beijing and Goldcoast as the places to look out for.

I was lucky as I did not purchased the Langkawi tickets early. There were rumours going around my company's family day will be in Langkawi. I was keeping my fingers crossed and the moment it was announced, I quickly went to all airlines to make price comparisons and managed to find good deals by MAS. Yeah! We are going to Langkawi!!!!

MBH and the kids have never been to Langkawi. I've been there couple of times and mostly due to work. So, knowing the whole family gets to go to Langkawi excite me.

When traveling with kids, I will make sure I plan carefully. Where to go, transportation, where to eat, where to shop are all very important. Considering we have very limited time there (3 days 2 nights are too short for Langkawi!) we really have to plan carefully.

One thing about the kids, when we are about to travel, to wake them up in the morning is so easy. One touch using my finger tip is all it needs. As opposed to all the screaming, yelling, banging and other physical movements to get them ready for school.

Fast forward, we arrived in Langkawi. I negotiated with the kids to allow me do my thing first, that is to purchased pinggans mangkuks. No, I am not a pinggans mangkuks freak! Fact ~ do you know I have never purchased any dining sets or yang sewaktu dengannya. The one I have at home is either our wedding gifts or some freebies we got when we buy washing detergent. Sad huh? So, sempatlah I bought penuh satu boot kereta.

Next, we checked in and decided to just chill in the hotel room. Next was the cable car ride. And let me tell, I don't know why I agree to this. No, I am not afraid of heights. I am just afraid of being at high places where only wires are the only thing to keep me from crashing down!. I keep on imagining the wire would snap and we will all fall! *paranoid giler*. But, when we reached the top, the view is to die for (so did the trip down, I nearly died and closed my eyes ALL the time!)

The next day was the best. We woke up early and took the island hopping package. We got to go to Tasik Dayang Bunting, feeding the eagle and the kids had their first snorkeling experience at some pulau (sorrylah, forgot the name). As this was our first time, we didn't bring any swimming attire (thanks to the tour agent for not telling us pfftrtt). The kids ended swimming and snorkeling wearing their jeans. And so did MBH. Me? I'd rather stay dry.

By the time we ended our tour, the kids were exhausted. We had late lunch and then went back to hotel. One of the thing we decided was not to visit any historical places. We can always do that next time. The remaining time was occupied with just pusing2 around town, stopping for meals (laksa and cendol are mandatory!) and just chilling enjoying each others company. Of course we went to Dataran Lang, the trip to Langkawi will not be complete if we don't go there.

Yes, it was a total 3 days 2 nights of quality time with the kids. I had some alone time with MBH as well, watching the sun set before the kids woke up...And all that is very necessary as few days after that, I went away to UK for 2 weeks....

What happened in UK? Next entry yer...(which I don't know when)

We enjoyed Langkawi and we will definitely be back!

Signing off,

Monday, April 11, 2011

An eye opening trip - Interesting pictures from Oxford

For those who are not my FB friends, I am sharing the nice shots I took (or try to take) in Oxford. Here goes!

I love Oxford! If only I am smart enough to study here....Sigh....

Signing off,