Monday, November 29, 2010

~ Kidz@Play at Northpoint ~

Last Saturday, a friend of mine was holding her baby's full month celebration and hence we were at Northpoint Shopping Mall which is located near her home. We then discovered there is a small dry and wet play area located on shopping mall's roof garden.

Since it was a pretty hot day and we didn't bring extra clothing, the children didn't get to play with the waters. Denver exceeded the 110cm limit for the playground and hence only Gladys gets to enjoy herself happily at the sheltered play area. She was busy going up and down the slide, driving, climbing, lazing around and running all over the place.

Although the play area is not very big, parents can bring their children here for some fun while resting and waiting.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

~ Batam trip @ Harris Resort - Day 3 ~

17th November : We are finally into our final day of this trip. Gladys starting to miss Harris and Rofi already. Rofi - the dino kid's club nanny is off on every Wednesday and hence we bid her farewell yesterday.

As promised, we took Gladys to the beach to play with the sand. We are not very impress with Harris's beach front and staying in the Cabana rooms may suffer more mosquito bites.

Only Gladys is playing with the sand and Denver is not keen.

We left the beach and went straight to the pool. It was still early and there isn't any people around yet. The children enjoyed their morning swim and had fun.

Get set, Ready, Steady, JUMP!

We had breakfast at the resort and the kids went to the Dino kid's club (*again) for their final hours of fun before we return to SG. We were expecting some activities but unfortunately there isn't any nanny around on Rofi's off day.

Other shops within the resort.

We went back to our room to rest and interestingly we saw a family up on the resort's roof top (6th storey) attempting the Flying Fox! The kids and I had a good view from our balcony and they didn't have any issues  sliding all the way from the top across the pool and to the ground. I cannot imagine me doing that! Hahaha. 

It's almost time to leave and we had our lunch at Arirang with another round of kimchi, udon and ramen served with Korean hot tea.

After lunch, it started to rain very heavily. Lucky for us we had pretty good weather for the past 2 days and managed to enjoy ourselves with the outdoor activities and our trip down town.

We had a late check-out at 1pm and it is less than 5 mins from Harris to the ferry terminal. There isn't any crowd at all and it is a quiet place.

The ferry departs at 2plus and in about an hour's time, we reached the Harbourfront terminal. It's nice to be back home again. :)

Friday, November 26, 2010

~ Batam trip @ Harris Resort - Day 2 (Part 2) ~

The first thing we did upon reaching Nagoya Hill is buying half-dozen of donuts from J.CO. The children LOVES Donuts but we don't usually buy a lot in Singapore since it is quite expensive. Here, it cost 31,000 rupiah for half dozen (~77cents per piece) and 54,000 for a dozen (~67cents per piece). There are a lot of variety to choose from (Oreology, Tiramisu, Heaven Berry, Coco Loco, Why Nut, Hazel Dazzle, Cheese Me Up, Mango Blitz and many others. The children likes the chocolate flavoured donuts and I personally prefers the "Avocado Dicaprio".

At first, we bought half a dozen and finished all of them at once. Then we bought a dozen back to the resort before leaving the mall. :) They are so creamy and delicious and it was all gone before dinner time. YUMMY!

There is a food street within Nagoya Hill and we spotted A&W. This used to be one of the fast-food restaurant chain in Singapore. Especially famous for its Root Beer floats. Unfortunately, due to dwindling business, all the A&W outlets in Singapore was closed.

I missed and LOVE the root beer float! It is definitely a MUST taste drink on my list. Denver & Gladys are not familiar with A&W but they enjoyed the float as well. (because of the ice-cream topping.) :D

The pricing of the meals are comparable to that in Singapore. It ranges from $3-$6.50SGD. An ice-cream cone costs 4500 rupiah (~60cents) and the root bear float costs $12,500 rupiah (~$1.85 SGD). I would say to expect a typical fast food restaurant price you would expect to pay in Singapore. Then again, I enjoyed my root beer float. :)

Just opposite A&W is an Indonesian restaurant - AYAM PENYET RIA. I googled and found out that there is also an outlet at Lucky Plaza in Singapore. Hubby and I tried the Ayam Penyet (Smashed Fried Chicken) and we thought it was ok only that the chicken is kinda small.

Ayam Penyet - 12,500 rupiah
Nasi Ayam (with rice) - 16,500 rupiah
Jus Alpukat (avocado juice) - 10,000 rupiah

Total damages for our lunch - 39,000 rupiah (~$5.8 SGD)

We walked around the mall after a heavy lunch. That is a lot of food within an hour time. :) We didn't have much luck with shopping though, probably due to the shortage of time. Plus I feel the prices are comparable to Singapore and hence we only window-shop and browse through some shops.
The bus came to pick us up on time and we are back to the resort at 3plus. The children went for another round of fishing as the sky starts to turn dark in the evening. It finally rains and it was a cooling night for us.

We had our free dinner (picked from the menu) at the Harris Cafe. A plate of keropok was served and we had rice with chicken, rice with black pepper beef, fried rice and noodles. To complete our meal, we also have a plate of fruits for each of us. The portion is big and we had difficulty finishing up our food.

Our package includes a free bowling game for 2 pax. Taking the opportunity that Gladys has already fallen asleep, I took Denver for his first bowling session. This is not the kiddo-version that he usually plays in the arcade. Denver was surprised with the weight of the bowling ball and even question me why I gave him such a heavy one. When I told him that was the lightest among all, he was so surprised. Hahahaha.

Denver's first ten-pin bowling experience with many styles. :)

Note: Harris has ten rows of bowling lanes and the rental of shoes cost $1.5SGD per pax (pay in SGD only). There is also a list of pricing for rental of other facilities or other games play.

Although it was a short game, Denver had a good time and he gets to learn how adults play bowling for real. :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

~ Batam trip @ Harris Resort - Day 2 (Part 1) ~

16th November - We were blessed with a SUNNY Day despite the earlier weather forecasting that we may expect showers. :) Isn't it nice to see a clear blue sky, the trees on the mountains, hear the waters from the swimming pool and feel the warmth of the sun that welcomes you as you wake up in the morning? No wonder Gladys loves to stand by the balcony. :)

We had a good night rest even though all 4 of us squeeze and sleep together in a King size bed. ^_^ We went down to the Harris Cafe for our breakfast buffet spread. The variety of the buffet is acceptable with cereal, bread, salad, eggs, rice, noodles, porridge, hotdogs, pancakes, potatoes, pastries etc.

After breakfast, it is roaming around the hotel again. We still have a couple of hours of free time before taking the free shuttle down to the Nagoya Hill Shopping Mall.

After washing up, the children decided to head down to the Dino Kids' Club again for today's activities. This morning there is a colouring competition and we saw more children joining in the club. :) The kids played together and Rofi took the balloons out for a round of fun games.

Next on is the Sign hunt game where the children will be going around the lobby area gathering signatures of the staff. The one who got the most signatures will win. Denver wanted so much to participate in this game that he is very reluctant to leave when it's time to take the shuttle downtown. :(

Eventually, we boarded the Harris shuttle which leaves the resort at around 1030am. (Note: We made our bookings to go to Nagoya Hill when we check-in to the resort yesterday. It is advisable to make an early booking just in case the slots are all filled up.)

It took about 30-35 mins to reach the shopping mall from the Resort. This is probably one of the downside so far. 

The other thing is we only have less than 3 hours to lunch and shop around the mall before the shuttle picks us up at 13:30pm. This timing is definitely too short since the mall is quite big. Alternatively, you can always check with the driver if there are still vacanies to take the later shuttle at 16:00. If not, you will have to take a cab back to the resort which may cost around 50,000 rupiah.(~$7.4SGD).

Nagoya Hill is the biggest shopping mall in Batam which has a lot of retail shops selling clothes, bags, shoes, accessories etc. There is also a departmental store - Matahari, Hypermart (Basement), arcade centre, cinema, food street and restaurants. It is a pity that we didn't have enough time to explore the shops and departmental store in detail, but we get a glimpse and overall feel of it and more updates in Part 2. :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

~ Batam trip @ Harris Resort - Day 1 (Part 2) ~

After lunch, it's PLAY TIME! We signed up the children for a 45 mins cooking session (Pizza making) for $10 SGD per child. (Note: Only Batik making and Cooking lesson needs to pay an extra fee. The other activities within the Dino club are Free to join.)

We met up with the Dino club nanny - Rofi who is a nice, young lady taking care of the Dino clubs' activities. Denver and Gladys are dressed up as little chefs and all set to make their own pizzas!

They looked so cute with the chef hats and aprons. ^_^ 

Rofi gave step by step instructions on how to make a pizza. The children had fun putting their little hands to work. The pizza chef also came to help the kids flatten their dough and everyone had a good time.

The children get to choose what toppings they like to have on their pizza. Hotdogs, chicken, fish, corn and lots of CHEESE. Too bad they don't like onions... :p

A big clap for a great job done and now it's the real chef's turn to bake the pizza and 3 minutes is all he needs! :) The Yummy pizzas are for us to keep and we'll be having them for snacks later. :) We had 3 pizzas in a day but the children are not complaining at all.

After the cooking lesson, we are going for fun fishing at 4pm. Rofi prepared the fishing rods, bucket, bread and lead us to a fishing pond near the entrance of the resort. The bread was soaked into the water which is used as the fishing bait. Next, it is all about patience, skill and a little luck.

Denver & Gladys finally caught a fish! They were so excited and proud of their catch. :) Mommy had no luck though. :) Eventually all the fishes that were caught were being released back into the pond with the remaining bread buns as their 'dinner'.

The Dino club activities ended at 5pm and so we headed to the pool for a swim. It is definitely relaxing to soak our tired bodies inside the warm water after a long day. The children doesn't seems to be tired though. :)

It's dinner time and we are HUNGRY! We finished the pizzas that the children made earlier and decided to try out the Korean-Japanese style restuarant - Arirang within the resort. The waiter serves us Korean tea and 6 small plates of side dishes including Kimchi prior to the main meals and they are pretty yummy. We ordered Kimchi noodles (which Hubby commented it tasted very much like the curry flavoured Maggie Mee) and a plate of sala udon with chicken and lots of squid and vegetables. The serving for the plate of 'dry noodle' is pretty big and enough for 2 to eat.  The restuarant is very quiet with only a few customers but I would say the overall dining experience at Arirang is ok and the taste of the food is good. Total damage for dinner: $23+ SGD (including a can of coke which cost ~$2.5SGD).

After dinner, television programs, PSP and internet connection kept us occupied throughout the night. Thanks to the Free WIFI available in our room and Hubby bringing along his laptop.

We can still enjoy the TV programs from Singapore (Ch U, Ch 8) and there are many other channels available to select. :) We had a good time so far and looking forward to Day 2.