Thursday, May 7, 2009

I need some sunny sunshine in my life...Perth anyone?

When I am down and under, I tend to get a little bit more sentimental and my crabby, more reserve self emerges. This is the side of Daphne that only those closest and dearest recognize and understand. I’m not nasty nor grumpy, just very, very quiet – even when my hands and legs are deftly spring cleaning the house, another trait prominently seen when the quirky Daphne is hibernating, you won't hear a thing.

Today, bubbly Daphne takes a step back. Isobel is fast asleep and I enjoy the serenity of my home with my duster, mop and vacuum. As I reorganize my closet and re-coordinate the colors of my dresses and shoes, I come across some old pictures taken before I was married – so carefree and young. THIN! Ha ha ha.

I glance back in resignation at the dresses on my bed that I plan to give away. After 3 years of hoarding these beautiful dresses, I have given in to the fact that I am no longer a 43kg lass with a 23 inch waist.

I stare at the pictures and am drawn by the story of each photo. Every memory. Every smell. The good and the bad. Bitter sweet times. Cherishable moments. I decide to put aside my household 'partners' and sit down in front of my computer for some serious photo blogging. Photos that have reminded me of the good (ole’) days. Bear with me readers, there will be a few pictorial blogs after this; but allow me to start with my trip to Perth 3 or 4 years ago (sorry, my memory failing).

Here we go:

These are some pictures taken on my shoot for My Australian Adventure Season 2. Cheryl Samad, Nazrudin Rahman and yours truly were on shoot at Perth... and boy did we have fun!

Ladies & gentlemen, I proudly bring you to Perth!


Fake ?
Or Real?


    Kings Park and Botanic Garden is the green heart of the city, covering 400.6 hectares and located adjacent to the Swan River, approximately 1.5 km from the Central Business District (CBD) of Perth. With its remarkable expanses of unique bushland, tranquil parkland and botanic garden, the Park is the most popular visitor destination in Western Australia. I was mesmerized by the breathtaking bird's eye views of the city and Swan River from among the tree tops at Federation Walkway. The Annual Kings Park Festival is held in the month of September, and includes the spectacular blooming wildflowers in the Botanic Garden.

    Click here to find out 10 top things to do.



The Swan River is Perth's natural heartbeat. The view of the river and city from King's Park is among Western Australia's most scenic - city sky scrapers shining against a brilliant blue Perth sky, green parklands and the shimmering blue river combine to create a stunning vista. I am quite sure you will be whipping out your cameras when you are here. Remember to charge those batteries! You don't want to be like me, and lose picture moments to be captured.

Like what we had in KL's Titiwangsa. make sure you check out the latest attraction along the Swan River, the 60m Wheel of Perth where you get a bird's eye view of the city!

You would think that sand dunes are just for quad bikes right? WRONG! Check out this place at Lancelin Sand Dunes. Our coach driver specializes in 'sand driving' down 45 degrees dunes. Due to the enormousity of our coach (its a bloody 4WD BUS la wei...like the Balik Kampung buses on the highways, only equipped with 4WD's!), this was something super thrilling for us (imagine being in a tall vehicle going really really fast - not very stable right? Now imagine speeding down a sand dune really, really fast ! Scary right?) Not even Naz could contain his squeals.


Whee!!!

I tamed the butterflies in my tummy by doing my infamous dance (the running man).



After that, we hired sand boards and 'surfed the sand'. Suffice to say, I had undergarments that had its own sandy oasis by the end of the day!

Lancelin is about an hour and a half drive north of Perth.

    We went on an exhilarating day tour and experienced the thrills and spills of 4WD driving and sand boarding at Lancelin with Pinnacle Tours. Remember to take your sunblock!

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The next picture makes me smile. I love the look of love. It is just so intoxicatingly sweet.
Managed to take this picture of these two swans. The contrast of its bills against the black feathers is beautiful.

This was taken at Caversham Wildlife Park. Little trivia here, there are two David's who own and manage this park. Both very jovial people and a joy to be with. The first time I came here, I was on a shoot stint for Explorace (TV3). I vowed to come back again because I didnt get to see all the 200 species of animals found here. My dream came true when I was on shoot with Cheryl and Naz.


Do you know that there are 40 different types of kangaroos? And the story goes, that their name was derived when European explorers first saw these strange hopping animals and asked the native Australian (aborigine) what they were called. Native guy replied "kangaroo" meaning " I don't understand" (your question). The explorer thought this was the animal's name. ha ha ha!


I tried to get a close up picture of the white kangaroo ( I love the color white), but she was afraid of me. Got this dude instead.

Kangaroo facts

A male kangaroo is called a boomer
A female kangaroo is called a flyer
A baby kangaroo is called a joey

So what do you call a pilot named joey who graduated last in his flying class? A family of kangaroos late for an appointment! Geddit? Geddit? Snort.

Ok. Maybe I should just stick to photo blogging.

At Caversham Wildlife Park, you can hold and the animals (with a Guide with you of course). There are also shows and rides available. If you are ever at Perth, please check this Park out. I wonder if Zoo Negara can learn a thing or two from them?

This picture was taken by someone from the crew. Kantoi! I was supposed to be on standby for shoot, but I sneaked out to shop. We are at the Westfield-Carousel. Its a carousel of wild shopping!

See? Even Naz dissappeared to shop. Tsk. And you think malls are just for us ladies? Think again.

There are also chic designer outlets, famous Australian chain stores and department stores that can make any die-hard shopper weak in the knees! Besides Westfield Carousel, I LOVE Harbourtown; a factory outlet shopping haven the Garden City in Booragoon. There are also trendy suburbs like Clarement and Subiaco. (Subiaco is a personal favourite; take a day here and enjoy the quaint shops and cafes).

For character and fresh local produce, there is also the Fremantle Markets... Oysters for lunch anyone?

Met some familiar faces in Perth..

The streets of Fremantle are always abuzz with shoppers and al fresco diners at the outdoor cafes. If you prefer browsing through the weird, wacky and wonderful, don't miss the Fremantle Markets. Devour hot crepes and roasted chestnuts, grab a hotdog and pick up a painting or antique. End the day with sumptuous fish and chips at the world famous fish and chips place, Cicerello’s

Check out Cheryl's swing! She surprised us with her batting skills. Not too bad for a petite girl like her. (Catch her on Ghost Season 2, every Sunday at 1030pm, 8tv by the way!)



My batting skills were less favored. So I became the "tukang ambil bola" most of the time. It's okay. You can't have it all right?
:)

Anyway, there is a reason why we were playing criket.

The XXXX Gold Beach Cricket Tri- Nations series is a popular 3 round beach cricket competition launched in September 3 years back. The first series involved cricketing legends from Australia, England and the West Indies. Now we have teams from Australia, England, New Zealand and is an annual event.

Had loads of fun- and even the crew kicked off their shoes to try it out for themselves.
I wonder why were there more girls playing with us that day? Is it a lady's sport?
he he he

For the next picture, I have a cheesy "kawaii" grin. I look so calm. In reality, I am bracing myself for a wet, wild time on the West Jet Adventures.

Sitting up to 14 passengers, the turbo charged Yanmar engines which are coupled to twin 212 Hamilton water jet units, pushes out approximately 25 tonnes of water per minute.



The vessel departs wharf and heads down river under the Narrows Bridge then blasts past the Old Swan Brewery, Kings Park and Royal Perth Yacht Club at a blistering pace while the captain throws the vessel ( and my limp body) through 360 degree spins, power brake stops and high speed manoeuver.

Not for the faint hearted.

But look at some of the scenery you see on the jet boat. (If your eyes are not closed that is!)

Beautiful...


The Cut Port Bouvard at Mandurah is ranked Western Australia's No. 1 Golf Course. Our Group CEO, Datuk Seri Farid decided to join us for the shoot here to give us some support. He and the man in the lime green shirt are the only dignified golfers in this picture. The other three? Sigh...

It is an 18 hole course, but I think the scenery is just AMAZING!

How amazing? Let us put it this way. I took golf classes when I was young, but never took much interest in it and stopped as soon as I could. But after "playing" golf at this course, with its majestic ocean-front dunes, I was so motivated, as soon as I came back to KL, I went straight to the driving range. And I was there practicing religiously till I found out I was pregnant with my first child.





As mentioned earlier, I suck at the game. You can tell by my swing. But I have improved by 3%..I swear!


This is at the Margaret Chocolate Company. We had a delicious time here!

Free chocolate tastings, interactive displays...but best of all, we got a chance to make some chocs ourselves!

Okay...maybe baking is more of my thing...but look at all that white chocolate......pant pant pant!


I gobbled everything they gave us! Plus I had 2 servings of the hot chocolate drink.
They even sell body products and I bought myself a chocolate favoured massage oil.

Now before you health freaks out there start shaking your judgemental heads on me, do you know that a research shows that dark chocolate contains a large number of antioxidants (nearly 8 times the number found in strawberries) they also have flavonoids which help to relax blood pressure through the production of nitric oxide AND it helps balance certain hormones in the body?
* that's why when we are feeling depressed, chocolates are the first thing we look for*

Thing is, try dark chocolate as it has more health benefits than white or normal chocolate.


(by the way, if you like food and food demos, Mondo Nougat is another place you should check out! Yummy....)

I remember this picture. I was the best grape cutter amongst us three ( I suck in golf, but I am good with things that have to do with wine!)

The Edgecombe Brothers is a family business purchased by Don and Frank Edgecombe in 1925. From just table grapes to table and wine grapes as well as running a vineyard, making jams and preserving fruits for retail, the Edgecombe Brothers is still doing handsomely well

While you are there, check out the eatery. You MUST try their Muscat icecream served with coffee or tea. You can also choose to dine by the cosy log fire in the winter or enjoy the view of the vineyard from the vine covered alfresco dining area during the summer.

Ba Ba Black sheep, have you any wool?

Located in the Swan Valley, about half an hour from Perth CBD, lies The River Retreat. There is quite a handful of things one can do here. From a one day treat of dining, browsing at the gallery farm animal feeding and catching an Outback show to a farm-stay/eco experience with family or friends!

I read that the outback show is currently being revamped, but while we there, I was amazed by the sheer intelligence of these animals.

Cheryl and I stare at the show from afar. Frozen in bewilderment.






Mr Horsey plays dead. Its like a choreographed dance number of animals, minus the Bollywood music and animation. I wish my daughter was easy to train like these smart folks.

This boy melted our heart. Naz called us baby snatchers. He was just jealous by all the attention we gave to little Ben.

There is also a cultural show and you can't go without watching a didgeridoo demonstation right?

So here we are, paying close attention to our new found friend teaching us how to do blow properly.

Naz gives it a try...


From our expressions, you would know how he fared. Sorry Naz...

Cute lambsie... how can ANYONE eat lamb chops? Sniff.



All aboard!

I can't remember exactly what the name of this cruise was, but I do know that there are a few cruises to choose from. A trip to Mandurah would not be complete without enjoying a scenic cruise of the calm inland waterways and canals of Mandurah's Estuary and the Peel inlet.



OH! I remember this one too!!! Cheryl had just recorded a song and we were listening to it via her phone. She showed me some dance moves she had planned to do for her music video, and Naz and I suggested some moves. I naturally came up with my running man number; and Naz with his "head bobbing moves" (so not cool by the way naz!). Don't think she likes our idea.

Anyway, here we are posing for our "Cruise Mandurah impromtu dance number". Check out Cheryl's pose man. I tried to climb the pole, but I have a heavy posterior, so I just did what I could do. (ie: pose and attempt to look hot doing it. Failed miserably.)

This is the view taken from outside the boat. Sigh...the lifestyle of the rich and famous. When will that day come when I come out from my beach house to start my boat engine for a cruise in the canals?

We placed bets on who would achieve this dream first between us and the crew. Naz was a favourite.

We were lucky to see a pod of bottlenose dolphins join us in our cruise. I was so excited, I almost dropped my brand new camera here!

Interesting fact: The killer whale is NOT a whale but belongs to the toothed cetacean family, which is the same family as the dolphin.
It is the largest dolphin found and is also called Orca.



Just 25 kms from the city of Perth is Brookleigh Equestrian Centre. This is where the award winning Stewart's Restaurant is; amidst "the finest Equestrian training centre in the Southern Hemisphere".

I have had basic horse riding lessons, but Cheryl and Naz have no experience on these 4 legged animals. But that does not mean they were hindered from enjoying the wonderful scenery Brookleigh has to offer! We all went on a comfortable, slow walk on horse back.

Because I was on horseback, I could not manage to get more pictures to be shared, but if you plan to have a cowboy themed wedding, and you happen to be at Western Australia, Brookleigh might be just the place for you.

Isobel just woke up. Will 'speak' to you soon

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