Mar '14: The day after our arrival back in Melbourne, we jumped into our car and drove up to Echuca to re-kindle our friendship with Rae and Gavan who had travelled down from Townsville for a wedding. [Wayne and I first met in Singapore through Rae.] We joined their clan in a Murray River cruise on the PS Pevensey and with so much to catch up on, our jaws were aching by the time we said our good-byes!
Deej slipped into Melbourne on the 13th to attend a mate's wedding - was great to have him stay with us for the week, just wished the whole family were here, too.
Apr '14: Sharon's jaw dropped to the floor when Wayne offered a mother-daughter holiday as a Mother's Day present this year and she applied for a new passport the very same day! For Sharon, this was an overseas holiday of a lifetime, (her first in 23 years) and for me, a second term of no kitchen duties!!! We flew out of Melbourne on the 30th to begin our three weeks' holiday.
May '14: We crammed as much as we could into our five days in Singapore. Knowing Sharon is a huge Hello Kitty fan, Aisyah had organized a surprise bus trip to Sanrio Hello Kitty Town at Puteri Harbour in Johor Bahru. Next on the agenda was a visit to Gardens by the Bay, followed by a Singapore River cruise and of course shopping at Mustafa Centre. We ended our stay with a Singapore Flyer experience. Next stop - Cambodia...
Deej, Gen and Stella met us at Phnom Penh International Airport and we all spent a night in Phnom Penh for Sharon's dental appointment before the drive to Kampot, a serene riverside town associated with super cheap massages, a Bokor Mountain tour, a sunset river cruise and a fireflies night cruise. Mother's Day was celebrated in style with a weekend stay at a resort in Sihanoukville. Sharon enjoyed "Jeeping" expeditions with Deej, an ancient wat tour and kayaking while I luxuriated in being pampered with various salon treatments. It was lovely spending time with the family and friends but all too soon it was time to bid them farewell.
Last leg of our trip was Kuala Lumpur where we were joined for a weekend by Aisyah & Rishad and together, we gallivanted here, there and everywhere in pursuit of good tucker. After we parted company, Sharon and I did some touristy stuff - shopping in Chinatown, checking out the Butterfly Park and KL Bird Park. We wished our holiday was just beginning but unfortunately, all good things must come to an end so we packed our bags and caught a premier class flight home... What a super-duper holiday we had - one that will be cherished for years to come. We remain eternally grateful for Wayne's generous gift. We are indeed blessed.
Jun '14: This was a quiet month as Sharon and I came back to earth and re-settled into our normal routine.
Jul '14: Wayne's birthday was celebrated with a family dinner at Hog's Breath Cafe in Epping and we celebrated our 29th wedding anniversary with a feed at a Japanese Restaurant the day after a "Christmas In July" work function at Moonee Valley Racing Club.
Aug '14: Aisyah and Rishad arrived on the 1st for their first snow experience. Wayne took a week off work and we went to Mt Buller while there was still plenty of snow. We took them to Sovereign Hill, spent 2 days at Lakes Entrance for a cruise around the Gippsland Lakes and also did the Royal Cave tour in Buchan. Of course I took them on a tram ride to the CBD - to Queen Victoria Market, Southbank, etc. After 10 days, they left with bulging suitcases filled with souvenirs and healthy treats (chocolates, cookies, snack bars...) We sure had a lot of fun.
Nov '14: Mikey's 18th birthday was very much a low-key family affair with a paintball game day planned for after the Christmas season. My 64th birthday was celebrated with flowers from Wayne's boss, fruit box delivery from Nina, a yummy birthday cake made by Sharon, a trip to Kyabram Fauna Park and cash gift from Wayne and another cash gift from Deej plus a video call from Cambodia with the granddaughters singing a birthday song. I was thrilled to bits to receive so many birthday good wishes from my Facebook friends this year. Oh, what a feeling!
In conclusion, it has been a fantastic 12 months for me and mine and I hope yours has been just as exciting. As the time comes for us to farewell the old year, may I take this opportunity to wish you all a memorable Christmas and a happy, healthy and peaceful 2015.(Please click on thumbnails to view larger images.)