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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Guest Blogger: DAD Top Lists

It was a family holiday trip that was nearly keeled over by the outbreak of the H1N1 swine flu in Mexico in April. SARS-scarred Singapore upped the disease alert to Orange – which got us in the university very busy rolling out emergency plans in anticipation of hundreds of students returning from their Exchange Programmes in the States …and possibly returning with the virus. It did not help that cases were reported in New York and California.

Everyone had been looking forward to joining Yilin and Dan in the States, and my putting the trip on the back burner because of the urgency in the university was dampening. Ling got more edgy over the uncertainty as the scheduled departure date drew closer…and an ultimatum was literally on her lips! Fortunately, the alert was stepped down some ten days before our fly-out date (18 May) and what followed my resigned “want to go, go lor…” was a pent up rush by Ling to obtain the waiver for US visa, travel insurance, bookings for hotel accommodation etc… Anyway, it was a choice of dying from H1N1 or somebody’s wrath!

So I lived to have this great family holiday that took us to New York City, New Hampshire, Boston, Montreal and Vermont.

Yilin, Dan, Lilin would have blogged on the trip. What I’ll do here is to go for the ‘most’ and the ‘least’…


...... MOST vibrant?

Broadway, Times Square - giant neon advertisements dwarf and blind all around

Woodbury Common (factory outlet) - great shopping
(Sorry too busy shopping so didn't take photos)

The Aftermath - from FOUR different factory outlets.

Cape Cod seaside town - pink houses, rainbow flags…happy couples


.... Most charming?

Old Montreal - cobblestone alleys, curios shops, cosy restaurants, horsedrawn carriages

Quay at Newport

Broadwalk at Cape Cod & seafront dining


.....Most expensive?


$1 postcard from Old Montreal shop (Cartier Square?), when it was 50 cents elsewhere…and even four for $1 further away

Laundromat @ Burlington where a quarter was inserted into the lower dryer…when the clothes were in the upper dryer (imagine the lower dryer spinning without any clothes inside, while in the upper dryer, clothes laid in a wet clump?)

(Editor's Note: Rubbish! This never happened. Don't know where you get such inane ideas from. Your children aren't THAT dumb!)


....Most entertaining?

PAID: “Mama Mia” at Broadway - great ABBA nostalgia

FREE: Tan & Cho brood, travelling entertainers


.... Most quaint?

‘On The Hill’ B&B at Burlington

Ye Olde English Inn at Stowe

Rustic wooden shacks, wooden bridges


.... Most
opiangly beautiful?

Entrance of the public library in Brooklyn

Chrysler Building (Manhattan)

Interior of Cheesecake Factory cafe


.... Most
gratifying meals?

Meatloaf at Bartley’s Gourmet Burgers (Cambridge, Massachusetts)

Meatloaf at Cheesecake Factory café (Albany)

Ling’s Hainanese chicken rice, fried rice and wanton soup


.....Most shiok! breakfast?

‘On the Hill’ B&B - Vermont berry-yoghurt starter, Vermont jam, Vermont bacon, Vermont air


Hyatt Place (Boston)- the only place outside Starbucks that provided Starbucks coffee. Coffee in all other lodges sucked.

Breakfast at IHOP



With anglers by Lake Placid

Sunset by Lake Champlain

Wetland Observation Rest Point (on way to Lake Placid)


...Single most impressive

The Maple Sugar Works outlet in the Adirondacks - a shop without any person in view… visitor picks his buy, totals up the cost, drops the cash into an open basket, and leaves. A DIY or HYI (Help Yourself to It) place that operates on 101% trust.


....Most arty-crafty?

‘A Placid Life’ signage at Lake Placid

‘Black Dog’ signage at Newport

Cat & Mouse signage at Central Valley

Giant poster on fishing dock



Spring flowers !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Berries galore



.... Most DRAMA?

Red Cliff (SQ inflight movie)
Red Cliff II (SQ inflight movie)

SQ stewardess in tight sarong scrambling to block out faulty pelmet lighting with paper and Post-Its.


.....Most unusual?

A big Vermonster tub of B& J ice cream for breakfast

Car-boot sale of Asian man

Shops brimming with Christmas deco and gifts


... Least

Walk through Central Park (NYC) – too blazing hot and sapping

Soft and saggy beds (except in Boston’s Hyatt Place, Montreal’s Le Square Philip, and Marriot TownPlace Suites) – that got Ling and I sinking into the middle of the bed (not a bad thing).


... Most precious?

Family bonding - natural division of labour and team work.

Dan, driving and portering in between;

Yilin, navigating and sourcing out best value accommodation;

Lilin, creative ordering of meals and providing comic relief in between;

Yujin, portering in between providing comic relief;

Ling, providing fuel for long drives (fruits, snacks, drinks) and endless flow of hand sanitizer;

and….”Dad, need your card..”. Do I need to say more?


.... Most dreaded?

When someone coughed or sneezed...

Signing off,


olimomok said...

Hehe, I liked this post v much, Uncle ;)

Yi Lin said...

Wow, Dad! Well done - your first blog post! :) Will publicise this link to show how cool my dad is. But some of the info is a bit sala lah... so your Obsessive Compulsive Infomustbecorrect Disorder daughter will be making some SLIGHT editorial changes okay...

PS. Who was coughing and sneezing away ah... I wonder who.

PPS. We DIDN'T put money into the wrong dryer lah! We just didn't feed it enough money. That's what happens when you read House & Garden mag while we do the laundry.. you get your facts wrong!

Zen said...

Precious sentiments nicely documented! =) *Upz*

lint said...

sis....he's confused la. Jia lat. didn't get the virus but got the confusion?!

Jennifer Goh said...

very entertaining very well-written!! i heart it :)

Christine said...

Your did is indeed super cool!

TK said...

Dear YiLin,
The laundromat bit...your pics not meant to be there lah...the incident did not happen during our first visit...why should I lift a finger...as if there were not enough women fussing over the clothes huh??? That's why Dan fell asleep too! It happened during our 2nd visit - after we had seen Lint and Yuj off on the blue-blue aeroplane (what's that name?).U'll recall u and Dan went to the internet cafe and mum went shopping...and left me alone to tackle the laundry. I saw a coin slit and just dropped in the coin lor...how to know wrong slit!!! Only realised it when I sat down to read...and saw from the corner of my eye that my clothes were still in a motionless clump!! Luckily nobody noticed it ...otherwise they wud have thought this asian apek is very blur. Did not want to tell u and mum after that. To avoid getting more instructions before every step and every turn after that ... "OK, sit here ah" or "Wait there hor" etc... U know, this compulsive thing runs in the family!!! OK lah...otherwise it will be a very quiet family...sigh...

Heh, did u have a glimpse of my new office and office blog? I think I did send it to all of you. If not, maybe put the coin in the wrong place again !! The office downstairs must be turning!!! hahaha. Really lovely office. 2 of the 4 walls are simply full height glass...

Lint said...

hhahaha DAMN LAME LA the office turning thing!!! But I was giggling like crazy about the compulsive family thing.

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