Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Amazing pillow...

I was complaining the other day regarding my neck and back pain in the morning. Either the way I positioned my head on the pillow was not correct, or the pillow was not good. But it WAS a goose feather pillow, no less, which was rather costly in the first place :(

After several days of complaining, I was given a nice surprise gift! Introducing Jean Perry (pronounced as John Per-ree cause it's French) Memory Pillow...

Well I bet everyone will think that Memory Pillow, based on the name, is supposed to improve my memory, right? How I wish it were true! It is just a name... Apparently, the pillow has some cutting edge technology foam material which can mold itself to support your head and neck while at the same time absorbing pressure and heat. I believe it is how the pillow can maintain this particular and customized shape throughout the night, to ensure a good sleep, that led to its name as the Memory Pillow.
It is also Anti Dust Mite as well, what an angel!
There are two ends to the pillow, one being the thinner end and the other, thicker. Depending on the person's sleeping position, the required height of the pillow also varies. For normal usage, it is recommended to sleep on the thicker/higher end, which can support your neck better. On the other hand, if the person chooses to sleep on his/her stomach, then the thinner/lower end would suffice.
I have used this for a week now and I'm proud to say that I don't have neck and back sores now! What a wonder this pillow is...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Double rainbows =)

I saw two rainbows the other day during dusk. Could you spot the second one? My camera just didn't do the justice... Rainbows are so pretty, they're one of world's greatest wonder :)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The beauty of Kerachut...

It was more than a year ago since I last visited Kerachut beach in the Penang National Park. I used to hike there rather frequently when I was doing my internship in Penang, when I had more time and more fun people surrounding me. Fast forward to present, where I have to work full-time, and study part-time. Studying has really taken a big chunk of my personal life, it's not funny. Week night outings have almost reduced to a zero, and I lose half of the weekend for attending classes! Gosh, what a price to pay!

Anyway, a few weeks ago, a good friend managed to get me out on a beautiful Sunday morning to go for a hike. Well, I should say he laid a guilt trip on me by saying lots of things that were rather true. So yes, I have not been exercising for the longest time, and yes, I can't remember the last time I went swimming, or the last time I went to the gym. Big deal. :P But come to think of it, it does make me feel guilty for not taking care of my health. So I yielded without much ado, and I did not regret it.

We reached the entrance point of the National Park at past 9am and I realised what a major change it was compared to the last time I was there. For starters, there was this nice building for hikers' registration which was newly built. Last time, it used to be at some rundown booth that no one noticed.

Entrance to Penang National Park
Registration office

Nearby, there was another building which was in the midst of completion. If I'm not mistaken it's a building for some forestry research of some kind. It does look nice from the outside.
New building at Penang National Park entrance


After registering our names at the office, we were on our way to Kerachut!
New entrance
Entrance of Penang National Park

Before continuing further, we had to do the most important thing before a hike. Well, most important for me. *LOL* That is putting on sufficient sunblock lotion! Never go hiking on a hot afternoon without sunblock because you'll just regret it. Took this picture on the way in...
Nice view of the pier

At the entrance of the hike
First stretch of the hike

The weather was just nice for a hike on that Sunday. It was not too warm underneath the trees and the air was not too stuffy either.
Long way to go...

Blue dragonfly
A pretty blue dragonfly that I spotted

The first spot that we stopped was at this deserted gazebo nearby the beach. The view would have been much nicer if the lake was not dried up. :)
View from the gazebo

And a further 5 minutes walk led us to the beach!

Beautiful unpolluted beach

Well for those who are not so interested in the one hour hike to Kerachut beach, they can always opt for the boat ride.
Mini pier at Kerachut
The signature pier of Kerachut

More of beautiful beach pictures of Kerachut...

Kerachut beach

Beautiful but hot beach...
Nice sandy beach (if you don't mind the sun :P)

After resting and admiring the beach for about half an hour, we were on our way to hike out again. Somehow, I felt more energized after the visit and had more energy hiking out than in. So ironic... However, something unfortunate happened on my way out. Turned out that my Nike shoes were not so reliable after all. The outsole of my right shoe decided to give up on me barely halfway through the journey out! :( It got really irritating when it was just flip-flapping away and my nice hiking partner offered first-aid to rescue my shoe. :) And I literally meant First-aid as he was using the tape from the first-aid kit! *LOL*
Shoe under first-aid care

Bandaged shoe... Thanks to Shoe... how ironic :P
My shoe is good to go! :)

While waiting for first-aid...

Finally after another hour, we reached our starting point again, now all sweaty and tired. I couldn't resist taking some pictures of the mini fishing pier at the entrance of the National Park in Teluk Bahang.

I want one of those!
Fishing boats..

Pier at Teluk  Bahang

I felt a sense of achievement for being able to hike in and out without much complaints :P Of course, I paid the price for having muscle aches for the next 2 days, but it was all worth it!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Why I want to eat at Friday's

The one and only TGI Friday's restaurant in Penang is located in the relatively new Queensbay Mall, Bayan Baru.
TGI Friday's, Queensbay
Entrance of Friday's in Queensbay Mall, Penang

Now, I'm not a big fan of American cuisine, but Friday's has begun to gradually convert me into one.
I love Friday's! :)

Ever since its inception in Penang, I have frequented Friday's about 10 times, and after every meal, I was satiated and happy. I will not be surprised that Friday's is now my must-go restaurant at least once a week! Here is the list that makes me continuously yearn for Friday's every day. :)

I LOVE ...

1. Three for All
I absolutely love the fried mozzarella sticks that come with this dish. It simply has to be eaten when it is just served. Any later and it will be cold and lose its amazing effect. What amazing effect, you say? Well first you pick it up, when it's hot, hot, hot, baby... and take a large, generous bite into the stick, then start chewing... and the glorious mozzarella will start to melt in your mouth, covering your every taste buds on your tongue, blending together with the fried Italian bread coating; imagine - crunchy on the outside, gooey on the inside. If that's not amazing, I don't know what is!

2. Cajun Fried Chicken Salad
On the days when I do not have a good appetite for something heavy, the Cajun Fried Chicken Salad is always my top priority in Friday's.
Cajun fried chicken salad
Cajun Fried Chicken Salad

Being a girl, it is just common for us to always watch our weight, watch our calories intake, the amount of fibre we take, etc etc. Therefore, this is the perfect dish for me, not to mention delicious as well. The serving is humongous but yet, it is all good. The vegetables used are fresh and crunchy, the garlic bread that comes as a side is crispy and full of garlic and butter flavor, and last but not least, the fried chicken! Have I mentioned how fantabulous the chicken is? There are just plenty of fried chicken fillets, with the perfect golden color and the very very flavorful taste. Every piece of chicken just opens up my appetite further.
Check out how crunchy and golden the chicken fillets are!

My trick is, for every bite of chicken, I take two big bites of vegetables.
Eagerly waiting to take my first bite!

A blend of meat and fibre just makes a girl sinfully happy and yet keeps the pounds at bay. :)
Chicken and vege in one bite...
Blend of yummy chicken and healthy vegetables :)

3. Mocha Mud Pie
How can a meal be complete without the mouth-watering, tantalizing, enticing Mocha Mud Pie?
Mocha mud pie
Glorious dessert *gulp*

It has already become a legend in its own name. The fabulous dessert. Chocolate. Coffee. Cake. Ice-cream. Almond.
Oblivious to the surroundings...

What more can a girl ask for?
What happened to the mocha mud pie? *gasp*

4. Friendly staff
Every visit to TGIF is welcomed by the service of friendly waiters/waitresses who can't wait to please their customers. I can almost memorize what they would say to me after I was shown to my table for a mere 5 minutes. "Good afternoon/evening. My name is <> and I'm going to serve you for today. Just call me whenever you're ready to order, miss. " And with a BIG smile too. Just warms your heart and opens up your appetite. :)

5. Wonderful ambience
The atmosphere in Friday's is nothing short of relaxing. The decoration is always festive, the waiters' uniforms are full of colorful badges and they have cute joker hats, it makes me smile just being there.
Friday's looking out towards the entrance
Nice and colorful decor

Joker hat on the waiter
Cute joker hat...

Cleanliness is also maintained very well. Toilets were surprisingly spotless, and there was this time we accidentally spilled a glass of drink onto our table. The staff who noticed it immediately took everything in control and cleaned up the table. Impressive!

6. Food and drinks satisfaction
I have this weird habit of only ordering plain water from whichever restaurant I go to. To me, water is the perfect match to every tantalizingly good meal, as it does not affect my taste buds and it washes down all food perfectly.
I love water!

Hence, I always find it ridiculous for restaurants to put an exorbitant price tag for a glass of plain water. Friday's, however, is not one of those restaurants. They are always willing to provide me a huge glass of warm water, not to mention with a big grin as well. In terms of food satisfaction, it's never a compromise to Friday's. There was a time I ordered fajitas that came with chicken and beef, with the rare occasion that the beef was a tad too well done. I told the waiter that the beef was overcooked and dry, and without a question, he just apologized and took away my beef. After a mere 5 minutes, I was served with a brand new plate of beef cooked to perfection.

Writing this post has definitely stirred my palate for Friday's salad. I am very grateful that Friday's has finally landed in Penang. :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Cameron Highlands retreat

During the Raya holidays, my family and I went to Cameron Highlands for a retreat. It was indeed a huge family retreat, because my cousins, grandparents (maternal and paternal), uncles, aunties all gathered there. It had been quite a while since we planned something large scale, so I was really looking forward to it. We started our journey at about 10am in the morning and reached around 1.5 hours later, where we were greeted with traffic jam! Seriously, not a good time to go to Cameron Highlands on holiday season.

After going through the hustle and bustle of the town, we finally found a place to buy fresh vegetables for our steamboat activity that night.

Some market in Brinchang
Some market in Brinchang

Since it was almost lunch time, we decided to have lunch before heading to our accommodation in a bungalow. This was where we ate:
A chicken/duck rice shop in Brinchang (near night market)

Ducks ducks ducks

The crowd was simply amazing. There were so many people in the shop that we had to wait for tables to be cleared. When we finally had our table, we ordered their specialty Roasted duck, of course.

Old cucumber soup

Roast duck
Roasted duck

Well, the food was not too bad but a tad oily. But the company was more important... eating with a big group of people was rather fun. :)

We then headed to our bungalow, which was called Fair Haven. The place was very old but still well-maintained. At least, all the basic necessities were available. And most importantly, it had an amazing view!
View from the back entrance of the house

Well I think the views were enough to offset whatever downsides of the bungalow. ;) And weather was cool but rather damp. Rained almost every day, which was not good news for outdoor activities.
Can you spot the golf course in the distance?

The first night we were there, we had BBQ just outside the house, facing the brilliant view. Thank goodness there was no rain in the evening, so our BBQ went on rather smoothly. That is, until 2 hours later, then it started to drizzle. Fortunately, we had a front covered porch where we could move to. Check out the delicious BBQed meat that we had! :)

Look at what rain did to our pit... :(

Most of the time, we were either just eating or playing mahjong or sleeping! I am positive I gained at least 2 pounds from the 2 nights there. Needless to say, the trip definitely served its purpose to renew my enthusiasm in life, to refresh and rejuvenate me.

Now it is time to get back to work...