Category Archives: Personal

Yellow Brick Road – Team Hustlers’ Holiday Feast

The morning team had it’s monthly team huddle last Wednesday at the Yellow Brick Road, a cafe in Bukit Damansara. It’s near our office, one can walk, but it will probably be a 15-20 minute walk. We carpooled to the location and settled ourselves in their dining area on the second floor.

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Yellow Brick Road, located in Bukit Damansara

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The Impasta Returns! (25RM) Aglio Olio with chicken Cha Siu

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Seafood Tapenade Spaghetti (28RM) Spaghetti with tapenade paste (made of olives, capers and achovies) and seafood

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La Bomba (28RM) Mildly spicy and flavourful seafood broth served with foccacia bread

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The Breakfast Pancake (22RM) Pancakes served with granola, creamed yoghurt, topped with dried fruits

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The Sawadi Crab burger (29RM) Charcoal buns with soft served crab and sweet potato on the sides

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General Pappardelle (26RM) Pappardelle pasta with home pulled beef

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Hooked (28RM) Seasonal battered fish fillet with roasted potato and tartar sauce

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Big Breakfast Bash (30RM) Eggs, turkey ham, beans, toast, sausage, hash browns, and etc

We also exchanged gifts. We picked a name a month prior and the deal was that we had to be the guardian angel for the person we picked. I picked Jenner’s name, a fellow Filipino.

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Team Hustlers

Overall, the food was good, the service is nice, the ambiance of the restaurant is also good. I just did not get the chance to take a photo of the place since my phone camera sucks. It was an afternoon of fun and I am looking forward to more activities like this in the future.

Happy Holidays team Hustlers!

How to Extend a Visit Pass in Malaysia

My mom arrived in Malaysia last October. Prior to her coming here, we applied for a social visit pass from the Malaysian embassy in the Philippines. The plan was for her to spend Christmas and New Year with us, thus, we applied for 3 months. When she came here, the immigration officer only stamped her passport for 60 days, which leaves us 1 month short.

Since this was the case, we had to apply for her visa extension. This is to avoid any immigration problems, over staying to be specific. I did some research and to be honest, it was not easy as there were a lot of conflicting information on the Internet. Some directed me to apply in Putrajaya, some to Jalan Duta, all advised to come early to finish early as queues can be crazy.

I considered 2 things. First, we will have to go on a Monday, which was my day off. Based on feedback, the busiest was either Monday or Friday. Since it was my only weekday off, we went for Monday (no choice. lol!). Second, we brought Geoff with us. My mom could not go alone, and we had to leave early, thus we could not drop Geoff from school during that time. Plus we do not have any guaranty that we will finish in time for his school dismissal.

We left the house at around 6:30AM. I booked an Uber and arrived at the Kompleks Kementerian Dalam Negeri in Jalan Duta a little after 7AM. We were dropped off from the lobby and proceeded to the first floor. On the first floor is the passport renewal and application. We were told to go further, past the connecting hallway and joined a queue there. Just like in one of the blogs I read, there are hardly any english instructions. The room we waited for to open was the office that handles visas, social pass and extension. Having arrived early, there were less than 20 people on the queue.

The office opened at around 7:30AM, they called the seniors and those with children (below 2 years old) first then everybody queued up for Counter 24. Based on what was written on it, the said counter processes social visit visas and extension. The officer got my mom’s papers then directed us to the second floor. They were quite unclear where because there were several offices there. After a few minutes of asking and going into the offices, we got to the 1Serve office. We were asked to get a number, then the officer reviewed my mom’s requirements and were told to go back after an hour for the passport. That was 8AM then and we were able to finish by 9AM. We also paid RM 50 for an extension until January 9.

So to sum up:

  1. Ride a taxi/Book a car going to Kompleks Kementerian Dalam Negeri. The exact address is 69, Jalan Sri Hartamas 1, Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
  2. From the lobby, go up one floor, straight through the glass door and the office will be on the  right side.
  3. Prepare the forms accordingly. We brought 2 copies of the Form IMM.55 (Link is here), information and pass copy from my mom’s passport, and her confirmed return flight details.
  4. After queuing from Kaunter 24, go back the connecting hallway and look for the 1Serve office. It will be the farthest office on the right side, near the escalators. It’s hard to miss as it has the 1Serve tarpauline everywhere.
  5. Get a number, wait for your number to be called, once the officer is done processing, ask how long, and come back.
  6. Pay the necessary fee and receive your passport with the extended visa.

Here are some helpful links:

Requirements for the social visit extension: Link

Address for the  Kompleks Kementerian Dalam Negeri: 69, Jalan Sri Hartamas 1, Sri Hartamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

 

Checking In

Heeelloooo!

Yes, I am back, just stuck with a routine that is currently making my head spin and my world turned upside down.

First off, there is work. Yes, I am back in the corporate world, and the schedule, the commute, the training and everything else, is coinciding with the tasks that I should be doing as a mom and wife. Yes, everything is so exciting right now, that I am super stressed out. After being out of work for a year, this will definitely need some getting used to.

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Yeehees! Nope, no picture on the ID yet. Just a regular access card.

Second, I have blogged about Geoff’s birthday celebration. As a family, we just went out to eat and finally replaced his broken tablet (he has been using mine for the last few months). Then he celebrated at school. Just the normal cake eating during break time and singing of the happy birthday song by his classmates. He received a gift from one of his classmates whose mom is a Filipino (how sweet!)

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Loot bag for his classmates

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the birthday celebrant

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his teachers

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Geoff cutting his cake

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we also promised him a red velvet cake. he was not disappointed

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See? lol



First Christmas and New Year in Malaysia

Christmas has come and gone (considering that the date today is 20th of January, that means New Year has gone too!) and here I am, still trying to document the festivities on our first year here in Malaysia.

Babe and I decided to make the celebration fuss free. We got a few Christmas gift from a Hasbro sale we went to and got a few toys for him. Take note, a few means about 5 (LOL!) since we figured out that at Geoff’s age, it’s all about the gifts he will open at Christmas and we have very few friends here. I cooked a few meals and made a dessert just to make our Noche Buena festive.

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Embotido, Roast duck, Pasta, and Leche Flan

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This baby got sick on the 24th and to compromise, we let him open 1 gift a few hours before Christmas

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This was taken on the 26th, and the baby allowed a haircut in preparation for school. Hooray!

As for the New Year celebration, I don’t have the heart to cook another meal and Babe wanted it to be more festive. Fireworks are not allowed in our community and we are not on a high enough floor to witness any fireworks display, so we decided to do a staycation somewhere fun.

We went through the Agoda.com website and narrowed down the list to 1. those with available and affordable rooms during the 31st of December to 1st of January, and 2. somewhere there will be fireworks display and a place where Geoff could enjoy. The search led us to Shah Alam, where the City of Lights is located, as well as the hotel of our choice, Best Western. I will do the hotel and I City review on the next posts. I shall start photoblogging our New Year’s celebration.

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Outside Palm Spring, waiting for the Grab Car to bring us to our destination.

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Ferris wheel that Geoff could not forget

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My handsome boys

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Geoff’s first time to ride a “ride” alone. Big boy na talaga 🙁

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Geoff really enjoyed the Snow walk. You can tell by his face.

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Batman and Robin trying to help out Geoff from the burning building

 

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Family Selfie in Snow Walk

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We were all tired at this point and was just waiting for the fireworks display to start. Geoff told me, “Meemee, we have to ride the ferris wheel, remember?”

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Indeed, a city of lights

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Fireworks!

Overall, it was a memorable celebration. A few firsts, but definitely not the last. Hoping we get to spend more time as a family, especially now that Geoff officially started going to preschool. 

Happy new year everyone!

Geoff’s first movie: Inside Out

Before we had Geoff, Babe and I had regular movie dates. Well, the same can be said when we were still in the Philippines, we had a nanny back then. Movie dates and massages were a privilege that we enjoyed the most.

Fast forward to now that we are in Malaysia, with no help whatsoever, when there is a movie that we wanted to watch, Babe and I would actually take turns. He would go this day, and I after. Or sometimes, it will just be him, depending on how interested I am with the movie being shown.

Knowing how restless Geoff can be, regardless of what activity it is, we had to prepare him for his first movie experience. Here is how we did it:

1 month before the actual movie, I had him watch some disney movies from the laptop to gauge his readiness. I found out that in order for him to stay put, there should be plenty of action scenes from the beginning. Tarzan was the perfect match for him then.

As the showing date nears, we had him watch the trailers. This was about 2 weeks away.

We then hyped him up by describing the moviehouse. How dark, how loud the sounds will be, how he is expected to behave and such.

Come movie date, we were pleased to see how excited he was. We initially planned a weekday so as there would be fewer people but had to change to a weekend showing instead. As expected, it was a full house but we were happy that Geoff behaved throughout the movie, laughing and enthralled at the same time.

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Geoff Visits Perdana Botanical Garden

This is a very late post.

One day last month (or was it 2?), Babe and I decided to visit this botanical garden in Kuala Lumpur after we saw some posts done by a friend in Facebook. A few days prior, we were already prepping Geoff on what to expect so that he won’t be bored and will also look forward to the trip. Let me get the details on how to get there first, before I go on about the few pictures that we had.

Since we were coming from Petaling Jaya, we took an 88 bus and went off the Pasar Seni station. Both 99 or 88 or BET1 bus lines will get you to Kuala Lumpur, but only BET1 and 88 have routes to Pasar Seni. The 99 line usually drops off in Kota Raya, which is mainly a Filipino store community (if I got the term right). From Pasar Seni, you can grab a taxi and asked to be dropped off to the botanical garden. Make sure to mention the exact name because according to the driver, there are some other gardens available. There is no other means of getting there aside from a car ride or a taxi.

Side kwento: So anyway, from Pasar Seni, we wanted to get our chocolate fix first, so we walked all the way to the Haniffa store. In this supermarket/grocery store, we were able to score Cadbury chocolates at only 5RM each. After we bought some, off we went and grabbed a taxi.

Having arrived late (around 4PM, I think), we were only able to cover small ground as we were trapped by the baby who wanted to be nowhere but the Dinosaur park in front.

I took the description of the park from the website, http://www.klbotanicalgarden.gov.my/ :

The Perdana Botanical Garden, formerly known as Taman Tasik Perdana or Lake Gardens, is situated in the Heritage Park of Kuala Lumpur. It has always been a part of the green lung of the city and has a history of over a decade. Originally created as part of a recreational park but planted with collections of tropical plants, the garden have been rehabilitated and turned into a Botanical Garden. The garden have not only botanical collections but also house features that give the visitors the ambiance of being in a tropical rainforest, despite being in the middle of a bustling metropolis.

This is the map of the entire park. We were only able to visit 3 or 4 areas.

This is the map of the entire park. We were only able to visit 3 or 4 areas.

This is the dinosaur park. We were held up here for the longest time simply because the baby enjoyed it so much.

This is the dinosaur park. We were held up here for the longest time simply because the baby enjoyed it so much.

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Geoff had fun climbing and sliding 🙂

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He was not scared of the bridges and even found the trampoline fun 🙂

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Yep, he loves them slides!

Of course, since it was a botanical garden, there were lots of pretty blooms and the landscapes are just as gorgeous. There was a lake, a lagoon (?), and a man made waterfall.

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Not sure what this space was called, but it is very pretty up close. Perfect for making tambay. LOL!

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The waterfall wall. Very picturesque!

I am so sorry. This was the closest picture I have of the lagoon. I guess I forgot to take a picture after all. :(

I am so sorry. This was the closest picture I have of the lagoon. I guess I forgot to take a picture after all. 🙁

This was supposed to be a lake. Again, I apologize for the sorry excuse of a photo :(

This was supposed to be a lake. Again, I apologize for the sorry excuse of a photo 🙁

Based on observation, the place is best for spending an afternoon with the family. The place is  tranquil, perfect for joggers and bikers as there are no cars inside (the roads are big enough to accommodate them as far as I saw). We also saw a couple of groups playing football, a bride and groom having their prenuptial photos, a class having their photos, and a group celebrating a birthday. There were also a few who was watching the lake for ducks and birds, some were also feeding them.

Yep, a green place in the middle of a very busy city.

Yep, a green place in the middle of a very busy city.

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The sunken garden

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Walkway towards the lagoon

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An expansive lawn

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Unique trees collection

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Entrance to the sunken garden

Sunset fell upon us, so we had to leave.

Sunset fell upon us, so we had to leave.

We urged Geoff to lay down the grass in front of the lake. This silly boy found the idea yucky and decided to look for a better place to have his milk; a picnic table!

We urged Geoff to lay down the grass in front of the lake. This silly boy found the idea yucky and decided to look for a better place to have his milk; a picnic table!

For those planning to spend a day in Kuala Lumpur and stay within budget, I highly encourage visiting this place. You can even bring your running shoes if you want to (LOL!). The most you will be spending on is food (bring it with you, there are no stores inside), and fare. There is no entrance fee, but since the area is quite big, you have to be there early. Operating hours are Monday to Sunday, 8AM to 7PM.

One last tip, 7PM is quite “early” in terms of light in Malaysia. Meaning, it will start getting dark at around 8PM, so plan your trip accordingly as the hottest part of the day is longer.

A melancholic afternoon

These past few days, I have been thinking more and more of my old life. I am not sure what triggered it, but I kept on reminiscing the old days. Sure, it makes me lonely and homesick, I guess me being here on a foreign place gives me an entitlement to be this way.

Babe gifted me with my very first vape. I think this made me remember the days when my friends, Rney and Jaimie would spend the whole day smoking, talking and looking at nothing. We would talk about our “younger years” and would dream of having something solid for our group, a house maybe. We would often find ourselves reliving the things that made us laugh at almost everything funny during college, even our bloopers when we go out. We would discuss our favorite shows and recent purchases and even current events. How I miss my friends.

I thought about my old routine. Wake up, prepare for work, commute, go to work. Work, talk to friends, spend some time window shopping during lunch or merely sit at a coffee house and ponder on things from nothing to something relevant. Bug someone for their time so you would not go alone or sometimes for a stick of cigarette. I miss listening to my office friends ramble about life, their concerns, and evrything else. Even if it is just a simple joke that would range from corny to really funny.

I thought about how it was when we were renting our own place. Geoff had his nanny which made it possible for us to go to the grocery without telling off a child not to go too far or not to touch anything for fear that something will break. We were able to go for massages and movie dates.

Lastly, I thought about being able to whisk my wallet, go to a spa, pay for a manicure, a pedicure, a sugar session, a foot spa or anything for “me” at my own expense, without being guilty about spending someone else’s hard earned money. Being able to buy something cute but of no importance, a beauty item, any item at all.

Don’t get me wrong. I like being a housewife now, but there are times that I still miss a lot of things, having worked for the past 10 years of my life. I just thought I was able to adjust quite nicely in our new setup. Maybe this is part of the process, just like the withdrawal period of a junkie. You can’t just take out certain traits, feelings, and thoughts of the past. Given more time perhaps, but not as fast as I wanted.

Happy birthday Babe!

Was spent all day at home. Lounging by the bed, feeling lazy all day. We had lamb steak for lunch and finally had the will to go out for a few hours.

We went to the 1Utama mall and decided to just look around. Knowing Babe, I knew that he wanted to buy something but is too shy to say. Either way, we went home with a game controller, an earphone for me and a floor puzzle for Geoff.

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Babe,

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I am so sorry that I have nothing material to give for your birthday, except urge you to buy something nice for yourself. Just remember that I will always be here to back you up and support you all the way. Always stay positive and generous to us (lol!). I love you, we love you. Madaming madami. Happy happy birthday Babe!

Summer Promo: #LetsPalawan

We all know that regardless of the season, Palawan will always be one of the most go-after vacation spots in the Philippines. Personally, I have been in Puerto Princesa twice and once in El Nido, and if asked if I want to go back and explore some more, it would be a very big YES! Some of my posts can be read here, here, and here.

Recently, someone from Lets Palawan got in touch with me and several other people to promote more of the beautiful places in Palawan. I chose my top 3 destinations and may I tell you that choosing just 3 is so difficult?

From: http://letspalawan.com/palawan-packages-2015/#joanneperez

From: http://letspalawan.com/palawan-packages-2015/#joanneperez

Anyway, as part of the Lets Palawan team’s promotion, they are offering $30 off on any of the packages that you wish to avail! Sounds great if you ask me. All you have to do is to click this link and use cKmmC023 for the coupon code. Easy peasy. 

Go, travel, and enjoy Palawan!

Geoff’s Adventure in Snow World

Babe was able to get a leave from work today, thus we scheduled a trip to Genting Highland to visit Snow World.

We already visited Genting Highland last year but did not really entertained the thought of availing tickets to any attractions. We were there to see the sights, and basically just to be there.

With Geoff in tow this time, I wanted to be prepared and did some research. In the process of doing so, we stumbled upon Resorts World’s ticketing tool and discovered that the Snow World ticket was actually on sale. Since Geoff is already past the “free entrance” phase, discounted ticket rates were a welcome treat!

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Discounted rates if you book through their website!

In order to get to Snow World, you have to get to Genting Highland first. Getting to GH from the Petaling Jaya area is very easy; we just boarded a bus from 1Utama Mall, located in the new wing. Rates are as follows:

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This was taken last year but the rates were the same when we boarded the bus today.

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The bus.

We originally purchased 2 tickets for a one way trip to GH. This includes the bus fare and the Skyway. When we got to the entrance to the cable cars (Skyway), we were told that we have to pay for Geoff. That was an additional RM6.40.

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Bus ticket was free for Geoff, but not the Skyway fare.

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The cable car

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Mandatory shot at the model car

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The ecstatic little boy during the cable car ride.

When you alight the cable car, it is a bit of a walk going to the location itself. Be aware of the signs and don’t forget to ask for directions. You will have to pass through the lobby of the Maxim’s and RW hotel and a few escalator rides. Snow world is located at the second level, 2A to be exact.

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No pictures allowed inside.

It was -5 degrees inside, thus, it is highly discouraged to bring in cameras or gadgets. It might be damaged by the cold.

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Dos and Don’ts

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Current temperature is flashed outside. It was -5 when we went in!

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Operating hours

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Regular rates.

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Picture taken from outside

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Some of the displays

Jacket, gloves, and boots were provided as part of the the entrance to the attraction. If you are the type who gets cold easily, I suggest you bring an extra coat, or and earmuff or a scarf to protect your ears and neck (some of the coats provided has no zipper nor velcro to close it).

As there is only a limited space to the attraction, what you are really paying for is the experience of extreme cold. There is no actual snow that you can form into a ball (as what Geoff really wanted) but there is Cresta Run and a few sleds that people can use in order to get the winter feel.

Photographers also roam inside Snow World, however, since I have read that the rates for the shots are more expensive than the actual entrance rate, we decided to skip it.

We picked the 3:30 PM – 4:10 PM schedule, so after that, it was mostly a waiting game as the buses going back to 1Utama mall was not due until 8:30 PM. Aside from Snow World, there is also an indoor theme park for kids. I was not able to get the rates, but you can visit the RW website for the rides and rates. Since we were just killing time, we bought 4 pay per ride ticktes, 2 for Geoff and 1 for Babe and I to accompany him. It costs RM8.50 each.

After we were done with the rides, we went back and spent a few minutes in the arcade. The arcade uses the swipe card, much like Timezone and the minimum you can buy is RM20. We just let Geoff roam the arcade and went outside to enjoy the cool afternoon fog. Geoff also enjoyed hamming it in front of the camera.

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Foggy

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He asked his Deedee to take his picture. The act earned him a chocolate bar because the lady beside us was amused at his antics 🙂

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With deedee

And after all the excitement, Geoff was able to see the sunset and said bye bye to the things he saw today. 🙂

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Geoff’s firsts today: cable car ride, snow world, fog, forest, and sunset.