Monday, March 30, 2009

Bidding farewell to our 'i'

As this is the last week we have our little red Mitsubishi 'i' with us since we have traded it in for a new car, we decided to take some photos with our bubbly car which has seen us through our dating days through our marriage ceremony until now. It's been a car filled with many happy memories in it. While we leave our 'i' with some sadness but fond memories, we are also looking forward excitedly to our new car - a Mercedes CLC180 kompressor coupe.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Shayna is 1 year old today - 29 March 2009

Our doggy - Shayna is one year old today officially. She has grown from a timid quiet puppy to a playful and adorable doggy, full of appetite and always wanting a game of tug of war with us. She is now quite territorial and barks very fiercely when she senses strangers nearby outside our flat. She also loves to bully Tisha, our parents' schnauzer at every opportunity she gets. Shayna is also very possessive of her toys and she's quite smart cos she knows all her toys by their names like strawberry girl, mr spongbob etc.names that we have given to her toys.We have bought her a lamb and vegetable set meal for her birthday. Here are some pictures of the birthday girl!
(Above) Our Big Head Dog sniffing the camera.
(Above) Shayna sitting on her favourite blanket by our bedside

(Above) Shayna loves to squeeze in between and likes the cozy feeling(Above) The birthday girl at play, ruffling up her blanket and with her soft toy - strawberry girl nearby.

Friday, March 27, 2009

At Ikekuburo - Day 4 in Tokyo

After our trip on the Romancecar shinkansen, we took the subway to Ikekuburo, a nother bustling city a few stops from Shinjuku.
(Above) Me at the entrance of Sunshine City - a larget version of our City Link underground shopping mall.
We made our way to Sunshine City where the shopping mall was. First stop was to Daiso to get some drinks and snacks. The Daiso at Sunshine City looks abit more classy and high class as compared to the Daiso shops we saw in Shinjuku.
That's me outside the Daiso shop in the picture above. We bought different kinds of tea to try also. The Japanese seem to have a wide variety of flavored tea range. Another interesting shop we passed was the famous chocolate chain - Godiva. The shop has an open concept kitchen where you can see the chocolatier crafting the chocolates. It's a sight to see how steady her hands are as she draws intricate designs on the pieces of chocloates and craft them into pieces of food art. Below you can see Gayle watching the chocolatier at work.
We then headed to a tourist attraction at Sunshine city - the Toyota Auto Salon where you can get to see a range of Toyota cars and try out their arcade rally games and the best part is that it's all free. Below, we are seen at the entrance to the Auto Salon.
For a car enthusiast like myself, it was a nice way to spend the morning there and Gayle was very patient as we walked from car to car. Below you can see Gayle trying out the Toyota electric cart designed for the elderly to move about.
Below, I am trying out the Toyota Crown Limousine. A very advanced car with infra red night camera vision like the BMW 7 series and built in radar to detect if the car is too close to another vehicle or on a collision course.
We also saw the new chic Toyota IQ which is quite a funky 4 seater car that has hit Japan by storm. Heard that the car may come to Singapore roads.
A unique thing in Japan are the elevator and escalator girls who will greet you and see you into the elevator or up the escalator. Talk about specialization of jobs! Below, you can see Gayle taking a photo with ne of the escalator girls at Toyota Salon.
For me, the fun part was trying out the driving arcade games at the auto salon where you can drive virtual models of Toyota sports range such as the MR2, celica, supra etc. Below, I am trying out the IS250 Lexus sports.
Below, I am trying out the safety simulator which test your ability and driving skills in scenarios like driving through fog, steering around tight bends etc. It is a motion simulator so you really can feel youself shuddering as you brake hard and G forces as you make a hard left to avoid an obstacle in your path.
There is also the F1 inspired stand where you can see the Toyota TF109 F1 racer on static display, as driven by the Toyota team of Timo Glock, Jarno Trulli and Koyabashi in the F1 races. You can see me posing in front of the TF109 below.
Below, I tried out the interior of the new Toyota IST whic his available in Singapore through the Parallel car importers. A much bigger car and more saloon like than the previous model.
Gayle is also trying out the interior of the Toyota Sienta below. A mini MPV which is quite spacious and has sliding doors.
It was an interesting visit and if you are at Sunshine City, you should try it. They also have a observation deck but it was quite costly and we gave it a miss since we have been up to two towers already in our Japan trip.
Along the way, we spotted a hat shop where you can see a full range of berets, caps, top hats etc. Gayle had a fun time trying out the wide range of berets.
After Sunshine City, we strolled along the shops outside. Although it looks sunny, actually the temperature is about 15 degrees. Sunglass are a must to cut out the glare.
We then took a train down to Harajuku. Below, you can see Gayle at the train station. The Japanese people really have a thing to teach about civil manners as they all queue neatly for the train, from older folks to punk looking cosplay teenagers.
Below is a picture of me looking dreamingly at the scenery on the train snapped by Gayle.
Below, the entrance to the famed Harajuku street. It was raining when we reached Harajuku station.

We had lunch at an Italian eatery to take shelter from the rain and fill our hungry stomachs. I had baked rice while Gayle had pasta.

More on our Japan trip in the next posting.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Day 4 in Tokyo - Taking the Limited Express to Hakone-Yumoto

On Day 4, we took a train up to Hakone Yumoto which is the starting point to see Mt Fuji and also a point to start if you want to visit the famous Gotemba factory outlet selling branded apparel and bags at factory discounted prices.
We sat in the Odakyu Romancecar which has couple loveseats. The unique thing about the seats is also that they can be electrically rotated 360 degrees to face the train direction.
We had an early breakfast and enjoyed the train ride tremendously and it was so comfortable, we slept half the journey instead of admiring the scenery. When we reached Hakone Yumoto, the weather was quite bad and rainy.
(Above) After seeking advice from the Tourist Information centre, we decided to head back to Tokyo.
(Above) Hakone-Yumoto main town. Really cold and rainy weather.
We decided to change our plans and head back to Tokyo for what else..more shopping. That's the benefit of free and easy!
(Above) Gayle hopping onto our Romancecar

(Above) Me posing as our Romancecar slides into the station.