Saturday, December 19, 2009

The Star

My old Angel tree topper...still nice...

My new Star Tree topper...
The Star...up close...

My Star and Angel!!

I've been looking for a long time for a star to replace the angel on top of my tree...and after my long searc I found this one ...hard to explain but it's so hard to find a really nice star to top the tree here...or should I say it was really hard for me to find a star to meet my specifications here ho ho ho

A walk down memory lane...

One of the uncle's taking a break...he walked all the way with us
At the old folks home with the man that got me started on leading the caroling 1983
The group I led back costumes...just candles and kids...before I donned the Santa suit
At the same home 26 years later...with one of my carollers...he made me smile when he called me the original...Santa that is...Ho Ho Ho
The carollers at my home last night
In the spirit of Christmas this year I decided to let my little girl go caroling. Be managed to make it for one practice session only but that was okay. My daughter knew most of the songs. Being a Christmas fan...I listen to carols months ahead and have a wide collection of Christmas CDs...although there is one Johnny Mathis CD stuck...I mean literally in my cars CD player Ho Ho Ho

I must say that things have changed a lot since the last time I went caroling. back then we did everything old school...I mean we had no guitarist so it was bells and tamborines. I guess for those who continued witht the tradition may have wanted to try something new this year and maybe inject some life into the songs. For me and my good buddy whom I convinced to join us though we were was just happy the way things used to be.

The groups previous leader proudly allowed his teenage daughter to conduct and lead. She did have the energy and some know how to her credit but she wanted to make most songs NEW and bring her schoolgirl style to the carols....a cross between a high school musical wannabe and Hannah Montana meets Christmas. Anyway to cut along story short, I was a little disappointed with the whole business but I can't complain because I didn't step up now did I...not that I am the greatest singer but I know how to preserve traditions. Enuf said I guess but the rest of the carollers were a diverse group and families in the area usually joined in the caroling too.

Overall it was fun to visit homes like I used to 25 years ago with my merry bunch of carolers. I saw so many familiar faces and it brought back memories. On the second day of carolling we visited the person who had asked me to lead the carollers back then. He was in an old folks home as he was confined to a wheelchair and had difficulty speaking. I was really taken aback as I have not seen him in ages. Memories came flooding back as his wife and my mother used to be the best of friends. My mother is now gone and his wife had just undergone surgery and could not take care of herself too. I was really teary-eyed and choked with was sad.

As we went to more houses we used to visit on our caroling rounds I saw that more and more people had passed on. Many people were still alive though and the young ones were all grown up with families of their own. It made going caroling a lot more special to me at least. For my daughter...she didn't sing much since she is such a quiet person among strangers and even after three hard days of singing it was not enough to bring a peep out of her. It was okay...she's only four and it was her first time besides I know she can next year I hope she'll be ready Ho ho ho

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Santa's Galore

While in Bali recently we really didn't get to do much shopping. We choose to relax and spend time at the pool rather than go on tours and sightseeing. However, on the third day we thought that we should see a little more of Bali and not just be confined to the hotel and its surroundings.

So after an early breakfast at the hotel we went for a tour to Kintamani and a few other areas. Our first stop was to Tanjong Benoa. Over here the famed attractions are watersports and other sea activities. With two kids in two we were a little reluctant to try anything. The one thing I wanted to do was go for a submarine ride which I had read about. Alas, the guide said that the operation had gone "bangkrut" or belly up. Doh!!!

We did take a look at some great loking hotels in anticipation of our next visit. On this side of the island it's a little less hectic than Kuta and can be more relaxing but less fun. All depends what you're looking for I guess.

We headed up to the volcano next and the journey was long and the kids were of course not amused. Not wantign to eat when we ahd a food stop and wantign to eat as soon as we started our journey LOL Well we survived. We saw loads and load of shops selling all kinds of handcrafted goods. From shrines, to animals, to people to anything you could imagine.

As we headed up to the mountain the road was lined with shops selling more and more of the same handcrafted goods. We didn't stop as I was overwhelmed. Besides I was looking for more Santa's to add to my collection Ho Ho Ho

I did see a few places but the driver said we could go there ont he way down from Kintamani. So I ahd to patiently wait. Argh...Truth be told when we reached the point to view the volcano we were a little disappointed with the view...okay so it was a real volcano but I did really prefer the Grand Canyon because we were quite a distance away. Doh!

On the way down we saw the rice paddie filed on the mountain slope of Tengglung which are in pictured in my previous post (along with most of my pictures of Bali). The view there was excellent but the natives were trying very hard to push their wares. I would have mined but they were kinda desparate and I know I should ahve bought sommething because it was really very cheap but I would have no real use for it apart from gathering dust besides I already have a vacuum for that LOL

After that we stopped at some of the shops selling Christmas stuff. Unfortunately they didn't have many Santa's and the one thing else that I wanted was in short supply. Doh!! Anyway, we evenually stopped at a Christmas shop and I had a field day. Wifey was in the car with the resting kids and I was on my own in a shop full of Sant's holding millions of rupiah LOL I practically grabbed everything I could. I left behind those that were of lower quality or too big to handle.

I managed to fill up a box full and serriously had I know I was underweight instead of thinking I had exceed my baggage allowance I'd have got even more DOH!!! Anyway, there is always a next time LOL SO you can see my booty at teh bottom of the post. Some old looking some new looking but all Santa's. Even have duplicates which I had wanted to give to my brother and sister....alas they have not made it there yet muahahahah

To give perspective...the small round Santa in the middle is about 3 inches high

In the end, we finally caved in to the kids and let them have adip int he pool as soon as we got to the hotel. ALl their tiredness and complaining disappeared. We stayed in the pool until dark and it was excellent as the pool area was quiet as it was less crowded. There was an office function held on the pool beach and parts of it were cordoned off...but it was okay as we didn't need that much space anyway. We actually went around the whole pool in stalth mode...believe me it took a long time to get around the immense pool.

I love Bali!!!!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Rockin' Getaway

Woo hoo I'm so glad that we went fot the vacation. The body may be tired but the mind is refreshed. What is it with holidays that it somehow drains the body so. Mind you we were mostly lazing around the pool and only went on a tour on one of the days. Anyway I'll just let the pictures do the talking!