North America, Europe, Asia ·
24 Days ·
35 Moments ·
1 September 2017
The plane didn't have many people. Many people moved as soon as they had the chance to get a row of seats to sleep in. Ezekiel had a row of four seats, Jenny eventually got four seats as well. Zoe, Caitlyn and I had two seats. We got to Melbourne at around 9:40am and our plane was leaving at 10am! We then rushed through the customs and collected the luggage. We went to the domestic terminal and found out that Virgin had already arranged a transfer to a later plane (at 11am). We informed our driver in Sydney and eventually got to Sydney at around 12:30pm. We then met our driver who took us home at around 2pm. We were exhausted so we slept for another 3 hours before we had dinner with David's parents.
31 August 2017
Jenny couldn't sleep well so she got up early to pack. We said goodbye to godmother at around 9:30am. We then had Yum Cha with the Man family again at Kowloon Bay. We were going to pay but Steve got there at the end. We then took the Metro home and rested for a little. Joanne and Andrew (and Curtis) picked us up at 4:15pm to take us to the airport. After saying goodbye to them, we checked in and then prayed a little in the Prayer Room. We then went through security to board the plane. However, due to the bad weather, the plane was delayed for around 2.5 hours.
30 August 2017
We woke up a little late (David woke up a little earlier and had a good chat with Cora) then we went with Godmother to TST to have lunch with Chim's parents and brother. It was at Tai Ping Koon (one of the first Western Style Chinese Restaurant in HK). We then went for a walk in a mall (for toilet break) then we went to Harbour City for a browse (bought some clothes). We then went to Aberdeen to have some afternoon tea there (Fairwood). After more walking around, we went to have dinner with Jenny's relatives (Uncle, Brother and Cousin and his family). It was a fairly substantial dinner! We then took the van and boarded the new Metro line (Ocean Park) and we went back home at around 11pm.
29 August 2017
A number of us woke up quite early (3am or so) and then got back to sleep. Ezekiel was told to go to the girls' room (the girls were up as well) so that we can get some sleep. We woke up at around 7:30am and had breakfast. Joanne then picked us up to have Yum Cha lunch with the rest of the cousins. Joanne then took us to Andrew's home and dropped us off. We went up to change for swimming downstairs. Andrew then shows us his gift to us: Nintendo Switch! The kids were very excited. We went down to swim with Bryan and Curtis until around 2pm. We then went to Daisy's place for afternoon tea (pizza). The kids stayed there while Jenny and I went out. Jenny went to meet up with Tammy and Wendy at TST while I went to Central to get a preacher's shirt. I only found one that fit. I then walked around with the shirt, had coffee at Cupping room and took the Metro to Po Lam, where we had dinner with everyone (including the workers). As we were going, we stopped by quickly at Macca's for dessert.
28 August 2017
We arrived in Hong Kong at around 4:30pm but we couldn't get off the plane until 5pm or so (due to the wet weather). We were greeted by Andrew, Joanna and Bryan at the airport and were driven to Godmother's place at Oscar by the Sea. After unpacking, we had dinner with Godmother (cooked by Cora). We then had shower and went to sleep.
27 August 2017
Our final day in London! We began the day fairly early by taking the Uber to Paddington station (the Uber driver turned up Depacito!) We left the luggage at Left Luggage and then we took the Metro to Bishop's Gate to attend St Helen's. The service structure was very similar to St John's. There were a lot of new people there beside us. In fact, almost everyone we spoke to were new! There was a sermon on Romans 11, which had been very well thought through. We then took the Metro to the pier near the Waterloo bridge and had lunch at Frankie and Benny's next to the Lyceum theatre. Lion King was great! Very engaging. The theatre was very full! We then took the Metro back to Paddington and took the Heathrow Express to Heathrow. Once we checked in, we had dinnner at the Curator. The waiter asked us to sit at a small table originally but we got transferred to a bigger one. The kids ate free! We then had some last minute shopping then boarded the plane to HK! We slept most of the way!
26 August 2017
...before getting back onto the coach (we saw Stephen Hawking on the way!) It took us a little over an hour to get to Oxford. Again, a beautiful university town, with even more tourists. The tour guide took us to a dining hall (which inspired Hogwarts' Hall in Harry Potter). We then walked around various building, including the second biggest library in England (they could've been the equal biggest except that they didn't stock any books from Cambridge!) We then went to see the place where the Oxford Martyrs were burnt. We also went to the Church (Northern Towers) where they were held as prisoners. We then made our way back to the meeting point (we had some dessert and souvenir shopping in between). We then boarded the coach back to London. We stopped at Kensington but walked back up to Gloucester Street for dinner at Garfunkel. We then rushed to Harrod's at 8:45pm for a quick shopping trip. We then headed back home!
We had a small breakfast and then we went to Victoria Coach station for the Cambridge / Oxford tour. We got there in time (I had a cup of coffee while we were waiting) and boarded the coach. It took us around 2 hours to get to Cambridge. It's a very nice University Town. We were told that there were many colleges spread across the town. When we got there, we went to King's College Chapel. It was a very intricate building. Jenny then asked the guide at the chapel about the reformation. She found out that there's not much connection here; it was built by Henry VIII. If we wanted to find out more about the reformation, we should go to St Edwards. We then went to the courtyard and had some free time. So we went to the market and had some food for lunch. After a toilet break, we went to St Edwards. It's not an impressive looking church on the outside but it's the church where the first evangelical sermon was preached (officially). Latimer's pulpit was there! We then had some egg bubble....
25 August 2017
...Samurai armour, Sutton Hoo helmet etc). We bought some souvenirs at two of the shops. At around 6pm, we saw a Polynesian dance at the front of the museum. We then went to Planet Hollywood for dinner. It was set menu and was a basic meal but that's ok seeing that it was part of the deal. We then took the Metro back home.
The day started with breakfast at home. We then went to the British Museum! It was free but there was a long line of people going through security. After about 20 minutes or so, we got in. We went to the front desk where Ezekiel and Caitlyn got an Egyptian trail. Basically it took us through some highlights of the Egyptian exhibits. The Egyptian 'rooms' were full of amazing artefacts! They had real mummies! We went through them fairly quickly and saw many exhibits but still we couldn't finish it. We then went down to have lunch in the cafe downstairs. We then went on the European trail. We went through this fairly quickly as we were already quite overwhelmed with everything that we were seeing. Jenny then suggested Afternoon Tea. It was our first English afternoon tea and we had it at the British Museum! It was scrumptious! We then decided to just go to a few highlighted items around the museum. And so we were very focussed on seeing the 10 items or so (incl Easter Island statue...
24 August 2017
We started the day collecting laundry (only around 7 pounds). We then took the Metro to the Tower Bridge. It was more interesting than we thought. We even bought a virtual reality set there (3.5 pounds). We then walked around the pier and found a very nice restaurant called Valentino's Italian restaurant. It was really good and the children had a very nice meal. We then walked across the Tower of London (didn't go in) and caught the Big Bus around London. It was a long trip and we got to see many parts of London. We then got off at Madame Taussaud's. There were a lot of wax images there. We had a lot of fun taking pictures with celebrities and royalties! After that we went to Chinatown again to have Chinese (this time to a better restaurant). We met "the lady" on the street again! We then went to Legoland again and got a London bus. While walking, we went to a local agent to get some Lion King tickets! So good! We then took the Metro home!
23 August 2017
We had to do the laundry and so I walked to a local laundry to get them done. By the time I came back, we had breakfast at home, something we hadn't done in a long time! We then took the Metro from Lea Bridge to the Westminster Pier to take the cruise. It was a very pleasant cruise! During the cruise, I discovered that the camera wasn't focussing :( so from now on, we'd be using a lot more of the phone. We had muffins during the cruise and stopped at Greenwich (took an hour). We had lunch at Byron (burgers). We then walked up to the observatory. It was fascinating to see the history of time and navigation and how it had an impact on so many people and industries! We then took the Metro to Buckingham Palace to see it from the outside. At first we thought it would be open, but it's closed. We then got some souvenirs and went to Victoria station for dinner (Frankie and Benny's). We then went home...
22 August 2017
We then went to the London Eye 4D show. After that we went to Chinatown for a Chinese meal (first time in many days). It was nice but the service wasn't great. We then had a quick look inside the Lego store at Leicester square (the biggest in the world) and then went home. Btw, Leicester Square was probably one of the busiest places we've visited in London so far!
We had to wake up early too say because we're catching the Eurostar to London! We got to Gare de Nord and had a quick breakfast there. We then went through the immigration and got to the train, with about 15 minutes to spare. It was first class! Very comfortable compare with the trip to Paris! However, a large family got in and were quite disruptive for most of the trip. However, we didn't mind too much. We had a second breakfast! We got to London at around 10:30am and got to our apartment at Leyton at around 11:30am. It was a nice apartment with two rooms and a lounge. We then dropped the luggage off then went to London CBD using the Metro. We went to Jamie's Italian restaurant on Victoria street where the children ate for free. We then walked back to Westminster abbey and joined the Evensong. It's been going on for over 1000 years there but it was more of a spectacle then true worship. Btw, we met "the lady" from China there. We then went to the London Eye and...
21 August 2017
We waited with the crowds to get up the Eiffel Tower. It was well worth it. The site was incredible. The Tower closes at 11pm but there were still people coming up at that time. However, we got down and took the Uber again. This driver was nicer and took us all the way home.
Using Google map, we decided to make our way to Versailles. We thought about having breakfast at a local cafe first but couldn't find any. And so, we took the Metro to Versailles instead. We journeyed to a larger Metro station and then took the train to Versailles. Being Monday, the actual Versailles palace was closed :( However, we spent most of the day in the garden, which was massive. Really massive. There were nicely looked after plants everywhere. There were really nice statues everywhere. There was even a Grand canal in the middle of the garden! We even rowed there! After spending the bulk of the day there, we went back to the Arc de Triomphe. This time we went to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. We then had dinner at a French Macdonald's (took 30 mins to order, even though there were only 3-4 customers before us). We then had dessert at a local French cafe, right before the Arc! After that we got a number of souvenirs then we went back to the Eiffel Tower.
20 August 2017
...we went on a cruise on the Seine. It was beautiful! The Eiffel Tower looked magical! We got back to shore at around 11am. We decided that it was better to go by Uber. And so we used the app and it got us home, just. The driver wasn't too keen to take us all the way back to our hotel but we insisted. Glad that we did! There were a few suspicious looking people just hanging around the hotel!
We woke up after a great night of sleep and went by Uber to the big bus tour. However, just before we did the tour, we had our first Parisian breakfast. It costs 7.50€ and it was excellent (though small). We went on the the blue bus tour (by my mistake!) and went passed many sites around Paris. We then ended up back at the first bus stop and walked to the Louvre. There were so many incredible exhibits there, including the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo and the Winged victory of Samothrace. We had lunch on the top of Louvre! After the Louvre, we took the bus to see Notre Dame. It was massive but very much a Cathedral of Glory. We then went to tried to see Saint Chapelle to see the stained glass there but we didn't have enough time. And so, we took the Big Bus to see Champ de Mars. There were a lot of street vendors there. We also took many pictures of the Eiffel Tower! After walking around for a while, we went to Gustave for dinner, a very nice French Restaurant. After dinner....
19 August 2017
Off to Paris! We checked out of the Brunnenhof City centre and boarded a train at Par-Munich. The train took us to Augsberg, where we were expecting a train to Stuttgart and then to Paris. However, that train was cancelled and we had to change to a train to Mannheim. It was chaotic because we didn't have assigned seats. Many people were in our position as we pick up more passengers along the way. Due to the kindness of various people, we had seats. Eventually we stopped at Mannheim for a lunch / dinner at around 4:30pm. We then boarded the train with thousands of others and got some seats. We finally arrived at Paris at 9:10pm, 3 hours later than expected. We were originally offered a taxi ride but the quote was very expensive. We used Uber and found out way to the Novotel apartments, We had two rooms and so we split between guys and girls. It was a nice place to crash in after a long day of travel!
18 August 2017
...quickly. Soon enough, we could feel the rain falling down. We decided to go to the Hauptbahnhof just in case. Really glad we did. It poured outside. The stairs looked like a waterfall. We eventually got home after we waited for a while.
Day trip to Salzburg! We started the day going to the Hauptbahnhof to meet with the tour group. We then boarded the train to Salzburg (no immigration details needed). It was a beautiful city with a lot of history. We had a quick walk from the new city to the old and we were given instructions on where we could go. We then went to a cafe for a quick bite but it turned out longer than we anticipated (we had a huge dessert first before anything else). We then went to the top of a museum where we had a beautiful view of the city. We had a quick stop st Mozart's home. We made our way back to the Annaplatz for some Sound of Music reenactment and then we went home. We dropped our things at the hotel and got out for dinner, We took our tour guide's advice and went to the Augustiner Keller. It looked fantastic but very busy. Again, the German efficient was on display and our dinner came very promptly. The wind was picking up and since the Biergarten was outdoors, everyone started to finish....
17 August 2017
I started the day with a journey back to the laundry to collect our clothes. After breakfast we had a quick walk around the shops. Jenny got summer clothes and we checked out of Upper Room. We got back at the Berlin airport where we checked in for our flight to Munich (btw, when we came into Berlin, the Polizei were at the end of the passage to do custom duties and the luggage was right behind them. Very efficient!) When we got to Munchen airport, we had Thai lunch (it was a far bigger airport). We then took the taxi to our Munchen airport (again, very efficient). Once we checked in, we. Went out for a quick tour of Munchen. We went to the main plaza and also went inside the Freuenkicrche. The architecture was amazing! We haven't had any 'German' food at this point and so went to a German Biergarten for dinner. It was very substantial. The Biergarten had been there for hundreds of years. We then made our way back to our hotel (very warm, no air con)
16 August 2017
We then went somewhat reluctantly to a Luther inspired art exhibition (terrible). We then took a bus to the next stop, but got so tired that we all just slept and went for a loop. We then went on a small Ferris wheel then made our way back home. We had dinner at Verpiano (?) and made our way home.
I woke up early in the morning to take the clothes to the laundry. It was a 20 minute journey via train and walk. It was good to have a glimpse of the normal lives of the Berliners. I got back about 15 minutes late and Jenny was about to call! However, we found each other and had breakfast with the rest of the family. Again, it's healthier than the Americans'. We then set out for Lutherstadt-Wittenberg. As we were setting out, it started to shower and so we got three umbrellas from a local Apothecary (these umbrellas will go a long journey with us!) We then set out from the Hauptbahnhof and got to Wittenberg. The town was full of festivities for Luther. There were a number of museums. We started by coming a Bible Tower. We then went to a museum which had fairly extensive descriptions of Luther's life. We then had lunch at a dorm that used to be the Wittenberg university, we had a quick look at Luther's house then set out for the Wittenberg castle church.
15 August 2017
We arrived st Heathrow on Tuesday morning. We then checked the luggage with British Airlines for the next flight in the afternoon. In between, we had lunch st the airport (with free kids' meals). The food was so much healthier than the Americans! We then went to wait to board for the plane. Everyone was so tired; we could hardly keep our eyes opened! We then boarded the plane and went to Berlin. Once at Berlin, we were efficiently guided to a five persons taxi. We soon arrived at the Upper room, which didn't look appealing on the outside. We had to take the luggage up a flight of stairs but once we got in, the rooms were quite nice. We then went out for a quick bite (Italian, just round the block). It was a very nice meal! However, we forgot to tip and the waiter was very disappointed. We then took a leisurely stroll and got back to our hotel. There's no air con; a fairly warm night.
14 August 2017
We woke up for a relaxed breakfast in the morning, followed by a quick swim st the hotel. We then checked out and took the airport shuttle to LAX. We then boarded the plane at 3pm for the beginning of a long journey to Europe!
13 August 2017
...(after 5:30pm). We the took the Uber home.
Sunday! We finally get a chance to go to Grace community church. I've heard many sermons from John Macarthur since I was young and it was a blessing to see his church in action. We heard the Gospel and we saw it in action! The music was amazing! They really gave glory to God through their singing and performance. We then took an Uber to Warner Brothers studio. The intro to the tour went very smoothly! We saw many sets from movies and TV shows (Friends, Gilmore girls, Perfect storm, ER etc). Towards the end of the tour, we had lunch at Central Perk. We then went around to see how a show was made from script to final product. We even held a real oscar at the end of the tour! After the tour, we went for a quick visit to the Grammys museum. There was an exhibition celebrating Ella's 100th birthday! We had some fun "recording" a song then we went to a local target store to get some food. Denny's for dinner (poor service) then we tried to go to the oue building but we were too late...
12 August 2017
... and to see the 3D King Kong and the 3D Fast and furious show! We got back up and had dinner (best Chinese on trip so far) and dessert. We then went back in to watch the special effects show. We ended the day with the Hogwarts light show. We then went to the Hilton to take an Uber home. A great day of adventure!
Breakfast was included with our deal and so we had an all you can eat breakfast. They made omelette and eggs on the spot! We then took an Uber to Universal Studio! (the driver was a very animated Khalid). We started with the Waterworld show. It was excellent, with great stunts and explosives. We then went down to the Mummy ride. Caitlyn was uncomfortable about it (and she was right), so Zoe, Ezekiel and I went on it instead. The line took 40 minutes or so; the ride took around 50 seconds. Jenny and Caitlyn went to the Shrek ride. Our team then went to the Jurassic world ride. It had many good references to the movie. We also all got very wet! We then went back up to join Jenny and Caitlyn for the Minions ride. It was also very well done! After that we had lunch, went to the Hogwarts roller coaster, then followed by the animal show. By that time, we were quite tired, but we went to the studio tour. It was a long wait, but it was worth it! It was great to see so many sets and.....
After a light breakfast, Grace and Ramsin took us to the San Jose airport. The check in process was very straightforward, but we got there with less than 5 minutes before take off. We then got back to LAX where we took the hotel shuttle to Embassy suites. We almost immediately took an Uber to downtown Hollywood. We just missed the tour and so we had Kate lunch instead. We walked around for coffee and souvenir then went to the Chinese theatre tour. It was fascinating, though the building wasn't really authentic Chinese. We wanted to go to Madame Tassaud's but the go pass doesn't work after 5:30pm. So we walked around and had dinner at Mel's drive in diner instead. We then took Uber home.
9 August 2017
This is the day we leave for San Jose. Before we left San Francisco, we took the kids to K1 go kart racing. It was such an incredible thing to see them drive in a race! We the took Uber to San Jose, at the Gundelove's home. It was a beautiful place. It was so good to meet Serena for the first time, along with Ava. We all went to pick up Lelia where we surprised her. We then went to visit their new home that they were about to move into. We then went to have dinner at the Cheesecake Factory. We came home and prayed with the children before going to sleep. Ava demonstrated how she can climb in and out of the cot with ease ;) It's good to sleep in a home (with a great view)
8 August 2017
The next morning, it was Ezekiel and David who got up early for breakfast (at IHOP) and the girls had their breakfast afterwards. We the went to The Californian academy of science to see the animals, the butterflies, the aquarium and many other things. While we waited for the space show st the planetarium to start, we even went to the de Young museum to look at the view and the arts. While at the planetarium, three of us fell asleep! We then went for a quick stroll in the Botanical gardens before making our way back to Union Square. We had Japanese for dinner and walked to take the tram (David took the wrong turn, sorry!) We held on for dear life on the tram and got back to Fisherman's wharf. We wanted to use the rest room but none was available and so we went to the Mariott courtyard where all of us used their bathroom and where we were picked up by Uber, again!
7 August 2017
Caitlyn and Jenny woke up at around 5am and went down for breakfast. David went down to McDonald's for coffee and a quick bite. We then took Uber for the first time and went down to Fisherman's wharf. There we had Boudin together for breakfast (very nice bread!). We the begin to use our Go pass to travel on the Hop on Hop off bus. We travelled around SF CBD and got off at the Golden gate and walked across half the bridge. We then took the bus again to go to Chinatown. We had Vietnamese for lunch and got some Souvenirs (including some gun powder poppers) and took the bus back to Fisherman's wharf. We then went on a bridge to bridge cruise around the Bay (passin Alcatraz) and came back to have some chowder for dinner. We then went to Believe it or not and headed to Mariott court for wifi signal and for the uber driver to take us back to our motel. What a day!
We got up at around 4:30am (NB we delivered Zoe's report to her friends at 11pm the night before!) The driver came at around 5:45am and we were on our way! We went through the various checkpoints very smoothly. We were on our way by around 9:30am.
The flight on Virgin Australia was smooth.
We got to LA on Sunday 6am! There were a number of security checkpoints st the airport (including fingerprint scanning) but we managed to go through fairly easily. After collecting the luggage, we went to check in at Delta for the flight to San Francisco. Everyone here drinks Starbucks, even when they're serving customers! The flight to San Francisco was delayed by about 2hours (the pilot's seat had to be changed) and so we got to San a Francisco airport late (around 1pm). This worked well for us as we had lunch st IHOP (very big portions!) We then checked in the hotel and crashed (at least for the four of us. Ezekiel was up most of the time).
We then went to McDonalds for a dinner afterwards.