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Back in Brisbane for the start of last rotation

We landed in Gold Coast at 8am on September 21st, Mike’s birthday!

Happy 35th birthday to Michael! We had a lot of fun celebrating in Canada and during our trip back in Hong Kong and Singapore so we didn’t have any special plans for once we were back in Brisbane.

No special plans didn’t mean we wouldn’t have appreciated not being held up at the airport for nearly 2 hours after landing though.

Let me tell you the story of how we almost ended up on Border Security. Actually, I’m lying, the show is never filmed out of Gold Coast Airport, but if we had been in Sydney or Melbourne, cameras might’ve been rolling. We got through immigration without any difficulties, picked up our luggage and headed to the customs declaration and exit line. While in line, a lady customs officer went up to Michael and asked him to see his incoming passenger card. He had nothing to declare (only me with homemade kimchi) and was given back the card with a simple thank you. I thought it was odd that she had solely singled him out of a big line and watched her go… straight to the customs officer at the front of the line and whisper something in his ear while pointing to Mike.

Great. Here comes trouble.

In the past, we have cleared customs through one of 3 lines:

  1. Straight out the door.
  2. Dog sniff. You lay all your bags on the ground and stand beside them while a cute beagle sniffs through all your stuff. If you’re clear, you’re free to go. This usually takes less then 10 minutes.
  3. Bag search and/or x-ray. We often end up in this line when we have things to declare and while slightly more tedious, still goes pretty quickly. The officer normally asks you to clarify what exactly it is you’ve declared, and if they deem necessary, they can ask you to open up your bags and show them the items or put your bags through a scanner. We have been in this line when we’ve declared bringing back wooden souvenirs from Vietnam and bringing back Frentel butter from Canada. Both times, we’ve simply opened our bags, showed them the items, which they were happy to let through and we were on our way.

This time, without any obvious reason or being told specifically why, both Michael and I were directed to a fourth line. One we didn’t know existed but immediately referred to it as the Border Security line. We were told to sit down on the benches and that an officer would be with us ‘shortly’. This area is completely blocked off from public view and actually depicts some scenes very similar to Border Security. Ie. An Asian man getting every nook of his baggage searched while he sits in a chair looking weary and worried. In another line, a ‘tough’ guy looks annoyed as his bags are being searched and he’s being questioned.

After letting us sit and stew for what seemed to be forever. The initial lady customs officer came over and said to Mike she wanted to talk about his “travel patterns.” Funny, because we both have the exact same travel pattern. We immediately figured it was because Mike was a guy and traveled too often and looked suspicious, especially when we frequented SE Asian countries. We explained to her that we were both medical students, have a 1 week break after every 2 month rotation and took the opportunity to travel cheap.

You could see her realise it… she was barking up the wrong tree. But that wasn’t enough and we had to sit there and answer more questions, including how we were even able to afford studying in Australia and travel at the same time. She was getting nothing and decided to let us go, after scanning our bags. One last jab from her as my bag was going through the scanner, “Are those cigarettes?” No, those are KitKat bars (and they look nothing like cigarettes, but nice try).

Anyway, we finally made our way out the airport. And miraculously, we were able to lug home 3 large pieces of luggage and 2 wheeled carry-ons back to Brisbane – via the bus, then the train. Pros or what?

Jet lag hit us pretty quickly but no time to diddle daddle as we had school the next day! The start of our last rotation – Surgical Specialties!

I was starting with 2 weeks of ENT, then 2 weeks of Opthalmology and finally finishing my medical degree with 4 weeks of orthopaedics. So close! Have to keep pushing to the end!

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2014 in The Daily Sands

 

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A day in Singapore

September 20, 2014

We landed in Singapore around 1pm. After a huge waste of time with Scoot (which may be discussed in a later post), including a 1 hour delay, we finally made it out into the city!

We first strolled through Little India, enjoying the sights and smells, finally stopping at Mustafa Centre to exchange money. Then we headed over to Chinatown, enjoying a quick lunch of BBQ pork and char siu with rice at Chinatown Food Street (CFS). This was the first time we came across CFS, here’s a little blurb from YourSingapore:

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Located on Smith Street in the heart of Chinatown, the revitalised CFS seeks to create the most authentic Singapore dining experience for locals and tourists alike. From a tantalising plate of Char Kway Teow, to sticks of mouthwatering Satay, CFS offers a diverse spread of local delights, with iconic food from local cultures all represented on one street.

With street hawker stalls, shophouse restaurants and ad hoc street kiosks, complete with the al-fresco dining style along the street, one can revisit the Chinatown of old at CFS. Newly constructed high-ceiling glass canopy shelter and internal spot cooling system allow diners to indulge in culinary pleasures regardless of rain or shine. Now fully pedestrianised, visitors can dine in comfort along Smith Street from day to night.

If you are ever in the area, HERE’S a good article with 10 food stalls to check out!

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We had to have a quick lunch before we needed to be on our way to a very important appointment – our first ‘real life escape game’ at BreakOut! Since last year, BreakOut materialized and landed the #2 ranking on the Trip Advisor list of attractions in Singapore. With nearly a 5 star rating after over 130 reviews, how could we pass it up?

What is BreakOut? Here’s a description from their website:

BreakOut Escape Game is a Real Life Escape Game provider in Singapore, offering themed escape rooms to players who enjoy the challenge of playing escape games in a physical environment. Real Life Escape Game is the latest global phenomenon that has taken the gaming world by storm, with more and more players experiencing the simple thrills of escaping from beautifully designed escape rooms.

Taking on the role of the main characters in the story, you and your teammates have to work together to find clues, solve puzzles and navigate yourself out of a locked room that you are trapped in, while beating the clock!

BreakOut has 3 themed escape rooms of varying difficulty – Forever Young(4.5*).,The Scientist(4*) and Magician’s Secret (5*). We cater to both newcomers and seasoned gamers.

Each session is 1 hour long. We booked our visit for 2:30pm and chose ‘The Scientist’ room to break out of, apparently the easiest of 3 rooms:

An eccentric but genius scientist has discovered a miraculous cure to any form of cancer – it is rumoured to be a previously unknown species of the mushroom family. Its wondrous properties are worth a fortune, and you and your accomplices have broken into his laboratory to steal his discovery. Unfortunately the paranoid scientist has booby trapped the room and you are trapped in his laboratory. Can you escape before the police arrive?

BreakOut is extremely easy to find and on the second floor of the building. We were greeted by staff as we were climbing up the stairs, “Sandra? Welcome! Come on in!”

We were asked if we’d ever played such a game before, either in real life or virtually. We hadn’t. We were given a quick run down and then taken into our room. The rules of the game were explained, including how to immediately stop the game and leave the room if required. We were reminded that unless there was striped tape around objects, they were a part of the game. Keep our eyes and ears open, be observant, use our brains and enjoy the game!

And then the staff was gone, we were left in our room, and the timer started to count down. Suspenseful music played continuously as we frantically tried to figure out how to get out of the room. We soon realized why the recommended number of players is 4-8 people, as opposed to two! The more people in the room working with you, the more fun and successful you’ll be.

We really did try. But maybe it was the jetlag and not sleeping for over a day, but we got stuck a number of times. We felt a little embarrassed but no worries! You are constantly being video monitored and if the staff find you aren’t progressing quick enough, someone will politely knock, come in and offer a vague clue to help you get back on track.

Unfortunately, we failed to break out of the room within the hour :( However, because no one had booked the room after us, we were allowed a few extra minutes to complete the game.

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A super fun and exhilarating experience! It is very clear that the rooms and situations have been thought out and well prepared. An hour of adrenaline rushing through your body as you race against the clock. ;) Highly recommend a visit to BreakOut if you’re in Singapore! We will definitely be coming back to try the other 2 rooms the next time we are in Singapore. :) Thanks to the staff for their great service and not openly laughing at us! :P We look forward to visiting again.

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After BreakOut, we walked around Chinatown some more, stopping at Koi Kei Bakery – the famous Macau name, renowned for their perfectly crispy-crumble-in-your-mouth almond cookie.

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Stepping into the shop can be a little overwhelming because there are so many options available. Luckily, the staff is there to help you out :P We were greeted as we stepped into the shop and given a few minutes to look around before being offered samples. Lots of samples. I think you could have a never ending taste of cookies if you wanted. We started off with the most popular cookie – the almond cookie. She gave us a sample of both the hand made and machine made almond cookies – you could definitely taste the difference in texture!

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Despite its popularity, we ended up not getting any almond cookies. Instead, we purchased a box of almond pastry. Superbly flaky and buttery while not too sweet. Yum!

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We continued our short day in Singapore with a steady stream of food. Including our first taste of Kaya Toast, a popular Singapore and Malaysian snack. Kaya is a coconut jam, often served on buttered toast with pandan, sugar and/or condensed milk. A sweet treat!

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For dinner, we foolishly thought we would be able to dine in at Swee Choon Dim Sum Restaurant, one of our favourite places. Boy, were we wrong. Dinner time meant huge lines. No time to wait. Good thing we could take out! We grabbed a few of our favourite dishes including: egg tarts, steamed salted egg yolk custard buns, and red bean paste pancake. So delicious, just as we remembered, and can’t wait to be back!

Unfortunately, our time in Singapore had to come to an end and we headed back to the airport…. where we finally had the opportunity to shower for the first time in 2 days.

See you again in December Singapore!

 

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One night in Hong Kong

September 19, 2014

After a tasty dinner at Tim Ho Wan, Mike and I went for a walk to soak in the scenery of Hong Kong.

Immediately we were greeted with high heat and humidity, haven’t experienced that in a while! There was also quite a bit of smog, which was too bad because we couldn’t see a clear view of Hong Kong’s night time skyline.

Unfortunately, due to the long wait times at Tim Ho Wan, we had missed the Symphony of Lights :(

A few sights along the way to Star Ferry Pier (Central Ferry Pier No 7) on Hong Kong Island

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Constant development happening

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Arriving to Central Pier, where you can catch ferries across the Victoria Harbour

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View while on the ferry traveling towards Mainland Hong Kong. Really liked the lighting on that building with silhouettes swimming up and down!

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Standing 44-metres tall, the old Clock Tower was erected in 1915 as part of the Kowloon–Canton Railway terminus. The once-bustling station is long gone, but this red brick and granite tower, now preserved as a Declared Monument, survives as an elegant reminder of the Age of Steam. It has also been a memorable landmark for the millions of Chinese immigrants who passed through the terminus to begin new lives not just in Hong Kong, but in other parts of the world via the city’s harbour. (Source)

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If we had time, perhaps we could’ve enjoyed a night of entertainment on one of these ships

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Hong Kong’s night time skyline!

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Bright colours

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Opportunistic photography

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Iconic sails

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Walking along Avenue of Stars!

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With commemorative plaques, celebrity handprints, descriptive milestones, movie memorabilia, a life-size statue of kung fu action hero Bruce Lee and a bronze rendering of popular cartoon character McDull, the Avenue of Stars fittingly sets the glamour of Hong Kong’s film industry against the captivating dazzle of Victoria Harbour (Source).

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Bruce Lee against Hong Kong skyline

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We then strolled through Kowloon and visited the Temple Street Night Market – a feast for the eyes! Tons of trinkets, arts, toys, gadgets, sex toys, electronics, jewellery and food stalls to browse and enjoy.

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It wasn’t long before we were back on the Airport Express heading to the airport – a comfortable and quick 20-25 minute trip!

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We both found these train advertisements annoying, because you know, coal is certainly not a renewable energy, no matter how you put it.

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Ah, so tired!

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The 11th busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic, with nearly 60 million passengers handled in 2013… this is how deserted Hong Kong International Airport looks like at 4 o’clock in the morning. Not a soul in sight.

Tip: As Mike is demonstrating, these benches are the most comfortable place to stretch when killing time in the Check-In areas… you will thank me!

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And look, two people can fit on one bench! And the man behind us is proving my above point! :P

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Farewell Hong Kong! We hope to come back in the future and spend more time!

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2014 in Oh, the View!, The Daily Sands

 

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Tasty dim sum at Michelin starred restaurant Tim Ho Wan

We landed in Hong Kong from Canada at 5:00pm on September 19, 2014.

We had one single goal during our layover in Hong Kong – to enjoy delicious dim sum at Tim Ho Wan, famous being awarded a Michelin star in 2011 (Sham Shui Po location). It had been over a year since we’ve heard of this renowned, posisbly cheapest, Michelin starred restaurant in the world. We had been looking forward to this meal for months and anything else we had time for would be icing on the cake.

Tim Ho Wan was founded by Chef Mak Pui Gor, previous dim sum master at Lung King Heen in Four Seasons Hotel, the world’s first Chinese restaurant to be awarded a Michelin 3 star rating. What began as a small, humble, 30-seat eatery in Mongkok (this location has since closed) has now expanded to 4 other locations in HK, as well as into other Asian countries like Singapore and the Philippines.

We decided to visit the IFC Mall location, as it was most convenient. For those who are interested, the Airport Express train costs $100 HKD (less than $15 CAD) return and stops at Hong Kong Station, just below IFC Mall. Head up the escalator to Level 1 and turn left, you won’t miss the long queues. There is no sign that says “Tim Ho Wan” so familiarize yourself with their green logo and characters ahead of time so you don’t miss it!

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The other thing you need to prepare yourself for is how to get a table. It can be a little intimidating but don’t worry, it’s quite easy! Most people standing around have already registered themselves for a table and are waiting for their number to be called. So when you arrive, you need to push yourself to the front where you will likely be greeted by a busy, yet very efficient lady. Tell her how many people you have and ask for a yellow menu if you’re not automatically offered one, which is in English. You will be identified as a foreigner and a marking will be added beside your table number on her list so that when your number is called, it will be done so in English. As it gets closer to your number, I suggest standing near the front so you don’t miss your number when it’s called.

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If it’s a busy time, be prepared to wait! And keep in mind that numbers are not called out sequentially but according to how many people can be seated. Ie. A group of 2 will likely be seated before a group of 6.

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While in line, you should definitely start ticking off all the items you want off the menu. As your table number is approaching, you can give your menu in advance to the lady at the front. That way, your food will come as soon as you sit down. We gave our menu to her as we were being seated and didn’t have to wait long at all, so it’s really not necessary!

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We waited around 30-40 minutes before finally being seated. The restaurant is small and packed tightly. We sat in between 2 other groups on either side and felt packed like sardines but such is the experience of eating dim sum in Asia right? Pretty excited to start our highly anticipated meal!

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Place settings with their most popular dishes as well as a listing of their HK locations.

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Chuckled a bit. I know, we decided not to have tea with our dim sum, blasphemy! :P

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Deep fried dumplings filled with pork ($15, 3pcs). Our first dish, which immediately left a good first impression. Fried dumplings are one of my favourite dim sum dishes, and these ones were perfect. Cripsy on the outside, fully cooked inside, nice and glutinous with a well seasoned, not too fatty pork filling. Yum!

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Panfried turnip cake ($15, 3pcs). Mike and I have tried different variations of this dish over the past few years. We have never been the biggest fans of this dish but being one of the “Big 4 Heavenly King Dim Sum from Tim Ho Wan,” we certainly had to try! We quite enjoyed the silky daikon flavour and beautiful sear of this cake.

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Steamed fresh shrimp dumplings ($27, 4 pcs). Delicate, translucent skins with nicely seasoned fresh, plump and succulent prawns – these were great.

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Steamed pork dumplings with shrimp ($27, 4 pcs). As you can see, these siu mai lacked the finesse of assembly, but were overall tasty.

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Steamed rice rolls stuffed with shrimp and chive ($27, 3 rolls) and Steamed rice rolls stuffed with BBQ pork ($21, 3 rolls). Both of us always enjoy this dim sum dish, but these rice rolls were too thick and the wrong texture, they should be delicate and slightly chewy. In addition, the proportion of filling to rice roll was too low :( The biggest disappointment of our meal.

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Baked bun with BBQ pork ($21, 3 pcs). La pièce de resistance! The reason why we came to Tim Ho Wan lies in these 3 sublime golden buns. Oven baked with a crispy sweet topping, this is the perfect love child of a pineapple bun and a BBQ pork bun. A delicious combination between salty and sweet. These were perfection and easily the highlight of our night! If we weren’t so full, we would’ve ordered more. After one bite, there was no doubt how these buns came to be Tim Ho Wan’s most famous dish.

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Tonic medlar & petal cake ($12, 3 pcs). This beautiful dessert jelly had subtle sweetness and was quite fragrant, filled with goji berries and osmanthus flowers. A very light and refreshing way to end our delicious meal!

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We had also ordered Steamed Egg Cake ($15) which unfortunately wasn’t available. Other dishes I would’ve liked to try on this menu include: Glutinous rice dumpling, Braised chicken feet with abalone sauce, Steamed rice rolls stuffed with pig’s liver, Sweet barley soup with bean curd sheet, Sweet pumpkin cream with red bean. Unfortunately, there were only 2 of us. We couldn’t possibly eat more and Michael is also not a fan of liver and chicken feet. It is also our understanding that some Tim Ho Wan locations may have dishes that are not available at others.

Aside from the rice rolls dishes, we thoroughly enjoyed our meal and look forward to the opportunity of dining again at Tim Ho Wan, likely at a Singapore location in the near future! The dishes were high in quality and lived up to our expectations. We left happy and with full bellies.

Is it the best dim sum in the world? Probably not, but still darn tasty! Was it worth our 30-40 minute wait? I think so, even if just for those BBQ pork buns and the experience. With that being said, I would definitely go during down time at my next visit so I won’t have to wait in line as long! :P

Our total bill came to around $180 HKD, which is approximately $25 CAD, what a steal! Keep in mind that there is a $3 service charge for each dine in customer. They also have take out available, which is much quicker if you want to grab a bite to eat on the go or don’t want to wait in line.

Have you tried Tim Ho Wan before? Would love to hear what you think!

Hong Kong locations:

  • Shop 12A, Hong Kong Station Podium Level 1, IFC Mall , Central
  • Shop 72, G/F, Olympian City 2, 18 Hoi Ting Road, Tai Kok Tsui
  • G/F, 9-11 Fuk Wing Street, Sham Shui Po
  • Shop B, C, D on G/F Seaview building No 2-8 Wharf Road, North Point
 
 

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AC Premium Economy YVR-HK

September 18, 2014

It wasn’t long at home in Ottawa after our electives in Nova Scotia until we had to go back to Brisbane.

One on hand, I was tired of living out of a suitcase these last 2 months and excited to get settled back into our house with Mike. On the other hand, I wanted to stay in Canada longer with my family and friends!

We had an early 7:45am flight – thank you to my mom, brother and Uncle 3 for taking us (and all our luggage) to the airport!

Last selfie in Ottawa… I really don’t know when we’ll be back :(

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We usually book our international flights out of Canada with Air Canada, for their prices and good service. While looking into our flight back to Brisbane, Michael came across Air Canada’s Premium Economy Class, which at the time, cost approximately $100 more than a regular economy class ticket. A section in between business class and economy class, sounded appealing!

After a bit of research, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to fly Premium Economy at such a low additional cost. You can read more about it HERE, but these are some of the perks we appreciated with Premium Economy class:

  • Wider seats, more recline, more legroom
  • Larger entertainment screen
  • 2 checked bags
  • Hot towel service and premium meals served on china dishware
  • Amenity kit
  • Earn 125% Aeroplan Miles
  • Best of all: priority check in, boarding and baggage handling

There are currently only a few selected routes that offer Premium Economy, including Montreal to Paris and Vancouver to London. We chose to fly Vancouver to Hong Kong.

Although we bought a Premium Economy ticket from Ottawa to Hong Kong, that class was (as expected) not available on our flight from Ottawa to Vancouver. Instead, we were given preferred seats (extra leg room, close to front) with a complimentary meal. We were also able to enjoy all the priority services with this leg of the flight – which to us, is one of the best parts of traveling.

Vancouver to Hong Kong was much more exciting :P

Flight AC007 on a 77W
Seats 14A & 14B
Depart Vancouver 13:00 Sept 18
Arrive Hong Kong 17:05 Sept 19
Flight time: Approx 11.5 hrs

Here is what the cabin looked like. Surprisingly, it was practically empty, there must’ve been around 10 of us in total.

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The seats, as you can see, are wider (50.8cm) with more leg room (7″)

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Felt quite spacious!

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Larger screens at 26.4cm/10.4in

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Settled in and ready for a long flight!

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Our welcome beverage of orange juice – no other choices were offered.

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Our flight menu, handed out at the beginning of our flight along with newspapers

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Our amenity kit. Had the essentials (toothbrush/toothpaste, eye mask, ear plugs, and socks) although not nearly as nice as the ones given in Business/First class ;)

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Our first meal of green salad with balsamic olive oil dressing. Grilled Alberta AAA beef tenderloin with morel mushroom sauce, red skin mashed potatoes with roasted garlic, broccolini, zucchini and carrots. Bread and butter. Cappuccino cake. The salad was fresh and crisp although I’ve had much better bread. Beef was well done and bland, however, the meal was overall good, especially because the dessert was quite nice.

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Wine was good too!

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We did not realize that only one meal was premium. For our next meal, it was the same as served in Economy class. A choice between Shanghai noodles with chicken or Beef stroganoff with mushroom cream sauce and rotini pasta, with bread and a fruit salad. Meal was so so!

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Prior to landing, we were also served a snack of chicken salad sandwich and Peak Freans cookies.

Despite the cabin being nearly empty, we found the service to run the extremes – either super rushed or insanely slow. For example, flight attendants flew around the cabin to give us menus and amenity kits and just as quickly zipped away. Later during the flight, when we pushed the call button, we were actually never attended to – which has never happened to us, ever, on any flight. I had garbage leftover from a meal that was never collected and I wanted to get rid of it so I could stow away my table while Mike wanted a drink. During our 15+ minute wait, we rang the bell 3 times, in case they didn’t hear us or was busy at the time and forgot. Eventually, we were able to flag an attendant who appeared but disregarded our call light. Service was particularly disappointing, as it was way below the average service we’ve received in Economy class.

Some of the advertised perks of Premium Economy are not unique, such as power outlets/USB ports and complimentary wine & spirits, and pillow/blanket (did not receive a ‘large’ pillow like advertised) which are also available for Economy Class passengers.

Overall, we definitely enjoyed the flight and the perks that came with it, especially priority services, extra baggage, extra seat and leg room, and better food. Would we purchase a Premium Economy class ticket again? Yes, certainly if the price difference was as small as this time!

 

 

 

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Mike & Meaghan’s birthday!

September 15, 2014

After a fiasco with booking our bus tickets to Kingston, we had to resort to asking Mike’s dad to drive up to Ottawa and get us. Thank goodness for him!

Today was a special family day, an early joint birthday celebration for Michael and and his sister Meaghan! Mike was turning 35 on Sept 21st and the first time he’s been home to celebrate with his family in over a decade. And Meaghan was turning the big 30 on Sept 26th.

Got to spend some quality time with the family, including Mike’s parents (Greg & Caroline), his brother Matt with his wife Jessice and 2 children, Jasper and RInoa, Aunt Patsy & Uncle Dan, as well as Uncle Jim & Aunt Brenda :)

Started off the day with a delicious lunch, thanks Matt – you make awesome grilled cheese! My mom sent a coconut lemon poppy seed cake that was fantastic and a hit with the family as well.

For dinner, Mike’s mum made meatballs, beans, caesar salad, and biscuits from Aunt Patsy – yum!

After dinner came the cake and singing! Caroline made 2 cakes, chocolate for Mike and vanilla for Meaghan.

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The vanilla cake provided lots of good laughs! It was supposed to be a lady bug ;) … a pretty cute one!

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Look at that smile!

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Happy early birthday guys! :)

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Great to catch up!

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Aunt Brenda & Uncle Jim

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The birthday siblings

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With Uncle Jim

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The cute nephew, Jasper!

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Uncle Dan & Aunt Patsy – see you soon in Australia!

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Mike’s dad and his youngest grandchild :)

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Jasper excited for cake!

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Matt and his son Jasper. Cake and ice cream, what better way to end the night?

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And finally, some family photos!

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My last opportunity to spend time with Mike’s family :( Thank you for having me and can’t wait until we see you again in Australia!

 

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Good food and dressing well

September 13, 2014

An early flight back to Ottawa from Halifax, thanks Matt for driving us to the airport! We can’t wait to see your family in Adelaide next year!

We got back to my house around 11am and went to lunch with Ruixi and Chris! Similar to last year, we were all craving Perkins, so breakfast for lunch was perfect! It was so nice to see them and catch up, especially since so much has happened since we hung out with them at Perkins last year, including a wedding and honeymoon! ;)

When my mom got home from work that evening, we ordered Shawarma Palace (of course) and joined my grandparents for dinner.

Shawarma chicken and beef platters… how I miss you!

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My mum and grandpa

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Family minus Jenni!

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Enjoying some Jost Maple Ice Wine, thanks Dan! He and Mike had a sports bet and he lost. The prize? A nice Canadian bottle of ice wine, which we shared with family :)

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Chicken, beef, rice, potatoes, garlic sauce, pickles, hummus, bread, salad… mmm

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My lovely grandparents!

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Always fun having dinner with my grandparents :)

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Some of you might know or remember that I’ve kept a coin collection since I was young. A very amateur collection, spurred by the release of the 1999 Millenium coins. Even now, my grandma will save new/different/fancy coins she comes across for me to riffle through and pick ones to save.

Here’s the collection of quarters she’s kept for me! Just going through them to see which ones I don’t have and can add to my collection, thanks grandma!

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My brother makes the best faces and takes the best selfies!

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September 14, 2014

The following day, my brother, Mike and I went on an ambitious adventure. Andy was going to photograph some engagement photos for us. He had a few sites picked out to visit and we had lots of fun, although I can’t say many of the photos turned out :P But when they’re ready I’ll share!

One fun aspect, we got to dress up a bit! My mom and aunt were going to come along as well, but unfortunately she had a prior engagement so mum and I took a few photos together at home instead :)

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Can you tell what we did on our photo shoot? :P So serious!

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Check out my brother, the “pro”

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Two hands mama!

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And what did we finish the day with?

Delicious home made Phở Tái (Vietnamese noodle soup with beef cooked rare) before addition of herbs and garnishes, thank mum!

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And of course, who can forget Benny! So cute, but he’s so camera shy!

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Only $1, what a deal! I missed having these, brought back memories from childhood :)

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