Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Siem Reap .07 (part 1)

September 12, 2007

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Angkor Wat Sunrise

I was suppose to explore Cambodia with the sis Christmas 2002…. It didn’t eventuate, cos fate would have it that my sis was struck with chicken pox on the eve of departure…. So <5yrs later I finally make it there with Joh, my new work bud.. It’s crazy-cool cos we barely know each other for a month and we’re already travelling buds – but I knew I was in good hands – the woman worked in Cambs for a year as a teacher 🙂

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A taste of the swanky Siem Reap hotel airport

Only a 2hr Jetstar flight away, we arrived 4th Sept Tues morning in Siem Reap. I was awed by the resort/boutique-like design of the Siem Reap airport.. It’s so tastefully put together – the artisan touches, the use of darkwood, the suspended gold mirror ball – I was so-so-so impressed, trust me I’ve travelelled manyyyyyy airports, but this one takes the cake!!!! But as Joh remarked, all non-Khmers need to pay $25US departure tax and entry to the Angkor Wat is min. $20US, so there’s a big pool of revenue, hulllo!!!!

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Happy lassies – our first meal @ the Old Market, Psar Chaa

On my food checklist were specifically 2 things – hairy-fried-spiders & baguettes. Whilst I succeeded only in devouring the latter, I was generally v v pleased with the Khmer cusine and the Western/fusion food…

The yummies…

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Baguettes (as is) or with some pork, lettuce etc (so/so – definitely not as good as Vietnam’s savory baguette) @ the Old Market, Psar Chaa

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Kuey teoooo – the Khmer version of Vietnamese Pho – difference is the noodle, Khmers use a silky beehoon which kinda melts in the mouth!!!@ the Old Market

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An array of warm desserts @ the Old Market

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Battered frogs accompanied with salt & pepper @ the Old Market

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Sucking the vinegar drenched crab fr. the Old Market

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Me & Joh @ Abacus

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Seared tuna with potato/pumpkin mash @ Abacus

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Creme brulee @ Abacus

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Hanging out @ Blue Pumpkin

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Nickoluas with his indulgent chocolate mousse @ Blue Pumpkin

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My fave meal – Amok ravioli @ Blue Pumpkin

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Basically there’s a few places for food I strongly recommend if you’re visiting Siem Reap

  1. Psar Chaa (old market) – the facade may appear touristy with all the baskets, souvenirs etc – but deep inside the wet market area it’s swarming with locals & a few brave tourists.. Aside from fresh produce, in between you’ll find local delights like the baguettes, kuey teoooo, the sweet desserts & of course fried frogs & marinated crabs!!!!
  2. Abacus Cafe – A reasonably priced bar/restaurant (French owned) which serves French/Asian food..
  3. Blue Pumpkin – If only they had an outlet in Singapore!!!!!! Fusion food, fantastic desserts, comfy/zenish (without being OTT) and free wireless access..

I love the Village Kids!!!

August 23, 2007

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Dini let me plant ya a kisssssssy!!!

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Peace ya’ all!!!

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The mission team of 12 lads/lasses

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The lads dividing the rice portions

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The lasses preparing the art & crafts

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Mrs Ong instructing the kiddies

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Cutting up the turtle – so diligent!

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Us gals with the village kids

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The serenity of the keylong spirit….

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Ever seen fish so neatly arranged??!

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Cat for sale 😛

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Dear Janice smsed me 2 months back asking me if I was keen on joining her for a lil’ mission trip to Bintan, Tanjung Pinang (TP) to be exact. She asked me to plan some art/craft sessions for the village women & kids, which I thought would be a great outlet for me, esp since I currently don’t teach art..

So anyways, last weekend 14 of us (mainly Janice’s bible college class mates) took a ferry out to TP in the morning…. The team’s objective was basically to visit a small fishing village an hour way from the city area and interact with the community, distribute rice & condense milk as well as teach some art/craft to the kids/women.

Indeed we achieved all this pretty much in the first day – as you can see above in the pics. One of the churches from Singapore have established a very strong relationship with the headman & woman with this particular village, and without fail each month some representatives will visit and both interact and give whatever necessary resources the people need.

It was really nice to be a part of this ‘community’ project. I fell in love with the village kids, they were really well behaved, diligently colouring away the colour-sheets I designed. Aside from colouring in, we also played around with the chenille wires creating accessories and crazy critters with eyes, whilst Janice and the other gals helped make brooches out of felt for the kids.

The first day, we actually taught in the small little wooden classroom sans lights. The second day, Janice thought it would be nice to teach on the keylong – indeed it was lovely teaching with the backdrop of the water, smell and breeze of the salty air – gives teaching ‘outside of the classroom’ a literal translation 😛

Aside from visiting the kampong, we had a chance to explore the TP city area where we stayed. We ate chicken rice, KFC, Padang dishes (which comprises mainly of fish), prata, mee soto, explored the wet market… I even managed to squeeze in an ultra-cheap Indonesian cum Thai massage for only $10sg!!!! And it was REALLLLLLLY good..

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Twas really good having the opportunity to teach Art to the village kids in TP; to smell the sea again; to meet some new friends (not to mention converse in Mandarin with a Chinese National & Taiwanese) as well as hangout & laugh with Janice 🙂

Thanks again dear for the opportunity! And thankyou God, for the timely trip and refreshing 🙂

Pork Flosssssed & Pad Thaieeeeed. Bkk 18-21 .07

June 23, 2007

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I lurrrrrrrrrrrrrv Thai food and I luuuuuuuuuuuurv BKK. Yep, I think I have officially just visited Bangkok for the 6th time now within the last decade – and this recent trip with Sheryl was just great.

Objective of Bkk – simple – shop-eat-massage.

Highlights

1. LOCAL FOOD – Padthai noodles, oyster omelette, grilled squid & mango glutinious rice. We ate mainly at MBK’s foodcourt, the Asia Hotel Breakfast buffet & when we could – street food finds.

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My absolute fave Thai dishes pad thai & oyster omelette!!!

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ST’s favourite – sotong!

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So fresh, so good!

2. CHEAP BARGAINS – We shopped mainly at MBK – I guess since both our hotels were nearby & seriously MBK has pretty much all you need! We also checked out Siam Square (good for T shirts/youthful stuff), the Pratunaum Markets, The Platinum Mall (same management as MBK – but a MUCH BETTER variety of clothes to choose from) and of course the Night Bazaar. I was on a shopping mission for the bro and a few friends – but I managed to pick up a cute Riverislandesque dress, cheeeeap bikinis and some comfy pinstripe shorts. Happy Happy!

3. MASSAGE – Had good foot reflexology @ MBK for about 250B/hr and cheap Thai Massage & Hot pressure @ Siam Square. It was the first time I experience Thai massage – a little disappointed – as I expected it to be more painful 😛 Ah well it was cheap. I realised Siam Sq has many pockets of massage parlors cheap & good spa ambience – worth checking out!!!

4. SIAM@SIAM Design & Spa Hotel – this hotel is LUXE, it’s a visual feast, provides top notch service – 1 of the BEST boutique hotels I’ve EVER stayed at. A MUST if you wanna indulge at least 1 night’s stay in BKK!!! I snapped about 100 shots of this place – capturing the infinity pool, the lift floor, the restaurant chairs, the bathroom, the cushions, the lighting, the views, the concrete/wall treatments, the installations, the flower arrangements – I think you get the idea 😉

We actually stayed at Asia Hotel for the first 2 nights, then moved on to Siam for the last evening- a good choice if I don’t say so myself 😛 We fully maxed out the perks of the hotel – the pool, the jacuzzi, the steam room & the gourmet style breakfast buffet. The great thing about this place is that even though we had to check out at midday. They allowed us to continue using the pool & jacuzzi facilities – which most hotels don’t normally encourage.

The place is also VERY near to MBK/Siam square – 7 mins walking distance. I told ST & Navin, I wanna model my next house after this hotel – its so ARTY modern yet tasteful. Me LIKE!!!!!!

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the spectacular infinity pool with the gorgeous views of the BKK skyline

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Lounge in style

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Textures abound in the lobby level

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A red-splash backdrop

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Candy coloured high chairs

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Candy coloured match stick installation

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Top notch flower displays

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The inviting jacuzzi

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Bronzed basins fit for even Cleopatra!

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The aftermath of Suan Lum Night Bazaar!

Freo glass pendants

February 11, 2007

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Jen lent me her toolbox of beads, wire and pliers for me to experiment with. After picking up a few glass pebbles from Freo the other day, I felt inspired to make some pendants and these are my creations. Am pretty pleased with the end results… I’ve always loved glass pebbles and have always thought they had such simplistic beauty and I’ve always believed they’d have great potential as pendants 🙂

Lemon Bakes

February 10, 2007

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melting moments.

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lemon zest cupcakes.

Serena’s back from her 6 week travels to Europe-Sth America-NYC. It’s good spending time with the lil’ sis. Anyways we decided to bake today and successfully made melting moments & lemon zest cupcakes.

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Recipe for Melting Moments
(Women’s Weekly The Big Book of Beautiful Biscuits)

250 g butter
1/3 cup of icing sugar
1 1/2 cups of plain flour
1/2 cup of corn flour

LEMON CREAM
60g butter
1/2 cup of icing sugar
1 tspn of grated lemon rind
3 tspns of lemon juice

Cream butter & sugar until light & fluffly
Add sifted flour, mix well
Put mixture into piping bag fitted with fluted tube
Pipe rosettes onto lightly greased oven trays
Bake into moderate oven 10-12min until pale golden brown
Cool onto rack

Lemon cream
Beat butter until smooth
Gradually add sifted icing sugar
Beat until light & creamy
Beat in lemon rind & juice

Join biscuits with lemon cream

Makes 30 complete biscuits

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Recipe for Cupcakes
(The Children’s Step by Step Cook Book)

125 g softened butter
1/2 cup of caster sugar
2 med sized eggs
1 cup self-raising flour

Preheat oven to 190 degrees C
Line cake trays with paper cake-cases or lightly grease tray
Cut up butter & mix with sugar till light & creamy
Beat eggs in bowl with fork
Add egg to butter mixture
Add flour a little at a time & fold in
Spoon cake mixture into trays
Bake cakes sml – 10 min, lge – 20min
Cool on rack

*** I used the lemon cream ingredients for the icing & topped off with lemon rind

Makes about 20-30 cakes depending on size of trays

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P.s  my sister’s friends food blog

Babes, beer, beach, wine & cheese

February 5, 2007

3 babes.
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the 3 Mercedes Pals.
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Last Thurs, we met up w Nat & Tach & their babes – Skye & Taneesha @ Kings Park. Nav impressed us ladies, as the babes seemed smitten with him – playing sand and walkies with them 🙂

We met up with Trenn too and her 10mth old babe – Mimm – she’s equally gorgeous – big bright eyes and very friendly!!!

Farewell Freo!
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On the eve before Nav left, we had fish n’ chips at Circerellos, Freo then proceeded to Little Creatures for locally-inhouse brewed beer. The boy was a happy larry, Jen & I were content with lemon lime bitters 😛

Serenity a few hrs before the shark sighting.

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Sunkissed n lovin it.

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Spent the weekend with Jen, and first stop was Cottosloe beach for a walk along the sand, swim then brekkie. We reached about 8ish and it was already crawling with joggers, walkers, swimmers, surfers and dogs alike. Despite visiting many beaches on this trip, this was the first time I actually swam – Aussie waters are generally icy cold, so with much co-ercing I braved the cold and waves and found myself totally refreshed.

As mentioned in the subheading above – there were sightings of a shark at Cott beach 11.30am a few hrs after we left!!!! Thank God we were there much earlier!!!!!

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In the evening we watched The Lady Aoi @ the Playhouse Theatre. It was rather Ring-ish, very sexual & tense – thankfully it was only 50mins!!!!!!

a dehydrated Bells Rapid.

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the reason I’m now heavier 😦
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Yesterday we drove up the Swan Valley it was our lil’ road trip, but thanks to the rather new Roe Highway we reached in less than half an hour!!!!!

It was a pleasant day of visiting a winery – purchasing some white desert wine & chilli cheese, sampling melt-in-ya-mouth chocolate from none-other than the Margaret River Chocolate Factory, walking through the drought inflicted Bells Rapid and rewarding ourselves with fresh scones with boysenberry jam & apricot marmalade and fresh cream.

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So, with all the indulging I’m sad to say I’ve officially put on 2kg *bawls* so I have to cut down on the sugary/dairy temptations and try to workout harder at the gym. Speaking of which, I’ve started doing combat again – yep I need to generate more sweat baby!

Till then,
the lady of leisure signing off……….

Dinner with the food artist

January 31, 2007

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beetroot, carrot & bean sprout salad – ripe art style!

Nav & I were treated to a visual food feast @ the local Brayden cafe, Attadale, kiddin! Bridge the famous WA food artist cooked/prepared Thai patties, 2 brightly coloured salads, teryaki chicken and to-die-for white peach & nectarine meringues for us. It was as delish as it was presented – she was so meticulous arranging her food onto her signature coloured rice and ensuring that all her dishes were visually attractive – in a non-conventional way of course! Am so proud of Bridge, have known her since Uni days she’s a really a jack of all trades – studying design, fine arts, worked in a pizza kitchen, florist, catering company and now she’s a well-known artist specialising in food has her own flourishing catering business. Totally inspiring gal!

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the chef cum artist!

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cheers to a fabulous feast!!!

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This afternoon we caught up with Gina the curator of the lovely Heathcote Gallery in Applecross. Coincedentally Bridge’s work will be featured at the Heathcote this Nov/Dec 🙂 Gina’s doing well looking after this little nook of a gallery with GORGEOUS views of the Perth skyline.

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Gina the soho-chic in her element

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Stunning views near the Heathcote gallery

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Change of plans btw…. Spoke to the sis this morning who’s in Buenos Aires, Sth Amercia right now – she’s on a 6-7wk trek of SA (she’s more of an adventurous traveller than I!!!). Anyways she asked whether I’d consider extending my stay so that we can spend a bit of time together – so without any hestitation I changed my flight details and am staying on till 14th Feb 😛 Am looking forward to seeing girly and exchanging pics and travel stories.

Australia day long-weekend

January 28, 2007

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Our visit to Melbourne coincidently coincided with Australia Day – a big day for Aussies – almost equivalent to CNY. Most Aussies celebrate the day with a sizzling BBQ, beers or simpling gazing at the fireworks which each state will launch. My bro kindly sugguested that we go out to the city and watch it since I hadn’t been home to celebrate this National day in a decade. We were lucky to get a spot along the Princes bridge and view the pretty awesome fireworks.

The little bro and his fiancee Jo, have been helping us fufil our check list of eats in Melbourne. On the second night we went to Lygon st for Italian, 3rd night Footscray for Vietnamese, yesterday we had yum cha with Derrick and today we sampled some lamb at St Kilda. Whilst Nav’s in sheer denial my face and tummys getting bigger in my piccies 😦 Will be gymmin once I return to Perth and stalking Mr W, that’s for sure!!!

Aside from feasting, we visited my fave bath boxes at Brighton beach, St Kilda & Brunswick street. Adrian also took me to a few Art/Craft markets – Rose St Artist Market – which is a small arty market – a tiny version of Sydney’s Paddington markets, Camberwell Market – a swap meet mainly, selling interesting 2nd hand goods – clothes, toys, you name it! We also checked out the St Kilda market which was ok, but I think Sydney wins hands down market wise – both Paddington & the Glebe markets.

So tomorrow we return back to Perth for 3 1/2 days. Catching up with Bridget, Gina & Jen & Nat again. Then back to Singapore – the gym routine & job hunting —- bleah…….

Till then pics from Melb:

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Adrian & Jo

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Yummy Vietnamese @ Footscray

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Nav & Derrick

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Me & my bro @ Brighton beach

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Catching up with Aunty Lee Dee

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Adrian & Jo’s Monster!!

Arty farty Melbourne :)

January 28, 2007

Victoria is dubbed the ‘Arts’ state of Australia and there’s seriously no denying it – the city and urban landscape is tastefully accented with quirky sculptures, mosaics and colour. I fell in love with Melbourne since my first arrival in 1994 – I swore I’d one day live here – and I still feel the draw to do so, even Nav 🙂

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funky recycled plastics strung together

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the friendly ‘Rose-st-artist-market’ advert

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the quirky, funky suburb of Fitzroy – Brunswick st

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graffiti murals add to the artsy vibe of Fitzroy

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my fave bath boxes @ Brighton Beach

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the colourful Luna Park facade

Arty/Must visit places in Melbourne

  1. Queen Victoria Markets – gourmet paradise
  2. Walk through city – shops, sculptures & cafes to delight
  3. Arts centre – National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) – free viewing of most exhibits
  4. South bank – walk along the Yarra river
  5. Richmond area – factory outlets
  6. Lygon Street – Italian food
  7. Footscray – Vietnamese suburb – fantastic, cheap Vietnamese food
  8. Brighton Beach for the unique and colourful bath boxes
  9. St Kilda – for the Sunday Markets, beach, cafe culture & cake shops
  10. Brunswick St, Fitzroy – Rose St Artist Market, funky shops, cafes

Perth part 2…

January 27, 2007

Here’s pics from the rest of Perth before we headed of to Melbourne….

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crystal clear waters @ Rockingham

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Dad & Mum

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Nav & Brendan cookin up satay

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Hilary’s Boat Harbour

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Look Skye! See the helicopter!

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Elvis – Nina’s new pet