Wednesday, May 30, 2012

V&A Museum of Childhood

Sofia's favorite museum in London was a museum that I've never visited before on my past trips, it's the Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, run by the Victoria & Albert Museum (well at least that one, I've been to since it was very near where my aunt used to live). 

Our first visit was right on time for Arts & Crafts... and that made all the difference.
Fif and her shiny dragon mask.
She's quite good at cutting now.
Dragon Fif by the donation box.
Admission is Free but donations are always welcome.
It was a museum of old toys.
Scarily, some of the toys looked familiar. Sort of implying I'm old too.
They had space for a lot of interactive play.
This boy was talking to Fif with a really heavy British accent we could barely understand him.
Say Cheese!
She made an old fashioned camera.
Beefeater's turn.
You could ride a wooden horse.
A little boy even came in cowboy costume.
I asked his mom if he dressed to come here, and she said he's been wearing it for a week!
Draw with magnetic shavings.
They also had more modern games.
Crank up the robot.
But I don't know what good that was.
If you spin this thing, you'll see them move.
Parang flip book lang yan, pero pabilog.
They also had a puppet theater.
Fif brought out the toys we just bought.
Of course it goes without saying we needed to stop at the Lego table.
They also had a part where you can try and wear old stinky shoes for real.
uhmmm... thanks, but no thanks.
You could also play in a kitchen equipped with things used in the old times.
We spent a lot of time at the doll houses... because we had our own dolls!
Sofia gave each of them a room to relax in.
Then she realized Pinky bear was pooping. Ooops!
There was a temporary exhibit with things related to the Olympics.
Including this one where you can participate in a dance competition.
The park beside the museum is also very nice... but then in Spring everything is nice.

V&A Museum of Childhood
Cambridge Heath Road
London E2 9PA
United Kingdom
Open 10.00-17.45 Monday-Sunday (last admission 17.30)

all pictures in this post was taken using my Nokia 700.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Yummy Vietnamese Food

Everyday since we arrived, I've been eating and enjoying Vietnamese Food (except for today - because I was too busy for lunch, then I was just craving for a shawarma which I had for an early dinner). Every time I need to decide what to eat, I lean towards Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls (though I sometimes give in and order the Fried ones) or I opt to eat Pho. My no carb diet doesn't consider local food options in the restriction because my philosophy is - when you're in Rome, or Saigon as the case maybe... eat as the Romans do!!!

My Vietnamese friend recommended Wrap and Roll for Spring Rolls.
They have a lot of branches.
You can order any kind of roll you want, or the components - and roll them yourself.
We only ordered the rolls.
Grilled pork roll. Yummm...
Rolls of vermicelli, prawn and a sliver of meat in greens.
Minced pork roll topped with pork floss. This was good too.
The more familiar Prawn Fresh Spring Rolls.
They served a different sauce for every kind of roll we ordered.
My favorite is Grilled Pork Roll with this sweet salty sauce.
They also had Pandan Chicken and sticky rice.
I ordered this for Fif.
Grilled pork chop and what they call broken rice (which looks like normal white rice).
I also ordered this for Fif (to share with yaya) for insurance.
I wanted to try the famous Vietnamese Coffee.
Word of advice, if you don't dilute it in ice and milk, a gulp is as strong as a vodka shot!
To give you an idea of the cost of the local food, an order of spring rolls costs approximately SG$2.50-3.00 (around Php100), the main course dishes are less than SG$4.00 (around Ph130), but the drinks costs the same or more than an order of Spring Rolls. A meal for three adults and one four year old where we were all so full cost us less than SG$30 from Wrap & Roll

Moving on to the Pho Front (pardon the pun)

I've only been able to order Pho from the food court because it's not easy to get Sofia to agree to eat in Vietnamese Restaurants. The food court in the mall is always a good compromise for dinner because we get to eat what we want, then shop a bit afterwards.

After craving for Pho, I finally got to order some Beef Pho.
45,000VND (less than SG$3 or Php100)
Rice noodles can't be carbs! They actually melt in your mouth!
I love Pho with all the garnish with a sprinkling of lime.
Sofia loves the Shanghai Fried Spring Rolls so I tried to get her to try this.
80,000VND (SG$5 or Php160). I thought it was pricey ~ but only in comparison to the Pho.
I didn't realize it was not a side dish, but an actual meal in itself.
I think the probably thought I was a pig.
I really loved soaking it in the dipping sauce,
then wrapping it in lettuce, garnished with mint and parsley.

Today I didn't have any local food... but writing this post makes me want to go back to regular Vietnamese Food programming starting tomorrow. I am in Vietnam, so I will eat as the Vietnamese do! and hopefully, get as slim as them in the process. Just Saying.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Intercontinental Asiana Saigon

Sofia loves staying in hotels, even if the hotel is very basic.  Having another place to call home, albeit just for a short time, is something she really loves. We're very happy that our home for the next three weeks is very nice and modern. The fact that it's in a very nice location is a great bonus as well.

Our humble abode.
View for our room.
I love cities with a great mix of old buildings and modern skyscrapers.
Sofia happily declared this a kid's bed. That's before our luggage was brought up.
Ooooooh. I am a sucker for anything free with a personal note.
It's the mark of a good hotel.
Sofia loved this chair.
She said it's like her Taikong's (great grandfather's) chair
The hotel also provided a welcome kit with things to do in HCMC.
Counting our money... as we became instant millionaires!
The bathroom is simple, big and very modern.
This will be my conscience. I swear I will be lighter after this audit.
Even if I have to live on Fresh Spring Rolls everyday (and Pho!!!).
At the concierge, there's a platter of coffee candy.
The little hoarder.
My daughter think she's starring in "The Suite Life with Zach and Cody".
We found a play room at the Intercon Residences
which the hotel gave us permission to use for our whole stay.
Sofia on the slide...
Sofia in the log cabin.
Back in our room, Sofia already claimed her favorite part of the room.
I only get to sit in the comfy chair when she's bathing.
Fif's second favorite part of our home is the bath tub.
She said take my picture mom because we both have curly hair.
When they do the turn down service, they leave a small card to keep you dreaming of food.
It's quite effective. Now I want to try this. Hahaha. Takaw much.

Good night everyone. It's bonding time with Fif over Lego (we found them on sale at 50% off!!!). 

Sweet dreams!