Perth, Western Australia Itinerary August 2016 – Day 3 Margaret River Farmer’s Market and Yallingup Maze (Margaret River Roadtrip)

We have been to a few weekend markets/ farmer’s market in Singapore and overseas, over the years. However I can tell you that there has been nothing like the Margaret River Farmer’s Market. While MR is a tourist town, the weekend farmer’s market was anything but touristy. In fact it felt like one of those small town weekend markets that you see on your US TV series. There were stalls selling coffee, baked goods, vegetables, meat, crepes, soup, noodles and burgers etc and we were really spoilt for choice.

The market is held on school grounds so there are some tables and benches around as well as empty grass patches where you could set your picnic mats on. Most of the patrons were locals who were picking up fresh produce and a quick coffee. There were also many families having a quick breakfast bite. It was truly a breath of fresh air for us and so much fun! We only left because the rain cut short our breakfast but thank goodness we were almost done. Perhaps it was just as well that it rained so that we could move on to our next activity at the Yallingup Maze before it got too late.

We got to Yallingup Maze at about 1030am and it was bright and sunny. I honestly wasn’t expecting much from the maze since we attempted one during our last trip 2 years back but oh what a difference 2 years make. There were simple maze challenges that we could attempt and the kids were excited to set off.

We allowed Jah to take the lead as we manoeuvred through the maze. We actually did pretty awesome and completed the entire maze (found 4 pit stop towers) in 1 hour flat!

We headed back out to the main counter and cafe where they also sold lots of puzzle games and board games but they were pretty pricey so I would suggest strategising on how to say no to the kids when you walk through there. There is also a bouncy castle, playground and some mini mazes in the open fields in front of the outdoor seating. Joel had a lot of fun with the kids there while Mummy chilled and waited for our refreshments.

We had a really fun time at Yallingup Maze and I was really surprised that we didn’t have to ‘quit’ halfway. Looks like we have equally competitive little versions of us. :p

We headed to somewhere really special for lunch after, one of our favourite vineyard lunch spots in Margaret River, The Watershed. This place holds special meaning for us because this was where we celebrated our engagement, post proposal on 16 September 2007. So it was really nice to be back as a family of 4🙂 Check out our ‘before kids’ and ‘after kids’ photo! :p

Everyone finished lunch in extremely good spirits that almost 3pm! A really special Day 3 for us.🙂

Click here to read more about our red eye flight into Perth :) 

Day 1 – Day 1 Rockingham, Busselton Jetty (Margaret River Roadtrip)

Day 2 – Wonky Windmill Farm and Orchard Picking (Margaret River Roadtrip) 

JahBella’s Mummy

Perth, Western Australia Itinerary August 2016 – Day 2 Wonky Windmill Farm and Orchard Picking (Margaret River Roadtrip) 

Day 2 has got to be one of the best days of our entire trip! We headed to the Wonky Windmill Farm bright and early and the kids were really excited to get upclose and personal with the animals. Ok well Bella was really excited up until the point when she had to feed or go up  close then she freaked out and changed her mind :p

We got to the farm at about 1030am (post breakfast at Sails Cafe) and we were just in time to feed the goats their breakfast and to play and feed some of the smaller animals (rabbits and guinea pigs) before the 11am Orchard Picking Tour. If you happen to get there earlier, you can visit the rest of the farm and feed the bigger animals before heading for the Orchard Picking Tour. Our entry fee included a bag of food for the big animals each and access to the Orchard Tour.

After spending some time with the little animals, we were all ready to pick some oranges. However it started to pour and we had to wait for the showers to pass. Bummer! Thankfully the rain clouds passed somewhat and we were able to make our way to the Orchard with a brolly in the drizzle. The rain completely stopped by the time we neared the Orchard and the sun was out in all its glory!

This part of the farm visit was definitely the highlight of our trip. Our guide Denise took us through the Orchard and we were introduced to the various trees (oranges, mandarin oranges, lemons and lemonades). The lemonades taste like lemons but look like oranges on the inside. Interesting! We were taught how to identify which were ready for picking, how to pick them and we tasted and ate many of them while we were at it.

We were also given a bag to hold the fruits we wanted to buy and the kids went crazy! Our bags were later weighed back at the counter and it cost us $5 per kg.

The fruits were so fresh that we managed to bring our loot back to Singapore with us and mind you this was from Day 2 of our 10 day trip. The kids loved picking the fruits and running free in the Orchard. The weather was also somewhat kind to us because it started to pour only just as we were wrapping up the tour and we made a dash through the Orchard and through muddy puddles to get to our umbrellas. Such good fun! Yes mummy would never allow that in Singapore :p

The rain subsided by the time we got back to the main building and the kids were still very pumped up about touring the farm to see the bigger animals (it was almost 12pm by then). We saw and fed goats, cows, llamas, kangaroos and more. Jah had lots of fun with the kangaroo and even patted him on his own accord. Whilst Joel got the raw end of the deal and got spat on by a alpaca . My bad for not telling him about the little warning we got from the staff. :p

The kids almost didn’t want to leave because they having so much fun but we had to feed our rumbling tummies. So off we headed to feed our tummies with an awesome brewery lunch (the brewery even had a fenced up playground) and some post lunch chocolate desserts🙂

Click here to read more about our red eye flight into Perth :) 

Day 1 – Day 1 Rockingham, Busselton Jetty (Margaret River Roadtrip)

Day 3 – Margaret River Farmer’s Market and Yallingup Maze (Margaret River Roadtrip)

JahBella’s Mummy

Perth, Western Australia Itinerary August 2016 – Day 1 Rockingham, Busselton Jetty (Margaret River Roadtrip)

I had worked out many itinerary permutations before the trip and finally settled on one that would see us driving straight to Margaret River (MR) after being fresh (no pun intended) off a red eye/ 5am landing. This would allow us to only break up the trip once and be back in Perth after 5 days in MR.

Travelling with kids on a road trip called for a lot of advance planning eg. Where would we be stopping for meals or breaks? Unlike the couple road trips where we could do many spontaneous stops or leg stretches. With kids, we had to ensure that we got to the destination in the least amount of time possible but still having sufficient meal breaks and possibly even an ‘entertainment’ or ‘attraction’ break.

We landed in Perth at 5am and proceeded to bundle the kids up in their winter jackets + ski gloves. Yes we looked ridiculous and kiasu in that airport but I reckon we looked really smart and warm :p once we hit the 5deg cold to get to our rental car.

It was going to be a 4 hour drive and so we decided to stop enroute at Rockingham for breakfast. The drive was about 1.5hours long because we had to travel pretty slowly in the rain and with foggy windows (took us awhile to figure out how to get the anti fog on).

We settled for a warm ham and cheese crossiant and hot chocolate at Lulu’s cafe. It was nice to be out of the cold and in a warm toasty cafe with a electric fire place next to our table. Almost didn’t want to leave. There is also a nice playground across the road from the cafe which would have been an ideal run around for the kids if the weather was warmer.

With our tummies full, we continued our drive towards MR and intended to take a lunch and ‘entertainment’ stop at Busselton Jetty.

We drove another 2 hours before we got there, thankfully the kids dozed off on that leg of the journey. We normally don’t allow sleeping in the car but this time we were glad they were getting some rest and we were getting some quiet and were able to focus on the road. And I honestly enjoyed the adult car conversations we were finally able to have without a child either interrupting us or having to have ‘speed’ conversations or updates while on our way to pick the kids. No guilt, the kids were in the car (asleep) and we had 2 whole hours of conversation time.🙂

We got to Busselton just in time for the 11am jetty train ride. The train ride about 2+km down the jetty would take about 45 min there and back with an approx 8 mins stop at the end of the jetty. You can also choose to walk if you like. It started pouring almost as soon as  we got out of our car so we were super glad that our beanies and gloves were all accessible in our handcarry and not packed away. Yes even for the adults! Phew! The kids love the train ride and the cold didn’t bother them as much as it did us. 

Everyone was ready for some lunch after our little train adventure and we headed to The Goose which is a restaurant right next to the jetty. We have been to this restaurant many times over the years. It used to be a restaurant that serves tapas but serves mostly your usual mains now.

We only had a 1 hour drive left from Busselton to MR after this (easy peasy) and we got to our accommodation just shy of 2pm and just in time for our afternoon nap. If your kids don’t need a nap then you would still have lots of time to explore some vineyards or taste some local produce.

So this was pretty much how we survived 18 hours on the ‘road’- from leaving home at 8pm till we settled at our MR accommodation at 2pm the next day. To be honest it was really an awesome Day 1 with these kiddos and we couldn’t wait for Day 2! 

JahBella’s Mummy

Click here to read more about our red eye flight into Perth :) 

Day 2 – Wonky Windmill Farm and Orchard Picking (Margaret River Roadtrip) 

Day 3 – Margaret River Farmer’s Market and Yallingup Maze (Margaret River Roadtrip)

More coming up…:)

To my children – A letter about life and love

Do you at times think back to your childhood or growing up years and remember some of the words of wisdom which your parents may have repeated to you ever so often. Words that you may have rolled your eyes at in your youth but find yourself repeating to your kids in some form or another now. Well I know I do. 

These words of wisdom were often about life, choice of friends and the eventual choice of a life partner. And as much as we rolled our eyes at those words, I have a feeling our parents did enough ‘drilling’ over the years for those words to have some impact on the choices we have made in life and on defining who we are today.

So here are some of my ‘words of wisdom’ that I hope to impart to my son and daughter. 

To both my children

Life is never fair. Trust me, you will come across enough obstacles, failures and even successes in your lifetime to help you realise that. But the earlier in life you accept this fact, the faster and easier it will be for you to pick yourself up after each failure and face the next obstacle again. Because it is only when you accept this fact that you will stop throwing tantrums about life and stop playing the blame game. You will learn to, as cliche as it sounds, make lemonade out of lemons that life serves you and you will be happier.

Life will also throw many curveballs at you and some may even rock the very foundation your life is built upon. For your sake, I hope you encounter enough curveballs to keep you grounded but none of the foundation shattering ones. 

When life throws you these curveballs, Pray. Don’t be mistaken, praying will not make them go away but praying will give you the strength and faith to carry on.

To my Son

Be a gentleman. Open doors and pull out chairs. Chilvary may be dead for some people but needing to be thoughtful and respectful is very much alive.  

Do not carry her handbag. Not mine or your sister’s, not your girlfriend’s or your wife’s. Instead offer to carry her bags, her loads and her burdens but don’t be offended if she declines.

Allow your other half to be an equal to you. Listen to her opinions and trust her instincts. Allow her to drive you. 

Allow her to cry and never ever belittle her tears or emotions. Be honoured that she is opening up her vulnerabilities and insecurities to you. If you don’t know what to do, just embrace her. 

You will make friends and enemies. You need to be able to tell one from another. Sometimes it is not easy to tell the difference.

Always put your family first. Even in the face of building your career and wanting to provide for your family. Know that a powerful and successful man is one who goes home to a family who loves, knows and adores him and those emotions are not bought with money or gifts. 


To my Daughter 

Empower yourself. No matter how heavy those bags are, learn to carry them on your own. Do not make your partner carry your handbag. 

Learn to drive a car. It will put you in control of your own time and give you the freedom and independence you need so that you never need to wait around to be ferried. Trust me, it will make a difference to your relationship. 

Be strong, be independent and walk along side your partner as an equal but never get so carried away in this new era of female equality and independence that you forget to be vulnerable. 

Allow yourself to cry, allow yourself to be emotional (well just not irrational emotional), ask for help when you need it and don’t be afraid to let him help you with the bags (just not the handbag :p). I know this sounds like a whole bag of contradictions – why are you asking me to let him carry my bags but yet want me to be strong enough to carry my own bags. 

It is simple my little girl, you need to make sure that you are a strong, independent and stable woman in your own right before you can be part of a meaningful relationship of equals. 

You need to be with someone who is willing to take care of you but will not belittle your strength. You need to be with someone whom you feel safe enough to open your insecurities and vulnerabilities to and know that he will still see you as an equal.


JahBella’s Mummy

SIN – PER Business Class with kids (Red eye flight)

So as some of you might remember, our last attempt on a red eye flight was last year during our return flight from Tokyo to Singapore. We landed in Singapore at 7am and were honestly worse for wear. Thankfully we were on home ground and could recuperate in our own home and on our own terms but it was certainly not a good day :p

So this time I was really hesitant to even consider the idea of a red eye flight at the start of the trip. What’s worse is the fact that the flight lands at 5am which means the cabin would be prepped for landing by 4am. Lights would be switched on, announcements would be made, seats would have to be upright and yeah you know the drill:/ But given our itinerary constraints which would ideally see us making our 4 hour road trip drive into Margaret River at the start of our trip and preferably reaching MR at 2pm rather than 7pm (during winter). We had to bite the bullet and figure some way through it.

Joel was actually very garang about just figuring it out and making it (the sleep) work. But given that Bella didn’t sleep a wink on the red eye Tokyo flight and Joel was a zombie after. I was not risking it and letting a zombie drive us for 4 hours. My solution? Redeeming business class tickets all round and hoping that this means everyone would be able to fall asleep in a slightly more comfy environment.

Of course the thought of bringing 2 kids into business class at 12 midnight scared the hell out of me. What if they didn’t sleep and caused a ruckus, disturbing every other passenger in the process. But I have to say, fear unfounded. In fact if there was any flight to put kids in business class, a red eye is definitely it. I don’t know about babies and really little kids but a 3 and 5 year old who have a pretty fixed and stable sleep schedule would do just fine. 

So how did our flight go?

The kids were strangely peckish at 12midnight so instead of having our meals for breakfast at 3am. We decided to ask for the meals to be served after take off (about 1am) and let them sleep throughout.

Bella dozed off as soon as the plane took off at midnight and totally missed her meal service. She didn’t get up until almost 5am when she sensed the flurry of activities around her. A stark difference from her Tokyo red night so mummy’s efforts to ensure that the adults especially the driver would get sleep too, worked!

Jah, on the other hand seemed determined to enjoy the ‘perks’ of his flight. He stayed up till his meal was served. Thoroughly enjoyed the starter of crossiants and fruits and then was too full for the fish congee main that was served after. He even noticed that real cutlery, China and tablecloth were used. Good spotting Jah! The boy went to sleep straight after and didn’t wake until we landed.🙂

While our flight (A330) did not offer a full flat bed as it was a regional product. The kids did just fine on the flat recline beds as they were much shorter and it was almost like a flat bed for them. 

Joel and I got up very comfortably half an hour before landing to freshen up and we were able to keep the kids sleeping till the last minute which minimised any crankiness at being dragged out of ‘bed’ at 5am.

Oh and if there is 1 tip I have for travelling with young kids on a red would be to bring a toddler carrier if your child still uses one or doesn’t mind being in one. No child is going to willingly walk from a plane through to immigration and then to the luggage belt at 5am. We back carried both kids from the plane all the way to the arrival hall on our toddler sized Tulas and it was a hands free and stress free process all round. :) 

Now hopefully our return evening flight will be as stress free too :x 

JahBella’s Mummy