Great UK Family Road Trip – Eastbourne, White Cliffs, Kent

Day 08: Eastbourne → Kent. Max 15ºC to Min 7ºC

We woke at 7+ am this morning to the sound of the waves and the call of the sea birds, still lulling us to snooze on… By 9+ am, we were all gathered in the dining hall at the basement of the B&B we stayed in Eastbourne. The breakfast was not the most elaborate but it was more than substantial for all 11 of us!

Breakfast at Eastbourne B&B

After the satisfying breakfast, we took a leisurely stroll along the seafront towards the Eastbourne Pier. The sight and outlook of the beachfront is entirely different from what we experienced last night. As it is, light always brings the better side of things in view. Nothing is obscured, the entire facet is brought out in full view to its own glory.

Stroll towards Eastbourne Pier in daylight

We had lots of fun during the stroll. The older children had a ball of time riding atop the men’s shoulders, while Little E was contented with sitting in her stroller, sharing the laughter with her beloved cousins.

The short after-breakfast walk to the pier was refreshing to our minds and bodies. Then we stopped to have a family photo taken – A much treasured photo of our entire family at Eastbourne, to remember we were all there together once.

Family Photo at Eastbourne

The well-preserved Victorian pier is Eastbourne’s stunning seafront landmark, that boasts of fantastic views of the English Channel. A variety of interesting shops including the enchanting Victorian Tea Rooms situated in the middle of the pier, a traditional Fish and Chip shop and an eye-catching colourful ice-cream parlour located at the front of the Eastbourne Pier bring much life to the iconic landmark.

We headed back to the B&B and had time to enjoy a game of Bingo at the relaxing lounge while waiting for the men to bring down all the luggage. Then we set out towards the Beachy Head which is nearby. However, due to time constraint, we somehow did not make it to the attraction. We merely saw paragliders at a distance while on our way towards Beachy Head.

Paragliders towards the Beach Head

Then we turned back, and began our journey towards Kent. The drive was visually rewarding as we were warmly greeted by rows upon rows of beautiful fall colours. We have driven through innumerable passages of glorious displays of autumn leaves during this family road trip. This was taken somewhere in Battle, England while we were on our way to Kent, Canterbury, UK.

Autumn beauty

The splendour of autumn in full display of its glory. It is so beautiful and spectacular (whether the leaves were crowning the trees or carpeting the roadside), you could hear them proclaim the glory of God.

“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth His handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.” (Psalm 19:1-3, KJV)

Autumn beauty

After a 2 hr drive, we saw the chalk walls from afar… It was mesmerising! to me at least… As we draw near towards the white cliffs, one can understand why these White Cliffs of Dover are England’s most spectacular natural feature.

White Cliffs of Dover

Officially designated an Icon of Britain and recognized throughout the world, they have been seen by the nation as a sign of security, inspiration, hope and freedom for centuries. These prominent cliffs were used for defence in both World Wars, and were the first thing many returning soldiers saw as they came home from war. The sight of these white cliffs represents being home and being safe and the peace they can bring. The whiteness of the cliffs also holds significance as the colour is associated with innocence and peace.

White cliffs of Dover

The white cliff was the first thing returning soldiers saw as they came home from war.

But the cliffs are not only important for the Britons, they are world famous as they occupy a very special place in the collective imagination of many, even for those who have never seen them. This is because these cliffs were featured in many songs and poems, most notably by Dame Vera Lynn in her wartime classic “(There’ll be bluebirds over) The White Cliffs of Dover.” It was also mentioned by William Shakespeare in King Lear.

White Cliffs of Dover

These towering chalk cliffs are formed naturally from a very pure form of limestone, and is found to be very rare geologically. Even the flora and fauna across this chalk grassland are unique and can only be found here.

White Cliffs of Dover

Walking along the cliff-top paths was, to say the least, breathtaking. The crisp breeze and quiet serenity further prompted us to appreciate the beauty and to enjoy its special appeal as we took in unrivalled views of the busy English Channel and the French coast. We are very blessed to have set foot on and to have seen these iconic white cliffs today, because researchers have found that the cliffs are undergoing constant erosion. With its importance and prominence, the White Cliffs of Dover should be listed as one of the seven wonders of the world before it disappears in the near future. We will highly recommend anyone to put it on their bucket list!

Seeing that it was already 3.oo pm, we hurried down the cliffs and whisked off to the nearest supermarket. All Blacks was playing against Australia in the Rugby Finals at 4.00 pm! Such an important match that cannot be missed by the Oh family!! We reached the mart and split ways to gather the things we needed to buy, mainly the ingredients for Mum to prepare dinner for tonight. When we reached the mansion, it was a pity we couldn’t check in, so we watched the game in the Broome Park Mansion House, while waiting for our lodges to be ready.

At Kent mansion watching All Blacks

We received our lodge keys at about slightly past 4.30 pm, and headed there immediately. Everyone gathered in our lodge to continue watching the exciting game, while Mum got busy whipping up a feast for all 11 of us.

All Blacks in Kent

Mum made her delicious soya sauce chicken with black eye beans, pork shoulder with bay leaves and garlic, and blanched green beans. We ate all these with a good serving of angel hair on each of our plates! Yums!

And, the cherry on top to cap off this wonderful night? All Blacks won!!!! Hurray!

All Blacks won!

After the game and dinner, we convened for fellowship and devotion led by Josh. He led us to a Christian book he was reading, on Joshua. And we all shared and exchanged some pointers as led by the Holy Spirit. We also shared our prayer items and prayed for each other tonight.

Update: Looking back almost a year later, God answered all our prayers that we brought to His throne of grace, together as a family on the night we spent in Kent, UK. God is so good. My heart sings, “Before I asked, my God meets my needs…”


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Great UK Family Road Trip – Weymouth

Day 07: Weymouth → Eastbourne Max 17ºC to Min 9ºC

We woke up this morning feeling invigorated and J was determined to buy a pair of new boots for me. So off we went strolling along the streets of Weymouth right after a hearty wholesome breakfast at our B&B. However, it seemed we were up and about too early because none of the shops were opened yet.

Strolling along the streets of Weymouth

Hence, we did some window shopping first and I had set my eyes on a prospective pair from a shoe shop that is not far from our B&B. We waited for it to open, tried on the boots and purchased it right away.

Morning walk in Weymouth

Our last minute shopping in the seaside town Weymouth was brief but purposeful. We also bought a busy book for Little E before driving up to a lookout point on the Isle of Portland that overlooks the Chesil Beach and cove area in Dorset.

Lookout point over Chesil Beach

We played catching with Little E at the lookout point and allowed her to run and loosen up before we journeyed on to the next destination.

Thanks to Dad for capturing a really nice photograph of us at the lookout point! A much treasured family photo with the Chesil Cove as the backdrop.

JRE at lookout point overlooking Chesil Beach

Even though we did not manage to tread our foot on the shingle upon Chesil Beach during this trip, it was already a bonus for us to be able to have a bird’s eye view of the famous Chesil Beach at such a prime location. This UNESCO World Heritage site is considered seen!

Chesil Beach

Then we ventured further south towards Portland Bill till we reached the iconic lighthouse tower, located at the southern tip of the Isle of Portland.

Portland Bill Lighthouse

The Portland Bill Lighthouse Tower is still functioning as a remotely controlled lighthouse that guides vessels around the dangerous coastline to protect shipping from its strong tidal race and shallow reef. The landmark tower is also a visitor information centre, still standing strong. 

RE with the lighthouse

The cliffs at Portland Bill were quarried until the early 20th-century, evidenced by the shedload of large stones near the coast from ex-quarrying in the area. Besides the piles of rocks, we could also see the Pulpit Rock in our photograph below. People had stacked the excavated stones to depict an open bible leaning on a pulpit, hence its given name. As a coastal feature at the southern tip of the Isle of Portland, Dorset, England, this artificial stack of rock was intentionally left in place as a quarrying relic since the 1870s, and remains as a popular tourist attraction on the island, and is often photographed and climbed.

Billowing waves

Instead of walking towards the Pulpit Rock, we were contented to have it grace our photograph in the background as we marvelled at the relentless billowing waves hitting the rocks with great spumes of foam lashing onto the coast where we sat. Having experienced the strong gusts of wind and witnessing the fearsome tidal race, we acknowledged the importance of the iconic lighthouse as a beacon of light and life to vessels that are near.

RE by the coast at Portland Bill

From the most southern tip of Portland island, our road trip journeyed on towards our next destination – Eastbourne in East Sussex, England.

Portland Bill Lighthouse to Eastbourne

By the time we reached the seaside town and checked into our B&B, the sun has already set. Famished and exhausted from the car ride, our growling tummies were gratified at a highly raved and crowded Italian restaurant – Pomodoro e Mozzarella. Our 3-course dinner was very satisfying, given its huge portions. And have I mentioned? Dinner was absolutely delicious.

Service was lively and vibrant, which gave us a much needed uplifting after the long unexpected drive from Weymouth to Eastbourne due to the long weekend traffic. By the time we finished our dinner, the restaurant was already fully packed with patrons. JMIDM and Shen had also just arrived at Eastbourne, but they eventually decided to walk further into town and settled with a quick bite instead.

The night finally ended after a leisurely moonlit stroll at the Eastbourne Pier, one of the most popular piers in UK. We’ll see more of Eastbourne come morning…

Later into the night, while the little ones slumbered away into dreamland, knocks on the door of Dad & Mum’s room could be heard… To have your grown-up children still come knocking on your door, one after the other, just to sit down together to share their life happenings with each other, is a very much-cherished blessing, certainly a memorable time of family bonding carried on into the night.

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Great UK Family Road Trip – Stonehenge

Day 6: Weymouth. Max 15°C to Min 9°C.

J went out for a morning run while Little E and I were still sleeping soundly. He explored the town of Weymouth, crossed the Town Bridge, past the North Forte, and went all the way to the Weymouth Stone Pier, enjoying the serene morning atmosphere.

He came back, in time to enjoy a very satisfying breakfast at the café in the B&B we stayed in.

Breakfast at Weymouth

As there were no tables big enough to fit all 11 of us, we slowly savoured our delicious breakfast and enjoyed the hearty shares of conversation over 2 nearly adjacent tables.

After the filling breakfast, we went to the Stonehenge with Dad and Mum. Stonehenge has been on our bucket list since J and I decided to visit the wonders of the world when we started dating. I was all agog once the decision was made and couldn’t help but feel so blessed to be able to visit this world famous World Heritage prehistoric monument. It’s hard not to feel a certain level of excitement when you know you’re about to see Stonehenge.

Stonehenge entrance

On arrival at the visitor centre, we were drawn to the world-class exhibition which was divided into 2 segments: before we entered the gallery, we had the opportunity to “stand within the stones” and enjoyed a 360° virtual experience of summer and winter solstices inside the ancient monument through the use of state-of-the-art laser scans.

Stonehenge exhibition centre - 360-degree virtual experience

Then we were absorbed by the grand display of hundreds of prehistoric objects housed within the gallery from the Stonehenge World Heritage Site.

Before we took the free shuttle to reach the prehistoric site of Stonehenge, we found ourselves just in time to watch an interactive fun theatrical performance that attempted to unravel the mysteries of Stonehenge through recreating the auction that happened in 1915 when the best-known prehistoric monument in Europe was put up for sale. The play which only ran for 1 week was specially developed for English Heritage as it marked the 100th anniversary of Stonehenge after it was sold at an auction to local Wiltshire man Cecil Chubb. The auction marked a turning point in the care of the ancient monument. A series of major restorations and excavations began a few years later and Stonehenge went from isolated ruins to national treasure. Today it is cared for by English Heritage, and thanks to extensive work, now sits within a restored landscape that gives a sense of its original setting. As it was drizzling, the play was performed in the café instead of outside the Visitor Centre. Not a bad thing after all! we bought a cornish pasty as a snack to share while watching the performance!

As the shuttle approached the prehistoric site which was about 2 km from the Visitor Centre, we were all intrigued when we saw the Stonehenge slowly emerge on the horizon. We could have alighted and walked from half-way, or walked the whole way while soaking up the atmosphere of the ancient landscape. However, we decided to take the bus ride all the way for the sake of our little one.


With a history spanning 4,500 years, the Stonehenge is a wonder of the world, a spiritual place and a source of inspiration to many. We were so blessed to be able to explore the ancient landscape on foot!

JREDM at Stonehenge

It was not easy to take a picture with the Stonehenge without having any photo bombers included in the photo. The above was the best we could find in our camera roll, t’was a pity Little E was looking down…

We walked around the Stonehenge, planting our footsteps upon the ancient landscape that surrounds it, all the while listening to the free audio tour downloaded into our iPhones.Stonehenge up close

The Stone Circle is such an intriguing masterpiece of engineering. Building it would have taken tremendous effort from hundreds of well-organised people using only simple tools and technologies back in those olden days!

Another view of the Stonehenge up close

As we explored and pondered the story of the gigantic stones, the vast ancient landscape surrounding the captivating monument, the neolithic people who assembled it, and the meaning of Stonehenge, Little E dozed off into dreamland…

Little E was here!

When we finished exploring the Stonehenge, the captivating prehistoric monument with its riveting history and possible explanations left us feeling fascinated and pining for more low-down on the masterpiece. The shuttle bus took us back to the Visitor Centre and we alighted outside the Exhibition Centre, where we were greeted by 5 shacks.

Neolithic houses

The dwellings are furnished with replica Neolithic axes, pottery and other artefacts. Our curious minds were fed as these Neolithic houses reveal the type of homes that the builders of the ancient monument might have lived in 4,500 years ago. We could imagine what life would have been like for a Neolithic family when we went inside the Neolithic houses to have a feel of the tools they used for daily living.

These recreated houses are closely based on the remains of Neolithic houses discovered during excavations in 2006 and 2007 at Durrington Walls, a large ceremonial earthwork enclosure, just over a mile to the north-east of Stonehenge. Radiocarbon dating showed that these buildings were built at around the same time as the large sarsen stones were being put up at Stonehenge, in approximately 2,500 BC. A ginormous Sarsen stone can be found right outside the Visitor Centre, a model stone showing one way in which the sarsen stones (which have an average weight of 25 tons) could have been moved.

Dad and J attempted to move the stone

Dad and J attempted to move the Sarsen stone which could have required 100 strong men to move it. The electronic indicator meant to measure the pulling force exerted, specified they needed 95 more men together with them to move the large boulder. Hey! We are just talking about moving it, what about erecting it and assembling it?!!!

The Stonehenge Experience

Many historians have puzzled over why Stonehenge was created, by attempting to unravel the mystery behind the building of this monument. Not surprisingly, plenty of theories were hypothesised. Was it an ancient temple, a burial ground, a place of healing or a site of ritual? With no written records from the time, it is impossible to know for sure. Nonetheless, piecing together this ancient jigsaw puzzle was a fascinating experience. It was interesting to play prehistoric detectives as we wandered around the site which covers a large area consisting of Neolithic remains, burial mounds and assorted ruins. Strangely, despite the huge crowd present, the experience with Stonehenge is peaceful and intimate, allowing you to get as close to the stones as it is possible and to understand how each piece fits together.

Chesil Beach

While we were at Stonehenge, JMIDM and Shen rented bikes and rode along the Rodwell Trail which is a nice off-road trail through Weymouth using a disused railway track, with the intention to arrive at and explore the Chesil Beach, bracing fresh air and wrapped up in the grandeur of natural beauty.

Chesil Beach

The Chesil Beach is part of and lies east on the Jurassic Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site among other natural wonders of the world. Laced with an intriguing geology and history, the Chesil Beach is an extraordinary, narrow stretch of millions of shingle about 27 km long, that have been washed up by storms and forms a barrier ridge with a lagoon behind it.

Chesil Beach

For our group of 11, to visit 2 World Heritage sites within a day, would have been too rushed. Hence, we split into 2 groups. Since JMIDM and Shen had visited the Stonehenge many years ago (before the revamp), it was understandable that they chose to see part of the Jurassic Coast and experience the natural wonder. For us who have not been to both, the lure of the Stonehenge was irresistible.

After half a day and having bagged 2 World Heritage sites into our travelogues, all of us reunited back in Weymouth, and we hopped onto their bikes for a little bit of cycling and to feel the breeze tousling our hair before JMIDM and Shen had to return them. Well, as the saying goes, “Breezy days deserve the union of two old friends”, the breeze that day saw our blessed reunion of all eleven of us, after a long day of experiential learning and discovery.

The day was short, it was dark by 5:30 pm. The strikingly dazzling lights from the funfair a distance away beckoned to us. We bought tickets for Little E to enjoy the circling parade of Disney car rides, and were also offered free rides at the brilliant carousel! Of course, for Little E, the funfair was the highlight of the day.

We walked back home to join the family for a home-cooked dinner. While on the way home, walking along the astir streets, we relished the moments spent together in this quaint town.


Once back home, J cooked chicken ala king and fed everyone. I love it whenever J puts on his chef hat. As a perfectionist, he always makes sure food at its best standard is served.

Chef J at work

And the children? They were well entertained by the cartoon Inside Out, put up by Shen on his computer to keep them occupied while waiting for dinner to be ready.

After the simple yet satisfying dinner, the family gathered around for Bible fellowship facilitated by Mum. We are ever thankful for every opportunity to come together as one big family to study His Word and to pray for and along with one another.

As I laid on the bed thinking about the Stonehenge, I couldn’t help but praise God from the bottom of my heart for calling us out of darkness and into His marvellous light (1 Peter 2:9). It is God who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began (2 Timothy 1:9). We are not lost people, who needed to go to great extents in the hope to appease God by offering various gifts or sacrifices, like what the ancient people who built Stonehenge, for the purpose of making it a temple for rituals or a place of animal as well as human sacrifice (based on the massive numbers of bone remains found near the site).

Everyone, Jew and Gentile alike, is under the condemnation of God and deserving of His wrath (Romans 1:18), for everyone has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). All of us deserve His wrath and punishment. However, God Himself, in His infinite grace and mercy has provided the only means through which His wrath can be appeased so that we sinful people can be reconciled to Him. Believers in Christ Jesus have been “justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed.” The wonderful truth of the gospel is that Christians are saved from God’s wrath and reconciled to God not because “we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10).

Upon knowing what Stonehenge is all about after our visit, I had a feeling of regret for visiting a questionable site that was built solely by people who didn’t know God. However, lamenting over it led me to ponder and continue to marvel over the wonderful and important truths that God has revealed to us… And I slept with God’s peace covering me.

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Great UK Family Road Trip – Village Stonehouse, Lizard Cove, Plymouth

Day 5: Penzance → Weymouth. Max 15°C to Min 7°C.

We were very blessed to have found a country house that was not only spacious and cosy, the whole abode is a beauty filled with old charm and a flair of elegance. Although the quest to locate it on our first night was a little bit of an exciting adventure, given that we arrived after sunset, the bliss that this private accommodation provided us for the 3 nights while we were there was indescribably incredible.

Rosemerryn, Edwardian Artist House.

Rosemerryn Edwardian House

Hidden away in private woodland, the house was built as home and studio for artists Benjamin and Isabelle Leder. Off the beaten track, and yet close to both Penzance and St Ives, as well as some of the most beautiful sandy beaches and coves, this quaint beautiful house and its accompanying garden is reminiscent of a slower more pensive way of life – just what we needed for our holiday.

The woodland

The private woodland that surrounded the house. This was the route we drove in and out daily through the woods.

Narrow path that led us to the house

The narrow path that leads us to the house.


Stairway upstairs leading to our bedrooms

Stairway upstairs leading to our bedrooms

We spent most of our time in the large spacious lounge, that houses bold and arrestingly interesting art and sculpture that allowed us to embrace the peace of the environment and really relax among, and on the beautiful pieces of formal furniture.

Lounge view from the fireplace

The living room was spacious and bright. We felt at home sitting around the wood stove surrounded by the giggly chatter rising from our children playing together.

There were 4 double bedrooms, 2 on the ground level occupied by JMIDM, and the other 2 were on the second level, occupied by Dad and Mum, and us.

Matthew and Little E loved the stairs

Matthew and Little E loved the stairs

There were 2 other twin rooms, of which one was taken by Shen, while the other was an extra room.

There were altogether 5 bathrooms, more than enough for all 11 of us to use comfortably.


The lounge led us to a stunningly gorgeous conservatory that was adorned with hanging grapes and pieces of furniture that spells of the country life.


The big farmhouse kitchen was very well-equipped, complete with an AGA unit! It served as a frequent place of gathering where we all dined together as one big family around the communal table, and even had games of Scrabble among the grown-ups.


There was also a barbeque area in the garden and we had access to the 7 acres of woodland of which the house was situated in.

View of the garden from our bedroom window

View of the garden from our bedroom window

We had such an amazing experience staying in this beautiful house. It turned out to be the highlight of our family road trip! The house is perfect for big families with both young and old members. It was such a gem! We seriously thought that the house exceeded our expectations, especially the table tennis lodge that still smelled of new wood!

Little E walking towards the lodge. View from the conservatory.

Little E walking towards the lodge. View from the conservatory.

We had such a great time in the lodge, be it just the children playing and enjoying each other’s company…

… or a much-anticipated ping-pong competition between the brothers… The lodge served its purpose and provided us with a lasting memory of fun times.

Before we left the house today, we took a family picture in front of the “flaming tree” that aptly reminded us of autumn. It is such a precious photograph that we will treasure in times to come. I could still remember the dreamy orange glow that bathed the atmosphere while we were getting ready for the picture. It was so tranquil as the woods behind wooed us with winged creatures soothingly buzzing and bleeping into the birds’ song, serenading us as we departed the rather spectacular cottage. It was unforgettable.

Family photo at Penzance

Thereafter, we made our way towards Weymouth and made a stop at Kynance Cove first.

The Lizard and Kynance Cove

St Buryan to The Lizard

Described as one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in the South West, Kynance Cove is a cove where rocks so beautifully carved and polished by the sea can be found on the Lizard peninsula found in Cornwall, England.

Kynance Cove

Before we reached the spectacular cove, we had to take a gentle stroll along the serpentine paths that cruised up and down the rocky terrain, with alluring views that peep at us at the crests.

M and E sharing a Babybel

M and E sharing a Babybel before the stroll.

As we approach the bay, the terrain evolves from a well-treaded pebbly path to become a rough rocky descent onto boulders and finally fine sand, with a little scrambling over rocks on the beach.

Kynance Cove

We had a great fun time on the beach as we watched visitors fought the tide that came rushing in, children gleefully chasing after the receding waves, while others patted moist sand moulding castles out of their imagination.

Kynance Cove

Little E and M were just happy to touch the powdery sand and grab handfuls of it, feeling the texture and seeing it slip through their tiny fingers.

On the way back from the cove

We climbed the steep ascent and made our way back up towards the car park, to be ready for our next leg in the journey towards Weymouth.

Shen and E

We made one more stop at Plymouth to visit The Hoe. The Plymouth Hoe is the natural heart of Plymouth with breathtaking panoramic views across Plymouth Sound, touted as one of the most perfect natural harbours in the world.

Map to Plymouth

We spent some time enjoying the park and savour its unique atmosphere – the culmination of a long and colourful history. The significance of the Hoe to the City of Plymouth has seen the park develop as the civic memorial site and major events space.


Standing tall on the luscious green-lawned expanse of the Hoe is the iconic Smeaton’s Tower lighthouse.

Smeaton's Tower lighthouse

Standing at 72 foot high, the landmark Tower offers a wonderful vantage point of fantastic views of Plymouth Sound and the city from its lantern room, which is open to the public year-round.

Besides the Tower, there were other sightings that speak volumes of the rich history that laid the foundations on the grounds of Plymouth – The Armada Memorial is a monument built in 1888 that celebrates the tercentenary of the defeat of the Spanish Armada (a fleet that unsuccessfully attempted a naval invasion of England), which was sighted by English captains stationed in the city.

The Armada Memorial

We walked through the park admiring the sights and the expanse of land that The Hoe offers. We chanced upon a café that sells “Seriously Good Ice-cream Made in Plymouth”, and just had to give it a try!

Ice cream at Plymouth

Meanwhile, Dad was determined to locate the world famous Mayflower Steps, and J was more than eager to accompany him in the quest! The Mayflower Steps marks the spot close to the site on the Barbican from which it is believed the Pilgrim Fathers set sail for North America in 1620. The Mayflower Steps are flanked by the British and American flags and mark the final English departure point of 102 passengers who set sail on the Mayflower in 1620.

Mayflower steps in Plymouth

The actual steps the pilgrims left from no longer exist. A granite block bearing the ship’s name marks the approximate site, while a tablet commemorating the voyage was erected alongside in 1891. Below, are the pictures of Dad and J taken at the Barbican & Sutton Harbour.

As for the rest of us, we were chillaxing in Rhodes @ The Dome, a waterfront bistro restaurant and cocktail bar perched on Plymouth’s iconic Hoe with great views overlooking Plymouth Sound.

We ordered some finger food and a couple cups of hot chocolate with marshmallows to share while waiting for Dad and J to complete their mission in locating the Mayflower Steps.

Then off we went to our final destination for this long eventful day! Weymouth, here we come! We arrived at the quaint town after sunset, while Josh and J went out scouting for food to feed all of us, we spent some time chilling out in JMIDM’s and Shen’s family suite.

For dinner, Josh and J found the renowned Sea Chef, touted as the best fish & chips shop in Weymouth. All of us enjoyed the succulent cod fish and thick fries, and went to bed happy.

Dear loving Heavenly Father, thank You for the journey mercies You have graciously granted us throughout the many trips that we set forth this day. Indeed, You alone whose name is the Lord, are the Most High over all the earth. Show us Your way O’ Lord, that we may live as Your children, and strive for perfection, as You, our God and Father in Heaven is perfect in every way. Thank You for all the blessings, big and small, that You have showered upon us along the way each day. We love because You first loved us. May we learn to know and rely on the love God has for us. In the name of our Lord Jesus, we pray these. Amen.

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Great UK Family Road Trip -Minack Theatre & St Michael’s Mount

Day 04: Penzance → Marazion. Max 14ºC to Min 11ºC.

Minack Theatre

We had an eventful day filled with fun, love and explorations today! Our first destination was Minack Theatre in Porthcurno, which is rather near to Land’s End in Cornwall, England.

We were amazed at the grandeur of the world famous open-air Minack Theatre. Set against the backdrop of the spectacular panorama of Porthcurno Bay, this open-air amphitheatre was hand-carved into the granite cliffside, with its intricate design of the sloping gully that is adorned with gorse and heather that blossom so beautifully in autumn. The glorious gardens add a dash of colour to the otherwise greyish facade of the Minack Theatre. It was simply too beautiful to behold.

Minack Theatre

The Porthcurno Bay overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

The Porthcurno Bay overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.

Among the rows of stone seats in the theatre bearing the name of a play or performance, each carefully carved into the concrete when it was wet, we found one that has “Elizabeth” on it. We showed it to Little E and sat beside it, she was simply delighted to see her own name carved onto the seat!

While at the theatre, we also had some fun creating panoramic photos, one of which is seen below, “Which one is Daddy?”

Which one is Daddy?

And of course, family photos that are to be treasured as time passes…

JRE at Minack Theatre

… including this precious one of the Grannies with their beloved grandchildren.

The Grannies with the grandchildren

Over the past 80 years, the living theatre has evolved into today’s professionally-equipped venue that incorporates the latest technology in lighting and sound. The Minack Theatre welcomes more than 80,000 people every year to their performances and attracts more than 150,000 visitors like us who come to experience the breathtaking views and learn more about the story. One thing is obvious: the atmosphere of this unique theatre still reflects the vision of its founder Rowena Cade who created one of the most beautiful theatres in the world.

Merry Maidens

On our way home, we were delighted to have found the Merry Maidens, which are 19 granite stones that form a perfect circle in one part of the wide prairies in Penzance, near the stonehouse where we were staying…

Merry Maidens

There is a fascinating legend associated with the Merry Maidens: As the tale goes, 19 pretty maidens who were on their way to Sunday vespers couldn’t resist the beautiful sounds of music played by two pipers, and wandered into the field to laugh and dance to their music. But as they were in full flow, a mighty thunderbolt came out of nowhere and turned them all to stone for the sin of dancing on The Sabbath Day.

JE at the Merry Maidens

We were thrilled to have found this site on our way home! That was J and Little E posing with the Merry Maidens before we left the still-erected cornish stone circle that have inspired folk tales of dancing maidens turned to stone for merrymaking on the Sabbath.

St. Michael’s Mount

Another highlight of our family road trip today was visiting St Michael’s Mount in Cornwall, England.

St Michael's Mount

This was the view of the iconic castle from where we parked our car.


We walked a fair bit of distance from the car park, along the streets of Marazion, and onto the pebbly coast.


Here were JMIDM tackling the rock-ribbed terrain in their gumboots…


That was Bella exploring the collection of puddles by herself, in her striking yellow gumboots, with St Michael’s Mount in the background.

Due to the high tide, we couldn’t walk across the bay from Marazion. To reach the island, we had to take a boat ride. The boat ride was made exciting by the choppy waves from the incoming tide.

Dock at St Michael's Mount

We reached the island within brief minutes, and were greeted with the amazing view of the small village town that is adrift from the mainland.

Bella and Daniella at St Michael's Mount

Upon embarking on the castle quiz offered by the ticketing counter, it took little time for Bella and Daniella to track down the giant’s stone heart, embedded within the steep cobbled slopes leading up to the castle. It was sheer pleasure watching our children seek out the clues in every room, while also learning what makes the castle so special. The Mount is indeed made for imagination and adventure for all ages!

Thanks to Shen for helping us capture such a great family photo with the castle in the background. How we wished we could eliminate the photobomber behind us!

JRE on St Michael's Mount

Our family photo of all 11 of us at the fort canons.

Family photo at the fort canons

Treading on ancient cobbles laid upon medieval pathways and hiking up the ascent till we entered the iconic castle, the views were breathtakingly refreshing regardless where our lines of sight landed.

We admired the distinguished castle, peered through the fort towers, stooped beneath ancient doors, wandered along century-old corridors, etc.

Medals won for completing the castle quiz!

The children dancing and posing with their medals for completing the castle quiz!

The children even won medals for completing the castle quiz as they explored and discovered the details within the castle. Thank God for the lovely day for us to unearth a rich vein of history that flows through time and tide on St Michael’s Mount.

We returned home for a wonderful home-cooked meal of wine-infused roast pork served with a unique mustard sauce prepared by Shen, our popular honey mustard glazed salmon, Mum’s beef patties and blanched lady fingers.

The dinner was lip-smackingly awesome, and we were so blessed to be able to enjoy this feast on our last night in this rustic village stone house tucked away in Penzance.

Dinner at the table

A family who dines together, stays together.

May the Lord remember us and bless us; and let God bless all who fear Him, both the small and the great. May the Lord give increase to both us and our children! May we be blessed by the Lord, who made heaven and earth! (Psalm 115:12-15)

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Blessed 2016

After what-seemed-like an indefinite hiatus, we felt it is only responsible for us to explain our lack of blogposts for the past 4 months. We want to thank our close friends and relatives (both near and far) who had expressed concerns in the midst of their curiosity regarding the lengthy break.

I had been suffering from morning sickness and found myself unable to continue investing energy and time in blogging. Days passed miserably as my heightened sense of smell sent my digestive tract yodel with anguish and the sight of raw fish or chicken left me reeling, causing me to vomit up to 7 times throughout one day. Moreover, extreme pregnancy fatigue left me bed-bound most of the days.

Nonetheless, I thank God that He faithfully saw me through the most difficult period, by empowering my very capable husband, who selflessly stepped up to care for Little E and managed the household chores while I rested and slept whenever I wasn’t hugging the toilet bowl. As the morning sickness gradually eased up, my mother-in-law also came from Penang just to babysit Little E as well as took care of us by doing exceedingly more than anyone could have done, in the period when she was with us.

CNY 2016

CNY 2016 in Penang. Photo credit: Darren Yau (J’s cousin) of Darren and Jade Photography. Taken at Uncle Eng Hin’s front yard.

With the soon-addition of another member in our family, we will be leaving this online journal of ours at the close of 2015. As such, we will be taking our time to finish the many drafts we have penned for the year of 2015, as a closing chapter of our remembrance of the days we have Little E as our only precious child. Soon, she will have a sibling and we could only see days of joy ahead, waiting for us to embrace.

CNY 2016

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Great UK Family Road Trip – Land’s End

Day 03: Penzance. Max 14°C to Min 10°C.

We woke before 7 am today, and decided to drive to Tesco to buy groceries, because the 24 hr store was closed at 4 pm on Sundays. Hence, we didn’t manage to get any breakfast essentials last night. Besides cereals, milk, some chocolate digestives, we also waited for the roast chicken to prepare for Little E’s lunch.

By the time we arrived home, everyone was up and we were ready to visit Land’s End, the most western tip of Cornwall, England, which was merely a short drive away from our country house!

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Route map to Land’s End.

Land’s End is the legendary Cornish destination that is perfect for a holiday outing, regardless we were starved of heritage or hungry for new experiences, our thirst for adventure was quenched as we took in the panoramic coastal views, braving the gusts of chilly wind that almost halted our advancing towards the cliff edges if we were any lighter!

Our adventure began in The End to End Story which documented the countless End to End adventurers who have completed the remarkable journey of covering the entire length of Great Britain from Land’s End to John O’Groats (or vice versa) by walking, running, cycling and even skateboarding, a distance of over 800 miles by road! It was inspiring to witness their achievements for the “End to End” challenge is certainly not for the faint-hearted!

We were kept warm and calm in the sheltered exhibition, until we stepped out into the open again. The temperature must had been below 10°C with the wind-chill factor…

thumb_IMG_9182_1024thumb_IMG_7257_1024The little town was dotted with interesting shops that were selling Cornish pasty. Note the spelling of pasty vs pastry. The spelling pasty is considered correct in the United Kingdom to describe a savoury pie that is usually filled with vegetables and meat in a semicircular shape. It is commonly spelled as pastie in Australia though. That was Little E playing with puddles just in front of the Bakehouse.

J was holding a Cornish pasty while the kids were all pumped up to get their kite flying… but the blustery winds were just too squally that hampered any efforts to get the kite up and soaring…

We made our way to the iconic Land’s End Signpost, a legendary Cornish symbol that was erected by a family-run business since the 1950s. We were able to fit the lettering of our Oh Family (plus a hashtag before it!) into the signpost. Look at Matthew and Little E! They looked so adorable!


I love the following picture of our little ones braving the strong chilling gusts at Land’s End. C’mon! We were literally at the end of the land! the most westerly point of Cornwall, England!


We wanted Matthew and Little E to keep warm and comfy, so we welcomed Shen’s idea to retreat into The Land’s End Restaurant, which has been beautifully refurbished with a contemporary look, where we sat back and enjoyed admiring the expansive view of the Atlantic Ocean.

While everyone was relaxing and keeping toasty within the restaurant, waiting for the drinks and finger food to arrive, J and I left Little E in the care of our loving family, and went exploring the far end of the land. We enjoyed our jog up and down the well-paved road that led us near to the tip of the island where we saw the “First and Last Refreshment House in England”.

From the End of Land, we moved on to our next destination: St Ives!

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Route map from Land’s End to St Ives.

Widely regarded as the jewel of Cornwall’s crown, St Ives is a beautiful seaside town that is set in breathtaking coastal scenery. Being the art centre of West Cornwall, St Ives and the surrounding area is marked by lively artistic heritage and sensibility found nowhere else in south-western England.


The town itself arcs around the harbour, which is the heart of the historic fishing community with the legacy of fishing boats bobbing in the harbour itself whilst families play on the beaches of golden sand, and explore winding cobbled streets, finding treasures such as the wide range of small independent shops, restaurants, galleries, etc. Despite the dreich weather during our time there, we could see that the town was buzzing with excitement and exuding its own charm.


We drove towards the end of the town where the St Ives Museum is located before we headed home.

Upon reaching home, the children were kept occupied observing how Shen lit up the real wood fireplace, using conventional methods. We then settled down in the lounge where I helped Matthew perform warm compresses for his chalazion.

Since there was time and daylight remaining before dinner commenced, Dad, Mum, Josh and I took the children to the backyard for some exploration into the woodland.

We found a big apple tree and some raspberry bushes in our backyard.

Mum and Dad retreated back to the house to start preparing for dinner, while Josh and I brought the children further into the private woodland where we found a stream and followed it along the way, till the remaining daylight began to fade, leaving the lights of which we could still glimpse through the foliage. By the time we returned, Bella and Daniella went into the cabin, switched on the spotlights and the children all had a go at table tennis, as well as merry-go-round the table tennis table… Boisterous laughter and giggles filled the cabin, and the joy was contagious.

We were famished by the time we wrapped up our merriment, during which Mum, together with Shen had already cooked up a feast fit for royalty! Shen roasted a very succulent roast lamb shoulder cooked Gordon Ramsay style using the AGA cooker, while Mum made soya sauce chicken and vegetables! Hmmm… my parotid glands were sent into overdrive as I was writing this and looking at the pictures… I miss  the lamb and all of Mum’s cooking!

We gathered at the large wooden dining table, thanked God for the good food and the hands that made them, and the great outings we had today, and eagerly finished all that was served during dinner.


The children all slept early tonight. After tonight’s devotion, all the grown-ups played a game of Scrabble in the dining hall. It was such a great game that was full of excitement and fun vibes! Josh and Mei Tsin emerged as winners, surpassing Shen the sure-winner, because they received bonus points for using up all their tiles at the end of the game! Hah!

I will pour my Spirit into your children. My blessing will be like a stream of water flowing over your family. (Isaiah 44:3b). Love shall bind us all together in perfect unity. (Colossians 3:14)


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