It has been almost 2 years since I last posted something on here, the longest time in my seven years of blogging. Sobs. Things have been really hectic. My status has changed from single to married, I have moved out from my family house and in the span of last few months, I’ve got a new job and… we are also expecting a baby! Alhamdulillah.
So where do I begin? I’ve lost track even though there are sooo many things I want to share. Pre-wedding, post-wedding, honeymooning, places WE’VE been to so far (hehe) and all those beautiful memories.
But, do people still read blogs nowadays? After all, I am writing a part of my life’s story here and I will continue. Well to be honest I still like to read blog posts I wrote from x years ago. Hehe. So here I am, let’s start with our recent trip to the States which is one of the best trips so far :). It was filled with outdoor adventures, great food, lovable company (my shuben hiks), and natural beauty.
Here are the highlights of our West Coast trip.
Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend & Grand Canyon
We thought that since we've both done this routine so many times over so many years, we'd be up to it. But we were wrong. Haha. Pretty safe to say both my husband and I are getting old. Sobs. And I don’t think he had any idea how much I would keep him on the road and in flight. Hehe. So one night, I asked his permission to go to the States for our 1st year anniversary. He declined at first, various reasons were given but after few times pujuk sessions he agreed at last. Haha. Sayang isteri punya pasal lol.
CHINA SOUTHERN AIRLINESWe booked China Southern flight a couple of months in advance (4 months to be exact) because it was significantly cheaper than other competing airlines. But it was really great value for money, trust me. Would definitely fly again and recommend to all. Who would have thought that our return tickets to LAX was just RM2,003 per person! I told my husband, we really have to buy sayang, insanely cheap. Haha.
The booking was made easy and we have selected Muslim meal throughout the journey. They have selection for other types of meal too; vegetarian, kosher, just to name a few. And the food according to my husband was good but to me it was average, I don’t really fancy airline food though. Haha. We were given more snacks in between (i.e. sandwich, breads, cakes) but I forgot to snap pictures. Hehe.
KL - Guangzhow meal (chicken based)
KL - Guangzhow meal (chicken based)
#Meal 1 Guangzhow - LA (fish based)
#Meal 1 Guangzhow - LA (fish based)
#Meal 2 Guangzhow - LA (prawn based)
#Meal 2 Guangzhow - LA (prawn based)
And on top of all those plus points, the customer service was really tip top and the seats were comfortable and spacious enough! Much to our surprise, apparently China Southern operates an A380 from Guangzhou to Los Angeles and vice versa. My husband got really excited, his first time flying A380 but yours truly have flown A380 years ago with Emirates to Dubai. Hehe.
Last but not least, economy class tickets are allowed to bring in two (2) 23kg check-in luggages, which is in total a whopping 46kg! But still not enough for my shopping loots though. Haha.
And just a reminder, please read the safety tips for transport of lithium batteries and power banks on their websites. We had our checked-in bag opened and our Gopro batteries were apparently confiscated at transit point in Baiyun Airport without our knowledge. It was not until we got to our hotel in Los Angeles and there was a note in our bag by China Southern stating that their government prohibits such items to be flown to China. Haihhhh. 2 Gopro batteries gone!
GUANGZHOU BAIYUN AIRPORT
We departed at 1.35 noon on 27 March 2019. Our flight from Kuala Lumpur to Guangzhou took us about 4 hours and we had a stopover for another 4 hours at Baiyun Airport.
Approaching Guangzhou Baiyun Airport
Upon arrival, there were officers directing us for international transfer departure, so we just follow the signs accordingly.
Just remember that your passport will not be stamped but they will stamp on your boarding pass instead. And your luggage will be checked to your final destination. That part has been taken care of like any other airlines. Sooo convenient.
The airport in my opinion is quite big, we found a prayer room near our departure gate and we quickly performed zuhur + asar together and we then waited few minutes for Maghrib.
LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (LAX)
First and foremost, there is no separate immigration line for passengers for connecting flights. So if you have another flight to catch, it is important to estimate your time properly. The only lines available are for visitors and U.S. nationals and citizens. Since LAX is the busiest and largest airport in the US and the fact that a super-jumbo plane like the A380 has landed that night, can you imagine how long we have to queue to get clearance? Sobs. It was nightmare.
We then had to go to the kiosk for online inspection and here my husband and I were separated because the kiosk doesn’t like him for some reason and send him to in-person inspection. He found himself subject to a secondary screening process because a cross sign was stamped on his boarding pass. Pity my shuben.
And I remember the immigration officer asked me politely and courteous on the purpose of my visit, etc. It took me literally 2 minutes and tada, settled. So pleasant and welcoming.
I waited my husband for about half an hour at the baggage carousel and he was nowhere in sight. I was soo worried and I really had no idea what was happening. Then a few minutes later I got a text from him and he explained that the procedure might take an hour or two and he said I shouldn’t worry so much. It was already 10.00pm at the time. Luckily the car rental office is in operation for 24 hours and my husband asked me to call their office and informed them that we will be really late.
So I was alone at the baggage area, just looking around and get my phone connected to the WIFI and started to google on the reasons for the detention. Well according to data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the reasons are varied. Either you have immigration issues, failure to declare the proper documentation, etc. So yes, my husband was detained for about 2 hours in a room with other Mexicans, Arabs and the best part is, no reason was given to him. He was asked to just wait for his name to be called for secondary inspection and that was it. Takde apa pun. Perhaps his features, haha.
ADVANTAGE CAR RENTAL
My husband pre-paid the car that I booked on Kayak and the site directed us to the Advantage Car Rental as it offered the cheapest price for an economy car at the time. His credit card was charged RM1,404 for 10 days rental with insurance coverage and to us, it was really a good deal.
So we waited the Advantage shuttle bus for about 15 minutes to pick us up at the waiting area. Do note that there are a lot of rental car companies so don’t get confused. Different buses will bring you to different location. Haha. Better ask the driver first to avoid any uncertainties. The journey took about 10 minutes and after arriving, we had to wait for another 40 minutes in line even though it was already almost 1am midnight. Sobs. Such a longgg day.
Below is my husband’s feedback on his Instagram. I just copy and paste. Hehe.
We were supposed to get a Toyota Yaris (2 door) or something equivalent for this trip. To our surprise, we got a 2018 Subaru Outback and it is Subaru’s best-selling model in the US.So I would definitely recommend Advantage Car Rental despite of having a lot of bad reviews on the website. Don’t be afraid to give a try because to be honest our experience was nothing but amazing!
To be continued…
Happy New year 2018!
I was asked if this blog is dead. Well, I think it is not. But I admit that I share my dailies and reflections with my fiance now. Hehe. Oh yes, I'm engaged :). And I am fully aware that I'm skipping several crucial stories here but lets just proceed and I'll fill in the blanks sometime down the line.
And thank you for checking in. At least it reminded me that I need to be back here, to my space where I keep my stories. Hehe. Basically, I'm an open book. And this blog is my self expression. So I am back! Hopefully with a better track record than ever before (finger crossed!).
So let's start with a recent one, my engagement :)
I got engaged to my perfect man on 23 December 2017. It was a simple event just like how I envisioned it to be. All things blue, white and pastel-y. Alhamdulillah everything went well. And the feeling is slowly sinking in. Now whenever I mention the word fiance or tunang, I get all excited just at the thought of saying it. Hehe.
So how I met him? Well, everyone's got a story, how they met their significant other. How I Met Your Mother, in essentials. Hehe. Some stories are much longer than the others, and for some, the first page starts on their wedding day.
OUR story? Hmmm, I met him through Baitul Muslim 6 months ago, so go figure! Hehe. But I'll promise I'll dive into some of the deets later.
I wanted a white theme for my engagement and I trusted my mother wholeheartedly and left it all out to her on the canopies. Didn't even intervene much, just simply told her the color I wanted. And she gave me Chiavari chairs, which I love. Hehe. Thanks mok, love you :).
And for the pelamin, I know it looks soooo nikah-y. Haha. Thanks @zylynngallery team. They try their very best to achieve the look that I desire by following a sample photo I provided. Overall, it fitted my theme. It would be nice if they can use fresh flowers but then again, I have no budget for that. Hehe.
THE ENGAGEMENT DRESS
My engagement dress was specially customised by Davis Paul Lister @dplkl. While doing my research, I had in mind @nahanaha & @sammrepublic! But what made me chose Davis over them was the location. Hehe. Because Davis is located at Bangsar, near my office while both NahaNaha and Samm at Ampang, KL. I couldn’t be bothered to travel for my engagement dress. Not to mention that all of them have equally beautiful designs too. And the fact that NahaNaha used to work with Mimpikita before, he was simply my first choice. But in the end, I opted for convenience, the nearer the better. Hehe. And I love my bajuuuu, the blue beads, yummm, thanks Davis, you are awesome!
THE DULANGS & HANDBOUQUET
Both my dulangs and handbouquet were done by @zylynngallery as well. I wanted fresh flowers for my dulang but I think probably I shouldn't ask for hydrangeas, so really difficult to jaga. And you can see that we are foregoing all unnecessary stuff and giving each other practical items instead? Hehe.
From his side, it was DIY-ed by my future SIL. I know it wasn't easy having to assemble all items within 48 hours and thank you for making those dulangs soo beautiful :)
The gift was from Amy Cookies, Klang based. Hehe. Sooo cheap and good and delish. Loveee the chocolate and chip cookies. Thanks mommy for suggesting. And I just customised the jar tag to our names and the date of our engagement. Easy peasy.
My future MIL :)
My new family :)
Mok & Mama
Abah & Mok, thanks for everything :')
My family minus Syahir & Nisa & Diyana
With my Tokma and aunties from Kelantan
From Kelate with love, hehe
Travel buddies; Eyda, Ili and Fana
Ili Liyana, still singe and available. Hiks
Atekah, my colleague at EY
With Jemahs from UIA. Haha. Acah-acah gelak sgt.
My Sayang and his nakal friends from VI
Mimie and Fana
Soon to be married, baiki keturunan ehem. Haha.
I know what you did last summer Nini hahaha. Mwahs
Darah manis also, nikah soon like really soon in few days
Kak Syai and her pretty daughters
My bestie, Mel
My UIA buddies
Ainaaa, my bestfriend, see you soon today :)
My best girls, always #madeinUK
My UK family back then hehe
Lovebirds Aiman & Rafiq
My kakaks from EY hehe
UIA, shariah compliance haha
All in all, it was a lovely event. very family and friend oriented. And we had quite the crowd too. Thanks a lot for coming and for your wishes and blessings. It really means a lot to us.
Enjoy the video!
Can't wait for our big day :)
Hi everyone! My weaknesses are pretty things and kindness. Knowledge is of high importance. I believe that everyone has the potential to become the best they can be and that beauty comes within. This is a spot where I'll share with you some of my adventures + my inner thoughts! Oh and don't forget to follow me on instagram! : @fidajacob