Thursday, 17 December 2015



Wednesday, 7 August 2013

LE Summit Malaysia - Day 3

My roommate, Delphine, arrived at 11:30pm last night, so had a bit of an interrupted sleep. Got up at 5:50am seeing as I was awake. Had a (cold) shower then went for a walk outside in the cool of the morning.

Here are some random points about the day:
• Saw a cow in the water at the beach. Was being chased by dogs apparently.
• Have seen a few birds, but don’t have a Malaysian bird book. Will be something to do when I get back. Some similar birds though – swallows, sparrows, doves.
• Have seen giant bumblebees around some flowers, and a squirrel in the trees
• Breakfast – bit different to home. Had corn on the cob, noodles and vegies, fried rice and fake meat little sausages. Along with fruit and toast.
• Went by coach today to a cultural village. Saw traditional dancing (and had a go) and tried stilt walking.
• Also stopped in at Kota Kinabalu – I went to the main shopping centre instead of the markets. Tried deep fried durian – was still smelly but tasted ok. Got a pedicure and had my hair washed and dried (wasn’t any hot water in the room that morning).
• Last stop of the day was a local chocolate shop – very nice! Bought some of the more interesting ones.
• Dinner was great – very nice vegies, rice, noodles and a delicious dessert of coconut jelly and mango jelly.
• Worship was very enjoyable – great singing and Pr Super Moesi took an excellent worship.

A turtle made of chocolate

Monday, 5 August 2013

LE Summit Malaysia - Day 1 & 2

Lots of coconut palms here

View from the foyer

Fishpond at the resort entrance

The 2013 LE Summit is being held at the Beringgis Beach Resort, at Sabah Malaysia.
The route I'm taking is Melbourne-Singapore-Kota Kinabalu. Left at 6am on Sunday morning, no traffic hassles. Checking in at Qantas was very busy, so was good to have the extra time.
The travelling party was Bai and Lo, Glen, Tony, Nina and myself. Tony managed to get Nina and I into the Qantas club, so we had a tasty breaky before boarding (and could use really nice toilets!). Glen joined us too, and we had a good time.
The flight was delayed by 15 mins so we had a bit extra time to enjoy the comfortable surroundings.
The flight was very uneventful. The young woman next to me didn't say anything to me, and either had earphones in or was sleeping. I watched a movie (latest Tom Cruise one, Oblivion?), had a nap, did some Myers-Briggs reading for my session, and watched some TV (an episode of sand carving where they were making a display for the opening of the Star Wars attraction at Legoland). A bit of an Asian feel to the flight, in the food and the passengers. Landed in Singapore, but didn't have time to look around.
Into the Immigration queue, got the bags, and checked in to our AirAsia flight to Kota Kinabalu. This flight was tedious - no entertainment and was pretty tired by then so was glad to arrive in KK. Just a small airport, like Newcastle.
We were met by Jaby, who took us to the Tang Dynasty hotel. The hotel was ok, had aircon thankfully, as very hot and humid. Had a damp smell to the carpeted areas, which was unpleasant. I just showered and went to bed.
Got up early and went down to breakfast. A few interesting choices at the buffet, like a rice porridge, steamed rice with meat/veg accompaniments, baked beans, egg, toast, fruit and a cornflake type cereal. Hit the spot ok.
Suggested to Tony, Glen and Lolita that we go for a walk at 8:15 as I thought it wouldn't be hot by then. I was wrong! Very hot, humid and smelly outside - pollution and drain smell.
Most shops weren't open at that hour, so the streets were quiet. No OHS standards it seems, the footpaths were terrible with some deeps holes that were hardly marked! Quite a contrast to Australia...
 Did some work back in the hotel room and then we left to go to the Beringgis Beach Resort. Shared a taxi with Bai, Lo and Lolita. Took about 30 mins. Was nice to arrive and be able to set up properly. Had a nice lunch of fried rice, took some pictures, and did some emails.

Don't see these signs in Australia!

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Day 13 - Wednesday

Have finally caught up on the blog!

Had a poor sleep, so while awake at 4:30am decided to check in for the flight home to make sure I get an aisle seat. Got another hour or so of sleep after that...

Pink sun due to bushfires

Don Laing, one of Pacific Press' sales reps took me to the airport. He was an entertaining guy, like most sales reps are, and turns out he is a Disney fan. So gave him some of Scott's cards and to him to check out the Things To Do In Theme Park Queues app.

Such a pleasant, little airport. Dropped off bags, purchased some "potato" souvenirs (even though I didn't actually get to the potato territory of Idaho) and waited for the flight.

We boarded, and I was sitting next to a young woman of about 20. We got chatting, and it turned out this was her first flight! She was going to visit her boyfriend who is graduating in San Diego from 3 months of Marines training. Hopefully I was able to put her at ease if she was nervous.

As we were approaching LA and could see the coastline, she also mentioned that she'd only been to the beach for the first time in the last few weeks. Given that it was her first flight, it turned out she'd driven 10 hours to get there! So different to most Aussies...

Arrived in LA around 12pm. Wandered aimlessly in LAX for a few hours, as you can do much or go places to easily while having a laptop and other hand luggage to cart around. And boarding is not until 10:30pm! But happily I came across the reLAX lounge, where for a reasonable fee, I am sitting in a comfortable chair, listening to easy-listening music and catching up on some work emails.

Day 12 - Tuesday

Back at Pacific Press today to meet with more people, got some good things worked out with the website… 

Had lunch with Jeanne, who does their purchasing from Signs. We’ve only had some contact by email, but seemed to get along well. She took me to a lovely little bistro, where we had a garden salad with croutons and a creamy walnut dressing – yum! Then it was pan-fried snapper with coconut rice, green beans and a strawberry salsa – the best meal I’ve had here.

Some of the staff had given me samples to take back, so I commented I may need to get an extra suitcase. So after lunch Jeanne took me to Costco – my first ever visit! It was great, but no suitcases were in stock at this time. David, they had your giant teddy bear’s brothers and sisters all here – was very tempted…

So of course we had to go to Walmart next, another experience! They had a large selection, so got a pink one to pass on to Ally when I’m done with it.

Back to Pacific Press to see some other people and browsed their little museum. There was lots of interesting items in it, ranging from old printing items to EGW books with a brochure to explain what they were.

Pictures of earlier Pacific Press buildings

Then it was out for dinner again, this time to the Cheesecake Factory with Beverly, the Marketing Director. The restaurant had a lovely ambience, along with great food and I enjoyed getting to know Beverly. I had an excellent roasted vegetable penne, followed by a slice of lemon raspberry cheesecake that I had no chance of finishing. Much gym work to be caught up on when I get home :-) 

Back to the hotel to check if work was online and repack for tomorrow’s trek back to LA, then home. Will be great to get back and see Scott and Ally. Two weeks has been long enough for me…

Day 11 - Monday

Today was spent visiting Pacific Press. It was another interesting day with a tour, and meeting with our Customer Service rep, warehouse staff and others. 

Just a small section of the warehouse
Pacific Press were generous hosts, taking me out for a nice lunch, and then to a Brazilian buffet for dinner. That was an experience! The main feature is various meats, fish, vegetables and pineapple that is grilled on large metal skewers and brought to you at your table. The salad bar also had many tasty delights, including deep-fried bananas! If you still have room after that, they bring a beautiful dessert buffet to the table, of which the portions are way too large! A good way to finish off the day though… 

Day 10 - Sunday

Another early morning (up at 5am) but it was good to get out of that hotel (note to self – don’t try to save money on hotels!) Got through another round of security and it was off to board the flight to Boise. When people found out I was going to Boise, they would ask “What for?”. This, and the size of the plane (about 50 seats) gave me the idea that it is a smaller city.

Uneventful flight over a lot of desert. I kept expecting that since we were getting closer to landing that it would start getting greener, but no, Boise is in the desert too. There is water available for irrigation, so there is some lush green grass around, but I didn’t see that until driving around later.

Doug Church, from Pacific Press, and his wife, Melody, met me at the airport and took me to a nice buffet lunch first. Then it was off to see some of Boise. They have a lovely river running through the city that has a good walking/cycling track by it.

Similar to the Howqua river, shallow-ish with rocky bottom and trout
Then we went up a close mountain to get a look over the city. But there are bushfires in the mountains that are causing quite a haze and visibility was poor. 

Next stop was a to section of the Oregon Trail. Some of you may have studied the book Children of the Oregon Trail in high school as did I, so it was interesting to see the terrain they were crossing. There are still ruts left from the wagons, along with a “cut” that was used to get the wagons down from the high ridge to the valley. And it was hot, with a very dry wind.

They dropped me at the hotel, and I just did a few work emails, watched some TV, then walked to a close Mexican restaurant for dinner. On the return journey, I walked through what I thought were small, grey pebbles, but my shoes were still crunching when I got back to the footpath. Turns out I'd walked through a patch of "goat heads", which are a sort of burr with very large spikes. Had to pull out all the remaining spikes with a pair of tweezers when I got back to the hotel, glad I wasn't wearing thongs.

Day 9 - Sabbath

All the girls slept well, so it was up, showered and dressed ready for the best breakfast of the trip…

Wendy, Leanne, me, and Heather
Another really hot day ahead, even hotter than yesterday. Made it to the Honda Center for the last day of Women of Faith. 
Reflective time while artist painting

There were so many wonderful testimonies about God’s leading in time of crisis, along with beautiful praise times and a concert from Selah (pronounced SAY-lar). Am definitely getting their albums off iTunes!

The day went too quickly and around 5:45pm said goodbye to Leanne and Wendy and headed off by Super Shuttle for the Travelodge Hotel at LAX.

Well, its best feature was the Denny’s restaurant onsite. There were a few loud/lout-ish groups booked in to the hotel, so had a quick dinner and locked myself in my room for the night.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Day 8 - Friday

Today was an "at home" kind of day while I was waiting for friends to arrive in the afternoon. Spent the morning in my hotel room, updating the blog, answering work emails etc. Got to lunch time and thought I'd go out for lunch. There was a shopping centre nearby so thought I'd catch the shuttle and walk the rest of the way.

Well, I hadn't factored in the temperature! It must have been 35C+ and there wasn't much shade. Got to the shopping centre (which was the outdoor-type, no cool airconditioned comfort to walk around in) and headed for the store called Fresh Produce. Well, it turned out to be a clothing store, no food in sight. (Big sigh). So waited in the slim shade of a palm tree for the shuttle and just went back to the hotel. Their food was very good, so all worked ok...

Picture of the pool (for Ally)

Found something to watch on one of the gazillion TV channels until Leanne, her sister Wendy, and friend Heather arrived. We then headed out for a quick dinner with other ladies from their church, and headed to the Women of Faith conference at the Honda Center in Anaheim. (

It was a great night, with music by CeCe Winans, a praise time, and inspirational talks by Ken Davis and Sheila Walsh.

Back to the hotel, and four tired ladies went to bed, didn't even talk much!