Wednesday, February 27, 2008

We should have moved to Singapore!

After a radiant and boisterous start to the Chinese New Year, we packed up and headed off on holiday like so many expats do this time of year. The destination of choice…Singapore! Eric wanted to come to China to visit, however we decided that we needed to get out of China for a much deserved vacation and convinced Eric that it would be so much better to meet us there. After a 7 hour flight for us and a 24 hour flight for Eric, we entered into a world of sheer bliss!
Located one degree north of the equator, Singapore has somehow managed to maintain much of it’s original rainforest's beauty amongst a highly developed economy. It’s a lush, yet modern country is a place that just amazed each of us in so many ways. It also shares many of the conveniences of home, which was nice to see again. I can’t speak for Zach and Eric, but I fell in love with this place. Everything about it makes sense (unlike China) and the sun never stopped shining which was a nice break from our days of high pollution & Siberian winds. I recommend that you put it on your places to go! It was literally a breath of fresh air!
Our first excursion was the Singapore Zoo. Previously a rain forest, it was obviously awesome! There was another New Year’s celebration taking place when we arrived that we caught the tail end of before we hiked the entire park. What was so intriguing about the zoo was that many of the animals were native to Singapore and its surrounding area, which meant we were literally seeing the animals in their natural habitat.
In the evening, we even took a ride on the Night Safari that allowed us to see the nocturnal animals in action….yes, we are nerds, but how many of you have walked through a enormous cage of fox bats who are literally flying right in front of your face??? I didn't think so!
Next, we took a “duck tour” of the city in which we rode a large, old World War II vehicle that took us by land and by water to see the sights.
Afterwards, we hit up an "old-school" hawker for a satay dinner. It was yummy in our tummies!
That evening, we were tourists just walking around and exploring things like Chinatown (because we just can’t get enough of China), the world’s largest fountain and then to Long Bar in Raffles Hotel, where we can only afford a fancy drink not the fancy rooms starting at $3,000 a night, but it was fun to pretend.
After the "tour nazi" finally got his fix of sites, we moved to Sentosa Island Rasa Resort for some much needed pool time for Eric and I. There are many things to see and do on Sentosa Island, a tinier isle off the tiny island of Singapore. However, this was the part of our vacation reserved for R&R.
After we said our goodbyes to Eric, I allowed Zach one more trip, to the Singapore Botanical Gardens. It was like any other city park I have visited. In the midst of the lush vegetation was an Orchid Garden that we spent much of our time trying to see as many of the 10,000+ different species and hybrids of orchids as possible. Including the Barbara Bush and Nelson Mandela, hybrid orchids in honor of their namesakes.
That's it. It was difficult to get back to reality, but we are already planning our next trip! This time we are trying to convince Becky to join us for our baby's first vacation.


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