Saturday, December 26, 2009

Singapore, 18-23 Dec

Prelude and the journey there:
The six-week school holiday is coming to an end with one more week to go! Yikes!! How did the past five weeks go by so quickly? I have made mental notes several times this week that C must return to her normal bedtime starting next week. Otherwise it will be sheer torture come 4th January morning when we have to wake up at 6am to get ready for work and school. We've been sleeping and waking late the past few weeks.

So,when we made our trip to Singapore last Friday, it was tough for all of us to get up early to start the journey. Nevertheless we made good time, meeting our target of leaving KL at 7.30am to rendezvous with my bro and his family at my parents' home in Seremban. The plan was to leave Seremban by 9am. Unfortunately, at 8.30am, my bro who left slightly later than us in his own car called while we were feasting on fried meehoon and char siew pao at home in Seremban. His 2.5 year old son Ryan had thrown up in the car and they had to stop to clean up the mess. Upon arrival in Seremban, they rinsed out his dirty clothes and left them to soak, and then had breakfast. We left Seremban for Singapore at 10.30am, an hour and a half later than planned.

The drive was pleasant with Caitlin occupying herself with her books and occasional conversations with Kung Kung.

Caitlin hugging her favourite bolster while reading in the car:

But as expected, before we even reached Melaka, the famous question (are we there yet?) popped up. So I had to cook up something to make the journey feel less draggy for her, helping her to visualise and equate the length of the journey to other journeys she's been on before. So there was Journey Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 and every now and then, she'll ask for updates on how many minutes were there left before each part ends and the next part begins.

We stopped at JB Pelangi mall for lunch at around 1.30pm. After lunch, at about 3pm, we continued our much anticipated crossover of the causeway only to meet heavy, almost standstill traffic heading to the checkpoint.

Sigh, it was indeed a loooong ride just to cross the short causeway and clear both sides of immigration points because it was a Friday (weekend) AND a public holiday. It took us around 1.5 hours of crawling and stopping before our GPS could start showing us the route to our accommodation in Singapore. Of course, C was getting impatient so lots more tactics of distraction had to be employed to keep our stress levels down. Out came a new colouring book and colour pencils, and luckily that kept her preoccupied.

Arrival day:
We arrived at the serviced apartments off Orchard Road for check-in only at 5p.m. Our plans to go to the Night Safari that evening had to be postponed. After settling down in the apartment, we took a short walk to Orchard Road in search of dinner. The malls and Orchard strip were brightly lit and elaborately decked up for Christmas as is the case every year. The wide pedestrian walkways were very crowded with Christmas shoppers, tourists, festive sideshows and just about anyone and everyone who wanted to be there to soak up the atmosphere. It was literally a sea of people everywhere.

My brother JK and his son Ryan:

We also had to queue for quite some time to get seated at a restaurant for dinner. After dinner, we joined the crowds to see the lights, decor and attempted some photography, getting shots of heads and faces of passers by inside our frames more often than not. Hence the above photos which didn't do justice to the bright lights, decor, and hustle and bustle we experienced there.

After a while, we decided to head back to the apartment to rest and call it a night since we had planned to spend the next day at the Jurong Bird Park. That meant having to wake up on time for breakfast at the resident's lounge before driving to the Bird Park.

The spacious living room of the serviced apartment, with TV, DVD player and cable TV:
The dining area with 8-seater dining table:

The fully-equipped kitchen, with toaster, fridge, microwave, cooker, kettle, coffeemaker, pots and pans, crockery, cutlery, washer/dryer:

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