Friday, April 29, 2011

Singapore Botanical Gardens

Our last day in Singapore was only half a day so we headed off early to the Botanical Gardens.  Since the gardens spread over 183 acres we choose to explore the Jacob Ballas Children's Garden in particular.

The Mystree.  The sculpture was designed by Zadok Ben-David and contains more than 500 figurines.

The Magic of Photosynthesis station.  There were several platforms that teach you each stage of photosynthesis as you wind it up.

I don't know what fruit this is...does anyone know?  They were huge!

Another suspension bridge!

There was also an amazing playground, splash park, a hedge maze and educational center.  So much to explore!  After the botanical gardens we went and had brunch with Bob's coworkers and then it was off to the airport.  We only spent two days in Singapore but had a blast.  Next time when Ethan is more into zoos we will definitely have to check the night zoo and the bird park.


Sentosa (Malay for peace and tranquility) is an island resort in Singapore.  There are many family friendly attractions that can be found in Sentosa ranging from zip-lining, luge riding, golf and much more.  We spent the afternoon in Sentosa and went up Imbiah Lookout, walked along the Merlion Walk and lastly visted Palawan Beach.

Imbiah Lookout:
You can take a set of escalators up to the lookout point or ride the cable cars. 

Along the way there are stations where you can hold and feed parakeets or even snakes.

At the top is Tiger Sky Tower where you can ride a cabin to the top and view the city skyline.

Merlion Walk:
The Merlion is a mythical creature with the head of a lion and body of a fish and is the mascot of Singapore.  The fish body represents Singapore's origin as a fishing village and the lion represents Singapore's original name, Singapura, which means 'lion city'.

Along the walk you can view the dragon fountains.  The mosaic fountains spread over 120m and are inspired by Gaudi's work.

Palawan Beach:
We primarily choose this beach because we knew Ethan would love suspension bridge.  He must have spent over an hour just running back and forth along the bridge while singing 'London Bridge'.


At the other end of the bridge is a lookout point where you got nice views of the beach and surrounding waters.

I was a little dissapointed that we didn't have enough time to take a luge ride down Imbiah Lookout.  But that just means we have to come back!  It was a great afternoon spent in Sentosa.


We went to Singapore for a weekend at the end of March.

When we first found out we were moving to Asia, we had the choice of living in Singapore or Hong Kong.  I made the choice to live in HK (I had visited a few times before) even though I have never been to Singapore before - I just never had a real desire to explore the city-state.  Bob has always tried to get me to tag along with him on his business trips to Singapore and I never wanted to go.  But this time I'm glad I did!  I actually loved Singapore and think it is a great place to live.  There is so much green space, yummy food and things to do.  Granted we were only in Singapore for a day a half, but I think if I had to make the choice of where to live all over again knowing what I know now, I would definitely choose to live in Singapore instead.

We stayed at the Conrad hotel in Suntec City.  The view from our room overlooked the fountain of wealth.  Along with the five buildings surrounding the fountain, the fountain appears like a golden ring in the palm of a hand (the buildings representing the fingers when viewed aerially).  And since the fountain is bronze it is believed the balance of metal and water will bring success. 
When we first entered our hotel room Ethan exclaimed 'what a big fancy bed!'.  Then when I politely pointed out the crib he was to sleep in he responded with 'Mommy, can you sleep in small crib please?  Ethan sleep in big fancy bed'.  In the end all three of us piled into the bed together.

The first thing we did when we got to Singapore was take a little walking tour:
The Singapore Flyer.  World's largest observation wheel.

Marina Bay Sands.  Designed by Moshe Safdie, the casino/hotel houses an observation deck on top where you can see amazing views of the city from 200m above ground.

The MICA building.  This national monument of Singapore used to be known as the Old Hill Street Police Station and was considered the largest building in Singapore at the time when it was built (1930's).  It housed Singapore's first jail during the Japanese Occupation then reverted back to a police station before finally housing the Ministry of Information, Communications and Arts in the 80's.

Central Fire Station on Hill Street near Fort Canning Park.  This was Singapore's first fire station!

The main point of our walk around the city was to come here for a tour of the fire station.  I know, I know, of the many attractions that Singapore has to offer my first choice was to take a fire station tour.  Go figure!  Later when we took a taxi to Sentosa, even our driver laughed at us for our choice of activities. 

Most fire stations in Singapore provide a free tour on Saturday mornings.  We got to:
Monkey around a fire engine (which in Singapore is referred to as a pump ladder).

Ride the CPL (combined platform ladder).

Which took you super high.

Slide down a pole.

Participate in a hose demonstration.

After the fire station tour we walked to Chinatown.
and looked at the street markets along Pagoda Street.


On the right side of Pagoda Street is the Sri Mariamman Hindu Temple which was built in 1823 by Nariana Pillai.  It is the oldest Hindu Temple in Singapore.

After walking all morning we took break and had some lunch at some modern hawker stands near our hotel.
Which kinda just looked like a typical food court to me. 

Here we were cooling down with some chua bing.

After lunch we headed for Sentosa which I'll put in a different post.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cousin Bonding Time!


Baby J is quite the cutie.  Ethan really liked his dìdì.  When he was not jealous of the attention Jaden was getting that is.  He would alternate coming over and giving kisses and hugs with 'suggestions' that we put Jaden down and come play with him instead.


How you doing?

More kisses!

And even more!