Sunday, 31 January 2016

Meandering

A couple of weeks ago we had to go get our laptop fixed, Singapore phone plan, and get some photos off our computer hard drive. We found this mall down by city hall that is entirely dedicated to electronics. If we had time Lyndon would have spent a long time there. Electronics paradise. But ya know with kids it's another story. We had a few hours to hang around while our laptop screen was getting fixed. We were going to go pick some stuff up at the grocery store, but on the way we saw some pretty neat stuff and just decided to forget the grocery store and explore this area.

After we picked up our laptop and hard drive we went outside to see the Central Fire Station across the street from the mall. Henry is our fire truck loving boy and he was super excited to see it. This building was awesome. It is constructed in the Edwardian architectural style and looks completely out of place in Asia. It looks like something that would be in the UK. The architecture was awesome and there is a small museum on the side of the Station that I will be taking the boys to while Cosette in in school.


The first place we found was the Armenian Church of St. Gregory. It is the oldest church in Singapore built in 1835, so not that old, but Singapore has only been a country for 50 years. It was beautiful. In the midst of all these skyscrapers stood this beautiful church. We really enjoy touring churches and cathedrals when we travel. There are not a lot of what we westerners would consider a traditional looking Christian church. The architecture really stand out in contrast with the other buildings around it. The steeples are what stand out the most.

We walked around the garden and went inside the church. It was just one circular room. It reminded me a lot of the Greek Orthodox Churches we saw in Greece. There were sculptures that dotted the garden area. They were lovely depictions of angels and Christ. Singapore is not a Christian country, it is a hodgepodge of so may different religions. It was just really nice to see some Christian symbols, a connection to our religious heritage and beliefs.










We then walk down the street to what we call the "rainbow building" or "skittles" building which is actually the Old Hill Street Police Station. Of course Henry ran through a door that you were not supposed to enter in and we had to chase him down. That lead us to a art lover's paradise. There were several galleries with original pieces from local artists. We have collected art from several places we have lived and traveled to. I would love to get a piece in Singapore and this has given us a good start to know what to look for. There was also a kids section that was closed, but had several lion statues targeted towards kids. Cosette said she was the pink one, Henry was the blue one, and Raphael was the green one. They are called the kindness lions each teaching a lesson about being kind and spreading kindness around your community. We have seen several of these statues dotted around Singapore on our outings. Finally nice to know what they are.






This outing reminded me of something I read in my Paris travel book. The book talked about how Paris was the greatest city for meandering around (and it is!) and you could just leave your flat without a destination and just have the most glorious day because that is the kind of city Paris is. You can turn a corner and find a fabulous cafe, or charming store, or beautiful secret garden. The point of that explanation is, that this outing was like that. We did have a destination we were sort of trying to get to, but we got side tracked with all these different exciting to us sights. It was wonderful. That day had started out really stressful, and getting the errands taken care of was not an easy one, kids. Finding these sights was a silver lining of our outing. And it makes me want to try and meander around our neighborhood. Since I have the three kids whenever we do go out I always have our destination we need to get to. Writing this is inspiring me to meander around our neighborhood more. I see different things that are close by that we should check out on our cab rides. I'm going to make a list. This will not be the last meandering post I write. 

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Tiny Dancers


Cosette has been taking ballet once a week since the new year began. It is her favorite day of the week. On the day she has class, she told her class at school that she had ballet that night. It is the cutest to see how excited she is to go. After her first official class as we were walking home and she asked to show me her special dance. She was all decked out in her outfit beaming and glowing with joy as she danced around the plaza of the community center. It was one of those heart melting moments as a parent. Seeing your child so happy (she was glowing like the sun), it was beautiful to witness and almost brought me to tears (I cry so much more that I have kids). I took this video, like a creeper, of her at class. I love that they were dancing to some sort of k-pop or j-pop. Parents are not allowed into the class unless your child is doing a trial class, so I am stuck at creeper status with all the other parents who were also taking pictures and videos. Cosette is easy to spot, just look for the only blonde haired kid. She asked on me on the way home why everyone has black hair. Then we had a discussion on genes. Enjoy the cutest dancers in all of Singapore!

Other post about ballet in NYC here

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Silk Road



Since moving to Singapore Lyndon and I have been going on a lot more dates. We have found some amazing babysitters in our ward. They are the sweetest girls and so good with the kids. It's been so nice to get some alone time with my man, even if Raphael tags along sometimes. 


We went to see a dance opera (basically a ballet) at the Esplanade Theatre downtown this past weekend for our date night. It's called Silk Road based off the Dunhaung Frescoes in the Gansu province of China. It was phenomenal. That is why I am sharing it. Both of us were so moved by the production, especially by the music and the costumes.  The music was majestic and touching. It forced you to become emotionally involved in the story, applauding the character's triumphs and crying in their pain. The story line was both personal and epic. The main characters were a father and daughter. It was so sweet to see their love and sacrifice for each other. Story lines are so often about two lovers, it was refreshing to see the devotion and love of a familial relationship. It was extraordinarily beautiful and neat cultural experience.

The malls have all sorts of Chinese New Year displays going on right now. Lyndon asked me if I would take a picture here.

 I never understood why the church leaders would council us to go on dates with your spouse. It just seemed like you just went through a ton of dating to get married so why continue to plan dates, especially weekly dates. Now I get it because our life is crazy with our three kiddos running around. We never get much couple time. It helps nurture our relationship and gives us time to feel like we are people and not robots. I'm grateful for my sweet Lyndon who is probably more obsessed with me than he was when we got married. It is hard sometimes to feel anything but tired because I am mom-bot right now. It's great to have something to look forward to where I can curl my hair, put on make up, and get a little fancy and be with my one and only Lyndon. Listen to the prophets. They have excellent dating advice :-).


Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Singapore's River Safari

The River Safari another zoo right next to the Singapore Zoo that focuses on rivers. They have exhibits on rivers from around the globe and giant pandas! I really like this one because it is big enough that it is worth making the trek out there, but it's not too big. Also, all the pathways are covered so we can still go in the rain. We took Lyndon with us one Saturday because we had to show him all the things that we talk about.

At the entrance there is this light image thingy (I have no idea what it's called). Hollographic? Anyway, you walk throught it and it looks like you are walking through water.
The first river is the Mississippi River! And Cosette found Tennessee!
Alligator Snapping Turtle. I've seen those in the wild in Tennessee. There was a giant one that was up against the window in the lunch room in elementary school. We all took turns looking at it. And one time my Mom was held up in traffic because one was in the middle of the road.

Tradition!






Trying to get a decent picture with the Indian Gharial.

Love my boys.



"Mommy the monkey is swimming!"
Here it is! The swimming monkey.
Ginormous fish that are found in one of the rivers in China. I should know the name, oh well.
Super stoked to see Jia Jia the Giant Panda! The River Safari has two Giant Pandas. We are so lucky to get to have them here because not many zoos in the world have pandas.
Henry saw that the Panda had some dirt on it and said it needed a bath because it was dirty. He said it like this "it's dirty. It needs a bath". 

Chocolate filled panda steamed bun for the kids. They rejected it and Lyndon finished them. We are all still getting used to new tastes and flavors here.

The River Safari goes around this part of the lake. It is beautiful out there.
Cosette and I went on the Amazon River Quest. It is a water ride through the exhibits that feature animals from the Amazon. Henry and Raphael are not tall enough to go yet. We had a blast and went on it twice. The first time around we were the only ones in our boat. Every time we down a hill we held our hands up in the air. The second time we went on it we sat in the back and still put our hand up in the air. Cosette said over and over again "this is the best ride ever!".

We had fun.
She saw the scarlet Ibis and thought they were so cute. She asked to get her picture taken with them. 
Random assorted pictures from other River Safari adventures:

There are lots of different animal statues. Cosette likes this one the best.

Raining, but we stay dry. Love it!
And of course, Henry runs out in the rain. He loved it, and I love him.
The squirrel monkey forest. What an experience it is! It's one of the enclosures you can be inside with the monkeys running around. Really cool, but these animals are not afraid of humans. When the sign says don't bring food in it means do not bring food in. The first time the kids and I went to the River Safari we went through the squirrel monkey forest. I had Henry on my back in the carrier and Raphael, who was three months at the time, in the stroller and Cosette walking. I had my diaper bag in the bottom of the stroller, unzipped and of course had food init. I figured the food was concealed, it was in the bottom of the stroller and hard to get to so it was fine. The zoo worker did not say anything to me about taking it in so I thought it was all good. Well it was not. The moment we walked into the monkey forest we saw a squirrel monkey walking right up to us. My first thought was " cool!". My second was that monkey is getting really close. Then the thing jumped on to my stroller and down, grabbed the concealed food out of my diaper bag and scampered up a tree. Then immediately two other monkeys one at a time jumped onto my stroller and followed the monkey with the food. They sat on my stroller for a little bit before they jumped off. I was freaking out. I started screaming "help" because these are wild animals and my baby was in the stroller. Thank goodness nothing else happened. Once the last monkey was gone Cosette said, "let's get out of here!". We turned around and walked out. The next couple of times we left the stroller outside. Not taking anymore chances. This picture is our victory of making it out of the forest with no close encounters.
The Giant Amazon River Otter. It is the largest otHenry loves the otters. They are such playful creatures. It is so fun to watch them and sometimes interact with them too. There was guy who was playing a game with the otter while we were watching. He would put his hand on the glass and the otter would swim up to it and then he would move it again and the otter would follow. It was really entertaining to watch.


Cosette tried to do the game with the otter. He sort of obliged.
Henry loves seeing all the different alligators and crocodiles. The Ganges River Crocodile is probably our favorite at the River Safari,

This crocodile is huge. It is always up close to the glass so we can see it really well. I find it interesting that also in the Ganges River, there is a fresh water dolphin with the same snout as the Ganges Crocodile. I wonder why they have similar snouts? Where are the Krat Brothers when I need them? 
Meet the locals. I did not think anything of these monkeys. There are a lot of open air exhibits and I thought these were just part of one. Later I realized that they were not part of an exhibit, but wild monkeys that were just hanging out at the River Safari. Crazy! They were just hanging out right above us. I realized they were wild monkeys because we took the bus home and on the bus ride we saw a lot hanging out on the side of the road. I love that we have monkeys here! Love it from afar. So scarred from our squirrel monkey encounter. 

The manatee exhibit is one of our favorites. There are so many in the tank and so many angles to observe them. And it's inside so we get to hang out in the aircon.

We love this place a lot. So grateful Singapore has a lot of zoos. 
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