Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Top five favourite Singapore holiday highlights

I’ve been wading through hundreds of photos from our recent family holiday in Singapore and Bali. It was difficult choosing which photos to share, there were just too many fantastic moments. But like life, holidays can never be one hundred per cent high moments from beginning to end. There were highs, lows and also a few ho-hum days.

After several cuts, I finally managed to pick my top five favourite highlights from our holiday in Singapore, which I think best sum up our holiday story, including all those precious in-between moments that tie everything together.

#5. Flying from Perth to Singapore on Singapore Airlines
We’ve been flying with AirAsia on most of our trips (they dominate so many routes in the region nowadays) I’ve almost forgotten what it’s like flying on a airline from the golden era of air travel. The food, the entertainment, the service. I kind of regret I didn’t treat myself to a few adult drinks on the flight… but then again it was probably wiser to stay alert on my toes with two kids in tow.

Grace got her own seat too as the flight was not very packed. The kids even received special kiddie-sized headsets. And they absolutely loved the goodie packs filled with colouring pads and crayons. Nathan still treasures the reusable drawing board that came with the pack——it was a lifesaver throughout the holiday to keep him busy at restaurants and long dinners with friends and family members.

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#4. Indulging in local hawker fare for breakfast every day
Almost every morning, we headed out to the hawker food hall near my brother’s apartment for breakfast. It was such a nice break away from our usual toast and cereal breakfast routine at home. Rice, noodles, steamed buns, traditional cakes and kueh… life almost doesn’t get any better than this.

And Nathan ventured using chopsticks for the first time with great success. I have to admit that the food was often not the healthiest choice of breakfast, but we were on holiday after all… worry about the consequences later.

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#Getting mesmerised by the sea creatures in the Singapore S.E.A. Aquarium
We went into tourist mode since it was the kids first visit to Singapore. So we checked out the usual touristy spots like the Singapore S.E.A Aquarium. The whole visit there was a big highlight itself for me.

I think I could have spent the whole day wandering around all day being mesmerised by all the sea creatures. Though it was a somewhat different kind of magical time with the kids, with every minute interjected by a “Look at this mummy!”, “What’s that mummy?”, “Why mummy, why?”.

The shark tank was pretty awesome for me…

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The kids were more interested in looking for Nemo and Dory in the smaller fish tanks…

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Nathan thought the giant spider crabs were amazing…

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But if I had to pick my favourite, it would be this massive and super friendly goliath grouper. I always thought fish were kind of brainless, stupid creatures. They don’t care a red cent who the person feeding them is. To me, all they care about is food and not getting caught. But this particular fish really seemed to engage you as you looked at him, he followed you around as you moved, and he had ancient eyes that stared right into your soul. I had a moment when I thought, if I happened to have a spare wish to use (from like a hundred), I’d really like to know what this big guy was thinking.

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#2. Riding on the Skyline Luge at Sentosa
If I had to recommend a top pick of family friendly rides in Sentosa, this would be mine. Of course I haven’t tried them all, but based on my experience with this one, I would not hesitate vouching for it.

The ride consists of two components, a lightly adrenalin pumping Luge ride heading downhill, followed by a slow relaxing skyride back up the hill. So we strapped on our helmets and jumped onto a couple of Luge ‘boards’ which were not unlike go-karts. Hubby took Grace, while I had Nathan and we raced downhill together. So much fun! I got a bit of my adrenaline hit there. Then we hopped onto a chairlift and sat back to enjoy a slow and scenic ride back up to the starting point.

If we went back to Singapore again, I wouldn’t mind doing this ride again with the kids.

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#1. Hearing my little brother say the words ‘I do’ to his wife
This is probably the first wedding I’ve attended that has meant the most to me apart from my own wedding. In that one busy and hectic day, there were so many special moments all wrapped up in it.

The wedding itself was just beautiful and so much fun. My brother and my sister in law put such a lot of thought into all the little details to make it a memorable day for everyone. When the official photos are out I’ll share some of those lovely details here because I’m a sucker for beautiful weddings.

But if I had to pick an ahah moment for me on that day, it would be that one moment as I was sitting there watching my brother recite his vows; And I got that strange feeling when I look at a person I’ve known almost my entire life, as my mind tries to reconcile all the hundreds of images I have of that person--from his three-year old gappy smile and bowl-head haircut; the horrified look on his face that time when we watched a bird we tried to rescue get torn to pieces by our dog; his terribly cheeky grin when I caught him reading my diary… all those images struggling to reconcile into the single image of the man I saw standing up there. I don’t think my mind ever fully reconciled all those images… it just added another dimension to this person I shall have to include in all my future mental image reconciliations of him for always.

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Those are the big moments that stand out for me in my memory of our time in Singapore. But there are also so many special little moments in between that I remember. Many of them were too fleeting to even capture on camera. But I would say all those moments were about the people we loved. Family. Friends. Smiles. Laughter. Hugs. Cuddles. And simply just being together.

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Looking through all our photos, I realised we are quite terrible at taking pictures together. Not that we look terrible in them. It’s just that we were constantly forgetting to snap pictures of ourselves during those special iconic moments. But I think that’s how it is. When you’re in the moment, it’s best just to be in the moment and not worry about pictures and posing. But here are a few that we managed to snap together as a family…

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(At Universal Studios Singapore, Trick Eye Museum at Sentosa and The Gardens By The Bay)

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