Singapore, halfway between the UK and NZ, or thereabouts. A guaranteed warm destination to break up our NZ winter. A couple of weeks by the pool with plenty of entertainment to please everyone in our group – from the children (aged 5, 9 and 12) to the parents (myself and hubby) and the grandparents (who flew in from the UK).
We spent a fortnight in Singapore with Chinese Granddad and Grandma. We stayed in a wonderfully air-conditioned apartment near Clark Quay (restaurants and bars galore on the Singapore river).
The apartment gave us much more space that a hotel room, including a kitchen and decent living area. Breakfast was available from 7-10am, Monday to Friday, and the pool was a perfect size for us to cool down in the heat (and squirt each other with water pistols!).
The girls came up with a lovely synchronised swimming show for us one day…
Another day the girls were sprung by a sudden tropical downpour and, seeing as there wasn’t any lightening (or I would have been ushering them indoors), they made the most of the moment to sing and dance in the rain (with their Daddy making a star appearance)!
We knew Chinese Granddad would enjoy being close to Chinatown (for the food) and Grandma would like the shopping (on her first night there she came home with some darn plastic chickens that I quickly had to hide away!)…
It was really wonderful for me to see the children having quality time with their grandparents – and for hubby to get out in the evening with his folks for some special time.
I was happy to stop in the apartment with the children most nights, content knowing that hubby was savouring time with his folks (so precious when we live on opposite sides of the planet). The day-time fun made up for the quieter nights and I relished the time to read (I deliberately left my laptop at home).
However, I did manage to get out a couple of times for the all essential Singapore Sling, initially at bars local to where we were staying, but eventually the home of the cocktail, ‘Raffles’.
No trip to Singapore is a done holiday until a visit to The Long Bar at Raffles has been made (just make sure you get your quota of monkey nuts, as the price of the cocktails is – as to be expected – top notch!).
Our highlights of our time with Grandma & Granddad were around the pool at the apartments and visiting Adventure Cove on Sentosa Island, where the girls loved snorkelling with tropical fish!
We also had a great day-trip to Singapore Zoo.
A visit to the ‘Gardens By the Bay’, was absolutely wonderful and definitely to be recommended. We visited during the daytime and strolled through the cool forest and flower domes (literally cool, compared to the temperature outside!).
On arrival we paid for the tram ride, which was good value and an easy way to get one’s bearings of the gardens, without suffering heat exhaustion. The commentary was excellent and the tram stopped by the entrance to the domes.
At night the giant ‘super trees’ come alive with lights – powered by solar power.
It’s like a scene from Avatar. Grandma & Granddad loved it.
Another scene that was pure magic was the free show at Marina Sands Waterfront Promenade. A blend of music, dancing water, fire, bubbles and laser projected film come together to tell a story that stirs the spirit, heart and soul.
Dan took his parents one night and then I managed to take the girls on the way home from Raffles another night (travelling on the MRT – underground railway system, which they loved). The show is on every night at 8.45pm. I sat mesmerised and delighted in seeing the expressions of awe and wonder on my children’s faces (particularly my youngest!).
There is always something to do in Singapore and we really did have an amazing time and holiday together. Now we are back home, and the girls are all back at school, I shall look forward to bringing together the many hundreds of photographs we have taken and putting them in albums and recording our adventures here on the blog.