Gulay and Ian in Singapore

In mid-December we had a great time showing our friends Gulay and Ian around Singapore. They are super adventurous and it seemed no matter how many crazy things I had planned for them during the day I couldn't wear them out!


Sun Moon Japanese restaurant at Chimes

Ian trying Durian flavored ice cream. He was able to get a few bites down before giving up!

Fish Spa

Botanical gardens- ran into some Singaporeans dressed up as their favorite anime characters

Cup Noodle Christmas

On Saturday Kingsley and I went to the gym together and then went out for lunch. On our way to lunch we came across..a giant cup-a-noodle Christmas tree that I could not resist taking a photo of... It was yet another "only in Singapore" moment. I think this would make an excellent Christmas card!

A week of firsts

This last week was a week of some interesting firsts which began with hosting our first thanksgiving dinner in Singapore. With that success behind us Kingsley and I ventured out to try a few new things.
The morning following our Thanksgiving dinner we attended our first 3 year old birthday party. Kingsley and I were the only Bday guests who were not children or did not have children, so we were both a little intimidated as we walked into the chaos of 30 - 3 year olds hyped up on cake and sugar but we ended up having a great time.

The theme was Cars and Janel - the Bday boys mom made him a Cars (McQueen) bday cake that was incredible!!
Please note the McQueen pinata in the photo below. Total chaos followed by several ear piercing tantrums which broke out when the candy finally fell from the pinata. Needless to say Kingsley and I instantly agreed, we will not give our children candy till they are 16 years old. :)

Slightly traumatized but still feeling pretty proud of ourselves we went to dinner that evening to Shane and his wife Victorias house. They have a 7 week old beautiful little girl. In fact she was so cute Kingsley couldn't say no to trying his hand at burping his first baby.
He was a natural and it was very sweet to see him holding her. His comment on the drive home "she (the baby) was just like one of the kittens" :) I am taking this as confirmation that my kitten fostering/prep Kingsley for parenthood program was an incredible success!


For our first Thanksgiving in Singapore, we decided to host 11 of our American friends for a traditional Thanksgiving dinner outside by the Koi pond. It is a lot of work cooking for that many people especially when you have a very very small oven that is very very temperamental. But thankfully I had a lot of help and everything turned out beautifully.

Our turkey, "Tom" was 10.5 lbs. I called him my Charlie Brown Christmas Tree turkey as he was one of 3 remaining turkeys in the grocery store on Monday morning. The previous Friday there were over 30 to choose from!

Thankfully my friend Sharon also picked up a 10lb turkey so she was able to make one at home before the dinner so we had enough turkey for everyone. Carolee was still in town and she was an amazing help in prepping all the food. I felt a little guilty that she spent her last day in Singapore stuck in my kitchen cooking but she insisted there was no place else she would rather be.

10lb "Tom" pretty much filled my entire oven.

At 3pm two more friends Sharon and Maura showed up to help with the cooking and setting the table.

Our Thanksgiving table next to the Koi pond. Such a great location. Sharon made beautiful name tags for everyone.

An amazing meal, its not easy to carry all your food outside and still serve everything hot but with everyone helping out it turned out great. Far exceeding all of my expectations.

Almost everyone went back for seconds, and some of us even thirds!

Great conversations at the table, we all went around sharing what we were thankful for.

Maura (from Ireland) made Kingsley Christmas pudding. She remembered that he mentioned it one time and wanted him to have a special memory from his childhood.

Its sad to be without family during these holidays but I feel incredibly blessed to have spent it with some very special friends.

It's beginning to feel a little like Christmas

Over the last few weeks we have watched the city transform itself into a tropical "winter wonderland". Christmas trees, lights, snow flakes, anything and everything Christmas. Although its been fun to watch the city change, it does make me a little sad to remember that Christmas is just around the corner and we are not. This will be the first year my family is not all together for the holidays, so its a little sad. But its times like this when you really appreciate how special it is to have so many years of great family memories and Christmas traditions.

Every year Orchard road chooses a theme for the Christmas decorations. This year the theme is "a whimsical Christmas". I found this you tube video which does a great job of showing all the decorations at night. If you watch it long enough you will see the decorations change from pink to blue to purple. Now all we need is a little SNOW!!

Carolee visits Singapore

My friend Carolee came for a 2 week visit to Singapore. Spent the last 5 days showing her around. Its always fun to see the city through fresh eyes. She is now off to Bali for a few days and then will be back in Singapore.

Altitude 1 rooftop bar

Botanical gardens just moments before a huge thunderstorm arrived!

Dinner at the White Rabbit restaurant, I had the truffle mac and cheese which was amazing!

Dinner at Chijmes- an old Catholic school that was converted in lots of different restaurants.

Singaporean Line Dancing

Yesterday, Kingsley and I stumbled upon a blogger's gold mine, Singaporean line dancers. I just dont really know what to say about this amazing experience so I will let the video footage speak for itself.

Please keep a close eye on:
- lady with pink hair
- lady in cowboy hat
- man in red shirt
- man with hand in his pocket the entire time
- man wearing sunglasses

Tree Top Hike

Today Kingsley and I did an 11 km hike/run through the MacRitchie Resevoir park. The highlight of the hike is that several km into the hike you reach this 250 meter long suspension bridge that stretches across the jungle canopy 25 meters in the air.

Encountered several monkeys along the way (note- there is more than one monkey in this photo!)

This is the biggest ant we had ever seen!

Tree top suspension bridge

Hot and sweaty from the hike but loving the view from the bridge!

Kingsley by the MacRitchie Reservoir

Singapore Endurance Challange

The Subaru challenge is an annual endurance challenge. Its kinda like Singapore's version of Survivor. The rules are simple enough, just keep your right hand firmly placed on the car, the last person standing wins the car. Everyone is given a five minute break every six hours during the day but other than that they have to remain in position the entire time which means no sleep, food or shelter! This is the 9th year they have had this challenge and evidently competitors come from all over Asia to participate. They actually have to qualify by passing a series of endurance tests to even be allowed to enter into the competition. This is hardcore!

400 contestants from all over Asia started the competition on Saturday but by Monday evening only 38 contestants remained. The first to drop out was a girl from Hong Kong who quit after 28 minutes and had to receive medical attention. She told reporters that it was "not this hot in Hong Kong."
In 2008 the all time record was set by Singaporean George Lee who outlasted everyone at 81 hours and 32 minutes.
The oldest competitor this year is a 66 year old Vivian Tan, this is her 3rd year to compete. She said she only dropped out last year because her son was worried for her health. So she told her son not to show up at this years challenge!!
Enjoying a 5 minute break

Dragon Boat Festival

Dragon boat racing is a very popular sport in Singapore, its similar to rowing except that you only paddle on one side of the boat. Twice a year there is a big Festival with races to determine the fastest team. This last weekend was one of the big competitions so we joined a few friends at Boat Quay to cheer on the teams.

Dragon boats are a type of long boat and are made of teak. There are smaller boats that seat 5 rowers per side and larger boats that hold 10 per side. This style of racing evidently began in China over 2000 years ago and is still quite popular all over Asia. There is a drummer on every dragon boat and they are in charge of leading the paddlers during the race by the rhythm of the drum, as they get closer to the finish line the drumming becomes incredibly fast.

Watching the races at Boat Quay with Sharon and Dave, Maura and Allister

Keeping a watchful eye on the competition

A Marine in Afghanistan

Sometime very soon (not allowed to say the exact date) my little brother (who is not so little anymore) will be deployed to Afghanistan for 6-9 months. This is a scary time for my family as we don't know how often we will be able to communicate with him or what kind of dangers he may face while he is there. If you think of it, please keep Mark in your thoughts and prayers.

Mark at his graduation ceremony in San Diego

Mark with Bob Boardman a very special family friend and a Marine who passed away a week after these photos were taken.