Grand Prix - Formula 1

Formula 1 - Grand Prix arrived in Singapore this weekend.

Vantage point Altitude 1. Its on the 62nd floor of one of the tallest office buildings
in the business district.

Our friends Simone and Lisa invited us to join them at the rooftop bar to watch the race

Brazilian Formula One driver Felipe Massa of Ferrari leads the pack in the first turn after the start of the Singapore Grand Prix at the Marina Street Circuit in Singapore on 28 September 2008. Singapore will host the Grand Prix street circuit race for the first time.  EPA/KERIM OKTEN

singapore f1 2009
The race route - our rooftop bar is in the bottom left corner of this picture

The race was really fun to watch. I don't really know too much about the guy who won. I just know that he was driving the Ferrari (red with white spoiler). He started off in first place during lap 1 and maintained his position for the entire 61 laps.

Moon Cakes

Every Autumn in Singapore there is a Lunar festival to celebrate the moon. A major part of this celebration is the giving of moon cakes. They are considered a delicacy ($5-$50 per cake) and are given to friends and family. I had been eyeing these cakes in stores and bakeries for a while so I was pretty excited when Kingsley was given two moon cakes. I wanted to give them a try as they look VERY tasty from the outside.

However, I have lived in Asia long enough to know that what looks beautiful on the outside may not always be so good on the inside. So before eating them I decided to do a little google search (thank goodness for google).
I discovered that moon cakes typically have a thick filling made from lotus seed paste (not so bad) with the yolk of a salted duck egg inside (wow)! The duck egg is to symbolize the full moon.

I couldn't resist forcing Kingsley to try a small amount. And guess what, he actually likes the cakes! At least the lotus seed part of it.

This is what was left of the moon cakes after Kingsley cut around the edges to polish off the outer ring of the cake, carefully avoiding the salted duck yolk.

Welcome home

After a 12 and a half hour flight back to Singapore, I arrived home to starving husband, one empty fridge, and 20 pink shirts...

Yup thats right, Kingsley did a load of whites and somehow managed to add one of my pink shirts to the load. He has now officially been banned from laundry duty. I might have suspected that this was all planned had I not seen some of his favorite shirts in the casualty pile. It's good to be home.

Germany - Family time

Although I loved exploring Germany, my favorite part of the trip was spending time with Amy, Sally, Shaun and Damien. I feel so fortunate to have such a wonderful family that I love spending time with.

Had a wonderful German meal at a traditional restaurant my last night in Germany. My meal was called the wedding banquet- veal with cranberries covered in a horseradish sauce. It was awesome!
Schnee Balls! This photo demonstrates the actual size of the pastries. Larger than teapot and xbox controller!

Germany - Three Musketeers

The week I was in Wurzburg coincidentally ended up being that same week they were filming the movie the Three Musketeers with Orlando Bloom. Not wanting to miss out on the action, Damien, Amy and I went to the location where they were filming to check it out. We had no idea if they would actually be filming anything while we were there but thought we should bring the baby along to win us brownie points just in case. We had no idea how close to the action we would actually get!

The Residence- the set for the filming of the Three Musketeers

Sword collection- Dartanians (Orlando Bloom) swords are labeled at the top

Other Musketeers


After a few minutes of walking around, we heard a helicopter approaching and realized was carrying Orlando Bloom. And thats when the real groupies started pouring out of the woodwork. Anytime he appeared in front of the crowd there was cheering and screaming (mostly from the women fans). Damien slept through the whole thing, so much for him being a side-kick.

helicopter arrives with Orlando Bloom

Posing with all of the groupies

Orlando Bloom filming the same scene over and over again. Walking up and down a platform.

Germany - Christmas store

One of my favorite parts of our visit to Rothenburg ob der tauter was seeing the year round Christmas store. Walking into the store felt like entering another world... a winter wonderland world. I could have spent hours there.

So many of the ornaments were hand-carved wooden figurines

Pyramid windmills

It wasn't until I was halfway through the store that I saw the signs that say no photos...oops.
Amy and I couldn't leave the store without buying Damien a little Christmas ornament from his Aunties. These little reindeer were too cute to pass up.

Germany - Rothenburg ob der tauber

While in Germany,Kingsley's sister Sally took us on a fun day trip to visit the town called Rothenburg ob der tauber which in English means "red fortress above the tauber". The city is located on a hill overlooking the Tauber river.

Rothenburg is your classic medieval town and has been featured in several movies including one of my all time favorites Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

Standing in front of the wall around the city

Amy and Lynn on the city wall

On of the things Rothenburg is known for is their Schnee Balls (snowballs) which are these softball sized donut like pastries.
They looked so good we couldn't help but buy a few...okay so we bought 5. They look a lot smaller in the shopfront window.
Amy and Lynn posing infront of the Rathaus or town hall. This is where they have the Christmas markets during December.

Sally, Amy and Lynn doing our famous Australia post at a lookout point with a great view of the city.
Post card worthy

Germany - Wurzburg

Wurzburg is a city in the Franconia region of Germany and it's where Sally, Shaun and Damien live. It is a beautiful city that sits next to the Main river, the city even has a castle!

Marienberg castle in the background

Exploring Wurzburg, photo taken on the old Main bridge which was built in 1473

Marienberg castle with vineyards on the hillside

On March 16, 1945 about 90% of the city was destroyed by British bombers during a WW II air raid. The city center which was built during medieval times was totally destroyed by fires and around 30,000 people (mostly women and children) were killed. On March 16 every year the city arrives at one of the main churches with candles and has a moment of silence for all of the victims.
View from the castle

After a beautiful hike up to the castle we stopped for an authentic German lunch - Bratwurst and beer

Germany - Damien

Second stop on the trip was Germany to visit family and meet my very first nephew Damien. I have to say I have held a lot of babies in the past but nothing prepared me for the attachment I felt for this little guy. In fact, Auntie Amy and Auntie Lynn had to be closely monitored so that no one Auntie got more time with him.

Damien and Auntie Amy - happy face

Damien and Auntie Amy - surprised face

Damien's first Mohawk compliments of Auntie Lynn

First diaper change on the train, he thought it was such a fun game

Hanging out with his (fav) Auntie

We were all matching so had to take advantage with a photo op.

Seattle Scavenger hunt

Challenge Nation was in Seattle while I was in town, so 3 of my best girlfriends and I decided to take them on! Challenge Nation is a type of scavenger hunt, similar to the Amazing Race. Each team is given clues and you have to finish the race with the best time to win.

Carmen reading us the clues

There were 133 teams competing in the race. We finished 111th...not our best time ever but I think our multiple coffee and snack breaks may have slowed us down just a bit!

Clue: this urban waterfall commemorates the employees of what was once the American Messenger Service at the site of its founding.

Answer: I have no idea what this waterfall is called or how exactly we found it

Clue: These craft perform "Chesley S." like maneuvers everyday with no headlines!

Answer: Kenmore air on lake union

Clue: Why this wall was a top spot for engagement photos, we'll never know.

Answer: Gum wall at Pikes Place Market

Clue: What do you get when you add a dramatic former View personality and a NBA team? Take a photo at the original- making a human pyramid out front including one other Challenge team.
Answer: Starbucks at Pikes Place Market

We worked hard during the race and walked/ran all over Seattle so the next morning it was "pedicure time".