Switzerland - Verbier

In my mind Verbier is the place in Switzerland where Heidi must have been from. It is a tiny little ski village nestled in the Alps and located in the south west part of Switzerland.  People typically come to Verbier in the winter for the skiing but we came for the Paragliding and extreme moutnaing biking runs so June was the perfect month. 

Kingsley was in Verbier a little over 10 years ago to paraglide with Stu and Mike who run the paragliding school Verbier Summits and had the most wonderful time. I have heard him talk about the beauty of Verbier for years so it was very exciting to finally get a chance to see this special spot in the world. 

Our accommodation for the week was an old barn that Stu and Mike had converted into a very quaint apartment. I absolutely loved it there and only wish that we had more than just a week to explore the area. One thing that took a bit of getting used to was the fact that everything shuts down around 5-6pm in the evening. There were only a few restaurants open in the town in the evening and all grocery stores were closed.  Also absolutely nothing was open on Sundays and Mondays so I really had to preplan our meals.  Coming from Singapore, which is open 24/7, it was a bit of a shock how quiet and slow paced everything was. 

Kingsley's first flight in Verbier from Lynn Wood on Vimeo.

While Kingsley flew, I took on what I thought to be an intermediate mountain biking run.  This run somehow quickly turned into a black (advanced) run which was WAY out of my league. At one point after a pretty significant wipeout over the handle bars, the Verbier Police caught up with me to ask if I needed assistance.  My pride kept me from allowing them to bail me out and eventually I did make it back to an easier run down the mountain. I can't even count the number of times I flew over the handle bars or skidded sideways down the mountain.  I have no idea how I managed to get back to the base of the mountain scratched and bruised but without any serious injuries! I will certainly be a bit more humble and stick with the beginner runs when choosing my next mountain biking adventure but I did have fun and the scenery was just post card perfect. 

Kingsley had many amazing flights in Verbier but swooping over and landing in fields next to grazing cows with cowbells on was one of the highlights. 

Kingsley lands to the sound of cow bells from Lynn Wood on Vimeo.

Switzerland - Geneva

Geneva was the first stop of our 3 week summer adventure in Europe.  The thing that stood out to me about Geneva, besides everything being clean, organized and slightly expensive, was that unlike Singapore people were not walking around with their faces buried in their smart phones.  Instead people were walking along actually talking to each other and sitting across from each other in cafes looking at each other in the eyes and connecting.  It really stood out to me how different and slower paced the lifestyle was compared to what I typically encounter in Singapore.  It is refreshing to know that a lifestyle without constant iPad and iPhone usage still exists somewhere in the world.  

I spent the most money ever on a cup of plain black tea (not even a nice tasting black tea).  I think it was 5 Swiss Franks and it came in a tiny little cup.  I typically ask for more hot water when I get tea like this but somehow it didn't seem appropriate while sitting people watching along the high end shopping street of Rue du Rhône so I just drank my tiny tea very slowly.  After looking at the prices on some of the restaurant menus Kingsley and I opted to buy stuff for a picnic lunch from the weekend farmers market.  Cherries, dried meat, fresh goat cheese and olives ended up being the perfect meal. 

MERS scare

I came down with a high fever last Wednesday which lasted for a few days and I was feeling pretty miserable. Especially since Kingsley is away for work right now so I was sick and alone with 4 kittens to take care of. On Friday morning I went into the urgent care clinic at Raffles hospital just to get checked out.

Things began to go wrong when I checked in at the registration counter and the receptionist marked me down as a male on the admission form. When I pointed this out to her she looked at me with utter confusion. She couldn't understand what she had done wrong. So I had to explain to her that I was indeed a female and finally she shrugged her shoulders as if to say whatever floats your boat and changed it to female.

Then when I saw the doctor he asked about my travel history and after seeing that I had been in Dubai all hell broke loose. I was given a mask to put on and rushed to a private waiting area and was told I must wait there for an ambulance to come and take me to another hospital where I could be tested for MERS. The ambulance drivers showed up wearing full HAZMAT gear (just like the movies) if I wasn't feeling so poorly I would have been laughing hysterically.

Making sure I stay well away from the other patients while I wait for the ambulance.

My first ever ambulance ride

I was then taken to ER at Tang Tok Seng hospital and was brought in via the back entrance and take into a negative pressure isolation room. I spent the next 6 hours in that room with the (very cute) doctor and the nurses coming in and out wearing full protective gear. I had blood work, chest X-rays...all sorts if things. Finally everything came back all clear so I was sent home with the strict orders to be at the CDC at 9:40am on Monday to have a second round of blood work and chest X-ray done. Thankfully all tests have come back normal and my fever is gone...it was just the flu after all.

Overall I am feeling much better however it will take me some time to get over the emotional trauma from being mistakenly labeled a male!

TCM pet/medicinal Turtle

Here I am at the local Traditional Chinese Medicine clinic and I see this turtle wandering around the clinic.  The troubling thing is I am not sure if this turtle is a pet or used for medicinal purposes...either way its not everyday you see a large turtle walking around in a medical clinic!

TCM Turtle from Lynn Wood on Vimeo.
Pet turtle TCM from Lynn Wood on Vimeo.

Kittens - Wah, Lah, Same Same, Same Same but Different

A day after we got back from Dubai I got 4 beautiful 3 week old kittens.  Kingsley left that same day for 2 weeks in the US so I had every 2 hour round the clock bottle feedings to manage all by myself.  It was incredibly exhausting but so worth it!

Kitten - 2am feeding from Lynn Wood on Vimeo.
Kitten bottle feeding from Lynn Wood on Vimeo.

Kittens learning how to play from Lynn Wood on Vimeo.

Diner en Blanc 2014

This was our third year enjoying Diner en Blanc in Singapore but we only just barely made it in time.  Kingsley and I had a red eye flight from Dubai which landed about an hour and half before we were supposed to meet at the designated location.  Which meant Kingsley and I had to make it through the airport in record time, arrive at the condo after traveling for the last 3 weeks, throw on our white clothes and run out the door.  We made it just in the nick of time and joined 3000 other guests dressed in their most elegant white outfits to the event.

The secret location was Tanjong Beach in Sentosa and was only revealed to us when we arrived at the beach. Once at there I begin to set up our table, chairs, tablecloths, and arranged our table settings while Kingsley went off to find the food and wine we had pre-ordered.  Kingsley had pre-ordered the seafood meal for us which included:

1small piece of salmon
2 small fresh spring rolls
4 chocolate tartlets

Lets just say that after the long flight we were both famished and we found the meal to be very underwhelming.  Next year I will be bringing our own food!

Later in the evening just before a beautiful fireworks display, champagne bottles carrying diners’ romantic messages were launched into the sea.  At about 11:30pm, the time zone changes and lack of sleep finally caught up with me so we called it an early evening.  I'm looking forward to next year!

Champagne/wine glasses clinked and new friends were made.

Diner en Blanc 2014 Singapore from Lynn Wood on Vimeo.

40th Bday parties Singapore style

Kingsley and I were fortunate to attend two very special 40th Bday parties last month.  The first was held at Me@OUE.  We had a whole outside section reserved for us complete with opera singers and a massive birthday cake.

Happy Birthday Opera from Lynn Wood on Vimeo.

The second 40th Birthday party was for our friends Nicole and Wolfgang who threw a red and white themed party (Singapores colors!) Thankfully Kingsley already had his outfit ready to go from previous years of Diner en Blanc.