Thursday, September 27, 2012

Signing-off from Singapore

Well the time has come for us to pack our bags and head back home. Who would have thought two months would have gone so quickly?! We can't wait to be back in Texas! There is so much we missed and so much more we look forward to (Family, Friends, Fall, Football and Fajitas! :) ). Traveling with Kevin to Singapore has been great, a wonderful experience for our family, but getting home and resettled in Houston will be a wonderful feeling. The memories made here will last a lifetime and we will enjoy getting back and sharing them with our friends and family. Thanks to all for the love, support and prayers during our time here. The blog has been fun, but its time to go home, so with that said, we are signing off from Singapore............ Here's to a good flight home! (If you look closely we're bringing home two little extras......tiny nubs! Harper has his first two bottom teeth!)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Chinatown, Chili crab, a Birthday...Oh My!

Our last weekend in Singapore truly seemed to be one of our busiest yet. From Friday to Sunday there was rarely a moment to spare. Friday night started off with the F1 races. These races are huge in Singapore, so the buzz until opening day was felt city wide......and so were all the road closures preparing for the race. Many streets in the Marina area were closed down to make the "race track" that these F1 cars race on.On Wednesday, Kevin's normal 15 minute drive to work took an hour and forty minutes due to the traffic from road closures and poor route planning by Kevin's driver......for those of you following at home, Kevin IS the driver :).

Kevin was able to get a couple of shots with his camera phone, but unless you had a pretty good quality camera, the cars were way too fast to shoot. The noise levels were so loud and the crowds were huge, Harper and I were happy to watch this event from home. It's pretty amazing that these cars are able to race through the streets of Singapore at pretty high speeds. We were definitely glad Kevin got to experience it though! :)

On Saturday we woke up early and decided to explore Chinatown. This month the Singaporeans are celebrating their Mid-Fall Festival so there was plenty of celebrating to be had and with everything else going on around town it meant for a pretty busy place.

We strolled down a few busy streets taking in the sites, shops, sounds and smells and then decided to call it a day. We did stumble upon a temple and were happy to take in this interesting site.

Later that night, Kevin and I went out for an authentic Singaporean treat with some friends from Ensco. Harper stayed behind with their daughters and it was nice to have some good adult conversation. We went to a local seafood place and had some really good food. Singapore is known for their Chili crab and this place certainly did not disappoint. The food was delicious and the company was wonderful. We even got to take in a bit of the nightlife in Singapore, and we will just say they definitely know how to have a good time!

To round out our busy weekend we celebrated my birthday with a lovely birthday brunch on Sunday. The food was delicious and our little guy was on his best behavior while we were eating, so it made for a very pleasant meal. It was so nice to get to spend the day with my two loves, I couldn't have asked for a better day.We capped off the night with a relaxing family dinner at home and of course some very yummy birthday dessert.....I will surely miss having a bakery so close, but my waistline will definitely appreciate it more when it's gone! What a great weekend we had! It's sad to see our time here in Singapore coming to an end, but we all know that there's no place like home!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Koh Samui Thailand

This weekend we went to Koh Samui, Thailand for a little R&R. We made it a long weekend, hopped a plane and an hour and a half later we were in paradise! (Harp had a pretty good flight, but I foresee much more "activity" on our return flight home to Houston...Yikes!) We had such a great time together on our first little mini vacation as a family of 3. From the moment we arrived to the moment we left we felt pampered beyond belief and got to really enjoy some down time. The sights were wonderful, the food was amazing and the service was beyond words. 

We stayed at the Four Seasons Resort in Koh Samui and it was just beautiful. It is nestled on the side of a mountain with breathtaking views of the Gulf of Siam.

Everyone was so welcoming and friendly here, they were truly eager to please. Harper was definitely a hit among the workers here, and they loved playing with him throughout our stay. Every time our buggy came (the only way to get around because the paths are so steep)  they would yell his name....."Hopper, Hopper we are here for you..or Hopper's Home, when we would return" and he would get a big grin on his face.(He really enjoyed riding in the buggy as we made our way around the resort.)They really enjoyed making him smile.

Our villa was amazing, we spent most of our time here. It was so nice to have everything we needed all in one space. This proved to be priceless with an almost 6 month old. =)

Momma and Harper enjoying the view

Harper was so interested in the monkey that sprayed water...he just kept staring and staring at it every time we were close with an open mouth and couldn't figure out where the water was coming from.

This area certainly got great use while we were here. From naps to feedings and playtime there was never a dull moment on the patio! We even used it as our own private restaurant each night when Harper went to bed! Who needs a fancy restaurant when you can order room service and eat in your robes?

A view from the tub...

The beach was beautiful and we had a great time watching Harper experience it all for the first time. Life just gets a little sweeter when there is a little one around you get to watch explore a whole new world, it makes you stop and really appreciate the beauty of it all. He had so much fun, and really enjoyed the beach.

Daddy and Harper in the water. He really liked the way the sand felt on his feet and he would stomp and squish his feet in the sand to cover his toes and smile.

He also liked getting pulled out of the water and then put back down quickly so he could dig his little piggies back into the sand. After a while in the water we decided to layout and play with Harper on the beach.

Here he is on the beach, the sand proved to be a little too messy for the both of us so he was scooped up quite quickly after this photo was shot.

Harper really enjoyed his time on the beach people watching and playing with his new toy. When our little guy was all tired out we would head back to the villa for nap time....and this was a time that Kevin and I took full advantage of. Like I said earlier this is where the priceless part comes in.....We were able to put him down to nap, turn on the baby monitor and get some much needed relaxation time in. The great thing was we didn't need a babysitter and he was just steps away!  

                                          Catching some sun and relaxing on the deck.....

We had a great time in Koh Samui and really didn't want to leave. The memories that were made are priceless and we couldn't have picked a better spot for our first family vacation. Harper has truly made our lives more rich in these past (almost) six months and we look forward to the many more "firsts" that we get to experience with our little man. This has GOT to be the good life!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Sentosa Island

Glad to have Kevin back from South Korea, we decided to take a weekend off of site seeing and lounge around the apartment, but the weekend of September 8 led us to Sentosa Island. It is a small island located about 10 minutes from our apartment. This is a destination where many of the locals and visitors alike come to escape to on the weekends and relax because it is so close to the city, and there is so much to do. We had a great time here and enjoyed all the sights to be seen!

 A picture of the entrance to Sentosa, the beauty of Singapore is not done justice in these pictures. It is amazing how we have only been here for a month and a half and already take some of the natural beauty for granted. We sure will miss seeing this everyday and can't help but wonder what our grass back home in Houston looks like....

As we made our way around the island we decided to have lunch on the beach at a fun little beach bar and enjoy the atmosphere. It was so  relaxing, we spent quite a while here just taking in the scenery. The wait staff were extremely friendly and enjoyed entertaining Harper every time they passed. Harper also made himself comfortable as well on the table. This is his new hangout spot when mommy and daddy are out to eat.....he's getting pretty good at sitting on his own and is even venturing out and swiping at things he finds interesting.....this could start to be a problem, but for now its just cute, as is everything else he does. =)

After a relaxing lunch the rest of the day was spent strolling the island. Here are a couple of photos from the rest of our day.......

Merlion Walk....we decided to climb the hill to view the famous Merlion statue. It was really neat and the walk up to the statue itself included these beautiful mosaic pools.

We made it to the top, and once we were there, there was so much people watching Harper could hardly contain himself! Luckily we were able to snap a few photos of him.....

When we had had enough people watching and were ready for a break we decided to take the cable cars to view the rest of the island. This was really neat because not only did we get to see the rest of the island, but we were also able to see the shipyards and the city as well.

A view from the top.

A rare photo of the two of us enjoying the cable car ride......oh how our life has changed, but why would we ever want anything else when we get to see this little face below everyday? He was pooped by the end of the day but had so much fun enjoying yet another site of the city. We look forward to what is yet to come... Only 11 more days left and we will be home! Boy time sure does fly when you are having fun!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Life as we Know It

With Kevin in S.Korea this week on business, Harper and I enjoyed a fun week of normalcy. It is surprising how easy we all have adjusted to life in Singapore. As we went about our week this week, I couldn't help but think how normal it seems for us now even though we've only been here for a month. Our everyday routine is much like what we would do in Houston, eat, sleep and play (and of course shop).
Many have asked questions about what we do and where we go, so, here is a tiny glimpse of life as we know it......

Harper and I have made our way down to the indoor playground this week and it did not disappoint! Here are a couple pics of his favorite toy in this place.

Working so hard to get his little car in the right gear, I hope he knows they drive on the opposite side of the road here in Singapore! I have a feeling we will be visiting the playground quite a bit within the next month.

Cold Storage is our grocery store here in Singapore. As you can see, it looks pretty much like one you might find in the U.S., the only difference are the prices (YIKES, talk about sticker shock!) and of course the huge supply of Asian cooking products! =) We come here almost everyday since it is located in the basement of our apartment and is so convenient. If you look close, we were in for a treat this week because the store was having a U.S.A. food fair! The fair consisted of an aisle of "U.S." foods like,  macaroni and cheese, a variety of imported chips, Ken's Caesar Salad dressing and a few American Wines...definitely a great representation of the good ole  U.S. of A!

Motherswork. I am totally in love with this store! As with Cold Storage, Harper and I visit often...ok almost daily. It is like upscale boutique meets a little bit of Babies 'R Us. I don't think there has been a time that we have left this store empty handed.....Harper never seems to mind.

When we are not shopping for things for sweet baby, we definitely have had our fill of food to eat. Here are some of our "everyday" places. Because groceries are so expensive, we have actually found it is much cheaper to eat out......but one must really like rice to make this sacrifice! (Needless to say I have started cooking) :)

These are the "hawker" stalls located in the basement of our apartment. These stalls have every type of Asian, Japanese, or Chinese food you would like. We have only ventured here a couple of times as it is a little overwhelming trying to decide what to eat or what our stomachs can actually take. Many of the stalls have premade examples of foods that look a little less than appetizing to a passerby, so we try and stick with things that are somewhat familiar.

Cedele has become our go to place for fresh, healthier food choices. They have great sandwiches, salads and Asian Fusion entrees that we really enjoy. The main reason we like it though is because they have AMAZING desserts!

When we feel like eating in, we have found this place to be wonderful! I can run in and grab a few things (made from scratch) and simply reheat when we are ready to eat! We have enjoyed this place quite a bit, and every time we go in the workers love playing with "the bright eyed BAAAYYBEEEE. "

The Pump Room is a great place for us relax after a long week of work for Kevin. It is an outside pub that serves lunch and dinner and has a wide variety of cold beers and wine. The best part about this place is its location and of course they show a few American sports!

Last but not least, I leave you with a little glimpse of a place that is truly popular with the locals. This picture was taken before opening, however, there is always a long wait, and rarely in that line do you see expats. Watch out chili crab and chicken rice, rotisserie chicken and ribs might soon be the national dish of Singapore! Kevin and I can't help but giggle every time we pass.


I look forward to getting out and finding some new places to eat and things to do in the next month while we are here in Singapore, but I am very grateful for the "normal" places that we have found so far......Life as we know it now in Singapore really isn't too bad!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Singapore Zoo

This weekend's excursion led us to the Singapore Zoo! As this is one of the top rated "sites to see"  here in Singapore, we wanted to make sure we did not miss it. We decided to visit on Saturday afternoon to try and beat the heat and the crowds and we were lucky to manage at least one.....the heat was another story, but it's one that we, unfortunately, seem to be getting used to here.

Here are a couple of pictures from the day. It really was an amazing place, and I'd have to say it was probably one, if not the best that I've been to.

The Singapore Zoo is unique in that it takes on a rainforest feel throughout the majority of the park with lush foliage, canopys and beautiful Kapok trees. They take great pride in displaying thier animals in a way that does not seem unnatural to thier habitat.  As we were walking around it was amazing how close the animals were, in some instances it was almost like we were seeing them on more of a safari than at a Zoo. Kevin and I laughed walking around at first because everything was so lush and natural it really did feel like something could jump out of the bushes at any moment!

This was one of the many beautiful animals seen throughout the park. We really enjoyed seeing all of the animals, but like I said in an earlier post, its just so hard to get pictures..I just want to experience it all alongside my boys.

Here is a picure of sweet Harper enjoying the fish, while watching a Ballerina Hippo. While he is still quite young to truly enjoy the animals here at the zoo, he really enjoyed the people watching. :)

There was one animal that truly caught Harper's eye, the ZEBRA....unfortunately for us all I caught was the tail! I did however manage to get this sweet picture of him and his daddy below looking intently at those black and white creatures.

 I couldn't decide what is was about those animals that he loved.... the black and white contrast that he is sooo familiar with, or thier tails moving quickly back and forth much like his sweet Emmy girl's back at home, either way we had a great time togehter as a family and look forward to what next weekend has in store.