Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Leavin' On a Jet Plane

We're leaving tomorrow night for a Spring Break getaway. Friday, we'll pick up our home for the next two weeks - a motor home, or "camper van" as they're known in New Zealand.  That's right!  New Zealand.

Sure, there are tons of destinations that are much closer to us, but we have no idea how long we'll be in Singapore, and week long vacations are rare.  Many of the places closer to us can be seen over long weekends, so we're using this week to explore a little bit of New Zealand's south island.  One week isn't nearly long enough; everyone has told us that.  Planning our itinerary was a challenge; Ben wanted to see penguins (or at least try; there are no guarantees), I wanted to see Milford Sound, and we both decided it would be unacceptable to miss the Southern Alps/rain forest/glaciers of the West Coast of the Island.  So, we're packing lots of hours of driving  into one short week. 

B3 is really, really excited about "sleeping in the camper", and he announces daily that it's going to be "cooooooold in New Zealand".  Today, he has negotiated my two car rule into three; Lightening McQueen gets to take both Mater AND Pumper with him.  He's brought me two pair of shoes "for New Zealand" (that we won't need to take), and he's piled his most prized possession onto our bed, AKA Packing Central:

His green Pancake Bear.  Not only did he bring his, but my considerate boy also brought his sister's pink Pancake.  He knows they usually both go with us, but he's taking no chances that I'll forget.  While we don't leave until tomorrow, I'll be surprised if he takes it back tonight; he wants to be certain that Pancake makes the trip!

The overnight flight and five hour time difference won't be fun, but we're confident that the next week will be well worth our effort.  I'm looking forward to some cooler weather, mountains, and wide open spaces. We haven't seen any of those things in Singapore.

See you next week with more stories than you want to hear and more photos than you are interested in seeing!

Friday, March 16, 2012


Seen on a post outside the Somerset MRT:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Travelling Light

Ben is travelling for two weeks, and it's been a challenge for us to stay busy and sane. So, on Saturday, we headed to the zoo after swimming lessons.  We've been to the zoo more than once already, but this time was different.  We took peanut butter sandwiches and water bottles, but we left the stroller and diapers at home. 

What? Did you miss that last sentence?  We left the stroller and diapers at home.

And it was intentional.  Operation Potty is complete!  Never mind that he seems to have a goal to visit every single restroom on this island.  Never mind that when he visits one he particularly likes, he makes sure he visits it several times in quick succession.  Maybe even three or four times during a single meal if he really likes it. Good times.

Anyway, the Zoo.  The Kids'  Area at the zoo has a really neat water play area.  There are all sorts of squirting features, slides, and a huge bucket that tumps and splashes every few minutes.

I secretly packed their swimsuits, knowing that they'd both want to play.  Truthfully, the very idea of that water area skeeves me absolutely, completely, 100% out.  And I knew they'd love it. 

After they played a while, we dried off and continued our tour of the zoo.  As we made our way towards the kangaroos, the skies promptly opened up and began to drench us.  Thankfully, a tram driver had mercy on us and made an unscheduled stop for us.  We took advantage of our free ride (regular price:  $11!) and rode the entire loop, eating crackers until the rain stopped.   Honestly, by then I was wishing we had brought the stroller;  if nothing else, it could have pushed around the sopping wet backpack full of wet swimsuits and towels. 

AK seemed to really enjoy her day, and she kept me laughing.  Examples:
  • While eating a our picnic sandwiches:  "Mama, thank you for fixing this yummy home cooked meal!"
  • After reading all of the informative signs at an exhibit:  "Mama, did you know that the Pygmy Hippo is the Underwater Ballerina of West Africa?"
  • During our visit to the giraffes:  "Mama, I bet that the inside of a giraffe is really....squishy!"
B3, too, must have had a great time; he's suggested at least a dozen times since Saturday that we go back.  Like, *right now*.  We're going back on Friday - just the two of us. 

We're managing okay on our own, but we'll all be ready for Ben when he comes home!