Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Singapore revisited

For my fini-TDY I got to go back to Singapore. It worked out well, too, because when we were in Little India my wife saw some little tables that she wanted, and we realized it would be impossible to take them home in taxis and on a commercial airliner, so I got sent back to pick them up :) 
 Little India--a feast for the senses
 back in the exotic market 
I think those umbrellas are form over function
and pictures. They discouraged picture taking of their wares, but as I was there buying the tables they let me
I even had time to do some clothes shopping. I got a dress for my daughter and a shirt for me
 I also got to walk over to Arab Street that we didn't have a chance to make it to on our vacation due to timing. It was not a bad walk. This is the Sultan Mosque.
appropriately named
 this was a beautiful little area
 it was unusual to see this stuff on this side of Asia
 everyone loves sea turtles
 documenting their travel from Oman to Singapore
 other side of the mosque
 restaurants and shops
even the project housing is bright and colorful in Singapore (at least on the outside)
 Octopus anyone? Delicious, just chewy.
 and this is the dress I got my daughter
now she can dress like an Indian for Thanksgiving ;)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Halloween (last party before the movers)

In the midst of our move to Oklahoma in a couple of weeks we have been a little busy. Even so, now that they are almost a month old, we wanted to share some Halloween pics.
 This was us. Our daughter was Princess Sofia the First, I was R from Warm Bodies and my wife was a mad scientist along with Spidey and a dragon.
 P Chang exchanged his head for the occasion.
 The youth had been begging for a party and my wife threw an amazing Halloween party for them.
Great games and our kids got to stay up with them, so they were ecstatic.
 P Chang is Pumpkin Head Harvey
 hats and glasses from Grandma
 oh yeah

Monday, November 11, 2013

Clearly you've never been to Singapore

The famous Merlion Park with Marina Bay sands sky park in the background
 The first morning we went to the famous Singapore zoo for breakfast with the orangutans. The mama there has two babies, one hers and one adopted. They are amazing creatures. It was funny, though, that they wanted us to stay away from them here when we held them in Bali.
 Can you see all four in this picture?
 it was so hot! We love the animal encounters in this part of the world. And the breakfast had real pink guava juice (like in Venezuela, not the green guava that they had in Thailand) and it was excellent
In a large enclosure that we could walk through they set it up like the rain forest. This is a fresh water ray that I didn't know existed.
 There were flying foxes all over flying around
 the sun shining through the wings was a fun picture to take
 bats hang because they are not strong enough to stand up
 butterflies in there as well reminiscent of the park on Okinawa
 ring-tailed lemurs were walking around in there as well
 one of the best aspects of the park were the free roaming orangutans around the park
we were able to walk right under these guys
 there is the mama in the show, demonstrating how tough she is before she husked a coconut with her bear hands
 feeding the rhinos
 rhino breath was something else...
 they set up feedings such that you can go from pen to pen viewing all of the feedings
 Timon and family
 making faces
feeding the giraffes
 then feeding the pair of white tigers
 I said a zoo wouldn't suffice after Thailand for tigers and that is true. I wish I could have pet them, but this was still impressive.
 the sun was so bright you can see the glare
 an a wild safari from the safety of the zoo
 the orangutans really were the highlight
 this guy got tired and just covered up in a burlap bag blanket
 while they had a komodo dragon exhibit, these monitor lizards are native to Singapore and were just walking down the road in the zoo
 it was like walking around in jungle book
the amount of animals are more than we can get in the blog, but the monkeys were really exotic
 golden monkeys
You couldn't tell if you were in a zoo or out in the jungle. That night we went to the night safari, but as you couldn't us flash (it would hurt the animals) none of those pictures turned out. The coolest animal there was a three foot long giant red flying squirrel from India and it flew right over my head.
The next day we went to Little India.
 It was a big party for Deepavali.
 what the pictures don't do is give you the incense and Indian food smells
 with the bright colors also was the excellent Indian music; my wife found some really nice little tables, but we didn't know how to get them home with the commercials flights so we didn't get them, but when I went back TDY the next week I was able to pick them up.
 a local temple
 very intricate
and an Indian Avatar :)
 I said I needed that outfit in the middle for Halloween, but it was a bit pricey
 then we headed over to Chinatown
 our youngest is definitely two
then we headed to Merlion park
 that is the Singapore flyer in the background
then it was off to the Gardens by the Bay
 where they have built these "super trees" that light up to music
 very beautiful
 and still very hot
waiting for a taxi in the hotel lobby
 then it was off to the River Safari with river creatures, and pandas
 a fresh water puffer fish
 a rare Chinese alligator
 and the super cute red pandas
 the branch went over the walkway so we were looking right up at this guy
 check out those claws
 Master Shifu
 then his larger cousins
This was the best panda enclosure and the most active I have ever seen them. The best part was that their building was air conditioned.
 munchin' on bamboo
 watching them move was almost like a guy in a suite; also, they have six fingers on each hand, "I know someone who is looking for you"
 and then he dazzled us with a bamboo flute solo...
my little pandas
 an anime interpretation of our friends Kai Kai and Jia Jia
 by the river
doesn't that look like it's out of a National Geographic?
 at the end of the River Safari they had a big tank full of manatees
they would walk on their flippers and the babies were surprisingly fast
 then we went to the bird park
 despite a little rain it was a good visit
 our daughter with her favorite birds
 my wife had us pose for this on the bridge when our youngest was melting down
then we fed the Lorikeets
 the bird whisperer
 after seeing his boat in Hong Kong we got to see Lord Shen in Singapore
 they had a cool bird show
 this pea fowl followed us around for 15 minutes
 the end of our Singapore adventure
time to fly home with their birds