Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Singapore 2015 - Things we did with 2 toddlers under 4

So here we are. Back from our epic 6-week holiday in Singapore and Bali.

It has been so AMAZING!

This was the longest trip I spent in Singapore since I got married and moved to Germany in 2006! 

Now that I'm back to the daily rut of washing laundry, preparing meals, cleaning up after meals, fetching Sam from preschool (the hub brings him), spending 24/7 with my little pet Gabriel, I figured that I should revive my blog! 

I guess this trip to Singapore was long enough to make me feel homesick again! 

Don’t get me wrong. I always feel homesick whenever I leave Singapore but after having lived in Germany for the past 9 years, Singapore has become more of my second home / holiday destination. The fact that I’ve never stayed there long enough for me to really remember what it was like to live there and not just have a holiday, made it somewhat easier for me to leave again. 

This time though, I had my hubby with me for 4 weeks and my 2 boys with me for the entire 6 weeks. It was Gabriel’s maiden trip and Sammy’s second Chinese New Year. There's something so heartwarming to watch your own kids share in things from your childhood! I wish they would be exposed to the Singaporean culture as much as they are to the German one. 

Foodwise, Gabriel is more adventurous and would gobble up his char siew pau (pork bun) and sliced fish soup. Sammy would usually be quite skeptical about “unfamiliar” food and would only chew his food hesitantly after seeing his brother take his first bite. 

My boys in their crew cuts savoring their fresh mango juice

We found an old-school shop that sold biscuits from my childhood!

Both kids took very well to the weather and other than a mild case of diarrhoea towards the end of the trip, none of us fell sick during the entire 6 weeks! Praise God!

We really spent our time in Singapore relaxing, swimming (lots!), hanging around in malls and meeting up with friends and family over food, food and more food!

Love Bak Chok Mee!

We didn't want to burn a hole in our pockets since we had just moved house and still have to be cautious with our spending (ah-hem), so we opted for cheaper or better still, FREE things to do!

1. Sentosa

Sentosa has become so easily-accessible by train from Vivocity so we brought the kids there about 3-4 times! Sammy lurved the Luge, while Gabriel had a love-hate relationship with it! I had to navigate the slopes slowly with him otherwise he would scream his lungs out! The view from the lift up the slopes was awesome though!

We would leave home by late morning, have lunch at Vivocity (much cheaper than in Sentosa), take the train to "Beach station" and just hang out at the beach and go to the Luge.

We didn't bother much with Universal Studios or the aquarium, since we went to the latter during our previous trip and our kids are still too young to meet the minimum height requirement for most of the rides at Universal Studios.

After the Luge rides, we would have some bubble tea (they have Gong Cha there) and Old Chang Kee. Oh yeah! Gabriel loved the "bubbles" from bubble tea and both kids loved anything deep-fried from OCK. Who wouldn't?

On the ride up the slopes

Helmets make us all look DOH!

The boys squirming over their helmets

Sam rocking his helmet

The beach at Sentosa actually looks pretty nice!
Sand gorgeous sand
Recognize that OCK stick?? Yum!

2. Shopping malls

The afternoon sun is blazing hot in Singapore so the next best thing to do is to take shelter in the malls.

I made the mistake once of bringing the kids to an open-air playground at noon! I guess those years of living abroad blurred my memory of how hot the sun really is! Sammy couldn't even go on the swing because he said the seat was burning his bum! 

Thanks to Dad for the Maclaren double stroller, my boys could nap on the go.

The only problem we had very often is that the boys wouldn't nap simultaneously. Of course one would wake up exactly when the other went down for his nap. Still, one kid awake is only 50% the work of 2 kids right?

Oh, you won't believe how many people asked us if they were twins! I suppose that question should be expected when one uses a double stroller, plus the fact that they do look pretty similar. But we were still quite surprised at how often we would have to answer, "No. They are 2 years apart."

Things in Singapore have gotten sooo mega expensive - more so now that the Euro is so weak! Argh! Hence, we were so thankful that my Dad blessed us with quite a bit of shopping vouchers so we could buy summer clothes for the boys "for free!" Singapore is after all a shopping paradise!

I did spend one long afternoon at Paragon Shopping mall for their indoor playground. The stores on that level are exorbitant - think Armani kids prices. But if you go there to just let your kids run crazy in an enclosed area that's FREE, this is the place for you.

They absolutely love this "Chuggington" train! It's a money-making machine!

 3. Botanical Gardens - Jacob Ballas

Seriously, this garden deserves an award of sorts.

It's THAT good!

I would bring my kids there everyday if I lived in Singapore!

Gorgeous kids-sized waterfall
The kids' play area is one-of-its-kind! There's a waterplay area, sandplay area, waterfall, suspension bridge, treehouse with 2 slides and all sorts of educational spots where one can learn about flora and fauna.

The garden is also enclosed, so if one loses a kid, the kid wouldn't be able to leave the garden without passing through a barricade which is always watched by some botanical garden staff.

And the best part of it? This entire garden is free!!!!

There is even a cafe just outside the garden where one can grab some very reasonably-priced fish and chips. Oh the tables and chairs are even miniature. And the toilets too.

Gosh. I'm missing the garden even as I'm writing about it.

Spot the little monkey running around?

 Taking turns to splash each other

 The story behind this is that I told Sammy that he shouldn't pour water on Gabe because Gabe hates it. So he decided to pour water on himself instead! And he got such a kick out of doing so!

So proud of my little man who insisted on helping his friend buckle up

The walk thru botanics is beautiful too!

4. Couple dates

I think it's an age thing. But as we get older and especially now with 2 kids in tow, we find that we would rather meet up with less people and have more quality time.

Couple time was far and few between but we managed to sneak out for some supper time after the kids fell asleep - which was very rare and very late. No thanks to the fact that we all sleep in the same room and they wouldn't go to bed when we're not there.

We went to Cajun Kings after hearing so much about this place! I first thought it would be down town so I was pleasantly surprised when it was hidden away in a private housing estate! Not far from my Dad's place too!

The food was AMAZING! The cajun prawns, mussels mix is not for the faint-hearted though! So very spicy it is! But very shiok!

Highly-recommended to go for a finger-licking good time with friends!

One rare couple shot.
At Cajun Kings - We had such superb cajun shrimps, corns and mussels!

15-1 Jalan Riang
Singapore 358987

We did quite a bit of other stuff in Singapore and Bali too. But these were the main things that I felt was worth mentioning in a nutshell.

I hope to be able to sort out my photos and blog about it before the year is over!!!! - Just kidding..... (hopefully!)


CL said...

nice trip back home, eh? same to us, slowly getting back to the routine ..

Pris said...

CL - Yah it was a superb trip home! We're getting used back to home in Germany too. But I'm having spring allergies already! Bleah!


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