With much anticipation and planning, our trip to Singapore began on December 20, Lynn was not sure we would be able to leave, as the weather reports were questionable with heavy fog predicted in Madison & Chicago. Luckily, the fog lifted and we were able to leave as scheduled from Madison & Chicago, although it is not known if Rudolph helped guide our plane that day, we did reach our destinations on time. It was a new experience for all of us flying for the first time internationally, not only out of the United States, but to the other side of the world and almost to the Southern Hemisphere. It was really cool flying over the north pole and seeing the orange sunset and not more than a few hours the sunrise in the east. The flight from Chicago to Hong Kong was about fifteen hours, but seemed to go by much faster. Between movies, the plane movie screen showed us a gps picture of where we were on the map and how many hours have gone by along with how many hours until landing. The map also noted the speed of the plane between 450-612 mph. It also gave air temperature and altitude information. I noticed the air temperature over the North pole was -77 degrees and over Siberia it was -88 degrees, but we were also at 40,000.00 feet above earth. You really do get a perspective on how big or how far away countries are when you fly to them or over them. We were very happy to arrive in Singapore after about 26 hours and 15 minutes from when we left home. It was interesting going through immigration, I was chewing gum at the time and found out later that chewing gum in Singapore is against the law. I knew selling gum was against the law, but did not know chewing it was.
It was a little hard getting used to the 13 hour time difference with the jet lag, so as you would expect we were talking one minute and fell asleep sitting up the next minute. The next day we enjoyed swimming in the large pool and sitting pool side soaking up some rays. We also ventured out to Orchard Road and the shopping district. We went through a number of multi story malls, including Lucky's. Steve and I found some cool cars at the Hilton and took pictures with a Lamborghini and Ferrari that were parked outside. The kids went to a movie theater where they have reserved seating and were very impressed with the theater. Sunday we went to the Singapore Zoo and were able to see many of the residents close up. Lions & Tigers and Bears, Oh my. It was an excellent Zoo and exceptionally clean, as is everywhere we have visited in Singapore.
Monday, Steve and I went down the other end of Orchard Road, past the Prime Minister's residence, it then turns into Bras Basah Road. We went past the Singapore Art Museum and stopped into the famous Raffles Hotel for a look around. We stopped at the World War II Monument for the Singapore Citizens lost in the War. We then went down Esplanade Drive and walked past the Convention Center and the Performing Arts Center. We crossed the bridge and down by the Merlion. It was great having a walking tour with Steve, as he knew all the land marks and history of the area. We then walked down the Boat Quay, where there are a number of restaurants and pubs along the river. We stopped and had a jug of Tiger beer. We then took the MRT(Subway) back to Orchard Road. It is very easy to get around with the MRT.
We celebrated Christmas on Christmas Eve and opened gifts, although the greatest gift was being able to come to Singapore and visit.