Ed's guest post
Singapore visit 2007

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We left Madison on Monday morning, April 16, 2007 for our first trip to Sandy's in Singapore. Sandy was back in Madison for a short visit and arranged for us to fly back with her. After a very long trip of 30 hours travel time (23 hours flying) we got to Singapore at 1:30 AM on Wednesday, April 18. Steve was waiting for us at the airport. Getting to bed at 3:00 AM made for a very short evening. Remember also, Singapore is 13 hours ahead of Madison so 3:00 AM Wednesday in Singapore is 2:00 PM Tuesday afternoon in Madison. Please note that the pictures following this text somewhat follow the story.

The first couple of days were spent getting adjusted to the time change and learning the lay of the land. I am sure from reading Steve's earlier blogs you know that their apartment is only a couple of blocks from Orchard Road, the main shopping street in Singapore. They are only about 5 minutes from the first of almost continuous shopping centers with about any store or type of restaurant you can imagine. The malls are vertical with floor after floor of shops and stores. On Thursday, we had breakfast at a MacDonalds where they had very good Egg McMuffins. Later that morning we took a walk with Steve, stopped at a sidewalk ice cream stand for a cone, and ended up meeting Sandy for lunch at The Hard Rock Café.

The money here is a Singapore currency with bills being $50.00, $10.00, $5.00, and $2.00. Their coins are $1.00, $0.50, $0.20,$0.10, and $0.05. They do not use $0.01 coins so if the bill comes out an odd amount, they just round it. No messing around with pennies.

Sandy and Steve have a very nice apartment. I have included a few pictures that some of you may have seen before. One is their living room looking out their balcony and then I have included some looking over the city and down towards their pool. The pool and grounds are very nice. What is amazing to me is that with the temperature being 80-90 degrees almost every day and normally with lots of rain, there are almost no bugs. In fact, after 4 days here, I have only seen 3 insects, a fly at McDonalds and 2 small bugs here on the grounds. I say normally no rain because so far it hasn't rained for the 5 days that we have been here.

On Thursday afternoon, we made our first excursion. Steve, Jan, and I took the MRT (an underground subway) to an area called Raffles Center, another shopping area. It seems that every place you go has a big shopping center associated with it. This is also the location of the Raffles Hotel, the location where the drink called The Singapore Sling originated back in WWII. This is the area in the vicinity of the tall buildings seen in the picture from Sandy's balcony.

We started walking past several interesting areas, including the Singapore Convention Center, an unusual domed building called the Esplanade, that is a performing arts building. We walked across the bridge over the Singapore River. From the bridge you could see several interesting sites. One is of a new (just being built) Ferris Wheel or Observation Wheel as it is called here. It is named the Singaporer Flyer and will be the tallest one of these wheels in the world at about 500 feet and 45 stories tall. You can read more about the Singapore Flyer at http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Singapore_Flyer. From the bridge you can also see one of the Singapore Merlions (half fish and half lion). Singapore is known as the Lion City and there are 4 of these Merlions located at different locations.

We continued walking along the river and came to an area called Boat Quay (pronounced key). It s a row of very colorful restaurants and bars located right on the river where you can sit out and eat and drink (who would do that, not us)! We plan on going back here for drinks and dinner some evening.

We continued to another area called Clark Quay. This is where the G-Max Reverse Bungy is located that Shannon has gone on a couple of times (Steve also did it once). Jan and I probably will pass on that one. Finally we caught the MRT to go back to Orchard Road and the apartment. It was a very interesting afternoon but a real workout with all of the walking and the temperature about 90 degrees and humidity about the same. But we finally made it in time to take a swim in the pool. It is nice to cool off in the pool after a day of walking.

Friday was a day of relaxation after walking down to the mall for breakfast at the French Deli. Sandy took the afternoon off and later in the day we went down to the pool. Sandy and Steve joined us for this relaxation. We then relaxed on the patio with some, you guessed it - wine before going out to dinner at a nice small restaurant called Jerry's Barbecue located several blocks away just off Orchard Road. It was interesting walking along Orchard Road with all of the Friday night activity including open bars and restaurants, sidewalk music groups, etc.

Well, that is all for now. We will be relaxing on Saturday before taking another excursion on Sunday.

Lawry visit 2007 photo pages
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Steve and Sandy's living room

View of the pool area from the balcony

Central business district from the balcony

Near Raffles Center

War memorial

Posing in front of the Esplanade theatres

Lawry visit 2007 photo pages
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