Our boy, and the star of this here blog, turned three years young on July 26. We were far away from friends and family, but Mommy and Daddy were determined to make it a special day, and we dare say it was a success.
The fun actually began on Friday the 25th, when Mommy — fresh off a long overnight flight from San Francisco — and Daddy stopped by Nyan’s school in the late afternoon with candy, balloons and cupcakes for Nyan’s classmates and teachers. The balloons were a big hit:
As were the cupcakes. And so was Mommy as she read books to Kyle and other friends of Nyan.
That evening, we went out to dinner down the road. The Thai BBQ place we had our eye on was going to be too long of a wait, so we ended up at this odd little place called Fluffy Butter Flaps. Felt like being in a Japanese cartoon, somehow, which is not a complaint. The food was good, the place was friendly, and they gave Nyan a big mug full of milk, which he happily drank while sitting on a couch with some stuffed sheep.
Daddy’s grand plan for the birthday day itself was to get an early-ish start to avoid the crush of crowds at the aquarium, but after all the Friday fun — and all the flying — Mommy and Nyan wanted a lie-in. So we changed our plans and let them snooze:
So the morning plans instead became opening presents, playing with presents, Skyping and talking on the phone with grandparents in Iowa and England, and eventually a leisurely stroll to a nearby restaurant for some lunch. Then we caught a bus into town, hopped on a subway train, navigated our way through a shopping mall, and squeezed onto a monorail that took us on a short ride to the small island of Sentosa. It’s just off shore from Singapore itself, and it’s pretty much completely resorts, amusement parks and the like. Several hotels, some upscale housing, casinos, a water park, bars and restaurants, and a big ol’ aquarium. It was even more packed than Daddy had feared it would be by mid-afternoon, but aside from a few places where it was heaving, it wasn’t bad at all. And the aquarium overall was very good. Some good displays, touch pools, and some absolutely HUGE tanks filled with the usual suspects — octopi, jellyfish, stingrays and manta rays, tropical fish of all shapes, sizes and colors, and lots of sharks in one of those tanks that has a tunnel running through it, so they’re right above your head. Nyan was pretty fascinated by most of it. His attention and energy started to wane after 90 minutes in there, so we rushed a little bit through the last quarter of the place, but that’s pretty good for a three year old.
To get off of Sentosa, we decided to skip the monorail and take a ride on a cable car that soars over the bay. Tremendous views, particularly right at sunset. We could see most of Sentosa, the Singapore skyline off in the distance, the massive container port of Singapore, and military helicopters carrying giant Singaporean flags, practicing for the National Day celebrations in a couple weeks. Best of all, maybe: the cable car had some sort of comic book superhero promotion going on, so our birthday boy got a superhero mask to wear. He hardly took it off the rest of the night.
Back on the mainland of Singapore, we looked around a mall called Vivo City — said to be the biggest shopping mall in Singapore, which is no small feat, if you’ve seen the number and size of shopping malls here — for a place for dinner. Unfortunately for us, it was 7pm on a Saturday, so every place was packed. We quickly decided to just put our name down at Jamie Oliver’s Italian place, and only had to wait about 20 minutes. Really good food, albeit with rather lackluster service; both are, in our experience, very much standard at most Singaporean restaurants. The restaurant is right on the water looking out to Sentosa, so we had a view of the nightly fireworks show going on across the bay. We pretended they were doing it in honor of Nyan’s birthday.
Yes, it was quite a day – and no nap either. We got in a taxi at about 8:45pm and the birthday boy was zonked out by 8:48. Didn’t stir when we undressed him and put him in bed, and slept until 9 the next morning. Happy birthday, little guy!