We had big plans for Christmas Eve – swimming, dinner, hanging out with friends, etc. But those friends came down with last-minute fevers, so the plans got scuttled. Disappointing! But we took advantage of having a wide-open day with no work or plans and made the most of it, by heading to one of the highest points in Singapore for a holiday high tea.
It was at a restaurant at the top of Ion Orchard, an upscale mall and luxury condo tower in the heart of the city. It’s 50-something stories tall, one of the tallest buildings in the city, and offers great views:
Mommy and Daddy enjoyed themselves too.
Afterwards, we had a stroll around the shopping mall, which was jam-packed with last-minute holiday shoppers. We weren’t shopping, just browsing; Nyan got tired of the browsing and entertained himself by sitting outside a store, drawing.
There was one other big activity we did at the mall, but we’ll save that for the next post…
It’s never a White Christmas, but the holidays in Singapore are still a special time.
Here’s our cute little Christmas tree and other accoutrement, including a gingerbread house that Nyan made with Nadia.
One of our family traditions is to visit the Christmas display at Gardens by the Bay each year. This year was as lovely as ever, although awfully crowded. (This was before the viral pandemic, keep in mind!)
We took some family selfies:
And enjoyed this egg-shaped light display in one of the pools. Not very Christmassy but very cool!
Another holiday tradition is having Christmas dinner with Kyle, Kara, Bryan and Sara at their place. It also involves the kids playing with their new toys.
Oh, and presents on Xmas morning? Yes, yes, of course.
More sights and sounds from Nyan’s trip to England in August 2019.
One bright day, we joined Elizabeth, as well as her sister and mommy, on a visit to Mountfitchet Castle, a Norman-era castle and village that’s now a living history museum, complete with buildings, catapult demonstrations, and livestock that the villagers themselves would have had some 1,000 years ago.
Some views around the place:
There were deer to feed:
And chickens and other fowl as well:
Oh, and then there was armor to try on:
And those things that make you look like you’re an archer:
And a place where you could practice your sword skills:
Don’t forget the stockades!
And there was a gift shop that sold ice cream-ish treats that turned the kids’ tongues bright red.
The day after the wedding, everyone got together at Uncle Aung and Aunt Laura’s house for a barbecue by the pool. (Yes, it was hot and sunny with a swimming pool. In England!)
All the cousins were there, so we tried to get an all-cousin photo. Middling success.
Nyan loved playing and ‘working’ in Phwa Phwa’s garden. Watering plants, planting flowers, and digging holes for various purposes. Or no purpose at all. Elodie and Tabitha liked to help too.
On our last night in England, a group of us went out to a nice dinner that happened to be at the restaurant where Mommy and Daddy had their wedding reception some 9 years earlier. Nyan enjoyed taking a little tour of the reception hall and listening to stories about the wedding dinner held there, before he was around.
We wrap up with various photos from the flights between Singapore and London, via Dubai.
As we saw, Nyan and Mommy and Daddy went to England in August for Auntie Zuzu and Uncle Iain’s wedding. But it wasn’t just the wedding; we spent about two weeks there and got in plenty of other fun times. Let’s look at some of them.
Elodie and Tabitha
Nyan’s cousins are a few years younger, but they all get along famously; Nyan really embraces the role of the wiser, and somewhat cheeky, older brother.
They built a pillow fort:
And spent a lot of time bouncing on the trampoline:
Nyan spent a lot of time playing with Tabitha, his youngest cousin:
And he went with Elodie to her horse-riding lesson one afternoon:
And one afternoon, the kids — well, Nyan and Tabitha, but mostly Nyan — did a dance recital. LOTS of dances to LOTS of different songs. They were all great, so we share the whole show with you here:
And finally, some random photos of Nyan and the girls, and a video of him showing Elodie how to be a scientist.
Nyan also spent a lot of time with Elizabeth, a.k.a. Bunky, the slightly younger daughter of Mommy’s BFF. They played in the yard of her centuries-old home outside a little English village, with her younger sister Immy as well:
Bunky has a tire swing, which Nyan just had to go on!
(The voice you hear is Bunky’s daddy, trying to get her to snap out of a bad mood she had slipped into. Kids!)
Another day, we took a drive down to the coast to get some fresh air and some ocean breezes. Essex County is a beautiful land!
While we’re on the topic of scenery, here’s a few more shots from around Colchester.
We’ll have more Bunky, more Elodie and Tabitha, and lots more Nyan in our next post. For now, some random photos of the trip, and a video of our boy showing off (as ever) his dance moves.
Nyan’s busy summer was topped off with a couple weeks in England to see Auntie Zuzu and Uncle Iain get married. It was an epic ceremony, and a fantastic trip all around. Let’s take a deep dive into all the fun — starting with the wedding itself.
It was an all-day affair, kicking off around noon and stretching past midnight, held at an events venue with a large outdoor space as well as plenty of interior room for dancing and whatnot.
Both Nyan and Mommy were in the wedding party — she was a bridesmaid while Nyan, along with his younger cousins Elodie and Tabitha, were in charge of the rings. (Nyan was kind of in charge of making sure Elodie and Tabitha carried the rings properly — he called himself the Lord of the Rings…) Here’s some scenes from the wedding ceremony itself:
And a quick video of Nyan and the girls walking in:
It was a brilliantly sunny day, so after the ceremony everyone milled about outside for a while, taking photos and playing games.
Check out Nyan showing off his dance skills on a rock:
(Much more on his dance skills in a bit…)
That rock later became popular with all the kids for jumping off of:
Indeed, there were plenty of other kids, including cousin Eli whom Nyan quickly became pals with. Check out some of the fun the kids got up to during the course of the day and evening:
Here they are waiting on the edge of the dance floor, waiting for the music to start; Nyan, though, was too impatient to keep from moving:
And oh yes, there was dancing. And oh yes, of course, Nyan was there for it. He was there for all of it. He was there from the very first dance, in fact:
Nyan pretty much ruled the dance floor.
As the night wore on, Nyan decided that all his older cousins, aunts and uncles should take turns carrying him around on the dance floor. So, they did.
Besides dancing and numerous other fun activities, the wedding also had a mini casino! You couldn’t play with real money, but since it was fake, that meant the kids could stand at the craps table or roulette wheel, looking suave and dapper as they pretended to gamble.
Finally, just a few random photos from various points across this most epic of wedding days.
More from Nyan’s summer 2019 sojourn to the American heartland — a.k.a. Grandma and Grandpa’s place!
Nyan had never played with sparklers before, so we took care of that on this trip. He loved them, and they quickly became a regular part of our evening routine.
Fun with Uncle Mike
One evening we met Uncle Mike and Aunt Sarah for dinner at this big place that has all these games, including tabletop shuffleboard. (We think that’s the proper name?) Turns out that Nyan was very good at it:
There was also a lot of foosball, on an outdoor patio as a summer thunderstorm rolled in:
And some fun outside rolling an old tire around:
Grandma and Grandpa bought a kite, so we spent one breezy afternoon prepping it and getting it airborne! It was a lot of fun, until it got tangled in a tree (not pictured).
There were some missteps at first:
But we got it up in the air before long. Well, for a moment anyway:
He got it!
Grandma and Grandpa’s friends Dave and Bernie have a pet rabbit, Bun-Bun. Nyan always enjoys a visit.
It’s not easy to get from Singapore to Iowa; it involves three airplanes and anywhere between 25 and 30 (or more!) hours of travel, including more than 20 hours actually in the air. It’s worth it, of course, but it’s not the easiest.
But it does give one lots of time to take pictures! Here are a handful, taken at various airports and on various airplanes, including a few at the airport as we were saying goodbye to Grandma and Grandpa at the end of the trip. On the inbound trip, we were lucky enough to have Daddy’s friend Phil come out to O’Hare airport on a lengthy layover in Chicago for a meal and a catch-up session; Daddy and Nyan were beyond punch drunk, but it was fun — see video below. And also see a video of Nyan excitedly strapping in for the last flight before our final arrival in Iowa!
After school let out in mid-June, Nyan and Daddy hopped aboard a plane bound for Tokyo.. then Chicago.. then finally (after some 28 hours) Iowa, where they spent two-plus weeks hanging out with Grandma, Grandpa, and the rest of the clan. Let’s see what they got up to!
One of Nyan’s favorite things to do in Iowa is visit Uncle Scoitt and Aunt Maggie. They have a big grassy yard for him to run around in… and best of all, Scott has a huge wood-working workshop!
So he spent a lot of time in there, building a nice little box.
We spent a lot of time with Great Grandma, including hanging out at her apartment…
Goofing around with her walker…
And feeding the fish in the pond outside her apartment:
Nyan also spent a lot of time down in the basement with Grandpa, working on the model train layout.
Nyan and Daddy drove over to Chicago for a couple days to visit Daddy’s friends. Nyan had a blast hanging out with other kids, the adults, and (especially) Pearl the dog — his first canine love!
Nyan and Pearl:
Hanging out on Chicago streets with Daddy, Uncle Phil and Uncle Todd:
Dogs and being goofy:
Dogs and adults:
Some random pictures, and a video of a playing Nyan, taken at various points across our US travels:
The Moscow Circus came to town, so we took Grandma and Grandpa to see it, along with Nyan, of course. It was at the same location we saw Cirque du Soleil a year and a bit ago, and while it’s hard to compare, we think we might have to say Moscow was even better! Nonstop action, laughter, thrills… no animals, either. Just freakishly talented people doing acrobatics, contortion, motorcycle tricks, etc.
Motorcycle tricks? Yeah. Like four motorcycles zooming round and round inside a tiny metal ball, and somehow managing to not hit each other.
Check out the faces during the show. Spellbound!
We actually took hardly any photos of the show itself; too busy being enthralled. Here are a couple shots of the scenery outside the big tent, on a beautiful full moon night:
And finally, just goofing around with camera filters, and with the reflections and the CC tv display at the subway station just outside the circus. Silly boy.