Tag Archives: outdoors

Nyan Returns to Telunas

In early August, to celebrate both Mommy’s birthday and the imminent end of a fun-filled summer, we took a three-night trip to Telunas, the low-key beach resort in Indonesia that we went to last August as well (see here). We absolutely loved it last year and Mommy said she wanted to return for her birthday again this year. So off we went!  

It’s an easy place to get to — a one-hour ferry from Singapore to Batam, Indonesia, followed by an hour or so on a narrow, low-riding speedboat operated by the resort. It was a little bumpy but fun. Here’s Nyan on the ride:

It’s a casual resort in a secluded cove, all of it built on stilts over the water, with a long walkway connecting it to the shore. Some photos:

Here’s an evening time-lapse from our room’s deck:

And another time-lapse from the beach, showing the little crabs doing their little crab thing:

Telunas is not a place you go for non-stop excitement and action. It’s a place to unwind, chill, and rest. There’s plenty to do though: read, play games, swim in the ocean, and eat. Here’s Nyan doing the Telunas thing:

Nyan and Mommy on the beach:

We spent a lot of time in the water, with our waterproof camera. The water was a little murky (a function of the time of year: prevailing winds in August are out of the south, and the cove faces south, so it gets steady winds that bring steady churn-y waves right into the cove. Apparently the water is much more clear at other times of the year). But who cares about the murk: we had a blast. Check it out:

And more:

Telunas is a family friendly place, so there were lots of kids around, including Warren, a half-white, half-Asian American boy who was a bit younger than Nyan. They got along great. Nyan (and Mommy) also fell in love with PJ, a months-old baby who they pretty much wouldn’t put down.

We did the rope course again, just like we did last year. Still fun!

And one day, the staff demonstrated some traditional Indonesian dance moves:

At night, the staff would start a big bonfire down on the beach, and Nyan and the other kids would gleefully roast marshmallows.

Nyan  also showed off his own traditional dance moves:

The resort has this platform about 30 feet above the sea. At high tide, you can leap from it. It’s a bit daunting but also pretty exhilarating, as Daddy found out both last year and this:

All in all, it was a super relaxing, enjoyable and successful trip. I bet we’ll be back again.

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Posted by on September 1, 2018 in Uncategorized


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Outdoor Fun

July – a.k.a. the peak of summer – is the perfect time to play outside. (Okay, we live in Singapore, so every month is the right time to play outside. But still.)

Check out Nyan’s ever-improving swimming (and jumping) skills:

And his being-thrown skills:

Fun on the soccer field:

July 2018 was, of course, World Cup time, so Nyan and some of the other kids from around the condo complex started playing “World Cup” each evening. Basically three-on-three soccer. It was a little chaotic.

Here are the kids, waiting for the others to show up.

I know we said this post was about outdoor fun, but let’s look at a little taekwondo while we’re here.

Stretching at the start of class:

And taking part in one of the occasional ball-throwing games:


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Posted by on August 24, 2018 in Uncategorized


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Birthday at Legoland

Nyan turned seven years old on July 26. Every birthday in the past, we’d been able to have a cake-filled birthday party with all his chums at school. But this year was his first year to have a true summer break, which meant no school on his birthday. That meant Mommy and Daddy were on their own when it came time to celebrate.

Not to worry! Though it may not have matched 2017’s celebrations — which included the circus and Universal Studios as well as cake at school — 2018’s were still pretty decent, we think. The main event: a trip across the border to Malaysia for a day at Legoland!

We had done a daytrip to Legoland back in 2016 for his fifth birthday, so we pretty much knew what to expect: some rides, a lot of Legos, and some heat. Happily, as in 2016, we didn’t run into many crowds or long lines.

One of his favorite rides — this year like last time — was riding the jousting horse. A little mellow, maybe, but he enjoyed it:

We enjoyed riding the Lego train around the park:

At the center of the park is a large area of Lego creations, showing sites from around Asia. There’s the skyline of Kuala Lumpur, the Taj Mahal, some Thai temples, various other Malaysian sites… as well as downtown Singapore and some Burmese buildings, too.

The same Star Wars exhibit was there, and it was just as cool. The same Lego stormtrooper too.

A highlight of the day was the time we spent inside an (air-conditioned) room where we built Lego racecars and zoomed them down a sloped track. Even Mommy got into it!

And what’s a birthday without sweets? Gotta have a chocolate ice cream bar.

All in all, to be honest, Legoland was a little disappointing this time around: the general maintenance seemed to be lacking, and a surprising number of the rides were closed down for undisclosed reasons.

But whatever: our boy got to spend the day playing with Legos, and Mommy and Daddy got to spend the day with their boy. Win win!

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Posted by on August 20, 2018 in Uncategorized


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A Week at a Glorious Indonesian Dive Resort


We considered lots of places for our mid-summer family vacation. New Zealand was an option until we remembered July is the dead of winter down there. Bhutan would be amazing, and remains on our short list, but it’s breathtakingly expensive to go there, so we’ll save up and try to get there maybe next year.

In the end, Mommy said she would be happy to go someplace where Daddy could dive a lot and she and Nyan could chillax on the sand and in the pool. So we wound up picking a dive resort on a tiny island in the Celebes Sea, off the central Indonesian island of Sulawesi. It’s called Siladen, and I don’t think we could have chosen a better place.

Getting there was pretty easy, all things considered: a flight to the city of Manado, Indonesia; a 45-minute ride to the coast; and an hour’s ride on a small boat to Siladen island. Some photos from our journeys:

Siladen is a small resort, right on the shore, with a pool, spa, a handful of little chalets, and a nice stretch of beach with some pretty epic views.

The area around the island — which we got to see on multiple boat tours and dive trips — wasn’t bad either.

We had a lot of fun just hanging out at the resort — lounging in a hammock or beach chair; digging in the sand; eating really, really good food; swimming in the pool or the shallow sea; reading.

Also just being silly while sitting at the resort’s little bar area as a tropical downpour hissed in the background:

Did we mention the resort had a pool table? Nyan spent a good amount of time trying to play. One rainy evening, Mommy decided to play too.

It wasn’t all just fun and games though. There was serious business to be done: diving!

Daddy got a new GoPro underwater camera before this trip and spent a good amount of time underwater learning how to use it. Some of his shots weren’t too bad:

This Nemo-esque fish wasn’t too happy that Daddy was encroaching on his anemone.

So Daddy was out on (and under) the water every single day of the trip. One day, Mommy and Nyan decided to join in. They would stay topside and snorkel while Daddy went 60 feet down.

We had a short ride to the dive/snorkel site — another thing to love about this resort: it’s in the midst of a marine park, and there are dozens of amazing dive sites within about a 10 or 15 minute boat trip. Here’s the fam, enjoying the ride.

And here’s Nyan getting his snorkeling gear on. He used a full-face mask rather than a traditional mask-and-snorkel.

In the end, though, the snorkeling wasn’t quite a success. Mommy enjoyed it, but young Nyan was a little freaked out by the waves (it was a little choppy and windy that day), and by being so far from shore, and by not being able to see any coral when he looked down — just sea grass. So he pulled the plug and hung out on the boat while Mommy snorkeled and Daddy dove.

But he still enjoyed himself, he says. And it wound up being a fun family day out on the water.

It was a pretty epic trip all-around, we’d say. Definitely a place we’d recommend, and a place we may very well return one day.

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Posted by on August 8, 2018 in Uncategorized


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Fun with Kyle (and Kara)

One day in June, we got together with Kyle and his family for a fun-filled Sunday afternoon. We don’t see them often enough, but Nyan and Kyle always reconnect immediately and have a blast. 

Here are the boys, goofing around.

We spent a little time at East Coast Park, catching bugs and listening to wild boars grunting in the jungle (heard them, didn’t see them). Kyle’s sister Kara is growing up nicely, and is developing a little bit of attitude, which she wasn’t afraid to show to Nyan!

The boys (and the girl) had a fun time playing various games and toys:

We ended the day with a very long, very energetic time in the pool. I think we were in the water for about two hours? Got home much later than planned, but it was well worth it.

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Posted by on July 17, 2018 in Uncategorized


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Back to the Beach

We always lament that we don’t get down to our seaside park – just a 10 minute stroll away – nearly as often as we should, so we’ve been proactively trying to change that. Here’s a look at a couple of recent visits.

School helped out with one: Nyan’s class took a field trip of sorts down to East Coast Park, for a beach cleanup. The kids donned gloves and trash bags and got to work, and helped make their little corner of the world just a little cleaner.

Here they all are. (Don’t be fooled by Nyan’s rather sad looking faces. He’s just goofing for the camera, like he does. He had a fine time.)

Another day around the same time, Nyan and Daddy went down for a late-Sunday-afternoon round of sand-play and dinner. Here he is on the sand, including with a little boy, maybe four years old, who started playing with him.

When night fell, we retreated to a beachside restaurant that was nearly empty, for some reason. (No, it wasn’t because the food was bad; the food was fine.) They were playing music and had a bunch of disco balls on the ceiling. Did our boy dance? He did.

A robotic dance to go with the robotic music:

And a more mellow, light-chasing dance to go with the more mellow music:

That’s our boy.

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Posted by on June 18, 2018 in Uncategorized


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Soccer Star

Check out this two-minute video from a recent scrimmage at our boy’s Saturday afternoon soccer club.

Okay, clearly, he is still not the most aggressive or talented soccer player. But he has fun, he’s getting exercise, he’s not bad on defense, and we do think he’s showing improvement in his overall skills! And check out near the end how he got pushed to the ground. Our boy just popped right back up, no whining or fussing or retaliation, and got back into the action. That’s our boy!

Bonus video: a little blurry and a little shaky.  Just Nyan running around the field.

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Posted by on May 15, 2018 in Uncategorized


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