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Lightning Fights and More at Night Fest

Every year, there’s a week-long event in downtown Singapore called Night Fest. It’s a whole bunch of cultural events, food and music, art displays, and other cool things. We’d never made it down before, but we did this year.

There were several things we wanted to be sure to see, including a visit to the Gem Museum. (Who knew there was a Gem Museum in Singapore? Not us.) It was a small but nice little place run by the local association of gem-sellers. One of the officials took to Nyan, who was very excited to see all the gemstones, especially the ones from Myanmar.

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The main event, for us, was this display called Lords of Lightning. It’s two guys up on tall pillars that double as Tesla coils, zapping huge amounts of voltage at each other. It was pretty intense and really cool

Then there was a random marching band, which led to our boy doing his dance thing:

Elsewhere, they were projecting a cool light show onto the facade of one of the art museums.

All in all, a really cool and fun night!

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Posted by on September 21, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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A Visit to See Dinosaur Bones

Who knew there were real dinosaur bones right here in li’l ol’ Singapore? We had kinda heard about a museum with such a display, but hadn’t done anything about it until recently, when we made a Sunday afternoon family trip to a natural history museum out in the west of Singapore. And sure enough, it has has several dinosaur skeletons on display!

Check out them bones:

It’s a pretty cool place even aside from the dinosaurs, with lots of animal and plant exhibits:

And a dolphin skeleton too:

Oh, and plenty of space to dance:

Nyan’s favorite part was in the special exhibit on Christmas Island, which detailed how the island is completely overrun by red crabs at spawning season each year. They had an interactive light display on the floor, showing crabs crawling around; you were supposed to avoid them, but Nyan decided it would be more fun to stomp on them:

The museum is in a pretty cool building, with lots of plants and space:

And more space for dancing:

The museum is part of a university, and we strolled around the campus afterwards. Found a grassy field for students to hang out at; Nyan thought it’d be fun to run down the hill.

The simple pleasures in life for a city kid! 

 
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Posted by on June 10, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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Nyan Visits the Dive Show

Daddy loves to scuba dive. Nyan is too young to dive — you have to be at least 10 years old — and in fact has yet to even snorkel (though we plan to change that this summer!). Still, he was pretty excited to accompany Daddy to a scuba diving exhibition at our local convention center. 

The place was chock full of stalls selling all kinds of dive equipment, booths staffed by various dive resorts or destinations, and environmental groups touting the need to, say, reduce the use of plastic and to stop ordering shark fin soup — all good and valid concerns. There were also attractions specially set up for the kiddos.

Like one where the kids are strapped into a harness, lifted up by a sort of crane, and then lowered down into a faux water tank, where the kid — still suspended — does things like clean up ocean trash or count the number of fish. Here’s our boy getting strapped in:

He looks a little dubious. But once he got going… well, let’s roll tape:

Yeah, he loved it. Loved it so much, in fact, that he went back a second time.

There was also a tank of mermaids.

Probably Nyan’s favorite activity was the faux fishing boat. It was set up by a company called Dynaglass, which makes fiberglass stuff — like boat hulls. Nyan was able to climb onto a modest-sized boat, grab a fishing rod baited with a magnet, and catch a paper ‘fish.’

Here’s the fisherman in action:

As with the fake diving, he enjoyed the fake fishing so much that we returned a bit later for another round.

He not only got some fake fish; he also got some sweet Dynaglass branded products, including a nice thermos that he now uses as his daily water bottle, and a Dynaglass baseball cap that he’ll often wear to school. 

Here are a few random shots from the show — including one of that hat.

Nyan says he wants to go diving with Daddy someday. Til he can do that, we’ll just have to come back to this dive show each year! 

 
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Posted by on May 19, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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An Afternoon at the Stadium

One hot Sunday afternoon in March, Daddy took Nyan to the free waterpark above the shopping mall that’s attached to the National Stadium. It’s not a huge waterpark at all — a small pool and a waterslide, basically — but it’s nice enough, especially for the price. Just next door is a lazy river attraction: for $2, you get an inner tube and unlimited spins around a slowly moving ‘river’. It’s quite pleasant. 

No photos of any of that, but here’s our boy doing a little dance after the lazy river. Not sure if he was dancing or trying to avoid the hot bricks. Maybe both?

As we were making our way home, we passed by the main entrance to the stadium. Turns out they were having an open house — inviting anyone and everyone to come in, check the place out and run around the track. So of course we did. We’ve been to the stadium many times, of course — for Monster Jam, for soccer matches, for rock concerts — but never been down on the floor when it was set up for athletics. Pretty cool. 

Nyan and Daddy went for a run, covering about half of the circular track. No video or photos of that either, though — we were too busy running. 

And finally, they had one of those awards-podium thingies like you see at the Olympics. Nyan had Daddy take a bunch of pictures of Nyan being No. 1. Then he took a picture of Daddy — but made sure that Daddy was number 2.

Competitive little fella, ain’t he?

 

 
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Posted by on April 27, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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A Couple of Days at the Beach

One gloriously warm and sunny recent Friday afternoon, rather than just going home after school, Daddy decided to take Nyan down to the nearby East Coast Park. He thought it would be a quick stroll to the water, check out the ships, an early dinner, then home.  But no: it ended up being a lovely, multi-hour expedition that kept our here up well past his bedtime.

Here’s our hero, scooting his way toward the park.

Once he got to the sand, he refused to leave. And who can blame him: look at how perfect the weather was!

So he played, he dug, he chased the waves.

He also did some writing in the sand. Including a loving homage to Y2L, the name of his class at school.

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We finally managed to get to a nearby restaurant for some food. While Daddy finished up his meal, Nyan wandered around, collecting coconuts.

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Then… it was back to the beach for some nighttime sand play.

It was quite late when we got home. But we had such a blast that we went back on Sunday evening for more play!

We are definitely spoiled and blessed to live so close to such a beautiful park, that’s for sure.

 
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Posted by on April 12, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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A Visit to the Istana

In the middle of heavily-developed central Singapore, there’s a big estate – just over 100 acres – of rolling hills, gardens, forests, and a grand old building called the Istana, which serves as the official residence and offices of Singapore’s president. Kind of like the White House, except Singapore’s president usually doesn’t actually live there. (Plus, the Singaporean president is much more of a ceremonial role than that of the U.S. president.) The Istana and its grounds are closed  to the public except on a tiny number of days each year.

One of the days it’s open is during the Chinese New Year holiday. Nyan had been learning about the Istana at school, so during the new year break in February, we paid the Istana a visit.

Here’s the building itself, and a guard outside the gates. We did get to tour the building, but no pictures allowed inside.

The grounds, though, are quite something,  swan-filled ponds, vast expanses of open field, and huge jungle plants.

We tried to take some family portrait selfies, which was a little difficult because the morning sunshine was quite bright.

We also played around with shadows in that bright light.

And we admired the decorative artillery gun in front of the main building.

We had been warned that if you don’t get to the Istana early, you have to stand in line for a long time to get in. We got there early and waltzed right in; a couple hours later, as we left, we saw that we were very glad to have been early.

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And finally, after our trek around the Istana grounds, we headed to a shopping mall next door for a late breakfast. This particular mall features some very long sloping escalators, which our boy wanted to go up and down, but only on his own. So off he went.

 
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Posted by on March 20, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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Celebrating the Year of the Dog

Chinese New Year — a.k.a. the Lunar New Year — is a big, big deal in Asia. In Singapore, it’s a bigger deal than Christmas, with nearly every store closed down for a couple days (whereas many stores and restaurants stay open for a normal business day on Christmas). There are family reunions constantly during the Chinese New Year celebrations, plus plenty of other activities. We took part in as many as we could, just to get into the spirit.

That included a visit to the official residence of Singapore’s president — more on that in a later post — and an evening spent in the heart of the action, Singapore’s Chinatown.

This year is considered the Year of the Dog, so Chinatown was full of dogs of all shapes and sizes. Like these giant inflatables towering over the main intersection:

There were also lots of these sort of foam rubber dogs, at a more human scale, all over the place too.

Lots of lanterns and lights everywhere (click to enlarge):

Nyan really enjoyed a permanent display of an old rickshaw that’s along one of the pedestrianized streets, I suppose to give a taste of what life was like back int he day.

We also popped into a giant Hindu temple that’s downtown, just for the heck of it. Not very Chinese New Year-y, but it’s a pretty amazing temple, plus there’s a nice patch of grass to roll around in.

Nyan’s school got into the New Year spirit too. Everyone dressed up in brightly  colored clothes for a school-wide assembly:

The kids also put on a very intricate and elaborate dance performance. We’re not sure what it actually means, but it’s actually quite impressive. Nyan can really move! This video is a bit long but worth it:

We close with a couple of shots of Nyan and Jayden. These two really do love each other.

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2018 in Uncategorized

 

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