Sunday, July 8, 2007

Singapore: Day 4

Sunday morning I ventured out on my own for a few hours. I fueled up with fresh orange/pinapple juice, then took a taxi to the Bugis Street market. I'm a sucker for bargaining in open-air markets, finding treasure among the silly souvenirs. (At Mustafa's I drooled over the silks and batik fabrics and even bought a few. It's never too early to gather decorating ideas for our eventual house hunt next year!)

At the outdoor market I found three spoons for Mom, pretty ones at a third of the hotel gift shop price. I picked up a hand-embroidered shoulder bag in earthy tones, and embroidered mini bags for gifts from the same vendor. This stall was my favorite by far, complete with mystical music and burning incense. Another stall had a filmy Indian tunic in a rich shade of blue--in a "Western" size, no less! Sold. Last but not least: two 5SD watches strung on woven bracelets instead of bands, which tend to get sticky and uncomfortable in the southeast Asian climate. I have terrible luck with watches, but at least if this one stops working I'll be glad I paid $3 US instead of $80 US for the Swatch I was eyeing at Mustafa's.

With the shopping bug mostly out of my system, we all met up around lunchtime and ate at a Chinese hot pot restaurant. Garrett and Kellie, having lived in Shanghai, were old pros. I was totally impressed. I'm pretty timid when it comes to eating, but I tried a few new things and enjoyed the experience. The kids weren't much interested in the food. They built a fort out of chairs in the corner.

Next we took the sky tram to Sentosa island...

...where we rode the luge--some of us more than others. This was actually a lot of fun. The First-Born is a little speed demon. Who knew? Plus the lift system that takes you and the sleds back to the top of the hill was pretty ingenious.

We shopped a little too. I came away a happy camper with a book of short stories by W. Somerset Maugham ("More Far Eastern Tales") and a gorgeous Life magazine publication
entitled "Heaven on Earth: 100 Must-See Destinations." This book will be a guiding force in shaping all future vacations. Bryce has already seen more on the list than I have, but we can fix that. Plus this seems much more manageable than the "1000 Places to See Before
You Die" book that I've paged through but never purchased. Goals are good, so long as the outcome feels attainable, right?

We finished up the day with a babysitter and a meal for the grown-ups at Morton's steakhouse at the Oriental Hotel. It was divine. Inspired. Heavenly. Can I go back?

Day 5: Return to reality.

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