Thursday, February 26, 2015

River Hongbao

Saturday morning (of the CNY weekend) we took it easy and then went for a swim. It was fun to all go together since it doesn't happen very often. It's either me and the kids during the day or Brennan and Tatum (and sometimes Declan too) while I finish dinner or clean up after. I got to see Tatum in action with her new floaty and it really will be a life changer for the pool for all of us. We did have a bit of a scare that day though, with Declan stepping off the ledge into the deep water. We got him out right away but he was so clingy the rest of the time and then fell asleep at the table during lunch that I couldn't help but worry. He ended up being fine, of course. After naps we headed to the MRT to go down to the River Hongbao Festival. It's a Chinese New Year celebration with food, rides, decorations and performances.

On the MRT, easily our favorite form of public transportation. 

Welcome to River Hongbao. :)

The God of prosperity.

Brennan decided we should try sugar cane juice. It was neat to see them actually juicing it right there in front of us. But the juice was nasty. Declan was the only one who would drink it so the lucky kid got the whole thing to himself.
Before she realized how nasty it was.

This was some sort wishing well/good look sort of thing. People seemed to be throwing coins in but aiming for particular things perhaps?

Me and Tatum with the rabbit since we are rabbits.

Tatum said she wanted to do this slide but apparently didn't understand Brennan would not be going with her. So she got to the top of the stairs and then did this:
I finally convinced her to come down and she went like this:
Looks like she's having fun doesn't it? :)
And this is her after the slide. She refused to talk to us. I'm not sure what happened on the way up the stairs that was so traumatizing.
Brennan is a foodie. He loves making food, talking about food, trying new food, inventing new recipes. You name it. Unfortunately I probably hold him back a lot because I'm not quite as adventurous. I think he decided fried squid would be a good choice for us because it would be something new for him to try but still safe enough for me. :) It actually was pretty tasty, although the texture was a bit odd.
Declan doing what he does best, making friends. Later another couple came and sat by us and took loads of pictures of him and then asked if they could take their photo with him. The lady picked him up for it and he lost it. I'm not sure what they expected from a one year old...

The giant God of prosperity had a sign that said "showers of abundance" and then listed different times. It was getting close to one of the times and since the tight rope walker was cancelled (boo!) I sent Brennan and the kids down to see what it was all about it. I kind of thought maybe he would throw money out or something haha. Then as I was sitting there I thought maybe it said 'showers' because it was going to spray everyone with water and I got a good chuckle at that thought. But I was wrong with both guesses. It sprayed out little pieces of gold confetti. And people went nuts tryint to catch them. If you look closely in this poor picture you can see people holding up their open bags trying to catch the floating pieces of confetti. Such a different kind of culture than I am used to. Very, very superstitious.
No worries though, Brennan and the kids caught some so we should have a very good year. :)

We got some cotton candy on our way out. Neither of the kids were sure how they felt about it. Tatum said it made her mouth hot. Huh?

It was another fun night as a family. It was crowded and difficult to get around at times but we are glad we went for some CNY fun.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Singapore Zoo

On Friday we headed to the Singapore Zoo. We had heard it could be dead on Chinese New Year, but the night before I was looking it up and everything I saw said to expect bigger crowds. We started to second guess our choice but in the end decided to go for it. We didn't really have anything else to do. So we woke the kids up early to head up there. Our app estimated about a 90 minute trip and we wanted to be there right when it opened at 8:30. It ended up only taking us about an hour, on three buses, to get there. We had to wait a few minutes before we could actually get in but I'm so glad we got there so early because by noon that place was packed.

I thought these little meerkats were super cute.

The lion was hands down Declan's favorite. He could have stayed there staring at it through the glass all day. We let them watch him for quite awhile and he still freaked out when we made him move on. The way he was roaring at him was super adorable though.

The leopard was fun because it came right up to the glass.

Oh Declan. What a scaredy cat.
Komodo dragon. The tongue on that thing is insane.
Orangutan with two babies clinging to it. The orangutans aren't behind a cage or a fence or anything so they can swing right above you. It's pretty cool.
The white tiger was cool but slightly crowded by the time we got to it.

After a couple of hours we went back to the zoo entrance to see the lion dance they were having for Chinese New Year. It is a very common way of celebrating. Lots of families will pay for a lion dance to come to their house and it's supposed to sort of bless the home/family and they leave a little gift.
It was pretty impressive how they could jump from pole to pole. Declan was terrified of the drums. But Tatum couldn't get enough of the whole thing.

There is a polar bear at the zoo and they have scheduled feedings you can come and watch so you can see him fishing from the side of the tank. We all thought that was pretty fun.

We went to the last part of the splash show with the seal. We were sitting pretty high up so I was surprised at how well it still captured Declan's attention. He is usually so busy and never wants to sit still but he just hung out on my lap watching the seal. They asked for volunteers to throw a frisbee to the seal. The older gentlemen from Switzerland had to go all the way up in the stands to throw and missed every time. They told him they were going to throw him in the water if he missed and she actually did make him take his shirt off and shoes and socks. Then (with his shirt still off) she told him he could redeem himself by dancing. Then they turned on "Heeeey sexy lady" (I don't know what it's actually called, but you know what I mean:)) and he danced in front of the crowd. It was hilarious. He was there with some kids and grandkids and I just kept thinking what an awesome memory for all of them. The grandkids would love if something like that happened to papa. :)
Waiting for the elephant show to begin.

Watching the rainforest show.

We took a break at the very impressive splash pad/water park. It was pretty crowded and Brennan didn't bring his suit like he usually does. Without dad to get in there with them the kids were pretty timid but loved this one shower-like spout. Which is ironic since they both freak out if we try to shower them at home.

It's the year of the Goat people. So the zoo had a bunch of goats to see and feed. We weren't there at feeding time but didn't let that stop us from trying to feed them stray pieces of straw...and maybe some sticks.

As we were leaving a bunch of orangutans came down for a drink and snack from the keepers. It was fun to watch. We were just so close!

The prosperity mascots on our way out. With some random people that we don't know. :)
The trip home wasn't quite as pleasant only because the last bus (which is our longest ride) had standing room only so I had to stand with Declan strapped to me for the whole ride. After a long, hot day walking around the zoo it wasn't ideal but I survived. Brennan took this lovely video of us all on the way home. I had no idea and there's no real point to it but I'm going to go ahead and share it anyway. :)

We ended the day with ice cream cones because what is better than that?

Oh Tatum.
You are one of a kind. :)
We got a pass to the zoo for the year so our zoo fun has only just begun!