Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Happy New Year - I'm back!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year, and hope that 2011 brings good health and happiness to you all.
We spent an enjoyable, but different, Christmas in Singapore.  It was strange to be away from family and friends, but nice to relax and spend some quality time together.  As always I LOVE Singapore!  It's one of my favourite places and I always feel at home there, and this trip didn't disappoint in any way, despite a few hiccups.
The Christmas lights were stunning, all down Orchard Road it was a sea of blue and purple,
and despite the heat and humidity it had a brilliant festive feel to it.  Everywhere you went there were amazing Christmas trees ... these ones in Takashimya were made out of teddy bears.
The cakes were to die for .....  and I have to admit, I sampled quite a few .... why not live dangerously.
Boat Quay was alive and buzzing with people, eating along the river front and looked beautiful with the lights on the Singapore River.
Since my last visit to Singapore, almost 5 years ago, there have been many changes (as always) including this mind blowing shopping centre, the ION on Orchard.  It used to be a park and I used to exit the MRT at this corner and know where I was, now I get completely confused and wander aimlessly around the shops trying to find my way out.  On Christmas Eve there must've been a million people sitting around this corner waiting for midnight to strike.  It was like being in the mosh pit of a rock concert.
On Christmas Eve we went to the new Marina Bay Sands hotel which looks like something out of 2001 Space Odyssey.  Its the most amazing hotel you can imagine .... three towers 54 storeys high, with a sky park on the top linking the towers together.  The flower shape building is a museum, and there's the biggest wheel in the southern hemisphere to the left.  The blue lit buildings are a shopping centre with canals running through them and gondola boats to ride along the canal in ..... awesome  -  what a way to shop!
We spent the evening at the top on the sky park having a drink and soaking in the view all around.  This is looking out over the Esplanade from the top of the hotel.
Christmas Day we spent shopping .... going back to the "hiccups" I had - the first being that my glasses broke the first day in Singapore and I had to have an emergency pair made, then my super brilliant Canon EOS camera broke down.  We weren't bothering with gifts for each other this year, but hubby told me in the morning that he would buy me a new laptop or camera and that I had to choose which one ... so I chose a camera.  
We spent the morning in Sim Lim towers in Little India and managed to get a new lens for the camera which fixed the problem, and then we dined on noodles and friend rice in a food court .... not your traditional Christmas lunch I know!
But ... in the evening we transformed ourselves from hot, sweaty and casual to clean and posh and had a fabulous 7 course Italian meal at the Boat House restaurant atop the Fullerton Hotel and overlooking Marina Bay Sands.  It was wonderful and a magic way to spend Christmas together.
The whole trip was great fun, and fabulous to catch up with old friends like Cindy and Michell,
and doing lots of shopping, lots of eating, lots of chatting, and lots of catching up.
Not forgetting our dear friends Alan and Sally, and learning how to make home cooked Singaporean dinner at Sallys house.  This is the best restaurant in Singapore !!!!!!
She cooks the most amazing black pepper crab you've ever tasted, along with steamed salmon with shallots and garlic, prawns, greens and barbecued pork ribs.  I just love her food, along with her and all her family.
If you've never been to Singapore before, you should add it to your bucket list.  A great place to visit and brilliant for shopping, even if a tad expensive, its worth it.
More Singapore/Christmas news in the next post.