Friday, August 26, 2011

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words: Part II

Remember this?

I saw them again! Looks like they've neatly removed the first part of the decal. And added a taxi light (kind of cut off at the top of the pic). Must've been better for business.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

South Africa Getaway

We went to Johannesburg, South Africa, last weekend for a little getaway. We stayed in a great bed & breakfast, A Room With A View.  I highly recommend.

Our room with views. The skylight was my favorite. And yes, I took these pics from the comfort of the bed. 
Nile was getting a manicure in the bathroom.

There was a cool bird outside the window.
I was in total va-cay mode. I even let Nile eat graham crackers in and wear shoes on the bed.


The view to the saltwater pool below.

Something about the look of the place and the weather reminded me of L.A.
Cat on a tin roof.

We ventured outside to the gardens. Beautiful bird cages. The owner made all of the wrought iron decor by hand.

Me and my sidekick.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Singapore: The Long Goodbye

The length of our goodbye is another story for another day. But the inevitable came: the end of our trip.

The sun went down.


The girls got their last squeezes together.

Nile became surprisingly clingy.

And we were gone.

Singapore: Escalator

Nile fell in love with every escalator she saw in Singapore. She would scream and point and then cry if we passed one without stopping.

When we had the time -- in this case, while I was browsing in Zara -- we would take her up and down on them. Endlessly.


And up.

And down.

And back up.

And then back down.

And up again.

You can see in Neil's face that he is not nearly as amused by the escalator as Nile is ...

p.s. Dad, you better believe I was panicking about her shoe getting sucked into the yellow caution area -- I've never forgotten those horror stories you used to warn us about as kids!

Singapore: FOOD

The National Dish of Singapore: Chicken rice.
It is surprisingly flavorful; the rice is cooked in the chicken stock. There are provided hot sauces and ginger-garlic salsa to put on top. Delicious! The hot bowl of soup was not at all tempting on a HOT day.

Nile had an orange while the iPad again saved the day.

Later in the trip I had the National Dish of the USA: McDonald's. Hey, I had to indulge, it's not available here in Botswana!


While formula shopping for Nile, I came upon this:

6 years old and above?!


Ages 1-10??!?! Do you still put it in a bottle?

And back at home ...

"I'll trade you a bottle for your pretzel"

"Lemme look at it first"

"How about I take the cap and keep my pretzel?"


Singapore: The Beach

At the beach, Nile delighted in playing in the sand. And sprinkling it over her head.

Nile and Maple were pretty subdued by the end of the trip.

No shirt, no shoes?

And a couple I blatantly stole from Brooke.

Now I can't wait for summer in the southern hemisphere!

Singapore: Around Town

The girls!

The "Merlion" (1/2 mer-creature, 1/2 lion). A symbol of Singapore. That's about all I know about it other than it produces a refreshing spray of water that the wind blew my way; Singapore is HOT.

The Merlion park also has views of other landmarks, including the Singapore Flyer ferriss wheel restaurant. It makes a full revolution in half an hour and each of the cars is a private dining room. Atop those three building/pillars is a casino!

A couple interesting buildings: Above, one that was built to emulate a local fruit; below, colors galore!


The historic Raffles hotel.




The iPad was a great diversion.

We found this rickshaw driver to run the kids around ... OK, it was Neil, but the kids loved it. I don't know how he had so much energy in the heat.

One of many shopping malls! This one is where we caught the 15 min. train out to the beach.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Singapore: First Impressions

This picture kind of says it all.

We took the two hour flight from Bangkok to Singapore on Friday to spend a long weekend with Brooke and Stuart. We love hanging out with their family; they are awesome and their kids are so adorable. Brooke is literally the very first person I met on the very first day of orientation to our new jobs, and we've been friends ever since.

Did I already tell you this story?

The highlights: We picked up our nametags and were herded into a group of about 6 people to get a short walking tour to the holding pen mix 'n' mingle room prior to the start of the orientation day. Being forced into this little group, we started chatting. We had a lot in common and it wasn't until later that we learned that -- albeit several years apart -- we had lived in the SAME HOUSE, SAME ROOM, SAME BED, in a houseful of girls at college!!!! Quiet House, represent!

Back to Singapore. We arrived in the afternoon and Stuart met us at the airport. Kind of hard to miss a big, tall white guy in a hot pink T-shirt in Asia.

We headed home in a taxi. I was impressed by the beautiful green trees and grassy areas along the way. Especially the pink bougainvillea in the median of the highway. It reminded me of spring in D.C. and pink azaleas.

When Brooke got off work, we went to a "hawker center" -- basically a mall food court -- to have a local meal. It was really good; I am glad Stuart ordered a sampling of items to try. I was torn with indecision, too many choices!

Brooke has better pictures here.


Yes, I did say Stuart was in a hot pink t-shirt. I like the blue/pink/purple coordination going on here.
This dessert was SO delish -- ice cream and peaches -- and mango too, I think?

Neil got "the works" on this shave ice -- which includes CORN, of all things!

Back at their fab apartment, we'd heard about their nanny's legendary cooking, and we finally got to try it later during our stay. Holy amazing, she whipped up the most delicious chicken curry. It was soooo good, with snow peas and eggplant on a bed of cabbage. Served with rice and fresh pineapple. Perfect!

Once I found out Singapore imports Ben & Jerry's, there was no stopping me!!!!!!! There's a reason that under "Interests" in my Blogger profile, the only thing it says is "Anything that tastes like s'mores." It's my FAVORITE. I highly recommend Ben & Jerry's "S'mores" ice cream ...............
FYI the Singapore dollar is nearly even with the US dollar, so yes, that is about USD $10 per pint!!!!!!!! And yes, I bought 4 pints before the weekend was through!!!! Hey, I didn't eat them ALL by myself ...... just half .......