And a good Sunday afternoon to you all from across the globe after another GREAT DAY in the Lion City. First off - AMAZING NEWS - the Merlion is back to spewing water, baby!!!!! WOO-HOO!!!!! After 3 months of being denied a viewing of the Singapore Landmark during my training runs around the Marina, Muffin Puffin gave me the nudge yesterday and pointed to a foamy, frothy collection of bubbles in the harbor as we neared the Marina Bay Sands hotel. Welcome back, baby! Here's to many more morning runs where there aren't a BILLION tourists blocking my path.
And in other news, the Bull is pleased to report that he's found a plant that can survive his black thumb - Chinese Bamboo. Seriously - we bought one of these plants back in Feb, and I've forgotten to water it about 16,000 times since then. However, despite my horrific parenting, our little collection of stalks has managed to sprout like a weed (no pun intended) and is en route to some day being panda food. Good times.
So this weekend, whilst not yet over, has just been PERFECT. Case in point - I'm sitting here sipping on a Mountain Dew as I type this, something that was NEVER possible in the UK (unless I paid like $600 USD for it at that Japanese Candy Shop). I've been a little grumpy lately (dare I say bordering on frumpiness), and until this weekend I wasn't quite sure why. But then, having experienced a perfect, activity-filled yet relaxing Saturday, it hit me. Simply put, the previous 2 weekends had let me down. Now you all know me well - I love my job and I do work hard (Work peeps - let's keep the laughter to a minimum, shall we...), but I don't think anyone will disagree with the statement that Team Taylor lives for weekend travel and activities. The previous 2 weekends (Sundown 1/2 and Penang) were, quite frankly, disappointments. Granted, I had a blast both weekends, but that was largely due to have the best wife on the planet who kept me laughing and smiling the entire time. Truth be told, as long as I've got her - we'll have fun anywhere. And since I had her AND a host of activities yesterday, Four Leaf is back from the edge and smiling as much as ever.
The day started at 10 AM (I know, right? SHOCKINGLY EARLY!) with brekkie at Boomerang. That place has become a weekend staple. In fact, I told Jenny: "This place is the first thing I've decided I'll truly miss when we leave Singapore." However, she then reminded me of unlimited refills and thick country bacon at OPH, at which point my love for Boomerang flickered a little. that being said, it's still a GREAT place.
We then wandered over to the featured event of the day - the Grand Theater at Marina Bay for a performance of Cirque Eloize's "i-D." Cirque Eloize is Canada's national "Cirque" troop, and this thing was OFF THE CHAIN. Seriously - picture Mystere and La Nouba rolled together. Mom, there was this AMAZING sequence at the end with a trampoline. It totally reminded me of La Nouba and the little devil dude running up the side of the building and then stepping through the teeny little box hole in the wall. In 2 words: EXTRA AWESOME.
The set-up is cool as well, as the lobby there is shared space with the Sands Theater, which houses their marquee show - the Lion King. Based permanently in Singapore, we're anxious to watch this one as soon as possible as well.
After the show, we did the only thing 2 sensible foreigners in proper footwear SHOULD do on a rainy day in Sing Sing - FINALLY HIT THE CASINO, BABY!!!!!!!! And I gotta tell ya - it did NOT disappoint.
Yesterday was just "recon" for future trips, and here are my observations:
1. It really does feel like Vegas. PACKED casino, TONS of action, you can drink on the casino floor, people smoking, good music.
2. Chinese LOVE to gamble. We are talking people are 5 deep at the 7 Up Baccarat table.
3. Craps is NOWHERE to be found, but there's enough roulette to make you think the game was invented in Southeast Asia (Wild Card, Hitman - this is THE PLACE for Gaurav to test his theory...and get CLEANED OUT).
4. Miller - I saw it and I couldn't believe it: "Come ooooooooon......MONKEY!!!!!" I was spellbound.
5. There is no Texas Tea, but there certainly is a good replacement - Lucky Luigi's Pizzeria! This 5 cent slot machine was HILARIOUS - Muffin even won the "pizza pepperoni pick 'em" combo! I mean, tell me she's not perfect.
On the way home, I stopped to hug Singa, the mascot for the "Singapore Kindness Movement." That's right - they have a KINDNESS MOVEMENT here. That being said, aside from these 4 rather frightening and cheap plastic lions in a row on the promenade, I've never seen another mention of the Kindness Movement. Perhaps all the gang war and blood shed just takes place in that 1 section (PARENTS - I AM KIDDING. There are no gangs and no blood shed in Singapore - no matter WHAT Uncle Scotty says...).
We then did the unthinkable for a Friday evening - went for a run! Muffin logged 4 and I logged 7, and I didn't have any gas in the tank when that was over. I've got another 1/2 marathon in 2 weeks, and I'm pretty sure that's NOT going to go as well as the previous one. Oh well, considering that it's a trail run, I'll be happy with 3 hours.
After that, we continued with festivities by doing one of the things that we do best (just ask Grimshaw) - knocking a few back. We started by consuming a prized gift from the Shogun himself, smuggled into the country in checked luggage from the land of the rising sun. That's right, Brewmaster - last night we rocked the Shonan Beer! Oh man, it was EPIC. Thanks for that! We'd been saving it for a special occassion, and for some reason last night just seemed to fit the bill.
After that we wanted over to JT's newest discovery - a bar RIGHT BY OUR HOUSE that sells Archipelago!!!! And so we managed last call at a happy hour before rocking over to Bella Pasta for some squid ink and pesto pastas, as well as a GREAT bottle of Shiraz and some gnocchi (for a starter - not desert). It was then back to the house for some episodes of Modern Family which, I'm relatively certain, is the funniest show in the history of television.
Today's been a wee bit quieter, with us doing some grocery shopping, hair cutting (back at the "Way of the Samurai" Salon), and eating at this great sandwich shop called O'Brien's. We're now researching our 5 year anniversary trip - it's less than a month away, so we've gotta get crackin'!
Okay, that's all the news that's fit to print. Chat tomorrow!
Sam and Jenny