Sunday, July 6, 2008

A pleasant Sunday to you.

There's something to be said for quiet Sundays. While today wasn't our normal level of quiet (*chirp* Chennai *chirp*) it was a pleasant day of poking around Singapore.

The Cathedral of the Good Shepherd is near Clarke Quay and across the street from a converted church which is now an assortment of... shops and restaurants. It's a wonder that any restaurant here is full, so it's impressive that most of them are packed. Hello tourists.
The Cathedral is an old building in need of some attention. It's open air, what we've become accustomed to over the past 3 years, but the differences between this Mass and the ones in Chennai are clear. The music was beautiful, the homily made sense, and above all there was a sense that people understood why they were there, even the tourists like us. It was such a different experience.
The Hog's Breath Cafe' was across the street and our lunch destination. Oh yeah, steak. And a baked potato. Jonathon had a kid steak, Rebecca went for the sampler platter. A ridiculous meal of loaded baked potato skins, chicken strips, buffalo wings, and fried calamari rings. Delicious and totally bad for you. We wandered the little shops until we made our way to Fort Canning Park. The plan was to walk the park and let the kids tear around on the greens. We explored the spice garden, climbed on top of the Fort Gate, almost crashed a wedding reception, and found the Battle Box museum. Built into the hill, the Battle Box was completed just a few years before the Japanese invaded Singapore during WWII. It was a working station, for communications and military support. The Japanese pounded it into submission, taking over the food depots, breaking the water mains, blocking refueling missions. On 15 February 1942, the brigadier generals convened and agreed to surrender the island to General Yamashita. All the generals were taken as prisoners of war and spread out around the island prisons. One escaped, and left his division behind in prison as he returned to Australia. When the war ended and all the rest of the BGs were released, the escapee was court martialed. As well he should have been. Anyway, the tour involved animatronic figures and headphones, so it was quite reminiscent of the Malinta Tunnel on Corregidor. On Corregidor it was 2 year old Jonathon who didn't like the dark spooky tunnel, this time it was 12 year old Katherine who was stuck to me like glue. Yeesh.
Aside from the perpetual need to find bathrooms for the boys no matter where we were, one time we gave in to using an empty water bottle for little hopping Jonathon, we had a good time in the park. A big hill lured the kids to roll down, once completely unintentionally for Jonathon. It was a spectacular tumble. Now he's got 3 limbs all scratched up (a tumble at the picnic last night got an entire shin), and plenty of time for the 4th before the week is up.
We returned to Clarke Quay and found ourselves in the middle of a youth marathon of some sort. We asked a couple people what the race was for but no one seemed to know, but it didn't matter. We people-watched while the kids sipped blue 7-11 Slurpees, then meandered through yet more malls where we splurged on girlie things like earrings and nail polish. When we finally considered dinner, a recommendation for the Jumbo Seafood restaurant along the riverwalk made our choice for us. The line changed our mind. Oops, a place that needs reservations on Sunday night along the riverside? Who knew?
We walked all the way back to our neck of the woods. With kids who had been walking from about 12:30 already, they were not happy. After a quick dinner at California Pizza Kitchen we returned to the hotel with more than a few blistered feet at 8:30. The boys were still completely filthy from the time at Ft. Canning Park so they were both tossed in the tub while we Skyped with my parents.
Now we're watching the sorcerer, conqueror, one-man Spanish Armada (sorry, tennis commentators are taking over my brain) Nadal play men's finals against Federer. It's been a rocking match so far, and Rebecca is a huge Nadal fan so we have high hopes he'll knock Federer off his high horse.
Must get back to the game, but first, a shower. I'm sweaty and stinky too. Don't win before I get back, Rafael!

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