Monday, July 7, 2008

A weird day

Nothing particularly odd happened today, but it was odd day nonetheless.

After Ian and Katherine left to the clinic this morning, the other kids swam for a bit before vegging in front of the TV. It was a slow morning for this part of the family, but noonish we were all back together and contemplating lunch. We keep ending up back at the mall (any mall) where a quick fast food lunch was followed by movie tickets for the 5 p.m. showing of the new Indiana Jones flick.
But that left a big chunk of empty time in the afternoon. Tennis shoes for Rebecca? Check. Flipflops for Rebecca? Check. Three more hours to kill? Um...
But we made it. Shakes and smoothies from Orange Julius along with some hands of Crazy 8s took up a bit of time. We wandered slowly for a while. For another hour we sat by the theater entrance. That was booooring. But finally it was 5 and we sat through the silliness of "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull." Indy is too old. I'm a Harrison Ford fan as much as the next person, but he was moving like an old man. I will admit it has a few funny spots, and I wa glad to see Marian back.
Hunger struck again and with Rebecca's shoe boxes in tow we returned to the hotel. Now, the original plan had been to go to the Night Safari tonight, but it stormed several times through the day and after our massive patch of utter boredom, we were all plain wary of the weather and generally drained. We had a family summit. Voting occurred. Debated were organized. Voices were heard and positions held.
Ian popped some Motrin and we went to the zoo.
And we had a blast.
Dinner was OK. While we were eating though, out came three adorable creatures. A baby boa, a white owl, and a cerval. I admit, I screeched a bit when we spotted the cerval, and gladded handed over $10 so the kids could have their photos taken up close and personal with all 3. Very cool. That was right before the Creatures of the Night show. When we were in Singapore 4 years ago after our tour of New Zealand and Sydney, we stopped by Singapore and did the Night Safari. The kids were 2, 4, 6, and 8, and at one point the audience is asked for a kid volunteer. In 2004, Katherine was chosen. Tonight, it was Jonathon's turn and he looked so cute! After hiding grapes in his hands and having a little otter-type creature sniff them out, He got a free scoop of Ben&Jerry's for his trouble. I hope at least one photo turned out but it's tough when no flashes are allowed. We had a wonderful time seeing the striped hyena Jonathon is so fond of and the recycling otters, the bearcats, poorly "behaved" wolves and mongooses, and high-jumping cervals (they really are amazing).
We took to the trail. First by tram (avoid the tram, the other people are so loud) and then by foot. In 2004 we didn't manage to walk around due to jet lag, but it was so worth it. Our first stop when we hopped off the tram at the East Lodge were the flying squirrels. They are by far the coolest animals ever. We watched them swoop across a couple times. Way cool. The bats in the mangrove enclosure... very cool. The fishing cats and leopards, awesome. The pack of wolves when the ran after a perceived dinner bell... yup, cool. The porcupines spooked the boys. But by 11:30 we had made our way back to the start, snacked on ice cream and hunted down some souvenirs.
There's a 5 person limit in taxis in Singapore. It always passes as a minor issue and we've only been turned down once, but at midnight at the zoo there was a single taxi that arrived after a few minutes and complained about our numbers. Thankfully he did take us home and only gave a light tongue lashing about requiring 2 taxis next time.
Yeah, right.
Anyway, that's how I spent the beginning of my birthday, coming home from a great time at the Singapore Night Safari. We didn't make it to the actual Singapore Zoo this time, but that's OK. Should we ever come back we have to leave something to do, right?

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