Life has been busy and somehow we ended up not having anything planned for the kids’ two-week Easter break. When we finally realized it, we jumped at the chance and booked tickets to Singapore to visit Chris’s sister, Heidi, and her family. This was very timely as Heidi and her family are soon packing up to move to Mongolia as mission presidents for our church!
Life didn’t slow down as we prepared for our trip, and as in everything, things didn’t get done until the last minute. We had to mail Uncle Jed’s birthday card in the airport!
Mailing Uncle Jed’s Card
The 12 hour plane ride to Singapore was very enjoyable. Thank goodness for online movies! We arrived at Heidi and Joseph’s in perfect time to go to bed for the night so it was a perfect situation and helped us kick jet-lag before it even started.
Joseph and Heidi were great in planning morning activities each day. Then we’d be home in time for a quiet afternoon before the daily thunderstorms hit.
Our first full day was spent at the Singapore Zoo. With the change in temperature, the kids were just anxious to get to the splash pad. Thankfully it was at the backside of the zoo, so we were able to scope out some animals on the way.
Walking Through the Zoo
“I’m watching YOU!”
The walk through the zoo was beautiful, in and of itself. The colors and landscaping were beautiful!
“How close to the splash pad are we NOW?”
Finally we had arrived at the splash pad and the kids were thrilled! Water everywhere!
To top off our morning at the zoo, we went to the elephant show. It was a really fun show . . . and impressive how strong these guys are!
After our morning rest and the afternoon thunderstorms, we went back to the zoo for the Night Safari.
We decided to eat dinner there before the Safari opened, which proved to be the perfect way to get front row seats to the fire show.
We had a fun time on the Safari train ride to see all the nocturnal animals . . . some just walking right alongside the train!
Heading out on Safari
As we finished up our night with another zoo show, Chris was still working. We’re not sure whether Blackberries are a blessing or a curse to enable you to work wherever you are in the world. But it’s better having him with us on holiday rather than going without him.
Our second morning was spent in China Town.
Even though we were already in Asia, being in China Town gave it a more Asian feeling.
We walked by a number of temples, but the only temple we went into was the Buddhist temple.
The colors inside were amazing . . . so vibrant!
The rain started coming down so we took the opportunity and stopped in the market stalls to get the kids’ souvenirs.
Bella and Hannah were so excited to find the Singapore Airlines dresses in the market. These quickly became their Easter dresses . . . and prompted some fun airline role-playing.
Bella & Hannah
We had lunch in the city at a popular hawker centre, Lau Pa Sat – the oldest hawker centre in Singapore (it has been there since 1894).
Lunch in the Business District
I was a little nervous that the kids wouldn’t be too keen on it, especially some of our picky kids (AKA Emma). But, Emma was thrilled with her chosen food!
Since there had been an early rainstorm during the day, the air was very humid and the kids had a hard time not melting. After lunch, they seemed ‘done’ for the day.
Hannah, Bella, & Cami
Of course, being ‘done’ just meant the continual walking and touring. As soon as we were back at the house, the kids were ready for the park. Very conveniently, the American School is right behind the Benson’s house so it was a quick walk to the playground.
American School in Singapore
Ruling the Soccer Field
On Thursday morning, we journeyed out to the Botanical Gardens. The goal was to picnic by the Swan Lake.
The grounds were beautiful and it was so big with a lot to explore. It was really hot that day so any shade or water was what the kids sought after, making our picnic the one event before searching out some kid-friendly play.
Chris under the Waterfall
Thankfully, the children’s section of the Botanical Gardens is fully equipped with a splash pad!
It was a great day out!
That night we went out — just the adults. It was fun to go into the city and eat by the water’s edge. It’s always nice to be with people who know what food is the best to order so you are ensured to like it . . . and of course the conversation is always great!
Heidi, Joseph, Chris, Becca
On Good Friday, we tried to get out AND miss the crowds on a holiday. We thought the best place to do that was on a hike. However, a lot of people had the same idea as we ventured out on the Tree Top Trail.
Preparing for our Adventure
Right from the beginning we spied some curious creatures in the trees. Many had babies attached to them and didn’t seem too shy of all the people.
The trail wasn’t the easiest trail, but the kids did a great job.
The reward was definitely getting to the bridge to walk through the tree tops. Thank goodness no one had any serious height issues.
Supposedly, on a clear day you can see all the way to Malaysia. Even with the pollution fogging the sky, we were still able to get a neat view.
The hardest thing about reaching your goal of a hike at the half-way point is having to come back down. We were all hot and tired and had to take a few breaks, but we played some games to keep us motivated and no one had to be carried. We were also able to see some interesting creatures on our way back down.
This snake was just slithering on the side of the trail, taking its time. We didn’t think much of it as it was so skinny and small, but after a quick internet search, we found it was a Blue Coral Snake, the deadliest snake in Singapore! I’m glad we didn’t have any snake enthusiasts in our group who were inclined to pick it up!
Blue Coral Snake
Then as we were exiting the trail and making our way to the car, a large monitor lizard made its way through the grass. The bird beside it kept trying to attack the lizard and we had quite a show!
Saturday was a busy day – full of lots of fun from the moment the kids woke up. The Bensons get up EaRlY!! So you can imagine what torture it was for them to find this note first thing in the morning . . .
Thankfully no eggs disappeared and the kids had a great Easter egg hunt together. Thankfully the Easter bunny does things quite similar at the Bensons that he does at our house (egg hunt then a scavenger hunt for each child to find their gifts/candy) so no questions were asked, but much fun was had!
After the Hunt
Our big outing for the day was going to Marina Bay Sands to see the amazing hotel architecture there.
You can pay to go up to the top to see the view and the amazing infinity pool, but when we saw how much it was per person, we opted to take a picture.
We were there!
Plan B ended up being an amazing Lego exhibit at the art museum. This ended up being the favorite event of the day for most of the kids.
Lego Works of Art
Since Legos is such a universal toy, this exhibit captivated everyone. All of the pieces were amazing and it was great to learn more about the master-mind behind them.
The Thinking Man . . . Recreated
In one of the rooms, there was a great place to make your own shadow art. It was a lot of fun!
Cami & Chris
After the museum, we walked out to get a view of the Merlion, Singapore’s mascot.
Our afternoon activity was decorating Easter eggs.
The kids never asked why we were dying eggs even after we had already had our big hunt. Maybe they thought deviled eggs taste better when their shells have been colored!
The kids were still keen on their afternoon trip to the school park so the dads ventured out again with them. Soon after, we heard the thunderstorm roll in, but the the troops never returned. They decided to stay out and play, staying under the school overhang when the lightning warning lights were on.
Wet . . . and Happy
Even after coming back, the kids were happy to dance around in the street and enjoy the rain.
Of course, it was the dads who got stuck carrying everything back as they tried to stay dry.
We had a great day at church with Heidi and Joseph, hearing them speak in Sacrament meeting. They are going to be amazing in Mongolia! The cousins had a great time being together in church as well.
At home, the kids had some great quite time activities to keep them busy.
Boys Doing Lego Kits
Then after a delicious Easter meal, we capped off the day celebrating Marianne’s 2nd birthday.
Happy Birthday, Marianne!
It was a lot of fun being able to celebrate a birthday with family. There seemed to be a theme for her birthday this year . . . and the crown we gave her fit in with her other dress-up supplies.
Stay tuned for part 2 of our adventures in Asia . . . .