Stayover at 公公婆婆’s house

J has left for Kuala Lumpur to attend the 22nd IMAST conference, so Little E and I went over to my parents’ place for a stayover vacation! Over a course of 4 days 3 nights, Little E had the chance to spend cherished moments with her beloved 公公婆婆 and 舅舅 too!

08 July 2015 – Day 1

Orang utans

We went to the zoo on our very first day! It has been many years since I last went to the zoo with my parents. Walking down memory lane, it was heartwarming to see that we have a precious little one accompanying us now!

Pygmy hippos

公公 carrying Little E to have a closer look at the pygmy hippos that tiptoed across them.

We walked throughout the excursion, exploring the different attractions and enjoyed admiring the many animals on display. Little E especially liked to watch the “underwater ballerinas” tiptoed across the riverbed.

Tram pass?

We reached the zoo slightly before noon, and were very thankful that it was a cloudy day! Nonetheless, the walking exhausted us after about 2 hrs, and we stopped for frequent rests to have sips of water before continuing on.

Lions

Within the Wild African zone, while eyeing a whisker-close view of the king of the jungle from an indoor viewing gallery, we could see the lion and lionesses chillaxing in their enclosure undaunted by the curious human eyes observing them. We proceeded to the outdoor viewing platform to appreciate the moated plains that are fashioned after the grassy plains in Africa. That was when Little E pointed to the elegant long-necked giraffes, eager to caress them if she could!

Giraffes

The beautiful and gentle giraffes easily make them one of Little E’s favourite animals. She loves their long eyelashes and even said, “giraffe’s eyelashes” when we were up close and personal with them.

Little E with 公公婆婆 at the zoo

It was a fun-filled day albeit a tiring one too. We had lunch from the new Ah Meng Kitchen at the Zoo’s entrance, before returning home. What a blessing to end the day perfectly with my Mom’s home-cooked food! Oh-so-delicious…. hmmmm…

09 July 2015 – Day 2

We went for music class early in the morning, where Little E enjoyed playing various instruments, had fun with beats and rhythms, and socialising with her classmates and teachers.

We returned home for lunch and took a much-needed afternoon nap! As evening drew close, 公公 took Little E to the playground when 婆婆 was preparing dinner for everyone.

As for me? I went for a leisurely 7+ km run around the neighbourhood while I had my quiet time with the Lord, listening to His Word. Oh how I cherished such moments. Rare, but oh-so-precious… I thank God for wonderful parents who are there for me when I needed respite, my type of respite → To bask in the presence of God, who supplies me all that I need to run a race that is set before me, fixing my eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of my faith in Him. A race that must be run with patience and perseverance, where faith and patience are the conquering graces, that ought to be always cultivated and kept in lively exercise in my life.

Running route

10 July 2015 – Day 3

Following the news on the Singapore Botanic Gardens (SBG) being declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, I feel deeply honoured as a Singaporean to have our very own SBG inscribed as our nation’s first World Heritage Site! That led to the decision to visit the 156-year old attraction today with my parents, and of course with my 24/7 sidekick!

SBG

Following the honourable inscription, I was tempted to see the Gardens with fresh eyes, and to discover both old and new reasons to cherish the Singapore Botanic Gardens – our pride and joy, and our very own UNESCO World Heritage Site! In view of the upcoming 50th National Day, what a great Jubilee year gift to all us Singaporeans!

Orchids in SBG

Upon arrival, we were warmly greeted by an extensive orchid display, featuring over 16,000 orchids, including heritage orchids that have played a role in Singapore’s history. It was the first time that these orchids were being exhibited outside of the National Orchid Garden, which marks its 20th anniversary this year.

Orchids on display

While we were there, we saw many hardworking staff labouring to put together all the potted plants in their rightful places for today’s Opening of the Botanical Inspirations Exhibition at the SBG’s Main Gate (Tanglin Core). Watching these hardworking staff, and not forgetting numerous volunteers at NParks who work with and in the Gardens, my heart was filled with thanksgiving for all of them who work tirelessly to keep the Gardens immaculate, safe and well-maintained throughout the years.

SBG orchid display

Although the collective work they do may not always be visibly obvious to the public, these unsung heroes are the precise reasons SBG is intact and well-preserved today. This inscription would not have been possible without their passion and dedicated commitment to this special place which all Singaporeans love!

SBG orchid display

Beyond heritage, SBG is also a place that has been intricately woven into Singapore’s social fabric. Regardless it is a weekday or weekend, the Gardens is always filled with people who enjoy a stroll through the flora and fauna, admire the rich botanical and cultural heritage on full display, or watch musical performances at the Symphony Lake.

Even ordinary people like us, enjoy visiting SBG almost weekly. With the impending SG50 celebrations approaching, the number of heritage tours will be increased and public outreach efforts will be stepped up a notch to ensure visitors to the Gardens are informed about its historical significance and rich heritage. We will certainly visit SBG regularly either with families or friends, so as to cherish fond memories in this special place that possess such rich heritage and historical significance.

That evening, I brought Little E to 3 separate playgrounds around the neighbourhood! Of all three, the playground at my best friend’s place was her favourite! It was our first time playing there, and we had so much fun!

I am so grateful that we went that evening, because we bumped into Wanling’s family who happened to walk past. That allowed us to indulge in a mini-catchup chat! Praise the Lord! It had been years since we last saw each other!

Before we turned in, my brother played so much with Little E that kept her laughing till she had hiccups… Lol! What fun! B was simulating a manual see-saw as well as a banana ride for Little E in the above pictures. Little E enjoyed these moments with her 舅舅 very very much.

11 July 2015 – Day 4

Today was the last day of our stayover because J would be returning home this evening. We woke up to have breakfast with my dad and brother, before packing up all our stuff!

I drove Little E to 2 playgrounds near Zion Serangoon BPC. We spent about 2 hrs playing there before parking our car in the church, since we would be returning to the church later this afternoon to attend GKGW.

I took Little E on a bus ride from Serangoon Gardens back to my parents’ place for Little E to have a catnap since there was still time before the course started. My father accompanied us to church and he went back home again by himself. Awwww.. my father would always do that… He is a man of action when it comes to showing love to us. I love you papa!

Tai Hwan Drive playground

After GKGW, we drove to the airport to pick up J! It was a very busy Saturday for us! But all the hustle and bustle was well worth every moment being cherished with family and friends.

The stayover was all fun and packed with activities, Little E even slept by herself throughout the last 3 nights! Although I was all ready to wean her so that J and I can start having more children, the reality of our breastfeeding relationship coming to an end soon, was sort of a mixed feeling for me… We will follow God’s leading and may He bless us with lots of children in His perfect timing! The Lord’s will be done, not mine.

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