Saturday, January 31, 2015

Singapore Day 1

January 2015 - Singapore

Singapore officially the Republic of Singapore, is a sovereign city-state and island country in Southeast Asia. It lies off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula and is 137 kilometres (85 mi) north of the equator. The country's territory consists of the diamond-shaped main island, commonly referred to as Singapore Island in English and Pulau Ujong in Malay, and more than 60 significantly smaller islets.

Singapore is 716 square kilometers or 276 square miles
That’s about half the size of Los Angeles (1,302 square kilometers)

We arrive on January 31 around 1 PM and were picked up and taken to our hotel. Our luggage would follow us later.

Singapore is 13 hours ahead of Toronto, ON, Canada
2:41 PM Monday, in Toronto, ON, Canada is
3:41 AM Tuesday, in Singapore

Rendezvous Hotel Singapore draws its inspiration from its surrounding Arts and Heritage district
[Bras Basah Bugis]. The hotel is within proximity to the key districts of the city - a 10-minute walk
from the Orchard Road shopping belt and a 10-minute drive from the Central Business District.
Just 5-minute walk from the hotel are the Bras Basah and Dhoby Ghaut MRT Stations, which will
connect you across the whole of Singapore.

Map of Rendezvous Hotel Singapore by Far East Hospitality

Tipping is not typical in Singapore and not expected. You do not need to tip in taxis or restaurants.

The hotel is older as can be seen form the photo with a newer building added at the back. Nice room, great bed  and linens with walk in shower in the bathroom.

Once we checked in we decided to go for a well deserved beer(s) Tiger is the local. The hotel had an outside terrace. Such fun watching people. Everyone speaks English very cosmopolitan!

The plan was to take a nap for a couple of hours and then get up so that we could go to bed at a normal time.And sleep we did, we someone did. I answered the phone when the airliens called to say luggage was on its way. Back to sleep then desk called to say luggage was here. Then bellboy brought luggage.

I woke John at 8:15 PM and we showered and headed out to get a snack. We had satay, beef for me and mixed chicken, beef and lamb for John. Then we met up with my friend, Suzanne who is living here working for SAP. We chatted until midnight when we slowly faded.

Los Angeles to Singapore

January 2015 - Singapore

Singapore is a multi racial country and the general language used for communication among the various races is English. So people just say hello (yeah, in English)!

Saturday January 31 2015

We spent January 29 at the Hilton LAX, we had booked an extra night even though our flight is at 12:05 AM January 30, so we needed to be at the airport around 8 PM.

We checked out and got the shuttle at 7:30 PM after spending the day lounging around our hotel room.

We flew Cathay Pacific in their Premium Economy so we had a dedicated check in line.
Clearing security was easy, shoes off and laptops out. both of us got patted down after the full body scan.

Thought it was interesting watching this monk waiting for his Starbucks!

We have Priority cards that allow us access to most airline lounges. We went to the KAL Korean Airlines lounge. They provided finger sandwiches, fresh vegetables, fruit and noodles. Along with a selection of wine, beer and alcohol.
We sat in front of the large windows overlooking the International terminal. This terminal is really something to see, lots of shops. 

I watched in trepidation as some of the Chinese airlines boarded, lots of little babies and packed to the wings. 

Our take off time was January 30 at 00:05 so just after midnight. 

However, when we got to our gate everything was very civilized. Not crowded, and lines were set up for First, Premium and Economy by row. You didn't dare try to skip into another line.

According to Cathay Pacific:Our Premium Economy Class cabin is a spacious and cosy cabin of 26 to 34 seats. There’s more room between your seat and the seat in front of you, 8 inches of recline to make resting and sleeping more comfortable, and the headrest has 4-way movement for excellent support of your head and neck. Front-row seats have a legrest, and other seats have a 3-position footrest, which help you find a variety of positions to make your flights as enjoyable as possible.For entertainment, there are hundreds of selections on your StudioCX inflight entertainment system. Plus, you can use the multi-port connector to stream movies and music from your iPod, iPhone or iPad* to your 10.6-inch touch-screen Personal TV – and a noise-cancelling headset will enhance your enjoyment.

On our long-haul flights, we’re able to offer you even more. For your comfort, there’s an environmentally friendly amenity kit with socks, eyeshade, earplugs, and toothbrush and toothpaste. And our food and beverage service includes a welcome drink and a hot towel, a selection of enhanced entrées, complimentary bottled water and a wide variety of snacks.

They lived up to their hype, we had front row seats so lots of space. We were only three in a four row of seats. We were served our glass of sparkling wine before take off. 

We were delayed due to heavy traffic volume by about thirty minutes.

The section even had our own bathroom!

We then were given menus to select our meals. We both chose the seafood and had a glass of wine.

With a flight time of 15 hours to Hong Kong we settled in for the long haul. This flight was not fully booked and around us, in our section they were about 8 empty seats, no children! So once dinner was over everyone settled down. We read for a while, probably until around 2 AM then with our pillows, foot rests and blankets hunkered down for a sleep. John donned his eye mask and I built my little tent so that no one got to see my gaping mouth and droll marks as they passed by. 

We probably slept on and off until around 8 AM, I am still using LA times. Then we read and dozed until after 10, when they lights came up. We each selected a movie, Equalizer for John and This Is Where I Leave you for me. We selected the omelet for breakfast with mushrooms and sausages. The omelet was not very good.

More movies to while away the time. John now watched Where I Leave You and I viewed a delightful Scottish movie What We Did On Our Holiday starring Billy Connolly.

We landed at 8:10 AM in Hong Kong and our flight to Singapore was boarding at 8:20 AM and leaving at 9 AM, hence a mad scramble to find our gate and scurry over, BUT we had to do a security check, laptop out again. We got to gate 65 by 8:40 and there was still a long line of economy so we sailed through the premium line. This flight was full and lots of little ones.

More movies, while I charged my e-reader. Men Women and Children and The Hundred Foot Journey for me and John watched The Drop and November Men. 

Another breakfast, a frittata this time and the eggs were awful again. But the fried tomatoes, saugage and bacon were good.

This flight didn't leave until 9:26 and we landed in Singapore at 1:10 PM. Cleared immigration with nary a smile or word from the officer, just lots of officious stamping.

Baggage claim 20 didn't yield our luggage nor many of our companion travellers' bags. Traipse to the Cathey desk to file a claim and told our luggage was on the next flight and would be brought to our hotel.

Finally we were into the terminal around 1:45 and looking for our driver who was finally found. Driven to our hotel and settled in.

inSPIREd Sunday

December 2014 - Nashville TN

Join Dr. Harry Yates & Joanne Cash Yates for Nashville Cowboy Church
Texas Troubadour Theatre
Sunday Mornings at 10 AM

2014 - 2015 Winter Las Vegas NV

December 2014 - January 2015

Las Vegas is our home for the remainder of 2014.

We spent a week at Wyndham Grand Desert. A night at New York New York. A week at Grand View and then ended the year at South Point Hotel and Casino into the New Year.

Friends joined us December 20 into January.

Click here to see the last three weeks of 2014 in Las Vegas.


We spent New Year's Day in Las Vegas, friends were visiting but under the weather, so we headed to Goodsprings outside Las Vegas.
We even had a light dusting of snow this week in Vegas and it was cold.

John got some rounds of golf in with Vegas buddies.

We enjoyed revisiting old spots and finding some new ones. Here we are at Container Park near Fremont, basking in the sunshine.

We had more visitors for Blair's birthday. We went to Boulder and we visited the Mob Museum.

We took a drive through Red Rock Canyon.

Some familiar sights around town.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Look UP Look DOWN

Look Up, Look Down challenge hosted by Travel With Intent.

December 2014 - Las Vegas NV

Taken at the Clark County Museum.

Click here for photos of the chapel and here for Heritage St.

Gotta love the Nevada skies!

Singapore Itinerary

Day 1 - We arrive on January 31 around 1 PM and will be picked up and taken to our hotel.

Rendezvous Hotel Singapore draws its inspiration from its surrounding Arts and Heritage district
[Bras Basah Bugis]. The hotel is within proximity to the key districts of the city - a 10-minute walk
from the Orchard Road shopping belt and a 10-minute drive from the Central Business District.

Just 5-minute walk from the hotel are the Bras Basah and Dhoby Ghaut MRT Stations, which will
connect you across the whole of Singapore. Rendezvous Hotel Singapore offers 298 comfortable
rooms and suites featuring state-of-the-art amenities that have been designed with your high performance business and leisure needs in mind.
The rest of the day we have to ourselves.

Drinks with a friend in the evening. She is working here for a year. We used to work together.

Day 2 - February 1 on our own

Day 3 - February 2 on our own

Day 4 - February 3
Pick up at 8:30 AM return noon
Enjoy a city tour, which will begin with a drive around the Civic District past the Padang, Cricket
Club, Historic Parliament House, Supreme Court and City Hall. Next, stop at the Merlion Park for
great views of Marina Bay and a photo opportunity with The Merlion, a mythological creature that
is part lion and part fish. Visit Thian Hock Keng Temple, one of Singapore's oldest Buddhist-
Taoist temples, before driving past Chinatown to watch the craftsmen at work in the local
handicraft centre. Proceed to the National Orchid Garden, in the Singapore Botanic Gardens,
which boasts a sprawling display of thousands of orchids. Your final stop at Little India will entice
you with the scent of joss sticks, jasmine and spices.

Afternoon to ourselves.

Singapore by Night with Singapore Sling Tour
Photo: Raffles Hotel

Image courtesy of National Geographic
Enjoy dinner by the Singapore River (included), Singapore's favourite sunset haunt. After dinner
enroute to the world's largest fountain, take in the beautiful sight of the central business district
via Benjamin Sheares Bridge. Continuing on to Bugis Street where your guide will take you for a
stroll at the night market or 'pasar malam'. The last stop for the evening is at the iconic Raffles
hotel. As the saying goes, "If you have not been to Raffles, you have not been to Singapore

Day 5 - February 4
Morning on our own.

Pick up 1:30 PM return 5PM
This afternoon, soak in the rich cultural heritage of the Malays at the Malay Ethnic Area. Your
guide will recount stories of collective spirits that rose through the darkest times of World War II
as you proceed with your tour of Changi Chapel and Museum. Taking a drive through the rustic
and laid-back Changi Village gives you a chance to see the relaxing side of Singapore and
provides a contrast to your final stop at Tampines New Town, a typical heartland township of
present day Singapore.

Evening to ourselves

Day 6 - February 5
Fly Singapore to Bangkok

Where Are We? V2.0

January 2015 - Los Angeles CA

January 28-30 2015

We  left Las Vegas on the 28th around 8:30, ran a couple of errands and headed south on I 15 to  LA and are at the Hilton LAX.

We stopped into Barstow and were blown away by the number of murals downtown, post to come.

Lunch was a southern California tradition In and Out Burger. There are some in Nevada as well.

We are here until around 8 PM January 29 when we head to the airport.

We brought a baguette and some cheese and pate for dinner with a bottle of 14 Hands wine.

On Thursday we had the buffet at the hotel $25 each, ouch!! we filled ourselves up. We needed a walk after all that food. Walking along Century Blvd, it was 70F or 21C out but overcast.

Our car is at this spa while we are away.

 It is a long day, we leave for the airport around 8 PM this evening January 29 as our flight to Singapore is January 30 00:05. 

We get to Singapore at 1 PM January 31. There is a 13 hour time difference between Toronto and Singapore.

So excited!

Weekend Reflections

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Posting at Weekend Reflections.

January 2015 - Las Vegas NV

I found the information below at the Cosmopolitan site.

The Cosmopolitan Lucky Cat is a modern art exhibit featuring the fabled Japanese cultural icon and talisman of good fortune, maneki-neko. The 9 foot tall interactive sculpture invites passers-by to step away from the hustle and bustle of The Strip with a simple yet powerful smile and outstretched paw. The ideas of luck and fortune are core to Las Vegas. The Lucky Cat installation celebrates and explores these notions through a uniquely cultural yet universally appealing lens.
What is Lucky Cat?

Also called welcoming cat, beckoning cat, money cat, happy cat and fortune cat, the maneki-neko is traditionally found at the entrance to businesses where it is thought to bring good luck, wealth and customers to its owner.

That's us on the right side and The Strip outside.