On the Beach

Delia and Pat in Australia

Birthday shenanigans

Another birthday has come and gone. Another year of travelling around the sun. I had the fun to actually do some very different things for my birthday this year. I normally take my birthday, day off work, however this year I did not, however I did spend the weekend before my birthday doing wonderful things. Firstly on the Friday before my birthday, we met up with one of our friends from the UK, and a couple of her friends from Australia and went for a lovely walk at Whistlepipe Gully. One of Pat and my favourite walks in Perth, partly because we can take Siena and partly because the stream always seems to have water in it, which just makes for a lovely walk when it is hot.

After the walk, we all came back to our place, just to give our friend a chance to have a look around as she hadn’t seen it. We have now been in the house just over two months. It feels longer than that, but we are already planning what is next to do (hint – it will be the garden next year). We then all headed over the Tranby House, which is one of the few National Trust properties in Perth, which has a fabulous café next door which overlooks the river. It is lovely to sit there on a nice day and relax. Lunch was fabulous and enjoyed by all.

On the Saturday, after I had gone to see my mum and one of my nieces (who turned 18 the week before). We got all dressed up and headed to The Crown (hotel & casino) for a High Cheese at La Vie Champagne Bar. Seriously two of my favourite things – cheese and bubbles. You can get four glasses of champagne (they are really half glasses) to have with the high cheese, which is exactly what Pat and I did. We had a lovely couple of hours and found another champagne which we both really liked. However, at $90 a bottle we don’t think we will be purchasing it again soon.

On my actual birthday, after a day at work, I came home to a wonderful dinner. Pat had spent the day cooking and pulling together a variety of foods. Part of this included a chocolate mayonnaise cake (I kid you not – and it was fabulous). A lot of sweet treats from a French run patisserie that is near us and another spread of cheese related eating. It also included a bottle of bubbles, just a less expensive bottle. It was lovely to have and I enjoyed it thoroughly.

On the Thursday after my birthday, I saw Pat off to work, walked Siena and then picked up my cabin luggage bag and walked to the train station to go and catch a flight to Singapore. I was meeting my friend from Sydney. We actually had the good fortune of our flights landing within five minutes of each other. She landed early and got the train between terminals and we found each other and jumped in a taxi to our hotel.

We checked in and came down to the foyer for a glass of wine and snack as both of us had been travelling and S was still on Sydney time we opted for an early night. Friday we both awoke early (after discovering we both snore) and headed down to the hotel breakfast room – which rather nicely overlooked the pool and a lot of greenery. A few cups of coffee and a very large breakfast later, we were on our way to the Gardens by the Bay. We did have to do a detour after discovering we couldn’t buy the Singapore three-day pass for the bus and metro system at the local convenience store. Eventually we found a very helpful employee at the train station who explained where we could get the ticket from and how to get there on the train system and even checked that our bank cards could work as a tap on and off. We found the ticket booth and then made the discovery that they only take cash for the tourist pass!!! Seriously in this day and age. It was very annoying to have to go find an ATM and be charged a silly amount of money for taking out cash. Once that was done, we were finally on our way.

The Gardens by the bay is amazing and well worth the visit. We bought tickets to both the cloud garden and the flower dome. Experiences which were well worth the money spent for the tickets. The cloud garden has a waterfall inside the dome which is apparently 35 metres in height. The dome is also cooler than the outside – which for me was amazing. Unfortunately, Singapore is very humid, I hadn’t realised just how humid. For anyone who knows me I don’t do heat well and humid heat really is a no go. It got to the point where S had to ask me to stop complaining about the humidity (sorry). The dome has the most amazing plants and flowers – I’ve taken so many photos of plants that I hope to paint/draw. It does take some time to go through, but this is fantastic as you are going through at different levels. After looking through this dome, we decided lunch was on the cards. The food hall at the gardens is also amazing so would recommend for a great inexpensive meal.

We then walked back through the Supertree’s (no we did not go up any of these). We headed for the flower dome. This is a different experience than the cloud dome, but just as magical. I loved how they had areas divided up into regions – e.g. Australia, California, Mediterranean. It was a place to get great garden ideas. They also had an amazing display of chrysanthemums. Which just made me realise just how many different varieties and colours there are of this amazing flower. More photos were taken and ideas for what I would like to do in my garden when we get to it.

From there we walked back across the gardens to a different train station than our arrival one (and discovered we could have got a little shuttle bus). However, we would never have seen this amazing lake with such fabulous sculptures in it.

From there we decided a drink at the Raffles Hotel was in order. We headed over and thought about going into the Long Bar, but I convinced S that a drink in the courtyard would be just as fabulous and we didn’t have to wait in line. It was. Neither of us had a Singapore Sling – I dislike them intensely and S can take or leave them. I will admit that my love of Rosé – especially the more French Gris style came back to me in Singapore – it is just the best wine to drink when it is hot. We sat and had a lovely relaxing hour or so at The Raffles, and went for a walk around the building. It has changed substantially since I was last there. Then back to the hotel and a well-earned swim.

We decided on a local Italian restaurant as a good option for dinner. We sat outside and enjoyed our meal. Another early night for us as we walked over 12 km that day.

A not so early start for our Saturday. This was to be our shopping day. We did have a good look around. I ran into the problem of finding very few things in my size, and S found the problem of not finding what she was after. We did however find a phone and watch cover for her new pieces of technology. Her new iPhone takes the most amazing photos. Another lunch at a food hall and more shopping. After this we decided that we wanted to head for the Marina Bay Sands hotel and see if we could get up to the roof top bar. The Marina Bay Sands hotel is the iconic hotel with three towers and a building across the top that joins them together with a pool at the top. However, we discovered that the Observation Deck that night was for ticket holders only and it had sold out. We were a little bummed about this. We were heading towards the concierge to find if there was anywhere else that was worth going, when S remembered a little bit of information given to her by a work colleague, there is another bar at the top, and just before the concierge desk is a desk for Lavo – a restaurant and bar. We made enquiries and within minutes were heading up the elevator to a glorious view. We sat and chatted for a while and then as the evening crowd were heading in decided that, that was our que to leave. We did try and find somewhere to eat within the hotel (and the attached shopping area) however being a Saturday night it was difficult. We decided it was burgers that night and headed back to the hotel as there was a burger place adjacent. Not very adventurous of us, but hey we were happy after another day of extreme walking (11 km).

Sunday was my last day. S was going to be meeting up with her husband and family and having a bit of a family holiday after I left. We headed off to the Botanic gardens, as that was something I really wanted to see. It was well worth it, and we paid to go into the Orchid area – which also has a cool house. There were some amazing plants in this space – and yes lots and lots of photos.  From there, we went back to our hotel had a simple lunch and then headed to S’s new hotel. She was able to check in and I had a lovely shower (something I would later be very, very, thankful for). We headed off to the Airport and that was when I discovered my flight had been cancelled. It took such a long time to find out what was happening and when they could get me on another flight. Unfortunately, I was flown home via Melbourne – so basically my five and half hour flight was turned into 24 hours of travelling (from when I arrived at the airport in Singapore) to when I landed in Perth. This was not a pleasant experience. I will admit I did sleep well on Monday night once home.

A fabulous time was had by both of us. So much so, that Pat and I have decided to add on a couple of days in Singapore on our way to the UK next year.

Enjoy the photos (Click on the photos to see them in all their glory) and yes this is a long blog.

Until next time.