Saturday, February 1, 2014

Singapore - the fun stuff

As I mentioned, it is hot in Singapore so we tried to find a lot of indoor activities. We went to a lot of museums.
The first one we went to is called The Red Dot Museum.  It is entirely dedicated to design. The exhibits feature things that are cleverly designed ranging from light switches to motorcycles to salad forks to clothing buttons for the elderly. Gus especially enjoyed the tupperware "garden."
I had to include this picture of Gus's toy whale, Kujira-san. The very first day he lost her and I kept asking "Gus, where's Kujira-san?" It took me one day to figure out that when I asked him that, he'd walk over to the mini-fridge. It was in a tight space so Craig and I were trying to figure out how to look behind it and confirm that we have the world's smartest baby. Craig had the idea to take a picture and, sure enough, Kujira-san had fallen behind the fridge. We were able to rescue her.
We also have the friendliest baby. As some of you know, Japanese people fawn all over Gus. Well, they've got nothing on Singaporeans. This is a picture of Gus with an employee from the 8Q SAM, the contemporary art extension of the Singapore Art Museum - this was my favorite museum that we visited. After Gus played coy and then waved and smiled a bunch, the man walked over and took him out of Craig's arms. Gus, of course, just gave him a big smile.
This is our hotel room in Little India. We would take afternoon breaks and let Gus stretch his legs while we rested ours.
One must see attraction of Singapore is the Night Safari. It is a zoo designed to be viewed at night. All the enclosures are lit to mimic a full moon and the animals are much more active than they would be during the hot daytime. There are a couple of foot trails but you mostly take a tram around the park. It is tough to take good pictures in such low light while moving so we don't have any of the animals. I'm not a big zoo fan but these animals did look a little more lively. In the bat house the fruit bats were chowing down on some melons and you could get really close without anything between you and the bats. Gus was asleep in the ergo baby at the time and I was really nervous he'd wake up, let out a squawk and the bats would all fly in our faces. This is a picture of some lit up trees at the entrance that Gus found really fascinating.

Don't most people think of putting their heads in the mouth of a bronze alligator?
Gus passing through a "wormhole". That was the name of this art installation.
The interior of the wormhole. I was wondering if the artist added extra worms to the soil because there were, conveniently, a lot of actual worm holes.
Wormhole exterior. This was outside of the Singapore Art Museum. It was made by a Malay artist. In Malaysia mountains are considered holy places because they connect the sky, where the gods live, to the earth, where people live. The title is a reference to the scifi wormhole that connects different points in space.
Here we are on the roof on the Marina Bay Sands. The pool has an infinity edge. Don't worry, there will be more pool pictures shortly; this was before we actually went swimming.
Gus catching a ride on one of the elephant sculptures in Gardens by the Bay, a huge botanical garden with both outside gardens and two different climate zone areas under glass domes (the armadillo buildings).
We just went inside the cloud forest dome. It was much cooler and wetter than outside. Craig did the gardens last year so he and Gus ran amok while I enjoyed the garden.

Of course, I had to get Craig to do a silly pose.

And I had to do a silly pose.
This is the suspension bridge between the Supertrees.

And the pool. It was surprisingly cool. We are 57 stories up. There are life guards and I think their primary job is to yell at people when they hop up and sit on the infinity edge. We mostly just splashed around and checked out the view.

Gus LOVES to swim!
He also liked chilling in the shade, of course.

Singapore - The Cityscape

Singapore seemed to really be into design. There were lots of interesting buildings mixed in with older colonial style places. 
This is an art school that was near our hotel - notice the built in shade.

We had to take a picture of this sign. They take trespassing very seriously.
This is a big temple in Chinatown all decked out for New Year's.

Horses lining the street on the edge of Chinatown. This year is the year of the horse. When Craig was here last year there was a giant snake undulating down the street.

This picture shows the corner of a Hindu Temple. The temple was so ornate but there was a big ugly rain canopy set up out front.
This is Arab Street. I liked the more traditional architecture in the foreground and the modern skyscrapers in the back.
This is another shot of Arab St with a big, gold-domed mosque at the end.
Gus and me taking advantage of one of the ubiquitous shade trees.  It is so hot in Singapore but they've done a good job adding shade. I never felt like I needed a hat while walking around the city.
Putting plants on the outside of buildings seemed to be the new trend. Another way to help keep things cool.
This is outside a hawker center near some temples. Most of the people under the umbrellas are selling flowers or incense to be offered at the temples.
This is the Peranakan Museum. The Peranakan are natives of the area of mixed Chinese and Malay descent. A lot of the museum was focused on the Peranakan wedding traditions. I would not have wanted to be a Peranakan bride. For days leading up to the actual wedding, she needed to impress her future in-laws by cooking, doing bead work and showing off her knowledge of ceremonial protocol.
This signage is posted in the subway cars. There is no fine for bringing durian - do the other passengers get to kick you off?
This is the view from the roof of the Marina Bay Sands. We stayed here the last night so I could swim in their awesome pool. You can see the harbor, Gardens by the Bay (the armadillo shaped buildings on the left) and the Supertrees.
Supertrees in the background, cutie-pies in the foreground.
There is a suspension bridge hanging from the Supertrees. There are people on the bridge to give you an idea of how super the Supertrees are.
This is the Marina Bay Sands. It can hold 5000 people and the pool is on the roof spanning the three towers. It was the most expensive hotel we have ever stayed in.
Public sculpture of Lucas, the artist's infant son. It is made of bronze and those are full sized trees behind him.
Clarke Quay, a shopping and dining area along the river front.  Notice the giant, white sun shade.
In the evening there is a lazer light show at the bay. It is tough to see in the picture but images of babies and flowers and puppies are projected onto fog machine clouds and water fountains while feel-good, life affirming music was played.