Friday, July 6, 2007

Singapore Bling

At the Southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, Singapore is just 85 miles north of the equator. It takes about 19 hours to fly from Los Angeles to Singapore. If you have a 6-month-old baby on your lap, that’s 1140 minutes or 68,400 seconds. You’ll start counting the time somewhere over Hawaii, but you still won’t be half-way there. Singapore Airlines gave Alex a welcome bag filled with diapers, wet wipes and an adorable little toy, and once we arrived at the Changai Airport, we found private changing rooms for moms with babes. So, it’s worth the trip.

And, once you get there, you can have breakfast with Orang utans, howl with hyenas, kiss a rare pink dolphin or dive with dugongs like Gracie. From insects and butterflies, bird parks, night safaris and underwater worlds, the various zoos and botanical gardens of Singapore are simply not to be missed even if you are not an animal or nature fanatic. (We are wildlife warriors, so it was like paradise!)

Alex gives Singapore two thumbs-up for being stroller friendly. Alone we cruised the downtown, scouted across the bridges along the river walk, got up-close to the Merlion on the waterfront, and even kicked back for a Singapore Sling at the Raffles Hotel. But, while the ‘sling’ will set you back a good $20, the ‘bling’ will set you back much more. Shopping is not for the novice. Raid the saving account before the trip, bring extra bags, and plan nap times carefully. (Note: If you are seeking souvenirs, get to the airport early – the best shop with everything you need is there!)

Singapore was one of the first international trips with Alex. For me, it proved that I could still do it all – be a mom and see the world. I was excited to see everything, but didn’t know how travel would be with a toddler in tow. I learned to balance what I wanted to see and do with Alex's needs too. So, what’s the best advice? The official website for what to do and see in Singapore gives great information about a great many things to do. But if you asked Alex for his best bets he’ll recommend you stand lobby of the Pan Pacific Hotel watching the six glass-lit elevators race up-and-down. Mommy and baby both found their bling.