Sunday, November 20, 2011

Singapore Trip Oct '11 (Part II)

Day 2 ~ 25th Oct

Had breakfast at the hotel as our package came with buffet breakfast for 2 adults. So we had to pay for the kids' buffet. Food was alright. Not too much variety but good enough for eating 2 days straight. I read a lot of reviews about very long queues, waiting for a table in the mornings. But we didn't face such problems, probably because it was off peak season.

We reached USS entrance at about 10am, its opening time. Saw that the 'candy tree' area was empty. Quickly brought the kids there for some photo shots. The day was so hot although the weather forecast said thunderstorm. But better be hot than raining, right? I brought along the kids' caps and a folded umbrella. But silly me, forgot to check the umbrella as it's been sitting in the cupboard, unopened, for years. It was a bit faulty, with a broken rib and I had difficulty closing it. So we didn't use it. Woah... we were being baked under the hot sun. Came back a few shades darker. :-( Although we went on a weekday, it's still very crowded. A lot of Indian tourists. But luckily the queues are still manageable. Nothing exceeding 30 minutes, mostly 5-10 minutes. If you're going during peak season, I'd suggest you buy the express pass to avoid spending all your time queuing.

~ under the 'candy tree' ~

~ Universal Studios Singapore ~

There are 7 zones in USS. As compared to Hong Kong Disneyland, the place is not very big and the rides are of a smaller version. We covered all those rides that we CAN ride, except the extreme roller coaster rides at Sci-Fi City. I can still accompany XY for the milder ones like Enchanted Airways and Canopy Flyer. While riding the Revenge of the Mummy, I almost freaked out. Just can't wait for the ride to be over. But XY really enjoyed it. What a daredevil she is. She wanted to go for second round but no one can accompany her. Coz I give up! Getting old lah. And don't count on PaPa, he's worse than me. hahaha We skipped Donkey Live show and missed Monster Rock due to the timing. Transformers The Ride will be opening in December 2011.

Some of the interesting shows are WaterWorld (the explosive and thrilling death-defying stunts water show), Shrek 4-D Adventure (with water spray and sensory effects) and Lights, Camera, Action! (special effects stage show).

We had dinner at Din Tai Fung. Had siew lung bao, noodle soup and fried rice. We enjoyed this much more than our meal at HRC. So cinapek hor. hahaha

Day 3 ~ 26th Oct

After our buffet breakfast, we went to check out Hard Rock Hotel's pool. As a hotel guest in the Resort, you're allowed to use any of the hotel's pool. I thought the kids would be thrilled with the man-made beach but they weren't interested to play with sand that morning. They went for the slide first but got bored with it quite fast. CE kept getting stuck in the middle of the slide, probably coz it wasn't steep enough. But I don't know why XY didn't have such problems. I don't really like the feel of sand in the pool so we moved to the shallow pool (without sand). Tried the jacuzzi, the pressure was so strong I had a hard time sitting still. :D

We didn't spend much time there. Headed back to the room to shower and pack and got ready to check out. We managed to get a late check-out at 1pm. Left our luggage at the reception and went for a light lunch at Toast Box as we're still quite full from breakfast.

Next on the itinerary is Underwater World. Although we've been there in '07, XY wanted to go again. And I thought CE would be able to appreciate it more now that he's older. The kids really enjoyed looking at the sea creatures and they are actually familiar with some special types of crabs/fish as they've seen them in Octonauts. hehehe Since it's our second time there, I don't find it interesting, except for the seals and dolphins show. They are really adorable, well-trained and entertaining.

~ Underwater World Singapore ~

~ interesting performance by the seals and dolphins ~

There was still time to kill so had a tea break at a restaurant there. Then we went back to The Forum and had a drink at Coffee Bean, to wait for dinner time. Ate at Din Tai Fung again. This time we ordered noodle soup for the kids and snacks for ourselves.

We were really frustrated when we found out our flight was delayed for 2 hours. The only good thing that came out of this is that I finally found the Faber-Castell finger printing art pads. Have been searching for a very long time already. Couldn't find this in their outlets in KL/Selangor. Due to the delay, I had time to check out the book store. Sooooo happy when I saw the art pads. There are 4 or 5 sets of different colours but I only bought one -- quite expensive leh after conversion. :p Also bought Crayola washable markers since I didn't get any souvenirs for the kids from USS. The welcome pack (consisted of a hand puppet, toothbrush, rubik's cube and plastic inflatable noise-maker) they got when we checked in at Festive Hotel doesn't count, right? :D Oh oh, got one souvenir from USS -- the popcorn bowl. Their cheapskate Mommy kept the bowl after they finished the popcorn. hahaha

Friday, November 11, 2011

Singapore Trip Oct '11 (Part I)

Day 1 ~ 24th Oct

We reached Festive Hotel in Resorts World Sentosa at about 12 noon. I've requested for an early check-in but it's subject to availability. As our room was not ready yet, we were asked to come back at 2+. So we registered ourselves and left our baggage with reception. Went for lunch at The Forum. It's less than 10 minutes walk from the hotel. We had hainanese chicken rice, hokkien mee and fish and chips at Lunar Cafe (serves local and western food). Food was ok, up to standard.

After we've filled our stomach, we took the Sentosa bus to Imbiah Lookout. Bus service within Sentosa is free. The bus stop is located at the carpark, about 15 minutes walk from the hotel. It's quite stuffy at the carpark. The buses are rather frequent, wait time less than 10 minutes.

We tried the Skyline Luge. I rode with CE coz he's too young to ride on his own. XY was on her own. PaPa was following her closely. She crashed at the curb once coz she let go of one hand to wipe her sweaty palm. hehehe No worries, she wasn't hurt. Pulled the cart back on track and she continued her ride. It was really fun. But it'd be more fun if we could go faster. PaPa had to slow down to accompany XY and I had a "passenger" with me. :D After the Luge, we took the Skyride back to the platform. XY, CE and I went 2 rounds as we bought the Family Deal (4 rides). Had to top up 1 person's fare to accompany XY.

Back to the hotel to check-in at 3+. As expected, the first thing the kids did was to check out the bunk bed. Like what the reviews said, the room is smaller than the pictures shown in their website. Although there's a sofa bed that can open up to be a queen size bed, we didn't use that. On the first night, XY slept on the bunk bed. It's actually big enough for both of them but I didn't allow CE to sleep there as I was afraid he'd have problems (blur blur/half-awake) climbing down in the middle of the night to pee. The second night, PaPa had to sleep there (yeah, it's long enough for him) coz XY doesn't want to be "alone" anymore. hahaha The hotel is very generous with bottled drinking water. There're 3 bottles of 500ml drinking water in the room. Every time you make a request to housekeeping, they'd send up 3 bottles. I actually requested for a pool view room. But during check-in, being near to the lift was priority to us coz I dread walking a long way to our room after a tiring day. So we got a room VERY near to the lift but the view was terrible, overlooking a construction site. :-(

~ Deluxe Family King room @ Festive Hotel ~

We didn't waste time and went to the pool for water play. Didn't spend very long there as we need to rush to go out again to watch Songs of the Sea. We missed that during our last trip to Singapore in '07 so this is on my must-do list. But unfortunately, in my personal opinion, it wasn't that spectacular.

We went back to the resort for dinner at Hard Rock Cafe. Ordered mushroom burger and I ate less than half. I didn't have any appetite, probably coz I was too tired. PaPa had BBQ ribs -- nice, not as jelak as my burger. The kids shared cheesy mac.

~ dinner at Hard Rock Cafe ~

The kids fell asleep quite fast when we're back in the room. It was a long day for them and they know they need to recharge for another long day the following day.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

2nd Semester Progress Report

At the Parent-Teacher's Day in CE's kindy, we discussed about his progress in the 2nd semester. His class teacher has just resigned so we spoke to her assistant, Ms V. She said he's good in class, no complaints. Gets along well with his friends and teachers. He did well in the 2nd semester exams. He scored full marks for English, BM and Mathematics. And got above 90% for Science and Mandarin.

Some of the things Ms V highlighted :

1) He likes to help his friends by giving them the answers. Although the teacher has specifically told the class not to help others, he'll still tell his classmate and show him the page (where the answer is). Sometimes when he's so "helpful", the teacher will ask him to teach his friends, but he'll just give them the answers directly, instead of telling them how to get it.

2) He sometimes daydreams during lessons. But surprisingly, he can catch up and respond to his teacher's questions.

3) Ms V noticed that recently he's always having a troubled look on his face, like he's very stressed. I've asked him before, but couldn't find out what's bothering him.

4) As the school concert is drawing near, Ms V is worried about his dance coz at times, he doesn't cooperate during practice. Earlier this week, he was punished by another teacher for not dancing properly when it was his turn but was dancing at the back when another class was doing theirs. Hope he won't be so playful on the actual day.

5) We agreed that his chattiness depends on his mood. If he's in a good mood, he'll talk a lot. But when he's not in the mood, he doesn't communicate much and it's like he's living in his own world.

6) He didn't seem to grow much in half a year. His height remained the same and his weight increased only by 1kg. Hope to see better growth next year as he's taking Pediasure now.

7) His coloring has improved a lot (not so much out of the lines) and the principal complimented on his handwriting. Yeah, he can write very nicely if he puts his heart into it.

~ This is part of his Science paper. Quite neat and
nice hor his handwriting? *hehehe syiok sendiri* ~

I also spoke to his Mandarin (extra class) teacher, Ms L.
* He's very quiet in class and doesn't mix much with his friends. He'll talk to them if they approach him but most of the time, he prefers to be alone. It's probably due to the language barrier as he's more comfortable conversing in English. At the beginning, he speaks to Ms L in English but now he tries to speak more in Mandarin.
* He sometimes doesn't want to read out loud together (as a group) although he knows how to read the passage/book. Yup, that's my stubborn boy.
* A bit slow in his work. He's quite fussy with his Chinese writing. When it's not very nice, he'll rub it off and write again.

The teacher's note in his Report Card :
CE interacts more with his peers now. He is a fast learner, catch up things fast, especially in phonics. With more practice and encouragement may help him to converse better in Mandarin!