Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Family Visit

This past week we received our first family visitors--  Elaine's father Russell and wife Lynda arrived from London (via Dubai) for a few day stay.  The occasion was a double celebration of birthdays, as Lynda and Elaine share the same birthday in July.
Russell had previously visited Singapore for business purposes in the late 1970's, and was astonished by the changes and growth that have occurred since that time.  Singapore has undergone substantial development and renewal in the past 30 years.  As Russell describes it, he had been here before, but this was his first visit to this Singapore-- it is nothing like it was then.
The days were spent with some sight seeing, squeezed between a series of eating events--  we had the opportunity to experience some of Singapore's finer restaurants, and buffet breakfast at the Millenia Ritz-Carlton hotel (Oh, the bacon!!!).  Elaine also produced a fine dine-in dinner at our apartment featuring barbecued lamb chops (Australian lamb) and Malaysian asparagus.
Family visitors arrive  (L to R:  Russell, Elaine, Lynda)

Lamb chops at chez Kazakoff Singapore

Elaine and Russell in the Singapore Flyer.  (The Flyer was struck by lightning two days later!)

Birthday dinner at Les Amis, Singapore

The Blues brother & sisters at Merlion Park (on Marina Bay) in Singapore.  We had just concluded a 45 minute boat tour of the Singapore River.  The fountain is the Merlion, the symbol of Singapore.

The river tour "Bum boat".  Classic bum boats in the old days of Singapore were much smaller, and typically powered by oars.  The eyes painted on the bow of the bum boat are good luck and will guide the boat and its passengers on a safe voyage.

Marina Bay Sands Resort--  This integrated resort (hotel, casino, convention center, and soon to be amusement park) was recently opened, and is a focal point of the development on Singapore's Marina Bay, at the center of the downtown.  The casino is proported to be the largest casino in the world, and is expected to make Singapore a significant tourist and convention center of the world.   (Investment for this development is ~$6B).   We had intended to visit the Sky Park (the cantilevered platform on the top-- looks like a beached ship on top of the towers), but weather on the designated day for the visit was not cooperative.
In front of the casino, further development is underway.  The lotus flower shaped building will be an art center.  A theme park is also under construction on the far side of the three hotel towers.

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