A quick trip to Singapore

We usually use Singapore as our southeast Asian hub, so we’ve been in and out many times, but since it had been a few years since we stayed there we decided to sneak in a quick trip before Christmas, and relax for the week.

Our hotel had the cutest bear tree set up in the lobby.


Swimming on a rooftop in Singapore. Check. 

Our first night, we headed over to the Garden’s by the Bay, for their Christmas light show, via the bay walkway. Singapore is a beautiful, clean, safe and exotic city, and English speaking!

The light show was beautiful.

But, there was something odd about listening to “Walkin’ in a Winter Wonderland”, while drenched in sweat, but we enjoyed singing a long anyway.

The next day was a museum/walk-around-town day.

We happened upon the beautiful St. Andrew’s Cathedral, and popped inside to take a look.

Gorgeous. I really loved the stained glass work.

There is a lot of colonial architecture in Singapore, due to the early English settlers. Love it!

And we came across some sort of photo shoot. Not sure what to make of it, but we chuckled because this girl was Japanese. Of course!

I really like the river front area, so we spent some time there as well.

It was a really fun area to walk around.

Learning to ski, Singapore style! We saw this inside a mall.

On the walk back we noticed all of these balls in the bay, and later that night, discovered their purpose.

On our nightly stroll, we saw a kiosk set up where you could write a wish for the new year on one of the balls, and then your ball would be placed in the harbor as part of the New Year’s celebration. Count us in!

My wish.

And Ella’s wish. I actually hope her’s doesn’t come true for a long time!

**( I did a google search to see how the balls were used for the New Year’s Eve celebration, and it looks like they were part of the light/fire works show. Our wishes are out there somewhere….)

A quick stop to “smell the roses”.

The next day was spent at the Jurong Bird Park.

Isn’t this a magnificent looking bird?

We watched a few shows, and Eva was chosen to be a volunteer at one of them. 

She held out her arm, and the bird delivered a coupon for a free soda, into her hand. She was very proud.

And the after-show photo op.

The girls also fed the penguins, but didn’t love the smell of the food too much!

The tropical surroundings were just so beautiful!

Now, on to the lorikeet enclosure. For some reason I was a bird magnet! ME! All those who know me, know that I am not exactly an animal lover. But I had a lorikeet land on my head on three different occasions!

The third bird refused to leave. I was starting to panic because he was pecking at my earrings and hair (not to mention the fear of being pooped on!), so I asked Matt to help me get rid of the bird, to no avail. He wouldn’t budge. Matt finally started to blow on the bird, since we didn’t think giving him a swat would be a good idea right in front of all of the handlers. I’m sure we were quite a sight! But, alas, the bird finally left and I got outta there!

Meanwhile, the girls were desperately trying to lure the birds onto their arms. I was amazed at the birds’ beautiful and brilliant colors.

Mission accomplished for Ella!

Later that evening we went back to that beautiful cathedral to hear a Christmas concert performed by The Bryson Consort of Harrow School. Harrow School is one of the oldest and most famous boy’s school’s in England, with Winston Churchill among their famous alumni.The choir regularly sings at Westminster Abbey, and St. Paul’s Cathedral, among others. The sound of those voices filling the beautiful cathedral was awe inspiring. It was one of those moments you hope to always remember.

We spent our last day in Singapore at their world famous zoo. This time Matt was asked to volunteer for the sea lion show. They needed a “macho man” volunteer, I can see why he was chosen! 

His job was to stand at the very back of the ampitheater and throw a frisbee into the mouth of the waiting sea lion. (The lady who had gone before him got to throw the frisbee from very close range.) His first attempt was a no-go, but he asked for a second chance. The host let him try again and it was PERFECT! Right into the mouth of the sea lion! We saw the host later that day and she said that she had only seen that shot made, a handful of times. Macho man indeed! The rest of the day he kind of had a following of fans, too.

We love this zoo so much. The animals are always very active.

This guy was on loan from Australia while we were there.

Ella always loves to ham it up for the camera.

The free range orangutans are one of our favorite exhibits. They allow photo ops during one of the daytime feeding hours. The orangutans were MUCH more interested in their sunflower seeds than they were us, thankfully.

And, with that, we were headed home. This is Eva’s Mt. Fuji selfie.

We love Singapore!


  1. Erica
    January 19, 2016 / 11:10 pm

    Man! I want to go there!! Looks so beautiful and tropical. Matt ALWAYS gets chosen to volunteer – he's such a good sport.Those lorikeets are terrifying little birds. We fed them one time in Tucson and I got bombarded by them and started squealing and flailing and ran out of there (much to the chagrin of Diane and Victoria.) I don't enjoy feeding birds and won't again. :/Another great post!

    • CowanTravels
      January 20, 2016 / 6:36 am

      Bwahahaha! At least I had SOME composure!

  2. Erica
    January 19, 2016 / 11:11 pm

    There was also the unfortunate baby-bird-landing-on-my-head incident at Lagoon.

  3. belann
    January 20, 2016 / 1:47 am

    I guess Hansen girls are bird magnets. Great post. I also want to go there, but no bird feeding for me. I have Hansen in my genes.

  4. Pamela Cole
    January 21, 2016 / 3:30 pm

    Looks so awesome!! I need to go there too! I love the bear tree – Sissy would go nuts! I love the ball tradition. Hope your wish comes true. What was Eva's wish? Wonder why the animals are so active in that heat?? The light show looked amazing too.

  5. CowanTravels
    January 22, 2016 / 1:29 am

    Eva's wish was to get a castle. I do hope that one comes true!

  6. Laura
    January 22, 2016 / 3:21 pm

    This looks like such a fun and easy place I think I will bucket list it. Maybe I could swim on that rooftop pool AT midnight too. Ella's wish just cracks me up! Good for Matt for being a good sport!

  7. Amara
    January 25, 2016 / 5:15 am

    That light show looked so cool! I'm also wondering why they are so active in that zoo. In San Diego once early morning is over they all go to sleep. Singapore is on my list now!

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