As much as Singpore is a modern city full of high rises, it also has beautiful open spaces, which is what we set out to explore. I can tell you why. I just want to soak my eyes on beautiful nature….clean beautiful nature. Singapore is like a breath of fresh air on our trip after so many places with unruly traffic, questionably safe vehicles, trash filled gutters and streets, disorderly markets, dusty and dirty air…….maybe it is a good thing to threaten your citizens with lashings if they throw chewing gum on the street….or not….
The Singapore Botannical Garden is one such park that recently has been honored with Unesco World Heritage status. We want to feast our eyes, and Tristan tells us that the gardens are a must see Singapore site. I am prepared to pay big bucks to get in, but when we get there we find out that entry is free of charge. The park is exhaustingly huge and the weather is hot and humid, and for some reason both David and Johann are exhausted.
We retire to our hotel quite late, and crawl into bed exhausted. Of course we don’t stay at the Marina Bay Sands a second night. That is just too ridiculously expensive. We are now at the same hotel as everyone else, the Hotel Nuve.
In the morning we wake up and notice that we are in a super cute area in Little India. Across the street there is a hostel where we drop off all our grungy clothes to be washed. It’s $30 here to wash your clothes, whereas most other places we paid $5. Oh well, we need clean clothes!
There is a problem though! They had put us into rooms on the first floor. The rooms are windowless, which we have had plenty of those on this trip. I still have to wonder how that is legal to not have a window in hotel rooms in case of a fire.
The bigger problem is a horrendous mold odor. It is so bad that my eyes sting, and my nose tickles and prickles. In the daylight we can see the source of the problem. Just kidding…..there are no windows. Let me rephrase that…..when we are more alert we notice the source of the odor. The carpet that butts up against the shower has black mold growing on it.
When I walk into the boys room I nearly fall over backwards! The mold odor mixed with dirty boys……my oh my! Wow! That’s pungent.
I thought the boy’s room was bad? When I open the door to Annika’s room I nearly pass out (hint – I am exaggerating a little). Annika’s poor little nose is so stuffed she can hardly breathe, and her little eyes are so puffy she can hardly see.
Ashlee and Ville’s room was so pungent that in the middle of the night the desk clerk told them to turn their a/c down as low as it goes, and sleep with the room door propped wide open. They wanted to come in to spray some more air freshener in the middle of the night, which would only cover the odor and make your nose itch more!
Aundrea has a room with the other bridesmaids on the third floor, and her room has all tile floors, and no mold odor. This room is great! That puts us on a mission. We are going to move up off the first floor no matter what. I send Ashlee to accomplish what at first looks like mission impossible.
They claim there are no rooms available. They offer to spray more air freshener. They show her another room on the first floor.
Ashlee shows them the mold on the carpet. She shows them big stains on the carpeting in the hallway. She stands on guard to watch and see when people check out….
Finally the hotel staff relents and they find us four rooms up on the second and third floor where there is no mold problem. I think that the reason they didn’t want to move us is because they were expecting a wedding party from Australia that same day. The Australians ended up getting the first floor rooms, but I don’t think they noticed the odor. They were drinking from sunup until sundown, and their own stench of cigarettes and stale beer probably was worse than the mold.
Our new rooms are perfect.
The room exchange took up most of the morning. That means that we have a late start to the day. It is the day before the wedding. Jasmine and the bridesmaids have work to do with final wedding arrangements and they leave to go shopping. I should stay at the hotel to wait for them to come back, but instead I opt to go to the zoo with the rest of the crew.
Now who knew that the zoo is so far away? It is a long metro ride coupled with a long bus ride.
The Singapore Zoo is interesting as far as a zoo goes. Now mind you, I haven’t been at a lot of zoos mostly because I am kind of lazy about going to them. It seems whenever I go to one I am severely exhausted. Anyway, at this zoo it seems like the animals are more active than normal, and I am not sure what they do to make the animals so alert. I think this tiger is looking at me as though to ask, why are you here?
Kristoff’s absolutely most favorite animal is the cheetah and he is delighted to be so close to one here. He has told me before that he wants me to take him to Africa so he can go see cheetahs in the wild.
The afternoon burns up at the zoo. We are, of course, without internet service, and without phone service. By chance I notice that my phone is buzzing and I get a phone call on my U.S. phone from Jasmine. She is distraught, and rightfully so! It is 5:00 p.m. and we are supposed to be at her wedding rehearsal at the venue!
My heart sinks! And then I have palpitations. Seriously? I have no idea how I overlooked or forgot that there was a rehearsal now! David had remembered, but thought it was later in the evening. I outright forgot! And I am at the ridiculous zoo of all places, when I am supposed to be at my daughter’s rehearsal! What a horrible mother-of-the-bride! I hope she has it in her heart to forgive me! Oh well, at least this isn’t as bad as Ashlee’s wedding. We were late to Ashlee’s wedding. Ashlee called us when guests were arriving at the church…….”Mom…..where are you?” But that’s another story.
We rush back to the hotel as quickly as possible, which obviously is not very quickly since this zoo took forever to get to. It takes equally long, if not longer, to get back to the hotel during rush hour. Ashlee and Ville take the kids out for dinner and much needed haircuts while David and I head straight back to our hotel.
There is so much work to be done…..ironing shirts, steaming suits, finalizing outfits, last minute crafting, practicing our family song, instructions to be given and received……we stay up late……really late……we don’t hear or see the drunk Australians….they must be out somewhere tonight.
Hennu wants to taste the gold leaf that we are diligently trying to apply to wooden letters.
Space is a premium in Singapore. As we work in the cramped quarters I find myself thinking that it would have made way more sense to rent the nice big room at Marina Bay Sands for this night. We could have had lots of room to get the things done that needed doing. Next time!
Oh well, it is cozy, and by now Jasmine has sort of forgiven me for our folly of missing the rehearsal. Or maybe it is just wishful thinking on my part. I feel like I deserve to have her remember it forever.
In the meantime, David has his new suit now. I am not sure if you remember, but he had a tailor in Bangkok make him a custom suit for the wedding. The suit did not seem to fit him right at our last fitting before we left Bankgkok, but they had promised to fix it. Not only had they not made the suit right to fit, they had also downgraded the fabric after we made a contract with them. Tristan and Jasmine picked up the suit when they were in Bangkok, and now David can try it on to see how it fits.
Wow! There is no way that he can wear the suit! Luckily we sent his suit from home so he has something to wear to the wedding! That was a huge waste of money! Look at those sleeves! It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so pathetic!
The day of the wedding dawns beautiful and bright. Everything is finalized and then we head out for a bridal brunch. We are missing one person. Emerson and his girlfriend had just arrived from Minnesota a few hours earlier, and Meaghan is sound asleep.
We are in the Little India area, as you may recall. Guess what that means? All the restaurants are Indian, and none of us are in the mood for Indian food for brunch! We set out on foot to find somewhere to eat.
We wait and wait for our food. Lo and behold we are running out of time. We must rush now to get ready for the wedding celebration! We grab doggy bags and head out the door of the darling French restaurant as fast as we can. The girls need to be at the St. Regis Hotel in just 20 minutes to start getting ready for the wedding.
When we get to the St. Regis Hotel the girls find a quiet spot to finish their lunch!
The groom and his groomsmen are ready to get the show on the road.
OK boys, time for you to get out of the way! The girls need to get ready.
Jasmine is nervous about how her hair will turn out, Aundrea is wigging about her nails.
And guess what? The wedding ceremony is starting…..very soon…..thankfully we aren’t late….and let’s hope there are no more wedding bloopers! Jasmine has been very worried that her outdoor wedding will be rained out, after all it is rainy season…..