I apologize sincerely for my absence from my blog, but I have been sleeping for the past two weeks. I had no idea that jet lag could hit so viciously, but having traveled to Dubai and Singapore for 14 days (3 ½ of those being spent in a plane), I now know that jet lag is not a mysterious dose of fatigue, but a cruel ailment that kick-boxes right in the face when you least expect it, then stands gloatingly over you while you wallow in a daze for a couple weeks. Just imagine, my hubby and I traveled all the way across the Arabian Gulf, were driven by a Lewis Hamilton wannabe across the rolling sand dunes of the Dubai desert, taken to the most beautiful safari camp where we indulged in the finest Arabian foods under the magnificent desert sky, and what do we do? ….we fall asleep.I mean, a real sleep …mouths open, snores …the whole nine yards. Unfortunately for us, the jet lag hit us like a ton of bricks right in the middle of that beautiful dessert. Fortunately for us, we will never see those people with whom we shared our dining/sleeping experience ever again.
I think Dubai being our second stop after our sojourn to Singapore, and having first to adjust to the time change from Jamaica to Singapore (12 hours time difference to Jamaica), then Singapore to Dubai (5 hours difference to Singapore, 7 hours difference to Jamaica), our bodies had just had it by the time we got to that desert. However, not to be hampered by the jet lag and severe embarrassment when we woke up, we continued our adventures with refreshed spirits and embarked upon what was to be one of the most amazing vacations of our lives. Where do I start to tell you about the most surreal, magnificent holiday? Let me first begin by telling you that I met my soul mate when I met my husband – we share a love of the very same things, and we wear our very excited hearts on our sleeves. I tell you, it makes adventures so much more exciting when there is someone beaming back at you with the same pleasure in their face. Our vacation began on the most beautiful note, with the Emirates Airlines service being one of the best we’ve ever experienced.
As I said before, our trip began in Singapore. I had dutifully read the book ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ by Kevin Kwan to know what to expect of this cosmopolitan city-state, but nothing could have prepared me for the development, cleanliness and beauty of this country so much smaller than my own island of Jamaica. I was immediately overcome by the feeling of being in a large city, like New York, but a New York set in the midst of the most beautiful garden. The motto of the country, ‘Let’s Make Singapore Our Garden’, has created a softness in a landscape which could easily have become a concrete jungle with its magnificent high-rise structures. Even from the highest floors of the tallest buildings, bougainvillea blooms, fluffy ferns and delicate vines hung from planter boxes and roof gardens, presenting eye-catching colour and texture everywhere we looked.
My sister-in-law, having lived in Singapore for the last five years, has learned the country like the back of her hand. We toured the city like locals, tasting the true culture of the country in every aspect. What amazed me is that she and her husband do not own a vehicle, a purchase they feel is completely unnecessary with the fantastic public transport system available to all citizens. We walked for miles, on streets that were safe as they were beautiful, and when we’d had enough, we were able to jump into a bus, taxi or MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) to get to our next stop. We walked through malls stocked with the finest and most recent trends in fashion (my husband grabbed my hand tightly through these walks, and I sincerely doubt it was with my shared excitement)
We strolled along pristine beaches where school children in full uniform were being judged for sand castle competitions, and whose restaurants boasted the finest of the Chili Crab and Laksa fare (Singapore’s national dish); the Hawker centers where pots and pots of noodles and dimsum and dumplings had our heads spinning and our mouths watering; we ducked into bars (including the famous Longbar, home of the Singapore Sling) to quench our thirst with drinks boasting orchids frozen into balls of ice; we went to the top of the architectural feat, the Marina Sands Bay Hotel (yes, the one with the SHIP on top!!) and gazed down at the intricately planned city.
The architectural feat of the MARINA BAY SANDS HOTEL - Chunky and I are sitting right at the right tip which houses the horizon pool. View from the top shows the 2 GARDENS ON THE BAY structures and the glowing solar trees.
Not to mention the Singapore Orchid Gardens and the Gardens on the Bay - as a landscaper, this was my birthday, Christmas, Mother’s Day and Easter all in one! Just imagine, every type of flora from every part of the world, all set in controlled temperatures from each region. Amazingly, the magnificent solar trees that stand at the entrance to the park are the sole suppliers of energy and water for the gardens.
GARDENS OF THE BAY - Spectacular array of flora from all over the world. The re-make of the world’s threatened Cloud Forests is specified down to the exact temperatures But I cannot lie. Even though I was enthralled with the breathtaking architecture of the buildings, the streamlined manner in which everything ran and how everyone did their job without complaint, the best part of this trip was the food.
I don’t think there exists a bad restaurant in the entire country of Singapore. We ate. We ate dinner for breakfast, breakfast for lunch, and dinner again for dinner, then breakfast for dessert. Yes, I am now paying for it, and thank God this is a blog and not a vlog, because my face would not fit on the screen. Needless to say, I will be in hibernation for the next couple weeks until I can at least fit into my jeans. At least I can say it was well worth it….and I have a hubby who cannot judge me because he is here waddling right beside me, as chubbily content as I am!
*****Join me next week for Part 2 – Do Dubai