December 2, 2020
2015 / Nerja / Spain / x

Spain for Christmas 2015!

Last Christmas season found us in southern South America – Patagonia. This was our first trip to this continent so we thought what a great place to spend both Christmas and New Years among the mountains of Chile. Ice cold glaciers filled in for snow covered trees. Good friends of ours in Charlotte decided to spend a year traveling around Europe. Their first 5 months was along the Costa del Sol in Nerja, Spain. They moved into their apartment in November. When we heard of their plans we tentatively asked them if they would like some company in December. I …

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Granada and the Alhambra (December 2015)

Pat and I went to Nerja, Spain, to celebrate Christmas with Jim and Mary Jane Vergin, our friends from across the street in Charlotte, NC. When Pat and I moved to Singapore, they decided to spend a year overseas in Spain, Ireland, and Germany. Nerja is located on the Costa del Sol and the apartment they rented is only a short walk to the Mediterranean Sea. It is also a short bus ride (about 2 hours) from Granada, the home of the Alhambra, a former Moorish fort/palace, with its first structure being built in 889. The name means “Red Castle”. …

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2015 / Vietnam / x

Vietnam (21-26 November 2015)

Pat and I have returned from a short trip to Vietnam (Ho Chi Minh City and the island of Phu Quoc). The main part of the trip was arranged by Eco Adventures here in Singapore. They arranged our flights on Vietnam Airlines and the hotels we stayed in. We arranged our own tours using Viator. Saturday, 21 November 2015 Our flight left Changi Airport at 1:15 PM for the 2 hour flight into Ho Chi Minh City, or the name most residents call it – Sai Gon. (It’s interesting that most signs spell it as 2 words, while I remember …

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Pat and Ray visit Tokyo (2-9 August 2015) Part II

5 Aug 2015 Today we are headed out past Shinjuku to look for Japanese yarn. Unfortunately, the shop we went to had Japanese yarn, but the brand is one that Pat can easily find in the U.S. It wasn’t a wasted trip though because it took us into a residential neighborhood filled with shops and restaurants. It was also good to get out of the business side of Tokyo for awhile. We got back on the train and went to Shinjuku for at least 2 reasons: there are more yarn places there (Pat had them organized before we left Singapore; …

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2015 / Japan / Tokyo / x

Pat and Ray visit Tokyo (2-9 Aug 2015) Part I

2 Aug 2015 We left our Singapore apartment at 4:50 AM to head to Changi Airport for our 6:50 AM flight to Tokyo. The flight was uneventful, as one always hopes. We landed at Narita (NRT) at about 2:30 PM. The line to get through Immigration was horrendous. Probably the longest delay we ever experienced in our many travels – room was hot and humid and it took over an hour to get through and there was no apparent reason for it. Fortunately, picking up our luggage and getting through Customs was easy and fast. Once outside Customs, we looked …

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Bali underfoot.

I wanted to write a post about the parts of Bali that I saw. Often I see details and things that others overlook. However as I started to collect the photos I wanted to show I realized that these items were not hidden but underfoot. And underfoot everywhere! Bali is the only island in Indonesia that is Hindu. The rest of the country is Muslim. So I was expecting to see the brightly painted Hindu shrines like I see in Singapore and saw in Cambodia. I was surprised that the difference in Bali is quite striking. Leaving the airport I …

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Lombok – June 20, 2015

We arrived last night from Bali to join the rest of the family for one day. Lombok is the next island east of Bali in the Indonesian archipelago. So it was a flight of about 30 minutes in the air. We stayed at the Quince Villas in Senggigi, Lombok. Another wonderful place, arranged by Pat’s daughter. Today, the eight of us were picked up by a driver for a trip to the foothills of Lombok’s volcano (Mount Rinjani or Gunung Rinjani) to see some waterfalls at Senaru. Although we started at 9 AM, it was the only activity we really had …

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Bali – June 16-19 2015

Time for another break from the heat and humidity in Singapore – so we’re off to Bali and Lombok, where it is still hot and humid (but maybe just a little less so). Pat’s son, John and his wife Nicki from Florida, came to visit us. We decided a few days in Singapore was enough and wanted John and Nicki to see more of SE Asia so we planned a trip south of the equator. Pat’s daughter took charge of the planning and did a wonderful job, as you’ll see in the following post. Tuesday, June 16th Up very early …

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The Last Kampong in Mainland Singapore

I thoroughly enjoyed a walking tour yesterday sponsored by the Friends of the Museums. The tour was called “Nostalgic Singapore”. We drove in a tour bus north from Newton Circus Food Center up to Kampong Lorong Buangkok, the last remaining kampong (village) in mainland Singapore. This kampong is home to 30 families with houses connected by dirt roads, built of wood with zinc roofs. The kampong dates back to 1956 with electricity added in 1963. The land is currently owned by Miss Sng Mui Hong who still lives here. She inherited the land from her father. The families pay about …

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Balloons on Vacation

Patti P. from Minneapolis visited Singapore last week. She brought Drew and Drake balloons one of which enjoyed some pool time. Ray and I gave Patti a walkabout downtown, including a reflecting ball sculpture. Drake got to show off the Tiong Bahru Market with it’s array of fresh fish, vegetables, and fruit as well as a local restaurant with a gelato case. A flavor for everyone. Patti treated me to a night out at the top of the Marina Bay Sands Resort and their restaurant Sky on 57 overlooking the freighter-filled bay and Gardens by the Bay. There even is …

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