How does this sound for a plan - let's travel to the far side of the world for six weeks and three days, with a just turned 12 year old girl (raging hormones, alternate sulking with hyperactive silliness, dislike of being photographed, irrational desire for light blue Converse Hi Tops, happy as long as her iPod's charged), an almost 9 year old boy, (head full of Minecraft, never stops talking, loves to pose for photos, irrational desire to look for Lego sets, happy as long as his PSP is charged) and a 15 month old baby boy (raging, hyperactive, silly, irrational, happy as long as he's got food)?
OK, let's do it!
This means 10 hours on a plane to Singapore. I know know why toddlers cry when planes are landing. It's nothing to do with their little inner ear canals and air pressure. It's because they hate to have to sit on your lap with a seatbelt on, and not be allowed to fiddle with the tray, the inflight entertainment system, the window shades or the seats recline buttons. They are also devastated because the strange lady/man took away their cool new headphones.
Singapore is hot. 30 degrees in Singapore feels hotter than 30 degrees anywhere else on the planet. I guess it's the humidity, or possibly the contrast to the crazy cold air con. In Singapore you wake up with condensation on the outside of your windows. We all love Malaysian food so feeding the family in Singapore was a doddle.
We didn't even find the heat too bad. It helped that we left home at the end of a long hot summer, also helped that you can spend wholes days in Singapore almost never going outside. You can wander from one air conditioned mall to another through endless underground levels, take the MRT to another mall, and with a quick hop outside (to warm up) be in an air conditioned taxi to your air conditioned apartment. South East Asia light.
Singapore Zoo has elephants. Lots of elephants. You can ride elephants! Squee, cue super excited inner child.
You can hand feed kangaroos, and take photos of your partner taking phone photos to post on Facebook of your children feeding kangaroos.
Then you can get soaking wet in the water playground because basically the only way to cope with the heat outside is by getting soaking wet every couple of hours. Don't worry about togs, you'll dry out all too quickly!
Sick of heat and delicious, cheap food? Better get on a plane for 13 and half hours (hell with a toddler, pure hell), and get off in London. It wasn't hot, it was freezing. But all was ok because we found the TARDIS.
Our apartment turned out to be on the 5th floor of a typical London terrace house. One floor past the top of the lift up a teeny narrow staircase. Welcome to reality of travelling with a baby, pushchair, portcot, two big packs, two middle sized packs, and daypacks/nappy bag for all. The rooms were so small we had to put C's cot up in the hall. But the awkward access was worth it for the rooftop views. I came over all Mary Poppins.
We only had two days in London. On our first morning we went for a walk and found ourselves outside the Natural History Museum just before opening time. Lucky score, we were among the first in and had the place almost to ourselves.
On our second day we did some touristy stuff - we saw the London Eye from above and below:
Ciaran's new Grand Tour jacket got a good outing. Did I mention it's a little chilly in London in April?
Somethings you just have to do.
The first of many carousel rides. No, it hadn't warmed up, my daughter is just insanely impervious to cold.
We'd started the day at the Tower of London, introducing C to a new game.
Being moody in windows:
Finding unexpected mechanical trash monsters,
wire mesh elephants,
And that was pretty much London. We bumped C down an awful lot of stairs in the underground, crossed some bridges, saw some buses and heard Big Ben. The kids got an enormous kick out of watching the latest Dr Who episode actually in London, just after seeing the Shard that was in a recent episode. Geeklings.
Today London, tomorrow Paris!