IT'S LYNNY KANSAS
DON'T LET THE RUBY SLIPPERS,
OR THE DOROTHY INSPIRED NICKNAME
FOOL YOU., THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME,
BUT TRAVELING IS FUN.
After almost 8 years, the Singapore adventure is coming to a close. I started my blog soon after arriving in the Little Red Dot, back in March 2011. I thought it would be a great way to share photos and experiences with family and friends, also a way to document our trips. I was completely new to blogging, having never done anything like it before. It’s funny to look back at my early posts, and see how much I have learnt, and hopefully improved, but I still consider myself an amateur. I have learnt a lot though over the past 8 years, and not just about blogging. My time in Singapore has given me great insight into different cultures, and lifestyles, a definite melting pot here. Living in a small high rise apartment in the middle of Singapore’s Central business district has definitely been a far cry from my home with acreage just outside Leesburg, VA.
Chinese New Year is always a fun and busy time in Singapore. Chinatown is bustling with people, and always festively decorated. Lots of traditions are observed, some old, some a little bit newer. Case in point is the Yusheng, or Prosperity Salad Toss. Typically only found in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia at CNY, this salad toss was contemporized in the 1960's by four Singapore Master Chefs, known as the "Four Heavenly Kings", and is intended to symbolize health and prosperity. In the weeks leading up to Chinese New Year, Yusheng will be offered at restaurants throughout Singapore. You can even buy Yusheng "kits" in the supermarkets. The salad mainly consists of raw fish, usually salmon, pomelo or lime, shredded vegetables such as carrot, radish and daikon, with a dressing made up of plum sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil. All this is topped off with crackers of some kind. Each ingredient symbolizes different things. For example, the fish is abundance, Pomelo or Lime is auspicious value, the vegetables for luck, eternal youth, prosperity in business. The oil is poured around the salad to encourage "money to flow in all directions", the plum sauce is to give you sweet life, the golden crackers symbolize "gold and wealth". The server will add each ingredient to the salad at the table, along with new year greetings and wishes. The fun part is the "toss". Participants stand up and with super long chopsticks will toss the salad high into the air, whilst reciting their wishes for the coming year or shouting "Lo Hei", tossing up good fortune.
For the last 6 years in Singapore, I have been fortunate to be a member of the American Women's Association. It's a great group of women from all over the World, and there are many great activities, volunteer opportunities and social events to take part in. Today, was the first of the monthly Dish and Dine events for 2018. Every month we experience a different venue. Today, we enjoyed a fantastic lunch at Meta on Keong Saik Road. It was a lot of fun to sit at the counter and see the Chefs preparing the dishes.
A trip long dreamed of came to fruition for our family this summer. To go on a Safari holiday, and to go as a family was truly a very special experience. We never dreamed that we would get so close to some amazing animals in the wild.
When it came down to booking this trip, I felt totally overwhelmed. There are so many different Countries, itineraries and scenarios to choose from, I knew I needed help. As I was planning this trip from Singapore, I chose, on the recommendation of a friend, to work with Destinations Africa, who are Australian based, although John is a South African with amazing experience in booking Safari vacations. Whilst I can share my rough itinerary with you in this post, I would encourage you to seek a reputable agent to guide you, as there are so many wonderful options. As far as our family was concerned, we had some basic criteria for this trip. We knew we needed to go in July, we wanted to see the so called "Big 5", (Elephant, Lion, Rhino, Leopard & Cape Buffalo), and we wanted smaller, more intimate lodges where our party of 5 could be together in one truck on the game drives.. With all this in mind, John put together a fantastic trip for us which encompassed two private reserves Thornybush and The Sabi Sand that bordered the Kruger National Park in South Africa.
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