Here goes my first post for 2010 …. fond memories from the last part of the last year 🙂  An awesome vacation followed by some lovely time with Dad n Sis who were here for the New Year and Su’s birthday on the 2nd of Jan .. the perfect start! Keeping fingers crossed that the rest of the year will be as wonderful.

On the same note, I wish all of u have a super-duper 2010 too 🙂

Connecting with friends over this virtually real world was one of the best things that happened to me in 2009. There same continued this yr in a short-n-sweet meet with Kanagu and Saritha on the very 1st day of 2010  🙂  It now goes without saying that we had a lot of fun esp. with Sari’s kids. Varunavi is a li’l big responsible, independent girl who was engrossed in doing things on her own after spending some quality time with us, while Pinkuda entertained us with her dance, song 🙂 She was wearing a lovely lehenga and it ws so cute to see her dancing around holding it in her hands lest she stumbles and falls down 🙂 I hope 2010 brings abt many such lovely meets 🙂

Am so sorry for being so late in sharing these pics … was busy having fun 😛  This post is specially for all u friends here, who have become an integral part of my life now and especially for a very special friend, Monu, my firstest friend in this blog-world and a wonderful one @ that,  who is gonna be a second-time Mommy sooon .. only a few days to go now 🙂  Wish u the very best Monu .. may you have a safe and smooth journey through it and God bless u 🙂

And now, presenting a journey through Singapore and Bintan, Indonesia 🙂

It ws a totally blissful vacation for 9 days. We had ample time to see, shop, shoot and relax.

Note: Click to enlarge!

@ Changi airport

The day that we landed in Singapore, we did nothing but roam around the streets .. ws enough sight-seeing in itself … don’t these pics speak volumes about the X’Mas decor? The joy and gusto all around did not leave us wanting to go for any other sight-seeing 🙂

A walk through the wonderfully lit and all decked-up  Orchard Road left us completely mesmerized.

The next day, we headed to the Jurong Bird Park and believe me, on ur visit here, u will realize, u never knew so many colours existed. Its so nice to see so many local and exotic birds housed here and treated really well.  Pelicans, parrots, lories, hornbills – name them and u will find them here.

Probably Holi everyday there … look @ the colourssss!!!!!

Riot of colours!

And, u can even get a chance to feed the lories and get to take pics with a few other birds. An amazing experience! It was a sight to watch them jumping on us when the cup of nectar was almost empty, looking for more  😉

Lovely Lories

The way the entire bird park has been planned and structured is really good. The wetlands and other such habitats have been mocked brilliantly to impart a natural feel.

We also attended two bird shows – Birds n Buddies [with birds like pelicans, toucans, parrots etc..] and Kings of the Skies [With Predators like vulture, eagle etc..]. The hosts talk to the birds in such a friendly manner that u feel like they are one closely-knit family. Also, they involve the public really well by calling for volunteers to hold the props for the different acts. And, I got a chance too 😀

Playing Basketball!
Birds n Buddies
Kings of the Skies

We also went on a ride atop the Singapore Flyer [a giant observation wheel] that night and the breath-taking views of the city were a visual treat!

Pls click to enlarge, this is a collage 😀

View of the flyer!

The next two days were spent in Bintan, Indonesia which is about an hour journey from Singapore by ferry .. makes it an awesome weekend getaway from Singapore, given that its visa- on-arrival too – completely hassle-free. The ferry journey through the vast sea is a wonderful experience in itself.

The sea, the white sand, the greenery all around -‘ The Place’ for a relaxing and rejuvenating vacation 🙂  The traditional welcome, the awesomely delicious welcome drink, the lovely ambience in the resort, the breath-taking views of the beach from the room – splendid!

[The place where we stayed in Bintan – Nirwana Gardens]

Watersports r also available there, but due to high tides, we cud only stand and stare @ the pros having fun 😐

We went for a trip to the local market that day – Pasar Ole Ole ws the name of the place 🙂 We went in for traditional Balinese massage here and its a feeling of Nirvana I tell u. Never never miss this one if u happened to go to Bintan. The bill caused a heart attack  though .. well, almost… It read 4,78,000 .. thank God the lady pitched in in-time and let us know that it ws in Indonesian rupiah .. [1 rupiah is abt 0.004965 Indian rupees] 🙄

The people here are very soft-spoken and very very sweet. I loved the way they used to ask Okie Miss, Okie Miss in a melodious tone after every massage stroke.  They did not know much English and used to understand only a few words.  Rather, we figured out that once u speak in long sentences, they can’t get the message. Most of them we met Indian-like names – Sri, Manik etc… 🙂

Before they started the massage, they were asking us a few qs:

“Boyfriend?” she asked me!  No, I said.

“Marriage?” was her next question. I thought she meant to ask if we were married and replied in the affirmative.

Followed by the next qs: “Honeymoon?” I just smiled 😛

Babies? she asked 😛  No I said 🙂

Can u guess the next qs 😛

Baby inside? she asked 😛 😛 😛

All this to know whether I ws pregnant, in which case I could not have gone for the massage 😉

During the course of the massage,  I also figured out that it ws dangerous to use the word ‘No’. This lady ws giving me the foot refloxology treatment when she asked me ‘Problem miss?’. I said ‘No’ and she stopped doing it thinking that I ws saying No to what she was doing 🙄 Wonder  what my answer should have been. And then, I stopped saying anything if there ws no problem and would say ‘No’ only if I did not want the same to be continued!

Anyways, alls well that ends well and it ws really nice to be pampered 😉

Su happened to like a pair of goggles in a store nearby and asked me to buy it. Since I felt it ws too expensive, I refused. Su said its left to me and left the store. So, the lady pitches in and says ‘Boyfriend angry miss, u buy, he no angry miss’. So, I hd to buy these goggles for the onlyy reason that my boyfriend’s anger would vanish .. hmmpf!!!

We also managed to squeeze in a boat ride through the mangroves of Indonesia early the next day morning and it ws so nice, yucky, scary whatever u say, to spot snakes, lizards etc.. in their natural habitat 😛 The guide and the boatman were really knowledgeable and very very alert in spotting the animals and added a lot of value to the experience.

Local fisherman’s abode
Crocodile rock .. the fishermen worship this one!

Monitor Lizard!

Pencil roots they r called!

2 days flew away @ jet speed and it ws time to board the return ferry to Singapore.

Good-bye Bintan!
Over the waters!

Thatz pretty much how the first 4 days of our vacation were spent .. spanning two countries and meeting 3 blogger friends and lotz of local sight-seeing.

Still to come … Sentosa Island, Chinese-Japanese Gardens, Orchid Garden, Clarke Quay, MerLion, Fountain of Wealth .. all in the next post 🙂 🙂 🙂

A very happy and cheerful new year once again to all of u 🙂

Indonesian rupiah