Singapore For Kate's Birthday

Trip Start Mar 29, 2007
Trip End Sep 30, 2009

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

I've known Kate since I arrived into Hyderabad 16 months when Kate mentioned the idea of getting a group of people together and heading over to Singapore for a weekend trip for her birthday, I was sold.  I've been to Singapore before, but only for one day a few years ago...heading over for a full 4 days sounded great.  When the trip finally came together, it was me, Kate, Laju and Kate's boyfriend Avinash who all finally committed and paid the cash to make it happen.  Kate, Laju and I ended up flying over together Wednesday night on an overnight flight from Hyderabad while Avinash joined us on Friday.  I found a sweet deal at the Mandarin Oriental which is arguably the nicest, most posh hotel in Singapore so we were definitely going to be staying in the lap of luxury.  At the airport Wednesday night I used my Star Alliance status to check in the business class queue, got waitlisted for an upgrade, got lounge access and my free drink...then decided to join Kate and Laju at the Hard Rock with the other commoners near our gate.  We all had a burger at the Hard Rock and when we didn't think our check was going to come, Kate and I start waving good bye and saying "so long" our shock the wait staff waved bye and said "have a nice trip"....I think one of them finally got the point and came running after us with the check.  On the plane the three of us were sitting together (not planned, just happened that way...weird) and even before take off I had my neck pillow out, eye shades on, Ambien in my belly and was out.

Thursday morning we touched down in Singapore around 7AM and by the time we gather ourselves, find a taxi and make the drive into town, it's 9AM when we get to the Oriental.  Kate had actually paid for a room for Wednesday night, so she had a room all ready...I begged to have my Thursday night room early and they let me check in at 9AM...sweet.  Nap time.  We all slept until 11, walked into town, had some lunch and took the Metro over the Orchard Road...the main street in Singapore with more malls than Dallas.  We ventured in and out of a few malls when the girls found a dress shop and decided they wanted to have dresses made...I said hell no and went and got a nice back massage for 40 minutes.  Met the girls at a lunch spot and we had a light lunch and some nice cold, Coronas...god they were good.  Turns out their dress making quest didn't end well as they felt the shop owner was overcharging them.  Walking down Orchard Ave. towards the Raffles hotel, we passed another dress shop (good lord) where they went in and the shop owner waved me in as well.  I told him no thanks, I'm going to grab a beer somewhere while the girls got measured and probed.  He reached down below the counter and pulled out a cold Tiger Beer....well...maybe I could stay while the girls got fitted. :)  A few beers later, the girls were done and off we went to the Raffles hotel...home to the infamous Singapore Sling.  The Sling was invented at the Raffles and I've had one there before...but it was good to be back and even though they were ridiculously expensive, they were good as was the atmosphere.  Back at the hotel we got cleaned up, and headed back to Orchard Road for dinner at a restaurant called Nude.  Sadly there were no nude waitresses...I think the name was in reference to the food...which was indeed naked.  After dinner we caught a taxi to Clarke Quay (pronounced Key).  Clarke Quay is a 5 block area with nothing but restaurants, bars and night clubs.  It's very, very cool as you can bar hop the entire area...and there's a little bit for everyone.  There's a Cuban bar, a Ministry of Sound, a Hooters, a Mexican place, a Bourbon about 2 dozen other places.  We ended up at some live music place, had a few drinks, went in to watch the singer, made Laju flirt with him so she could get some action (it didn't work) and then went back out side.  One thing that was very interesting in the Clarke Quay area were these large sculpture-like things that came down from the over head covering...they looked like...well, take a look at the picture and you be the judge.

Friday we all woke up late...I headed over the Starbucks (no Starbucks in India), Laju came by about half-an-hour later...finally Kate shows up with Avinash who arrived early that morning.  By noon we were finally off to book our Duck Tour.  Click the link to read about a Duck Tour.  We booked the tour, but had an hour to kill before it left so we had some lunch before catching a bus to our tour.  Oh...did I mention it was pissin' down rain?  Everyday in Singapore it was raining....some days so hard you couldn't see more than 50 feet.  Anyway...we all boarded our Duck and spent an hour driving around and then cruising around the waters of Singapore getting good pics of the Ferris Wheel, the new Casino area, the MerLion and other Singapore landmarks.  After the tour everyone sort of went their separate ways for the rest of the day.  That evening we were going to Sushi, but before that, I went down to the hotel bar which was great and had an amazing Martini.  Sushi was an amazing restaurant and we enjoyed much Sushi and many Sake-bombs.  After we went and enjoyed a cool little wine-spot where a very cute kid entertained us for an hour or so.  We eventually made our way to some after hours jazz club where Kate officially had her birthday when the clock struck midnight.  We celebrated with shots, a birthday song and more shots.  Kate was officially trashed around 12:47AM...and I've got the photo's to prove it.

Saturday was another lazy day...Laju and I met at Starbucks near the hotel around noon...and then we met Avinash and Kate in this big mall around 1PM.  We had a mediocre lunch then shopped a bit in the mall...after wards we played some pool and had a few cans of Tiger before calling it a day at 4PM.  We had dinner at an area of town that has nothing but fresh seafood restaurants and it was definitely got to pick you own fish, lobster, prawns out of a tank...nothing like that in Hyderabad.  After we went to Clark Quay for another night of pub crawling which included Brandons singing Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" a dead 3AM....and Laju took a video....bad Laju...bad.  Back at the hotel everyone ordered room service...the $30 burger was so, so good at 4AM.

Sunday was checkout day so we took care of the bill and caught a cab to a restaurant I never thought I would see in Asia...Hooters.  The chicken wings were good and even though it was raining like mad, we did a little bit of shopping before hopping into a cab to collect our bags and head off to the airport.  The Singapore airport is amazing and we all enjoyed one last pint of Guinness before heading back to the cold, hard reality of India...where there is no Guinness, no Corona, no bar street and Hooters.

It twas a good trip...enjoy the pics.  Happy birthday to Kate!
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