Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Doodling - Ocean Dreams

Do you have dreams? When I was a child, I love to sketch, draw and colour. Although my job is not an artist or related to any art profession, drawing is and always will be my passion. Sense of satisfaction and happiness filled my heart when I see my drawings bring a smile on others.

Was busy through the week but could not resist doodling again. Every day seems to have a different colour to share. Some days are green while others are blue. In the end, I realised all that I like, wish or dream were doodled on my sketch book.

I name it "Ocean Dreams" because I imagined myself by the beach and immersing myself in the nature, feeling relax. September holidays is approaching and I am hoping to enjoy quality family time with my loved ones. May you find happiness and peace in this doodle.


No matter how hard each day may be... there will be rainbow at the end.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Exploring D'Resort @ Downtown East

It has been so many years since we last walk down the lane towards the old Costa Sand Resort at Downtown East. So many things have changed. The entrance is sealed. Gone are the chalet blocks A - L, the swimming pool and mini fitness corner. We have celebrated so many birthdays and had lots of BBQ sessions when Denver & Gladys were younger. Replacing it is the construction of new chalet units which is scheduled to be completed end next year.

When Hubby and I made a special trip down to visit the new D'Resort @ Downtown East once again, I felt a little sad. It was the same road that we took to Escape Theme Park before it was closed in November 2011. Now standing in its place is D'Resort - Singapore's first nature-inspired resort.


New blocks, new roads as well as new parking charges within the premises. :)

The drive way to Main Lobby area. 

Main lobby area - looks brighter, feels cooler and definitely more comfortable. There is even free flow of ice-water for guests.


Just outside the main lobby, we spotted Cheers, a cafe and a function room. This is the nearest convenience stall where you can get your snacks/drinks. Otherwise, it will be a longer walk or short drive to E! Hub.

Exploring the new chalet units, it has been divided into 4 main zones, namely, Park View, Beach Cove, Rainforest and Mangrove Walk. You can go by the colour code to identify each zone.

In addition, there are also more room types for guests to choose in accordance to their needs. What's interesting is the Themed Rooms that D'Resort has incorporated. Families can choose between Amazon Jungle or Underwater to add in more fun factor for their stay. For bigger group and family-oriented needs, Beach Cove Duplex will be most ideal as there is an extra floor which comes with kitchenette and a patio. Alternatively, there are standard rooms where friends can get together for BBQ sessions.

For more information: http://www.dresort.com.sg/stay


Since we have no access to the rooms, Hubby and I peeked through the windows and try to make sense of how big the units are. From afar, it appears to be similar to the rooms we once stayed in at Costa Sand Resort. 

Rooms and BBQ units at Park View.

Rooms and BBQ units at Beach Cove.

Noticed the 3rd storey which we believe is where Beach Cove Duplex units reside.

While we applaud for the wider space between BBQ pits, we ponder if there is enough pits for every unit. There are lesser in numbers and if that's the case, it will be advisable to make your booking early to avoid disappointment in you intend to barbecue.


Another concern Hubby had when he looked at the BBQ pit is the height. Having done multiple BBQ sessions before, he personally feels that the pit is a little too deep. This simply means (in his opinion) that more charcoal and effort is needed to start the fire.


Currently, expansion works are still on-going and D'Resort will be opening more units in the near future integrating the waterpark experience. The exits to the beach and cycling tracks are currently sealed but gates will be installed with security feature to allow guests more convenient access to the outdoor park facilities.

It is a longer walk back to E!Hub and Wild Wild Wet. We could imagine the inconvenience having to walk between the water park and chalet units now. It will be more challenging during rainy conditions particularly when there are many food items to carry around. Hence, buggy services has been implemented ferrying guests to and fro between D'Resort and the Event Square.

While we love the look of the new rooms and surroundings, we have reservations with the vicinity to the E!Hub and Wild Wild Wet as well as the availability of BBQ pits and usage. Nevertheless, construction is still on-going and there is a lot of potential and space for further development where sheltered walkways and links could be up. We are looking forward to the final construction to be completed where we will create new memories of our BBQ sessions with our children at the new D'Resort.

D'Resort @ Downtown East
1 Pasir Ris Close, S519599
Website: http://www.dresort.com.sg/

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Living in the Ocean with the Marine Creatures in Underwater World - Day 2

We survived the night sleeping within the tunnel in Underwater World. It was pretty cold but luckily we had our jackets. Gladys woke up in the wee hours and found her way to the washroom all by herself! I thought she will wake me up to guide her through dim tunnel and up to level 1 where the toilets are, but she did not. Our brave girl managed to find her way to and back without any problem. :)

7.00am - Rise and shine! It's time to wake up and wash up! Lights came back shortly and we were greeted by the marine creatures once again.

The children folded their sleeping bags and roamed within the tunnel once again. 

Gladys admiring a group of sharks snuggling together. 

8.00am - We had breakfast followed by a talk by the Marine Mammal Trainer. 

9:40am - We had some free & easy time before Underwater World open its door to visitors. The children headed back to the oceanarium to fed the fishes.

The tunnel is their favourite spot. This time they spotted a diver cleaning up the reef and waved to say Hi.

Exploring the zone before the crowd enters.


Wefie taken with the children. 


11.00am - Our final activity before we leave is Meet-The-Dolphins Session at the Dolphin Lagoon. It has been a long time since the kids saw the Pink Dolphins and Sea Lions and they love the show.



12pm - The children received a certificate for participation as well as collected their prize for the Ocean quiz that they participated the night before. It is time to wave goodbye to our Marine Friends.

It was truly an educational and memorable experience living in the ocean. We were so close to the marine creatures and spent quality time learning more about them. Kudos to the guides who have shared their knowledge extensively with the group and ensuring our stay was a pleasant one.

Day 1: http://bpdgtravels.blogspot.sg/2015/08/living-in-ocean-with-marine-creatures.html

"Living in the Ocean"
Underwater World

Disclosure: All comments and opinions are personal and no monetary compensation was received. Thank you Underwater World Singapore for hosting us for the "Living In The Ocean" program in conjunction with Singapore Science Festival 2015.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Living in the Ocean with the Marine Creatures in Underwater World - Day 1

This is one camp that the children will never forget! Not only was this our first time camping out together, it was also the first time we shared our dreams with the marine life creatures. "Living In The Ocean" was one of the program held in conjunction with Singapore Science Festival 2015 between July - August. It aims to inspire future generations to become Changemakers for a better world through the learning of marine science and resource conservation.

The children were extremely thrilled when they learned that they will be staying for a night inside Underwater World! The night before our camp, we packed our haversacks with clothing and toiletries. Thankfully, sleeping bags are provided and that helped to off load some weight.

6pm - Over 30 campers gathered at Underwater World and we were led into a meeting room where our guides greeted us. The program kick-start with an educational sea life talk on marine conservation followed by dinner. From our "Al-fresco" canteen-like dining area located at the second-level, we got a good view of Fort Siloso Sky Walk.


7:30pm - As the night falls, this is when the fun begins! First, let's go for an Underwater World Discovery Tour! Unlike the other guided tours that we have been to, we had privacy and the entire space all to ourselves!

Living Fossils was our first stop and everyone gathered around to learn more about the Alligator Gar, Lungfish and other marine life creatures from our experienced guide who is able to speak English, Mandarin and Japanese fluently.


The group was split into 2 teams and we got up on our feet to roam the Underwater World. It was such a pleasing experience not having to battle with the crowd and everyone has opportunities asking questions, enjoy a good view of the exhibits and take photos.


We had all the time we needed at the Touch Pool, getting close to the stingrays! No one is rushing!


Moving down to the Mid Foyer, the children were intrigued by the Spider Crabs. Denver immediately spotted 2 crabs (one on top of the other) and it seems that the loving pair was in the mood to mate. Our boy was hoping to witness the female crab laying her eggs but that didn't happened.



Sea Dragons - Weedy SeaDragon in action.



Unlike Pinocchio whose nose gets longer with every lie,  the horn on the unicorn fish develops with age. 

Gladys - enjoying her camp so far.

The tunnel is our favourite zone and also where we will be resting for the night! Seeing through the glass panel above us, we felt so close to the ocean.

Hello Sharks, Stingrays and the other marine life creatures!


Love the blue waters 

8.15pm - We headed back to the Living Fossils and gathered once again. It's QUIZ Time! Children get to win a little prize for every correct answer!


8.45pm - Headed back to the meeting room for a show about marine creatures before we go for our supper and shower.


10pm - The moment has come! What we have been waiting for all this while.... it's BEDTIME!!! Feeling refreshed after a nice shower, we grabbed our sleeping bags (provided by our guides) and headed back to the Tunnel. The kiddos made a few rounds before finalizing and securing a nice resting spot for the night. Together with the other campers, we formed a single file, sleeping head to head or leg to leg with each other.


Even though I mentioned it was bedtime... no one was in the mood to sleep. Particularly seeing the sharks, stingrays and fishes swimming above us. This was our window view for the night! Denver & Gladys could not sleep and I lost count on the number of times they walked within the tunnel!


VICTORY! Good night Shovelnose Ray!

Apparently we picked a pretty good spot for photo-taking. :)

11.30pm - The lights went off and the tunnel turned into darkness signifying the moment to rest! 

It was a night to remember and we can't wait for Day 2 to arrive!


"Living in the Ocean"
Underwater World

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Doodling - Floral


Last weekend, I bought a box of Stabilo pens from Popular bookstore as the price was a steal (20 pens at about $14)! Couldn't wait to start drawing with my new pens, hence I attempted to do a floral doodle without sketching with a pencil.

Some of you have asked how this was done. Frankly speaking, it was a stir of a moment. There were no plans and I had no idea how the end product will look like. It started with a 5 petal flower at the center and I slowly extended my doodle outwards with more flowers and leaves of different shapes, sizes and patterns. Emphasizing on the details, reviewing the layout, shading and filling up the gaps were the main consideration points that ran through my mind when I was doodling. It took me about an hour to complete my drawing and I am happy with my first attempt.

For those who wish to doodle, I encourage you to give it a try and get yourself a good marker pen! Start with a simple theme (e.g. shapes/letters etc.) Do not be dishearten! With more practice, your doodling skill will improve.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Singapore Night Festival 2015

Singapore Night Festival is back and the festive grounds around Brash Basah precinct and the museums are lighted up once again! SNF2015 has been divided into 5 main zones.

1) National Museum of Singapore - Main festival zone glitter with lights, music and art
2) Armenian Street - Expect the unexpected, edgy and experimental on this festive ground
3) Cathay Green - Performances under the stars
4) Singapore Management University - Festive Village with local bands and buskers plus flea market and food kiosks
5) Singapore Art Museum & Queen St, National Design Ctr, DECK, Waterloo St & School of the Arts - Feel the buzz

Grab a copy of the festival guide before you head down! As huge turnout of crowds is expected, it is advisable to wear light clothing and comfortable footwear. We brought along two big water bottles to keep ourselves hydrated. Having a mini torchlight or install the torchlight app on your mobile device will be helpful to guide you through the night. Our kiddos are not first timers attending the Night Festival, hence they knew it will be a long but exciting night hopping from one museum to another.


Zone 4: We headed to the SMU grounds to check out the local buskers and food kiosks at the Festival Village. Audience rested on the big colourful bean bags and relax as jazz and pop music filled the air. It is heartening to see everyone taking a step back, rest their feet and let time pass in the midst of the busy city landscape.



Zone 1: National Museum of Singapore is the heart of Singapore Night Festival. We arrived an hour earlier before most of the activities commence at 7.30pm. Heading straight to the museum was a good choice as we get to explore the exhibit first.


"And So They Say" showcase a video portraits of 25 seniors sharing their experience and learning. To view the video, simply wind the crank handle of the film projector. The other three parts of this installation is located at the Singapore Art Museum, National Design Centre and School of the Arts.


The children looked intensively at the video as if they were learning the teachings and listening to the stories of their grandparents.

"Luma City" - a popular playing ground for the children! Gladys wanted to play with the gigantic toy cars and hence we spent 45 minutes (being first in line) waiting for the doors to open at 7.30pm. Due to the high volume of visitors, parents please note that there is a time limit of 3 minutes per entry to avoid disappointment. In addition, only 4 children and their parents are allowed per entry.


Upon entering Luma City, take off your footwear and leave your belongings at the side. After picking your car, the lights will be switched off! Start pushing the car which will leave a glowing trail on the ground. Although it was a brief moment of happiness, Gladys had fun being a 'driver' in the dark.


hmmm.. the room was so dark that I cannot locate our girl and her car!

"Tennis Swing" - Initially I thought it was merely an art installation for display purposes only. Upon closer look then I realised visitors can enter the playground and have a swing! (Time limit of 3 minutes per entry applies).


Unlike the other swings that we have experienced at the playgrounds, the seats are cushioned with tennis balls. Interestingly, it didn't feel as hard or uncomfortable as I thought it would be. There is also a speaker on top of each swing where you will hear tennis balls being hit by racquets.


"A Little Nonya's Dream" - This is a cute video showing the sleep visions of a Nonya girl which is absolutely adorable! Go to the Salon, Level 1 at National Museum to catch the whole video.



"The Anooki Celebrates Singapore" - The Anooki, world's smallest Inuits are here to give their special birthday tribute to Singapore! This is my personal favourite and main highlight of the Singapore Night Festival! Do not miss catching them running across the facade of National Museum as they bring us cheer and joy.


"Le Desir Et La Menace" - Gladys can still recall the scary divine faces on the same Banyan tree at SNF2014. She was a little worried that the same faces will appear but was happy to see the chirpy and bright birds collection instead.


"Drawn in Light" - A beautiful 12m-wide installation, rotating above the ground! Made entirely of metal wires hand bent into the form of a typical Amsterdam-style canal building, the continuously moving glowing display blends in beautifully with the backdrop.


Zone 2: If you love music, fun and party, head down to Armenian Street! This zone is the hippest among all and part of the street is closed during the commencement of Singapore Night Festival.



Peranakan Museum - Seems like our yearly visit at each Night Festival. Loving the glow at its facade as always.


"Illuminate" - Enter the dark room and be fascinated by the outfits designed by students which glow-in-the-dark. It was a pity that we wore dark clothing (should have wear white), and missed out capturing ourselves "glowing" in the illuminate room.


If you have taken a lot of photos at the Singapore Night Festival, do not miss the Instagram Booth where you can have your favourite photos printed out for free! Our happy loot for the night!


"Between You and Me" - This Taxi is one that we didn't get to hop on. Apparently, registration was full when we enquire. :( Part of the interactive 1-to-1 performance where the journey begins at the Random Room, The Substation. Between You & Me is an invitation to step into an alternate world that looks almost exactly like the one you just stepped out of. Sounds really complicated and I guess you can only feel it when you experience it.


We spent 3 hours roaming around the festival grounds at Singapore Night Festival 2015 on our first night! Hopping through 3 zones, it was quite an accomplishment! If you have not experience the light installations at this year's SNF, do not miss catching them this final last weekend!

Singapore Night Festival 2015
Date: 21 - 22 Aug & 28 - 29 Aug 2015
Time: 7pm - 2am
Bras Basah, Bugis

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