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Vagabond Kids: March 2010

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Photo of the Day- Sultan's Mosque-Brunei

The Sultan's Mosque in Brunei on a rainy day in July

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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Taiwan Gold Ecological Park

A while back I spent the week in Taiwan and was very surprised with how much I missed parts of it. I missed the good street food, I missed the Pearl Milk Tea and I missed friends that I truley love. What I didn't miss where the streets filled with scooters and the noise. 5 years in any city will do that to you and memories tend to always be more sweet as time passes. On this trip to Taiwan I knew I would be spending some time in work situations and sometime traveling around Taiwan with my co-workers.

When this work trip was planned I agreed to take a day trip to the coast of Taiwan to the Reifang area because I love rugged beauty of the coastline. I love the blue sea and the green mountains. I expected natural beauty of course, but when my co-worker suggested the Gold Museum I was a bit skeptical. But, I am here to say...

The Gold Ecological Park in Reifang was AMAZING!

My only regret, I wish the kids had been with me. At the park, most of the information is listed in both Chinese and English and while most of the people working in the park don't speak English, the signs and park is marked well enough you can get around with out a specific guide. The first site is the "house of four houses" a restored set of Japanese style homes built during the Japanese Colonial times.

From Taiwansept-8

You can also tour a section of the mine a couple of hundred meter tunnel recleared and re-enforced for safety.

From Taiwansept-8

Also is the Prince's home a vacation home for the Prince of Japan, which includes a concrete Mini-Golf course in the back yard (a true luxury at the time)

From Taiwansept-8

and a classic Japanese Garden in front.

From Taiwansept-8

Finally you can visit the museum itself and if you can lift the 220KG gold bar worth 6.5 million dollars with one hand they promise you get to take it home!

While the kids weren't with me on this trip, I plan on bringing them here in the future. It is a great park, a good learning experience and by far one of the best tourist attractions in Taiwan that I have been to!

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Photo of the Day-Union Station Portland

Dreaming about my trip back to Oregon this summer. Photo from a great trip in May 2006

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Monday, March 29, 2010

The reason I travel with my kids

I have been thinking about this post for a while. There are plenty of reasons to take kids with you when you travel. The "vacation" of course. Maybe the fact is that there is no other choice, if you go, they have to go to. Or maybe it is the kids want to go to Disney, Universal, San Diego and you the reluctant parent are dragged along. You name it.
Photo of the Lion Dance at our Condo in Singapore.

But there are other reasons as well. For me I remember those special trips I took with my family, trips to Mexico when I was in 6th grade. The trip to the continental divide in the Canadian Rockies. The trip to the Grand Canyon that I was not allowed to go on....(a story for another day for sure!) But why do I feel it is so important for my kids to travel?

Batik Painting at the Craft's Complex in Kuala Lumpur

For me, it is really all about growth. Of course, the kids grow and learn with each visit. The fact that the latest trip exposed them to not one, but two, UNESCO World Heritage sites means little to them now but when they look back on the places they have been it will register. It will touch them, it will make them a better rounded more world-centric people. It will show them what lucky children they are, how they can make the world better and how happiness is not found in the biggest house on the block or the most expensive new toy but in the life long pursuit of knowledge, peace and sharing.
Of course that is all the obvious benefit of traveling with the kids. But, that is not what I was thinking about recently. I was thinking about how I benefit from this travel with my kids.

UNESCO World Heritage site: Prambanan
Four days with long nights in Yogjarkarta with early mornings starting at 4:30 due to the calls to prayer being bellowed across the city at 140 decibels on the loudspeaker. Hot temperatures, not enough food to eat at breakfast, grumpy spouses, pushy sales people and ugly tourists showing why travel should not be about the almighty dollar (or Ruble). All of these are tools to learning. Tools to patience (my personal weakness) tools to understanding and tools to peace. Okay, not to sound all hippy dippy on you all, but I opened up again so much on this trip. Watching the kids experience something amazing and remembering how much certain things stick to you at that age. Watching them take in all of the nasty little inconvenience that we worry so much about and having it roll right off their back. Watching my spouse get upset about if and how much the kids ate because it was too different-only to laugh the next day when the Sup Butut was the only thing they wanted to eat and the Ayam Goreng was all they could talk about. Watching Kiera come up with a video diary of her trip (which I will edit and post later!) were all amazing growth experiences for me. I learned so much about being a better person, a better mom, a better world citizen.

The slide at the Marriott Hotel in Miri, Sarawak (Borneo) Malaysia
I love watching the kids feel themselves out as they grow to understand the world. Watching them question things like why Americans are so upset at the President/Congress or why people get into wars and then thinking about that in the context of the fact that certain kids in Indonesia don't have enough food to eat. Traveling with the kids is really a very selfish endeavor for me. I learn and grow so much each time. Now, don't get me wrong. It is not all sunshine and roses. Remember the fact the statement "nothing looks good and I refuse to eat"? Yeah that happens too. But it is no different than cooking Mac and Cheese at home and having them declare they wanted PB&J instead. Each day parenting is a growth opportunity, but there are just so many amazing lessons to be learned in this big world.

So, here we are just back from our most recent trip and I am already looking at the calendar. Wondering if time and money will allow another short hop with the kids before we go to the States for the long summer holiday this year. I am ready for another selfish trip-that is for sure.


Photo of the Day- Tekka Market Singapore

Tekka Market Fish Sellers, Singapore January 2010

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Oregon with Kids: Yaquina Head Lighthouse

We traveled to Oregon the Summer of 2008 (although this day at the beach was anything but summer like).

Tramping around Newport, we went to some of the same spots I visited when I was a kid. One of our thoughts was that the kids would think it was cool to be able to climb a lighthouse. To see what it was like living and working in a lighthouse over a hundred years ago? The Yaquina Head lighthouse now has tours. Which is very cool and I highly recommend it. We were not able to do the whole tour as we had plans to meet family further up the road, but next time we will. We only climbed up a portion of the stairs and missed the docent's historical tour. The tour portion gives actual history of the lighthouse as well as information about the workings on the coast in the late 1800s.

Growing up in Oregon, seeing working lighthouses were part of the beach trip every summer. Thinking back now, what a cool thing was that? Lighthouses are part and parcel of the history of world wide travel and commerce, lighthouses protected the wayfayers as well as the cargo. I love the thought of the lighthouse. The Beacon, the safe light in the storm. I also just think they look cool!

We will be back in Oregon this summer and we will defiantly do this with the kids. The only catch is there are a quite a few steps up (114 to be exact)so gage the trip in terms of the age and abilities of your kids.

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Photo of the Day-The Egg in Beijing

Shot in January at the new performing arts center in Beijing off of Chang'An

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Saturday, March 27, 2010

Malaysia- Damai Beach

PHOTO HEAVY POST.... For more pictures click here
Trip taken March 2008

A short flight to Kuching Malaysia from Singapore (about 45 minutes) a 35 minute drive and you find yourself on Damai beach in Sarawak Malaysia. Damai beach itself is quite sleepy, there is really only the Holiday Inn Resort for accommodations but the beach itself is quite nice. The food options are also rather limited, but for those who are adventurous, the seafood village 10 minutes away offers fresh caught fish cooked to order. The hotel food is pretty good and reasonably priced, the kids were fine with the options, but after a few days we were tired of the same dishes. For the Seafood, go check out the Kampung Buntal (unless you rent a car you will need to arrange for transport from the hotel). We ate at Lim Hock Ann Seafood and it was amazing food.

The hotel itself is fine, not fancy, I would give it 3.5 stars. Better than many motels in the US, but a bit faded. The staff however makes it almost 4 stars. The staff are caring, fun and recognize the kids and do what it takes to make them happy. While we were there we celebrated Easter on the beach with games and even an egg hunt. The biggest advantage is the price, if you book online you can get it for less than US$85 per night. The Sunsets were pretty darn spectacular, worth sitting over the pool and having a drink or two while the kids have a snack or dinner.

If you are a golfer, I guess the resort links are nice, and they have a mini-golf right at the hotel. For the entertainment there is the Headhunter show twice a week at the restaurant. The food is buffet, but not bad and the show itself is fun. The hotel staff itself participates in the show and they do a great job of involving the guests. Even Declan, my then 6 year old, was made part of the show and handled the "scary" headhunter with bravery that I was surprised about! It is fun and the dances aren't even half bad~

Kiera learning to play instruments at the Cultural Center
Other things to do include the Sarawak Cultural Center, which is next door to the resort. The Cultural Center is amazing and holds some of the few remaining examples of traditional Sarawak culture. In fact, as a side note, I know a photographer here who was charged with doing photos for the design style of Sarawak. After much search, they found the only remaining examples of the culture and style were in the cultural village. All of the indigenous culture has either died out or been infiltrated by TV, Radio, Computers and iPods.

My hubby climbed, or attempted to climb part of Mt. Santubong and found it a very challenging climb. He only did a 2 hour hike, by no means enough to climb to the top, but thought it was beautiful. We may go back someday when the kids are older and take them for a hike, but for young kids I wouldn't recommend it as it is pretty hot and the terrain is quite rough.

The highlight of the trip was the Orangutan Reserve at Semenggoh. While we first hiked in to the feeding platform we were a bit sad to find that only one momma Orangutan came down to feed. While the park rangers tell you that it is possible you won't see any, it was still a bit of a let down. But as we were walking back to the van, this is what we saw...It was amazing. This female had a reputation of being a bit aggressive, but with a good telephoto it is amazing what you can capture.

The kids also really liked the Crocodile farm. While 90% of the farm was not that exciting from my perspective, caged animals always seem to bother me, the feeding of the crocs gives one a real appreciation for the power and the size of these ancient beasts.

And, don't forget the weekend market in downtown Kuching. We didn't take the kids as we were sure they had had enough (after the croc farm and Orangutans) but a follow up trip we will be sure to include them. Everything from batik to grubs and everything in between is sold at the weekend market where the tribesmen come down to sell to the city people every weekend. The city of Kuching looked like fun, but we didn't do much exploring. Note there is a shuttle (I think it was RM10 (about 1 dollar) each way from the Holiday Inn Damai to the Holiday Inn downtown Kuching.

For a three day weekend, a get away from Singapore or other SE Asian spots, or as a part of full Borneo trip, Damai Beach is worth the side trip.

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Daily Travel Photo- Batam Island

Batam Island, Indonesia April 2009 with our friends the Hynes' family.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Daily Travel Photo-Prambanan

I have a job for you. Are you willing to climb to new heights? See the world from a new angle? Scale impossible challenges? Sweep away old dirt to make things better? Are you willing to work hard and face your fears?

How about the cleaning job at the Shiva Temple in Prambanan? You know after watching this guy, my job is really not so bad after all~

Hang on buddy~

And now.... the wide shot for perspective

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Thursday, March 25, 2010

Picture of the day-Borodubur

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

How to recongnize a Scam

The best 24 dollars ever spent, hands down. The "comfort kits" from Air Asia.

Blogging live from Jogja today. So far my trip has been typical for Asia, a bit of this a bit of that and a hustle or two. The only difference is now now we know better and know what we are doing. Last night we wanted to go out for dinner to a local place. Having read a guide book we pick a random restaurant that we feel will fit the kids needs and be located downtown for a bit of touristy stuff. So we popped into a taxi from the hotel with a plan in mind. On the way into town our driver got on the phone to a buddy of his. While my Bahasa is pretty non-existent, I hear the taxi driver call his buddy and while I was not really paying much attention, I hear him say "tutup", which I know means closed in Bahasa. After a bit of a drive we get to the spot and is in deed closed. But no fear, the driver tells us there is another spot, just down the road with good food.

This second place-located in the heart of "Backpackastan" on the Maliboro strip was fine. The food was good, the beers sinfully cheap, and the atmosphere one of a familiar backpacker grotto. While we are eating some guy starts chatting us up and discussing where we are from, you know that old noodle. At this point it has gotten late (at least for the kids who are on Singapore time one hour later) and there after, Jeff asks the guy if he is the owner. He responds that the bar is his friend's joint and we continue to eat and he just kind of hangs out. So far, no red flags right? But at this point we get stuck with a downpour and when the rains come Jeff starts to ask our friend if there is a way to call for a taxi. While the rains are a pouring, our new buddy tells us there is no way can we get to the taxi stand, we just need to wait out the rain. After the rains stop- now the kids are super tired- he tells us he would be happy to walk us to the stand, you know the stand is a bit hard to find he says. At this point I start to think to myself, why will he walk with us... seems weird and a small red flag raises up but not so much to stay put. When we start to walk down the street, take a turn down an alley filled with lots of backpacker hotels and bars I start to wonder where the taxi stand is because it is clearly not on this side street, but 100 meters down the alley our buddy says.."oh let's just stop at this Batik shop, this guy is a friend of mine and he can call you a taxi." At this point I know the drill, a scam in the making and I am having none of this, but Jeff is insistent on going on in and calling a taxi.

Dinner at the FM Cafe

The shop owners ask if we want a drink or a spot of tea, to which Jeff responds again with a polite but firm, no please just call us a taxi. I beg off I am sure acting a bit non-interested and at this point the big pitch hits. The artist tell us that all the all sales from this art store benefit a "charity". We are free to walk around and take our time, the taxi would be here soon and we can shop while we wait. I am not a very happy camper at this time, but I did see the guy call a taxi so we waited a few more minutes as the rain had started. I figure I would give this taxi a few minutes and then I would walk on out to the main road, rain be damned. You know with kids you have to look out for them. Well, we waited about 10 minutes and the taxi did come pick us up, and wouldn't you know it was the same driver that took us to the restaurant in the first place.

Today, while wandering around the Kraton, Jeff and the kids got taken to a one guy's mother's "batik" store. No shock to find all of the same batiks at this one of a kind store.

While we love travel in SE Asia these types of traps are pretty typical. Some are blatant and in your face (the tuk-tuk driver in Thailand taking you to a Gem store for example) while others like this are pretty innocent. If we would have purchased a batik I am sure we would have paid more than market price and the batik would have probably be printed rather than true batik. Even if not, the price was probably low and the risk again low, but some scams can be more dangerous.
A few tips: If someone wants to take you to show you a Aunt's/Mother's/cousin's/brother's store think twice before you purchase. If you do like something and feel like it is the only place you can possibly find said item and really want to purchase be aware. Do not use credit cards, don't flash lots of cash, be aware of your surroundings and make sure you know where you are and how to get to where you are going. Be polite but if you are not interested don't hang around politely leave. Of course general safety rules apply when you travel by yourself and or with kids and so long as you are aware of the touts and take it all in stride and with good common sense all is well.
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Friday, March 19, 2010

Travel Lessons-Art Deco in Shanghai

I hope this blog will become is a resource for ways to enhance the travel that you do with kids. I am a life long believer in education, from traditional and unconventional sources. For me, part of the joy of taking my kids with me when I travel is to teach them about the places we visit.

Malacca was really the first time we were able to tell the kids the stories of the place, teach them a bit about the History of the area and show them, by way of stories and museum exhibits how Malacca was such an important hub historically in the region.

When ever we travel I try to give the kids a bit of history of the place first and try to through in some information to make the place more real. I figure, I may as well share what I learn with you!

First, a disclaimer, I LOVE Art Deco. Deco and craftsman style architecture are hands down in a dead heat for my love. And, since I have the opportunity to see Deco when I travel around the region and not much Craftsman, Deco has sort of taken the lead in my infatuation.

When ever I start research I usually end up with Wiki. There are often mistakes in Wiki, but they are good starting points for more information. The Art Deco Wiki.

Art Deco was a design style that was primarily done between the late 1920's through the end of the 30's. Some of my favorite Deco buildings are in Shanghai, while Singapore does have a few great pockets, Shanghai, for me, is the Asian version of Miami Beach, without all of the color of course. The Art Deco style can be found in multiple buidings, up and down the Bund, the French concession and Nanjing Road.

I can almost imagine, Shanghai in the roaring twenties and thirties as the quintessential time for the city. The city alive with excitement, buildings going up. The concessions filled with French, British, American and other expats trying to take advantage of the great dream of China. (As a side, not much has changed when I think of Shanghai in 2010). I haven't been back in a while, but one of my goals is to find as many of the Art Deco buildings that survive in China (frankly around the region) and try to get my copy of the image. Others have done so and one of my favories is the following blog and flickr page.

So, what can you teach your kids about Art Deco in Shanghai? Well, there is the Design elements, there is the history of Shanghai in the 20s as a world wide trade center, the history of the early Republic of China (and of course the founding of the PRC) and the price of progress when it comes to historical preservation.

Would you teach your kids about Art Deco in China? Would you focus on the design or use it as a jumping off point for other History?

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Friday, March 12, 2010

TIllamook Icecream

Originally posted in September 2008, our family will make a return trip this summer to Tillamook and do the tour all over again!

The best ice cream in the world, or at least the northern corner of Oregon all starts at the Tillamook Creamery.

For those of you who are lucky enough to live or be traveling in Oregon, a trip to Tillamook is a fun day. First, the countryside as you drive into Tillamook is amazing, pastures valleys and lots and lots of dairy farms. The old town in Tillamook has fun little shops, used bookstores and restaurants. I can also attest that the Les Schwab dealership does a bang up job fixing tire flats (just in case you wanted to know). Oh, and Tillamook is on Tillamook Bay, a lovely bay with great views. But Tillamook is most famous for Cheese and Ice Cream.

For real cheese heads, stop first at the Blue Heron French Cheese Company and get some Brie. Wander around the grounds, have a taste of wine and enjoy the converted Dairy Farm. Next, drive about 5 minutes north, and take the self tour around the Tillamook Creamery. I tell you, even bribing kids with Ice Cream it was hard to get them away from the windows of the working Cheese factory. As a note, I remember as a kid, before the Tillamook brand was so popular, you could actually tour the floor and see the operation close up.

and, then, yes then, sit yourself down for a grubbing burger topped with Tillamook Cheddar, finished off with a big ole cone of Tillamook Ice Cream (over 40 flavors including seasonal Strawberry with Oregon Strawberries!) Just remember, if you are like me and lactose intolerant... don't forget these. They are life savers.

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Malacca Trishaws

The trishaws in Malacca are loud, from a visually as well as aurally. They are over decorated and often inflict pain to the passenger's ear with loud music of the driver's choice. But this post is actually not to malign them, but rather to sing their praise.

We have visited Malacca before, walking around in the heat (which for some reason always seems to be more oppressive in Malacca than Singapore) and always said no to the Trishaw drivers offering to ferry us around for a fee.

Perhaps it was the memories of the cheats that call themselves Tuk Tuk drivers in Thailand, but we never gave the poor Trishaw drivers their due. What I found however was a very pleasant surprise.

The Trishaw drivers in Malacca are polite, honest and they are perfect for those quick trips that are FAR TO HOT to walk. The rate is between 10-20 Ringgit for just about anywhere in town (more often 10RM). Trust me, these were some of the most welcome and enjoyable rides around Malacca. Well worth the fee and the kids (and Jeff) loved them. Oh and by the way, while you can't tone down the decorative elements of the Trishaw, you can have them turn off the music.

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Monday, March 8, 2010

Planning for Yogyakarta

The pool at the Sheraton Mustika Image from Trip Advisor

In a week or so we will be on Spring Break for the American School in Singapore. While staying at home in Singapore is certainly an option, it also seems silly not to take advantage of the ability to travel. By the time you add up the costs of traveling around Singapore, admission fees to Gogobambini, the Zoo, Wild Wild Wet, Sentosa and all the other "I'm bored" activities we fall back on in Singapore we may as well go abroad. This time we are off to Yogyakarta.

Yogya (or Jogja) is on the island of Java is about a 2 hour flight from Singapore and we are flying on AirAsia. The total ticket price for a family of 4 is Singapore$426. This includes one check in bag and a "travel amenities kit" for each of the kids. The kits (which the kids fell in love with on the last Air Asia flight but were unable to get) have a travel blanket, pillow and eye cover. At S$12.00 it is probably the only souvenir the kids will get this trip other than photos.

Image from Wikipedia

Stupa at Borobudur

We are also taking advantage of our Starwood Points and will be staying at the Sherton Mustika. Combining points and cash, the stay is only US$25.00 per night (not including tax/service fees and F&B). After finally getting to see the movie Up in the Air last weekend I am one of those that don't collect my points and miles for the sake of collection. I try to use them! This is a perfect example of making good use of my award points. I do wish that Air Asia would start a mileage program, but I suppose that goes against the principle of a Budget Airline.

Kraton Complex (Sultan's Square) Image from
In any event I am cruising the next, checking out websites like Virtual Tourist and Lonely Planet for tips on the area. We plan on spending one day at Borobudur, the kids are primed with new cameras and over the weekend I am going to be taking them through some of the history of the site. One day we plan on hitting the Malioboro shopping area and a morning at the Kraton (Sri Sultan's Palace) one day. Other than that, we have two kids who are happy to hang at the pool and what a nice pool it appears to be. Can't wait, I feel like a kid myself planning this jaunt!

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Sunday, March 7, 2010

Maritime Museum in Malacca

Originally posted October 2008

I really like Malacca, it is a fun city with great food and the history is enough to keep me coming back for more. It is funny, but the more I travel, the more fascinated I am by the history of the place.

We have not been back to Malacca since this post, but plan another trip in the near future. It is only a 3 hour bus ride from Singapore in an airconditioned coach.

This time we stayed at the Hotel Equitorial. We did a "free and easy" package with a travel agent here in Singapore which means you book your hotel and transport through the agent and often can get better deals than if you booked by yourself. The total cost of the package was around Sing $150.00/person which included bus fare, 2 hotel rooms for 3 nights.

The best part about the hotel is its proximity to St. Pauls, the Stadhyus and Declan's favorite Museum, The Maritime Museum.

The Maritime Museum is housed in a replica of a 18th century Portuguese ship which was sunk off the shore of Malacca. The Museum shows the history of Malacca and its importance as a Maritime center dating back to the 14th century through the British occupation. While the museum was okay, it was frankly better for an 8-10 year old I would venture, but the fact that it was in a big giant ship was enough for Declan (and Kiera found it pretty cool too!)

Hours: Daily (closed Tuesday) 9-6
Entry fee a very inexpensive RM2 for adults and .50 for kids

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Saturday, March 6, 2010

Singapore's Changi Airport:Terminal Three-

Originally posted July 2008. Edited for new content below
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In terms of being spoilt, Singapore's airport does it. Forget all of the bad airport experiences you have had, there is hardly a grumpy soul, a surley gate agent or intimidating immigration officer to be found. For the kids and adults, it is hard to find a more efficient and friendly airport. In fact, the airport, when coupled with the fact we like to fly Singapore Airlines when we can (which has a generous baggage allowance, in seat entertainment on all flights, and some of the nicest attendants in the air) makes the start (or end) of your travel so plesant you almost forget the pain you will/have suffered doing a cross pacific flight.

Anyway, back to the airport. On our recent trip we flew out of Terminal 3, Singapore's newest and fanciest terminal. Check in was a breeze as we checked in online the day before we flew. We went straight to the "Internet Check In" counter and picked up our boarding passes, dropped of the bags and went to have lunch. Check in was less than 10 minutes total. While we arrived more than 2 hours before our flight, as Jeff wanted to eat at the tappenyaki restaurant located on the second floor, I have seldom seen a long line in Terminal 3. That being said, total check in time, even on busy days in Terminal 3 using the internet check in option has never been more than around 20 minutes for me. Compare that to your airport, I dare you to beat that time!

After we dropped the bags we went upstairs to Sakae Tappenyaki on the second floor. The kids shared a fried noodles and Jeff and I both had a lunch set. For "airport" food, it was quite good and the prices weren't too bad. A dinner set should run you about 15 Singapore dollars per person and includes 4-5 items in the set. . The great thing about Tappenyaki restaurants (Think Benihana in the US) is that the chef cooks the food right in front of you, offering a bit of entertainment along with your meal. Now, the Tappenyaki restaurants in Singapore (and elsewhere in Asia) don't offer quite the show that the US version does, it still is enough to entertain the kids while they wait for food. Oh, and Sakae gives a 10% discount if you use American Express!

Seriously one of the favorite things the kids do at the airport is to right the "luggage trains"... perhaps not the safest way of entertaining the kids, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

We cleared immigration and let the kids run around the playground in the airport for an hour or so, clearly we figured that we needed to tuker the kids out... it worked pretty well I have to say. Our flight to the US pretty smooth sleep wise....but that is a post for another day!

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A few things to note about terminal three: If you are a Star Alliance Gold Member, the lounge is one of the better ones. The food is decent and the open air balcony is nice. In fact, there has been more than once I have seen the A380 parked at the gate next to the lounge. The Silver Kris, business class lounge is by far the best I have been in, not that I go there often! If you are not able to get into the lounge, fear not... the terminal has everything from drug stores to a Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf in the transit area. They also have a brewpub! Brewerkz, Singapore's first brewpub has opened a branch at the airport and the beer and burgers are great.
(edited to note that the Brewerkz outlet has closed in Terminal 3)
I guess my only complaint about terminal three, if you can call it one, is the fact that a few of the gates are quite a long walk from the center of the terminal. While
they do have travelators, the long walk can tire out some small legs. really, quite nit picky if you ask me in terms of things to complain about.

The kids were more than excited and ready to get on the plane. We flew one of the last direct flights from Singapore to LA in Economy, the flight is being converted to Business and First Class only. The flight while long was not that bad and we hit the ground in LA ready to hit Disneyland!

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