Beauty, Blog, Career, Family, Food & Drink, Risk, Travel

More Singapore!!!

Sentosa: This island is a resort world in and of itself! Only a 20-25 minute taxi ride from ou hotel, we landed in Sentosa. Water parks, theme parks, shopping, food, and beyond! We decided to stay at the Shangri-La Rasa Sentosa Resort. A beautiful resort on the South China Sea.

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Marina Bay Sands: A gorgeous three towel hotel and shopping center. At the top are some amazing lookout points. However to skip the line and the cost, go to the top and ask for the Club Lounge – you’ll be lucky with the views we got, if they let you in!

Singapore Botanic Gardens: An amazing UNESCO World Heritage site! I spent 2 hour walking the grounds and likely only touched 1/4 of the trails!

Garden by the Bay: What a site – are those Avatar Trees?! Some amazing Gardens is various domes, as well as music and food festivals, and beyond!

 

Overall, Singapore was a wonderful city with wonderful people. Blessed to have been given to visit this whole other world.

Cheers,

Heidi

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Singapore!!!

Aaron heads to Asia every few months for work. He’s seen some pretty neat places – Shanghai, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, Taipei, Seoul, and even made it to the Taj Mahal during a free Saturday in New Delhi, India. As irony would have it, he appreciates the travel but doesn’t crave it – where as we all know where I stand on the travel-matter! 🙂

Typically his trips are quick 2-3 days in each location, packed with work. However for his most recent trip, he was going to be in Singpaore for 10 days straight! After checking my schedule, we realized it was the perfect opportunity to seize the moment and join him for part of it. He would have a free weekend, as well as a few available evenings – and I have never minded exploring on my own, as well.

So after he was already hard at work on the other side of the world, I prepared to head on the longest trip I’ve ever been on! Now, I can tell you I did not adequately prepare for the lack of sleep I was about to endure. Unlike Europe where you have one long flight (typically less than 10 hours), plus a shorter one – heading to Singapore is a 24 hour travel day. I checked – it is the same amount of time it takes to fly to Australia! I now know why folks stay in these locations for 2+ weeks 🙂

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After a long flight to Tokyo, a nap in the Delta Sky Club, and another long flight to Singapore – I made it! I highly suggest splurging on Delta Comfort – it is usually only $100-200 more expensive, and the extra 3-6 inches truly do make a difference when you are talking about 19-20 hours on a plane. After a quick 25 minute drive from the airport, I arrived at Park Hotel Clarke Quay. The Park Hotel was excellent – great service, great location right on the river, and fantastic food. They had decent internet service, and a wonderful pool and grill/bar area. They also had an exercise facility, and laundry capabilities. Their rooms were small, but that was fine.

A cab ride to anywhere in the city is fairly easy and very cheap – $5-15 Singapore dollars (which is only about 75% of our dollar). However, that was really the only cheap item on the entire trip. I’m talking about $100 dinner’s for 1, and $25 glasses of wine – as the cheapest glass on the menu! At least the Singapore Sling was a very yummy alternative for only $16 🙂 Singapore has truly made the economy work for them – going from a 3rd class to a 1st class country, in 50 years. It was awe-inspiring to talk to it’s residents. They all absolutely love it there. As you may know, Singapore is a place for rules – but this is something the people seem to relish in – the cleanliness and safety that the country provides.

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Besides sight seeing, we enjoyed a great dinner at Cut with Aaron’s colleague who just moved to Singapore from the US for work, as well as a team member of Aaron’s, Sarah, who was so kind to order us a fabulous authentic Singapore dinner at Boon Tong Kee.

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Stay tuned for Monday’s blog for more fun places to not miss, the next time you are in Singapore!

Cheers,

Heidi

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Kraft Family Vaca! FLORIDA – Part 1

We enjoyed a Magical Vacation to Florida over the past 5 days – I can’t wait to tell you all about it!

Our Family of Four, my Mom and Dad, and my Brother and his girlfriend, were all able to join us.

We rented a house on VRBO, from Florida Sun Vacations. It was a great home – clean, had a pool, hot tub, 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms, and slept 10 (if you include the pull out couch!) We enjoyed grilling a great dinner one evening, many swims, a few games of cards, and even a nap or two. It was in great proximity to all the major themed activities, as well as to places to eat, mini-golf, and ice cream!

It was HOT in Central Florida – but we just embraced the sweat and had a blast! The kids needed early bed-times and frequent food and water stops, and there was a tad extra whining – but we got through it.

Taking two 1/2 days and spending them at Aquatica and Seaworld were fantastic. Aquatica is one of the best water parks I have been to. So many fun water-rides for the whole family! My favorite was an amazing Lazy River that wasn’t so Lazy – you wore live jackets and it was like you were in a fast-moving stream with rapids – HELLLOOOO Fun! Seaworld was also great – we were able to do a few rides, and see the One Ocean show. We spent about 3-4 hours there, and were happy to go home and enjoy the pool that evening. 🙂

In addition, C,C,A,A and myself all went to Discovery Cove. Boy, was this a great experience! Fantastic ‘natural’ waterpark, where we swam with dolphins, stingrays, and fish – oh my! It is all inclusive – snacks, drinks, and breakfast and lunch were all a part of the deal. It is spendy, but well worth it in value.My parents stayed back with M, as you have to be 6 to do the dolphin swim. However he enjoyed Chick-fil-A and some mini golf! He also learned how to swim without a life jacket!

My dad also turned 61 while there! We celebrated with some Ice Cream 🙂

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Stay tuned for more FUN things reviewed in Part 2!

Cheers,

Heidi

 

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Blog, Faith, Family, Risk

Random Thoughts

I love that quote… “We must be willing to let go of the life we planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell.

What a neat things to think about. And for me, my faith plays a big role in this thought process. Jesus promises to be faithful to us, to use everything to work for the good of those who love him, and even tells us he has plans for us – NOT to harm us – but to make us prosper.

Those of you who know me, know I plan. Living life these last couple of years especially, has shown me that my plan isn’t always the Ultimate Plan. And that’s ok. I will still plan – but will continue to be agile when a change in course is needed.

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I saw this on Facebook the other day, and it was perfect timing. Many times it really is time to say “Be patient. I’m ok. I have faith. I’m hear to serve. Here we go.” As cliche’ as it is – taking a few deep breathes and refocusing on what truly matters, does help!

And finally – aren’t my kiddos and their 2nd cousins cute? Love them so much.

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Cheers,

Heidi

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The last bit of our Trip to London

Saturday morning we woke up bright and early to head to Windsor. Again, it was a breeze utilizing our London Pass to catch a train for free. We simply looked up the schedule online, waled 10 minutes from the hotel to Paddington Station, and off we went on a quick 20-25 min jaunt (1 quick train transfer at a nearby station) to Windsor!

As you approach, you can see Windsor Castle which is stunning. It is the largest inhabited castle, and it is truely remarkable – it surpassed my expectations! Addy noticed the Queen’s flag was flying, which meant she was “in the house”! Exciting! We walked the grounds, saw Princess Mary’s doll house, and received a massive tour of the State Apartments – including the throne room!

We proceeded outside to watch the changing of the guards, and then – headed to Freddy’s of Windsor for some Fish ‘n Chips. We were back at the hotel for a nice nap by 1:00pm (and failed attempt #1 at the leisure center’s pool!).

On Sunday, Caitlin had to study a bit, so Addy and I went off to explore. We tried the Pool again, which didn’t work. So we decided to walk. We walked miles and miles – saw some flowers, some parks, went shopping, got a snack, and ultimately ended up at Princess Diana’s Memorial Playground. WOW! What a place. Full of new friends (Matilda) and great families. It was a beautiful day – sunny and 70 – and we had a blast. After we were done playing, we tried once more (3rd time!) for the pool, which was a negative, and headed back to see Caitlin.

We then decided to buy Champagne tickets for the London Eye. The trip around the Eye is about 40-45minutes, enjoyed with a glass of champagne (water for Addy!) and a tour guide in the Eye. It was fun to see the city from ‘up high’. We proceeded on to the Science Museum to learn about the Apollo Missions and a little about technology, and finished our last time out and about in London at Kensington Creperie– yum!

 

We spent time later that evening at the Edge Bar in our hotel – enjoying wine, snacks, and Addy playing teacher. What an absolute blast. The next morning we headed to the airport, took a non-stop flight home, (sadly) said goodbye to Caitlin, and headed back to the boys!

We can’t wait for our next adventure.

Cheers to Travel and Family and Friends,

Heidi

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London – part 1!

After a quick flight from Edinburgh to London, we arrived at Heathrow. It was 20minutes tops to get through an efficient and effective customs process, and we got our bag within minutes. Ahead of the trip, I purchased Healthrow Express (train) tickets, and we were able to walk to the train and board within 20 minutes (trains come every 15 minutes). It was a 21 minute ride from terminal 5 to Paddington Station, and from there a 10 minute walk to our Hotel – Hilton London Metropole. By this time, we felt already well adjusted to transportation, and finding our away around!

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Our hotel we massive. One of the main reasons we booked it was due to the fact that they had a pool. And if you know Addy – you KNOW how much she loves to swim. Although we were in Europe – I knew we’d have some downtime. Sadly, on our first try at using it, it was broke and remainded broke throughout our stay. They offered complimentary transportation and use of a nearly leisure center – but after 3 failed attemptes to use their pool, we left the country without having ever splashed our toes in a pool. At least we tried 🙂

The food at the hotel was fantastic. We ate 3-4 times at the Edge Bar, in addition to dinner at Fiamma. Addy enjoyed being silly, the majority of the time. She’s a great entertainer.

After settling in our first day in London, we went to High Tea at the London Ritz. WOW! What an amazing experience. I highly recommend. We then proceeded to see Wicked at the Apollo Theater! Also an amazing show in an amazing venue.

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Our Itinerary: For those of you curious as to how we did 2 countries in 7 nights on a quick trip with a 7 year old – see below!

Monday/Tuesday: Flight left at 9:50pm. 7.5 hours to Amsterdam. 7yo slept 6 hours on plane. 1.5 hour layover. 1 hr flight to Edinburgh, Scottland. Arrived around 230pm on T- at B&B by 330pm. Enjoyed dinner, and early to bed.

Wednesday: Up at 830am for Brerakfast. Spent the day hiking. Arthur’s Seat, Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood if open/time. Dinner in downtown (The Outsider is recommended), and then to bed. Tax to and from dinner is only 10 pounds.

Thursday: Leave around 7:00am for a 9:00am flight. 1 hr flight to London. See above for how awesome the Heathrow Express is, as well as the location of our hotel to Paddington. Recommend a 5p or 530p tea, with a 730p show!

Friday: Explore London Sights (stay tuned for a future blog post with details)

Saturday: Windsor Castle in morning (stay tune for amazing way to get there and back); R&R and homework in the afternoon

Sunday: R&R and homework morning, London eye PM, dinner or another show

Monday: Pack up, amazing breakfast, head to Paddingdon for return train at 10:00am for a 12:45pm flight. Nonstop 8hr flight from London to MSP!

~~~CHEERS! ~~~Heidi

 

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Our Trip to Scotland and England!

After a 2 1/2 week hiatus, the Blog Writing is Back! We’ve had some amazingly packed days, and can’t wait to share with you the amazing places we have been blessed to visit

On May 16th, Addy, Caitlin, and I set off for Edinburgh, Scotland and London, England! What a trek!

We started with a great non-stop flight to Amsterdam on Delta, quick layover, and on to Edinburgh. Immediately on entering the taxi to take us to our B&B, Addy noticed that they were driving on the other side of the road! 

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Lots of card games!

After a quick 20-25 drive from the airport, we arrived at 94DR. This amazing, quaint yet modern guest house is a perfect 10. It was reasonably priced, in a residential neighborhood but within walking distance to a great Pub (Salsbury Arms), and easily accessible to the Royal Mile, Arthur’s Seat, and the Edinburg Castle!

Our host, Paul, was amazing. From a warm greeting to the ridiculously awesome breakfast to helping us plan out our 1 full day in Edinburg, we couldn’t have asked for anything better.

Our room was nice, had a large King bed and they set up a cute trundle bed by the window. Our bathroom was large, with a beautiful tub.

After enjoying our first meal at Salsbury Arms, we took a nap from 7-11pm, was up from 11p-1a, and then slept soundly until breakfast at 830am! Although the weather was 57F and rainy, we put on the rain coats and proceeded to hike up Arthur’s Seat, past Holyrood Palace (the queens official residence in Scotland), past the parliament, up the Royal Mile, and straight to Edinburgh Castle (we put in about 8-10 miles this day!)

The Castle was magnificent. We learned a lot and saw many various buildings – from prison cells to the Crown Jewels of Scotland. We also enjoyed having tea and seeing the cannon fire at 1pm (they fire at 1pm because they are very frugal – and this only takes 1 cannon instead of 12!).

Afterwards, we did some shopping, saw the Elephant Room (JK Rowling wrote her early Harry Potter books here, using the castle as inspiration from the back room!) That evening we had a splendid dinner at The Outsider. We highly recommend it, if you are in town.

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The next morning, we caught a British Airways flight to London – and were off for the rest of our adventure. (Stay tuned!)

Overall, Scotland was marvelous. We can not wait to return someday to see the rest of this beautiful, green, lush, friendly place.

Cheers To Adventure,

Heidi

 

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