Friday, January 23, 2015

Spode Dish Factory

I went with a few friends on a mommy-field trip to the Spode Dish factory in Malaysia.  We had the best time and it was an experience I won't soon forget.  We met at Becky's in the morning and got our three car caravan ready to go.  We said a prayer, did a cheer and were off at about 9 am.  We crossed the border without any issues (except for toll top-up cards) and hit the road.  In about an hour we arrived at this little side-of-the-road pottery market.  It was typical of a third-world place. True Outlet shopping.  There was a nice aluminum roof and some big fans to keep us cool.  The plates were very dusty from being outside so long but there were so many lovely treasures.  We all had a good time just wandering around searching for new dishes.

I was looking for a set of every-day dishes and anything else was a bonus in my mind.  Spode is a European brand that outsources production to Malaysia.  Their retail cost is pretty high but we got some amazing deals.  After we had been browsing for about an hour we rolled up our sleeves and got to work finding some great dishes.    A few of us are moving back to America after being in Singapore (Asia) for a while so we knew we wouldn't likely get another chance to procure these items.

After we had all loaded up our goods we went in search of food.  The options were... interesting but we ended up at a little market and I think everyone was  satisfied in the end.  Then we loaded back up and headed home to our families.

Thank you all for a wonderful time, fun memories, and thanks for sharing your photos!  Credits to Robin and Sarah for adding to my post!

Becky and I choosing our blue and whites 
lots and lots of dishes

This is the Spode stuff

Karen and Becky

Emmett and Jess

really getting to work here 

Robin and I 

Margie and Michele 

More Spode.  I may be going back for some of these lovelies.

Our Group:
Margie, Sarah, Michele, Jess, Emmett, Becky, Teri, me, Karen, Robin and Laura (Teri's mom)

Fruit man.  We stocked up on fruit because it was 1/4 the cost as in Singapore! 

Robin taught me an important lesson today: You can order vegitarian fried rice anywhere and it's usually pretty good!
This was delicious. and spicy!  

I love this shot Sarah got.  All of us leaving the market with our fruit. 

I bought a few things... 

This is the set of dishes I got.  I bought 12 place settings of 10" dinner plates, dessert plates, and wide-rimmed bowls.
 I LOVE this color.  These dishes were on display in a nice gray color but I saw this color and asked if they had more of the same.  She brought out all I wanted.  I also got 3 large 12" plates and 3 big salad bowls to match.  LOVE this set.  I'm happy with my decision!  

I bought 12 dessert plates in the "Willow" collection.  I got 4 different designs, three of each.
These are all an Asian landscape/ buildings design.  I really liked them.  

Then I got 12 large dinner plates.  These are caged animals from the "Blue Room" collection.  

I got an ostrich. 

a camel

a tiger

and some kangaroos

Here's what they look like all together and with the dessert plates on top.
Also featured is the white table cloth from Greece that Katie gave me for Christmas. 

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Festival of Stories

The Elementary School at SAS celebrated Festival of Stories this week.  They had several days and activities devoted to stories, writing, and illustrating.  Evan was looking forward to dressing up for the culmination day: Character Dress Up Day.  He decided he wanted to be a YOP from Dr. Seuss's One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.  He chose the character and assembled the outfit entirely on his own (So Evan) and he was ready at least a week ahead of time.  He asked me every single day (even weekends) how many days there were until Character dress-up day.  He loved meeting the Author and Artist in Residence (as did Ryan: they had a different author and illustrator visit the older kids) and they even got a signed copy of Todd Parr's book!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

SEA Aquarium

I was lucky enough to chaperone Ryan's class on their Aquarium field trip.  We went to the SEA (South East Asia) Aquarium at Sentosa's Resort World.  There were two fourth grade classes there that day and not really a lot of other tourists or locals, so it was really nice and "empty".  The aquarium is quite a good one, the kids enjoyed it and took their time exploring throughout.  

Near the end of the aquarium is this giant ocean tank.  The kids spent a nice long time looking at the tank, lying down in an observation room, and just enjoying the atmosphere.  They play some nice classical tunes and it is really quite lovely.

I remember there were a few big bat rays swimming about.  I found them fascinating.  When I decided to photograph one, he started doing back flips; so I caught a pretty cool video of it!  

I'm glad I get to go on all of these fun field trips with my kids.  Especially ones that are indoors and have air conditioning!  

Ryan took a LOT of photos on his school iPad as well as a really neat time-lapse video of the big tank.  I'll have to see if he can somehow share those with us.  

Thursday, January 08, 2015

Jurong Bird Park

My kids were out of school for four weeks this Christmas break.  That's a long time if you don't do any traveling.  So, we did a little stay-cationing and one day we went with a group of friends to the Bird Park.  The Bird Park is just what you would imagine it to be, just like a zoo except only birds.  We had a great time and were able to see most of the park.  We stayed a good long time too so that was fun.  The group we went with ended up being quite big.  5 moms and 19 kids, holy cow, that's 24 people!  It was great though because everyone had a friend. 

The first thing we did was the High Flyers show.  It was really well choreographed and a fun 30 minute presentation.  One of our kids even got to participate!  

After the show we walked around and saw all the birds.  The pelicans are quite impressive; such large birds!  This one was giving Ryan his best intimidation face.  

At the Lory Loft you can pay $3 for a cup of bird "food", it was mostly a sweet liquid.  There really weren't very many people at the bird park that day, I think we were by far the largest group.  The Lory birds weren't too interested in our food but this peacock ate out of Evan's cup.  

After lunch we rode the tram around to the water fall and checked that out.  We didn't really see too many birds inside the atrium but we did get a cool encounter with this iguana.  Can you see him? 

We took our selfies and were off for the day.  I was pretty well worn out by the time we finished but so glad to have gotten out and done some Singapore exploring.  

One piece of advice if going to the Bird Park.  Pack your own lunch and snacks.  There weren't really any great places to eat and that was the only down-side to our visit.