Wednesday 14 January 2004

Honeymoon - Day 7 - Wrapping it up

<p>I must say, our last day in Singapore started off very well. I had an appointment for a massage and facial at the Amarita Spa in our hotel at 10:00am that morning, and it was fabulous!! It was a much smaller spa than any I've been to, but they did have two steam rooms: one Finnish style (dry heat), one Russian style (wet heat); they also had two whirlpools and one "cold pool". There was only one other woman there when I arrived, so I'm guessing more people use the facilities in the afternoon. So it was nice to get some time alone before they called me in for my appointment. The same girl did both the massage and the facial, and she was exceptional at each. It was nice too having one technician too, because you didn't have to move after the message, and just continued to relax. I really liked the way she did the massage--long smooth strokes, using pressure points to work on individual knots rather than poking or pinching or kneading. Very nice. The facial was good too, she gave me a lot of really good tips on how to better take care of my skin, and it really helped to even up the texture of my skin considerably, as well as clear up the acne break-out I'd been battling since the wedding.

So by the time I left the spa I felt incredible. I headed up to the room for a quick shower and met up with Stephen, then we headed out to grab lunch before going to finish up seeing the botanical gardens.

We grabbed lunch at this great mini sushi supermarket thing in the bottom of one of the large shopping centers on Orchard Road. So we grabbed a table and ordered some drinks and dived in. Good sushi. Then we decided something sweet would go down well, before hitting the streets again to go to the Botanical gardens. So they had this white mousse cake with coconut flakes on top and what looked like coconut on the inside. I get it back to the table, take a big bite, and IT WAS ONION! Who in their right mind puts onion in cake? Evidently the chinese do. (do not trust the Chinese; they are malfunctioning)

At that point we jumped street side to grab a bus to head to the Botantical Gardens. We had forgotten our handy guidebook, so we used the street guide in the metro to figure out which bus number we needed. The bus came, we got on, got to the point where the bus *should* have turned to go to the Botanical Gardens, and it DIDN'T. So we hung tight, thinking "ok, maybe it's taking a different route." After a long ride, we finally decided to ask the bus driver, and low and behlod, that bus didn't go to the Gardens anymore. So she dropped us off at the next stop and instructed which bus we needed to get on to get to the Gardens.

So we hop on the next bus, and I grabbed a route schedule. It would have taken us over an hour by bus to get back, but we did recognize one stop that we knew for sure had a metro station, so we got on that one, and took the metro back to the stop where we got to the gardens before, and got on the right bus, making it to the gardens in less than 20 minutes.

This bus dropped us off at a different part of the gardens than previously, so we got to see quite a different section as we made our way back to the orchid garden to finish up where we left off. Unfortunately, the bromeliad garden was closed (Stephen was disappointed), but we got to see the rest of the orchids, which were amazing, but decidedly prettier when it was raining. There was something about the rain that made their colors even more vibrant than in full sun. Perhaps contrast with the grey sky? Who knows. However, as we were discussing this effect, the sky started to cloud over and bits of rain began to fall. Fortunately, it never turned into the downpour of our last visit, but it rained enough to make the gardens even more beautiful. We walked past several new areas in our quest to find a bus stop (our day for adventure, so we avoided hitting any one place twice), and finally found one after exiting hte gardens and walking for a few blocks. The gardens really are a place that one needs to spend several long afternoons over the course of several months to really appreciate--preferrably with a picnic.

So from that bus stop we decided to go back to Little India to pick up a few things we remembered at the last minute. I got the feeling that we were on the verge of some fabulous festival as many of the streets were now lined with vendors and there was a large tent in the center of one square with chairs and podiums set up. We would have loved to sit around and see what was about to happen, but we had dinner reservations at the top of the hotel (Equinox restaurant) so we had to go about our business.

Dinner that night was an intersting mix of fabulous and unnerving. We had been reminded when we made our reservation that there was a dress code, so Stephen donned his suit for the first time and I wore a nice skirt-top combo with a favorite pair of heels. We looked quite the dapper pair and headed to the downstairs bar for a drink before heading up to dinner.

The view from the 70th floor looking out over the harbor and financial distric was really amazing; our waiter, with his obsessive compulsive lurching, was not. At first it was really pretty annoying, and then became comical as the night wore on. I'll spare you all the details, but it was pretty obvious he was new, and had not had a chance to familiarize himself with much of the menu. The dinner itself was really quite tasty, an interesting mix of french and asian cuisine.

Stephen informed me that the menu style was very french, except for the lack of "set" menus. Evidently, most truly French restaurants have several proposed meals that include 1 or 2 choices of appetizer, entre, dessert, cheese and wine for a set price, I guess figuring the chef knows what will taste good together better than the average Joe (dunno, just guessing). We ran into this at a few other places, and really found it to be the best way to make a dinner decision with unknown foods, so maybe the French have something there.

Anyway, Equinox only had one set menu, and it didn't really appeal to either of us, so we ordered a la carte. Stephen ordered Lobster Ravioli, I got braised lamb with this rasberry-burgandy sauce. Really, really yummy. Followed up with a trio of Creme Brulee's: Orange Spice, Chocolate, and Regular. Very, VERY tasty indeed. We stayed for quite while drinking tea and coffee, talking and reflecting over the city. Stephen became quite overjoyed when he found out they had a particular kind of apple-pear liquor that he hadn't had since he was in France. Nice crowning moment to the evening, and to the trip in general.

Unfortunatly the night didn't contain much more (though we were both in the mood for a stroll), since we had to be leaving the hotel at 4:00 the next morning to catch our 6:50 flight. Bleah. So back to the room for a quick nap, and then packed. And thus our trip ended. Quiet, full, contented, well-dressed, and reflective. Amazing city, fascinating country, definitely a place to return to.