Monday, December 29, 2008

We made it!

We have been in Singapore (SG) for 3 days now. The jet lag has taken it's toll on us. Kylie and I have given in to it. Sean kept fighting it and now he is sicky poo with a froggy voice and nasty sinus infection (so we think). We have managed to get a whole lot done and even enjoyed a night out with Kylie on our first evening.

First, I wanted to mention that our flight of 22 something hours was the most wonderful experience. That is HUGE coming from me. We flew "Korean*Air" and we had service with a smile the entire flight experience. I've flown on shorter flights with crabby flight attendants. The crew catered to a sold out flight and they were always eager to please. The service was truly A+. From the moment we took off, the crew started their services and it seemed to me that we were always eating. I completely over planned busy activities for Kylie and I. Sean said that the activities I had planned would have been appropriate for the other airlines he had flown but this one was definitely the best. We had economy seats with plenty of leg room, tv's for every seat, a port for our laptops and free wine and beer...need I say more? - lol!!  The flight was smooth throughout and Kylie did not complain once about having to be buckled in throughout the flight. She slept alot, watched TV and we gave her a few gifts here and there which she loved! We still have unopened gifts that I had planned to give her as a way to keep her occupy but we ended up not needing them at the time. I'll save them for a rainy day.  

I had a tough time falling asleep on the flights. I tried really hard but my body just refused to sleep in a vertical position. I finally fell asleep for an hour during the last flight which was a six hour flight.  I was okay for a little bit but by the time we arrived I started getting a little crabby. I wanted a BED big time!!  We barely made it on that last flight, by the way. Our layover was approx 55 min. We arrived a few minutes later from the previous flight then we had to go thru a security check point once we arrived in Korea. We had approx 5 min to run from the gate we had arrived to our next gate. We were hauling 6 carry ons which according to hubby were the heaviest carry ons he has ever had in all of his previous travel - lol!! When we arrived into Singapore we were ecstatic to find out that our luggage had made it as well. That was just the icing on our wonderful travel experience.

My first reaction while riding in a cab to our hotel was how lush and beautiful the landscaping was. The trees are so nicely manucared that they remind me of the little bonzai (sp)? plants. This amazing place is a melting pot of cultures. Everything is in English by the way. I would describe it a little like Manhattan or any big city but tropical, lovely palm trees and 100 times cleaner. There are signs all over about the fines if you litter. We ventured out Saturday night and walked to an area near our hotel that felt like we were in South*Beach on steroids. There was so much to see and do. The restaurants had all sorts of offerings from every culture including a Cuban restaurant which really blew me away to see. The Christmas decorations are over the top. They are beautiful!! All restaurants have outside seating which Sean and I really enjoy. We ate at a restaurant Saturday night and we were seated next to the river were tour boats adorned "with lanterns passed by. It reminded me a little of the famous place in "Italy" with the gondolas minus the lanterns of course - lol! 

By the way, we are getting alot of double takes from people who look at Kylie and then look at us then they look at Kylie again - lol! No one has asked us any questions which I would of course welcome and love to talk about our adoption process. I keep joking with Sean that we could never ever let Kylie out of our sight because people are not going to assume that she belongs to "those Americans" - ha, ha!! Everyone is really courteous and friendly.

Yesterday we went shopping for some of my essentials, a hair dryer, a flat iron and an iron! My Chi does not work here and I feel lost without it. My hair is not cooperating with the humidity. Speaking of shopping - WOW!!! Their are thousands of stores in the malls or at least it feels that way. I'm not sure that I will ever get thru one mall end to end. It is huge! So far, we had our walk thru of the apt. Kylie jumped for joy at the view from our apt. I caught a pic of her in mid air which I will post once I overcome the challenges I'm having with posting pics. We have a lovely view of the largest pool I have ever seen in my life. I let Kylie pick out her own room and she immediately went for the master -  she is no fool:-) I asked her to pick a different room which she did. Surprisingly it was not the other one with the pool view. I asked her several times which room she wanted and she chose the same one. Kylie is so funny and continues to amaze me. She walked thru each room unprompted letting me know what we needed for each one. She started with the bathrooms and she said we needed soap, toothpaste and toilet paper. She then said she needed a bed for her room and so on. I found it quite entertaining. We ordered our cable, internet and phone services (apparently not as easy as the states). It took us approx 2 hrs to get that done. I can usually get that done with a phone call but here we have to appear in person. Conveniently enough they are located at the mall:-) We signed Kylie up for her new school and she loves it. While we were filling our paperwork, Kylie kept running back and forth to her new playground and us. She kept smiling the whole time. We will take her tomorrow as a little trial run to see how she does. We hope to order our  furniture this afternoon after Kylie's nap. The list seems endless at the moment but we are crossing them off one by one. 

Overall it is turning out to be an amazing experience for our family and one that we are so thankful to have the opportunity to do. I was a little sad about leaving my job and my home but sometimes you need that little kick in the butt to take one out of their comfort zone and experience what life has to offer. In an earlier post I mention that a very good source told me that SG was beautiful, fun and exciting. That good source was hubby who came to  SG to start work and get things in order for us including finding us an apt and school for Kylie. I didn't mention that because well you just never know who is reading this stuff - right? He did a fantastic job as I knew he would. He came back so that we can spend Christmas Eve with the family and we all flew to SG together. He also mentioned to me that he thought SG was paradise. My hubby doesn't use words like that. I'm now beginning to understand what he meant.  We are just in awe of everything we are experiencing. 

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday. Thank you very much for all of your well wishes. It really means alot to us.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Travel itinerary - Just a few hours to go...

Just a quick note to say hi. Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday! As you all wake up tomorrow and do whatever it is you do to celebrate, we will be on a plane heading towards our new adventure.

I have not had internet for about a week now. I'm going thru withdrawals. I don't have the itinerary details but the summary is as follows:

12-25-08 Thursday - Christmas Day!

All flights on Korean Air

08:30am - Leave Orlando

10:10am - Arrive Atlanta

11:55am - Leave Atlanta - 15 hour flight - yikes!!

12-26-08 Friday

05:05 pm - Arrive Seoul Korea

06:00 pm - Leave Seoul Korea - 6 hour flight - double yikes!!

11:20 pm - Arrive in Singapore

Thank you for all of your well wishes. I look forward to posting pics as soon as I can.

Happy holidays!!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Eight days until Singapore!!

Here is sneak preview of the company we will be working for I start work on January 5th. We found a fantastic day care for Kylie where they will speak English in the am and learn Mandarin in the afternoon. How cool is that?!?! We also got in just in time as they only have 5 spots left!! Singapore is a densely populated small island. The fact that we didn't have to be placed on a waiting list is a miracle! I am getting super excited!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Let the count down begin...

Woohoo!! Ten days 'til we fly out to Singapore!! Bet you thought I was going to say 'til Christmas - lol! No typos, you read it right...we are flying out on Christmas Day!! I'll post the travel schedule later this week for those of you who'd like to follow along our journey while you are opening up Christmas presents! I don't like to fly so I'm trying not to let the thought of an upcoming 26 hour flight enter my mind because I start hyper ventilating. I am however getting very excited and can't wait to start our new adventure. A very good source told me that Singapore is beautiful, fun, exciting and we will have no regrets;-)

I have been busy, working, shopping and packing. I've done more shopping this past week than I've done the whole year. I purchased a second large suitcase and I'm pretty close to needing a third - lol! A girl has needs, ya know?!?! This is on top of my backpack with laptop, scanner and external hard drive and a carry on that will be full of important documents and tons of comfort food snacks. Hubby will have his own backpack with a laptop and camera equipment. Will the airline seriously allow all of this stuff? Kylie will be set with tons of activities to last for days (I hope). Sean had a great idea to have small presents for her to unwrap throught the flight. Isn't that sweet?!?! So I've been busy wrapping presents too:-)

I've been meaning to call lots of people to catch up with them before we leave and time just seems to be slipping by. I miss my bloggie friends, too. I haven't had a chance to catch up and see how everyone is doing. I'm having withdrawals. I'd like to thank everyone for all of the well wishes. I love knowing that you've stopped by. It really keeps me going.

Thank you once again to Ellie's mommy for wanting to spend so much quality time with my girl. It makes my heart very happy, not to mention how much easier it is to pack and not have my 3 year old unpack it all again. Whew! I'm exhausted just thinking about it. I can't wait for the movers to get here to get the rest done. Btw, the movers were supposed to be here last week but that's a whole other story...

Here is a brief overview of what Kylie has been up to. Thursday she received her Christmas present from Grandma & Grandpa Durney from Missouri. It was her very first pair of roller skates and she LOVED them. She let me help her and first and within minutes she was swatting my hands away as she wanted to stand and walk with the skates on her own. She did great! Friday she attended a cooking class with Ellie and she baked her very first gingerbread anything. It was a "choo, choo train" loaded with goodies. I'll post pics as soon as I get them. Saturday Grammy Rita came over to bake a ton of cookies with lots of sugar, sprinkles and m&m's. I took a little break just now to grab a few cookies. They are so yummy and that is why they must go with Kylie to daycare tomorrow - lol! Lucky kids!! Finally, today Kylie enjoyed another wonderful day with Ellie and Sagan this time in "play park" as Kylie calls it.


Monday, December 08, 2008

So much to do, so little time!! I've never thrown out or donated as much as I have this past week. It feels pretty good. We should have done this a long time ago. I can't believe all of the stuff I couldn't live without at one time or another - lol! The decision making comes down to whether or not an item is worth storing for the next 3-5 yrs or worth shipping and the answer is usually neither. So out it goes. We rented a small storage unit and although I didn't know it at the time, that was a great decision or else the entire house may have ended up there - ha, ha! 

Kylie and I went to a lovely bday party yesterday. The party was held in a restaurant where 10 or so kids got to create their very own pizza! I thought that was so cool! The kids loved it!  Our dear friend Ellie which is like a sister to Kylie joined us. The girls are perfect together and so well behaved. It is easy to take those two anywhere with no hassles. Then Jeanne invited Kylie to go with Ellie to a cooking class so that I may get a few more hours of packing done. Thanks Jeanne!!

Lots more going on!! The short version is that we have renters for our house - yeah! It's no fun having to keep the home looking show ready while you are trying to pack. I don't care how much people tell me that those coming to our house will understand or that they won't care, we feel that if we want renters asap, the house better look and feel like a mint! Another draw back is how paranoid I feel after a showing. I have to double check to make sure the pool bath door is locked as well as the sliding glass door. They have been left open in the past and sure enough today was no exception. Oh and for the other good news we have a lovely home picked out in Singapore - yeah, yeah! Things are getting pretty exciting around here. Stay tune:-)

The birthday girl, Natalie. All of the kids where given a chefs hat! Pretty cool!