Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Bye Bye 2013

This post has been long overdue for over a month now... I had an idea on what I wanted to write towards the end of 2013 as I looked back the year... But things took an interesting turn in the 1st month of this new year hence my outlook had somewhat changed compared to a month ago... 
Well to begin with... 2013 wasn't a great year for me overall... A few people that I cared/used to care moved on to different paths of lives and I sometimes wondered whether I'd done enough to keep these people in my life longer. The fact remains that people come and people go... Those who came left their footprints in my life and I cherish our times together... Good or bad... I wish them nothing but the best. There were few regrets but I guess those feelings will be better served as future guidance for new people to come... 
Work wise it was a challenging year with quite a few deals fell through or getting stuck... So it was sorta frustrating... This year will marked the 10th year that I'd first started working and being with the same organization. It didn't feel like a very long time honestly speaking and I definitely had some fantastic moments in my career but I can't shake the feeling of complacent out of my head. On the other hand, the uncertainty of changes does frighten me.. Should I step into the unknown? Do I really want it? I guess I should really put some serious thoughts into this soon.. Maybe... Maybe not...
Having said all that, there were happy moments. The best part of 2013 was my Japan trip in May 2013. It was really awesome that I finally got to visit the country that one point had so much influence on my teens. And Japan didn't disappoint me at all and it was one of the best trip I had ever had! Will surely visit Japan again soon. I also went to Yogyakarta for the first time with my sis and it was really fun too... Not as fun as Japan but it was a relaxing trip nonetheless. Travel always make me a happy girl and I don't think I'll get enough of it~! 
Oh I also bought a new place with my sister too and I can't wait to get the keys and start renovations and move in ASAP. My current place is showing signs of ageing after 8 years since I bought it. However, buying 2nd hand property is quite a pain in the a** as it's been 6 months and we still haven't sorted the final payment from the bank to the seller! I don't think I'd ever nagged or scolded so many people just trying to make things move a little faster for this transaction. It is now at the final stage and hopefully I could get hold of the keys in less than 2 weeks time.. Fingers crossed! New home new place new neighbourhood probably will bring new changes to my life this year which I'm certainly looking forward to~! 
As for my new year's resolutions this year which are pretty similar to the previous years... I hope to stay healthy and fit, continue to travel and explore new places, and perhaps actually to be able to build an exhilarating life with a special someone! 
 Xoxo

Monday, December 30, 2013

Singapore 113 - Universal Studios Singapore (Part 2)

After lunch, we continued our day trip to USS by exploring the Madagascar zone next. There's only 1 ride there which was the Madagascar: A Crate Adventure and it was very childish for me. The river boat ride was filled with the famous Madagascar characters in the statue form and some digital/sound effects but it was quite a boring one for me. 
The famous baobab tree from Madagascar but not the real one
Looked fun from the outside....
Good looking but still pretty "dead" statues
Battlestar Galactica from Madagascar
Then we reached the Pantages Hollywood Theater with the Monster Rock! Live Show. The 1,500 seats indoor theater was a welcomed break from the hot weather outside. We had fun watching the different Universal Monsters, i.e. Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolfman, Mummy and many more danced and sung along with some of the famous pop songs for close to half an hour. It was kinda slow in the beginning but the choreograph picked up towards the end. I still liked the air conditioned room the most... just like the Shrek 4D Adventure...



Walking out from the Monster Rock! Live Show we realised that we had just made a full circle of the USS by reaching the entrance of themed park again. Well it was definitely smaller than I'd expected. We then went to Lights! Camera! Action! Hosted by Steven Spielberg for an awesome soundstage experience offering the audience an experience on how to transform an empty soundstage to a hurricane hitting New York city within a few minutes with its special effects.  This is definitely my favourite show in USS. 





Well in about 4 hours, we'd covered all the major rides of the themed park (except for Battlestar Galactica cause my sister didn't want to try it) without even using our express pass on a Sunday~! Probably we were lucky. So we took some time walk around to take pictures with the things we don't usually see in this part of the world...  


The yellow cab~!




One of my favourite picture~! The extremely cute Sesame Street Puppets~!
We went back to take the Transformers: The Ride again and this time we were glad we had the express pass as the queue time was close to 2 hours! But with the express pass, we were able to cut all the queue and went straight to the ride without waiting... I could feel the not so friendly stares from those who didn't have the express pass but hey I paid good Singapore Dollar for it.

Back to Sci Fi City again

The almighty Optimus Prime~!
We were becoming bored so we even tried this extremely pointless ride, the Accelerator which was did nothing but spinning around for few minutes.

The Accelerator
Look familiar? 
Bumblebee



We decided to make good use of our express pass by going on some of the smaller rides that we passed this morning, like the Canopy Flyer in The Lost World which the line in the afternoon had stretched until an hour or two kinda waiting line. It was kinda cool and probably a mini version of the Battlestar Galactica: Cyclon with the suspended roller coaster design with our feets hanging in the sky.



The most childish ride in USS must be the Treasure Hunters with the horrendous mini jeep ride. The probs were awful and it was just nothing interesting to see...

What to see?
OMG so fake...
I liked that he's tall and he has six packs 

We also went back to Far Far Away for another round of Sherk: 4D adventure since I complained that I didn't actually feel the "spiders" moving underneath my seat earlier and this time I did felt something but it was just wind...
 

We gave up walking at about 4pm something, since my sister refused to try the Battlestar Gallactica so I was kinda lazy to do it on my own. In the end we found a spot in New York Zone sitting down and waited for the Hollywood Dreams Parade to start at 5pm. Hollywood Dreams Parade is a full scale parade running through five out of the seven parks across all zones, the parade consists of fourteen intricately detailed floats, special effects, over one hundred performers, custom musical score and the "Hollywood Dreams" dance song. It was quite a spectacular show with all the Universal Studios characters coming out to play...







Another of my favourite shot~!











When the Hollywood Dreams Parade ended, it was time to go home and thanks to the free shuttle bus provided by Resort World Sentosa we got a free ride back to our hotel downtown.


Overall, USS was a wonderful experience for me despite some of the underwhelming rides and smaller than expected layout. However, they managed to make up for the shortcomings with the top notch service standards and most importantly well thought processors for each and every rides, like lockers, shoes cabinets, express pass queue and extremely friendly staff that kept helping us to take our pictures. I just went to Legoland this month not too far away across the Causeway in Johor and the processors in Legoland left much to be desired compared to USS. Let's see if I could explore other Universal Studios Themed Parks around the world next...

For my part 1 adventure, please click here.
For more information about USS, please go to their offiical website: http://www.rwsentosa.com/language/en-US/Homepage/Attractions/UniversalStudiosSingapore#

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Singapore 112 - Universal Studios Singapore (Part 1)

My long overdue post on Universal Studios Singapore ("USS") is finally here! Last January my sis and I went to Singapore just for the themed park. We paid S$74 per person for the 1-day adult pass and another S$30 per person for the express pass since we were there on a Sunday and we expect a lot of people would be there too. I'm not so much a fan of queueing so the express pass would come in handy when the queue for some of the favourite rides were getting out of hands. We took the free shuttle bus for tourists (click here for details) at 9am which the pick up point is just right across our hotel on Bencoolen Street and reached USS in less than half hour with plenty of time left for us to take pictures outside the entrance before the park was opened at 10am. 





After lots of photos and selfies with the USS Glode outside the entrance, we made our way to the queue waiting to go into the themed park. Since we had the express pass we got to queue on a special lane for express pass holders only. There was a PRC family without the express passes tried cutting queue since our lane was the shortest among all but I guessed they didn't know how to read the signage properly and eventually being escorted by the staff to the normal ticket holders line. Next time please read the signage properly before queuing else you will end up even further behind...

The long queue waiting to get into the themed park

When the park was finally opened, we got in pretty swiftly thanks to our express passes and headed straight to Transformers: The Ride in the Sci Fi City. Of course on our way there, we still managed to take some pictures as we were the first few to get into the park, like at the Hollywood Boulevard right after the entrance to the park.  






Finally we made it to Transformers: The Ride and there was no queue at all! We got onto the ride without waiting and it was totally awesome. The special effects were mind blowing. Definitely my favourite ride in the entire USS!


My favourite ride in USS, Transformers: The Ride

Next up was the Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride in the Ancient City. Again there was no queue for it so we go on the ride pretty quickly. The best park I like about USS that there were free lockers available at almost all rides. Well free for the 1st 30 minutes and subsequent minutes are chargeable. Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride was pretty extreme and the entire ride was mostly in the dark. There was a part we thought we would hit a wall and the ride unexpected reversed quickly and moved on, that was pretty cool. My sis was cursing me non stop after the ride as she is never an extreme ride person and I coaxed her into it. Hahaha.... that was the whole point of coming to USS , to get the adrenaline rush wasn't it?









The scary looking Battlestar Galactica

We then went to the Lost World, Jurassic Park and tried the Jurassic Park Rapids Adventure. It was river rapid ride on a circular raft which we got a little wet. Probably because we had the whole raft to the only the 2 of us hence the impact wasn't as bad. The dinosaurs looked pretty fake though... 


Since we had some time left before the Waterworld show, we went to Far Far Away which was just next to the Lost World. The Far Far Away Castle was very impressive and picture perfect. We did the Shrek 4-D Adventure, which was a short funny 3-D movie with added physical effects, the Enchanted Airways, which was a junior roller coaster and no where near the excitement of Revenge of the Mummy: The Ride, as well as the extremely kiddo Donkey Live show, which the Donkey in digital puppetry form "tried" entertaining and interacting with the audiences. Overall Far Far Away was very childish but we enjoyed taking pictures with the special characters like the Fairy God Mother, Shrek and Princess Fiona... 
  









Around noon, we went back to Waterworld for the 20 minutes action packed stunt show in the arena. The show seemed very rehearsed and a little fake in my opinion, probably because the crew had been repeating the same stunt over and over again few times a day. The explosive stunts were alright but didn't impressed me much, just like the original movie. We avoided the soak zone and the splash zone, seated far away from the pool in order to stay dry. Some people didn't mind the water so they got pretty wet at the end of show. 








After a whole morning of running around the themed park, it was time for lunch and we settled for hot dogs at the Fossil Fuels F&B outlet at the Lost World right outside the Waterworld arena. The food was alright but for S$25.40 for 2 person, they were quite expensive hot dogs nonetheless...


More adventures in USS to be continued in Part 2 next (click here)....