Singapore’s National Day falls on Aug 9. This year, being 10,000 miles away from home, and having a 12-hour time difference, we got up early in the morning to catch the live telecast of the National Day Parade. Coincidentally the Singapore Armed Forces celebrates their 50th year in service this year. There was an elaborate display of our country’s air, sea and land defence capabilities. See1 was awestruck and got really excited when he realised that he will be serving the Armed Forces in time.
Apart from the National Day Parade, we were also looking forward to meeting and gathering with other overseas Singaporeans at the Consulate of Singapore, Washington D.C. The event was held on Aug 11. We travelled over 3 hours to get to the dinner, but it was definitely worthwhile.
We recently visited the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University (founded in 1812) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and we loved it! We were awestruck by the many larger than life dinosaur fossils on display. The museum is home to more than 30 species of dinosaurs, and about half of them are full skeletal mounts. There were also a record number of dioramas (37!) that we could see up close. And we even got to pretend that we were archeologists digging for fossils.
Memorial Day falls on the last Monday in May and this year, it was on May 29. We had arranged to meet up with another Singaporean family who lives in Virginia just to hang out with them. They are a family we know from our church in Singapore. Being out here and so far away from our families, any Singaporean (and even Malaysian) we meet is like family.
In recent years, whenever there’s a public holiday, our family will aim to go to the beach. The beach is the best place for Papa and Mama to relax because we would be so occupied with the sun, sand and sea that we would give them their much needed peace. Back in Singapore, the beach meant no further than a 30 min drive from our home. And since it was summer temperatures all round, we could go anytime of the year as long as it doesn’t rain on the day.
Here in the US, ever since the summer began, we’ve been visiting beaches almost every sunny weekend. But the difference is, the nearest beach is at least 2 hours away. Add traffic to that, and we usually take 2.5 to 3 hours to get to the beaches. But it’s also rewarding to know that all these beaches are natural beaches (Singapore only has man made beaches).
Where better to celebrate July 4th than the birthplace of America? This year, we were happy to be able to experience our very first 4th of July in Philadelphia, PA – home to the Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell.