field of lavenders

You’ll be surprised what a two and half hour drive will get you to. We ended up taking a road trip to the end of Long Island to find this beautiful and not so secret lavender field here in NY. This lavender farm located in East Marion, Long Island, is called lavender by the bay. There’s an $8 entrance fee that you can use as credit in the store. I would highly recommend buying the fresh lavenders! Along the long drive out, there are plenty of wineries with livestock (alpacas, buffalos, goats, etc…), cute towns with good food, and a nice ocean drive for part of it. So if you can’t splurge or take the time off to travel to Provence, this is a great alternative. Loved all the good photo opps as well! xx

lavender-0124 lavender-0125 lavender-0140 lavender-0301lavender-0162 lavender-0190lavender-0244 lavender-0277lavender-0134 lavender-0263lavender-0295lavender-0249lavender-0225 lavender-0293lavender-0273lavender-0304 lavender-0305

glimpses of paris

In 7th grade, I decided to make a 3-d glass model of the Louvre for my French class project. My mom drove me to the hardware store to buy the sheets of glass that I would use to make this pyramid. I bought black tape as well so I could line the sides of the glass to look similar to the Louvre. All I remember now are the many hours it took to construct my mini-Louvre, and all of my French has unfortunately seemed to escape me. Nevertheless, despite my disappointing French skills, Paris never seems to disappoint me. I could just sit for hours outside the Louvre on a sunny day, stroll in the perfectly hemmed Tuileries garden, and take a million pictures of the Eiffel Tower and never get sick of it.

paris-1365-2paris-1443 paris-1442paris-1398paris-1419 paris-1400 paris-1394paris-0038paris-0021 paris-0016 paris-0014 paris-0015 paris-0023 paris-0010paris-0008paris-1432paris-1431

paris in full bloom

I must admit that Paris in June is pretty splendid with sunny weather, flowers in full bloom, and sunlight until 10pm. After a late dinner, going outside the restaurant, and seeing that it was still bright out was mind blowing. I guess living Singapore, where sunrise and sunset is at a constant 7am and 7pm all year long, it was quite a breath of fresh air. So my list of things I love about Paris continues to extend with each visit. Yes, I’m a little obsessed.

It’s hard to not love a place where there are rose gardens everywhere you turn. I think I serendipitously ran into three incredible rose gardens on one of my days there. Seriously, walking around with my camera on the streets of Paris is one of my favorite things. Can I just live here now? Here are a few photos of the incredible greenery. paris-1379paris-0046paris-0043paris-0068 paris-0054 paris-0026paris-0034paris-1406 paris-1422

tulips in the dark

Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the LORD that will stand.  –Proverbs 19:21

I’m a planner. I like to plan everything. And sometimes, God is just like, NO. You just can’t plan everything out. Well, Petrina and I had our perfect plans set. 5:30pm, meet for dinner at the MBS mall. 6:30pm, meet at the gardens by the bay flower dome. Enjoy the flower dome before it closes at 9pm.

However, after a bunch of changes to our original plan, we ended up at the flower dome at 7:40pm. Yes, 7:40pm. When we went to buy our tickets, the lady at the register kindly informed us that it’s natural lighting inside and that we can’t ask for a refund after we go in because it’s too dark. So we still bought our $12 tickets and headed inside. The flower dome was pretty dark besides a few lighted areas. This was the first time I’ve been there after sunset. Many of the flowers we couldn’t really see too well. This was going to turn into quite an interesting photo outing. I found myself kneeling on the floor (in a dress) desperately trying to get a few good shots of the tulips.

In the end, we still had a good time, and ended up with a few decent shots. Now I can be the ultimate tourist and say I’ve been to the flower dome in the light and in the dark.

Here are some photos that I managed to salvage from the night! Tulipmania is a special exhibit at Gardens by the Bay and happening until May 10th! Make sure to check it out (preferably in the day)! :) 

gardensbythebay-1181 gardensbythebay-1158  gardensbythebay-1170 gardensbythebay-1182gardensbythebay-1203gardensbythebay-1227gardensbythebay-1217 gardensbythebay-1228gardensbythebay-1234 gardensbythebay-1238 gardensbythebay-1240 gardensbythebay-1254gardensbythebay-1256

lessons from flying a kite for the first time

I held tightly to the string in one hand and panda kite in the other. I started to run furiously across the green lawn, desperately hoping for flight. As I let go of my precious panda in the dark ominous sky, I continued to run, hoping not to crash into the people enjoying a romantic picnic on the grass.

Luckily, the sun had already set, and people couldn’t identify me (I hope) as the lady running crazily on the grass. I’m pretty sure my friends were laughing at me, but I didn’t care. I knew that I looked like a fool, but I was sweaty and determined. I was going to get my panda to fly. I could imagine panda joining the other flashier kites (glow in the dark kite and kites with flashing lights). So what if my panda was much smaller and not as strong.

After multiple accounts of running up and down the marina barrage, panda would unfortunately not fly. With a bit of disappointment in my face and an attitude of defeat, I handed my panda to my friends. They handed me the string to their kite that was already high in the air as consolation. I held on to it and watched my friends with panda. Maybe they would have better luck.

Then, the kind uncle, who helped us a bit before untangling our string, came over to help us again. He was definitely the expert, and I’m sure he was laughing inside at our amateur attempts to fly panda. He looked at our broken and misshapen panda kite and attempted to help us fly it.  The uncle instructed us with how to best fly panda. After quite a few attempts and an improved kite flying technique (unsurprisingly, my kite flying method was completely wrong), they were really close to getting panda in the air. Yet, even with the best instructions, there was no hope for panda. He was beyond repair. It was probably from the combination of us dragging him in the grass, and quite a few rough falls leading to broken pieces, that led to panda’s inability to fly.

In the end, there was no Disney picture perfect ending, just me taking home the broken panda. However, I did learn a few key things. First, some broken things just need to be let go of. Second, having a mentor (person who actually knows how to fly a kite teaching you) is really helpful. And third, when you are so focused and determined to accomplish something that is important to you, the fear of failure does not enter into your mind.

Some pictures from the marina barrage. If you haven’t been there, you need to check it out! It is definitely one of my favorite places to go for it’s incredible views of the Singapore skyline.

IMG_6753 (1) IMG_6796IMG_6821

spring cleaning

When is it officially time for spring cleaning, when there are no distinct seasons in Singapore?       –my current musing

I finally decided to do some spring cleaning with my blog. It’s been almost 5 years since I started this blog and it was in desperate need of a new layout and theme. Over the years, just like the changing layouts of the blog, I’ve shifted from just blogging about my teaching (hence the title), to documenting about my travels(check out the travel tab above), living abroad, food adventures, and more. It has been fun to see this blog morph and grow through the years.

Now that I’ve somewhat cleaned up my blog, maybe I should try to de-clutter my apartment, especially my overflowing closets….