A Surprise Staycation - Angel is 12

Posted by ~Summer~ on December 28, 2021
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21 November was a special day for us.

It was the day Angel, my dearest firstborn, turned 12. Yup, a dozen years have zoomed by since the day I became a mum and held this precious little girl in my arms. Besides it being her birthday, it was also a time to celebrate as she had completed her PSLE after overcoming hurdles in the last couple of pandemic-stricken years.

As a girl who is easily contented, I knew she wasn't expecting a big or fanciful party. In fact, she told me that she didn't need a party after turning 10 - although she loves and enjoys parties - as she understood the effort it took in organising them for her every year since she was born. Awwww. With the raging pandemic hitting thousands of cases a day and the house visit limitations, I decided to play it safe and not invite friends over this year. Nonetheless, I reckoned she deserved a little something special to celebrate this milestone.

So I planned for a surprise staycation and although I had it all worked out over a month before the big day, none of the kids knew about it and it was a secret we kept from them till the very morning. After the kids woke, we wished the big girl "Happy Birthday" and presented her with our presents and handmade cards before I announced to them...

"SURPRISE! Tonight, we are going to stay in a carpark inside a container. Let's go pack!" 

They were so thrilled yet a little baffled to hear that and asked me if there was going to be a toilet, would there be lights or would it be dark inside, how big was the space etc. So much excitement! Without divulging more details, I told them to pack their luggage and off we went!

Guess where we were heading? 

Yup, SG Hotel on Wheels, here we come!

If you haven't heard of the hype yet, SG Hotel on Wheels (SHOW for short) is Singapore’s first-ever roving concept container hotel which is set to dock at different locations around Singapore. We were greeted by all the colourful containers, which are located at Downtown East for now, and I said to the kids "See? I never bluff, these are REAL containers and we are gonna stay in one!"

Let us show you our room, shall we? We stayed in the 40-footer Peranakan Suite which was just nice for a family of four. The hubby didn't stay over with us so the space was enough for me and the kids. There are four other themes to choose from, namely Street Punk, Pop Art, Resort Retreat and Safari Paradise.

Since the room is rectangular in shape, on one end, there is the bedroom which has a queen sized bed, dressing table, wardrobe and TV, in the middle lies the living area which has a dining table, coffee table, TV and sofa bed, then we have the toilet and the kitchenette, complete with a fridge, kettle, electric cooker, microwave and utensils on the other end.




It wasn't a luxurious setup but we loved how cosy everything felt, especially with the Peranakan touches here and there and the privacy we enjoyed in this unique container. As with all our staycations, the kids were just over the moon to be able to have this getaway and the most important thing was that we had each other's company and were able to spend some quality family time on this special day.

BIRTHDAY HIGHLIGHTS

Let's check out some of the highlights that took place for the birthday girl. Well, actually the rest of the kids got to enjoy everything too but I hope she felt like the star that day because it was her special day after all.

-> Wild Wild Wet

Every room booking came with a pair of tickets to Wild Wild Wet and since it was just a stone's throw away, we definitely wanted to visit this fun-filled water park. In fact, since check in could only take place at 3pm, we arrived early at noon to collect our tickets and headed to the park for some exhilarating fun first.

It's been quite a long time since our last visit and I know how much the kids enjoy all these water park rides so I was really glad that we managed to have a couple of hours of fun before.... it started to pour! Yup, the heavy rain came when we were having our lunch and we decided to head back to the container to check in and get ourselves cleaned up.



BUT... guess what? After the rain stopped, after some debate and persuasion, we headed BACK to the water park! I had checked with the staff and they said re-entry was allowed, phew! Ariel and Asher were enthusiastic about the idea as they really wanted to play more while Angel was initially against it as we had already bathed and were in the comfort of our room. Where was the hubby? Oh, he went to the supermarket to get some groceries so I was all alone with the kids.

We eventually went back and this was my first time handling four kids in a water park! We made it in the nick of time to enter the Shiok River and it was Ansel's first ever lazy river experience. See more happenings in my video below. I kind of think that he will be the glue who gels us together as the other kids grow up as we all dote on him so much. For instance, the big girl is still happy and willing to do lots of kiddy stuff because she gets to do it with him and they have so much fun together. Awwww. It's also his blessing to have her too and I hope they will see it that way when they are all grown up.



-> Carnival

We love visiting funfairs and I have so much fond memories of them from my childhood days too. D'Ultimate XCape at Downtown East sits right outside the hotel and we were hearing happy cheers, ringing of bells and excited screams when we were having our dinner. So, of course we had to check it out too!

The kids played two games each, including Spin the Wheel and Hook a Duck, and I would have let them played more if they weren't so expensive. Haha. 3 games for $10! Anyway, the boy was the only lucky one who won a medium sized plush toy at the wheel and for the duck, they combined their points and received a small one too. Woohoo! What we loved to do was to seeing others play too and I think my kids would be happy to just stand there and watch for an hour or two.



Uncle Ringo is also just beside so I told the kids they could have just one ride, to which they chose the most exciting one which was this mini viking ride. Although Angel initially said she didn't need to take the ride, it was more value for money to get three tickets and I could see that smile on her face when I said she could go on it with her siblings. Thank you for thinking of helping us to save money but as long as you still love such rides, I will be happy to let you do it on the special days, my dear. And today was extra, extra special.

-> Hotpot

I think we might be the rare family who took the effort to go to the supermarket and get ingredients for a hotpot dinner even though Downtown East is just across the road and it makes things easier if we had just dabao-ed. I was so glad we did though, thanks to the hubby's suggestion and effort in preparing the meal while we were at Wild Wild Wet.

It was so simple yet so heartwarming as we sat on the floor around the coffee table and tucked into Hai Di Lao's tomato soup, complete with udon, shabu shabu, threadfin, mushrooms and vegetables. I dare say it was one of the best meals we ever had on a staycation and it would definitely be one of the most memorable ones too.


-> Surprise cake

I always make it a point for the kids to be able to blow a candle and make a wish on their actual birthdays. When the hubby went to buy the hot ingredients, I asked him to get a slice of cake for Angel to surprise her too. Who knew he came back with one whole chocolate cake from Emicakes and it was so surprisingly delicious that we nearly finished the entire cake! Yummy!

Watch the video to see the moment when the hubby and I lit up the candles in the kitchenette and brought the cake out to surprise the birthday girl. She was really over the moon and it made me so happy to see her big smile too.


-> Movie night

Every week, we would take time off to watch a movie or two as a family so how could we miss out that tradition while on a staycation, right? Even though it was quite late already after the hotpot and carnival, we still proceeded with our plan of having a movie night. Not just so, I even brought the kids to walk to a nearby 7-Eleven so that we could grab some snacks and drinks. Woohoo! Yup, late nights once in a while are fun!

We let the birthday girl choose the movie and instead of choosing an animated film or action thriller, she decided that we should watch Fatherhood, a heartwarming show about a single Dad who raised his daughter. Awwww. It was a good show!

Thanks to the girls, they slept on the sofa bed together so that I could have the bed with the boys. I think they were happy to have each other for company and we somehow always sleep well on a staycation. This also reminded me that it's harder and more costly to go for staycations and overseas vacations now that our family has grown to six pax but well, we'll just have to figure it out as we go along.






The next morning, we heated up our leftovers and also ate the cake and some fruits before we checked out. The kids happily watched Paw Patrol as they ate and were so reluctant to leave. Yup, I know, all good things must come to an end.


Thank you for all the happy memories, SG Hotel on Wheels, and for making Angel's 12th birthday a truly wonderful one! 

Don't miss this video below to see all the fond moments and happy smiles from our staycation!


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FAMILY IS EVERYTHING

We always emphasise on having family gatherings so how could we possibly miss out on celebrating with our parents too, right? So we had them over during the weekend to celebrate Angel's birthday over a home cooked meal, thanks to the hubby and my in-laws, and a cake cutting ceremony. Please know that your grandparents love you very much, my dear Angel, and that you are truly blessed to be surrounded by all of them. I wish Tai Po was here too but I know she is watching over us from the stars above and she would be proud to see how much you've grown and how mature you are now.


FROM ME TO YOU

Dear Angel,

Happy, happy birthday! I hope you enjoyed your celebration this year, especially the family gathering and surprise staycation which we specially planned for you. I know it's been a tough year for you with the arrival of Ansel, with me getting so busy and having little time for you, with the home based learning and all the hiccups, with the pandemic and all the ever changing rules, with juggling your captain duties, academics, PSLE, daughter duties and big sister responsibilities. 

But you know what? You did it and in fact, you did it amazingly well. You've gone above and beyond everything a mum could ever hope for and I am so proud that we've overcome everything together. 

Now that you are more independent and on the verge of becoming a teen, we will still have our challenges and bad days from time to time and I think that is just part and parcel of life. As long as we keep trying and never stop believing, we will be able to cross every obstacle that comes our way.

Thank you for being my trusted helper, a mini Mama to Ansel, a teacher to Ariel and Asher, a proof and constant reminder to me on why motherhood is such a rewarding and worthwhile journey. I love you more than you can ever imagine. I can't wait to see what adventures await you in secondary school. Happy, happy turning 12.

Love, Mama




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Read more on Angel's birthday parties here:

Angel is 11 - It's a Magic Party
 Angel is 10 - A Unicorn Party
Angel is 9 - The Case of Angel's 9th Birthday
Angel is 8 - It's a Sylvanian Tea Party
Angel is 7 - A Royal Princess Party
Angel is 6 - Sofia the First Birthday Bash
Angel is 5 - Let's Get Tangled with Rapunzel
Angel is 4 - Viva La Fiesta with Dora and Friends
Angel is 3 - My Bubbly Bunny
Angel is 2 - Oh Toodles, it's a Disney Party
Angel is 1  - It's a RAINBOW Party


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