What to do in Singapore and from One Runners Perspective. A weekly series of daily itineraries : Day 8

If you’re just checking in for the first time, I’ve got 7 days of what to do in South East Asia that you can check below! Otherwise welcome to the continued journey bringing us to day 8 back in Singapore.

Day 1: Singapore Popular Tourist Sites

Day 2: Sentosa Island

Day 3: Little India

Day 4 & Day 5: Siem Reap, Cambodia

Day 6: Running Tour of Singapore

Day 7: Bintan, Indonesia

On this day, I ventured out to Marina South Pier in Singapore by metro to catch a 10am morning weekday ferry with Singapore Island Cruise. The cruise ventures to a couple of the smaller islands (St. John’s, Lazarus, and Kusu Island) off the southern part of Singapore, just past Sentosa Island. The ferry first brings you to St. John’s which has a connecting land bridge to Lazarus, from there they give you 2-3 hours until the ferry picks you back up at St. John’s Island for a quick trip to Kusu Island for 45 minutes and then back to the mainland by late afternoon.

St. John’s Island

Known as an old quarantine island for immigrants who suffered from cholera and leprosy, now vacant for campers, tourists and homeless cats and my main reason for this adventure. The ferry dropped us off at a jetty near a lagoon. I made a quick tour of the main lodge and campground sites before feeding the homeless cats that all seem to hang out by the bridge landing before heading to Lazarus Island. After a 15 minute feeding session, I made my way over to Lazarus which took about a 15 minute walk.


Photo 1: Welcome Lodge to St. John’s Island, Photo 2 & 3: homeless cats of St. John’s Island


Lazarus Island

Here is where the more tranquil and quiet beaches rest. I think mostly because it was a weekday but also being a secluded island, I basically had the place to myself except for a docked boat and two other ferry passengers. Although I’ve read, weekend trips here will be packed.


Photo 1: Bridge Walkway between St. John’s Island & Lazarus Island, Photo 2: Enjoying the quiet beaches of Lazarus Island


Kusu Island

After about 3 hours, the ferry picked us up for a brief stop at Kusu Island. This is a legend island known for its Tortoise Temple and fostering turtle sanctuary. The layover to Kusu was only about 45 minutes but have you enough time to visit it’s temple, shrines and sanctuary before heading back to Singapore.


Kusu Island and Turtle Sanctuary


After a relaxing, touring day, I made it back to the main island for ladies night in the financial area. Meeting up with my friend Katie, we started our evening at Level 33 to catch a glimpse of the evening light show of Gardens by the Bay and the Marina Bay Sands Hotel. We then headed over to The Fullerton Hotel rooftop bar called Lantern which has free drinks for the ladies. After several cocktails, we knew we needed dinner and headed along the waterfront near Merlion Park and ate outdoors at The Pelican to continue to get great views of the evening light show.


Photo 1: Katie & I at Level 33, Photo 2: The Fullerton Hotel Rooftop bar, Photo 3: The light show view from Waterfront


Join me next week as I conclude my journey with a last long run in on my last full day to visit the bizarre tourist attraction called Haw Par Villa.

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What to do in Singapore from One Runners Perspective. A weekly series of daily itineraries : Day 2

My bad. If you had been anticipating last week’s blog on Day 2 in Singapore, you’re probably thinking, “Man, she forgot” and you’d be dead on correct. But my good excuse is that I was traveling and snowboarding in Switzerland.

#firstworldproblems!

However, I hope you didn’t hold your breath and are still around because I’m back with what to do in Singapore: Day 2.

Sentosa Island

Sentosa Island is a connected island off the southern tip of Singapore. Known for family entertainment including: Universal Studios, Underwater World & Marine Life Park, Tiger Sky Tower, a couple museums, golfing, water sports, shopping, eating, and even a casino; my main objective was to visit it’s three beaches. The island is accessible from public transport at HarbourFront Station. I took a bus from Orchard Road which took about 40 minutes. From here there are a few options to get across to the island: drive, walk, take a cable car or a monorail. Walking is free and about 800m, so of course I chose this route.

Once on the island, I immediately encountered the theme parks. A bit of walking and I found an entrance to the monorail, which is free once on the island and has 3 additional stops.

I took the monorail to the next stop called Imbiah Station. Here there is a super Merlion Statue standing at 37m tall (4x the size of the one found in town at Merlion Park) and a magnificent tiled water fountain behind it. I easily walked from here, while admiring the fountain, to the next monorail stop, the last and most important in my opinion, the beach station.


37m Merlion Statue, Tiled Water Fountain


From the beach station there are two options to get around to the beaches, walking or taking a free shuttle bus. The athlete in me chose walking and to hit the 3 beaches would be about 2km. First stop: Palawan Beach. Here is a suspension bridge that brings you to the acclaimed southern most point of continental Asia. I, of course, had to see it for myself. Luckily, I almost had the place to myself on a weekday but I’ve read coming on weekends can be quite the nightmare.


Suspension Bridge and Southernmost point of Continental Asia at Palawan Beach


I ran the rest of Palawan beach. Soft sand and teal, blue waters made for pleasant scenery. One unpleasant view was looking out into the Singapore Straight and finding hundreds of container ships that just seem to hang out in the water. At the end of Palawan Beach, I realized the beaches were not connected and either a walk by road or the free shuttle would get me on to the next beach called Tanjong.


Palawan Beach


I continued my way by foot and found myself at the most tranquil and less populated of the three beaches. Tanjong hosts a beach club with a pool, friendly waitstaff that bring you fresh, young coconuts while you rest on cushioned lounge chairs with umbrellas, enjoying the most stellar view. I think you get the picture why I decided to remain here for the remainder of my day.


Tanjong Beach


Once I took in my fill of R&R, I made my way back by shuttle bus. Because the shuttle runs on a loop, I got a little, passerby tour past Siloso Beach, which is where all the water sports are done, before getting back off at beach station. From here I was able to hop on the monorail, get back over the bridge towards public transport and hop on a bus back into town to grab some late take out dinner. Picture perfect day!

Part 2: USA – Making my way along the East Coast

Last week I went over some day and weekend trips that I went on, around a little bit of Europe, after my completion of the Berlin Marathon. The purpose was to show my number 1 spectator, my dad from Massachusetts, a little bit of the surrounding areas that are near to where I live in France. You can read it here.

After he stayed with us for a couple weeks, we (me, Julien, and my dad) all flew to the USA in early October. This would be mine and Julien’s first vacation of the year together since snowboarding in the winter. We had a few reasons to make a 3 week trip…first: I was a bridesmaid in 2 weddings, second: we wanted to hit up a few spots Julien had never been to before, and third: if you’re going to fly somewhere that takes at least a half day to get to and throw in some jet lag, you should make it worth your while.

So here is a continuation from last weeks blog, part 2: USA.

Danbury, CT

Wedding number 1 of my trip back home included an old roommate and one of my best friends from Northeastern University, Jocelyn and her groom Ryan. The wedding was held at The Candlewood Inn in Connecticut. It was a blast and I wish them much love and happiness in the future!

Dress Rehearsal

Dress Rehearsal

Bride’s Wedding Party

Bride’s Wedding Party

Julien and Me

Julien and Me

Northeastern Girls

Northeastern Girls

Jocelyn and Me

Jocelyn and Me


New York, New York

Being so close to NYC, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to catch a few days in the city that never sleeps and visit my college friend, Liz. We kept the days packed by venturing out to Queens for a street art run tour with my instagram friend Marnie, who has the blog RunStreet, visiting the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, brunching with an old high school friend, and then the best part of the trip, taking a helicopter tour over the Hudson, Brooklyn and lower Manhattan. Awesome trip with awesome people and Liz just finished her second NYC Marathon yesterday while battling an injury, this girl is a champ!

Fearless Liz and I

Fearless Liz and I

Survivors Stairs at 9/11 Museum

Survivors Stairs at 9/11 Museum

NYC

NYC

Street Art Run

Street Art Run

Queens

Queens

Welling Court Mural Project

Welling Court Mural Project

Liz, Me and Julien in a Helicopter

Liz, Me and Julien in a Helicopter

One World Trade Center

One World Trade Center

Empire State Building

Empire State Building

Helicopter Tour of NYC

Helicopter Tour of NYC

Co-Pilots

Co-Pilots

Philadelphia, PA

Wedding number 2 was held just outside Philadelphia. We were able to take a short day trip to grab food at the Reading Terminal Market and see Liberty Bell and the Rocky Steps. The wedding was for my niece Kailee and her husband Chris. It was held at Normandy Farms and gave me a chance to see a lot of my family in one place. Those lovebirds are having the time of their lives in Disney World now.

Liberty Bell

Liberty Bell

Co-Pilots

Philly Cheesesteak

Dress Rehearsal

Dress Rehearsal

My great-niece Zoey

My great-niece Zoey

Bridal Party

Bridal Party

Kailee and Chris

Kailee and Chris

Family

Family



Washington, D.C.

From Philly, we continued driving south through Delaware and Maryland on our way to D.C. Another Instagram friend @clairerunsthere, graciously offered her apartment and took us on a fun run tour around the capital for us to catch a glimpse of the national monuments. 

Gravelly Point Park

Gravelly Point Park

Washington Monument

Washington Monument

Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

That little place is the White House

That little place is the White House

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln



Miami, FL

From D.C. we took an early morning flight to Miami. Here we finally were able to catch up on a few days of R&R.

South Beach

South Beach

Southern Point

Southern Point

Beach Run

Beach Run

Enjoying the Florida Sun

Enjoying the Florida Sun

Happy Hour and Cuban Cigars

Happy Hour and Cuban Cigars

Don’t want to go home

Don’t want to go home



Boston, MA

After a few days of fun in the sun, we finally flew back to spend our last weekend in Boston for a dinner with friends, Halloween and to attend a New England Patriots game. With a win, it was a great way to close out our trip. 

Miming it up

Miming it up

French Mimes and Cruella Deville

French Mimes and Cruella Deville

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween

Dinner with Greg and Liza

Dinner with Greg and Liza

Patriots Tailgating

Patriots Tailgating

Katie and I fit to do splits

Katie and I fit to do splits

Ray, Katie, me and Julien

Ray, Katie, me and Julien

Stacie made it too!

Stacie made it too!

Pats win!

Pats Win!

Til the next time!

Til the next time!

2 weeks in the South of France

I was unable to blog during the last two weeks as I was lucky enough to experience my second time in the South of France. Last year I was in Valréas, in the mountainous region about an hour and a half away from Marseille or the coast. This time was spent in two parts, first week in Aix en Provence and second week in Hyères. 

Aix en Provence is a university city about 19 miles north of Marseille and full of tourism in the summer due to its perfect climate. The city center is a hub for architecture, culture, dining and shopping. With 2 other couples, we booked a home about 3 km from the center. The house was equipped with things to do including a pool with tiki bar and fire wood stove, plenty of outdoor seating for many aperos, bocce (pétanque) arena, ping pong and bicycles. 

I also got some running and yoga in, thankfully due to the fact that I am signed up for a half marathon at the end of September. Otherwise I would have ate and drank my way through vacation…oh wait, I did that too.

Having some fun at the house (thanks to Sam for some of the photo credits 😉):


The city:

We did venture off and explore a bit a couple of days. One day we went to TNX wake park in Peyrolles. It’s a lake with a cable system to allow you to make rounds around the lake on either a knee board, water skis or wakeboard. I have only been wakeboarding behind a boat one time in my life over 12 years ago but managed to get upright. So I was a bit nervous on using a pulling cable. Somehow with a bit of luck and some good balance, I managed to get up. The turns were a a different story but I had fun and was sore for days after.


Another day we drove into Marseille. It was my first time in the city. It’s a bit rough in some parts and not the cleanest city but when we made it to the old port (vieux-port) you almost forgot about the negatives. We had lunch by the port with great seafood and entertained by street performers before taking a 3 hour boat tour of the beautiful Calanques along the seaboard.

 

One thing I learned about the south is the favorite apero is a drink called Pastis. You will find only two brands (Pastis 51 or Ricard) and people are loyal to only one or the other. It’s a black licorice taste so you have to have a specific palate, I do not enjoy this flavor but when in the south of France…


Our second week brought us an hour and half south east to meet up with 2 other couples, one who has a small beach home across the street from Plage de l’Almanerre in Hyères. We ended up camping on his property and enjoyed running, hiking, swimming, my first time paddle boarding, and beach life for the week.


Several days we got out to see other southern beaches. One being Plage d’Estagnol, once voted one of the best beaches on the French Riviera. Here is why:


There are three islands off of Hyères. One day we took a quick ferry to visit the Île de Poquerolles. Plenty of hiking trails, beaches and bars, it’s almost impossible to have a bad time here.


When I thought I had seen it all, thinking how much different could any of the rest of the beaches be, we went to Plage de Layet and home to Chez Jo, famous to the best Bouillabaisse around. First, The beach is a nudist beach. Second, you need to make reservations well in advanced for the restaurant (which thankfully traveling with a local, we had) and two days advanced notice that you will be eating the Bouillabaisse (fish stew) as it takes a day to prepare. As the rosé and limoncello flowed freely, I think this was one of my favorite days on my trip.


Needless to say the vacation was a success on exploration, gastronomic feasts, good times with friends, and full of sun and relaxation. Now it’s back to real life and work so I can save for my next adventure (which will be London this weekend to visit Dorothy)!

The Algarve, Portugal

Last week I had an amazing opportunity to spend time and vacation in the Algarve (the southern-most region of Portugal). 

I had no expectations of Portugal but I left craving much more of this beautiful country. 

A group of friends decided to rent a home 25 minutes inland between the cities of Faro and Tavira, based on the recommendation of one who happened to grow up in this region. We were led onto a narrow dirt road for about 3km uphill with, at times, cliff-like views. With some thinking this was a cruel joke and we were just being taken off the beaten path to end up as human kebab in some restaurant, we arrived to a lovely home with no surrounding neighbors, properly manicured land, a huge in-ground pool with the most breathtaking views. I was blown away and had to pinch myself that I was lucky enough to experience this for a week.


We arrived on a Saturday, rounded up a few groceries and had ourselves a bbq that evening. That evening I learned about the Portugeuse sparkling rosé called Mateus. At a little under 3€ a bottle, we seemed to have found our deliciously, affordable cordial for the week. 


With the weather between 74-90F/23-32C, we were able to have some R&R under the sun for the majority of the week. A few days were spent lounging by the pool, a few days of running on the trail paths behind the house, and a couple more out and exploring the cities that surrounded us. 


The first adventure was to Faro, where my friend Suzy attended university. It’s a lively city with a mix of high rises, old town heritage, bars and shopping, next to a beautiful coastline. 


The next adventure was to Tavira. A charming city, Tavira provided us with souvenir shops, lunch with my first time trying octopus, a boat ride to the Ilha of Tavira where Costa Beach resides along with campers in the natural terrain and small outdoor restaurants. I thought, “I could live here forever”.


I can’t forget my roots, as we were there during the 4th of July, and my understanding international friends allowed me to have an American day with patriot music, USA themed attire, and burgers for dinner. 


We were also in town for the semi-final match of the EuroCup 2016 between Portugal vs Wales. Faro hosts a large tv for large groups to gather to watch the game with street food vendors and beer tents. Such a cool atmosphere especially since Portugal went on to win. However, my alliance remains with Les Bleus. (But who am I kidding, it’s not like American Football or my passion for the New England Patriots).

In conclusion, this economically friendly, beautiful, country with Mediterranean climate and so much to see and do, should be on anyone’s bucket list.