Well, we arrived safely in Singapore yesterday shortly after noon and only spent 15 minutes or so getting all of our things checked through customs. There was a lovely woman working at the terminal who helped us with our bags and asked if we would be needing to sign-up for Space-A for a return flight as well. We told her yes, and she proceeded to get all our documents and sign us up herself (without us having to stand in line!).
She was chatting with us and asked if we had lodging, and was surprised when we told her we were going to need to find a hotel. She suggested staying at the Navy Gateway Inn & Suites. We would have loved to, but we told her that we had called the night before and were told there was no availability. She smiled and said, "Well I will call again. There are always cancellations." She picked up the phone, and just 2 minutes later, we had a 3-bedroom suite booked and waiting on us! I could have cried, I was so happy.
If you want more information on the installation where we are staying, go here: http://www.militarybases.us/navy/sembawang-naval-base/
We called a taxi and because the taxi couldn't come through the base gate, we had to lug all of our luggage outside the gate and over to the street. Again, the nice woman working at the terminal took pity on us and offered to help carry our luggage. She was so wonderful!
The taxi picked us up and managed to squeeze most of our luggage in the back, my friend and her toddler in the front seat, and myself, the other three kids, a stroller, and our backpack in the back seat. It was a bit comical to see everything all squished in there. The driver was wonderful, but it only took about 2 minutes to feel like an ignorant American. He asked what we knew about Singapore and when we said, "Not much..." he asked if we hadn't read anything about Singapore before visiting. Um... not really.... It never ceases to amaze me how much other countries know about countries in the West, specifically places like America, Great Britain, etc., and so often, Americans know NOTHING about other countries. Anway...
Our taxi drive was 26 Singapore dollars (roughly $31 USD) and it should cost less when we travel from the Navy Gateway to the International Airport tomorrow. Our hotel suite is very large and spacious, but there are no elevators in the buildings and we have a third floor room. To say it was exhausting to get our children and stuff up to our room is an understatement. But, it's a great suite for a large family or multiple families wanting to share a space and it was only $120/night - much better than the prices we would have found in downtown Singapore. There is a small Navy Exchange here, a Subway and all-hands club, and the front desk thought we'd be especially pleased to hear that the McDonald's down the road delivers 24hrs to the front desk at the Navy Gateway. For two moms with 4 kids who had been traveling all day, it was music to our ears.
We're not sure if we're going to do anything in Singapore today or if we're just going to hang around the hotel room. We have some laundry to do and since we had a long day of travel and a short day of travel tomorrow, we're leaning towards just having a day of rest in-between for the kids. I have a feeling that if we allow some rest, they're going to do a lot better when we have sightseeing that we'd like to do in Bali.