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You know you’ve brainwashed your 17 month old daughter to be a Star Wars fan when she sees this book and says, “Ewok!”

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I confess I was a blur Mummy, and didn’t realise that Asher had no school on Thursday until a day before when I heard it from other Mummies! So I felt a bit guilty, but then I was so happy too because we’d have a day to spend together! I decided to let Ellery skip school the next day and that we’d head to the new Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum.

I’ve been looking forward to it’s opening since it was first mentioned in the news a few years back. And when the announcement came that it was opened to the public, I was a bit wistful that the earliest we could go was in June. Asher’s in the afternoon session, so there really isn’t any opportunity to go on weekdays, and weekends are out cos the hubby isn’t so interested to venture there. So I was so happy and the boys were very excited about being able to head there to see the dinosaur fossils. My mum decided to tag along too since she had not been there either.

The place isn’t very big, but there are so many interesting exhibits to see. They estimate that it would take 1.5hrs to go through the museum. For kids, double that. We easily spent 3 hours there, and even then there were parts that we didn’t look at in such great detail. There are too many interesting things to elaborate upon here, it’s best you go see for yourself!

There’s no denying that the fossils were majestic, but I felt that they looked a little bit cramped in that space. However, knowing the background to the building and the museum, it’s amazing that we even have them in Singapore at all!

The museum is so much more than just the fossils though. The plants, the insects, the mammals, the reptiles…wow! So many specimens! I remember seeing some of the specimens in the old Raffles Museum of Biodiversity, and though it was small it already so interesting. What more this place where more of the collection can be unveiled. And I love looking at the names of the different creatures because sometimes they have such funny names, like the Old Woman Octopus!

We would have stayed longer if our bellies didn’t demand that we left. We had come in the morning at 1030, and our stomachs were calling out for food. I’m sure we’ll come back again.

Welcomed by a kaleidoscope of specimens

Welcomed by a kaleidoscope of specimens

Mmmmuuaaak. We love you dino!

Mmmmuuaaak. I love you dino!

UUUUMMMMM! I'm a T-Rex and I WANT TO EAT YOU!!!

UUUUMMMMM! I’m a T-Rex and I WANT TO EAT YOU!!!

The fossils of the three sauropods

The fossils of the three sauropods. There’s a light display every 30 mins.

Nice views of the fossils from the second floor

Nice views of the fossils from the second floor

The real fossil of the head still buried in the rock. The scientists were afraid that excavating it could compromise the specimen. So the ones on display are casts of the real thing.

The real fossil of the head still buried in the rock. The scientists were afraid that excavating it could compromise the specimen. So the ones on display are casts of the real thing.

Pretending to be the bittern

Pretending to be the Bittern

I never realised how big frigate birds were!

I never realised how big frigate birds were!

This is the most hilarious mating display ever. He puffs up into a flat plate!

This is the most hilarious mating display ever. He puffs up into a flat plate!

Croc looking scary...

Croc looking scary…

...Until you look at this eyes and he seems a bit goofy :)

…Until you look at this eyes and he seems a bit goofy :) “duh…”

Amazed how the size of the triceretops' leg.

Amazed how the size of the triceretops’ leg

 The Japanese Spider Crab has the largest leg span of any arthopod, and can reach 3.8m end to end! 

The Japanese Spider Crab has the largest leg span of any arthopod, and can reach 3.8m end to end!

Compare it with the Coral Spider Crab which is one of the smallest crabs in the world. They seldom exceed 2mm in length!

Compare it with the Coral Spider Crab which is one of the smallest crabs in the world. They seldom exceed 2mm in length!

The most boring specimen in the museum. The Boring Giant Clam.

The most boring specimen in the museum.
The Boring Giant Clam.

Old Woman Octopus

The wrinkly Old Woman Octopus. 

Beautiful colours on the nymph!

Beautiful colours on the nymph!

Pterosaurs!

Pterosaurs! Ellery was sooo excited to see them!

Funny flattened specimens. Probably because people wanted to find an easy way to transport them.

Funny flattened specimens. Probably because people wanted to find an easy way to transport them in the past.

Most of the bird specimens were preserved with their legs and wings tucked in, and it seemed quite normal. But I couldn't help laughing when I saw this Barred Eagle-Owl. The expression on his face made me think of a superhero diving to save some innocent people from baddies! "I'm coming!"

Most of the bird specimens were preserved with their legs and wings tucked in, and it seemed quite normal. But I couldn’t help laughing when I saw this Barred Eagle-Owl. The expression on his face made me think of a superhero diving to save some innocent people from baddies! “Here I come to save the day!”

Do take note that you need to purchase tickets from SISTIC before you go down to the museum. They do not sell tickets at the museum itself. This is done to ensure that the museum doesn’t get over-crowded. There are 6 visitor sessions each day that you can choose from when purchasing your tickets, and entry is strictly by session timings only.

Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum

Faculty of Science
National University of Singapore
2 Conservatory Drive
Singapore 117377

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So I think I’ve completed my transition to the East. I bought a bike! Cycling is so common here. Much more common than it was at our old place. So many people cycle, and it’s probably because of the flat terrain here. There are all kinds of bikes. Cool, new technology bikes, old uncle bikes, ladies bikes, road bikes, etc.

I got such an orbit (Singlish for gaudy or not very nice looking) bike, but it is growing on me.

I decided I needed a bicycle because I can’t keep up with the boys on foot. They end up having to wait for me, and we can’t go very far in the limited time we have for outings to East Coast park from our home.

I didn’t spend very much time researching bikes or anything like that. I just wanted something that would work. A basket, a baby seat, a back rack, gears, and a low slung front (the ‘ladies’ bike). I went to all of 2 shops before making my purchase. The first visit was before I decided what my criteria was, the second was after. I went to Chin Hong Cycle Co. and basically purchased the only ladies bike they had that had adjustable gears (most don’t have it). It was white with purple accents (including bursts of petals…), and as I cycled off in the bright noon sun I discovered the cables were sparkly! You wouldn’t be wrong to say my bike looks very girlie. Very uncharacteristically girlie for me, I think. But like I said, it’s growing on me.

Bought my bike from this shop at Joo Chiat

Bought my bike from this old school shop at Joo Chiat. The people there are so friendly and helpful! That’s my bike in the middle.

I think I’m going to name it Rarity. Because it looks like Rarity! Who is Rarity? This is Rarity!

Hahahahahaha.

Yes, even I cannot believe I’m doing this.

But really, it’s white, with purple, and has sparkly things…And I kinda like the My Little Pony Series. The boys suggested names like Icicle (too pokey), Snow (too soft), Glacier (too cold). I was at first thinking hard about spray painting over the petals or the words, but I think I’m starting to embrace my bike for who it is. Rarity the pony is concerned about beauty, is particular about not getting dirty, is quite ditsy. Quite unlike me I think, but I think we’ll get along fine.

I’ve taken Alyssa for a spin in the bike and she loves it! And Asher likes that we can now go much further for our outings to East Coast park before school.

I can probably go explore more bits of the area that are less car friendly too.

Now that I have a bike again I realise how much I have missed cycling. Growing up I had a mountain bike that I loved to bits and used very often. I had forgotten just how fun it is to ride. That feeling of freedom. Just coasting along. I love it!

Am itching to ride now…

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Carnivore

What is scarier, more fearsome, more ferocious than the giant T-Rex?

An Alyssa!!!

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She goes, “Rarr!” Then eats him.

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It was Ellery’s turn to go out without Asher, although in his case Alyssa still came along. So it was not quite a one-on-one date.

When I told Ellery about Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo and read the synopsis to him, he was very excited and imagined that he’d see many different types of dinosaurs, afterall the description said we could expect to see an “amazing array of creatures”. He was talking about the show from lunch time, and was bouncing around excitedly before the show.

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It started out promisingly enough with some prehistoric vegetation decorating the stage and the sounds of the forest bringing you into the dinosaur world. The show was delivered in the format of a documentary, with the presenter telling the audience about the different types of dinosaurs that came on stage. They started with a pair of baby Muttaburrasaurus, the dinosaur that at home we joke is the “murtabak-saurus” (murtabak is a type of Indian-Muslim minced meat pancake found in Singapore). I thought it was good how the host gave facts about the dinosaur and invited children up to pat the dinosaurs.

Baby dinosaur (Photo taken from the Dinosaur Zoo Live gallery)

 

I liked seeing the giant dragonfly, Meganeura, because we had read about it in one of the dinosaur stories at home. Ellery was really happy he saw the Meganeura and said he’d tell Asher all about it when he got home. They had several Meganeura flying all about the theatre, and the giant dragonflies landed on the children’s hands and heads, much to everyone’s delight.

Meganeura (Photo taken from the Dinosaur Zoo Live gallery)

 

Next came some Leaellynasaura, which the host consistently mispronounced as “lee-AN-na-saw-ra”. I noted this because when learning about dinosaurs I was particularly fascinated by this species. I thought I might have got the pronunciation wrong but went home to check, and actually even the KidsFest Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo factsheet says it’s “lee-EL-in-a-saw-rah”. It’s a small thing, but if the show aims to give children facts about dinosaurs, I thought the host should have gotten the name right.

A pair of Leaellynasaura (Photo taken from the Dinosaur Zoo Live gallery)

 

From here the show started to get less interesting for me, and from Ellery’s expression, for him too. A fearsome looking dinosaur puppet appeared, and while it looked impressive and served well to add excitement to the show in terms of a scary monster on stage, I felt that the show relied too much on this. The dinosaur, which the host called a T-Rex (more on this later), spent quite a bit of time scaring the audience. Rather than tell the audience interesting facts about the T-Rex, a lot of time was also spent getting children to feed and pat the T-Rex, with lots of false starts and sudden moves to scare the volunteers along the way. Humourous and entertaining, but not very scientific nor educational as the show touted itself to be (“…connecting young audiences to the real science of palaeontology”).

Hugging a 'T-Rex' (Photo courtesy of ABA Productions)

Hugging a ‘T-Rex’ (Photo courtesy of ABA Productions)

A kid did get ‘eaten’ during the show! (Photo taken from the Dinosaur Zoo Live gallery)

 

In fact, that wasn’t a T-Rex at all. The skull structure of the dinosaur was wrong (T-Rex’s heads are much more massive compared to the body), and if you see the photos from the show, the puppet has three claws. Any bona fide dinosaur fan will tell you T-Rexs have only two claws.

Let’s count the claws now, 1, 2, 3… (Photo taken from Dinosaur Zoo Live gallery)

 

The show was supposed to focus on dinosaurs found in Australia, but I guess they were trying to appeal to everyone’s familiarity with the T-Rex. I think it would have been better to stick to Australian dinosaurs so that the show is focused and the audience can learn something new about the less familiar Australian dinosaurs. I suspect that actually the puppet was meant to represent the Australian carnivore, the Australovenator, as this was listed on the KidsFest Erth’s Dinosaur Zoo factsheet. The Australovenator is a medium-sized allosaur, so the puppet would have been more appropriate.

When show ended with the head and neck of the Titanosaur, Ellery was surprised and asked me where the other dinosaurs were. He then said he wished there were more dinosaurs in the show.

Me too.

Indeed, while the show was funny and entertaining, it was not what I had expected based on the show synopsis. Charming, but ultimately disappointing.

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We were given complimentary tickets for the show. All opinions are my own.

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As the boys are still into military things I signed them up for the Children’s Season activity at the Army Museum – Cadets, Fall In!

Overall, it was quiet a let down. Even though the organisers included all the activities that were mentioned in the advertisement, they did the bare minimum.

BMT Training – check. The children were guided through 2 of many obstacles (more on this later).

Simulated live firing – check. Each kid was given one chance to fire the guns at the simulated firing range.

Grenande throwing – check. Each kid was given one throw of the grenade. This is apparently true in the army as well.  Each person only gets one throw, so ok.

Experience “hair-cutting” like a recruit – ok this is debatable. They would say, “check”. I would say, “meh”. They basically left a photo cut-out board showing the bald head of a recruit. Children were invited to have their pictures taken with it. Alright…

Botak (bald) Ellery

Botak (bald) Ellery

Botak Asher

Botak (bald) Asher

While the kids enjoyed each individual activity, all the in between bits were not that engaging. For starters, the whole session began with a powerpoint presentation! Each activity was also preceeded by a briefing where the kids had to listen to instructions on how the activity was supposed to be run. It’s good and well to follow instructions, but in a big group like this? Surely there can be a more interesting way. Plus, it’s a little bit anti-climatic because for each activity, only a limited number of children can do it at a time (sometimes one at a time), so the activity becomes less exciting than expected because of all the waiting around (for their turn, then for the others to finish).

Briefing on how to fire the gun

Briefing on how to fire the gun

Briefing on how to throw a grenade

Briefing on how to throw a grenade

Briefing on how to go over the wall (??!?)

Briefing on how to go over the wall (??!?)

At the obstacle course area, although the organiser wanted to keep the kids only at the two (least interesting) of obstacles, the kids (being kids) just ran all around. And most of the parents, happy to see their kids enjoying themselves freely, didn’t bother keeping them in line. In fact most of us were more than happy to help our kids do the rest of the obstacles. I think the organisers were definitely too conservative on this one.

The passing out parade – check. But kids were broken into 2 groups with one group getting to wear the uniform, and another only getting the hats. So one side looked more ready for the parade than the other, and none were fully dressed up in the uniform.

I think it could have been better done by making the activities more engaging. At least, keep in mind that you are dealing with children when planning the activities.  I thought last year’s activities, which were more free-for-all in nature, were more enjoyable. Perhaps having the activities in the form of station games, rather than having the whole group walk around together, would be a better option.

After the session was officially concluded, we brought the boys back out to the obstacle course area to have a good run around, and to go take a look at the military vehicles on display. That, they really enjoyed :)

Jon helping Ellery with the gun

Jon helping Ellery with the gun

Ducking after throwing the grenande (this was Ellery's favourite activity)

Ducking after throwing the grenande (this was Ellery’s favourite activity)

In the 'hat' group

In the ‘hat’ group

ORD liao!

ORD liao!

Happy to climb on the vehicles on display outside

Happy to climb on the vehicles on display outside

Sweaty but happy

Sweaty but happy

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We wanna go on holiday but Alyssa doesn’t have a passport yet.  So we’ll make the best of it and holiday on Sentosa :)

Since the boys keep playing ‘war’, we thought we’d go check out Fort Siloso on Sentosa.  The last time I went there was when I was in secondary school, and I remember being a bit freaked out by the wax sculptures because prior to going for that excursion I had watched the horror flick Wax Museum with my family. Not a good idea. I was so sure some of the figures could move. Very creepy.

Anyway, the information was all a bit too much for the kids and went over their head, but we adults had a good time reading about the interesting exhibits.  It would have been nicer if there were more interactive elements rather than just information boards, but I guess this place is geared to adults. That said, I do think the whole Fort Siloso could do with some sprucing up and revamping. It’s also a pity that one of the tunnels has been converted to a lazer tag place because the only way to explore it is to go play lazer tag.

Oh the irony...

Oh the irony…

In the tunnel

In the tunnel

Despite being a little bored by the exhibits, the boys liked seeing the big canons on Fort Siloso.  That was what they remembered most about the trip.

Funnily enough, when I got home and looked at the pictures I had taken, I noticed that this picture of Ellery and Asher on the blue canon looked a little bit like an illusion.  It looks a little like Ellery is enormous and Asher is tiny.  Had I realised when I took the picture, I would have aligned their feet to make it look more convincing.  I was wondering how that happened, then I realised the barrel of the canon actually widens as it reaches the body of the canon, but from where I stood it looked the same width.  Funny!

Giant Ellery, Tiny Asher

Giant Ellery, Tiny Asher

The barrel is not the same width throughout!

The barrel is not the same width throughout!

Thank goodness for my new baby carrier.  It made it so easy to move around with Alyssa and the boys.  More on that next time!

Our first family of 5 photo!

Our first family of 5 photo!

On the bus leaving the Fort

On the bus leaving the Fort

More about our holidaying on Sentosa in the next post!

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Brought the boys to catch the Dinosaurs Dawn to Extinction exhibition at the ArtScience Museum.

Dino welcome

Dino welcome

It was touted as tracing the development of dinosaurs from the pre-dinosaur age of the Precambrian period to when dinosaurs appeared in the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods.  I was in particular looking forward to the Precambrian exhibit since none of the other dinosaur exhibitions we’ve been to covered this. Unfortunately, I found the coverage of the Precambrian period to be quite sparse.  There was one room dedicated to it with some exhibits and write-ups, but I guess I was disappointed because I expected a much more in-depth coverage of the period.

Moving from time period to time period, there was also just a short write-up about the changing times.  Mostly there were fossils and models on display, with some information about which dinosaurs or reptiles they were, the meaning of their names and their diet.

Greeted by a fierce Herrarasaurus

Greeted by a fierce Herrarasaurus

Tracing the timeline

Tracing the timeline

The interesting part, for me, was that many of the dinosaurs/reptiles on display were new to me and the kids.  We had not read or heard about many of them.  And the ones that we were familiar with were not usually shown at other exhibitions.  For example, we’ve never seen cynodonts or dicynodonts at other exhibitions.  My favourite was the Ischigualastia. I just thought it’s feet were so cute!  Yes, a bit of a strange word to use when it comes to fossils.  But it was rounded and looked padded.  Not the typical claws you’d expect from these creatures.  Of course once you complete it with teeth and flesh and skin it won’t be so cute anymore.

Cute feet right?

Cute feet right?

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The whole Ischigualastia

Ellery’s favourite was the Saurosuchus, a type of reptile not a dinosaur.  It was huge!  And not a friendly looking fellow at all.

Saurosuchus eating some kids

Saurosuchus eating some kids

Asher liked the Sillosuchus because, in his words, “it’s skinny like me!”

Skinny Sillosuchus, and skinny Asher

Skinny Sillosuchus, and skinny Asher

And we got to see the Megalania too!  How exciting!  I didn’t expect to see it here because we had read about it when learning about prehistoric mammals (though this is a reptile, not a mammal.  It was one of the predators during that time).  This creature is from a much later period than the dinosaurs.

Megalania

Megalania

I liked that there were some real fossils interspersed among the replicas, and the boys would get excited and proclaim, “Mummy!  This is a real fossil!”  It was also nice that there were some stations where the kids could get some hands on fun too.

Lots of things to touch and feel

Lots of things to touch and feel

Trying to move like the dinosaurs

Trying to move like the dinosaurs

There was also an impressive display of what Liaoning, China, would have looked like in prehistoric times.  The boys had fun trying to spot the different creatures.

Transported to ancient Liaoning

Transported to ancient Liaoning

Psittacosaurus family by the pond

Psittacosaurus family by the pond

Confuciusornis (with the double tail) flying above

Confuciusornis (with the double tail) flying above

We ended up spending almost three hours at the exhibition, including 30 mins attending their paleontologist workshop where they explain what a paleontologist would do when digging up fossils.  They boys very much wanted to be picked as a volunteer, but unfortunately they weren’t chosen.  But at least the kids got to get up close to the demonstration materials after the workshop and look/touch some of the stuff.

Digging for fossils

Digging for fossils

Dinosaurs Dawn to Extinction runs until 27 Jul 2014, from 10am-7pm.  You can get your tickets from SISTIC and save $2, or buy directly at the ArtScience Museum counter.  There are dino shadow puppet shows daily from 10am-630pm, and a paleontologist workshop at 4pm.

Asher pretending to have the rounded head of the Koolasuchus Cleelandi

Asher pretending to have the rounded head of the Koolasuchus Cleelandi (the creature on the water behind him)

Attack!

Attack!

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Upon hearing there were limited tickets for the 2014 Singapore Airshow, I hurried to get some tickets so we could bring the boys for it.  They always like this kind of thing, and I wanted very much to see the aerial displays.

We had a grand plan of reaching the Expo at 730am to catch the early bus, but add in some dilly and dally, and we only got there around 9am.  The first aerial display was to take place at 1030am, so we were still on target, though I worried a little about how long the wait would be to get to the airshow venue from Expo. When Asher and I went for the Navy Open House last year we had to wait an eternity!

In the end, the whole process was very smooth.  They even had a lane set aside for people who are pregnant or disabled so that we don’t have to stand and wait for so long.  I could bring one kid with me to the priority lane so I brought Ellery since he was getting antsy, but Jon had to bring Asher the regular route.  Even then, the crowd wasn’t that bad, and they were through to the front in no time.  I think it really helps that this was a ticketed event, so the crowd was much less than for the free open houses.

We got to the venue by 950, which is really good considering the walk to the Expo Hall, the wait, the security checks, and the bus ride.  We even managed to snag a spot on the stands for the first aerial display.

Snacking while waiting for the first aerial display

Snacking while waiting for the first aerial display

First up was Singapore’s Black Knights.  We ooo-ed and ahh-ed when they entered different formations.  They did disappear from sight completely quite often when they were changing formations though, and there was no commentary so we didn’t know when to expect them back, nor did we always know what they were doing.  There was someone who seemed quite informed behind us giving a running commentary to his son, so we had a little bit of info.  Still, as it was our first aerial show ever, we were duly impressed.

Enraptured

Enraptured

Black Knights

Black Knights

Drawing a heart in the sky

Drawing a heart in the sky

Whoosh!

Whoosh!

Then came the MV-22 Osprey!  I was so excited!  The boys and I have always been fascinated by this aircraft and it was great to be able to see it in real life, and see it in action.  It was interesting to us that when in plane-mode it made the hum of a plane, and when in helicopter mode it made the chopping sound of helicopters.  We were amazed at how it could hover in a stationary position, and could even move backwards!  Ellery was especially taken by the Osprey and kept asking to go see it after the show.

MV-22 Osprey in helicopter mode

MV-22 Osprey in helicopter mode

The plane that Jon and I were most impressed and fascinated with was the F-18 Hornet though.  It was our first time seeing one and we found the movements it made very very unusual.  It almost seemed as if it was drifting in the sky, like how rally cars drift around corners.  When making overhead curves it also seemed to pull back a bit at the apex before heading downwards.  I think it would be quite an unpredictable and tricky opponent in a dog fight.

F-18 Hornet

F-18 Hornet

Another F-16 flew out and did an individual display to round up the morning aerial session.  When it was over we straightaway hurried to the Osprey so that we could go on it.  I was so happy to see that the queue was short, so we quite quickly had our chance to board the plane.  Ellery was super excited!  He even walked up to one of the pilots and said he wanted to be an Osprey pilot when he grew up.

The Osprey up close

The Osprey up close

Ellery with his Osprey

Ellery with his Osprey

Waiting to board the Osprey

Waiting to board the Osprey

Our turn!

Our turn!

Checking if the Osprey seats are comfortable

Checking if the Osprey seats are comfortable

The boys very much wanted to board the F-15s too but the queues were ridiculously long with waits of up to 2 hours.  In the midday heat we decided to head indoors to the exhibition area instead to cool off and have a bite.  The booths displaying aircraft models and showing videos of how their new weaponry worked in the field entertained the boys while we rested.  

Such a hot day that people took shelter in the shade of the wings of the C-17.  I was amused at how the crowd conformed exactly to the shadow of the wing :)

Such a hot day that people took shelter in the shade of the wings of the C-17. I was amused at how the crowd conformed exactly to the shadow of the wing :)

We were really looking forward to the next aerial display with the famed South Korean Black Eagles.  And they certainly did not disappoint!  We were impressed with our Singapore team, and though I love my country very much, I have to say we really got up-staged by the South Koreans!  They were incredible!  Where the Singapore team needed to disappear into some far away space to reorganise themselves into a new formation, the South Koreans could change formation in a short distance, mid-flight in front of the audience!  Sometimes they even changed into two different formations while on the same loop!  It was jaw-droppingly good.  There was also the visual appeal of the coloured red and blue contrails.  I was wondering whether each plane had two colours or only one.  If it was the latter, they must have really planned their formations well to ensure that the planes with the right colour smoke were in the right place to create the alternating stripes.  

Black Eagles arriving in style

Black Eagles arriving in style

They really qie-ed us (showed how much better they were) in every respect.  Besides the speed of their formation changes, there were other things.  We did a heart shape, they did a heart with an arrow.  We burst into a fan formation, did the shell and double helix, they did it with colours!  They even drew the Taeguk, a yin-yang pattern found in the middle of the South Korean flag.  The sky was also never empty when they were doing their display.  If the broke into two teams to do different formations, the second team would take over the instant the first was done.  To top it all off, they performed to a riveting soundtrack, there was commentary, and at times you could even hear the team leader over the sound system cuing the rest to change formation “NOW!” Wow wow wow.

Heart with arrow

Heart with arrow

Yin-yang

Taeguk – the yin-yang shape found on the South Korean flag

Tango

Tango

Diamond

Diamond

Another nice formation but I don't know the name

Another nice formation but I don’t know the name

The individual display for the USA F-16 just before the Black Eagles was also very awesome.  The pilot manoeuvred the plane to do some fantastic stunts like shooting straight up into the sky at an almost vertical incline.  He did a 9G turn that the boys still talk about until today.  There were spins, turns, fast fly-bys, slow passes with quick acceleration.  Very impressive.

I’m so glad we got a chance to catch the aerial displays.  They were really a highlight of the show for us.

After the second display we hurried to the F-15s for a chance to board the plane.  By then Ellery had fallen asleep from sheer exhaustion so I brought only Asher while Jon waited in the cool airconditioned area with Ellery.  The queue was miles shorter.  We only had to wait 30 minutes for our turn to board the F-15.  Asher was thrilled to get a chance to push the various buttons and press the button that would have fired off missiles at the enemy.  We then went to check out the Superpuma and the Chinook.

My skinny boy entertaining himself by crawling in and out of the gaps in the barrier

My skinny boy entertaining himself by crawling in and out of the gaps in the barrier

Preggers me attempting to do the same

Preggers me attempting to do the same

Completely absorbed by the experience

Completely absorbed by the experience

Shooting on the Superpuma

Shooting on the Superpuma

When Ellery woke he too wanted to get on the F-15.  By then the exhibition was ending already and many queues were closed.  Thankfully there were some nice pilots that let him sit in the plane for a short while – and he was all smiles :)

Super happy!

Super happy!

Testing out the Mistral surface-to-air missile

Testing out the Mistral surface-to-air missile

Ellery's turn

Ellery’s turn

The cherry on our cake was seeing the protoype F-35 Lightning.  My dad had shown us a video of this plane in testing before, and it was exciting to see it, even if it was just a model.

Model of the F-35 Lightening

Model of the F-35 Lightning

Cool jagged edge like the F-22

Cool jagged edges like the F-22

What an incredibly fun day!

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The Star Wars crazy kids watching Yoda battle Darth Sidious on a tiny screen.  They just sprawled on the floor near the main door after they took off their shoes.

"Engrossed" is the word

“Engrossed” is the word

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