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And then we came to the end…

January 27, 2013

We’re back in California now. After three weeks of being back in Los Gatos, it still hardly seems real.

So, I’m turning back to this blog to “wrap it up”.

Our final days in Singapore were wonderful, bittersweet and touching. We had numerous going away parties! We felt so loved and so lucky for the farewell from friends.

Ben's an enthusiastic party goer!  Here are some of our favorite neighbors - Brenton, Adrian, Alex, Nicholas, Pacific, Lanceton, Nicky Grigg

Ben’s an enthusiastic party goer! Here are some of our favorite neighbors – Brenton, Adrian, Alex, Nicholas, Pacific, Lanceton, Nicky Grigg

Here’s a couple of pictures of special friends:

Nicky Grigg - and Virginia - at the Ice Cream truck outside the back gate

So many afternoons and evenings and Saturdays and Sundays spent with Alex and his family.

So many afternoons and evenings and Saturdays and Sundays spent with Alex and his family.

Our dear friends Scott and Sarah had their new baby girl and we were so lucky to be able to visit her before we moved:
Dave and River Smiley

And in our last month at 26 Oakwood Grove, yet another stray cat took up residency. We were lucky to get Sarah (Alex’s mom) to adopt this kitty. They are the perfect family to take this cat from Ferrel to Family!

this is when Arlene and I capture the kitty to transfer him to Sarah's house.

this is when Arlene and I capture the kitty to transfer him to Sarah’s house.

And as Christmas approached, we watched our home get slowly packed away. It wasn’t too festive but we did our best:
Christmas 2012

The moving took over and we could only join in:
Ben, Alex and Davis getting packed away in our container!

In the end, it took a team of Malaysians to shut down our life:
Squeezing it all in!

And we haven’t seen our stuff since! I tried to tell my friend Sarah that “Home is where the Heart is”:
Home is where the Heart is.
She wasn’t the slightest bit touched by my sentimentality and quickly countered: “Home is where your Crap is”. Well, it’s been about 6 weeks since we’ve seen our Crap and we all agree whole heartedly now! We won’t feel at home until our crap gets here!

So, in the meantime, once our container took sail, we were lucky enough to be distracted by Ben’s baseball tournament in Bangkok. We all flew off to the 10 and Under baseball games being held at the International School of Bangkok. A more perfect distraction could not be had! The games were exciting and it was fun to experience the different cultural aspects between the teams. Ben pitched the opening game and the closing game:
Ben pitches

Getting ready to pitch

And after the tournament, we went up to Chiang Mai for one last Asian Adventure:
Ben at a waterfall in Chiang Mai

and Nicky at the waterfall

We ziplined on the world’s longest set of ziplines while in Chiang Mail:
Nicky on the ziplines.
...and Ben!

We went to some hot springs outside of Chiang Mai and discovered the local delicacy of “hot spring boiled eggs”!
the beautiful hotsprings...

buying our eggs...

boiling our eggs...

We took a wonderful bike ride out to a lake:
Chiang Mail Lake swim

They did the best they could with Christmas in Chiang Mai:
Ginger Bread house

Santa?

Once we returned to Singapore for our final time, we really just had to clean house and, the hardest part of all, say good by to Arlene.

Arlene helped me clean the mold off this leather jacket before taking it home to USA.  I asked her to try the jacket on.  I don't think she's ever worn so much clothing!

Arlene helped me clean the mold off this leather jacket before taking it home to USA. I asked her to try the jacket on. I don’t think she’s ever worn so much clothing!

We were all so sad to part ways. We’re staying in touch via Facebook but it’s not the same. Arlene was so much more than just a help around the house or a companion when Dave was gone. She was a friend and a good part of our household and family. We miss her everyday.

So, this chapter of our lives has come to an end. And, it is sad. Now that we’re back in CA and the trauma of making the move is over, it’s easy to put Singapore in the rear view mirror. But, we will never forget what we gained after our almost 5 years in Singapore: a love of Asia, a desire to travel more and more, and a strong connection with our family through our summer travels. We also made – most literally – a world of friends: starting with our friends and family from the USA who traveled around the world to visit us, to the friends we made in Singapore who now span the globe. Our time in Asia may have ended for now, but our world is forever enriched as a result. We have been fortunate.

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