Sometimes homeschooling days just don't work. My little girl floats between being off with the fairies and being a perfectionist with her schoolwork. When it's one of those days my girl just ends up sad and teary and the best recipe for turning that frown upside down is to get out for a walk.
Singapore's hot and humid tropical weather is not conducive to outdoor activities in the middle of the afternoon but getting out has always been calming and distracting. So that's what we did.
With sunnies, caps, suntan lotion and runners on (in case she needed to climb a tree) we braved the heat and sauntered across to East Coast Park which is literally across the road or really via an underpass.
The park is a beautiful 15km stretch of beach, sand, walking and cycling paths. In the five years that we have lived here, we have cycled, run, walked and played in the park countless times. No matter how many times we visit and that is often since it's really our backyard, it is always a visual feast.
This time was no different. We started walking due west towards our favourite hawker centre and around the cable ski park which is currently under renovation. We moved past the rear of the famous Jumbo Seafood restaurant which is renowned for its pepper crabs not that we could recommend it since we've never tried it.
Encouraging Trini to explore further we came across a potential tree that may be climbed and conquered over time. Trini's old climbing tree split due to bad weather and most of it had to be cut down. It was a very sad day and many tears were shed.
However, with this new tree there was some trepidation as the branches were much higher. Once I plopped her on one of the branches, she was holding on for dear life demanding I hold onto her. Not sure why, since she's indoor climbed walls as high as 20m. With patience and building trust, slowly she relaxed and allowed me to let go of her moving a few steps back to photograph her. Once she was off the tree, she was so excited she wanted to try it again. Now we have a new tree to master.
Walking on we stepped off the main path into a small forested area absorbing all that nature had to offer until we found ourselves exiting beside a lake.
With hunger beckoning us home, we returned via the beach. I'm sure the mosaic totem poles weren't there for climbing but then she climbs my door frames all the time and ropes in gymnastics, why should this be any different. Reaching the shortest one easily enough, she was determined to climb another. Unfortunately the mosaic tiles were too rough and after some leg abrasions and bruising she had to quit. Till the next time.
Strolling along the shoreline we came across a few treasures. A Lego Friends character hiding in some ground shrubbery, a 10 cent coin, a forgotten sand shovel and several pretty sea shells.
By this stage we reached the canal near our home which is a storm water drain carrying excess water into the sea. Crossing this canal on the shoreline is always a little tricky. It looks calm and easy and a small jump but the truth is that the current underneath is strong and the sand unpredictable. The sand may seem solid and compact but is often unstable and shifty. I should know I once tried to jump over the water thinking the sand solid and it collapsed beneath my feet dropping me on my knees and landing full frontal. That cut my morning walk short, needing to go home and get changed. Given that experience I insisted that Trini give it a miss (I had no spare clothes) but she insisted that this is an adventure and she must jump the "chasm of death". Oki-doki. Well fortunately for her the sand behaved, the current might've been a bit strong but not enough to dissuade her from crossing.
Satisfied with her adventure we finally took ourselves home for a good feed and a good rest.
And I'm pleased to say, her frown was turned upside down and I ended up with a very happy little girl.