If it were up to me, poor Chris would always be slumming it in crappy motel rooms I picked based solely on price. Lucky for me, Chris considered how much I loved Singapore last year and decided it had something to do with the luxurious hotel we got a for a steal. He recreated this scenario with a booking at Swisshotel The Stamford next door to Raffles Place. I freaked out about the cost. Until I got there. Singapore leaves me gasping. I literally gasped the first time I saw the National Orchid Garden. I did it again when I was ushered into my harbor-view room on the 37th floor. We had the same view–30 stories lower–as the famous Equinox Restaurant. During the day we could see the entire city, Clarke Quay, the Colonial District, Marina Bay, the Merlion, the skyline of the central business district, Malaysia and Indonesia. That’s a million-dollar view right there, baby!We were enjoying German food at Brotzeit (which incidentally means tea or snack break in German) when we heard the pop! pow! of fireworks. By the time we got back to our room another round started up. We watched from our balcony, eye level with the exploding fire flowers! After they died down we turned on the news. I loved watching the news in Singapore because it was mostly in English! The Youth Olympics was big news–the inaugural Youth Olympic Games began while we were there; many of the athletes were staying in our hotel and would poke around the breakfast buffet in their “Cypress” or “Thailand” jerseys. The hotel’s lobby bar even transformed into afterparty central for the coaches and coordinators. The day before we’d watched from our balcony as the Olympic torch–escorted by cheering crowds and buses of athletes–wove its way through the city. So it was no surprise to turn on the TV and watch the opening ceremony. “Here comes the Olympic torch sailing across Marina Bay on the back of a dragon!” cried the announcer. Marina Bay? I thought. That’s right there. I glanced out the floor-length picture windows. And there it was! We ran out on the balcony yet again just as the torch bearer ran up the dock, along the waterfront and into the stadium to light the huge torch that would remain lit day and night the rest of our time in Singapore. And with that, another round of fireworks vaulted into the sky! Search lights lasered through the air from the tops of all the skyscrapers and sparks crowned the tallest buildings like the fro on those trolls popular in elementary school. So pretty much, Chris found us the best possible hotel at the best possible time! We got to watch huge thunderstorms and curtains of rain sweep across the Straights of Singapore and deluge the city, fireworks and festivities, tourists on the dock near the Merlion, boats floating up and down the Singapore River…the view was the jewel in the crown of our favorite port of call.