Day -1 Signing On, Scrutinerring; and Orchids

The Car and the Rally:

Today our car was inspected for road worthiness and safety equipment. It passed without a problem. Next, we went to the Organizer's Room to sign on, get our route book and credentials. All of the crews and officials have now shown up and we've met a lot of old friends among the competitors.

Tonight there will be a Driver's Meeting, a cocktail hour and a group dinner. We've been assigned a start time tomorrow at 9:14am; very civilized.

The Singapore Botanical Gardens and the Orchid Pavilion:

After completing registration, Brant and I grabbed a taxi and headed across Singapore to the Botanical Gardens. As we travelled across the city, we both remarked that Singapore is the cleanest city that we've ever seen. There is literally an army of street sweepers, gardeners and maintenance men keeping the city sparkling. As you may have heard, it is a serious crime to throw gum on the streets (signs in the airport actually warn against chewing gum); engage in graffiti or litter at the many bus stops throughout the city. These rules are strictly enforced and as a result the streets, the cars/taxis and the parks are spotless. People are patient and que up for everything.

This is the orchid named after the
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
The Botanical Gardens were worth the visit. It is a large complex (we walked 2-3 km within the Gardens) with plants from Southeast Asia, as well as North and South America. I was most interested in the Orchid Pavilion, as I have just acquired a greenhouse and want to learn to grow orchids. Singaporeans have for many years bred orchids (as well as grow them). The Pavilion contained many orchids named for visiting dignitaries. The Pavilion contained special orchids named for every Royal, Prime Minister or famous person who ever visited the Botanical Gardens. My favorite was an orchid named for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who visited in 2012.

Our visit over, it was now time to pack up our gear and see if we can load it into our little Porsche and get ready for tomorrow's departure......not so easy a job.

One last shout out........before I left, I made a small bet with my grandson, Asher, on tomorrow's Super Bowl. He, of course, picked the Patriots, so let me end with a message to him: "Fly Eagles, Fly."