While this one may be long, this is the last post about our trip to China… promise.
I didn’t feel all that rested when I woke up. I think that because of this fatigue (I think Bill felt it too) we haven’t taken nearly as many photos in Hong Kong as we did in Macau and Hainan. We had quite a few meals where we didn’t pull the camera out at all. Part of me wishes we’d spent the beginning of our trip in Hong Kong and ended the trip on the beach in Hainan.
Laikwan joined us late in the morning and we grabbed a taxi toward the home of a friend of hers. They treated us to dim sum for lunch that was delicious. These friends are a bit older than Laikwan and are friends from way back when they used to live in Hong Kong. Lunch was delicious, but I expected nothing less in the country where dim sum was invented. I got to try a new item that was heavenly. It was a steamed bun (bao) filled with a sweet sesame paste. It was warm inside and very much like peanut butter. I hope we can get another one of those.
After lunch Tommy was just about ready for a nap so we headed back to the hotel. Before nap time, Tommy and I donned our swimsuits and headed up to the roof of our hotel for a quick swim in their rooftop pool. The pool is definitely not set up for kids and the tiles, both inside and outside the pool were very slippery. Bill reminded me that Hong Kong hotels aren’t really known for their swimming pools. Tommy had a good time and that’s really all that mattered.
Tommy’s behavior hadn’t been great since we arrived into Hong Kong and we realized that we’d been dragging him from place to place, meal to meal, and he hadn’t really had any time to simply play. Heck, he hadn’t even had a chance to run around. Some fun splashing around the pool and jumping into the water helped get his body and mind reset.
Laikwan stayed with Tommy during his nap so Bill and I could do a little exploring without Tommy with us. We hit up the MTR station and ended up in the shopping area near the Ladies Market and then another shopping area around the Central MTR station. Bill was looking for a camera store but all we found were computer stores. I found a pair of shoes I really liked, but wasn’t sure I wanted to spend over $700 HK for them. It’s probably a good thing they didn’t carry anything close to my size.
Munching on some street food: deep fried octopus tentacles and fresh-squeezed orange juice. Bill had mango-orange juice. SO good!
After Tommy’s nap, we headed out and met up with Laikwan’s sister Mmm-Eee-Maw and her two daughters, Amy and Tammy for dinner at the Singapore Residents Club. It was a “members only” place and the food was really wonderful. We had some familiar dishes that we’d eaten at previous meals on this trip including slow braised pork, drunken chicken, and sweet and sour fish. We got to try a few new dishes that I really loved too. One was a crispy sesame pancake that I think was more of a dim sum item. A good time was had by everyone.
After dinner we walked around the neighborhood where the restaurant was. It was full of really high-end shops in the neighborhood around the Central MTR station like Coach, Prada, Chanel, Cartier, Louis Vuitton, and more that I can’t think of… you know, the places we can’t afford to shop in.
Also close by was Lan Kwai Fong, an area known for its pubs, bars and dining. It was decorated for Halloween and there were quite a few kids in costume milling around with their parents checking out the decorations and the handful of adults who were dressed as ghouls. One little girl came by and gave Tommy a piece of candy. Bill commented that Lan Kwai Fong must be one hell of a pub crawl since the street goes uphill and it’s made of cobblestones!
The Apple Store… this one was massive.
“Uncle Michael works there??”
We walked to the ferry building and rode the ferry back to Kowloon. It was windy and a little choppy, but it was still a beautiful evening. Taking photos of the lights from a moving boat proved to be an interesting challenge, but it was fun. I really loved taking the ferry.
I love this shot:
Knowing we only had one more full day left to explore Hong Kong, we headed back to our hotel for some much needed sleep.
This morning we all slept better and tried to get going as quickly as possible. We wanted to try and hit up a dim sum restaurant that was literally right down the street from our hotel. It’s a dim sum restaurant that has a Michelin star and it was recommended by Chris. We got there about 10:30 and there was a crowd outside. Bill checked the list inside and there were about thirty people in front of us. If we didn’t have Tommy with us, we would have happily waited for a table. As it was, he was already getting cranky because he was hungry. We walked away thinking we’d try again later in the afternoon.
We rode the MTR into a couple of random places checking out shops and looking for some fun items we can’t get at home. One thing I learned the hard way, most stores don’t carry my shoe size… even the shops in the touristy parts of town don’t carry anything bigger than an 8 or 8.5 (I wear a ladies 10). I totally understand why this is, but it’s still kind of depressing to walk away feeling like a Sasquatch, and there were some really cute shoes that I wanted.
The neighborhood where Bill’s aunt lives is not a touristy area. It’s home to a lot of families. We found ourselves at the MTR Mall and walked around. The mall was huge and we got lost pretty quickly. We explored a giant grocery store and watched a unique way they made cakes at a Japanese bakery.
Cruising the mall, I found a couple of stores that carried items I liked. Given my size, it was frustrating not to be able to buy much. Shoes were not an option, but I was able to find a few shirts, a puffy vest and a nice jacket. For Tommy I picked up a packable puffy vest that will fit him next winter. I left the mall feeling much better about my Sasquatch self.
We picked up Tommy and Laikwan and took the MTR to meet up with cousins, Samantha and Patrick for dinner. We had a delicious Cantonese meal at a restaurant inside the Holiday Inn Express (of all places!).
Roast suckling pig… the crispiness of the skin combined with the lack of fat plus the tenderness of the meat… neither Bill or I have ever tasted suckling pig in the US that was even close to this caliber.
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The yummy cake we picked up at the Japanese bakery (yes, those are vertical layers):
which Tommy enjoyed and shared:
Goofing off with MaMa:
After dinner we walked around Hong Kong’s Times Square a little bit and then headed back to Mong Kok to look for any last minute souvenirs.
It was a very busy night, even though it was starting to sprinkle.
We picked up some ice cream from an ice cream truck and cruised some street food.
Mmmm, fried things… the woman running this shop yelled at Bill she saw him taking photos.
Tuesday morning we were greeted by a lot of rain; not too shabby considering the climate and that it was our departure day! We packed up and Laikwan met us at our hotel to pick up some items of hers that we had and to say goodbye. She was staying in Hong Kong a couple of weeks longer to spend more time with family.
We got a taxi and headed toward the airport. We had some time to kill so we walked around a few of the shops and ate the meat pies and coconut buns that Laikwan had picked up for us for breakfast.
Killing time in his spiffy new shoes…
By 11am we were headed to our gate and boarded a Cathay Pacific 747. We were stuck in middle seats and Bill was sitting in front of us, but at least we got on the flight.
Tommy was amazing on the 11+ hour flight. He took a nap in the middle and enjoyed watching a couple of episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Unable to sleep, I watched four movies. We had some decent turbulence at different parts of the flight that kept us in our seats much longer than I would have liked. Tommy melted down a little bit near the end of the flight when he simply didn’t want to be in his seat anymore. I totally empathized with him, I didn’t want to be in my seat anymore either.
We got in to SFO around 11:30am and headed to Bill’s parent’s house for a much-needed nap. I think we all slept for about 5 hours before Bill woke us up. I took him to OAK so he could fly back to Salt Lake City for work. Tommy and I stayed in Newark through the weekend trying our best to recover from jet lag.
Jet lag is seriously no joke in a three year old. Three nights in a row Tommy was up at 2 or 3am ready for the day. I’ve done the jet lag thing going across the Atlantic a couple of times, but coming across the Pacific is a whole other level of tired.
Overall, it was a really amazing trip. Next time, I’d like to visit Hong Kong at the beginning of the trip when we’re energized and fit for lots of walking. And then we can visit Hainan and chill on the beach at the end of the trip. I would also love to visit Hong Kong again just Bill and me… or at a later date when Tommy’s nap time doesn’t consume so much sightseeing time.
This trip brought Tommy’s mileage up over 66,000 miles flown. We think he will likely hit 100,000 miles before he turns five, unless Bill’s job situation changes. I really hope this trip stays in his long term memory as one of his earliest memories.
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