June 26, 2008

Back to Hong Kong (slowly getting back to America)

Isaiah 41:10 – Do not fear for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

Yes … we survived our trip to Hong Kong! We have made it back to the land where they understand English, where the staring is pretty much minimal, and where one can find a McDonald’s within reasonable walking distance anywhere in town J … Steve suggests trying the Shogun Burger (I’m not making that up … which has teriyaki sauce and an Egg McMuffin egg on it … yum).

The trip to Hong Kong was rather uneventful, yet grueling. After bidding farewell to the lovely White Swan Hotel and the wonderful buffet, we finished packing, did some last-second shopping, checked out of the hotel and hopped on the hotel shuttle to the train station. Our guide Kelly was terrific, making sure our bags were taken care of and sitting with us until it was time to go through security. She even made sure a helper took our heavy bags all the way onto the train. We realized how wonderful that actually was when we got off the train. The train ride was rather pleasant … the kids played with their cars and read their books, while Mama and Baba looked out the windows. The entire trip took about two hours with about 45 minutes of waiting at the terminal before boarding. Compare that with if we had flown, and who knows if the rainy weather had any cancelled flights, and I can’t understand why anyone would pass up the train when it’s only $25/adult and free for small kids. The train attendants walked up and down the aisles hawking items...Olympics stamps, vaious drinks, and hot boiled corn on the cob.

Getting off the train with two strollers, two large suitcases, four backpacks, a rolling briefcase and two kids was a little rough however. After begging one of the employees to let Steve back on the train to retrieve one forgotten item, we lumbered up the elevator, through customs, and out to the taxi stand via a bathroom break in a under-air-conditioned train station … well let’s just say Steve’s shirt felt like he was back in the White Swan swimming pool playing shark with Sheehan. After breaking through a little language barrier with the cab driver, we all sat in the back seat of the cab where a mini-World War IV broke out between Sheehan and Josiah, and then Sheehan and Baba. When three guys are all hot, tired, hungry and two of them are under the weather, it’s not a good mix. Cooler heads prevailed however, and we were on our way to the Royal Pacific Hotel and Towers.

Steve will confess while driving to the hotel, he became a little apprehensive about his choice in hotels. Remembering that this hotel was chosen based on it’s reasonable rates, he began to wonder how this hotel would stack up to the Renaissance, Sofitel and White Swan. Upon arriving though, his worries were allayed. The staff was very attentive to our “baggage challenges”, and when we got to our room, we were rewarded with a very nice view of Hong Kong harbor and an even larger room with a couch to boot. After soaking that in for awhile, we went hunting for food. We took a pedestrian walkway above the crowded streets to Kowloon Park which was dramatically nicer than we were expecting. This is a very large park, perhaps on par with Chicago’s Lincoln Park. There are Chinese gardens, a rather impressive aviary (Steve pretended he knew what she meant when Katherine said: Do you want to see the aviary? In my head I was thinking … what is that … a fancy name for an airport?) We stumbled on a McDonald’s in the park where Steve feasted on the Shogun Burger, and then walked the park before finding another McDonald’s kiosk that sold only ice cream. We indulged, then seeing some yawns from the kids we headed back to the hotel. We were then treated to a view of the Hong Kong light show from the comfort of our hotel room, and after some book reading, it was lights out.

Tomorrow, as long as the weather permits, we will head to Hong Kong Disneyland … Sheehan is excited, but when we mention it to Josiah he has that look on his face like Steve did when Katherine mentioned the Aviary J.

Until tomorrow, Good Night (good morning).

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  1. Anonymous9:08 PM

    love the pics of HK....love you..mom

  2. Looks like a really nice place!

    I'm getting so excited! I've marked off the days since you been gone!

    Love the pictures and this blog! I feel like I am there with you guys!


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