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Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States

Dec 21, 2009

Ping Shan Heritage Trail

The oldest Pagoda in Hong Kong

It is always amazing to see how the trees grow around buildings and structures.

This was called the "Old Well" Nathan asked the kids if they wanted to jump in and he bent down to pick up the grate covering it and was surprised to find he could actually lift it up.

We were taking photos in these rounded doorways we thought it was amusing to have a photo of Jane in front of the toilet sign

This sign says Glory Christian Church refreshing to see a church after visiting the temples.

Ping Shan Heritage Trail from outypants on Vimeo.

Lung yeuk tau Heritage Trail

There are various heritage trails all over Hong Kong where you can walk through old villages see temples, some churches and older buildings. Nathan and Elliot went on one the other day. It had walled villages and lots of parks along the way.

Happy New Year- don't know how long this has been up I guess it is always appropiate.

AJi Ichiban is a popular snack/candy store where you can pick and choose bags of yummy treats. They are almost as common as 7-11's.

Lung Yeuk Tau Heritage Trail from outypants on Vimeo.

Dec 9, 2009

Family Visits

Shane and Shanda ( Nathan's younger sister and brother) came to visit us for two weeks. It was so great to have family here. I was feeling a little spoiled having the Annis visit followed right after by a Sweeney visit. It would be nice if we could have people come more often make us miss home less. We kept Shane and Shanda very busy doing all the tourist stuff and then some. The kids had people to carry them around, play games with them and some extra hugs aside from mom and dad.
Shane had a cantonese lesson from a very friendly taxi driver. That amused us all especially the kids- they have never heard a driver be so chatty and interactive. I was able to experience three new events, one that was on my list of things to do before we leave Hong Kong. The Peak at night, Dim sum and the other thing was to catch the laser light show while hearing the music play. That one wasn't on my list but hey it was something I had never done before.
Nathan took them hiking and they did the extremely difficult Pat Sin Leng hike. They got really burnt but I think they appreciated the views.

Mish Mash S&S from outypants on Vimeo.

Last Day out with S&S from outypants on Vimeo.

Nov 30, 2009

Visitors in November/Shenzhen

I am having trouble with blogger changing the format of my captions and photos. I am new to using it and don't really know how to fix it. So I apologize for the format.

We had a visit from our good friends Mike and Jodie from Traverse City. It was a lot of fun to spend time with them and the Krohns. We often talked about how fun it would it be to be over here together and for 10 days we got that chance.

 I visited Lo Wu for the first time. A busy gateway between Hong Kong and mainland China. 
Lo Wu commercial city is a giant shopping complex.  You can get your nails done, buy illegal dvds and designer knock off accessories and clothes, or get your own made all in one place. 

It was an overload to my senses upon first entering. The second hand smoke lingering on every floor, with shouts of clerks outside their stalls yelling " hey missy, missy" trying to get my attention. 
It took about 15 minutes for me to adjust to the noise and smell and think clearly.

 My big purchase was a gray coat They started out at a sell price of $950 ($135)I bought it for $250 ($35) - the inside tag price read $3500 HKD ($500) I don't know if that is relevant or not
but all in all I felt I walked away with a good deal.
 The kids and Nathan visited the kite park while I shopped. Then they had pizza for dinner. Finding good pizza in China is hard to do but NYPD is good by American standards. The owner said he would like to open one in Hong Kong on the Island we can hope he open ones up in the New Territories.

The picture of the kids on the step in front of the station was taken not only by me but by several other tourist and locals.

Jane practicing for her Christmas program and our day out.

Lunch in Shenzhen from outypants on Vimeo.

Oct 19, 2009

7 months and top Five

We have called Hong Kong home for 7 months now.

5 indications I am starting to feel at home:

I don't have a mild heart attack anymore when offered water in a glass at a restaurant ( you don't drink tap water here)
I can wear jeans in 79˚ weather comfortably
I can tell a taxi driver where we live in Cantonese( so far I am being understood 50% of the time)
I don't have to buy all our food with an American label on it just because it is familiar - although I still use a lot of imported stuff because it is all I can get for certain items
Automatic check for Octopus card (electronic card used for public transportation) instead of car keys before leaving the house.

Elliot's top five about Hong Kong___ this week any way
prefers the buses over the train or boats
Spaghetti house for dinner
Playscope (indoor play place we have a membership too hands on stuff, toys and climbing net)
Best Friends: Isaiah and Aaron

Jane's top five:
Restaurant - Ajisen ( Japanese Ramen place) she loves pot stickers
Best Friend: Abigail
7-11 as a snack stop

My top five attractions/regulars so far
The promenade- I don't tire of that Hong Kong skyline
The ferry - relaxing way to travel ( not hour long ferry 10 minute ferry )
Repulse bay- my favorite out of the 4 beaches we visited
History Museum
Mong Kok for shopping- thanks to Bethany the secondhand /Pier one close out shop on Sai Yee street

Spaghetti house
Genki Sushi
Triple O's ( canadian burger place)
India restaurant ( out of 3 Indian places we tried -by far the best Indian food is found here!)

Top five- over all likes
Being close to the China border- Shenzhen maybe only a 20 minute train ride, but you know you are in a different country rather quickly. Cheap buys and cheap eats. I hope to get better about exploring

The mountains- I love the views here too gorgeous.

Weather- the beach in October- need I say more

No car- no driving

Good selection of tea

Free Ice Cream from outypants on Vimeo.

Tuen Mun from outypants on Vimeo.

Say Cheese from outypants on Vimeo.

Ocean Park 2009

The two big theme parks here in Hong Kong are Disneyland and Ocean Park. We picked a weekday to visit to Ocean Park. The last time I had checked the weather it was sunny skies the day we left it said a few morning showers and sunny in the afternoon. Well it rained all day. Thankfully the rain was on and off and when it did rain it was mostly a light rain. At least the lines weren't really long and it wasn't 100˚ outside. The downside were the Halloween displays- they had some gruesome heads in the food stalls that scared Jane. We did our best to steer away from them and enjoyed our day as best as we could in spite of them.

The cable cars offer a nice view over the mountains. When we visit Repulse Bay you can see the cable cars as you are swimming in the water now when we go back to the beach the kids will remember being on them. Blue skies would have made the trip better but it was still pretty. The kids had fun riding all the kiddy rides. Jane loved the Frog Hopper right away, but it took about 8 rides before Elliot would try it when he did he enjoyed it. Jane was willing to ride some bigger rides but she was not tall enough. She will be our roller coaster girl for sure.

The aquarium is a great attraction with sea turtles, sharks,stingrays and larger fish. I have seen Panda's before otherwise those might have been a bigger deal for me. This is obviously the main attraction to Ocean Park. The rain as far as we could tell didn't stop the rides or too many attractions so we were able to experience a lot of what the park had to offer.
The kids couldn't stop cheering over the dolphin show. I remember Sea world being more impressive and of course having a Killer whale on display helps- but it was entertaining over all and they loved it.

Ocean Park from outypants on Vimeo.