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Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States

Jul 27, 2009

Summer fun!

Jane lost her tooth kind of in a violent way; she was looking at a toy a kid was playing with in the park and he pushed a button that made something pop out and got her right in the face.

Repulse Bay Beach

Typhoon Molave damage

Typhoon Elliot damage

Bike Riding Lessons from outypants on Vimeo.

With kids there is never a dull moment and kids in Hong Kong seems even more true for us. July has been eventful. We went to the sea for the first time, Jane's first grown up tooth is coming in, a level 9 Typhoon came through, Jane is now riding on two wheels, we had a bat in apartment, that I found in our kitchen sink while I was doing dishes and recently Elliot wrote on his wall - correction drew pictures on his wall. I am waiting for the first kids hair cut moment to happen any day - maybe it will pass us by may be. Poor Elliot he woke up early went straight to Nathan- daddy I got something to show you in my room wake up, it is a surprise. I even overheard him tell Nathan to close his eyes. He was so proud of his drawing, Nathan had to gently tell him that we don't write on walls and warn him that he would get disciplined if he did it again. The sad thing is I think he got the idea from a library book we checked out- there is a part where a girl writes on her wall and lies about it. I think the moral of that story went over his head. Repulse bay trip was fun. It was a different experience than we are use to at Lake Michigan. This water was about 30 degrees warmer, salty with some good size waves. Elliot was a little too familiar with them at first and I watched as he got completely swept over in a wave. Nathan says I went one way in the water and Elliot up came up on shore the other. It makes your heart race to watch your child completely overtaken by water. He talks about it as the time he rolled over in the water, with a little bit of pride in his voice. I have gotten my feet wet in salt water but never swam. Salt burns your eyes and makes you sticky- 31 years and I never knew that. The kids have been getting better in the water and love their goggles. I can't usually see their faces when we are in a pool because they are constantly going under. The typhoon happened the same day we went to Kowloon walled city. The rustling of the leaves and the branches brushing against our 4th story window kept me up until 3 am. I might have slept through it if it were not for how loud it was in our apartment. In the video you can see one of the branches breaking. A level 10 storm is considered a hurricane. So the following videos and pictures are a collection of the events described.

The Bat from outypants on Vimeo.

Beach Weekend from outypants on Vimeo.

Typhoon Molave from outypants on Vimeo.

Jul 18, 2009

Kowloon Walled City Park

A brief History lesson if you care to know more about background of this place...

In 1898, the New Territories were leased to the British for a term of 99 years. At first, Qing officials still continued to station in the City. In 1899, however, British troops were sent to take over the City, and the Qing officials and soldiers were expelled. The resultant vacuum of civil order from 1899 laid the seeds for the eventual deterioration of the area into a semi-lawless enclave and festering squatter slum.

During the Japanese occupation of 1941-45 the wall was torn down and the stone used to extend the nearby Kai Tak airfield. An idea of the large amount of quarried granite so gained is provided by the wall's dimensions: 15 feet wide and 13 feet high for a gross length of 2,200 feet, plus a supplementary wall which ran Great Wall-style from the northern rampart to the top of the hill which formerly overlooked the garrison.

After the war, high-rise tenements built without authority and completely lacking proper foundations mushroomed cheek by jowl over almost the whole site, and the Walled City with its dank alleyways became a notorious nest of drug divans, criminal hide-outs, vice dens and even cheap, unlicensed dentists.

In 1987, with the agreement of the Chinese authorities, the decision was taken to clear the area and build a park on the site which would incorporate as many remaining features as possible of the original buildings and other features.

This depicts what life inside the wall was like. They had to put lights on the streets at one point since the alleys and roads were covered.

We stopped into a mall before heading to the park. Toys-r-us was having a Rubik's cube competition. Top prize $10,000 HKD
Afterwards we went to the cultural center to buy tickets to Cinderella the Ballet and we found out they were having a televised 24 hour marathon of people playing this traditional Chinese instrument. The sound quality of our camera is not very good it did sound quite nice in person.

Kowloon Walled City Park from outypants on Vimeo.

Jul 14, 2009

Transformers at Grand Century Plaza

To promote the movie they had this display at Mongkok. Elliot has seen the cartoons and knows a few of them, so we took the kids over there to take pictures.

Jul 2, 2009


We travelled to the Macau SAR a few weeks ago. It was in the 90's but we started uphill and walked down and took rests inside the pretty Churches scattered about. Macau is beautiful I don't think that you can take a bad picture in the place. It was owned by Portugal for 400 years and is now in the hands of China. Elliot rode on an amusement ride that went up in the air! His first time trying something like that. We went to Walt Disney World awhile back and I am glad he was free because he wouldn't ride much. He was willing here in Macau so he might be ready for Dumbo at Hong Kong Disney now. I got a little seasick on the way out there. It is about an hour by ferry to Macau. I didn't know I would was that bad about motion sickness, now I know. We rode on the top deck on the way back and that made a difference we will remember for next time.

The video starts out with us taking the bus in Hong Kong then it shows us on the Ferry on the way to Macau. We ate at a Japanese restaurant had Ramen and salmon sashimi. We ate Japanese food run by people who were Chinese in a country that used to be owned by the Portuguese. I was filling out paperwork on the way back. You not only have to fill out the standard arrival/departure cards these days you have a separate health form you have to fill for the Swine Flu. Whenever you cross a border. 32 pieces of paperwork I filled out that week as we had just got back from Japan when we went to Macau. Picture slide show at the end. Ignore the different colored bars it should work.

Macau from outypants on Vimeo.