My photo
Grand Rapids, Michigan, United States

Feb 21, 2010


It took us almost 10 months but we made good on our promise to Jane that if we moved to Hong Kong we would visit Disneyland.
The weather the day before we went, sunny and 70˚ the day we went 60˚ and light rain. Jane asked why we always go in the rain. What was she referring to? Ocean Park the other place in Hong Kong you promise to take your kids to for fun. If you saw that post you will remember it rained that day too. There is an upside to rainy days. The crowd size is down so a few less people jump in front of you in line and you can ride some stuff more than once.

Hong Kong skyline -Small World ride

We decided to keep it a surprise from the kids. It can be hard to keep up anticipation after traveling a little over an hour by mass transit ( we took 5 trains) but they didn't complain too much for not knowing what was at the end of the travel. 

 Disney has its own MTR train so when the kids saw Mickey shaped windows coming up to our platform they were hoping we were getting on.

I told him the story how only the true King of England could pull it out, he was really trying here. This actually sparked an interest in the King Arthur story and days after he would pretend using the True King of England as part of his sword fighting.

I was impressed with this Small World Ride. I liked how Disney movies are part of the displays. We tried to ride it one more time before closing but we didn't catch it. Closing time was 6:30pm so we didn't have quite that full day of a peak season time.

First impression is the castle- If I got it right Walt Disney World has Cinderella's Castle and Disneyland has Sleeping Beauty's. Cinderella's Kingdom must have more money :-)

Jane of course would ride anything including Space Mountain - she said that was scary and would wait until she was a teenager to do it again. Elliot when he was 3 went on two- Small world and Winnie the Pooh. Finally after being pushed a little bit and pretty much forced to go on a couple he realized he liked most of them. Thankfully the lines were so short we could ride them once more with him on after he knew how fun they could be. The tea cups - he loved the one outside of the ride and took a photo in that but didn't want to actually ride them. The kids favorite ride was the Buzz lightyear I think we were able to go on it 4 times.


The difference between just turning 3 and almost turning 5? Elliot who on our visit to Florida could have hugged Cinderella forever, decided to skip the Princess photo opportunity this time. I think we have a picture with all of them except Ariel. Next time.

I thought the food was good and not too overpriced. The 20(HKD) they wanted to charge for a 20oz soda was a bit much. The kid's pizza's were delicious and of course fun.

had to fight to keep a spot in the front, but I made sure the two grown women didn't kick Jane out of her place along the rope. My favorite the green army men from Toy Story and the space girls from Toy Story. The queen of hearts came right up to Jane.
If you aren't expecting it the singing in Cantonese and certain attractions not being in English can throw you off a little bit. It looks so American most of the time you forget that a majority of the people who are visiting are not native English speakers.


HK Disneyland from outypants on Vimeo.

Feb 10, 2010


A few weeks ago on one of our hikes we were able to catch a glimpse in the distance two monkeys climbing in the tree. I was excited to see them for that brief moment even though they were far away and hard to see.
Last Saturday with the Krohns we visited the place where they are known for being out in the open.

The view of Kam Shan Family Walk

So excited to see them as we began our walk.
We were told they could be aggressive and bring a stick.
We heeded the advice not to eat in front of them and kept our distance and didn't have any problems.

Checking out one of the cars parked.

There is a $10,000 fine for feeding the Monkeys. It is easy to see how people are tempted to do so, it would be fun to have the baby monkey come and eat out of your hand. Of course this is probably the cause of their sometimes aggressive behavior not to mention hurting their self preservation.

Nathan was about to enter one of these bathrooms when the monkeys begin to gather around, jumped on the top and bared their teeth.
He changed his mind.
Nathan has developed a dislike for monkeys.  After a long hike, you get tired and thirsty, he has gone to take food out of his pocket, only to be instantly surrounded by a group of monkeys. Keeping an exhausted hiker from his lunch is a quick way to make an enemy.
If he felt this way before about food, my guess is this interruption from a bathroom break, will not endear the monkeys to him anymore.

The monkeys were only spotted in the first part of our journey. It was a nice mild day and the remaining walk was pretty.

Feb 1, 2010

Harbin China

St. Sofia Church. It is now a museum- Basically photographs are all over the walls depicting the modern History of Harbin.

View Larger Map

Harbin is close to Russia and the Russian influence is seen in the architecture and touristy goods sold there. We had a day and a half to visit.

We ate traditional Borsch and other Russian food at this popular restaurant. We were expecting not to get as it probably seats only about 60 people packed in. We went at the right time and had no problem getting in. The inside is decorated with pictures from Harbin it felt more like a house than a restaurant. They give you baskets under your table to put all your scarves and hats in. Nathan mentioned the food being prepared close to the bathrooms was a little disturbing but everything was good and I would eat there again.

There is an underground shopping mall that seems to go on and on. Comparing the crowds there to the crowds inside the large free standing mall it is easy to see where most in Harbin spend their money.

Jane Eyre clothing store
I did not come to Harbin to clothes shop so we just walked past this but had to get a photo of the name.

Food stall- one of them selling the famous frozen fruit on a stick.

Even though we were freezing and had no desire to eat a popsicle we did decide to try one before we left. We found it really sweet like it had been coated in liquid sugar first, not all that appetizing.

Did not bother trying this.

Laoshu Minnie- (Minnie Mouse) I overheard a family repeat as we visited Zhaolin Park - The place that hosts Disney's spot at the Ice and Snow festival. It would have been fun with the kids we thought it a little overpriced for just us to visit.

The River frozen over. It was fun to watch people almost run into each other with these ice chair skis ( my name for them)
We saw many people in animal/character suits most handing out flyers for restaurants. We thought these were the luckiest people having their whole bodies covered and shielded from the cold and wind.

The reason we came to Harbin, endured the bitter cold was because Nathan saw images and heard about their famous Ice and Snow Festival. I have to take time here to pick on my husband. For our 10 year anniversary ( June 2010) originally the plan was to visit Hawaii. That is what Nathan told me when we first got married -there is time left maybe that will happen :-) As it has gotten closer Hawaii has been pushed back. It is far away and is very expensive! So I have to tease that he brought me to Harbin China where the highest temperature is 9˚F in the winter, where I wore 6 layers of clothes, and had to work hard to keep the feeling in my fingers and toes, Instead of Hawaii where it is - well Hawaii! Enough picking on him- I had fun and I am glad I got to share these impressive sites with him.

Harbin from outypants on Vimeo.