Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A Full Day in Hong Kong and trip to the Nutcracker

We set our alarms this morning for 7, first time we have set our alarms all vacation.   We thought we had tickets to the Nutcracker and that the show started at 9:30.  I was right about one thing and wrong about the other.  Darn, we would have slept in!
We didn't realize our show didn't start until 2:30 until we showed up at 9 and the theater was empty.  So now that we were all up and dressed we needed something to do.  We wanted to keep it simple knowing that we now had a show right in the middle of nap time so we explored the harbor area and surrounding streets.
This happy guy carried Donald around with him all day!
One of the sights that was pretty common in this area was the stone wall tree or banyan tree.  Since Hong Kong is built on sloping mountain sides, this tree is used to help secure in the dirt and such especially near roads to prevent landslides.  We wandered the streets for an hour or so then headed back to our room for lunch in our room and then rested up for the big performance.
Time to see the Nutcracker.  Truth is, this is the first time for EVERYONE in our family to watch this ballet.  I was really excited.

The show was amazing.  Ethan really got into it.  I could tell he was paying attention because when something dramatic would happen I'd hear him gasp or say, "Uh Oh!"  or "Oh No!".  Owen was really into it two.  The last 15 minutes both little kids fell asleep.  They just couldn't keep their eyes open!
As soon as we got out of the performance we had a babysitter waiting for us at our hotel room!  Our nanny, Ivy, has an aunt that lives in Hong Kong so it was perfect!  It was nice to have someone watching our kids that we "knew"!  Brad and I hopped on the subway, this was our first time, and headed out to explore.
Riding the Central–Mid-Levels escalator and walkway system.  The world's longest covered escalator system!  This escalator takes you up the side of the mountain passing by streets filled with restaurants and bars!!!!  We were in awe of the many choices.  It was going to be so hard to pick especially since the majority of our eating out throughout the year in on camp at the Golf Shack!
We walked by a place that advertised southern BBQ and local craft beer!  We were IN!  I got a yummy pulled pork sandwich which I chased down with a local IPA!  We were in heaven!
I know what you are probably thinking, we were in an Asian country and we should indulge in the local cuisine!  And trust me, I'd agree with you if we were visiting here from the US.  However, part of traveling outside of Saudi is to get a break from the monotony of everyday life here and splurge on the things we miss from home which includes southern BBQ!!!  But don't worry, we did get our fill of local specialties!
We had planned on getting a $10 hour long foot massage, I mean how could you pass that up?  However, Brad was afraid he'd be too ticklish so he talked me into the hour long Chinese massage.  I wish I would have followed my gut.  We walked up these tiny stairs to a dark apartment that was advertised on a sign out front an apartment building.  There was a lady waiting to massage us.  I opted for the Chinese one vs. the essential oil one not knowing what the difference was.  I soon found out.  This lady had tiny hands made of steel!!!  She worked me over with so much pressure I think I almost cried a few times.  The release of her hands was the part I looked forward too.  To top off 
my massage that I had to WORK FOR, I got a boob massage.  Interesting to say the least!  Let me just say, Brad and I left there and headed right for another local brew to discuss what just happened and to relax from it!  Brad had a guy massaging him that was probably twice as strong!  OUCH!  An interesting way to end our evening out in Hong Kong!  I do have to say that we got a lot of great ideas of where to bring the kids tomorrow when we go exploring with them!  Until then....

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