5.23.2015

Day 2: Adventures in Hong Kong

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Hello from Hong Kong!! I still cannot believe we are across the world, exploring part of the world I have never experienced before now. Let's pick up where we left off last night. We landed at the airport, made our way through immigration in about ten minutes, and retrieved our luggage without any difficulty. The picture above shows the baggage claim area. As we exited that area, we saw a place to buy train tickets. Although it was our original plan to take the train all the way to our hotel (which would mean switching trains twice at different stations), the gentleman at the counter showed us how we could take the Airport Express Train to the Kowloon Station and then take a free airport shuttle bus to our hotel. It was all very easy to navigate!

Still so handsome even after traveling for 22 hours.

This is the airport shuttle bus, and you can see our stop "Harbour Plaza Metropolis" to the right.

Noah and I sat together on the bus while Ryan sat behind us. A sixteen year old kid sitting across the aisle from Noah and me looked at Ryan and said, "Do you work out at the gym?" He went on to ask Ryan for advice about how to increase muscle mass in his forearms! I am still laughing, you guys! He was such a nice kid and actually lives in Guangzhou where we will be next Friday. I asked him how many languages he speaks, and he responded with "Four." I told him to try a little harder! Haha! In all seriousness, he was a super sweet kid, and I love that he wasn't too proud to ask a complete stranger from the US how to bulk up a bit. 



We checked into our hotel, the Harbour Plaza Metropolis, which is in the Kowloon area of Hong Kong. We have a Club Room with two twin beds. It is teeny tiny, but I love it!



When your child has sat for 16 hours on a plane, you let him jump off the desk onto the beds. Ok, truth be told, when you're a woman who has sat on a plane for 16 hours, you stand on the desk to take a picture and then decide to jump onto the bed. Your son watches you do it with a huge smile on his face and eye brows raised, and immediately asks, "Can I do that, too?!" Of course, Noah! You only live once. We pushed the twin beds together, and Noah started the night on Ryan's side. I woke up in the middle of the night and saw Noah curled up outside of the covers, so I pulled him into bed with me, covered him up, and curled in behind my little spoon boy. 



Noah and Ryan both woke up around 5:30 a.m. but laid in bed until about 6:30 a.m., which is when I woke up. Not too bad for our first night of sleep! The deal on our Club Room provided free wifi and breakfast for all of us. The Harbour Club Lounge is located on our floor, and our free breakfast was provided in that area. The spread was amazing, and we all had plenty to eat before being our adventures in Hong Kong. One of my absolute favorites is ordering a custom omelet and having it prepared right in front of you. I ate one of these every single day in China last time, and I plan to do the same this trip!



We left our hotel around 9:00 a.m. to begin our adventure. The forecast was 100% chance of rain, and the sky was very overcast with heavy fog. We took a shuttle from our hotel to the Kowloon Hotel and then walked to the Star Ferry. We found storefront called the Hong Kong Tourism Board and went inside. I spoke to the nicest girl named Mimi and told her that we wanted to ride the Ferry across the Harbour and then take the Big Bus Tour to see the sights. I was able to purchase our tickets there for the Hop-on-Hop-off tour bus, and she advised us to ride the Ferry on the upper level for a better view.



I love the colors as we walked upstairs to get our ferry tokens.

This machine was super easy to use. We pressed the Adult button twice and the Concessionary button once, inserted our Hong Kong Dollars, and received 3 tokens and our change.


Our ferry tokens.

Riding on the ferry to "Central" on Hong Kong Island.
Central Star Ferry Pier

Getting ready to ride the Big Bus Tour
 Can I just say how happy I am that Noah came with us this time? Experiencing this culture and this journey while seeing his beautiful eyes absorbing it all is something else. These eyes will soon meet his new brothers', and imagining that moment makes my heart smile. His eyes were stunning with with grey skies behind him.


I love this smile! He shines.



We got on our first bus and made our way to the upper deck. There were several seats in the front that were covered, and the rest of the bus was open on top. Since it was still raining quite a bit, we sat under the covered area.  The bus tour gives everyone headphones to plug into this device, and the audio tour is offered in several languages (shown below on the right).


Noah checking out the route we were taking for the Central area tour

Ryan sitting in the last covered row.
 We decided to get out at the first stop and take some pictures of the harbour. It rained like crazy, and Noah played in the puddles until the next bus came.



Hong Kong

The architecture is pretty amazing!



After riding on the bus a bit longer, we got to another stop, which was Victoria's Peak. We hopped off the bus and bought tickets to take the tram up to the Peak. Ryan and I grabbed our first sodas, and Noah had chocolate milk. Let's see...jumping on the bed and drinking chocolate milk...yeah, we must not be at home. The tram ride was pretty incredible, and although it was quite foggy, we saw incredible views a few times. The pictures just don't do them justice.



Once we reached the top of the Peak, we went inside the observation tower and made our way up several escalators until we reached the top. Excited to see the view we walked out onto the deck to see nothing but clouds around us. Haha!! We could not see one single thing. The observation deck was SO high.
Ryan and Noah posing inside the cloud. 

Noah and I decided to take part in an activity where you took a piece of paper out of this box and write an "I love you" note.


Once mine was finished, I hug it up with hundreds of other papers and claimed my great love for Ryan and our boys.



We grabbed lunch at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. that was inside the tower. Ryan and Noah had kids' meals in boats...hahaha!! They are something else. Ryan's stomach doesn't handle jet lag well. Pray that he soon feels normal and can enjoy this trip that much more!


I ordered this delicious spicy broth with shrimp inside that came with cole slaw, french bread, and jasmine rice. I had a few bites of cole slaw and then worried that it might make me sick. So far so good!


This store, along with dozens of others, was inside the tower. They told me it is a US brand. I loved the material and many of the items. Check it out!


Once we left the observation deck/tower at the Peak, we rode the tram back down to ground level, hopped on our tour bus, and felt ready to make our way back to the hotel. Noah fell asleep in approximately 48 seconds. The rain began to fall even more ferociously, so much so that the water was sloshing across the upper deck where we sat. When the water came, you had to pick up your feet, or your shoes would become completely drenched.



Once we got back to the pier, we bought new tokens to ride the Star Ferry back across the Harbour. Then we walked in a torrential downpour to Kowloon hotel and hopped on the shuttle to our hotel. We were soaked to the bone, but we were together and still smiling. It was so nice to get out of our wet clothes and just sit in our hotel room. 

Noah and Ryan both made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches tonight for dinner. We all walked down to the Harbour Club Lounge where we had breakfast, as they offer complimentary appetizers and drinks. I had a cup of soup, some dumplings, cheese and crackers, a cosmopolitan. It is currently 8:24 p.m., and the boys are sleeping side by side. ADORABLE!! I am going to crash next to them now. I pray that we sleep until 8:00 tomorrow!! We have a half day in Hong Kong Sunday and then will fly to Nanning tomorrow after 4:00 p.m. I cannot believe that we will soon be in the same province as Tyson. Good night!!

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