Saturday, January 28, 2017

Hong Kong

Flights out of Guangzhou are notoriously late, and layovers in Beijing or Shanghai are known for being time-consuming and difficult, so we decided to fly out of Hong Kong. Besides, it was a good excuse to check out another famous city, and flights were cheaper and more direct from there anyway. The ironic thing is that I’m working on this blog entry on a delayed United flight out of Hong Kong, and we will now probably miss our Southwest flight from San Francisco to Denver.

Yes, Johanna ate all three bowls of noodles!
Anyway, on Thursday morning, we took a two hour train ride from Guangzhou to Hong Kong. It went pretty quickly, and we eventually got to our hotel (Hotel LBP) and ate an expensive lunch across the street. Hong Kong is not a cheap place! After lunch, the kids took naps while Morgan and Zack walked around near our hotel checking out the shopping.

When Jonas and Johanna woke up and Zack got back, Morgan and I took the kids in a taxi out to Victoria Peak. It ended up being a one hour wait to ride the tram to the top, but the views were spectacular! Hong Kong is a crazy big city. We hung out at the top for awhile, ate some Burger King for dinner (you do what you’ve got to do when the kids are hungry and things are expensive!), and rode the tram back down. 

We didn’t have nearly enough time to explore Hong Kong, but at least we got a taste of the city. Many people spoke English there, we saw lots of Caucasian people, the prices were similar to New York City, there were tons of tall buildings, double decker buses and red taxis filled the streets, and everything seemed very clean and modern. It was also a beautiful place with the very blue water and various islands. We were impressed!

But we were definitely ready to go home. I had a scare with forgetting my good camera on the train when we arrived in Hong Kong, although I was luckily able to get it back. Jonas had been going to bed late several nights in a row, so he was having multiple meltdowns a day and wasn’t his usual happy, friendly self. Johanna just seemed confused as to why we kept traveling to different places and staying at different hotels. Zack seemed to be over it all, and I’m sure Morgan was sick of having to live by our unpredictable schedule. Our clothes were all dirty, and I think everyone was just ready to get back to their own beds and their own things.

We taught Johanna to say "cheers," and now
she wants to do it all of the time. It's one of
the first things we taught Jonas as well!
So Friday morning, on my 38th birthday, we flew out of Hong Kong. Our flight was delayed nearly two hours, which happened after we had already boarded, so we’ve been sitting on here on this plane for a long time. I’m currently working on this blog entry, and everyone else has finally fallen asleep. The kids have been pretty good so far…watching movies, eating, making friends with seat neighbors, etc. Johanna did have some teary eyes as we boarded and took our seat; I think she was a bit overwhelmed with it all. But she did fine after that; she’s just been kind of quiet. We’ve had some fun decorating our seat top with Chinese New Year garland and playing with glow sticks in the dark. 

I’m kind of dreading what’s going to happen after we land in San Francisco. We’ll have to be awake during what would usually be our middle of the night to go through customs, get our bags, deal with Johanna’s immigration paperwork, and then probably rebook our Southwest flight that we’re going to miss because of this delay. And then we have a few more hours of flying-ugh! I’m anticipating some meltdowns…from any or all of us!

Oh well. At least we’re headed home, and we’ll get there eventually. And one of the flight attendants thinks we’re the coolest because of our garland and glow sticks. Zack told him it was my birthday, and he brought us champagne to celebrate! I was organizing some pictures on my computer during the flight, and it was weird to see ones from Beijing. That feels like so long ago, and it’s strange to see “family” pictures without Johanna in them! Guess she’s stuck with us now!