Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Finally...we have an apartment...we think

The last one we thought was ours fell through...that's 3 we lost. Our offer was submitted and accepted yesterday and we signed the offer letter and sent the deposit today. We should receive the tenancy agreement tomorrow. Once that is signed and submitted along with a check for a 2 month security deposit, then it will truly be a done deal.

This is a large 3 bedroom in Stanley. It's in a 3 story low-rise called Ho's Villa - and it's a 1st floor walk-up. There are 6 units in each of 3 buildings and there is a pool in between them. It's a great location - just 1 block from the beach, a few blocks from the Stanley Market and Stanley Plaza, and close to the bus depot, restaurants, etc. Stanley seems to be the only part of the city that is really a walking area - it's even got nice sidewalks and is stroller friendly. We are really excited about the place and the location. It has great closet space, a nice kitchen, fairly large rooms, and big windows. Of course the location and the low floor means there's no view...but I'd rather be a block from the beach than farther from it and looking out at it.

I will be checking out the preschools in Stanley, but most likely we will stick with the one we liked before - Sunshine House in Tai Tam. It's very close by...just a 5 minute drive or so.

You can see pictures and floor plan of the apartment here: http://picasaweb.google.com/elissa.imran/StanleyApartment#

Leah started ballet class last Wednesday. Week one did not go so well. She was very shy and timid - just sat and did not participate - until the end when the teacher gave them each a piece of candy and they walked out of the room in a line on tiptoe. Leah promised that she'll participate tomorrow - and I told her she doesn't get the candy if she doesn't at least try. Meanwhile, we went to Stanley Market on Thursday and bought her a proper ballet outfit and ballet slippers so that she'll feel like part of the class - we'll see if that helps.

We also got Leah some cute new sandals and a ladybug costume for Halloween while we were at Stanley Market. I'm excited to live close by, as I think I could have lots of fun exploring there - but it was a bit tough running through with a 2 year old and trying to find the things we needed in a short time to get back and feed Will after. No doubt a few more visits and I'll feel like a pro.

Last Friday I took Leah to meet Carter and Caden at Ocean Park. It's an amusement park that is actually on the south side of Hong Kong Island - just a 5-10 minute drive from us. It's free under age 3 and I bought a season pass for myself for a little under US$100. I figured that since it's so close, it can be a frequent afternoon destination. We had lots of fun exploring. There are animals and rides and performers. We were there for about 4 hours - which was pretty tiring for both of us - I could see even going for shorter visits than that.

Sunday we all went exploring in town. We started with a shuttle ride to Wan Chai, where we went to an American style diner called The Flying Pan. It's a bit hard to find the restaurants here sometimes as they are often on the 2nd or 3rd floor - we walked right past this one and had to ask for directions to find it. The food was pretty good and it was nice to get some comfort food. Then we walked from there to Causeway Bay and Times Square. It wasn't a short walk, but it was fun to walk along by all the bars, shops, etc. and explore the area a bit. We had planned to walk up to explore Happy Valley as well, but the weather didn't cooperate and we never made it. We went back in to Wan Chai for dinner and ate at a pretty good Chinese restaurant - we all enjoyed and it was actually pretty cheap - which was a nice change as we have been finding most of the groceries and restaurants to be quite expensive here.

Today we finally had some nice weather after over a week of overcast and scattered showers, so I took Leah to the pool. She was very timid at first, but by the end she was all over the baby pool and even jumping in by herself. Even with arm floaties on, she's afraid to let go in the deep end, but I'm sure she'll gt there eventually.

Mmm - Leah ate noodles, pork belly, chicken soup, pork dumplings and a pork bun:
Will's first restaurant highchair - at The Flying Pan:
Will is really discovering his limbs - these rattles are really fun now:
A little green screen fun with Caden & Carter at Ocean Park:
Leah's first midway game - she got the ball on one of the red holes and won a flying cow:
Leah with the Ocean Park red panda:
Mmm - Will doesn't get out as much - but he's having fun at home:
Leah trying on her Halloween costume:
And her ballerina outfit:
Leah carrying her purchases and wearing her new sandals while shopping in Stanley:
Leah shyly watching the other ballerinas:

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